A survey type of vote, spurred by some recent news. What’s your goal regarding max level Diablo 3?

    As we saw with the (ongoing) Doggie Discount to Paragon 100… many people play Diablo 3 solely to achieve the maximum level. Maybe they want that for the passive bonuses to MF/GF, but in many cases it seems like just the big number on their level bar is the goal, and it’s not a means to and end, but an end in of itself.

    I could understand that in earlier games in the series, where DiabloWiki max level it was a really grind-tastic achievement. And one that was profitable to achieve; not so much in Diablo 1 where higher levels added quite minimal bonuses, but in Diablo 2 each level awarded 5 attribute points and a skill point, and skill points were really what made the world go ’round.

    In Diablo 3 on the other hand, higher levels don’t mean a whole lot. Reaching 60 is a big hurdle, since you have access to all skills and rune effects and can equip any item in the game at that point… but gaining DiabloWikiParagon levels above that don’t add a great deal of benefit. Each Paragon level awards 3% MF/GF, plus 3 to DiabloWikimainstat, 2 to vit, and 1 to the other 2 attributes. Those bonuses add up nicely, for a pretty well-geared high level character with 3000 mainstat and 1000 vit… even going all the way to Paragon 100 will only grant 300 mainstat and 200 vit of that total. (Though maxing out the MF/GF is pretty handy.)

    Thus my question… why do you level up? What’s the ultimate gold goal of your characters? It’s a tricky question to fit into discrete vote options, so pick the option that best matches your game goals, and then hit the comments to make BabyJayWilson cry as you complain that the vote options weren’t perfectly worded for your particular, unique approach to the dilemma.

    What's your primary goal with your Diablo 3 characters?

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    More than one of the vote options can be true for you, but what’s the most important to you?

    For instance, I like to find shiny. I love DiabloWikiMagic Find, I work to max that out and sacrifice DPS and other things to achieve it. For me, Paragon levels are chiefly of use in that they boost my char’s other properties, especially the MF. Thus I generally choose Topaz over Ruby in my hat, since I want the MF boost now, not a slight increase to leveling speed that will grant me MF eventually. I can sort of understand players who go all DPS and +exp, purely to level up, since someday they’ll be more efficient item finders, but I want the increased chance to find the shiny now, not in 10 or 20 or 50 levels. Especially now that I’ve mostly transitioned to DiabloWikihardcore, where tomorrow may never come.

    Click through for some retrospective on the time to max level in past Diablo titles, plus projections for Diablo 3’s future.

    Just FYI, but D2 max level 99 varied hugely in accessibility over time.

    Back in D2C, from July 2000 – June 2001, it was really, really hard to achieve. I played a ton of D2C and don’t think I ever had a char past level 90, and most players thought 99 was impossible, since past about 95 the only way to gain noticeable quantities of exp was to kill Diablo himself.

    Thus it was fascinating to most in the community when we saw a race from 93 up, between two teams of players pushing for the first to level 99. Check out the GerBarb and RussBarb articles for all the details (GerBarb won), including interviews with the players and details on how it took dozens of players, rolling 12_ hours a day, to get a single character to 99 in Diablo 2 classic/vanilla.

    For the sake of comparison, reaching 99 was *much* easier during most of D2X; highlighted by a team achieving 99 it less than 40 hours after a ladder reset in October 2001. (That’s less than 4 months after D2X was released, so clearly there wasn’t a real huge learning curve involved.) At that point players could level to 99 simply by doing the same level over and over and over again, and most players chose the (not so) DiabloWikiSecret Cow Level since it had huge monster density, top exp per enemy, and no ranged attackers or variety in enemies. (I always remember this sort of thing and laugh and laugh whenever anyone says D3 is boring/repetitious only 6-9 areas in Act 3 worth running.)

    Paragon 40 required for a decent avatar border.

    Level 40 required for a decent avatar.

    Reaching level 99 in D2X became much harder in v1.10 and later, as the super easy areas were buffed or removed, and the grind from 90+ became much slower. (I made a 99 and multiple ~95s, Hardcore, in v1.09, but never got above 92ish in v1.10+.)

    D3 hasn’t changed that much between patches, though it might in the future. Reaching level 60 isn’t meant to be that hard, with a single pass through Normal/Nightmare/Hell sufficient to achieve it. Paragon levels were added August 22, 2012 in DiabloWikiPatch 1.0.4 and the first player to reach 100 was Alkaizer in on September 6, 2012 . (Yes, that’s just two weeks later. Not quite the 40 hours to 99 of v1.09 D2X, but certainly easier than anything GerBarb could have imagined.)

    We don’t get ladder resets in D3, but it would be interesting if we did…. interesting to see how long it would take someone to get to 100, now that we’ve got Hellfire rings and many other exp boosting items. V1.08 will make Paragon 100 even easier, with the multiplicative experience bonus, bonuses for multiplayer, and the potential of super geared players running over 1000% experience bonus on MP10.

    All of which leads to the long-lingering question… what happens to max level in D3X? Does Paragon just increase to say, 150 or 200? If so, what are the bonuses, since characters are already maxed out on MF/GF? Can max level increase to 70 (more skills/skill runes to squeeze in?) while Paragon is already intact? Will the whole level / paragon system be overhauled in the expansion? Personally, I has a curious.

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