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BlizzCon 2010: Official Diablo III FAQ

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Blizzard Entertainment issued an official Diablo III FAQ in our Press CD to address certain concerns of the community.

Blizzard Quote:

What is Diablo III?

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.

Which characters will be in Diablo III?

Players will create a male or female hero from one of five distinct classes — barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter — 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 players to create unique characters brimming with power.

What can you say about the different classes?

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.

The monk is a skilled warrior of unparalleled dexterity. Armed with speed, holy fervor, and a quest for physical and spiritual perfection, the monk becomes a deadly apparition in the heat of battle, moving faster than the eye can follow to strike down enemies with a barrage of lightning-fast blows.

The demon hunter has a sole purpose in life: to track down and destroy every last demonic being that dares to threaten humanity. Lithe and notoriously deadly with a pair of dual crossbows, the demon hunter brings an entire arsenal of arcane gadgets and mystical traps to the battlefields of Sanctuary.

How did the new demon hunter character class come about?

When we set out to create the fifth class, we knew we wanted to add another ranged character to the game. However, we also wanted to create a class that was more sinister than the typical ranger archetype. In the end, we came up with a character who has a personal vendetta against the demons and who will stop at nothing to eradicate every last trace of evil in Sanctuary.

While the demon hunter primarily uses traditional ranged weaponry such as bows, crossbows, or even dual-wielded one-handed crossbows, the class is also incredibly proficient with gadgetry, traps, and deadly grenades. The demon hunter has dedicated an entire lifetime to training to destroy demons, and few can rival her skill.

What is the story of Diablo III?

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.

Will Diablo III be running on a new engine?

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 and physics systems allow for realistic object dynamics and cloth simulation, and enable players to lay waste to the minions of the Burning Hells in spectacular ways.

Will Diablo still have randomized events?

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.

What can you tell us about Battle.net?

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.

How will PvP be implemented in Diablo III?

While Diablo III is designed primarily for cooperative multiplayer, we are building in support for competitive player-vs.-player gameplay as well. We’re focusing on team-based PvP in an arena setting, and we are being careful to avoid PvP features that can easily lead to griefing, such as the ability to go hostile at will. We also plan to integrate Battle.net’s matchmaking system, a progression-based ranking system, and more.

When will Diablo III be released?

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.

What will Diablo III be rated?

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.

Will players interact with any familiar faces or places in Diablo III?

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.

What will questing be like in Diablo III? Will it be similar to Diablo II?

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.

What are the system requirements for Diablo III?

We’ll announce specific system requirements at a later date.

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003 posting news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Next-Gen MMO, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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