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Nephalem Valor System Pros and Cons

Posted 20 Dec 2012 by

Following the earlier complaints about Monster Power, here’s a post from a fan who doesn’t like the Nephalem Valor system at all, and wants a return to those Diablo 2 cheese-flavored Pindleskin run type games.

After testing out the Nephalem Valor system for the last 6 months, I have become pretty disappointed with it. When I first heard about the system, I was really excited. I immediately thought “GREAT! Now we don’t have to farm one spot all the time, and there will be motivation to move all over the world!”. For a while, I really enjoyed the system.

Now, I am realizing that it feels really dumb. It doesn’t feel fun to go out and hunt down Elite packs, just to get 5 stacks of this buff, before you start MFing. I always liked to turn to Diablo when I had 20 minutes before I had to leave the house for work or class, I could get in a couple Mephisto runs and maybe get some quick loot to be excited for when I got home. That is no longer possible, seeing that it will often take 20 minutes just to get your 5 stacks up. Now, a magic find run that could be 5 minutes has turned into 45 minutes. Diablo used to be the contrast to WOW for me, because it was casual, and had immediate gratification, wheras you’d have to dump lots of time to accomplish something in WOW. Now that’s how it feels in Diablo 3.

This post isn’t meant to be a Diablo to WOW comparision, or a casuals vs. hardcore players type of thing. What it comes down to for me is that doing magic find runs for loot (what this whole game is about) feels like it’s too arduous and grindy of a process. I propose you remove Nephalem Valor, and just let us farm where we want and when we want. Up the quality of boss loot, and don’t make us travel all over the world to do a MF run.
Lylirra: Overall, we think Nephalem Valor does a great job at addressing two core needs. First, it helps make sure that extremely short play sessions (i.e. < 1 minute) are not the optimal way to play. Second, there's a lot of value in being able to swap your skills at will and tailor your builds to the environment around you, but there's also gameplay to finding a build that really works for you in a variety of situations -- we like that NV helps balance these two concepts, and allows players to feel like there is some commitment to a skill build without also feeling like they’re locked into that build forever. So, while there are definitely some issues with the current design, we currently think that the pros outweigh the cons of how the game would probably feel if the system were not in place.

That said, you're right -- the system isn't perfect, and we're definitely looking at ways we can do better. Certainly, one of our goals is to allow people to play game sessions that are about 5 to 10 minutes in length and still be rewarded well, but we need to make sure that in the process we don't make rapidly flipping games the go-to method. It's all about striking the right balance for a wide variety of players, and we'll definitely be keeping your feedback in mind (as well as other threads on the topic) as we explore options for how to improve NV.

Maybe this guy is playing on MP9 or something, but 20 minutes to get up 5 stacks is crazy. Fast farmers do entire Alkaizer runs in ~10 minutes, and that entails killing maybe... 25-30 bosses? I've done a million of those runs, usually with a couple of other areas tacked on, but the numbers of bosses vary a lot from game to game, and I've never exactly counted. It's a lot more than 5 at least, and you can usually get that many just in the Keep Level 2, if you start your run at the top. If you start at the bottom you'll get 2 or 3 stacks in the Arreat Core, and be into 5 stacks early in the Arreat Crater level 2.

That aside, this seems like an, "agree to disagree" sort of issue, since as Lylirra points out, the OP's main points are all exactly in contradiction to the stated goals of the NV system. Personally, I think NV works well and I enjoy getting five stacks. I can emphasize with the OP though, since I'm not good at doing fast, discrete runs. Once I have 5 stacks I don't want to stop, which is why my DiabloWikiAlkaizer Runs tend to include several levels not included in the standard course.

You guys still enjoying NV? Does anyone really want to go back to Pindleskin type runs? We saw those early in D3, when Zoltan Kulle was run like a dog, more for experience and gold than item drops, but if such runs were still very valuable, The devs would have to entirely rework the continuing quests system to stop it. That and/or changing around all of the waypoint locations, etc. Which is another way of saying that it's not going to happen and that might just be bad news for people who only want to play 15m a time and can't get the hang of quick Alkaizer Run.

Additional posts in the same thread, adding some details:

“5 to 10 minutes in length and still be rewarded well” Is that really one of your goals for this game? o wait this is subjective what do you mean by “well” If that is your goal, the please show effort of proving that, right now 5 to 10 minutes will get me like maybe a full bag of crap rares.
I think you might have misunderstood. We’re saying that’s a goal we want to achieve, that it’s an improvement we want to make as it exists currently. :)

Also are you just balancing the game around Plvl 100?
No, not “just.” We take a lot of different factors and play styles into consideration.

I will laugh so hard if they remove NV and allow people to swap skills at will.
There are no current plans to remove NV, but we do feel like we there are ways that we could continue improve the system to allow for a broader variety of play styles (i.e. shorter play sessions, as mentioned).

Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, End Game, Lylirra