Diablo is an action oriented rpg that focuses on cool skills, an item hunt, and laying waste to the hordes of hell. Like many rpgs it features classes, stats, lots of story, and character progression that you develop and customize by finding items in game. Diablo is, at its core, all about finding, trading, using, and loving items.
The game takes place in the world of Sanctuary. Where man is caught between the eternal struggle of heaven and hell, a war that is poised to spill over into the mortal realm and intiate the apocalypse. You play a hero, set on their path to defend humanity from the supernatural forces that threaten it.
Do I need to play Diablo 1 or 2 to appreciate Diablo 3's gameplay or story?
Not necessarily. Diablo 3 is designed to be very approachable for a newly initiated player and the gameplay is not overly complex. Playing the older games could give you a sense of context and respect for what has been done with Diablo 3, as it's a very progressive continuation of the older game's systems that makes play more fluid and intuitive.
Diablo is a series with deep lore that lends gravity to the player's experience. As for story there will be a lot of references and jokes you might miss not having played the older games, and some character's significances may be lost to you if you don't know their history. You can always catch up on lore using the lore recaps on YouTube.
(http://youtu.be/5Ghu8RzsWvs) if you don't want to play the older games. Some players choose to ignore the story altogether and are completely fixed on the gameplay, so you don't need to understand the story to enjoy the game if that is more your thing.
What are the System Requirements?
The current system requirements for Diablo 3 can always be found here: http://us.battle.net/support/en/article/diablo-iii-system-requirements
To quickly test your system, click this link: http://systemrequirementslab.com/CYRI/download.aspx?name=Diablo-III&id=11243
I'm an experienced Diablo player and I'm unsure/curious/unaware of Diablo 3. What has changed?
A list of new or changed features in Diablo 3:
- Stat and skill point allocation are gone. This is to encourage experimentation and fluid respecing. You can still customize and boost both your stats and skills with items, and a lot of dimension exists for you to individualize your heros.
- You have access to all skills you meet the level requirement for, instead of committing points to pick them up. In Diablo 2, the number of skills you had was small, and the number you used was smaller still. In Diablo 3, you have a great number of skills and a great number of combinations of them to choose.
- Basic attack is now obsolete as many classes have several 'free' skills that replace it's function while adding flavor. So in a sense each player may now choose one of a few different kinds of basic attack.
- Chance to hit is gone. So if you swing, you wil hit. Same goes for your enemies though! But you can both dodge and block still.
- Experience levels are limited. There is a hard level cap at 60 designed to be reached during hell mode. The final and hardest difficulty level, inferno, in which every monster is level 61 and by default stronger than you, will challege you after you reach that cap.
- Tetris-style inventory management is no longer. Items come in only 2 sizes (one square or two) and characters have a much larger inventory.
- Players have banners they can place in game. Clicking on another player's banner allows you to teleport to their location.
- If a teammate dies, you can come to their aid and resurrect them by clicking on their incapacitated form. This promotes more cooperation than simply watching your friends bodies drop helplessly.
- Potions work differently. They have a cooldown, so they aren't spammable and no function as an emergency heal if things get nasty. For sustain in combat, defeated enemies drop health globes that heal you. This encourages tactical gameplay and eliminates the keyboard slapping potion chugging unkillable sustain found in Diablo 2.
- Gold, items, artisan upgrades, and stash-space is shared accross your account and characters. However, they are separate between your hardcore and softcore characters.
- There are no longer scrolls of identify or town portal. You can both identify and tp inherently through the user interface without the need for an item. There is a channelling time for both, and the effects are instant after channeling, so you can no longer use portals to escape sticky combat situation or drop them preemptively as an emergency exit.
- The crafting system is vastly expanded. Artisans that require investments in training, materials and gigantic sums of gold will replace the gamblers and cube recipes found in Diablo 2.
- Followers have returned and are both more unique and more customizable than before. You can choose skills for them and gear them up to support you while you play solo. In cooperative games they will wait in town. There is a paladin warrior (Templar), a rougeish mercenary (Scoundrel), and an young enchantress (Enchantress).
- Items no longer have stat requirements like strength or dexterity. You must only meet the level requirement to use an armor. Basic armor is used by all classes, but the affixes and bonuses the armor provides will make sure your barb ends up much tankier than your wizard.
- Unique items with fixed attributes are replaced by Legendary items with some variable attributes, so two items may have different affixes.
- Group size is now 4, instead of 8. This aims to keep visual clutter manageble and promote greater cooperative synergy.
- You are limited to 10 characters per copy of D3. If you want more you'll need another Bnet account.
- Boss encounters are now instanced and lock players into the event to prevent tp abuse. You can't leave the encounter or game without resetting the boss health and you can be locked out of the event if you choose not to join it.
- Loot drops are private per player. Meaning that each player sees different items that only they can see and pick up. No more rushing to grab up drops when big monsters fall as everyone gets their own items. More for everyone.
- Item trading is handled through the in game auction house with gold or real money. You can still trade from player to player though too.
- PVP is no longer an option in the main game. Going hostile is gone and PVP is a separate mode. Although it will be unavailable in the game at the time of release because Blizzard needs more time to improve the functionality. They will patch it in later.
- Hardcore mode is unlocked once you raise a single hero to level 10, instead of immediately.
- Diablo 3 will support cross-game friends list and chat through the battletag system (similar to the current Real-ID system in place in SC2 and WoW).
Wait. No stat points? Every class has all the same skills? Isn't every character just going to end up the same?
While it's true that everyone has the same options at level 60 and the potential to fluidly copy each other's builds, the design of the skill system and the depth of the item economy supporting is subtly, but powerfully enabling players to make individual choices instead of simply copying the easiest skills or items to find.
The amazing thing about the skill system is that you have all these skills that you can modulate in ways that mimic other skills. So you can get utilities many different ways and even if an unusual method is less effecient than using another skill, it's all about the itemization that supports your choices to make the build work. There may be a skill that is best in a 'path of least resistance' way or because the items you need to maximize it are common, but the depth of utility in the skill options are vast and highly equitable and items exist to enable you as a player to make personal choices about what you need and which skill you want to get it from.
How to play Diablo 3
Options: (Why aren't these on by default?!)
Turn on elective mode under options -> gameplay. Now you can pick skills from any "category". You can have two skills from "offense" for instance, this opens up many more builds. (To do so, select any skill slot, and then use the arrows to tab over to the other skills. For instance, you can change your left click skill to be on 1, and put the 1 skill on left click. Also, you can have two "left click" skills, one of them on 1 and one of them on 2. Anything like that. You can also just click and drag skills around the bar and swap them.)
Turn on Advanced Tooltips. now you can see how much damage different abilities do compared to each other. An ability that hits everybody seems great, but if its only 50% damage, maybe consider the one that does 500% but is harder to use. Then again, the ability to spam something without looking is really useful.
Turn on enemy health bars. It really helps. Kill the weak enemies first, focus fire. AoE (Area of Effect, big spells like blizzard) are super useful on the weaker groups.
Pay tons of attention to mobs that have an aura. Blue or yellow mobs are rare spawns. When you get into nightmare/hell/inferno, these mobs will be far stronger than the act bosses. They will kill you if you do not pay attention and recognize them.
Especially if there are two at once. You could have two blue mobs nearby each other, and rare mobs will have a posse of similar creatures with them.
General strategy for dealing with tough mobs as ranged: kite them around (RUN! RUN FAST! DON'T LET THEM GET NEAR YOU! YOU'LL DIE!) and drop abilities as you run. If they stop chasing you, turn around and wail on them, until they start chasing you again, and then run. Try to kill off lots of the weaker mobs first, and then when the rare mob is solo, its much easier.
For melee: get in there and mess them up. Try to dance around the edge of the group, killing the weak ones and avoiding the rare until he's left. Watch when he's wailing on you, really pay attention to your health.
PAY ATTENTION TO THE NAME OF RARE MOBS. If they say "Jailer", "Waller", "Vortex", they're gonna mess with your ability to run away and get to safety. The names are logical, Jailer puts you in a little prison circle. Waller creates impassable walls. Vortex pulls you in. Knowing which they are going to use against you is KEY to surviving rare mobs. If they say things like "Arcane" (my all time least favorite, creates purple lazers that spin in circles; these hit HAAARD, DO NOT TOUCH), "Molten" (leaves trail of lava, don't stand in it), etc. etc.
NOTE: sometimes, if a rare mob is REALLY annoying, or if you can kill it quickly, you'll want to just kill it first. For instance, if you're against a "Waller" type, and you get trapped, your best bet is just to annihilate him as fast as you can. It depends upon your dps vs their health.
Generally, after you have a full set of gear (no empty slots), you'll want to ignore white items completely (they're worth about 2 gold, not worth the space in your inventory). Pick up all the blues and yellows (magic and rare quality) and vendor them.
DO NOT use the Blacksmith, he is currently not worth it whatsoever and will only waste your money.
DO use the gemcrafter, he's pretty cheap to level up and combining gems is great.
You can post some items which seem good for other classes on the AH. Put the minimum bid at like 100 for anything, you'd rather somebody buy it for 200 gold than have to vendor it for less. Then set the buyout to something like 5k, 10k, 15k, based on its level. Look around for similar items, and go for slightly less gold so it sells fast.
Using all that gold (selling your drops to vendors, AHing some) go to the AH.
Set your character name as the filter, this will only show items that you can equip (level and class).
Pick a slot that you need an upgrade for (your current item is lower level)
Choose your main stat (Strength for barbs, Dex for DH and MNK, Intelligence for Wiz and WD) as one of the filters. Put "Has sockets" for the other one, if you can (some items can't have sockets).
Find something for a reasonably cheap price that has as much of your main stat as you can. You want to be just stacking TONS of that main stat. They made itemization in this game really, really easy.
You do hit a sort of soft cap on your main stat if it gets too high and your base attack is still low. Look for a main weapon that has a very high base DPS. Rings and amulets that give +damage are really, really good. Try swapping out +main stat and +damage and get a feel for how they effect it.
NOTE: The big DPS number listed when you mouse over a weapon summarizes everything for you, and it UPDATES as you change things. If you put in a gem, it will change the DPS to take that into account. This makes comparisons stupid easy.
NOTE: See your character sheet? See the "Damage" number below your stats? THAT IS IT. WATCH THAT NUMBER. For the most part, all you have to do is swap items out and see which gives you the bigger "Damage" number. This takes into account gems, weapons, stat bonuses, attack speed, etc. It makes it stupid easy.
(Long explanation: your main stat total is a percentage applied to your damge. 20 DPS weapon at 200 intelligence is 200% or 40 DPS. So that 200 int gets you 2x damage. But as you get higher, you get less for each bit of intelligence, +20 more int at 200 int total is +10% more dps, but +20 int if you have 800 total is a fraction of that improvement. And having 800% of 1 dps is just 8 dps. You need a good base number to multiply by)
Attack speed is also really good.
For sockets, try to combine your gems as high level as you can. Put the gem that gives your main stat (rubies for barbs, emeralds for DH/MNK, topaz for Wiz/WD) into all your normal "other" slots. Put Amethyst in your helm for +health and put rubies in your weapon for +damage.
Seriously, the AH is the only way to go. The drops in this game are kind of broken, they need to change it. Items that drop for you in game will be lower level than you are most of the time. The game is designed with the AH in mind, so drops aren't as frequent as D2. They EXPECT you to trade the drops that aren't for your class.
NOTE: Anything you buy on the AH, you can sell right back when you're done with it. This is why so many items are so cheap, there's crazy deflation. You can literally buy something for 5K, use it for a few levels, and then sell it back for 5K costing you NOTHING. You could even sell it back for 10K and make a profit! Items never degrade in quality and nothing is soulbound.
I was able to get over 400 DPS in Act II of normal. I had nearly 800 DPS by the end of Act IV normal. You want around 1K DPS by the end of Act I nightmare. Well over 2K by the end of nightmare.
If those numbers sound insane, you just need to hit up the AH more, and look at your stats.
EVERY other affix (item bonuses) should be prioritized below +main stat and +damage (maybe +attack speed). Seriously, just ignore anything else. Armor is mostly worthless, don't worry about it much. At high level, +vitality, +life regen and +resistance become HUGE, but that isn't until high level. Feel free to build a glass cannon, just max your damage as high as you possibly can until you get halfway through nightmare.
If you find something that gives +main stat and +something else, sure, take it.
LOTS of different builds are very viable, so have fun and try different things. Once you get to Hell and up, it gets much harder, you'll have to swap out some abilities for more survivability.
TLDR: Stack damage and main stat until the cows come home. IGNORE EVERYTHING ELSE until you're in hell, pretty much. Sell everything you find (ignore whites) to vendors, use that money on the AH. You kinda have to use the AH to stay viable in this game, which I don't like. They designed it that way. Buy things and then sell them right back for the same cost :)
Look at the "Damage" number on your character sheet, below your stats. This number summarizes everything for you, +stats, +damage, +attack speed, it rolls it all up for you. So just look at that number, and try out different items to see what makes it go up.
Older Blizzard FAQ
What is Diablo III?
Blizzard is developing Diablo III to be the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will create a hero from one of five distinct classes, such as barbarian or witch doctor, each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. As these heroes adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline and engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, they’ll grow in experience and ability and acquire items of incredible power.
The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced the armies of the Burning Hells — and were fortunate enough to survive — went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts. In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again.
Diablo III will be a fitting sequel to Diablo II, with the easy interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. It will also include many new features that will take the Diablo action-RPG experience to the next level. We look forward to going into much more detail on our plans for Diablo III as development on the game progresses.
What’s new about Diablo III compared to the previous Diablo games?
Exciting new classes like the witch doctor bring new gameplay options to the table. Returning classes, like the barbarian, have been completely redone with new skills to give them a feel unique to Diablo III. New customization options will provide for an even greater level of character specialization than the previous Diablo games, allowing the player to create unique characters brimming with power.
Diablo III is powered by a new graphics engine that can display characters and hordes of monsters in lush, fully 3D environments. Powerful special-effects systems and Havok-powered physics allow the player to lay waste to the Hells’ minions in spectacular ways.
Also, Diablo III builds on the random environments of the previous Diablo games by introducing a host of new ways to create random scripted events throughout the game. This creates a dense and exciting world alive with quests, NPCs, dynamic encounters, and viciously challenging new monsters and bosses. Diablo III’s environments add a great deal of interactivity to the game, including destructible elements and environmental obstacles that can be turned against your enemies.
In addition, Diablo III will benefit from Battle.net upgrades that will provide some exciting new features for players. Cooperative online play remains a primary focus, with multiple enhancements being planned to make connecting with your friends easier and cooperative gameplay even more fun. We’ll have more details on all these aspects as well as other exciting new features at a later date.
Can you give an overview of Diablo III’s storyline?
It has been twenty years since the events of Diablo II. Of those who faced the Lords of Hatred, Terror, and Destruction in the battle over the fate of Sanctuary, there are few still living who can bear to remember the horrors that the Prime Evils wrought upon the world. And of those who did not witness the terrible events firsthand, most believe the stories to be little more than myth. But something evil is stirring once again in Tristram, and it may already have claimed its first victim: Deckard Cain.
Will there be any other familiar faces in Diablo III (other than Deckard Cain)?
Yes. Players will encounter several new characters as well as a number of characters from the previous games.
Will players be visiting any familiar locations in Diablo III, such as Tristram?
Yes, definitely. Players will return to Tristram and certain other locations from the previous games, and they’ll be exploring new areas of Sanctuary as well.
How many character classes are included in Diablo III? What are they?
Five character classes will be included in the game, two of which, the barbarian and witch doctor, were revealed when the game was announced at the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational. The other classes will be announced at a later date.
Will players be able to choose the gender of their character, regardless of class?
Yes. Players will be able to create male and female characters for all five classes.
Will Diablo III be playable over Battle.net? What new features can we expect?
Yes, Diablo III will be playable over Battle.net, and Battle.net will offer some exciting new features to enhance players’ Diablo III experience. We’ll announce specifics and go into much more detail at a later date.
Will there be a single-player component in addition to multiplayer?
Yes. In addition to battling the hordes of the Burning Hells cooperatively with friends over Battle.net, players will be able to adventure through the world of Diablo III solo. More details on both the single-player and multiplayer experience will be revealed at a later date.
What will questing be like in Diablo III? Will it be similar to Diablo II?
Our plans for the story and quest mechanics are still under wraps. We’ll go into detail on those elements of the game at a later date. We can say, however, that we expect to have class-based quests in addition to the main story-line quests.
What engine is Diablo III running on? What graphical enhancements are included?
Diablo III runs on a custom 3D game engine for rendering full-3D characters and environments. The 3D game engine not only simulates advanced animation sequences and sound effects, but also uses a custom physics engine that allows for realistic object dynamics and cloth simulation.
Demon Hunter Lore
Witch Doctor Lore
Diablo 3 Classes
Cheap uber weapons (Old bug?)
World Invitational Footage
Diablo 2 Comparison
Diablo3Blog Youtube Channel
Old list of great things in Diablo III (Written back in 2008)