Coming Soon: Magic Find Rewards for *Not* Respecing

Dorjan, our code-savvy, DiabloNut-powering, go-to guy for all your Diablo 3 datamining needs, posted the huge list of Beta Patch 15 datamined info we provide for every patch, and it was full of info on hundreds of skill changes and much more. That was just the cleaned up version for the main page, though. For fans who want to go even deeper, Dorjan threw up a thread of Patch 15 new/changed patch data strings in our Datamined Lists and Info forum, which included hundreds of changes to things like functions, DiabloWikiAuction House features, item modifiers and procs, DiabloWikitool tips, and much more.

It takes some work to read through such a raw data dump, but a fan by the name of bjax did so and pointed out an interesting change to the still-mysterious random boss bonus Magic Find system, which Hardrock brought that to everyone’s attention with this forum post.

Before patch 15, this was the tooltip of the buff that we get after killing Elites:

Defeating an Elite pack has increased your Magic Find and Gold Find.

Here’s how it looks now:

Defeating an Elite pack has increased your Magic Find and Gold Find. This effect ends if you change skills.

I guess now we know how we’ll get rewarded for making good all-around builds.

This is all in reference to the new game system that’s (probably) going to be called DiabloWikiNephalem Valor, that’s so far only been seen mainly in datamined info, though it’s been described in functional detail and confirmed for a “soon” reveal by Bashiok:

The designers have been working on and testing a system that actually ties the rare/champion pack kills to boss kills quite nicely. It seems like it’s solid enough for us to talk about the intent and goals even though it’s still in testing, we can look into sharing more about it … SOON.

So, let’s talk about it…

Comments in the forum thread are largely positive about this feature, thus far. We’ve seen similar support for all the other anti-boss runs comments from the D3 team during the whole dev cycle, which is interesting. Judging by the fan comments over the years, *everyone* exploited the hell out of Meph, Pindle, Baal, Travincal, etc, runs in D2, but no one actually enjoyed them; we just felt compelled to do them since the item profits were so high. Hence *everyone* supports the D3 devs in their efforts to construct an end game for D3 that doesn’t revolve around quick, exploitative boss runs.

The devs have talked about eliminating that type of gameplay, and changes to things like the quests and waypoint systems shows how they’re going about it.

As we see in the beta content, the DiabloWikiSkeleton King only has a big bonus to drop higher quality items for a character’s first quest kill, which almost always earns one rare item and often two. After that first big drop Leoric will usually pop 3 or 4 blue items, but very seldom another rare. Presumably other boss monsters in Diablo 3 will follow a similar pattern.

The DiabloWikiwaypoint system also contributes to this, as characters can no longer pop directly to whatever waypoint is closest to a boss. Players have to start at the beginning of a quest and work their way down through the dungeon, finding and activating two or three other waypoints on the way. These can then be used for quick returns to town, but by not enabling them right at the start, Diablo 3 requires players to spend more time on a quest, and thus lowers the profit from just popping right to the end, Durance of Hate 2 style.

Incidentally, this is less true in Patch 15 than it was previously, as there’s a whole new Quest DiabloWikiinterface. Now when you selected “change quest” you get the interface you see below, and each quest has a second stage you can begin at.

If you select this for the DiabloWikiReign of the Black King quest, you start off at the waypoint on Cathedral level 3. This saves you having do explore Cathedral level 2, and the first half of Cathedral 3 where you rescue the Templar. It’s far from a turbo to Leoric though, since you still have to do work through Cathedral 4, and the Skeleton King’s skeleton pillar level below it (where you find another waypoint).

So, Diablo 3 makes quest boss runs slower by not letting you waypoint right to them, and much less profitable by dropping low quality items. Now, on top of that, there’s an upcoming system that rewards you for killing normal/random elites (rather than quest bosses), plus it grants you larger rewards if you stick with the same skills, rather than freespecing around constantly.

And in another still mostly-unrevealed system, there are item mods that grant bonuses to specific skills, which will also have the effect of making you want to stick to the few skills that your equipment is built to support.

Lately it seems like the more we learn about Diablo III, the more we realize we don’t yet know?

What do you guys think about these changes to item harvesting? And especially about the DiabloWikiMagic Find bonuses for killing normal bosses, which apparently reset if you DiabloWikirespec your skills.

I like the theory, as I’m one of those Diablo 2 semi-purists who likes the idea of characters having some permanence and identity, which I don’t think you get if you can just freespec from cookie cutter to cookie cutter every new area. And I like the idea of the best rewards coming from random DiabloWikielites, who will have unknown mods, will appear unpredictably, and will generally provide more of a player challenge than a quest boss battle, in which most of the variables and parameters are pre-set, and thus easily-accounted for.

Naturally, my approval is tentative, pending more details and the full system reveal. I do like the theory though, and thus disagree with my own the “Scumbag Jay” comic; I just felt compelled to make it since this situation so perfectly fits into that meme format.


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  1. Seriously.
    Every bit of news regarding Diablo 3 in the last month just continues to get better and better. 

  2. I thought one of the points of Nephalem Valor (isn’t that what it’s called?) is that you can farm rare/champs to build up a buff that will then make bosses drop better than if you didn’t. That way bosses aren’t beaten once and then never visited again.

    And for higher difficulties I think they should make the act bosses a bit more random. On inferno why shouldn’t the SK be able to be electrified or a waller? Think of the lulz.

    • I was afraid to mention “Nephalem Valor” in the article since I like this system and every other game feature with “Nephalem” in the title gets removed. 🙁

  3. Sacred has a system that if you stay alive, your magic find increases (diminishing returns) and when you die it the bonus drops to 0. Would be pretty neat if diablo 3 would have the same feature. Hardcore ftw with maximum benefit.

    • I like Sacred system better, penalize player for testing various thing and refreshing playstyle by changing skills is bad idea.

      • Well, think about it. In normal there probably won’t be too much need for MF, as the items aren’t going to be that great. Yeah, there is going to be some top end gear that you’ll really want to have the extra MF for. By time you get to Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno, you’ll have your builds pretty much figured out, and you’ll be able to get that MF buff built up for when you get to those elite packs.

  4. Actually this is not bad. I wanted something to benefit players who stick to their build, this looks good, because experimenting is still not discouraged (extra MF/GF is not that big of a deal, you dont have to have it every time).

  5. I actually really enjoyed Meph runs, maybe I’m just weird, the trill of getting something good always felt awsome.
    As for the meme, people asked for more permanence to their characters, and they got it…. who knew, Blizz, a company that makes awsome games… knows how to make games! *sarcasm off*

    • Now you are going to get the same thrill exploring rare dungeons.

      If you ever visited the Den of the Fallen (A somewhat rare dungeon) in the beta, you’ll notice, apart from it being a pretty beautiful dungeon,  a huge increase in champion and unique packs in there. That’s the kind of dungeon you are going to look for in the late game I think.   

      • I wasn’t whining, I’m lovin the beta and will love the game in less then 2 months, what I thought they’re gonna do was a stacking MF/GF buff that resets when you kill a big boss like Skeleton King, but this is even better couse it promotes sticking to one build.

  6. What’s the source of this whole reward for not respeccing thing? or is it just made up?

  7. I must be an outlier.  Cause I enjoyed doing Meph runs on my Sorcs to find items for my other characters.
    And I have to say I do not like the idea of this change.  Initially before playing the beta I thought the Witch Doctor would be my least liked class.  But once I played all the classes he became one of my favorites.  And the sole reason for that is because I like all of his skills, and feel they are are all viable and so I would switch skills a lot to get different effects and change the playstyle on the fly.  That to me, was a ton of fun.  But now, I will not want to switch skills because I will lose my MF Buff.  I would feel penalized for switching to that new skill I just got because I’d lose that precious and wonderful MF Buff.
    Having to chose between swapping skills for fun and finding items for fun is not an interesting choice to me.  I feel like I lose no matter what choice I pick.  I really hope I can ignore the allure of MF, and just enjoy playing the game.  But I know I won’t be able to, because Diablo is all about finding awesome rare loot.  And so I will just play my Witch Doctor with the same skills throughout a full playthrough, and I will feel bitter about it.

    • Well, you’ll be able to switch skills before you start your MF session, however, if the buff disappears at death you may have the ability to change skills in that way also.
      We don’t even know if the amount of MF you get per kill will be that significant. 
      I guess we’ll find out.

      • Going from what gravity said, we also have no idea how long this buff will last…If it doesn’t last long enough between packs of mobs (which is a longshot, but it might be that short) then it won’t matter and you can freespec around after it dies off. Most likely though it will be a beneficial but non-necessary buff to all but the biggest of min/maxers.
        A nice change might be that if you go back to town that the buff timer stops, and you can change specs around if you want and not lose the buff. That extra trip to town will make it so that unless you want the inconvenience of running to town every area that you will need to stick to a good set of skills, but if you want to try something new and not lose your buff then you have that option.

    • Life is made of choices.
      Kill yourself or get over it.

  8. Game is looking better and better!

  9. I like this idea a lot; it rewards the purists for their skill permanence and promotes healthy well-rounded skill viability.

    I think the only issue would be if this magic-find buff was shared between players and thus one person changing their skills around affecting the whole party.

    However, if the buff is individual to a player then it might actually promote team-play as well. You know how so many people are upset about magic find being averaged, this might soothe their fears. 

    • Yeah, I wonder how this will go in the online community.  There’s going to be a lot of peer pressure for players to keep their skills because of the shared MF.  Being a purist myself, I have no problems with it since I’ll be stacking the buff without concern but I could see a divide forming and issues raised about it forcing players into a particular build.

      I’ve always felt limiting skill swaps to the start of the game was a reasonable limit and this effectively accomplishes just that.   

  10. I just hope that this is tuned well, such that it isn’t a crippling blow to eventually change skills. Basically, it should have a meaningful hard cap that isn’t too hard to reach.
    I’m thinking that after about an hour of regular run-through, it should max out. This discourages people from changing skills to combat upcoming static enemies, but I don’t want it to hang over my head and prevent me from picking two completely different skill loadouts on two separate weekends, should I choose to. I wouldn’t even care if there were just large diminishing returns but you could only hit a hard cap after a month–just so long as I’m not effectively severely penalized for choosing different skills on different weeks.

    • My guess would be it would get reset every time you start a new game as well. But that’s pure speculation.

      • Does it reset when you kill a boss? If it did, you’d get to re-spec without penalty at least once per act, which is fairly generous I think.

  11. I think this is a pretty genius and subtle change to promote some more character permanence; something that was sorely lacking before. It’s quite a minor thing (depending on how large the MF and GF bonus is), but enough to make build dedication a lot more satisfying. I think this is a compromise most people can live with, both the freespeccers as well as the DII purists. I can at least, and I would place myself more in the camp of the latter.

  12. I don’t think it’s a good idea to be able to respec without any consequences, but the punishment shouldn’t be high enough to discourage to respec so this idea of rewards for not respecing is wonderful!

  13. sounds very good : ) i remember some weeks ago i was quite dehyped because of “i will have to respec every 5 min for maximum efficiency and every noob will copy my cool build”
    i guess its gonna be like a + 10 % mf bonus you get from playing 2 hours without respecing.
    the “random uniques => boss mf”-thing i think is no matter of discussion. of course thats good!  

  14. This sounds really good in theory. I think losing the effect on death would further reward well-rounded builds.

  15. I really like this 🙂

  16. Fucking genius.

    “I think losing the effect on death would further reward well-rounded builds.”

    I hope. I hope.

  17. Absolutely brilliant idea!!! Blizzard, I love you <3

  18. I wonder, will the MF you get from killing bosses and elites stack? As in will you be able to exponentially get better and better drops as you progress through the game, provided you don’t change your skills? When about when you swap in a new skill when it first becomes available? You are going to be swapping skills until about level 52 or so. So it seems like this is really tailored to End Game MFing.

  19. This is great.

    I hate the freespec system, and I don’t like how they handled magic find in groups…this works well towards both of those grievances. Very clever, I never would have thought of that. 

    Two big thumbs up. Hopefully this makes it into release. 

  20. I feel like the picture is needlessly complaining after blizzard help aleviate some of the fans biggest concern about character uniqueness. I like the change btw.

    • I agree. I know it’s just tongue in cheek, but this website is often typecasted as a place where people complain no matter what.
      I think it would be better to remove that picture for the sake of impartiality.

  21. The only thing I don’t like about this is you lose the bonus when you switch skills. Now im stuck using the same skills for the entire act MFing…. Great welcome to cookie cutter builds all over again. Give it a month or so after release and watch this site and other fan sites post “Best skill selection for each class for Inferno runs” Yeah! I can’t wait to be like everyone else! 

    • Yeah I don’t think you really understand what “cookie cutter” means.

      • Please explain then…?

        I admit I don’t understand nerd and geek language that well…..

        What I thought it was people would have all the same build? Gear,skills,and stats? Used the same skills over and over again. In all seriousness please explain what it really means.

        • Well, in Diablo 2 you could minmax and use a build that was very effective against mobs with a certain vulnerability, such as cold on Mephisto or fire on Andariel.
          With this change you are going to kill packs with random mods on them, so you cannot go all out in just one direction and do insane damage there, but be crippled in all other aspects. I suspect there will be some “most well rounded” build out there, but it will also vary greatly with playstyle and what gear you happen to acquire. All skills should be viable, so pick what you like as long as you have something like 1 resource generator, 1 AoE, 1 slowing spell and some longer cooldown def/ kick-ass skill.

          • Oh okay I see. Thank you for explaining that. I still don’t like it though 🙂 I like to switch up my skills for certain situations. I wonder if it penalizes you for switching skill runes? I guess Ill just switch up my skills every act or something so I don’t get burn out on the same skills.

            Thanks Sharkey 

  22. I like the idea of permanence and I love the idea of clearing a zone and getting a bonus on the boss.   I am curious as to the cap and how quickly you reach that cap.     

  23. I love it to death!

    This is the kind of thing I was hoping for. A system that prohibits the players to abuse the freespec. For me, any bit of game systems that further encourages the us to have an “identity” and customization is a winner in my book. I can finally feel like I am playing the character I wanted to be, and even though I can change skills anytime, I won’t probably use it.

    Amazing news Blizzard! You got my hopes way up! 🙂

  24. Blizzard still suprises me, they are really ingenious when it comes to game mechanics and design!

  25. This could be a great feature or a very poor one, depending on implementation. For now, we don’t know if the bonus is applied individually, without effect on the rest of the party, or whether it is shared with the party just as regular MF from items. 

    If it is the former, then the decision of one individuals to switch skills in between bosses will not have any negative effect on the average MF of the group and there will be no peer pressure to adopt one play style (i.e. purist) versus the other (i.e. switch skills at will).

    However, if the later is true, we will see groups voting to kick players because they chose to switch skills, and thus reduce overall average  group MF. In my opinion, this would be a terrible implementation, because of the potential to produce conflict among pug members. I hope the bonus is strictly individual.

  26. I think this gets 2 birds with 1 stone (well depending on the implmentation) – they wanted people to explore many areas in d3 … so if these buffs last and have a decent effect … people will kill champions and keep going and keep killing them … rather then – keep restarting to kill X boss or champion.

    Still think they should put a respce cost in but maybe this will be enough to deter people and hey it might work if the bonus is good enough and it lasts  

  27. An awesome change, I love this.
    Though, if you lose the buff from leaving the game or disconnecting (I’m assuming you will)… I’ll curse loudly after I’ve killed numerous elite packs and lose internets 🙂

    Along with others, I’m also hoping you lose the buff from dying.

  28. This is probably only going to significantly benefit players after level 60, as up until that point you will be unlocking and probably changing skills every couple of levels.
    I like the system, but i hope it doesnt discourage experimentation and build variety at lower levels.

    • Well I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t even get this buff at all until Hell (I would say not until Inferno except that Jay said we would have to farm Hell some before being ready for Inferno).

  29. Still won’t matter a goddamnfuck to those that just want to optimally get through the game and survive.

  30. About the baal runs.

    Like others I have to say I really enjoy spending an evening with my friends doing baal run after baal run to see if we can get better gear for our characters.
    It’s a short hop and can potentially be very rewarding for a night of playing.
    All other cool (gold, green, etc) items which are not necessarily needed are then stored in an enhanced stash  (by a not to be mentioned piece of software 😉 ) so you can finally try to complete certain sets.

    The reason, at least I believe, that this feels like a fun night of gaming, is that the rewards follow the efforts in short succession.
    This latest piece of information again makes me just feels like the replayability is going to fall short.

    I’ve already ordered my CE obviously but I’m just seriously hoping that new content and the choices that have been made will make this the sequal it should be.
    And by that what i really mean is, still playable after 12 years.

    We’ll see. 

    • I think the fun of playing with friends is the important thing here. That’s definitely still going to be here, even though you will be doing something different.

  31. Surprisingly clever idea from Blizzard. I’m actually shocked at how such a simple change fixed the major problem with their skill system. My main issue was always the fact that players can simply free-spec before they face a boss or champion pack based on what the easiest build is, so I’m very happy that Blizzard found a solution for it. Great change.

  32. I’m with Flux on this, love the idea in theory, cautiously optimistic to see how it will be end game…

  33. Does this change to magic find work in all the difficulties or is it just Inferno?

  34. This system, as we know it right now, is amazingly elegant.  Its the perfect way to accomplish what people like me were begging for back in August (some permanance to skill choices) but also have the awesomness of being able to switch and expiriment.  Awesome news indeed.  Runs will end up being somthing like DarkSpore MF runs (though with out the buggy, crappy loot), I can see it now.. start an inferno Run in Act 1 and don’t stop till you finish the game .. like 30 hours later.. with MF so high you get sick loot at the end!

  35. Might be the best idea they’ve had since skill runes. Also, having a bit more of a potential death penalty is very welcome.

  36. Today I have tried to kill an elite pack a couple of times with my new Character, Barbarian. I still have never seen the tooltip message saying MF and GF things. How and where can I get the that tooltip?

  37. Can someone explain this to me a little better?  
    Does this mean that when you start a new game, your magic find bonus starts at zero and then increases as you kill monsters? Then when you re-spec or leave and start a new game it goes back to zero?  
    And do bosses gradually drop worse and worse items every time you kill them? Like the game has a \boss-kill-counter\?   Thanks 😛

    • Well nothing is set in stone yet so anything can change. The official announcement of the system hasn’t been released yet but this is practically what we believe.

      Apparently, the MF buff is the same as those shrine buffs. Like Protection Buff that gives you extra armor for 60 seconds (eyeballing here).

      So when you kill a pack of mobs (maybe from Inferno or even lower levels), you get a buff, as if you found a shrine, that gives you a fixed +MF buff that has a time limit, like any other buff. Assumingly, the time limit resets when you kill another pack. So the goal is to kill as much mobs in succession so you can to keep the buff going. The buff doesn’t get stronger the more mobs you kill, you just wanna keep the buff as long as you can.

      But when you have the buff and changed as much as a single active or passive, the buff disappears. As for leaving the game or death, we do not know yet. We will know soon enough.

  38. Awesome change! Hope they leave it 🙂

  39. I would say reset conditions:
    death, respec, killing a boss, (maybe timer).

    Killing elite stack to some point, maybe in decreasing manner, for example
    +10, +5, +2.5,….

  40. I like the change but I’m affraid people will be farming mobs at a specific order. Clear trash mobs in the weakest areas first then move on to better monsters elsewhere then kill all act bosses last and get the best possible loot from them. This depends on what will be the upper limit of this magic find bonus.

  41. comment didn’t reply to the one I wanted to replay to. ><

  42. So many major improvements to the game coming at the last minute… amazing what a simple deadline can do, isn’t it?

  43. The respec in 1.13 of D2 was one of the best things to happen to the game. The developers come to their senses and include the ability to respec right off the bat and go and fuck it up by tying in a MF bonus in with not using respecs.

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