Diablo 3 was announced on June 28th, 2008 by Blizzard at the Worldwide Invitational event in Paris, France.
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Table of Contents:
1. Storyline / Lore (#story)
2. General Overview (#overview)
3. Gameplay Features (#gameplay)
4. User Interface (#interface)
5. Classes (#classes)
6 Drop System (#drops)
7. PKing Information (#pk)
8. Multiplayer (#multi)
9. Quests (#quests)
10. Graphics Explained (#graphics)
11. Screenshots (#screens)
12. Videos (#videos)
Section 1: Storyline and Lore (#story)
The story takes place 20 years after the events of Diablo II.
Warning: Spoilers for previous Diablo games.
About Diablo 3 from Blizzard:
"It has been twenty years since the events of Diablo II. Of those who faced the Lords of Hatred, Terror, and Destruction in the battle over the fate of Sanctuary, there are few still living who can bear to remember the horrors that the Prime Evils wrought upon the world. And of those who did not witness the terrible events firsthand, most believe the stories to be little more than myth. But something evil is stirring once again in Tristram, and it may already have claimed its first victim: Deckard Cain."
"In the previous two games, Diablo and his two brothers, Mephisto and Baal, were the three Prime Evils of a world called Sanctuary. Where we start off in Diablo III, it's twenty years later and the brothers are gone, they've been vanquished. Essentially everyone was kind of geared for Hell to actually invade. At the end of Lord of Destruction, the Worldstone was destroyed, it left a giant crater and everyone was expecting the hordes to come pouring out of it and nothing happened. So, Deckard Cain is one of our main characters from the first two games, he's spent the last two decades trying to find out where the last two Evils are, what they're doing and why the invasion didn't happen. A lot of the rest of the story focuses on Tyrael, the Angel of Justice, and what's happened to him since that event as he was actually the angel who destroyed the world."
Other story notes:
- Old characters like Deckard Cain return.
- The player character can now interact with characters in dialogue scenes.
- There is greater emphasis placed on character-driven story.
- Character classes will have a voice, which Blizzard believes gives them more personality.
Section 2: General Overview (#overview)
- The game largely follows in the Style of the previous Diablo games.
- The development team consists of 50-55 employees.
- The game uses a new 3D engine which also has the Havok physics engine.
- Controls are simple so that you can play with just a mouse, but at the same time gameplay depth is enhanced.
- The Camera is also simple and easy to use, with no hassles. Can be zoomed in, but not too far out.
- The game has been in development for four to five years. It was restarted after Blizzard North shut down in March of 2005.
- Scripted events can occur at random so as you go through the game multiple times you don't see the same thing.
- The length of Diablo 3 will be similar to Diablo 2, which had four acts.
- Blizzars stated that the game is "really far along", and that it is "really fun to play already."
- Diablo 3 will ship for the PC and MAC simultaneosly. There are no current plans for a console version.
- It is not yet known whether Hardcore mode will be included in the game. Hopefully that will answer some of the "Is hardcore in the game?!" topics. Though it will most likely return, seeing as how popular it was in Diablo 2.
- Loot is now generated per player. You only see the loot that you can pick up, which Blizzard hopes will create a spirit of cooperation.
Section 3: Gameplay Features (#gameplay)
- The difficulty levels have been ramped up.
- There is now a heavy focus on cooperative play.
- Scripted events can occur at random so as you go through the game multiple times you don't see the same thing. Random items, random monsters, and random adventures. It allows Blizzard to place random scripted events almost anywhere, and it keeps the game fresh every time you play.
- As stated by Blizzard, because of Diablo's random nature, it is difficult to support mods / map editors.
- The game will mix random and static maps, such as in Diablo 2. What is known now is that the overworld maps outside, will be static, but dungeons, caves, etc. will be randomized.
- NPC helpers and bodyguards are back.
- Mounts will not be included.
- Booby traps return.
- New health globes will not replace potions, but instead be more useful. As you fight enemies they will drop instant health globes which will heal you. Potions are still in the game though, but blizzard wants to emphasize skill over potions. When one player picks up a health globe, all players benefit from its restorative effects. This is in cooperative play
- The trading system will be improved over Diablo 2. Though an "auction house" system has not been confirmed.
- Destructible environments, that can either work for or against the player character.
- The town portal system will be kept, but upgraded even more to speed up the gameplay/
Section 4: User Interface
- Gold will now be automatically picked up.
- Mana and Frenzy bars. No longer will we only see one type of bar for the classes, mage type classes get the Mana bar, and fighter type classes get a Frenzy bar.
- A new hotbar acts like a smaller version of the World of Warcraft hotbar, with additional slots for scrolls.
- Blizzard stated that while they are upgrading it, the interface has been kept very similar to Diablo 2.
- Buffs in Diablo 3 will appear on the bottom left side of the screen.
- Mini Combat Log, when you attack an enemy, the damage you do will appear above the enemies head. Other information will also appear, such as when you block an enemies moves.
- Players can quickswap between skills using the mouse wheel or tab key.
- As stated before, the camera can be zoomed in, but not zoomed far out.
- When selecting a weapon, to make it easier to choose a new weapon for yourself, you will be able to see the weapon you currently have equipped, next to the weapon you are looking at. Whether this is the same with all equipment, it is not confirmed. Though it looks like this will be the case for all equipment.
- Weapon speed will be shown as "Attack per Second". Also there will be a calculated result for "Damage per Second" based on the damage and speed. With lightning damage having it's damage points ranging from 1 - x.
- Inventory: We can see room for 30 items. The new inventory system will be a bit similar to World of Warcraft where you will be able to carry variable sizes of bags. (There will be 4 grayed out slots for bags.) Items will take one inventory slot regardless of their size, and some of the items will be stackable. This will allow you to carry a lot more of the same item. Adding bags also allows you to carry many more items than ever before.
(Note: Some gear icons do not look like they would on the actual player character.)
- Finger R
- Finger L
- Weapon 1
- Weapon 2
- Runes will be included, but will have a different system than Diablo 2.
- Gems, and Scrolls of Identify are back.
- The item rarity system of Diablo 2 is making a comeback as well.
- Throwing knives are back.
- Elixrs are also in the game.
- Bags are included. Allowing you to store more items in each one, and carry up to 4 bags.
- The mini-map will be on the top right side of the screen, along with the name of the area that you are currently in right above it.
- NPC Portraits located top left of the UI as in Diablo 2.
Section 5: Classes (#classes)
- Five total character classes.
- Each class will have a female or male variant.
- The Mount Arreat area, home of the barbarians, was devastated in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. The barbarian people have subsequently fallen into decline.
Confirmed Barbarian Abilities:
- Whirlwind: a reckless spinning attack that takes out any enemy in the Barbarian's path.
- Leap: precision jump that destroys enemies on landing.
- Cleave: hits multiple enemies in one swing.
- Ground Stomp: a thundering AoE stun.
- Seismic Slam: the Barbarian slams the ground, creating a directed shockwave that can hit multiple enemies in a line.
- The Witch Doctor hails from the Teganze, an area of the Torajan jungles. They are a self-sacrificing people that believe in an alternate reality called the Unformed Land, which the Witch Doctors are able to tap into for their powers.
- The Witch Doctor is similar to Necromancer in function, but not intended as a replacement.
Conirmed Witch Doctor Abilities:
- Locust Swarm: Summons a swarm of insects that literally devour clusters of enemies, leaving nothing but bones.
- Wall of Zombies: Firewall-like spell that summons a line of zombies which stand and swing at nearby enemies.
- Firebomb: Grenade-like AoE (Area of Effect) fire spell.
- Horrify: AoE fear spell, causes most creatures to run away)
- Mongrel: Summons a demon dog from a skeleton. Casting locust swarm on a mongrel adds disease damage to its attacks. Intentionally destroying the mongrel damages nearby enemies.
- Mass Confusion: Temporarily turns a group of enemies against each other.
- Soul Harvest: AoE spell that kills an enemy and converts it into mana.
Section 6: Drop System (#drops)
As stated by the Blizzard developers, the new drop system in Diablo 3 will make monsters drop several items specific to each person in the game. That means no more ninja looting of items at the moment that you see them. This is a huge change from the Diablo 2's quick "loot or lose out" system we are all so used to. This is to hinder leeching for items in Diablo multiplayer, like in Diablo 2.
Blizzard hopes this new drop system will help avoid some of the problems in the past and make for a more enjoyable game.
Section 7: PKing Information (#PK)
This was posted on the World of Warcraft forums, by Bashiok, an official at Blizzard:
We're - in general - not big fans of griefing for any game. It's really only "fun" for one person, and that definition of fun isn't generally something we're going to want to encourage. It's far more positive to encourage and support meaningful and skillful options and systems within a game, than a mechanic for people to instantly turn against one another for no meaningful gameplay reasons.
I definitely remember running with my friends, and someone toggles it, and bam everyone is dead and your one friend is laughing. Ok, ok, good joke I guess, and then you run back and *bam*, you've toggled it to get them back. After a while everyone usually agrees to a truce because it's just a waste of time. But I also remember running with random players and losing extremely nice items because of it, not cool. I'm sure that it was a feature that was right up some people's alleys, I won't deny there are some that would enjoy nothing more than to see others frustrated, but is that truly something that should be encouraged through design - if not directly opposed?
We have a large focus on cooperative play for Diablo III, and the mechanics and design decisions related to multiplayer are likely going to be based on supporting and encouraging it as much as possible, and not breaking it down.
That doesn't mean that PvP won't have its own focus, but those are details and features we aren't yet discussing.
Section 8: Mutliplayer (#multi)
- Blizzard is looking into making the game more fair for everyone. In the past too many people tried and succeeded in ruining the game for others, with leeching, duping, and all the other problems of Diablo 2. They are working very hard on trying to keep the multiplayer from becoming as abused as Diablo 2s.
- The same drop in/drop out cooperative play over Battle.net.
- Diablo 3 can support about 8 players in multiplayer, as stated by the devs, but it plays better with around five. They have not decided on the maximum players yet.
- Battle.net will receive the some upgrades which will also be seen in Starcraft II.
- There will be a single realm/region for North America.
- Blizzard stated a WoW like Armory is being made for Diablo 3. If you are not familiar with that, it is a website that allows you to view your Diablo 3 character and share it outside of the game.
Section 9: Quests (#quests)
- A new "Adventure" system will power randomly generated scripted events. An example provided was an area the player would come across, such as an old abandoned house, that may have a story behind it and enemies to dispatch.
- There will be class-based quests in addition to main storyline quests.
- A new conversation system will see fully-voiced characters interacting with each other.
Section 10: Graphics Explained (#graphics)
We all know by now that some people went as far as to make a petition for Blizzard to change the graphics, even only after 3 days of seeing the very first screenshots of Diablo 3. Why did Blizard choose a different art style for Diablo 3 than the previous games in the series? When asked, lead Diablo 3 producer Keith Lee, stated that in Diablo 2, and 1, they featured darker landscapes and dungeons which fit great with the whole theme of the games. Since the very first screenshots were released, people have blamed them to look a lot like World of Warcraft, and complained that they were too bright and colorful for a Diablo game.
Keith Lee stated the following about this: “One of the things that we considered when we were working on the visuals for ‘Diablo III’ is the fact that color is your friend. We feel that color actually helps to create a lot of highlights in the game so that there is contrast. A great analogy is like in ‘Lord of the Rings’ — not everything is dark. It allows you to see what a creepy dungeon can be like but if everything is dark it doesn’t allow you to have a lot of contrast. Diablo I and Diablo II are darker, and I think that the one of the main reasons why is the fact that in ‘Diablo I,’ you’re basically in a dungeon the whole time. And in contrast to ‘Diablo III,’ you’ll be exploring outdoors, you’ll be in dungeons, you’ll be experiencing so many different areas."
"We want to bring as much variety as we can when you’re playing the game so that you’re excited to check out new environments. We don’t want everything to look the same and that’s really what we’re trying to aim for. What we also tried to do is create very clean textures so that you can really focus on them. It’s a stylized feel and in that sense, it’s very sort of a Blizzard philosophy. It’s just really pushing the envelope in terms of the visuals so that everyone is excited about how everything looks. We think that ‘Diablo III’ is going to be better in so many different ways. We’re just building and improving upon the the first and second ‘Diablo’ games.”
Kieth also stated, "We’re very involved, because everyone’s very passionate about our games. Blizzard employees spend a lot of time actually iterating on [the game], and so in terms of the next phase, what we’ll try to do is a proof on concept on lot of different gameplay aspects. And we really want to get as much feedback as possible so that we can improve on the game and ensure that we meet Blizzard quality for our fans and for ourselves as players.”
Section 11: Screenshots (#screenshots)
All of the high resolution Diablo 3 screenshots can be found here:
Artwork can be found here:
And finally the wallpapers section is here:
Diablo 3 was announced on June 28th, 2008 by Blizzard at the Worldwide Invitational event in Paris, France.