Everyone Hates the Same Diablo 3 Bounties: How to Fix Them?


Most players value Bounties entirely based on how quickly they can be completed. So while not literally Everyone hates the Same Diablo 3 Bounties, there’s pretty wide agreement on the problems. The question though, is how to fix them? More flavor? More variety? Reallocated rewards?

I’ve been asking players lately about their most/least favorite bounties, and found the answers very utilitarian. There’s some variety in favorites, though all tend towards “quickest to complete.” There’s less variety in least-favorites, with all of them ones that take a long time to complete atop the un-list.

Some least favorite quotes from a forum post I floated on this topic:

Kill the Spider Queen. It’s a huge map with lots of dead ends. And the trash mobs slow you down. Plus the boss runs away! Thanks for everything! This bounty could award a bag all for itself and I still wouldn’t do it.
–Catastrophe

How nature says, "Do not touch."

How nature says, “Do not touch.”

I only have one that’s stuck out, and that’s Blood Ties in Act 3. It’s probably one of the least efficient bounties (huge Barracks Level 1 map with lots of dead ends, plus a medium-sized Barracks Level 2 map where you have to find one specific room), but on top of that the maps are full of Fallen Lunatics and narrow hallways that make waller+groundspam become extra annoying.
–Ivan E

The two in Act III that require you to clear Level 2, one is Barracks iirc and the other is Fortified Bunker? Mainly just because it takes a while just to find the Level 2 door.
–ZappaFan

Anything involving the Act One Spider Caves is usually atop the list since it’s the slowest bounty in Act One, and that act is the most farmed, since it’s the easiest and since people want a Ring of Royal Grandeur, which only drops from Bounty bags. (Full list of Horadric Cache-only items in the wiki.) Other unpopular bounties include anything in the Dhalgur Oasis or Desolate Sands, most of the Act Five bounties because they are lost in huge levels or else require exploration of the spread-out and sparsely-populated Panda Fort.

The Act Three Barracks is hands-down the least favorite, from the people I’ve asked, simply because it’s huge and takes forever. The Barracks is the dungeon entrance to the left, just before you leave Bastion’s Keep and go out onto the frozen tundra. There are 2 bounties there, one requiring a Level Two clear (which is insane; there must be 200 monsters in that level and I always miss a couple in some side room and have to run back through the whole level to finish it) and the other Blood Ties, which requires to you help a guard rescue another guard on level two, but requires you to explore almost the entire level.

The part that people really dread is finding level two, since level one is basically the same map as Keep Level 2, which is about the largest dungeon in the entire game. (Except we used to love farming Keep 2 for exp, and Barracks level one is just as large but with about 1/3 the monster density.)

Typical Barracks Level 2 map.

Typical Barracks Level 2 map.

All the other unpopular bounties are more of the same; huge levels that require a lot of time chewing through trash mobs or just looking for the target (Blood Marsh in Act Five wins that unpopular battle, since it’s enormous and tangled in design. Desolate Sands in Act Two is also huge, but it doesn’t twist and turn so you can search through the whole thing pretty quickly.)

Personally, I like the bounties with a 150 counter, since those only appear in large areas with a lot of monster density. I’ve never had a 150 counter where I had to search for things to kill to finish it out. My worst times have come on 100 count areas when I find the Purple at 60ish, and then have to wander around to find enough more. The worst one I ever got was a 100 kill counter in Stonefort, and I had to clear the entire level with what felt like 81/100 the entire time, literally to the last 3 catapults where that annoying NPC curses at you (in Story Mode), where I finally hit a big nest of Fallen that took me way over the 100 required.

(Beta bounties had some funny ones. Aside from bugs where the bounty event didn’t even spawn, the monster counter was sometimes out of synch with the enemies available. Playing with Elly we got a Unique with a 50 kill requirement in one of the Act 3 spiral stairway levels, and after clearing the whole thing and the Purple, we were at… 41/50. We had to run back up the entire level, hugging the outside edge to trigger enough ghouls to clamber over the side to get us to 50.

Better was a 50 kill bounty in the Cemetery of the Forsaken when there were only about 30 enemies there. I got that in a multiplayer game and the three of us had to spend several minutes running out into the Weeping Hollow and leading zombies and scavengers through the Cemetery Gates so we could kill them inside and add them on the 50 counter.)


Adjust Bounty Rewards

Remember the plaid?

Remember the plaid?

The main issue I had with bounties during the Beta was the very uneven rewards. You’d get a bounty that took 1 minute and was worth 8m exp (on Torment 1) and others that took 5 minutes and were only worth 2.7m exp. The most valuable bounties then were worth 15.2m exp, were all the “clear level 2” type, but those varied hugely as well, in how long it took to find the level and how large it was. And it wasn’t a random-variance; it was (almost) always much faster to find Den of Evil 2, or level 2 of some goat cave, than to find Vile Cavern 2, or *shudder* Barracks level 2.

When the beta ended, I figured Blizzard would redistribute the exp rewards on bounties. Why should you only get 2.7m exp for The Butcher or Diablo, when you have to explore a full large dungeon level to find them, while many of the “kill the Unique” or “clear the Red Chest” bounties were worth double or triple the exp and were much faster to complete? (And sometimes even spawned in the same dungeon you had to explore to get to the Butcher or Diablo.)

That didn’t happen. All the bounties we see in the live game are worth approximately the same exp they were worth during the Reaper of Souls beta, and as everyone knows, they vary greatly in time required to clear. The explanation for that (other than “lazy devs?”) could be that the devs like the RNG of it. If every bounty was priced appropriately for the time it took, that would be boring. Nothing would feel like it fell above or below the value curve, and while Queen Araneae is annoying and slow, it balances out those times when you get a sixty-second “Kill the Purple” or “Cleanse the Cursed Chest” bounties, which feel fun since they’re very quick and valuable.

That said, maybe not? Would you guys enjoy Queen Araneae or Barracks two or other longer bounties more if they were worth the same exp as “clear level 2” bounties?

Or, if the whole goal is to get the Horadric Cache, what if the bounties were weighted in value? Instead of 5 all worth the same, what if bounties scaled in value a bit, and you only had 4 bounties in acts when you got Blood Ties or Queen Araneae type slogs?


Time = Value?

She looks almost scary in closeup.

She looks almost scary in closeup.

The point of all these complaints is that money = time, in Diablo 3 as elsewhere in life. And (almost?) everyone likes best the bounties that are quickest to do, and dislikes the ones that take longest to do. I’m surprised how uniform that opinion is; I figured there’s be more nuance with the time divided by the reward. The “clear level 2” bounties are worth like 5x the exp of most “kill target X” bounties… but it seems like people are mostly farming Bounties to get Horadric Caches, thus the exp from individual bounties is an afterthought, compared to their main goal.

If that’s the case, perhaps we should be concentrating our fixes on the speed of clearing, rather than worrying about rewards matching the time spent?


Map Hack Return?

Something I’ve been wondering lately, in regards to this issue. (And which I always remember about 30 seconds into a bounty in the Dhalgur Oasis or the Desolate Sands.) What if we had maphack in Diablo 3? Some tool that pointed you right to the bounty target, no matter how far away it was? You get that after a few minutes in a bounty if you have terrible luck finding the dungeon or monster, as an arrow pops up to point your dumbass in the right direction, but what if you had it all the time? Would that make the bigger/slower/least popular bounties more palatable?

I’ve been asking people in-game lately, “Would you trade a passive skill slot for a maphack tool that immediately pointed you to the bounty in every zone?” I think I would, assuming I could turn it on and off.

Obviously it’s a hypothetical question… or is it? What if there was a maphack legendary item that granted that property? It could ever have RNG; it would always gave you the direction arrow, but sometimes it would roll higher quality and show the entire mini-map filled in, with the location of all shrines and/or Elites and Uniques?

That’s an item I’d hunt for. They could even put it as an Act Five Cache-only drop, just to force us to farm that act too!


Make Bounties More Fun

The last issue is the biggest one, and one I haven’t thought much about. So just to touch on it quickly… what would make Bounties more fun? We all know the few types of bounties now, and they’re just a race to finish as quickly as possible for the reward. How could that be changed up? Should we even try?

Moar Goblin bounties!

Moar Goblin bounties!

As the biggest issue for everyone seems to be time/reward, there should be ways to do Bounties more quickly, other than just movement speed. What if you had to kill a Purple without killing more than 50 other enemies? (If you went over 50 you had to kill over 150, or find another purple, so it’s a time penalty.) That would reward players for being precise and not just an AoE spamming machine? (Sorry, Wizards, but there has to be something in the entire game you’re not the best at now?)

What if there were levels with 2 Purples, but no counter, so it was all about how quickly you could find them?

What if sometimes a treasure goblin (other than Snitchley) was the bounty? Or there were several goblins in the area and the bounty was to kill 3 of them?

What if some bounties were just “map the whole area” without any killing required? Just for variety and movement speed rewards?

I’m sure you guys can think of lots of other interesting and varied types of bounties, going beyond what we see in the game today. Do you want more variety? Do you want bounty rewards normalized, so the slower ones are worth more and the easy ones are worth less? How about bonus Caches? One long time popular suggestion is a 6th or 7th bonus cache awarded for clearing all 5 acts of bounties in the same game, and I can’t see any real objection to that.

Tagged As: | Categories: *Featured, Bounties, Diabloii.Net Articles, End Game

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  1. I did the Blood Ties one once, and won’t get fooled again. I ran into all the dead ends on the 1st floor before finding the door to level 2. Retarded! I won’t do the Spider Queen either, like everyone else. One of the most tedious dungeons in the game.

    Bounties like Diablo and Malthael wouldn’t be that bad if you didn’t have to navigate large, annoying areas to reach them. Pandemonium Fortress was awesome in the campaign when you’re happy to just take in the scenery, but in Adventure Mode it’s incredibly annoying, with the freezing gates, dead ends, no way to cut across distances quickly, etc. I even get annoyed when it spawns as a Rift level, as it seems to have low monster density, to boot.

    I favor bounties where there are certain crafting mats I’m looking for. Like, if Pyres is a bounty, I know I have a shot at 2 angelic shards because I can kill him and then Izual is right there. And since Act 4 is relatively small, it’s almost always faster to hit all 5 bounties in it than the other acts, unless you get Diablo. It seems like all of the Act 5 bounties take forever so I rarely bother. I try to get the Cemetery bounties for the Born’s Keys, but they’re rarely offered.

  2. I only do the bounty maps that give double blood shards. I wish there was more incentive to complete the other ones that didn’t. -right now, I just do the two maps that give me double blood shards and then restart.

    It would be nice if there was some kind of incentive to complete all the bounties (in all acts) in one game.

    • What’s the point of double blood shards when rifts give you so many more? If you want more blood shards do rifts, not the acts that offer double blood shards.

      • He doesn’t necessarily get more rift keys quicker by doing other acts bountys, though, so he still ends up having more blood shards available this way…

  3. I for to agree with the “clear dungeon X level 2”. It has the biggest downtime of all bounties. But then again, if you remove this bounty from the pool, I could probably do whol Act 2 bounties on normal in less than 6 minutes, which would become far too efficient.

    • This. This. This.

      Just think, “Why am I complaining about those bounties being too slow?”. I’ll tell you why, it’s because you just want a button that when clicked just dispenses bounty caches! Wee!!!

      Too efficient makes things dull and boring. It’s a game… PLAY IT, PEOPLE! If it takes too long, then you’re just being snobby. Nobody likes snobby people.

  4. I’d like to see more initiative for farming groups on Normal difficulty to do more than just Act 1.

    I need my shrine gloves, dammit.

    • AMEN to that! God PUGS have become such a drag. Its like pulling teeth to get through a bounty clear. I end up racing whoever is in act 1 because 9/10 people haul ass and leave just me and sometimes one other in the game….And at that point the game will not put others in leaving you to decide whether or not to finish alone or restart and hope for the best….again…..
      Lets fix this shit first…. I can handle boring bounties, just not alone all the time

  5. Speaking of Blood Ties in Act 3. I remember the first time I played out this event. At the very end of the quest the 2 soldiers fade out to nothingness. I was like OMG plot-twist, they were ghosts the entire time! I still like to believe this is what happens and it’s not just because there was no easy way to remove them from the scene. It just makes for a better story that the 2 soldier were really dead the entire time.

    • That’s a generous way to view it, as NPCs run a few yards and then vanish repeatedly throughout the game, including Leah in Act 1 Wortham and Shen after you rescue him in Act 2. Props to Tyrael and Adria for actually using a town portal for their various departures.

  6. Bottom line — there needs to be more. We’re left mainly (only?) with bounties and rifts at this point as far as content. They should be able to either add more of what there currently is (or make it better), or add something else new that is “soft” content — i.e. not actual new content, it is just presented and rewarded differently, which is basically what bounties and rifts are.

    There’s so much more they could add as an incentive to the player and to keep things interesting. I seriously hope rifts and bounties don’t remain status quo for too long. I understand they’re adding ladders, and we’ll see what that announcement is like; but I hope there is more in store that doesn’t require a 1.5 year wait and an expansion purchase. Ladders aren’t for everyone…

  7. I like your suggestions for making it funner, but I would like to see additional reward types. Such as an imperial gem or higher, or a legendary material et cetera. Rewards should not be limited to gold and exp. Yeah I realize you get a cache, but for those of us who do one or two per act, something different please.

  8. Yeah I never paid much attention to XP rewards, and at this point I’ve done 60 straight (yes, I took notes) bounty bags without a single legendary, in any act. It’s destroyed my desire to do them at all, even steamrolling normal. What’s the point of wasting more time on them?

  9. Really blood ties?
    How about the Act 5 one from Blood Marsh with 2 area’s and 150 monsters to kill which can take longer to even find the right area where you need to kill those monsters.

    Rewards could be tweaked a bit more and I think the golden arrow should appear quicker the more you kill, or the AoE to find it becomes larger.
    This rewards effort in a way.

    And ofc more bounties and all that stuff.

    • I think people are skipping A5 entirely so don’t know how long some of those bounties can be. The sheer exploration required to find the A5 bounty targets is unparalleled, and anyone trying to rack up A5 bounty bags would do well to split-farm… in the same area! Just spread out to find the Wickerman or whatever; you’d cut your solving times by 50% just going in different directions and moving fast.

      The saving throw for many areas in Act Five is the huge amount of side events. If you’re doing Bounties for exp, rather than just rushing for the Cache reward, Act 5 areas can be the most exp profitable in the game since they have so many sub dungeons and cellars, most of them with very quick/easy exp rewards as large or larger than the bounty itself.

  10. No complains about bounties here. While you are killing mobs you have a chance for loot as well and you get xp for it. I don’t see the problem, unless people are expecting millions of xp, bloodshards and riftkeys in only 5 minutes.

  11. Wish they’re let us reset bounties for that act once it’s all clear.

  12. I just want more. More variety, more bounties, more randomization, more challenges. I don’t want to do the same bounties over and over. The more variety in this game the more satisfying and longer shelf life it will have with me.

  13. Here’s pretty much the only thing I require for bounties to be better at this point – either:

    A) You choose when to turn the quest into Tyrael, and the rewards scale appropriately (as in, no longer having a discrete breakpoint at 5); or

    B) Your bounties-completed status stays saved through logout, and you can manually toggle a reset.

    D3 still has a serious problem with enticing people to play for increments of less than an hour or so; they did away with NV but still made shorter sessions proportionally less rewarding due to discrete breakpoints (Rift Guardian, all bounties in Act). If they added proportional rewards for time spent back in, I’d be a happier camper.

    I don’t really mind less-efficient bounties though, especially since I never actually run past enemies to my bounty target and clear everything my path, unless I have to log off soon and am rushing (again, I wouldn’t bother having to do this if I could just stop at 4 or 6 or 12 and get a proportional reward).

  14. Player base: “The game maps aren’t randomized enough!!”

    Same player base: “The game maps are too random and take too long to finish!!”

    • I’m fine with the bounties as they are now, but before release I was one of those people demanding more randomized areas in Act 1-4, I think back to that while doing bounties sometimes and laugh at myself.

  15. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing some of the longer bounties (blood ties being mentioned is a great example of this) have better rewards tied to them that’re worth the extra effort. The point I feel like they could possibly make is \well you could get lucky and simply find the next level quickly!\ which is true, but for \Clear the Barracks Level 2\ that’s only half of the problem. Caves never take terribly long to clear because their pattern is predictable, and even easier once you hit level 2 (they’re never large AND you get a resplendent chest, and a rare and champion pack making them actually not half bad for the faster ones).

    I’ve noticed that generally when I’m looking at bounties for the Acts there almost always a boss that’s a bounty (I can’t recall when one boss wasn’t a bounty). Zoltun Kullle is the only one of these that’s a complete joke of a bounty that’s completed in absolutely 0 time because he’s pretty much right next to the way point. Rakanoth, Skeleton King, Maghda, Belial, and Azmodan are very simple to complete as well because the map never changes and its a very quick run to get to them. Cydaea also has a set layout but you have to go through a few levels so its not as fast. I think a nice bonus to some of the longer bosses would be to have them award a bounty bag in and of themselves if you do the other four bounties before them and then do the boss which would make it more rewarding to do bosses like Diablo, Malthael, and Aranae.

    If you’ve done any level of farming of bounties, you probably have so many rift key fragments you’ll never realisticly run out of them any time soon. Especially if you’re like me and have been farming the crap out of Act 1 trying to get that Ring of Royal Grandeur. At this point (and it didn’t take long) rift key fragments sort of lost their meaning as a bonus. Not to say I don’t think its cool and don’t enjoy rifts. Its simply no longer relevant in the give and take relationship that was there day 1 of adventure mode of \well to do a rift I need to do at least 5 bounties\. Making bounties more compelling to farm in their entirety vs just the quick ones would be great.

    Attaching extra rewards on particularly long ones, or boss bounties that take going through a fairly random layout would be a pretty sweet bonus imo and would probably inspire people to maybe bite the bullet on slightly less efficient bounties as well for that extra bag (2 bags one Act, so many delightful possibilities…).

  16. Kids are just too soft…

  17. I think it would be great if there was a super cache available if you complete all bounties in all acts in a single game, maybe a guaranteed legendary drop or 1 million gold something worth the time and effort

  18. I understand that many guys wants everything now, immediately, or the game is bad etc… THIS IS THE PROBLEM. I hate this guys, change game please.

  19. I really wonder what Blizzard devs (specifically D3 Team) do during their work time, they just come there to sit and chill for 8-12 hours every day…?
    Why don’t we get new content like every month, I mean mini-content, adding a few new tilesets (or map combinations in Rifts), BOUNTIES, some new legendaries here and there… just a few things per two weeks/month wouldn’t hurt anybody, hell, I could do that for them and still have fun creating it…

    • They’re working on ladders and tiered rifts. And very likely the next expansion.

    • Because art assets take waaayyyyy longer than anything else to implement and you’re basically asking for new art assets when you ask for new tilesets.

      They’ve already got the random color filter + random tileset going on, and because the game is 3D they can’t just reshape the way the tiles fit together without creating new art assets.

      The only things they can do on quick turnaround are things requiring no new assets, because their artists aren’t even working on D3 anymore. They’ll come back for the next expansion, and maybe come back for various large patches to make more UI icons, but art assets have always been the giant bottleneck as far as things go. And don’t even get me started on voice acting…

  20. I’ve gotten very good at finding the Spider Queen. The only bounty that gives me trouble anymore is finding level 2 of the barracks.

  21. I like to full-clear some bounty areas (like Cathedral) cause going from bounty to bounty is not as interesting for me.

    Least favorite? Fields of Slaughter, it’s like only 2 bounties can spawn in that area, either clear level 2 or do cursed chest, all in cool Ice caves, which visuals I really enjoy. But that’s really irritating to see it over and over and would love to see some more variety there.

  22. – A legendary item which showed shrines, elites, and/or objectives on the minimap immediately.

    PLEASE! YES! PLEASE! I know, make it a crafted item, and make the legendary mat drop from purple spiders. 🙂

    – Bounties with a negative kill counter, bounties with 2 purples, bounties to explore the map, or bounties to get all 3 goblins in an area.

    Sure! Sounds fun. I think there’s also room for bounties which aren’t tied to a map. Currently I always seem to get (boss) (event) (kill) (kill) (kill) for my five bounties. But sometimes it’s just a boss and four kills, especially in A4. What if some bounties were just global counters? Open 3 resplendent chests, kill three goblins, kill 1000 enemies, find 10 shrines, etc. Things that might change the way you play the other 4 bounties in the act.

  23. Also, another one for the list: anything in the Stinging Winds.

    The Stinging Winds is the only map in the game that has two separate zones – but the bounty never specifies which one it’s in. It’s not that big of a deal, but boy is it annoying when you’re working through clearing one of the zones only to find out that the The Ruins or one of the Necromancer events are in the other zone.

  24. I think adding more variety for bounties would be fine. There were many good suggestions in previous posts, but why not add a 6th bounty per act, too? The required amount to get the bag would still be 5, but the extra bounty would give players a choice if they got one of the less desirable rifts.

  25. I agree with Ivan E as I have done that several times myself. Grrr…

    Seems like we all know what acts generally contain longer or shorter bounties. I say we separate the leg drops from the acts and leave it up to the RNG all together. This would at least let you farm for what you need when you need it.

    You could run Act 2 or even 4 to farm the ring of grandeur avoiding the barracks or Spider Queen runs. Then go farm a few longer runs in Act 1, 3 and 5 to test out your newly found gear, get some exp and maybe even some loot.

  26. I don’t mind the repetitive nature of rifts. Some of them should have much more forgiving quest markers (Spider Queen, Act 3 barracks). My issue with them is that I feel forced to do them solely to get rift keys. I already have a RRoG, so I don’t really need any items from bounties at this point, and there isn’t a significant bonus for doing them on higher torments. I just wish there was something done to make higher torment bounties competitive with rifts. Otherwise, they just feel like dailies in WoW.

  27. Why not have 6 bounties spawn in an act, and only require you to complete any 5 of them?
    That would also give Blizzards some good data on how people rank bounties and which ones should be improved.

  28. The bounties are pretty blah. frankly bosses shouldn’t even be bounties because the time-reward ratio just doesn’t work. but they’re kind of a bore regardless.

    Rifts on the other hand are a quality add to the game as there is some element of randomness and replayability which D3 badly needed. The neph rifts just do a lot better job of achieving that than the bounties do.

    what needs to happen now is more content now that the systems have been patched up. more dungeons, more monsters, more tiles, another class, etc. I suppose that’s what the next xpac will be for, but I don’t expect to see that for another 2 years and I’ll probably have put the game down again well before that.

  29. Create a 100% drop from the first zombie, that is a legendary cache that drops 10x every single legendary and set item + all leg plans + 10 000 leg mats and a soulstone.

    And then remove this zombie from the game.

  30. me and my friend have been running normal, act1, 4 player split runs.
    few days ago, i got 12 caches and got one legendary.
    since then i have done 80 caches(last 10 was today) and i did not get any legendary(0, null, zero). my friend gets one each 8-14 caches.

    i cannot imagine completing 80 caches on torment4 with no legendary loot. RNG is too crazy, good drops are rare and there is absolutely no reason to do bounties on difficulty higher than normal.

    i have similar problem with rifts, where i have been farming torment3 just because its faceroll easy. torment5 is nice challenge, but absolutely no reason to do it over T3. i wish this is changed in near future.

  31. I do mainly double shard drops only so I get to gamble more.

    I would like more variety in Bounties, more timed events for example. Rifts are what they are and what I expected them to be but not knowing what level will come next adds some interest.

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