Is it OK that I’m dwelling solely on Diablo 3 these days? I don’t know whether it’s worse to be repetitive, or to simply not post at all.
I beat Hell last night and got about 10 minutes into Inferno before going to bed. I’m tempted to replay Hell’s Act 4 again, though, because I’d inadvertently signed off literally one checkpoint before going into the final boss the previous night, and so when I killed Diablo the loot was, to put it kindly, underwhelming. The quality of stuff you get when you’ve got 5 stacks of Nephalem Valor (heretofore “5NV”) can’t be denied, even if the vast majority of it remains unusable – but I’d also replay Act 4 with 5NV if only to scrounge up more gold, which can add up pretty goddamned quickly.
I’ve softened my stance on the Auction House. I was previously angered that the AH was more or less a necessity in order to make any significant progress; instead, now I’m thinking of it as a different kind of in-game vendor. Which is basically what it is. I think my total playtime is around 64 hours – I think the last time I picked up an in-game loot drop that was worth holding onto was about 30 hours ago. The stuff I’ve found on the AH is profoundly more powerful, and can be very reasonably priced. All I do now during runs is sell, sell, salvage, sell. And I’ve more or less given up on making anything with the Blacksmith – he’s been far more miss than hit when it comes to making something with Monk-appropriate stats, and it’s too expensive to experiment. (Likewise, I’d love to craft more of the super-high-end gems, but those require so much gold that it’s possibly more cost efficient to look for them on the AH.)
Once I finish Inferno, I’m not entirely sure I’ll keep playing. Blizzard themselves have admitted that the end-game is, in its current state, a bit underwhelming:
We recognize that the item hunt is just not enough for a long-term sustainable end-game. There are still tons of people playing every day and week, and playing a lot, but eventually they’re going to run out of stuff to do (if they haven’t already). Killing enemies and finding items is a lot of fun, and we think we have a lot of the systems surrounding that right, or at least on the right path with a few corrections and tweaks. But honestly Diablo III is not World of Warcraft. We aren’t going to be able to pump out tons of new systems and content every couple months. There needs to be something else that keeps people engaged, and we know it’s not there right now.
We’re working toward 1.0.4, which we’re really trying to pack with as many fixes and changes we can to help you guys out (and we’ll have a bunch of articles posted with all the details as we get closer), and we’re of course working on 1.1 with PvP arenas. I think both those patches will do a lot to give people things to do, and get them excited about playing, but they’re not going to be a real end-game solution, at least not what we would expect out of a proper end-game. We have some ideas for progression systems, but honestly it’s a huge feature if we want to try to do it right, and not something we could envision being possible until well after 1.1 which it itself still a ways out.
(That’s as far as I read in the thread, by the way – the Diablo 3 forums are filled with perhaps the most horrible, vile people on Earth.)