"We're Making A Metric-Ton Of Changes To Classes"
Blizzard community manager Bashiok has revealed that Diablo III's next major update will go live in the "fourth week of August." Patch 1.0.4 will bring a host of new features, most of which are designed to improve the co-op experience.
Through an in-depth blog post, Blizzard designer Wyatt Cheng revealed that update 1.0.4 will encourage players to work together by removing the average Magic Find and Gold Find probabilities for multiplayer parties, instead granting each player the full benefits of their own stats. This should hopefully cut down on the number of solo item hunters who'd love to play with friends but refrain from doing so due to the decreased loot potential. "We originally added Magic Find averaging so optimal play did not involve people stacking what we call 'adventure stats' to the detriment of their party. While this may re-emerge as a problem, we think the current solution feels like too much of a penalty, and is doing more harm than good," the preview explains. Monster health multipliers will also be decreased, leading to more manageable mobs.
Blizzard also plans to "shrink the gap" between normal monsters and champions by rebalancing their health and damage, and "close the gap" between single/dual handed weapons. Repair costs for powerful items will be reduced by 25%.
A "metric-ton of changes to classes" will also be included. There are apparently so many that Blizzard will be rolling out specific blog posts for each one - watch this space.
This is doubtlessly good news... but the fact that most players tend to play solo is a shocking admission for a game designed with always-connected DRM. Here's hoping that 1.0.4. can fix that.