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

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