I finally entered Hell difficulty last night with my monk. He came in with about 2K DPS, 10K in hit points and a fairly solid build. I 1-shot Diablo in Nightmare and overall the path was simple enough. Then Hell started.
First, every enemy has 12-20K hit points. Each hits for about 500-1k. On their own, not so bad. In a group of 5, you need to deal 100K damage and take 5K per second. Monks don’t have a choice here, we’re a melee class. Still, it’s doable and I like the challenge.
Then we get to the Champions/Rares with multiple affixes. In Hell, you get 3 affixes per though I think I’ve seen 4. Anyways, I always seem to get a combination of the following Vortex/Jail/Frozen (which removes any mobility) and Molten/Plagued/Desecrator/Arcane (all of which can kill you in under a second if you get hit by their effects). So combine the no-movement ability with the if-you’re-not-moving-you’re-dead ability and you can guess what happens. One particular pack had me stuck at the entrance to a zone, so I died a solid 10 times just trying to get in and not die.
To top it off, the jump in difficulty is also a jump in loot quality. If I were to go back to Nightmare to try to find gear, it would be significantly worse (35% or so) than what I get in Act 1 of Hell. So going back isn’t so much for the gear as it is for the levels. What do levels bring? More skills, certainly but I have the ones I need to succeed already. I need more Hit Points and each level causes a significant boost to the exchange of Vitality to Hit Points. I could use the hit points and the cash boost wouldn’t be bad either. I’d then have access to the best AH gear too. Mind you, with 400K in the bank, I would be able to afford all of 2 pieces of level 60 gear and cheap ones at that.
Finally, massive nerfs/bug fixes were hotfixed yesterday. Monks had a skill completely removed (that allowed tanking in Inferno no less), Wizards has a damage shield removed and Witch Doctors an immunity. I should point that every character than has cleared Inferno Diablo so far was one of those classes – the first ever was a Monk. I should also point out that these problems would have been clearly evident if Blizzard had allowed testing past level 13 in their beta as it took all of 1 day for people to find these issues and a week for Blizz to “nerf it into the ground”. Their game that was supposed to take months to complete was beaten in 4 days. I’m sure someone got an earful.