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    DiabloWikiBashiok‘s made several forum posts today, supplementing DiabloWikiJay Wilson‘s Gamesom presentation information about DiabloWikiInferno, the fourth difficulty level. Here are two of the biggest one spot explanations; click through for the whole threads they came from. The first came in reply to RisingRed’s question about their end game philosophy.

    The general philosophy is that we want to make finding better loot at the end game more enjoyable, and attempt to address ‘path of least resistance’ style gameplay.

    There’s a couple ways we’re doing that, some of which we’re not talking about just yet.

    Primarily it’s focused around Inferno and creating a consistent difficulty across the entire act. By having a flat difficulty across the entire game in Inferno it evens things out so that no matter where you want to go you’re being challenged, and you have a good chance at getting good drops. That’s intended to open the game up so there’s simply more freedom for the player to go anywhere in the game and have an equal chance at good drops.

    There will probably still be a slight difficulty curve in Inferno, as enemies simply become more complex and have greater abilities later in the game, but we’re making an effort to make it as even across the board as possible. It’s something we’ll very likely have to keep tweaking after release.

    In addition we’re attempting to de-emphasize path of least resistance by creating a more equal value across monster types. We’re not going to get into specifics about who can drop what or how much, but our intent is that being out in the world exploring should be as lucrative (potentially more) as simply aiming for the quickest-to-reach boss and running that over and over.

    Getting people out into the world of the game and away from repetitive boss runs is essentially our goal. It’s going to be tough because people will find a path of least resistance, and they will make that the game. We’re going to have to keep on top of it, and truthfully it’s something we’re still working on. We’ll likely want to have some additional features to support these ideals, but just getting Inferno tuned right is our current end-game goal for ship.

    And another reply about leveling pace.

    Our intent is to create a fairly smooth leveling curve between difficulties. When you finish Normal you should be around 30, and you’ll be ready for Nightmare, you should be around 50 when you finish Nightmare, and you’ll be ready for Hell, and when you finish Hell you should be around 60, and ready for Inferno.

    We don’t expect that people are going to play start to finish, Normal to Inferno, in one sitting. Because of that it implies replays of specific areas (as enemies/bosses respawn when you leave and start a new game) which adds in some guess work on XP gains. It may be that you need to stick around in Hell difficulty for a bit longer because you beat the game at level 58 or something, but it shouldn’t be a long drawn out XP farming situation just so you can advance – if we do it right.

    Again, personal play habits will influence leveling curves but we’ll do our best to make it smooth.

    Cick through for the full quotes of both threads.


    Sabacca’s post said that boss runs would still be the way to go in Inferno, though the thread was taking another turn by the time Bashiok replied to it.

    Inferno difficulty will not solve the issue of running the same thing over and over, due to the fact that you have to be level 60. Yes, for item hunters @ level 60, it solves the problem. But for players who are trying to get to level 60, (lets say a lvl 55 player) they will run the last area in hell over and over to get the most XP until 60.

    On a side note, I wonder how they Inferno difficulty will be altered once the level cap increases in the expansion.
    Bashiok: Our intent is to create a fairly smooth leveling curve between difficulties. When you finish Normal you should be around 30, and you’ll be ready for Nightmare, you should be around 50 when you finish Nightmare, and you’ll be ready for Hell, and when you finish Hell you should be around 60, and ready for Inferno.

    We don’t expect that people are going to play start to finish, Normal to Inferno, in one sitting. Because of that it implies replays of specific areas (as enemies/bosses respawn when you leave and start a new game) which adds in some guess work on XP gains. It may be that you need to stick around in Hell difficulty for a bit longer because you beat the game at level 58 or something, but it shouldn’t be a long drawn out XP farming situation just so you can advance – if we do it right.

    Again, personal play habits will influence leveling curves but we’ll do our best to make it smooth.

    Do random events/quests reward experience, and if so, is there some kind of way to tell how to get to them when you start a fresh game? Questing to the cap sounds good to me, but if it isn’t implemented in a way where you’ll know where to go to find them, then I forsee a lot of aimless wandering hoping to find them.
    Bashiok: They do, but you’re not going to be required to seek them out just to advance. They’re intended to be bonuses when they happen, because they do appear randomly, and not primary leveling devices. If they encourage someone to explore the entire map or dungeon to see if they can find one, then cool, we hope they enjoyed their choice to do that. But we’re not forcing anyone to.

    What kind of predictions do you have for someone who DOES sit and play straight through in a single game?
    Bashiok: They might be under-leveled and have to run a few more dungeons to be where they should. But again it’s really dependent on playstyle as well as randomization. Also running around getting more chances at awesome loot isn’t exactly terrible, that’s sort of the whole game.

    We could both sit and play straight through but I have 100 more champions that spawned in my character’s play time and thus I’m out leveling you. Or you’re a completionist and exploring everything and I’m just hitting main quests so you’ve out leveled me. It’s tough to really gauge, which is why we’re going to do our best to test these scenarios as much as possible and just set a leveling curve based on expectations for how most people will play.

    * More aggressive monster behavior with modified AI
    Bashiok: True!

    new skills and abilities.
    Bashiok: We may hold some specific champion affixes for Inferno, but it’s not set in stone just yet. What we’re definitely doing is making more difficult affixes and affix combos more likely to roll up.

    I don’t know if this has been answered yet, but is Inferno going to be available at release?
    Bashiok: That’s the plan Stan.


    The other thread quoted above was begun by RisingRed.

    I’ve seen a lot of comments about inferno (since we’ve now got it officially) and it’s overall very positive.

    But the team has constantly said that they want to work on end game when the game is out, or something along those lines.

    What, exactly, do they want to do with it? I’m not asking for specifics, I’m just wondering if you could elaborate on what their goals are for us as players in end game, what they would like to achieve with it. Kind of the philosophy behind it.
    Bashiok: The general philosophy is that we want to make finding better loot at the end game more enjoyable, and attempt to address ‘path of least resistance’ style gameplay.

    There’s a couple ways we’re doing that, some of which we’re not talking about just yet.

    Primarily it’s focused around Inferno and creating a consistent difficulty across the entire act. By having a flat difficulty across the entire game in Inferno it evens things out so that no matter where you want to go you’re being challenged, and you have a good chance at getting good drops. That’s intended to open the game up so there’s simply more freedom for the player to go anywhere in the game and have an equal chance at good drops.

    There will probably still be a slight difficulty curve in Inferno, as enemies simply become more complex and have greater abilities later in the game, but we’re making an effort to make it as even across the board as possible. It’s something we’ll very likely have to keep tweaking after release.

    In addition we’re attempting to de-emphasize path of least resistance by creating a more equal value across monster types. We’re not going to get into specifics about who can drop what or how much, but our intent is that being out in the world exploring should be as lucrative (potentially more) as simply aiming for the quickest-to-reach boss and running that over and over.

    Getting people out into the world of the game and away from repetitive boss runs is essentially our goal. It’s going to be tough because people will find a path of least resistance, and they will make that the game. We’re going to have to keep on top of it, and truthfully it’s something we’re still working on. We’ll likely want to have some additional features to support these ideals, but just getting Inferno tuned right is our current end-game goal for ship.

    But inferno is exactly what a lot of people have been asking for since D3 was announced (and even before, during LoD development) so it is certainly a welcome addition to the game. But there’s still lots of questions surrounding it that probably can’t be answered yet.
    Bashiok: I don’t think it’s ultimately what we want for the end game either, but it’s a great start, and we think plenty to keep people engaged for the initial release.

    so if people flock towards the path of resistance, you believe jumping in their way and resisting their primal urge is the right thing to do?
    Bashiok: If we believe it will make their play experience more enjoyable or rewarding, absolutely.

    The problem is people do boss runs over, and over, and over, for years, and it’s not because the boss run is fun, it’s because it’s the path of least resistance to finding an awesome item. No one wants to do repetitive boss runs.

    If we can instead say the path of least resistance is the entire game, that there’s no single boss you have to repetitively farm to get the most items per hour, then the game is better for it and the players are liberated. They now have options to go anywhere they want to look for items. Hitting that perfect balance is probably near impossible, but we think we can get pretty close.

    Yah. I think “extra content” is what people were going for, as in, unique content to that difficulty or maybe even different ways to play, but that’s outside the intended goal of the developers, I think. From what I understand, at least.

    All others, here’s a pic from judgehype from the gamescom presentation. Directly on subject.
    Bashiok: And we probably think most of those ideas are awesome, but what we’re talking about right now is purely Diablo III at release day. 🙂

    Anything beyond that we’re keeping close to the vest.

    Forcing players do kill monsters because blizzard believes thats the fun part is just ignant.
    Bashiok: Well… but that is the game. Killing monsters and seeing if they drop something awesome.

    I wouldn’t count out potential improvements to that idea, or something complimentary, but our intent isn’t to change the Diablo formula.

    But as the Beebs says (or Fievel), never say never.

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