Possible Changes to Shrines


A poster on the Battle.Net forums, not overly impressed will the variety of DiabloWikishrines in Diablo III, reflected on the huge variety of shrines in Diablo I and Diablo II, and suggested some rework was needed and this seems to be something Blizzard have already been considering.

We actually talked about introducing additional Shrine types in the future during a meeting we had earlier today. We’re also currently discussing the possibility of adding the Enlightenment Shrine into Inferno mode since the +XP bonus would be particularly appealing to players working towards their Paragon levels.

Good news on the Enlightenment Shrine for the Paragon levels – hopefully that one will roll out with a patch rather than wait for when they introduce new shrines in an xpack.

Some of the shrines that were suggested:

  • Regeneration Shrine: Your character regenerates x amount of resource per second.
  • Quick Shrine: Your character gains 25% movement speed.
  • Deadly Shrine: Your character does 25% more damage.
  • Summoning Shrine (Similar to Diablo II’s Monster Shrine): Summons a champion or elite pack at your location.
  • Healthy Shrine: Your character regenerates x life per second.
  • Toxic Shrine: Your character emites a cloud of poison around themselves.
  • Chilling Shrine: Your character emits a frost nova every x seconds.
  • Fiery Shrine: Your character leaves fire in their wake.
  • Shocking Shrine: Your character shocks all nearby enemies every second.
  • Static Shrine: Your character gains +50 gold pickup radius.
  • Gem Shrine: The shrine drops a gem ranging from chipped (common) to radiant star (extremely, uberly rare).
  • Powerful Shrine: Your character becomes temporarily invulnerable.
  • Wealthy Shrine: Drops mass gold.
  • Lucky Shrine: Drops x amount of items, base rarity being magic.
  • (These previous two would replace the fortune shrine, which should be removed.)
  • Dexterous Shrine: Your character temporarily gains 1000 dexterity.
  • Strong Shrine: Your character temporarily gains 1000 strength.
  • Intelligent Shrine: Your character temporarily gains 1000 intelligence.
  • Vital Shrine: Your character temporarily gains 1000 vitality.
  • Enigmatic Shrine: Increases a random stat by 200% and reduces the rest by 75%.
  • Durable Shrine: Repairs all items for free.
  • Greedy Shrine: Summons a Treasure Goblin at your location.
  • Colorful Shrine: Drops 6 dyes of the same color.
  • Knowledgeable Shrine: Drops x amount of artisan crafting page/tome depending on your level, with a small chance of dropping a recipe ranging from a 4 property item to legendary item to jewelcrafter recipe.

I particularly like the Durable shrine idea, just from my lazyarse point of view.

Click through for some Jay Wilson quotes about shrines from during Diablo III’s development. Safe to say the final game version didn’t come anywhere near their development plans:

There are a couple of good Jay Wilson interview quotes about DiabloWikishrines in the DiabloWiki, with basically the same content in both. Here’s the longer one, from a BlizzCast in April 2009.

Will shrines be making a return to the world of Sanctuary in Diablo 3?
Jay Wilson: Well there are some aspects of shrines that we liked, experience shrines I think are probably the prime example everyone uses. They’re fun because they drive the player forward. Monster shrines are sometimes fun because they bring out a rare that you didn’t know or weren’t expecting that could come from any direction and that’s cool.

But for the most part, the pure mechanic of shrines, a random powerup that just appears in the world for no reason, we don’t really want to literally bring that back. What we are going to try to do is integrate a lot of the best things of shrines into our quest and event systems so that when you encounter a random quest or random event that has a story context within the game it either rewards you like a shrine would reward you or something that is actually built into the gameplay of the quest. So while technically no shrines are not coming back verbatim, we are trying to bring back kind of the best things of them in a different form.

So you’ll still have the randomness and spontaneity of it.
Jay Wilson: Exactly, and really they are kind of there to change up the gameplay and add a little factor of randomness, but we felt that very few of the shrines actually did that – accomplish that goal…

Stamina shrine?
Jay Wilson: Yeah, stamina shrine lets you run a long time. Skill shrine made you a little bit more powerful. We feel like we can take the best and put them within actual events that are a lot more fun and have a lot more gameplay to them.

The concept of in-game activities earning you the equivalent of shrine bonuses; like you’d get a short term bonus to Magic Find or attack speed as an event reward… that’s pretty cool. Pity nothing like that survived the development process. Perhaps the developers put their magic beans all into that pile, and when it didn’t play out they had nothing left for shrines, so the just slapped in 4 very generic ones as placeholders and planned to improve upon them once they had time, post-release?

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  1. Actually feels like Diablo 1!

  2. Some interesting ideas here, although in practice many of them will result in the same gameplay so are therefore redundant.

    “greedy” shrine should definitely just be called “goblin” shrine though.

  3. these are all good ideas for the most part (i think the dex/str/int shrines should be rolled into one main stat shrine) but they really make me wish for a system where we all have to click the shrine individually. repair shrine? amazing idea until some guy clicks it 5 minutes after the game launches. me i rather save it til the end of my run. bonus damage shrine? lets save that bad boy for a boss. you get the idea. these are good ideas for shrines but most would be best in certain situations but people still have the D2 mentality of rushing for the shrine. the gem upgrade shrine from D2 was horrible in public games. bottom line is i want shrines to add to the game and not make me wish i just played solo

  4. All of the above please.

  5. This is sad that such a concept has to pointed out to the D3 devs. Though I don’t agree with every shrine idea the OP of the thread posted, there should be more than 4 shrines. Now that there are paragon levels, bring the enlightenment shrine back into Inferno. couldn’t agree more.

    • I added a JW quote about shrines from during dev, when they clearly had much bigger plans for integrating the bonuses in from event rewards. Which is a fine idea, but thinking there was something wrong with cool shrines just providing random bonuses was another example of the D3 devs trying to needlessly reinvent the ARPG wheel.

      Players like cool random bonuses. The only question is making those bonuses fun and interesting and valuable, without being totally OP. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that shrines were largely ignored during d3’s dev, and near the end they were like, “oh hell we’d better throw some in” and that’s why we only got 4 very generic ones, only one of which (frenzied) actually makes any discernible difference in gameplay.

      Incidentally, the exact same thing happened with D2X. Every fan had high hopes for more/better/new/cooler shrines in the expansion, with at least the obvious/default MF/GF shrine, and then D2X arrived without a single shrine change. I asked one of the D2X devs about that, I Tyler I think, and he just shrugged his shoulders apologetically and said that no one got around to working on shrines during their furious rush to get D2X done and released on time.

      (Bear in mind that D2X came out 12 months after d2. D2X was the only Bliz game or expansion to ever make its original release date, AFAIK. Remember how SC2 was split into 3 parts and we’d get part 2 about 18 months after the July 2010 release? I’ll be shocked if we get D3X before what… Xmas 2014?)

      • Part of the problems with shrines in D2X is that adding them requires new text strings, which requires localisation and long lead times before the game is finalised.

        So it gets to a point in development, say 4 months before release, when all the strings have to be finalised and if no-one had thought about new shrines at that point, then even if they had the ideas later they wouldn’t be able to put them in due to the localisation already having started/finished or whatever. Having said that, however, I don’t know how they manage patches (are they all fully translated?) which clearly have new strings from item and monster names etc, and presumably there’s *some* scope for last-minute string changes and you wouldn’t really need that many for new shrines.

        A couple of months after D2X was announced I remember talking to Peter Hu in the chat, he was hinting about the “new awesome” quest rewards we wouldn’t believe. I think that boiled down to Anya’s personalisation reward and the ancient’s massive XP rewards. I’m not sure if it was at that time, or slightly later, but still at least 6 months out from release, I asked him why they didn’t have a quest reward that made the horadric cube larger, which would allow for many more crafting recipes etc. He had a “doh, why didn’t we think of that?!” reaction. Pity.

  6. Better idea(s):

    1) Shrines are much rarer, but last 30 minutes instead of 2 minutes. Once you get a shrine, you can’t activate another shrine until that one expires. They’re also a little buffed. Introduces a risk-reward mechanic where you may want to avoid a shrine in the hopes of getting one that works better with your build, but if you do so, you’re forgoing the benefit of that shrine.

    2) Shrines are much rarer, but last for 6 minutes. Shrine effects grow with NV stacks, and refresh as you kill elites. Only one shrine can be active on a player at a time.

    Neither of these would apply for static, non-buff shrines, if those are ever added (which they should be!).

  7. Sounds great, but I’d prefer they focused their resources on creating something along the lines of uber tristram, or some sort of end game content. It’s a nice idea, but hard to get excited about shrines right now. As a previous poster said, it’s sad they couldn’t have come up with this during the 5+ years of development.

  8. A few more shrines I personally would like to see:

    Charsi’s Shrine – Imbue a white item in your inventory with 4-6 properties. Could be just for the duration of that game, until you log out, or permanent. This would finally give a use for all those white items that clutter the screen.

    Cain’s Shrine – Automatically identifies all items in your inventory. Possibly have it regenerate so we can go back to it.

    Greiz’s Shrine – Add a temporary random aura to your Follower.

    Akara’s (Skill) Shrine – Adds a 1% bonus to currently assigned skills. I would like to see this as being persistent across games & handled similarly to NV stacks. It would need to have a max % of course, & if you change skills, you lose the bonus. This would give an incentive for using a given build even while leveling up.

    Reinforcements Shrine – Summon a fallen hero (a random class from Diablo 1 & 2) to fight by your side. This could be time based, or the hero could be given a set amount of health.

    Mysterious Shrine – gives a random shrine effect.

  9. I have to agree with Flux. The idea of quest rewards giving a temp bonus is decent, but removing shrines altogether would suck. I just dont understand how come they wanted to get so far away from D2 on so many things. The developers did come up with some cool new stuff like NV and treasure goblins, but then just kick you in the sack with wanting to do away with shrines. I am all for more of them, especially gem and monster shrines. It would be a nice way to still be able to upgrade gems for people that havent found jeweler plans. But, this has auction house ramifications, in that you wouldn’t be buying that gem with gold or cash, you would be getting it for free.

  10. Yeah this is one of those occasions where I think the devs missed the boat. Bizzare, random shrines are appealing. The wierder the better. Who cares why they’re there? They just are.

  11. I would like to see an actual multiplayer lobby interface before any developer time is wasted on shrines.

    • I would love to see more shrines in the game (Inferno Enlightenment, Gem, & Monster at the least), but… ^this. ASAP, please. I still can’t get over the lack of a multiplayer lobby. I cannot even begin to guess how much time I killed in the D2 equivalent. There were some long stretches of time when it may as well have been my damn screen saver.

  12. Durable Shrine: Repairs all items for free.

    Nice in theory, awful in practice. This would just force players to mark their location and make the long trek back once their gear reaches 1% durability for maximum efficiency.

    • An easy fix for this would be to have the shrine flash like waypoints when you get close enough to see what they are & then if it isn’t used within 5-10 minutes, it deactivates (becoming unusable).

  13. Shrine of Jay Wilson: A very rare shrine, but when activated gives Jay Wilson a 5% salary decrease.

    • Shrine of Wilson – tap it and the game goes autopilot for 2 minutes.

      • Actually it should probably just turn your character into a Barbarian and temporarily change your character’s name to “Jay” while you run around invulnerable for a short time.

  14. The game is not super hard as it is, why are they trying to make it even more easier ? Oh wait, if anyone can kill mobs then anyone can sell on the RMAH. Now I got it, thanks!

    • If anyone can kill mobs, they probably won’t need to buy on the RMAH either.

    • I don’t see what this has to do with the RMAH, the easier they make the game the less incentive there is to use it.

      And god forbid more skills and builds remain viable in the later difficulties, if people aren’t well equipped enough to handle whatever difficulty/act they are in, which will inevitably happen if they don’t use the AH, they should be able to build themselves more defensively and use CC skills to shorten the gap.

      Don’t worry, WW nado barbs will still farm more efficiently.

  15. Diablo 2 shrine: During play an actual really nice item drops with a reasonable amount of effort, and the player still actually has a real life.

  16. I love the ideas for some of these. I wonder if we’ll see these in 1.1 when the PVP and supposedly new PVE content hits? Or sooner then that?

  17. The current shrine mechanic feels indeed pretty halfhearted and lackluster in D3. Should be easy to correct though, with relatively low programming work and maybe a bit of icon art required.

    First of all, 2 minutes effect duration isn’t exactly worthwhile. The way I see it, they probably chose this value to keep players from reaching a boss encounter, hopping back to some shrine they previously discovered and make use of its effect to steamroll the encounter. That’s fine. However, just like Nephalem Valor, shrine buffs could simply be removed upon entering a boss arena. So, 5 to 7 minutes effect duration, please!

    Secondly, yeah, the current repertory of shrine effects doesn’t exactly reflect an elaborate concept. Add some more creative effects (such as described in the post) and balance them properly with varying durations/amounts/spawn percentages. Speaking of spawn percentages, make sure that some areas aren’t crammed with shrines while others don’t seem to have any.

    Also, I’d like to see classic D1 shrines make a return, those that made you think twice before accepting their curse/blessing combination. In order not to confuse anyone, purely benevolent shrines could remain shrines and buff-with-drawback-shrines could be called/displayed as cauldrons/ritual circles/evil urns/mushroom patches/whatever. Of course, their effects would have to remain temporary, no permanent attribute changes. Those benefit/drawback mechanics are, in my opinion, far better suited for temporary things like shrines than for real balance issues like D1 unique items or D3 skills.

    Based on above described benefit/drawback shrines, one could also add ‘no risk no fun’ shrines/clickables similar to the Ancient Device in the Desolate Sand. Let’s call them altars. An altar would be a small, compact platform/object with three clickable stoups/idols/whatever. When clicked (melee range), one of those three grants a rather generous bonus or treasure, while the other two trigger an explosion/whatever that destroys the altar and deals critical amounts of damage. Or similar. You get the idea.

  18. Said it before and will say it again. They spent far too much time redoing this and removing that, that they ran out of time for anything else. A true testament to the statement that they really didn’t know what they were doing with D3.

  19. “Safe to say the final game version didn’t come anywhere near their development plans:”

    You could say that for every single aspect of this game. In fact it pretty much defines the development process in a nutshell.

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