One of the most criticized things about Diablo III has been its lackluster endgame value and low level cap. Straying from Diablo II's 99 level cap, Blizzard developers, for some mad reason, decided to give players a puny level cap of 60 during Diablo III's release. This left thousands of level 60 players with nothing to do other than bash their heads in at the initial difficulty of Inferno.
While several decreases to the difficulty of Inferno have made the game more playable for many, others still felt a staggering lack of purpose for logging into the game. In continuation of its 1.0.4 previews, Blizzard has unveiled an upcoming feature that may bring a number of players back into the game, Paragon Levels.
"We understand that some players feel frustrated once they hit level 60 because they no longer feel like they’re making progress. It can be demoralizing to play for an hour, not get any drops, and also be out a big chunk of gold from repair costs," says game director Jay Wilson. "Your play session may not only end without an upgrade, it can wind up being a net loss. Everyone wants to feel like they’re making some progress when they log in, even if they don’t get that new sword."
The solution to the problem?
Introducing the Paragon SystemThe new Paragon system coming in patch 1.0.4 is designed to address Magic Find gear-swapping while providing players who’ve reached level 60 with an extended progression system.Here’s how it works:After you hit level 60, any further experience you earn from killing monsters will begin to count toward Paragon levelsThere are 100 Paragon levelsEvery Paragon level will reward you with:Core stats such as Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Vitality in amounts similar to what you’d gain from a normal level3% Magic Find and 3% Gold FindIn addition, a distinctive increasingly-impressive border will surround your character portrait in the in-game party frame to denote your Paragon progression, with a new frame earned after every ten levels. Your Paragon level will also be visible to other players wherever your normal level is shown.
According to Wilson, the amount of time required to reach the upper Paragon levels will be similar to the long-term time investment required to reach level 99 in Diablo II. While the new system certainly provides players with an incentive to log back in, they will still be fighting the same mobs and bosses over and over again in order to reach that 100 Paragon level cap. If the upcoming changes for legendary items weren't enough, are the new paragon levels enough to bring you back?