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Diablo 3 Level Randomization – How Random Is Enough

by Jassper of The Diablo 3 Leveling Guide

Diablo 3 Level RandomizationDiablo 3 will feature level randomization in both zones and dungeons. When I first heard this, I was immediately curious as to whether or not Blizzard had truly created an entirely modular word in which all of the terrain and dungeons were interchangeable and able to be essentially redesigned upon every load of the game. As it turns out, the answer is “sort of”.

Blizzard ultimately chose to scale down the amount of randomization in the game for a variety of reasons. In exterior zones, the developers want players to still be able to “learn” the routes for getting from one zone to the next and to become familiar with the locations of the major cities.

In the exterior zones, edges of the map, the roads, and the major points of interest are fairly static.  However, throughout the zones are modular sections which can be swapped out randomly for other versions of that particular area.  For example, on one load of the game, you may see a old farm with a quest giver. In the next load, the farm might be completely overrun by demons with no quest in sight. In yet another version, there may be no farm in that particular area at all, or perhaps it is even swapped out for a dungeon containing a rare monster with high-end loot.

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Interior dungeons, however, are quite a bit more random! Because interior geometric structures naturally lend themselves better to random joining of parts, the dev team was able to create quite a bit more random environment generation throughout the interiors. Additionally, because the interiors are typically more of a dead-end than a free-flowing landscape that leads to the next, getting lost isn’t quite as much of an issue. If you spend enough time turning corners and killing mobs, you’ll eventually find the boss, loot the treasure, and wind up back outside to continue along your way.

When I read about the balance that was struck between fostering the sense of an ever-changing world without creating complete random chaos , I can honestly say that I was a bit glad to hear it. While it’s exciting to look forward to a mutable environment, a truly random world would inevitably get a bit frustrating and most likely create problematic inconsistencies in lore, quest lines, and multi-player logistics.

Additionally, by limiting the randomness a bit, the development team was ultimately able to create a more cohesive, eye-catching environment. If they had designed every part of the environment to be capable of interfacing with any other piece to accommodate truly random placement of things, the graphic quality and visual interest of the world would certainly have diminished and taken on a more monotonous look.

 

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