Diablo 3 Preview

This Diablo 3 Preview gives a quick look at what can be expected from Blizzard Entertainment’s upcoming action, role-playing game!

Diablo III is an upcoming dark fantasy/horror-themed action role-playing game in development by Blizzard, making it the third installment in the Diablo franchise. The game will also feature elements of the hack and slash and dungeon crawl genres.

The game takes place in Sanctuary, the dark fantasy world of the Diablo series. This world was saved twenty years prior by a handful of unnamed heroes in Diablo II. Warriors who, having survived the onslaught brought by the armies of the Burning Hells, have gone mad from their ordeals. It is up to a new generation of heroes to face the forces of evil threatening the world of Sanctuary.

Players will have the opportunity to explore familiar settings such as Tristram.

The release date has not yet been announced, though it will be available on the PC platform on Windows and Mac.

Check out this Diablo III Combat Visuals Interview with Julian Love, Blizzard Entertainment’s lead technical artist!

The new features and design are explored in this interview with Rob Pardo, Blizzard Entertainment’s Executive VP.

This B-Roll video showcasing Diablo 3 gameplay is from the first D3 Media/Press event.

And check out the Demon Hunter Reveal trailer!

Key Features of Diablo 3

Here is a list of key elements that will be available in Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo 3 based on news and announcements made so far.

Diablo III is similar in style to its predecessor, Diablo II. The proprietary engine will incorporate Blizzard’s custom in-house physics, a change from the original usage of Havok’s physics engine, and feature destructible environments with an in-game damage effect.

Static & Randomly Generated Levels
An enhanced quest system, a random level generator, and a random encounter generator are slated for use in order to ensure the game provides different experiences when replayed. Overall, the game will include both static and randomly generated levels.

Skill Runes
Skill runes, another new feature, are skill-modifying items that are randomly dropped by monsters and used across all classes. Similar to runes in Diablo II but instead of changing equippable items, they can be attached to skills as though they are items, often completely changing the gameplay of each skill.
Skill runes also have the ability to make one particular spell in each class more powerful, and give the player options as to how the rune will enhance a particular spell.

Class-Specific Quests
Additionally, there will be class-specific quests to go along with the main storyline quests.

Removal of Cut Scenes & Armor
Blizzard originally planned to have in-game cut scenes, but decided these would divert from the gameplay and decided against them. Three new armor pieces will be available: shoulder plates, arm-guards and leggings.

Artisans are NPCs who sell, craft, and enhance equipment. Three types of artisans can be acquired by completing a quest for each: a blacksmith, a mystic, and a jeweler. Artisans create items using materials the player can gather by scrapping acquired items and reducing them to their component parts. Unlike Diablo II, rare and magic items can be enhanced, not just basic weaponry and armor. These materials are used to create items, which will have random bonuses. Crafting can also be used to train and improve the skills of the artisans rather than create new items.

Character Classes
There will be five available character classes. In the previous two games, each class had a fixed gender, but in Diablo III players may choose the gender they would like to play.

  • The Witch Doctor is a new character reminiscent of the Diablo II necromancer, but with skills more traditionally associated with voodoo culture. The witch doctor has the ability to summon monsters, cast curses, harvest souls, and hurl poisons and explosives at his enemies. Blizzard has stated that the witch doctor is not another version of the necromancer and that they may incorporate the necromancer in a future expansion if they so desire. To power spells the witch doctor uses mana, which regenerates slowly.
  • The Barbarian will have a variety of revamped skills at their disposal based on the use of their incredible physical prowess. The barbarian is able to whirlwind through crowds, cleave through swarms, leap across crags, and crush opponents upon landing. The resource used by the barbarian is fury, which is generated through getting attacked by enemies, attacking enemies and through certain abilities. Fury is used for certain strong abilities and degenerates over time.
  • The Wizard is a version of the sorceress from Diablo II or the sorcerer from Diablo. The Wizard’s abilities range from shooting lightning, fire and ice at their enemies to slowing time and teleporting around enemies and through walls. The wizard fuels their spells with arcane power, which is a fast regenerating power source.
  • The Monk is a melee attacker, using martial arts to cripple foes, resist damage, deflect projectiles, attack with blinding speed, and land explosive killing blows. It combines the melee elements of Diablo II’s assassin class with the “holy warrior” role of the paladin. Blizzard has stated that the monk is not related in any way to the monk class from the Sierra Entertainment-made Diablo: Hellfire expansion. The monk is fueled by spirit, which has defensive purposes and is slowly generated through attacking, though it does not degenerate.
  • The Demon Hunter combines elements of Diablo II’s amazon and assassin classes. Demon hunters use crossbows as their main weapon and also throw small bombs at enemies. Some of their skills have been revealed and among them are arrow skills such as Chain Arrow. The demon hunter is fueled by discipline and hatred. Hatred is a fast regenerating resource that is used for attacks, while Discipline is a slow regenerating resource used for defensive abilities.

Gold, Health & Skills
Unlike previous iterations, gold can be picked up merely by touching it, rather than having to manually pick it up. One of the new features intended to speed gameplay is that health orbs drop from enemies, replacing the need to have a potion bar, which itself is replaced by a skill bar that allows a player to assign quick bar buttons to skills and spells; previously, players could only assign two skills (one for each mouse button) and had to swap skills with the keyboard or mouse wheel.

Followers are NPC allies that travel with you while questing and fighting mobs. There are three types of followers in Diablo 3: the Templar, the Scoundrel and the Enchantress, each having their own skills and background.

Player Versus Player
Player versus player has been implemented in Diablo III using unique arenas designed with differing amounts of terrain and cover. Players participate in PvP choosing from their existing characters, with access to all of the gear and skill they have gathered from playing the game in single player or cooperative mode. There will be both ranked and unranked game types.

Check out the cinematic trailer!

Eagerly anticipating this game? Don’t forget to leave a comment and share your opinion.

Take a look at our Diablo 3 Screenshots Gallery!