Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Magic Find and selfishness

Blizzard has changed the Diablo 3 magic find mechanics.  It used to be that when in a group everyone's magic find applied just to their own loot.  This meant that if you wore nothing but Magic Find you would be able to follow a normally geared group around around leeching off of their kills and getting tons of stuff.  People complained a lot about this as they assumed that in any random group game there would be a somebody running in pure MF gear hoping to get carried.  I think these complaints were spot on.  Some people will certainly be geared for beatdown; the leechers would just have to search around trying to find those people.  We can also assume that players with balanced gearsets would have spent a lot of time trying to detect and avoid MF leechers.  The new mechanic is that MF is spread equally among the group.  For example, if you have 200% MF then in a 4 person group each player will have 50% MF.  This applies to everybody of course so everyone ends up having MF equal to the average MF of the party.

Now the complaints are different.  Much of the internet is convinced that this is a travesty and will spell the end of group games.  All the good players will stack MF and play only solo, they say.  Why would anyone want to share their hard earned MF with their teammates?  Why indeed.  Maybe because they are sharing their MF with YOU?!?

Hah, I don't want to share MF with my group, I will just stack Strength and do more damage! 

Of course the Strength / Crit / Intellect / etc. on your gear is already shared in exactly this same way.  If you do more damage or have more survivability you kill monsters faster which generates more XP and drops for your teammates.  The only things you get from killing monsters are XP and drops and increasing anything about your character increases XP and drops for everybody!  Everyone has an incentive to try to equip the best gear with a balance of survivability, damage and MF and when everybody does this they all win.  Of course there will be people who stack MF or people who stack damage and those people will help their party in relatively one dimensional ways but help their party they will.

Now our priorities when soloing and playing in groups are going to be pretty much the same.  Perhaps having access to more buffs or a tank will allow a player to sacrifice some survivability for damage or MF, hard to say, but generally your gearing goals will be the same.  There will be no significant way to leech off of group members aside from simply being undergeared or bad and that isn't something that is readily fixable by Blizzard!  This is certainly a change in the right direction.  I wasn't looking forward to dropping from games when 3 people in pure MF gear decided to hide behind me and watch me kill the enemies and Blizzard has made it decidedly suboptimal for them to do that.  You can't prevent people from being bad or being jerks but you can make sure that the best possible path to progression involves being effective and helpful.  As long as someone who is desperate to be as powerful as possible as quickly as possible has an incentive to play well and cooperate things will be just fine.


  1. I think that this might cause people to want to group with others with the same MF philosophy - that is, high MF people will want to play with other high MF people since they value MF. People who don't value MF won't want to drag someone who isn't helping much around just to get some MF.

    Of course that's fine, and finding friends who want to play the way you want to play is fine. Also, I wouldn't be surprised to find that most people don't care. If three people who respectively geared to be tough as nails, do a ton of damage and have massive MF group together then everyone is doing fine.

    Do you know if gold find and bonus xp get shared as well?

  2. I seriously doubt people will actually take the time to search for people with similar MF values. As long as your partners are wearing gear that is good for something and play well things will be fine. I am sure everyone will end up with some MF since gear has lots of random mods on it so it hardly matters what exact gearing philosophy your friends use.

    Yes, XP and gold find use the same system, which is clearly sensible assuming you buy that MF sharing is sensible.

  3. I took a quick look at the arguments in the forums and, yeah, they are all based on innumeracy (or the assumption that the game will be as easy as the beta all the way through). As a side note, I am never going back to those forums again, I think they are actually the worst internet forums I've ever been on.