Diablo 3 End Game Content

Posted by Daeity On Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Remember when Blizzard said that they were surprised players were so upset about the online only requirement for Diablo 3? The reason they were surprised is because they compared D3 to World of Warcraft and it's "roots are in Battle.net and now with Diablo 3". Diablo 3 was built just like WOW; it was stylized artistically after WOW, borrowed most of it's features and content from WOW, Stories and Quests borrowed from WOW, monster and NPC designs from WOW, boss fights from WOW, etc.

Blizzard thought that players would expect Diablo 3 to be like WOW. (Even though Diablo 1 and 2 could be played offline.)

But then, they were surprised again at the fan rage about Mods not being permitted in Diablo 3. Their reason? "Well, Diablo 2 didn't have mods."

Do you see the broken logic here?

They implement major features from WOW, stylize the game after WOW, COMPARE IT TO WOW and then, when they leave out other WOW features, they "get confused" when users are angry.

World of Warcraft has spoiled many players when it comes to end game content as well. There are just so many options available.. dozens of instances, dozens of raid content and end game bosses, metagames, professions, exploration, achievements, competition, and PVP. It's a massively awesome game with many possibilities.

When it comes to Diablo 3, though, players are in for a bit of surprise. Blizzard has changed the definition of "end game content" for Diablo 3.

When asked about End Game content, Blizzard says that Inferno difficulty is the End Game content.

Jay Wilson: "One of the things we wanted to do was really create an environment for the player at the end of the game. So, what we've decided to do is create a 4th difficulty we call Inferno." [Source]

@Diablo: “Depends on your definition of end game. Max level happens at end of Normal, so probably Hell, if that's what you mean.” [Source]
Basically, you play Normal difficulty, then Nightmare difficulty, and then Hell difficulty to be level capped. Then the "end game content" is just the next difficulty level.

So, from a World of Warcraft perspective, here's a rough example of what your gameplay experience will be like:

* Here are the different regions you can visit, at the end of each region or "instance" there's a major boss fight. (Based on current Beta Client details, I'll update Act list if there are changes in retail.)
Act 1
New Tristram
The Cathedral
Cemetery of the Forsaken
Fields of Misery
Festering Woods
The Highlands
Halls of Agony (Boss)

Act 2
Caldeum Sewers & Palace
Stinging Winds (Alcarunus, Black Canyon Mines, Khasim)
Dahlgur Oasis
Desolute Sands
Archives of Zoltun Kulle (Boss)

Act 3
Bastion Dungeon (Depths of the Keep)
Bastion's Keep
Fields of Slaughter
Arreat Crater (Boss)

Act 4
Gardens of Hope
Hell Portal
Silver Spire
The Crystal Arch (Diablo Boss Fight)
* From Level 1-20, you run 4 instances.
* From 20-40, you run the same 4 instances again.
* From 40-60, you run the same 4 instances all over again.
* When you level cap at 60, you can go back and run those same 4 instances again but the bosses are colored differently (originally red, then purple, then black, and now radioactive green!) and they are harder to kill..
* All of the best loot only comes from the last instance though. So, your end game is running the same boss over and over and over and over.
* You can personally run all end game yourself, a team is not needed to defeat Inferno difficulty and it's completely soloable.
* But wait, there's also another option available at the end game! It's an item selling meta game.

End game content should not be compared to WOW; they're not similar at all. Since Diablo 3 is targeting spoiled (in it's most positive sense, since WOW is such an amazing game) WOW players, I'm wondering if they'll be upset when they realize the lack of options in D3 re playability.. maybe they'll find it extremely boring since there are no options available? And everything can be done solo?

Maybe D3 should have taken the WOW approach, and unlocked multiple new "instances" and "zones" when the user hits the level cap.

For Diablo players, this won't be a problem. They're already used to the Pokemon "Gotta Collect 'Em All" item game. But for WOW vets, it will be an odd gaming experience to jump back into.

Difficulty levels also should never be used to artificially increase the length of a game. It should only be reserved for more difficult and challenging adventures, with better rewards because of the risk involved, but that's it.

If Deus Ex: Human Revolution takes 30 hours for a full play through, it shouldn't be advertised as a "90 hour RPG" because there are 3 difficulty levels available.