Diablo® III

[Proposal] Open World/Free Roam Mode Revisited

Posts: 1,378
View profile
Background: One request that I've seen bandied about is a Diablo II like open world mode where you can quickly travel between the waypoints on different acts.

Recent topic: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7710221128
Request for feature on PTR: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7709111016

I do understand Blizzard's original design intent where they wanted the player to be immersed in the lore and I have to agree that with the first two play throughs (Normal and Nightmare), I learned more about some things which I didn't before. I also admit that it got a little bit old having to repeat it again in Hell and Inferno difficulties.

I've been thinking about this and felt that any implementation of this, should have something more meaningful added (valued added proposal) besides being just a way to quickly move to different map zones and/or content, where it enhances the replayability of the game even further by providing an incentive for players to really explore this open world. I typed this out from the top of my head and haven't necessarily thought about all the different angles.

So I'm posting this to start some dialog since I believe there are many out there who have good ideas which Blizzard could consider for some future use if they see value in providing us such a mode. I've also tried to keep the proposals reasonable based on the current game design where code, graphics, game mechanics, and environments can be reused. I also realize there are technical issues such as increased server side caching and data storage requirements for each open world game compared to the current quest system (more map information needs to be maintained for each open world session for example) which could potential be one of many reasons for why they do not want to implement this.

Proposal:

Similar to Elective Mode, the player can check off an "Open World" mode in Options > Gameplay > Interface. The tooltip will provide a summarized explanation (of the following) of how this works. Note that enabling this does not automatically make the game world open, nor is the quest based game play mode eliminated.

This mode will only become available for actual game play use once a character completes all of the quests across all acts in that specific difficulty. For example, to have Open World mode become available in Normal difficulty, that character will need to have played through the complete story line for Acts 1-4 (rinse and repeat for Nightmare, Hell, and Inferno). I did think about the idea of providing such a mode on an account wide basis once one character unlocked a mode but I believe there is merit in running a low level character (which will in most cases be a different class) through the story line as a way to play around with various skills as they are unlocked.

Blizzard would need to re-design the waypoint interface when operating in Open World mode to be tabbed for each act like how it was in Diablo II. All cutscenes and cinematics would be disabled in this mode. You will also not have any checkpoints which means there would be a tradeoff if you die (on softcore). The "Change Quest" box on the main screen would be grayed out (it would say Open World Gameplay Enabled). Your navigation would be done in-game using the above modified waypoint system. If you are enabling it for the first time, your starting point will be in the town/camp of the last act that you were in.

Note: Part of the work is already in place. When you currently select the final quest in any particular act, all of the previous way points are accessible within that act. What would need to be added is the waypoint logic to be able to move between each acts respective waypoints. All bosses (mini and main) would also need to be enabled (sans cut scenes) but with a proposed twist for the 4 main bosses.

Co-operative Play:

Private multiplayer play will have certain restrictions in place to maintain the integrity of the quest based storyline. If you are a player who has Open World mode enabled (and meet the above requirements), when inviting a player(s) to your party or game, and that other player(s) has not completed all quests for that particular difficulty, game play for that session will revert to quest based play. The quest you start from will be determined by the host (like before) if the invite occurred from the main menu. If the invite took place in-game, game play will start from that part of the game with the subsequent quest becoming the next objective. Once you leave that game, the next single player game you start will operate in Open World mode.

Opening your private game to the public can be done in either quest based or open world play (which means there will now be two match making systems). For a player looking to join a public game, when clicking the "Public Games" button, what is displayed will depend on which mode you are operating in. In the quest based mode, it will work as it currently does. In Open World mode, you will not see any quests to join. Instead, you will be matched into a public game after selecting an act (there would be 4 buttons: Join an Act 1 Game, Join an Act 2 Game, etc) for a particular difficulty and monster power level.

Main Boss Encounters in Open World Mode:

In order to make the whole concept of an open world mode more meaningful, I propose that there be a chance for one or more of the 4 main bosses to be able to also roam the open world as well. From a Diablo lore perspective, free roaming bosses would fit into the meta-storyline of the game. Chris Metzen (Blizzard's Senior Vice President, Story and Franchise Development) has been involved with the creation of the Diablo universe since the orignal version. This is what he said in an interview about Diablo III's story line and it representing the "end of a trilogy":

I see this as the ending of a specific storyline. It’s not at all the end of Diablo, the end of a particular age or era, but it is the end of a series of machinations that have been playing out on Sanctuary for the last couple centuries. If Diablo ever really had a plan to mess people up, to bring about doom and destruction, this game really illustrates how grand that design has always been. Before, we didn’t have all the information. This game shows just how smart and cunning he’s been over the arc of time and why he’s the series’ unique villain. In the first couple games there wasn’t a whole lot more detail to that character other than that he was a big red dude who kicked the s— out of people. So why is the series named after him and not Baal or Mephisto? Is Diablo stronger? I would argue that he’s just really clever, he thinks laterally in a way that his brothers do not. He’s not just one of the seven big Evils. He’s Doctor Doom. And Diablo III is the culmination of his machinations, even if it’s not the end to potential stories we could tell in that universe.

Playing on the above, Diablo's continual cleverness plays out in this open world/free roam mode. The 4 main bosses would be located in outdoor areas only (not in caves, cellars, side dungeons, etc). While loot quality remains an issue with many, the reward of finding and defeating these roaming bosses has to be tied into a significantly higher chance of getting a higher quality rolled item(s) (rare or legendary drop). The objective is to add variety and provide an incentive for players to explore the entire world. Yes, I realize this will not cater to the farming efficiency crowd (when it comes to these main bosses), but efficient farming can still be done in open world mode outside of these 4 main bosses.

In order to prevent quick run checks to each of these bosses chambers, I suggest that the mob density (something which is already on Blizzard's radar) leading to each of these chambers be increased signficantly; you'll have to fight through a thick wave of mobs (both trash and elites) to get to the chamber to see if the boss is actually there. The only exception would be Diablo's where you could either end up fighting the real one or a clone of Diablo (which you won't find out until after the battle is over). If it's not the real Diablo, you will hear the familiar, "Not even death can save you from me" at the end of the battle. This again plays into Metzen's view that Diablo is cunning and throws curveballs and twists at you in order to distract and waste your time.

When the Butcher is roaming the open world, you'll first meet a smaller version of him (reminscent of the Butcher from the original Diablo). Once you defeat him, you will then be temporarily transported to the actual chamber where you will fight the larger Butcher. When Belial is roaming the open world, you will encounter him first as Emperor Hakan where he will then transform into the smaller phase 1/2 version of Belial. Once you've defeated him, you will then be temporarily transported to his Imperial Palace chamber where you will fight him in his phase 3 form. When Azmodan is roaming the open world, you will fight him in whatever environment that you've encountered him in (alternatively, you could encounter a large wave of his minions spawning from Demon Gates which must be killed first before being temporarily transported to his chamber in the Heart of Sin in order to fight him there).

If the real Diablo is roaming the open world, you'll fight Diablo in the environment that you've found him for Phase 1. Phase 2 will occur in the Realm of Terror, while Phase 3 you'll be temporarily transported to the Crystal Arch. For Phase 3, open world Diablo will throw a lot more at you as part of an increased challenge to make this boss, which the game is named after, more meaningful; fire walls, fire novas, fire storms, cold touch, lightning attacks, bone prisons. Finally, once you've defeated Diablo, there is an extremely rare chance for an Uber version of Diablo to spawn (only on Inferno difficulty) within any of the other Acts except the one that you found him in originally. You will know this if the screen shakes and you see the message, "Diablo Continues To Walk the Earth" after you've defeated phase 3 Diablo. This extremely rare uber version of Diablo will spawn minions similar to the Act 4 keywarden, also have an Armageddon attack (raining fireballs), and have two of the following aggressive affixes (Arcane Enchanted, Desecrator, Fire Chains, Frozen, Molten, Mortar, Reflects Damage, Teleporter, Waller) for an increased challenge. I realize this part of the proposal will create significant development work and testing, but who doesn't want to see a Diablo that is more menacing and a real challenge worthy of the name of this franchise?

My idea of the reward for defeating this rare spawn is a "one-time use" plan item which can be taken back to the Blacksmith, where you'd be able to take one item from any of your characters/inventory, and pick one stat on it that you want enhanced (the ranges would have to be worked out by the developers since it would have to revolve around the rarity of the appearance of this uber Diablo) along with an undetermined amount of Brimstones, Demonic Essences, and gold. I believe this singular use plan should be something that players will want to strive for and I believe the enhanced item should remain tradeable/sellable and not be an account bound item.

In order to discourage players from only doing Diablo runs, one function of the appearance of this Uber version of Diablo will be tied into both the time spent within the open world as well as the total number of monsters (both trash and elite) killed. This also implies that it will be worthwhile to track down and kill all the 4 main bosses as that too will play a role in increasing the chances. These three numbers will be persistent meaning that over time, you're chances of getting this rare monster to spawn will increase. Again, the objective is to make an open world meaningful, to provide incentives for players to explore and clear out the demons infesting that world, while also finding a way to reward players over time.

Once he does spawn, all of these numbers will reset. This gaming mode also has a positive side effect from the physical infrastructure side for Blizzard since there will be reduced server load from players continually creating new games (which is currently the case with the quest based system). In this regard, the ability to reduce server load may offset the additional resources required for maintaining additional map data during an open world gaming session. - updated on 2012.01.25


Closing Thoughts:

Again, the above is just an idea that I typed off the top of my head. What I would like to see are more feasible ideas that addresses some of the things I may have missed or ones that are better than the above. I realize there may be some excellent ideas which may end up being unfeasible for implementation in the current game due to its design constraints based on the current underlying systems (example, items in this current iteration of the game are what they are so the ideas need to be able to workable within that context). Likewise, something like this may be best left for an expansion.
Edited by Murasama#1820 on 1/26/2013 1:48 AM PST
Reply Quote
+1(very good idea)

I am all for an Open World and this thread is Pro! **Sticky Requested**

+Like

-NeLLy
Edited by NeLLy#1854 on 1/20/2013 8:43 AM PST
Reply Quote
You really make a wonderful post. This should be stickied, because you actually take into consideration how tough this could be for Blizzard. But the pitch was wonderful, and I truly believe this will be a huge step for the game in the right direction. You literally read my mind with this post, thank you.

10/10

This needs to be taken to someone of authority in the development of this game.
Reply Quote
90 Tauren Druid
5905
Posts: 11
great topic. guys this game has a chance to be great. lets keep helping blizz and see if our work will pay off
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,378
View profile

lol for the 1000'th time we lost this because it was abused to death by botters and exploiters. Call it whatever you want the ability to travel between acts is gone. Yet you still come up with ideas based on this. The crafting idea just another gimmie,gimmie. Why don't you try to use you're creativity to work something that would work within the confines of the current game.

And I've seen you on countless other numerous topics about how botters abused the waypoint system without really going indepth yourself about how botters are currently abusing the current system that exists.

Take a look at how linear the game play, story line, and maps are currently right now. There is very little randomization of maps to the point where botters are having an excessively easy time mapping out this entire game to automate their current runs. You can even find certain stumps and logs in the exact same spots! That is a botters absolute dream.

Furthermore, when you have real money involved, botters are going to be a fact of life and Blizzard knows that, and that is regardless of whether not this game has an open waypoint system or not. I'm not going to waste any more time addressing you since you are not going to add anything of value to topics like this except to try and drag them down.
Reply Quote
+1 to all this.

Open world should totally be an option after you finish the campaign in any difficulty. Frankly the system we have in place now sucks and if anything only makes me loose my NV stacks when I want to switch acts....
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,378
View profile
Thanks for mentioning NV stacks Chromium. I totally forgot about mentioning that within the context of the whole open world proposal and is something that would also have to be addressed in this larger game world where players will naturally be spending longer playing sessions in.

It's time limit would need to be adjusted/balanced based on things like mob density which they've already mentioned they are working on for inclusion in the future (and how much of that is comprised of elite packs), accessibility of random events happening across the world, accessibility of resplendent chests located across the world, and anything else which provides an NV stack.

I believe this would also be a perfect opportunity to include modest bonuses to NV such as increased resource regeneration once 5 stacks have been achieved. I haven't really thought of details but I know others have discussed that aspect before.
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,378
View profile
I've added a few things which I missed while typing out my original post.

1. Made note that this rare Diablo spawn will only occur on Inferno difficulty since it is meant to be an end-game encounter.
2. Addressed the possibility of players only focusing on doing Diablo runs (italicize so you don't have to re-read the whole thing if you've already read it before).
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,378
View profile
You really make a wonderful post. This should be stickied, because you actually take into consideration how tough this could be for Blizzard. But the pitch was wonderful, and I truly believe this will be a huge step for the game in the right direction. You literally read my mind with this post, thank you.

10/10

This needs to be taken to someone of authority in the development of this game.

Thanks for the supportive feedback!
Reply Quote
Great ideas here! I hope Blizzard will take a look.
Reply Quote
+1
Reply Quote
+ a million
Reply Quote
You could make the Uber Diablo spawn only after the Act1 -Act3 bosses have all been defeated ... this would impair the Uber only runs. Love the idea presented here, and as far as botting is concerned, I believe there will always be an issue with bots and I wouldn't use that fact to discourage expansion of this game.

Thank you for commenting on my post http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7709121668 and I hope that Blizzard takes some of the ideas we present into consideration for a fuller gaming experience than Diablo 3 currently has to offer.

On a side note, the 'light stick' you mentioned could also be done as a unique shrine within the level(s) that would have the same timer as current shrines.
Edited by MadMyke#1785 on 1/23/2013 3:04 PM PST
Reply Quote
90 Blood Elf Death Knight
9930
Posts: 596
Great idea. Bots are always going to be a problem, no matter what Blizzard does. I requested a sticky, and I really hope some variation of this is implemented soon. :)
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,378
View profile
You could make the Uber Diablo spawn only after the Act1 -Act3 bosses have all been defeated ... this would impair the Uber only runs. Love the idea presented here, and as far as botting is concerned, I believe there will always be an issue with bots and I wouldn't use that fact to discourage expansion of this game.

Thank you for commenting on my post http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7709121668 and I hope that Blizzard takes some of the ideas we present into consideration for a fuller gaming experience than Diablo 3 currently has to offer.

Thanks for reading through this one as well! I had that same thought as you with regards to also having the other bosses defeated as well which adds to the spawn chance as well as serve as meeting one of the key objectives.

There's are a ton of interesting ideas out there with a lot of thought put into them. Like you, I hope that some of these will draw the attention of at least one CM who will at least see merit enough in the proposed ideas to at least pass them on to the development team. A lot of these ideas aren't new to them; it's more like how does it fit into the universe (which is how I'm attacking some of the ideas I have - this particular one here really isn't one of my own top things I'd like to see; a dungeon like the one you proposed was something much higher but I kept re-thinking of doing something more unique than the "infinite" dungeon that often times gets proposed; the 666 levels fit in because of its symbolism). I just threw in the part about tying in to the history since it makes the idea even more attractive (from Blizzards point of view).
Reply Quote
+1(very good idea)

I am all for an Open World and this thread is Pro! **Sticky Requested**

+Like

-NeLLy


well if nelly here likes it ill sticky this also since he rarely likes threads with stupid ideas
Reply Quote
On the 666th floor, I think it would be great to fight the 7 evils ... have one epic battle against 7 powerful foes ... I'd like to see someone pull that off in a youtube clip

I don't care for the 'infinite dungeon' idea because there is no ultimate goal to delving other than just farming. Like I posted in my thread, a major battle at floor 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 would be lesser accomplishments that landmark your progress. Maybe even have a room of resp chests after the boss fights to reward the players.

They could do a lot with theming the level groups too. Although Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land was not that notable as a Wizardry title, I did love the scenery in the game as you progressed deeper into the labyrinth. Seeing a dungeon segment with scenery similar to dahlgur oasis would be amazing.

There could be plenty of ways to tie in the diablo story in this scenario, and it would offer a new format for play for those who aren't into the story and just want to stomp through some hordes. A good balance of the two would be optimal in my opinion.
Edited by MadMyke#1785 on 1/23/2013 8:58 PM PST
Reply Quote
Posts: 1,378
View profile
01/23/2013 03:05 PMPosted by Zaraelyna
Great idea. Bots are always going to be a problem, no matter what Blizzard does. I requested a sticky, and I really hope some variation of this is implemented soon. :)

Thanks! If Blizzard decides something like this is worthwhile, the reality is it will likely be in an expansion. Some of the added content isn't trivial. So "Soon™" is going to be awhile. ;-)

+1(very good idea)

I am all for an Open World and this thread is Pro! **Sticky Requested**

+Like

-NeLLy


well if nelly here likes it ill sticky this also since he rarely likes threads with stupid ideas

Nice to know this. At least I now know that my post isn't out to lunch.

01/23/2013 03:00 PMPosted by MadMyke
On a side note, the 'light stick' you mentioned could also be done as a unique shrine within the level(s) that would have the same timer as current shrines.

That's a great idea. We need a few more interesting shrines in-game.
Edited by Murasama#1820 on 1/23/2013 11:23 PM PST
Reply Quote

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)
Submit Cancel

Reported!

[Close]