Diablo 3 Difficulty Levels

written by Creston


An oddity that I am finding with Diablo 3 is the difficulty levels.  Now, again, I have not played Diablo 2 so it may be setup the same way.  However, I am frustrated how Blizzard setup the difficulty levels.

Most single player games allow you to set a difficulty level that is appropriate to your level of skill.  Plus, they also grant achievements based upon difficulty level as well.  Some even let you change it mid-game.  Others like StarCraft II (made by Blizzard of course) allow you to choose a difficulty level for each level of a campaign.  

Diablo 3 is completely different.  It REQUIRES you to finish Act 1 - 4 on NORMAL.  There is no changing mid-campaign.  Only then can you play on the next level which is Nightmare.  In addition, from what I understand, you do not unlock that level for all characters.  Only the character that completed Normal mode.  The reason is that Nightmare has a suggested character level (and associated equipment).  So you have to use your "leveled up" character.  This system is a problem for how I and others would like to play.

First, you are forced to play Normal difficulty.  Normal difficulty is too easy for me.  I would rather have the opportunity to play on Nightmare from the start.  Now maybe that would be too hard, but they don't give me that option.  So basically, I am forced to play through an unchallenging game.  Would it have been so hard to bump the character up to level 30 or whatever to be able to play a new character on Nightmare?

Second, once you unlock Nightmare difficulty, you only unlock it for the character you have been playing.  I like trying out different classes.  I don't want to play all the way through on Normal and then use the same character on a harder difficulty.  I would rather experience another class.  For example, in Mass Effect 3, I completed the campaign once at the suggested difficulty using one class.  Then, I played it through again at the next level of difficulty with an entirely different class.  My play-thru was much different.  Nightmare is locked until you complete Normal.  But once you can play Nightmare, it is the same content with the same character.  

I understand Diablo 3 is an Action RPG.  I suppose that is why they require you to level up to experience greater difficulty levels.  Unfortunately for me, this results in a less enjoyable game since I am forced to play through something that is too easy.  If I want a challenge, I have to replay a lot of content using the same character class.  Seems like this could be resolved by allowing players to start a character at a difficulty level of their choosing.  What is the downside?

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