Blizzard has bigger plans for the end-game content of Diablo 3.
Diablo III lacks in end-game content, Blizzard acknowledged on the official Battle.net forum; however, the development team is working on incorporating new progression systems that may fill the void.
In a post on the Diablo III forum thread, Blizzard community manager Bashiok stated the team "recognize" that the current hunt for items isn't enough for "a long-term sustainable end-game."
"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)," he writes.
"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 honestly Diablo III is not World of Warcraft. We aren't going to be able to pump out tons of new systems and content every couple months. There needs to be something else that keeps people engaged, and we know it's not there right now."
In addition to patch 1.0.4 which will include numerous fixes and changes to the game, and patch 1.1 which is said to introduce PvP arenas, the team is also brainstorming new progression systems which will likely rear their head following the introduction of arenas.
"I think both those patches will do a lot to give people things to do, and get them excited about playing, but they're not going to be a real end-game solution, at least not what we would expect out of a proper end-game. 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."
In response to the suggestion that Diablo 3 was not ready at release, Bashiok emphasized that Blizzard believed it had done enough to give its users enough content for the long-run.
"Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose, but we believed pre-release that the item hunt would be far more sustainable, and would work to be a proper end-game for quite a while," he said. "That didn't turn out to be true, and we recognize that."
He added that the userbase of Diablo 3 "has been very solid," despite suggestions that it lost players following its launch.
"I don't know that I'm allowed to release specific concurrency numbers, but we have hundreds upon hundreds of thousands playing every night," he wrote.
"Comparing to just normal drop-off post release of a WoW expansion, Diablo 3 has been very solid, and it's not even out in China yet."
He later added: "We're talking about concurrency here, not unique players. I think you also overestimate how many people actually play the games they purchase every day, or even every week."