D3 – Power Scaling

A long time back, I had posted a small series on the concept of power in gaming.  Interestingly, I had another post that talked about D3 in that regard.  When RoS came out, the concept of monster power went out the door and instead new difficulty tiers were added to the game.  4 on easy mode, then 6 in Torment, which were near equal to MP 1 through 10 but had some additional tweaks.

Greater Rifts (GR) went above and beyond that, with a scaling difficulty that had no cap.  A T6 normal rift was around level a level 30 GR.   People were hitting GR 40-50, so the difficulty curve was outside of “normal” content.  Quick aside, GRs were a pain because you needed to complete a normal rift, get trail keystone, then do the realm of trials just right, to get the correct difficulty of GR, then get lucky in the GR for the appropriate tileset and monster density.  It took 4 times as long to get INTO a GR as it did to complete one.

2.3 added up to Torment 10, which I think is something like GR47.

More to the point, take a look see at the difficulty chart above.  The health of an enemy is directly tied to the amount of time needed to clear a rift.  Assuming you have infinite health, all you need is more time for your damage to equate to the enemy’s health.   You can see an exponential increase at the tail end. It’s not to diminish the increase previous to that tail end, it’s a challenge just getting into T6.  It’s when you start comparing one level to the next that you really get to see a massive jump in difficulty.  Every increase in Torment level is a near doubling of enemy HP.

Enemy damage is more linear, as player defensive stats are much more limited.  Due to the system mechanics, there’s a point where you simply cannot take any more damage and a single off hit will likely kill you.  Which is what people are seeing at very high GRs right now, stacking massive defensive skills that scale multiplicatively (e.g. +50% armor).

Here’s a graph that better demonstrates those trends.



Part of the farming of gear path is collecting a decent set of Focus and Restraint rings.  Combined, they are one of the largest sources of damage for nearly all players.  So much so, that even a poorly rolled set of stats is likely better than the best rolls on other rings.  Given that rings are a pain to acquire, the best bet is to use Death’s Breath and the cube to try and find some.  This is a great way to collect Puzzle Rings, especially if RNGsus is not there that day.

Putting a Puzzle Ring into the cube gives you a portal to Greed’s realm, which is mostly just a gold run with a few treasure goblins along the way.  Greed, the final boss, can spawn 5-8 goblins total for her fight, so it’s a so-so loot run to get through.  I run it with my brother and we usually end up with a few legendaries each for minimal time invested.  That and about 150m in gold per run.

The thing about Greed is that it’s a good test of player builds.  You need to burn down the goblins before they run away and you need to survive Greed’s attacks at the same time.  We’d started off at T1 a while ago and we’ve moved up the difficulty since.  I’m able to clear T10s but his Barb is just starting to do T8.

You’d think that was a reasonable gap but due to the scaling below, it’s nearly 5x the hit points on an enemy and double the damage taken.  And T8 isn’t exactly a cake walk either, so the idea that he still needs to boost his DPS by such a large margin is fairly interesting.

I’m rather entertained at the scaling in D3, not having paid much attention to it when GRs first came out, due to the PITA mechanics to start one.  Now that GRs are more readily available, I think the challenge of pushing yourself for 1-2 more levels is a decent incentive to keep trying.  It’s clearly not for everyone but with a ceiling that is continuously moving, it always feels like you’re making progress.

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