With the December Quarterly update, we got a lot of information about what the team has been up to. One of those tidbits also included a preview of the inclusion of Diablo III’s paragon system in an updated form. This new system is not an endgame system at all. This is built into your character such as advanced achievements in other games. This is to allow you to have additional minor tweaks and modifications to enhance your character. Being built in prevents it from becoming an endless grind system that was put in place after RoS launched in D3.
A Basic overview paragon board system is as follows:
- Level 100 appears to be the level cap with 4 paragon points gained per level from 50+ for a total of 200 (possibly 204 if 100 gets points too, but it doesn’t appear that way)
- Each class has an intro board, most likely static based on the reading.
- 4 types of tiles: Normal, Magic, Rare, and Legendary (Legendary not available on intro board)
- Socket Tiles that allow a Glyph that increases the power of the tiles listed above.
- Gate Tiles: Unlocks a new paragon board to place points in.
Unknowns of the above:
- Does paragon points per level increase as you level (for example, does level 90-91 provide more than 4 points)? Are there quest rewards that increase paragon similar to quest in D2 that increase Stat and skill point allocation? I would say it would be safe to assume there would be a slight increase.
- If intro boards are not static, a character could inadvertently be weak from the start once they hit 50 and you see the first board.
- Are tile bonuses known at the start? Or is it random with a fog of war type that you can see X spots away or only adjacent?
The biggest dive into this the paragon levels are what new board do you get when you reach a gate tile. The most important tidbit to know, which we don’t currently know, is: Will the paragon boards be randomly generated, or are they out of a set number that always have set tiles and associated bonuses? To discuss, I’ll split the rest of the article into the benefits or disaster that comes from both being plausible.
Known Paragon Boards:
You know all the tiles, socket locations, and Paragon boards that attach to your newly minted level 50 character. You go on this site and check out the Paragon App and set out your characters’ paragon tile
planning, and you’re excited to see it come to life as you inch closer to that 100-level cap. Your 200 points are already allocated in the best min-max formula you could find after spending an evening mapping out your strategy.
This knowledge of a paragon boards keeps it simple which helps a great deal of many players. Less chance of not being able to min max as you know all the character perimeters. No need to diversify from your initial goal letting you to stick with the best options if you choose too. This overall known paragon board is a good choice for players that like to plan everything out and have a heavily known late game equipment and tweaking gear gotten from their farm character.
Unknown Paragon Boards:
You’re flying blind on a rocket cycle! Diablo, the randomly generated game of awesomeness, comes through big time! Hit level 50, and you get a whole new level of RNG to hash out. Do you go straight for the gates? Is anything known on any of the boards? Pure in the most diabolical of ways by trashing anyone’s pre-planning goals. This could be a hit for people or a total bummer. Imagine getting to a gate, unlocking that paragon board, and then finally reaching that legendary tile to an item type or skill you don’t even use. On the other hand, I would really dig it by incorporating paragon boards into one of my random tournaments I host.
A good mixture:
Okay, sometimes, when planning, you want a good baseline. This baseline should consist of the intro board being either a static intro board or a couple of intro boards to choose from that you base your build on. When adding a new paragon board, you should be able to see which Legendary slots are on each board to help you make a good choice for your current character and build you went with. From the looks of the update multiple boards seem to be able to be chosen as well as the ability to rotate a board. I would prefer this method as it combines those two that are worse into a nice one that fits within the theme of getting stronger. Sometimes RNG needs to be in your favor when you rotate a board to get the best bonuses for your build.
The biggest take away from this is the development team learned endless levels is not a great way to achieve player satisfaction or longevity. This leads me to be very excited for the rest of Diablo IV’s development cycle. Unless: A reset is allowed at any time in character development with no limitations or cost associated like we have in D3 currently. This keeps a player from establishing a set goal and theme with a character, which has always led players to come back to trying new and fresh builds outside of a season. Overall, the newly introduced boards are a real random drop component to the paragon system. This system will now make each character unique in their own right through available tile and boards chosen along your paragon routes. With an already defined a cap in place, it will make more interesting and enjoyable choices for many players. From an SPF tournament host and participant point of view, I see that we could do some really cool things with this paragon system alone, provided the rest of the game functions in a tournament quality way. To many other ARPGs or the dreaded Diablo III lack any way to successfully have good variety like we have had with D2 options. I’m excited to see a more in-depth design of this system to see how truly groundbreaking it can be if introduced correctly.