Let me preface this by saying that I firmly believe that playing solo or co-op should be a choice one makes. This thread exists because I firmly believe that the current implementation forces us to play co-op any time it's available. Why do I believe this?
First, monster HPs only scale up 50% per person. This means that four people who can farm T1 solo can very easily do T2 in a group and probably can do T3 without too much difficulty. Alone, this is a massive slant in favor of co-op. You can, literally, farm above your gear, if you're in a group. Couple this with the fact that each difficulty bump up increases the XP bonus you receive as well as gold find and magic find and there is no point to ever playing solo if you can put another person in your game.
Secondly, on top of that each person in the group gives a further 25% XP and MF bonus through the Strength in Numbers buff. So, in addition to being able to bump your difficulty up because of HP scaling, you're gaining more XP and more MF.
Thirdly, co-op groups can share drops among themselves. Solo players cannot ever do this. Although I don't think this should change, I think it's the most "fair" way to make co-op attractive. I don't think having a huge advantage in XP/hr and items/hr is the right way to do it.
How would I fix this so that playing solo wasn't so obviously inferior to co-op?
Strength in Numbers removed entirely.
Monster HP scaling changed to 75% for each additional player, up from 50%.
Leave the "bind-to-game" alone as the major incentive to play co-op.
This would mean that co-op groups would still have an advantage over the solo adventurer, through the more-lenient per-player HP scaling, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as drastic as it is right now. The ultimate goal should be to create some degree of parity between solo play and co-op play and I feel that the current implementation is skewed way too much in favor of co-op play. If you're not playing co-op right now, you are doing it wrong, and that's not how it should be.
I personally think it's fine. If you have a well-balanced group, group play is faster than solo - yes.
But if your group is imbalanced or has some slackers or doesn't work well together, you're better off solo. Also don't underestimate the new followers who can reach quite significant DPS levels.
But it's just my opinion...
Yup. I haven't been tracking the numbers, but I feel like I have more xp/hr and items/hr playing solo than in a co-op game. A co-op game is efficient 50-60% of the time, solo play is efficient 99% of the time. Nowadays if I play co-op with some friends, its just to screw around without thinking of xp or items.
Really I only play co-op with my friend, I'd love to play with more people from Dfans but I can't be in the clan cause it's full, and right now I'm hating the BoA. Playing solo without my friend and finding a legendary is painful. Sometimes they've been useful to him and some of his have been useful to me and we can't use them because hey I had school work and he didn't or vice versa. Doesn't seem too fair to me. I'm really hoping they address this soon with a friends trading or clan trading system where you can trade with friends or clans if you've been friends or in the clan for over x amount of time.
To your other points I definitely agree playing with my friend nets me more exp, which is quite nice especially since we do T4 together even though I only do 100k damage and he's got something like 200k. But you are right it's a little too easy with others. from solo T2 to duo T4 is a pretty big jump, and one that really isn't warranted. They should fix this but I'm not entirely sure they will. They put all these things in to make coop the more attractive route, they've said they want you to play with others. So I don't think they'll change this anytime soon.
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Quote from Bagstone» But if your group is imbalanced or has some slackers or doesn't work well together, you're better off solo.
I really don't think that's a good argument because there are three in-game tools that allow you to handpick who you group with: friends list, clan, and communities. If you're routinely grouping with people who are so bad as to gimp your XP despite the plethora of co-op bonuses then that's your fault and not something they should be balancing the game around.
Ultimately, my point is that the best XP/hr can *only* come from co-op. There is no way for a "top" player solo to compete with a "top" group. And, yes, that is a major problem. It means that the only way to get the best XP/hr rates, the best items/hr rates is to play in a group. That doesn't foster the "you can play solo or in a group, it doesn't matter!" mentality. It fosters a "well I sure better hope I find enough friends that are awesome players so that I can group with them whenever possible because if I don't I will get second place no matter what" mentality.
And, with all the talk about we need ladders, it IS something that needs to be hashed out. There just can't be such a major discrepancy. It's no different than farming cursed chests. The *right* way to farm right now is with a group of three other players who don't suck. There shouldn't be a "right" way to farm, particularly solo versus co-op since not every one of us has the ability to play co-op at all times. You can't have a ladders in a game where the only way to max your XP/hr is to play co-op. It makes no fucking sense at all. All that does is further skews the rewards system to the 14 hr/day professional gamer types and screws the casual gamer who doesn't have access to 10,000 minions on their stream and such.
I have to agree with the OP. I've always been more of a solo player but since this patch I've played exclusively in 4 player groups with my clan. The exp gain is just so much more efficient. We are well syngerized so we breeze through T6. I can clear t6 myself at a pretty good pace but with a four player group the extra exp bonus and kill speed is just too good to pass up.
To be honest shaggy: I rather have it that way than the opposite. And I say this as someone who really likes the single player aspect in Diablo.
It would be terrible if everyone would just say "I'd rather play alone because it's more efficient" - which would be the case if for the top-top-top players coop would be equally efficient as solo play. Because it would mean that for every non-professional player (not even gonna use the term "casual") group play is heavily de-incentivized.
If you look at the player base, I think for the huge majority of the player base the game is perfectly balanced between group play and solo play. There are certainly lots of players who are better off solo; not everyone has a huge friends list or even a clan. And then there are the top players who always want to create groups because it's more efficient. But to be perfectly honest, after all the crap over the past few days (cursed chests, mira runs, and whatever will be next) I don't give a rat's ass about these players. They are the 0.1% that seem to not care about the game, they are just looking for their own race; the stuff I see some streamers doing right now could be considered as "bug hunting" in beta but right now it's just ridiculous. I don't care if these players *have* to find a group, as long as the game is an awesome experience for the other 99% - and in my opinion it absolutely is.
Quote from Bagstone»
If you have a well-balanced group, group play is faster than solo - yes.
I'm with shaggy on this one. The benefits are too drastic. Back when the monster scaling was nerfed, the intention was to allow players of different "performance" to play together without the stronger player feeling too gimped. Now you can basically take a naked Monk with you, whose Mantra alone (almost) negates the monster buffs and reap all those benefits (mainly strength in numbers and tradability).
Co-op needs to be as it is. It should greatly make players thinking of going into groupplay. Without a community that chats and plays together, this will shut the game down hard. Build diversity and items will increase with group play. Also, playing solo aint that bad. If you have to play T2 instead of T4 it aint end of the world.
I think it's good to make groups stronger than solo. I currently don't have many people to group with and when I do find someone they are usually weaker so the bonus rewards are nice. I think even if solo was double co-op I would still want to group, but then nobody else would...
Dude, Blizzard have said time and time again that Diablo 3 is a Co-op Game first and foremost.
I don't remember that. Can you post a link to any such source? I actually remember quite the opposite, they always stressed that Diablo should always be feasible in single player for any class and co-op play is just an option, but not a requirement to get past certain content.
Please remember that Diablo 3 development started off as an MMORPG but that was scrapped in 2006/2007, and since then the focus has always been single player. So with regard to this, shaggy has a point.
I aknowledge that Co-op with a good group is a lot more convenient than playing single player but i stopped caring about exp/hr a lot of time ago. When i want to play in group i will do it, but when i just want to play at my own pace without the stress of killing enemies too fast i just play alone and enjoy the calm.
Surely i wouldn't have gotten my Legendary Cloak if i was in single player because it was traded to me by a fellow Demon Hunter, but that i thought stars alligned in that moment because he had the same cloak with better stats <.<
Oh Nooo! A Co-op focused game is not focusing on my singleplayer mode!
You're really twisting words there, buddy.
I'm not suggesting that solo should be better than co-op. I'm not even suggesting they should be equal (mostly because that would be impossible).
I'm suggesting that the current gap between co-op and solo is far too large mostly because the HP scaling allows you to jump up difficulties in co-op that you'd never be able to do solo while STILL providing 75% XP and MF. When you combine both of those it's obvious that the only *right* way to play is in a group and that rather goes against the idea that people should be generally playing how they like.
I agree Shaggy. I think the Strength in numbers buff should be removed, at least. And I always thought the HP scaled at 75%, but wow if it's only 50% it should be bumped up a tad. Sharing loot and 75% HP scale I think would be a fair middle ground.
This is unreal. People often complained that grouping sucked and there was no reason to ever do so, and now people are complaining that grouping shouldn't be as viable an option as running solo. People complained that the game sucked because there was no reason to ever socialize or go beyond playing with your follower. Now Blizzard has heard your cries and made grouping fun, fast, and efficient.
What more do you want?
You don't need to play 14 hours a day to make grouping worthwhile. I jump into agame with friends, play for an hour, go to bed. I get replaced as quickly as I jumped in and things carry on. Stop worrying about other people and play the game for your own enjoyment. I accept that I'll never catch up to Morikiopa, Modz, etc in Paragon levels or possibly even their gear levels because of their lifestyle/playstyle. Oh boo hoo, life goes on, but I'm still enjoying the time I have in-game.
This is intended, I remember (no sources, don't remember at which point they did) that Blizzard once told that they put it this way to encourage co-op play. I think that was around the implementation of the MP system. At some point it was scaling near 100% per additional party member or so, but if you wanted to play co-op you had to have all the same level of equipment (in terms of "power").
Now you can join a public game and still have fun/be as efficient as solo even if some have medium equipments and others high end stuff.
The opposite is true, if everybody have great gear than you'll do better in co-op. But this is at the profit of playing with randoms/friends with lower gear and still be efficient, which is a pretty good concept imo.
I agree on 1 point: in groups it is possible to clear content above your own equipment level. Solo I play at T3, in groups I demolish T4 and go easily through T5.
So perhaps they should increase the HP scaling of monsters, but that should be all.
It's just more fun to play with someone else.
I think HP scaling is right where it is and here is why...the derp and randomness.
I have never been in a group where I didn't have one or two derpy people who weren't undergeared or ran off the map and pulled mobs to the people who were appropriately geared for the difficulty. We would have wiped dozens of times over if those mobs were at 75%+ hp scaled.
The game is scaled to accommodate for randomness in the group being formed and to pad against the fact that some people may be trying new builds and haven't solidified how to use them with the group yet.