New Tiered Rifts, the Devil’s Hand and more discussed by Blizzard


Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls trailer

This evening Josh and Wyatt took to the stage at the Reaper of Souls launch event in LA and revealed a few new features that are coming to Diablo 3 in the months ahead.

Josh went through the now-familiar “three pillars” of Diablo 3 and was keen to assure fans that Reaper of Souls takes Diablo back to its gothic roots but it’s mainly about loot with build-changing legendary items.

There were numerous questions asked at the event but sadly Josh’s mic was broken for 50% of it and his replies came out like a garbled mess but it was encouraging to hear that sorting out the game’s difficulty mode was a “memorable” meeting for Wyatt.  He said they originally had “Inferno 2” to get from 51-70.  And what happens when you get to 70? Josh and the team decided to create a “difficulty slider” and make the game auto level with you which was a departure from what they have done in the past. Wyatt was not keen on the system and other team members were sceptical too. Now they are happy with the results after letting the idea run. through development.

If you wondered what the DiabloWikiDevil’s Hand was in the game files, Wyatt clarified this evening. It was system where you could travel around the world and kill unique bosses to collect cards and make it into a “hand” and then turn it in for special loot. There were three systems competing for a place in the game, DiabloWikiAdventure Mode, DiabloWikiThe Devil’s Hand with its unique monster turn ins,  and crafting. They decided there was far too much overlap between the three systems so decided to cut the Devil’s Hand and concentrate on adventure mode.

Tiered Rifts is a new feature being added to Reaper of Souls where players will be challenged to see “who can get the farthest”. Players will play DiabloWikiAdventure mode, complete a DiabloWikiRift and clear it, acquiring a “Greater Rift Token”. Players will have to clear the Greater Rift as fast as possible in a certain time limit to unlock a “Great Rift Key”. These keys will increase in ranks.

There will be Tiered Rift leaderboards with seasons.  Players will be able to compare their times with their clan mates and also by region to see who’s the fastest.

Josh also revealed that Ladders are coming in the first major content patch for Reaper of Souls. Josh said that one of the features they would have liked to have completed for launch is the ladders but they wanted to spend time on it to get it right.  Note this is a “content” patch not a normal patch. The time frame for this release is currently a “couple of months”.

The ladders will take the form of “Seasons” with a “ladder-like” aspect. Characters will level up, there will be specific ladders for seasons and special “goodies” will drop in those seasons.

More information will be revealed in the next few weeks according to Josh.

As far as trading is concerned now that the DiabloWikiauction house is closed, the team has been looking at “Clan trading”  but they say they are concerned that it will remove the “feeling of reward” they are trying to capture with the game when people are out adventuring collecting loot.

Wyatt also confirmed there will never be a party DPS meter as has often been requested.

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  1. Having ladder only items will make ladder mandatory, esecially when i already expect this patch to hit when my chars are decked out in shinies.

    • “Special goodies” might be refereeing to special transmogrify recipes and banner patterns and such. It might not be related to power. And even if it is might be restricted to ladder play only. So if you are not interested in ladders, you can still be competing for the best in slot items for non ladder characters.

      There is also the possibility that Tiered Rifs seasons will have similar/same rewards. So if you’re not interested in ladders you can still get the “goodies” from Rifts.

      I think that Tiered Rifts seasons will be where players that don’t like the idea of ladders and rerolling characters will compete for fame and glory. It is nice how they are giving players alternatives in the end game-content.

      Just finished act 5 this morning BTW. It was good. Nothing special but I sure wasn’t disappointed. On par with act 1, but sure better than the rest of the acts.

    • There’s nothing wrong with making ladder mandatory. The option always exists for you to play retired characters with all their goodies, and leveling is pretty easy. Especially if the ladder seasons are long, there should be plenty of time to gear out. Ladders give you a reason to keep playing after finding a bunch of cool gear, other than just deleting your character for fun. If you don’t have enough time to level and gear a character in 6 months, then stick to your same characters after they retire from ladder.

  2. Great info!

    I have to say, the launch went a lot smoother than I was expecting tonight.

    I logged on immediately with no errors, and played for 3.5 hours (and 6 lvls). Very impressed so far.

  3. “Tiered Rifts : Adventure mode -> Rift -> Greater Rift Token -> Greater Rift”

    And then what? Uber Rift with Uber Rift Token followed by an Titan Rift with Titan Rift Token???

    “If you wondered what the Devil’s Hand was in the game files, Wyatt clarified this evening. It was system where you could travel around the world and kill unique bosses to collect cards and make it into a “hand” and then turn it in for special loot.”

    So he is saying that they want (or wanted) to reuse the exact same system (only with different names) which is used in Adventure/Rift mode??

    “Ladders”
    Why are they teasing them so much when others MP games are using them from the start? It took them 2 years of constant complains from players to realize that they should be in MP by default? And now they teasing them like the best feature ever be made?

    My thoughts:
    Why every time when they are saying that they want to add some “new cool features” they come up with some lazy re-use of old linear systems (only with tiny differences like names or icons)? I mean, they sold ~15mio copies of D3. Adventure mode and rifts should be in a free patch (after the D3 clusterf*ck), there is nothing expensive about them. Many players on official were having great ideas that were fun on paper (many were reused from other games -> fun in game) and easy to implement.

    • “And then what? Uber Rift with Uber Rift Token followed by an Titan Rift with Titan Rift Token???”

      “These keys will increase in ranks.” Can you even read?

      “So he is saying that they want (or wanted) to reuse the exact same system (only with different names) which is used in Adventure/Rift mode??”

      Devil’s Hand was in the game files pre beta (I believe) and people were curious to what it was. He simply clarified that this was an early version of bounties. What is there to be upset about?

      “Why are they teasing them so much when others MP games are using them from the start? It took them 2 years of constant complains from players to realize that they should be in MP by default? And now they teasing them like the best feature ever be made?”

      They are teasing them because many players are exited to see the return of ladders for Diablo franchise. It’s as simple as that.

      Ladders are not something that have to be standard for any ARPG btw. I never enjoyed climbing ladders in d2, and I haven’t even tried them in PoE. It’s a cool feature that will make some players happy, while others will ignore them.
      I think the reason for them not being implemented yet is that Blizzard was afraid that ladders would split the community up (kind of like hardcore does). They seem to be allergic to things that prevent players from playing with each other.

      “…there is nothing expensive about them. Many players on official were having great ideas that were fun on paper (many were reused from other games -> fun in game) and easy to implement.”

      Adventure mode and Rifts may in fact be the most expensive features of the whole expansion in terms of develop time. Adventure mode probably needed a redesign of the whole server architecture to work. And Rifts represents probably the most random level design that have ever been created in a video game. It’s far beyond what d2 had to be honest. Even outdoor areas are random with random lighting, random destructible objects and level sizes, everything.

      • ” And Rifts represents probably the most random level design that have ever been created in a video game. It’s far beyond what d2 had to be honest. Even outdoor areas are random with random lighting, random destructible objects and level sizes, everything.”

        As far as I’ve seen, they’re “just” stitching together the pre-existing levels, rather than randomly generating them (like D2 had). That said, I’ve only played through one rift so far.

  4. “These keys will increase in ranks.” Can you even read?

    Oh, that completely changes the situation. /sarcasm

    “I think the reason for them not being implemented yet is that Blizzard was afraid that ladders would split the community up (kind of like hardcore does). They seem to be allergic to things that prevent players from playing with each other.”

    So rather that they implemented Monster Power 0-10 so people can find public games more easily. /sarcasm

    “Adventure mode and Rifts may in fact be the most expensive features of the whole expansion in terms of develop time. Adventure mode probably needed a redesign of the whole server architecture to work. And Rifts represents probably the most random level design that have ever been created in a video game. It’s far beyond what d2 had to be honest. Even outdoor areas are random with random lighting, random destructible objects and level sizes, everything.”

    Sorry, what?! Most of those systems were already implemented in D3 (partial randomization of enemy placement, chests, destructible object or map tiles). If by this -> “the most random level design” you meant the same static/semi-dynamic maps with different monsters (already in D3) and chests (already in D3) and ambient light colour (maybe this is the killer feature) then I don’t know what to say.

  5. Did Wyatt say why there would never be a dips meter implemented?

    Seems like a silly thing to outright refuse.

    • He said that the characters skills are more complex than just a plain DPS number, and it would create strife where everyone on the team would focus purely on DPS and nothing else.

      His response to DPS meters was tiered rifts will effectively measure the same thing by timing how quickly you are able to defeat each rift and showing how far you can progress in the system, it’s like a DPS meter.

      • sheet dps can be quite misleading in Loot 2.0 and even more so in RoS, since it can’t account for bonuses to specific elemental types or skills. Once people get into the gear and really optimize their chars, some will have more than +100% damage to a skill or skills, on top of whatever their paper DPS shows.

        I’d like to see my actual DPS in game — like if you were in town and held down CTRL plus a skill, the paper DPS would show the damage with that one — but I can see that causing issues in party dps display. You’d never know for sure if someone was using that skill correctly in game, etc.

        • Totally agree.

          But instead of changing the sheet dps while hovering over a skill and press ctrl, you could just show the dps of that skill right in the tool tip.

          Also, they should list the different + elemental skill dmg in the detailed character view. And while hovering over each individual stat you should see the dps of that specific element.

          My wizard have +78% fire skill dmg, +30% dmg against elites, and +~10% to my two most used skills. This means that I will have more than double my current sheet dps against elites. This turns DPS into a very misleading stat.

  6. The Devil’s Hand sounds really like a good idea.

    If certain bosses only appear to certain known locations (not randomly) and on a random day or time, then this is surely reintroduces the thrill of monster hunting.

  7. Wonder what the numbers of people playing ros are like compared to d3 launch day/night.

    • Probably considerably lower. D3 has gotten a lot of hate in the past two years. While the promo event weeks leading up to the expansion brought a lot of former fans, there were a ton of would-be fans who were unaware. I evangelized to friends and family “The game is actually good now” during the promo v2.0 weeks, but there were many former fans I talked to who were unaware, and/or uninterested in coming back after the burn that was D3.

  8. QUOTE

    Probably considerably lower. D3 has gotten a lot of hate in the past two years. While the promo event weeks leading up to the expansion brought a lot of former fans, there were a ton of would-be fans who were unaware. I evangelized to friends and family "The game is actually good now" during the promo v2.0 weeks, but there were many former fans I talked to who were unaware, and/or uninterested in coming back after the burn that was D3.

    They don’t even need to buy anything to see some of the changes – patch 2+ have made some very positively-received changes. It’s not as if they have anything to lose by giving it a try especially as they have already invested the money in buying D3 back along.

    • you’d be surprised how stubborn some people are I guess Elly. At least among the people I call friends. Especially among those who are only luke-warm interested in gaming: they don’t like grappling with the idea that diablo 3 could be dramatically better now than it once was. You might say they’re not very adventurous people in that sense.

    • I played path of exile for about 8-9hrs, its just numb to me compared to the diablo world. But there are quite a number of people now who have invested time and money into it and won’t be coming back too soon. Its not to say bad on D3v2, not at all. Its just an opportunity lost by one and gained by another.

  9. I, Clavdivs, The God predicted correctly that this is a beta2, and refused to pay for it until it is finished!

    “There were numerous questions asked at the event but sadly Josh’s mic was broken for 50% of it and his replies came out like a garbled mess”

    Fun and facts: The EXACT same thing happened to Asmodan and the majority of other demons, except for 100% of the time, so Blizzard had to use reverb and other effects. Josh disliked the idea, but wasn’t on the team at the time. He was later fine with it. No other team members were against it.

  10. I refused to pay $40 for a hotfix worth of content, some half-assed “fixes” to a completely broken loot system, and still unfulfilled promises in regards to content (PvP).

    I’ll be honest and say I was enticed and a bit excited when 2.0 came out and I picked up D3 after 1.5 years of hiatus and was instantly impressed. I was finding 15 legendaries a day (that means maybe 1 or 2 useful ones a week, mind you) and the paragon levels were flying right on by with the community bonus. (I did about 20 CoTA runs, but I am really not the kind of person who enjoys that kind of thing)

    To be honest, I was sold. I was addicted all over again. I was telling my friends who played D3 with me at launch that it was so great, but they all told me, “**** Blizzard I’m not gonna buy that ****.” However, right before I was ready to pony up that $40 (I still viewed it as unfair to charge for this but I was having fun) they went and did what they always do — nerf EVERYTHING into the ground. Suddenly, I was getting a legendary every 2-3 hours and when 99% of them are trash that is just not acceptable, Core run exp (not COTA mind you) hit rock bottom, and I Just was not having fun all over again.

    Let’s also look at it from an objective perspective. RoS does not offer much content, it comes along with a “fix” to loot that is anything but (same problems of boring itemization plague Loot 2.0, except maybe you’ll get decent DPS or main stat on your items but there are no cool affixes at all) and the game is still the cartoony brony-inspired bull**** that Jay Wilson **** out 2 years ago. D3 is fundamentally flawed and it cannot be fixed by anything. It’s supposed to be a horror game but it’s anything but scary. Good luck with those ladders, by the way, coming in the “first major content patch.” Old fatass told us the same thing about PvP at launch, didn’t he? Now, they won’t even address it in a Q&A. The questions they asked were all fluff, but we knew it was gonna be that from the start.

    The one thing that made watching the dev Q&A worthwhile was to see what an ugly troll that CM is in real life. THAT HAIR, wow just wow.

  11. QUOTE

    I refused to pay $40 for a hotfix worth of content, some half-assed "fixes" to a completely broken loot system, and still unfulfilled promises in regards to content (PvP).
    
    I'll be honest and say I was enticed and a bit excited when 2.0 came out and I picked up D3 after 1.5 years of hiatus and was instantly impressed. I was finding 15 legendaries a day (that means maybe 1 or 2 useful ones a week, mind you) and the paragon levels were flying right on by with the community bonus. (I did about 20 CoTA runs, but I am really not the kind of person who enjoys that kind of thing)
    
    To be honest, I was sold. I was addicted all over again. I was telling my friends who played D3 with me at launch that it was so great, but they all told me, "**** Blizzard I'm not gonna buy that ****." However, right before I was ready to pony up that $40 (I still viewed it as unfair to charge for this but I was having fun) they went and did what they always do -- nerf EVERYTHING into the ground.  Suddenly, I was getting a legendary every 2-3 hours and when 99% of them are trash that is just not acceptable, Core run exp (not COTA mind you) hit rock bottom, and I Just was not having fun all over again.
    
    Let's also look at it from an objective perspective. RoS does not offer much content, it comes along with a "fix" to loot that is anything but (same problems of boring itemization plague Loot 2.0, except maybe you'll get decent DPS or main stat on your items but there are no cool affixes at all) and the game is still the cartoony brony-inspired bull**** that Jay Wilson **** out 2 years ago. D3 is fundamentally flawed and it cannot be fixed by anything. It's supposed to be a horror game but it's anything but scary. Good luck with those ladders, by the way, coming in the "first major content patch." Old fatass told us the same thing about PvP at launch, didn't he? Now, they won't even address it in a Q&A. The questions they asked were all fluff, but we knew it was gonna be that from the start.
    
    The one thing that made watching the dev Q&A worthwhile was to see what an ugly troll that CM is in real life. THAT HAIR, wow just wow.

    Diablo is meant to be a horror game?

    This is bad comedy.

  12. ROS is an improvement and the latest announcement is even better. No word on pvp yet?

  13. As long as ladder items are aesthetic only.

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