Diablo III is an upcoming dark fantasy/horror-themed action role-playing
game developed by Blizzard, making it the third installment in the
The game takes place in Sanctuary, the dark fantasy world of the Diablo
series. This world was saved twenty years prior by a handful of unnamed
heroes in Diablo II. Warriors that survived the onslaught of the armies
of the Burning Hells have gone mad from their ordeals and it is up to a
new generation of heroes to face the forces of evil threatening the
world of Sanctuary. Players will have the opportunity to explore
familiar settings such as Tristram.
The only confirmed NPCs are Deckard Cain, who has appeared in both of
the previous games, and his daughter, a new character that accompanies
the hero in quests from time to time. Cain's journal on the official
site brings the player up to speed on the events of the first two games.
Diablo's world map is composed primarily of two main continents with
several small islands in the Northwest region.
Diablo III is similar in style to its predecessor, Diablo II. The
proprietary engine will incorporate Havok physics and feature
destructible environments with an in-game damage effect. The developers
are aiming to make the game run on a wide range of systems, and have
stated that DirectX 10 will not be required. Diablo III will use a
custom 3D game engine in order to present an overhead view to the
player, in a somewhat similar way to the isometric view used in previous
games in the series. Enemies will utilize the 3D environment as well,
in ways such as crawling up the side of a wall from the depths into the
As in Diablo II, multiplayer games will be possible using Blizzard's
Battle.net service, with many of the new features developed for
StarCraft II also available in Diablo III. Players will be able to drop
in and out of sessions of co-operative play with others.
An enhanced quest system, a random level generator, and a random
encounter generator are slated for use in order to ensure the game
provides different experiences when replayed. Overall, the game will
include both static and randomly generated levels. Additionally, there
will be class-specific quests to go along with the main storyline
quests. Blizzard originally planned to have in-game cutscenes, but
decided these would divert from the gameplay and decided against them.
Two new armor pieces will be available: shoulder plates and leggings.
Unlike previous iterations, gold can be picked up merely by touching it,
rather than having to manually pick it up. Sidekicks, unlike Diablo II,
are now distinct NPCs who join the player, rather than
randomly-generated and endlessly replaceable hires. One of the new
features intended to speed gameplay is that health orbs drop from
enemies, replacing the need to have a potion bar, which itself is
replaced by a skill bar that allows a player to assign quick bar buttons
to skills and spells; previously, players could only assign two skills
(one for each mouse button) and had to swap skills with the function
keys. Players can still assign specific attacks to mouse buttons.
Skill Runes, another new feature, are skill-modifying items that are
randomly dropped by monsters and used across all classes. Similar to
runes in Diablo II but instead of changing equippable items, they can be
attached to skills as though they are items, often completely changing
the gameplay of each skill. They also have the ability to make one
particular spell in each class more powerful, and give the player
options as to how the rune will enhance a particular spell. For example,
investing Skill Runes on the Wizard's "Lightning" can allow the players
to make the lightning jump towards additional enemies, or,
alternatively, adding the runes with explosion effect blows the enemy up
and causes damage to the surrounding area.