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Diablo 3 'Inferno' difficulty: abandon all hope

Did you casually run Hell Baal in Diablo II as if he were Normal Rakanishu? Blizzard has a new challenge for you in Diablo III: Inferno difficulty. Those who dare brave its horrors may find unique items not available anywhere else.

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For players with extraordinary levels of skill, masochism and free time, Diablo III is adding a new difficulty level even harder than the ruddy hard 'Hell.' Those braving 'Inferno' difficulty will face even tougher and more powerful monsters, but have a shot at finding unique loot not available anywhere else.

Inferno is made for players who've hit the level cap of 60, game director Jay Wilson explained to Kotaku. However, the lowest-level monsters in Inferno will be level 61, and will have more health, damage, resistances, and skills than in Hell difficulty.

Considering the penalties, obstacles and horrors faced by Diablo II Hell players, the prospect of something even harder should be downright terrifying to all but the most hardcore.

"The idea was that we wanted a difficulty mode where the entire game was viable," Wilson said. "So you don't have to pick and choose key areas [to replay]."

In Diablo II, players typically farm specific areas to level up, then the end game is simply making 'boss runs' over and over for loot. Blizzard aims to make Inferno different, hoping to have players seeing far more of the game's content. Should focused runs develop, it may tweak the game to encourage and reward roaming further.

There certainly are rewards for braving Inferno's horrors. It'll have its own exclusive weapons, armor, items, all with brand-new and unique looks. Some high-level runestones will only drop in Inferno, too. Doubtless, they'll sell for a pretty penny in Diablo III's real-money auction house. Certain rare items will also drop more frequently in Inferno than in lower difficulties.

There's still no firm word on Diablo III will launch for PC and Mac, but the external beta is scheduled for owner Activision Blizzard's third fiscal quarter, which begins October 1. Blizzard is also "very, very serious about bringing the Diablo 3 experience to the console," the developer said yesterday.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 18, 2011 6:45 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Diablo 3 'Inferno' difficulty: abandon all hope.

    Did you casually run Hell Baal in Diablo II as if he were Normal Rakanishu? Blizzard has a new challenge for you in Diablo III: Inferno difficulty. Those who dare brave its horrors may find unique items not available anywhere else.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 6:52 AM

      I hope they make it....DAMN HARD!

      Almost too hard.

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 6:58 AM

        Hell difficulty solo was pretty bad to go through for me. I'm working my way through the first time (always got bored around level 65-70 and never made it). I'm currently 78 sorc working on act 3. Without cheating and doing it solo, when you get immunes it's just so hard to deal with sometimes. I find myself teleporting all over and then getting caught by a pack and dying.

        • reply
          August 18, 2011 7:36 AM

          uhh dude, you're screwed with a sorc on hell solo. Just thought you should know. TRUST ME.

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 10:14 AM

            Haha, damn... how bad? I really wanted to finish out hell difficulty at least once.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 11:59 AM

              You'd have to go with two different elements. Fireball/Meteor with Frozen Orb was a nice combo that would allow you to kill most things in hell. If you run into a Fire/Cold immune monster that you can't skip... make a new game and hope you get a monster with different immunities.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 1:50 PM

              it's practically impossible to get through big D's sanctuary in hell solo unless the mobs spawn without resistances to your main skill (lightning usually), also it just get harder in the last two chapters. The resists/immunities really start to render you useless most of the time. Some of the meanest things in the game are immune to lightning.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 1:55 PM

              Every single creature in Hell difficulty spawns with two immunities of: Ice / Lightning / Fire / Physical. Assuming you're a single element sorc, that means fully 50% of the creatures will be immune to your attacks. Figuring in your merc and physical damage still leaves 1/6 of the creatures immune to both you and your merc.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 5:02 PM

              I finally beat Hell solo with my Necromancer a couple weeks ago. Hard as shit but did it. Trying to go through Hell solo with my cold Sorc but I'm kind of fucked right now in the Flayer Dugeon with all of them being cold immune. My Amazon has it a little bit easier going into Maphisto because she is speced fire with a secondary in cold plus the physical damage from the bow.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 7:03 AM

      My hardcore infernal character awaits. I can not wait.

      • Zek
        reply
        August 18, 2011 7:10 AM

        The best part is that you can never bullshit it by just grinding for twice as long to outlevel everything in Hardcore. Hardcore Inferno will be for the manliest of men.

        • reply
          August 18, 2011 7:12 AM

          I only ever ran through Diablo, D2 and LoD on Normal diff, i was young and cowardly. What exactly is "hardcore" mode and what are the benefits/drawbacks of it?

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 7:15 AM

            Hardcore means you can't "respawn" when you die.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 7:57 AM

              Bloody hell, think I'll be avoiding that tbh. I'm not knocking, I can see the appeal, but investing a ton of time in a toon then just having him be torched never to return? Fuck that, lol.

              Definitely not my co-op toon anyway, my buddy wouldn't go for it and kinda harsh if one of you dies, runins the experience for both of you.

              I'll try it solo once I get bored of grinding :D

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 7:16 AM

            Hardcore mode = death is permanent.

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 7:16 AM

            Permadeath.

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 7:21 AM

            The benefit is that it is the most fun way to play the game :)

          • DM7
            reply
            August 18, 2011 7:22 AM

            It is the best game mode in the entire universe.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 7:23 AM

              It's the only mode.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 7:24 AM

              oh god this is exactly how I feel I was just too much of a pussy to say it :(

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 7:34 AM

              I don't see how this would make sense. One bit of lag or mistake and you die... what fun is that =[

              • reply
                August 18, 2011 7:37 AM

                Because not making that mistake is pretty much the only challenge in the Diablo world.

              • reply
                August 18, 2011 7:37 AM

                In hardcore mode, what you do and what happens make a difference. Everything becomes tactical and intense. You can't just grind your way through everything.

              • reply
                August 18, 2011 7:37 AM

                in war one mistake can get you killed nixxed NOW FINISH THE FIGHT

              • reply
                August 18, 2011 7:41 AM

                yeah i dont get it - just setting yourself up for rage

                • DM7
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                  August 18, 2011 7:49 AM

                  I had a level 75 paladin that made it to nightmare difficulty and died instantly in act 3 from those exploding fetishes. No time to use a full rejuv potion, no time do to anything except read my screen that said, "You have died."

                  I still remember Light_Hawk to this day. I love that game mode. :D

                  • reply
                    August 18, 2011 7:51 AM

                    Did you stare at the screen for some time before proceeding?

                    • DM7
                      reply
                      August 18, 2011 8:32 AM

                      I looked at the screen for about 10-15 sec and was laughing softly to myself. :

                      • reply
                        August 18, 2011 8:33 AM

                        It's still worth it to me. So what if a softcore char is guaranteed to make it to level cap eventually, I still get to see all the content (if not on every difficulty mode), and the tense battles and triumphs are worth more.

                        • DM7
                          reply
                          August 18, 2011 8:37 AM

                          Same here, I'll have a single player character and play through it once on normal difficulty, taking my time and seeing everything.. But then....I get hardcore. >:D

                      • reply
                        August 18, 2011 12:12 PM

                        Haha. I had a very well equipped Javazon that died to the Minions of Destruction on Hell. They spawned as Extra Fast and Extra Strong. While I waited for them to spawn I switched to my wand that had charged of Lower Resist on it to cast on the monsters. If I didn't take the time to do that they would have died with me far out of range from their spawn. But I did take the time to do it, so I was close enough to have them on screen. I had them almost dead as they got up on me and killed my Valkyrie then me before I could even Save & Exit.

                        Like your reaction though, I had my hands thrown up in the air with a huge smile on my face :D.

                        I'll be playing through on softcore to learn the game and the items and then I'll to hardcore. No point in going into hardcore without getting some experience in the game first (I'd like to make it past the first boss even if I die so I can at least learn how to kill him!).

                        • DM7
                          reply
                          August 18, 2011 12:53 PM

                          Like you, I'm going to play the game and complete it once before making a hardcore character. Monk \m/

                  • reply
                    August 18, 2011 8:03 AM

                    See, I still dislike those things, but I didn't have to remake a character. I just don't value losing things permanently.

                    • Zek
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                      August 18, 2011 8:20 AM

                      You do lose time and money from dying though. What's the point of that? The game could just put a big frowny face on your screen when you take too much damage and that would get the message across just fine.

                      • reply
                        August 18, 2011 8:25 AM

                        In normal difficulty, you lose the money you had + have to run back. But in harder difficulties you lose XP + all the money you had on you. I just bank my money frequently and try not to die. In all difficulties you lose your mercenary, which costs more and more to revive as he levels. Too much dying = not able to rez mercenary = not able to kill shit as easy.

                        I find that in hell difficulty, working through it solo currently, when I die and my body is pretty well surrounded, I usually just call it good for the night. Hell difficulty solo isn't nearly as fun. Double immune monsters suck so much.

                    • reply
                      August 18, 2011 11:27 AM

                      The value isn't in the times when you lose everything; it's in the times when you don't.

                      • DM7
                        reply
                        August 18, 2011 11:35 AM

                        Yes! Going to fight Duriel for the first time in D2 Hardcore was some good shit. :D

                  • reply
                    August 18, 2011 9:32 AM

                    Fuck stygion dolls

                  • reply
                    August 18, 2011 9:35 AM

                    hahahaha

              • reply
                August 18, 2011 8:39 AM

                I have lost numerous characters in hell, and it was always frustrating whatever the reason was.

                I will tell you the that killing all the Uber versions of the bosses in hardcore with my buddy was by far one of the most rewarding gaming experiences.

              • reply
                August 18, 2011 1:24 PM

                Oh, but it's fantastic when you're an inch away from death and you go into complete shock and panic. You just start hammering away at the potion buttons and barely get away. There are extremely few games where you can get a similar adrenaline kick.

                • reply
                  August 18, 2011 1:43 PM

                  Yeah, narrowly escaping death is one of the greatest rushes you can get. I'll do softcore initially to run through normal and figure out the danger spots, but then I'll be hardcore only.

                • reply
                  August 18, 2011 3:19 PM

                  Seriously, the adrenaline rush is just fantastic.

                • reply
                  August 18, 2011 3:54 PM

                  Oh man you live and die in those battles. So intense! It's such a rush and nothing in gaming really compares to it.

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 7:23 AM

            You die, and your character is gone.

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 7:25 AM

            think of it like "1 life no continues..." nintendo hardmode

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 9:33 AM

            It's this amazing mode where you spend tons of time making an awesome character, then your internet hiccups for 20 seconds and it's all gone.

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 7:11 AM

        Cant wait to see the people complain, TOO HARD I CAN ONLY PLAY MEDIUM! :(

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 7:38 AM

        I had a lvl 40-something hardcore sorc once, some asshat came in to blood hills and somehow found me and nova'd me in 0.2 seconds...for no reason. FML.

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 10:15 AM

        Yes, this is the only way to play. Nearly losing my hardcore character in D2 was such a thrill.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 7:11 AM

      I can see me and my buddy fucking caning this game. Gonna piss off everyone else who wants my attention...sorry in advance family/gf/friends/workmates.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 7:19 AM

      "downright terrifying to all but the most hardcore."

      Rather, even more terrifying if you're playing hardcore. Eh? Eh?

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 7:24 AM

      Kotaku does not load for me for some reason. Does he actually say that Inferno difficulty will be harder than Hell was in Diablo 2? Because in Diablo 2, the later chapters of Hell were very difficult if you did not have very good equipment and skill distribution. For all we know, the difficulty of Diablo 3 Inferno could be equal to the difficulty of Diablo 2 Hell. I know, I know, apples and pears.

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 8:01 AM

        The key here that makes inferno interesting isn't that it is higher difficulty than d2 hell, it is that it also is somewhat evenly balanced, so you can play any part of it, and different parts grind out different types of gear

        • reply
          August 18, 2011 8:32 AM

          Yeah, I guess in Inferno Mode, all normal mobs will be like level 61, and bosses even a bit higher. But there won't be a real difference between act 1 and act N.

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 8:04 AM

        You could just outlevel things in D2 though, no? Now, the lowest mob is one level higher than the level cap.

        • reply
          August 18, 2011 8:11 AM

          the ubers have a monster level of 110 i think, so you can out level most things. regular monsters never went above 99

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 8:26 AM

            If this is my first time attempting to finish hell difficulty, will I be able to see the uber monsters? I'm actually playing an SP game right now...

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 10:20 AM

              Ubers don't work in SP.

              • reply
                August 18, 2011 10:23 AM

                And even if they did, you could see them only to die horribly in a second or two. Uber Diablo is the easiest, there are probably 10 or so builds that can beat him with good gear. Uber Tristram, there are maybe 3, with godly gear, that can solo, and only one build that isn't still stupidly difficult. Used a shaper druid in my last hardcore run and Uber Diablo wasn't bad but Uber Trist was just short of impossible.

                • reply
                  August 18, 2011 10:53 AM

                  Can you do them on an IP game or open bnet? Also according to the guy above, I'm not gonna be finishing even hell difficulty solo as a sorc?

                  • reply
                    August 18, 2011 11:25 AM

                    You won't do it easily, no. Too many immune creatures. The only way to do it is to get one of the conviction mercenaries from act 2.

                  • reply
                    August 18, 2011 1:42 PM

                    No ubers except on closed b.net

                    The only way your sorc will make it through Hell is if you respec to a meteorb build and have really great equipment for your merc. That'll give you three forms of damage and you can probably beat the game, but it will be slow going.

                    FWIW, sorcs literally can't do any of the ubers content.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 7:26 AM

      Ahhh, I can't understand we they don't say anything for a release window. I played it for 20min yesterday at gamescom and it feels ready. I mean after exiting the booth I couldn't believe 20min had past.

      • DM7
        reply
        August 18, 2011 7:32 AM

        The demo should start any day now. :(

        • reply
          August 18, 2011 7:35 AM

          Demo? Beta?

          • DM7
            reply
            August 18, 2011 7:47 AM

            I'm sorry. In these modern times, some game companies use those two words interchangeably.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 7:58 AM

              I doubt blizzard does that though, and that often only counts for open beta.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 8:05 AM

              There's a very distinct difference though.

              Demo: open to anyone who wants in, small subset of game.
              Beta: invite only, varies on how much of the game you have access to, sometimes full game.
              Open Beta: basically a demo, but often used for things like stress testing up front.

              • DM7
                reply
                August 18, 2011 8:30 AM

                True, Blizzard doesn't seem to throw out the beta/demo like some other game companies. :D

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 7:36 AM

        lucky... what class did you play?

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 10:32 AM

        it 'felt' ready 2 years ago at PAX, except for the adding all the content and balancing part

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 11:15 AM

        I played it at blizzcon like 4 years ago and it felt ready

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 1:02 PM

        We gotta wait for the console version to be ready, from that console team they're putting together now...

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 3:14 PM

        Well, the parts they let you play should feel ready. If they felt broken/unfinished people would bitch.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 7:57 AM

      Hardcore inferno comes with a press which crushes your balls when you die.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 8:07 AM

      I hope this works out, I was never a fan of baal runs.

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 8:27 AM

        Sounds like the same thing, but more incentive to run different bosses.

        • reply
          August 18, 2011 8:42 AM

          If it's not Baal, it will just be some set of pathing that is just divergent enough to maximize loot

        • Zek
          reply
          August 18, 2011 9:04 AM

          They've said they're trying to make boss running less attractive in general. They want you to just play the game normally and be rewarded for it. Probably they'll do stuff like make random chests/quests rewarding enough that you want to search for them. No doubt people will find the routine that maximizes the reward no matter what Blizzard does, but it shouldn't be so lucrative that everybody will want to grind it at the expense of fun and variety anymore.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 9:22 AM

      "Patrick, 'Inferno' isn't the full title."

      "Well, how bad could it be?"

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 10:11 AM

      They had better make it actually difficult. Hell was a cakewalk with my javazon.

      • Zek
        reply
        August 18, 2011 10:51 AM

        D2's balance was kind of a joke, how difficult it was depended entirely on how hard you min/maxed your character. I think the lack of specs will even things out a lot in D3.

        • reply
          August 18, 2011 11:31 AM

          You're probably right about lack of specs evening out the gameplay; it certainly makes it easier to tune the difficulty. Min/maxing was a fun mini-game and my nearly invincible zon will be missed.

        • reply
          August 18, 2011 1:48 PM

          I am going to miss stat points. Even though (especially in HC mode) it was basically doing the same thing every time, it was rewarding when you could find a way to shave off a couple points from STR and divert them to VIT for your next build.

          In fact, just sitting around wondering how to get more health for a sorc led me to a unique build that I'd never seen before and it became my all time favorite character. No block, no shield, used a staff and a armor runeword that no one ever, ever uses, and was nigh unkillable with 20k+ defense and all but about 10 stat points into VIT.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 11:27 AM

      D2 difficulty was never a problem, even in Hardcore mode. Once you get used to make chars properly, starting to grinding gear, you can merely clean the screen out of monsters in a Blizz. Some classes are harder to aoe clean, but Sorc, Bowa and Barb are the sweet.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 12:47 PM

      They should offer to revive your character for $500.

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 12:51 PM

        Brilliant.

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 1:50 PM

        yes. but further, you should be able to purchase your way to unlock inferno mode (or hell mode) right away. and then when you die, pay to revive.

        • reply
          August 18, 2011 3:15 PM

          They should just make it cost money to identify items!

          • reply
            August 18, 2011 3:45 PM

            they should charge per click. subthread over.

            • reply
              August 18, 2011 3:48 PM

              maybe thats inferno mode, limited clicks per level

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 1:38 PM

      The external beta is actually scheduled to begin before September 30.

      Their community manager, Bashiok, recently said "We're still looking good for third quarter, which is before the end of September."

      At Gamescom, Jay Wilson apparently said "Diablo III's beta will hit by September, hopefully before," but Bashiok clarified later and said "Anyway, to set expectations straight, beta in August is unlikely. But it shouldn't be too long after."

      My personal guess is the second or third week of September.

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 1:51 PM

      I have never played a Diablo game and I am rock hard to try this out

      • reply
        August 18, 2011 3:21 PM

        WHAT. I would do anything to experience Diablo 2 for the first time again. Play it!

    • reply
      August 18, 2011 5:08 PM

      I'm glad they're doing this for the players who obviously want it, but I'm so over this type of gaming. I have little enough time as it is to devote to the hobby, and I don't want to spend it feeling frustrated or on edge.