Blizzard on Achievements and Inferno Perks

DiabloWikiBashoik described a couple of Achievements in a forum post on Monday afternoon, when asked to do so. We don’t know the names of these, just what must be done to achieve them.

“Squish X critters by walking over them.”
“Dye each piece of your armor a different color.”

Contra the OP’s post, we do know a number of achievements, or at least we’ve heard Blizzard peoples describe things they thought would make good achievements. There are also a lot of quite likely achievements that can be projected based on SC2’s. See the blue quotes and more in the DiabloWikiachievements article.

Elsewhere, Bashiok replied to a couple of questions about Inferno perks. The first question asked if the 18 tiers of armor DiabloWikigear sets included the Inferno-only stuff, or if there were more. e.g. are the long-established 18 gear sets distributed throughout norm-nm-hell, and then we’ll see 2 or 3 more just in Inferno? Or did the devs just redistribute the 18 sets, so now we get say, 1-16 up through Hell, with 17 and 18 mostly/exclusive in Inferno. The later, says Bashiok.

We have the actual visual progression looks nailed down, so I guess the direct answer is we’re not looking to make any more beyond those 18. We’re not nailed down on how we’re pacing them because we’re still creating a decent amount of unique armor pieces, which get more bang for the buck being placed around end-game itemization.

Another player asked if all Inferno monsters are lvl 61, or if some are higher. (I’d assumed they would progress a bit, or at least that some special bosses would be higher than 61.) Bashiok’s reply was brief:

All monsters in Inferno will be 61, which is probably sufficient, but we’re leaving it open if we need to tweak some higher.

It seems weird that all Inferno monsters would be exactly 61; after all, there’s no way the shambling Act One zombies will be as hard to kill or as dangerous as some caster mage thing you’ll meet in late Act Four. So why should they be the same Mlvl, or offer the same sort of item drop potential?

Then again, we don’t know what Mlvl determines in D3, and won’t for some time yet. We know how pretty much everything about how D2 works, (and lots of stuff works oddly due to minor bugs) but that’s thanks to years of labor by lots of code digging genius Diablo community members. It will be a while before we obtain similar insight into the intentional and accidental game functions of Diablo III, an info-delving a process that’ll be no-doubt slowed by Blizzard’s blanket ban on fan-made mods and D3’s online-only DRM.

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59 thoughts on “Blizzard on Achievements and Inferno Perks

  1. I don’t see what the monster level confusion is about. Monster level isn’t the same as monster hit points. Each moster type has their own stats and abilities. Act1 zombies don’t have the same hit points as an Act4 caster mage. Higher difficulty means beefed up stats and abilities according to monster type.

    An Inferno Act1 zombie will have higher hit points and do higher physical damage than its Normal version, but the Inferno Act4 caster mage will still have more hit points and naturally its elemental attacks will do higher damage than its Normal counterpart, as well as the Inferno Act1 zombie.

    What’s the confusion about?

    • It seems like the confusion would revolve around their stated goal for inferno, which is that all areas will be equally difficult and equally end game viable for item hunting.  If the enemies are all the same level, and have the same drop potential, then if they get more difficult as you go through the game (doing more damage etc at the same level as you point out) then it will actually be more beneficial to farm the early parts of the game because you can get the same drops fighting easier enemies (hooray run-on sentences).  It seems that to achieve what they want, the monster level would need to be higher in the early part of inferno and decrease as you advance to keep an even difficulty. Or they can just say everything is 61 but have the number be meaningless and balance inferno monsters independent of their level progression throughout the rest of the game.

    • The confusion is due to runs. They want to set up each area of the game to be equally viable for runs.
      Now, there is also the “path of least resistance” thing where the player will do what is easiest and most lucrative, even if it is the most boring.

      The third part of this is that we are kind of assuming that mlvl plays into item generation like it did in D2, which I would say is a pretty fair assumption. (If you aren’t familiar with the item gen system in D2, I’d look around–it’s way too complex to put in a comment.) If you add all of these together, it kind of negates the goal for Inferno.

      But there’s a lot we don’t know yet, and like Flux said, due to the DRM it will take a good amount of time to figure out.

      • Yeah well Flux seems to say lots of things but understands very little. Told you he’s getting too old for this.

        Plus these “recommend” and “vote up/down” buttons are awfully useless. They make absolutely no difference whatsoever.

  2. “It seems weird that all Inferno monsters would be exactly 61; after all, there’s no way the shambling Act One zombies will be as hard to kill or as dangerous as some caster mage thing you’ll meet in late Act Four.”
    uh what? all areas will be equal(areas not monsters) in difficulty on inferno so you are not forced to do act4 runs when your favorite is act 2.
    “So why should they be the same Mlvl, or offer the same sort of item drop potential?”
    you seriously asking this question? you missed all the inferno interviews/announcement? i doubt it

        • Well you are negating my premise instead of answering the rhetorical question but whatever. But in response, how do you think they will balance it? Level 61 will just have no meaning at all and they will tweak monster stats?  Or they are just going to balance by adjusting sheer numbers?  Or they are going to add more champion or unique monsters into the early acts and not have them in the later acts? I think you are overstating how “plain and simple” it is to balance the game to have a flat difficulty level with equal drops while having the monster level 61 still be connected to the previous 1-60 levels in a meaningful formulaic way.  Or maybe I’m missing something in your wonderfully glib answer.

          • GEEZ simply regard level 61 as a metaphora it isnt always level 61 it doesnt have to be always 61
            the point is that inferno can not be outleveled , you have to be skilled and use nifty strategy if you want to beat it.
            you cant just stick around at a level 55 area to gain experience for level 65 or what ever , because its not possible.
            yeah maybe a zombie in act 1 inferno might be easier to kill than a act 4 inferno mage or what ever.
            but do they have to ? maybe zombies in inferno are these “new” kind of zombies  which can run at frightining speed ? maybe they can infect you with debuffs which gimp your stats on top, maybe they explode upon death ?
            maybe they dont even drop half as good as a act 4 mage ?
            speculating on all these things, and than even steaming up about those speculation isnt a very productive thing to do.
            and anyway what does level mean anyway , i mean why has a level 88 duriel about 6 times more health than an average level 88 monster ? the level is a very vague concept in diablo 3 when it comes to different kinds of monster.
            unlike WoW – where you have armor and weapon ratings which are tied specificly to the Level of a character – these ratings make a tremendous difference in regard to performance.

          • I’m not sure why you think flattening the difficulty is so unattainable.  If there’s an area that is the “path of lesat resistance” and its getting a disproportionate amount of play, guess what, tweak those monsters, its no longer the path of least resistance.  Its not like everything is set in stone once this game goes retail.  Blizzard has clearly stated that monsters will be given different aggression behavior and abilities to meet the needs of inferno, so characterizing act 1 as a bunch of weak, mindless zombies, vs. uber monsters in act 4 isn’t really accurate.

          • BigZ, /facepalm, atleast WhiteGiant and Hypersapien gave some ideas on how to balance out using different fantasies it’s just a matter of fact to make all the area’s equally challenging and that comes down to Balance, And how do you Balance? well just make it more challenging with the fantasies Blizzard developers have. If you need some examples: act 1 zombies: increase monster numbers in packs, decrease loot drops compared to more challenging monsters, average time to kill creeps compared to other acts, give them more abilities/tactics/speed/whatever, it’s all balancing, just open your mind.

          • Well you have all expounded and the examples I gave (lvl61 has no formulaic meaning=lvl 61 is a metaphor, adding champion/unique monsters=additional monster stats/abilities, and adjusting numbers= adding monster packs) which is all well and good.  I don’t disagree that these are possibilities, and I think eventually some semblance of balance is attainable, but it will involve a lot of tweaking after release on Blizzard’s part (which I know they will do).  No matter what they do and how many times they adjust there will be a path of least resistance.  The key is to make the difference as negligible as possible.  Its not Blizzard’s ability to make it work that I objected to, it was Kaknoos making it sound like achieving balance would be a simple snap of the fingers.

  3. Same Mlvl in inferno probably means all monsters share the same drop change table, all of them have the chances to drop the rarest items, I don’t see what’s the problem. If blizzard really allow to have higher mlvl for some special monsters like act boss, the result will be endless boss runs which were the same as d2, this will be completely reverse the intention to introduce inferno difficulty for end game.

    • I’m guessing that the bosses will be harder than your average zombie, but have more drops. The balancing will be in that the health/damage of the boss will be such that it will only be marginally better to do a run that ends in a boss rather than one that does not. I know they said they’re not too big fans of boss runs, but my complete speculation says that they still want to make boss drops kinda-awesome, just not mandatory to get good gear and that if you choose to grind a bloody foothills equivalent (or cold plains :P) you will not be severely gimped in rewards.

    • The problem, like Flux stated, lies in the difficulty of defeating an early game monster that has no real special abilities versus, say, a crowd of Siege Breakers in Act IV.
      Simply by virtue of design, the game will get more difficult as the player progresses. But if early game is “easier” (as in, doesn’t require as much skill to “manage” a mob of monsters) then it’s ripe for efficient item runs compared to jumping into a room full of complex monster types with nasty abilities.

      It all depends on how they choose to handle the mode as a whole, which we don’t know yet. These are valid questions to ask.

      • They don’t have to keep the same monster composition that is seen in normal/nightmare/hell act progression.  Instead of just running into shambling zombies outside of Tristram in act 1, they could make it so you immediately run into beefed up skeletal sorcerers or some other more complex monster type that is thematically fitting for the area.

  4. I can see how an act1 zombie could be as dangerous as an act 4 caster type. Hell, i would even be more afraid of a uber speed,extra dmg, super aggressive zombie as a demonhunter  than a ranged caster 😯 . Other way around for melee classes i guess.

  5. I disagree with Flux’s last comment. The whole idea of the Inferno difficulty is to flatten the challenge. If Act 1 Zombies are indeed easier to kill than Act 4 whatever monsters, that would make Act 4 enemies yield more xp, and no one would ever want to go through Act 1 again after doing it once.. If both gave the same xp, but the Act 1 monsters were easier, then we end up having a path of least resistance, which Inferno difficulty was made to eliminate.
    The prerequisite of eliminating obvious efficient runs is to have all monsters across the difficulty yield the same xp and are equally difficult to kill.

    • Yeah giving exp to a player that already is max level when entering Inferno, good thinking 😉

      • just replace XP with shiny loot and gold – because that is what we are after when we go to inferno.

  6. Yeah, if  the act 1 take 4 zombies “shamble” or in any way move across the screen slower than a monkey on crack, they really do deserve to go out of business.

  7. Some people seriously assume that an inferno zombie will have the same abilities as a zombie on normal but with just a tad extra health? Come on, people, use your noggins.

    • You can assume what you want. We simply are curious as to how it’s being handled, which we don’t know much about yet.

  8. >It seems weird that all Inferno monsters would be exactly 61; after all, there’s no way the shambling Act One zombies will be as hard to kill or as dangerous as some caster mage thing you’ll meet in late Act Four. So why should they be the same Mlvl, or offer the same sort of item drop potential?
    Why does this seem weird? It’s supposed to be like that, they’re calling it a flat difficulty. That means the first monster you see will be just as strong as the last monster you saw. To me it sounds just logical that zombies are the same strength as the uber super things in act 4 because it’s a flat difficulty.
    Also considering everything I think that HP will be about the same because if it’s not theres no point. Because if the monster tables for levels are that different it’s always going to be more beneficial to farm act 4 where the strongest ones are because based on their tables the should drop the highest level gear, and if the drop rates are same all over then we’ll just find the weakest possible monsters and just farm them.
    I don’t know what they’re planing, the only way to make Inferno work is basically by having the same monster in every level everywhere (with different models/skill sets). Thats the only possible way to prevent people from farming the weakest or the best drop monsters.

  9. The different dyes achievement better be called “Taste the Rainbow” or I will be very upset.

    • And have a second achievement become unlockable after completing this one, where you must dye two sets of clothes in different colors. Call it the Double Rainbow.

      Sorry had too =P

  10. Some of you guys seriously think blizz will just say “oh my god we could never have foreseen that the act 1 zombies was easier than act 4 mobs and are now beeing farmed!!!!”

    They have already stated that they will give new modifiers in Inferno. That might or might not be the case with the zombies in the start of act one. From what i have seen the zombiese in the beginning are also very few and a good enough char wont choose to grind them and create a new game after that if they can take on greater numbers wich would mean more kills/h but a bit harder.

  11. I guess what it is each monster has a base power value that get modified by the monster’s level, this would allow them to use the same basic template to make several zombies of different powers levels and if need be tweak all of them at once, of cause their might be stuff like level 20-30 zombies gets poison strike rank 1 and 30-40 get poison strike rank 2 etc.
    Lastly are you sure that act 1 zombies will have the loot table as an act 4 boss, personally I expect them to split the loot tables by acts and monster type (normal, elite, champion, mini-boss, act boss) with harder mobs having a better chance to drop the good goodies.

  12. My theory: The best sets/uniques(now legendary) will have qlvl61. So you can find them from any monster in Inferno difficulty.
    And a second guess: This sets/uniques won’t be findable in the lower difficulties. Or maybe only a few monsters(last act boss?) in hell will drop them.

    There is one sure thing: Inferno will be for item hunting.

  13. My theory is that they are going to completely remove act bosses, super-uniques and mini-bosses from their respective stationary positions.

    No matter how you try to balance it, the fact that you have these enemies that are much stronger than any other monster and that always spawn on the same location is a big problem for their \no boss runs, flat difficulty level\ inferno. Inferno super-uniques, mini-bosses and act bosses will definitely be significantly stronger then normal monsters.

    So, as far as I see, there are three solutions:

    1) make bosses impossibly hard to kill (like Absolute Virtue in FFXI for anybody who played it) so that only ridiculously small number of player would have a chance at killing them and then give them top top loot. Obviously terrible.

    2) Give them the same chance to drop loot of the same quality as all the other monsters. In this case nobody would bother to kill any super-unique, mini-boss or act boss. Drop chance has to be the same, if they have even a bit higher chance, we will inevitably see boss runs. They could also potentially give them really, really low chance to drop significantly better items then normal monsters, but that would result in people doing boss runs and 99/100 of those not getting anything or getting crap loot.

    3) Completely remove them from their normal positions and give them percentage chance to spawn in place of a normal monster and give them better loot. I think this is the best solution, this way players don´t know where any of them will spawn, super-uniques effectively become uniques, and mini-bosses and act bosses also have a (small) % chance to spawn.

    • This is still not a solution. Players will rush through the acts and won’t kill the regular monsters. Everybody searching for the act boss spawn is not fun. It can be prevented by giving ridiculously small chances for boss spawns. Basically (not the best example because it’s not based on %chance per monster) like Diablo Clone in D2. It’s really hard to find a balanced solution to that problem.

      • who knows that all bosses always spawn in the same location ?
        imagine the following scenario for Diablo II : durance of hate (dof)

        (dof) lvl 1 (Wp) -> dof lvl 2  -> dof lvl 3a -> mephistos room (requires key)
        ……………………………………………..-> dof lvl 3b -> champion guarding the key
        ……………………………………………..-> dof lvl 3c -> champion some desireable treasure (high probability for gems / runes)
        oh and that that the location for mephisto , key and treasure are randomized goes without saying.

        i`d like to see you “running” this without teleportation.

    • I think that you missed one pretty easy solution.

      The bosses are harder to kill (more hp and damage (pretty obviosu)
      They can drop the same quality of items (you can find anything from an a1 zombie that you can find from Diablo)
      They drop a different number of items.

      If this was balanced correctly it would mean that in the same amount of time and effort you would find the same number of good drops if you are killing a single act boss or killing 30 (random number given to make the point) a1 zombies.

  14. I expected the monster level to be the same.  As a matter of fact I also expect those slow act 1 zombies to have new inferno-only skills like leap attack or some kind of speed boost. They’ve said they want it to be uniformly difficult, so why would it be impossible to make an act 1 ghoul as hard as an act 4 mage?

  15. On the “remove static boss encounter locations” idea, perhaps something like what Hanbitsoft did with Hellgate:Global.  Each area has a set “kill count” and whenever you reach it a super-unique spawns pretty much on top of you.  Kill counts vary with the location but the kind of critter spawned is always the same for a given area, eg you will always get a unique Zombie spawn every 20 kills in Russel Square.

    This approach (as long as they do remove static bosses) specifically rewards killing huge numbers of critters instead of the power level of said critters.  In areas that are more populated or considered “easier” simply raise the trigger number for the kill count instead of having to constantly tweak monster stats and drop tables.8)

  16. I guess they’ll have to make the zombies a lot more powerful (up their basic attack and more likely apply an additional one for inferno) than the faster mobs in different areas. If they present as much damage in whatever form they’ll not be as difficult because you can just amble away.

    It’s not as if they’ll make the zombies move as fast as teleporting mages.  But I’d pay good money to see that. Zoomie Zombies, definitely works for me.

  17. If they mean flat, every area in every act equally “farmable”,

    that would logically mean that the inferno versions of monsters,
    will have the same ammount of HP, and take the same amount of time to be killed.

    Thus, no matter where you end up running around after the first inferno playtrough;
    The challenge is the same.

    It is almost as if making inferno difficulty the new cow-level (sans the king)


    Prediction: Inferno level is all the acts, filled with mlvl 61 unicorns! 🙂

    • But time to be killed does not equate to difficulty of killing them.
      They would have to likely change around monster composition of the entire first act alone just to try to tackle this.
      It’s a tough thing to think about, when you get down to it. Seems like it would be a kind of irksome issue to deal with for a designer.

  18. “so I guess the direct answer is we’re not looking to make any more beyond those 18”

    Disappointing, and a bit unexpected.

  19. What I have not seen anyone ask or comment on though is whether we will have to play through the entire game again on Inferno difficulty. To me this rather seems like overkill. Is it realistic to think that we will enter Inferno with all waypoints enabled? People could pick their favourite area to play in right away without having to reach it first.

      • But Inferno isn’t Hell.
        If they’re serious about A) making every act as challenging as any other, B) making every act as lucrative as any other, and C) watching for path of least resistance and squashing it/altering it as soon as they find it, then they probably should open up every waypoint when you get to Inferno. Otherwise, people will farm Blood Moor/Blood Raven’s tombs forever and ever.

  20. But I thought a Zombie in Act 1 is precisely weaker than a mage in act 4 because it has lower level, so I do not understand the confusion. As in, the Nightmare-zombies move considerably faster than the Act 1 zombies. So the inferno lvl 61 zombies will, indeed, be as difficult as the inferno Act 4 mages.  Otherwise, the concept of a monster level is senseless: If the monsters of Act 3 are just stronger because they are the monsters in Act 3, not because they have higher level, you would not need monster level at all. The additional abilities a mage in Act 4 possesses are due to its higher level, no?

  21. This isn’t that difficult. How do you make an act one zombie as scary as an act four mage? Make the zombie immune to crowd control. Give him an infectious bite which temporarily lowers your attack stat. Some tweaks are going to be necessary. Not only that (and this is true for the other three difficulties), some builds are going to have an easier time w/ certain types of monsters than others. I’m sure there will be “mage killers” alongside melee threatening hulks.
    You can’t just pump health, damage, and aggression and call it a day. Of course that wouldn’t work. But who says that’s the only thing they would do? This isn’t Blizzard North, these guys want to hand craft the basic monsters (and monster compositions) in order to present a challenge. So they go in and look at the monsters, look at the monster groups, and figure out ways to make them all more dangerous. And still, some builds will find one area more difficult than another, while a different build will be the opposite.

    • It really isn’t  that difficult! An act 1 melee creep will be as difficult as an act 4 melee creep, you can’t say ohh i can’t belive a zombie will be as hard as an act 4 mage because thats pretty much apples and oranges! A mage will probally have less hp and more dmg than a zombie or something else, but the difficuty will be the same! The important thing is you won’t be able to stampede on any act in inferno, and thats what’s great!

  22. Anyway just because monsters are the same level doesn’t mean that they will be equally difficult. They never said they want all monsters to be equal, only the relative difficulty of the levels.
    IE: a zombie thing might be easier to kill than a caster mage thing, but what if there are 10 zombies compared to 1 mage thing… that might even things out. They know what they are doing.

  23. Bashiok stated that they have a monsterformula.
    There you have a table with standard monstervalues. Say, a level 61 standard monster has 10 000 HP. (exp. a hell monster with lvl 60 has only 7500 hp)
    You have different modifier for the different monstertyp, champions etc , i take health as example.

    Standard Melee Zombie Health Modifier: +20% Health (could spawn anywhere in Inferno, here it is in act 1)

    Standard Mage Occultist Health Modifier: -30% Health (could spawn anywhere in Inferno, here it is in act 4)

    If you calculate that for your Act 1 Inferno Zombie, you get 12 000 Health. Do it for the Mage Occultist in Act 4 and you have 7 000 Health. So, there is a balance between them and a group of mages have less health than the zombies. Plus there are inferno modifiers for the different monstertyps, if you give your zombie a charge and an slow attack and make him more aggresive, he gets more dangerous than before.

  24. I don’t want every monster in Inferno to be as easy to kill as any other monster. This sounds terribly boring if a1 zombies were as difficult as bosses or super uniques. Balancing Inferno such that you spend the same amount of time killing an a1 zombie as you do Diablo means either the zombies take way too long to die or Diablo just seems too easy. I still want to be challenged as I progress through Inferno.

    For there to be a fair and fun way to balance drops it will have to be based on overall effort. All monsters have the potential to drop the same items. No monster should be able to drop anything better than any other monster, otherwise the monsters who dont have access to the best drops will be ignored by players looking for the best items.

    Weaker monsters that you can kill faster drop less frequently than stronger monsters that you kill slower. And for bosses and super uniques that take a lot longer then perhaps they drop multiple items. Basically Blizzard needs to balance the rate at which items drop over time such that you have the same chance of getting any item if you spent 20 minutes killing in a1 or 20 minutes killing in a4. That’s what it comes down to.

    People with better gear who can kill faster will get more drops over time, that’s only fair, but they will get the same quality/number of drops as if they spent their time in a1 or a4.

    The challenge for Blizz is to figure out how to balance the average drop rate over all acts based on the time it takes to kill each type of monster.

    • And it’s almost impossible to balance something like that across the classes and builds. One area is super easy for a traditional ranged wizard, and super hard for a regular monk, but another area is the opposite. Some builds handle certain situations better than others. It’s not something you can just turn a knob to determine pure difficulty.
      What you CAN turn a knob on are multitude. Health, damage, defense/resistance, speed, aggression radius, and the important part, special abilities and traits. Of course, those special abilities and traits need to be hand crafted and hand picked based on the monster and the setting. So it’ll take a lot of work, and probably a lot of balancing work through patches/hotfixes.

  25. When i think about it, perhaps:

    Random inferno monsters everywhere, in any act.
    Thus, no area or act are more possible to have a certain random monster
    than the others.

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