Traditionally, Diablo 3 patches have tons of text. Each patch brings a tremendous number of changes; you can spend an hour reading the whole list! This patch is no exception to the tradition. It features many changes. The development team added many new Legendaries and Legendary effects to diversify the styles of play that are available to a player. Many items that were beneficial to certain Class Sets now also add more damage to the core spell of the Set.
The same fate has befallen on the Classes. Many abilities had their damage and efficiency increased. Such changes smoothed the gameplay by a lot. After the changes, each Class has many viable options and Sets that support different gameplay choices. Some of the Sets has been heavily reworked while others have been added. Now, each class has 4 playable, 6-slot Sets.
Of course, this patch hasn't been only about common changes, such as polishing of Class Sets and abilities. The development team added a lot of unique content. The UI was improved. There were new zones added. Also, the developers made changes to Crafting, Greater Rifts and so on. This patch is big and we can discuss more stuff. I just don't want to spend more time on the Intro section. So, let's have a detailed look at the patch!
This section will be about new zones, the UI improvements, Set Dungeons, Season Rebirth, Rift changes, and the Action Combat system. I'll start with new zones. They almost seem like a cosmetic addition. You don't have a reason to visit them unless you are writing about the 2.4.0 patch and want to know what are you writing about. Yeah, they have a new environment and monsters but that is about it! Gameplay wise, you only need to visit the Royal Quarters in Leoric's Manor if you want to know the location of Set Dungeons. But even then it is not mandatory as you can visit YouTube for the same purpose. So, new zones are a nice touch. They look fantastic. It is a bit refreshing to see them. But that is it.
The User Interface improvements. Now this is a worthy topic! Finally, the Diablo 3 User Interface has been improved! The development team did nice work. They replaced static buffs with the new UI elements, added a collapsible buff-holder, and made the user interface a better-looking part of the game. You can access the buff-holder at any time, using a hot-key or your mouse. Lastly, the abilities have an animation when they come off cooldown.
Set Dungeons. I was very excited about this content at first. However, as I played it, I was disappointed. I thought there would be some rewards for the completion. Sadly, you just spend your time and get nothing. Well, that is not exactly true. You receive a reward in a form of completed achievement. But I was hoping to get an item reward. I think that Set Dungeons can be a really cool part of the game if they would be improved a bit. I think that the development team needs to add more meaningful rewards and make all dungeons seasonal. I mean, not Seasonal but seasonal. So that each patch they would change, as well as rewards. I think that they would be a nice touch to the game with the described approach.
Season Rebirth. This is another nice portion of new content. You may transfer your usual character to the Seasonal game mode. Right now, you can use this feature 3 times per Season. I think this is a bit less than expected. It is for sure, for hardcore Diablo 3 players. I mean both the players that play the Hardcore game mode and players that invested a lot of time in the game. I would like to see the number of times increased to 6. I think that would be a rather nice change. Sorry! I completely forgot to tell about the specifics. So, once you Rebirth one of your characters, it loses all items, gold, and other stuff, except time played and name. All items that were taken away will be mailed to your account. You can retrieve them with any usual character. The mail will expire after a 30-day period. Other than that, I think that the Season Rebirth feature is a cool addition to the game. In a way, it solves a slot problem.
The Action Combat system. This is a feature I'm really excited about. After I have tried it, I was very skeptical about it. I mean, I had a bad first impression. Once I've tried leveling a new character in the single player game, I really loved the feature. It makes your leveling process more fun and exciting. It also feels like a good addition to the game in a way as a reward to players that prefer to play alone. We all know that Diablo 3 is much easier when you play it with friends. You have many options, synergies, buffs and so on. They drastically change the way you can play. Now solo players have a compensation, or we can call it single player buff, for playing alone. Apart from leveling, the Action Combat System has its uses across the game. It speeds up your runs. It speeds up your experience gains even after level 70. Finally, it also has a psychological effect. You feel more attached and driven because of the faster tempo that this feature brings, compared to a previous patch experience.
Lastly, I want to mention Empowered Rifts. No, no! They are not a new game mode like Rifts or Greater Rifts. Sadly. It is a new gold sinker. You may spend a part of your gold to empower the Greater Rift. If you succeed in completing it, you will be rewarded with an opportunity to upgrade a Legendary Gem for the fourth time. As I've said, it a new gold sinker. The amount of gold you invest increases with the Greater Rift level. It's also a nice option to have if you want to level up your Legendary Gems faster. I think that it is a nice feature to have.
So, these were the 2.4.0 patch features. Of course, these are not all changes. There are tons of changes to discuss. These were the ones unique to this patch. I think that thru shifted the game into a more polished state and are nice additions overall. There are two things I would love to be changed. I think that the number of times you can use the Rebirth features should be increased. Also, it would be nice to receive an item, as a reward for a completion of Set Dungeon.
Enough of the patch features; let's talk about the Classes. The development team has made many changes to all Diablo 3 Classes. There are a lot of particular and detailed info in the patch notes. I don't think I need name all changes. I'll just express my opinion in general. The changes made, are aimed to promote build diversity, improve the quality of gameplay, and balance things out. Mostly, Class abilities were buffed in a form of damage increase. Also, there were some changes to the damage type of many abilities, as well some other enhancements made to improve spell efficiency. The developers increased the duration of spells, decreased cooldowns on some, and so on.
I'm a casual player. I don't conquer higher Greater Rift levels, so I was really pleased with the changes. However, as I know from the community, there are a lot of problems with a build and Set diversity when it comes to, let's say, competitive play. So, I really hope that these changes also smoothed out the game for players that invest a lot of their time in the game.
Here is the example of changes that have been made to the Multhisot ability of the Demon Hunter class.
- Skill Rune - Burst Fire
- Has been removed
- Replaced with
- Wind Chill
- Enemies hit are Chilled and have a 15% chance to be Critically Hit for 3 seconds
- Wind Chill
- Skill Rune - Full Broadside
- Damage increased from 460% to 500% weapon damage
- Skill Rune - Suppression Fire
- Number of enemies affected increased from 2 to 4
The logic behind item changes is similar to the one behind Class changes. The development team has done an incredible work. Many Class Sets were refined and improved. Some sets were reworked, some received a damage number increase. All in all, Class Sets became better overall. From my point of view, the Sets are closer to each other than they were before. Now, they do more damage and are more viable. Such result was achieved not only because of Set changes but also because of a huge number of changes to many Legendaries.
Many Legendaries received additional effects. Some iconic items for the Class build or Set were improved. Now they grant more damage to the ability that is a core to the build or Set. For example, Dead Man's Legacy (the Demon Hunter quiver that is a core item to any Multishot build) now rolls additional Multishot damage, +75-100% Multishot damage. Many core build or Set items were changed in such way. Also, there were new Legendary effects added. They have the same approach. Either with the help of damage numbers or mechanics, they improved damage and effectiveness of a spell.Here is the example of changes that have been made to the one of the Warrior's Sets.
The Legacy of Raekor
- Has been redesigned
- (2) Set Bonus
- Furious Charge refunds a charge if it hits only 1 enemy
- (4) Set Bonus
- Furious Charge gains the effect of every rune and deals 300% increased damage
- (6) Set Bonus
- Every use of Furious Charge grants a stacking effect that increases the damage of your next Fury-spending attack by 300%
- Every use of a Fury-spending attack consumes up to 5 stacks
- (2) Set Bonus
The developers have made many changes to the game mode. Mostly, they were done to improve the "quality of life". I think that a large portion of this patch, apart from the new content, is all about improving the "quality of life". The patch itself can be named the Quality of Life patch. And I think this a great approach. It keeps up with the level of the previous patch in his own way. The earlier patch, 2.3.0, was all about a major content introduction. It is hard to release major content updates with each patch, so developers have focused many quality changes in the current patch. I think that such approach really pays off. As a player, I don't feel a downgrade in my interest to the game, despite the fact that a previous patch was heavier in terms of new content and value.
The developers have made many changes to Bounties and Nephalem Rifts. Numerous Bounties were added to the game. Also. Oh! I forgot my point. Never mind. On the Torment X difficulty, the number of crafting materials that drop from Horadric and bonus caches was increased up to 5. Lastly, Rift Bosses and cleared bounties are now shown on the map by a helpful ping.
At the same time, the amount of progression needed to complete the Rift was increased. Therefore, Elite monsters now drop 4 progression orbs instead of 3. There were many changes done to cave maps. Medium and bigger version of cave maps were removed. Mallet Lords no longer spawn in cave maps. Lastly, the density of monsters in cave maps was increased. The development team has also touched upon Rift Pylons. Conduit Pylon now can hit a reduced number of enemies. Shielding Pylon now lasts for 30 seconds longer, up to 60 from 30. Lastly, Speed Pylon now gives a 30% attack speed increase. The Diablo 3 team has also worked on new visuals. In this patch, new snow and forest themed monster population types have been added for Nephalem Rifts. Also, several new tilesets based on the new zones introduced in the 2.4.0 patch were added for Nephalem Rifts.
So, I think that changes done to the Adventure mode are good. We see a lot of stuff aimed to improve gameplay experience and comfort. Finally, those pesky, large, and boring cave maps won't spoil your runs! At the same time, we see that the developers continue to tune the Conduit Pylon. I should say they not only tune in the pylon but they also balancing out the things between all pylons. We can clearly see that they want to eliminate the dominance of Conduit Pylon over the others. I like the changes very much, and I think that the Diablo 3 team is doing a great work on making the game even better when it comes to gameplay comfort.
This part will be about changes in Crafting, User Interface, monsters, and general changes. Let's start with general changes. Finally, we have more space to store all our junk as a sixth Stash tab has been added by the developers! It is purchasable for 500,000 gold. But this is not everything. You can unlock an extra Stash tab per Season, up to 4, if you complete the Conqueror stage of the Season Journey. The changes also have been made to cosmetic pets. Now they pick up gold. Now at level 70, the Bonus Experience is reduced to 10% effectiveness.
Let's talk about Crafting. Well, there is not much to talk about! Now Death's Breath has a visual effect when it drops, and its icon and tooltip colors have been changed to teal. Other than that, the Crafting bug that prevented crafted Legendary items from displaying the correct stat roll ranges has been fixed.
Yeah, the Crafting changes are small! However, there has been many changes made to monsters. Experience granted by all monsters at level 70 was increased. In solo, 2, and 3 player Greater Rifts, Monster health was reduced. The development team has changed many Rift Bosses. I won't describe all changes in particular. Instead, I'll tell you the end result. Many monsters have had their AoE abilities fixed so that they match visual effects, and damage of many Rift Bosses has been improved.
In the end, we have the UI improvements. Now any Legendary Gem will display a number. This number reflects a level that they have. Now in the hot-keys menu, you can find a hot-key to expand a new UI element, the buff holder. Also, in another menu, you can find an option to disable the abbreviation of very large damage numbers. This option appeared there because very large damage numbers are abbreviated in the current patch. Lastly, skill buttons will flash when they go off cooldown.
As I've said before, there are many "quality of life" changes in the patch. The changes listed above are almost all about that. Overall, the changes are misc. but long awaited. The visual, mechanical, and the User Interface changes are always nice to have from time to time.
Now that you are familiar with most of the changes the patch brought, I think you can agree that 2.4.0 is a good patch. The development team has done a fine work. While the patch doesn't bring in a lot of new stuff, it does a nice job of rounding things up. Many, previously existed, Class Sets have been tuned, refined, and improved in a way that the game has gained a significant increase in a build, item, and finally Set diversity.
I can't name the addition of Legendary affixes to many items a major change. However, those affixes play a significant role in the game's diversity. Previously, the game looked like this: when a new Class Set comes out, you know you will have to put away your current Class Set, as the new one is a better one. Now, with all patch changes made to Class Sets and Legendaries, the picture has changed. You can play any Set and build that you want to. You don't have this mind pressure that tells you that your favorite Set is weaker. Everything looks smoothed up and balanced. You have plenty of choices and a freedom of choice.
Lastly, I wanted to mention the "quality of life" changes. Of course, they are a major part of the patch, a bigger part. Although they don't influence the game as much as Class Sets and Legendaries, they definitely make the game a more pleasant experience. I think that this patch is a great success for the Diablo 3 development team. They have managed to hold up the level of excitement and joy that was set by the 2.3.0 patch. Personally, I thought that this patch would be less interesting and joyful.
Of course, the patch is not ideal. There are some minor improvements that I think could be done. The number of times you can use the Rebirth feature could be bigger. Also, it would be nice to have some meaningful rewards for completion of Set Dungeons. I don't think that the completed achievement in the achievements tab is a satisfying reward. Other than that, I'm very satisfied with the 2.4.0 patch and wish you a best of luck in the world of Sanctuary.