One of the bigger changes we’re going to see in the future are new difficulty levels for Reaper of Souls and D3V. The traditional Normal/Nightmare/Hell/Inferno tiers are being removed and replaced by a scaling difficulty in which monsters in every area of the game will scale to your character level, and which you can further customize by a new DiabloWikiMonster Power-like difficulty adjustment system.

    Reaper of Souls new difficulty settings.

    No longer quite current version of the new difficulty settings.

    The CMs leapt into a forum thread with questions about that and spread a lot of useful explanation:

    Grimiku: One of our big goals with Reaper of Souls is to give players more control over their game experience, and that applies to difficulty as well. As part of that goal, we’re removing the tiered difficulty system (the one that requires you to work your way through Normal, Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno) that exists right now. We’re replacing it with something that’s more open, and (more importantly) won’t require you to play through the story multiple times if you don’t want to.

    So, the Normal > Nightmare > Hell > Inferno progression path is gone. Instead, starting in the pre-expansion patch, you’ll find that monsters will level up as you do, and they’ll gain additional affixes depending on what level range they’re in. You’ll be able to influence monster damage, health, and rewards by selecting one of nine new difficulty settings* as well, similar to the way Monster Power works currently. The result is that you should have a lot more freedom in customizing your level of challenge without worrying about multiple playthroughs of the story to get there.

    This is just a rough overview of how the new difficulties will work in Reaper of Souls. We’ll have more details on the new difficulty settings in the future, so be sure to keep an eye out for them! Also, keep in mind that these could all change before we ship.

    (*Right now there’s: Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, and Torment I-V. Currently, Master unlocks at 60 and Torment unlocks at 70, but once unlocked they’re available for all characters on your account.)

    Click through for lots of follow up clarifications in posts by Lylirra…

    I’d say it’s more been replaced with a new set of “monster power” equivalents (the 9 settings Grim mentioned). The tiered difficulty modes are gone, the monster power is just getting an overhaul but the same concept is in play.
    Lylirra: More or less. The reward structure for the new difficulty settings is being reevaluated, as well, so it’s not exactly like Monster Power, but the concept is similar.

    Lots of the finer tuning details and mechanics are still TBD at the moment, though, so we can’t answer a ton of questions right now (most likely just high-level, big picture kind of stuff). Even so, definitely keep asking about things you want to know and we’ll work to get answers. We’ll either provide them here or, since we’re working on a “First Look” article for the new difficulty system, make sure to address everything* there.

    *Void where prohibited. Some restrictions may apply.

    Conflicting stuff isn’t it? Can the Blues care to explain wtf this is? What exactly is the difficulty setting? Easy, Normal, Hard, Torment, Demonic and Apocalypse or Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, and Torment I-V?
    Lylirra: We ended up removing Apocalypse right before BlizzCon, but the FAQ had already been approved, localized, and set to publish at that point. We’re working to get it updated as we speak. 🙂

    This is why we always say that things are subject to change whenever we post, because they do change — and often quite quickly at this point!

    I might be an anomaly, but I like the MP structure. It lets me gauge where I am in terms of gear and play ability. Could you please do a crude comparison for people like so I know about where to start in the pre-expansion patch and then on into RoS? Thanks for helping.
    Lylirra: That’s certainly the plan. We’d like to lock down the tuning a bit more before we provide that comparison, though, since things are changing right now on a day-to-day basis. (Like I noted before, we’ll have a “First Look” write-up just on difficulty coming your way fairly soon.)

    Why not keep the names “Normal/Nightmare/Hell”? These are iconic to the series, and you’re just getting rid of them for no good reason. Let me try to anticipate the answer: “Players might get confused”.
    Lylirra: The main reason is that the tiered Normal > Nightmare > Hell > Inferno system is gone completely; the new system works quite differently and we didn’t want the names, which have a history and thus an expected way of working, to make players think the system functions one way (when it in fact functions in a whole ‘nother way).

    Totally fair feedback, though. Happy to pass it on.

    Locking out non-RoS players from higher difficulties is not fair. Basically, you’ll take away Monster Power 4-10 without any kind of compensation. I have an MP10 character. Doing low difficulties will be meaningless, and I’m not sure that I want to buy RoS.
    Lylirra: For clarity, Torment difficulties currently compare most closely with MP 10 and above.

    Did you read his post? He’s saying that without RoS, you can’t play Torment. So there would be no MP 10
    Lylirra: Important thing to remember: The new difficulty settings don’t have a direct 1-to-1 comparison with each Monster Power level. So, Torment isn’t technically “MP 10”; MP 10 is just the closest comparison it has right now. At present, its overall difficulty is probably a little more challenging than MP 10 if you take into consideration dynamic difficulty (the fact that monsters level up with you) and all the combat pacing/skill changes we’ve made. On the other hand, Master (which unlocks at 60) feels somewhere between MP 8 and 10 at the moment.

    On that note, another thing to remember: all these numbers and comparisons are 100% subject to change, especially as we start opening up the game to testing by more people. This is just where they right now. We want players who don’t purchase the expansion to still feel like they can challenge themselves under this new system, so — as an example — it’s entirely possible we might shift Torment to be somewhere around (comparatively) MP 11 and make Master more challenging as a result. It’s also possible that we won’t need to do this and that the current Master difficulty feels great at level 60. It’s definitely not locked down at the moment; in fact, difficulty tuning is one of the last things we’ll likely finalize, as so many other variables play into it.

    Right here. This is what is bringing this question up. So if you don’t purchase RoS, you don’t get level cap raise?
    Lylirra: Correct. If you do not purchase Reaper of Souls, your level cap will remain at 60.

    Also, just edited Grimiku’s post (with what I imagine was a typo). Master unlocks at 60, not 61.

    When they say changing constantly, they mean it. After playing some Adventure Mode and noticing the scaling/flat difficulty and the fact Elites had 2 random affixes though I was only lvl 33 and clearly not in Nightmare, I talked to devs about it (Wyatt and Jason, IIRC) and asked if Norm/NM/Hell/Inferno was out entirely, or just out of Adventure Mode. They said it wasn’t quite finalized yet, but that the current difficulty levels were probably going to remain in Campaign Mode, while Adventure Mode was totally scaling.

    Yet from these blue posts, just days later, it sounds like the old tiers of difficulty are entirely gone, even in Campaign Mode.

    For another example, here’s how the difficulty was set back in October, as seen via datamining.

    • DifficultySelector_Description_0 – At this difficulty enemies are weaker and have less health. — Recommended for players with either little or no experience with dungeon crawlers (point and click RPG’s) or for players more interested in story than a challenge.


    • DifficultySelector_Description_1 – This is the baseline Diablo III experience. — Select this difficulty if you are familiar with dungeon crawlers (point and click RPG’s).
    • DifficultySelector_Description_2 – Enemies are slightly more powerful and have a little more health. — This level is intended for players with experience playing dungeon crawlers and want a little challenge.
    • DifficultySelector_Description_3 – Enemies are more powerful and have more health. There is also an increase to experience and item drops. — This level is intended for players who are looking for a challenge and have a healthy amount of gear to back them up in combat.
    • DifficultySelector_Description_4 – Enemies are more powerful and have more health. There is also an increase to experience and item drops. — This level is only recommended to players who have aquired a good deal of gear and are seeking a much greater challenge.
    • DifficultySelector_Description_5 – Enemies are much more powerful and are very difficult to kill. There is also a significant increase to experience and item drops.. — Only adventurers with the highest level of skill and gear should consider this difficulty.

    That was the rough version of the “Easy, Normal, Hard, Torment, Demonic, and Apocalypse” version, that’s since been upgraded and given more gradients into the 1-9 settings of “Normal, Hard, Expert, Master, and Torment I-V.”

    And yes, you need to memorize all of this. It will be on the final exam.

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