Here's an idea. How about we just go back to 1.08 levels, when it felt right? Why mess with something that wasn't broken?
1.0.8's density change was an interesting beast that ended up solving some problems, and then creating a few more in its wake.
The benefit of increasing density in 1.0.8 was that the world felt less empty and, based on feedback we received, combat became super action-packed. There was plenty to kill, and it kept you moving. There were *assumes Buzz Lightyear pose* monsters, monsters everywhere. In terms of raw gameplay and personal fun factor, we loved the result and definitely enjoyed the increased density when playing ourselves.
The downside to increasing 1.0.8 density, however, was two-fold. First, it landed an unfortunate blow to build diversity, encouraging a very specific style of play (AoE or bust). Based on all the data we pulled, build variety narrowed quite quickly – even now, you can see the effects with Archon, WW, Zero Dogs, and other similar builds trumping almost everything. Overall, increased density led to much less interesting game play (for the game as a whole), even if it may have been super fun on the surface. Second, by adding a boatload of more monsters, server performance took a hit, which some of you may or may not have experienced.
This is why we originally lowered density in the first stages of Beta and PTR testing. We realize we may have turned the density dial down too low, though, and that's what these recent changes in the latest Beta/PTR patch are about – and really what PTR is all about too. We want pacing in the game to feel good, but without the additional technical or build diversity issues. We want to open up a greater variety of ways to play the game, and this is one of many steps we’ve taken to achieve that. Density is one of these things we can continue to evaluate and tweak, and we have every intention of doing that. We won’t, however, be returning 1.0.8 levels, but there’s likely a sweet spot somewhere in between.
*Edited for clarification*