The Diablo Podcast #70: Inferno Says “No!”

After a few weeks off, The Diablo Podcast returns with a new show focused largely on Hardcore, Inferno, and successful (or not) player approaches to both.

Flux is joined by Hardcore expert Xanth for a wide-ranging discussion of all things Diablo III. Topics include Xanth’s Hardcore success (two level 60s and a 59, only two of whom were dead at the time the show was recorded), and how it’s possible to survive playing HC when most players die repeatedly against most nasty boss packs. The build style, the attitude towards using defensive skills, the overgearing and different emphasis on HC chars marks them as very different than Softcore chars, even ones played by careful players.

Other topics include Inferno issues, the mega gear check it provides, the ironic way many players are hobbling themselves for Inferno by Auction House overgearing in Hell, and mixed-laments that so few offensive skills can be used in the end game.

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21 thoughts on “The Diablo Podcast #70: Inferno Says “No!”

  1. People should play hardcore without health bars, combat damage and critical combat damage. Diablo 2 style! then let’s see who reaches level 60.

  2. Flux,
    Just when I was about to leave a cheeky comment in the ‘leveling your alts’ forum thread you commented in, to suggest it as a topic for the overdue podcast #70… here it is!
    Thanks and cheers!

    • Ahh, see there’s the problem with not posting one for a few weeks. I forget the details.

      I’ve upped the file and it’s now properly displaying in the podcast post. Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. i disagree with alot of points you both made; you say that alot of people would like to use 3-4 offensive skills. maybe that’s true – certainly more people would like to use more offensive skills at once because its fun. but the matter of the fact is that the skills are not balanced and that you are pigeon holed that way.

    take for example the Monk and Fists of thunder :

    the thing has 5 runes like all skills, but the only one
    reasonable choice is FOT: Thunderclap
    Thunderclap: it has the most single target dps. ae dps is still nice.
    LoH proccs from every hit, even from the AE part.
    and it teleports you for the first stage of the generator.

    Lightning flash: can possibly yield synergy but i’d argue that the increased LOH of thunderclap makes it already redundant.

    Static Charge : from design idea interesting: but its inpractical in usage and too weak. even if you used it perfectly it would still yield worse results than Thunderclap. even if you disregard that it also puts a strain on your playstyle it does not reward you with better results. even if you’d doubled duration and damage of that rune ; its use would still be arguable.

    Quickening : more spirit on crits : generally speaking the Skills that the monk is cappable of spamming are horrible – and even if spiritspender were more worthwhile i’d still not be sure if the synergy would be worth it.

    Bounding Light : basically a chain-light which hits 3 targets for 73% dmg on the third strike.
    #1 the chainlighting does not even hit the maintarget you are currently attacking. so if you only have 1 enemy you’d do exactly as much dmg as if you had no rune at all.
    #2 the damage is still horrible in comparison to thunderclap you get 35% extra dmg on every strike with Thunderclap to EVERY target in a 6 yard radius.
    #3 its horribly uncreative and has no depth no specific synergy and does not encourage you to change up your gameplan or strategy.

    and Thus every sensible Monk uses FOT Thunderclap. there really just is no point to using anything else. you could choose another rune if you enjoy the graphic effect more than being efficient – but than again there is no reason why skills cannot be flashy AND useful

    and this is just 1 example of 1 skill for the monk – i could come up with more examples : especially for the Monk. but generally speaking this poor or uncreative balacning with clear choices can be found for every class a plenty …

    and that is where the gripe of the players is. iam sure that more people would like to stray away from the usual cookie cutter skills but for that to be possible ; the skills would have to be balanced.

    I also disagree with the sentiment of “it took d2 8 years plus to be as good as it is today” as an redeeming factor for Diablo 3. As far as i can tell D2 was huge step up from D1 despite its flaws – and even the flaws it had were simply new grounds for the entire ARPG genre – It was an ongoing process of trial and error. but they eventually got to a point that we liked. however that was several years ago – Blizzard has tons of experience under his belt ; so how exactly did it come to pass that features and mechanisms were cut in favor of new ones ; even if they already worked in d2 ?

  4. Flux seems to have a fuzzy memory.

    D2 released June 2000
    LoD released June 2001
    Patch 1.10 released 2003

    So much for 12 years.

    People feel pigeon holed because 90% of skills and runes are useless. D2 had more build variety, which is kinda sad since that was one of its weaknesses.

    • I’ve yet to listen to the podcast but I think I can see where this is going… You’re in the first year of this game, not in the fourth year.

      • the skill balance is still horrible even for a “first pass” especially if you consider how much experienced Designer Blizzard has under his belt.

        i feel like even the WoW and Sc2 team could have made a better call on some of the more glaring imbalances…

    • Are you really going to debate 9 years vs. 12 years, as though that’s a meaningful difference in this instance?

      The whole point with the dates and time frames is that we’re 7 weeks after D3’s release, and that if you compare to D2 7 weeks after release, it’s no contest. D2C at that point was a tiny starting point for what it eventually grew into, and unless you’re a total hater, you can join the rest of us in hoping that D3 will have a similar trajectory.

      And yes, D2C had woefully unbalanced and buggy skills, and they evolved greatly over the course of many big content patches and an expansion.

      It’s quite reasonable to argue that D3 *should* have been a lot better at release than D2 was, as it’s a decade later and developers know more about what works and what doesn’t work in an aRPG. But the argument generally made by critics goes a lot further than that.

      • Sure, Diablo 3 “may” finish in a better spot with a couple of expansions and 12 more years of add-ons. However, it is still inexcusable that it released in the state it did, technically in a “worse” spot than D2 did upon release, and is arguably in worse shape still to some people. I know that I found D2 far more enjoyable and playable on launch than I did D3.

        But as a release, it should still be considered with the games as they are now. They’ve had many years to see what works and what doesn’t, so regressing as they have and losing/cutting features…that’s not good.

        • Been playing a DH in Inferno with 2 cross bows and hardly defensive spec.

          It is a lot of fun. I die but as long as the area is cleared and there are is only one type of elite units, I manage quite well until the start of Act 2.

          I bought exactly one item on the AH. A cross bow with extreme good hate regeneration, >dex and vit over 180 and 880 k dps for 100k gold.

          And now I am into making star like gems at 600k.

          Fantastic game experience.

          I have no clue what you guys talk about ? Are you this bad in eye hand coordination or are you even playing the game I wonder ? Ex Wow arena player with 2.3 k rating here…

          Edit: i read somewhere that the new trend is to use the DH with shield in Inferno. Should be quite entertaining 🙂

  5. Related to ppl buying crazy weapons on the AH and breezing through hell… I think this is also a subtle cause of inferno bitching. By breezing through hell, they never learn proper tactics and how to play their character proficiently. No surprise that they get clobbered in inferno.

    • Guess i should have waited til i finished the podcast, since Flux eventually said the above.

  6. Hooray! Downloaded to my blackberry and ready to listen to on my commute. Thanks, guys!

  7. Regarding the lack of coop games… Speaking for myself, i am playing solo for my first major chunk of D3 play (i hope for and plan for a long and prosperous D2-style longevity). I want to test each class, explore skills, experiment with builds, face, and overcome challenges on my own. In due time, i’ll join the coop world and i’ll no longer be some guy on your flist that never plays with you. 😉

  8. The guy doing “15k in nightmare” was probably a demonhunter looking at sharpshooter inflated numbers. Other than that, a level 4X in nightmare with a 200-400 damage weapon (you could technically get a level 42 weapon with over 1000 dps but that’s rare as hell) could probably still get up over 10k before the nerf without much level reduced gear. My level 60 barb with a ton of str and a 900 dps weapon can range from 15k to 25k based on passives and how much resist I swap for crit.

    Of course nightmare would be cake with 15k damage, but I don’t think that alone is reason enough to say the AH is bad. I do think the AH is bad, but not because you can buy max items for your level; moreso, because it makes crafting a waste. Why spend 20k on an item that you know is only going to have the right primary stat 20% of the time, only going to have a decent amount of that stat 25% of the time, and only have more than 1 good stats to go with it 5% of the time. You can spend a million gold before you make a truly decent item for your character and you’ll probably only sell about 200k worth of good items for other characters on the way. It’s smarter just to spend 500k on the item you want that someone else found for free.

    • I’d forgotten to set the mp3 live in the post late last night, but Rush fixed that and I just checked in itunes, and it’s working fine. TDP #70, playing right now in itunes via my subscription to my own podcast. (And yes, it feels a little weird to do that.) So if it’s still not working for you I don’t have any idea why not…

      The actual file URL is right at the bottom of the post, if you just want to get the mp3 file manually.

  9. Long time listener; have only recently started posting.

    I really enjoy these, and hope they become more regular now the game is released 🙂

  10. People need to stop propagating the myth that you cant play the game without uaing tha auction house. I have one barb in inferno, one dh and monk in hell. All are hardcore and have never used the AH. Oh and I have yet to loose a char.
    Im not the best player either so if i can do it so can you

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