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Difficulty

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To increase the replay value of the Diablo franchaise, Blizzard made a few simple changes to offer a greater challenge to its players.  Players can accept to play the game in another tier, featuring penalties for their character while making the monsters are more difficult to defeat.  The result of adventuring in these tiers not only greater challenge, but also the possibility of greater rewards.  This is voluntary and players can choose to return to an easier difficulty level should they so choose.  The subsequent games also adopted this idea, although featuring greater complexity with each iteration.

Diablo/HellfireEdit

The original Diablo and its non-canon expansion have three dificulty levels, while the original could only be experienced online outside of cheating, Hellfire

Normal DifficultyEdit

Characters created in the original Diablo start in Normal difficulty. Excluding a certain trick that requires an already leveled multiplayer hero, Normal difficulty is the only difficulty accessible in the original game if the hero is in singleplayer. Multiplayer heroes must grow in power if they wish to start/join a game in the harder difficulties.  
The Hellfire expansion pack permits any hero access to Nightmare and Hell difficulties, even if he/she is a singleplayer hero. In addition, if the hero is in singleplayer, the game does not require them to grow in power for these levels. Choosing to go into a higher difficulty early on, however, is best considered as insanely suicidal or insanely bold, as the hero will have quite a hard time surviving in the depths of the labyrinth.


Nightmare
Edit


This level is present in multiplayer of Diablo, as well as Hellfire. In both cases monsters will possess at least three times the health they would have possessed in Normal and players will need +80% to-hit and +80 Armor Class to dish out/avoid damage like they do in Normal. In Diablo also receive +1 to their HP after the modifiers, while in Hellfire , monsters receive +50 to their HP capacity after the initial x3 Difficulty bonus for Nightmare, making foes hardier than they are in regular Diablo.


Hell
Edit


While both versions of the original Diablo have differences between them there are several identical aspects; monsters will deal even higher damage per hit, and their HP capacity is increased by at least x4.  Players will need +120% to-hit and +120 Armor Class to dish out/avoid damage like they would in Normal and monsters have grown hardier to the effects of magic, many monsters possessing resists and/or immunities who wouldn't in other difficulty levels.
In the original Diablo monsters have their HP capacity increased by x4 compared to Normal, and receive +3 HP to their totals after the multiplication occurs.  In Hellfire, they possess a +100 bonus after the multiplication, resulting in foes with at least 100 HP even in the Cathedral section.


It should also be noted that suffering melee damage from the later monsters in Hell difficulty will stun you, no matter your level or class. Players are better off avoiding most attacks rather than reducing the damage dealt per blow. This is more apparent in regular Diablo, because there are no classes that possess a stun threshold higher than 1 point per level, and because of no Reflect.


Casters should be aware that their spell plannings will need to be adjusted for Hell Difficulty. There are even monsters immune to all elements of spell damage, resulting in a greater dependence on Golems and Stone Curse.

Diablo IIEdit

NormalEdit

Characters that are created will start in this difficulty level.  Hirelings and Summons deal 50% damage to Act bosses on this difficulty.  If a character kills Diablo in non-expansion they will gain a new title and the option to venture into Nightmare upon starting the game.  Expansion pack players will receive the title upon successfully defeating Baal, as well as the opportunity to adventure in the Secret Cow Level.


In classic, playing without the expansion, either by not installing Lord of Destruction or leaving the checkbox blank during character creation, male characters will be titled Sir and female characters Dame.  Hardcore will grant  Count to male characters and Countess to female ones.  With the expansion, the titles will be Slayer for Softcore and Destroyer for Hardcore.


NightmareEdit

While death in Normal will rob you of a sum of gold from the Stash, Nightmare will also take 5% of your current level's experience points away for dying, restoring 75% of it should a player retrieve their corpse.  This does not affect Hardcore heroes, as death prevents the character from being played again.


In classic Diablo II, male characters will be titled Lord and female characters Lady.  Hardcore will grant  Duke to male characters and Duchess to female ones.  In the expansion, the titles will be Champion for Softcore and Conquerer for Hardcore upon defeating Baal.  Players will now have access to Hell difficulty, where they will face the greatest challenges the game has to offer, but also the opportunity for the best loot.

The changes between Normal and Nightmare are as follows:

  • Increased monster levels and stats (hit points, defense, damage, resistances, etc.)
  • Player and Hireling resistances are reduced by 40 in the expansion. Classic Diablo II players only suffer -20% all resists, but have less means to combat them- no charms, no runes, jewels and no Scrolls of Resistance.
  • Hirelings and Summons deal 35% damage to Act bosses.
  • Duration of Freezing, Chilling effects and AI-affecting curses are reduced by 1/2.
  • Life and Mana Leech effects are reduced by 50%.
  • Static Field cannot reduce a monster's health below 33%.
  • Many area maps are increased in size.
  • Act V has additional "Guest Monsters" from other acts to increase the difficulty.



HellEdit

As it was in Nightmare, dying will also take experience away.  These changes, of course, do not affect Hardcore heroes, who cannot die to begin with. 

In classic Diablo II, male characters will be titled Baron and female characters Baroness.  Hardcore will grant King to male characters and Queen to female ones.  In the expansion, the titles will be Martiarch for female characters and Patriarch for male players in Softcore and Guardian for Hardcore upon defeating Baal.  

Hell difficulty is the only place where the Uber Tristram and Diablo Clone events can be completed.  


The complete list of differences between Normal and Hell include:

  • Further increased monster levels and stats.
  • Nearly all monsters have at least one Immunity and additional resistances.
  • Player and Hireling resistances are reduced by an additional 60, for a total of -100 in the expansion.  Classic Diablo 2 players only suffer -50% all resists, but have less means to combat this- no charms, runes, jewels, and no Scrolls of Resistance
  • Death results in a loss of 10% of the experience required to reach the next level. Retrieving your corpse restores 75% of the lost experience.
  • Hirelings and Summons deal 25% damage to Act bosses.
  • Duration of Freezing and Chilling effects and AI-affecting curses are reduced by 3/4.
  • Life and Mana Leech effects are reduced by 2/3.
  • Static Field cannot reduce a monster's health below 50%.
  • Many area maps are increased in size.
  • Act V has additional "Guest Monsters" from other acts to increase the difficulty.

Diablo IIIEdit

Development and releaseEdit


Much like its predecessor, Diablo III featured Normal, Nightmare and Hell difficulties.  However, it was found by many to be either too easy or too difficult, so by release of 2.0, difficulty levels were made much more complex, but also much more suited to an individual's playing ability.
Inferno
Upon release day, Inferno was the final difficulty mode. The lowest monster level found here was 61, which is 1 level higher than the level 60-cap for player characters. Monsters increased by one additional level for every act, up to lv. 63 in Act III.


2.0/Reaper of SoulsEdit


As of the pre-expansion patch for Diablo III, Normal, Hard, and Expert are unlocked at the start, Master requires the player to either destroy Diablo or reach lv. 60, and Torment requires a hero at lv. 60. The way the game's actual difficulty works depends on that of the host's clvl. That is, to say, as a hero levels up in power, so do his/her enemies.
The bonuses granted by increasing difficulty are as follows:

  • Normal: No bonuses, due to being the default difficulty.
  • Hard: +75% Experience, +75% Gold Find
  • Expert: +100% Experience, +100% Gold Find
  • Master: +200% Experience, +200% Gold Find
  • Torment I: +300% Experience, +300% Gold Find
  • Torment II: +400% Experience, +400% Gold Find
  • Torment III: +550% Experience, +550% Gold Find
  • Torment IV: +800% Experience, +800% Gold Find
  • Torment V: +1150% Experience, +1150% Gold Find
  • Torment VI: +1600% Experience, +1600% Gold Find

In addition, starting from Expert onwards, Bounties give double Blood Shards. Master and Torment I+ allow monsters level 61+ to drop Imperial quality gems. Torment I+ allows new Legendary items to be found at level 70, and gives a specific bonus to finding those items, scaling with increased difficulty (approximately 15% with each level, stacking multiplicatively).


On Torment difficulty, if the Nephalem takes too long (usually over 3 to 4 minutes) to defeat most of the game's bosses, they become Enraged, greatly lessening the hero's odds of achieving victory. For exact details on an Enrage timer, see the bosses' individual pages. There are two types of enrage effects: a soft enrage (the combat grows more difficult the longer it lasts, up to the point where it becomes overwhelming) and a hard enrage (once the time is up, it becomes much harder, if not impossible, to defeat the boss without overpowered gear). If a player wishes to avoid these effects, tracking their effective DPS is advised.


Note that a hero's gold find is multiplied by the difficulty level's bonus. To name an example, a hero who has a Goldskin equipped (+100% gold, 2x) on Expert difficulty (also +100%, 2x) will receive a total of +300% (4x), not the +200%.

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