Blizzard Considering Diablo 3 Ladders

Wyatt Cheng spoke a bit about the joys of Diablo 3 ladders during his recent live stream conversation, and yesterday Lylirra fleshed out the topic, asking for fan input on what sort of features and functions you’d like to see in a Diablo 3 ladder.

What exactly would you want from a ladder system? For example:

  • How would you ideally like that system to work?
  • How long would you like the resets to be?
  • How many characters do you think players should be able to create for ladders? (Do you think they should take up the existing slots you have?)
  • Should there be an auction house for ladder characters?
  • Should there be any special items or perks for ladder-only characters? If so, what kind?
  • What kind of restrictions, if any, should be placed on ladder characters?
  • Do think players should be able to bring their ladder characters into “non-ladder” once a reset is complete?
  • Is it necessary for ladders to be competitive, or is it enough for players to just see for themselves how far they can go on their own?
  • Why would ladders improve your in-game experience?
  • Muertdogg’s post is actually a great example of feedback that’s great for me to pass on. I love the pro/con breakdown he provided for all the different types of ladder options out there, and why each option is meaningful (or not meaningful) for him as a player. Would love to see more discussion along those lines. 🙂

    Lylirra started off by quoting Wyatt’s livestream ladder comments, but no need to read them all since they’re quite simple to sum up. He said there are two fun aspects of ladder wipes: 1) starting a new char and finding constant upgrades if you’re self-found and untwinked, and 2) the fun of racing to level up and see your name in lights.

    Those are both valid points, but the one I think most people like best would be numbered 1.5, and it’s the theoretical experience of entering a clean, fresh, legit, balanced, even economy. You don’t have a bunch of gear and characters, and neither does anyone else. This is basically a version of the main point most people stress about what they want in an DiabloWikiIronborn mode. Equality. Anyone can just go self found on their own right now, but the real fun is having an economy, an ecosystem of other who are following the same rule set as you. Being self found is a lot less fun when you’re joining games with chars who have 10x your DPS thanks to the AH.

    A while back IncGamers was told by an inside source that the Diablo 3 team have been planning to add a ladder system into the game but there was no timeframe as to when it would happen. The idea was to also run the ladders without the ability to utilise the auction house.

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    52 thoughts on “Blizzard Considering Diablo 3 Ladders

    1. If the central appeal is the idea of a “clean” or “unspoiled” economy, then at the very least any ladder should be free of the RMAH. In general, I’d also think it’d be a good idea to do things to limit AH “flipping”. (Someone here once suggested making items only sellable on the AH once which I think is a great idea for the whole game, but doing it at least for ladders would be a good start.)

      Otherwise my only thought is that ladder-only items are lame (unless it’s just vanity stuff). Restricting items to a segment of the population is pointless.

    2. I dont frequent these sites often but I wanted to comment on “self found” This is how I played D2 and now D3. I think it makes the game more challenging and I didnt really release that other people played this way with how much people talk about the auction house that I have never visited. The draw of incredible gear is tempting but I would think it takes something away from the experience? I realize this post is related to the ladder system but just wanted to agree that the auction house must dramatically shift the gameplay in favour of those that use it.

      • You are right Sir! I built one character with help of the AH, now PL 72, max damage 380k, and I simply bored with it! Now started new character and only using items I found or created, and without hype for fast paragon leveling, it makes the game fun!

    3. I’d love a ladder system, I like starting over fresh and I know this would get a lot of my friends who stopped playing come back at least for a while now and then. If “resetting” my account was possible and it would bring my friends back I would do it in an instant.
      Ideally some sort of restriction on AH would be great so the temptation is not too big. At the moment it’s like a big bag of candy, I know I will feel sick and not enjoy it as much if I eat too much, but it’s hard to resist.
      1-2 auctions person or some “binds to account on purchase” mechanism would help matters I think, especially with a ladder system with resets every 6-12 months.

      • And of course greatly increased chance of actually getting an upgrade yourself via crafting and loot.

    4. About bloody time.
      A ladder in D3 might even get me back into it for a while. Here is what we need in ladder :

      An updated list of the 500 highest level characters in each realm, First to 60, then paragon 100.
      An overall list and then one list for each character class. The 10 first players to reach the max level get rewards,
      and the players who’s names are on top at the end of ladder are entered into a hall of fame logbook, which
      will be added to with each successive ladder season and can be viewed in-game and online.

      Rune items (socket-able items like gems but with random and sometimes powerful attributes) should be a ladder only feature, along with the ability to add sockets to items. Runes could : add chance to block, dodge, move speed, slow enemies etc etc.

      At the end of ladder, all characters and items are moved to non-ladder, where the economies would mix and rune items would be more valuable.

      Most importantly : LADDER CHARACTERS MUST HAVE UNIQUE NAMES. Blizzard failed hard with Battlenet 2, lets try and heap as many fixes into ladder as possible.

      You should be able to duel other characters on the list for experience. Loosing a duel would send you down the list, whereas winning would move you up.

    5. There is nothing wrong with the gold AH, and really wouldn’t be in a ladder system, because the economy is constantly reset, meaning items would never be worth 20+ billion gold.

      The problem with the RMAH, is that people just buy things, and are instantly geared out and richer than 99% of the playerbase. They then have no upgrades and just accumulate wealth, and thus overinflates the economy.

      There is nothing stopping people from doing RL money transactions on a ladder of course, but at least if it didn’t have the RMAH, it wouldn’t be as big an issue.

      • 1.No AH for ladders and all items BOA; keep bots away;
        2.SC/HC ladders; the end of the ladder, chars should be dropped to the Standard realms, with all items BOA;
        4.Make ladder available only after the itemization patch.

        Do this and I’ll be happy

    6. I love the idea to reset, otherwise things get stale.

      But, I would want RMAH available. If I find something good early, I want to be able to sell it for cash easily.

      Make every item on the ladder account bound on equip (for dropped items) and purchase (from auction house). This will allow unused items to leave the system, still have a viable auction house, and allow me to make money early on in the ladder on stuff I find. It will also not put a restriction on trading, so that will actually be a use for it now.

      • No, skill trees are boring and too permanent. Ideally, they would make a system that’s between D3’s and D2’s. D3’s system is too open un-permanent while D2’s is the opposite. I feel like the middle would be the best place for the game.

          • Indeed, really all blizzard needs to do to appeal to the “too permanent” aspect is just have a system where a player has to collect raw materials (such as demonic essences) and use gold to “reset” their skill points, the more you do this though the more expensive it becomes thus also creating a nice gold dump.

            • NO thx, I want to respec constantly, and having to pay each time would just be a disaster.

              I have different specs for all my game types:

              Solo low MP
              Solo high MP
              Multiplayer low MP
              Multiplayer high MP
              Key hunting
              et c

              Why should I be punished for tweaking my skills to be more party friendly when playing multiplayer games???

              The whole concept of limiting my skill use is just retarded.

              The concept of open skill use, like D3 has now is perfect.

      • Skill trees were a horrible, pointless idea. Probably the worst design decision in all of D2.

        • Then even the worst decision in D2 is still better than the best decision in D3.

          Skill trees made it fun to level. D3’s system allows for zero inter-class identity and it stifles itemization. Period.

    7. Wooohoooo, nice to here after never ending “no ladder” speaking.

      This is one thing, the bring back a little challenging thing to d3, knock out AH for those games, soft and hardcore and beginn to rething your opinion about level 60 MAX. Open it and we nearly have a D2 feeling…

      I look forwaed, what this discussion brings to us…

      • For the universe’s sake, stop living in the past. You only hinder progress if we don’t focus on what we have now.

    8. The game is another step closer to becomming “as good as D2:LoD”. Well MAYBE since an idea this mind shattering will probably take them decades worth of meetings to implement.

    9. For fuck sake; I’ve had 1000 hours playtime and i havent found a single fucking item that’s decent, not even a trifecta nor the trio on rare weapons nor ANY decent legendaries. I’ve said to myself finally today, what’s the fucking point? i’m having no fun just killing numbers of monsters and picking up only 1% of the loot dropped i.e. weapons and rings; ending up even more dissapointed when the loot is SO so so so so abysmal, it’s so disheartening, i’ve kept playing to keep up the player base hoping for change but there hasn’t and they havent listened to us at all. I can’t believe EA have been given the title of the most hated company, I had a problem with my EA games and they sorted it out after a phone call. Blizzard? nothing, no change, just complete fanbase of fanboy denial. Diablo 3 is a dying game, it’s a fact now; if they fixed itemization it would be molten gold by now.

    10. I suggested before that a ladder would be the best place IMO to implement an AH-free ‘ironborn’ mode that only allowed player trading. Probably best if the characters are ported to non-ladder once the season is reset.

      They’d also need perks/incentives, like ladder-only items or recipes, but those could also port back once the season is complete (becoming account bound?)

      Separate character slots and stash. I already have 10 chars (one of each class in SC and HC) so I’m not deleting those or buying another copy just for ladder. Itemization needs to be fixed as well. I found exactly 1 legendary leveling the 5 classes to 60 so that sucked.

      If those were there, I would play almost exclusively HC ladder. I miss the re-start from level 1 on a clean economy and first few days of racing up. I would never grind Plvls to make the upper tier, but still fun to do. I think this portion of the article sums it up:

      “Anyone can just go self found on their own right now, but the real fun is having an economy, an ecosystem of other who are following the same rule set as you. Being self found is a lot less fun when you’re joining games with chars who have 10x your DPS thanks to the AH.”

    11. I know a lot of people don’t like Path Of Exile, but their ladder system is excellent.

      They have more than just two ladders (hardcore/softcore) going on at the same time.

      They have ladders with special rules.
      They just started a 4 month hardcore ladder where monsters move, attack and cast faster.
      They’ve removed some unique (legendary) items from this ladder to encourage even more diverse play styles and builds.

      And PoE has constant short term ladders (races actually) between 30 minutes and one week long.
      And these races have all kinds of special rules: use life instead of mana to cast spells, monsters cast multiple projectiles, monsters do extra damage …

      If D3 had a race and ladder system like PoE it would be the greatest thing ever

    12. I’d love to see a ladder system similar to that of D2, with some tweaks.

      Ideally a 4-6month or so ladder season. I think this is a pretty good amount of time to invest in a set of new characters, work up to the point of farming inferno, finding some good loot etc, without the economy becoming totally swamped and trashed. I think it works best to have the ladder items/characters transfer over to non ladder afterwards, rather than just deleting all the progress anyone has made entirely. It’d be fun to have some ladder only items (perhaps runes as someone above me suggested, or maybe some ladder only legendaries. Maybe a high level set specific to each ladder season? That’d promote some item/build diversity in each ladder season, as well as adding some real post ladder value to the items found during each season.

      I don’t know that 10 slots is enough for too many seasons, including non-ladder characters, perhaps add some character slots, for a total of 15-20, with chars being retained after each season as non ladders. I’m all for a ladder specific AH. I don’t know/care about the RMAH, since I play hardcore, but a gold auction house specific to ladder characters would be great. If it were taken out, people would just resort to other means to the same end (the site which must not be named and its funny gold would take over, the same way it did in D2).

      A ranking system would be great. If people don’t care about it, that’s fine, and if they do, that’s an added incentive. Similar to D2 ladders, the folks who want to race up the ladders can, and the rest of us don’t have to strive to be in the top 10 or whatever it may be. It’d also be fun because people could track the progress of those at the top as the season goes on, see what kind of loot the top characters have, what their paragon levels are, etc.

      As everyone has already said, the real bonus to a ladder season is a chance to play with a fresh economy. Current ‘non ladder’ economy problems aside, it’s always fun to play in a fresh economy, where no high end items exist, and everyone is on a level playing field. It’s a very different experience from everyone playing decked out characters worth many millions. Both are fun, but the option to choose which you’d prefer, with the economy resetting every couple of months would be amazing.

    13. “Is it necessary for ladders to be competitive, or is it enough for players to just see for themselves how far they can go on their own?”

      Umm, You really dont know? This question worries me…

      • Ya the dev team, as smart and talented as they are, really don’t get what made D2 fun and so successful. It’s funny because in the future when they put all this shit in that people have asked for since before BETA the devs will be tweeting and relishing at how “awesome” and “fun” the new ladder system is or x and x.

    14. I think ladder is a great idea, with its own gold-only AH. Both ladder and non-ladder should be able to use the same items (I hated not being able to use ladder only items in D2). AH users an Self Found players can play together (but can play separately using the tags) but their ladder rankings should be separate, save for the overall one (basically there should be all-players, self-found, and AH users).

    15. Wow finally listening to the players and ex players that a ladder system is good. about time.

      They need to look at how PoE has done their ladder system. Simply amazing on almost every front. Key things the ladder system CANNOT have is RMAH. gold auction house is debatable and I honestly think its fine. RMAH. f that loser

      Get a good ladder system, fix itemization, add more customization to builds. Perhaps paragon levels and reintroduction of rune ranks through that and a remotely decent pvp and I’ll play d3 again like crazy. Adding a few more things like end game content etc are icing on the cake, but a ladder is a necessity.

    16. ladder is a great way to mak sweeping changes to items without directly ruining rmah gear.

      ladder should feature:
      better quality items that drop less often
      new interesting items, espcially for.low levels
      no rmah
      tweaks to gold ah to greatly limit flipping – allow auctions to run for more than 36 hr, and if your item doez not sell on ah, you get vendor price for the item

      I like the poe idea of tweaks to monsters as well

    17. I’m all for having the ladder be Ironborn. Utterly sick of the AH. If not then at the very least they need to do a ton of work on the itemization front. While I don’t like PoE as a game, they have a bunch of great ideas and systems in place for this sort of thing. They keep switching things up which obviously keeps the game fresh for those who like it.

      I wish Blizzard would get off their high horse and stop saying things like they don’t want to divide the player population. Guess what: I’m not even playing. Nobody I know is playing. Just add a bunch of reasonable options and people can decide what to play be it softcore hardcore ladder nonladder ironborn ah etc.

      I imagine the longer ladder seasons being 4 months or so. I’ve always thought of Diablo as a somewhat competitive game, so obviously I expect rankings and stats to track my own and everyone elses progress. Also when the ladder season finishes the characters should have the option to move into non-ladder. That said, I haven’t played the game in 7 months and I’m still 10/10 chars so obviously they need to add more slots.

      To be honest if they would just get their shit together and actually get things going, I wouldn’t mind the addition of microtransactions to the game. Additional character slots and stash pages would be simple to make happen through a system like that. Ripping this from PoE but I just think it’s silly we still have to deal with mules and whatnot.

    18. I don’t care one iota what a ladder system would feature as I’ll never play in it.
      My only concern is that there be no ladder only content like items or end game quests or whatever. That’s the thing I hated the most about the D2 ladder – the ladder only items.
      Splitting up the player base is another unfortunate side effect, but we can’t have everything, can we?

    19. Unless there is no player trading of any kind whatsoever (P2P, drop trading, or AH), then the RMAH of 3rd party sites will be back in full force all over again. In order for any Ironborn mode to work, there cannot be any sharing of any kind between accounts (mules and alts are a-okay). I thought we learned this lesson in D2. Yeah, brand new ladders, that’s a way to prevent people from paying cash for items, just like D2…

    20. I’ve been playing from release day!
      I play HC only!
      I have crap luck when it comes to finding items so at the moment I have just over 30 mil gold.

      In D2 at first, ladder (L) and non-ladder (NL) could play in the same games, that was fine for me. Then it was changed so they couldn’t. When that was done, everyone left the NL and want to the new L! So there was no-one left to trade with for people like myself that don’t bother with the L!

      The last thing I want is to finally find a good item to sell on the AH, then have everyone quit just to go to the next season!
      I quit playing D2 not long after people started doing that.

      Maybe it could work for me if the L only went for 1 week out of every month, then everyone dropped back to NL again so there was more items on the AH, otherwise id just quit playing and my friend who play’s HC only would do the same!

      All the L comes down to in reality is who has the most time to play, that’s just stupid imo.
      (maybe put a timer on it so you could only play your L for ‘any’ 1hour out of every 24h, that way the time length would be equal for everyone, and there wouldn’t be an advantage based on the time zone.)

    21. I would have done D2 ladder differently.

      I would have offered a elite quest at level 99. IF you complete it, you get reset back to level 1, and a chance to choose ONE of several unique items, skills, spells, features, etc. that can ONLY be obtained by completing the level 99 quest. You can then race back up to level 99 on the same char and do the level 99 quest again, and get reset back to level 1 again.

      Ladder would then rank characters FIRST by how many times they got reset to level 1, and SECOND by character level. So A level 35 necro who has reset once is higher in the ladder than a level 97 sorc who has never reset.

      Likewise, I’d do something similar to D3, like perhaps offer a reset quest to character that hit paragon 100. They get reset to level 1 AND paragon 0, in return for selecting ONE of a list of various unique items, skills, and spells.

      You could still do ladder seasons, but they would probably have to be at least 9 months.

    22. QUOTE

      I don't care one iota what a ladder system would feature as I'll never play in it.
      My only concern is that there be no ladder only content like items or end game quests or whatever. That's the thing I hated the most about the D2 ladder - the ladder only items.
      Splitting up the player base is another unfortunate side effect, but we can't have everything, can we?

      Technically, the ladder only items in D2 were not ladder only. At the end of the ladder season, all items and chars got moved to non ladder. So if you wanted ladder only items on non ladder, you either had to play 1 season on ladder, or trade for them on non ladder.

    23. I can tell you that the non ladder play on D2 can actually be busy. A lot of people play ladder seasons for the purpose of building up their non ladder warchest in D2. I was just on non ladder a new minutes ago on USWest and there was over a page of games.

    24. I hope some of my gear is still out there. Used to drop game (multiple)everything and delete all characters the day before ladder reset. Cathartic, yet sad. However, the reactions as I stripped my toons was obvious. WOOT!

    25. What exactly would you want from a ladder system? For example:

      How would you ideally like that system to work?

      Ladder reset. New ladder start from scratch. All previous ladder characters moved into non-ladder.

      How long would you like the resets to be?

      6 Months.

      How many characters do you think players should be able to create for ladders? (Do you think they should take up the existing slots you have?)

      Maximum 50 characters per account (ladder/non ladder)

      Should there be an auction house for ladder characters?

      Sure. That way prices for basic items will sky rocket at start making more money for Blizzard and hopefully they can buy ideas from other companies and not make so terrible games.

      Should there be any special items or perks for ladder-only characters?
      If so, what kind?

      I can’t think of any.

      What kind of restrictions, if any, should be placed on ladder characters?

      None I can think of.

      Do think players should be able to bring their ladder characters into “non-ladder” once a reset is complete?
      Yes, they should automatically go to non-ladder servers where they remain until the player deletes them.

      Is it necessary for ladders to be competitive, or is it enough for players to just see for themselves how far they can go on their own?

      Ladder will become competitive without stupid interactions from Blizzard.
      Let the player base establish their own motivation and economy and Blizzard will profit from it instead of making a pg13 rated game with toddlers mechanics. For the love of Satan, bring back a skill tree and let adults enjoy the game instead. We’re the ones that buy stuff anyways, I mean omg don’t Blizzard have any clue at all!!!

      Why would ladders improve your in-game experience?

      The reset will bring back the “I can do it” feeling.
      It’s fresh, people playing are alive.

      Just gotta mention that D3 suck balls, most boring crap I’ve played for a long long time. So this wont do much to boost it until they fix the fundamentals like the child-like playstyle with the skill system.

    26. QUOTE

      Limiting how much people play? :-
      Those who are wealthiest are those who have the most time to play.  It just makes sense: those who work for it, earn it.
      Most of the people I used to play with that have stopped playing: they left because of boredom.  That's what happens after you've "beaten" a game and have nothing left to do.
      The draw of the ladder is a fresh start for everyone.  Everyone has an equal chance of doing well from the start and building their wealth.  Since everyone has to start over it just makes it more interesting.  This is one of the reasons that D2 is still relevant.  People love that feeling and it would revive D3 like nothing else has.
      sent from my GalaxySIII

      Now if only it were actually like that. Instead people hated starting over, and went out of their way to avoid doing so. Expect a resurgence of JSP and more RMAH/3rd party sales if ladders ever happen.

      And why not? Baal runs or Alkaizer runs don’t get less repetitive if you restart your counter from zero. It just means you have to do even more of what you’re already tired of doing.

    27. QUOTE

      1.No AH for ladders and all items BOA; keep bots away;
      2.SC/HC ladders; the end of the ladder, chars should be dropped to the Standard realms, with all items BOA;
      4.Make ladder available only after the itemization patch.

      These 4 things, with number 1, being the most important, is also how I feel. Bind on Account wound be a tremendous step for the game. No bots. No AH mega-inflation (or deflation too).

    28. NO AH for ladder, I think the AH will undermine the integrity of ladder just like it already undermines item progression now it will undermine people who get “lucky” on the AH when they should be getting lucky in-game killing monsters.
      Ladder seasons should be maybe 4 months? 6 seems a bit too long – only 2 seasons per year ehhhh no.

      Also for any Blizzard employees lurking here, please tell the devs to add the character avatars into a chat system like D2’s. Bnet .2 needs to become bnet 2.0 in its socialization features. Since you guys want to appeal to the casual market just like the hardcore implementing strong online social features is just as important, even as a hardcore gamer myself I enjoy good social features that bring players together and that doesn’t mean just a good match making system.

    29. I actually would want a RMAH for the same reason I wanted one the first time: To sell stuff, not to buy stuff. The occasional economy reset would be more likely for me to find something early and be able to sell it above it’s eventual market value. Due to cell phone incompatibility I have not actually sold anything on the RMAH yet, but an economy reset would actually make me interested in getting some cheap phone to use just for the RMAH because I would be much more likely to get a good return on investment.

      Once the RMAH becomes such a big factor that the majority of the people on the ladder have bought their gear from it, reset the ladder, reset the economy.

      Keep in mind that somebody has to find the gear first, even if it’s going to cross the AH, and those that are finding the gear first are probably the ones pushing into Inferno the hardest. Think back to when the game first came out, it was a good week before Inferno was beat (much longer for hardcore), and it was at least a month or two before the best items became even relatively affordable to a big population.

      I also think ladder-only features would be good encouragement. I’d like to see pickup radius and movement speed increased with paragon level, for instance. I wouldn’t mind that being a ladder-only feature, that stays after a reset

    30. Noooo no ladders! All high paragons on Hardcore you have fighted for will over a night be useless…NO ladder pls.

    31. Ladders should have been in on Day 1. Now that I have gotten that out of the way, if Ladders are added:

      – Absolutely No RMAH
      – GAH is needed, but any item bought from it needs to be account bound on purchase… i.e., no item flipping
      – What happens to characters after the season is over, they should become non-ladder for those that want to keep them
      – I won’t really care if the itemization, character builds, etc. aren’t fixed.

    32. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, D2’s economy was NEVER this great economy, it was ruined a month after D2C release with duped SoJ’s. I actually played D2C, 14+hrs a day when it came out. The game never once had this “legit economy”. Not once did ladders ever have a legit economy as well.

      In D2C, the economy was based on nothing but dupes. These dupes consisted of duped SoJ’s, tri-resist boots, dual leech jewelry. I also remember rare lances and executioner swords being heavily duped. Duping was so bad in D2C that the major trading site everyone went to, very site back in the day) had a list of 30+ rares that were dupes and they banned people for trying to trade those dupes.

      Right at the end of D2C, bots were coming into prominence. D2LoD, dupes went to runes, 40/15 jewels, lots of bugged ITH weapons were duped. The economy moved from duped SoJ’s to duped HR’s and botted gear. I remember people being scared to trade because so many items went “poof” due to Blizzards new anti-duping measure put into early LoD.

      As time went on, a cube recipe was put into the game where you could literally upgrade runes all the way up to HR’s. The runes gained in this matter could not go poof because when you transmuted duped runes, the new rune had a legit ID. Every ladder reset, bots were plaguing the game just a mere hours after, runes were being duped non-stop. I remember jumping on the last D2 ladder reset, not even 4hrs later, spammers were joining games offering to sell HR’s for a couple of bucks with the advertisement “New Ladder season, get a head start, we have a fresh new stock of JAH’s and BER’s.”.

      Blizzard completely failed to promote honest ladder competition. Based on what we’ve seen from D3 thus far, big blunders have basically mimicked Diablo 2’s big blunders from classic. Botting is still an epidemic and dupes do exist. People need to remove their rose-tinted glasses, a Ladder is pointless if legit/honest competition doesn’t occur. I for one will be pissed off if my playtime becomes invalid because Blizzard introduces a ton of ladder only content like they did for D2.

      Almost nobody stayed in non-ladder mode in D2, it was pointless with Ladder only content, runewords, uniques.

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