While working on patch 1.0.4, we came up with all sorts of ideas for ways to improve Diablo III. Some of them you’ve probably already seen, such as the general systems changes, the awesome buffs for Legendaries, and the improvements we’re making to the barbarian,demon hunter, monk, witch doctor, and wizard. The entire team really banded together to get as much into this patch as possible, and one of the exciting changes I’d like to tell you about today is called the Paragon system.
Two of the issues we’ve been thinking about while working on patch 1.0.4 have been what to do with Magic Find and how to give level-60 players who aren’t satisfied with the item hunt something more to strive for. I’m sure many of you are aware of the blog we posted proposing some different Magic Find gear-swapping solutions, as well as our general thoughts on how rewarding the game is once you hit level 60. The Paragon system is designed to help us address these concerns -- but before we get into exactly how it works, let’s go over these two core issues in a little more detail.
As you may remember, we posed a number of possible solutions to the gear-swapping issue and asked you to give us your feedback. While we saw some support for a couple of the options, what your responses ultimately told us was that although having to swap into Magic Find gear mid-fight annoyed some of you greatly, others were ambivalent, didn’t gear swap themselves, or -- in a few cases -- wanted to see gear-swappers penalized in some fashion. Those who do swap gear generally do so for the raw power advantage it gives, so we wanted any solution we went with to provide the same level of power. Overall, our analysis of the situation really hammered home one stark truth: we needed to come up with a way to make our Magic Find system more fun.
Level 60 Rewards
We understand that some players feel frustrated once they hit level 60 because they no longer feel like they’re making progress. It can be demoralizing to play for an hour, not get any drops, and also be out a big chunk of gold from repair costs. Your play session may not only end without an upgrade, it can wind up being a net loss. Everyone wants to feel like they’re making some progress when they log in, even if they don’t get that new sword.
Introducing the Paragon System
The new Paragon system coming in patch 1.0.4 is designed to address Magic Find gear-swapping while providing players who’ve reached level 60 with an extended progression system.
Here’s how it works:
After you hit level 60, any further experience you earn from killing monsters will begin to count toward Paragon levels
There are 100 Paragon levels
Every Paragon level will reward you with:
Core stats such as Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Vitality in amounts similar to what you’d gain from a normal level
3% Magic Find and 3% Gold Find
In addition, a distinctive increasingly-impressive border will surround your character portrait in the in-game party frame to denote your Paragon progression, with a new frame earned after every ten levels. Your Paragon level will also be visible to other players wherever your normal level is shown
We know that a lot of you out there are level 60 -- maybe on multiple characters -- and this system provides a way to make progress every time you log in to the game.
To support the new system, Nephalem Valor (NV) will now also provide a 15% experience bonus per stack, applicable toward Paragon levels. The first Paragon level should take about as long as it took most players to get from level 59 to 60, and the experience requirement will rise from there. The time to reach the upper Paragon levels approximates the long-term time investment required to get a level 99 character in Diablo II.
… What Was That About Magic Find On Items?
While the benefits to progression are obvious, you may be asking how this impacts Magic Find on items. We wanted to find a solution that was not only very forgiving of gear swapping, but one that would ultimately help us slowly and gently move Magic Find off of items in the future. It’s such an intrinsically important stat to the core purpose of playing the game that tying it to gear -- which is a customization system in many ways -- is ultimately an approach that would continue to cause problems. We need to transition away from it, and do so in a way that doesn’t flip the entire game end-over-end.
With the Paragon system in place, we’re capping Magic Find and Gold Find to 300% (before Nephalem Valor). This means that without any Magic Find gear at all, you’ll hit the cap when you reach Paragon level 100. This way, you can continue wearing your current Magic Find gear as you slowly but surely work to gain Paragon levels. Eventually, once you hit Paragon level 100, you’ll have the freedom to completely focus every slot on stats that help your character kill stuff faster and stay alive longer. The idea is that if you’re currently swapping gear in and out for the Magic Find bonuses, you can continue to do so… but gain enough Paragon levels, and you won’t need to anymore.
The Paragon system is a fairly big addition to the game, and one we’re pretty excited about. On behalf of the entire Diablo III development team, we hope you enjoy the changes we’re making with patch 1.0.4, and we look forward to seeing you in-game when it releases. Stay tuned to Diablo3.com for the final patch notes and official launch announcement in the days ahead.
Jay Wilson is Game Director for Diablo III, and his Necron army is WAY better than your Eldar army.