- "It has been said that in the end of all things, we would find a new beginning. But as the shadow once again crawls across our world and the stench of terror drifts on a bitter wind, people pray for strength and guidance. They should pray for the mercy of a swift death.... for I've seen what the Darkness hides."
Diablo III is the latest game in the Diablo series. After years of rumors, the game was officially announced on June 28, 2008 at 12.18 in the afternoon (CEST) at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris (WWI08), France.
The CLOSED beta launched on September 20, 2011. As it developed, a number of patches were written.
The OPEN beta was launched April 20, 2012 at 12:01 p.m. (PDT) and ended Monday, April 23 at 10:00 AM (PDT).
The game will be launched on May 15, 2012, officially announced on March 15, 2012 by Blizzard.
It will only be playable online and will not support mods.
Diablo III spent four to five years in development before being officially announced, possessing a development team of around 60-65 individuals. The reason for the delay was that there was a lot of debate within Blizzard as to what kind of game Diablo III was going to be. Infact, several versions were scrapped and rumours link these difficulties to the dissolution of Blizzard North in 2005.
As soon as a direction was chosen, the art style that would be used came under discussion. Initially the game as a whole was set to be dark and gritty, but it was found that monsters blended in too well with the background.
Additionally, the choice was not universally greeted with enthusiasm and a petition was created by players to force Blizzard Entertainment to change their art direction for the game. Blizzard underwent three art revisions, finding that a purely dark style was too drab. As the case was, the "sunny" art style represents the early parts of the game. This is to establish juxtaposition between the game's early and late stages, things "feeling worse" as the game moves on.
Content is being generated in regards to the tech and game engine, which was indicated as "really solid" by August 2008. At that time, most of the design team was still on Act 1, refining and improving the quests and flow and some of the big game systems that hadn't been announced yet. Blizzard was not moving through the acts in a linear fashion, and would often revisit previous ones.
Despite compatible gameplay, Blizzard stated that it has no intention of releasing the game on a console. However, they apparently changed their minds as official sources confirmed a team was working on some form of console version. The lead designer is Josh Mosqueira, who previously worked as design director on Company of Heroes at Relic.
The official Diablo III release date has been announced by Blizzard. Diablo III will be available for play on May 15th 2012 at 12:01 AM PST.
World of Warcraft players who purchased the World of Warcraft Annual Pass before April 30, 2012 were rewarded, among other things, a free digital copy of Diablo III which can be downloaded before the game's release. The digital copy can also be purchased, first availible on March 15, 2012. This way, players can immediately install and play the game on launch day. If a player tries to install before launch, they get the message: The fire from the sky still falls. Diablo III has not yet launched.
The beta requirements are:
- OS: Windows® XP/Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 (Latest Service Packs) with DirectX® 9.0c
Processor: Intel Pentium® D 2.8 GHz or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 4400+
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ X1950 Pro or better
- OS: Mac® OS X 10.6.8 or newer
Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 or better
- All Platforms
- HD Space: 12 GB available HD space
Memory: 1 GB RAM (1.5 GB required for Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 users, 2 GB for Mac® users)
Drive: DVD-ROM drive
Internet: Broadband Internet connection
Display: 1024×768 minimum display resolution
(Note: Be advised that some wireless connections do not meet the minimums required to be a true Broadband Internet connection. Wireless results may vary.)
RECOMMENDED SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS
- OS: Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 (Latest Service Packs)
Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 5600+ 2.8 GHz
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 260 or ATI Radeon™ HD 4870 or better
- OS: Mac® OS X 10.7 or newer
Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo
Memory: 2 GB RAM
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 330M or ATI Radeon™ HD 4670 or better
Twenty years have passed since the destruction of the Worldstone, the ending of Diablo II:Lord of Destruction. The world of Sanctuary was prepared for an invasion from the Burning Hells. However, the invasion never happened, prompting Deckard Cain to seek information as to why.
Much of the story will be based around the Archangel Tyrael. Archangel Imperius is speculated to be present as well. It has been confirmed that at least one of the two remaining Lesser Evils, Azmodan and Belial, is behind the failed invasion of Sanctuary, and that Act II of the game will heavily focus on deception due to its association with Belial. That being said however, Diablo's return has been confirmed, despite his earlier death.
Diablo III will end the storyline that began in the original game. However, it has been confirmed that it will not be the last game of the series and new storylines will develop. Chris Metzen, vice president of Blizzard's lore department, knows where the story will go after the game.
An issue that lead designer Jay Wilson had with previous games was that apart from Tyrael and Deckard Cain, there weren't many memorable characters. It appears that Diablo III will break the trend.
The Witch Doctor will be a new class. They can summon undead monsters, but without the need of dead bodies like the Necromancer. They appear to be a mixture of the Necromancer, the Druid and an alchemist, with some skills also reminiscent of the Warlock from World of Warcraft, such as Terrify and Mass Confusion. While these are old Necromancer skills, they are much more potent now.
The Barbarian returns from Diablo 2 as the straightforward brute-force fighter, with some new abilities as well. The Barbarian's mechanics seem very similar to those in the last game, with most moves being very close range, with exceptions such as the Leap ability.
The Wizard  is the run-of-the-mill magic user in Diablo III combining the brilliance of the Sorceress and the cunning and stealth of the Assassin. Only the female Wizard was playable in Blizzcon, the male Wizard's gameplay was revealed a few days later. Jay Wilson had stated that fans will "hate" one of the new classes for the game, courtesy of it resembling a former one. But, seeing the attitude of the new Wizard compared to its brooding predecessors and the powerful skills it wields, fans have taken a certain liking for the Wizard.
The Monk is another melee based class. It appears to rely entirely, or at least mostly on its fists and fist based weapons similar to the weapon choice of the Assassin in the previous game. Some attacks will have a limited range, so not all combat occurs at very close range. He also possess holy-light abilities with allow for healing.
The Demon Hunter is a new class being introduced in Diablo 3. With what gameplay Blizzard have shown of it, the Demon Hunter looks to be a combination of the Assassin; with its ability to throw grenades, and the Amazon in its usage of crossbows. However the class looks as if it is going to dual-wield crossbows which is a completely original concept in reference to prior games.
Blizzard also announced the Archivist class as an April Fools joke, it appeared to die in a single hit and use spells based entirely on the usage of books and scrolls.
According to Blizzard, each character has a backstory which will be revealed during the course of the game. However, contrary to hopeful belief, It is confirmed that the male Barbarian is not the same Barbarian featured in Diablo II. Also as mentioned above, you will now be able to select gender regardless of the class you choose.
There was a fair amount of debate in Blizzard as to whether each class should have both genders available, or whether to stick with the single-gendered classes from the previous games. Adding more genders meant having to create custom models, more weapon design, more art, etc. Despite the cost however, Blizzard decided to go ahead with the dual gender option, as in the knowledge that gamers come from both genders, they wanted to make a choice available. However, genders will not affect available abilities. Ultimately, both genders were made available for each class.
Initially, Blizzard did not intend to bring back any of the classes from the previous games, feeling that the other classes could not be improved on. With entirely new classes, Diablo III could stand on its own. The Barbarian was an exception to this, as it was felt that the class had a lot of room for development. As such, it is the only returning playable class from previous games. However, Blizzard is considering bringing back old classes for future expansions.
Diablo III will also include three different followers (similar to the henchman of Diablo II). In Diablo III, followers can have a weapon, two rings and a special item that is specific only to followers.
A player may only bring one follower with them at a given time, however the player may choose to swap to a different follower if they have completed questlines to gain the loyalty of more than one follower.
Each follower will gain one of 2 skills/spells (chosen by the player) at levels 5, 10, 15, and 20 for the Templar, 10, 15, 20 and 25 for the Scoundrel and 15, 20, 25 and 30 for the Enchantress . There are 8 skills in total for each of the three followers, listed in their respective entries. Skill Calculator
The followers are:
- Kormac the Templar
- Eirena the Enchantress
- Lyndon the Scoundrel
- Main article: Diablo III Bestiary
The monsters shown thus far through the first game play trailer include: Beast, Dark Berserker, Dark Demon, Walking Corpse, Crawling Torso, Dark Vessel, Activated Vessel, Template:3, Ghostly Orbs, Template:3, Lamprey, Moon Clan Warrior, Moon Clan Shaman, Skeleton Archer, Template:3, Skeleton, Skeletal Shieldman, Skeletal Summoner, Wretched Dead, Template:3, Wood Wraith, and Zombie.
Two unique monsters were shown as well, Thousand Pounder and Siegebreaker Assault Beast. A third super unique monster, possibly an Act boss, the Mistress of Pain was revealed a few days later only as concept artwork. Then in the 2008 Blizzcon, a new boss called the Skeleton King was introduced.
A new game mechanic has been created in the game that, after the end of each battle, there will be a number of corpses left behind to give a sense of aftermath. These will stay until the player moves off the screen. This change is likely brought about by the community's negative reaction to the disappearing corpses in the initial gameplay video.
New monsters like the Dune Thresher had been revealed in the following weeks. Check out the Diablo III Bestiary for links to all the monster pages containing what we know as well as what we expect from the monsters revealed until now.
Diablo III is still set in Sanctuary, but has a very wide variety of locations to explore. This agrees with the trend in each game. Diablo I focused on only one town while Diablo II allowed players to explore five different environments, but still had only one town from each locale. Diablo III seems to let the player explore almost the entirety of Sanctuary. At the moment, many locations, most of them as yet unseen in-game, have been released as either concept art or as official lore.
The first and almost staple in every Diablo game is the town of Tristram, where Diablo I was set. It appears in a new avatar as New Tristram. Old Tristram still has the Cathedral which is an explorable dungeon in Act I.
The second and third ones seen were in the Diablo III cinematic trailer - Caldeum and Ureh. Caldeum is speculated to be present because of its importance in the game lore as the reason for the corruption in Aranoch. It may also be noted that Caldeum is the home of the, now supposedly deceased, author turned explorer, Abd al-Hazir.
The Lost City of Ureh is seen in the cinematic trailer exactly as it is described in the Sin War novels. This has led to much speculation regarding the player meeting Zayl the Necromancer. It was confirmed to be Ureh in a concept art released by Blizzard after a few weeks of the release of the cinematic trailer.
The entire quest system has been revamped. Along with the main storyline quests, there will be character specific quests as well as random adventures - mini quests generated randomly on the map or in dungeons.
Quests are introduced almost immediately and will display their status as they are completed. In the Beta, most of the quests follow linear progression as the story of the character unfolds, but a few branches appear as the game progresses.
The player can explore almost the entirety of Sanctuary. The outdoor environment has been left unspoiled for 20 years and looks more like a fantasy setting. The dungeons are still randomized but the random map generator has undergone an overhaul. However, there are still hard borders to areas and players must go around some obstacles like crevasses and large fixed objects like trees and inaccessible buildings. Small amounts of experience can also be gained by destroying many destructible objects in a short period of time.
The game now incorporates the Havok physics engine and enables players to utilize the environment to help in their quest. For example, huge walls can be reduced to rubble to squash monsters by the Template:3 skill Seismic Slam. Even monsters use the environment which was demonstrated by Template:3s scaling the walls to reach the Barbarian. Many more parts of what appear to be a seamless background environment are destructible. Some dilapidated areas will also collapse (without harming the player in most cases) automatically when the player gets to near or passes under part of a structure.
Potions have lesser importance because of Health Globes. Slain monsters may drop a health globe, which when picked up, will replenish the character's health similar to how Healing Potions work. When playing co-operatively, nearby allies will also be replenished.
In co-operative play, loot is dropped for individual players. So, one player cannot see what the other gets. This was done to encourage trading between players in a group and reducing thievery. Co-operative play remains as the core of multiplayer, with a drop-in, drop-out feature.
Similar to the characters, the NPCs are also more lively and will have interesting backstories. The gameplay video showed the Barbarian communicating to Deckard Cain in a new interface. The player characters have also been given more interactivity and are able to choose conversation options while conversing with NPCs. The characters have unique voices and will reveal their own backstory in conversation. In turn, the player character will speak back to NPCs. Followers will carry on short conversations with the player as they adventure together, revealing more of each follower's origin and backstory.
The mode of traveling will be similar to Diablo II. 4 Acts are present, each roughly the same length as those featured in its predecessor. Not every act has a central town however. Differences have been made to the waypoint system, a new checkpoint system having been added to supplement waypoints. Checkpoints allow characters that have died to return to the fray quickly, without going through the hassle of returning from town, as was the case in Diablo II. New teleporters were revealed in the Beta that can appear deep inside some dungeons, if the player discovers they aren't part of an active quest objective.
It has also been revealed, for the sake of entertainment and realism, that players may sometimes chance upon monsters fighting against each other. Evidence for this has been seen in a few screenshots. One such shot shows Goatmen standing against a Siegebreaker Assault Beast. How this may affect the difficulty of gameplay and how the monsters fighting each other will react to the player's interruption is unknown.
Fatalities also made an appearance in the Diablo III gameplay trailer, on the last boss fight of the trailer, the Siegebreaker Assault Beast picks up the male barbarian and bites his head off. Fatalities on players may make death a more fun experience in Diablo III. It has been stated that it was too hard to implement into the actual game and will no longer be in the retail release. Blizzard does not intend to make the gameplay of Diablo III any easier than its predecessors, and wants the game to have the same level of difficulty as Diablo II, though is easy to progress through at the beginning. However, harder difficulty modes can be unlocked. In addition, the game can be played through entirely as a solo experience and no section of the game requires more than one player to complete.
New Inferno Difficulty has been revealed at Gamescom 2011. See video below.
Player vs Player
Blizzard is also introducing a separate player vs player (PVP) mode called "Battle Arenas" to allow players to show off and face off against other players. They made PVP separate to remove griefing and help keep the focus on player vs monster (PVM) gameplay. This also allows for balancing of PVP without changing the PVM experience. PVP will not be available at release, as Blizzard reiterates some core PVP concepts, PVP game play, and experience. The company stated the PVP experience for Diablo III is not up to their expectation or quality standards. The system will be implemented via a patch later on.
When PVP is made available, the Hardcore characters will not have access to the RMAH (Real Money Auction House) unless Blizzard feels the player demand is high enough.
The UI is generally the same as its predecessor, besides the graphical upgrades, and will be very familiar to Diablo II players. However, there are some differences. The health and mana globes have moved more toward the center, rather than being all the way in the corners. The stamina bar has disappeared. The experience bar is now at the bottom of the screen spanning the distance from the health globe to the mana globe. The UI is almost definitely not finalized so although it will probably resemble what we have seen so far, it is certainly due to change.
Above the experience bar, where the stamina bar, experience bar, and potion belt used to be, are where the skill and scroll slots are. There are four slots for keyboard activated skills or scrolls, associated with the 1-4 number keys. They are followed by a potion slot associated with the 5 number key. Lastly on the skill bar are the mouse skills. There is a primary for the left mouse button and a secondary for the right mouse button. The secondary can be quickly switched back and forth with another skill by scrolling the mouse. The mini menu returns from Diablo II, but it does not appear to be collapsible and has other functional differences.
Buffs and debuffs are now displayed on the HUD. They are located just above the skill/scroll slots and are represented with pictures similar to the skills in the skill bar.
There is now a mini map displayed on the top of the right hand side of the screen.Template:Fact This replaces the translucent map overlay that was present in Diablo II. Your character is represented by a yellow circle. Allies, which include mercenaries and pets, are represented by blue circles. Orange circles indicate NPCs. Text displaying the current location is directly above the map.
Mini Combat Log
Things such as the damage you cause when you get a critical hit and when you block an attack with your shield will be displayed with small text that appears above enemies' heads. The text moves upward and quickly fades away.
Unlike Diablo II, enemies' health bars now appear directly above enemies heads instead of at the top of the screen. However, for Super Uniques and Bosses, there will be a separate health bar on top of the screen, staying there regardless of the location of the mouse until the enemy is destroyed.
- Main article: Inventory
After many iterations the latest style of inventory is grid-based, but to a smaller degree than the inventory in Diablo II. Small items take one space, while big items take two spaces. Scrolls, potions and some other items (scraps and ingredients) are stackable.
As part of character class customization in Diablo III, Runes will return from Diablo II. The Skill Runes will be used to enhance character class skills. As the player levels up more skill runes become available (filling the empty level 30-60 gap of not getting anything when you level). Each skill rune gives a different effect and attribute to the base skill. The use of skill runes will increase the number of skill variations to 6 including the base skill. And as each character class has at least 20 skills, the overall total of skill variations per class is 6^20.
Class abilities and skill runes are visible in the game guide section of Diablo III's official site.
ItemsDiablo III expands the player character's arsenal by leaps and bounds. Many items make a return in the form of magic, rare and unique types. It has been mentioned that some of the more popular Diablo I and II items may make a return, but that the color system could change, though normal and magic items are still white and turquoise respectively, there are purple colored items as seen in the gameplay video. The items also have a visual background color in the inventory depending on their type. Items with magical attributes will also give a visual effect when equipped by the character. This is a great improvement from the different color palettes that were used in Diablo II's magic items.
For a list of all the items seen in the video, see here.
Blizzard has stated that there will be no customization of characters outside of choosing your gender. However, the Diablo series is known more for its custom avatar looks through countless different pieces of armor. The first gameplay trailer has shown that they have kept all the old armor slots:
- Body Armor
- 2 Rings
- 2 Weapons (or One-Hand Weapon + Shield configuration or Two-Handed Weapons)
It also shows that they have added a slot for pauldrons, vambraces and for pants. It has also been stated that all of the parts will have an impact on the visuals of the character, meaning that not only armor, helmets and weapons will make up your character's appearance, an improvement from Diablo II.
Elixirs have been seen in the game as well, while in Diablo I they would give stat bonuses, there has been no official statement as to what functions they serve. However, it appears that they provide stat bonuses here as well, judging from the names matching with the types of stats in Diablo III.
- Elixir of Willpower I
- Elixir Of Vitality I
GemsGems make a reappearance, and it appears that there is another type of categories of gems than their power levels (chipped, flawed, etc.): prefixes such as square and star have been spotted. What they signify in item value and function is currently unknown. Gems have 14 quality levels, but only the first 8 can be obtained as drops from monsters, the rest must be crafted by the Jeweler Artisan.
- Minor Health Potion
- Scroll of Identify
- Scroll of Town Portal
- Small Bag
- Scroll of Superior Protection
To view all the cinematic and gameplay videos, see Diablo III videos.
Diablo III Black Soulstone Cinematic
Diablo III Opening Cinematic
It has been confirmed that Diablo III will have a number of expansion packs.
- Gamasultra - In Depth: Blizzard’s Boyarsky On Diablo III's Multiplayer Storytelling
- Revealed: Barbarian Skill Tree
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ Medievaldragon. 2011-09-09. Diablo III PC Spec Requirements Revealed. Blizzplanet. Accessed 2011-09-09.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 2008, Games Convention 2008 Relacja. Accessed on 2008-30-08
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 2008-12-23, Diablo 3 (PC). 1Up.com. Accessed on 2009-01-17
- ↑ 2009-24-04, Diablo III Wizard Info / Skills. Diablo III Kore. Accessed on 2009-24-04
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 2008-17-09, Diablo III Expansions ? VideoGamer Interview. Blizzplanet. Accessed on 2008-18-09
- ↑ Tracey John. 2008-11-08. ‘Diablo III’ Gender Choice A ‘Big Debate’. MTV Multiplayer. Accessed on 2008-13-08
- ↑ 2008-16-10, BlizzCon 2008: Blizzard's Rob Pardo talks Diablo 3. Joystiq. Accessed on 2008-17-10
- ↑ 2009-04-15, Elite Mode. Classic Battle.net. Accessed on 2009-04-19
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 As of Beta patch 9.
- Official Website
- FanaticNetworks.com - Diablo III fan-site and community
- Diablofans - Diablo fan-site
- Diablo:IncGamers - Diablo fan-site
- Diablo 3 news - Diablo 3 news site
- Diablo III Kore - Diablo fan-site
- Diablo 3 Guide
- DiabloSpot - Diablo fan-site
- DiabloGamer (German) Diablo fan-site
- Diablo3.net.ua - Russian/Ukrainian Diablo 3 community
- HellForge - Italian fan-site
- Diablo 3 Dicas - Brazilian fan-site
- AncientAvenger - Diablo fan-site
- Blizzturk - Turkish Fan Site
- Diablo 3 Italia - First Italian Fansite
- D3BG - The Bulgarian community of Diablo 3
- Diablo 3 Leveling Guide - Diablo 3 fan site
- Monk Guide - Diablo 3 fansite for monks