news\ Mar 22, 2012 at 9:53 am

Blizzard details Diablo 3 end game, Nephalem Valor buff


Blizzard wants you to know that they are working hard on balancing and testing Diablo 3 in the final push before the game's recently announced May 15th launch date.

"One of the major components is making sure the end game experience is fun and exciting," said community manager Bashiok in a recent forum post.

In doing so, Bashiok shared a few goals for the Diablo 3 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," he explained. "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."

Aside from build combinations in Diablo 3, the goal seems to be finding a nice balance between quick "three-minute" boss runs and a longer "two-hour commitment".

"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," he detailed.

"Bosses should still feel worth killing."

Something Blizzard is doing to help find that balance is a new system, Nephalem Valor, which he pointed out is "still in testing".  While the developers are still "working out the details" of the end game Valor system, Bashiok did share how it "currently" works in Diablo 3.

Kicking in at level 60, the Nephalem Valor buff is granted when killing a Rare or Champion pack.  While Rare and Champion packs still drop loot, they buff they give you grants 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," he said.  "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."

Diablo 3 was recently dated for a May 15, 2012 release, but fans are able to pre-purchase the game today at the official Diablo 3 website.

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