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News for 08/08/10

Title

About

Diablo III is a dark fantasy/horror-themed action role-playing game, with elements of the hack and slash and "dungeon roaming" genres, currently in development as the third installment of Blizzard's Diablo franchise. It was announced on June 28, 2008, at the 2008 Blizzard Convention.

Diablo III is being developed as the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will create a hero from one of five distinct classes, such as barbarian, witch doctor, or wizard, each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. As these heroes adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline and engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, they�ll grow in experience and ability and acquire items of incredible power.

The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced the armies of the Burning Hells -- and were fortunate enough to survive -- went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts.

In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again. Diablo III will be a fitting sequel to Diablo II, with the easy interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. It will also include many new features that will take the Diablo action-RPG experience to the next level. Features: Five powerful character classes to choose from, including the barbarian, witch doctor, and wizard Brand-new 3D graphics engine enhanced with spectacular visual effects and Havok physics Numerous indoor and outdoor areas detailing new regions in the world of Sanctuary Interactive environments with dangerous traps and obstacles, and destructible elements Randomly generated worlds bolstered by scripted events for endless and dynamic gameplay Vast assortment of fiendish monsters, with unique attack patterns and behaviors New quest system and character-customization options for the ultimate action-RPG experience Multiplayer functionality over Battle.net with support for cooperative and competitive play

Frequently Asked Questions

Diablo III General:


Q: What is Diablo III?
A: We�re developing Diablo III to be the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline, engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, growing in experience and ability, and acquiring items of incredible power. Diablo III will be a fitting sequel to Diablo II, with the easy interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. It will also include many new features that will take the Diablo action-RPG experience to the next level.



Q: Which characters will be in Diablo III?
A: Players will create a male or female hero from one of five distinct classes, such as barbarian, witch doctor, or wizard, each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. New customization options will provide for an even greater level of character specialization than the previous Diablo games, allowing the player to create unique characters brimming with power.



Q: What can you say about the announced classes?
A: Returning from Diablo II, the dual-wielding barbarian is one of the stoic guardians of Mount Arreat. Retooled with powerful new abilities and moves, this plate-wearing savage wields ferocious weapons to annihilate the demonic forces threatening the world of Sanctuary.

The fearsome witch doctor hails from the terrifying Tribe of the Five Hills of the legendary umbaru race. The witch doctor is equipped with spells and alchemical powers; can summon mongrels, locust swarms, and zombie armies; and hurls fiery concoctions to annihilate any demon foolish enough to trifle with the powers of the umbaru. The wizard is a wielder of the elements and a master manipulator of time, who combats the hordes of the Burning Hells by launching environment-shattering lightning bolts, channeling explosive arcane energies, and creating pockets of space outside of the normal flow of time.



Q: What is the story of Diablo III?
A: The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced Hell�s armies -- and were fortunate enough to survive -- went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts. In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again.



Q: Will Diablo III be running on a new engine?
A: Diablo III is powered by a new graphics engine that can display characters and hordes of monsters in lush, fully 3D environments.�Powerful special-effects systems and Havok-powered physics allow for realistic object dynamics and cloth simulation, and enable players to lay waste to the minions of the Burning Hells in spectacular ways.



Q: Will Diablo III still have randomized events?
A: Diablo III builds on the random environments of the previous Diablo games by adding random scripted events and encounters throughout the game, creating a dense and exciting world alive with quests, NPCs, and dynamic encounters.



Q: What can you tell us about Battle.net?
A: Diablo III will benefit from Battle.net upgrades that will provide some exciting new features for players. Cooperative online play remains a primary focus, with multiple enhancements being planned to make connecting with your friends easier and cooperative play even more fun. We�ll have more details on all these aspects as well as other exciting new features at a later date.



Q: How will PvP be implemented in Diablo III?
A: With regard to the multiplayer component of Diablo III, the emphasis will be on cooperative play, but we will also include support for competitive play. What form that support will take is still being discussed, but we are being careful to avoid features that can easily lead to griefing, such as the ability to go hostile at will.



Q: When will Diablo III be released?
A: It�s too early to estimate Diablo III�s release date. As with all Blizzard Entertainment games, our goal is to create a game that is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible. We intend to take as much time developing Diablo III as is necessary to ensure the game meets our own high expectations and those of our players. We�re aiming to release Diablo III on both Mac and Windows simultaneously in as many regions as possible, and to localize the game in several languages. We�ll have more details to share about countries, languages, and specific dates as we get closer to release.



Q: What will Diablo III be rated?
A: The Diablo III rating will be determined by the ratings boards in each region. We still have a good amount of work to do content-wise, so we�re not quite ready to submit the game for ratings yet.



Q: Will players interact with any familiar faces or places in Diablo III?
A: Yes, definitely. Players will return to Tristram and certain other locations from the previous games and they�ll also be exploring new areas of Sanctuary. Players will also encounter several new characters as well as a number of characters from the previous games including Deckard Cain.



Q: What will questing be like in Diablo III? Will it be similar to Diablo II?
A: Our plans for the story and quest mechanics are still under wraps. We�ll go into detail on those elements of the game at a later date. We can say, however, that we expect to have class-based quests in addition to the main story-line quests.



Q: What are the system requirements for Diablo III?
A: We�ll announce specific system requirements at a later date.



ArtWork

Game Play



Diablo III's inventory and HUD will retain a feel similar to that found in earlier games in the series, including a viewpoint reminiscent of the old isometric view. At first there was a new inventory system, but it has recently been reverted back to the original "tetris inventory", as found in Diablo 2. The inventory is divided into two tabs, one for items that players find, and others for quest items that players will find throughout the game. Diablo III is similar in style to its predecessor, Diablo II. The proprietary engine will incorporate Havok physics and feature destructible environments with an in-game damage effect. The developers are aiming to make the game run on a wide range of systems, and have stated that DirectX 10 will not be required. Diablo III will use a custom 3D game engine in order to present an overhead view to the player, in a somewhat similar way to the isometric view used in previous games in the series. Enemies will utilize the 3D environment as well, in ways such as crawling up the side of a wall from the depths into the combat area. Every creature model will have around 35 unique death animations.

As in Diablo II, multiplayer games will be possible using Blizzard's Battle.net service, with many of the new features developed for StarCraft II also available in Diablo III. Players will be able to drop in and out of sessions of co-operative play with others.

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. Additionally, there will be class-specific quests to go along with the main storyline quests. Blizzard originally planned to have in-game cutscenes, but decided these would divert from the gameplay and decided against them. Two new armor pieces will be available: shoulder plates and leggings.

Unlike previous iterations, gold can be picked up merely by touching it, rather than having to manually pick it up. Sidekicks, unlike Diablo II, are now distinct NPCs who join the player, rather than randomly-generated and endlessly replaceable hires. 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 function keys. Players can still assign specific attacks to mouse buttons.

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.[14] They 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. For example, investing Skill Runes on the Wizard's "Lightning" can allow the players to make the lightning jump towards additional enemies, or, alternatively, adding the runes with explosion effect blows the enemy up and causes damage to the surrounding area.

Character Classes



As of August 2010, four of the five classes have been unveiled: the Barbarian, the Witch Doctor, the Wizard, and the Monk. The Barbarian is the only class that Blizzard is planning to bring back from Diablo II for the initial release. Blizzard has also stated that the Monk is not related in any way to the Monk class from the Sierra Entertainment made Diablo: Hellfire expansion. The Archivist was presented on April 1, 2009 following Blizzard's April Fool's Day joke tradition.

In the previous two games, each class had a fixed gender, but in Diablo III, players may choose the sex they would like to play. Although Blizzard initially revealed only one sex per class, the alternate sex is being revealed slowly in the lead-up to the game's release. Currently, all four announced classes have had both their male and female form revealed: the female Monk, female Barbarian, and male Wizard. The female Witch Doctor was originally seen in the gameplay tutorial on the Diablo III website, and has also been formally announced after some time, and the fifth class has yet to be revealed.

Current Classes Include:


Monk
[Edit]
Wizard
[Edit]
Barbarian
[Edit]
Witch Doctor


Developement

Dekard Cain speaking to a barbarian player in an in-engine cutscene.Development on Diablo III began in 2001 when Blizzard North was still in operation. The original artistic design differed from that shown at Blizzard Worldwide Invitational 2008 demonstration, and had undergone three revisions before reaching the standards felt necessary by the team behind Diablo III. The development teams are composed of fifty people. Most of the game mechanics and physics are complete, and are undergoing minor revisions. Most of the current and remaining development will focus on adding game content.

Diablo III's lead designer is Jay Wilson, a former Relic Entertainment designer credited with work on Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Company of Heroes. Its lead world designer is Leonard Boyarsky, one of the six co-creators of Fallout.

The game is being planned for a simultaneous release on both Windows and Mac OS X platforms. Blizzard has also announced it has "no plans" to make the game available on other platforms,[11] but has recently been rumored to have begun talks with console manufacturers. While no official release date has been announced, the Game will be playable at GamesCom on August 18th, 2010, when it is possible the last class could be announced. The game will be released by 2012 but possibly as early as Q3/Q4 2011 according to comments by lead developer Jay Wilson.

Music

Russell Brower composed the music for Diablo III. When composing for the orchestra, he tried to respect the Wagnerian style from Lord of Destruction expansion of the second game in the series. The Overture is considered the main theme of the game and it has been performed by the Eminence Symphony Orchestra. A similar composition was used on the Cinematic Teaser Trailer of the game. The Tristram theme from the first Diablo videogame, also used in the second game, is present in Diablo III with few changes.

Opening theme:



World Map Soundtrack:



Overture soundtrack:



Premeire announcement at Blizzard Worldwide Invitational:


Latest News

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"We made our way inside. And let me tell you, I never smelled death like I did in that place. Once inside, we were set upon by the undead," and he paused to see if I would laugh in disbelief at this.

When I didn't, he continued, "That's right, undead. I've faced the undead several times, but you never get used to it. You think you're prepared, but there's just something that sticks in your gut, this horrible feeling. Your hands get slick with sweat, and your sword is hard to grasp correctly...you really doubt your sanity in being down there, facing something like that. And the stench is unimaginable. But we were pulling ourselves through � I had started to come out the other side, where you start to ease into that unsettled feeling and use it to drive yourself forward."

It was at this point that his mood noticeably darkened. I found myself easing a bit closer so as not to miss a single detail.

"Then it started to go wrong. We began encountering these, these dark...things...imps or demons...or fallen, I think they're called. There were so many of them, all horns and flashes of red, attacking us from all sides. I don't think you could ever really be prepared for something like that. We got disoriented, which was easy to do. It was so dark....

"I admit it: I ran, left my fellows to die. I couldn't face that thing; it was all just too horrible." "And then we heard this...this horrid voice that I can only describe as the sound of a saw ripping through bone.

"I can't even recollect what he was saying. I was so terrified I don't think I could understand it, but he kept repeating it, over and over." The adventurer shuddered at the remembrance.

"He was this bloated thing...and ...and there was blood, and bodies � everywhere I turned, some new horror confronted me. And suddenly he was on us; we couldn't shake him. Jeremy fell first, and then I ran. I admit it: I ran, left my fellows to die. I couldn't face that thing; it was all just too horrible. He hit me with a glancing blow as I fled, but even that was enough to take my arm almost clean off. I had to have a healer finish the job...."

Links:

Official Diablo-III Site


Dekard Cain's Journal


Diablo 3 Fansite meant for all fans of Diablo game by Blizzard with heroes skills environments and bestiary.
www.diablo3fansite.com


Fan site containing news, forums, image gallery, and links.
www.diablofans.com
(Note: This site was originally Diablo3.com, then Blizzard bought it!)