Diablo III is on its way to get the biggest update to the game yet. According to a post on the forums, there will be an extended maintenance tonight, during which time the new patch, 1.0.4, will hit the game. Diablo III has been facing a lot of complaints and criticisms over the lacklustre equipment drops and the utterly pointless end-game, which is nothing but endless farming for more gear. Blizzard is attempting to fix many of Diablo III’s failings, such as spell balance and the pointless end-game in the upcoming 1.0.4 patch. The complete patch notes can be found in the forum thread on the official Diablo III forums.

Stirring controversy

Getting patch 1.0.4 today!

Developers from Blizzard have been explaining all the changes that they were making to the game in the upcoming patch in a series of blog posts, the latest one being the addition of a new end-game to the hack-and-slash role playing game (RPG). A blog post by the game’s senior technical game designer Wyatt Cheng explains many of the changes the game will be seeing, and the reasons for these changes. The post says, “One of the general improvements we’d like to make to our item game addresses the difference between an item having a chance of being good vs. knowing the item isn’t going to be good before you even identify it.” To put it simply, there’s a big difference between an item having no chance of being good and the item having some chances of being good. While Blizzard won’t be able to fully address this issue in the patch, it is a long term plan for the company.

Some of the changes to the game include the inclusion of Paragon levels, which completely change how the game works once the player reaches the level cap of level 60. “After you hit level 60, any further experience you earn from killing monsters will begin to count toward Paragon levels. There are 100 Paragon levels,” according to Blizzard.

Every Paragon level will reward you with:

  • Core stats such as Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Vitality in amounts similar to what you’d gain from a normal level
  • 3 percent Magic Find and 3 percent Gold Find
  • In addition, a distinctive, increasingly-impressive border will surround your character portrait in the in-game party frame to denote your Paragon progression, with a new frame earned after every ten levels. Your Paragon level will also be visible to other players wherever your normal level is shown

Some of the other changes include completely rebalancing the spells of the classes, such as the Wizard’s hydra, which are getting preference over other spells purely due to power, instead of being due to the player having fun with the spell.

Here are the timings for the extended downtime for Diablo III’s servers:

The Americas: 3:00 a.m. PDT to 1:00 p.m. PDT (8/21)
Europe: 8:00 p.m. PDT (8/21) to 6:00 a.m. PDT (8/22)
Asia: 11:00 a.m. PDT to 11:00 p.m. PDT (8/22)

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