Have you played Diablo III lately? I know I hadn’t for a very long time, and found very little reason to return to the demon soaked landscape of the game. Spending some hands on time with the upcoming console version reignited my fire for Diablo and I found myself patching up to the latest version. If you need a refresher course, a large complaint about Diablo III was that the endgame content was pretty lean, and almost impossible to access without dumping more money into the RMAH or Real Money Auction House. This led to a lot of players staging revolts on the forums that looked a lot like the last scenes of The Avengers, and Blizzard being Loki.
Were the accusations true? Possibly. As an avid Diablo III player I can attest to the sharp incline in difficulty on Inferno, and subsequently when you begin working the progressively harder levels of Monster Power. Without the proper weapons, and equipment playing at levels this high can result in you dying regularly, and usually at the hands of something like a bat. Does the RMAH provide an alternate path to obtaining those weapons and armors without having to grind for the drops? Sure. Accept that this is really genuinely a purely optional path for those high level items, as drops can happen. Increasing drop frequency is the same as it has ever been in Diablo… just equip stacks of magic find items.
So what’s the point of any of it? Somewhere along the line Blizzard added the Hellfire portals to endgame monsters. These monsters are supposed to represent the epitome of challenge in Diablo III, and they drop the rarest of items. As with all things Diablo, getting these portals open and traversing the dimensional plane to fight ubers is very complicated and tough. You have to fight 4 Keywardens in each Act of the game and get them to drop Keys and finally plans to craft an infernal machine that opens a portal to a realm where you fight an elite boss for epic drops and a piece of their organs. Obtain enough organs, and you can finally craft the most valued endgame treasure of all. An account bound Hellfire Ring.
So, anyone logging into Diablo III nowadays will be pleasantly surprised to find that Blizzard has made doing Key runs with groups much easier thanks to the new Keywarden grouping option in quest selection. They’ve also added more buffs, and rewards for grouping, and having 5 Nephalem Valor stacks. Especially if you’re playing on Monster Power 5 or above. While there isn’t much in the way of altering difficulty for the uninitiated, the drop rates have been tweaked a little bit, and the game seems more inclined to reward you for investing time in it. There’s also been some console inspired tweaks to the map, UI, and it seems the engine has been overhauled again; as there is a marked increase in performance overall.
Is all this enough to make you want to jump back into Diablo III? Well it’s enough for us as we’ll be streaming Keywarden runs for the next couple of weeks. So keep an eye on our Twitch, and feel free to add me when you see me playing.