Friday, June 13, 2014

Looking Ahead to 2.1

So here we are at the end of the week wondering what is ahead of us on the weekend. Before we get there though there are some things to take care of, like this week's Reader Post for Bezzez which is a look towards the Reaper of Souls 2.1 patch. So here it is have a look.

In my personal opinion, the success of Reaper of Souls is very heavily riding on patch 2.1. It's something that needs to arrive relatively soon, but should not be rushed in any way. Seasons and Tiered Rifts will be the pivotal moment that decides whether or not D3 continues to be the casual efficiency click-fest that it is or if it can be something highly competitive and addicting with an emphasis on FAIR competition.

In order for something to be competitive a great deal of skill needs to be involved in it. It can't be strictly a gear check, there has to be a way to mitigate bad luck and play the game in a completely different way that isn't focused entirely on gimmick farm methods.

One of the concerns that was raised in the last thread was how lucrative Greater Rifts will be to actually run. Are players doing them strictly for the challenge and recognition or will they have distinct rewards that players can actually look forward to.

One of the great things about BoA in the absence of trading is that it is very much possible to create a highly competitive game that's free of the corruption of real money transactions. Whether you're rich or you're poor, your progress in game is based entirely on your dedication to it. Unfortunately, when you combine 100% random with 100% BoA you start to run into a lot of problems. The more random that is involved the more luck has to be on your side in order to stay competitive. One of my greatest concerns with 2.1 is the inability to influence your own luck. There's no way to mitigate bad streaks and since the reward model is 100% snowbally if you gain a strong luck advantage early on you will only progress further faster and faster.

Snowball is a term to describe gaining an advantage to use for more of an advantage later on. Like a snowball you start rolling slowly, then gradually pick up speed the longer you go. Depending on your luck in how much of a boost you get at the beginning, you could essentially hit full speed right away while someone else might struggle just to get theirs rolling.

Anyway, in order for Tiered Rifts to be lucrative, they must offer a reward that is either comparative or greater than the rewards of playing the game without them. Otherwise, you run the risk of them not being utilized at all. What could possibly be added to Tiered Rifts to make you want to utilize them?

Here are a few areas of interest to start thinking about.

What is the ease of access - How easy / hard should they be to enter?
  • How do you enter them?
  • Can you skip ahead to higher rifts rather than repeating easier ones?
  • How easy should Greater Rift Keys be to Obtain?
  • Should you automatically get a Greater Rift Key if you complete a normal rift in a specified time?
  • What are the qualifications to enter a Tiered Rift? Must you be playing on a certain Torment level?
What are the rewards - How rewarding should tiered rifts be?
  • Should Tiered Rifts have special rewards that are only in Tiered Rifts?
  • Should Tiered Rifts give greater rewards depending on how far you progress?
  • How powerful should the rewards be?
  • Should Tiered Rifts give Hellfire Ring type rewards?
  • Should some of the rewards be cosmetic?
  • Should there be rewards for being in a certain percentile / reaching a certain rank during the season?
What is the difficulty - How difficult should tiered rifts be?
  • Should the difficulty jumps between ranks be large or small?
  • Should all Greater Rift (Rank 1) rifts start at the same difficulty?
  • Are the Greater Rifts broken out by Torment Difficulty?
  • Should the density also increase the higher in rank you go?
  • Should more emphasis be placed on skill rather than gear?
  • If so, how would you go about make sure skill > gear?
  • Concept of Fairness - Will Tiered Rifts even harbor a competitive environment?
What other aspects of the game will influence the success of tiered rifts?
  • RNG Progression vs Skill Progression?
  • Random loot vs Static loot?
  • The snowball effects of loot acquisition rates in higher difficulties vs lower difficultes?
  • How will the "Gear Wall" affect your outlook on the competitiveness of Tiered Rifts?
  • How important will defensive stats be in determining your success?
  • Should Tiered Rifts be tuned with "efficiency" in mind?
  • Should you be one shotting enemies?
In order to make this new feature successful, we need to start thinking of things that would make us actually want to run them. We certainly don't want this to be a repeat of WoW's challenge modes.

Personally, I think rewards will heavily tie in to how successful this content is.

Thanks as always for every submission. This couldn't be possible without your contribution. Enjoy your weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I agree the rifts will be the do or die of the game really and thats why i cannot wait for them