Over the past year or two I've read a couple of books and watched a couple of films that personally I think would make epic video games.
Is Diablo 3 Still Fun After You Reach Inferno?
By the time you reach Inferno mode with a character in Diablo 3 you’ve hit the level cap and beaten the story three times. Are you ready for a fourth playthrough with the same character? Are you ready for the edge-of-your-seat difficulty that Inferno brings? Is the game still fun at that point? I raise a lot of questions but the main question here is: just how much replay value does Blizzard’s new game have?
Replay value is something that Blizzard games tend to have. They normally stand the test of time and many of them are still played to this day. StarCraft, Diablo 2, WarCraft III, and World of Warcraft are all great examples. Diablo 2 itself has been one of the most played PC games since its release in 2000. In Diablo 2, players only had three difficulties to run through in Normal, Nightmare, and Hell. The game had a level cap of 99 and each difficulty was meant for a certain set of levels. Normal would get you to level 36 most of the times. Nightmare would carry you to about 60-63. Finally, Hell would bring you from that point to 99. There was a feeling of constant progression in Diablo 2.
In Diablo 3, when you hit the end of Hell you will be level capped. In Diablo 2, you still have plenty to go as the last 5 or so levels took quite a long time to get. There was something to work for. With Inferno Mode in Diablo 3, the main thing we have to work towards is actually beating the damn thing. Hell in Diablo 2 is no joke. It’s tough stuff. However, it isn’t anything like Inferno. Inferno mode is at least twice as hard as Diablo 2’s Hell. I honestly did not find Diablo 3 actually hard until I hit Act IV in Hell.
However, after I beat Hell I launched Inferno mode right away to see what the hissy fits were all about. There are a ton of people complaining about Inferno difficulty for some of the classes. You only hear a couple classes being mentioned out of game but in-game in the General chat you will see complaints about all five. Inferno mode is tough. When I hit it, my Witch Doctor had 32k health, 18k DPS, and about 60 resistance to all elements. That’s all I could afford when I upgraded for the new and final difficulty. After I hit Act II, I started to really question why I was going through this torment. I looked back at Diablo 2 and I realized what was wrong here. I wasn’t progressing. I was suffering through unending death and chipping away at champions health bars for nothing. Yeah, I’ll get better gear but then what?
Don’t get me wrong! I enjoy these games. I enjoy finding loot everywhere. Hoping that I’ll finally get something good for me to use. I get a virtual high off of it. However, I need something else there to drive me. When all it comes down to is “perhaps I’ll find some better bracers today”, there’s a problem.
Diablo 2’s final difficulty had you leveling still throughout it. Inferno does not. You are literally working towards nothing but challenge here. I don’t care about challenge. I enjoy working towards something. If it is challenging while doing so, then that’s cool. If that’s all I got going for me? I don’t give a hoot. I don’t care if I can possibly find a better weapon. I don’t need it. I hit level cap and I’ve pushed my character to its limit. I could go farther if I farm for hours upon hours or hit up the Auction House and hope I could afford something but is it worth it?
What I think I’ll be doing for now on in Diablo 3 is hitting level cap, beat Act I Inferno, and move on to the next character. I need that feeling of constant progression. Seeing the level up overlay and the new skills and runes come my way is exciting. Watching that experience bar fill up makes me keep going. I hit every corner of the map. I redo maps if I log off for some reason or get disconnected. I do everything possible to get more EXP. Hell, even WoW kept the experience bar moving after level cap with the reputations.
I just don’t feel a need to play through Inferno. When I was going through Act I, I did not hit every corner of the map. I looked for the exit and moved on. Why? Because unless I want to farm for hours or run into an insane enemy combo and get frustrated, I’d rather just get further into the Act. Nothing is making me scour the maps. I find myself saying, “I’m level 60 who cares?” all the time now.
Diablo 3 will not last as long as Diablo 2 did. D2 has a long term sense of progression. The level cap of 99 kept you going. Unique items were almost always worth finding. There was something to work for. Legendaries here need to be fix. They are being fixed, but right now they aren’t worth crap. When I find them, I normally try and AH sell them or throw them in my stash. So what’s left? The fact that I beat Inferno? That’s cool. I guess.
Diablo 3 needs a sense of progression at all times. Players in these games need to feel like they are working towards something or boredom sets in. As for right now, I’m working towards getting every class to Act II Inferno and then I’m going to call it quits. I played Diablo 2 since its release. It made me feel like hitting 99 was an impossible task. Every little tick at the experience bar was exciting. So close, so close I would say. When I hit that for the first time, I was ecstatic. It is still one of my grandest achievements as a gamer.
How does Blizzard fix this? Add five levels. Levels 60-65 are for Inferno only. Make the experience needed high enough to make the difficulty last and then some. Bring some new runes in to help each class out in Inferno as they move on from Act to Act. That will also solve the issue of some classes having just too hard of a time in the mode. You won’t have to nerf Inferno. You won’t have to nerf some builds “because they are used too much”. Just add five levels, a couple runes, and maybe a skill or two. That alone would increase the longevity of the game and fix some existing issues.
With Legendaries getting buffed soon, these five “Inferno” levels would fix the mode and add more to the game. It would “fix” Diablo 3 for me.
I agree with 100% of all you and actually made an account just to post this. I played d2 for seriously 8 years on and off but when I would play, I would play for hours and love every minute of it. Now, in d3, I find myself hesitant to click on the icon because I dont know what to do when I do...do a random quest that I have done many time before only to maybe find a good item to sell in the AH? Oh well, life goes on and blizzard let me down on something I'v been hyping for the last 8+ years.
You hit the nail on the head.
I hate this level cap.
Yet, personally, I don't like the new and improved cow level.
Blizzard missed out on a perfectly good opportunity to make Diablo 3 the most popular game in the entire world. I say this because, Diablo 2 - LOD Expansion, was the most unique RPG in the world. For one reason, the economy of Diablo 2 was an item based economy, where Gold was worthless. Gold meant nothing to people because it could not be used for much. Instead of being rich in gold, people would be rich in items. Someone could have 4 billion gold, and another person could have 10 very rare uniques, and the person with the uniques would be richer simply because to the game player, gold was worthless so it had hardly any game value. SECOND - What blizzard failed to realize, is the ability to create and join public games with a join game list that you can put any game name up, was what made Diablo 2 - LOD very unique. If you had an item to trade, you could create a public game saying "I have this item for trade". Anyone in the world who is interested in that particular item, could join that game and give you an offer. During the wait time for people to join, you could also take your character and kill bosses in search of items. So it gave you something to do throughout the available 5 acts. Games could be created for experience leveling runs, specific quests, boss fights, trades and duels. And everyone loved it. You may have never seen people say how much they loved the create/join game ability, but i can assure you, everyone was happy it existed. SECOND Pt2 - What blizzard ended up doing, was they took this extremely unique join/create game ability, and completely deleted it. Instead, now you can only join games based on what quest you are working on, or previous quests. So not only are you not allowed to create a public game WITH a specific name, you could only join games at random, and for a certain quest. NEXT, blizzard removed the ability to travel throughout all 4 acts in 1 game. Instead, once you finish a quest or an act, you must quit that game and reload the previous quest to go back to the previous act. AND you cannot go to the next act from that game without beating the boss quest again. This made it bothersome to "MF" - magic find: kill bosses in numerous games/acts to search for good drop items. SECOND Pt3 - Blizzard ended up destroying the Diablo economy as well. They took the item trading system, and destroyed it. They replaced it with a gold system, where Gold is the currency instead of items. So, making gold the currency, hunting for good items did not make you rich. It made you neutral until that item is sold VIA Auction House. And the Auction House is something that Blizzard added into the game. I really don’t think that Blizzard thought this through. Because Gold can be found anywhere. You can find it on the ground, you can sell items for it, and you can trade items for it VIA Other Players or AH. Gold has a constant inflation rate because it can be found by anyone anywhere. Item prices will drop, and they will never stop dropping unless the items stop getting better. But even then, someone will buy that item at a lower price for no apparent reason, and everyone will start dropping the prices because buyers will find it to be a rip-off. The Auction House prices are based off what people are willing to pay, and if they are not willing to pay a certain amount, the sellers will lower them. When this game first came out, and there were many 1-handed weapons dealing 700+ DPS, they were selling for 800,000+ gold. The game has been out for not even a month, and i can now buy 800+ DPS 1-handed weapons for less than 30,000 gold. As you can see, the inflation rates of items and Gold has dramatically dropped the prices of items over the past weeks. I can’t imagine what the prices of items will be by the end of summer if Blizzard does not change the game VIA patch updates. It almost scares me to think about it. THIRD - Blizzard for some reason decided that it was a really REALLY GOOD idea to cut the lvl 99 Level cap, and make it Level 60. In Diablo 2 -LOD, the time it took to get from 1-98 was the same amount of time it took to get from 98-99. And believe me, getting to level 90 even took a long time. But you would spend months on 97,98, and especially 99. But instead, i got to level 60 in Diablo 3 in 2 days(NOT 48 Hours play time). Not very challenging. I'm happy that Blizzard added an extra difficulty, but Everyone in the Inferno Difficulty is level 60. So it’s very very boring how every other person is the same level and no one can get higher. THIRD Pt2 - Blizzard again thought it would be a GOOD IDEA to Remove the Skill tree and Character stats, and add a Pre-set skill upgrader, with pre upgraded stats as you level up. So the game would automatically put stat upgrades into all your statistics instead of putting All of the stat points you get from the level into 1 statistic. The skill tree allowed for people to become "Dedicated Characters". For instance The skill tree would allow skills to provide damage boosts and other perks to other skills you upgrade. So for the Sorceress, you could be a "Fireball Sorc" a "Frozen Orb Sorc" a "Blizzard Sorc" a "Lightning Sorc". A Paladin could be a "Smiter" a "FOHer (fists of the heavens)" a "Hammerdin (blessed hammers)" a "Zealer". Same goes for every character. There were many paths to choose so gave gamers the enthusiasm to make multiple characters of the same race. This brought a very high diversity of characters to PVP and PVM. Diablo 2 - LOD was one of the most popular and unique PC games, and i can tell you that if Blizzard did the following, Diablo 3 would have hit the top shelves for popularity across the world. We already know Diablo 3 had anticipation like no other game ever did. 12 years without an expansion, and 4 years since its first announcement, people were expecting a GOD of a game. But many people were disappointed. If Blizzard KEPT - Join/Create Public Game System, Item Based Economy where Gold is Virtually Worthless, And did NOT have an Auction House, Instead maybe a Place where you could list your item and people could view it, and if were interested in it they could Personal Message you with offers for it. If not, it could be done as easily by creating a game saying "This Item For Trade". I Seriously believe that if Blizzard kept these unique things with the game, and just Upped the graphics and obviously had the D3 Storyline. But having the game based on gold, makes me not want to spend gold. You can upgrade the size of your stash, but it could cost you close to 300,000 gold, and to the average player "That's a really good item i can buy with that much gold". Currently, upgrading gems from radients to squares is Very expensive. Around 20,000 gold per upgrade that requires 3 lower gems. To me, that's just not worth it. I would rather hang on to the gold sadly. Currently in Inferno, only one build works, and that’s stacking an extremely high amount of Resist with high vitality and Intelligence for the Wizard. Any other build you will get 1 shot by almost every monster since Blizzard nerfed the Energy Armor and made it Virtually worthless. The rune attachment was supposed to decrease all incoming damage to do NO MORE than 33% of your health in damage, but Blizzard nerfed it so you can still get 1 shot. So the energy armor is now useless. Blizzard has nerfed the Barbarians skills/runes and has also nerfed the Monk. So any heavily used build has been nerfed so just about nothing works now. In all, the game was fun for the first couple weeks, but the lack of diversity in character stat points and skill points just leaves me at a state of boredom because every character of the same race will be exactly the same. Unless Blizzard comes out with a Super Big update/patch or expansion that fixes almost all of the things i have posted, i don't really see myself playing this game much longer. I may have spent around 101 hours of game play on my wizard, but if this is what the game is going to be like forever i will not care if my character expires or is lost. This game has many problems with it that can easily be fixed to make it very very popular again, but Blizzard must be committed to making this game the best, but what i see in this game, is some piece of crap that was given no thought at all and whipped up in 2-3 years after the release of Starcraft 2. And i do not respect Blizzards changes from D2 to D3. It’s just not the same, because playing D2, i always expected item trading, ripping people off, leveling up and doing character builds from skills, and not from items. Overall - Good Game, Its Fun, But Loses Its Taste/Excitement VERY VERY Quickly.
My DH is doing 48k dps and i'm in act 4 of inferno. And I must say that the game has lost its momentum. I'm extremely bored with it now. I agree that you get the feeling of nothing to work for once you get to this point.
I think last night was the first time I really hit the wall with Diablo 3. I have been in Inferno for over a week now, and still just doing Butcher runs with friends. I have upgraded my items a considerable amount and attempted act 2 again last night. Being melee, I can't kite like everyone else is, so I have to fight things head on. I got completely destroyed, So, I went back to Act 1 to do another butcher run, I run into an unkillable pack as melee solo, die 10 times, and say, fuck this and went and played Starcraft instead. It was the first time where I got really frustrated, not in a good way, playing the game. I am starting to hate the fact that there is only 1 viable build for melee classes, a shit ton of armor and resists, and zero damage. Inferno might be starting to cross the line from fun to annoying for me.