Blizzard has posted several focused feedback threads in the PTR feedback forum, and one of the most interesting is the experience / monsters thread. Here’s the blue post that starts it off:
Monster Experience Changes
Increased experienced granted by 10-30%
Reduced experience granted by 10-25%
Rift Guardian Changes
The amount of XP required to complete a rift has been increased by 50%. This complements the previously mentioned rift guardian health reduction by ~50% change because we’d like players to spend less time on the rift guardian and more time clearing the rift, especially at higher rift levels.
Monster Affix – Jailer
Monster Affix – Reflects Damage
Thus enemies that spawned in small numbers, or were invulnerable while in their appearance animation, or that dashed or flew or burrowed out of reach, or that dealt especially high damage, weren’t worth enough exp/progress to compensate for that, compared to high-density, slow motion, exp punching bags like zombies. It seems that Blizzard agreed with the feedback, since most of the least-popular/valuable monsters are in the “buffed exp” listing.
Did it work? I guess so… the Rifts feel a little more evenly-balanced in terms of progress time than they used to be, and hopefully we won’t see as much reliance on zombie rifts + Stonesinger for record times. And the changes to make Rifts require more kills to finish, while Guardians are much faster fights, also seem to be popular, even for non-Barbs who weren’t stuck spinning around Guardians for half the Grift timer.
Click through for a follow up post by John Yang, in which he discusses the design theory and logic behind the monster hps and Rift progress changes.
Patch 2.3 EXP and Rift Progress Changes:
The experience granted/rift progress awarded for many monsters has been brought more in line with the effort required to kill the monster. This might be due to one of several reasons: the monsters have more than usual health, deal more than usual damage, run away, have dangerous special abilities, have defensive abilities/immunities, etc. These changes are intended to more appropriately reward players for the effort they spend to kill an enemy so that they are less incentivized to skip certain monster types. Additionally, we are reducing the experience granted for the easiest monsters and bringing them closer to the midline so that fishing for that Slow Zombie Rift is less rewarding.
We reduced the health of rift guardians by 50% because we’d like players to spend less time on the rift guardian and more time clearing the rift. At higher rift levels it could take 6+ minutes to kill the Rift Guardian with some builds and that is more than double what we’d like ideally.
Please continue to provide feedback on on rift monsters and rift guardians here. Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback in the general forum, class forums, and PTR feedback forum.
The Guardian hit point reduction is very noticeable for almost all builds. The Rifts all feel slower until the end, and then when you get the Guardian, it’s like you’ve got a Power Pylon active. In clan chat we were joking that all Guardians now feel like Stonesinger, even though Stonesinger no longer feels like Stonesinger.
The balance between Rifts and Grifts feels different also, on the PTR.
In my experience on Live, Grifts of even much higher difficulty (GR40+) are often faster to complete than T6 Rifts, because the Grifts have much higher density + progress orbs. That’s still basically the case on the PTR, but both Rifts and Grifts are slower to get to 100% (offset by the much faster Guardian fights). So in Grifts on the PTR it doesn’t feel like such a super rush to get to 100%, though the overall time is about the same.
Rifts, in the other hand, are much slower to finish than on Live. Partially since we’re running them on higher difficulty, partially since the community buff means you find 50+ legs by the time you hit 100% and it’s hard not to stop to pick some up, but mostly since you simply require a lot more total kills to get to 100% progress. It actually took me several attempts to earn the sub-5 minute Rift completion reward on the Seasonal Progress feature in Patch 2.3.0 on the PTR, and with my Natalya’s DH on live, I can easily average 2-3m for T6 Rifts.
Rift Layouts and Tile SetsI can’t argue with the monster changes, but not addressed in this patch is the issue of some Rift tilesets being dramatically less dense, to the point that anyone fishing for a top time will automatically skip them. I bemoaned that on this weeks’ Podcast, telling how my first try at GR50 on the PTR got me the no-density Burning Westmarch map, filled with wasps and butterflies… 14:20 to clear floor 1 for 62% progress! And then floor 2 was the Cathedral with Grotesques and goat men and I did the last 38% in about 2 minutes.
The punchline is that I had to slog through and complete the whole Grift since there’s no way to cancel a Grift once you begin it, and with the 5+ hour queues to create a game on the PTR, I couldn’t just exit and start a new game. I had to finish the terrible tileset with the terrible monsters, no matter how long it took, just so I could try again and hope for a better spawn.
I suppose it makes sense for Bliz to focus on the monster changes, since you can get any of the enemies on any tile set. But the changes to the monsters make little difference when there are several tilesets (Westmarch and Bone Repository are my personal least faves) that are usually so poor in density and long dead end layout that they give you no chance of a successful GRift, and feel slow and boring even on a regular Rift.