Twenty years have passed since Tyrael destroyed the Worldstone. Mount Arreat, home of the proud Barbarians, was obliterated when the Worldstone exploded. Now Arreat is nothing more than a giant crater. The Barbarians, with no home and no Worldstone to protect, have become nomadic. There are few still living who can bear to remember the horrors that the Prime Evils wrought upon the world. Most of those who fought the hordes of the burning hells have gone mad. Others who did not witness the terrible events firsthand often cannot bring themselves to believe that the battle with the Prime Evils is anything more than spook stories. Deckard Cain has spent twenty years trying to figure out what the destruction of the Worldstone will mean for Sanctuary. In this time Cain has adopted a young girl by the name of Leah, and has started to teach her the lore of the Horadrim. But evil stirs once again, and new heroes are needed to fight against the coming onslaught…
- Diablo III is the first game to render the world of Sanctuary in a 3D, physics-enabled game engine.
- Unlike the previous potion-heavy health systems of past Diablo games, in Diablo lll, enemies drop Life Orbs when they are killed that, when picked up, restore a small amount of health.
- At Blizzcon 2011, Blizzard announced World of Warcraft annual subscribers will get Diablo III free at launch. The stipulations are that one has to agree to lock themselves into a year of World of Warcraft. This deal is called an Annual Pass. It also includes a World of Warcraft mount and beta access to World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria.
Diablo III features five character classes, and, unlike previous installments in the series, lets players choose their character’s gender.
Their land, shattered by the destruction of the Worldstone, is now known as the Dreadlands. The once proud and noble Barbarians who resided in Mount Arreat have either stayed or struck out to battle evil in atonement for failing in their ancient stewardship. Over the course of two decades, those who stayed have regressed into bloodthirsty cannibals.
The Barbarian uses brute force and dual weapons to inflict maximum damage on his enemies. He also uses war cries to boost his fighting ability and defense, and prefers melee weapons like axes and swords. Their unique equipment consists of special Mighty Weapons and Mighty Belts.
Having been in Diablo II, the Barbarian is the first class to appear in more than one Diablo game. However, though the Barbarian is similar to his Diablo II counterpart, it is not the same character. This was initially intended to be the case, but later abandoned as it became too much work to rewrite parts of the dialogue specifically for just one character who was not new to the events of the world.
The Witch Doctor
The Witch Doctor belongs to one of the legendary Umbaru tribes. The Umbaru reside in a dense jungle area known as Torajan. They are said to be a primitive race who regularly engage in tribal warfare sparked by ritualistic differences among the different tribes. Prisoners of these conflicts willingly submit themselves as sacrifices to honor the revered spirits of the rainforest. They believe that in death they will reach the true reality, commonly known as the Unformed Lands.
That being said, the Umbaru (and especially the Witch Doctor) are masters of the dark arts. To defeat their enemies, they summon spirits, raise the dead, and call upon the denizens of the jungle. They alone can wield ceremonial knives, mojos, and voodoo masks.
The word wizard is dysphemism for dangerous rogue sorcerers and magi. These particular wizards are natives of Xiansai. The mages of Yshari Sanctum brought the prodigies to Caldeum for training. After defying their instructors and destroying part of the Sanctum, they fled the city.
The Wizard class has the ability to manipulate the elements and alter the very fabric of space and time. Although Wizards are not as hardy as the other classes, their powerful spells keep enemies at bay. Only Wizards have access to wands, orbs, and special Wizard Hats.
The Monks of Ivgorod are rarely seen outside their predominantly isolationist kingdom. Secretive and reclusive, these holy warriors undergo intense mental and physical training to hone their minds and bodies into living instruments of divine justice.
The Monk is a melee class with a mixed fighting style like that of Diablo II’s Assassin and Paladin classes. The Monk’s combos are skills that build up Spirit, have three different stages, and end big. You can mix up the combo with any other combo skill you have. For example, you can start with Fist of Thunder, then use Way of the Hundred Fists, and then go for the big finish with Crippling Wave. Supplementing this, Monks use Mantras (similar to auras from Diablo II) to boost their own power and that of nearby allies, and they execute powerful Spirit-consuming attacks like Seven Sided Strike. The Monk alone can equip fist weapons, spirit stones, and daibos.
Demon Hunters have a vendetta against the demons who killed their loved ones. While not native to the region, the secretive cadre of hunters has chosen to make its home in the harsh and unforgiving Dreadlands. The abundance of demonic creatures and mutated beasts provides a wealth of training opportunities for the Demon Hunters to hone their deadly skills.
The Demon Hunter mainly uses shadow-themed skills and gadgets like Grenades, Traps, and Bolas. Half the skills require the class to have some kind of ranged weapon equipped, but if one were so inclined, one could make a Demon Hunter who uses melee weapons. The Demon Hunter alone can equip hand crossbows, quivers, and cloaks.
Being part of the Holy Trinity of Character Design (i.e., melee fighter + spell caster + bow/crossbow fighter), Jay Wilson said that it was one of the first class archetypes on the whiteboard, even though the Demon Hunter was the last class to be revealed.
April Fool’s Fake Class
Every year on April 1st, Blizzard makes joke announcements related to all their games, and in 2009 the April Fool’s Day announcement for Diablo III revealed the supposed fourth class; the Archivist, essentially a combat librarian.
These brave souls wade into battle wielding tome and quill, armoured not in ensorcelled plate or links of chain, but in the knowledge of generations past. These Archivists fight not only for our future, but for our past as well.
Archivists have powerful skills like “Lorenado”, which unleashes a miniature vortex consisting of ancient tomes that batters the enemy into oblivion. “Quest Bolt” removes an enemy from a battle without actually killing them by transforming them from a hostile monster into a quest giver (parodying the exclamation points used in Diablo II to mark quest givers, but made more popular by the use of the same visual in World of Warcraft) Finally, Blizzard demonstrated the Archivist’s ultimate weapon, the “Shush!” spell, which releases a demand for silence so powerful that all the noisy monsters in the area drop dead immediately. Apparently the main drawback to playing an Archivist would have been their frailty; at the end of the first two videos, a single enemy gets in a single hit on the Archivist, and that hit is enough to kill the unfortunate hero. At the end of the third video, despite Shush! Having killed all the monsters, the Archivist inexplicably died as well, exploding into gibs as a tip of the hat to the non-serious nature of the class.
Notably, elements of previous April Fool’s jokes have made it into the final versions of some of Blizzard’s products; the Pandaren race, for example, announced for Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, made an appearance in-game in the form of the neutral Pandaren Brewmaster hero. It has therefore been theorized that the Archivist or his abilities will make some sort of appearance in the final game, although it should be noted that adding a single unit to an RTS as a joke is a very different proposition than adding an entire character class to an RPG as a joke, making playable Archivists extremely unlikely.
Blizzard chose to have a different resource for each of the 5 classes in Diablo III, instead of a general mana system used in Diablo II and many other RPGs:
- The Barbarian’s resource is Fury. Fury is generated by dealing and taking damage, and spent when skills are used. Fury decays when not in combat for a few seconds.
- The Demon Hunter’s has two resources: Hatred and Discipline. Both Hatred and Discipline slowly regenerates over time. Hatred has skills that generate more Hatred as well as skill that spend Hatred. Discipline, on the other hand, is used for defensive and utility skills.
- The Monk’s resource is Spirit. Spirit is built as the Monk uses combo skills, and is spent when non combo skills are used. Spirit is static and does not regenerate or decay over time.
- The Witch Doctor’s resource is Mana. Mana is a large pool that slowly regenerates. The witch doctor’s spells and summons are semi-permanent which gives time for mana to regenerate.
- The Wizard’s resource is Arcane Power. Arcane power is a small pool similar to mana, but regenerates very quickly, allowing the Wizard to constantly cast spells with little down time.
In late 2009, Blizzard revealed that attribute points will be pre-assigned at every level up. The reasoning behind this decision was that unless a player follows a specific build known in advance, they will all but inevitably create a weaker character in the long run, which undermines a player’s satisfaction with their character. So in substitution for requiring a player to do research outside of the game on optimal character builds or requiring a large amount of trial and error, the game will handle this facet of character building for the player.
Players can still further customize their attributes using Gear and Gems.
|Before (Diablo II)||Now|
Strength (Melee Damage, Equippable Gear)
Strength ( + Barbarian damage, + to Armor)
Dexterity (Hit, Block, and Dodge Chance)
Dexterity ( + Monk, and DH damage, + to Dodge)
Vitality (Life and Stamina)
Intelligence ( + to Wiz and WD damage, + to Resist)
Vitality (+ to life)
In Diablo III, Blizzard took a different approach to skills from their previous Diablo games. Gone are the skill trees and skill points from Diablo II. In place of that is a new system of Skills, Runes, and Passives. At every level-up, the player will unlock a combination of between one and five new Skills, Runes, and Passives, all specific to each character class.
Skills are activated abilities that can be put onto a hotbar and used on demand. Runes are Skill modifiers that alter the effects of a Skill. Passives are persistent bonuses for your character. At one time, a character can have up to 6 Skills equipped, each with 1 Runes, as well as 3 Passives. By default, of the 6 equipped Skills, one must come from each the class’s Skill families. However, if you wish, you may enable Elective Mode in the Options menu which removes this restriction, allowing you to equip more than 1 Skill from specific families.
Every single Skill, Rune, and Passive is unique and there is no overlap between classes. Thus, spanning all five character classes there are 113 different Skills, each with 5 different Runes, and 75 different Passives, creating a total of 753 distinct Skills, Runes, and Passives to play with in the game.
In a break from RPG conventions, Diablo III will allow you to respec your character’s Skills, Runes, and Passives at any time with no penalty or cost aside from a few seconds of cooldown for your newly equipped Skills (to discourage changing Skills in the middle of a battle). Free respecs combined with the large number of ways of customizing each character class encourages players to experiment creatively to discover play styles that they enjoy most. For Skill list, click on the following class below.
Diablo III expands upon the mercenary system from Diablo II by allowing players to recruit an NPC companion to follow them on their adventure and assist them in combat. They will have their own voice, dialog, and story, akin to companions in other RPGs (like Dragon Age). They will also have their own unique animations, gear appearance, and skills. There are three followers to choose from, and each can be hired out at the player’s Caravan. They are found via quests, similar to the artisans. At any point the player can return to the Caravan and switch out one follower for another. Followers do not die when their health is reduced to zero. Instead, they temporarily go unconscious for a period of time, and can be revived by the player.
Followers are not player-controlled or directed, but have AI behaviors that suit a specific role depending on what skills the player gives them. Each of the three followers has 12 different skills. At specific levels (5,10,15,20) they will unlock a new skill tier, allowing players to choose one of two skills for their follower to learn. A follower can have a maximum of 4 skills. As of now there is no way to alter these choices once made, but there were plans at one time to have a pay-to-unlearn system.
Followers can equip left and right weapons, along with 2 rings and an amulet. Starting from level 18, they can also equip a special character item that is unique to them. Followers will only be available in solo play and are purely optional.
The Scoundrel form Kingsport, kicked out of the thieves’ guild. He’s a real thief in both mind and heart. He attacks with bows and crossbows.
|Level||Skill Choice 1||Skill Choice 2|
|5||Crippling Shot: Ranged attack that slows the target.||Poison Bolts: Ranged attack that deals Poison damage over time.|
|10||Dirty Fighting: Blinds enemies in front of the Scoundrel.||Vanish:
The Scoundrel vanishes when injured and heals himself before reappearing.
|15||Multishot: The Scoundrel’s regular attacks split into 3 bolts.||Powered Shot: Ranged attack that deals Arcane damage to a small area with a chance to Stun.|
|20||Anatomy: Increases Critical Hit Chance for the Scoundrel and his allies. (Passive)||Hysteria: Whenever the player or the Scoundrel land a Critical Hit, increase all damage done by them for a short period.|
The Templar, he is on a mission to recover holy scrolls that were stolen by Archbishop Lazarus. He attacks with a spear and a shield. The Templar is also a capable healer and protector.
|Level||Skill Choice 1||Skill Choice 2|
|5||Heal: Heals the player or the Templar when injured.||Intervene: Taunts enemies into attacking the Templar when the player is injured.|
|10||Intimidate: Enemy units are slowed when they hit the Templar.||Loyalty: Regenerates Life per second for the Templar and his allies.|
|15||Charge: Charges a target, damaging and stunning the target and nearby enemies.||Onslaught: Delivers a massive blow to an enemy for additional damage.|
|20||Guardian: Rush to the aid of a wounded ally, knocking back nearby enemies and healing the ally.||Inspire: Increase resource regeneration for all allies that the Templar is following. (Passive)|
The Enchantress, she follows a figure called The Prophet. She attacks with a staff and specializes in utility magic.
|Level||Skill Choice 1||Skill Choice 2|
|15||Charm: Charms an enemy into fighting for the player temporarily.||Forceful Push: Summon an explosion that knocks back all enemies in a small area and deals Arcane damage to them.|
|20||Powered Armor: Increases Armor and slows enemies that attacks the Enchantress and her allies. (Passive)||Reflect Missiles: Place a shield on the Enchantress and her allies that reflects incoming projectiles. The reflected projectiles can hurt enemies.|
|25||Disorient: Causes a group of enemies to stumble around disoriented.||Erosion: Summons a pool of energy that deals Arcane damage per second and increases damage taken from all sources for affected enemies.|
|30||Focused Mind: Increases attack speed for the Enchantress and her allies. (Passive)||Mass Control: Hex all enemies in an area, turning them into chickens that are unable to perform offensive actions.|
Two Artisans (there were three, but one was removed, possibly to come back later) join the player’s cause, each for their own reasons. They become part of the player’s Caravan and will follow the player throughout the world. They will set up camp sites to offer the player the use of their talents and give them quests. Once aquired, these artisans will be available for all of the player’s characters.
These NPCs were created to replace the merchants from Diablo II. The developers even referred to them as being “vendors 2.0.” All Artisans buy and sell items like the vendors of old, but they also provide the player with other invaluable services. Crafting, a service shared by all Artisans, is the main difference between the Artisans and the Diablo II merchants. Each Artisan crafts different items and can be leveled up through investments of gold and raw materials (acquired from salvaging magic items at the artisan caravan), giving them access to more powerful crafting patterns. This also carries over between the all of a player’s characters.
Arms and armor are crafted by the Blacksmith. The Jeweler crafts amulets, gems, and rings. Crafted items will have a mixture of set properties and random properties all with random bonuses, giving players motivation to craft the same item more than once.
In addition to crafting, the Artisans offer other services. The Blacksmith can salvage unwanted gear. The Jeweler can un-socket as well as upgrade Gems.
Diablo games are all about the loot, but there is always a lot of loot that the player has no use for. The salvaging system looks to fix this issue. With the help of the Blacksmith, players can break down unwanted magical items into crafting materials. Crafting materials can be stacked in high numbers while only using a single inventory slot, leaving more room in the players’ inventories for additional loot. All of the materials the player salvages can be used to craft new magical items, giving new life to unwanted loot.
Should the need to go back to town arise away from a waypoint, a player can simply click on the icon in their UI to cast a town portal spell. Town portals have been modified from previous versions of Diablo to now have a longer cast-time; casting a town portal in the middle of combat is no longer a surefire escape.
A shared stash is a loot bank that all of your characters have access to. If you were to find a nice weapon that would work better with another character, you can simply place the item in the shared stash. Next time you are playing that other character, you can take it out of the shared stash and equip it.
The shared stash has 3 tabs (or pages) of inventory space, each tab contains 70 slots (7×10) for a total of 210 slots. The player starts off with 14 slots and can use their gold to expand the stash 14 slots at a time (7×2).
Hardcore difficulty mode
As it was in Diablo II, Diablo III will have a Hardcore difficulty mode, meaning if your character dies he stays dead. If your character does die you can still see your character without taking up the player’s character slots with the Halls of Fallen Heroes. The Hall of Fallen Heroes is a menu with a list of all your dead heroes, it also displays several statistics such as how the character was slain and the level that the character was at when slain. Only hardcore characters who are level 10 or higher can be archived in the Halls of Fallen Heroes. The player can delete archived characters from their Halls of Fallen Heroes to remove them permanently.
In addition to the challenge of having only one life, players also have to deal with another level of persistence separate from their normal characters. Hardcore characters will have their own shared stash, artisan levels and shared gold pieces. In other words, players trying out Hardcore for the first time will have to save up to expand the hardcore version of the shared stash and level up the artisans from scratch.
Diablo III will have not one robust Auction House system, but two. One will be in-game gold-based, the other will be real currency-based. Both will be accessible from anywhere in the game. Players can open the auction house interface to make purchases or list items for sale. Items can be sold from the shared stash (storage shared among all the characters on your Battle.net account) or from any individual character’s inventory. When posting the item, the seller picks whether it will be sold in the gold-based auction house, or the real-money auction house (RMAH). The item is then held by the auction house system until the listing expires or a purchase is made. Items that are not sold are returned to the seller’s shared stash, and items that are sold are delivered to the winning bidder’s shared stash. In either case, the auction house system will deduct a nominal fixed transaction fee from the seller, the amount of which is determined by whether or not the item was sold. For the currency-based auction house, players will have a few different options for how to pay for item purchases and receive funds for item sales. This system is Player to Player only; Blizzard will not be selling any items.
Hardcore-mode characters will not be able to use the real-money auction house. Blizzard came to this decision because when a Hardcore character dies, the loot he/she had is gone as well, and they didn’t want players to buy something with real money only to have it lost due to no fault of the player, such as the loss of an internet connection. Hardcore characters will still have access to the gold-based auction house.
The banner system will be a visual representation of the achievements players earn across all of their Diablo III characters on their Battle.net account. A player’s banner will contain multiple components that can be earned through various modes of gameplay. Completing different parts of the game at different difficulty levels, defeating bosses, earning achievements in PvP, and earning various other achievements will unlock ways for players to customize their banner and show off their progress in the game.
In patch 1.0.4, Blizzard introduced the Paragon system, which effectively increases the level cap to 160 (60 normal levels, and 100 Paragon levels). The goal of the Paragon system is to make the end-game longer, as well as giving the player other means of progression during a play session. Paragon levels are similar to normal levels in that the character gets a stat boost in the normal abilities (Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Vitality), but it differs from regular levels in that the character also gets permanently higher Magic Find and Gold Find. Because of this, Blizzard hopes to gradually decrease the need for items with Magic Find and Gold Find bonuses. There are no other benefits to getting a Paragon level, i.e. the character will not be able to equip better equipment or get new skills.
Talisman (currently removed from game)
On May 25th 2011, Blizzard made the decision to put the Talisman on the shelf, due to it not meeting their high standards as well as not having the time to make it work without delaying the game’s release. It may return to the game later in an update or in an expansion. The Talisman was not only set to be a dedicated inventory space for your charms, it was going to be a means of customizing your character’s attributes. The Talisman was planned to start off with five slots for charms and grow to hold thirteen.
Charms (Currently removed from game)
Charms were an item type that augment your character’s attributes. The developers felt they overlapped too much with gear’s roll, so they removed them for now and put them on the shelf next to the Talisman. Like with the Talisman, they could come back later, such as in a expansion.
This feature was added in patch version 1.0.5 which gives the player the ability to play through previous quests and adjust how tough the monsters will be. This option is similar to the “players x” command in Diablo 2 in increase the strength and the Magic Find is also increased. The maximum Monster Power is 10.
The Infernal Machine
This is an event that has been added in patch 1.0.5 whereby players can fight against uber versions of the sub-bosses by creating “The Infernal Machine”. This is done by creating it from 3 keys and acquiring the Battle Plans for it, all of which are located in Inferno Mode (and also requires the player to have 5 levels of Nephalem Valor). They can only be taken from the 4 Keywardens:
|Keywarden||Act||Area||Item to Collect|
|Odeg||Act 1||Fields of Misery||Key of Destruction|
|Sokahr||Act 2||Dahlgur Oasis||Key of Hate|
|Xah’Rith||Act 3||Stonefort||Key of Terror|
|Nekarat||Act 4||Silver Spire||Blacksmith Plans|
These items are tied to the account.
It’s also worth noting that due to the Monster Power update as well, when the number is increased, it also increases the chance of collecting the items.
Once created (and after paying up 12,000 gold to craft it), the player must go to the Heretic’s Abode which is in New Tristam and upon activation of the machine, a red portal appears and teleports the player in one of three places:
- Realm of Discard fighting against King Leoric and Maghda
- Realm of Chaos fighting against Ghom and Rakanoth
- Realm of Turmoil fighting against Siege Breaker and Zoltun Kulle
They are the bosses as before with also additional moves as well.
Upon killing the 2 bosses, the player is rewarded with an organ which is used to combine into a legendary item called the “Hellfire Ring”
Note: Once the player has used the infernal machine, it is then destroyed and must be created again to re-access to portal.
Brawling, previously known as dueling, was introduced in patch 1.0.7. Brawling allows up to 4 players to battle each other in a Free-For-All format. To initiate a brawl, plays must enter a specifically designated area called “The Scorched Chapel”, which can be accessed by speaking with Nek the Brawler in any of the four Act hubs.
Once in the Scorched Chapel there are four different areas to fight, the church, the graveyard, the river, and the lake. The actual game mode is very bare-bones. There is no score or objectives to strive for, just plain fighting.
Brawling was announced shortly after Blizzard revealed that the games PvP mode was being delayed after coming to the conclusion that it didn’t meet their high standards. The more elaborate PvP mode is still planned for release, but there is no time frame for it’s arrival.
The Diablo III Collector’s Edition was announced at Blizzcon 2011 with the following features:
- Diablo III Art Book
- Diablo III Soundtrack
- Diablo III Behind The Scenes DVD and Blu-Ray Two Disc Set
- Diablo III On the Mac/PC
- Soul Stone Designed USB pre-loaded with Diablo II and Diablo II Lord of Destruction with Diablo Skull Holder
- Diablo III Aesthetic Artifacts
- Exclusive In Game Pet for World of Warcraft
- Exclusive Battle.net Portraits for StarCraft II
|Windows® XP/Vista/7 (latest service packs) with DX 9.0c||Mac® OS X 10.6.8, 10.7.x or newer|
|Intel Pentium® D 2.8 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4400+||Intel® Core 2 Duo|
|NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ X1950 Pro or better||NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 or better|
|1 GB RAM (XP), 1.5 GB (Vista/7)||2 GB RAM|
|12 GB available HD space||12 GB available HD space|
|DVD-ROM (required for retail disc versions only)||DVD-ROM (required for retail disc versions only)|
|Broadband** Internet connection||Broadband** Internet connection|
|1024×768 minimum resolution||1024×768 minimum resolution|
|Windows® Vista/7 (latest service packs)||Mac® OS X 10.7.x or newer|
|Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 5600+ 2.8 GHz||Intel® Core 2 Duo|
|2 GB RAM||2 GB RAM|
|NVIDIA® GeForce® 260 or ATI Radeon™ HD 4870 or better||NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 330M or ATI Radeon™ HD 4670 or better|
Diablo III for Mac is only available in English, French, and German.