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Blizzplanet Interview – Micky Neilson & Matt Burns Discuss Diablo III: Book of Tyrael

diablo-iii-book-of-tyrael-cover-full-sizeMontoya and I had a blast interviewing New York Times Best Selling author and Blizzard Lead Publishing Micky Neilson and Blizzard Associate Publishing Developer Matt Burns.

We asked a few questions about the Insight Editions’ Diablo III: Book of Tyrael which is currently available at a bookstore near you and online.

I recommend buying Diablo III: Book of Tyrael and reading my recent review which has a list of content.

I also recently posted photos of the booksigning of Diablo III: Book of Tyrael held at the 2013 New York Comic Con where I met Joseph Lacroix (DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice artist) and Doug Alexander (Senior Art Editor in Creative Development at Blizzard Entertainment).

Note: Added a transcript at the below the video embed. The interview lasted about 24 minutes. (Added Sub-titles to the video through YouTube CC/Closed Captions)

Transcript

This is Medievaldragon from Blizzplanet. We’re here to interview Micky Neilson and Matt Burns about Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. We also have Montoya from Blizzplanet.

Hi, everyone!

(Everyone says Hi)

Let’s start with the first question here.

MD: Blizzard Entertainment and Insight Editions published Diablo III: Book of Cain as a primer to Diablo III mythos. Where does Diablo III: Book of Tyrael fit in Blizzard’s grand design? What is the purpose?

Neilson: There was a lot of reasons for doing Book of Tyrael. Probably the main reason was — because we did Book of Cain and we came up with a ton of amazing content, and all kinds of great ideas and everything else, and backstory and characters and all this juicy stuff, and then we figured — you know, ok — we’ve a certain number of pages to be able to tell up this ending and we just didn’t have enough room for everything.

So the biggest thing for Book of Tyrael was — Ok, we’ve got all this amazing information that we want to share with people. Let’s do it in a follow up book and let’s see what other opportunities we have to convey this information. So that was one of the big ones; and then of course, tying into upcoming game content and having something that’s going to serve us to bridge to the next expansion — you know — that was also a big consideration. Matt do you want to add to that? (More after the break)

Bring BlizzCon to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket – DirecTV

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Blizzard Entertainment has announced the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket is now on sale. The Virtual Ticket allows you to watch live the different panels either on DirecTV or online.

Fans do not need to purchase anything to watch the WCS and Warcraft eSports Tournament Streams. Which is real nice.

What does this virtual ticket offers?

  • BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon).
  • access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show for 5 days.

Read the press release below:

Bring BlizzCon(R) to You with the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket

Experience Blizzard Entertainment’s epic Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration online this November 8 and 9—live and in HD Order NOW at www.blizzcon.com

IRVINE, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– BlizzCon® 2013 is just two months away—and while tickets to attend the show sold out in seconds, you can still get a virtual front-row seat at Blizzard Entertainment’s epic gaming convention with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket, now available to order at www.blizzcon.com.

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The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket provides comprehensive live online HD coverage of Blizzard’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® community celebration, taking place November 8 and 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center . Available for $39.99 USD , the Virtual Ticket grants viewers access to both days of the show with two exclusive channels featuring unmatched BlizzCon content, including:

  • Developer Panels: Get the latest news and behind-the-scenes insight into your favorite Blizzard games—straight from the people who make them.
  • Exclusive Interviews: Dig deeper into the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes through exclusive interviews with Blizzard developers.
  • Community Contests: Witness the spectacle of the legendary BlizzCon Costume Contest and the new-for-2013 Talent Contest, both hosted by comedian and BlizzCon veteran Jay Mohr .
  • Closing Ceremony: Be a part of the closing festivities on Saturday night, capping off two full days of Blizzard gaming and eSports action (more details to be announced later).
  • On-Demand Replays: Rewatch epic moments with the Virtual Ticket’s DVR functionality, and catch content you might have missed for up to two weeks after the show’s over.

Bonus Loot! Anyone who orders a Virtual Ticket will also receive this year’s BlizzCon-exclusive in-game goodies for World of Warcraft®, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone™: Heroes of Warcraft™ (details coming soon). The Virtual Ticket also grants access to an exclusive, limited-time online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale featuring a selection of commemorative items that will be available for purchase at the show.† This special pre-BlizzCon sale is scheduled to take place over a 5-day period in the weeks leading up to the show, and will be followed by a public sale offering a more limited selection of items. More details will be announced at www.blizzcon.com in the weeks ahead.

ATTN: DIRECTV® Viewers! DIRECTV customers in the United States will once again be able to join the excitement by ordering the DIRECTV BlizzCon 2013 Pay Per View event, priced at $49.99 USD , which includes the Virtual Ticket online stream and in-game goodies mentioned above as part of the purchase. More information on the DIRECTV Pay Per View event, including how to order, will be announced at a later date.

Free eSports Streams! Even if you don’t purchase a Virtual Ticket, you’ll still be able to catch plenty of BlizzCon action online. Coverage of the BlizzCon opening ceremony and this year’s BlizzCon eSports tournaments—including the StarCraft II World Championship Series Global Finals and the World of Warcraft Arena Global Invitational—will be streamed for free in HD at www.blizzcon.com and the official WCS website (www.starcraft2.com/wcs).

BlizzCon 2013 would not be possible without the passion and enthusiasm of Blizzard Entertainment gamers around the world and the generosity of the event’s partners—Intel, NVIDIA, Sony Computer Entertainment , DIRECTV, SteelSeries, GIGABYTE, Rosewill, and EVGA—who provide demo-station hardware, peripherals, and more, and whose support helps make the broadcast possible.

More information on the BlizzCon 2013 Virtual Ticket can be found at www.blizzcon.com/virtual-ticket/. Further updates on BlizzCon 2013 will be available at www.blizzcon.com as the show draws nearer.

With multiple games in development, Blizzard Entertainment has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

†While supplies last. All orders placed in the online pre-BlizzCon merchandise sale will be shipped from the United States ; international shipping rates may apply.

 

Diablo: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Novel Tie-in

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Blizzard Entertainment has revealed more details of Diablo: Storm of Light by Nate Kenyon. The novel tie-in bridges the events of Diablo III and the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion.

To make it even more exciting, it ties with what fans will find in the Diablo III: Book of Tyrael. That’s not enough? Gee, how about mixing Jacob and Shanar from the DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice graphic novel into the novel? That’s an awesome lore cocktail of geekiness.

Nate Kenyon debuted writing for Blizzard Entertainment with Diablo III: The Order and StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres

Check out more about Diablo: Storm of Light at the following Blizzard Entertainment web page.

Continuity

  • Jacob of Staalbreak, Shanar the Wizard and Gynvir the Barbarian hail from the pages of the DC Comics Diablo: Sword of Justice graphic novel by writer Aaron Williams & artist Joseph Lacroix.

  • Zayl the Necromancer can be found in the pages of Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow (reprinted in the Diablo Archive) and Diablo: Moon of the Spider — both by New York Times best selling author Richard A. Knaak.

  • Mikulov the monk hails from the pages of Diablo III: The Order by Nate Kenyon


Diablo: Storm of Light

The High Heavens are healing after the fall of the Prime Evil. The Angiris Council has recovered the Black Soulstone and now stands vigil over the cursed artifact deep within the glimmering Silver City.

Amid these momentous events, Tyrael struggles with his position as the new Aspect of Wisdom, feeling out of place as a mortal among his angelic brethren and doubting his ability to fully embody his role. As he searches within himself and the Heavens for reassurance, he senses the Black Soulstone’s grim influence on his home. Where harmony of light and sound once reigned, a mounting discord is threatening to shroud the realm in darkness. Imperius and the other archangels vehemently oppose moving or destroying the crystal, leading Tyrael to put Heaven’s fate in the hands of humankind…

Drawing powerful humans to his side from the far ends of Sanctuary, Tyrael reforges the ancient Horadrim and charges the order with an impossible task: to steal the soulstone from the heart of Heaven. Among the champions entrusted with this burden are Jacob of Staalbreak, former avatar of Justice and guardian of the angelic blade El’druin; Shanar, a wizard with phenomenal powers; Mikulov, a lithe and reverent monk; Gynvir, a fearless and battle-hardened barbarian; and Zayl, a mysterious necromancer. With time and the forces of both good and evil against them, can these heroes unite as one and complete their perilous mission before the Heavens fall to ruin?

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Diablo III: Reapers of Souls – Necromancer NPC Confirmed

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Vaeflare and Grimiku confirmed in the official Diablo III forums there will be a known Necromancer NPC in the expansion. There are few Necromancers that can actually be a reference here for someone we are familiar with.

Vaeflare: If you’re keen to see what the Necromancer has been up to since the events of Diablo III, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll have the opportunity to meet up with him once more in Reaper of Souls!

Also as Josh Mosqueira stated the interview with King Konger and elsewhere, we do not currently have any plans to add another class to the expansion. We feel the Crusader class is a truly epic, and fitting addition to Reaper of Souls, and we’re excited to share more about it with you in the months ahead. :)source

 

Grimiku: Vaeflare confirmed it earlier, but there is no harm in saying again. You’ll get a chance to meet a familiar necromancer npc, but the only additional playable class in Reaper of Souls is the Crusader. We’ll have more information to share about the Crusader in the coming months, but this armored, battle-worn, veteran will be a mighty addition to hero roster of Diablo III. — source

 

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Speculation

  • Nameless Necromancer: This is the playable Diablo II Necromancer. To my knowledge none of the Diablo II playable classes had a name. However, the nameless Barbarian in Diablo III is the same we met as a playable character in Diablo II. We got to meet the original heroes of Diablo I in Diablo II actually. The Rogue in Diablo I (member of the Sisters of the Sightless Eye) was actually Blood Raven in Diablo II (Act I). The Warrior in Diablo I turned out to be The Dark Wanderer (aka Leoric’s son: Aidan) in Diablo II. Lastly, the Sorcerer in Diablo I turned out to be The Summoner in Diablo II (Act II, The Arcane Sanctuary). Thus, it might be possible for the Diablo II Necromancer to make a cameo in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

  • Zayl the Necromancer is a well-known necromancer who has never been in-game. He has appeared in Diablo: The Kingdom of Shadow (reprinted in the Diablo Archive) and Diablo: Moon of the Spider — both by Richard A. Knaak.

  • Kara Nightshadow is another well-known necromancer from the pages of Diablo: Legacy of Blood (also reprinted in the Diablo Archive). She helped Norrec Vizharan (the mercenary treasure-hunter who found the armor of Bartuc the Warlord of Blood).

GamesCom 2013 interview – Josh Mosqueira talks about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Return of Pandemonium Fortress & Necromancers

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Blizzard Entertainment scheduled Blizzplanet, Millenium.org, InDiablo and GamersOrigin to sit together with Josh Mosqueira to interview him about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls.

  • The Crusader was originally going to be a Darker Paladin, but later the class took a life of its own into something different.
  • Bloodmarch is an area outside Westmarch where the Black Soulstone was meant to be buried.
  • The Pandemonium Fortress — where the Worldstone had rested for milennia — will be revisited in this expansion.
  • The Necromancers are not too happy with Malthael the Archangel of Wisdom Death upsetting the balance by raising the dead.
  • No new Follower/Companion, but they have extra lore background, new features, and side-quests.
  • The developers see how well the Hellfire Ring (obtained through the Infernal machine event) has been received by the players, and they are currently experimenting with account-bound items to extend that experience.

BlizzCon New Class Speculation

The developers didn’t want to spoil too much about the Necromancers topic (asked by Handclaw); but it is obvious there is more than meet the eye. One of the developers mentioned the Necromancers are all about balance, and what Malthael is doing at Westmarch definitely affects the balance.

In an MTV interview with Jay Wilson a few years ago (August 5, 2008), he mentioned the Necromancer:

Wilson: I wouldn’t be opposed to looking at old classes. We are trying to design [the Witch Doctor] class so that if we did bring back the Necromancer, there’s room for him. We’re looking out ahead of time at what our expansions are going to be, so we’ve got to keep room open for some of those other classes down the road.”

 

It might be possible to see Necromancer NPC or a Necromancer class. The Crusader might or not be the only class for this expansion. They just want to keep some big surprises for BlizzCon. Another possibility is that the ripples of damage upon the balance wrought by Malthael might be like a kick on the wasp’s nest for the Necromancer. Maybe the second expansion will place the Necromancers in a bigger role than before considering the Diablo: The Sin War and Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow Lore.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we could see Zayl the Necromancer and Kara Nightshadow (Diablo: Legacy of Blood) — both from Richard A. Knaak’s novels. Note: Legacy of Blood and Kingdom of Shadow are reprinted in the Diablo Archive (752 pages).

UPDATE: A fan linked to this article, and got a blue response:

Vaeflare: If you’re keen to see what the Necromancer has been up to since the events of Diablo III, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll have the opportunity to meet up with him once more in Reaper of Souls!

Also as Josh Mosqueira stated the interview with King Konger and elsewhere, we do not currently have any plans to add another class to the expansion. We feel the Crusader class is a truly epic, and fitting addition to Reaper of Souls, and we’re excited to share more about it with you in the months ahead. :)source

 

Grimiku: Vaeflare confirmed it earlier, but there is no harm in saying again. You’ll get a chance to meet a familiar necromancer npc, but the only additional playable class in Reaper of Souls is the Crusader. We’ll have more information to share about the Crusader in the coming months, but this armored, battle-worn, veteran will be a mighty addition to hero roster of Diablo III. — source

 

GamesCom 2013 Interview

In this GamesCom 2013 interview, the developers also talk about Nephalem Runs and Loot 2.0. Bare with us — GamesCom is the biggest gaming convention in the world. The recording is noisy. You might need to adjust the sound volume.

Why the Crusader, and where did the inspiration for the Crusader come from?

For a few reasons. We had an idea of having a sort of very heavy armored character, so we explored that for a while and we thought of the angle of make it a sort of a dark paladin sort of class and that idea took a life of its own and we went very far with it, and it became something really different at this point. So, way we describe it is a warmachine-made man, what if a modern armored division tank was an evil warrior? So we came up with this idea of a mid-ranged melee character, he wears heavy armor, he crushes his enemies, he has a big heavy flail and he has a shield which is as much a weapon as it is a defense mechanism. In addition he has a lot of holy wrath based damage, that he does, so he has some ranged abilities, too. So it‘s a neat mix of ranged and melee and he has become very different from the paladin at this point. He has become the Crusader.

 

We already know that you are going to patch Loot 2.0 before the expansion gets released. Are you considering to add any other features like the Paragon 2.0, and such before the expansion is ready?

Yea, we are considering all of the features, and tinker out which is more appropriate. Anything that is broadly systemic like that tends to be added in the game anyway. There is no reason for us not to give it up free. Probably a lot of more stuff will be free before the expansion goes live.

 

Will there be any new companions or any new content for the Templar or the Scoundrel?

There is a lot of new content for the old companions. We didn’t add a new companion. We have this idea that more is not better. Better is better. It’s how we say it. We figured we did not do enough to make the existing companions deep — we had a lot of grand plans for them in the first game; We are giving them a lot of more stories, they are actually getting side-quests — in Act V as well. So they are getting richer back stories. You get to meet, for example, the Scoundrel’s brother.

That’s new. No one knows about that yet. That’s our official leak for today’s interview.

 

Can you explain Nephalem Trials?

The idea for the Nephalem Trials takes a lot of inspiration from the Jar of Souls event from Act I. We wondered how to create this kind of micro-challenges to help us survey the pace of gameplay, the idea is that when you explore the world you come across a Nephalem portal, you jump into one of these Nephalem Trials. There are many different variations — one of the classic ones — you end up fighting waves and waves of enemies and you have a time limit. Depending how well, how many monsters you kill within the time limit you will be rewarded with a number of resplendant chests. So it’s a cool way to add a challenge to the game and add some variety.

Storywise, players met some of the Nephalem spirits that have been left behind in the world of Sanctuary, in the first game. At certain point, all humans were Nephalem. All humans had powers. The first generations of humans ever born had that. Eventually, they lost their powers, and as they were losing it, the leaders left behind guardian spirits for if in the future the Nephalem arose again, they could get guidance. These are the spirits that help you run these trials.

 

The new expansion adds a new Act with a new story, How much gameplay time takes to play through the whole story?

We haven’t finished the Act yet. We are not done making it yet. So it’s hard to say exactly how long it is, but I think more than ever, the game doesn’t end when you kill Malthael and defeat him. The replayability has been quitely expanded. Loot Runs is the first time we are talking about here at GamesCom.

Loot Runs is just one of the systems by the way, and the way that it works is extensively random dungeons. We take every single tile that is in the game, including all the new exterior ones are now randomized in Act V. We combined those in about 15-minute long dungeons at multiple levels with a variety of monsters.

With this monsters you need to work together, you need to change your tactics, very dense populated. Random boss fights and random loot. We take the promise of Diablo’s randomness, make that within a 15-minute chunks to add more end-game gameplay.

 

Almost all items we saw in this expansions are account-bound. Is this because of enchanting or is there another reason for that?

That’s something that we are experimenting with. The Hellfire Ring is something we believe responded really well. So we are seeing how to extend that system. We hope to hear some feedback from players here at GamesCom.

You get better items, but it’s your better items.

 

What variation of environments are we going to see in the expansion — we have seen some like Westmarch, Bloodmarch — what can we expect?

We were just sorta teasing some of the zones, but we can’t mention them. So I’ll cover the Bloodmarch.

The Bloodmarsh is an area outside of the city of Westmarch. It’s a very cool area, it’s one of our more fun and dangerous looking zones we have in the game.

Actually you see some of it in the opening cinematic, where the Black Soulstone is buried. Where Archangel Malthael comes and steal it from Tyrael. It’s underneath the Bloodmarch, and it does exist in the game right now.

The other area you will be exploring is the Pandemonion Fortress. It’s sort of the heart of creation, and that’s going to be a really great counterpoint to the more gothic feeling of Westmarch. The players will really love the journey from Westmarch to the Bloodmarch to the Pandemonium.

It’s a place where the angels and demons have fought over forever.

 

A lot of people are missing the darker side of Diablo II in Diablo III. Is the expansion going to be darker?

Dark side. I mean, Diablo III opens with a zombie apocalypse. It’s the end of the world, and meteors falling, and the armies of Hell are coming. Explain dark side.

For many years now we have really wanted to do a city tileset. A random city. So it all works with the same Diablo randomness, but still feels like a real city.

We actually tried to do that for a while, in Diablo III’s development, but we put it aside. As soon as we began work on the expansion, that was the first thing we tackled. So apart from the fact that it was a city, we didn’t know whether we wanted to do Westmarch years ago; and Death as the villain, has sort of made it definitely very grim and dark. That was heavy and gothic anyway before Death arrived and invaded it.

It’s a marshal city. It’s founded by the Paladin order when they were on their first grand crusade bringing their Zakarum faith to the west with fire and a sword.

It was founded by Rakkis. The soldiers of Bastion’s Keep are actually from the city of Westmarch. So we knew that we wanted to do Westmarch for a while, and not in response to anything in particular from Diablo III.

It’s not a reaction, but more than anything else an opportunity for us. When we started thinking about the expansion, they wanted Westmarch, another wanted the Crusader. When the team came across the idea of really focusing on Malthael the Angel of Death kinda rocked everything together and really allowed us to deliver — not just a gothic setting — but sub-apocalyptic and anti-apocalyptic that’s happening. It helps put everything together. The complete package.

The whole expansion is not the same color scheme. It’s not the same heavy gothic feel either. We just mentioned two of the other zones, and variety is a very important part of the game. It’s about replayability.

For us gothic doesn’t necessarily mean just round, black and gray. Gothic is more about the feel.

 

Are you going to make improvements to the Battle.net?

We are working on a lot of improvements. We didn’t announced any one yet. We are still working on them, and want to know a little more about — be sure — before we can talk about them, but there is a number of improvements to Battle.net and social services coming.

 

Given the theme of the new expansion, with Malthael being the Angel of Death, will we meet any Necromancer? … because it sounds like it would fit quite a little.

I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but … (at unison) MAYBE! **MAYBE!!!***

Obviously, bad things are happening. There’s a lot of death, and I think the necromancers are drawn to death.

Necromancers are about balance. If the army of death are taking over the world, that’s not balance anymore; and they need to do something about it.

 

Regarding the cinematic, Tyrael is hiding the Black Soulstone with the Horadrim. Are we going to know more about the Horadrim?

Yea, before the expansion ships, you are going to know more about the Horadrim. Tyrael has refound the Horadrim order. So they are a new Horadrim. The character that you meet at the beginning of the demo, he is a new Horadrim character that we spent a lot of time getting to know as well. So the Horadrim has been reborn. Cain passed that mantle down to Leah, and then we all know what happened with her. So, that didn’t work. Right? — the Kevin Marten yells: “SPOILERS!!!”

Josh Mosqueira says: “I didn’t specifically say what happened to Leah.”

Kevin Martens responds: “Oh shit!”

Josh Mosqueira finishes: “She’s not taking over the Horadrim. Let’s just say that.”

 

Note: That was a bit confusing. Are they considering Leah’s fate at the end of Diablo III a spoiler, or are they fooling around because Leah is coming back from the … death. Coughs … Malthael is rising the dead. Or because the Necromancers bring her back? Hard to decipher their code-talk.

Special thanks to Arthur Lorenz aka Handclaw (Blizzplanet contributor) who interviewed the Diablo III team at GamesCom, and thanks to the Blizzard US/EU PR teams.

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GamesCom 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Fact Sheet

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PRODUCT OVERVIEW

The defeat of Diablo, Lord of Terror, should have given rise to an age of hope. Instead, it has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power, whose malevolent purpose is yet to be revealed. Reaper of Souls™, the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action-RPG Diablo® III, opens a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.

Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. Should this dark power be unleashed upon the world, the results would be catastrophic. Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice — the Crusader. Clad in massive armor and bearing an impenetrable shield, this new playable class charges into battle wielding a range of cruel and punishing weapons and employing powerful battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. As a nigh unstoppable force of armored destruction, the Crusader adds strength and versatility to any party of adventurers.

For further details about Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, visit http://www.diablo3.com/reaperofsouls.

GAME FEATURES

  • The Crusader enters the fray, joining ranks with the Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Wizard, Monk, and Demon Hunter

  • Level cap increased to 70, enabling players to reach new heights of power

  • Act V continues the story where it left off in Diablo III, taking players from the legendary city of Westmarch to the unhallowed halls of the Pandemonium Fortress

  • Two new game modes: Loot Runs and Nephalem Trials provide fun and rewarding objective-based challenges

  • Upgrades to Diablo III’s Paragon progression system add even more end-game character advancement and replayability

  • Newly designed loot system drops “fewer, but better” items, rewarding players with useful upgrades

  • Collect rare items of unprecedented power, including game-changing Legendaries

  • New spells and abilities for each of the game’s five original heroes

  • A new menagerie of fiendish monsters slavering for the chance to feast upon Sanctuary’s heroes

PUBLISHER: Blizzard Entertainment
DEVELOPER: Blizzard Entertainment
GENRE: Action RPG
PLATFORMS: PC
RELEASE DATE: To Be Announced

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GamesCom 2013 – Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Concept Art

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The concept art of Diablo III: Reaper of Souls show new monsters serving Malthael including the Seraph, the Wraith, and the Brute. Among the images you will find a few iterative concept artworks of Malthael, a Horadrim, and a scene titled “Tomb of Rakkis”.

Now this Tomb of Rakkis is definitely interesting in a few ways. Rakkis was the king that brought civilization to Westmarch, and brought the Zakarum religion to the region.

The Diablo III: Book of Cain says the following about Rakkis.


Westmarch

Founded by Rakkis, Westmarch was named in honor of the Zakarum warlord’s great crusade and marks the farthest western point of his conquest.

Rakkis was loved by the peoples of the west and did much to bring civilization to the surrounding lands, including the building of roads and churches and necessary infrastructure for the burgeoning territories there. In time, Rakkis’ heir Korsikk, continued his father’s rule and built Westmarch into a bastion of the Zakarum faith.

Ever wary of attack from the northern barbarians, Korsikk founded the impregnable Bastion’s Keep to safeguard all that his father had thought to build.

In the present day, Westmarch is a kingdom that thrives on commerce and maritime trade. Influence from the Zakarum faith has waned of late, and Westmarch is now a forward-looking civilization. Indeed, one might say that it remains one of the healthiest, most vibrant kingdoms left in our troubled world.

 

Now the thing is — Malthael, is now known as the Archangel of Death. He has arrived to Westmarch to begin there his purge of Sanctuary — as he sees humanity as the biggest faction of demonspawn. Malthael is bringing the dead back to life to serve as his minions in the purge of Sanctuary.

The concept art of the Tomb of Rakkis evokes an intriguing question. Will players fight a resurrected Rakkis as an enemy dungeon boss?

GamesCom 2013 – Crusader Class Skills and Runes

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We have sneak peek screenshots of the Crusader class’ skills and runes.

Primary Skills

  • Punish
  • Scourge: Generates 5 Wrath per attack. Scourge your enemies, surrounding them in threads of hallowed power. The threads cut and bleed enemies they attack to, and will seek out new enemies to latch onto and punish.

  • Justice
  • Slash

Secondary Skills

Blessed Shield: Cost 25 Wrath. Hurl a celestial shield through the air, smashing it into enemies and ricocheting it between them. Requires Shield.

The Fist of the Heavens doesn’t have a description but one of the screenshots below shows one of its runes, Well of Retribution: Create a well of holy lightning at the target location that will electrocute nearby enemies.

Other secondary skills include: Blessed Hammer, Shield Bash, and Sweep Attack.

Passive Skills

  • Indestructible
  • Wrathful
  • Wrecking Ball
  • Against All Odds
  • Finery
  • Heavenly Strength
  • Holy Cause
  • Vigilant
  • Long Arm of the Law
  • Stand Your Ground
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