Adventure Mode vs. Campaign Mode in Reaper of Souls

One of the big questions since we saw the Diablo 3 reveals at Blizzcon… why will anyone ever play Story/Campaign Mode again once DiabloWikiAdventure 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:

I am aware that we can do campaign mode again and again if we feel like it, but will it be viable, levelling wise as compared to adventure mode? Or will adventure mode definitely be superior in terms of levelling (and farming)?
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.

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18 thoughts on “Adventure Mode vs. Campaign Mode in Reaper of Souls

  1. Sounds like they’re happy for people to just play through Campaign/Story mode once to experience the story before they hit Adventure mode – sounds good to me! 🙂

  2. My take is CM is already a part of the game (programming-wise) so they see no need to change it (apart from the name). AM is part of the new ‘end game’ we’ve all been looking for.

    • It’s going to be really weird and non-functional because once you get to level 70, then what?

      Monster power was a brilliant system – I don’t know how any kind of automatic difficulty scaling is going to work.

      • I am also concerned about automatic difficulty scaling. From a general sense, two characters of the same level can have varying degrees of power (twinking equipment, gems, level requirement reduced gear, etc.). This difference in power can be quite large at our current level cap of 60 between the “rich” and the “poor” players. Hopefully, the new difficulty settings will address this well.

        Also, this automatic difficulty scaling concerns me in regards to multiplayer. Will we find multiplayer games only with players of the same level? Will difficulty also scale with paragon levels after the level cap is reached?

        • It’s not really going to change much.

          The new system is going to have monsters always equal to your level, then they get buffed based on the difficulty you choose (NORMAL, NIGHTMARE, HELL, INFERNO, TERROR).

          Essentially it will only feel different for characters that aren’t max level.

  3. I just hope Neph. Rifts are a SPECIAL place, not just cuz its random with monsters and the layout, we have that in whimsyshire, its cool to go once or twice, but after that, rarely you want to go back to, since it isnt that worthy.
    I hope Neph Rifts are special for any reason, being good exp, gold, drops, all of them, doesnt matter, even if you have to complete 25 bounties to get a Key…Make it special…Or it’ll fall flat after a week.

    • For me the fact that you can fight Act Bosses together with random Elites makes them special enough. I also really like that instead of just randomizing the layout of the levels the weather and color scheme is also random.

      • Random is nice, but in the end we are a type of gamer that really plays for the rewards, we want the loot, the exp, the WORTHY time.
        Yes, playing on random layouts and monsters is really nice and fun, but untill when ? What if doing someone else, less fun, but more reward is found, be honest with urself, if SOME HOW lets say farming act 2 in X place gives you double exp/loot and or gold, would you still keep doing rifts ?

        I just hope they are special enough, rewarding wise, so it doesnt become another whismyshire, which is cool, original, unique, and…after 2 times, not worth..

        • Frankly, I think this kind of attitude is really crazy. The whole point of playing a video game is to have fun with it; if you go somewhere boring to farm, then no matter whether or not the loot is better, the game will be boring. What’s the point of playing when the game is boring; why not simply go play another game?

          Personally, I never really had this kind of problem with D3. Back when the Alkaiser run was the big thing, I still played the other acts because act III got really boring after a bunch of runs. It may not have been efficient, but it was better than burning out and losing interest for good. Frankly, a lot of life is a boring slog through work, work and more work; why would you want to subject yourself to more of the same during your leisure time? Even if you like all that work, why not simply go get more hours, to get more cash, instead of slogging through boring work in a videogame that doesn’t reward you in real life?

          Beyond that, in terms of the rifts themselves, I get the feeling that Nephalem Rifts are designed to be more of a kind of ‘inmates are running the asylum’ kind of gameplay than the regular game. The screenshots Blizzard has shown so far shows all kinds of act areas and colors combined haphazardly (I saw Whimseyshire rainbows in an otherwise dark red-looking version of Act II Dahlgur Oasis), and the monsters are explicitly randomized to have crazy combinations that would be unsustainable in normal gameplay. On top of that, as HardRock noted, you can fight Act Bosses with regular mobs, and the shrine effects inside the rifts are intentionally crazy and off-the-wall. I get the feeling that the purpose of Nephalem Rifts is less to be a super-rewarding ‘farm here!’ level, and more of ‘this is what it would be like if the Prime Evils took orders from The Joker.’ Maybe I’m completely wrong, but that’s the way it looked to me. Perhaps that’s completely unappetizing to you, and you just want super loot drops, regardless of game enjoyability, but to me, this kind of unique, all-in crazy kind of game play seems a lot more fun.

  4. Flux you forgot to ask Blizzard people about the difficulty settings. They have those 5 difficulty settings, but do they keep mp?
    With mp you can “tune” the difficulty much closer to the “sweet spot” of your character.

  5. Dynamic difficulty has been tried already. Remember how people complained about it in Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls. No one wants the monsters to always scale with you. Becomes unexciting and boring.

    Not that I know how Blizzard will approach this, but I strongly suspect they will continue to make mistakes.

  6. I’ve been wondering that since they’ve mentioned those new settings.

    It seems to me they’re dropping the whole MP. If I’m not mistaken, some blue said during BlizzCon that the MP concept “has already served its pourpose”.

    Ok, then. Let’s assume they’re spreading the MP concepts into these new difficulties and removing the MP options. How will they handle ubers and key drops?

  7. Auto-scaling sucks yeah.
    The huge difference between D3 and Oblivion is that D3 really isnt about lvl 1-70. Unfortunately they made that just an annoying step toward the real game. So auto-scale might not really matter. Even though the reason it wont matter is a sad one.

    Sacred 2 had auto-scaling as well, and it sucked there too, but that game also allowed people to get the monsters to lvl faster than theselves for added challenges and rewards, so at least it wasnt as linear as this.

    • When they announced Inferno, that’s exactly what I thought it was going to be (minus Rifts).

      Why are people “worried” about nobody playing Campaign? What’s there worth to save? Should D2 give you extra gold/gems/XP every time you stay awhile and listen to all the dumb NPC chatter? I mean, sitting through the drivel is tougher and more demanding than most of the combat, but still.

  8. dynamic difficulty is not a new concept nor necessarily bad. godhand is one of the best examples of dynamic difficulty done right. in any event, the problem with traditional difficulty levels is subjective difficulty. the general theory behind dynamic difficulty is it allows the game to lessen the sting of subjective difficulty by adjusting in real-time to allow experienced and inexperienced players to enjoy the same content, but without the former finding it boring and the latter finding it frustrating. of course, that’s just the theory and as McKan and ShadoutMapes noted ymmv depending on how it’s implemented.

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