More Details on Inferno Revealed

DiabloWikiBashiok has been a little more active of late, having recently explained why they’ve chosen the system they did for DiabloWikiskill runes. In a follow-up response to the thread, he also dropped some important information regarding progression in the final difficulty. The result is that DiabloWikiInferno difficulty is no longer a flat difficulty.

This is may be a good a time as any to REVEAL TEH SEKRITS! that Inferno monster levels aren’t linear any longer. They get progressively more difficult. This was really a reaction to Inferno playtesting. Our original intent was to have a flat difficulty level where you could go wherever you want, farm for items, and it’d be no more or less difficult than any other area in Inferno. This caused a few inherent issues for us, though:

  • It just felt wrong. It didn’t feel right to be progressing through the game and have it stay pretty much the same difficulty the whole time. It felt like a letdown to get to the final boss of the game and it be no more difficult than the first.
  • There’s a wide variety of players out there and we wanted to make sure everybody had something to sink their teeth into. We expect that anybody with enough time and dedication will reach level 60. But the jump in difficulty to Inferno needed to be different amounts for different people. For the crazy people they need a HUGE ramp in difficulty, for a more “casual but still hardcore” audience you want an obvious but milder increase in difficulty. So for the crazy people who play non-stop they’ll hit Act I and get a challenge, but 1 month later they’ll still have something to work on (Acts II, III and IV). For the “hardcore-casual” they will reach level 60 later and not get brick walled when they reach Inferno. They can experience some “small victories” working on Act I with the dream of maybe someday reaching the later acts.
  • Longevity. We know people really want goals to work towards and challenges to overcome. We made Act III and Act IV really, really brutally hard, for the most elite players only. It felt wrong to make ALL of Inferno that brutally hard.

Now, you may be saying “I thought you wanted us to be able to farm anywhere we wanted. Now we only have half as much area in the game to farm in? What gives?” Our goal is to make the loot mathematically better in the later acts without making the earlier gear completely obsolete. We feel Diablo II actually did a very good job with this and we expect Diablo III to perform similarly.

Specifically, people in D2 did Diablo runs, DiabloWikiMephisto runs, DiabloWikiPindleskin runs, Pit runs, DiabloWikiBaal runs, etc. because the loot in Diablo is extremely random. Even though the theoretical best items might come from the later Acts, well-rolled items from earlier acts will still be better. Internally we find sometimes after an intense session of brutally hard Inferno it can be really fun to cruise through DiabloWikiHell Act III or IV and it’s not too uncommon surprise when an upgrade drops. We expect this to carry through to Inferno difficulty where somebody who can theoretically farm Act IV will likely still enjoy romping through Act I simply because the drop potential is still there. It’s all because of the highly random items having lots of overlap in their power distribution curves.

I feel that this change makes a lot of sense as long as there are no enemies that are at or below your level as you start it. This way you are ensured to be continually challenged as you progress through the final difficulty. Previously, if you were to continue through the difficulty, you would find that you still need to complete the content but progressing at a constant rate – perhaps even faster as your continue with the gear you’ve collected previously. Does the community feel the same? Or do you feel that a flat difficulty was the way to go.

Related to this article
You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.

182 thoughts on “More Details on Inferno Revealed

  1. There is it again: Blizzard saying that they made the game hard. Really, REALLY, BRUTALLY hard.
    He mentions the “elite” players taking months for acts in inferno?

    If this is true, we’re in for one hell of a ride! 😀  

    • Sounds good to me!
      Something to get steamrolled by, and something to steamroll to ease the frustration!
      Also I like trouncing “easy” content sometimes just for fun, but it gets boring when its all you have. On paper this setup sounds like it’ll be perfect.

      • “There’s a wide variety of players out there and we wanted to make sure everybody had something to sink their teeth into”

        What about the variety of players who want to just play inferno and not the easier difficulties? Bet they didn’t think of those players…

        • Or did they? Considering Acts 3 and 4 present the hardest challenge and overall best loot chances, that’s plenty of variety for people who want to spend their time only on Inferno to clear through, never mind whatever secret level exists 🙂

    • The “really hard” and flat difficulty should not be mutually exclusive. In fact, if they wanted, they could make it a progressive difficulty for the first Inferno completion ONLY. Then ramp up the difficulty of Acts 1 and 2 to be aligned with Acts 3 and 4. Call it Inferno – heroic mode, if you want.

      This way, after you’ve gone through the entire game on Inferno once you can freely choose which acts you want to farm for gear. On top of that, it also gives an incentive to redo Acts 1 and 2 at the same difficulty as the later acts. I would have liked this change much better than what they chose to do. 

      • The difference is a fallacy; first off, we don’t know that they made anything that much weaker.  Maybe they just made the later mobs even stronger.  That being said, you get just as much/just as good loot killing 20 monsters for 1% chance of drop as 1 monster for 20%. 
        They’re not restricting the areas where you can farm (is what Bashiok is saying); they’re just giving you more options for *how* you farm.

        • Not sure which difference you are referring to. Progressive difficulty means that in time, as people accumulate more high-end gear, farming lower difficulty will simply not be as effective.

          I still think they could switch to a flat difficulty AFTER the first Act 4 final boss kill for each character and thus offer the best of both options. This is even more compelling when you take into account expansions. With the proposed change (but no flat difficulty after completion), you can BET that once an expansion ramps both difficulty AND player power even higher, top players will start avoiding the lower difficulty Acts. 

          • u forgot thats not solo diablo how will it work for another players who didnt finish inferno yet?

          • @Krikri

            Simple: when players who finished inferno create games, they could have an option to create one with flat difficulty, that can only be joined by others who have also finished. Or, alternatively, they could create regular games with progressive difficulty, joinable by all currently on inferno.

        • Yeah, I’m not sure exactly how “they’re just giving you more options for *how* you farm.” I don’t care one way or the other, I just want people to explain things rather than just throw out this… rhetoric.

          I mean, I understand that now you can’t out level content, but Diablo 3’s character progression seems to be based much more on itemization, not levels, so I don’t find it to be a great argument comparing to D2’s system.

          I’m trying to contemplate how this impacts the nephalem valor buff. Just going to elite hunt in the last act before the boss? Kind of like hitting the elites before Diablo? I dunno, maybe they’re cutting this system.

          Either way, after beta I never want to see the skeleton king again, so to hell with act 1. 

          • What they mean by D2’s system is that even though the top loot only came from act 4-5 hell, many people still farmed Mephisto simply because it was easier, thus took less time per run. Also Andy nightmare for SoJ anyone ?
            What they mean is, even though the very best loots will only drop in act 4, there are plenty of very interesting loot you can get in act 1, and even though there will not be as many interesting items dropping, you will kill things quicker which compensates for it. So once you have the whole inferno available, it’ll still be worthwhile to run act 1.
            Also keep in mind Diablo’s a game that relies a lot on trading to get you what you want. Odds are you won’t ever find that specific item you want for your character yourself.

        • Just to be nitpicking. The chance is not the same! 20 monsters with a 1% chance of drop is 1-0,99^20 = 18,2% 🙂

    • I don’t think he meant it will take a month, but rather after a month of being in inferno, you still have something to do.

  2. We have no choice but to trust them at this point about inferno. Though with one swift post Bashiok manages to change what i thought to be a core aspect of the end-game content

    • It may be ‘One swift post’ from your point of view, but it’s the result of intense play-testing at their end, so I think you’re right in your instinct to trust them – remembering it’s a core aspect of..something any of us have yet to experience. Let them change it all the want as long as it’s for the better eh? 6 weeks and counting! 

      •  Problem is that all that play-testing was done under the wrongful assumption that Inferno needs to be like the previous difficulty levels and a player has to finish all the acts once again in order to gain access to the next one… 
         Of course people had little incentive to continue past Act 1 with a flat difficulty and drop rate everywhre, that’s why i always assumed Inferno would just have all the waypoints available from the start so that one can just farm in the area he\she likes most…
         Instead Inferno is just another replay of the game with monsters with higher HP and dmg… they might as well have made Hell harder. 

  3. I kinda liked the idea of a flat difficulty and being able to play where you want… 🙄
    I get the difficulty ramp thing, but i was looking forward to being able to spend most of my time in my preferred act/area. I guess we don’t know what it’s ACTUALLY like, so maybe this was a good change, but I hope that the item drops across Inferno are still relatively the same (and from the sound of the article there will be minimal if any variation on gear levels across Inferno).

    • The second part of Bahioks post does address that issue. Good items/upgrades can still easily drop from the earlier acts. The mathematically most pimp items will drop from the later inferno acts, yes, but with the variation in items you can still hope to get heaps of cool stuff earlier. I don’t reckon it’ll actually be an issue tbh.

      • Yep, in practice I’m sure it will be a non-issue, but before we can actually sink our teeth into Inferno (or the game at all for that matter) all we can do is speculate and debate potentiality.

        • Or we can plainly trust our loving masters of blood and random chance

          …a position i feel oddly compelled to endorse 

  4. 😯 😐 ❓
    Cut the Inferno and give us game faster.
     lol ! gahahahahahaha

    Inferno is too hard, we cut it off. lol
    Sory It’s soo funy to me.

    I don’t remember how diablo II was 5 years ago, but now You have area(Hell) in Act I, Act II, Act III, where monsters have 85 lvl, and Uniques 90, so they can drop any item in game. More kills more drops, simple. I don’t know why people still stick with Mepho, Diablo, Baal runs, it’s wrong farm. Anyway, I understand changes and I think it is better now for D3 sake.

    But, really? Now we should complain…
    Cuz everyone will farm at act III and IV no treasure in I and II… lol

    • Because Diablo and Baal are located at alvl 85 areas?

      And because mephisto is one of the easiest bosses to farm and can still drop useful uniques like shako, arach.

      You clearly don’t know DII. 

      • __Yeah, sure. Now I see wiki problem. There are enormous people like You, and me saying that, x it’s true, without any prof. In next corner, is some one who say y is true, and x is bad. Every one think that, only they have right. That’s internet reality. Normally You should have unimpeachable evidence and describe it, maybe in wall of text.
        __I cut one’s teeth on Diablo2, in good and bad way. I have to confess, I’m guilty, I boted, maphacked ,duped, writed and so on. You are right, Meph, DiaBal, boss spots, are first steps of new players to farm, because they don’t know any better spot. Now we have 1.13x, and I’m saying to You, that I compared one weak of non stop Baals and one for rare areas. Baal is only 2/10. It’s not new since theory, and I don’t have to pic, video of my founds.
        __It’s my first and last respond for obvious things for me. I’m not here for teach world. That’s too much, everywhere I see people blabling about things, they really don’t understand, and true believe in theirs state. I am done here, Said Atheist.

  5. So what’s the point in 4 difficulties, if the new one, Inferno, behaves the same as first 3 ones? They’ll add few more difficulties in an addon and make Inferno even more easy, so that casual players can go there without any fear?

    • It doesn’t behave the same, the whole thing is still capped at level 60. So you will never outlevel Act 1 Inferno the way you outleveled Act 1 Hell in D2.

        • Yes I read it, did you ever play Diablo 2? In Diablo you get stronger both through levels and through gear. When you beat Act 5 Hell, Act 1 is already too low level for you. And then it just keeps getting easier as your gear gets better. In Inferno, your level is capped so it’s only your gear that improves, which means the gap won’t be as huge.
          Also, it’s clear that the net impact of this change is that the ultimate endgame is now harder. They would never have made all of Inferno that hard – otherwise no one would ever be able to start playing it after Hell. But with this change they can make Act 4 incredibly hard while Act 1 remains very hard. Maybe Act 1 won’t be the highest efficiency farming spot for hardcore min/maxers, but I imagine it will still be fun for trying new builds which will probably be impossible in Act 4.

          • “Yes I read it, did you ever play Diablo 2? In Diablo you get stronger both through levels and through gear. When you beat Act 5 Hell, Act 1 is already too low level for you. And then it just keeps getting easier as your gear gets better. In Inferno, your level is capped so it’s only your gear that improves, which means the gap won’t be as huge.”
            First off the Zek is jesus and he never lies  😈  
            Second, the lvl cap is off major importance. once you outleveled D2 everything was a joke except perhaps Ubers if only you had semi decent gear (tales of a barb). Want challenge then my best bet is that D3 is vastly superior compared to D2… It bloody well better be  8)

            You mention that because of the lvl cap only your gear can improve once you reach inferno…. I disagree!!!! If the game is truly great the need for players to improve their skills should be of atleast equal importance than that of them SC sweeties improving their gear 🙂

            Just my two useless Dollars 🙂 Flame on 

      • That is not entirely accurate. It may be true for the game as it first ships, but once expansions made you WILL outlevel at least some acts in Inferno. 

        Example: Let’s suppose that each act is just 1 lvl higher in difficulty than max Clvl

        Max Clvl: 60,  Act 1: 61, Act 2: 62, Act3: 63, Act4: 64

        Once the first expansion comes out, inevitably the Clvl will go up. Let’s suppose it’s only 2 lvls. Now, 
        Max Clvl: 62, Act 1: 61,….   Act4: 64, Act5: 65. You now outlevel Act 1 and are on par with Act 2.

        Come a 2nd expansion and you can guarantee you will be now breezing through Act 1 Inferno. I proposed a simple solution to this: once you have gone through the regular difficulty progression once, all the previous acts align with the last difficulty level added, such that now Act 1 is also lvl 65.

        When a new expansion is adding Act6: 66, you would have Acts1-5 at lvl 65 and Act6 at 66 for the first completion of Act6, then everything would ramp up to 66. And so on, for as many expansions as they care to add. This way the lower Inferno acts never get permanently outleveled, regardless of how powerful the expansions make the player, and you still get a sense of difficulty progression for the first time you complete new content.

    • It seems that they changed the purpose of Inferno since its introduction. Initially, it was just a big farming place (but farming was only useful for $$ in the RMAH since, one properly equipped, the only real need for farming is if you change your build). Now Inferno is a challenge. Achieving Inferno is only possible for the hardcore hardcore (hardcore or softcore) player. The only question is how much time/money and skill it costs to achieve it. I think that 30 days/100$ (4h a day) is not enough but 300 days/1000$ is too much.

    • Yeah i suspect we’ll see an increase in suicidal rates when D3 hits the shelves 🙂

    • Indeed. If this really is as difficult as it sounds, mortal characters who defeat the Inferno end boss should be few and far between. Hopefully this is only possible with elite groups of players.
      A year after the first kill, some (Demon) Hunter is free to solo the boss while his pet tanks it…

    • Yeah I played on HC on D2(LOD), but this time I’ll start on SC and check out how difficult the game will really be, I don’t really wanna get one-shotted when making HC chars.
      This also makes me believe that you need to grind/outlevel the shit out of lower difficulty area’s all the way up to Inferno. Like example: usually normal is 1-30 but just grind it till lvl 40 then start NM. For those HC people.
      And probably farm the shit out of Hell for gear before even trying Inferno.
      I hope Bashiok’s words make truth when I get my hands on the game in 44 days 😛

  6. So, any actual end-game system has been delayed even further. With nothing better to add for high level players – Inferno gets the one cool, unique, and innovative aspect of it sliced and we get a generic item progression grind.

  7. I waslooking forward to flat difficulty but  if you really think about it it couldn’t work for all players…to many variables.

  8. So all the tip top items are going to drop in Act 4 Inferno to reward the really skilled players now, right? 

    Basically Inferno = D2 Hell, Hell = D2 Nightmare, and Nightmare = D2 Normal, so they added a 4th difficulty to appeal to the casuals.  Great!

    And Inferno Act 4 is going to suffer from the same problem D2 Hell did… certain groups of mobs that can 1-shot you as a way of making the game “difficult”.  And the really elite players will do what they did in D2… run by them and just go to the next area.  

    • I spent nearly the same time killing Baal on normal with my first playthrough as I did defeating the Skeleton King on a first playthrough… so I’m not entirely sure if I agree with your equations.

    • If there were downvotes in the current comment system, you would get all of mine…

      They have said SEVERAL times that the “One-Shot = difficult” formula will not be in this game.

      • They’ve said a lot of things several times that aren’t true any more. I’m not saying they will renege on this point, just that Blizzard saying something doesn’t hold a whole lot of water anymore.

    • You’re delusional if you think that Blizzard can’t make a brutally hard game. Say hello to WoW Raid Hardmodes, only harder to compensate for smaller scale, bro.

      • So, make a “Brutally Hard Encounter”, then cave in under pressure of whiners for whom said encounter is too hard? Yup, that would be accurate for Blizzard’s definition of “hard”.

        • WoW raid balancing isn’t really done around “whiners”, it’s done around statistics. If not enough people are progressing through hard-mode content, they make some tweaks.

          They’ve made normal modes (and now “raid finder” modes) quite easy so that the content will be accessible to all sorts of players, but that frees them up to make hard-mode content quite genuinely challenging.

          • This would have been the case if Diablo had the same format as WoW, which it does not. Developers tweak content difficulty when it is new content. They tweak it so more people can be able to see it. The original statistic in Vanilla WoW was that nearly 10% of the entire player-base saw end-game raid content.

            However in Diablo, by the time you’ve hit Inferno, you’ve already seen all the content so they have no need to tweak it. The only thing they’re missing out on is gear, and Blizzard has an incentive to maintain value for gear so the RMAH can thrive. 

        • Yeah, minus the part where they nerf things only many months later (months in WoW = years in Diablo), and even nerfed, hardmodes are accessible by a tiny part of wow’s playerbase, because they are still pretty damn hard.

  9. Makes sense to me and I’m excited for the challenge. I believe Inferno should increase in difficulty just like the other acts. Its all about progression. The best items should drop from the toughest bosses.

  10. thank god they dropped the flat dif for inferno. it was a bad idea imo from the start. the way it was act 1 inferno would have been harder than act 4 inferno due to item drops.

    he also mentions it could take a month to beat each act? it sounds like inferno for sure wont be for everyone. i wonder if they still plan to have it be soloable or not?   

  11. I think the hidden words in a blue post are: if you farm enough in Hell you can solo A1/A2 Inferno easily and for later parts (A3/A4) teaming is advised. At least for HC. 😉

    • Pretty sure the hidden words in the blue post is this m8  8)

      1) You’ll get your ass handed to ya if ya ever dare venturing into the abyss (inferno) unprepared bitches !  
      2) Ready for another decade of farming! Hell yeah 😈  

    • wouldnt teaming always be advised to lower cahnces of your own character death? At least for HC. 😉 All content will be soloable though… mark my words. play with caution or just group up with random barbarians to jump in the fray first. lol :mrgreen:

  12. So I guess they are going the Mlvl=61 for Inferno Act 1, Mlvl=62 for Inferno Act 2, ect. route?

    Sounds fine to me. Just make those purple items worth it! (if we ever get to see any on the website before launch…)

  13. So the promised endgame is the same as D2….except now you don’t even get the small incentive of gaining lvls. Yay? Apparently their new design philosophy is “if some idea is a bit troublesome, let’s replace it with something dull and unimaginative”.

    • The game is a very big failure. I don’t even think about it as a Diablo game since it has absolutely zero Diablo feel with it’s art, monster design, voiceacting, music, symbolic details, atmosphere, lore and story but it’s still a big failure from gameplay standpoint. I can understand it’s no Diablo game since Blizzard North is no more but I can’t accept the fact that it turned out to be a bad game.

      Visceral combat feel and destructibles are awesome but everything else is 0 to 4 out of 10. I mean everything. From so-called randomly genrated dungeons to itemization. From skill and rune system to resources. From the look of it end game is no different. It’s even worse considering there won’t be PvP for awhile.

      • why do you still come here?  seriously…

        [edit] I don’t mean to say go the ^&!# away. I’m genuinely wondering why you still come here. For months, most of your posts are super negative. Why follow a game you despise? I’m no fan of FPS games anymore even tho I loved them a long time ago. I don’t go around FPS game forums trolling on how hard I hate “insert name here” game.

        • They have too much bile accumulated in them, so in order to stay healthy, they need to let it go somewhere.

        • Because D3 was supposed to be the game that is the end-game of games, yet its development decisions upset many Diablo franchise fans, who cannot release their frustrations in ways other than giving criticizing speeches here.

          Like me, although I tend to be a bit more ambiguous. 

        • I rarely visit the site already… I just wanted to share my final thoughts about d3 as Diablo franchise fan.

          On an another note I decided not to buy Blizzard games anymore in 2010. So it means I won’t buy D3 no matter what and the beta made me happy about my decision.

        • this site is for D2 also.. its just the front page gets flooded with d3 nowadays. and yes ppl still play d2

      • Give that “Game must suck, cause Blizz north aint here anymore” speech a rest dude 🙂 They are busy creating TL2 which hopefully is alot better than the 1st one LOL…. Worst game ever rofl. played 1 day completed it and deleted the game! 

        Im gonna look forward to not having to team up with you m8 in HC 😉  

      • Funny thing is yovargas and permaximum will be the first 2 people in line for the midnight launch release 🙂

        • Hahaha. I won’t even buy the game for a penny. This is a poor effort to convince other people with doubts to buy the game.

      • Permaximum, D3 beta is so much fun to me. I also play Path of Exile. Yes, POE has better graphics, better shadows and lights but the animations of D3 are better and when I hit the enemies in D3, it`s like 10 times more fun than in POE. I think this is the secret magic of Diablo series… Killing monsters are always much more fun than in other Arpgs. For example, just try Barbarian`s Cleave skill with the first Rune in beta it`s soo much fun, I really love it. Blizzard knows how to make it smooth and fun. Even though graphics are not great, imo this game is the most fun to play

        • As you can read my previous post, I praised D3’s combat feel. Also I agree with the fact that killing demons/monsters in Diablo games are more fun than other games and it’s a very important aspect. Unfortunately that alone is not enough in D3.

          As for POE, there’s only one animator in GGG and they don’t have the huge time and resources Blizzard had for D3.  Believe me, I’ve talken to lead producer of PoE about this countless times. Unfortunately varied and impactful animations are more about time and money especially in a game with realistic art. PoE suffers some other problems too and I have been very vocal about them. So, I wouldn’t suggest anyone to play PoE until the open beta at least which is supposed to come in summer. But delay is very probable.

          Currently the only Action-RPG MMO I’m really waiting for is Marvel Heroes (long awaited Marvel Universe MMO). There are members from Blizzard North , Maxis, Crystal Dynamics, Shaba, Wizards of the Coast and the creator of Diablo, David Brevik is the president of the developer and publisher company which explains why he hired many ex-members of Blizzard North. I don’t think it will be an isometric game if we consider it’s developed by Unreal Engine 3. Unfortunately very limited info is known about the game atm.

  14. This makes so much more sense now.  Inferno is officially just another difficulty level, as it should have been all along.  The idea of a happy world where act 1-4 was all the same was nice, but in practice, it would have meant no matter how ard it was, as you started getting inferno only gear, it would get easier.  I like this.

    Want to slowly, painfully farm the best of the best gear?  Head to A4
    Want to deystroy hordes of demons and go for quanity over quality?  Head to A1  

  15. I was so looking forward to the flat, boring,”who cares” difficulty too….Way to go Blizz, finally wised up!

  16. If there’s no difference between how Hell and Inferno works, just cut Inferno and make the lvl cap 50. Ugh. This is so very, very stupid.

    • So your advice is for Blizz to cut 10 lvls, aka giving us a lesser experience for the same amount of cash 🙂 Makes perfect sense to me  😆

      Forward this excellent idea to Blizz HQ 

      • If 4 is better than 3, than 5 must be better than 4! Let’s add a SUPER-Inferno mode that’s exactly like the last mode!

  17. I’m very unhappy about the change … i really enjoied when they anounced inferno. Eventually every good player will be able to farm 4th act inferno and that will be the area that everyone is farming. In D2 my fav act was the 1st act… if this is the case in D3 i’ll be forced to farm an area that’s not my favorite. Reall bummer for me 🙁  

    • Much of act 2 was my favorite, especially the palace (I liked the music there). I hated the lag on Duriel though and I’ve hit some lag spikes on beta so I’m hoping there aren’t any places where that kind of instant death can happen in D3.

      I’m curious about how this change affects the AH… Would there be a smaller pool of items on sale because the best drop only at the end and fewer people will make it that far? I’m assuming most people will hold off on their purchases unless it’s something that completes their “build”? 

  18. So basically what they’re saying is… Inferno now has an identical purpose to Hell difficulty in Diablo 2.
    Then why even add the extra difficulty level? Going through the main quest line over and over and over, gah.

    • Because inferno is just not ONE step more difficult than hell. Its the ultimate difficulty which will still test your skills. like a bonus stage, its very hard. 

      I dont know how other people sees Inferno. But my view is something like this 1-2-3-5 (where 1 is normal, and so on)

  19. I find this encouraging; it shows they are putting some serious care into tuning the endgame portion of D3 and tailoring it to the specifically serious crowd. It shows they are putting real care into their product.

  20. Really disappointed…so in the end, I have to farm in Inferno Act 4 because only there I will get the best loot. I was looking forward to actually farm through all 4 acts and have a lot of variation but there goes Blizzard 180 on us once again.
    Yeah I know, I can still farm like Act 1 and have a chance on getting a decent upgrade but that doesn’t change the fact that it is way less efficient and basically gimping yourself.
    Hurray for no endgame = same shit as D2 😐

      • I fell you man, inferno officially has no point. Crossing my fingers that blizz will turn around this decision.

      • @Davidus: Just to let you know, not everyone was a huge D2 fan. I certainly think it’s a good game but I liked D1 way better and the lack of an endgame in D2 was exactly what made the game boring for me in the long term. I didn’t play D2 for years.
        Good for you if you don’t care or if you are perfectly okay with the change, no sarcasm. Just don’t assume everybody was in love with D2 like crazy.
        I hope they deliver PvP fast or I will probably get bored sooner than I like to.

        • Here is a novel idea: Why dont you wait till the game comes out, play your favorite character up too Inferno, get your ass kicked then revise your opinion. My point is without playing it you have no idea how it will be, so enough with the complaining.

        • You can still salvage any item in Inferno and get the same craftmats to craft gear and YES crafted gear can be the best endgame gear.
          Besides Act1 might drop the best legendary ring and Act4 might drop the best legendary armor… or whatever… you show some easy way to give your hopes up so fast, pfff.

  21. Seriously … what’s the point in the inferno now? Just another dificulty? Why not add another one inferno+ and make gear even more powerfull in that dificulty … oh and why not even another inferno++???

    • Has everyone forgotten that Inferno is not “just another step” ? Its the final and hardest mode you can get! NOTHING compared to hell!

      I might be wrong. but my point makes more sense than just a small little ramp up in difficulty.

  22. I plan on playing only hardcore from the start. I’m starting to get really terrified about Inferno. There better be some friggin awesome achievements for taking a hardcore toon through Inferno Act IV.

  23. Don’t like it, now Inferno is just another dificulty level. How does it make it diffrent from D2 end content ? Besides that we can’t out level it.
    I liked previous idea, when I can play wherever I like and still get same loot. And now we will get the same, “farming last act over and over again” instead of running around through all acts. Yes, Inferno is supposed to be extremely hard and it will take me a lot of time to finish it on hardcore, but I just can’t see how softcore players with infinite number of lives can’t finish it off.

  24. Summary: We had an idea for this flat difficulty level at the end so you could play anywhere. I know we said it was going to be awesom, but it turns out that it actually sucks. So now instead it’s just a straight up 4th difficulty… errr I mean it’s now a super awesom new challenge that’s totally different to the previous 3 difficulty levels.

  25. Oh please .. I hate mindless zombies claiming that D3 inferno = D2 hell, D3 hell = D2 nightmare etc ..
    D3 difficulty compared to D2 will be light years away. Why?
    1. Combat dynamic – in D2 monsters had 1 affix and player used 2 offensive skills (except teleport), in D3 monsters have up to 4 affixes (some types and combinations will be really lethal) and player will use 6 active skills (defensive skills and CCs come into play as well). Trying to compare difficulty between D2 and D3 is like trying to compare arcade raptor to flight simulator combat. Seriously guys, wake up.
    2. Player will no longer outlevel monsters on inferno.
    3. Blizzard needs end game to be really difficult because of RMAH and healthy economics.
    With this change I expect the first act on Inferno to be less difficult compared to previous concept. However there will be still difficulty increase like between nightmare and hell. The main reason behind this change is fact that Blizzard will be able to set a incredible difficulty in Act 3, 4 for elite players. 

    • HoneyBadger, I’m on your side…but elite monsters in D2 could have up to 3 or 4 affixes. and ES FE / MS LEs are really really deadly…
      Again, I’m on your side, but some facts needed straightening out

    • HoneyBadger doesnt give a damn! lol sorry i couldnt resist and i do also agree. I was going to post something very similar but you beat me to it 😛

  26.  You know, i assumed that Inferno would just have all the waypoints available from the start, and you could choose when you wanted to play it right away without having to finish the acts again for the 4th time… because otherwise it is just another new difficulty level and we’ll just again end up with everyone that can read a online guide farming the final act…

    • That is actually a really good idea! I did not think of that and is probably how inferno should be.

      •  It’s by o means a new idea… Guild Wars did it with it’s Hard mode, and they where hardly first, i just can’t think of any examples off the top of my head, but i’ve seen it plenty of times…

  27. I like how you people just ignore the reasons and call Blizzard liar about the difficulty even after this.
    “It still only for casuals”
    “why they give NO good reasons”


    I like the change. Good reasons. 

  28. It’s not like Inferno mode as a fourth difficulty setting didn’t sound like another strike from Blizzard’s very own content-recycling-squad all along, but really? Axing the last small bit of a twist that “feature” could have provided? Continueing with this kind of logic, developing Ureh and/or other settings for Acts V and VI for future expansions seems like a waste of developement budget – why not just add two even higher difficulty settings for those existing twenty hours of story/content they had so much success in repeating all over again? Sometimes you have to wonder if they were actually to see any problems in providing more difficulty levels/repetition schemes for a game than story chapters.
    I cannot help the feeling that their “internal playtesting” thought-terminating cliché at this point somehow suggests that all those planned fantastic post-release additions to end-game content meant to plug into Inferno mode are already far down the same route D2 guild halls took …

    •  Yeah, the repeating content for the 4th time was the reason why i assumed that Inferno would have all waypoints available from teh start and one could just play where they liked… because frankly redoing the same thing 3 times was too much already…

  29. I see one major problem with this.  Either itemization in inferno is going to be mostly flat and the later acts will be much more challenging so that no one will choose to play the later acts for more than the sake of the challenge and completion once and then farm the early acts.  Or the itemization will significantly progress and players will push towards the later acts and only play them because they contain the best loot and not want to touch the earlier acts because it just isn’t good enough for the loot.

    I just don’t see them balancing this out in a way that is legitimately better than just making it all flat in both items and difficulty. 

    • “Either itemization in inferno is going to be mostly flat […] Or the itemization will significantly progress”
      That’s not an either or, there is a whole spectrum of middle ground inbetween.

      • Except such a situation would negate any reason for adding progression to inferno in the first place.  If it is in the middle ground then why would they not just leave it as a flat difficulty because you don’t really gain anything otherwise. If they are looking to just add new challenges, there are less boring ways of doing so without ruining the variety we had with the flat difficulty inferno.

      • The only middle ground is that the items will mildly progress, which still make the last act items better then the 1st act ones, and thus everyone will just farm the last act…

  30. We already bought and downloaded the game so I wonder do they make those changes to “patch in” after release?

    • Of course.  Day one patches are the norm these days.  It’s even common among console games.

    • Technically we’ve just downloaded the installer. That will grab the files from the server to actually install them on our PCs, so they can do whatever they want to the files server-side.

  31. Why are people saying that Inferno is “just another difficulty level” when it functions quite differently than the previous? And Diablo 2 Hell wasn’t really challenging at all since you eventually just outleveled all the clevel 85 monsters.  Inferno is different: 1) You can’t level through content to constantly have the upper hand on monsters 2) Monsters actually will outlevel the player and be a constant challenge

    • But it is execly like 3 previous difficulty levels. The only diffrence is that you can’t out level mobs, they are out leveling you. And that’s it. Everything else is execly the same, you have to make all quests again, it’s getting harder all the time, which means best loot drops at the end of difficulty, it means you can’t farm wherever you want, you are forced to farm 4th act, becuase that’s where the best gear drops.
      So how is it diffrent ?

    • I’m not gonna say Inferno is the same as the other difficulties because I don’t know yet, but I’m not impressed by level arguments.  Levels can be arbitrary and it’s basically just a matter of semantics, if they slide the level scale up 15 level and called the old clvl 85 monsters clvl 100 and adjusted their stats to compensate for any level difference calculations then it’s still the same thing even though you’re not ‘outleveling’ the content.
      I’m not saying I think inferno will be easy or hard, I won’t know that until I can play it, but I’m not impressed simply by them slapping monster levels that are higher than the player level cap, you shouldn’t be either.

  32. I doubt they have learned over the last few years how “hardcore” (insane dumb in the brain) some people are, therefore I guess we will see inferno difficulty be done within the first month after release if there arent any design based barriers that have a natural time delay to them.

  33. “We expect that anybody with enough time and dedication will reach level 60.”

    is it really going to be that difficult to reach level 60 ?  
    is it really going to take time and dedication ? 

    I think reaching level 90 in D2 = “time and dedication” 
    but I always thought everyone would be level 60 in 3-4 weeks of D3  

  34. For all that says that softcore players just can get through it with enough time.. No. its not that simple. A person that actually lacks the talent/reaction/IQ/interest/energy to figure out how to shine in Infenrno, will not succeed no matter how much time they spend there. If they keep dying over and over and over and over and over and over again, they might give up as early as Nightmare.

    Point is, if stuff gets really really hard, only a true dedicated supergamer will succeed and enjoy it. The rest will figure its better to spend some time with their wives, or whatever rl thingies they have that could distract them from playing games all days.

    • Actually, there’s another way to keep enjoying the game besides beating your head against Inferno, which is to keep making new chars and playing from the start 🙂 That is mostly what I did in D2… I played for years but only finished Hell difficulty once. I like character development, but I don’t like the grind, i.e. replaying areas for gear.
      Don’t know how I will feel about Inferno, have to wait to see, but if I DO play through it, I think I will be happy with this change… with Act I easier than Act IV.
      I actually expect to get farther in D3 than I did in D2, for one reason: forced twinking :p That was something I entirely avoided in D2 but in D3 it is not really avoidable… by the time you’ve leveled one of every class through Hell, you should have fully leveled crafters and a big stash full of spare gear and mats. Which means that the longer you play the easier the game gets even without grinding (or the AH).

  35. This is actually a very good move by Blizzard in terms of replayability/game longevity. The long term item hunt is a big factor in keeping players “logged in,” so to speak, but it’s important to have a level of challenge to keep the game play from becoming stale or boring. I’ve been enjoying Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning quite a bit – the character abilities are fun to use and the combat can be very entertaining (especially with crazy physics/ragdoll animations). However the game overall is very light on the challenge scale, especially at max char. level and doesn’t hold my attention as much as it used to.

    In contrast, I had to scratch my Diablo II itch yet again and started playing with a Bowazon in SP. Just for fun, I tried pumping up the players x function (up to 4) – it made my first foray into the Barracks feel more like Nightmare diff rather than Normal. While I don’t count myself as one of the “crazy hardcore” group, I like the idea of the scaling difficulty and it will give the more powerful items even more value in order to deal with increasingly dangerous challenges.

    • And once people master Inferno they can just add dif #5, then 6, 7 and 8… perfect re-playability… 😉

  36. One of the best changes they have made yet. Hoping Inferno act 3+ is going to be as hard as they make it sound.
    Ok seriously making us watch adds to post makes me sad. 🙁

  37. It makes sense. And they have tested it so they know what they are talking about.

    I believe that difficulty should really be in proportion to the progression. But, I don’t want a scenario wherein a pack of mobs in Inferno Act IV is a lot stronger than the final boss fight of Inferno Act I. While I want the challenge to be progressively harder, I still want that “Act Bosses” should be the hardest of all fights. I still want the challenge like what Duriel offered to the table.

  38. I also like the change, it makes sense. And it makes more sense, because Blizzard did it after feedback from internal testing.
    I have a feeling that Duriel will be a little kid compared with D3’s act bosses. 🙂

  39. So, basically, although they figured that doing inferno with equal difficulty throughout would be awesome™, they couldn’t figure out how to make it work in a timely fashion, so they rolled back to a well understood mechanism that was more easily implemented so they can get it out the door before the universe ends. Kinda like what they did with runes.

    And now they’re telling us how good of an idea it is. That it’s actually better this way, and they’re doing it this way for the sake of the game, and not because they’re pressed for time. Like the runes. Right. Gotcha. Whatever you say, Bashiok.

    Oh, and this has nothing to do with why Steve Parker unceremoniously quit shortly before the launch. I’m sure these relatively last minute design changes had nothing to do with it. Not at all.

  40. Did you hear that the expansion will have a no new acts or characters but a difficulty called insane double plus where it’s the same 4 acts again but every monster has every ability and a million life?  

  41. Sounds cool, but I’m suspicious. Keep in mind today was the last business day before April 1st. Maybe we’re just being primed for a gag on Sunday.

  42. Flat difficult doesn’t matter to me.  Flat farming potential does.  If you get 1 rare every 4 champions in Act 1 and Act 4 takes 3x as much time/effort to wade through the baddies, then make it so you get 3 rares every 4 champions in Act 4 with the same chance at affixes on both.  Want to mow through things quickly for an okay chance at great items?  Go to Act 1.  Want to make a steady effort in a long game where you’re sure to be rewarded as you progress?  Go to act 4!

    Although I liked the original idea for Inferno, a linear difficult doesn’t have to mean there isn’t a linear reward progression. 

  43. i have the feeling that as much as we cap our level at 60 that the monter level will increase to 99. we will need to grind a dangerous act 1 to get the gear to survive…let alone make it to act 2.  this might be where it takes a month to finish an act.

  44. Opinion warning!!!
    Inferno should be called Abyss. In Abyss difficulty the general feel and monster AI should become more evil. Changed. Darker atmosphere, more aggressive monsters, hidden quests and more elaborate traps never seen before.

    Remember in Super Mario World (SNES) when you beat the star road levels and beat all the hidden star road levels? The entire world changed, albeit more silly sprites.

    But this kind of endgame would be something more to strive for. Various patches over time could squeak in a small new quest, area or item. Anything but just another difficulty. What do you think?

    • I agree it should be called Abyss. I associate that with a more darker atmosphere than Inferno. But can’t expect too much smart choices from Blizzard these days…

  45. People seem not to realize that with flat difficulty people will still farm the same act over and over which will be the shortest or easiest act eventhough they said it will be flat difficulty but there will certainly be the easiest act to farm gear.

    • Not if they tweak it the way they said they would so that it was even.  It seems this is their way of saying ‘we’re too lazy to do that so here, have this instead’.  

  46. The amount of hypocrisy displayed by some of you hardcore dudes is hilarious. For months and months, people have complained that certain aspects of this game are not EXACTLY (and I mean exactly) like D2, down to the art, skill system, interface, way the mouse pointer looks and the number of hairs in Deckard Cain’s beard. And so, they propose changing the final difficulty of D3 to mimic the experience in D2 and anyone can do is scream bloody murder that the devs are idiots and lacking innovation and that it will be horrible. Forgive me, but I thought D2 was the absolute apex of your video game experience and that its mindless loot lottery machine glory of a last difficult was all you wanted to have again.  Go back, spend however many hours it takes to get a character up to 90 (or hell, 99, since gaining levels is so important) and leave the rest of the community in peace. 

    • The whole point of Inferno was so that we wouldn’t get another Baal run situation, which even the hardcorest gamers agreed was needed…
       This change = “we made Baal runs so hard guys, even less of you will do them… problem fixed…”

  47. Why is it whenever Blizzard announces something starting with “there’s a wide variety of players out there” I KNOW I am going to hate what’s coming next? It’s the equivalent of saying “some of our special players need help tying their shoelaces and we are going to do just that”.

    “we wanted to make sure everybody had something to sink their teeth into.” They already have! They can experience the whole fucking content from start to finish three times over. Let it be enough for your “casuals”, leave at least one fucking difficulty dedicated to the rest of the players.

    Although we don’t know just how difficult this “really, really brutally hard” actually is, if they changed inferno act 1 to be accessible to anyone eventually, then it can’t possibly be hard enough. Unless they took that huge jump in difficulty and moved it forward from act 1 inferno to act 2 inferno, which would be idiotic.

  48. Everytime they release some new info about how brutally hard the game gets, I get really fired up to play… like they have heard the fans complaining about the difficulty for so long and have thrown down the gauntlet.  Problem is we haven’t had a chance to play any remotely hard content yet so we have no idea what we are about to go through.  They do know, which is why they went with SOME progression in Inferno. 

    I felt like this was going to happen anyway, cause how do you make an act 1 zombie as hard to fight as some act 4 badass mob we haven’t dealt with yet? Mob/act diversity/progression is a good thing and will keep it interesting longer for the real hardcore players.  I can’t f’ing wait!!!!!

  49. I liked the idea of a flat difficulty better, now we just have to play the game 4 times instead of 3 lol

  50. @steveman0  It will happen no matter what because there’s no way each act will have the same lenght and people will choose the shortest one to farm.

  51. Look the thing is, i’m a good player eventually i’ll be farming act IV … because thats the place where best loot is. I’m obligated to do that, let’s say that i liked act 3 in D3 better. I won’t be doing that cause i get better loot in act4

    bashiok explanation just didn’t cut it, what appears to me is that they couldn’t balance inferno well enough with their time frame and just did this and that is bs.

  52. Err wait guys, the promise Inferno difficulty was going to provide a unique end-game is now no more then a watered down version of D2’s Hell, but then without the bonus of leveling? And everyone is like “OMG this is so great, thank you Blizzard for wasting everyones time on something as obviously flawed as a flat end-game difficulty”?

    It occurs to me that the first few pages of news here are spammed by the same mindless fanboy drones, and those with the ability to critically think (a virtue it seems these days) are giving up on this abortion of a game or just don’t give a shit anymore.

    • Your name is fitting.  Are you kidding me?  Hell in D2 wasn’t hard after lvl 80!  It was a joke, especially since you can rush to 80 in a very short period of time.  Inferno as described promises an extensive grind where the time invested is months, not hours.  Seriously, take off the rose colored glasses and step on them.  Are you on US-East?  Lets roll a “Hell” game some time and tell me that it sounds ANYTHING like what Bashiok just said.  Then again, I’ll probably just hostile up on you and call it a day.

      Troll was successful at roping in a fanboy. Congrats, you get a star.

      • Cool story bro, please keep your naive drivle to yourself next time, thanks.
        Captcha: “foregone conclusion”

  53. *Sets time machine for 44 days from now*

    *Gets pissed that time machine is just an empty cardboard box*

  54. So, with this setup, you’ll farm Hell until you get to lvl 60 / good enough gear for Act 1 Inferno. Grind Act 1-2 Inferno until you get good enough gear for Act 3-4 Inferno, then play Act 3-4 Inferno for ever and ever and ever? Sounds like this really will be the last game I’ll probably ever really play.

    • Don’t forget about Guild Wars 2.  Play Diablo and Guild Wars 2 and you are set with RPGs for a long time.  Then when you are finally bored there will be expansion packs.

  55. This change makes no sense to me. They could have achieved the same result by making the later acts of Hell difficulty drop end-game items in low quantities – kinda like how Act 1 Inferno is supposed to do now – and then retaining the über hard flat difficulty level for Inferno. I thought the flat difficulty mechanic for Inferno was a very smart move that would enable and stimulate people to enjoy the whole game, not just the very last portions of it.
    It really surprises me how a lot of people seem to applaud this change. It’s a step back, not a step forward. What is Inferno offering now, that couldn’t be achieved by just making Hell difficulty harder?

  56. The problem with any fixed difficulty end game content is that people will outgrow it. If they balance inferno for only the absolute best gear and skill choices, then very few people would be able to complete it, and the characters that can will be very similar to one another. If they balance it for a range of skill sets and gear, then there will be a group of characters than will be breezing through the content.
    I think an infinite dungeon would be a great addition to the end game. Since it always will get harder, everyone will be able to find a point that fits their skill and gear level.

  57. Some good points made above, but I disagree with some of it too.

    * I agree that it seems strange to define a fourth difficulty level with the same mechanics are the third level.  Having a fourth with different mechanics – flat monster levels, immediately enabled waypoints to everywhere, etc. made sense.  Having a fourth difficulty level with the same mechanics makes less sense.  As stated earlier, why not just increase the difficulty of Act III/IV Hell and then make all of Inferno super hard?

    * Since Bashiok mentioned *progressing* through Inferno, I assume that the waypoints to all places were *not* automatically available.  You had to play through it linearly to get to all the locations.  So they did not implement a ‘go anywhere right away’ mechanic.

    * I do worry how they can make an expansion that doesn’t goof up the balance and character vs. monster level.  I didn’t think D2 LOD was great in this area, and unfortunately you probably don’t get the “A” development team for expansions.  They’ve moved on to the Next Big Thing, and you get the “B” guys doing expansions potentially.

    * I would *not* assume this was a date-related change, or that Blizzard is pandering to the clueless noobs.  It will actually take *more* time to balance everything if monster / difficult levels are increasing, loot rates are increasing, etc. as you progress through Inferno.  It would actually have been a lot easier for Blizzard to balance things if they were flat throughout all of Inferno.

    * Did anyone else find it funny that Bashiok said “Inferno monster levels aren’t linear any longer. They get progressively more difficult. Our original intent was to have a flat difficulty level where you could go wherever you want …”.  Um, math fail?  Linear is not the same as flat.  Linear = changing at a fixed rate.  Flat means ‘mlevel = 62’.  Linear means ‘mlevel = 62 + act’ (or whatever).

  58. If you went to hell in D2 it’s -100 resistances.

    What kind of handicaps do you think we get when starting out on Inferno or even NM/Hell for that matter?

Comments are closed.