Vote: Diablo 3 Seasons Ladder Rush: Fix the Cheese?

Over the weekend we saw the first every Diablo 3 ladder rush on DiabloWikiLIVE, 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 DiabloWikiTorment 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 DiabloWikiPTR, 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?

Should Blizzard fix the exploitable bounties that reward huge exp for no killing?

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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!

Tagged As: | Categories: Diabloii.Net Votes, News


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  1. Are you kidding me? What exactly should be done in the ladder system should be:

    1. skip the stupid lv1-70 grinding;
    2. fix the stupid ring of r.g. system so that it drops from RG or something, not stupid normal bounties;
    3. give more character slot should that we don’t have to delete one, it feels bad.

    If you blz fanboys are happy about whatever crap your daddy made then it’s fine. I’m sorry but I’m totally pissed so screw you. We should have fun in the game! Like challenging rift or GR, not these stupid sheet!

    • Yeah that's exactly what I want. 100% of the game content to be nothing but rifts or lootless more boring rifts (now with triple the enemy health! such challenge many skill wow). Well… okay 98%, coz you still have to do your bounty chores so you can go do the approved rifts.

      It's bad enough that almost all the grift levels are long mostly-empty hallways, I'll give a big ole PASS on being forced there even more than we already are.

      Your indignation concerns me not a bit, by the way.

  2. I can't see why they don't track which bounties are being selected by all players on the back end if some are being excessively chosen (ie. the statistical outliers) just reduce the chance of them spawning.

  3. Stfu if u don’t like it don’t play the game lmao

    • I assume you're joking and just impersonating a 13 y/o gamer, but just to voice the obvious objection… it matters because there's a Leaderboard ranking the fastest players to reach 70. If Blizzard is going to offer that sort of ladder, it's incumbent upon them to make the ladder racing process not so easily exploited.

      • I think he was joking doing a typical kiddie troller impression.

        I agree, if there is a ladder for racing up then it should be done properly. I don't understand how ladders got released in this state.

  4. If it wasn't this particular exploit it would have been another. In other words, people who play "legit" or whatever will always lose to those who are willing to pull every dirty trick to win first. It's what makes ladders completely meaningless to 99% (actual statistic I just fabricated) of the playerbase, unless you want to do a clan-only competition or something.

    Unless you're being paid to play (streamer) there's always going to be someone who can afford to no-life harder than you, level faster than you, and willing to powergame to beat you. Facts of life.

    • I tend to agree, but that doesn't mean that known exploits shouldn't be fixed. For example, crime probably won't be eliminated completely, but does that mean that we should stop trying? Of course not. I realize that it's probably not the best example (and I'm not saying that exploiting a design flaw is a crime), but I think it gets my point across. Besides, both is about breaking the limitations we put on ourselves for personal gain, so there are some similarities at least. 🙂

    • It was this exploit because there aren't any others.

      Obviously players will always try to find the fastest ways to level, but there are only a handful of bounties that grant huge exp without requiring players to kill any monsters, and those were the ones relentlessly exploited for this ladder rush.

      We've got an easy comparison; Hardcore. The fastest people to 70 in Hardcore took 6+ hours (not 90 minutes) and they did it by killing monsters and completing bounties (though clearing Rifts was almost as fast, or faster with good spawns). There are many techniques and options for play, which is the whole point; trying to find what's the fastest.

      No one wants totally even exp across the board, since it's fun to find faster/better ways. Players just don't want obvious cheats like The Miner's Gold on T6 to be the shortcut, especially when Bliz could so easily fix it.

  5. Impossible on HC = don’t care.

  6. A miners gold has an easy fix. Make it possible for the miner to die from the monster attacks, if he gets no protection. Its not only a fix, it would also make sense.

    • Yeah, that would work, or require that some mobs be killed. There's no need to reduce the chance of the quest/bounty spawning (as that doesn't fix the underlying issue, that there are quests that give xp without the need to kill stuff, which can be abused in this way for faster ladder running).

  7. having a sc epeen is nice.
    but a hc-peen is bigger!

    in any case, being first in ladders or seasons or whatnot won't get you an invite to blizzard central or anything like that.

    i still vote for removing caps to ms.
    3x teleport = woo yay.

    and lots of other comments i just deleted b/c noone reads this anywho.

  8. I will have to admit that I attempted this exploit. But after getting a few levels I got so bored of it I stopped. I’m still around under level 40 mind you guys. I understand why people would exploit it but I’m not the type who generally need to be on the leaderboards either.

  9. Are you guys surprised ? It's the first season bros… so just kick back and relax on your main while they figure it out how to make it work in season 2-3 when they might introduce seasons only set items too for each class.

    I knew it was a fail and test subject since they left Adventure mode on for it … that only destroys the race to level 70.
    Not saying if they only leave Story mode there won't be cheese, but it will not make your character level 70 in less than an hour for sure 🙂

    • How does Adventure mode destroy the race? If it wouldn't be possible to cheese certain bounties then things would be fine in my opinion. It's the first season of the game, so issues like this were expected.

      • “so issues like this were expected.” — if only they had a way of testing and fixing these problems before the season went live

        • You could say that about any bug in any game ever. If you expect things to be perfect you'll be disappointed. Hope for the best, expect the worse.

          Besides, no QA team can compete with the ingenuity of millions of players, especially when this time around they had a stake in the competition, unlike on the PTR. Don't forget that players tested this patch for months as well, not just Blizzard.

      • Yeah, I don't see any value in requiring players to rush through story mode before they can start exploiting T6 bounties on Adventure Mode. That's adding a slice of rotten cheese to a shit sandwich.

        It's not like there's some impossible complexity to the exploits; there are just a handful of bounties that can be completed without killing any enemies. Bliz simply needs to include some minimum kill requirement to them.

        Initially during the RoS beta all of the "kill monster X" bounties had no kill counter. You'd just rush through the Weeping Hollow or wherever, looking for the yellow ping on the map, and kill the monster, then get back to town as quickly as you could.

        That was exploited by fast moving characters, so Bliz added the kill counters to the system. They just need to do the same thing to The Miner's Gold, Jar of Souls, etc. Problem solved. Those might still be valuable/quick bounties, but they wouldn't be exploitable by very under-geared chars running T6.

  10. I voted 1 'cause it IS a glaring example of exploit (and remember: exploiters are the reason we can't have nice things) and I very much doubt that this is a play style developers had in mind. On the other hand this does not concern me in the slightest 'cause I don't compete in ladders.
    Yes, it should be fixed on principle. No, I'm not holding my breath.

  11. Even though I used the exploit to get my seasonal dh to lvl 70, I voted for the option that blizzard should fix those 4 quests, since it loses the purpose for the people that want to race fair into the achievement.

    I used the exploit since it saves time, and since I have maxed several non seasonal chars the normal way, I see it as a waste of time to level traditionaly, since all the gear found before lvl 70 becomes garbage.

    Some words about the exploited quests: miners gold is a little bit tricky since u dont have be dead while the quest finishes and u get no exp, just gold. However, I got the miners gold quest like 95 % of time from my whole exploit leveling(matriarch bones, jar of souls, and misers will minimum), so it is obviously very goood.

    The problem with this is, that to start a game and leave only to find one of those 4 quest could be sometimes unlucky, since it is not for the patient people. Sometimes I got like a bad run of creating 20 games without a quest.

    In conclusion, currently only seasonal hardcore char ladder can be seen as a more serious leaderboard.

    • I don't think anyone blames players for using the exploit. It's in the game, it's not a cheat or a hack, and it works. So of course people will use it. Most fans are just angry that Bliz didn't fix it in the first place, so the race to 70 (and beyond) was about playing skill, not exploiting a loophole.

  12. This was indeed a big disappointment. I was actually somewhat stoked on racing from 1-70 again, but this time in adventure mode. But when I saw people in my clan dinging 70 while I was still doing bounties at lvl 35 and all the conquest points were given out before I was 50 I must say it degraded my experience.

    As the article stated I also doubt they will be able to fix all these things, and the next season will most certainly just introduce new ways if misers, miners and jar of souls events are fixed. My biggest disappointment however was when I looked at the different conquests and realized how incredibly boring they are. There should’ve been something for everyone, not only top players/players with sick amounts of spare time.

  13. I do think exploits should be fixed, but things that can only be done in softcore don't concern me that much. Softcore is inherently cheesy since death is meaningless.

    If death resulted in XP loss (or XP debt), then softcore ladder might have a bit more meaning.

  14. It will sound blizzardish, but I think bounties that doesn't involve monster killing should be changed to be kept in line with other bounties, not because "omg, exploits". If it's a quest and it is on the game, it isn't a exploit on my book. And it was reported on the PTR.

    I don't mind it being there per se, people being over paragon 100, etc. I don't mind reaching lvl 70 saturday night. I do mind:

    – Spending 5 hours+ killing goblins to ge two lame rainbow portals (and no spectrum).
    – The fact that the top wd on seasonal rift leaderbord got the only legendary gem I'm missing (because goblins) and crusterian bracers of gold to XP; oh, and full jade + rorg. In a couple days (yes, I mind my own envy 🙂 )

    All in all, if they said that they wouldn't make a paragon level leaderbord "because we don't want or like it", they should take away the achievement of lvl 70, para 100 and "there, fixed it". If seasons aren't about levels, leveling shouldn't be ruining them. The way they made it (or stated it), leveling doesn't matter (or shouldn't), but it does…

    T6 HC Malthael, GR30, those are things on Blizz design philosophy. The race to 70 was the boring part.

    At least, people would have an option other than being "forced to run those nerfed bounties". 🙂

    By the way, those bounties award tons of gold (you'll actually be richer than a player levelling on expert by millions at lvl 70 if you don't kill monsters – and maybe that's the real issue). Vendors sell rare items, which is enough to gear a char to do some bounties (not in torment due to the lack of gems and item properties, since iirc vendor rares aren't 4:2, but still). Look for a 2-hander, like a 3k damage socketed staff (they are fast, they are good), and you are good to go as soon as a marquise emerald drops.

  15. I had no character slots left and wouldn't be able to participate in the season without deleting one of my heroes. Since I'd been slowly but surely leveling and equipping all of them I was really reluctant to do that and spend ages getting my char to 70. Then I saw that solo speed leveling was very much possible. So I deleted a char I didn't like the name of and now I'm on a fast way back to 70 and a shiny new transmog. I love this exploit.

    I guess if you want to brag about the huge size of your epeen then it is bad. Mostly the outrage seems to be from people who honestly thought they would have had a chance at being the first. They underestimated what a certain type of gamer will do to be the first and it stings them that they hadn't thought of it. They aren't mad about the exploit per se, they are mad because they didn't get to be first. Any fast leveling scheme would have gotten this response.

  16. The bounty says : protect the miner. And it completes even if you dont protect him. So who's fault is this hmm?

    Its once again blizzard's catering for noobs and retards that got us here. Oh you know what? lets make bounties and if somebody is unable to fonish them, well complete it anyway! Excellent idea!

    But it kinda takes adrenalin and any sense of achievement away AND LETS YOU DO THIS EXPLOIT. JUST GIVE THE MINER GODDAMN HEALTHBAR.

  17. Wait, people actually cared about the leveling ladder? You serious? That's a nothing stat. It's either a goofy exploit or a bot or both. So what. T6 HC Uber Diablo? Now I'm impressed. Hell, WoW you can buy your way past the crappy leveling grind. Get over leveling. Leveling is stupid. And it's only getting worse as more and better ways to advance and measure characters get invented.

  18. I just hope that fixing it will not destroy campaign mode… Isn't there some quests which does not require killing and grant XP? I think of the kazhra staff but I don't remember if it grants XP.

  19. Perhaps disabling Torment 1 – 6 until a certain level is reached would keep this from happening. When ladder resets and you have a fresh, no paragon toon, it is virtually impossible to do much on torment level difficulty anyway.

    However, maybe we should revisit penalties for dying. The D3 experience has consistently been curtailed by corpse running, and now these new quest exploits that reward cheap gameplay with high ladder ranks.

    Something should be done. I have a HC toon, so I felt like I wasn’t directly affected. However, I would be absolutely deflated and outraged to find some cheap gameplay mechanics were what gave some players top ranks on the ladders. It’s not in the spirit of the ladder to do that sort of thing.

  20. It's broken and it has to be fixed. Otherwise what was the point of working on it for all this time if it's so broken.

    Like others have said the cheeses should have been anticipated and locked down.

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