PC Gamer recently chatted up Diablo III's Jay Wilson and Wyatt Cheng about the game's forthcoming v1.0.5 patch and the changes it will make to crowd control, the additions it will bring to the achievement system, and the Monster Power system it will introduce. A snippet, as usual:
Are there any new achievements planned for, like, the guy who beats Inferno by himself on Monster Power eight? Or anything like that?
WC: No, and I’m super glad that you asked. Because part of the messaging we’re trying to get out to people – and this is a challenge on our side, of how we communicate this – is we don’t want Monster Power to feel like a mountain you have to climb. And we feel like if we had an achievement for it, people would be like, “Oh, I like to collect achievements, I guess I have to go and do this thing.”
It’s very much, different people like to play different ways. If you like building your character to tank lots of damage and slog through, and feel very triumphant, and get rewards for doing so: great. If you’d rather build, for example, a glass cannon, turn the difficulty down a little bit. And maybe you’re not getting as much per monster, you’re killing twice as fast. So, more power to you.
And because it’s really dependent on the player style, the gear level, the amount of challenge that you want, we don’t want people to think that they have to do it.
JW: Yeah, I mean, one of the things that I think is really interesting- let’s say that you start the game off and you turn Monster Power all the way down, but you kind of wish the drop rates were a little higher pre-1.05. Because we’ve certainly seen that comment from some people. The thing is, you’re going to be killing a lot faster now. And killing faster is the equivalent of higher drop rates.
And for some people, killing faster is way more fun. I have friends who say, “You know, I really like taking my Act 3 Inferno into late Hell difficulty, because I just get to stomp stuff and it’s really fun. But it doesn’t give me good rewards.” Well, now you can go to a place that gives you good rewards and get to stomp stuff. And if you prefer something a little more challenging, you crank it up.
But it’s really important to us that that not be the goal. With Diablo 2, a lot of players never knew that Players 8 [a command that increased the difficulty] existed, and perfectly enjoyed the game. We want to make sure that, with Monster Power, they feel the same thing. It’s just an option for how you want to play.
How much difference would you say there is in difficulty between Monster Power zero and Monster Power 10?
WC: I guess, there’s different types of difficulty, is probably how I would start that. Right? There’s the number of monsters, there’s the affixes. But more importantly is the difficulty coming because I’m being one-shot by the smallest creature in the entire game? Or is it difficult because I’m always hitting the enrage timer?
For Monster Power in Diablo 3, what we decided was that Diablo 3 is very much an efficiency game. Players are always asking themselves, “How much loot am I getting per hour?” That’s a little bit of a dry way to reduce it. But I think that’s kind of always going on in the back of your mind.
So what we decided is, you can turn Monster Power to 10, and you might even beat it the day it comes out, but it might have taken, I don’t know, three hours to kill Diablo. So you conclude after that, “Okay, I did it. But it wasn’t very efficient, and it wasn’t very fun. So I’m going to turn the Monster Power back down. Not so much because it was challenging, but because it wasn’t efficient.”
That’s the real metagame, right? Everyone has their route, everyone has their run. That’s what we’re focused on.
JW: Yeah, so if you crank it up … we’re not saying you’re gonna walk into Inferno and a skeleton’s gonna one-shot you. Depending on where your gear is, that might happen. But, you know, the goal there is to challenge players to find efficiency, not necessarily kill the crap out of them.