Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Diablo 3: Nephalem Valor is Win

Diablo 3, like its brother World of Warcraft, is a game that does not start until the end.

Upon reaching level 60, characters who kill an elite pack of mobs gain a buff called 'Nephalem Valor'.  This buff:

1)  Increased your Magic Find by +20%
2)  Stacks 5 times.
3)  Lasts for 30 minutes.

So, after killing 5 packs of elite mobs, a player gains +100% to their magic find.

My initial reaction, after having farmed for a bit, is that this system is fantastic.

First, the buff compels you to keep playing.  When you get the first buff, you want to find another pack so you can get the buff to lvl 2, then lvl 3, etc.  Once you max it at 5, you're then on a quest to keep the buff up.  The game becomes: "I have half an hour to find another elite pack!" and so you merrily romp around the game world finding the elite mobs who can refresh your buff, and drop madd lootz.

Second, the buff makes you feel as if you can get gear.  When you're just farming pre-60, you have a vague idea of the MF on your gear and the hopes of finding some items.  But with the Nephalem Valor buff right there on your bar, you're constantly reminded that you're getting +100% to your MF.  While it may seem like an insignificant aesthetic quirk, I found it to be quite compelling.  When I wanted to get up for more beverage, I first checked the time on the buff, and then assessed whether I could spare the time to make a trip to the fridge or if I needed to find another elite pack first.

Every elite pack becomes a momentary break of relief:  "Shew!  I have another half hour.  Ok, time to find the next pack!"

Third, and perhaps the best feature, is that Nephalem Valor trains players to not be retarded god damned pedophiliac Hitler shitheads.  Persons who routinely dick around, afk, or travel back to town to unload their white gear (that they continue to pick up for God knows what reason) will be passively coerced into staying on the battlefield so that they can refresh their Valor.  If you go afk to jack off to some child porn, you may miss an elite pack, and so miss getting your Valor refreshed.  So, you'd best get your dick out of your hand and fucking farm.

Nephalem Valor teaches people how to play the god damned game:  You fucking sit your ass down and farm elites.  And you only go back to town after you kill a fresh pack of elite mobs, and your bags are full.

The "problem" with the system is that it can make a player feel somewhat trapped within their 30 minute window.  If, for example, a loved one calls you have to quickly assess:

1)  Can I talk to them and farm elites at the same time?
If yes:  Answer the phone.
If no:
2)  Can I end the conversation within 30 minutes?
If yes:  answer the phone.
If no:  Don't answer the phone.

One quickly becomes adept at farming one handed.  It's not too difficult in Act 3 Hell, but my guess is that Inferno may require phones to be turned off, children to starve, and marriages to be annulled.

But that's fine.  I mean, that shit wasn't getting you gear, anyway.

Overall, I think Nephalem Valor is a fantastic addition to the Diablo playstyle.  It compels persons to farm, it teaches them to farm, and it boosts your MF %.

Alright.  Back to questing.  I'm hoping to clear Act 4 Hell before I have to sleep.


_J_ said...

The safeguard in the system, which I shall refer to as a 'safeguard' is that the buff wipes when players change acts. So, if you feel trapped in the game by your 30 minute timer,there is a built-in relief once you transition to the next act.

I assume that sane people won't have to worry about this situation. But I greatly appreciated the buff wipe when I made it to act 4.

I needed to eat, but if I got up to eat I might not have found another pack in time to refresh the buff to etc.

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