Over the weekend we saw the first every Diablo 3 ladder rush on LIVE, and as you heard on this morning’s podcast, there were several competing speedy leveling strategies, and one major issue with cheese.
The cheese deserves first mention, as it dominated the Softcore ladder race. As covered in our post from Friday night, players were able to exploit the experience rewards from several bounties that do not require players to kill any monsters to hit level 70 in under two hours, which was 3-4x faster than it was possible to level by actually killing things.
How to Bounty Exploit to the Top
The gimmick is easy; just play on Torment 6, restart games until you get one of the bounties that give experience without requiring any monster killing, then run (dying constantly) to activate the bounty and (after a short wait, usually filled with more dying) collect the reward. The best quest for this is The Miner’s Gold in Act Two since the quest giver is close to the waypoint and quickly/easily found, but it’s also popular via the Jar of Souls in Act One and the Miser’s Treasure in Act Five.
Softcore players were able to do this, in four player games, to gain experience at least three times faster than players could by actually playing on a real difficulty level, killing enemies, etc. As N3rdwords described on the podcast, he started the ladder the second it went live Friday night, clearing bounties very fast with three friends (in softcore), all of them with good builds and cooperation, and they’d just hit level 29 when the first people dinged to 70. And as you know from the way experience increases, 30 is nowhere hear 3/7 of the time/exp required to reach 70. More like 1/4.
The question then, is what should Blizzard do about this exploit? If anything? Most players I’ve talked to feel like there’s no point in a ladder rush in a fresh season if by far the fastest way to level is spread over crackers with a nice chardonnay. And most players are frustrated since all of these leveling exploits were demonstrated and documented during the seasons on the PTR, giving Blizzard plenty of time to observe and fix them. But perhaps my sample is unrepresentative of the community as a whole, so let’s find out. Survey time!
Vote: Diablo 3 Seasons Ladder Rush: Fix the Cheese?
What do you guys think? Exploit or strategy? Needs fixing crucial issue or not a big deal? After all, it’s not as if this exploit only works from 1-50 or something. Players used this from 1-70, and some guys kept going, racing to Paragon 100+ in just hours on Friday night. The obvious drawback is that you’re going to find zero useful equipment since you’re hardly killing any monsters at all, but getting to Paragon 100+ when legit players aren’t even to 70 is obviously a huge advantage long term.
Add Monster Counters to the Bounties
I mentioned in comments since no one seemed to remember… none of the “Kill Monster X” bounties had kill counters at first in the RoS beta. You just had to find the monster and kill it, which led to a cheesy style that was very exploitable by characters with good movement speed skills, so Blizzard added in the “kill 100 monsters AND monster X” counters, which made for a much better and more balanced play experience.
Now they just need to do the same thing for the Miner’s Gold, Jar of Souls, etc. Even if players only had to kill 20 or 50 monsters on those (or the champion pack in the Miser’s Treasure A5), it would eliminate the “rush through them with a no-gear char on T6 for huge bounty exp” exploits that marred this first Season’s ladder rush. Problem solved!