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With the new scaling difficulty, is D3 easier or harder than it used to be? Or the same?
I think it depends entirely on how you look at it. Previously you could still play the whole game on Normal mode which was very easy. That hasn't changed. Previously, the game got obnoxiously hard when you first got to the hardest difficulty of Inferno. That hasn't changed either. Torment 6 is damn near impossible now. So you choose how hard it is just like before.
The biggest change is that you will progress and get stronger a lot faster now because you are getting a lot more gear relevant to your class, plus you can start off on a more challenging and more rewarding difficulty right at the beginning.
There is no such thing as "easier" or "harder" since the game have a difficulty slider.
On "normal" it is easy mode that even a 5 year old can mow through everything.
On T6, unless you have super gear (which no one has unless you are one of those top players with like 700k dps), you are basically dead in seconds from trash.
And everyone can find the right level of difficulty in between.