General Discussion
I'm looking forward to this game, kind of... I guess my problem is that I want the things I do to have a "purpose"... and it may be sucking the fun out of life. It must sound silly to be trying to find some motivating purpose to play a PC game. I am on some pretty hefty medication for depression, so I feel a lot better in that regard, but there's more than a whisper of existential angst behind my actions/inaction, even when it comes to recreation.

What do you do as a casual player in Diablo 3 once you've cleared Inferno and have a build that just wipes out any room of monsters you encounter?

For one, your build will not wipe the floor with the monsters.. Items do. Diablo is an item game.(Unlike WoW, where you have set top tier items, Diablo's items is randomly generated.)

Do you just keep grinding monsters to get new loot so that you can clear those rooms a few seconds faster than before? Isn't that kind of like playing a slot machine to win the ability to play the slot machine faster, except the currency is mostly time?

If all you did was kill to find items.. then keep those items to kill for more items.. Then yes.(Ironically, that's what we WoW players do.. Kill for the best items to kill things faster.)

But, there is much more then that.. Diablo is a trading game, part of the fun is finding the best gear for your character.(Which is extremely hard in the first place, since like I said, gear stats are completely random) Then you trade that gear to other people.. and just continually build your character.

Get more gear for your alts or gear up different builds of your main.(The game is grindy, but it's really fun.) For me, personally, at least in D2, I would farm for unusual builds(healing paladin, nova sorc etc) just so I can go PvP and be really strong.

I'm not really very competitive or skilled heads up, so I think getting repeatedly owned in PK would wear on me quickly. I never got into Diablo PK, but is it going to come down to APM like in Starcraft? If that's the case, I probably won't do it at all. I'm about 30 APM max, and at my age, it's a tall order to get beyond that level. I tend to stay away from things I'm really mediocre at because the headspace of a chronic loser isn't fun. It's the same reason I avoid chess, poker, backgammon, dominoes, starcraft, whatever. I can put in time and effort to suck less, but I'll always suck at games.

No, it is a fast paced game, but it's not based on your APM.. it's in a completely different genre from starcraft infact. Diablo is also easier then all the games you listed.

As for ladders and things, "achievements," and avatar bling, I could care less there too. It's just so many arbitrary hoops that someone else created.

Then what do you like? Ladders, achievments, 'avatar bling' or what drives most people.

I'm in no way criticizing the mechanics of Diablo gameplay. Part of what made the Diablo series so great is that the endgame has kept people captivated for years. I just wasn't one of those people, but I did love the game.

If you've played D2, why are you asking what the 'endgame' is?

Is the hours spent killing the same monsters over and over in the hopes of a good drop really it?

Trading and PvP, yes pretty much.

Even if I don't play after clearing Inferno, I still think it'll be great value for my money in $/h of entertainment, but I'm hoping I'll find more to enjoy too.

Am I missing something? Is there more of a social element to the endgame? Anything else?

There's always been a social element to D2.. like I've pointed out a few times, trading.

MFers and PvPers all had their little cliques with the chat channels. Somehow you missed this in D2. Trading was a big social aspect.
If PvP, trying to get your character stronger, rolling alts, achievments, character bling, trading or ladders don't get you to want to play a game? WHAT DOES?

Sounds to me like you just don't like anything, seeing as this covers pretty much every endgame all games have had.
Edited for spam.
I don't believe these kind of games possess a telos or "purpose" in any form other than instrinsically. In other words, to play for the sake of playing.

You could argue that the only identifiable purpose is to conclude the storyline. You might also say that the purpose is to procure the best possible items for your character in order that you may slay enemies faster or decimate human opponents with greater ease but to what end?

What do you do once you've unlocked all achievements? Perhaps the contemplation of the "end game" and desire for purpose is the real problem. The experience and discovery should be the purpose in itself.
Am I missing something? Is there more of a social element to the endgame? Anything else?

I think you're missing quite a bit. There's a lot D3 has to offer. It's definitely a hardcore game, but fortunately Blizzard is making it casual friendly without jeopardizing the hardcore aspect of the game as well.

I think you'll find plenty to do in D3. Unless I'm mistaken, you seem to have the sense that Inferno will be easy... I suspect you won't be playing in Inferno for quite a while. You'll probably be farming and enjoying Hell difficulty; which is fine too!

The point of D3 endgame is progression. You make a character, and you continuously upgrade your character and make it better and tailor it to your play-style and liking.

Remember that D3, as with the previous titles, is a social online game as well. It's heavily dependent and designed around community. The best rares are insanely rare, you'll probably never find them, but someone else will; that's where community comes in. You're dependent on others to find the "best" drops-- and then you offer to purchase, if it's for sale.

Co-op is also a key part of D3 as well. Playing with friends. I'm sure you have friends. If not, you'll find some. I'll play D3 with you, don't worry. :P

With co-op and community mentioned, remember that there will always be lots of social outlets to communicate through. Talking in chat channels (I can only assume there would be chat channels of some sort) and getting friends to do some crazy or interesting stuff with you in-game will be all part of the fun of enjoying an online game.

I'd like to also remind you of the RMAH (real money auction house). That's pretty much the main thing D3 has going for me. I'm going to LOVE it! Well, I'm going to love having an auction house, period. But having the real money auction house so that I can actually make money while playing a game I enjoy?!-- That is truly amazing. ;)
- So this may be something you might be interested in as well, as far as endgame. Simply to farm and grind and enjoy the game while also knowing you can make a profit from it.

I think you'll definitely enjoy playing D3 and probably realize half way through that you'll want to keep playing for a very long time. It has A LOT more going on in it than D2 ever did.

I could probably go on and on about all the stuff I love in D3, and try to think of all the stuff I can and will be doing, but I'll just leave you with this: Buy D3, enjoy it, and just see for yourself how much it captivates you endgame. (it's kind of something you'll probably just have to experience for yourself)

Like I said, I'm friendly. I'll be playing D3, of course. Feel free to add me to your friends list once you get D3. (remember: BattleTags will be featured in your friends list. I'm Comedian#1752)

which is why it needs some kind of balancing.
Well, leveling was never the main issue. Random item spawns were.
Inferno is always going to be a challenge.... this has been stated, your not going to go in and "clear a room in 2 seconds" since all mobs are above your level. its going to take strategy and skill. this isnt going to be the lackluster PvM endgame D2 had. no, this will be much harder :)
I wouldn't start worrying about endgame yet! Knowing D2, its going to be a looooong time until anyone feels like their doing endgame stuff in D3. I say just relax and enjoy the ride.
Well Jay has said if Inferno is not keeping the interest of people then they will implement something else, and I think they really will release more "endgame" content 6-12 months after release. I mean they do that for all there games, maybe not so much for SC2 but with all the user content out there it kind of takes care of that.
But what else could they implement?

Token award vendor? I hope not.

A tower of increasingly difficult monsters to slay? sure why not, but in the end they would simply be adding more items, its an item game much like many others. If you enjoy blizzard games you enjojy MMOs/Arpgs you will enjoy Diablo 3.
Blizzard will always update D3 with new items and things to spice it up until they can release the inevitable expansion.

There's always running the game in completion again with another class once you have finished with your 'main' character. Or, you could do the opposite and level multiple characters at the same pace slowly so that the game content stays fresh but depending on who you are you might grow impatient with this tactic.

As for the social aspect with disregard to PvP, you can always look for a guild/clan to join or just play with close friends.

I think what will make D3 fun, however, is how random and unpredictable the drops will be because (to me anyways) it's kind of boring to think that so long as I have x build and defeat boss so-and-so I will get desired loot with already established stats.
It will be those random moments where something crazy rare will just randomly drop or some random mob will spawn that will keep you playing because it adds a level a spontaneity that isn't necessarily there in other games.
Or, maybe it will be just the goal of earning recipes for your artisans.

I also don't think (at least I hope) that inferno difficulty won't be very easy at all which should be time consuming in of itself.

I suspect that if you are a casual gamer then there will be plenty there to keep you entertained until the expansion. I don't plan on playing as much as many other players so for me D3 will also be just something to do when I have a bit of time to kill (have other things going on in my word other than gaming) and I trust that the boredom factor will only be for those who have all 5 classes maxed out with elite gear and nothing better to do with their time.

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