A fan brought up a point I’ve long wondered about; why will players want/need to co-op in D3? All through development, the designers have spoken of “doing no harm to co-op,” and features like individual item drops and the removal of non-consensual PvP have fixed some of the main problems (as most players saw them) that plagued co-op in D2.
On the other hand, D3 has removed many of D2’s multiplayer incentives, such as huge shared bonuses from numerous Auras, Warcries, and Curses, and the hugely increased drop rates and experience gain in MP games is also gone. Furthermore, the shared stash/gold/Artisans on each account makes solo twinking so easy that you’ll never need a friend to hold a game or item for you, and the Auction House enables trading without ever talking face-to-face.
A fan listed some of these issues in a B.net forum thread, and got a brief reply from Bashiok:
Faster killing speed means more drops, more drops means more power or money. Since the goal of the game essentially boils down to either power or wealth, or both, the advantage (in our opinion) is pretty clear and doesn’t need any additional incentive.
Very curious to hear continued thoughts, though.
We can’t extrapolate entirely from the Diablo 3 Beta, but it’s easy to note that no one ever actually “needs” to play with anyone else in the beta, and thus most people play solo games. A party can up the fun, but in the beta it mostly means everyone running in different directions, trying to find the next level ASAP. Obviously part of that equation is the very easy early game difficulty, but it will be interesting to see if and how players party up to work through Normal and Nightmare once the full game releases. Maybe most of us will just rush through solo, and not start to party until Hell and/or Inferno, where the difficulty increases make the buddy system more necessary?