Does anyone remember what D3 was like when it came out? What a shame, what a bunch of wasted potential. I vividly remember not being unable to complete any kind of end-game fight since enemies overpowered me by a huge difference. There was also no good loot to find, everything 'nice' I had at that point was bought at the Auction House using gold. Also enemies regenerated when you died, so fights were terribly boring. There was nothing to do except run the story over and over... Heck, I remember when hanging around Tyrael in Act 3 and leave him kill stuff was a viable strategy! The diablo 3 expansion fixed most of these problems, and 2.3 is just another step in a path of greatness.

First, they've added the Kunai Cube, tapping into our nostalgia for the Horadric Cube of Diablo 2, this artefact - while touted as being much more powerful in the lore - isn't quite the thing yet, the few recipes you have (there are seven of them) aren't like the massive list of hidden recipes and transmutations would you get around to do in Diablo 2. The main recipe I've been using so far is 'extract legendary power', and the others require a bunch of resources to do nifty things. It seems like a resource dump in some ways, but you use it for a few things, nothing more. It doesn't matter anyways, they always can add new recipe, there could actually be secret ones right now. It's tough to say what they could add, but I'm sure they'd figure something out. Maybe a way to reroll another modifier using the mystic?

Starting at this Season, you have a season journey with a few objectives you have to complete in order to get a portrait frame and a pet. I haven't completed them yet - didn't find enough legendary pieces to equip everywhere - but they're a bit too simple. They're basically things you would do while playing normally, so they're not that challenging, nor engaging. I wish there would be 'normal' objectives and 'expert' objectives, or something like that. I know that for the added challenge, there are achievements, so I suppose I should focus on that instead if I want to try my hand at tough stuff. I love the idea of Seasons, since Diablo 3's skill system makes it so you theoretically can play all builds on a single character. New seasons give me a reason to start a few guys, usually in hardcore mode. This season, I'll have a Barbarian, Demon Hunter and Monk.

From the Kunai Cube, you extract legendary powers from your items - destroying them in the process - and then you can equip one of each from the three categories of items - weapons, armors and accessories. This is cool, as it adds basically three passive skills for any character - even ones you've just created - but you still need to find the items beforehand. Since it takes a bit of resources to add some to your collection, I've been stingy so far, but I might go hog-wild once the bounty rewards pile up. Speaking of bounties, I'm a bit disappointed by the recent re-addition of certain bosses to the bounty list. Before 2.3 you didn't have to fight Diablo and friends to get your bounty rewards, now you do. I guess it'll force me to encounter them more than I used to (I never play non-adventure mode, so that would be never).

You can now raise the difficulty up to Torment X, but I haven't even scratched the surface with that. I'm still at Torment 1, since my trio of hardcore characters aren't all 70 yet, and THEN I'll need to gear them up sufficiently - and get a few paragons level - to feel safe attempting 2 and 3, and so forth. It might be a bit repetitive, but the core gameplay of Diablo 3 is so good, I'm not seeing myself stop any time soon. The changes to Rifts is also a welcome one; You don't need to hunt keystone fragments in order to do normal rifts, but you need to find runes from bosses in them to do Greater Rifts. No more challenge room beforehand, you choose the difficulty of the Greater Rift in a dropdown between certain limits imposed by the game. This is all great, but I have to say that the way I played before 2.3 was to do bounties until I had enough keystones to do rifts, then go back when I was done, now I suppose I have to decide when bounties are appropriate and when going to rifts is better.

2.3 is great! The new map up north of Act 3 with it's yetis and frozen quill monsters trying to remind us of Act 4 in Diablo 2 is pretty cool, I've also encountered a few neat things like the Bandit Shrine - spawning an ungodly number of Treasure Goblins of all kinds. If you've took a Diablo 3 break, you should come back. If you haven't played D3 yet, now is a great time to jump in, with the new season and all that. I can't do anything else but hope that new patches will bring even more interesting ideas and that another expansion - with one or two new classes, dare I hope - will be announced someday.

AuthorJérémie Tessier