Blizzard Considering Diablo 3 Monsters Density Fixes

A fan brought up the common complaint about insufficient density for the Diablo 3 monsters in pretty much all of the game other than some key portions of Act Three.

Grimiku: I think there are multiple reasons behind the desire for scaling monster density for the players who are asking for it. The first one that comes to mind is not the self-serving need to squeak out insane farming efficiency (there are some who seem to definitely want this), but the desire to feel that they are not losing efficiency when farming anything other than Act III. We definitely want people to farm multiple Acts, so we are discussing options to achieve that goal.

Your ideas on the subject are certainly welcome (in fact, the question of “what mob density would you choose?” is a great one to debate) and we hope that you will continue post them.

The OP in that post suggested a Monster Density option which would work allow players to custom set the number of enemies they faced. (Best I recall, the players X command in D2 *did* increase monster numbers, but DiabloWikiMonster Power in D3 does not.) I can’t see that happening (too exploitable) and you’ll note that the Blue doesn’t even acknowledge the idea or give any hint to the dev’s current thinking on the issue. Neither did DiabloWikiWyatt Cheng a couple of weeks ago:

Unfortunately increased monster density in Act 1 and 2 in Inferno difficulty did not make patch 1.0.7. It is absolutely something we would like to improve, and it is still on the list for the future. I spend most of personal play time in Act 3 as well: Keeps 1, Core, Tower, Bridge, Fields. It’s a matter of degrees, it’ll never all be balanced 100% equal in all zones everywhere you go – but they need to be comparable within a certain tolerance, and we’re definitely outside that margin right now.

One popular suggestion from weeks/months ago was for monster density to scale up with higher levels of Monster Power. That seemed like a possible fix for the lack of higher exp with higher MP, but that issue is being addressed directly in v1.07 with the exp boost per MP level rising to 25%. (I’m eager for MP2 farming, anticipating that 50% bonus to exp/MF/GF.)

I don’t see a monster density player selection, and I doubt the devs will simply double or triple the monster density all over. That would break the flow and aesthetics of Acts 1 and 2, and make them a lot harder, which would screw up the difficulty progression for new players. Also, it wouldn’t fix the issue of the poor level layouts, since all those long, narrow hallways and dead ends you see throughout Acts 1 and 2 are as much a problem (in terms of efficient exp farming) as the lack of monsters.

So I’ll once again suggest the idea I put into a recent article on farming issues. New, special dungeons in Acts 1 and 2 (and maybe 3 and 4 as well). They work a lot like the bonus dungeon maps you see in the end game in Torchlight and PoE and other ARPGs, and they could easily be added into Diablo 3 as well. This saves the devs from having to rework the entire existing acts, the bonus dungeons can be Inferno only, and since they’re not part of the normal act progression they don’t have to follow the same rules in terms of difficulty progression, level size or layout, monster density, etc.

Obviously these special dungeons would have higher monster density (akin to the juiciest parts of Act 3) and there should either be a lot of them to select from, or else they should be very deep 5 or 10 levels at least (bottomless?) so you don’t have to restart and rebuild your stacks all the time. They should have different/varied layouts (surface areas too) and they could have other fun mad modder-type features. Bonus treasure rooms, rooms with several boss packs, Champion packs with 4-8 champs in a group, timed levels, random encounters with sub-bosses like Ghom or Siegebreaker, special levels where bosses get 5 or 6 DiabloWikiboss modifiers at once, etc.

I don’t claim it’s a perfect solution, but it seems much more doable than reworking the entire existing acts. Thoughts or suggestions?

Tagged As: | Categories: Blizzard People, Blue Posts, Ex-Blizzard, Monsters


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  1. Thoughts or suggestions?
    PoE for me…I will not uninstall diablo 3, at 2114 maybe its a complete game worth of the “v1.0”. I love D3 but I see the flaws too…

    • “I don’t see a monster density player selection, and I doubt the devs will simply double or triple the monster density all over. That would break the flow and aesthetics of Acts 1 and 2, and make them a lot harder”
      So the F what? If I can handle the challenge why should I not be given the option to do so?. Why do people have this communist blanket mentality of “EVERYTHING APPLIES TO EVERYONE EXACTLY THE SAME”. This kind of backwards ideology is exactly the same kind of tripe the double chin fatso filled his mouth with, saying he disliked and labeled as design of the 90’s. What we are asking is USER CONTROLLED MONSTER DENSITY, or have you people become incapable of some original independent thought and experimentation and need to have everything spoon fed to you?

      “…which would screw up the difficulty progression for new players.”
      Just like with monster power, they can play at a lower monster density level.

      “Also, it wouldn’t fix the issue of the poor level layouts, since all those long, narrow hallways and dead ends you see throughout Acts 1 and 2 are as much a problem (in terms of efficient exp farming) as the lack of monsters.”
      Who cares? The majority of people will eventually be paragon 100 or close to that. At that point XP becomes ultimately meaningless. If I’m already rolling my face on mp10 as paragon 100 why shouldn’t I be given the choice to tailor MY gaming experience to how I want it to be. And don’t dare bring up the “you’ll get more loot than others, that’s unfair” because that’s more of the same communist b.u.l.l.s.h.i.t. I mentioned above.

  2. I don’t dislike your suggestion of adding some sort of ‘bottomless dungeon’ area Flux, I’m sure it would prove to be fun to play through. The downside in my mind is that it doesn’t do enough to bring 3/4 of the game (I’m including Act 4 for the sake of argument, even though we all know it’s a lost cause) up to par. I would love to play through large dungeons with seemingly endless boss encounters and trash mobs…but even more so, I really want a reason to run through Acts 1 and 2 without feeling like I’m spending my time far from efficiently. I think the aesthetics of Act 1/2 are more enjoyable than Act 3 (maybe only because I’ve spent so much of my time staring at 3)…so I want a chance to play those acts and not feel like I’m sacrifing efficiency the way I do now. I’d like to see Blizzard take some time to properly re-engineer the density in Act 1/2 first, then perhaps take a stab at something like you’re suggesting. I think the game could benefit from both.

  3. Either way, I still prefer playing on act1 over act3, I don’t care much about the monster density. I also believe that mobs don’t have just the same drop chances, that’s why they just can’t increase the number of mobs on other acts.

  4. I would really enjoy a decrease in dead spots and more density. However, I also want single target attacks to be looked at if changes are going to be made. I imagine a highly dense, hit-point multiplied pack filled level would prove single target skills inefficient. Now, I find myself mostly using AoE skills even on tiny groups. I only find benefits to single target attacks on Act Boss types that don’t spawn friends and that’s only assuming it does more dps over the AoE I clear with.

  5. oh considering? really?

    and fix the god damn youtube advert on the top, it’s so loud

  6. I have wondered why the game can’t be left as is for normal only. Once you play thru on normal the story is over and it all about progression after that. In Nightmare ramp up the density by 10-20% (whatever the proper number is) and in Hell add in some density another 10-20% and finally in inferno add in another boost to density. This will hardly affect new players in a negative way while walking thru the story for the first time and might actually add a challenge to NM and Hell.

    • that makes a lot of sense and would be a really good and fair solution

    • this could work for some, but i think there will always be people who “wants moar”… a 10-20% increase in density won’t solve the core issue.

      the dedicated area suggestion is a good one since like the pony area, you can decide to go or just continue along. maps in PoE are excellent at this and the level of customization they give makes them excellent end game content.

    • i also think that would work well.

      Bottomless Dungeons would not solve the Problem, that you do not play the content of Act 1 and 2.

    • This was what I thought they were originally going to do with difficulties. Increase mob density and AI difficulty. I also assumed there would be more dungeons, events, etc and there would be a plethora of new stuff to fin as you progressed in difficulties. Boy were they deceitful. Instead they went for the lazier solution and massive over exaggerations. I still feel that the randomization in terms of dungeons, events, don’t match up to blizzard “standards of quality” in the slightest. It’s hard for me to look at this game and see how many of the features were able to pass as quality in blizzards eyes especially with how under developed and rough they are instead of being polished and used exceptionally.

  7. Also: Guest monsters, please!

  8. Bottomless dungeon all the way, IMO.

    I know they want to keep using all the layouts and “levels” they hand-designed, but it’s time to write that off as a sunk cost and develop at least a little bit more. You don’t have to toss all the assets — just make the bottomless dungeon as follows:

    -Each level uses a random tileset across all 4 acts. I’m sure that there’s a way to make the overland tilesets work in a dungeon-setting as well. Hell, call it the Realm of Chaos and no one will care that you’re mixing caves and overland tilesets.
    -Each level picks enemies at complete random, across all 4 acts.
    -Every few levels there’s a sub-boss with a twist — it’s a scripted boss fight akin to the ones in the actual game (re-using assets), but the bosses get monster affixes already in the game. The number of affixes depends on how far down the dungeon you are. (So, think Skeleton King with Vortex on level 5, Ghom with Extra Health and Arcane Enchanted on level 15, etc.)
    -Difficulty and drop chances marginally increase as you delve downward. Not anything as huge as MP1 -> MP2 every level, but maybe a comparable increase every 7-10 levels or so. If it gets too hard, you can reset.

    This then allows you to, with relatively few tweaks, use randomness for even more content, by allowing “challenge” dungeons. Maybe rotate every day/week/whatever, specific modified endless dungeons where: all mobs (even white mobs) have an affix, and elites also have that affix, but boosted. Boost rewards appropriately. Or a challenge mode where, if you die, you lose all loot previously collected, so you have to gauge increased difficulty versus increased reward with higher stakes.

    • It’s a nice idea, but I think it would be TOO random.

      • Fair enough, but IMO, increasing amounts of random is the only way to get tons of content / gameplay time out of something where you don’t want to add more assets.

        It’s kind of like how I can play FTL pretty much whenever and it’s not going to hit a low point of boring that I won’t want to play it anymore, even if I know my ship is crap and I’m going to die at the flagship anyway.

        The problem is that the content in D3 isn’t random enough, and with MP currently, the only way to challenge myself is to make the elite packs take longer. I can already handle MP4ish playing self-found, and the downside of MP4 isn’t increased difficulty but that it takes too long to kill anything, whereas MP3 is too much of a cakewalk. If there were more procedurally-generated, random content, I could have fun challenging myself on that content rather than anything else. I know it might be a niche desire, but that’s all I really want from a game.

      • At this point that’s what they need. Item hunt is horrid and can’t be fixed until an expansion so the only thing going for d3 right now is dueling ( which the novelty of it will wear off to most in a short period of time ) and the combat system for pvm. Give us random, give us more pvm content and options because the item hunt sure as fuck isn’t good.

    • Best idea in a while. I would love going through ‘challenge’ dungeons with increasing difficulty and a few bosses thrown in.
      How cool would it be to have a uber diablo spawn like in D2? Would love to see Evil Walks Again in chat. Maybe with a guaranteed lvl61 leg with less chances for 62,63.

    • It’s strange.

      That randomized endless dungeon (in the style of Zelda’s Cave of Ordeals or the Ancient Cave from Lufia) you describe, keeps reminding me vaguely of some dusty old pc game I used to play. I think it was called ‘Diablo’.

      What a strange idea it would be to include some of the working core mechanics of ‘Diablo’ into our beloved D3. “A ludicrous notion, truly.” – Abd al-Hazir

    • Heh, this was even done by TL 1 (yes, ONE, for god sake).

  9. (Best I recall, the players X command in D2 *did* increase monster numbers, but Monster Power in D3 does not.)
    Players command in D2 doesn’t affect monster numbers or monster density.

  10. So your suggestion is that they actually design real endgame modes instead of just having us play the same game a 4th time in Inferno? How radical a concept.

  11. Obviously, the reason for wanting monster density increased is to make experience gain & item drops comparable to those in the Act 3 areas. So why not focus on that instead? Simply adjust the drop rates & experience gain for the monsters in other areas so the net results are better balanced.

    As for inefficient level design (compared to the preferred Act 3 areas), give a proper use for banners by allowing them to be temporary waypoints.
    Drop one at a fork in the road, then when you get to a dead end simply press the banner button again to return to the one placed earlier. This can be done by using a dialog box with the options to place a new banner, or teleport to your (or another players’) banner. To avoid allowing this to be exploited as an excape, simply allow the teleport to work ONLY if no monsters are within x yards (similar to how Steady Aim works). Also, they
    may need to check for within x yards of the placed banner as well, to prevent the possibility of PK traps.

  12. Add more dungeons exclusive to Inferno level difficulty. Give those dungeons huge spawn packs. Done. (This is kind of like Flux’s suggestion isn’t it?)

    The game needs more dungeons anyway, because those are always more random than the overland maps.

  13. Fuck your special dungeons, just improve monster density a lot in other acts and see which act players end up playing the most, after 2 weeks adjust.

  14. I really don’t like the bottomless random dungeon idea. Torchlight had this and it was entirely too random. It also didn’t give a good sense of progress. In diablo, you can feel the run getting faster based on your improving gear. The run is similar enough each time to feel this sensation.

    I think the problem is deeper that just density. There are specific skills that get exponentially better the more targets you are hitting. So it doesn’t matter if they buff drops in other acts, the farm builds still won’t work properly.

    I don’t think more monsters is the answer. The answer is multi part:
    1) Move waypoints in act 2 and 1 so high density areas are easier to access.
    2) Buff drop chances and xp on smaller packs
    3) Consider putting proc coefficients on monsters so hitting huge numbers of monsters is not always superior to killing single tougher targets. This would be for skills like archon or wotb.
    4) Put higher drop chances for some items on act bosses. So with 5 nv, you always get rare ror better ring off of kulle, or boots off warden, etc. So you farm specific boss if you want a type of uupgrade.

    • “4) Put higher drop chances for some items on act bosses. So with 5 nv, you always get rare ror better ring off of kulle, or boots off warden, etc. So you farm specific boss if you want a type of uupgrade.”

      Blizzard has stated more than once that they want people farming elites and champions. I think the chance of them doing what you suggest is zero. However, I do agree with you, I wish they would up boss drops.

      • To follow up on 4) – what I envision is each act boss at 5 nv always has a bonus drop with set item type. Like archon armor, boots, ring, gloves, etc. This drop is always at least rare (almost always is). At mp1 it also is ilvl 63 always. So now you can get 5 stack and run belial if you really want a new ___. It’s sort of like crafting, just more random.

        I do think more density is needed, but they need to be smart about it. The acts have a tempo and feel nice already (except a4). Example of a good addition – elites spawning inside the ‘hidden footprint’ huts in a2.

        There are high density areas in all acts, they are just not as convenient to access via waypoints like in act3.

  15. What? Only 10 keylogger trojans available?! I’d better be a moron and click that link! >.>

  16. Making new “super” dungeons only makes a new bigger problem. Why play core acts anymore?

  17. Kids will never be pleased. Spolied.

    As a matter of fact: once you get to play 2 chapters in a certain Act, you just keep perfecting play.

    I think it is not so much the monster density: certain Parts in Act 3 are simply better.

    I just run the first part of Act 3 when playing my main. 15 minute tops for the first 2 quest hubs.

    Perfect. The key runs I do mostly on my own with MP2/3, just for fun.

    The games is already great. Perfection and \please everyone\ is simply impossible.


  18. Once again the community has shown a better grasp of the Diablo franchise than the developers who are digging in their heels and holding firm to the bad decisions of the past. They know fun deal with it.

  19. Blizzard “discussing options to achieve that goal.” How hard is that ?? Increase areas you stupied idots.. we need monsters, just make alot of them in act1 /2, 4, what about that??? Take away tree monster and put something els, =)))

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