Deconstructing the Infernal Machine

There are a ton of comments on Rush’s post from this morning about the v1.05 sneak preview, but not a lot of speculation about what I thought was most interesting in it; the hint about the new end game event. Here’s the quote from the preview:

New Event: Infernal Machine
The Infernal Machine is a device that will allow level-60 players to battle “uber” versions of some of Sanctuary’s most nefarious bosses. While the rewards for defeating these bosses will be great, some assembly is required.

As many of you guys pointed out in comments, this is directly influenced by the Pandemonium Event, an end game challenge added to Diablo 2 in v1.11. (Incidentally, that patch went live on August 1, 2005. That’s FIVE YEARS AND TWO MONTHS after D2C’s release.) The function of that quest was derived from the original DiabloWikiSecret Cow Level; gather various ingredients, stick them into the cube, transmute them into a special red portal to enter a bonus area. That same principle was used for Diablo III’s secret level, DiabloWikiWhimsyshire, and it seems the devs are expanding upon that for this upcoming Infernal Machine event.

Diablo 2’s Pandemonium Event

But what might it entail? I want to speculate! But first, let’s flash back to the DiabloWikiPandemonium Event. See the article in the D2 section of for full details, but here’s a quick summary:

  • The first step was to obtain three special keys. They were dropped only by three specific DiabloWikiSuperUnique bosses, on Hell difficulty. The Key of Terror from DiabloWikiThe Countess, the key of Hate from DiabloWikiThe Summoner, and the Key of Destruction from DiabloWikiNihlathak. Their odds to drop a key were around 10%, so finding these keys took a lot of runs, and was a bit like running D3’s Izual for the Plan of Herding.
  • Once you had each key, you could use them in the DiabloWikiHoradric Cube to open a red portal to a specific bonus area, which held an uber version of one of the game’s main bosses. These were all nasty, challenging bosses, much tougher than the usual versions, but at least they had a 100% chance to drop the special item you were hunting them for. Lilith (Uber Anderial) was found in The Matron’s Den and she dropped Diablo’s Horn. Uber Duriel was found in The Forgotten Sands and he dropped Baal’s Eye. Uber Izual was found in The Furnace of Pain, and he dropped Mephisto’s Brain.
    Semi-random Hellfire Torch stats.

  • Players then put Diablo’s Horn, Baal’s Eye, and Mephisto’s Brain into the cube, and created a red portal to Uber Tristram. There they faced uber versions of Diablo, Baal, and Mephisto all at once, and when you slayed them all the ultimate reward dropped, a Hellfire Torch.
  • The torch was basically a super-charm; an object that you held in your inventory and derived huge passive bonuses from. The torch was worth really big bonuses, but had a lot of variation in the potential stats, including class-specific skill bonuses, and each character could only hold one at a time. So, if you did the quest and already had one, you had to drop your current torch to take the new one. In a game without a shared stash this necessitated a lot of inventory and character shuffling, but the item was awesome enough that it was worth the trouble, and the high variability on stats made it worth farming repeatedly.

    Diablo 3’s New Thing

    All that said… what can we expect from the Infernal Machine quest in Diablo III? We’ll see (probably vague, incomplete, and somewhat confusing) details fairly soon, once the patch goes up and gets datamined. In the meantime, want to speculate?

    There’s no real reason to expect the Infernal Machine to mirror the Pandemonium Event, but as the blue quote said, there will be some assembly required. What might that mean? Many players have complained about the purple-named bosses in the game, all of whom (aside from a few quest bosses) seem fairly pointless to kill, since they’re very easy and don’t drop anything special.

    D2’s Pandemonium Event expanded the game world exploration by giving players a reason to run The Summoner and Nihlathak. (The Countess was already popular for her high odds of dropping runes.) Might the Infernal Machine follow that mold, and make some of the less-traveled Elites a newly-valuable object of pilgrimage? The problem with that is the way those bosses in D3 don’t appear every game. Most of us in D3 have been frustrated by running the Caverns of Frost looking for Chiltara, the only source of the Gibbering Gemstone.

    In D2 The Summoner didn’t always drop the Key of Terror, but at least you knew where the son of a bitch was, and you knew he’d be there every game. So perhaps D3’s event will borrow from that concept and come v1.05 we’ll all find ourselves repeatedly running say… The Skeleton King, Zoltan Kulle, and Ghom, in order to score materials required to create the quest? Or would you prefer a more Chiltara style of boss, where you know where he/she/it might spawn, but you’ll need multiple games to get lucky and find them?

    The Infernal Machine

    As for the Infernal Machine itself… any ideas?

    The Infernal Machine is a device that will allow level-60 players to battle “uber” versions of some of Sanctuary’s most nefarious bosses.

    Sounds a lot like an Uber Tristam type of thing, where we’ll face higher quality versions of some of the bosses. Act Bosses, as we saw in the D2 quest? Are you ready for The Butcher, Azmodan, and Siegebreaker all at the same time? How about Belial as a demon troop carrier, vomiting up another mini-Ghom every minute or so?

    The Just Reward

    D3’s Talisman, full of charms.
    How about the reward? I think I speak for everyone when I say that we’ll be pretty disappointed if this whole event just pops a bunch of damn rares. Even if they were say, 10 rares guaranteed to be level 62+… not good enough.

    How about Rares + a guaranteed 60+ set or legendary item? Not good enough? A sure route to item inflation? (I still think D3 so needs some kind of DiabloWikiBoA, so they could bump up the drop rates for green/orange items without flooding the AH.)

    I think they can do better. Just another source of items (which most of us are disappointed with as it is) wouldn’t seem very special.

    The Hellfire Torch worked in D2 since there were already charms. D3 was going to have charms, and did during much of development, until the DiabloWikiTalisman system got shelved (probably until the expansion). Might we see it return for this new quest thingie, though? Even if it’s just in some limited/special form, to allow a Hellfire Torch-like reward? An object that every character can use, that’s not just an upgrade or replacement for an existing item? That won’t wreck the AH economy? That’s variable enough in stats that you’d want to keep completing the quest, to keep finding more of them as you tried to upgrade?

    Or not. Maybe the reward will be something entirely different, that’s nothing at all like the D2 version. Any clever ideas?

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    55 thoughts on “Deconstructing the Infernal Machine

    1. I would love it if they gave us some reason to run multiple acts. I’m getting pretty sick of act 3. I agree that it needs to be something other than a bunch of rare. I see enough of those in a normal MF run. If its anything like the difficulty of uber tristram(Without a smite pally…) it better be a damn good drop(s) for anyone to give a damn about it.

    2. All I gotta say is they BETTER make the item portion of the game more enticing otherwise i’m seriously just going to stop playing. I finaggled my Wife enough to let me get this game and got her hooked, but dang it! I can’t keep her hooked if there ain’t any good SHINY’S to take!

      I’ve still yet to see a set item, i’ve gotten 5 legendaries now w/ 4 coming after 1.0.4

      This game is losing it for me, i’m not here to do 500 runs of act 3 in hopes to get 1 green item. I have 5 characters all needing sets of armor what is Blizzard telling me to devote my life to this game, kick the Wife out and marry Sheablo? This is just stupid, and whats sad is no one has put in a bug request stating the AH is a direct effect of item quality….. I’m still putting my details together but sometime this weekend i’ll hopefully be posting my bug request stating the drop mechanism is broken.

      Really easy to see when you start equiping 125% MF compared to 283% MF. The item quality going between Act 2 and 3 is a joke, look at there explanation of MF on the site…. Argh makes me so sick I don’t even wanna play! Thankfully my Wife is doing MF runs 🙂 So MAYBE 8 hours of her playing will net a stupid brown item, NOPE NEVER A GREEN but maybe a brown….. Non-turd item please.

      • “This is just stupid, and whats sad is no one has put in a bug request stating the AH is a direct effect of item quality….. I’m still putting my details together but sometime this weekend i’ll hopefully be posting my bug request stating the drop mechanism is broken.”

        What’s sad is your belief that:
        1. This hasn’t been raised a million times on various forums already
        2. Blizzard don’t already know about it

      • I’ve seen tons of posts in the forums complaining of item quantity/quality. I created a thread myself about how the AH/RMAH is a failure and that it kills the loot system. It got zero replies (most likely due to how quickly those forums move.)

    3. They drop NEW ilvl 63 legendary blacksmith plans. A mighty weapon, a wand, a hand x-bow, you get the idea. The plans are fairly varied, but hey, they’re also incredibly awesome (if rolled right) and better yet, you didn’t waste your money leveling the blacksmith!

      On top of this, the blacksmith is relevant again!

      • This will be a huge disappointment. Not into crafting, and I know several others that aren’t as well.

        • I disagree. If they did ilvl 63 plans and re-did how items were crafted (ie more ToS and other commodities) it would shake up the market a bit. I would welcome that. The reason you and others aren’t into it because the items that are crafted are on par with doing an Act1 MF run…maybe.

      • Yeah its plans for sure cause they want u farming yellow trash and AH for mats!!!!

        Don’t stop teh farm bitches!!!!

    4. I don’t see them doing Whimsyshire-style ingredients from specific enemies or places. That ended up being pretty lame and they must realize that nobody likes farming it. My guess is that it will be stuff that can drop randomly anywhere, like one item per act. You craft the Infernal Machine and use it to fight a boss, and upon beating that boss it’s destroyed and you have to farm it up again.

      As for a reward, I’m certainly not expecting anything new. Probably a free legendary or something.

      • Nice username bro. If you weren’t such a lifeless worm, I’d commend you.

        Actually nevermind, no, I still wouldn’t commend you.

        • He hides behind numerous names, most common being ABarbarian. He’s a liking for replying to his own posts agreeing with himself. “reaps of desperation” indeed 🙂

      • I eloeled at the “reaps of desperation” part myself. That’s actually a pretty good line, albeit one delivered accidentally.

    5. The reward should be something that will make my friends come back and start playing this game. No pressure.

    6. The Infernal Machine is a device… so it’s like a Horadric Cube? Hopefully it’s not a copy/pasta of D2 Ubers. If the reward doesn’t have a chance to be absolutely terrible (like great boots that don’t roll with +movement speed and are therefore worthless), I would love to work hard toward obtaining Infernal items.

      As long as the grind for components isn’t TOO mind-numbingly desperate.

      • I kind of envision you entering some sort of arena area with the ingredients and using them to create/active a machine, maybe like those siege engines Azmodan had in Act Three surface (the ones he didn’t need to crush your puny dreams, blah blah blah). And once it’s assembled it spits out monsters like a demonic pez dispenser?

        • Perhaps it doesn’t increase the actual boss difficulty but just spews out more minions in each boss fight. God, that would be a terrible design.

      • Yep! Once you kill the ubers, you’re given the option of “Liking” the whole event on Facebook. Only when 1 million people Like it on Facebook will the first wave of wallpapers be released!

        I can’t wait!

    7. even if you got 30+ ilvl63 rares from one boss none of them would be useful since itemization in this game is completely broken, so either make these bosses drop only at least a few legendary/set items or legendary blacksmith plans as some people have suggested, otherwise, is just a waste of time, just like the entire game is right now

      blizzard keeps dodging the true problem with the game and instead keep adding unnecesary things like these, with the items being as shitty has they are now, it doesn’t matter how much extra loot you add to monster/bosses, you will get shit regardless

      i wish they would just take the time to tackle the issue right away, but again, they didn’t do it in 10 years then why would they do it now? none of the patches for this game has really fixed the itemization problem (except maybe the buff to lvl60+ weapons, wich was one step in the right direction) and that’s what diablo is all about for me, loot loot and loot, i wanna feel that my time spend in this game is being rewarded with at least a little nice item that dropped once in a while but no

      oh you spend 600+ hours in the game? you wanna get some items your characters can use? you wanna progress without touching the AH? NO FUCK THAT, have this shit we call rare items and keep farming for at least another 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 million hours in hope you get an item you can use, in the meantime, we are just gonna add a bunch of pointless shit to make people have the illusion we are truly focused on fixing the game, because you know, we could have easily made the best ARPG ever with our 10 years and unlimited moneys we had to developed but no no, you’re gonna have to stick playing this crap until we feel like making the game fun and rewarding to play again, oh btw thanks for using the GAH and the RMAH because you know, those are the only ways you’re gonna get some decent gear in a reasonable amount of time, who even things about farming anyways? just pull out your credit card and give us the money and we give you the items that one lucky SoB got and that you will NEVER, EVER, get, by yourself

      • Exactly. This is sadly just another gimmick on a series of gimmicks trying to mask the beta state of the game. Items being subpar are a direct result of the removal of the mystic (ability to enchant items) and nerfing of the jeweler (removed ability to add sockets and took away 2 gems) shortly before release.

        If they had not been removed we would be able to add sockets and enchants to our gear to improve it, freeing us from being dependent on perfectly rolled item drops and feeling forced to search the auction house for upgrades.

        The problem is if players were able to upgrade their self found gear they would have little need to use the auction house. And these nickel and diming assholes wouldn’t allow it.

    8. The Horadric Cube should be the quest reward. Then they can bring back recipes such as socketing, upping and re-rolling. The Blacksmith could refine the ingredients so he doesn’t lose his job.

      • What for? If you reach level 60, that´s it. Paragon levels are not good enough for me. Sure they are ok, but what´s the point in finding only a couple legendaries since the game released, and none since 1.0.4? Experience is not what this game needs, it is a new item system. I think the rest is going fine. oh and PvP, that might be fun, wondering how are the players match up going to be.

    9. It drops legendary parts that you collect to combine different legendaries. These are also tradable and need certain combination for each item. Maybe even the more parts you use the higher chance it has to pick high level affix ranges.

    10. I just want a charm that has some +prim stat, one of the +58 modifiers on the SOJ (or some base elemental damage), and some pickup radius (this is the new light radius).

      They would have to have this charm expire after X months or so. Otherwise they would worthless in months.

    11. I hope it’s something a little more innovative than just throwing more items at us as a reward. I know we don’t know what it’ll be yet but I hope it’s something more enticing.

    12. If the reward is some sort of new Legendary with many set stats so as to not fall victim to the poor itemization randomness of being very likely to not get the select mods which make it worth anything


      it drops some sort of new item, a recipe skill for a blacksmith or something, that allows you to lock in a few properties on a rare and reroll the other properties. Then all would be forgiven.

      • I’d like the reward to be an item (scroll, BS plan, gem?) that gives a permanent buff to a piece of equipment of your choosing but makes the piece of equipment Bind To Account. The reward would be random but rolled when the item drops, such as +250 to primary stat, + 350 damage, +100 crit chance, +500 armor, etc.

    13. I’m only hoping that “new event” dont decrease space to farm for players.
      I mean i dont want to farm tiny small room 340 times, i prefer whole act like it is designed today 🙂
      of couse changing scenery to act1 because of players 4 command will be nice!)

    14. What I would like to see;

      The Infernal Machine is an ancient abandoned labyrinth of hellish design, players entering will find themselves battling through five levels of dungeons pulled randomly from all across sanctuary before facing down the ultimate incarnation of a previously defeated terror.

      So you could enter, run through a sand-swept ruin from Act2, hop into a mouldering crypt from Act1, jump to a twisting barracks from Act 3, creep through a dank cavern from Act1 and finally rush through a heavenly backdrop from Act 4 before facing down a level 65 Skeleton King with new abilities. If Blizzard could just give me pure randomized dungeon delving with all the story crap cut out I would be very satisfied.

    15. hmm, what could it be.
      I think they will guide us to areas which is not that common to farm today. I wouldn’t be suprised it some parts need to be found in act4.

      The event itself does not interest me that much, but the reward… I really hope it’s something else than just a legendary or set items. Most of those items are trash anyway. Lets hope they have been creativ here. I would like to see something like
      – add an affixes of your choice to an item
      – get a free pet, a mini ghom or something
      – new skill-runes? or buff skill-rune

      • How about the ability to add a second rune to the skill of your choice(Adding the effects together)?
        This would add to “Build Diversity”, not depend on “Useless Itemization”, and also be a reward that isn’t a “copy and paste from D2”

    16. I Stopped playing this game 3 months ago after beating inferno. I started playing a multiplayer minecraft survival game with a buddy of mine and his son. That game lacks expensive polished graphics, but makes up for it in gameplay, replay value, sense of adventure, creativity, humor and addictiveness. It’s funny how Diablo 3 has the graphics, but lacks all of those other qualities. An independant developer designed a better game than a billion-dollar game developer. Go ahead and keep hoping Diablo 3 will be the game you remember. You’ll only be fooling yourself and wasting time and money.

      • I don’t think Minecraft is a good game. It is boring as hell, has no structure and is way overhyped. The fact you need to create a game and then try to find some fun already shows it will not have a lasting appeal, because there is no superstructure placed over it.

        But I don’t go to Minecraft forums to trash talk it. And btw, I don’t believe you finished D3 Inferno “more then 3 months ago”.

        My guess is you could hardly finish act 1 at that time.

    17. I speculate: you will need to throw in just the cheap creafting materials and will get an legendary item from the uber bosses as reward. And it will be designed as a sink for fiery brimstones. Throw in 10 Brimstones to get 1 sure random legendary.

    18. That big huge blindfolded guy who looks around below us in Act 3
      I’m really hoping this is a bunch of stuff you have to go hunt down in order to access the area to fight him.

    19. “While the rewards for defeating these bosses will be great…”

      Sure Blizz, we DO believe that statement. Another load of garbage.

    20. Seen only 3 legendaries,.. it was better when they were stil called uniques.
      at least you’d be happy when you found some,. though it wasnt always the one you were after.

      now,.. id be happy to even see one drop at lev 60 – zero so far.

    21. It will be garbage like all the other “stuff” they have been adding to stop the massive exodus of players. When everything is designed around their failed auction house system (which has now totally collapsed in both SC and HC) it becomes impossible to fix things. Unless of course they start talking about opening a realm with no AH whatsoever then I will start taking closer notice.

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