So the whole goal of bringing Greater Rifts to Diablo 3 was to offer a higher difficulty for those that are steamrolling through T6 and want a bigger challenge AND offer some sort competitive gameplay including leaderboards.
What we got was just more RNG on top of RNG on top of RNG and frustration.
If you watch popular streamers do greater rifts, all you see if them trying to get a) good mobs a good Rift c) good pylons d) a good guardian. How is this competitive if everything about is just random luck instead of rewarding perfect execution?
I propose a new mode for Diablo 3: Challenge Modes
Challenge modes are a fixed set of maps, that are 100% identical, nothing about them is randomly generated and every group that runs them gets the exact same mobs, pylons and guardians.
Let’s make up a Challenge Mode map so I can better explain how and why this is better than Greater Rifts for Leaderboards.
Hellfire Citadel (yeah I’m creative, I know)
You and your friends are storming a castle
All Mobs are themed the same way, in this case it’s Act-4 styled mobs (yuk, I know!)
Even the affixes of the groups are not random generated and can be made to fit the current theme of the floor, think something like a arcane laser labyrinth floor.
Each floor can (but does not have to) have some sort of mini event that gives you an advantage when you complete it in time. Like reaching the warden’s cell before he closes the gates let’s you skip the longer way you’d have to take if you fail to reach the goal. (Thought-curve: Having 2 Demon Hunters here could give you an advantage to beat the DPS requirement, but does it give you a better time overall if you have more “squishy” classes in a later floor?)
You get a pylon each time you reach a certain floor of the castle, it is always the same order and always the same place. Let’s say at the start (cellar, whatever) you get a speed pylon, then at the third floor a Power Pylon and so on.
At the pinnacle of the castle you have to face the final boss, let’s say it’s Diablo here.
After the defeating the boss your team gets rated and a place on the scoreboard, there are ratings for speed and execution (least deaths, number of used pylons?).
Loot is given at the end from a chest you unlock by beating the last boss (or drops from the boss itself; can be different in each map etc).
Loot amount (shards, legendaries etc) is generated based on how you do (speed, execution again).
What this gives us is a way to rank players in a way that does revolve around player skill and group play only.
There will always be a class that is better than another at dungeon-X, floor-Y but you can’t build your whole group around just that. So clever gameplay will be rewarded more than playing the flavour of the month/season class. Challenges inside of the dungeons can be build around that fact, like not being CC able in some cases so not every group with an zDPS CC Witch Doctor has an easy life throughout the whole thing but maybe on floor-X where it sure helps them out but gives them a disadvantage on the other floors because CC does not work there.
This could of course be expanded on with a lot of different ways on how to build those dungeons. For example some could be separated into wings and completing a wing already gives you loot and saves your progress there so you can continue here. You of course want to avoid a situation where people can just farm Hellfire Citadel - Part 2 (the kitchen!) all the time because it is the easiest and gives fast loot.
This could also be seen as finally having some sort of proper PvP in the form of PvPvE in Diablo 3. Would also make quite a good stream/Blizzcon show, watching teams compete in Challenge Modes. Learning how to beat certain stages/groups the best and so on.
Seasons are also the best possible way to introduce new Challenge Modes and iterate on the old ones, fixing bugs and exploits along the way to make them better and fun to re-play.
You could also introduce cosmetical rewards from beating certain dungeons, like a banner when you beat Hellfire Citadel, or a pet when you reach a certain progression stage on a different one.
As you can see, this has endless possibilities and I’d really love to hear what other people think about it.
I wish something like this would happen. Funny thing is I heard a rumor about a pvp style that was modeled a lot like this. I don't think we will ever actually see "meaningful" pvp simply because what it would take to balance every class out. That's just my opinion on pvp and I would love for blizzard to prove me wrong.
Bleu42 just be hating. It's not a bad idea... but it is a feature that will only be for a small segment of the player population. I'd never even bother because I don't care about leaderboards, nor getting rewarded for being on them (or in this case attempting to get on them).
If they did this as a weekly deal, I think it would be a good challenge and you only get 1 shot at it each week. They are doing this kind of thing with Hearthstone. Each week your get a different Tavern Brawl. But if they kept the same map for an entire Season it would be boring. And if you could do with multiple attempts, the challenge is silly. There would be guides on how to master the challenge. RNG is there because it keeps people from having the answer upfront. This would be like playing a card game and instead of shuffling the cards, you got to put the cards in the order you saw fit.
Now if they gave you a character with the same gearing that everyone got, this would be a better challenge. People would have to use some weird skills that aren't being used in the current Metagame. If they did that, you could allow multiple attempts. People could Theorycraft some builds to get the best times.
I like the idea and others similar to it but i don't think the mobs have to be 100% static, i mean, some randomness is fine but as it currently stands, on live the randomness is just bullshit. See you can get a rift full of slow ass melee zombies and you can get a rift full of stupid anarchs - how is that comparable? It's not. If the randomness would consist of mobs that are actually on the same tier of difficulty then it would be fine.
I do think that having scripted instances could be nice for this game... Not to scratch GR but to add another option. I think what would be ideal is to make Paragon bonuses inactive while in such a rift / instance - That would level the playing ground and make players' progress once again reliant on gear and a certain ammount of skill (Yes like it or not some d3 builds and playstyles require skill to play, if you say "lol d3 and skill?" then you can gtfo).
Anyway back to the original idea in the op, it would be nice if we had let's say 1 fixed instance per act like an uber act 1,2,3,4,5 and in those instances everything will be fixed with just a bit of randomness. Every instance would be comprised of the mobs that are found in that act and would be graded in difficulty accordingly. After a while they could add another instance per act or whatever but i think 5 is a good numebr to start with for a content patch or an expansion.
It's what i've been saying for years. To make a competitive game mode, you got to eliminate the rng. Maybe even make a game mode where you play a fixed map with characters who get access to all gear for that game mode so the only difference in times will be execution.
For player interaction: Warcraft 3 had this custom game called hero-lines:
2 teams of champions keep sending monsters to eachother (costing a resource but also increasing your resource generation) and you had to simply kill these. The faster you kill the things send to you the more gold you have to send new stuff to your opponent.
This type of PVE-pvp would fit the diablo model perfectly.
Everyone asking for equal gear and paragon in this mode must be forgetting that it's a farming game...
I don't think anyone is forgetting anything. It's just that the farming has become so retarded and boring that people are trying to look for reasonable alternatives. Just because the game is built around character progression principles, it doesn't mean that we need to defend "farming" all the time... If it sucks then it sucks. In D2 you had a level cap but still had stuff to farm for even if you hit 99... Today, i don't see any reason why D3's entire farming aspect should boil down to just one lousy thing that is paragon farming. It's the most retarded situation the game has ever been in imo. Sure we got a lot of nice new features and whatever but when players need to farm paragon 24/7 in order to be in a position to compete with others, then it's just not fun anymore for a lot of people... And true, the game's top tier has always been a miniscule percentage of the player base but that still does not mean that a system that disregards paragon levels would work against "top players"... If designed right, it could work and be fun for everyone; "top players" and "casuals" alike.
The only reason why speed GR is not as boring as d2's Baal runs is the fact that GR's are somehwat randomized and Baal runs are like 99% static. I want D3 to have more reasons as to why its farming is superior to any other game and not just a bit of randomness which heavily works against the players on higher levels - Having said that, speed GR's are boring as shit, it's not even funny.
Edit: And i totally agree with Limdul above me. Another great example of those custom games that would fit in D3 imo is "Enfo's team survival".
WC3 custom games are a great source of inspiration for many games indeed, d3 devs could take a hint from some of them.
What i meant by farming game is that i wanna use my gear and paragon on whatever mode they implement, but ofc i agree with the paragon situation that's why i mentioned it needs a revision, it could be a rebalance of the main stat, a cap, or even a total revamp, although a nerf to the main stat gains is probably the most likely...
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Those Who Do Not Know True Pain Cannot Possibly Understand True Peace...
I also added something else I thought about a while ago:
PS: Small and cool change: Add the type and amount of pylons used in a grift to the leaderboards UI you people that enjoy an extra challenge or want to be extra competitive can compete in grifts without using pylons and can proof it. This is of course independent from my challenge mode idea.
I feel like this could be achieved by reworking GRs as well. With the time limit it brings competition but sort of ruins the fun of gearing and making your builds. It turns the game into get just enough survival to survive than maximize dps output as much possible. I feel like it could be bettter if they dropped the time limit (or extended it), but added in if you die your greater rift is over. The main issue for this is full tank builds clearing high levels although it would take hours. But I think this would take away some of the frustrations of bad RNG (maybe add some new ones), and finally get people to focus on defense again. This option was not really there before with the full CC builds but now that those are being removed I really think this could be a valid option. Although your idea sounds cool as well, but I do not see blizzard adding another set leader boards when they seem to love their greater rifts so much.
The more I think about this, the more I like the idea. We already have a UI for grifts and rifts, and we could just make another box to add these. If we get another set of premade dungeons, perfectly formed with specific difficult sections, predictable and known in advance, it would provide a solid challenge. Each season, we get a new "featured" dungeon to add to the list of dungeons.
Now, while I love this idea of content, allowing us to remove RNG as we please, and run our "challenge" dungeons for time on Torment 10. Never getting more difficult, but instead getting faster, allowing for full gear optimization for any one specific dungeon, we run into our first problem. Gearing constraints are already being bitched about constantly, never having enough stash room, and if we start to implement predictable dungeons, people are going to PERFECTLY optimized for these dungeons. We're talking the specific resistances on each gear of armor to be applied to each dungeon. Some dungeons are primarily physical, so we'd stack physical resist, same applies for each element. But now we need an entire gear loadout for each character and each dungeon. This is gonna be awful and frustrating.
While I love the idea, mostly because I hate the fact we have to deal with RNG, I'd rather we just get an option to instantly close a rift rather than have to leave a game to fish for the perfect rift. As it is though, I don't want to deal with the frustration of trying to constantly find the perfect piece of gear with the exact kind of resistance I want on it in order to compete at the highest levels. In addition, the specialization is gonna be extreme, and storage of all these kinds of gear is gonna be equally frustrating.
With that said, I love the idea of time trials in predictable rifts, trying with groups or friends to formalize the perfect ideal group to speed run each dungeon.