The elite players, the ones that play 40+ hours a week, need something that provides a challenge to play. Currently with the guild that I run with there are a number of players that faceroll mp10. This is telling me the game is too easy, not too hard. The best of the best should have some difficulty clearing the best content in the game.
Tweak Hell so it's difficulty is slightly lower than Inferno mp0 (and by the time Hell is complete, it shoudl have the difficulty of Inferno MP0).
Then take Inferno and make it equivelant to mp0=mp10.
You can then make better items that are extrodinarily rare that will allow players to progress through the end-game.
"the best of the best" ... pfffeeehehe. Dont make me laugh.
I swear ... this "elite players", that sound so ridiculous. Like they would the be the spec-ops versions of the "usual" player or something ...
seriously, if someone is playing this game 100 hours per week, then he hasnt accomplished anything. he isnt more elite then you, me or anyone else. He is eventually achieving a lot in the game as far as progress goes, sure, but that was it. I dont see why that makes someone "elite" or better in anything. But hey! Each to his own.
Thing is, that ask those "elite" players how they actually progressed in Inferno in the first days. You might be surprised. Because I did.
What you hear often is:
- abusing of exploits and/or game mechanics (like chests, goblin spawns, vases etc, all the nice little things Blizzard changed after some time, also skills which caused bugs/exploits like the teleportaion/archon ability of the Wizard which gave him perma archon. Exploiting the fact that monsters would not cross a certain position, like in act 3 with the steps next to the first waypoint in the game and so on and so fort ...)
- runing bots
- farming gold in lower difficulties like crazy (when gold was still something worth) to buy the best stuff
- flipping items/gems (when it was still profitable to do that with gems)
- using clearly overpowered skills and builds to progress, like the shadowpower from the DH which was I think 3 sec? invulnerability or something? No clue. Or some of the Wizard skills which got nerfed heavily. - both classes have been nerfed to the ground so far.
- Using Tyrael to kill mobs/elites (when he still did some damage).
Oh yes! The game was sooooooooo difficult for those people. Farming act 3, killing the weakest trash mob or simply while using Tyrael to do it, gaining lvl63 items that could not even drop in act 1 (that was patched in later remember ...)
Of course the game is easy if you have the right items. Its a damn gear based game. What difficulty is there? I saw barbs and DHs killing everything on Inferno when they had 300-400k DPS before the nerf to attack speed. They simply walked trough the content and they had no reason to worry about anything ...
Thing is, you can NOT keep a game alive with those "elite" players. That simple. They are not the people that buy the game in masses. Most of us have jobs to follow, a life next to Diablo, or we simply dont enjoy to play a single game 8 ours each day. As soon you make those people your demographic ... well we have seen how that was going in Diablo 3 so far ...