Unflattened Inferno Was *Not* Made Easier

Since Blizzard revealed that the DiabloWikiInferno difficulty level was no longer “flat” in progression, fans had been wondering how that was accomplished. Was Act 1 Inferno now easier, Act 2 about what it used to be, and Acts 3 and 4 scaling up higher? No, said Bashiok last night, via his twitter account:

With the recent revelation of the beginning of Inferno becoming slightly easier, did the rest become harder in compensation? –LordoftheShy

Yes, the Acts each get significantly more difficult than they were before when it was all one level. –Bashiok

Sorry, to clarify, the beginning of Inferno is not any easier than it was before. We’ve only made Inferno harder. –Bashiok

Bashiok followed this up with more Inferno details in a forum post a few hours ago:

I just wrote like three pages of a reply and the forums lost it when I clicked Preview. … *cry*

Ok what it boiled down to was:

  • Read my previous post. It seems like some people glossed over it.
  • I’m happy most of you are happy about the change, and I know you’re going to love the game.
  • Those few of you who don’t like it, you’ll love the game too because you’re wrong. 😉
  • Item pools are not limited by Act, or Boss, or anything like that. While you’ll have a better chance to get better items in Act IV Inferno, you could get those same items in Act I, or even Hell.
  • Our item pool philosophy is that you can break an urn and get the best item in the game – it’s all a matter of chance. Running more difficult areas and taking on more difficult enemies will not always be the most efficient way to find upgrades.
  • Previously, Inferno difficulty was mlvl 61 across all of Inferno, and now it starts at mlvl 61 and ramps up quickly in Act I and ends somewhere around 65 (?) in Act IV. We’ve only increased the difficulty.
  • I’m aware of internal bets on how many months it will take someone to beat Inferno.
  • A flat Inferno of mlvl 61 had a small curb of difficulty, and once that was over you had nowhere else to progress and no reason to. That’s boredom.
  • Boredom doesn’t generally come from content repetition, it comes from lack of ability to progress, or ease of progression.
  • By having a sharp increase in difficulty in Inferno we can encourage progression without having a brick wall of difficulty.
  • I think that was about it. In any case, as I said, I know the vast majority of you are excited about the game, the change we made, and trying to progress in Inferno. Just don’t feel bad when you have to go back to Hell. 🙂

    It’s interesting, since we’ve heard nothing but “Inferno is super hard and you’ll wipe ten times on the first boss you meet” since the difficulty level was first revealed. And yet apparently it wasn’t hard enough, since while unflattening it, Bliz chose to rebalance it so that Acts 2-4 are much harder than they used to be.

    Is all this Inferno talk whetting your appetite for the highest difficulty level? Affecting your long term play plans? It is for me — for my mid-May play I’d long planned to zoom each character to 30 ASAP; high enough to beat Normal and test out all of the skills and runes, as I was more interested in trying everything briefly than really researching any one class in particular. That plan was eradicated by the new skill system that requires you to hit 60 to try all the rune effects. Moreover, I’m growing more and more curious to try out Inferno and see if it’s *really* that hard, so sinking the time into building one char to 60 and then grinding for gear might be more fun than starting up a new class from scratch?

    Even though we ran a vote on this subject earlier this year, that was before the skill rune system revamp and all the Inferno info. I’m pretty sure my vote has changed. Has yours?

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    123 thoughts on “Unflattened Inferno Was *Not* Made Easier

      • I hope it destroys me.  I’m looking for a difficulty so hard that after enough wipe attempts you actually go roll a new character with your head hung low.

        • Gee that sounds like fun.  NOT.

          Doesn’t bear any relation to previous games in the Diablo series either.  The whole premise of Diablo gameplay is that you kill baddies by the scores, but have to be on your guard because SOME spawns will be dangerous enough to kill you.  That’s the formula.  That’s what makes HC even viable.  There will be tens of thousands of mobs to kill.  It is pure stupidity to want each and every one of them to be Death Incarnate.

          I’m tired of people that haven’t even played past the first half of Act I normal whining about the difficulty in Inferno.  Just a bunch of chest-thumping and posturing from soft-core noobs who will be the first to whine and bitch about how Inferno is way too difficult, which it probably will be now.     

          • Sid, I think we’re forgetting that D3 still has normal, nightmare, and hell.  If you or anybody else wants to put your head in the sand and pretend Inferno doesn’t exist then go right ahead.  

            As I posted before, I hope to be challenged to the point of wanting to smash my keyboard.  When I first encountered the Ubers in D2 I was wiped out instantly.  I was beyond pissed.  But that fuels the motivation to get better.  Thats the point of Inferno.  Blizz said you can find all loot in hell with time and luck and of course there the AHs.  Inferno is about challenge.  Pure and simple.  

            People who say we’re noobs for playing softcore but yet are whining that HC Inferno is pointless?  Well, what kind of argument is that?  If you’re ‘core then beat it!  Sounds like because Blizz extended the “challenge” you’re feeling like “Now I have to beat this too?!”.  No, you don’t.  Your choice.  I don’t care if you do or don’t.

            When I get to inferno, I predict I will die before they open the gates of Tristam.  I will scream and then I will try again and again and again.  Blizz says its beatable.  I’m up for the challenge.

            • That’s a good thing, I’ll be making that $1,000 off of people. I still remember being 12 years old making hundreds off of D2, I can’t imagine how great this is going to be considering I graduate from college May 9th and will be unemployed for who knows how long…

            • Well said.

              There are 4 difficulties and if you feel something is too hard then play in easier difficulties. No one said everyone must complete all difficulties.

            • I don’t know yet if it’s too hard.  None of us do.  Which is why I’m unimpressed with the ‘MAKE INFERNO MOAR HARDER!!!!11!!!1!’  meme that seems to be all the rage.  Blizzard has already, by their own admission, made Inferno more difficult due to those types of posts – chest-thumping posts made by people who have never had a character past level 13.

          • How can you complain about blizz ADDING a difficulty level that SEEM to bve very hard. Would you like the game better if they just cut it out of the game so that you can complete it faster?
            Your tired of people complaining about difficulty levels, well im tired of people who complains about blizzard potentially has given us extra content that miught be to hard (for some).

            • I’m not complaining about Blizz adding Inferno.  I love the concept of Inferno.

              I’ll spell it out one more time…

              I’m complaining about the brainless “MOAR HARDER” chants, and I suspect that half the people saying that won’t even reach Inferno, and most of the rest will be in the foums bitching about the game being too hard after their first few deaths.  I am suggesting that the ‘MOAR HARDER’ morons have no clue what they are asking for, and will likely be the first to pack it in when the going gets tough. 

              Being full of thud and blunder when you are in Act I normal is all well and good.  But until you actually make it to Inferno and see what it’s like, it’s all sound and fury, signifying nothing.    

            • Sid, I’m with you on these concerns.  I don’t really get why people are so into the idea of such a massive challenge.  D2 wasn’t that difficult but it was a ton of fun.  Fun and challenge are two different things and although a good challenge can be fun, it isn’t inherently necessary for it.

              I’d rather they focus on the game being fun which is why I’m a bit upset about this change.  The flat difficulty sounded more fun than another (unnecessary) tier of progression.

              As a side example, having played Median for D2 a huge challenge can also kill the fun pretty quickly. Although it was a decent mod, it didn’t keep my interest nearly as long as the regular game partly because the challenge really stifled character build creativity.

            • Nobody is going to read this post because it’s a few days late, but whatever.

              Sid, you do initially come across as complaining about the concept of Inferno. You talked about how Inferno defies the formula of the earlier games where you “kill by the scores” and only have to watch out for an occasionally rough patch. Personally I didn’t find that especially fun and I’m glad they’re changing it – the only real challenge in D2 was a grind, and I’d rather have more compelling gameplay than that.

              I agree wholeheartedly that the “game’s too easy” complaints are annoying, but I also think that a scaled difficulty for Inferno will be more fun in the long-run.

              When they first announced that all acts would be roughly the same difficulty I imagined that each act would have a difficulty curve that ramped up as the act went on, so that all four end-act bosses were brutally hard, but your particular gear or strategy might be suited to one or the other. Since that wasn’t the case, I’m glad they changed to a scaled difficulty. 

      • It will no doubt be quite difficult. But I cannot help but feel that this approach sort of misses the point of why Inferno was added in the first place. I thought it was not just going to be yet another difficulty level, similar to the Normal<NM<Hell progression. I thought the flat difficulty, be it 61 or 64, was there to provide endgame content without the need to think about optimizing looting strategies. 

        The very fact that Bashiok says "Running more difficult areas and taking on more difficult enemies will not always be the most efficient way to find upgrades"   suggests the idea fell between the cracks. The point of a flat difficulty was that there shouldn't be a most efficient way to find upgrades in the endgame, not that the Act 4 inferno shouldn't be that most efficient place. Is it any relief if that place turns out to be Act 1 or Act 2 Inferno? Whenever there is a "best way to do things" people will eventually find it and flock to it.

        I proposed a way to offer both progression and a flat difficulty for end game here:

        • If they make it sort of like Doom difficulty in The Hell mod for D it will be indeed hard to beat it. In this mod you have no chance on the harder dungeons/difficulty if you have not prepared yOurself properly. So the loot yOu have to gather in the lower difficulty and then go to higher…make the race for the ultimate equipment and beating the final boss feeling much more of an achievement that way.

    1. I may wind up doing some account sharing with friends in the mid-May days. I loan them access to my account with a lvl 60 wiz and they lend me theirs with a lvl 60 barb.

      A good way to experiment with all the skills and runes in short order? Or an abomination of impure play that would ruin the sacred FRIST!!1! experience?

      • I honestly think that’s a really good idea Flux 😉

        I don’t expect getting a character to 60 to be as easy as some might thuought.

        • Cheating who or what? Myself of the experience? I can see that argument, though I don’t agree with it. I’ve played pre-made chars in multiple blizzcon demos for PvP and PvE, and shared chars with many friends during the D3 beta, so borrowing access to a friend’s lvl 60 for testing wouldn’t seem much different.

          I will, of course, play through at least normal myself, with my own char, first. That is an experience I definitely want to savor. Even if it’s mostly done in about 10 hours of non-stop, caffeine-fueled frenzy.

          • Getting a level 60 char handed to you is cheating in the same way that entering a code to level your wizard to 60 in 1 sec is cheating. Do I think its a bad Idea to do it? No. Do I care if you do it? No. Is it cheating? Yes… so what? 😛

      • Play it however you want.

        Me and my friends would have no interest in that – we all want to achieve things by ourselves.  We are too proud and stubborn to let anyone else play our characters. 

        I will get to Inferno, and I will do it by myself, with gear I find myself.

        I’m still trying to decide whether to play one character all the way through first, or to play 2 or more characters concurrently, running them each through the first act, then the second act, etc.  The first way seems more fun, but the second might be more efficient in terms of leveling the artisans, crafting stuff, finding good drops for my other characters, etc.      

        • I’d rather do it all myself, but I have this like, job thing, that kind of requires me to know next-to-everything about D3, and it and other RL work keeps me too busy to spend 12 hours a day playing.

          After all, when news about X or Y comes up a week after release I can’t be like, “I’ll post about that with some informed comment in 2 months, once i have time to level a WD to 57 and try that rune effect myself.”

          • Flux, that’s a fair point, and one I didn’t consider.  I also have a job/family/life that will prohibit me from playing 12 hours a day (or anything like that).  Fortunately, I am no hurry, as I intend to play this game for years.  I don’t have any responsibility to know next-to-everything or to race through the game in any certain time limit, but I can emphathise with where you’re coming from.  Maybe IncGamers should have it’s own staff acount that you could all use for racing characters to end-game, testing things, screenies, etc.

      • The only problem doing that, is if Blizzard actually doesn’t want you sharing accounts.  If they look at that like they do in WoW, you might just happen to get your cd key banned.  It’s a pretty small chance, but just keep it in mind.

    2. To be fair they didn’t make it harder because it was to easy They made it harder so that as you progress through inferno it gets harder they stated all of inferno was sort ofthe same lvl of diffuculty whiich if you can imagine if you beat act 1 2 3 4 will fall shortly after but that wouldn’t be very fun right?

      • but they already said the monsters were all level 61, and that the monsters in Act one would annihilate you much worse than the final monsters in the last Act of Hell difficulty. 

        So if that’s true, and if Act 1 difficulty is still the same, then you have to wonder how difficult the last monster packs of Inferno will be ? Wall to wall mobs champion monsters ? All level 65 and higher. 

        And if they really maintain an increase in the difficulty of monsters, then does that mean solo-ing Inferno still possible, but you have a better chance of winning the Lottery ? 

        • I don’t think you will be annihilated any worse as you progress past Act 1.  In fact, I think part of the reasons why they made the change was because it got easier as you acquired more end game gear.  Something they see happen in WoW all the time.  An instant that was hard at first became easy once everyone in the raid/group had better gear.  So by raising the difficulty of later Acts they keep that same challenge without really making it much harder.

          All this thanks to the fact that they gave themselves time to play test Inferno.  Its nice to know that they have gone through every part and made adjustments, its more then some have done in the past.

      • Thanks for the link, very helpful.

        In fact the increase in mlvl in later acts and lack of challlenge once you’ve mastered mlvl 61 where exactly what I was speculating when reading the post here. Seems great minds think somewhat like mine 🙂

    3. I’m just wondering what ‘difficult’ really means? Is it every ability by all enemies one shot you?

      • We will probably be able to make more out of this in the first week after box copy release when people start calculating the hit percentages and damage taken against different mLVL creatures.  

        If as a cLVL 40 you have a % less chance to hit, a certain % less chance to block, lower % resistances, etc… against the mLVL 41 one of these math superstars will graph the asymptotic-like curves.  With a curve we should be able to ballpark exactly how much less effective a cLVL60 will be against the mLVL61, 62, 63, 64, and newly-announced 65s.  The pursuit of gear will change your standing with the hit/block/damage percentages.

        Getting back to your point, it *sounds like* one-shotting is a possibility since Bashiok warns that we will “go back to Hell” to get better gear.  This sounds like a pretty good end-game to me, and I can see how it could take some time for even the elite player to progress against what I am incorrectly referring to as steep mLVL curves.

      • It will be probably something like you have 10k hp when you finish hell and equipped with hell gear, every monster in inferno will hit you for 15k so you will go back to farm hell. Now sometimes when you kill a monster in hell there is a 0.0001% chance to get a piece of inferno-level gear which gives you an additional 10k hp. have fun!

    4. Well isnt this what they said on last post also. They never stated before that A1 and A2 would be anymore easier, and A3+A4 would be brutally hard like they should be.
      Really no news. Always thought in the first place that the whole inferno mode cant be flat lined with all enemies having same level. It wasnt like that in D2 and it wont be here either. Good stuff!

    5. I’m really curious how Hardcore characters will fit into this picture. If Inferno is really what they say it is, then playing a hardcore character will stay – in terms of goals – as it was in Diablo 2. Reach the highest level you can. While softcore characters can experience they new playstyle – go to max lvl then farm for max gear. Since softcore is not an option for me I’m looking forward to the challenges what may affect the whole playstyle of my game, not only my awarness level. The main question is this: Can Inferno be cleared without a single death?

      • I’m sure somebody will be able to, eventually…  With the descriptions we have to work from I can imagine teams of HC players working together to get one character all the way through over a period of weeks/months.  Would actually be quite righteous to have a team of players with multiple clvl60 HC characters ready to lay it all on the line for the one character that has been chosen for the truly epic win.  I sense a race coming.
        @incgamers, y’all gonna be offering a prize to the first HC to complete Inferno?

      • I have a feeling completing Inferno on hardcore will be a pretty epic achievement. Even more so solo.

    6. Activision: Yo, Jay, we need you to dumb down Diablo III, make it easier. We want casual players to play the game on normal mode and find it only vaguely challenging.

      Blizzard: …but what about the other difficulties?

      Activision: Not important.

      Blizzard: >:)

    7. I’m sure it will be really hard, which I find great. I do very much hope that it can get to a level where you can farm it (even if its risky) when/if you get really good gear. I want to be able to feel like I can farm the hardest content in the game because “yeah i’m just that awsomely geared”. That is the feeling I got in D2 everytime i restarted and progressively was able to farm harder and harder content up and including hell and even ubers.

    8. If you have top of the line gear and you still have trouble clearing inferno if you are not careful – that makes the game even more replayable and fun. Min/Maxing then would be important, not just for bragging.

    9. “By having a sharp increase in difficulty in Inferno we can encourage progression without having a brick wall of difficulty.”
      This makes no sense to me. If Act 1 isn’t any easier, how did you remove the “brick wall”? Is Act 4 Hell harder?

      • You are still going to get your ass kicked when you first start into Inferno, that has not changed they just made it MORE difficult as you progress, which i am happy about.

    10. It doesn’t make any sense, simply because Bashiok is lying. He’s a bastard, and nothing more.

    11. “A flat Inferno of mlvl 61 had a small curb of difficulty, and once that was over you had nowhere else to progress and no reason to. That’s boredom.”
      Remeber that after first and second act of Inferno u will have much better gear. So all in all act III and IV will be just as hard as previous parts. When lvl of monsters was flat, ACTIV was probably even easier then act I. Thats why i think they changed it 🙂

    12. Well, AI and Brutal Campaign in Starcraft II was meant to be insanely hard too… And that’s not the case… I’m not trying to hate on Blizz, but I certainly hope they’ve noticed that their definition of “hard” and their internal difficultry testing results are not even comparable to what people can do:)

    13. I’m amused how they repeat about months needed to beat inferno. Seriously, if this is meant for solo characters, give it like 3 days from release for some 24/7 teams to beat inferno. It can’t be that hard, as the game must be balanced around majority of users, statistically they don’t present very high level of understanding the game. 
      I wish it was the case, we will be 1 month after 15th may and some first chinese team will kill last boss on inferno difficulty, getting that achievement first. But realistically it won’t happen, max few days till they beat it. I wish I was wrong, but blizz will just not balance inferno around some 0.01% of playerbase (these who know exactly all mechanics and play nearly 24/7 sharing their accounts).

      • Correction, Normal must be balanced around the majority of the players, not the other difficulties.

          • D3 is not SC2, and they never claimed people would  take months to complete SC2 on Brutal

          • Brutal SC2 is not easy.  Could it be harder?  Yeah probably.  But its not easy.  Some of those missions are insanely hard.

    14. So Inferno just became Elite superskilled players only or ppl with alot of time? I LOVE IT!

      HOW ABOUT:

      • Because they don’t want people to only start and be successful in Inferno 6 months down the line. They still want people to be able to play in inferno without needing to have the game’s best gear just to defeat act 1.

      • I think sarcasm?  Kinda tough to tell on this site.  Just in case, I’ll bite on your “5th” option:

        Because nobody wants to take their fresh-from-hell, not well geared cLVL60 against mLVL65s in Inferno Act I.  That doesn’t even sound remotely appealing.  There is a difference between being challenged (cLVL 60 against mLVL61s in Act I), and running your head into a wall (mLVL 65s in Act I).

        But hey, if that is how you like to play, see if someone can rush you to Act IV Inferno.  Problem solved. 

        • can u count? =)
          5 difficulties =
          normal = easy
          nightmare = bit challenging
          hell = challenging
          inferno = scales from “if your good you will still die” too “if you havent got good gear then you will die all the time”
          superaffes 5. difficulty = “if you havent got very good gear then you should go back to inferno”
          in other words:
          im talking about FIVE difficulties. i dont know why you would think im replacing inferno: i am just ADDING something. inferno with its well designed difficulty scaling form A1 to A4 would still be in. but after you are good enough to grind inf-A4 you should be able to play all the content. its the same argument as with the old flat-inferno
          => why not make all content equally rewarding (and hard)

          • Ah, gotcha – with you explanation that makes sense.  They could certainly add that on as an xpac option or DLC.  Good stuff.

            • good stuff? necessary stuff
              i mean: we loos at least half of the areas to play in super-end-game

    16. Looking forward to logging in one fine morning around, say, May 20th, and seeing headline by Flux, “Inferno, really that hard.”

    17. Good, but hope an expansion will come in next year, think 1 year is a fair estimate of when this game would become boring.

      • Blizzard always shoots for quickly releasing xPacs, but always takes 18 to 24 months.  I’d be interested in someone asking Bashiok if any members of the team are working on the xPac yet.  Presumably the WoW team has ramped up work on the 5th expansion even though MoP isn’t out yet.  Shows that Blizzard is willing to work on the xPac once the prior segment shifts into beta.

        This end-game sounds much more viable that D2’s and I just entered Nightmare with yet another Assassin (rolling kicksin) on Sunday.  Longevity comes easy in the Diablo franchise.

    18. This is the best news ever! I was unhappy about the first post since it left so many things vague.

    19. So…inferno is just a fourth difficultly level now and the whole concept of all the content being equal is out?  Cue fanboys saying this is a great change after they previously said a flat difficultly level was a great idea.

      • Logic fail.  Inferno was always a 4th difficulty level.  Now it isn’t flat.

        Cue illogical troll that hates every idea (and seems to prefer the alternative idea just having mLVL 61s to fight). 

    20. 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?

    21. I think it makes sense to ramp up the difficulty in Inferno, because you’ll eventually get BiS gear and – hopefully – later acts in Inferno will still be competitive with that BiS gear.

      If it was all one difficulty and when you got your BiS gear (or near enough) and it started to become easy, that would kill the enjoyment for me. 

    22. And only NOW they have the ephiphany that progression is needed to keep the game from becoming boring?
      And that after having touted a flat Inferno difficulty was going to make the end-game interesting?
      What’s next, the epiphany that character permanence is important, or that itemizing all character customization is boring? Oh wait, they DID have those ephinanies only months before the game should have released.
      This is one hell of a clueless team.

      And what gives? Either Inferno didn’t start off with a brick wall and was thus way too easy from there on out, or it started off with a brick wall for anyone exiting Hell and the new Inferno version will still start of with a brick wall due to apparantly being at least as difficult. You can’t have both Bashiok, you lying pos.

    23. (Hardcore + Inferno + Public Games) – evil pk = PURE WIN Will be loads of fun to see people die and to try and survive xD 

    24. Diablo difficulty is about gear, some strategy, and the learning curve.  Ubers were pretty difficult when they first appeared.  But soon they were manageable.  I even beat Uber D with my skelly necro alone.  I think for the non-pally damage dealer thats pretty decent.  So in time, whether it takes a few days for inferno to be taken down or a month, people who are really into the game (which is likely everyone in this community) will be playing regularly in Inferno.  It might be really really hard, but for us it will become business as usual over time and within a year we will be clamoring for more challenge.  Its only natural.

    25. “you could get those same items in Act I, or even Hell”
      Huh.  That’s news to me.  I could swear that I remember reading, several times, about “only in Inferno” gear.

    26. I don’t understand how a game can be “hard” when there is virtually no death penalty.  Making something with no punishment for death “hard” seems kind of ridiculous, like it will just be monsters 1 shotting you, or disabling you and killing you during the duration of the disable. 
      I’m skeptical that inferno can be “hard” on normal mode.  And if they do manage to make it “hard” because enemies are so impossible to kill, I wonder how HC will stack up, or if it will just be impossible. 

      • “I don’t understand how a game can be “hard” when there is virtually no death penalty.”

        Super Meatboy? D3 does have supposedly expensive durability punishment though.

        • But super meatboy isn’t particularly hard (and I think it’s simply poorly designed in that holding down one button 100% of the time is tiring for my hands). 
          Not buying Durability loss as a significant or extensive punishment. 

        • i don’t think we have read yet if there will be XP loss in nightmare through hell. Gold for repairs is a HUGE consequence! You use gold for crafting, Gold AH, Repairs, training and stash spots. Having tons of gold allows you to browse the AH happily and buy whatever you want. I hope we still lose XP passed normal until we go to inferno, because I am pretty sure you can’t enter Inferno until you are lvl 60 if I remember.

      • Durability loss is a huge punishment.  Depending on how often you die in Inferno, it may actually prevent you from playing farther until you go back to Hell and farm more gold or buy it from the RMAH.

    27. So there’s a very real possibility I might not ever be able to finish off inferno… yummy.
      Couldn’t care less about farming stat-inflating epics. I want the challenge, not the time sink.

    28. Just like D2 all over again, farmers like myself will be farming act 3 and 4 inferno for our time investment to be most viable.
      Maybe the act 3 and 4 hell for some easy loot, but regardless of that its a shame farmers will be limited to half the content now for the best chance of best items but it does make more sense for the best loot to come from the later acts of inferno and hell, rather than a flat difficulty.

      • If its as hard as they say, i think we may have to re-evaluate what time investment means.  Thats not to say we won’t farm but we won’t be doing 20 baal runs within 20 minutes.  I think and I hope those days are over.

    29. “Item pools are not limited by Act, or Boss, or anything like that. While you’ll have a better chance to get better items in Act IV Inferno, you could get those same items in Act I, or even Hell.
      Our item pool philosophy is that you can break an urn and get the best item in the game – it’s all a matter of chance. Running more difficult areas and taking on more difficult enemies will not always be the most efficient way to find upgrades.”

      With this it sounds as though my alternate hypothesis will be true.  If you are farming for items you’ll basically be stuck doing only act 1 since the loot is comparable to the later acts but now the difficulty ramps up so much that it won’t be worth doing the later acts for gear.  It sounds like we may only ever play the later acts when we get a solid group of already geared friends together.  So much for allowing us to play any area of the game equally for the end game.  What a disappointment.

    30. Something to keep in mind is that 61-65 isn’t exactly a huge range of levels; the difficulty in all likelihood won’t be too much greater.  The way it was before, there was no point to proceeding through Inferno at all – the best strategy would have been to stay in Act I and grind.  That’s not the case anymore.  It was a good move.

      •  “Something to keep in mind is that 61-65 isn’t exactly a huge range of levels; the difficulty in all likelihood won’t be too much greater.”

        Not necessarily.  It depends on the logarithm they use for those higher levels.  If its similar to WoW, the difference between a level 80 monster and a level 85 monster is huge.  

    31. To answer Flux’s question about what we’ll do when we start playing… I had the same thought initially, i.e. get 5 chars through Normal. And I may still do that. But the problem with the whole idea that you can’t complete a skill build before Level 60… means that not only will you not have FINISHED the game before you get there, you will barely have STARTED it. All those new skills and nowhere to go, except Inferno. (Yes you can repeat Hell endlessly, but that is the antithesis of progression.)
      IMO that kinda kills this whole idea that Inferno is an “optional” level that only the most skilled players will take on… or alternatively, if it’s indeed so hard that 80% or more of players will give up, then they’ve hidden a big chunk of game content behind a brick wall, which personally I am less than thrilled about.

    32. “Our item pool philosophy is that you can break an urn and get the best item in the game”
      “Item pools are not limited by Act, or Boss, or anything like that. While you’ll have a better chance to get better items in Act IV Inferno, you could get those same items in Act I, or even Hell.”
      can anyone tell me if certain item pools are bound by difficulty? like you cant get a godly item by killing a mob in normal right??

    33. Bashiok:
      “[…] Boredom doesn’t generally come from content repetition […]”
      Ugh. One of those un-verbalized “design mantras” Blizzard has been following for quite a while now, eh?

    34. I approve of this. The harder the game is for us, the better. It amounts to the longevity of the game. 🙂

      My only worry for now is maybe Inferno can be too hard and the noobs will start crying to nerf it, and Blizzard actually nerfing it to “satisfy” the players. I fucking hope that won’t happen.

    35. Well i have played d2 for 10 years or so (on and off) and i hope d3 will last as long. My plan is all classes in hc max lvl and cleared game and i would be supremely happy if i didnt make it!

    36. Bets how many months ? I have one month to play fulltime when d3 gets out, my intent is to finish inferno on hardcore in that month. Lets see if i can prove your internal bets wrong :p  

      • If they have bets measured in months for a first clear, i wonder how long it will take until the first HC clear…

    37.  loool dude,come back to planet Earth! I wish you best of luck and good drinks and food.Don’t kill yourself after you fail bad on HC. Actually I’m very curious,if someone can finish the game solo,not using friends help,and without precious help from RMAH on HC.I know there are crazy dudes here,but with this new info from Blizz who the f..k knows:)) Maybe ppl will start crying for nerf:)

    38. I’m not complaining, but how does keeping the first act the same difficulty and making the later acts harder avoid a “brick wall of difficulty”? It just made the game harder.

      • they are saying that upping up the monster levels will make people have to farm more gear to beat the later acts of inferno. Also, instead of inferno just being 61 all the way through with just different monsters, it allows change. It might mean as well that you will NEVER become lazy when playing, because at a moments notice you could be dead.

    39. Blah blah blah.

      I’ll stomp it one month into the game. Casually. This I guarantee you. 🙄  

    40. “Boredom doesn’t generally come from content repetition…”
      Maybe not for you… i for one found Baal runs tedious as hell pretty fast.
       “Those few of you who don’t like it, you’ll love the game too because you’re wrong.”

      Get back to me on that when everyone that finishes inferno is farming the last act/boss over and over again…

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