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Diablo III patch tweaks content, but preview falls short of promises

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Back in July, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime promised that Blizzard is working on significant changes to Diablo 3’s endgame content. With patch 1.0.4, said Morhaime, high-level players could expect “new goals to strive for as an alternative to the ‘item hunt.’” There would also be myriad tweaks to the game’s characters and item drops to better serve players.

All the details aren’t out just yet, but Blizzard did post a preview of the 1.0.4 patch via the Diablo 3 site on Battle.net, and its far more detailed than Morhaime’s statements. Many of the changes mentioned do alter the high level content of the game. The difficulty of fighting Elite packs—groups of enemies labeled Champion or Rare that are markedly stronger than regular enemies—has been balanced by raising the health of normal baddies and lowering Elites’ health. High-level weapons also cause more damage. Each class will be so significantly changed that Blizzard plans to write up posts for each one.

There’s a lot more in Blizzard’s post, but there isn’t any word on those “new goals” mentioned by Morhaime. Diehard Diablo fans are likely to care about these significant but subtle changes mentioned in the preview, but the literal millions of players that are interested in playing Diablo 3 for more than finding a better axe to sell in Inferno mode are still waiting to hear what’s on the way.

Blizzard’s in a tough spot between the volatile Diablo community and the Thursday hack of Battle.net.