Diablo III's Inferno Mode is for the Hardcore Fanbase
Do you remember the ridiculously hard mode Blizzard announced a while back at Gamescom? It's the new mode that goes well beyond the limits of Diablo II's Hell or Nightmare difficulty. Blizzard called it "Inferno" mode, and it looks like still looks ridiculously hard.
As Blizzard revealed during Gamescom, the enemies in Diablo III's Inferno mode will reach level 61, compared to the level 60 player cap. As most players remember, Hell mode in Diablo II was pretty challenging, and that featured a 14 level difference between players and monsters. In Diablo II the player cap was 99 and the highest monster in the game was level 85. Diablo III amps up the challenge by adding four added abilities to the monsters in Inferno mode, including a greater emphasis of area of effect, ranged attacks, and area denial, making it harder to utilize the same basic strategies.
Of course, with the added challenge comes Blizzard's promise of better loot, with top tier gear only available in Hell and Inferno modes. In fact, Blizzard revealed that 70% of the loot in Diablo III won't even appear in Normal mode, partially because there are a number of resistance bonuses and defensive attributes that aren't needed on the easier Normal difficulty. Hey, there's no reward without risk.
Diablo III's Inferno mode is designed as an end-game for the more hardcore players. In fact, many of the more hardcore fanbase complained that Diablo III beta was too easy. Blizzard confirmed this was intentional. “Hardcore games for everyone is what Blizzard does,” said Jay Wilson. “We’re making the early game for casual players so we can turn them into hardcore players.”
So it appears as if Inferno mode is when a player will transition from being casual to hardcore. Enemies in Normal mode are less responsive, slower, and less likely to swarm. Once you move into Nightmare mode, and Inferno mode, you'll see more rare monsters and champions who will put your skills to the test.