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    A ton of content was released to the public recently via the official Brady Games strategy guide that sheds some light on how multiplayer scaling will work in Diablo 3:

    NormalNightmareHellInferno
    Monster HP increase per additional player75%85%95%110%
    Monster XP increase per additional player0000
    Monster DMG increase per additional player0%5%10%15%

    While there are distinct advantages to playing alone or with a group, there are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing how to venture into the world. Read on to determine what playstyle is right for you – things have changed quite a bit since we last explored Sanctuary.


    TL;DR breakdown of play style benefits:
    If you have a group of friends with whom you can coordinate well and that are of equivalent or better skill level than yourself, you will almost always benefit from group play. If you will be playing in public games with strangers, understand the risks before proceeding – solo play offers a number of advantages.

    Solo:

    • The game can be paused at any time
    • Your success (or failure) is completely in your hands
    • Monsters will deal less damage in Nightmare, Hell and Inferno difficulties
    • You have access to followers
    • Equivalent XP per monster compared to group play
    • Monster behavior will be more predictable (they will only react to your actions, not your group’s)

    Group:

    • Potential for very high synergy among players
    • Option of faster exploring via splitting up
    • Pre-inferno, monster health scaling provides a “mini-buff” to you assuming all players are of equivalent DPS levels
    • Safety in numbers (more targets for monsters to kill instead of you)

     

    Group play in Inferno
    In Inferno difficulty, you’ll be facing off against monsters that hit harder and have proportionately more HP than they would if you were to play alone. This scaling necessitates that your functionality as a group be higher than multiple solo players with no synergy. Here’s an example:

    Each player’s DPS: 50

    MONSTERHPDamageTime to kill% Increase
    Solo

    1000

    100

    20.00 sec

    2 player

    2100

    115

    21.00 sec

    5%

    3 player

    3200

    130

    21.33 sec

    7%

    4 player

    4300

    145

    21.50 sec

    8%

    As you can see, a 4-player Inferno game will require that each person puts out 8% more DPS to kill at the same rate as if you played alone. Said another way, if you played alone you would kill a monster 8% faster (assuming no group synergy at all). Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, each monster will be hitting 45% harder than if you were playing alone. This implies that not only should your killing speed as a group increase, but your defensive capabilities should also.

    With the right group, there’s no question that killing speed is best in group play – a group of friends with whom you can synergize will always be your best bet.

    Pre-Inferno play
    The only major difference in earlier difficulties is that monsters have less relative HP than if you were playing alone. That is, if you have four players not synergizing at all but attacking the same monster it will die faster than if you were fighting it in a solo game. Here’s the same table as above, from the perspective of a normal difficulty game:

    Each player’s DPS: 50

    MONSTERHPDamageTime to kill% Decrease
    Solo

    1000

    100

    20.00

    2 player

    1750

    100

    17.50

    -13%

    3 player

    2500

    100

    16.67

    -17%

    4 player

    3250

    100

    16.25

    -19%

    Killing speeds in 4-player games with no synergy at all will be about 20% faster than a comparable solo-player. Keep in mind that this is the extreme example of normal difficulty, and this difference will lessen every difficulty level you go up (along with added monster damage). Still, chances are good that you’ll progress faster in 4-player games with moderately competent players than you would alone.

    Content-appropriate gearing
    Blizzard has taken away our ability to flag our games for particular types of play. In Diablo 2, a game labeled “Act 1 Hell Just Starting” would make it clear that it was not a game where powerhouse characters were rushing through content. As such, you’re being placed into games with people who may have very different ideas than you do about precisely what you’re doing in that game.

    Thus, when determining if a group is suitably able to progress in a given area (especially in Hardcore play), take a look at their gear. If you’re looking for a quick magic find run in early Act 1 Inferno and got placed into a group with a number of fresh-60s that have poor gear, they may not be able to provide the DPS you’re hoping for. In these situations, you may be best suited just rolling the dice on a new game and a new set of group mates.

    Hardcore Considerations
    As most hardcore players already know, “soft core” players can take risks without much worry. If the group isn’t really up to snuff for the content they’re working on that’s okay – they can death train their way through it eventually. In hardcore, we don’t have that option. Make absolutely sure that everyone in your group is on the same page, geared appropriately, and prepared for what lies ahead. There is no save and exit option in Diablo 3 – proceed with extreme caution.

    Another important note: pausing will be incredibly useful in hardcore. Doorbell ring? Mouse batteries die? A solo player can usually just pause and be fine. If you’re playing with a group, you better hope your group mates are looking out for you, otherwise you may find your deeds of valor being remembered.

    Venturing into the internet hate machine
    One of the most important considerations when choosing how to venture into Sanctuary is to understand how you play the game. If you find yourself needing to step away from the computer frequently, solo play has the very attractive option to pause the game. The benefit here is two-fold: you aren’t at risk of dying if you suddenly need to divert your attention elsewhere and you aren’t hurting your group when you suddenly disappear.

    Public games are notorious for providing a bad experience, which stems from the situation where multiple players are being forced to compromise on play style. From the hardcore-gamer perspective, it’s an opportunity to be stuck with “baddies” that are going to hold you back and kill your efficiency. From the casual perspective, you may feel rushed and overwhelmed when playing with others that aren’t looking for the same experience you are. Consider the following scenario:

    Player 1 – Parent, has to AFK regularly
    Player 2 – Diablo fanatic, rushing through content to optimize magic find runs
    Player 3 – First time seeing this area, taking their time to explore every nook and cranny
    Player 4 – Trying to determine how much to sell his new loot for on the AH, looking for a price check in-game

    This may be an extreme example, but it illustrates how differently we all approach the game and reminds us that solo play will always be a viable option in Diablo 3 – don’t feel like you must play the game with others. That said, there are people out there that want to play the game just like you; the tricky part is finding them. If you venture into public games, try to be tolerant of other play styles and keep an eye out for people to add to your friends list that play the game how you like to play it.

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