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.

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