Blizzard Modifying Requirements for Diablo 3 and Reaper of Souls Difficulty Levels

Blizzard reps made a few posts about the requirements planned to unlock Diablo 3 and Reaper of Souls difficulty levels. In both games players will have to complete the regular game content on a lower difficulty level before unlocking higher difficulties.

Nevalistis: We’ve heard some pretty significant feedback regarding the current difficulties available to players on the PTR. As a result, the intent next PTR patch is for Torment to unlock once you reach level 60, which will provide access to players both on the PTR and Closed Beta.

Lylirra: To compensate for Torment unlocking at level 60, in the next PTR/Beta patch the requirements for Master are going to shift and the difficulty will now unlock after you complete Act IV. o/

Is this to only test torment in the PTR or is this how it will run live?
Lylirra: While we do want to test the change itself on the PTR, it’s not a PTR-only change (if that makes sense). Once 2.0.1 goes live, the goal is for players to be able to unlock Master difficulty after completing Act IV on one of their characters, and then unlock Torment difficulty after they reach 60 on one of their characters.

This change will available for testing in the next PTR patch. (For clarity, the change will also affect the Beta, not just the PTR.)

I read that as “We (players) will need to complete all of act IV in Master before we can test torment difficulty”. Is that correct?
Lylirra: Negative. As noted above, the way it’ll work in the next PTR/Beta patch is that Master difficulty will unlock for your account after you’ve completed Act IV on one of your characters, and Torment difficulty will unlock after you’ve reached level 60 on one of your characters.

There are like 5 more replies going into more and more fine details about how this will work, and if you click through you can read them all.

Why all the bother, though? Why all this drama and complication and confusion? Why do the devs feel the need to “lock” some of the difficulty levels at all? Presumably it’s hand-holding to keep players from leaping into too-hard a difficulty and dying like proverbial dogs in the street right from the start… but so what? If people play too hard a diff and die a lot, they’ll lower the diff and continue on; lesson learned. I thought the point of RoS was to remove much of the tedious grinding and hoop leaping before you got to the fun stuff?

On that point, if they’re planning a change to the Reaper of Souls requirement that you must slog through the entire game on DiabloWikiStory Mode before you can begin the vastly superior DiabloWikiAdventure Mode experience, Lylirra didn’t mention it in this post.

Does anyone see any point or benefit to these arbitrary “finish your dinner before you get dessert” requirements? I suppose Blizzard wants to keep noobs from total confusion or despair, but in that case why not allow experienced players to bypass the tedium via a check box hidden in the Options, ala DiabloWikiElective Mode?

Unlocking higher difficulty levels in Diablo 3 and Reaper of Souls?

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Click through for the rest of the blue posts on this issue:

Don’t think so. It’s more like completing Act IV unlocks Master, level 60 unlocks Torment but it’s very confusing. Master difficulty is currently open from the beginning so…. @Nevalistis?
Note that the “unlock” is account-wide, not character specific. So, once a difficulty is unlocked, it’s available to every character on your account, even brand new ones.

Master is probably open for you because you’ve already met the criteria for it on at least once of your heroes (right now Master unlocks at level 60). The only difficulties that don’t have an unlock component are Normal, Hard, and Expert, which are available right from the start.

So to clarify, does this mean it’s possible to have Torment unlocked without having Master unlocked if we don’t have the expansion/Beta?
Lylirra: You’re talking about an outlier scenario where someone who hasn’t already killed Diablo at least once by the time that patch 2.0.1 goes live decides that he/she wants to grind up to level 60 without ever completing Act IV? (Just clarifying exactly what you’re asking here.)

Note: Using your account as an example, when patch 2.0.1 goes live, Master difficulty would be unlocked for you because you’ve already killed Diablo at least once (and thus completed Act IV). Similarly, Torment difficulty would be unlocked for you because have a level 60 on your account.

Right now on the PTR and in Beta, Master unlocks at level 60 and Torment at level 70. In the next PTR/Beta patch, we’re planning to change this so that Master unlocks once you complete Act IV (i.e. kill Diablo) and Torment unlocks once you hit level 60*. This would be regardless of whether or not you purchase the expansion**.

*You only need to meet the corresponding criteria on one of your characters to unlock the difficulty for your entire account.

**Still clarifying what levels of Torment will available for non-RoS players. Will get back to you on that.

Now..when you say unlock Torment, is that just Torment 1, or Torments 1 through 6?
Lylirra: Confirmed. With the next PTR/Beta patch, Torment 1-6 will be available to all eligible players. Eligible players in this case = players who have at least one level 60 on their account (reaching level 60 on a single hero will unlock Torment for your entire account). This includes players who do not purchase the expansion.

But on the topic that such an outlier would exist, would it indeed be possible to unlock Torment on an account without unlocking Master (by having a level 60, but never having killed Diablo since he’s no longer required to move up to NM/HL/IF)?

Also confirmed: unlocking Torment will auto-unlock Master.

What about the Hardcore player whose main (and only level 60+/post-Act-4) character dies and gets archived or deleted? Currently, he loses all progress in the Acts (at least as reflected on his Profile page) and it also appears that he has never reached level 60 when you look at his page. Will the game be storing hardcore level attainment/Act-completions differently to accommodate these new requirements?
Lylirra: In the next PTR/Beta patch, if you unlock Master or Torment difficulty and then die and archive your Hardcore hero, the highest difficulty unlocked by your now-dead hero will still be available to any other subsequent Hardcore heroes created.

There’s a bug right now (which will be active in the next PTR/Beta patch), though, where unlocking Master and Torment with a Softcore hero will also unlock that difficulty for your Hardcore heroes. This isn’t intended and will be resolved before ship.

While this is great news…what im wondering is the way it is now there is no incentive to play master difficulty instead of normal because the rewards and loot are the same. So what will the bonus be for us to play torment now instead of normal or master?
Lylirra: On the beta right now, Torment 1 grants 300% extra gold and experience, and this bonus will increase with each slider tick (i.e. the bonus gets higher as you move through Torment II – VI).

The gold/exp bonus will be available to all players, while the bounty-specific bonuses, Imperial gems, and Torment-only Legendaries (these are level 70 items) will be restricted to the expansion.


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  1. Who are these “experienced” players who are buying a Diablo 3 expansion, but have not yet killed Diablo?

    I don’t see why this is a big deal at all.

  2. Seems like much ado about nothing, but I voted for players having the choice.

  3. In all the confusion created with the long-winded explanations they neglected to tell people why there are restrictions.

  4. I think this is a good change. People complained that at the absolute high-end the game got easier for them. Master clearly wasn’t difficult enough for player who played on MP10 previously.

    As for the difficulty locking, the way the game is set up at the moment I think this is warranted. Sure, players could be allowed to play on Master and Torment with a fresh account, but what would be the point? You would need extremely good gear to progress on these difficulties and new players won’t have that. These difficulty levels were clearly designed for heavily optimized characters. For an untwinked character even Expert can be rough sometimes. Leveling like this on a higher difficulty would be a nightmare after level 15-20.

    • “why not allow experienced players to bypass the tedium via a check box hidden in the Options”

      There’s no need for this. Experienced player means that he knows the game, or in other words played through it. Therefore these players will have access to Master and now even Torment when they buy RoS.

    • Just to be clear, I meant that the game got easier at the high-end for Classic players, not for the ones who have the expansion.

  5. I started a new HC monk (only twinking a couple of low level blue items) on Master Diff and it was pretty rough. I dropped it down to Expert and it was about right, though I didn’t feel very challenged. I liked it because my experience with HC in D2X and D3C was just that I had to move slowly, but in D3C I feel that I have to be cautious. I know that’s a fine distinction (slow vs. cautious), but I felt like HC on Expert on the PTR in the current difficulty scheme felt about right.

    I also played some Master and Expert with my main SC barbarian and again Master was a bit rough, though Expert was about right but a bit too easy. I think in both cases that Master will be a good fit once I get back into playing D3 often and then maybe Torment will become an option.

  6. Finishing your dinner before dessert is very good advice.

    1. Filling up on dessert makes you less inclined to eat dinner, thereby missing out on required proteins, vitamins and carbs.

    2. Sugar helps aid digestion so it’s best to have it after the meal.

    Now you are ready to live all on your own and lead an adult life. You can even stay up all night playing Diablo if you want. I know that’s what I’ll be doing.

  7. I’m not sure why this is even problematic enough to ask about. Unless I’ve read something wrong, this is about why difficulties are locked out to some players. Except, if you’ve got any lvl 60 character, and you’ve killed Diablo at least once (which probably 90%+ people playing D3 right now have) then the restrictions don’t mean anything, since you’ve completed all of the requirements. The only thing this changes is for people who have deleted their accounts/never played D3. Yes, this would probably be annoying for people who deleted accounts and are now coming back, but overall, it just seems like such a small issue. I have to agree that this seems like a completely pointless complaint.

  8. I really do not care yet I don’t really get why they care… Don’t they have more important stuff to fix?

  9. How about powerleveling? Looks like this will stop that issue only for accts that don’t have a D kill on A4, or lvl 60 char. right?

  10. “…If people play too hard a diff and die a lot, they’ll lower the diff and continue on; lesson learned. I thought the point of RoS was to remove much of the tedious grinding and hoop leaping before you got to the fun stuff?”

    I agree, but they should be focusing more on the core game and balancing the numbers for a smooth progression in the difficulty curves. I still feel the rewards for torment are over the top and should have something towards legendaries etc for players that will be playing on Expert and Master until they’re ready for Torment and it’s bonuses.

  11. I like to have requirements especially the Story mode complete at least 1 time.

    The game is very different in story mode and everyone should see the story at least once. It kinda sucks at least now that you have played it thourgh dozens of times but for the first time it was quite nice except maybe actIV diablo’s dialogues made it really bad.

    In D2 times people were just handing waypoints and boosting bosses to Hell.

    1 Time story mode is something anyone should be able to do since now you won’t have to do it 3-4 times in a row.

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