Tobold's Blog
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Blizzard announced Diablo III

Okay, so I'm a horrible n00b as journalist. I went to the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational without a camera, and left my laptop in the hotel, because the FAQ said that visitors can't make screenshots with a camera, and laptops couldn't even be brought onto the premises. Turns out these rules only apply to people who bought a ticket. I received my press pass without a problem, and press is allowed to use cameras and laptops. Doh! My bad. Well, this isn't really a photo blog anyway, and other sites are faster and better than me in news coverage anyway. This is a blog of words, and I'll give you my thoughts and impressions of the big Blizzard announcement: Diablo III is coming.

I saw the Diablo III announcement in the opening ceremony, and then listened to a panel with the Diablo III developers. And I must say, I'm impressed. I'm going to buy that game, it looks great. The announcement had actual gameplay footage, and the focus is on the player being overpowered and fighting against huge swarms of monsters, using various abilities. This is still very much Diablo, that is: random dungeons, random loot drops, fixed isometric view. But there are lots of cool new things as well, for example destructable environment, which affects gameplay. They showed one scene where the player caused a wall to fall on a bunch of zombies, crushing them to death, and that wasn't a cutscene but real gameplay. They showed two classes, Barbarian and Witch Doctor, and the Witch Doctor had some very cool abilities, like summoning a wall of zombies.

There will be small-group cooperative play on the new, competitive multiplayer features as well, with new anti-cheat methods, and of course a full single-player campaign in various difficulty levels. The devs stressed ease of use, and fast furious combat. There will be quests (called "adventures"), big boss mobs, and lots of character abilities. In fact overcoming challenges by drinking tons of potions is out, using abilities and positioning well is in. For example they showed a skeleton shieldbearer mob, which acts as a tank in front of ranged combat mobs, and which is hard to kill because the shield blocks direct attacks. So you need to do stuff like knock the skeletons of their feet with an earthquake, or stun them, and that destroys the shield and you can kill them easily. There will be lots of loot, and the devs promised to improve the inventory system, without giving details.

In fact lots of the game is still unknown, they don't even know how many different character classes there will be. Don't expect Diablo III this year, you'll be lucky if you can buy it christmas 2009. Nobody even asked about the release date, because everyone knows the answer: "When it's ready."

Well, I'll go back to the convention now, and have a second look at Wrath of the Lich King. I already played a level 55 female gnome deathknight with pink hair for 10 minutes, but apparently this is still an earlier build of the alpha version, and my deathknight had 0 talent points. But she looked good, coming fully equipped with a great looking complete armor set. Even if that armor was only of "green" quality, it looked like a set of epics. I'm not going to report on details of talents of this or other classes, because I'm pretty sure they aren't done yet. But I did get a goodie bag with a scratch code for "Beta key of future Blizzard title". And I bet that's a WotLK beta key.

Tobold out.
But I did get a goodie bag with a scratch code for "Beta key of future Blizzard title". And I bet that's a WotLK beta key.

Or a starcraft 2 beta key (Unless they individualized the beta keys for press type people like you.)
No surprises there, the Diablo 3 announcement was long forecast and expected by both the industry and the community.

The really intersting question is: In light of the WoW's success as a money-factory, is D3 going to employ some kind of pay-per-play revenue model or a traditional one-time box fee?
I played Warth of the Lich King at Gencon last August. Impressive graphics upgrades in the towns and i did like the Giants that would knock you on your ass, but it was so much more of the same I am not sure Im that pumped about it after playing Warhammer
I don't understand why Jay Wilson said that they still don't know how many classes there will be since on the web site 5 classes are announced.
I don't get it. Maybe because I've never played Diablo and I'm just a WoW noob? I got excited with the ice splash screens. I wanted them to announce diablo 3. I don't know why. They did? I'm excited! Yet I don't know why. I've never played any diablo ever. Well I played diablo one for like 5 mintues when I was tweleve of something.

Reviewing the videos the game seems dated? It isn't an MMO so the graphics should be top notch. The graphcs seem a tad better then WoW, and if that? A game isn't all about the graphics but they should still be decently current?

I think I'm gonna try and get a copy of diablo 2 to play this weekend. Try and figure this whole thing out.

Preston out

Blizzard has never been about cutting edge graphics. They want their game to be accessible by the maximum number of possible gamers, which is why the graphics are the way they are.
meh same thing prettier graphics. Not interested in D3 at all. I loved D1 and d2 but going back to that kind of game play is like going back to my old dos games. Just no interest.

I just don't think blizzard will ever do anything great again till some other company gives them some ideas.

@ preston play d2 or mythos. From what I saw on the trailers if you don't like them you probably won't like d3. Looks like a prettier version of the same old game.
I wasn't really around for Diablo 1 but I did play Diablo 2 and it was pretty fun, albeit repetitive. I have a feeling Diablo III, although having the same core design, will bring enough new features to the table to make the randomization idea actually interesting for a little while longer than with the 2nd one.
so what does D3 mean for the mythos team?

were you disappointed that it was not an mmo that was announced tobold?
D3 will compete against their WoW. Since D3 will presumably be free to play, this is not a win win for Vivendi.

Hence, some pay component will be involved. Perhaps, a WoW account automatically gives you access to otherwise restricted features in D3. This would certainly be a way to keep people subscribed to WoW long after they've grown bored with the next expansion.
were you disappointed that it was not an mmo that was announced tobold?

Well, I would have preferred an MMO to be announced, considering how long it still takes from announcement to release. But I liked the ideas they showed for Diablo III, and being able to run on most machines is more important than DirectX 10 graphics (Diablo III will run on DirectX 9).
wow I think my oldest son just summed it up best when I showed him the game play trailer.

"it's just diablo again"
I played D & D2, this movies I saw of D3 look great. I'm looking forward to it as we need a good single player action/rpg.
I wonder if there will be a cow lvl.


Diablo 3, Starcraft 2 ..
It's actually time Blizzard does something innovative again ..
(With innovative I mean combining existing characteristics and combining them into one great polished game - before anybody becomes angry :) )

So the (Starcraft) MMO will be announced next year .. I hope ..
I stayed up to 3 am my time for the announcement, and boy I wasn't disappointed. I am a huge diablo fan, and really looking forward to this newest game. Everything that was amazing about diablo 2 with improvements as well.

Can't wait.
Ooo! Awesome! (I can feel the carpal turn burn already, lol!) I'll definitely buy it.
I wonder if there will be a cow lvl.

There was a Diablo III panel, where somebody from the audience asked whether D3 would have secret levels etc.

Answer: That's a secret. :)
Did they explicitly say that the characters will be overpowered and easily taking down scores of mobs? I noticed as such in the gameplay videos, but thought maybe the characters were purposely overleveled/overgeared for the purposes of the video.
Yes, they explicitely said that the overpoweredness was part of the design, part of the fun.
The wanton slaughter of a never-ebbing tide of monsters has always been the centerpiece of the Diablo experience.

Interestingly, Blizzard has consistently missed hitting my sweet spot with how they set up fights between the player and the monsters. I find the protracted 1-on-1 fights with tough mobs of WoW too boring and unheroic, and the genocidal bloodbath of Diablo too meaningless and repetitive.

My idea of a perfect fight is the player character duking it out with a small group of monsters (3-6) that isn't over too quickly and requires the player make tactical decisions about which mobs to focus on while managing the rest.
Did they explicitly say that the characters will be overpowered and easily taking down scores of mobs?

That’s Diablo. It’s hack-n-slash in the Gauntlet style. It truly is an evolution on that original arcade game with a fixed top-angled view and powerful character archetypes (red warrior, etc) that blast through scores of mobs. This works really well in a cooperative play game like Diablo. It just wouldn’t be Diablo if you couldn’t blow up an entire room with a Nova or Flame Wave. It’s like running through Scarlet Monastery as a Level 70 except the mobs can actually hurt you.
I purchased Diablo II from the Blizz online store this weekend. I really don't get it. I played for atleast 5 hours the first day. Then another 3 the second.

All I do is click a mouse?

I'll refrain from saying this game sucks, because for it's time I'm sure clicking a mouse and getting skills trees/potions/quests was a lot of fun.

I'm amazed at how much WoW was a carry over from Diablo.

I'm sure Diablo III will have a lot more game play then Diablo II. I really really hope they allow me to move with the a keyboard or controller because the mouse is lame for movement. Mouse=great camera control. Mouse != great movement control.
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