As most of you are already aware, a few of the various Blizzard Influencers and fansites have been given beta keys (see our beta key image above?) to give away to our dearest fans, ;). Since we know that you're all hungering for the Beta, we're going to keep it short, sweet, and to the point! Each week, we're going to have a screenshot to show and your job is to add a caption. Whether the caption be epic or completely for the lulz, we don't care! We'll choose the best one or two entries each week and they'll be granted a Diablo III Beta Key.
To edit in your caption, you can just toss this image into MSPaint or any other photo editing program, add a few thought or speech bubbles, and go to town! You can then upload your screenshot to your Gallery here on DiabloFans, or any other image sharing service you choose. This week's screenshot is...
Submissions can just be posted here and you are allowed more than one entry if you like! These will run Saturday to Saturday, every week for the next few weeks. Winners will be picked on Saturday and the next screenshot will go up.
With the release of the item page on the Diablo III official site, questions were raised about how the rune system will work once the game is released. The presence of unattuned runes on the item page seemed to suggest that the team was going ahead with the implementation of the system Jay Wilson explained at the late July press event (be sure to check out Force's video of the explanation, along with many questions on the system from our own Sixen here). However, in response to a thread on the Diablo III forums, Bashiok was sure to point out that the system is not fully implemented yet, and is still very much up in the air.
Official Blizzard Quote:
We have no idea how the unattuned system is going to work. Or if it'll end up working at all. We're trying out some different options, but we're not likely to reveal much until we're more certain. Maybe it'll be something we feel comfortable discussing at BlizzCon? ... maybe not.
So fingers crossed for a full on explanation at the upcoming BlizzCon. If there are any updates on the runestone system at Blizzard's annual convention you can be sure we'll let you know.
In the same post, Bashiok went on to explain a potential change to the skill swapping system currently in place that would prevent people from swapping skills in the middle of combat.
Official Blizzard Quote:
On a slightly related (?) note we're playing around with having skill swapping locked to being in-town only. We're definitely not sold on it, but it could appear at some time in a beta patch, so FYI. Just be aware it's only something we're trying, and not a permanent solution.
Obviously this town-only restriction, if implemented, would still allow people to switch skills before a boss fight, which has been a point of much contention. However, it would still force players to be bound to a certain build during their time in a dungeon, unless they wanted to go back and forth from town in order to switch skills.
The second half of Bashiok's post caused a shift in the discussion occurring in the topic towards Diablo III's skill swapping system. Many people asked why the team simply would make it impossible to switch skills in combat, which led to this response from Bashiok:
Official Blizzard Quote:
As a follow up, there's no concept of 'in combat' or 'out of combat' in the game, so that's not something we can just hook in to. There could be. We could take programming time dedicated to other features and design and build out a 'combat state' system, but that's programming time away from something else.
As a result, it seems as though restricting skill swapping to town may be the simplest option. However, this obviously leads to some problems with experimentation seeing as in order to test out a skill after leveling you'd have to go back to town, and if you don't like the skill you'd have to switch it back in town once more. However, some people may see this restriction on the current ease of skill swapping as a good thing, and I think we can all agree that there needs to be a solution to swapping skills while in combat.
DiabloFans now has an unofficial iPhone App, Diablo III Armory. It's not exactly made solely by us DiabloFans (but it is made by a good friend of ours), and it's pulling our news stream, so you can get DiabloFans news from just about anywhere now! In addition to our news feed, the App offers the following:
News feed from diablofans.com
Game information page (FAQ)
Classes page to showcase each class and their skills.
A skill calculator built completely for the iPhone platform.
Easy swiping while viewing skills to see rune effects.
Calculator can save/name builds, load them later, and even print out a Bnet URL of your build (in case you want to share it).
And more to come, ;).
The app is completely free as well, so go download it and enjoy Sanctuary from anywhere on Earth! Those of you with Android devices (I only have an Android :() will have to wait for an app. Whether or not we develop an Android app as well is solely based on the success of the iPhone app. For more screenshots of the app, you can check the temporary support site, or watch the video below.
Alongside recent changes about the Demon Hunter's Hatred regeneration and how damage is calculated across all classes, Bashiok recently responded to a question about the Monk's Mantras, specifically why they need to be refreshed instead of simply toggled.
In order to give players an incentive to refresh their Mantras (which, if you didn't know, currently function almost identically to Auras), there has been talk of implementing short term bonuses to Mantras when the player first activates them.
Official Blizzard Quote:
I thought one of us had already posted on this but I'm having trouble locating it... NO MATTER!
We're toying around with making mantras more of an active ability currently. Right now it's just a really short duration buff, which isn't very cool, as stated. What we think will be cool, is that when hitting the button to cast a mantra you get a super-mega buff (or effect) for a short time, and then the buff would lower to its normal levels after.
You can see that design currently on a couple skill descriptions on the site, they're just not reflected in-game.
Keep in mind it's still all of course in testing.
This gives mantras a more 'use oriented' flavor. So while it's a short duration that's OK because you want to hit the mantra button more than once every two minutes, it becomes an active skill. So far we think it's working pretty well.
What we don't want is to have long duration buffs or toggles, because then it may as well be a passive. We want our active skills to be active, and so hopefully this change achieves that.
As with the reworking of the Demon Hunter's Hatred regeneration, the Mantra changes are up on the Monk's official skill page, but the change has not been implemented in the current build of the beta. If they were implemented, the skill descriptions would be changed to match the current ones on the Diablo III site:
Mantra of Evasion - Recite a Mantra that grants you and all allies within 40 yards a 30% chance to dodge attacks. Lasts 120 seconds. Dodge chance is doubled in the first 3 seconds.
Mantra of Healing - Recite a Mantra that causes you and all allies within 40 yards to gain increased Life regeneration by 106.4 Life per second. Lasts 120 seconds. Life regeneration is doubled in the first 3 seconds.
Mantra of Conviction - Recite a Mantra that causes all enemies within 20 yards of you to take 20% additional damage. Lasts 120 seconds. Additional damage is doubled in the first 3 seconds.
Previously the sections about the first three seconds weren't included in the skill description, and the change to the other mantra, Mantra of Retribution, is currently unknown. Each skill currently has a cooldown of 30 seconds, so this change would most likely make it advantageous to simply use the Mantra every thirty seconds.
These changes have also raised questions about the Wizard's Armors and the Barbarian's Shouts. Although the Barbarian gains fury from some of his shouts, the Wizard currently gains no bonus from refreshing her armors, and it seems as though a similar incentive could be used for both classes. If that happens, and when the Mantra change is implemented, you can be sure we'll let you know.
So what do you think about the Monk's Mantras? Should they just be passive skills? Should you just toggle them on and off? Or do these changes provide enough of an incentive to refresh the Mantra every 30 seconds? Be sure to discuss your opinion in the topic below.
It is becoming clear that 2012 will be a Diablo III year. It has come to our attention that there is a new Diablo III novel (besides the Diablo III: Book of Cain) in the works, scheduled for a March 27 2012 release. This has been revealed to us by the listing of the item on Amazon.com for preorder.
The book's title has not been revealed, which makes me think that it might have been too big of a spoiler. Another hint at the book's contents is that since Diablo III is now scheduled for an early 2012 release, it would make sense that this book builds up on the story of Diablo III. I doubt the release date in March has anything to do with Diablo III's release date, since it is probable that the game itself will be released earlier than that.
The book will be written by Nate Kenyon, who wrote the recent Starcraft II book StarCraft: Ghost--Spectres, which was released this week. He has written a lot of horror literature, so would it be a far stretch that we can expect a horror-themed Diablo III book?