Map Drops in The Awakening

As you know, in The Awakening there is a new sequence of maps that will include many new types of maps based on Act Four areas. This new map sequence has different art (see my signature). We've also adjusted the levels of maps to be laid out better. The old maps still exist at their old levels, with the old art. They drop new maps.

Over the last few weeks, our balance team have been experimenting with various rates of map drops on the Closed Beta servers. The data collected has been extremely useful and has helped us decide various small changes to the map system that you'll be seeing in The Awakening.

There are three goals for our changes:
  • For players to choose to play harder maps (by rolling them to have more and harder mods)
  • For players to choose to kill the map boss (rather than occasionally skipping it)
  • For players to find the highest tiers of maps challenging to complete and to sustain

On the Closed Beta, the drop rate for higher maps that we've been testing recently is lower than the live realm. While there are several mapping groups in Beta happily sustaining the highest tiers of maps, it took them a lot more effort to get there than it normally does. We want to bring this experience to more players.

Now that we've gathered the data we needed, we're planning the following changes:
  • Increasing the drop rate of higher-tier maps so that it's closer to (but not the same as) that of the live servers.
  • Making map bosses more challenging and more rewarding to fight. They will drop more items (and maps) than they currently do. Note that they will now be the only monsters that drop maps two tiers above the current map level.
  • Magic/rare/unique monsters will be able to drop maps one tier above the current level.
  • We will review map mods and make sure that challenge is rewarded with an appropriate level of additional item drops.

The change of having only map bosses drop +2 level maps is not intended as a strict nerf. Those bosses now drop additional items, so you should see more +2 maps from them. It's worth noting that +2 maps are a dangerous thing. They can cause players to get out of their depth - playing maps that are too hard for the items they currently have. We expect these changes to both help with this situation and to also provide an understandable way to have a chance at a +2 map: killing the map boss.

In addition to the map changes described above, we should note that Merciless Act Four is intended to be very difficult content. It'll provide a way to challenge your character without having to play in maps.
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Last edited by Chris on Jun 8, 2015, 7:44:03 PM
nice!

first!
sick!
IGN: @Sleepless
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Unlike basically everyone else it sounds like, I've actually been pretty lucky with map drops in beta lately. I've had some serious lulls where I just about quit, and I haven't gotten past 78's yet, but I'm currently sustaining 75s-78s.
Last edited by Grom23 on Jun 8, 2015, 7:52:04 PM
"
Chris wrote:
Note that they will now be the only monsters that drop maps two tiers above the current map level.


Please make any unique enemy able to drop +2 maps. This could give more weight to exile/double boss rolls on maps, and exile rolls on boxes.
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better if you can spoil us the area levels of new zones.
"
Grom23 wrote:
Unlike basically everyone else it sounds like, I've actually been pretty lucky with map drops in beta lately. I've had some serious lulls where I just about quit, and I haven't gotten past 78's yet, but I'm currently sustaining 75s-78s.

Same here, except I'm sustaining 79s with occasional 80s.
"
Chris wrote:
Increasing the drop rate of higher-tier maps so that it's closer to (but not the same as) that of the live servers.

I really dont get it. I have a stable map pool of 77/78 maps with occasional 79/80 drops. You can run end game map all day if you properly roll them. Why hell are you already retreating again?
Last edited by nynyny on Jun 8, 2015, 7:59:35 PM
yea well i hope your message doesnt only apply to temp league players when it comes to challenge and sustainability, it would be nice if the highest lvl maps when act 4 goes live do actually provide a bit of what you say to the 95+ in perm league, since we've been asking and still waiting for replayable endgame for so long. not even asking for act 4 merc to provide something for high lvl perms, since its a good bet it'll be a boring joke 2nd or 3rd time around... some challenging and fun 82 maps that wont be super rare or rng gated like uber, would be a pleasant start.
Dark_Chicken - lvl 100 Marauder
Divine_Chicken - lvl 99 Duelist
Organic_Chicken - lvl 95+ Shadow
Levels attained 2016 & prior
Good read.

Though psychologically I'm not sure making merciless A4 end game worthy is going to work. My sense is that most non-casual players will consider the core acts as baseline huddles to clear and a ramped up A4 may be confusing/frustrating to some. But we'll see.
IGN: JerleBlight
Last edited by Jerle on Jun 8, 2015, 8:31:53 PM

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