Difficulty Across the Modes

While we were assured at this year's BlizzCon that DiabloWiki.com - Inferno Inferno difficulty mode will be anything but easy, developments in Diablo III's beta, specifically players being able to kill the DiabloWiki.com - Skeleton King Skeleton King--the biggest, baddest foe in the beta--at level one, as well as Lead Systems Designer DiabloWiki.com - Jason Bender 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 kill destroy 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 DiabloWiki.com - Enigma Enigma, DiabloWiki.com - Call to Arms Call to Arms, or DiabloWiki.com - Infinity Infinity. Many of us can admit that such a version of the game would require significantly different strategies than the DiabloWiki.com - Teleport 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.

-Magistrate :hammy:


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