Diablo 3 is less than a week old and a select group of gamers have already cleared half of the campaign on Inferno, the highest difficulty level. Some have complained that this means the game is too easy but Blizzard doesn't agree.
"To sit on the sidelines and judge the game based on such a limited perspective is counter-productive. Most of us know the only acceptable solution is to ignore the sideline screamers, jump into the game, and slay some demons... you know, have fun," said Blizzard community manager 'Zarhym' on the Battle.net forums.
"Don't get me wrong, I congratulate those who've made it so far already in Inferno. It's a truly remarkable feat. But the amount of preparation needed, the sheer min-maxing necessary, and the support from other players not in the group (in the form of item farmers, etc.) means I'm not able to relate much to these players at all. In fact, I doubt there are many players out there who can relate to these type of players or their tactics."
Among the people kicking Inferno mode's ass is a group of players from Method. Method, if you're not aware, is one of the very top World of Warcraft guilds in the world. It's populated with the sort of people that have a whole different level of commitment to gaming than most other players. In addition to being very skilled gamers in general, they put in a huge amount of time and preparation.
My point is, it would definitely be a mistake to look at their performance in D3 and say that it's an indication of how difficult the game is for the average person. I'm not sure why we're using a group of professional gamers rushing through D3 for the express purpose of being the first to beat the content as a measuring stick for the game's length. Hot dogs aren't a rip-off because Takeru Kobayashi can eat like 60 in a minute.
I'm more curious about how long it's taken Method thus far in terms of actual gameplay hours. Let's say they put 8 hours a day into D3 since launch (the total is probably higher than that). That would mean that the game takes some of the highest caliber players in the world more than 32 hours to complete. Considering it will take other people quite a bit longer, I don't think that's unreasonable value for $60.
If you want to see what Inferno difficulty is like, check out one of Method's Act 2 boss kill videos below.