To baptize our new Skill Calculator, which now has a cooler looking index thanks to ScyberDragon and SuperCeb, we have created our previous 1.13 Character builds to make it easier to follow when creating your character. The builds listed below are based off of level-up skill points and they assume you have completed all of the skill quests, on all difficulties. This means that no points are used via the Item Mode, so no any +skills you have on your gear you can simply add in yourself and Update the link to fit your specific item build.
While some have argued that the art styles of the Blizzard games have been drifting closer and closer together, the music of their franchises is undeniably unique.
This fact was brought to mind by this recent post by Bashiok:
Official Blizzard Quote:
I know most of you aren't into the whole WoW thing but if you visit the below link, which is a pretty awesome promotion in general, and scroll down there's a link to listen to the song 'Invincible' which is used somewhere in Icecrown (Arthas' lair). It's extremely WoW in flavor, but I think maybe gives a good sense of the quality and composition that we're at now.
Hopefully the little snippets on the Diablo III site give a good impression that the Diablo music is in fact Diablo music. And comparing Diablo III, to WoW, to StarCraft II there's an obvious care and attention to each game and the settings and emotion and tone.
When compared, the sample from World of Warcraft (linked to in the above post), and this sample from Diablo III, prove to be incredibly distinct. The sample from World of Warcraft has a much more epic feel, due to the choirs in the background. The instruments themselves also contribute to this feel, listen closely and you will pick up oncellos, violins, trumpets, and other such orchestral instruments. It's this grand orchestra that helps to contribute to the epic atmospheric music of Warcraft, an atmosphere which fits the franchise like a glove.
However, the sample from Diablo III conveys a much creepier, gothic feel through to the listener. It uses odd, perhaps even unconventional sounds to produce a very unique sound. Cellos were the only actual instruments I could pick up, along with a multitude of various percussion, and synthesized sounds. Granted, I don't have a musical ear, so perhaps those of you with musical talent could shed some light on what could have went into making this piece.
To further show the musical distinction of the three franchises, is this theme from Starcraft. At first listen, you can quickly pick up on more modern sounds in the music. Synthesizers, electric guitars, drum kits, and many other more modern sounding instruments make up this piece. Which, of course, makes sense. It would be rather odd for a futuristic game such as Starcraft to use classical instruments such as the violin or trumpet.
Basically, context is key in the music. For Warcraft, which is generally high fantasy, epic sounds and music styles are used. For Diablo, their gothic fantasy franchise, odd, creepy sounds are used to compose the atmospheric music. For Starcraft, their futuristic RTS, it seems that more modern sounding instruments are brought together to form music that conveys a feeling of technological (or biological, in the case of the Zerg) conquest.
Official Blizzard Quote:
That's my feeling anyway. I work here I guess it's hard to take my word as anything but towing the company line but really I've always loved the music in Blizzard games and it just keeps getting better and better.
The truth could not be said any clearer, the music Blizzard produces has definitely evolved over the years, and improved by leaps and bounds.
When you compare music from Diablo I, and the music from Diablo III, it is quickly realized that the quality has improved. More sounds are able to be layered on top of each other, said sounds can be tweaked and modified to better convey atmosphere, and the sounds are made more crisp by improved recording and playback technology.
So, even if we are afraid of a foreign art style encroaching on our beloved franchise, we can rest assured that the music will not only improve, but will stay within the realm of gothic fantasy that we've all come to know and love.
Mixing, matching, transmuting, and crafting have been a structured and useful, to varying degrees, part of Diablo II since its release. Now that we're on the verge of another year in the development cycle, we may be getting closer to what exactly crafting, in whatever form it assumes in Diablo III, entails.
In the past, crafting, or transmuting as it is more correctly called in the context of the Diablo world, was done with the Horadric Cube, introduced in vanilla Diablo II in a quest in Lut Gholein. Various items would be placed inside the Cube, also functioning as extra storage space, and the Transmute button would be clicked. If you knew what you were doing or read some online lists of transmutable items, a new item would be made and the old items would be gone. If you didn't, well, you would experience a fail. (More about transmuting here.)
While some have stated the desire to see the Horadric Cube return in Diablo III, others have been looking for new ways of slanting a possible crafting system. Early last year, when more of the UI was released in snapshots, our forum board went abuzz with talk of the mysterious new "Talisman," as it was called by Bashiok (see right). Was it possible that this was the new crafting system? However, nothing further was revealed, and the Talisman remained what it was: a mystery and an annoying secret. Furthermore, with the UI changes that have assailed the game since early last year, this may not still be on their development platter.
Now, in response to some good ol' fashioned fan inquiry, we have a new but no more helpful update!
Official Blizzard Quote:
Item crafting and/or augmentation isn't something we've discussed/revealed yet. I think it's obvious there will be some ability to change an item after you've picked it up off the ground, but what that will actually entail is a secret to be revealed later.
Besides confirming that crafting will be in the game, although that could probably have been surmised long ago, it also brings the discussion topic back to the community. What form do you think crafting will take in Diablo III? Is it a welcome sight?
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Fantastic work by all the artists, it really shows the wide range of styles that are out there. The second on the list, for example, clearly shows that the individual would be skilled at concept art due to the large amount of notes on the page. While pictures such as the third and last nominations show an affinity for digital art.
Now, this is all fine and dandy, but since we don't all have Battle-Net accounts, we thought we'd run our own poll here at Diablofans. We will be using the above 5 pieces of artwork, and will leave it up to you to choose your favorite. The poll will run for 7 days, so make sure to get your vote in quick!