I feel like Diablo III would be more fun if it let me play it.
Like most games, Diablo III has a tightly constructed difficulty curve intended to teach the player and usher them from apprentice to master player. It does this the way most RPGs do, by gradually introducing abilities and gradually increasing complexity. New skills are gained slowly, runes are introduced slowly, and equipment variance and affixes are introduced slowly. It all seems to work…
Except when you finish Normal mode there’s a chance you may not even have all of your moves available to you. You certainly don’t have every rune available. The last of those appears near the level cap (level 60). Theoretically a player will not reach level 60 until they have completed the Nightmare and Hell difficulty levels. The previous three levels (Hell, Nightmare, Normal) are the training wheels for what the development team considers the “true game”: Inferno Mode.
Let’s get this straight: Blizzard and the Diablo developers want you to beat the game not once, not twice, but thrice to reach your full potential and be prepared for Inferno (which, incidentally, is the same campaign, but harder). Three. Times. Why?
In retrospect it makes sense why you cannot reach your full character progression until level 60, you’d die of boredom. If you didn’t have “one more skill” to unlock on your way to reaching the “true game”, why would you keep playing it at all.
It’s just…I don’t understand the point of all of this. Why are there four difficulty levels that you have to progress all the way through successively? If the stated point is to beat the game on Inferno mode, why can’t I just start from there with all my abilities at my disposal?
The answer many will give is that it’s not fun to do that. You’re right. It’s not fun to do that. It’s also not fun to play through the game three times without my full move set. I’m constantly frustrated by wanting to optimize my build, but realizing that certain runes are out of reach for my level.
What vital game skills am I learning in these lower difficulty levels? As far as I can tell, I learned how to play the game when I beat it on normal. Everything after that is mixing up the available skill/rune combinations and gearing up to just keep slogging through another ten hours of the game to get to Hell difficulty. Then I’ve got another ten hours of the same to get to Inferno.
Nothing I’ve done since I beat the game on Normal feels important since it’s all just busywork to unlock my full potential and finally have fun with my friends. That’s right, because they’ve beaten the game three times already and I haven’t, I’m locked out of playing with them. Sure, I get to hear all kinds of exciting tales of what’s going on in Inferno, but by the time I actually get there my friends will be halfway done or already done, which, again, means no fun.
I like Diablo III. I think it’s a ton of fun to play with my friends. I just don’t understand why Diablo III tries so hard to artificially slow me down and keep me from getting there.