Diablo’s recent patch 1.0.3 fiddled with the drop rates for the game’s best, high-level items, increasing their prevelance in earlier Acts of the game and decreasing them in later Acts. The reason? Ostensibly to help undergeared players who were struggling in the game’s early sections. Fiddled is probably the wrong word to use too – they surgically scaled the rates to within 0.1% accuracy, so there was probably some science involved, or at least an Excel Spreadsheet. Currently, the drop rate of a level 62 item dropping in Act I of Inferno is precisely 7.9%. This was not a popular move with players whoever, who were largely experiencing a distinct lack of decent loot across the board. Blizzard’s response? Well, they’re reverting the changes this week. Lovely Blizzard!
“The drop rates in 1.0.3 are exactly as they’re listed in the 1.0.3 design preview blog,” asserted Blizzard community manager Bashiok, “so there were no issues as far as validity/accuracy of the changes. Obviously a reduction in drop rates later on in favor or increased drop rates earlier on (and overall more high end items circulating in the economy) wasn’t very popular. We agree it was a bad change, so we’ll be correcting it, but it wasn’t a quick enough change to get into 1.0.3a.”
1.0.3a launched earlier this week and fixed, among other things, zombie bears who were finding it difficult to remember how to attack on slopes. In development since before the launch of 1.0.3, Blizzard have said that some concerns with tweaks introduced in patch 1.0.3 cannot be addressed until at least patch 1.0.3b, which has just been delayed. It was due to go live some time later this week. It is okay to feel confused/angry about numbers now.
“In general we tend to not provide release dates or specific timeframes for patches due to the complexity of the updates, and the possibility that we’ll discover an issue that keeps us from releasing it on time,” explained Bashiok once more. “We discovered a few such issues late into the testing of 1.0.3b, which means it won’t hit this week as previously mentioned.”
However, he does confirm that the reversal of 1.0.3’s loot changes will indeed arrive this week in a hotfix. The fix will be applied during “off-peak rolling restarts tomorrow morning”. Rolling restarts sound like the most fun kind of restarts.