Even when you know the end, watching two gamers take on Diablo 3's final boss on its absolute toughest setting is tense viewing. As he explains in the introduction to the video below, Canadian gamer Kripp wanted not only to be the first in the world to beat Diablo 3 on Inferno difficulty with a Hardcore character - i.e, permadeath - but to do it before Blizzard lowered the difficulty with Patch 1.0.3, which launched yesterday in the US and is currently being rolled out in Europe.
Needless to say, if you haven't played through Act IV yet then the rest of this post constitutes a spoiler.
There was initially some confusion about whether Kripp and Krippi's Diablo kill was in fact the first, but Blizzard community manager Bashiok has subsequently confirmed it in a tweet . "My apologies Kripp and Krippi" he said, "looks like you were 1st HC Inferno clear. (my spreadsheet deciphering isn't what it used to be) Congrats!" Do you know what's harder than deciphering a spreadsheet? Painstakingly murdering a thrice-resurrected demon god with everything to lose.
The Diablo kill takes around twenty minutes. What's most impressive about this video is Kripp and Krippi's sheer calm - even when Kripp's barbarian gets knocked into Shadow Diablo's cage trap/grab combo. "Don't get cocky" is a repeated refrain, as is "run the f**k away" - two very good tips when facing Inferno's huge damage spikes.
Congratulations to Kripp and Krippi - it took incredible teamwork and patience to make this happen. It's proof that cooperative gaming can be just as tense and exciting as multiplayer when the stakes are high enough - and the threat of losing a pair of max-level, uber-geared characters in front of an audience of thousands? Those are some stakes.