The Diablo 3 Podcast #35: INFERNO!

The recently-revealed Inferno serves as Diablo 3?s highest difficulty level. Flux, Neinball, and The Eliminator jump into the fire and fan the flames of this burning issue.

The thirty-fifth episode of The Diablo Podcast is now online for your listening pleasure. On this show, Flux, Neinball, and The Eliminator jump into the fire and fan the flames of this burning issue… INFERNO.

Inferno is Hell to the second power; Acts 1-4 repeated again, but with higher level monsters, new and more dangerous random boss properties, and the best possible items in the game. Inferno is said to be a “flat” difficulty, with Act One about as hard/rewarding as Act Four, to encourage players to use the entire game, rather than just running the most rewarding, not-too-hard areas in Act Four. Can Blizzard pull this off with any kind of balance? Won’t one or two areas always be the easest/tastiest, and thus crowded with min/maxing players? Diablo 3 Podcast Episode Guide in provides links to every show, plus quick summaries.

Tagged As: | Categories: End Game, Inferno, The Diablo 3 Podcast


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  1. I’m all for the infinite dungeon idea, with a modicum of new content.  Make it the endless corridors of the zombified imagination of a dead god or the halls of bedlam where crazy souls go…something that fits into the story.  Torchlight has one that is just a repetition of the tilesets of the main game, which is why DIII should one-up it by having a small amount of spice in the form of content not found elsewhere in the game.

  2. Actually regarding Diablo´s look in the street art, the artist had never before heard of Diablo games, and had no clue who Lord of Terror was. So, Blizzard hired him, and sent him some artwork and pictures to give him basic idea of what he will be drawing. There was a short interview (I think 2 mins long) with the artist. I speak some German, and there was german guy in the comments who translated it as well. 

    Regarding Inferno, I really like the idea of fourth, flat difficulty mode, so I am definatly pro-Inferno. As far as future upgrades, I do like the idea of master dungeon which a lot of older RPGs had, basically, really long dungeon (usually 50 or 100 floors) with each floor having random enemies and tilesets, that get progressivly tougher deeper/higher you go. And super powerfull monster, equal in power to Act Boss, every 10 or 20 levels, with 100th (or whataver level) having super-boss. The Only problem with this is of course balance, since it would be practically impossible to balance it so that inferno main is still viable for farming, while at the same time to give enough incentive to go farm in the super dungeon. Especially with powefull bosses every set number of levels.

  3. They had said inferno is a “Flat difficulty level” it does not get any harder from beginning to end, Also they stated they would intelligently distribute the type of loot each monster/boss drops and if any one boss is overly farmed they fix it. By fix it they probably mean move that piece of gear to some other boss/monster.

  4. i think an issue that’s preventing inferno from becoming what it SHOULD be is the fact that they are trying to make it as “even across the board as possible” — within the existing world. In the podcast they mention several methods to solve this problem with area shrines or wahtever, but the problem like i said is really putting into a world where you are free to go where you want. Progression of the game (as in act 1 zombies vs act4 super villains) have an effect (why would a weenie zombie drop the same as a super monster in act4). map design could also have an effect on travel time and monster crowds.

    so what’s the point of having different areas and different creature types if you plan to not have any areas that offer more rewards than the others? basically what they are proposing is a glorified cow level. all cows are the same and can drop all the same stuff no matter what part of cow town you’re in. and then you can have a cow mini-boss evenly spaced throughout the map with a minimum radius between bosses or someothing to even them out.

    or you can have the master dungeon idea like trtrtr said, and parasite eve comes to mind: after you beat the game maybe the 2nd time through, you climbed the empire state building or something, let’s say 100 floors, and as you progress you face various types of monsters on a set of randomized maps. or the tower defense. or maybe have the same d3 world but have a unique set of linear, randomized maps, so there IS only 1 way to go, and disable waypoints.

    basically, if they want you to play all areas and not skip/avoid any, they’ll have to make it so that’s the only way to go. whether that’s a different inferno environment or disabling waypoints, i don’t know.

  5. The problem I see with inferno is that they will not be able to just go with level 61 monsters that are the same as the rest of the game or else certain areas will be prone to farming.  If done that way people will find the zone with the easiest monster variety and farm away.  There only seem to be two logical ways to counter that:

    1) Give the monsters in each zone use of more powerful skills and abilities than they can normally access; basically making every enemy a super-unique by virtue of giving, for instance, zombies the ability to raise golems, cast bone walls, curses, etc. or

    2) Make the monsters that spawn in each zone completely random.  In the first case the normal monsters in the zone could become as difficult as the super-uniques, which doesn’t seem like it would be a heck of a lot of fun.  In the second case the zones could end up being rather annoying when you get a spawn of all casters in a zone with a layout like that of the Arcane Sanctuary of D2 where you have to cover a lot of ground before you can attack them (as melee anyway).  If some of those casters did cold damage, and without health globes dropping as you inch your way ever so slowly towards them, you could die before you get there.  I think the first scenario is more likely, and they will probably take pains to make sure that the spells they make available to the normal monsters don’t make them too powerful, but that just goes right back to people will just pick the easiest area and farm away.  Which means it won’t differ much from just farming whatever zone in Hell, except the drops will be better.
    I do have faith that they will come up with a solution that at least slows down farming.  They have had a lot of time to look at what did and didn’t work in Diablo 2 and all the changes they have made so far seem to be a direct result of fixing what didn’t work.

  6. I’m just gona throw out a crazy idea/”solution” i just thought up.

    What if they’d randomize the loot tables daily/weekly, this way there wouldn’t be any way to tell where the most profitable area’s are. Of course they’d have to have separate random tables for bosses an champions and such. 

    Just throwing it out there tell me what u guys think about it,

    greetz Neoa

    • well than no one could tell what they are looking for – in this case i would still farm the easiest to kill mobs.
      instead of getting that specific item iam looking for i would probably get something of equal value. i mean if no one can tell who drops what ; you would especially go for the weakest :p
      i mean you cant gauge how good the droprates are over such a short period of time – but you can gauge how fast you kill
      besides , i dont think it will be all that imbalanced , ofc i could be wrong, but i give them the benefit of the doubt ….

      and after all our knowledge is very limited ,
      chances are we`ll never exactly know droprates , i mean after all , the droptables are likely to be on the serverside – so the only way for us to measure drop rates would be to do it manually O_O – i mean in d2 you could datamine but d3 ? maybe the items themself but the droprate ?
      Diablo 3 is not even moddable like WoW – so we would literally have to count manually – or wait for hackers to find out for us … i dunno

  7. I lolled at the Divine Comedy reference!

  8. actually we do have a lot of words for wizards ands sorcerers in germany but we are very specific. we have different names for casters with different influences, i mean evil and good ones and religion and all that stuff. but inferno is a bit strange, because hell is the same in german kind of but inferno is just a huge firestorm, we use the same word inferno.
    very good podcast btw. but i hope that they won’t copy to much item affixes from wow, because they were kind of boring. the ones in d2 were pretty awesome, many of them useless like light radius but funny ones .
    and i hope they increase the number of affixes on items, because i remember one screenshot where an epic item just had about 6 affixes instead of in d2 10 or 12

  9. Yes in Portuguese Inferno means hell.

  10. So Blizz wants to discourage boss runs or whatever and encourage folks to explore / reuse all parts of all acts for inferno mode.

    Why not allow players to talk to a vendor and they will be granted a random scroll.  When used, the scroll spawns a portal that drops a player into a randomly selected, inferno-tuned location where they are given quests to clear certain areas and then get some sort of reward if they complete it.

    These could be:
    * A end-act boss run
    * An opening level quest sequence
    * An optional mid-act dungeon
    * Locate and kill a mid-act mini-boss
    * etc… the permutations could be increased over time as the dev team continues to carve out new mini-dungeon types

    This system would have to be made such that players cannot just keep respawning portals until the most optimal one shows up … then go run that (b/c we know 1 of then must be optimal / preferred).
    Perhaps you can only spawn a portal no more frequently than every 15 min.  So sure – if you want to sit on your hands for 15 min – so be it.  But otherwise you just run the portal section you’re given.


  11. Floydman beat me to the post. I was actually thinking of something a bit different, but in the same tune: how about a scavanger hunt kind of daily or repeatable quest. You start from a town NPC which gives you a scroll with a clue: go find <insert random superqunique> in zone X, randomly selected from the pool of zones. Zone can be left sufficiently ambiguous to have to explore a bit. Once you kill the said superunique, another scroll drops sending you after the next boss in another zone randomly selected. And so on until you get a final destination scroll which sends you after one last boss. Then the quest resets. 

    There could even be some randomization in how many steps the quest line will have, keeping the suspense up. More steps should give better chance of getting better loot and would encourage you to take the quest again hoping that the final scroll drops later and later. The scrolls that drop from each boss would basically be randomized themselves not just on the destination and type of boss they spawn, but also on the chance that they are final destination scrolls or not. The more steps you do the higher the chance that the next one is a final destination scroll, but there should be some small change that the questline continues.

    There could even an achievement for finishing a questline with 5 steps, 10 steps, etc. Getting a 9th scroll that is not final should be rare but should give a nice payoff too. That would provide for a lot of incentive to take the quest again, hoping to roll that rare long questline. Of course, you shouldn’t know how long the questline is until you get the final scroll, otherwise people would just abandon the quest and roll again.

  12. I love how someone was talking about dying so many times vs. Ubers that his corpses would fill the screen and then almost immediately after Flux scoffs at the 10% durability loss for dying in Diablo 3.

    Sure in Diablo 2 you would lose EXP when you died, but it wasn’t like you could lose a level. So for most people (those not trying to get to 99) once you completed your character build, dying had no penalties at all.

    So while the durability loss isn’t the end of the world, it still costs gold which will be a meaningful currency in Diablo 3. So I would argue that the penalty for dying in Diablo 3 is worse the Diablo 2.

    • Or you can just put on junk equipment and zerg bosses in D3 w/o any penalties of any sort. Should be a fairly tempting strategy for casters at least, since they’d still do decent spell damage with the bonuses from their jewelry. Also, we’ve no idea how common self repairing or indes gear will be in D3.

      The lack of inconvenience in D3 is what makes it seem such a slap on the wrist. In D2 the gold you dropped was meaningless, and the exp might not matter if you were just above a level up, but you always had to restart in town, w/o your gear, and had to work to get it back. if you died in a scary place you often had to start a new game. D3, in its always more “accessible” dev style, removed that, and players are now forced to wait a whole 2 seconds before restarting, right on their corpse or else very near where they died, with their full gear on, at full health, etc.

      Besides, the whole point of D3’s combat and health systems is that no monsters are of the super-dangerous, one-hit-kill type like the Ubers were in D2.

  13. I never understood why the hell do we see a guy dancing a wow dance in the diablo podcast title movie…

  14. Making 99’s in D2 was easy before they implented 1.10. I think I’ve made somewhere around 15-20 chars hitting 99 on HC LOD in about 3 years.

  15. I think wow was mentioned to many times for a Diablo game. The problem I see coming is they are making Diablo III “wow like”.

    “item focused” and “end game”, why didn’t they just call it World of Daiblo or WoD.

  16. Also proposed in that thread was a quest generator.  Torchlight has that too, in the form of two NPC’s that ask you to either ‘get this random item for XP and gold’ or ‘Kill this randomly generated monster for XP and gold’   I know there is a baseline level of silliness in the concept of a series of rooms that just goes on forever filled with monsters possibly carrying great items, but to me it seems harder and more time-consuming to implement a quest generator with enough variation to keep it from feeling like office work where you’re clicking through the same formulaic flavor text over and over.

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