Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Bounty Split-Farming Hotfixed
Recently, bounty split-farming in Reaper of Souls beta had been hotfixed. It was a rather cheap way to earn bounty by exploiting what seemed to be a bug in Reaper of Souls that enabled members of a party to finish bounties in different locations and acts, which multiplied how much bounty could be earned at a time. Bounties are supposed to only be earned when party members are within 100 yards of each other, so they could finish a bounty together in the same level.
However, Blizzard decided to not remove the benefits of this method entirely when they patched things up. They instead are given reduced rewards for bounty split-farming, which means that while they could only earn the complete experience points, Diablo 3 gold, and Blood Shard rewards if they complete a bounty together; they could still earn credit for bounty completion through split-farming. That then still counts towards the bonus goodie bag that comes with completing all bounties in each act.
While it's not going to be completely made irrelevant, this nerf is still enough to make the practice less viable once Reaper of Souls hits its retail release date. There are still quite a few questions regarding the Bounty feature in the upcoming expansion, which had been answered in the official forums. For instance, it has been stated that if you are not present during the completion of a bounty, even if you participated during most of the run, then you won't receive any rewards other than completion credit.
If you have the urge to return to town just as when a bounty is about to be completed, then you should just stay with your group until it's really done. If you are approximately more than a screen and a half away from the group just as the bounty gets completed, then you're as good as absent when it happens. Sticking around for a minute or two more shouldn't be much of a hardship then, considering the rewards from seeing it all through.
Completing bounties is the fastest way to collect Blood Shards. However, despite legendary gambling now being possible, Blood Shards may not be that major after all. You can earn them anyway in most cases, so there's no real need for special attention in gathering them. The goodie bag seems to be the greater incentive in Bounties than the Blood Shards themselves because the odds of legendary drops from the bags are mostly better than through gambling with Blood Shards.
The argument for stuff like split-farming is due to rewards not scaling proportionately with difficulty, which makes it hard to motivate players to run through them in the long run. Blizzard is still observing how players behave in regards to Bounties, and perhaps they'll take action one way or another once they get a large enough sample size to get data from. Bounties are a good idea overall for the new expansion, and there should be more reasons to play them once Reaper of Souls comes out.