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Diablo 3 Monster Density: To Nerf or Not…

Posted 1 May 2013 by

Two recent Blue posts about areas that received a nerf to the monster density/value… or not. The first is about The Weeping Hollow, that big surface area between town and the cemetery in Act One. It was massively-buffed in v1.08, becoming a sort of Zombie Spawning Grounds… until it got turned down… temporarily!

Sorry for being to harsh, but this zone was so amazing… I can’t fathom the reasons for the nerf.
Lylirra: Not harsh, just passionate. No worries. :)

The changes we made to The Weeping Hollow in the most recent PTR patch were really just an experiment. Based on feedback we’d seen regarding density (in terms of monster spawn pacing), it wasn’t totally clear what players preferred; some wanted more clumps, some wanted less, and some liked things just the way they were. There wasn’t a clear-cut answer, so our designers made a change to see what would happen. Rapid iteration like that is one of the cool things we can do with the PTR.

Given the response from players since the change went live (thanks for all your posts, btw), we’re going to be restoring monster density and spawn pacing in The Weeping Hollow to its earlier PTR levels, and that will most likely be what we stick with for 1.0.8.

So nerf-crisis averted. Another area wasn’t so fortunate, and it’s not just a PTR issue:

I cannot find Watch Tower since a long time… is that being nerfed already???
Grimiku: The Watch Tower was changed because of how insanely good it was compared to most farming locations. It benefited from having an abnormally high Elite density, resplendent chest spawn, and was located conveniently close to a waypoint (a combination which made it an outlier as well as a go-to spot for a large number of players). While there’s nothing wrong with a particular farming location being good, it becomes an issue when one spot starts to eclipse everything else. We wanted to make sure players didn’t feel like they had to farm that spot or else they’d be missing out, so in patch 1.0.5 we moved it from Northern Highlands to Southern Highlands with the idea that it would require spending some extra time to find it. Initially we didn’t want to nerf the dungeon, but eventually the Elite density was toned down anyway, and the tower remains in Southern Highlands.

To answer your question, though, parts of the Watch Tower were nerfed, but the chances for it (and the merchant) to spawn have not changed. I wish you good luck in your search for the merchant, but it’ll probably take a few attempts!

“There is an effective area for finding loot in a loot finding game?!’ “We will change that….”
Grimiku: I think this is a pretty simplistic way to view the situation, but I agree that having a favorite farming spot nerfed doesn’t feel great. We get that. The alternative, though, (at least in situations like this, where that spot is way beyond the norm) is that people feel forced into playing one tiny section of the game, and that’s arguably worse for the health of the game overall.

Given that DiabloWikiPatch 1.0.5 was released back in 16 October, 2012 (and yes, the Watch Tower change was listed in the General section of the notes) it’s interesting that someone just noticed/cared enough about this to post about it now. I’m actually impressed that Grimiku remembered enough about the reason for the change to comment on it, 6+ months later.

(Consider this: 6 months ago means the Watch Tower has been in the Southern longer than it was in the Northern Highlands. Yes, we’re all very old, now. I vaguely remember doing that dungeon and finding it surprisingly Elite-filled, but not in a long time. Happily, v1.08 will make farming in Act One worth the trouble, so perhaps a return visit is in order.)

Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Experience, Grimiku