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- Diablo III
Season 3 has just begun for Diablo 3. After spending a weekend participating, I have come to the conclusion that Diablo 3 is now in a state where it is just a spectacular as Diablo 2 was in its prime. That's saying a lot, but it's just that good.
Patch 2.2 has arrived alongside Season 3, meaning that Diablo 3 has changed dramatically in the blink of an eye. If you own a copy, you owe it to yourself to see what's new. I've been thoroughly impressed for reasons I'll describe below.
1. The Legendaries Are Exciting
Patch 2.2 has added three new legendary sets to the loot pool of Diablo 3. These sets include six items for the Demon Hunter (seen above), Barbarian, and Wizard. Their stats are incredible, and worth farming for.
If you aren't one of the three classes that's benefited from the addition, you'll be glad to hear that many of the existing legendaries have been improved. Although you'll need to acquire the new version even if you have the original, you'll find that sets like Roland's Legacy and Inna's Vast Expanse, among eight others, now have new bonuses. These bonuses lend themselves to new build variations, one of the best things about Diablo 3's post 2.0 item design.
2.1.2's new Ancient item rarity, which are higher quality versions of legendaries, in addition to these added items means that Diablo 3 is loaded with exciting drops. You'll encounter them frequently, and always feel a bit of a rush when you hear "ka-chink" followed by a big orange star appearing on your mini-map.
2. Quality of Life Improvements
The minute-to-minute play of Diablo 3 is better than ever. For one, you don't need to loot and stock up on potions anymore. The potion is now treated as an unlimited supply item with a cooldown. This means more inventory space among other things.
Group looting has also been added. So, instead of having to click a multitude of times to pick up gems and crating materials, all items within these two categories within 20 yards will be thrown into your inventory when you click. Nifty.
What I've noticed is that these two changes have resulted in a more fluid game flow. I've spent a lot less time looting when leveling and farming, and more time doing what's actually fun.
3. More Activities to Partake In
A bounty type called Exploration has been added to Diablo 3. It's unlike the previous bounty types in that you're tasked with venturing through a zone and rescuing NPCs from monsters. There are 14 of these that have been added across all five Acts, benefiting both the leveling and farming experience.
There are also three new styles of Treasure Goblins that have been added. One of them splits up into several smaller and faster goblins that diverge into different directions. They're clever in design and a welcomed challenge when encountered.
Also, Blizzard has shifted around rifts a bit so that you encounter a lot more variety when you step into each new level. Four new tilesets have made their way into the rift library mixing things up in Diablo 3's most heavily grinded endgame feature.
4. Class Balance is Better Than Ever
Diablo 3 has suffered from varying degrees of imbalance over the years. I can recall that when it first came out certain classes such as the Barbarian and Witch Doctor simply weren't effective in progression. Since then things have moved around a lot, never quite finding the harmonious balance that Blizzard and players desire.
Season 3, at least in its current state, is the only time where I can honestly stay that all classes are extremely effective one way or another. Whether it be group-oriented utility, high DPS, or crowd control, every class can be a positive element of a team, or perform well solo. It isn't perfect, but it's good enough that right now I never feel like dead weight no matter which class I join a group with.
5. Season 3's Rewards Are the Best Yet
Instead of giving you a pattern like seasons before, Season 3 has some enticing rewards.The unique portrait frame stands out. The pennant is the best yet.
The leaderboard system has also been refined since its introduction, allowing you to specify a ton of different filters to view how you fare against the world or just your friends. The Season exclusive achievements are just the cherry on top.
Sold? Good. We'll see you in-game.