Two interesting posts from the developers tonight. The first is a nice bit of news about quests in Inferno, which will begin awarding experience in v1.08. Currently quests in Inferno (or on any difficulty level once your character reaches level 60) award gold, but do not award experience.
Vaeflare: We know that every little bit of XP helps, so coming soon in patch 1.0.8, level 60 players who complete quests will earn experience towards Paragon levels.
In bigger but less imminent news, Travis Day shared some thoughts about the problems with players figuring ways to make Archon and Wrath of the Berserker last indefinitely (at least on levels with high monster density).
Travis Day: I have a love hate relationship with Wrath and Archon for that matter. This is a topic that I felt I should at least comment on since it’s come up on many occasions. There is no fundamental flaw with having a 2 minute cooldown ability that transforms your character and is really powerful, the problem is when it becomes a forgone conclusion that these AWESOME abilities are up 100% of the time and instead of being excited that they are up you are annoyed when they fall off. We have talked about what if anything we want to do with these abilities in the long term. I will say we have no short term plans to change them but we don’t like that they aren’t fulfilling their original purpose which is to provide a really awesome button that mixes up the tempo of combat for a small window of time.
Whatever you do, I hope you don’t penalize those of us that use it as intended, that is people that just use it for the occasional boost and not a permanent boost.
Travis Day: I want to make this point clear. Wrath is an awesome ability, when the game first launched players used it the way it was designed to be used which was as a huge, temporary, power boost to kill a hard champ or fight a boss. The problem stems from the ability to keep it up 100% of the time. Any future change that we would consider making to either this or Archon would be focused on making these not a 100% uptime abilities. So yes as was stated above Wrath isn’t the problem, Thrive on Chaos and the assist duration extending mechanic of Archon are the problems.
Archon lasts 15 seconds with a 120 second cooldown and grants a 1 second extension for each enemy killed. WotB lasts 15 seconds with a 120 second cooldown, and the Thrive on Chaos rune adds 1 second for every 25 Fury gained. From the game design and what Travis says, it seems that the devs figured players would be able to add maybe 15 or 20 seconds to those awesomely powerful effects, and that they would function as a special burst of damage/survival used only in special occasions.
I assume the debate is about theory and not practicality, since it wouldn’t be hard to fix either of those skills. Just cap their maximum duration at 30 or 45 seconds. At that point they’d simply shut off, even if the character was pulling enough kills/Fury to keep them going. This would give players with specialized gear/tactics a bonus to the time the skills were in effect, while not allowing that bonus to last indefinitely.
There would be something of an adjustment period, as players with billions in gear would find themselves overkilling for an effect that was no longer possible, and would be forced to either sit and wait for their cooldowns to expire since they’re built only to play with Archon/WotB in effect. (And you know most of them would spend those 60+ sec cooldowns typing vitriolic posts in the B.net forums.)
Thus I can’t see this change happening (if/when I hope it does) until an expansion, when the entire game economy and item system can be shaken up. Players who don’t want that big change and the devaluing to their gear/build can just stay in D3V. Everyone’s happy. Everyone wins!
Update: since I can, here’s a vote. Let’s measure community opinion etc etc.