Nephalem Valor System Pros and Cons

Following the earlier complaints about Monster Power, here’s a post from a fan who doesn’t like the Nephalem Valor system at all, and wants a return to those Diablo 2 cheese-flavored Pindleskin run type games.

After testing out the Nephalem Valor system for the last 6 months, I have become pretty disappointed with it. When I first heard about the system, I was really excited. I immediately thought “GREAT! Now we don’t have to farm one spot all the time, and there will be motivation to move all over the world!”. For a while, I really enjoyed the system.

Now, I am realizing that it feels really dumb. It doesn’t feel fun to go out and hunt down Elite packs, just to get 5 stacks of this buff, before you start MFing. I always liked to turn to Diablo when I had 20 minutes before I had to leave the house for work or class, I could get in a couple Mephisto runs and maybe get some quick loot to be excited for when I got home. That is no longer possible, seeing that it will often take 20 minutes just to get your 5 stacks up. Now, a magic find run that could be 5 minutes has turned into 45 minutes. Diablo used to be the contrast to WOW for me, because it was casual, and had immediate gratification, wheras you’d have to dump lots of time to accomplish something in WOW. Now that’s how it feels in Diablo 3.

This post isn’t meant to be a Diablo to WOW comparision, or a casuals vs. hardcore players type of thing. What it comes down to for me is that doing magic find runs for loot (what this whole game is about) feels like it’s too arduous and grindy of a process. I propose you remove Nephalem Valor, and just let us farm where we want and when we want. Up the quality of boss loot, and don’t make us travel all over the world to do a MF run.
Lylirra: Overall, we think Nephalem Valor does a great job at addressing two core needs. First, it helps make sure that extremely short play sessions (i.e. < 1 minute) are not the optimal way to play. Second, there's a lot of value in being able to swap your skills at will and tailor your builds to the environment around you, but there's also gameplay to finding a build that really works for you in a variety of situations -- we like that NV helps balance these two concepts, and allows players to feel like there is some commitment to a skill build without also feeling like they’re locked into that build forever. So, while there are definitely some issues with the current design, we currently think that the pros outweigh the cons of how the game would probably feel if the system were not in place. That said, you're right -- the system isn't perfect, and we're definitely looking at ways we can do better. Certainly, one of our goals is to allow people to play game sessions that are about 5 to 10 minutes in length and still be rewarded well, but we need to make sure that in the process we don't make rapidly flipping games the go-to method. It's all about striking the right balance for a wide variety of players, and we'll definitely be keeping your feedback in mind (as well as other threads on the topic) as we explore options for how to improve NV.[source][/source][/blue] Maybe this guy is playing on MP9 or something, but 20 minutes to get up 5 stacks is crazy. Fast farmers do entire Alkaizer runs in ~10 minutes, and that entails killing maybe... 25-30 bosses? I've done a million of those runs, usually with a couple of other areas tacked on, but the numbers of bosses vary a lot from game to game, and I've never exactly counted. It's a lot more than 5 at least, and you can usually get that many just in the Keep Level 2, if you start your run at the top. If you start at the bottom you'll get 2 or 3 stacks in the Arreat Core, and be into 5 stacks early in the Arreat Crater level 2. That aside, this seems like an, "agree to disagree" sort of issue, since as Lylirra points out, the OP's main points are all exactly in contradiction to the stated goals of the NV system. Personally, I think NV works well and I enjoy getting five stacks. I can emphasize with the OP though, since I'm not good at doing fast, discrete runs. Once I have 5 stacks I don't want to stop, which is why my [wiki]Alkaizer Run[/wiki]s tend to include several levels not included in the standard course. You guys still enjoying NV? Does anyone really want to go back to Pindleskin type runs? We saw those early in D3, when Zoltan Kulle was run like a dog, more for experience and gold than item drops, but if such runs were still very valuable, The devs would have to entirely rework the continuing quests system to stop it. That and/or changing around all of the waypoint locations, etc. Which is another way of saying that it's not going to happen and that might just be bad news for people who only want to play 15m a time and can't get the hang of quick Alkaizer Run.

Additional posts in the same thread, adding some details:

“5 to 10 minutes in length and still be rewarded well” Is that really one of your goals for this game? o wait this is subjective what do you mean by “well” If that is your goal, the please show effort of proving that, right now 5 to 10 minutes will get me like maybe a full bag of crap rares.
I think you might have misunderstood. We’re saying that’s a goal we want to achieve, that it’s an improvement we want to make as it exists currently. πŸ™‚

Also are you just balancing the game around Plvl 100?
No, not “just.” We take a lot of different factors and play styles into consideration.

I will laugh so hard if they remove NV and allow people to swap skills at will.
There are no current plans to remove NV, but we do feel like we there are ways that we could continue improve the system to allow for a broader variety of play styles (i.e. shorter play sessions, as mentioned).

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Blue Posts, End Game


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  1. I want NV on all levels, because honestly, those drops pre-level 60 are ultra terrible.

    • Just remove NV from the game, it simply does not belong in an action game.

      At first I liked it too but the last few months it just feels like a huge waste of time. My barb can 5 stack on mp10 in around 10-12 minutes on average, thats nearly a quarter hour completely wasted per run. That time adds up and its not like the benefit from NV outweighs its time commitment.

      I also agree it should apply from level 1 if it does remain, the fact that nightmare and hell bosses STILL drop nothing is a joke.

      No end game, no middle game, no early game… 44 difficulties, I am preparing for major, major disappointment come PVPs release.

      • ”My barb can 5 stack on mp10 in around 10-12 minutes on average, thats nearly a quarter hour completely wasted per run.” –> Thats not NV issue, thats retarded monster hp issue. Clear distinction. You’re not forced to run mp10 anyway…

        NV is fine and fantastic, the only problem is losing all stacks if you change skills. And then they say they want build / character diversity in the game … haha! … when every character has same hp per level / vit point, there are autostats, no + skills, you can only have 6 skills at once, and you lose your hard earned NV stacks with a simple skill swap. And thats how the game becomes even much more gear based than D2. And the end result is way less build / char / gear variety than in D2. These things about D3 really irritate me, but anyway now I’m really deviating ….

        They should change it to lose 1 or 2 stacks per skill change, and increase the number of stacks to 10 to reward players with more mf, and they feel like all the time taken is really worth it, and that really makes exploring the entire game world more feasible, where 1 run is an entire act and not limited to boring alk runs over and over. And since now above mp1+ all inferno has same ilvl63 droprate and such, you can do lots of varied runs in a single day.

        The issue of going back to fast boss runs in D2 is stupid because the D3 bosses dont rly drop any better loot than elites or even white mobs…

      • “That time adds up and its not like the benefit from NV outweighs its time commitment.”

        If you don’t believe the benefit of NV outweighs the time it takes to get it, why do you bother with it at all? If you think it is a net cost to your gameplay, then surely you should be changing out skills as you go and doing lots of 5-10 minute games for whatever the shortest farming route is for your character.

        If not, then you’re lying.

        • Oh so sorry!

          I dont farm the extremely boring one-shot-clears-the-screen mp0 Alkazier runs, because, they are BORING.

          Why do I bother to get it? Because I AM REQUIRED TO FOR ANYTHING IN THIS GAME TO DROP, OR IN MY CASE KEYS AND/OR ORGANS… I farm keys on mp10, just play the game on mp10 or I will get on another character and piss around on whatever MP they can handle. 99% of my time in this game is now spent farming keys and organs. Key run on mp10 = 10-15 minutes in good conditions, 20ish in bad. I usually do ubers on mp8 with a group and that seldom takes longer than 25 minutes to do all said and done (5 stacks and the three portals.)

          But because I am not a sheep following other sheep and farming the extremely boring mp0 then I MUST be making it up right?

          The NV system is a joke.

          • Monsters are a lot easier to kill on mp9 and you still have near guaranteed chance to drop. Since mp9 mobs have 71% less hp, it means you will kill them 39% faster and you will get more keys per minute then you would otherwise. Just saying.

          • Again, you are addressing NV when you should be addressing retardedly high mp10 mob health.

            You are admitting yourself, NV on lower mp levels is fine…

    • Pre 60?

      Play with MP8 or 10 in normam mode and you will get amazing drops …

  2. How to change NV to fix this guy’s complaint:

    1. Make NV not a timed buff — have it carry over across acts, game quits, etc.
    2. Make each stack of NV worth (a lot less), but allow it to stack to something like 100 stacks.
    3. Allow a system where players can designate to “cash in” their NV for a huge increase to drops / drop quality on the next elite, boss, resplendent chest, etc. they kill. This would remove all NV stacks.
    4. Balance the system such that cashing in small stacks is roughly equivalent to killing 5ish elite packs/etc. with large stacks. i.e., cash in 2 NV stacks is about the same as killing 5 elite packs with 10-15 NV stacks. That way those who want to do short runs can get a relatively small payoff (like run through Core, cash in stacks on killing Azmodan) over and over, but those who do long runs get a large, perpetually-snowballing increase to their MF, along with a rare, huge payoff.

    • I think those ideas are very creative, but they will never make it as Blizzard targets the game for people with the IQ of a broomstick and thinks that they can’t work that out (and then they have corporate communications sell it as ‘We feel that you, our valued player, won’t have fun making decisions’).

  3. I played D2 for many years, and although it did turn into Cows, Pind or Meph at the end for me it still had something that drew you back in. I’m not sure though whether this was the ultimate search for loot or the prospect of character specialisation.

    What I’m trying to say is that did I run pind for 5 hours straight to find a windforce, or did I run for 5 hours to find some items which I could use to build another char in a specific way – a warcry only barbarian for example? I think its more likely to be the latter – and that is what is missing currently from D3.

    NV has just extended this scenario a little – now I run Alkaizer on all 5 chars just like thousands of other people – it takes 15 mins give or take instead of the 2 or 3 min meph runs of old. Its the same thing just slightly longer.

    Sadly in my opinion the Paragon levels have broken the concept of MF, as my barb continues to go up I remove the MF items, ultimately as Flux has said before MF will become a totally unwanted stat. Thats bad news I believe as we all used to eek every last tiny bit of MF out of chars and it was really noticeable in D2 on drops when you did this.

    The solution? Well with so many factors to resolve its tricky – no surprise there, but Blizzard need to find some way to reignite that feeling of individuality, through build structure or items to allow it. PVP will help I think as items today that are scrapped will suddenly become very valuable – shields anyone?

    I’ll continue to level and watch what they do.

  4. Stopped reading when he said it takes 20 minutes to get a 5 stack.

  5. People seem a little overly focused on “20 minutes.” OK, so he exaggerated a bit for effect. Get over it.

    The real point is that in D3, unlike D2, it’s really not efficient or practical to just fire up the game and play a quick 2-5 minute farming session as a break. Even if you can build up 5 stacks in 2 minutes, if you quit the game a minute later, you’re getting less return on your time investment. Maybe that’s OK, maybe it’s not, but it’s certainly a difference, and it’s certainly at least partly due to the mechanics of Nephalem Valor.

    • It’s a “difference” but in the slightest. In the grand scheme of how much time people spend on computer games – including people who used to play Diablo II in five minute chunks – I don’t think that there is a meaningful difference spending 2-5 minutes in game vs let’s say 8-10. 20 minutes goes beyond slight exaggeration and is either a gross distortion or evidence of being an unusually slow player. Either way, it devalues his opinion.

      What I think you’re really saying (and by inference perhaps the quoted player) is that Diablo III feels less rewarding than Diablo II. That’s a very different issue and I don’t think it’s specifically connected to NV but rather to itemization in general.

      • I don’t think that’s what I’m really saying :D, but I do agree that it’s less rewarding. I don’t have a huge problem with the drop rate on legendaries or exceptionally good rares, but I feel like there’s a huge overabundance of awful items.

        Maybe I’m remembering D2 fondly through the lens of nostalgia, but I feel like a good percentage of “bad” items were at least functional. The overwhelming majority of D3 weapons I get have damage numbers in the 200-400 range. If you tried to use one of those in Inferno, or even late Hell mode, you’d just die. In D2, you could buy a blue weapon from Larzuk, and although it wouldn’t be fantastic, you could at least kill something with it.

        Using the “item slot machine” analogy Blizzard seems to like, if you go to Las Vegas and watch people playing the slot machines for an hour, obviously you probably won’t see anyone hit the super duper gazillion dollar jackpot. However, you will see lots of people hitting $5, $10, maybe $100 jackpots. Those keep you interested and encourage you to keep playing. I could easily do D3 item runs for an hour and not even find an item worth throwing on the auction house for 20k. That’s a problem.

        • Your comment goes back to an earlier and larger issue, though. The fact that D3 attempted to create a stable economy, which meant that uber items couldn’t be as easily-obtained. In D2 they could pop out like pez, and the great items could always be great with only limited variation, since there were ladder resets to fix inflation.

          D3 much increased drops in v1.05 and it’s predictably leading to inflation, with only super quality items holding any real value. Imagine if every top quality legendary had say, a 25% chance of rolling a seed to be an awesome item (ala D2), instead of the current 1% chance?

  6. I found my best items without the 5 NV stack

    • I seem to have better luck when I have 2-4 stacks. But maybe it only seems that way because I only take note of how many stacks I have when I know I don’t have 5.

  7. @ “Maybe this guy is playing on MP9 or something, but 20 minutes to get up 5 stacks is crazy. Fast farmers do entire Alkaizer runs in ~10 minutes, and that entails killing maybe… 25-30 bosses?”

    When I run act 1, act 2 or act 4 inferno at MP1, it usually takes at least 10, mosty 15 minutes for me to get the 5 NV stacks.

  8. If they really want to improve the NV system, however, they should make it available across ALL game difficulties because the rare/legendary/set drops from Normal to Hell are just pathetic.

  9. I don’t know if I agree so much with either blizzard or the poster.

    The only time the respec consideration comes up is when I’m trying something new (very rare, since I usually know what build I want and stick to it, I wouldn’t put forth the effort to spec for an individual pack because we don’t really need to anymore with better gear). This just amounts to screwing me when I’m trying a new build for ubers or something.

    And while getting NV can be annoying for MF… it doesn’t really matter for that purpose. I know people will disagree with this, but lets be fair… MF is based on the RNG and the RNG will give you drops if it wants to regardless of your NV or MF%. So if he wants to do a quick run… then he should just do a quick run, disregarding NV. The better question is, what is he expecting to MF? Because if its a boss… good luck with those drops. (And yes, I know max stacks of NV can yield bonus drops, but still).

    I’ve personally always felt like NV should be unlocked account wide once you hit 60 to help you get gear/low-legendaries/level-faster while playing on twink characters. Then again… I feel kind of the same about paragon levels, but I doubt anyone would agree with that. XD

  10. Is flux calling elites monster bosses? Or he actually mean bosses?

  11. Nephalem Valor is a ‘quick & dirty’ makeshift approach to a more sophisticated problem – and it definitely feels that way.

    If there is a loot pinata boss somewhere in the game (and ideally there are one or two of those every hour of game time) access to it has to be gated: you can’t have a waypoint directly before its’ lair but need to install dungeon terrain and monsters there instead, that actually require some time and effort to overcome. If there is one boss run that players focus on, well, then either the dungeon sorrounding it requires more work or all other boss encounters need some love. Yes, this is a solution that requires a lot work and precise tuning, but it certainly doesn’t feel as half-assed as NV does.

    As for build changing, that really could be addressed through skill resets that either cost gold, require a crafted item or side-quest scavenger hunting.

  12. I can sort of understand the point, as if you only have a few minutes to play, you can’t really run a boss as the drops will be pretty bad withou 5 stacks.

    But that being said, I’ve found that Alkaizer runs, key runs or other high efficiency runs don’t have to take a long time: they can easily be done in about 10 minutes or so. In fact, you generally need to restart that often anyway to respawn all of the monster, so there little drawback to not being able to play continuously.

  13. Interesting, news post’s title is “Nephalem Valor System Pros and Cons”, but the page’s title is “Fans condemn nephalem valor system in Diablo 3”.

    • We often change or edit titles while working on the draft of a post, and the script locks in the first version of the title unless you specifically go back and edit it. Also there are SEO things to adjust as you want the title to match the text in the post, etc. Just some of the stupid stuff you have to worry about running a website.

  14. It is great in theory, TERRIBLE in practice. Having to get 5 stacks in order to find items is a chore, it restricts our builds despite the whole point of the skill system is to respec, AND they started using it in order to ensure items drop (keys/organs dont drop without 5 stacks) just stupid and restrictive like a ton of other parts of the game

  15. NV works “ok”.
    It should be lost on death however.

    It could be nice if it was more tailored toward long build-up time (a 100 stacks, a 1000?) with slghtly higher rewards, and then lasting between sessions (but having some anti-measure against pindleskin-type farming – such as resetting NV if you reset your quest). That would result in 1) more severe death penalties, 2) more severe respec penalties 3) reward you for doing full runs from act 1 to act 4 with no quest resets. Win-win-win.
    Would require a major redesign of NV though.

    • And it would do no harm to people who could only play 5 minute sessions. Contrary, they would be able to keep building up their NV between those sessions.
      (where is the edit button :/)

  16. So much hate, against NV? I still like it.
    NV doesn’t help me that much with finding items, my MF is 300 to begin with on MP0 and 75 doesn’t matter that much. The only reason for me to fast stack some NV is either key-hunting (which I barely do cause I do not need more hellfire rings atm) or for xp. If I would only care about the drops, I wouldn’t care much about the NV stacks.

    A much bigger problem is the fact that the monster density in most areas is so low that there’s no reason whatsoever to farm them if you look for items or xp. I want MOAR monsters EVERYWHERE, the game feels too empty! (They can decrease xp gained and drops by 50% and double the amount of mobs everywhere, then it would be much more fun to play imo)

    • I agree. The problem is not nv, the problem is the imbalance between different acts and maps in terms of monster placement and density. I can see why they put the variety in – so it would not feel like a monotonous grind for new players. But old players want that grind! I think inferno difficulty needs to have revisions to monster populations in all acts and maps. I think at higher monster power, the maps need to feel infested with monsters.

      They also should add incentives to make clearing portions of acts rewarding. Maybe provide even more loot from the three per act bosses if you cleared all objectives to that point. I can’t remember the last time I killed the spider queen of act 1.

      And make it so mp1 games can be public, joinable only after you have beaten inferno once!

  17. I agree with the poster.
    I liked it a lot in the beginning, but now it just feels like a pain in the ass.

    What’s the point in having so many runes and skills if u cant change them around?
    There’s very very little ‘gearing for certain dungeons’ in D3, and on top of that u can’t customize your skills either.
    Take hydra for example, they worked so hard into making them different, with specific uses in specific areas. And now everyone uses the same :P, why? cos if u are in an area where the Lava Hydra would be awesome, you can’t just switch it! so much for an RPG!!

    I am totally loving how in Path of Exile I have to rethink my gear and skills everytime I face a strong opponent.
    It actually occurred to me today, I had only 30 min to play this morning, and decided to go for PoE. Found a couple of nice items and killed a boss (which was hard and challenging), then I realized how in D3 I would have done what… 2 or 3 alkaizer runs… always the same, with the same feeling of dissatisfaction at the end πŸ™

    If there was no NV I could just jump right into my fav map (keep) in higher MP and have a blast for 15-20 minutes without having to waste 10 min farming NV :(. AND I could customize my character’s skills depending on the enemy
    The main reason why I don’t play high MP is because of the NV, in the time it takes me to get the stacks I could have done a couple of alkaizer runs in mp0-1…

    • I’m not quite sure that your complaints really hold up — if you are already doing short-ish runs, then why can’t you pick the skills that work better? The problem right now is that Arcane Hydra works better than Mammoth Hydra, in general — not so much that you can’t choose level-appropriate skills.

      If you want to just go into Keep 1/2/3 from the beginning, no one is stopping you. It’s not like you’re key farming, so all you’re doing is losing 10 minutes getting your 75% MF, which you’re going to do anyway. So if a keep clear takes you 20 minutes, you’re still doing it for those 20 minutes, though part of it is without your max MF. Is that really that much less fun? Not to mention that since you know you’re doing Keep, you can take whatever Keep-favored skills you want.

      • Running keep (or whatever your favourite dungeon is) without NV feels like a waste. I don’t care about MF so much, but about XP.

        Of course nothing is stopping me from doing it without NV, but D3 already feels like a huge time sink with little to no reward as it is. Playing without NV makes a big difference with it comes to XP.

        And how cool would it be if you could change skills (or gear) for certain areas in order to survive?
        I havent played D3 in like a month, but I know that if high MP was actually rewarding and I had to move skills and gear around depending on the area in order to survive (if there was a harder punishment for death), then I would be playing D3 again, guaranteed.

        • Well, I suppose if you’re particularly concerned about the lack of ability to push a bar to the right a little faster, that’s perfectly reasonable and a bummer.

          And I’m not saying that sardonically, I really wish Blizzard could make design decisions that please everyone, but at this point they seem to alienate a good chunk of the playerbase while pleasing others with every call they make.

        • Partial solution for you is to load your keeps favored skills and increase monster power. You will get more xp and loot and just forget about nv.

      • And about hydra.
        Yes, I know that people use Arcane hydra cos it’s the best ‘in general’, that is exactly the problem, and that problem would be solved if we could at least change runes without losing ALL the stacks

  18. The last thing we need is a return to mind numbing boss grinds.

    It does the game no good to attempt to satisfy the players who want gratification in less then 10 minutes. That’s nonsense. This isn’t Angry Birds. Some people just wont’ be happy with the “requirement” you invest more than 20 minutes of your life, to those people, you say, “I’m so sorry to disappoint you,” and then we all move on.

    • I love it!

      Let’s all embrace the “F**k that loser” mentality that has clearly made D3 a legendary game!
      And anyone who doesn’t agree or doesn’t like it can f**k themselves!!

      oh yeah!

    • People seem to have forgotten (or just don’t like) that NV came in since many of us complained about D3’s freespecs, and about D2’s drop system, which was most rewarding for people playing (or botting) for 2 minute games, which seemed very boring and cheesy. D3 devs wanted to reward a play style that covered much more area of the game, and wasn’t just a short endless repeat.

      And they largely succeeded at that with NV, and players play huge areas of the game instead of just the same tiny bit over and over. So it’s interesting that people are now asking for a return to that system. Which sucked, IMHO.

      • So instead of 2 min games people play 10 min alkaizer runs

      • Are you sure there, Flux? Do you really think people keep playing ‘huge areas of the game’ because of the Nephalem Valor buff mechanic?

        1. People do Alkaizer runs. Over and over and over again. These do neither take a lot of time nor do they cover large, varied parts of the game, nor are they really fun. I’d rather compare those to Mephisto runs – just without the slight sensation of a higher quality drop chance as a finale.

        2. People could still do focused boss runs while under the effects of NV. They don’t, because bosses don’t have a noticeably higher chance to drop anything special. It doesn’t matter what you kill, there is no suspense, no goal, nothing to work towards. NV isn’t the defining factor for this kind of behaviour when an act boss drops largely the same worthless junk (with a 0.0000000…1% chance to turn out worthwhile) as every normal fallen grunt does, only in higher guaranteed quantities.

        • Which only shows that NV isn’t effective enough. The solution is to make it stronger, not to make it weaker.
          NV could easily be designed to reward both playing huge areas of the game and killing bosses in the process.

          • Before Paragon XP was revealed, I actually imagined the obsolete experience scale in your UI to become a replacement for the NV buff:

            You would have to kill champions/elites for the first five UI segments of +Magic/Gold/XP find. There would be a skull marker in the center of the scale, to get past it, you’d have to kill a boss (Maghda, Kulle, etc.). Then you could continue to fill the scale by killing champions/elites for something more meaningful than mere +%find.

            Like an increased chance for rare items to roll item-type-relevant stats or increased chance for magic/rare items to drop as rare/legendary items or whatever. Something that actually affects quality instead of quantity in the absurdly huge arbitrariness of the item system.

            Maybe there would be another skull marker at the end of the scale: when this one is reached, killing an act boss guarantees a legendary item drop. Seeing how 99% of legendary drops aren’t of much value anyway (again, due to the excessive amount of randomization) there’s no harm in granting one of them for playing 2/3 of an act.

            You see, this would actually add a bit of a meaning and goal to the system other than further and further increasing the effectiveness of mindlessly storming through the same high monster density area over and over again. I can see how Blizzard’s NV=+%find approach is good enough from their perspective (millions of players vs. AH item economy), but it feels like a vastly unsatisfying, artificial constraint on the individual level.

          • Carlyle,

            I like your ideas. I think they should expand the nv system to include the act bosses. So basically, each act boss you kill (ghom, magda, aranae, etc) increases the nv cap by 1. So a full clear of act 3 would end with an 8 stack nv azmo kill.

            I do like alk runs as opposed to mephisto runs in D2. But there needs to be more ways to play the game. I think some additional rewards should be added for killing the act bosses.

        • The current Act 3 runs aren’t ideal, but that’s a lot about inadequate monster populations or run areas in Acts 1, 2, 4. If you could get huge concentrations of enemies there, running them on MP1 would be a great option for variety.

          At any rate, yes, I think NV now works better than D2’s end game. Remember D3 before NV and runs and the removal of easy exp from repeating quests? People were doing Zoltan Kulle 500x in a row. I defy anyone to say NV and Alkaizer runs are worse than that.

  19. NV should have two objectives:
    1) Prevent extremely fast (<1 minute) runs, in part because they're very bot-vulnerable.
    2) Make areas that are inefficient to farm become efficient to farm, after you've already farmed the efficient areas. This adds to replay value; optimal MF play covers a variety of environments and monster types.
    3) As a counterpoint to #1 and #2, don't punish short (2-5 minute) runs so much that they aren't viable at all.

    Point 1: NV does its job.
    Point 2: NV is a real mixed bag. Handled, but not very well.
    Point 3: NV is a failure. Time spent before 5-stack feels utterly wasted.

    This is closer to how it should be:
    1) Remove stack limit completely. This makes players who want to do even longer runs (full Act3 clears instead of Alkaizer runs) happy.
    2) Reduce the bonus for each stack. With no stack limit, I think 5% each is fair. This makes players who want to do shorter runs happy because getting that 5-stack isn't such a gamechanger.
    3) Change the 5-stack bonus a bit. For example, let's say you had two chances to drop guaranteed rares per elite pack, and the chance of each chance happening is 5% per NV stack (capped at 100% for 20 stacks). At 10 stacks, you'd get a 25% of no bonus rare, 50% chance of one bonus rare, and 25% chance of two bonus rares, averaging out the same as the current system. This would make both the short-runners and long-runners happy.

  20. I prefer for NV to persist between games, to stack higher, and be wiped upon skill change and death. It seems like losing NV costs more than the current death penalty repair bill when comparing what the net haul is for five elites without NV5 to the next five packs with NV5.

    I can understand people just wanting to jump on really quick and then having to quit to do something else. However, it’s not a great idea to encourage those who can play longer sessions in the same game to create consecutive thirty second sessions. The easy fix for this is to just wipe NV if a new game is made within 10 minutes or so.

    None of this really matters if the reward for time spent is unappealing. I think they are having a hard time trying to figure out how to make players think they are going to get something without really giving them anything. Boring itemization doesn’t help, neither does lack of build commitment. Both could have been fixed with a greater emphasis on uniquely useful item modifiers for specific class skills, but would have increased perceived trash drops, de-emphasized rune impact, and caused even greater skill/item patch tension.

    It’s just a mess and I don’t see anything short of an expansion giving anyone reason to grind away after reaching max paragon level, unless they’re really into PVP (somewhere on the horizon). I’m honestly perplexed as to why anyone grinds for keys and organs, because as I see it, if a player can grind efficiently enough to get enough chances for a decent Hellfire ring, it’s probably not that special compared to what they already have.

  21. just wondering what removing NV will help with 10 min games? I mean no one forces you to farm with 5 stacks -I’ve heard a rumor you can farm without the stacks and it would be the same as if NV didn’t exist……

  22. Hey guys,

    After reading the thread, I realized that this was actually one of MY posts on the forums. πŸ˜€

    When I wrote this thread a while-ish ago, my main character was pretty sub-parly geared, so I had a good hard time killing things. I had dumped about ~150 hours into that toon, with barely ANY drops to upgrade…and like many of you, I had to resort to the Auction House for upgrades.

    While the “20 minute run” may be an exaggeration by a few minutes in either direction, it wasn’t too far off. That’s not really the entire point of it, though. When I made this post, I had heard NOTHING of an “Alkaizer run” (which I know of now), but the whole point is that with NV, you are still stuck on a “best path” type of system.

    The Alkaizer run is the best path for farming (supposedly)…so why is that any different than a Mephisto run, or Pindleskin run? I feel like we’re still limited to one path of farming, but attached to that is an asinine system that doesn’t add anything to the game but extra playtime.

    Why not just allow people to kill what they want (which will still generate “best-path” locations), instead of passively forcing them to use this system?

    • Your post is exactly how I felt before I found the alkazier runs. In act 1, 2, 4 – it certainly does take 15min+ to get 5 stack if you play the story chain instead of hopping waypoints to hit elites. It is incredibly inefficient to farm following the game storyline in all but act3, and this is not communicated well by the game.

      The elite spacing in game is simply too sparse if you follow the story.

      The current problem is that nv combined with elite distributions has made only one type of run efficient for farming items. If you have 30 minutes to play, you do 2-3 alk runs. Everything is multiple alk runs.

      I think they need to fix all acts to be truly viable for farming. I think they also need to make playing the story compelling from a farm perspective – for both new and old characters.

      What I think they could do is add a separate counter for completing objectives – ie progressing the story. The further you progress the story, you get a buff. I think this separate buff would basically increase your odds of encountering elites, or maybe increase loot quantity, like the bonus drop chance from whites granted by monster power.

      There needs to be a buff that counters the inefficiency of playing the storyline, where you often are forced to wander through mostly deserted spaces.

  23. So many things about this game have been so disappointing. Terrible crafting. Itemization. AH. Broken multi player. The NV to even get keys or organs is actually what caused me to quit — too tedious to stack – so annoying to lose if RL calls for a phone call or whatever.

    D3 has in alot of ways cured me of video game addiction — guess I should be grateful lol

  24. NV annoys me because it attempts to fix two things at once: respeccing all the time; and short/repetitive runs.

    I like the fact that there is a penalty for respeccing, I’d hate to be constantly changing skills depending on the encounter. If NV carried over between games it would be pretty nice.

    Fixing the short game problem should not be done by giving players a ‘dead’ playtime at the start of each session. They should just make you want to keep playing in the same game. And not through some artificial bonus which forces you to stay, but rather through having rewarding gameplay to continue playing. The fact that in Diablo 2 it was more rewarding to restart the game than to keep on playing is a design problem with the game.

    Ideally, dropwise, it would not make a difference if I restarted a game instead of keeping playing. At any point, be it 5 minute runs, or restarting an act (there should not be a difference in ‘quality’ between acts). And there should not be a penalty for short settions. It is funny to me that the system designed to penalize repetition “forces” me to restart with the same NV building actions instead of just continuing where I previously left off.

  25. NV stacks are fine. Monster health increasements need to be fixed on higher levels.

    Also the reason NV stacks drop on skillchange is so that you wouldn’t just change new skillsets for every pack of elites. This adds more build variety because then there isn’t “one build” where people just loop around different skills as they see fit, rather they are commited to a single set of skills they choose beforehand.

    Also Ubers.

  26. Whole NV system is crap..just like the whole diablo 3 , but through the tears of nostalgia, its too hard to see it.

  27. NV works fine. We just need more elites and more trash everywhere. Every map viable in MP0 speedfarming. Alk runs get mindnumbing after a while.

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