Blizzard’s State of the Diablo address

, | Games

So how is everyone else playing Diablo III? Blizzard offers some stats:

* On average players have created 3 characters each
* 80% of characters are between levels 1 and 30
* 1.9% of characters have unlocked Inferno difficulty
* 54% of Hardcore players chose a female character
* The majority of Hardcore deaths (35%) occur in Act I Normal
* The most common level 60 build in the game is only used by 0.7% of level 60 characters of that class (not including Passive diversity)
* The most used runes for each class at level 60 are Barbarian: Best Served Cold, Demon Hunter: Lingering Fog, Wizard: Mirror Skin, Monk: Peaceful Repose, Witch Doctor: Numbing Dart

Blizzard’s design update explains what to expect in the next two patches. It also has some comments on tuning inferno difficulty, legendary items, and this tidbit on balancing skills:

If any single skill or rune feels absolutely required to progress, it means that skill is working against our goal of encouraging build diversity — and those “required” skills need to be corrected.

Of course, that’s how I feel about pretty much every skill I’m using, but that changes as soon as I experiment with another skill. I can’t begin to imagine what Diablo III’s balance looks like to Blizzard, from a high level looking down at the reams of data they’ve collected. But from where I’m sitting, down in the trenches of nightmare mode, only starting to scratch the surface of the game’s tougher choices, one of my favorite things about Diablo III is its sense of tuning. From my perspective, the most powerful class is whichever one I just got done playing.