Warriors, Rogues, and Sorcerers: a history of Diablo
[Continued] Page 3
Springing forward: Diablo III (2012)
The third installment arrives this month with always-online gameplay and a new approach to the dark fantasy world.
Deckard Cain, an NPC who has survived since the first Diablo, returns. His niece Leah, a new character, will occasionally accompany players on quests, along with three types of NPCs called Followers. This time the story involves two Lesser Evils, Azmodan and Belial, and a mysterious Black Soulstone.
The destruction of the Worldstone in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction has reshaped the geography of Sanctuary, which now features two main continents and a few minor islands. Among the environments players will explore are New Tristram and the ruins of the old town, including its church.
Players can choose from five character classes: the Wizard who relies on magic, the Witch Doctor who assaults his enemies with spirits and the undead, the Demon Hunter who packs crossbows and other projectiles, the Barbarian who can dual-wield, and the Monk who can channel great energy.
Health globe drops from enemies will replace the potion bar, which now serves for quick-mapping skills and spells. In addition, Runestones can modify skills to make them more effective and powerful. Two types of Artisans will be available to sell, craft, and enhance equipment and rare or magic items.
Another new component is the Auction House, where players can spend in-game gold or exchange items for real-world currency and vice versa.
Features like an enhanced quest system and random level and encounter generators will ensure a new experience accompanies each playthrough. Class-specific quests will also boost replay value.
A PvP mode, along with related aspects, will follow via patch after the game’s release on May 15. Blizzard is admittedly “very, very serious” about bringing Diablo III to consoles at a later date.
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