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    A fan brought up one of my favorite suggestions for improving Diablo 3: dropping one of the four redundant difficulty levels and streamlining the reroll process, which new datamined info seems to suggest Blizzard is actually going to do:

    If they are merging nightmare and hell into one and having inferno as the 3rd I don’t think it would be all that bad. I’d rather play through the game 3 times instead of 4. But if they are doing this why not just keep the names normal, nightmare, and hell like they did in d1 and d2. why break tradition. Or they could be adding a 5th difficulty. Unlock torment difficulty after beating act 5 inferno mp10???
    Grimiku: We’d like to give players more control over the difficulty settings, and we’re looking at ways to accomplish that. It’s a little early to share any details, but there was an interview prior to gamescom where Josh Mosqueira shared some of his thoughts about it. He mentions (at 7:30) that Diablo III has a great engine, but we constrain some of it’s awesome potential by forcing players to replay the same Acts, quest, and levels over and over.

    should reaper of souls drop a difficulty levelThe Blue reply is meant purely to spur discussion, so lets! The interview Grimiku linked to is one I conducted with Josh and Wyatt back before Gamescom, and it’s kind of beside the point since back then we had to pretend that a fifth act and a higher level cap weren’t certain features for the expansion. Now Act 5 and level 70 have been confirmed, but there are other big changes coming to difficulty levels that will change everything.

    According to RoS datamining: 1) Monster Power is (apparently) being entirely changed from MP1-10 to a 0-5 difficulty thing a lot like the MP options on the Console. 2) Nightmare is being removed and a difficulty level called “Torment” is replacing it, and perhaps Hell as well?

    Click through for details on that, plus speculation and argument.

     

    Datamining: New “Torment” Difficulty Level

    Newly-added achievements datamined from the current test version of Reaper of souls:

    • Kill the Butcher without being burned by floor fires or being grabbed by Ancient Spear on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill the Butcher in under 2 minutes on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill the Butcher while he is stunned by his own charge attack on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill 10 Veiled Sentinels in the first 30 seconds of starting the fight with Belial on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill Belial without getting hit by his breath attack on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Destroy the Demon Gates before any Demon Troopers can spawn while fighting Azmodan on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill Azmodan without walking over the bloody demonic ground on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill Azmodan without getting hit by a fireball on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill Azmodan without killing any of his minions on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill Diablo without getting trapped in a spike trap and without dying on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Fight and kill 5 clones of yourself in Diablo’s Realm of Terror on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill Diablo without using any health globes or healing wells on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • This loading screen tip has been removed:
    • TIP024 – Defeating Normal difficulty will unlock the next difficulty setting, Nightmare.

    There’s been some speculation that Torment would be a new highest level difficulty, something reached after Inferno. That seems unlikely, given all of the “on Torment or higher” lines. Instead, it seems like Torment is replacing Nightmare and perhaps Hell as well. Compare those datamined strings to the current Butcher achievements:

    Current Achievements:

    • DiabloWikiStunning Reversal — Kill the Butcher while he is stunned by his own charge attack on Nightmare difficulty or higher.
    • DiabloWikiDon’t Stand in the Fire! — Kill the Butcher without being burned by floor fires or being grabbed by Ancient Spear on Hell difficulty or higher.
    • New Datamined achievements:
    • Kill the Butcher while he is stunned by his own charge attack on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • Kill the Butcher without being burned by floor fires or being grabbed by Ancient Spear on Torment difficulty or higher.
    • There you have current achievements for Nightmare or higher and Hell or higher, replaced by two identical achievements for Torment or higher. It doesn’t prove Nightmare and Hell are being combined into one new Torment difficulty level, but it’s certainly evidence pointing in that direction.

       

      Arguments for One Fewer Difficulty Level

      We debated the difficulty thing on the last podcast, and arrived at some key points:

    • In D3V at least, the *real* game begins in Inferno; bonus content, end game equipment, all skills available, MP1+ monster density, etc.
    • D3V is balanced to 30/50/60 progression. RoS and Act 5 could retain Hell and rebalance to something like a 35/55/70 progression? Or turn up exp gain and just do it to 40/70 and then right into Inferno.
    • The fifties are fearsome now; harder Hell enemies, crappy sub-60 equipment, and it’s boring to do all the content a third time when you just want to get to Inferno.
    • Currently, characters can not handle Inferno at lvl 55ish, unless using miraculous -req twinked gear. (Even if there was no lvl 60 requirement to enter Inferno.)
    • That might not be true of Inferno in RoS, with lvl 63+ gear good enough to survive Inferno in the early going?
    • If Torment replaces NM + Hell it seems like we’ll get redistributed experience progress, 40/70/Inferno, basically. Perhaps the devs will rework the exp curve to produce faster leveling, or just by enabling DiabloWikiNephalem Valor stacks at lower levels they’ll guarantee that characters gain exp faster than in the current system?

      That aside, the big cliff between 59 and 60 doesn’t seem to be repeating at 69 to 70 in RoS. If that’s the case, maybe the devs can remove or loosen the level requirements to advance to the next difficulty level?

      The point of those 30/50/60 hard limits in D3V seems to be to prevent the most exploitative rushing, and the 60 limit to enter Inferno is almost irrelevant since no character in sub-lvl 60 gear (unless it’s -req stuff) can survive Inferno anyway. But with good gear starting at level 60 in RoS there’s not going to be a need to limit Inferno to level 70. Especially given that characters may have hundreds of DiabloWikiParagon Points before max level, boosting their abilities.

       

      Ladders and Rerolling?

      Finally… if you’re playing softcore and want to not care about this because you’ve never rerolloed, remember that we’re going to get DiabloWikiladders at some point, and that the Diablo 3 Ladder system will presumably require you to start new characters from scratch each season, probably without any twinks and carried over Paragon points. If you’re going to ladder you’re going to reroll, hardcore or softcore, and you really don’t want to waste those hours grinding through Hell again, before getting to all the real perks and fun stuff in Inferno… do you?

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