DIABLO III HANDS-ON Can a little bit of WoW make the best dungeon crawler better?
When I was playing Diablo III’s beta build, I wasn’t thinking about the game’s hotly debated real-money auction house. Nor was I making a silent checklist of all the alleged acts of blasphemy the game committed against its revered predecessors. Turns out, I was having...what’s the word? Oh, right: fun. I hacked, I slashed, I battled against the armies of Hell alongside a blacksmith who sounded like a bad Sean Connery impersonator. No, this isn’t some weird sequel math problem; Diablo III doesn’t equal Diablo plus Diablo II. And yes, it takes a few cues from World of Warcraft. But when it comes right down to it, this is Blizzard we’re talking about, and Diablo III’s still a hell of a good time. The beta kicks off at Act I, so my Witch Doctor strolled intoNew Tristram looking like he’d just lost a game of medieval strip poker. He was there to investigate a meteor strike that caused the dead to pop right out of their graves—which seems like a bad occasion to leave your armor in your other pants, but I digress.
Click, click, click
Before long, I was introduced to a menagerie of friendly faces, from fire and brimstone prophet Deckard Cain to a Templar NPC companion I snatched away from the wrong end of a blood sacrifice. Diablo III’s far more story-focused than earlier entries, so NPCs adore chatting about the unspeakable horrors descending on their hometown. That’s not all; key moments are introduced by full-blown cutscenes, and notes that function like BioShock’s audio tapes are scattered all about. Fortunately for the impatient among us, most of what’s skippable if you just want to get straight to the slashing.Quest structure is also unabashedly to the point, taking WoW’s familiar exclamation- point method and streamlining it brilliantly. Well, mostly. I did encounter one quest that was essentially “Turn 45 degrees and politely greet that guy who’s breathing down your neck,” but most quest-givers were conveniently centralized and sensibly placed. Better still, randomly generated side missions pop up mid-quest, and frequent teleportation pads ensure that home’s never more than a couple of clicks away. But that’s not why you’re here, is it? You want to slash things—and maybe hack them occasionally. I’m happy to report that’s the best part of all. I may have spent roughly four hours clicking until my finger was a creaky claw, but I felt like a baddie-obliterating badass. Each click sent blood, limbs, and bodies flying— powered by a physics engine that produced many moments of (literally) gutbusting hilarity.
What really drove it all home, though, was the skill system’s newfound versatility. This isn’t some glacially paced WoW-style talent tree. In Diablo III, I was unlocking new skills every level. Moreover, there are a total of six skill slots—which unlock as you level—that you can alter whenever you want, allowing you to switch builds at any given moment. In practice, it’s wonderfully liberating. One moment, my Witch Doctor was summoning zombie dogs and turning foes into defenseless chickens; the next, he was conjuring firebats (exactly what they sound like) with his bare hands. Although the beta doesn’t include Diablo III’s skillaltering Runes, Blizzard broke down how the character-customizing system allows you to spec a Witch Doctor that isn't reliant on summoned allies at all.
“I made a zombie dog-less, pet-less Witch Doctor build,” said Technical Game Designer Wyatt Cheng. “But having pets is sort of signature to the Witch Doctor. So I said, ‘What if I take a damage-over-time skill, fear, and some area-denial skills and try that out?’ And it works just fine. Thenwe added in some extra Rune effects, so now he’s got things like Spirit Barrage, which defends him. So now I’d say I play half of my games with zombie dogs and half of my games without.” Cheng added that "I'd say I play half of my games with zombie dogs and half without." there are even Runes that let you create zombie dogs without ever acquiring the zombie dog skill. In other words, the level of potential variation on these things is absolutely nuts.
It’s raining loot, hallelujah
After amassing a body count that would make a graveyard jealous, I came face-to-face with the Skeleton King. He’s Diablo III’s first real boss, and he definitely put me through my paces. For one, my co-op partner (a Wizard specializing in the reddeath beam known as Disintegrate) and I were woefully squishy, so when the glowing mountain of bones repeatedly teleported behind us, we mostly fired back with our tears. After a few deaths, though, we finished him off with a mix of kiting and aggro management. It wasn't simply a matter of beating the hit points of out a boss; the encounter reminded me of WoW’s brainier encounters, but with Diablo’s emphasis on blink-and-you’ll-miss-it speed. Really, that was the beta in a nutshell: a Frankenstein’s monster of Blizzard’s best ideas. Diablo’s lightning-quick pace, customizability, and randomization mixed with WoW’s strategic encounters and—for better or worse—the auction house. None of it felt
out of place, though. To the contrary: The beta felt like a finished product. Every skill, system, and new idea sparkled with Blizzard’s trademark polish. The jury may be out on buying items with real money, but is there any way I can buy about 400 extra hours of free time? I have a feeling I’m going to need them.
The WoW factor
No doubt about it:
DIABLO III’s taking a few cues from MMO mega-hit World of Warcraft. Should series devotees fear that Diablo III will be more WoW than Diablo? We spoke with the game’s developers to find outWyatt Cheng, technical game designer: “I’ve worked on WoW, so I can tell you it doesn’t play like that at all. My goal is to make game-design decisions that are good for the game. Does that mean that sometimes ideas are repeated? Yeah. To use an oversimplified example, both games have leveling up. If you look at the industry in general, players seem to like leveling up, so we included it. Does it mean we’re making a clone of another game? ...The point is that if something works for the game, then we want to do it, but we won’t copy something that doesn’t work for the game. For instance, WoW uses deterministic loot. That’s not appropriate for our game.”
Christian Lichtner, art director: “At first, there was a reaction. People saw [the art style] as not what they remembered from previous games. But once people had a chance to play it at a few BlizzCons, the feedback became overwhelmingly positive... The goal is to support the gameplay with the art. For example, Diablo’s very much about loot. We wanted to make sure that the weapons and armor sets looked awesome. I think, in a lot of ways, we couldn’t have done that if we’d stuck with something a little more desaturated and [realistic]. It also wouldn’t have given us the opportunity to push differences in environments or push the sinister and gothic feel. We definitely tried to give it a Diablo feel.”
here are the pic
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Oct 9, 2010in the december issue 207Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
Diablo isn't really a quest to vanquish one or more of the Three Greater Evils from the world of Sancturary it's a quest to acquire, identify and upgrade the best dame gear of the planet. I dont remember the mane of the people i saved or the villains i ganked, but i can tell you what i was really after; a King's Sword of Haste' Godly Plare of the Whale, and the two Emerald Rings of the Zodiac it's the Geek Version of Shoe shopping.
That was Diablo I, and it was pretty rudimentary. You found things or bought them, sometimg frin the inexplicably well-armed, peg-lagged child wirt, who'd charge you just to glimpse his often useless wares. I don't know if diablo III is the pinnacle of chicking on monsters to make them die, but it may well be the pinnacke of finding cool stuff, making cool stuff and upgrading cool stuff with other cool stuff to make increasingle cool stuff.
Blizzard doesn't want you to moonlight as a blacksmith, though. Your job is to kill thing, so when there's crafting to done you pay other people to do it after [b]instead of srlling useless items you break them down in to raw material to craft new armor.[/b] a quest to retrieve the five broken piece of the mad King Leoric's Crown ( remember him?) you need a blacksmith to put them togerther. you'll have to earn his services, but once you have, he's with you for the rest of the game.
Now instead of selling every useless weapon you find for a pittance, you can break them down into comoisute materials using a "special artifact" which the interface currently refers to as BOX. chucjing trader trash into ...BOX gives you one or two "common scraps" or "subtle essences." ANd these aree the buulding blocks thar your blacksmith need to cook up weapon and armor plans. The simplaest items he craft only require a handful of raw materials, plus a fee of around 50 gold but come with a few guaranteed magicfal attributes, and a few wore that are entirely randomized it has the compulsive delight of a discovering the unknown, and the efficiency you definitely want.
The smithy's other talent is to install sockets in any of your items, even the rare and magical ones. That lets you put gems in them to boost their damage or add to an attribute. Sockering was always one of the grrkiest joys of Diablo, but whather you could do it with a wiven item was pretty mush random. How mush this costs isn't finalized, obviously but the gold pincher in me flinched to see that socketing a basic shield currently sets you back over 24,000 gold. let's assume that's a glitch.
Later, you'll meet a Mystic who can enchant your items to ass magical properties to what ever their cuttent stats are.
He can also craft Scrolls to Give you one -off spells, potions for quick healing , magic weapons, charms, and spell runes to customize you skills.
And finally there's the Jeweller, or Horadric cube on Legs as i like to call hem. Like diablo II mystery box he can combine low quality gems to produce better ones with exaggerated stats andhe also craft gems rings and amulets from raw materials.
i'm looking forward to coming back to with a sack of smashed up grabage, geting the blacksmith to make me a weapon with it and put in sockets and jeweler to forge a gem or two to fill them, and mystic to enchant the whole thing just n case six or seven killer bonuses aren't enought.
the quality of product each of the guys can produce is limited by their own skills and equipment. But all you need to in crease those in agin raw materials. Instead of having the smithy make you a new belt let him experiment on a few bits of wood or metal. he'llruin them but he'll learn something doing it, increasing his trainingbar when it's full' light and then explode in a shower of angel dust. they'er reborn slightly and coming of new wares who says shopping inn't fun?
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Sep 21, 2010Posted in: News & AnnouncementsQuote from EvilBeanz
ps someone ragging on this more then me he said something like the tree skills the purple items and level caps from wow something like that...not to burst ur bubble but....alot of features from wow originated from D1 D2 and LoD and as for alot of other games and just like MOST GAMES. If I make a game right now I would put aspects of other games into that game because i liked it and thoses games where or still are fun to this day...hence the talent trees in WoW came from Diablo universe its self no if ands or buts... blizz said them selves on that one...
Now that I think about it, you're right. WoW has borrowed a LOT from D2/D1, so taking something from WoW isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just trolling and fanboyism. Lol, who honestly cares what game people play? Your nerdiness is better than another's? Come on, lol.
I'm more excited about the hint Bashiok gave in his last post: "There'll be different end game content than D2. That'll remain mysterious for now."
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