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On the Drawing Board #24: Shared Paragon Levels

Posted 22 July 2013by Flux

Achieve 40 for a decent profile pic.

Achieve 40 for a decent profile pic.

Several times recently the devs have mentioned the possibility of implementing some form of shared DiabloWikiParagon (I dub thee “Sharagon”) level bonuses in the future of Diablo 3. I had a question about that (and about Paragon level customization) on the short list for my recent interview, but didn’t get to it. Happily, since another recent interview did ask that, and the coverage would have been redundant.

Travis Day: We’ve definitely talked about things like taking Paragon and decoupling it from your character specifically and making it something that is more account-over working. So that any time you invest in the game is rewarded and you don’t feel like we’re taking anything away from you if you want to try new characters or try out different play styles within the game. That’s something we’ve looked into a lot.

Also, maybe potentially adding some sort of customization within the paragon system. Sort of in the vein of a throwback at a Diablo II start location. We’ve looked at things like that. We definitely have plans to flesh it our more in time. We don’t need to design it from the ground up. What it does, it does well, and we just need to make it more encompassing.

So how would shared Paragon levels work? Would the MF/GF bonus share to all characters on your account? How about the stat bonuses you gain with Paragon Levels? And how would player behavior be changed by Paragon Level bonuses going account wide; less focus on playing your main character since your alts would get a big MF bonus as well? Click through for some more details and speculation, and add your own thoughts on how the system should work in comments.

First off, I want to nominate “Sharagon” (it works much better verbally than in print) for the official name for shared paragon level bonuses. Yes, I love neologisms and I delight in coining portmanteaux, (like “freespecs”), and when this term leapt into my head last night while we were discussing it on the podcast (two parter this week, coming soon) I was delighted. If anyone else thought of it first, I don’t care. Now it’s mine.

As for the actual bonuses, Blizzard hasn’t given us any details about how they might work, but we gave it some thought while recording the podcast, and a few things seem inevitable:

 

If Paragon Levels go to the account, the shared bonuses would only be MF/GF. Not stats.

This seems obvious once you think about it. A brand new Paragon level one character getting a big bonus to Magic Find and Gold Find is (arguably) okay, but that character suddenly getting 300 to their mainstat and 200 Vit would be hella janky. (Yes, janky.) You’ll share in the MF/GF bonuses, but have to earn stat bonuses by leveling up each character in turn.

 

Hardcore shared bonuses would remain if a character dies?

Remains to be seen, but it seems likely. I can’t imagine that Sharagon bonuses will be some weird “add up all your paragon levels and divide by the number of characters.” Instead there will be some sort of new account leveling system where you level up your individual characters for their Paragon levels (and the stat bonuses) while at the same time you level up your Account Paragon. (Accountagon?) That bonus will share to all the characters on your account, presumably whether they’re alive or not.

That makes little difference for Softcore, but for Hardcore it could be a huge difference. To take myself as the example, a couple of months ago my first Paragon HC character died at level 61. I had no other high level characters and with my main dead I was basically back to square one. I had a fair amount of saved up gear and gold, but my next character (also a Monk) had junky MF until Paragon 40ish, and not until he was back to 50ish did I get my MF maxed out again and start to see considerable riches in my item drops.

If there’d been some sort of Sharagon system in place, would my new Monk have inherited 150% MF/GF bonus as soon as he reached Paragon 1? Unknown, but if we do get a Sharagon system that grants each new level 60 with a huge MF/GF bonus, that will make a big difference, and a really big diff in Hardcore play.

Even for softcore though, sharing some/all of your MF bonuses should do great things to encourage playing of alts. No more would it seem mandatory to level one character to P60 or P70 in order to really cash in on Magic Find, and/or would playing an Alt with 14% MF feel like a waste of time. (At least that was our podcast conversation speculation…?)

 

Shared bonuses + individual bonuses?

This also came up during the podcast chat, when we tried to think how to make the shared bonuses less cheesy. Obviously opinions differ, but personally I think the whole Paragon system is at least a little bit cheesy, as it grants the full MF bonus to characters who make zero equipment sacrifices to achieve it. I loved MF in D2, and I loved that the system required you to make (some) sacrifices to achieve it.

On the other hand, I had really well-geared characters in D2 that I hardly ever played, since they were all in survival gear and had minimal Magic Find. They could kick ass, but it felt sort of pointless to just grind EXP when they never found any great gear.

Thus during the course of the podcast I talked myself into supporting a Sharagon system since it would do so much to enable alts and variety in character play.

That said, I hope the bonus isn’t just instant 300% MF/GF if you’ve got your account to Paragon 100. I like the idea of a Sharagon bonus to your account, but also for individual characters to earn bonuses. So my quick idea was 2% per level from Sharagon, and 2% from your character’s level up. Thus you could theoretically achieve 400% Magic Find if you had a maxed Sharagon account + 200% on your character (from Paragon and gear).

We’ve got no idea if Blizzard is thinking something similar, but it seems like a reasonable compromise. You get some Paragon bonus from your account (which would have to level up more slowly than each character, say maybe 2-5x more exp required for the account level up than each char?) but others must be earned by each individual character. That gives a bigger bonus for players who really seek it out, and avoids the cheese of a brand new Paragon 1 getting max MF/GF.

You guys may hold different opinions, of course. And that’s what the comments are for. Any pro/com on these ideas? Or got your own? Let’s get some dialogue going and flesh this out. I’d like to run a vote, but the options are too undefined at this point, so hopefully we can narrow them down a bit and get enough consensus to really start arguing?


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