Nephalem Valor Announced


Well, it looks like we finally have some information that Bashiok alluded to previously in a post we reported about a while ago. I had predicted something similar to the announced features, as it seemed like the most logical way to implement some sort of rewards feature for Elite and Boss enemies.

The new mechanic seems to tie a few controversial areas together. While it is not a solve-it-all solution, it does provide incentive for a build identity, it keeps bosses from being trivialized, and it provides benefits for the casual and hardcore base of players.

We’re working hard on balancing and testing Diablo III, and one of the major components is making sure that the end game experience is fun and exciting. We’d like to share a few of our goals for end game:

  • We have an enormous number of skill build combinations, and we want a lot of those skill builds to be viable and interesting
  • While there are millions of skill builds available to players, we don’t want players swapping skills regularly to beat specific encounters as they come up
  • We don’t want repeatedly running specific three-minute chunks of the game to be the most efficient way to acquire gear for your character
  • While a three-minute run shouldn’t be the most efficient, we also don’t want you to feel like it’s a two-hour commitment every time you sit down to play
  • Bosses should still feel worth killing

DiabloWikiNephalem Valor is one of the major new systems in Diablo III and it kicks in at level 60. Keep in mind that this is still in testing and we’re still working out the details. Here’s how it currently works internally: Rare and Champion packs already have great loot on them. By killing a Rare or Champion pack, not only do you get their loot, but you’ll also receive a buff granting you increased magic find and gold find. However, if you change a skill, skill rune, passive, or leave the game, the buff disappears. As an extra reward, if you kill a boss while this buff is active, you’ll receive extra loot drops from that boss.

The exact amount of magic find and gold find provided by the buff is still being reviewed, as is the amount of extra loot you get from a boss while the buff is active. We’re also playing around with whether or not the buff stacks, what the duration should be, and whether or not it should persist through death. We want to make sure the buff is strong enough to make staying in your current game more rewarding than creating a new game. At the same time, if the buff is too strong, it risks making shorter play sessions feel not worthwhile.

We expect this system will encourage players to stick with a skill build of their choice, select an area of the game they enjoy, and sweep it for rare and champion packs on their way to a boss, finishing off a run with a boss that’ll be worth killing. If you wanted a shorter play session you could be done at that point, but if you have more time, the path of least resistance would ideally be to stay in the same game and make your way towards the next boss.

Since the system is still in the tweaking phase, it is likely that we’ll seem some changes to the system. My original predictions were that the buff would stack, giving you incentive to kill more than just a single pack of elites to reward more play before heading to a boss. It’s a shame that Nephalem Valor doesn’t kick in until you’re level 60, as we won’t be able to test it in the beta.

How does the community feel about this new mechanic? Do you feel that this adequately address some of the issues we’ve seen previously with the game regarding build permanence, Boss runs, and the like? If it’s not up to scratch for your hopes, how would you change the system to better address the game’s issues?

Update: Bashiok has answered additional questions:

Does “kicks in at level 60” imply inferno only?

No, it kicks in at 60. Once you hit 60 you have access to this buff regardless of difficulty. You can use it and go back to Hell to help you gear up for Inferno, absolutely.

When you say extra loot, do you mean, extra loot. Or do you mean extra loot that is on par with what elite/champs drop. I remember from the article before, bosses do not drop gear that is as good as champs/elites.

They will drop gear as good as champions and elites with this buff (because you have to kill champions and elites to get it, which was the point). With the buff active you’re guaranteed one extra item drop from the boss, and it’s likely that it’ll be 1 item per stack of the buff. Up to X stacks. We don’t know how many it’ll be, probably a handful.

How many stacks will there be if any?

We’re not totally sure but probably a number you can count on one hand.

Do you lose the buff when you die?

It lasts through death currently, and we like it. I know some people will also want it to be a punishment for death, but repair costs are already extremely impactful.

Does the buff splits between players?

Like someone joins after you’ve been killing and they have less stacks? It’s a direct increase to your MF/GF, so it uses the same mechanics.

Do you lose it on disconnect?

There’s a small grace period, similar to WoW where you can get back into the game before your character is actually logged out (ie a timeout), but yes if your character times out you would lose the buff.

What is the Time limit on the stack, if any?

We’re messing with times from about 15 minutes to an hour. We don’t know yet.

Do Stacks get removed after a boss?

We don’t really think it needs to. Your focus is still going to be seeking out champions and rares. If you want to get full stacks, kill a boss, and then try to rush to kill another boss before the buff falls off… have fun? It’s not going to be the most lucrative way to play, so it’s likely a non-issue hypothetical.

Thanks for stonerdoom for posting this in the forums.

Comments

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  1. Looks good. The buff drops at log out, so we can decide whatever build we want at the beginning of daily play and swap at the start of each new session.

    • It sounds interesting, but I’m a little surprised they’d announce this with nothing more definite than a collection of questions and theories about it, which are 95% identical to those fans have been voicing.  Less so even, as nothing in this post addresses the issue of sharing the bonuses in parties, which is something fans have been much concerned about.

      Well, we certainly can’t fault Bliz for not including us in their thought processes, almost at the drawing board stage in this instance.

      • Flux – they are probably thinking they have at least till after release to nail this down … depends how fast people will hit 60. 

        • Sadly, many (most?) hardcore characters will never reach 60 at all, so this is a weird one for HC.

          • No Way! – Im never going to touch SC … cept for the first hour that I have too.  And you can bet your Bul-Kathos’s that I’ll be 60 and playing with this buff –
            I havnt waited 10 years to have my skills tested for nothing … 

          • I’m afraid I just suck more 🙂

            I’ll bet my Mostly Complete Sigon’s that I’ll get plenty of low level chars killed.

            …but we will both have fun. 

          • haha Jarpy – well I do have a feeling that I’ll be meeting my maker also; hopefully many times (all the more fun). 

      •  I still think it should be the other way around, with killing bosses giving a MF bonus… and making elites and the minions around them more powerful…   
         
         
         
        I mean Baal runs made you kill his minions before him, and for D3 to avoid another ball run situation with this system they’d have to never make a boss fight where you fight elites right before or with the boss…  
         
         

  2. Like the sound of this very muchly.

  3. It sounds even better than I first anticipated.

  4. I appreciate that this late in the game they are still doing what they can to make the play experience as enjoyable as possible.

  5. I like the sound of it. I think it would be kinda silly if it persists through death, but since I play hardcore that part is kinda irrelevant to me.

  6. Interesting, it doesn’t carry across sessions, so really, it’s just preventing people from swapping skills on the fly to be best attuned to the monsters they find.  It’s not stopping people from changing their builds to the “flavor of the month” cookie-cutter builds.

    • There will always be flavor of the month cookie-cutter builds, no matter how hard or easy it is to swap your skills. They were prevalent in Diablo 2 despite how difficult it was there to respec. This system isn’t meant to shoehorn people into a build permanently, and that’s never been a goal.

      • Funny since freespecs were hailed as the way to abolish cookie-cutters. In reality it makes it easier for anyone to just swap to the flavor of the month cookie-cutter whenever things get a little hard. The truth is that people never were shoehorned into any particular permanent build, but now will get shoehorned into having to swap skills on the fly to optimally get through the game.

        I have the impression Blizzard doesn’t even care how people get through the game. Just pick a character. Exploit the fuck out of freespecs. Never ask the player to commit to anything. Never punish/reward the player for anything but shallow shortterm choices. Just, get to 60, freespec your “build” to the ultimate Inferno farmer, and hook up on the RMAH so Blizzard can get it’s money.

        • Nothing is going to “abolish” cookie-cutters and nobody has ever claimed otherwise. Skill-swapping makes it easier for people to switch to a flavor of the month, but it also makes it easier for people to switch things around and experiment. It goes both ways. Ultimately what you get is a system where people are encouraged to run with the skills that they enjoy best, since they can actually test playing with them in the game, rather than just using the skills listed on a website. Some people will always look for a cookie-cutter build regardless, but this way people can actually try something different without sacrificing a whole character in order to do so.

          I don’t see why you’re suggesting that people will be “shoehorned into having to swap skills on the fly” when this change very specifically discourages players from doing that. People have the freedom to experiment a bit if they want by changing their skills at the start of a game, but they’re punished for switching their skills around after they’ve been playing for a bit. You don’t actually address these changes whatsoever in what you say, so I’m assuming you’re just bitter about “freespecs” in general and wouldn’t be happy unless they were completely removed from the game. Well, in that case, sucks to be you!

  7. A clear sign that the guys and gal’s at Blizz aren’t as stupid as thought, and are WELL aware of the need for somewhat of a BUILD in the game. LOVE IT! =)

    • Really? It took them all the feedback in the world to make this change. Change which many (including myself) had suggested. Not as stupid as we thought? More like pretty stupid, but not stupid enough to not listen, if anything.

  8. I. Love. It. !!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Great idea and it is definitely a work in the right direction for what endgame, IMHO, should be like. 

  10. Sounds like a good poll question to me.

    • Most people seem overwhelmingly in support of this change, so I’m not sure it would really be that interesting. I’d rather see a poll around the RMAH in HC.

  11. I still like it, but I would have liked to learn more about it. I think this post barely had any new info in it, that wasn’t already obvious.

    It seems this system is still in its infancy.

  12. Limited stacks would be nice with no timer. That way survivability should also be taken into account. Also, although I assume this will be the case, I hope that the buff isn’t shared.

    • What do you mean by not shared?

      • I suspect he means if the buff is stacked, and someone joins late, they would not have the stacked value grandfathered to their total.

      • I think he means in that another player changing skills (or dying if that is the case) factors into the effect of their own buff.  If the MF of the buff is shared then it could lead to conflicts between the swap on the fly types and the set-build types.  The nature of the buff leads me to believe that it will be individual but that’s mostly a guess.

  13. Clockwork asked on the official forums if this will be an Inferno only feature or not. Bashiok’s answer:
     
    “No, it kicks in at 60. Once you hit 60 you have access to this buff regardless of difficulty. You can use it and go back to Hell to help you gear up for Inferno, absolutely.”

    • Am really liking this – would of really wanted a respec fee but this may be a close 2nd … I can live with it if implemented right

  14. Awesome addition, but remove the word Nephalem from it.  “Valor” is perfect.  Tying mechanics to lore seems forced.
    I hope it doesn’t persist on death, has no timer (I hate racing around), stacks with each champion pack, and is not shared.

    • If you are playing as a group would it matter? Everyone in game gets it.  Or is your suggestion that whoever gets the kill shot gets it?

      • No, the kill shot would lead to bad competition.  I suppose other players would have to be a certain distance from the fight to receive the bonus

    • I have to disagree with you there, calling it Valor would be pretty boring, and it’s actually pretty awesome that they even want to tie in the lore for a mechanic like this.  It makes sense from a lore standpoint: Worldstone is causing the Nephalem to drain and become weaker, at a high level of play Nephalem Valor is the opposite.
       
      Also the timer is probably a certainty, speed is going to be a big factor especially for hardcore play.

    • I agree with everything you just said.

  15. Not terrible but not expansive enough, it just means they take an extra 30seconds to find a pack, get the buff, then run the bosses. Make it stack, not like it can stack permanently (limited units in a game).

    And on the topic, pre-lvl 60 implement a similar buff for experience. Make it more useful to run through a game, not just run bosses to get experience. That ruined d2 IMO, everyone got rushed and then just ran bosses to lvl up, boooooring.

    • Sure but you are supposed to experiment and swap out skills and runs while you level-up so it’s unfair to punish a player for swapping skills/runes during a time when you’re supposed to be doing precisely that. That is the reason why it’s lvl 60 only and of course your pre-lvl 60 XP buff would work fine if it wasn’t tied to swapping skills/runes.

    • Implementing a similar system for experience isn’t needed, since we’re supposed to reach or come close to level 60 by the end of Hell anyway. Farming for XP shouldn’t be needed anymore.

    • It’s going to take longer than 30 seconds to find and defeat an elite pack in Hell or Inferno. Besides, why would you just want to get the buff and then run the bosses right away? The buff applies to ALL of your mf and gf, so why wouldn’t you want to run other elite packs as well? I’m fairly confident that the buff isn’t going to make boss drops leagues beyond the drops of elite packs. 

  16. Interesting indeed!

  17. Level 60 sounds about right. By then you should have some decent gear and be accustomed to all the skill and rune combinations. I still don’t get the people that think you should be stuck with one choice in building a character, I really don’t. Are you guys happy now? There is a cooldown and it will affect MF in the late game.
    I definitely like the idea of area running to get loot. I have always preferred AT and Pit runs in D2. With this setup it’s almost like running WSK and having some nice challenges and loot drops to build your MF bonus up to face the waves and Baal.

  18. Here’s a question: Does monsters respawn in D3? Bosses probably won’t of course, but bosspacks could I suppose? In that case staying in a game for days (or weeks?) could possibly make this an exploit (a nice one but still)! I really like the sound of this feature actually, but if B-net was bogged down with games that never ended it could be very bad situation! 

    • I’ve seen nothing to indicate monsters will respawn inside a single game. You would need to restart the game/quest and presumably lose your valor buff.

    • Well, I have a feeling that won’t be a problem. You auto-log when you quit the game, and I’m sure there will be a timeout if you are AFK to keep server space clear, so unless you are playing constantly or being active at least once every 30mins (speculative time there) then you will not be able to stay in a single game for days/weeks at a time.

  19. What’s the difference between rare and champion monsters?  Are rare monsters those with a yellow name and champions purple?  Are “bosses” only act bosses?  I’m OK with that, just asking.

    • My current understanding of the dev’s terminology is that Rares are the named monsters and Champions are still what they were in D2. These two categories are called Elites by the devs regularly.

    • I’ve always called the blue one’s champions, the yellow mobs rare’s, and the purple one’s super rares (or at times mini bosses) similar to D2?s use of Unique/Super unique except that in this case they’re all randomly generated.  Elite is a blanket term for all three categories.

  20. It is definitely a nice touch by blizz and a welcoming addition to the end game.  However, I think the balance issue will be the ultimate deciding factor for this feature.  I just don’t see it doing what is intended to do.  During some point, players will eventually come to the conclusion of either 1) additional MF not worth the long session time, would rather do 3min boss runs, or 2) additional MF is great, but certain players just don’t have time to drag out a 2 hr session.  One of these scenarios will occur, it will not be something in between because that would be inefficient.  Which leaves blizz always fighting the balance issue.

    My suggestion is to make the mini-bosses/unique/rara packs mandatory.  Like you have to kill 5 rare packs before Boss monster can spawn.  Keep all the MF the same.  No buffs or anything.  Kind of like the Baal throne room where you have to kill uniques from each act before reaching baal.  Any counters to this suggestion?

    • I agree however, if they balance it right it might make a boss drops on par with D2 IF you say kills 2-3 elite packs on the way to said boss.  I think that would make it worthwhile imo.  that would satisfy those who favor the boss killing and satisfy those like me who want the random encounters to provide the best loot.  now we theoretically get both.  its not like im against boss running but honestly looping baal was just sad after 5 years wasnt it?  it would be nice to get rewarded for just roaming and killing stuff. 

    • I could understand how people will end up gaming the system but I still think it is for the best.  Even if players just kill as many packs as needed for the max buff stack before rushing the act boss, it still gets players to explore a bit more than they would have otherwise and it makes it so that bosses are worth killing as opposed to only hunter rares.

    • Your post is a bit confusing as their system essentially solves the problems your “solution” presents. You want a shorter run time than 2 hrs? Well, they seem to provide an solution by NOT having mandatory mini-boss packs.
       
      At any rate, casuals will probably never reach this end-game content or be quite so concerned with optimizing to achieve maximum MF before slaying their target boss. I think it’s safe to say two hours isn’t too much to ask from a player that has devoted enough time to even attempt this content. If a “casual” does attempt the content, Blizzard has been successful and the player is no longer casual.
       
      Therefore, 2 hours (or less, since they say they don’t want it to feel like a 2-hour commitment) isn’t too much to ask from a hardcore gamer.

  21. I think it sounds like an interesting mechanic. 

    The one issue I see with it: in D2, you could run alvl85 areas (i.e., the Pit), super uniques (like Pindle), do Trav runs for runes, or Meph / Baal ’til you were blue in the face.  It gave you options.  …Now, it seems like we’re constricted to run EVERYTHING. 

    There’s variation in what you can kill and where you kill it, but really they’re already telling us the best way to MF.  And the best way doesn’t really give us much of a choice.  Unless you adhere to their new “kill this, then kill that” mechanic, it’s likely that you’re going to have worse drops.

    Freedom of choice is partially limited.  …And in some ways, all it does is change what a “run” will consist of.  Before, I’d run the Ancient Tunnels for hours, then when I got bored I’d switch over to Baal.  Now, I’m going to do both of them for a few hours…  and get bored of those runs twice as fast as I would before now that they’re rolled into one.

    I’m not saying it’s a terrible mechanic; anything to organically boost my MF is a good thing, especially if Inferno calls for less MF gear for better power/survivability.  But I think it’s a limiter, not a provider.

    • “constricted to run EVERYTHING”
       
      Contradiction in terms.

      • Not when everything is the same drab of everything else.
        Meph runs were different from Pit runs, people had different builds to optimally run one or the other. I have the feeling Inferno will be WSK (just random everything) but then throughout all acts. Thus, people will then be sort of constricted to use a general cookie cutter to optimally deal with this general drab. Oh and don’t forget the correct sequence peeps, first slay general elite pack then slay boss. Yawn

        • It’s pretty contentious to say that the entirety of D3 has less variety in it than the variety between Pit runs and Meph runs.

          And yeah, people will be encouraged to have a versatile build rather than something that lets them farm the same single area over and over and over again by spamming one or two buttons, as was the case in D2. I don’t consider that a “constriction” and I don’t consider it a flaw in game design. 

          • If by versatile you mean generic.
            There was a clear difference between speccing to run Mephy or speccing to run the Pit’s, what’s going to be the difference between speccing for generic same leveled areas in Inferno?
            Also lol at comparing a ten year old game’s battle system to any game of today, just shows how thin your defence is and how much of a tool you are.

          • No, I don’t mean generic. I mean versatile. I’m sure that some builds will become “generic” over time, just like Frozen Orb Sorcs, Hammer Paladins, WW barbs, etc., but no, nothing in the game encourages you to copy other people. There are systems in the game which encourage players to have a versatile build so that they can handle a number of different situations, but each class has a number of different skills for each situation depending on your playstyle, and the way you combine each of those skills with skills for other situations leads to a lot of options – unlike the standard “mash one button, sometimes use a second button” system in Diablo 2.

            Also, I can’t think of anything more tedious than devoting an entire character to running a single boss or area over and over and over again (e.g. speccing for Meph or Pit runs).

            The whole point of TheReadMenace’s post was to compare D3 to D2, so that’s what I kept doing. If you’re going to resort to attempted insults in place of actually trying to make reasonable points, the discussion is over.

    • In D2 you had a few areas you could run for the best chances of finding great items.

      In D3 you can search the whole game for the best chances of finding great items.

      I don’t see how this “limits” you in any meaningful way. Finding one elite pack (if the buff doesn’t stack) isn’t especially constrictive.

      • precisely.  pick your favorite area.  run one or run all.  run bosses or don’t.  Its Burger King Diablo-style.  the only thing thats not on the menu is boss only runs giving you the best loot.  they can, you just have to kill some elite packs first.  

    • I don’t see how making us play a greater portion of the game is a bad thing.  A system where only a subset of the whole is used is inefficient and ultimately boring much sooner than utilizing the whole game.  

  22. # i like it
    # but why not make it simply “swap skills => buff gone”
    _____without
    _____”leave game to play with friends => buff gone” and
    _____”turn off PC over night for ecological or acustic reasons => buff gone” 

    • Because then people would just get the buff and run a single boss over and over and over in new games, and that’s what they’re trying to avoid.

    • Then people would find a cheap area to farm (like the cemetary in the Beta). Kill a bunch of elites real quick and build up your magic find. Log out and do it again. Some areas will be more elite-rich than others.

  23. Very great choice and gets people out in the world, instead of just mechanically farming a single boss for hours at an end. Which was what gave rise to botting programs. But that you actively have to play the game instead, which is something I only can applaud, genius.

  24. I still don’t get the people that think you should be stuck with one choice in building a character people like unique characters with specialized skills before thats
    ole playing.  In fundamental difference between any other genre from RPG is that the protagonist’s growth and skills in a RPG is based on what the user choose.  While other games like Mario or Resident Evil, everyone’s char is exactely the same. They are stuck with the choice, because it was their choice.  Hence
    ole playing.  While you can argue Diablo as a true RGP or not, you can’t argue’s RPG’s appeal to the audience. 

  25. It means that players who aren’t lvl 60 have less chance to drop a good items than players with a character lvl 60? In my opinion, the drop rate should be equal for everyone, no matter if you’re lvl 60 or lvl 10.

    • In theory I could agree.  perhaps they could scale it somehow? but honestly we are all gonna be on L60 by May 16 so who gives hoot.  When you are 1-50 you are just going to live off the land and craft and AH perhaps.  scrapping to get by for the L60/inferno onslaught.  I cant wait for this —-!

  26. Awesome addition.

    I hope they will remove the buff if you die. This way, defensive abilities will be a bit more interesting for the softcore experience.  

  27. I have bad feelings about this. Forcing you to stick to one build to get better items? Come on…

    • Nothing is preventing you from changing around your build at the start of a play session.

    • You likely have a good handle on decent skill combo by the time it becomes a concern.  plus as Lucian said, if you think your current setup is fail just make a new game.  people forget how FAST diablo games go.  its bedlam. LOL!!  😈

  28. i dont think i like the idea of it not working before 60, but i really just want the game to come out already!
     
     

  29. So many of my hardcore characters are going to die..
    “Just one more elite mob pack…”

    • If you listen closely, late at night, you can hear the faint cries of our brethren after the loss of a L60 HC barb who just bought the farm elite hunting.  “NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!” 

  30. Sounds all good. Now please use your world-time machine and turn it forward to may.

  31. I’m still hoping this buff is individual per player, though it wasn’t mentioned in the post, there’s still a chance this buff gets averaged like other MF/GF stats.

    That I would not like to see. 

    • I would think that if you are in the group and you are close enough then you would get an equal bonus whatever it is (they havent said).  theres no need to average it because everyone just gets it.  What is concerning is the stacking.  So can we get say 5% mf/gf bonus per elite pack on the way to the boss (l’ll leave it to blizz to work out a viable % for balance sake).  I think it would be cool if you got a big time reward for playing with the same build with the same 4 guys all the way through the game.  Why shouldnt you get a super% mf bonus if you blow a whole sunday marathoning inferno 1-4?

      • I’m sure there will be deminishing returns on the buff if it stacks.

        Whether there will be a cap I’m not sure, maybe it won’t need one?  

      • “Why shouldnt you get a super% mf bonus if you blow a whole sunday marathoning inferno 1-4?”

        Because not all players have the time to dedicate to something like that, and they don’t want it to feel pointless to play for shorter amounts of time. If you set up a system where the buff stacks a whole lot the more you play, you’re setting up a system where people perceive that to be the only viable way to search for endgame items, and I don’t think that’s what Blizzard is aiming for.

        Personally, I’m sure I’ll have my fair share of lengthy sessions, but I also don’t want it feeling pointless when I only have 20 minutes to play for a bit. 

  32. I guess I don’t really get the praising here.  What’s to stop people from going to the one place in the game that is the best/easiest way to get the buff and then right on to the best/easiest Act Boss?  Because this is exactly what will happen, over and over.  There needs to be a much more complicated system to “force” people to explore the rest of the world because in the current one, they wont.

    • Blizzard has repeatedly said that they will use automated game statistics software to identify “farmed” portions of the game and promptly make them more difficult. There is really no way to prevent “farming” trends happening in the first place, but they are perfectly aware of it and are prepared to patch these trends out of existence as they emerge.

    • If it takes many hours to max the buff, then it wont really matter much if people teleport to a specific boss afterward to use it. Also if it last through multiple boss kills, then people cant just pick one single easy boss to use it on.
      Further, it doesn’t sound like bosses will start dropping totally awesome guaranteed loot with this buff, the buff merely makes it so killing bosses wont be pointless.

    • In D2 you couldn’t go where ever you liked because there were only a few lvl 85 areas. Now an entire difficulty level is “lvl 85”. They try to make it equally difficult from start to finish and while I am sure there will be a slight curve and consequently ideal spots for running, the difference hopefully won’t be anywhere near big enough to force your hand. For example WSK is obviously harder than the pits yet people run it, but no matter how much you like the glacial trial, there isn’t much point going there. That’s how I picture this system.

    • Having seen what they’re prepared to do with Inferno, I think the ‘Easiest boss to get to’ will be a very loose term – this isn’t no-cd teleport Diablo 2 – we’re talking 16 secs base cd, with a rune option to teleport twice in a row before cd kicks in – you won’t get very far with that 🙂

      When it comes to the system, I think it’s a nice addition, but for me personally, it’ll ‘just’ be a reward for doing what I will be doing anyway. If the buffed Leoric is anything to go by in the beta, I probably wouldn’t even bother hunting bosses, as he takes freaking ages to kill 😛 

    • You have to remember the quest system in Diablo 3 changes the way your waypoints work.  You can’t just get the buff, then WP to the boss, you will have to play through the areas to get there.
      Its unlikely that they will make it so one elite kill maxes out the stack, but even if it does you would be faced with the prospect of starting quests 1 “elite” away from the boss, and then running to the boss.  But if you do that, you will only have the buff for the boss, and not the elite, which would likely mean significantly less loot, as long as the buff doesn’t do anything crazy and make the boss drop 6 items instead of 2. 
      Also, it will probably stack in a way that after say, 5 elites, the boss drops 1 more items, maxing at 15 stacks, and also giving MF / GF per stack.  This would be enough to get people to farm areas, and the fact that keeping those precious stacks is valuable, people are unlikely to want to re-build them, when they could simply keep playing with enhanced MF values. 

  33. Great concept.
    I just hope they get the numbers/implementation right.
     
    It has to stack. It has to build up somewhat slowly, with diminishing returns.
    Preferably it last through sessions (but reset if you reset the quest). It last through boss kills, but after X bosses it is fully consumed.
    The buff should last for many hours. Only resetting by killing X bosses, not refreshing it for maybe 24 hours or even more, or by resetting your quest progress.

  34. The entire Inferno mode is a flat difficulty.  Which means EVERY area has the same concentration of elite packs.  Choose where you want to go and have at it.  I love this idea.

  35. first of all, the buff has to stack. Otherwise, whats to stop someone from finding 1 boss pack, then heading straight to the boss. 

    There needs to be a timer, otherwise, it will force people to rush through, rather than fully explore each of the maps. Otherwise, you might take to long and lose the buff. This could be circumvented by a sizable timer, possibly 30 minutes+ ? cause it would suck to be fighting a boss, but for it to take to long and you lose the buff.

    Dying should remove the buff, where is the valor in dying?

    as for setting limit on a stack… say you set the stack cap to 5. Then groups will just go around find/kill 5 elite packs, then head for the boss.

    and at the same time, bosses should consume this buff. otherwise, what is to stop you from killing the 1 pack 9if it doesn’t stack) or X packs (if it stacks) then sing a WP to warp between bosses, killing them all with one buff and ignoring all the rest of the packs?

    How I think it should work…

    each section leading up to a boss has its own buff, killing the elites will cause your buff to stack and get stronger and stronger until you get to the boss of that section where killing it will remove the buff. However. The buff wouldn’t work on any other boss in the game, so you also couldn’t continue to stack the buff by skipping the boss and going to a new section, cause the old buff wouldn’t work there.

    This will let you explore without worry of losing the buff, and makes running a “single section” equal to running the entire game in one sitting. 

    this is.. assuming it is possible to still go back and battle old bosses without changing the current quest. (something I don’t actually know…) If its not possibly, then there wouldn’t need to be separate buffs, as the only way to get to a new section would be by beating the previous boss.  

  36. This is amazing. BUT I can forsee that someone somewhere will create a cookie-cutter MF build for every class, a build that is most balanced and decent against every kind of mob packs. Although I personally believe that there is no best build in D3, I am still afraid that “the cookie cutter” excuse will rise up again.
     

    • It is unlikely you can find one build that is best overall. There will be hundreds of them, if not thousands.

    • Of course there will be builds considered to be “the best”.  Blizzard already knows this and has tried it’s best to come up with so many “awesome” builds that you can choose whichever one suits your play style and use that. 
      I just hope it’s not as obvious as the 1.09 javzon or the 1.10 hammerdin

      • Yes some builds will be best. It just wont be one single build that is best, maybe it will be a 100 builds which is best or maybe 50. Hard to say, but very unlikely it would be 1.

      • Furthermore, I hope that the game requires more in the way of skill, so that there’s a lot more required to the game than just designing a build. Skills like reaction time, awareness, knowledge of monster abilities and attributes, etc. should matter.

  37. I dont like the fact that you play 99% of game at max level as in WoW. Maybe ill change my view later but i dont expect it. Ill play hardcore from the time i hit lvl10 with sc character so maybe its fine since ill be dyiong quite alot i expect.
    I really like the changes to endgame otherwise, whole game your field instead of few bossruns. Would have preferred bosses being top of the pick though, but only if you cleared the way up to them.

    • In D2 you would play 90% of the time as “end game” a.k.a. baal runs and mf’ing.
      It seems D3 streamlines it and makes it fun.
      Who wants a game where you have to spend 90% of the time to get to the funnest 10%?
       

  38. I really like this idea because it allows you to play the game with variety.  Running the same boss over and over can be fun but it can get old.  This should make magic finding and gold finding a lot more fun.

  39. If they really want to get the most out of it…

    1. Have the highest % require you to kill at least 1/2 (or blizz enter estimated # here) of the champions/rare packs in a single Act.
    2. Have it only last in the Act you start in (will promote doing full run of individual Acts).
    2. Have a hard cap on it (# cap), or diminishing returns thereafter.
    3. Bonus is individual but can also be shared if you are within 2 screens of monster pack when they die (same as xp radius)
    4. Have it only last for the game your in (as previously said – to keep people in one game).
    5. Make it reset after being used on a final Act boss (only for the act you were in), but can accumulate after as before for the subsequent. 
    6. To promote party play: If you are AFK in town or not with the group and miss the Boss Battle, your bonus is gone and you’ll have to try in the next Act.
    7. As long as you stay in the Act you start farming in, in the game you start in, your bonus should not expire.

    This would, of course, suck for casual players with not much time, because you would have to complete an entire act to get the benefit. I agree the level 60 thing sucks as well. I would prefer it to be level 30 myself… It would produce more grouping at an early stage.

    Edit: I’m also on the fence if it should disappear if you wipe while on a boss… I’d prefer NO myself 🙂

    • Your last part would be easily solvable by not losing the buff when logging off.

      There is no god reason to keep people in one game for a long time, the only goal should be to make it worth it to keep your current game progress – which you obviously do if you stay in one game.
      People who log of, and then log back in later in the exact spot they logged out should not lose their buff tbh.

      • If people disconnect and log back in, then they should retain the buff, yes. But if they log out for 2 hours, I see no reason why the buff should persist, as it’s supposed to be a reward for playing the game.
        Knowing that the average Diablo player seems to hate the mentioning of WoW, I just came to think of one concept that could be extremely cool in Diablo 3 – the timed run.
        Basically it gives you a certain amount of time to clear an area for bonus loot from the boss, which could be translated into added MF in Diablo 3 – which would also add to the sense of accomplishment, as you’d feel great when your character was finally at a gear level where they could attempt to pull if off successfully 🙂 And, of course, with Jay Wilson saying time and time again that they want players to want to engage in combat, it would be yet another carrot on a stick to do so 🙂  

  40. I like this idea a lot. It rewards players for replaying through the actual game instead of doing boss runs for efficient item finding. This, in effect, encourages us to replay the game and allows us to experience all of the unique game events, find the random lore books, see the random dungeons, etc. while we’re “farming.” In the long run, i feel this is much more enjoyable than the repetitiveness of continuous boss runs, as well as decrease the incentive for people to use bots (hopefully).

    And for the people who have been complaining about build commitment, hopefully this placates their concerns, even if it’s just a little.
                                   

    • I’m one of those who have complained, and whined, endlessly about the need for build commitment. It is hard to describe how happy I am that Blizzard now apparently see this as well.

      And yes, if this is implemented in the right way it can go a very long way to solve the problem.

      If they do the Nephalem buff wrong, then it wont help at all. But hey, the fact that they thought up one single solution to like 4 different issues at once is pretty amazing, so for once I have a little faith that they will implement it right.

      For it to be effective in terms of discouraging respecs it has to
      1) Be stackable and take some substantial time to max (for example the time it takes to clear an act – maybe even more with diminishing return).
      2) Give a substantial amount of MF

  41. Playing devil’s advocate here.

    This should make lazy copycats that use cookie cutter specs they read from a website very happy. It also punishes smart players that are able to think on their feet and adapt to the challenges the game throws at them. In other words, par for the course for the casual crowd they intend to appeal.
     

    • Cookie cutter specs would exist regardless of this addition and smart players would develop a balanced spec that would work in the majority of situations anyway.

    • With the amount of different mods an elite pack can spawn with, you’d have to be a smart player to survive…
      WoW proves more than anything that you can deck out your character with the best gear and the best spec for your class, but if you suck at the game, you’ll still suck no matter what.
      If the copycats can run normal and feel epic about themselves, let them; it won’t give me sleepless nights 🙂  

  42. This is such a good idea.  Is it May 15th yet?

  43. I like it! What happens if they lower the % magic find if you in every session kill the same elites in the same area, forcing the player to play in different acts and killing different elites to get the ordinary % in mf. If they implement this here’s almost no need for them to adjust the difficulty-level on the areas where people are farming the most because this mechanic forces variation!   

  44. Great idea … however …
     
    I don’t see why it must be restricted to level 60 characters (aka end game).  I would think Blizzard would want to encourage people to play the entire game at all difficulty levels, not just Inferno.  By starting this at level 60 they are just encouraging people to rush low level characters and skip 90% of the game across 2 or 3 difficulty levels.
     
    Yes, having it below 60 would mean there is a trade-off for experimentation.  But trade-offs are a big part of a good game and lots of fun.  Hmm, do I want to try that new skill rune now?  I’m kind of excited to see what it does, but maybe just a few more boss backs since I’ve got a major roll on right now…

    • I can see two reasons.  The first is that they don’t expect you to repeat a lot of content as your progress through the game.  The content is balanced for a straight playthough and you’ll be about 60 by the time you finish Hell.  The second is that they don’t want to discourage experimentation as you level up.  It couldn’t get much worse than having to debate dropping in the awesome new rune you got or keep your X stack of the MF buff.

    • Another thing is, we don’t really know how easy rushing will be – Blizzard has said that they don’t mind it happening, but no one has said it would be a cake walk to do.

      • Somehow I’m guessing that no matter what Blizzard does, gamers will find a path of least resistance that allows them to rush & twink new characters and skip big chunks of the game.  I was just wondering whether they would want to provide more incentive/reward for playing through as intended.

  45. It seems like a semi-decent solution. If they limit it to only one play session, I don’t think that it’s enough of a reward for keeping your skills, personally. But it’d be fine if they also do something that I just thought of.

    So, regarding the permanence of character identity: Characters, when they hit level 60, should be given a title provided that they haven’t respecced. They should keep that title until they respec. Most folks wouldn’t care whether they have the title or not. The folks who want a sense of identity would, and would be able to have a perceived benefit for maintaining their spec.

    That’d solve basically all of my concerns surrounding player build permanence. I really like this idea. Stupid idea? Thoughts?

    • yeah, it’s kinda cool, but there should be practical benefit with it, not just an aestethic of the title to convince the majority.

  46. Totally called the level 60 thing…

    Also, I think the entire group should lose it if someone dies. That way people will be motivated to keep eachother alive and not go out on their own like morons.

  47. I think this is definitely a step in the right direction and welcome news.  However, I’m not really sure this goes all the way towards encouraging true build commitment beyond one play-session.  Sure, the buff is permanent throughout a single play session, but what’s to stop you from respeccing between each play session?  I didn’t really think that the problem before this system would be people swapping out specs for each pack they encountered, as that would probably be more trouble than it’s worth after a few times.  (But it would certainly be lame/cheap, too.)

    I think what Blizzard should do is go with this new Nephalim system, but give it a persistent element too.  For example, if killing an elite pack gives you a temporary 30% MF bonus, then make it give your character a 1% permanent bonus, which is lost when you respec.  Maybe even a 5% permanent MF bonus, with diminishing returns up to a cap of, say, 50%.  That way you encourage people to stick with their specs for extended periods of time, but you also don’t penalize them too much for trying out a new build. 

    • Let’s compare it to Diablo 2 for a moment, here.
      You make your first character and get your first skill point – you put it in skill x because it sounds cool, and then you get your tenth skill point which you put in another tier skill because it also sounds cool.
      When you finally reach the magic level 30 and can open up the top skills in the game, you come to the conclusion that the skills that were so cool earlier are actually utter crap now, so you have two options: Live with a crippled character or bite the bullet and start over. Over time you get a feel for which skills sits well with you and you end up building a character around a certain skill set-up.
      – I’m sure the same will be the case for Diablo 3. Except that you’ll delete fewer chars gaining the experience, unless you’re me 😛

      Maybe I’m getting old, but the whole idea of changing skills every two mins doesn’t sound horribly appealing to me – I’d rather make the skills I’ve chosen work.    

  48. I’d like it right off the bat and not 60, but it’s a good idea overall.

  49. Well now is this just cool as hell!  Discourage pointless boss farming, yet also provide incentive to drive on with reasonable hope of decent results.

    I’m liking this more and more … very definitely worth the wait!

    Pendraig-HKW
    Commander, Holy Knights of Westmarch 

  50. While I can’t say for certain this is the best solution to the issues brought on by freespecs, I approve of them acknowledging the issue and actually doing something about it.

  51.  I still think it should be the other way around, with killing bosses giving a MF bonus… and making elites and the minions around them more powerful…
     
     I mean Baal runs made you kill his minions before him, and for D3 to avoid another ball run situation with this system they’d have to never make a boss fight where you fight elites right before or with the boss…
     
     
     

  52. Even without this system I don’t think changing build on fly will even be a problem anymore.  There’s +skill modifiers on specific skill that will make people commit to their build through item.  It’s nice addition to the game anyway.

  53. “We have an enormous number of skill build combinations, and we want a lot of those skill builds to be viable and interesting”
    I find that sentence annoying and disturbing.
    It’s another way of saying, we have these set of build combinations we want you to play with. Don’t get creative on us, ya heard? 🙄

  54. how abotu allowing rune-swaps? This way you have SOME versatility in case you want to swap life steal for more damage etc, but it’s minor.

  55. I think it’s a nice change in theory, but I’m not so sure about the fact that the bonus doesn’t stack. If it’s just a one time bonus, I can see the most efficient way of gaining loot would be to kill an elite pack, then procede to run by all other monsters and kill boss, after boss. A stacking bonus would make sure that people would at least for a time search for elite packs before their bonus is maxed out. Still, even then I fear that this change might make boss running the most efficient way to go forward once again. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

    • WEll the good thing is that with the system already in place they can just tinker with it afterwards based on how people use it…

  56. Where did Bashiok post those new answers?

  57. Id still like a respec fee in addition to this. It doesnt have to be insanely high, low enough to allow players to correct their mistakes or just choose a completely different build when they get bored with theirs, but high enough to stop people from respecing every day or even multiple times a day. 

    This way it feels more like some kind of test mod where you have a dressing doll that you can use for testing buids but no game where character build is actually a real issue 🙁
     

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