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Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Blizzard unveils new loot buff

Bashiok has just unveiled details of the new Nephalem Valour buff:

We’re working hard on balancing and testing Diablo III, and one of the major components is making sure that the end game experience is fun and exciting. We’d like to share a few of our goals for end game:
  • We have an enormous number of skill build combinations, and we want a lot of those skill builds to be viable and interesting
  • While there are millions of skill builds available to players, we don’t want players swapping skills regularly to beat specific encounters as they come up
  • We don’t want repeatedly running specific three-minute chunks of the game to be the most efficient way to acquire gear for your character
  • While a three-minute run shouldn’t be the most efficient, we also don’t want you to feel like it’s a two-hour commitment every time you sit down to play
  • Bosses should still feel worth killing

Nephalem Valor is one of the major new systems in Diablo III and it kicks in at level 60. Keep in mind that this is still in testing and we’re still working out the details. Here’s how it currently works internally: Rare and Champion packs already have great loot on them. By killing a Rare or Champion pack, not only do you get their loot, but you’ll also receive a buff granting you increased magic find and gold find. However, if you change a skill, skill rune, passive, or leave the game, the buff disappears. As an extra reward, if you kill a boss while this buff is active, you’ll receive extra loot drops from that boss.

The exact amount of magic find and gold find provided by the buff is still being reviewed, as is the amount of extra loot you get from a boss while the buff is active. We’re also playing around with whether or not the buff stacks, what the duration should be, and whether or not it should persist through death. We want to make sure the buff is strong enough to make staying in your current game more rewarding than creating a new game. At the same time, if the buff is too strong, it risks making shorter play sessions feel not worthwhile.

We expect this system will encourage players to stick with a skill build of their choice, select an area of the game they enjoy, and sweep it for rare and champion packs on their way to a boss, finishing off a run with a boss that’ll be worth killing. If you wanted a shorter play session you could be done at that point, but if you have more time, the path of least resistance would ideally be to stay in the same game and make your way towards the next boss.

He also clarified a point raised by a player:

No, it kicks in at 60. Once you hit 60 you have access to this buff regardless of difficulty. You can use it and go back to Hell to help you gear up for Inferno, absolutely. 

Pretty sensational stuff and it will really affect the way we play. Personally I love it, I'm looking forward to playing through the game rather than doing the same old runs over and over.

I don't think it will entirely cut out optmising - clearly players will choose where to start.

Following on from yesterday's post about farming clearly it's optimal now to race to 60 and farm before most people are 60. A shame for those of us who like messing about with alts but I for one will certainly race up to 60 and try to knock some of those terrifying  Inferno bosses over! 


  1. This is great!

    Although it still is missing a lot of details. Duration of buff?, stackable?, persists through death?, amount of MF and GF?

    If it does not persist through death, this may shy people away from farming Inferno too early as you will likely die a lot there at first.

    Also, the text at the bottom of the article is coming up black on black for me. Is anyone else having this issue? I had to highlight it in order to read. Might be my browser...

    1. It wasn't your browser. I type my posts black on white and sometimes forget when I need to colour text that it doesn't display that way.

  2. Love this idea! One of the things that really worried me about the skill loadout system was how much it seemed to encourage changing your build from minute to minute.

    1. Same, I felt like people would be switching too often. This allows diversity without making skill swapping the unwritten law. With this scheme you would pick a spec before starting a "run".