Sixen; on end-game

General Discussion
This is a response to Sixen from DiabloCast episode 22, but is a general point open to all. There has been some discussion about Inferno and whether or not it makes for good "end-game" content. Sixen suggests that it is not true end-game because Inferno is not new content, merely another difficulty. He issued a challenge, more or less, to listeners of the podcast to discuss this issue.

My question is this, and it is somewhat rhetorical, but is worth some thought I think: Why does there have to be any end-game at all? Whatever happened to beating a game and saying "Man, that was sweet," and setting it down. When did that stop being ok? Video games are akin to books and movies in some regards, and everyone knows going in that a book or film will end and you walk away. Diablo 3 is not an MMO, which are intentionally open-ended to some degree. Why, in the opinion of Sixen and/or the populace here, must Diablo 3 have end-game content at all?
So your saying as soon as you killed baal in hell you stopped playing diablo 2?
The "end game' Of diablo has always been farming the loot I don't understand why you need "new" zones to do it in, i mean, you are going to run the 'raid zone' 9034123984 times for the gear anyway, why not kill the bosses that are already there, and let them give us new content at their pace, for a new "chapter" in the story. :)
The Diablo series is a prime example of the fact that people will always want more.

Diablo 1 single-player was just like any other RPG. You play through the game, finish the story, and you're done. Ok, you play through it again with a new character to see if you missed anything, and to try out a new class.

People wanted more, so they added new difficulty levels for online-only play. If you finish the game, you can play it again on a harder difficulty for more challenge and fun. This wasn't a novel concept in gaming - this was endgame.

Diablo 2 continued the tradition of 3 difficulty modes - making them part of the main game. Of course, like any other game, people got tired of it after a while - they wanted endgame. So Blizzard added some new bosses and items for online-only play.

Now with Diablo 3, people expect 3 difficulty levels, they expect extra special event bosses on the hardest difficulty - all as part of the base game. They expect endgame to be added on after all of that!

I just accept that the lifetime of the game is finite. Replayability is the true goal. If the leveling experience 1-60 is solid, it will have replayability. The core game experience is far more important than endgame. That's what keeps people coming back to it and starting up again years after release.
It's simple. Replayability with consistency. If I beat a game that was amazing I want to keep playing it. There are a lot of games where that means just starting the game over. Now what if I don't want to start over, but I feel invested in the character(s) I've made and leveled? Sometimes the most fun I could find would come from playing those characters even after I've "beat" the game. This is where things like "New Game+" and "End Game" come in; I can play those characters I've invested in and keep playing the game I enjoyed so much.

I'm at a sad point with Dragon Age: Origins. I really liked that game. I really liked my Mage. He's a really high level. I don't particularly want to play a different class and I don't really like the idea of starting a new mage. So I bought every single DLC they had where I could keep playing my Mage. It was fantastic! Now the DLC has run out. Now I can't play my mage anymore. Now I'm done with Dragon Age: Origins and that makes me a sad panda :'(

I don't want that to happen with my Wizard, so yes, I really like the idea of "end game" content, where I can continue to play the character I've invested in, in the game I enjoy playing.

And with regards to Sixen, he's just arguing semantics. I'd argue any content (new or recycled) after max level or after storyline completion, that allows you do to as I've described above, is "End Game".
@Greenbunny youve apparently never spent money on food, else youd be complaining "where did it go?"
of course you need food, but what about going to the movies 5 times
perhaps on a trip? ever go on an endless trip for less than $60?
i have a high suspicion that you do not have a job, otherwise like everyone else, youve spent more than $60 in a single day many times in your life
which would contradict your attitude towards a game that will take you more than 1 day to beat
so, never went snowboarding? anything?
let me know if you remember your childhood..
youre an interesting case

about the op
diablo journalists need to think up ideas in order to stay popular
its just what they do, and over thinking their ideas is not what anyone should be doing ;)
diablo 2s endgame was farming completed content, and people were happy with doing so
diablo 3s endgame will be farming MORE completed content and at a higher difficulty
thats in fact "new content"
just to clarify

and if that isnt enough new content for you
then you didnt enjoy playing diablo 2s endgame
which is fine, you can buy diablo 3 and play it just as you played diablo 2
win win for both types of people :)
The reasoning for endgame is that a lot of people want to continue playing after the storyline has played out. I see no harm in letting people continue to play what they consider a fun game.
This is a response to Sixen from DiabloCast episode 22, but is a general point open to all. There has been some discussion about Inferno and whether or not it makes for good "end-game" content. Sixen suggests that it is not true end-game because Inferno is not new content, merely another difficulty. He issued a challenge, more or less, to listeners of the podcast to discuss this issue.

My question is this, and it is somewhat rhetorical, but is worth some thought I think: Why does there have to be any end-game at all? Whatever happened to beating a game and saying "Man, that was sweet," and setting it down. When did that stop being ok? Video games are akin to books and movies in some regards, and everyone knows going in that a book or film will end and you walk away. Diablo 3 is not an MMO, which are intentionally open-ended to some degree. Why, in the opinion of Sixen and/or the populace here, must Diablo 3 have end-game content at all?


Inferno is end-game content. What makes something end-game content is the fact that you need to A) get to the max level and B) it poses some challenge, you can't just facewalk it.

The reason games are not put down after completing them is simply due to the fact that modern online games have a ton of depth and therefore would be almost impossible to "complete".

Is this a bad thing? I don't see how it could be. As long as you are continuously entertained then it really doesn't matter if you spend all of your game time on 1 tittle or split among 3.

I think what Sixen is getting at is that the term "endgame" usually implies new or different content from the level grind.

Case in point, you don't raid while leveling in WoW and raiding is different from what you did while leveling.
Blizzard has been supporting Diablo 2 for the last decade so I have no reason to believe that inferno will be the final 'end game' content. Perhaps for a while it will be, but I imagine there will be future patches that will introduce chaos sanctuary-esque challenges.

Really though...we haven't even played the beta yet so I won't worry about end game content until I actually reach the end of the game.
I would love to see some DLC maps and monsters to be added to the game over time. As for the question of whether there 'ought' to be replayability, I'd argue that if it were meant only to be played once, then the price shouldn't be 30 times what you'd pay to rent a movie.
LOL did he seriously? I debunked that !@#$ before he even recorded that podcast.

First of all, the concept of the "end-game" simply refers to how the game is played after the players beats the game, or in other words, completes all the game content. Unlike Diablo, most games don't have an end-game; once you finish it there's really nothing left to do and you stop playing the game (like Zelda or Mario, etc.). In Diablo, there's no content beyond the final difficulty (each difficulty itself is recycled content, of course, but it still represents a progression); once you reach that point, you have beaten the game. Nevertheless, there are still many, many goals to reach by playing the game - this is the end-game.

"End-game content" specifically refers to the stuff players do in the end-game.

Diablo is designed to be played over and over and over again. That's why so much is random: dungeon layouts, enemy spawns, quests, and drops. The randomness is to prevent the game from getting boring too quickly by playing the same content each time - so that each play through is always interesting. It's right on the Diablo 1 box: "Unprecedented replayability - Diablo creates a unique labyrinth every time you play". It is designed so that players can play through the game many, many times even after they've beaten it.

Is that not the definition of end-game?

In Diablo, the game content is the end-game content. You are supposed to keep playing the same game content after completing it. That's the way the game was built! The end-game of Diablo has always been about clearing out (portions of) the game over and over again. The only difference between the games is how much of the game content is viable end-game content, which roughly represents how well-designed the game is. After all, if the game content is designed to be played over and over again, but the players don't play that content over and over again, it kind of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

In Diablo 1, the end-game revolved around clearing the levels of hell which was about 25% of the game. It was about an hour and a half's worth of content that was very compelling to play many times over. It worked out pretty well.

In Diablo 2, the end-game revolved around farming a few select bosses. Overall, it represented a small amount of content that was not very interesting to play over and over again. The majority of the game was just not very compelling.

In Diablo 3, the end-game revolves around all of Inferno difficulty. That means that up to a full 100% of the game content may be viable for the end-game. While it may turn out that some game content just isn't very good, there's a very good chance that the majority of the game will be compelling. That's easily 6-8 hours of game content that will be fun to play time and time again.

That's more content that you will expect to complete in any single run (which are no more than an hour, thereabouts?). So even if you start to get bored with any particular run with a particular build (bound to happen eventually no matter how interesting and random encounters are), you can run 4 or 5 different areas.

How can you ask for more?

A core concept of Diablo's design is randomness that allows the game to be played over and over again, and that's exactly what players are supposed to do. Therefore, by design, the end-game content is simply the game content. This is such a basic concept to the Diablo series that it's embarrassing that anyone could call themselves a fan and not understand it.
I beat Baal and either set the game down or started a new character at various times. The re-playability of D2 or virtually any other game is in that its just a good game. I've played Castlevania SOTN countless times because its fun. That should be all that's to it. The need for end-game content really seems unnecessary, especially when these players have already demonstrated a total willingness to continue to play without any end-game content. You still play D2 because its fun, plain and simple; it requires no additional content to convince you to keep playing. So why again is it a *must* for D3?
Because alot of people like to keep playing a character they have invested alot of time into. Whether they just like that class or want to perfect their gear.
End-game is whatever you want it to be. Everybody who plays diablo has a different opinion on what end-game is. Some people feel like they never completed the game unless they find every single item in the game (imagine that achievement) whereas others believe they have completed the game right after the last boss is killed on the first difficulty. Being the achievement !@#$% that I am, I'm sure I'll be trying to get all the achievements, so in my case, end-game is the achievements. Point being, end-game is in the eye of the beholder.
08/24/2011 11:06 PMPosted by Will
Why does there have to be any end-game at all? Whatever happened to beating a game and saying "Man, that was sweet," and setting it down. When did that stop being ok?


When they decided to make it multiplayer online :x...

(But I do agree, I still get that feeling of accomplishment when I play through the game start to finish.)

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