Another new patch has dropped, and rather than letting your eyes glaze over poring through the notes, we’re just going to point out the highlights for you.
The main focus of this patch appears to be in damage type, as the developers appear to want more variety in elemental damage. Wizard Archons now change their elements based on rune, Barbarians got a lot more cold options, and in general all classes seem to have made a slight shift away from Physical damage.
Aside from the usual many Bug Fixes, this patch is filled with numerous “Quality of Life” updates. The ones that should make the most difference to the average player are loot based:
- Drops for crafting recipes have been greatly increased
- Gold find is more generously calculated and the limit has been removed
- Legendary drop rate from Horadric Caches will scale with Torment difficulty levels
- And white armor and weapons are no longer required crafting ingredients, so go ahead and finally finish that Templar quest.
Also the Puzzle Ring is now much improved, making it suddenly worthwhile for the people who previously hated it, and for those who were already using it: today is your day to be smug. Also it’s your day to get a lot more orange loot.
Someone in the development team clearly likes Seismic Slam and wishes that more Barbarians were using it. Fetish summoning Witch Doctors have had their math juggled a bit. It sounds like a nerf at first, but if you were running through enemies as fast as you should have been with a Fetish build, then you should actually be seeing improvements now. Also Bogadile does some serious damage now. The Awareness passive for Demon Hunters now actually does something useful. For Wizards, Teleport is drastically elevated by a huge drop in cooldown. People previously using Wormhole will not see an increase but they will find their power easier to aim with less stress; all the other runes fared even better. The biggest change of all is the major boost to Crusaders. Seriously, they are crazy-improved. Besides a global reduction in damage to bring them in line with the other melee classes, there has been a massive re-balancing of their active skills and numerous functional changes to the passives. The total list is too much for us to go into right now, but anyone who created a Crusader when the expansion launched and quickly switched back to their wizard will probably want to try out their newly improved tank.
It also appears that the Enchanting process has had some improvements, and as a nice touch to help decrease player frustration, Elite enemies will no longer spawn with certain “misery combinations”. These are the multiple unlucky affixes that line up in terrible ways, resulting in cheap deaths and inevitable cursing and ranting. One last weird point of note: there was a small change that almost no one will notice, a major decrease in Blood Shards earned while powerleveling. Not really sure how much damage that was doing to game balance, but if they felt it was necessary then probably someone was exploiting it. In any case, the average player shouldn’t need to spend more than a few hours to get their friend’s alt up to 70, so this shouldn’t matter. The long-awaited Monk changes are coming in the next patch, but for now, enjoy your increased loot, your anniversary bonuses, and your suddenly powerful Crusaders!