And just in time for the Mod of the Year award, too. Last year, Median suffered a pretty heavy blow, finishing only second in one of the editor's choice categories. This is intolerable. But this was a year and a dozen patches ago, and this time I have my sights set on gaining first place in any category.
'The zerg' necro is now a hell of a lot more viable, thanks to the skilled leadership of a Void Archon.
Sooo... I already downloaded 1.56, what is the difference?
After listening to player feedback, I made some major changes to skills, empowering formerly underpowered builds such as totemancers and, well, any necromancer. Useless skills have been punted out and replaced with better ones, including a number of immunity breaking skills. Ever wanted to build a melee sorceress that is actually viable? Moonstrike to the rescue. Etc.
Crafting has admittedly been Median's weak point since the dawn of time; there were few crafting options, and most of the items weren't as good as equivalent uniques, sets or runewords. No more! Portable Shrines implement a new crafting paradigm: put any rare into the cube with one of those, hit the button and get a high potential crafted item in return, packing maximum sockets, rare item bonuses and most importantly, some powerful preset mods based on the shrine type used. However, you may not always get the same preset bonuses, and they are yours to discover!
Initial player comments on the new crafting: very positive, bringing the slot machine feel of item drops to crafting. And if you get a bad item, do not fret: each shrine comes with 10 charges, so you can try again a number of times!
Other changes? Oh yes, there will be changes. The changelog approximates 8 pages, shaking up certain tired game mechanics - for instance, if you grew bored of getting all your uniques by gambling and uptiering your wins, the whole thing is gone now and in its place is a new disenchanting system and 'crystal shatter' recipes which allows you to turn any non-Sacred item into a unique by sacrificing two other uniques.
And there is much more. Level Challenge 1 is a bit more sensible now, too; mercs run faster and have much improved statistics and skills; hell, even the ambient lighting provided by some torches has been changed. Etc. etc. etc.