Monster Power: More Guts, More Glory

The official blog regarding Monster Power is now available for viewing. Below you’ll see much of the nitty gritty of what’s in store for the game’s new feature. Most of these details have been inferred from testing, though there are some specifics that may intrigue even those that have been thoroughly testing in the PTR.

The armies of the Burning Hells are about to become a lot more hellacious. In patch 1.0.5, we’ll be introducing DiabloWikiMonster Power, a new system designed to give players more control over how challenging enemies are in each difficulty setting. Similar to the “Players X” command in Diablo II, Monster Power gives Diablo III players the option to increase the health and damage of monsters according to different “power levels” — and in return, they’ll receive scaling bonuses to their adventure stats (including experience, Magic Find, and Gold Find) as well as more drops.

The option to adjust Monster Power will be available to all players starting at level 1 through the Quest Selection window, and can be adjusted separately for DiabloWikiNormal, DiabloWikiNightmare, DiabloWikiHell, and DiabloWikiInferno difficulties. Here’s how the system works….

Setting Your Monster Power Level
Monster Power will be disabled by default, so before you can make any adjustments, you’ll first need to enable the system. To do so, open up the Game Menu, click the Options button, and then click the Gameplay tab. You’ll see the Enable Monster Power Selection box on the right side of the screen — check that, and then click Accept.

Once enabled, the option to set Monster Power will appear in the lower portion of the Quest Selection window next to the Difficulty drop-down menu. You can choose from Monster Power 1 (MP1) all the way up to Monster Power 10 (MP10), or you can opt for No Monster Power (the default setting) to play the “normal” challenge level for your chosen difficulty. Monster Power can be adjusted separately for each hero and difficulty, and can be changed at any time through the Quest Selection interface.

Power Level Menu

MP Levels

At the launch of patch 1.0.5, Monster Power will be available in both solo and private multiplayer games. Whenever you join a private multiplayer game, your hero will temporarily adopt the Monster Power level set by the party leader, and it will return to the previous setting you selected as soon as you leave the group.
(Please note that you will not be able to adjust Monster Power in Public Games at the feature’s launch, though we’re looking into the possibility of adding that ability in the future.)

More Guts, More Glory
Starting at MP1, each level of Monster Power will increase monster damage and health by a scaling amount depending on difficulty. To reward your audacity, your hero will receive bonuses to experience, Magic Find, and Gold Find (which will stack above the 300% cap).

For Normal, Nightmare, and Hell, the bonuses look like this:


In Inferno, in addition to increased experience, Magic Find, and Gold Find, whenever a monster dies and drops an item normally (whether it be gold, a potion, or a piece of gear), the monster also has a chance to drop an additional bonus item. The chance to drop a bonus item will scale up with each MP level as detailed in the table below.


For players in Inferno participating in the Infernal Machine event (we’ll provide more info on this event soon), Monster Power will also increase the drop chance for Keywarden Keys and Demonic Organ Pieces by 10% for each MP level, all the way up to 100% at MP 10.

In Inferno at Monster Power 1 or greater, monsters in every Act will also be bumped up to level 63 and share the same high-end item drop rates. This means that no matter which act you’re progressing through, the monsters in that act will all have the same shot at dropping items level 61-63, including crafting recipes, Legendary items, and set items.

MP Loot

With the change that allows item affixes to roll at the monster’s level instead of the item’s levels, all items in Inferno at MP 1 or greater now have the ability to roll level 63 affixes.

While monsters in Inferno will all be level 63 at MP 1 through MP 10, their skills, abilities, and attributes will still vary from act to act. This means that certain Acts or Chapters may still be more difficult for you than others based on what monsters and Elite packs appear in each, but — since the rewards will be identical across the entire difficulty — where you choose to play is ultimately up to you and your personal play style.

The Method Behind the Monsters
Now that we’ve explained the mechanics, let’s delve a bit deeper into the design philosophy. The intent of Monster Power is not necessarily to make the game “unbeatable,” but to provide better ways for players to measure their progress as they become more powerful. We’ve designed the system around this idea, with two primary areas of focus:

Monster Damage vs. Monster Health
Since the goal of this system isn’t to make the game ultra-hard, with each Monster Power level there’s a heavy emphasis on increased monster health rather than monster damage. This is because, in general, it’s more fun to find ways to maximize your damage than it is to be forced into taking every available form of damage mitigation. We also didn’t want to create situations where “hard to beat” could become “impossible to beat” because players couldn’t survive long enough to make any progress. In our testing, we found that while scaling up monster damage certainly made some fights more challenging, it did so in unfair ways…and also made it quite easy for heroes to be one-shot. Increasing the health of monsters, on the other hand, allowed the game to scale up in difficulty more naturally and in a way that still felt manageable.

By now, some players have reached a point where they can kill monsters so fast that even Inferno provides almost no challenge, and enemies die as soon as they appear on the screen. For these players, the bottleneck for efficient farming is actually the speed at which they can traverse the map rather than how well they can dispense with enemies.
This is where Monster Power can shine. Players who can clear every Act of Inferno without much problem can increase their Monster Power for a more enjoyable and interesting challenge — as well as better rewards — and keep pushing their limits all the way up to Monster Power 10. Will some players be able to kill Diablo on Monster Power 10 as soon as 1.0.5 goes live? Absolutely. Will that be the most efficient Monster Power level at which to farm items? For most, probably not. Monster Power allows each individual decide what that “sweet spot” is for them.

The Power Is Yours
In Diablo III, your character’s power can grow by multiple orders of magnitude, but up until now there hasn’t been a way for you to truly put that potency to the test. The Monster Power system provides a new outlet for high-powered heroes to truly see how far they’ve come and tangibly experience just how epic the gear they’ve collected is.
Different players want different levels of challenge, and with Monster Power you’ll be able to determine what the right level of challenge is for you. Whether you’re in it for the guts, the glory, or simply the goodies, we’re excited to offer players the opportunity to face the forces of evil on their own (possibly slightly insane) terms.

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24 thoughts on “Monster Power: More Guts, More Glory

  1. If I understand well MP1 in Act1 Inferno will be harder than Act3-4 right now :

    – Lvl63 monsters
    – A lot more life
    – More damages

    Looks like I’ll have to farm Act2 with no monster power forever, that’s not good news…

    • Remember that they also decreased monster health + damage so that mp2-3 was about the difficulty of the Act 3 1.0.4 monsters so I think Act 1 MP1 will still be manageable and the rewards better overall with all items rolling lvl 63 affixes. This should help people take less time to gear up and get through all acts on MP1, after that it’s only a matter of grinding again to increase your dmg and clearing speed while upping the MP level.

      At least with the drop rates being equal in all acts, no one is forced to grind act 3 to the best loot and I’ll finally have a chance to find more legendaries, sets and friggin jeweler plans.

      I’m doing the unique + rare + champion achievements right now grinding each act one after the other as I slowly progress to finish the game in Inferno and then repeat on hardcore.

    • That’s a reasonable supposition from the data, but doesn’t match actual play testing. See the article I wrote about ML1 from the PTR.

      My DH was able to survive MP1 Act One, with a lot of difficulty, while wearing her best MF gear. I could never survive Act 2 or Act 3 in that gear with that char, in v1.0.4, much less in v1.0.5 on MP1 or higher. MP turns up the monsters quite a bit, but there’s still a huge difference between a level 63 zombie or grotesque and a level 63 Fallen Shaman or Lacuni Warrior, much less the much nastier enemies you get in act 3 and 4.

      Resistances, hit points, attack speed, foot speed, etc.

      • If MP2-3 = current 1.04 then :

        – Monster health = 275% ( (225+326)/2 ) = current 100%
        – Monster damage = 139% ( (130+148)/2 ) = current 100%

        Looks like there will be a huge nerf to the monster health and damage in 1.0.5 indeed.
        Well, I guess we’ll have to see that when the patch will be there.

  2. Hello! I’ve been reading this site for well over a year or 2 now but I never reply to these threads. Anyway I think your mistaken. MP 3 is about the equivalent of current act 3-4 difficulty. MP 1 will just normalize the damage across acts 1-4. In other words, when we take into account the nerf to monster damage this patch will bring, approximately 25%, then current act 3-4 and MP 1-2 should be easier than what you’re currently experiencing. Odds are if you can handle act 2 now, then you should be able to handle act 3 with no monster power next patch. You may even be able to handle MP 1 or 2 considering all acts should still be easier (on that MP) than Act 3 currently.

    I hope that made sense.

    • Hey Lonely Stranger – The blue text is quoted, ain’t me or any of our writers. This particular post is directly from Blizzard.

      As far as relative difficulty, I don’t think their testing really incorporates the implications of what increasing health actually does. Not only is it more health, it means more resource consumption, more need of mobility, etc. These things are usually intangible, and thus difficult to measure.

      Plus, it wouldn’t be the first time where their calculations have been incorrect.

      • Hey, yeah I know the blue text is blizzard. I also understand what you’re saying. I think the problem with people progressing into later acts though has been due to damage spikes. I know personally I was stuck for a while simply because of the damage increase between acts. All I was saying was that the decrease in monster damage should allow him to live long enough in later acts and potentially MP 1-2 in order to slowly burn mobs down.

      • Oh and my original comment was directed at Tom, lol… sorry I guess I didn’t hit reply. Like I said, I don’t usually post here 🙂

    • so if A1 1.04 is harder then A1 mp1 1.05 (check Flux’s comment) then:
      A1 1.04 ~ mp2 1.05 A1 or maybe all of them
      A2 1.04 ~ mp3(oh music. sweet!)
      A3-A4 ~ mp4

  3. so a setting of MP 1 in Normal, Nightmare and Hell gives the monsters 130% extra health and only 20% additional xp ?

    so if a monster normally has 100 health it will have 230 health at MP 1 ?

    and only 10% extra gold and magic find ?

    other than the challenge, what’s the point of leveling up with MP 1 ?
    it just seems like it would be so slow

    • The monster health and damage values in the table are final values, not increases. A monster with 1000 health would have 1300 at MP1 (30% more).

      • well, ok, but it says “For Normal, Nightmare, and Hell, the bonuses look like this: …”

        what you’ve described is a 30% bonus, not a 130% bonus

        at least that’s the way I read it, but I’m sure you’re correct

        • and since I can’t edit …

          you’re saying the 20% xp is the FINAL value ?

          that can’t be correct

          it has to be 20% extra
          20% on top of what you’ve normally get

          so to be consistent, the 130% health would have to be extra also

          that’s why I interpreted it the way I did

          I’m sure you’re correct about the health, but then I think the chart should be consistent and say 120% xp as the final value

          • I believe the key is how they worded it. Based on the above chart for Inferno:
            Monster Health @ MP1 = 150
            + XP @ MP1 =10%
            The “+” is there to emphasize that it’s additive while the Monster Health is stated without the “+”.
            So I believe Row is correct.

  4. One thing that comes into mind is : When I join a public game – how dow I know which monster level I’m going to join? I DONT want to face the possibility of joining a MP10-game when I’m not ready for it.
    This raises the question once more for having a better game matching system: I need to be able to select what type of public game to join; choose the MP, choose what level-range the other players can be, choose what classes that can be etc.
    I just HATE jumping into a game, finding out that we are 4 WD and noone is able to tank, etc etc…
    If Blizzard REALLY want the game to be a social game – then the social aspects of the game has to be improved, or the game will still be a single-player game.
    Just my two cents…

  5. After reading this blog, one question comes to mind: Does the added mf stack past the 300% limit? I couldnt see it mentioned anywhere in the post.

  6. The game just keeps getting better and better. Adopting the playersX mechanic from D2 is a great addition as well as getting Exp, MF, and GF bonus per level. I know I will be at MP1 at least, as I have no problem with Act 3. I can’t 1 shot everything, and I am not that fast with 41K damage, but I know that MP1 will be doable. Once I get a few more Paragon Levels, I am going to start swapping out some MF gear for DPS gear. The Infernal Machine is going to be cool as well. I haven’t played in the PTR to try it out, but going against my nemesis Ghom and Rakanoth at the same time will be interesting.

  7. So I feel like the big thing no one is talking about is the “bonus item” mechanic. I don’t *think* we had detected that in testing, and imo it’s a big incentive to crank MP as high was possible!

  8. Level Mp 10 will achieve faster leveling! this is what i am excited about 2 of every class achievement here i come!

    but i noticed that bonus item too, and very curious on what it entails.

    is this bonus item a random item, a unique? a rare? some blue, some white, a gem. anyone know?

  9. To me it sounds similar to the guaranteed Rare mechanic currently in place with full NV stacks. This one instead has percentages based on the MP you’re on and I think will have a floor of Magic rather than Rare in terms of item quality.

    Put more simply, I think you’re just going to notice more items in general dropping per mob the higher in MP you go, which could potentially result in more Legendaries, Rares, etc. However, if it takes you 10 minutes to kill a Champion pack on MP10 and you get 5 items (3 + 1 guaranteed from MP10 + 1 guaranteed from NV), it’s pretty easy to find a more effective break point in lower MP where you can kill 2 packs in 10 minutes for 8 items or even 3 packs in 10 minutes and suddenly that scenario is more effective than cranking up MP.

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