However, when you enter his throneroom, you see a pentagram at the south end of the room, with a weird red portal. You step through, into a strange, slightly darker version of the throne room. You activate Leoric and he proceeds to hand you your bum.
Welcome to the realm of Uber Bosses, or where I believe the endgame of Diablo 3 should aim.
Introduction: Inferno, and what went wrong.
Inferno was a well intentioned but honestly failed experiment. It tried to force a progressive endgame onto an ARPG. A progressive endgame is a pretty awesome thing and could work well, but it was they *way* it was done that annoyed a lot of people.
In ARPGs, what most people want to do (and have done in most) is reach a certain 'completed' state and farm their hearts out for the best loot in the game in content that is hard enough not to be boring but easy enough that they can do it without weeks of grinding.
Where a lot of APRGs miss the mark is what comes after - it always feels a little lame to get that amazing loot and not having anything to do with it! I've always loved the idea of having some awesomely hard content to test my uber gear/build on, once I'm done (or taking a break) from farming.
Diablo 3 unfortunately tried to do this bass ackwards. It gave us the uber hard content *before* we could really gear and also made it the same content we had done before. Furthermore it had a lack of compelling loot to find. It was also jarring to have beaten the Prime Evil three times and then find ourselves on the end of a butt-kicking from a glowing Spiderling.
Basically, we aren't going to see a total overhaul of the endgame at this point. We are going to see *something*. And so this is designed as a simple but fun solution to the endgame problem.
The way it works is this.
First Blizzard nerfs Inferno again slightly (if needed), mostly in terms of the elites.
Then Blizzard introduces a slightly new system whereby after killing Inferno Diablo, you gain access to the first level of Uber boss content.
To unlock an Uberboss you need to approach the entrace to the boss chamber with 5 stacks of NV. Or maybe you kill the boss? I don't know. But whatever you do, you gain access to a short, hard dungeon culminating in a much more tightly tuned and difficult variation of the original boss that will test your character to the max.
Uber bosses use 1-2 new mechanics, have an affix (pre-chosen, not random), have a high hp pool and damage output and also (possibly) a pretty tight enrage.
Uber bosses are also sequential. Meaning to unlock Uber Aranae, you must first kill Uber Leoric.
Uber Leoric would be tuned slightly above Inferno Diablo. Uber Aranae would be tuned slightly above Inferno Leoric. And so on. After killing Uber Diablo...who knows? Multiple bosses together?
Uber bosses would have a higher chance of dropping sets and legendaries, would only drop ilvl 61-63 but would be hard enough to prevent easy farming. Maybe even give them a lockout mechanic after killing? Is that too MMO?
Why would it work?
- It would offer an epic and progressive endgame.
- It would offer this *after* the gearing/farming phase that most people love about ARPGs.
- It would not be overly hard to do. Heck, I could think of some nifty mechanics for each boss pretty easily.
- It would be fine to make it hard. People expect to be owned by a boss (they get annoyed when they get owned by a spiderling though).
- It offers a nice balance between farming elites and killing bosses.
- It gives bosses the 'omg awesome' feeling lacking at the moment.
Uber Bosses (a progressive series of hard boss fights unlocked after killing Inferno Diablo) coupled with a slight nerf to Inferno Elites would make a lot more sense than the current system.
EDIT: Updated for the 20th rather than making a new post. Thought I would get this out there since they confirmed they were looking for feedback on a new endgame.