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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