Chief amongst the best words in the Diablo 3 1.0.5 patch notes are ‘monster power’, the new option that will allow players to tweak the difficulty of enemy encounters on a granular level, with rewards and loot drops scaled accordingly. Now Blizzard have revealed precise details of how it’s going to work.
To enable the system, say Blizzard on the Diablo blog, you’ll need to go into ‘Options’ via the main menu, select the ‘Gameplay’ tab and click the box marked ‘Enable Monster Power Selection’ in the right hand list.
At this point, Monster Power options will appear near the bottom of the Quest Selection window. You’ll be able to choose a level between ‘MP1’ and ‘MP10’ for every hero and difficulty mode, and change it on the fly.
Monster Power can be enabled in both singleplayer and private multiplayer games, where the party leader will set the level. There’s no Monster Power for Public games at patch launch, but Blizzard are still looking into it for a future update.
So there’s the difficulty - where’s the reward?
Bonuses to Gold Find, Magic Find, and experience on Normal, Nightmare, and Hell difficulties will look like this:
And bonuses for Inferno - where enemies dropping items also have a chance to drop an additional item, which increases alongside Monster Power - look like this:
Play with Monster Power on Inferno and you’ll also find that all enemies in the game have been bumped up to level 63. Although their abilities and toughness will vary throughout the game, loot drops will remain consistently high.
It’s a system designed for farming, then, but also for fun, say Blizzard.
“Since the goal of this system isn’t to make the game ultra-hard, with each Monster Power level there's a heavy emphasis on increased monster health rather than monster damage,” says community manager Stephanie Johnson.
“This is because, in general, it's more fun to find ways to maximize your damage than it is to be forced into taking every available form of damage mitigation.”
Can’t argue with that. Unless you don’t like fun. You do like fun, don’t you?