If nothing else, it's been intensely fascinating to watch Blizzard do its damndest to rapidly evolve its Lord-of-the-Damned-damning ARPG's endgame. Whether the intentions underlying it all are misguided or not, Diablo III's certainly taken some interesting twists in the past few months. And now, Blizzard's announced what is by far the biggest addition yet: an entire new system of progression for folks who are currently busting their blades on the level cap. Specifically, that means 100 new "Paragon" levels that imbue you with improved Magic Find, better base stats, and - most importantly of all - a "distinctive increasingly-impressive border" on your character portrait.
Here's a basic rundown of how the new system operates - straight from Blizzard's sub-zero snowcapped mountain lair in sunny California.
- After you hit level 60, any further experience you earn from killing monsters will begin to count toward Paragon levels
- There are 100 Paragon levels
- Every 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 level
- 3% Magic Find and 3% Gold Find
- In 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
Blizzard also noted that the first leap into Paragon-hood should take roughly as long as the leveling process from 59 to 60. It'll then increase from there. So basically, if you were hurting for new giant numbers to chase for all eternity, now you've definitely got them.
It sounds like a fairly interesting system, too. Apparently, the Magic and Gold Find stats will remedy the need for high-level gear-swapping, which Blizzard claims many players only did out of necessity. Still though, it's sort of a shame there's no new story content to support this. I mean, I know these things take ages to make, but - even with Paragon levels - it's still just glorified farming at this point. Also, some players have raised the concern that high-level characters can already tear through enemies as though they're pinatas of both the loot and regular varieties, so I'm interested in seeing how Blizzard handles the issue of challenge once insane people hit Paragon level 100 35 hours after the system launches.