One of the big questions since we saw the Diablo 3 reveals at Blizzcon… why will anyone ever play Story/Campaign Mode again once Adventure Mode goes live? I asked this exact question to several D3 devs in casual conversation at Blizzcon, and they all admitted that AM was spectacularly profitable and fun, but did not concede that it would be the only way to play once RoS was released.
Lylirra echoed that tune in a forum post today, so let’s witness her reasoning:
Lylirra: In terms of overall experience, rewards, density, and difficulty, we’re working to have Campaign Mode and Adventure Mode be relatively comparable with one another. Even so, we anticipate that most players will probably want to farm Adventure Mode over Campaign Mode, since the open world environment lends itself much better to that kind of playstyle. And, honestly, we think that’s fine.
Campaign Mode is there for players who enjoy playing through the story of Diablo III and having a linear path. Adventure Mode, on the other hand, is there for players who want explore at their own pace. You can freely switch between the two modes whenever you want, so it’s all about what kind of experience you’re looking for at a particular point in time.
And I know I’ve seen this question before, so let me go ahead and answer it now: yes, we believe that players will still want to play through Campaign Mode, even given the option between it and Adventure Mode. We don’t imagine that they’ll replay it nearly as often as Adventure Mode, though; but again…that’s totally okay by us. At its core, Adventure Mode is being designed to be replayed over and over, whereas Campaign Mode is all about the immersion and that singular, linear narrative.
inb4 people begin complaining that having an adventure mode that is more rewarding than campaign mode is unfair to casual players because they are required to actually complete the game.
Lylirra: At the moment, players are not actually required to complete the entire game in Campaign Mode before unlocking Adventure Mode. Whether or not it stays that way is another matter, but for the moment we’re allowing you to unlock each Act, one by one. So, complete Act I in Campaign Mode on one of your characters, now you’ve got Act I unlocked in Adventure Mode. Complete Act II on one of your characters in Campaign, boom — Acts I and II are now unlocked in Adventure Mode. And so on. Completing an Act in Campaign Mode would also unlock that Act in Adventure Mode for all your characters on your account, not just the one who completed in Campaign Mode.
We’re still experimenting with this pretty heavily, though, so I’d imagine some changes to be made to how Adventure Mode is accessed before we ship. This is just our current thinking. 🙂
In adventure mode, you are given the choice to go between any act you would like, and currently in the campaign mode of the game determines the level of the monsters based on what act you’re in. For example, if you’re in Act I, the game might have monsters from levels 1 to 10, but act 2 might have monsters from levels 10 to 15. (Just making these numbers up right now)
Lylirra: Monsters level up with you — we call it “dynamic difficulty” — but I don’t have an answer for you just yet on the specific questions highlighted above (since the new system is still undergoing lots of tuning and tweaking). We’ll be doing a whole “First Look” write-up on the difficulty changes pretty soon here that should help explain everything, though!
Obviously our picture of the game from just the lvl 33 chars in the demo is very incomplete, but based on my hours of playtime at Blizzcon, I have trouble imagining how CM can hold a candle to AM in profits, fun, variety, exp gain, etc. And that view is held by the other players I’ve talked to about it; I just recorded a podcast with Wolfpaq and Neinball tonight, and we just about had to hose ourselves down to stop ranting on about how awesome and profitable AM was and how we’d be playing for hours a day right now if they implemented it into D3V.
There were obviously some extenuating factors at Blizzcon with better drop rates for the demo, guaranteed legendary drops from most quest bosses (since they counted as the first drop from that boss for your character), a lack of +exp gear making the exp from Bounties a bigger part of your total exp earned, players rushing through areas just to find Bounties in the limited twenty-minute play sessions, etc. That said, AM seemed at least 3-5x more profitable than CM in terms of gold, exp, and items, and barring big reductions to the rewards from AM events and bounties, I find it had to see that changing.