Despite Diablo III's 'always-on' infrastructure making co-op a breeze, Blizzard have admitted that it's not "living up to its full potential." After all, you can pause the game, choose your own route and farm to your heart's content on your lonesome. Diablo III's next patch plans to make cooperative play much more rewarding.
"The point is that multiplayer can be lot of fun, but given the downsides it can often feel not worth the effort," Senior technical game designer Wyatt Cheng admitted on the Battle.net blog. "By making it easier for players to find one another, improving social features, and providing direct buffs to co-op groups, we hope to change that perspective."
So, what's new? Patch 1.0.8. will allow players to 'tag' multiplayer sessions with a specific goal or playstyle, letting players know whether you're looking for PvP, Questing, Key Warden etc. You'll then be matchmade with players seeking the same thing, which should mean that you're all singing off the same song sheet.
There'll also be experience buffs for co-op players. "We're still working on the details of what that buff is going to be," Cheng elaborates, "but at the moment we're looking at 10% more XP per extra player in the game for a maximum bonus of 30% more XP in a 4-player game. This bonus will be multiplicative with MP bonuses. For example: suppose you are playing on MP10 with an XP bonus in Inferno of 510%. This means a monster is worth 610% of its normal XP (510% more). If you are playing in a 4-player game the monster will be worth 793% as much XP as normal. On top of this, you will also earn a flat 10% Gold Find and 10% Magic Find for each additional player in the game, and this bonus can exceed the 300% Gold Find and Magic Find caps."
Other improvements include changes to monster health, private chat, the addition of 'identify all' functionality (hooray!!!), and combat alerts when an Elite pack engages a party member. You can get more details over on Battle.net.
I hope that these improvements will help make cooperative multiplayer as worthwhile as it is fun, but I'll personally be far too busy playing Guild Wars 2 and Torchlight 2 to notice.