While writing my previous Diablo 3 blog, something hit me about the idea of competitive play. Right now, the only source of competition is the highest Greater Rift one can achieve in a season. Unfortunately, the game burns people out quickly especially after the first week since everything revolves around pushing the highest Greater Rift. While seeing huge numbers is always fun, overtime this idea stagnates especially in its current format. What other ideas can the game add more dimensions to competitive leaderboards?
Part of my previous blog talked about the idea of wiping out the Greater Rift leaderboard during seasons each week. The only barometer of fairness and actual stimulation of leaderboards for a season in my opinion is during the first weekend that a season premiers since everyone starts from ground zero. The season stagnates over time and even the most hardcore players just end up getting burnt out from the repetitive nature of the game. However, there’s a lot of activities within the game that can allow for a more stimulating and competitive nature beyond Greater Rifts, which has been the only “end game” content at this stage.
First, borrowing from Path of Exile, I want to propose the idea of races. Path of Exile races seem to be mostly about leveling and the occasional PVP portion in decimating others and grabbing their gear. But the main point about races is that they’re more frequent. So what if only in seasons we have the concept of a short term race? The idea would be that you have constant races/events that allow anyone to participate and perhaps gain some reward. It could be on weekends or even weekdays. Say major races happen during the weekends or at night to allow the broadest possible game play while short races can happen at anytime. The difference between races will be in the rewards provided. Perhaps, a long/major race will provide a major reward and a minor race will provide something smaller. Time could be a factor between these two where a major one might be an all day event while a short one could last an hour.
To enter a race, a person might go to their loading screen before they select a seasonal hero then a new button will appear that explains the rules of the race and allows them to accept with certain parameters. Now, to make races interesting, we can add all types of categories and here’s where the real fun starts. The following are just some ideas of me brainstorming:
- Weekend Highest Greater Rift Race: Pretty obvious, but this is pretty much taken from my prior blog. But this race simply allows a participant to try and hit the highest possible Greater Rift or even a defined level of difficulty. The first person (or even first ten) who wins this gets a prize
- Most amount of gold. A participant has their gold wiped for this event and must accumulate as much gold as possible. Turns gold into a very interesting commodity and meaningful under these conditions.
- Most number of goblins killed. Changes the game play into a massive goblin farming situation. What’s the best scenario to do this under? Normal rifts? Adventure mode? What build should you use for this? A fast build? An AoE build?
- Zero to Hero. Your inventory is wiped out but you retain being level 70. How fast can you get back your gear? Might involve climax in doing a mastery dungeon. So you still have to refarm your gear then prove that you have what it takes by completing that set’s mastery dungeon.
- Highest Augmented Gear. Since a lot of players just augment their best gear, this puts a new spin on farming for ancients, hitting high Greater Rifts and seeing who has the best shinies. Probably a good week long race.
- Most number of bounty rewards completed at the highest difficulty level. Oh and you can’t just do act 1 bounties. You have to finish them ALL to win this race. T13 Mathael anyone?
- Story Mode race. Yes, there’s a conquest for finishing story mode within a certain time frame. But there’s no competitive race for this. It’s still interesting to see how many people have mastered Story Mode. Also, makes Story Mode worth doing again. Give it a couple of hours.
- Largest number of consecutive kills. Very short race but it takes the action combat mode and turns it a step up.
- Paragon race. Your paragons in seasons are dropped to zero. You still can be level 70 but your goal is to hit the highest paragon level within a day. Will XP gear make a comeback in this? Can we see new meta evolve in this style of play?
- Legendary gem leveling. How many legendary gems can you level up to the highest level possible? Does this mean you do lots of lower level GRs for speed or just high numbers?
The reward system can vary. For instance, short races must give someone Blood Shards, XP, some gold, maybe even a random legendary. A major race might allow someone to upgrade an item to an ancient, boost a legendary gem by 10 levels, guaranteed paragon level boost, massive amount of bounty materials for crafting, etc. But it should be interesting and useful but not entirely overbalancing.
As you can see, none of these ideas are that drastic from what’s currently in the game but it takes the existing game play and pushes it up a few notches. I think these ideas would be very fun and give everyone a shot. Perhaps, at the end of the season, we can see a leaderboard showing those who managed to win all these various races. I think this will allow content to stay relevant, fresh, exciting and still provide incentives to redo.