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While we were assured at this year's BlizzCon that Inferno difficulty mode will be anything but easy, developments in Diablo III's beta, specifically players being able to kill the Skeleton King--the biggest, baddest foe in the beta--at level one, as well as Lead Systems Designer Jason Bender's admission that Nightmare difficulty is more of a ramp to Hell mode than anything else, raise some uncomfortable questions. Primarily, just how hard is the rest of the game?
Although there's probably a hundred videos on YouTube that attest to feats of extraordinary gear planning and strategy, Jack112 posted a video today(shown below) showcasing the toughest of the tough in Diablo III's beta, the Skeleton King, being beaten by every character class in the game. At level one.
While Blizzard representatives have stated on multiple occasions that Normal difficulty mode is meant for getting a grip on Diablo III's mechanics and a feel for the game--with a relatively low difficulty threshold--is being able to killdestroy trash the absolute hardest monster in the beta at level one something that the team should be concerned about?
Further statement in a recent interview with Lead Systems Designer Jason bender on VG24/7 may raise even more concern.
In response to a question about the difficult of higher-level play modes, Jason said, "Nightmare’s very playable. After you’ve gone all the way through normal, you should have the practice and chops you need to handle Nightmare. We don’t think there’s really a wall there."
That kind of takes the nightmare out of Nightmare.
So, with Normal mode being nothing more than an elaborate, testing-the-waters, tutorial-like difficulty, and with Nightmare being little more than a slope to Hell mode, what can we expect from Hell? Jason continued: "On Hell [difficulty], there is a bit of a wall. We don’t expect everybody to play that effectively in Hell. It might be beyond some players’ abilities."
If Hell mode is anything like Diablo II's Hell mode, then we're certain to have our hands full for a while. It's likely that without the mass availability of cheap gear--mostly due to duping and botting--Hell would have been even more challenging. Just imagine trying to beat Hell mode without that Enigma, Call to Arms, or Infinity. Many of us can admit that such a version of the game would require significantly different strategies than the Teleport-and-spam-Traps/Hammers/Lightning/Fireballs/insert-your-skill-here that many players are so accustomed to.
However, if the first couple hours of gameplay, specifically the first major boss in the game, can be beaten by a level one character, what does that say about the rest of the game? Will we see players creaming Nightmare with level fifteen's and Hell with level twenty-five's?
"And, you know, it’s funny," Jason continued, "because – as casual as it seems – we don’t try to handcraft Diablo so that everyone can beat it all the way through to Inferno."
With the possible exception of Hell, it's sure sounding quite the contrary. For the full interview from VG24/7, see its posted article. A special thanks goes to Jack112 (as well as some applause!) for posting his brilliant footage. CherubDown also posted a thread specifically about the interview here, if you're interested in more discussion about the VG24/7 article.
I apologize for any undue amount of negativity that this post conveys. I highly value your feedback and will do my best to improve my approach to writing content that you read in the future. No, no one asked me to say this. I say this because I care about the community that's been gathering here since 2006. When you're not happy, I'm not happy.
You know, I never used rune words at all and Hell mode was a beast for my single player Necromancer. If I remember correctly, if it weren't for a certain storm that killed power, I would still have that guy. But now that I see these items, I REALLY, REALLY want them.
Magistrate seems to hate diablo 3 dev team more and more as days pass. Might consider another game ?
Me? Hate the team behind one of the most anticipated ARPG's of the decade? I've been waiting for this forever. I just hope everything like this is addressed before release or shortly thereafter. And regardless of my stance, you have to admit there is some room for concern here
While there is a lot to love about the game, there's also some things that should be viewed more objectively.
Blizzard needs to make the difficulty modes harder to play. I don't want to hit level 60 in a week when the game comes out. Would be good for others to rush to 60 and start pvping or pvming of course, but this makes it 10x easier to level than WoW.
In a Blizzcon panel it was mentioned that the BETA shouldn't really be used as a measure of the difficulty in normal....its such a small part of the normal game, and its not really designed to be a challenge at all. I think its a little unfair to be worrying about the normal difficulty level when the game isn't even out yet - and what you are playing in the Beta is basically 'the tutorial'. Fans at Blizzcon were assured that even the later Normal level of the game would be entertaining for skilled players.
Furthermore - lets not forget how easy Act 1 was in D2 compared to Act 2. Act 1 is sooo boring - you have to put in the players 8 code just to be 'somewhat' entertained at Normal difficulty...but then when Act 2 comes along there's electricity flying everywhere and Duriel as the end boss, who is considered the hardest of them all!
The guy was decked out high-end (beta) EQ w/o level-req (ofc), passed down from previous lv13 chars. Just take a quick look at his stats, they're higher than a normal lv 6-8 (level the content is tuned to) char, whom would've had ~40-50min to collect gear (approx time to go from start to skelly). This is being blow far out of proportion.
Gear is everything in this game.
Rollback Post to RevisionRollBack
"I just wish Jay Wilson would stop delaying the game to personally draw pictures like these."
I'm torn between wanting to start at NM or hoping that there will enough interesting/new mechanics to keep me occupied for the 10 - 15 hours it will hopefully take to get there through normal.
It would be easy to make a "I'm not a noob" mode - figure where most chars are at finishing normal (say lvl 20) pop a chest in town with about 30 passes at some low level loot table. Drop a big shiny pile of crap at my feet and I'll make due with that stuff while I learn the mechanics with at least a hint of challenge from the monsters.
The way I see it, if you are comparing Diablo 2 to Diablo 3 difficulty wise it seems like it is going to go like this:
Normal = Tutorial
NM = About on par with Normal from Diablo 2 (Maybe slightly easier since you will have good gear at this point)
Hell = Somewhere between the difficulty of NM and Hell in Diablo 2.
Inferno = Far above the difficulty of Hell from Diablo 2.
All of the monsters being level 61 or above should be pretty brutal. I have no doubts that the game will be challenging as you get to the later stages.
Twinked character beating Skeleton King. I am not impressed. Why do experienced players think that normal should give a slight challenge. I never even touch anything but the most difficult option in the games I play nowadays and I am quite sure most are the same here. So yes, you might have to wait for hell before you get some sort of challenge.
Im not sure why people are concerned with the difficulty of the game? based on what we have seen so far? i mean we have only seen a small part of act 1 " normal " which is supposed to be " easy peasy "
I think we should wait and see how nightmare/hell and inferno plays out before we raise concerns about the difficulty of the game.
Well, it's concerning for a couple of reasons. Not only do all characters beat the Skeleton King at level 1, the Demon Hunter does it in about a minute and a half. Unless the Demon Hunter has significantly better gear than the others, it speaks to an imbalance between the classes.
JW commented that they don't worry too much about balancing for low-level characters, since the majority duel at max level, but I don't think the team should neglect it entirely, lest certain character classes simply have an easier time than others.
I understand the idea of making the first difficulty a kind of tutorial, but the monsters, and most particularly bosses, should be adjusted to provide a challenge to the level the character is supposed to be, otherwise the entire leveling system is kind of arbitrary.
Since it's such an easy fix, I don't understand why they don't just go ahead and do it.
You know what they should do? Make the game so hard that my dad and my friend's girlfriend will bang their heads against the wall and not be able to finish normal difficulty even when trying casually for a year.
Then I'll be the bomb at the family meetings because I made it to hell difficulty.
This would be great for the game, I'm sure they would sell millions of copy. It will be great word-to-mouth publicity to know that the easiest difficulty is too hard for bad players.