So you've beaten Diablo 3 to the point that all modes are completed on every difficulty setting. Diablo himself is no more of a threat than a wandering butterfly. All that's left, it seems, is to treasure hunt and gain experience points until all characters can grow no more. After that, what then? Stand around and talk about the weather?
"We recognize that the item hunt is just not enough for a long-term sustainable end-game," states Blizzard community manager Bashiok. "There are still tons of people playing every day and week, and playing a lot, but eventually they're going to run out of stuff to do (if they haven't already). Killing enemies and finding items is a lot of fun, and we think we have a lot of the systems surrounding that right, or at least on the right path with a few corrections and tweaks."
But he points out that Diablo 3 isn't World of Warcraft -- the team isn't capable of pumping out tons of new systems and content every couple of months. That said, the Diablo 3 team realizes that there needs to be something else to do that keeps customers engaged with the popular PC game -- something that's currently not there.
"We're working toward 1.0.4, which we're really trying to pack with as many fixes and changes we can to help you guys out (and we'll have a bunch of articles posted with all the details as we get closer), and we're of course working on 1.1 with PvP arenas. I think both those patches will do a lot to give people things to do, and get them excited about playing," Bashiok states.
But these changes aren't going to be a real end-game solution, he admits. "We have some ideas for progression systems, but honestly it's a huge feature if we want to try to do it right, and not something we could envision being possible until well after 1.1 which it itself still a ways out," he adds.
Later on he admitted that Blizzard believed at pre-release that "the item hunt would be far more sustainable, and would work to be a proper end-game for quite a while. That didn't turn out to be true, and we recognize that."
To that I say, 'Pffft.' I'm still working on Act II with my first character. By the time I complete everything, Diablo 4 will be almost ready to ship.