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Diablo 3
We’re 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 Hell’s armies -- 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 Hell’s 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.


Storyline
Two decades have passed since the demonic denizens, Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, wandered the world of Sanctuary in a vicious rampage to shackle humanity into unholy slavery. Yet for those who battled the Prime Evils directly, the memory fades slowly and the wounds of the soul still burn.

When Deckard Cain returns to the ruins of Tristram's Cathedral seeking clues to new stirrings of evil, a comet from the heavens strikes the very ground where Diablo once entered the world. The comet carries a dark omen in its fiery being and it calls the heroes of Sanctuary to defend the mortal world against the rising powers of the Burning Hells – and even the failing luminaries of the High Heavens itself.




Barbarian:
I came to see firsthand the barbarians, those near-legendary, immense, relentless, dual-wielding furies of the combat dwelling upon their sacred Mount Arreat. Instead, I stand here looking at a mountain that has been torn asunder by some extraordinary force. The sight, I must confess, is incomprehensible. Yet what I see before me cannot be denied....

Skilltrees
- Berserker Tree
- Battlemaster Tree
- Juggernaut Tree

Witch Doctor:
Most believe the fearsome witch doctor of the umbara race a legend, but I have seen one in battle with my own eyes. And it was difficult to believe, even then. I was fortunate to befriend the witch doctor I saw in battle, and, through him, his tribe: the Tribe of the Five Hills....

Skilltrees
- Plaque Tree
- Spirit Tree
- Voodoo Tree

Wizard:
It is those magics that this wizard seems determined to explore - magics centered on manipulating the primal forces from which reality is constructed. Imagine, a headstrong ninteen-year-old youth, able to warp time itself to her will!

Skilltrees
- Storm Tree
- Arcane Tree
- Conjuring Tree



Features
• Five powerful character classes to choose from, including the barbarian and witch doctor.
• Brand-new 3D graphics engine enhanced with spectacular visual effects and Havok physics.
• Numerous indoor and outdoor areas detailing new regions in the world of Sanctuary.
• Interactive environments with dangerous traps and obstacles, and destructible elements.
• Randomly generated worlds bolstered by scripted events for endless and dynamic gameplay.
• Vast assortment of fiendish monsters, with unique attack patterns and behaviors.
• New quest system and character-customisation options for the ultimate action RPG experience.
• Multiplayer functionality over Battle.net with support for cooperative and competitive play.

Inventory
Blizzard said they have plans for making the inventory much better.
In the video we can see room for 30 items. It seems each item will have it's own reserved space with no size variations, similar to the bag system of World of Warcraft. The Barbarian, however, has only 12 item spaces "active" or "available", other 18 being "grayed out". This means characters in D3 will be able to carry variable sizes of bags. If you look at the bottom of the inventory space, there are 4 grayed out slots for bags, similar to World of Warcraft. The icon for these bags is the same as the main inventory screen icon.


[Voor 217% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 07-06-2009 23:03]

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Screenshots
http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss7-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss8-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss12-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss13-thumb.jpg
http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss16-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss23-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss26-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss27-thumb.jpg
http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss60-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss59-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss58-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss57-thumb.jpg
http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss56-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss55-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss54-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss52-thumb.jpg
http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss84-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss85-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss83-thumb.jpghttp://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss82-thumb.jpg
Wallpapers







System requirements zijn nog niet bekend gemaakt. Zodra ze beschikbaar zijn kun je ze hier natuurlijk vinden.



Official Diablo 3 Site - Blizzard's Diablo 3 site.
Diablo Timeline Lore - Timeline van Diablo, Diablo 2 en Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction.
Deckard Cain's Journal Lore - Storyline van Diablo 2 en Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction.
Diablo 3 Cinematic trailer 720p - Cinematic trailer van Diablo 3 in 720p, 48MB groot.
Diablo 3 Gameplay video 720p - Gameplay beelden van Diablo 3 in 720p, 568MB groot.
tweakers IRC channel Diablo 3 - Hier kun je slowchatten over Diablo 3.


Updates:
14-12-'08 - Archive I: Updates 1 - 60
12-06-'09 - Archive II: Updates 61 - 120


01-06-'09 - Update115: Bashiok on Rune Swapping
04-06-'09 - Update116: Bashiok on Runes Value and Legitimate Trade
05-06-'09 - Update117: Battle.net Confirmed Fee-Free
11-06-'09 - Update118: Bashiok on Gore, v1.13, and Blizzcon Announcements
11-06-'09 - Update119: Bashiok on the Barbarian’s Fury
12-06-'09 - Update120: Bashiok on Unlocking Tyrael’s Face
17-06-'09 - Update121: Bashiok on Graphics
17-06-'09 - Update122: Bashiok on Tomes of Lore
24-06-'09 - Update123: Monster Health Display Changed



[Voor 244% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 24-06-2009 17:01]

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Updates:
28-06-'08 - Opening tweede deel Diablo3 topic nog aan flinke updates onderhevig.
29-06-'08 - Sectie Content toegevoegd.
30-06-'08 - Sectie Algemene Info uitgebreid. Plaatje van Witch doctor gefixed. Sectie Aanvullende Info toegevoegd. Topic over 2 posts verdeeld.
31-06-'08 - TS Code opgeschoond.
03-07-'08 - Aanvullende Info sectie vernieuwd/updated. Character Classes aangevuld.
25-07-'08 - Wallpaper toegevoegd aan de Content Sectie.
04-08-'08 - Fixed Skills links gelukkig door iemand op photobucket gezet. Skills UI pic niet kunnen redden.
15-08-'08 - Nieuwe Wallpaper toegevoegd.
05-09-'08 - Diablo Timeline aan de links sectie toegevoegd andere updates volgen later. News Updates Sectie toegevoegd, alle updates bij elkaar!
20-10-'08 - Character: Wizard toegevoegd + Skilltrees ipv skills.
29-10-'08 - Nieuwe screens toegevoegd!
20-11-'08 - Links subsectie verhuisd naar de sectie 'Aanvullende Info' + minor changes.
12-05-'09 - Skilltree links geupdate en verbeterd. Barbarian pic gefixed.
25-05-'09 - Wallpapers toegevoed evenals een 4 extra screenshots.
07-06-'09 - Links subsectie weer een sectie van gemaakt. Plaatjes zelf gehost ipv imageshack.

[Voor 19% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 07-06-2009 18:11]

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Kwakkel schreef op vrijdag 05 september 2008 @ 12:53:
Helaas, deel 1 nooit gespeeld.
Geen idee of t nog verstandig is om daar nu nog aan te beginnen :p
Deel 1 vind ik super voor de sfeer, vroeger was dat echt eng bij de eerste baas enzo (maarja waren ik en mijn vrienden ook ~8-10jaar). Nu nog steeds toffe sfeer natuurlijk maar denk wel dat je begrijpt wat ik bedoel :)
Heb ook al gedacht dat ik dat eens moet doen, maar waar vind ik die? Enkel online veronderstel ik? En hoeveel kost dat?
(Binnenkort is het weer winter, en dan ga ik met de trein naar het werk ipv met de motor ... kan ik weer veel lezen ;) )
Bol.com heeft ze dacht ik wel en zijn niet heel duur volgens mij (tijdje geleden dat ik ernaar gekeken heb).

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RedruM schreef op vrijdag 05 september 2008 @ 14:39:
Die sfeer van Diablo 1 is wat mij betreft ongeevenaard. Ik was dan ook wel een stuk jonger toen ik het speelde, maar ik vond het echt gewoon fucking creepy. Die duistere dungeons.. met zeer beperkt zicht.. de Butcher uiteraard (echt elke keer kippevel als ie uit z'n kamertje kwam rennen) en die kerkmuziek met gekerm op de achtergrond..beeeh... En dan steeds dieper de grond in.. die catacomben etc. Briljant spel :)
Ja echt he te mooi gewoon :)
Kwakkel schreef op vrijdag 05 september 2008 @ 14:42:
[...]


Belg zijnde maak ik helaas niet elke week een uitstapje naar Nederland :p
Er zijn volgens mij 7 boeken maar pheno weet er idd meer vanaf want heb ze zelf niet gelezen.
Wil het nog wel een keer doen maar lees niet meer zoveel (behalve inet/studieboeken.. ).


Updates:
28-06-'08 - Opening tweede deel Diablo3 topic nog aan flinke updates onderhevig.
29-06-'08 - Sectie Content toegevoegd.
30-06-'08 - Sectie Algemene Info uitgebreid. Plaatje van Witch doctor gefixed. Sectie Aanvullende Info toegevoegd. Topic over 2 posts verdeeld.
31-06-'08 - TS Code opgeschoond.
03-07-'08 - Aanvullende Info sectie vernieuwd/updated. Character Classes aangevuld.
25-07-'08 - Wallpaper toegevoegd aan de Content Sectie.
04-08-'08 - Fixed Skills links gelukkig door iemand op photobucket gezet. Skills UI pic niet kunnen redden.
15-08-'08 - Nieuwe Wallpaper toegevoegd.
05-09-'08 - Diablo Timeline aan de links sectie toegevoegd andere updates volgen later. News Updates Sectie toegevoegd, alle updates bij elkaar!

[Voor 40% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 05-09-2008 16:23]

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Angeloonie schreef op vrijdag 05 september 2008 @ 20:39:
Ik baal er overigens wel van dat ze niet voor het Officieële Diablo 3 beeld voor Tyrael hebben gekozen maar voor de Barbarian :'(
"Blizzard staat er los van", een of ander franchise bedrijf heeft dat ontworpen.

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The_Sukkel schreef op vrijdag 05 september 2008 @ 22:09:
Blijf het raar vinden dat ze voor de Barbarian gekozen hebben voor een opa, terwijl het vrouwtjes-barbaar weer een "jonge meid" is... I
Een oud vrouwtje als barb pikt natuurlijk niemand :P
Nee maar idd wel apart maarja dat soort overwegingen zullen ze nu eenmaal moeten maken.
Barb wordt gezien als een in de strijd geharde warrior met enorme littekens waar je "HAR" tegen zegt daar vind ik die mannelijke barb erg goed in geslaagd vind ik.

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The_Sukkel schreef op vrijdag 05 september 2008 @ 23:11:
Als je beging met het spel, dan voel je je nog een novice die alles nog moet leren (skills etc.) en nog gehard moet worden in het gevecht. Door te starten met een jongere barbaar (zoals in D2) wordt dat "authentieke" gevoel versterkt. Het lijkt zo tegenstrijdig om met een oude geharde warrior te beginnen, die echter nog niets kan... dat voelt niet helemaal lekker aan lijkt me (ik ben zo'n malle pief die zich tijdens het spel probeert te identificeren met zo'n figuur... :P )
Als speler voel je je een novice maar het verhaal is natuurlijk ondertussen doorgelopen en het spel haakt er in. Tuurlijk wordt het "beginners"-gevoel versterkt door de geringe equip waarmee je start maarja dan zou je char ook moeten ontwikkelen zoals bijv in Fable. Nja moet zeggen dat ik er iig niet aan stoor zolang het maar extreem lekker speelt (vrees nu al voor me studie :'( O-) ).

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Update:

Bashiok on Boss Drops and the New Artwork
In a discussion about the practice of players doing endless boss runs, Bashiok dropped some philosophy.

Bashiok: There's an inherent issue in Diablo II, where the game is degenerated to a task of getting to point B as quickly as possible, spinning the wheel, and then you rinse and repeat. While a lot of people obviously take advantage of it, and it sort of becomes a game in itself to see how fast and efficient you can be, it's not necessarily engaging. You could also say it detracts from the feeling of being immersed in an entire game experience.

Regardless of what happens or changes in Diablo III there are always going to be the min/maxers that game the systems to be more efficient, but as a goal we want to encourage players to experience the game as a whole or at least to a larger degree than an end-game that devolves in to just killing a single boss over and over. A lot of those ideas and details are obviously still under wraps but it is something we're aware of and thinking about.

Elsewhere, someone asked about yesterday's new artwork; specifically about the map-like view of the tropical island city.

Bashiok: It is Skovos, and I think this piece was something that Leonard showed and discussed at the WWI Lore and Environment Art panel. It isn't a location that you'll visit in Diablo III, but the artwork is a good example of the work and thought going in to fleshing out the world of Sanctuary. It's already a very complex world with a lot of locations and events, but a lot of it still isn't visually or contextually realized. As we want to create the feeling of a world outside of your immediate view it's important to create or expand upon the locations and stories of that world. As we're working to create Diablo III we're also working to create a more visually complete Sanctuary."]It is Skovos, and I think this piece was something that Leonard showed and discussed at the WWI Lore and Environment Art panel.

It isn't a location that you'll visit in Diablo III, but the artwork is a good example of the work and thought going in to fleshing out the world of Sanctuary. It's already a very complex world with a lot of locations and events, but a lot of it still isn't visually or contextually realized. As we want to create the feeling of a world outside of your immediate view it's important to create or expand upon the locations and stories of that world.

As we're working to create Diablo III we're also working to create a more visually complete Sanctuary.

Diablo 3 Overthrown Polystone
http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/store/sideshow-collectibles/diablo3-overthrown-making/16_thumb.jpg http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/store/sideshow-collectibles/diablo3-overthrown-making/2_thumb.jpg http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/store/sideshow-collectibles/diablo3-overthrown-making/23_thumb.jpg

http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/store/sideshow-collectibles/diablo3-overthrown-making/13_thumb.jpg http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/store/sideshow-collectibles/diablo3-overthrown-making/1_thumb.jpg http://www.blizzplanet.com/content/store/sideshow-collectibles/diablo3-overthrown-making/4_thumb.jpg

Rest van de screens zijn op Blizzplanet te zien.

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Pheno79 schreef op zondag 07 september 2008 @ 14:20:
Dat diablo hoofd is wel cool, benieuwd of ze een apart beeld van die gaan maken, want dat is een stuk cooler dan die barb.
Lijkt net een fossiel, erg tof idd.
Vind die barb ook erg mooi moet ik zeggen..

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Angeloonie schreef op donderdag 11 september 2008 @ 00:24:
[...]


Ehm.. dit is gewoon de Barbarian..
Idd, staat ook duidelijk op de site en mijn update :P

Er begint ook steeds wat meer info te komen over bnet 2.0
Zo ook deze quote van Pearce (SC2 team):
Diablo III will have its own unique needs in terms of what Battle.Net provides.

The Battle.Net team is actually a separate group of engineers working on that functionality. So, they’re working with the StarCraft II team and they’ll be working pretty integrally with the Diablo III team as well.

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Update:

Bashiok on Glowing Skeletal Shields
Bashiok: The glow on the shields of Skeletal Shieldmen actually serves a couple purposes. First it's an easy and quick way to identify them from other skeletons, that's a given, but the second function is that it's actually a status indicator. Obviously as you hit them they'll block the hits with their shield, but they can only block so much damage. As they block damage the glow dims. It's a useful tool that visually indicates how close their shields are to breaking.

My biggest gripe is having to reply to this particular thread to get that information out.
Er zaten wat fouten (bashoik/link) in het oorspronkelijke artikel van diii.net.. dus die heb ik verbeterd/gefixed
Deckard Cain Speaks
Voor de liefhebbers, Interview van MTV's MP Blog met Michael Gough
On how the Sean Connery-esque voice of Diablo's Deckard Cain came about:

Gough: Deckard Cain has a little bit of that Sean Connery thing that he does. I don’t remember exactly how it came about but I believe that the creators, the guys from Blizzard, threw the Sean Connery name out there. He was supposed to sound older and wiser but have a little bit of a kick to him, a little bit ornery but in that kind of sarcastic Sean Connery way. He doesn’t take a lot of BS, if you will. He’s a very fun character. And sometimes he’s kind of dark and doom and gloom, with all the “evil that spreads over this land will never be abated” but then other times when he gets cranky, it’s funny. “No one ever listens!” And I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the Deckard Cain rap, but I just started letting it go, and I have to boast I did make up a good portion of the lyrics. [laughs]

On how much Deckard Cain is in Diablo III

Gough: Well, I did more than [what was shown at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris]. I hope there’s more, but I did a pretty fair amount. It was just one or two four-hour sessions but there was a lot. It was definitely more than what you’ve seen in the preview. I’m not sure when it’s release date is targeted for, but yeah it seems like there’s going to be a fair amount of Deckard Cain, which is always a good thing. [laughs]

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Update:

Diablo 3 Won't Have Locked Chests
Bashiok: There have been a few discussions about chests, what they meant in the previous game, and what they'll mean in Diablo III. Currently there are no locked chests, and it's not something we're looking to reintroduce for now. We have discussed varying chest quality and types, adding randomness not only to the appearance of a chest but also the value of items it may drop or possibly specifically what types of items it's guaranteed to drop. Mix it up a bit and make finding a chest exciting, but make finding a special chest something even rarer and more exciting. It could certainly make exploring the entire floor of a dungeon more compelling before moving on.

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Aan de ene kant was het zoals The_Sukkel zegt best onzinnig.
Zoveel meer dropte er niet volgens mij en je moest constant een bundeltje keys in je inventory houden.
Aan de andere kant vind ik het wel grappig dat er locked chests zijn, net alsof elke chest open staat.
Maar goed zal me eigenlijk een worst wezen of het terugkomt of niet openmaken zal ik ze toch niet ;)

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Update:

Bashiok on Corpses and Web Updates
Bashiok made an informative post about the game's physics and how they relate to corpses "vanishing."

Bashiok: First, touching on the corpse fade timers as they stand, the tech to have them last longer has been in for a while. Pretty much how it's working is that there's an allowed number of physics "actors" that are allowed to remain at a time. These actors could be corpses, but they can also be pieces of destroyed tables, or railings, etc. anything that relies on physics. These are corpses and destructables generally. As you 'create' physics actors the oldest ones disappear. So as you're fighting there are always a number of actors remaining in the world, and it works out pretty well. Obviously how many of them can remain at one time will come down to final performance tweaking, but right now I believe it's around twenty.

On to blood and fading; the "cost" of decals, which include the blood stains, are fairly high. Cost being the relative strain put on the machine running the game. Decals account for blood, but they also account for quite a few other effects, most of which haven't yet been revealed. In the potential case of a full party creating these decals, blood flowing from creatures, skills that create them, as well as monsters themselves using skills that create them (Wretched vomiting all over the place is a good example), there is the potential to have a large number of decals on screen at any one time. So again, it's going to come down to final performance tweaks as to how many of them will remain on screen and for how long.

He followed that up when someone asked about separating corpses from the physics, so they'd last forever.

Bashiok: I wouldn't like that, it's awesome being able to continue to interact with the corpses.

Elsewhere, Bashiok revealed that we should see something new (screenshots? concept art?) on the official D3 page later this week:

Bashiok: I wouldn't expect any groundbreaking revelations before BlizzCon, but do keep an eye on the Diablo III page for a nifty reveal this Thursday.

...It's in line with our previous web updates, don't go too crazy.

Finally, someone channeled Chef and made a joke about Tyrael and Diablo "making sweet love down by the fire." To which Bashiok replied with sarcasm... and a link to a new addition (by Cowguin) to our fan art gallery.

Bashiok: Ahm scurrd

http://www.diii.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1823

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Update:

Diablo 3 Interview by VideoGamer
Is there an upcoming game with a more rabid fan base than Blizzard's Diablo III? We don't think so. From the online petition over the game's art style to the outcry over the shunning of classic character classes, Diablo fans are knowledgeable, passionate and not afraid to let the internet know what they think. With that in mind we sat down with lead designer Jay Wilson and grilled him on a game that every PC owner is dribbling in anticipation for.

VideoGamer.com: It's been a long time since Diablo II. How have RPGs changed in the intervening period?

Jay Wilson: I think one of the really big differences is that people actually like them now! When the original Diablo came out it was really a dead time for role-playing games. Now you see so many of them, and so many different kinds. I mean, Diablo is an an action-RPG and that's sometimes referred to as a genre - even though it's really just a sub genre of both RPGs and action games. Then you have Bethesda's games, and Bioware's, and the Final Fantasies... and they've all got such a different flavour and such a different style. It's just a great time for role-playing games. Now you're even seeing good design principles from role-players being carried over to most other action games; it's almost hard to find a game that doesn't have some form of levelling up or character customisation. It's great to see how the RPG has not only come back, but has become a driving force in the industry.

VideoGamer.com: In that case, which have been the big games you've been paying attention to over the past few years?

JW: Obviously the MMO space is very big for us, in terms of influence. One of the reasons we started making MMOs is because we like them! So even though it's our own game, I have to say we look at World of Warcraft more than anything else. It's a game I really like, probably my favourite. I also really like City of Heroes. But I think we also take things from other stuff - Mass Effect is certainly a game I know a lot of the guys around the studio like, and one I enjoyed. Those are a few examples, but there are probably a whole bunch I've not mentioned as I'm on a dearth of RPG stuff right now, because I'm mostly just playing Diablo II.

VideoGamer.com: What elements have been carried over from Diablo II to Diablo III, in terms of co-operative play?

JW: One of the things we've carried over is just the general structure of how co-op play works, so as you're playing you can have another player drop in or leave at any time. It's very dynamic, the game simply adjusts to the number of characters present. But one of the things we've improved on is one of our prime directives is now "Thou shalt do no harm to the co-operative game." This was something that Diablo I and II didn't really follow. Many people liked the idea that players would compete against each other while being co-operative. While it was a noble concept, I think it mostly proved to make players not like each other and not want to play together. The average game size for Diablo II on Battle.net is 1.2 players, which basically means that almost everyone is playing by themselves. One of the main reasons for that is... well, why would you want to play with someone else? They can go hostile at any time and kill you, mostly in an exploitative way. It's not fair - most of the time you'll be dead before you realise they're attacking. There's a good chance they will steal all your loot, so you won't get anything valuable, and it makes the game harder - so why would you want to play?

On our side, we've looked at changing a lot of those things. Loot now drops on a per-player basis, so if four of us are playing a game together and you kill a monster when three of us are nearby, it'll drop an item for each of us. My items will be seen by me but not by the others - so anything I see is fair game for me. The nice thing about this is that it's a bonus. When you play Diablo II together, there are less items. You may kill slightly faster, but there's less to pick up. In Diablo III, there's more. You have your items, other players have theirs, and you can trade. The other tendency we find about this model is that when a player's bag fills up, they don't want to go back to town. They want to keep pushing forward, so they open up their bags and start throwing out things they don't want. As soon as an item hits the floor, everyone gathers around. Then they start doing the same thing, and soon you have these little pow-wows of people tossing things and picking up stuff they can use. It's these kinds of things that make co-op a positive experience.

VideoGamer.com: How do you balance the whole loot dynamic? You want lots of items, but you also need individual pieces to have value, right?

JW: Well when people talk about Diablo II they tend to say that loot just flies from the heavens in giant piles. But if you actually look at the number of drops in the game as opposed to other titles - I'll use World of Warcraft as an example, since people know it - then Diablo II gives far less loot. There's a higher percentage of magic loot, but overall there's roughly a 50 to 60 percent chance that the average monster will drop nothing in Diablo II - and they never drop more than one item. Whereas in WoW it's very uncommon for a monster to drop nothing, and often they'll have multiple items. So overall, while it's not a completely fair comparison, there's generally not as much loot in Diablo II as people think.

Sometimes when people are making a quantitative Diablo-style game, one of the mistakes they make is to say, "The rewards in Diablo II were so good, the only way to improve that is to add even more loot." But the reaction if you don't get that number right is that people get loot weary! Twenty magic items hit the ground, and you're like, "Whatever!". I know that there's not going to be anything interesting for me, because it's all kind of the same. So it's important that in the early game you get items that are fairly good for progression, but then you actually need to pace things out a lot more. One of the things I think Blizzard did really well in Diablo II was that for the first 10 levels you were constantly upgrading, but after that you could play five levels and see nothing. I think that's really critical, that pacing.

VideoGamer.com: Can you please clear something up for us? There's been a bit of controversy about the art style of Diablo 3, in terms of negative fan reactions online. Was there any link between this and the departure of Art Director Brian Morrisroe?

JW: It actually had nothing to do with the project. His leaving was amiable and we actually still speak to him fairly frequently. He left to form a start-up company outside of the games industry - he had an opportunity he couldn't pass up, a once-in-a-lifetime kind of deal. I hated to see him him go because he was so good for the team and was such good art director, but he felt that this was a fairly safe point for him to depart because our art style was fairly established and our art lead is fairly strong. So while I can't say that it's helped the project to have him leave, I think it's done as minimal damage as a departure like this could. It's certainly nothing to do with the art style controversy, and our art direction will not change.

VideoGamer.com: Were you surprised by the negativity?

JW: No We usually have a fairly good barometer of what's going to be considered and what's not, and when we found this art style it was after several other iterations that we felt didn't work. We have a show and tell event with the whole Blizzard staff every four months - the other dev teams come in, look at the projects and give us feedback. You will never find harsher critics than Blizzard developers - they are the most detail-orientated people ever! But when we first showed them this, they were ecstatic. They loved it. That was the point at which we felt we'd really found our game, and that was about a year before we announced. So yeah, were weren't surprised by some of the backlash, but we have so much confidence in the direction of the game and we know this is the right way for us to go. So it didn't really affect us that much.

VideoGamer.com: With Starcraft 2, a lot of the design has been primarily focused around multiplayer. Are you taking a similar approach with Diablo III, or not?


JW: It's a little more focused on the single-player, it's not quite the same. I've worked on RTSs before, and while I've seen things done both ways I prefer the approach where you work on multiplayer first, because you're really establishing the core game mechanics. But here the core mechanics really come out of the single-player game. That said, what we've done along the way is to have co-operative enabled from the start. People play co-op all the time, and if there's something that doesn't work for co-operative play we fix it right away. For any mechanics that need balancing or tuning, we've tried to do that simultaneously. But we do focus on single-player more.

VideoGamer.com: Co-op is becoming an increasingly important feature for games these days. How do you think that's changed things, from a development point of view?

JW: I'm going to sidestep that for a second and talk about the reason why I think co-op has shown up. I think it's because developers have realised that's the way most people want to play. I think recognising that is causing a lot of developers to look back at their games so they can work out how to bring people together. In my opinion, that's nothing but a good thing, because it's one of the things that's going to start opening gaming up to a wider audience. Game developers tend to be quite competitive, a bit hardcore - they love to kill the crap out of one another - and they sometimes think that's what everybody prefers. But a large majority of the gaming audience prefers a more relaxed experience.

One of the best examples of the this is that if you look on Battle.net at the number of competitive games alongside the number of games played co-operatively against multiple AIs, the co-op games outnumber the competitive ones by a factor of 2 to 1. So it's a fairly large group of people who prefer co-op play, even in a game known for its competitive play. So I think that what it's doing is opening up developers' eyes to a broader audience, and that can only be a cool thing.

VideoGamer.com: If you could single out one feature of D3 to convince someone to by the game, what would it be? What's the coolest feature?


JW: The coolest announced feature? (laughter) There are a few we've not revealed yet! For me it would have to be the character classes. I know that's kind of an odd feature to pick, but one of the things that was a hallmark of D2, one of the thigns that made it a favourite game of mine, was that the character classes were extremely archetypal. They were the kind of characters that people inherently wanted to play - they were very visceral, very powerful, very satisfying. Running through the world and hitting stuff with an axe felt really good. So when we started on D3 one of our main objectives was not to match the game on that front, but to surpass it. And that's something I feel we've really accomplished when you look at the character classes, the skillset we've put on them is really imaginative, very over the top and original. We've really tried to go for classes that are not your standard warrior, rogue, mage. We're not trying to provide something that's unknown to the players, but rather classes that are not what you'd typically see.

VideoGamer.com: Can you confirm that the Barbarian is the only class to return from Diablo II?

JW: Yes. Originally we were planning to have no classes return, but as we developed one of the classes essentially turned into the barbarian. We reached a point where we were going to call it some other name, and we realised that everyone else would just call it the barbarian anyway, so maybe we should just go with that.

VideoGamer.com: Can you tell us what the previous name was?

JW: I'd rather not, actually, as we held back a few ideas and might use them in a character further down the road.

VideoGamer.com: Fair enough!

JW: I think the barbarian was one of the classes we looked at and felt could be improved upon. One of the reasons we set this goal of not bringing back old classes was that we don't want to do a re-hash - we want to do a sequel with new gameplay and new experiences. I know a lot of people really love the classes in D2, and it's not my intention to deliberately hurt them! I love those classes too - the necromancer is my favourite - but our goal was to do new things.

VideoGamer.com: Have you copped a lot of flack over this?

JW: Yeah and we will! All the barbarian players are delighted and all the necromancers hate us. I understand, I don't begrudge them that. I would hate me too! But what I would say is that when we announce the next class, which is quite similar to a previous class, then all those players will hate us too. You can't make everybody happy, but I think when the game finally come out players will find there's a good class for them, one they will love as much as the ones that came before. And if they don't, I absolutely promise that in the expansions we'll consider bringing back old classes. We just don't want to do it with the first release. We want to establish our identity.

VideoGamer.com: So if people want D2, they should play D2, right?

JW: Well like I say, I sympathise. I understand why they want these things. But it also comes down to what inspires us as developers. Good games come out of passion, and if one of the dictates had been, "Okay, we're just going to take all the classes from D2 and re-do them," I don't think a lot of people on our team would have been that excited about it. In fact, I know they wouldn't have been. It came from the team that they didn't want to re-do the classes. So one of my jobs as lead designer is not only to steer everyone towards those choices, but also to make sure the whole team is excited by the choices we make. Sometimes that means we have to look at things and say, You know what, maybe this could be awesome, maybe the necromancer could be an awesome character for Diablo 3 - but if no-one on the team is interested in making him, he's not going to be great. He's going to be mediocre.

VideoGamer.com: Some developers, Dennis Dyack for one, really don't like showing work-in-progress on games that are still at an early stage - but Blizzard has always been very happy to do this. Why is that? Is there a risk behind doing this?

JW: This is going to sound snarky, but there's only a risk to your ego. That's it. If it's good then people will recognise that it's good; if it's not good then you need to learn from that and make it better. Sometimes people clutch things close to their chest and they don't want to show off something that misrepresents them and I understand that - but the thing is, gamers only remember the last thing you showed them. So if you show them something and they say, "Oh my God, that's horrible!" the you say "Well, geez... let's go back and make it better." At least now you know why. At least now you have some information. And so one of the reasons why we actually prefer a really long window before we release a game is because we want a lot of feedback - we want to know what people like and don't like about a game. We want to give people several opportunities to play it before a release. We play our games constantly before we release them - we give them to other development teams and get feedback. We do very long betas and alphas and include a lot of people, not just from the fanbase but from the industry as a whole. And I would say look at the success of Blizzard games. If other companies think it's a risk, think it's a bad idea... obviously it's not.

I think it's hard for people, when they get attached to an idea. And we do this all the time. I get really attached to an idea, I really want it to work - so I don't want other people to tell me it's not working. The key is to use that feedback and not fight it, because someday the whole world is going to have it. It's going to be there someday. Do you want to make sure you give them what they want, what you know will be a great game, or do you want to take the risk that your opinion is the right opinion? It's a tough call, but for the most part I'd say "No, don't take the risk.". It's not design's job to come up with all the great ideas and figure out which is the absolute best. It's design's job to make sure that the best ideas get into the game. That's the major difference. I think a lot of people get into game design as a job because they think, "Man, I can sit around all day and come up with ideas." And it's like, "No, you can sit around all day and have your ideas torn down." And that's a lot more painful, but that's the job.

VideoGamer.com: You can't really show off things at early stage in the music and film industries - not in the same way, at any rate. You can demo tracks or show a rough footage, but it's not really the same thing. But it sounds as though you regard this ability as a strength...

JW: It's an advantage of the medium, but it's also one of the things that makes games really hard to make. The best games are made though iteration. They're so complex, and there's so little known - there's no formula for making a great game, it's always this weird alchemy! We used to have this joke at a company I used to work for, where people would come up and say, "This game's not fun! Make it fun!". And we'd be like, "Pull down the cookbook. Two of these, three of these, four of those - there we are, now we've got fun!" A lot of the time it's very touchy-feely, trying things out. It's more like cooking without a cookbook and no knowledge of the ingredients whatsoever.

VideoGamer.com: Last question - which games have you played over the last year that you've really enjoyed?


JW: Well, I'm currently playing the PS3 Ratchet & Clank, which I absolutely love. I play a lot of World of Warcraft, and a lot of RTSs - so I was playing C&C3 earlier this year. I know it took me a while to catch up to it, but I have like this laundry list! I really enjoyed GTA IV. I especially liked the way they introduced their campaign. It's funny, but we joke about GTA IV that it's like an MMO but with one quest - and how did they pull that off? If we gave people an MMO with one quest they'd skin us alive! But really it means that they get to pace their game, but give people this open-world illusion that they have complete freedom, which is wonderful. It's a great way to create a game, and it's really fun.

VideoGamer.com: So on the basis of those comments... Will we see car jacking missions in Diablo III?

JW: Oh absolutely! We just put them in last week!

VideoGamer.com: Thanks for your time Jay.

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Zeker een nice read, thanks ;)
Ben trouwens benieuwd naar nieuwe info van morgen, ga ervan dat het screens/artwork is maar tof altijd leuk.

Om maar even een poging te doen een discussie op te werpen:

Wat denken jullie dat de volgende class is die zal worden aangekondigd?
But what I would say is that when we announce the next class, which is quite similar to a previous class, then all those players will hate us too.

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DeepSeven schreef op woensdag 17 september 2008 @ 22:03:
Het is nogal duidelijk dat WoW een enorme invloed op deze game heeft, zolang ze de core maar bij diablo houden. Ik snap zijn loot vergelijking alleen niet echt tussen de 2 games, in diablo kill je alles 10x sneller.
Daar heb je gelijk in maar uitgaande van dat je niet alle ubergear meteen hebt dan ben je met d2 op hell ook best even bezig :)

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Denk dat een of andere sorc/mage class de grootste kans maakt. Zonder teleport zou ik opzich iets minder vinden maar maxed FRW doet ook aardig zijn job ;)
SpoTs schreef op donderdag 18 september 2008 @ 12:29:
Weet niet of jullie de laatste pagina van d2jsp ook gelezen hebben :p Het is een troll ;-)
Staat er pas vandaag op he ;)
Nonetheless erg leuk om te lezen en goed bedacht :D

[Voor 32% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 18-09-2008 16:57]

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Update:

Diablo III Physics: Blood and Corpses
Bashiok: First, touching on the corpse fade timers as they stand, the tech to have them last longer has been in for a while. Pretty much how it's working is that there's an allowed number of physics "actors" that are allowed to remain at a time. These actors could be corpses, but they can also be pieces of destroyed tables, or railings, etc. anything that relies on physics. These are corpses and destructables generally. As you 'create' physics actors the oldest ones disappear. So as you're fighting there are always a number of actors remaining in the world, and it works out pretty well. Obviously how many of them can remain at one time will come down to final performance tweaking, but right now I believe it's around twenty.

On to blood and fading; the "cost" of decals, which include the blood stains, are fairly high. Cost being the relative strain put on the machine running the game. Decals account for blood, but they also account for quite a few other effects, most of which haven't yet been revealed. In the potential case of a full party creating these decals, blood flowing from creatures, skills that create them, as well as monsters themselves using skills that create them (Wretched vomiting all over the place is a good example), there is the potential to have a large number of decals on screen at any one time. So again, it's going to come down to final performance tweaks as to how many of them will remain on screen and for how long.

Bashiok on Corpses and Game Resources
Our lead tech artist Julian and I talked a bit yesterday about some of the effects and fading, and he gave me some more insight as to how they're working and being changed. We also went in to some of the questions you've all brought up, and so I'll hit some specific points too (with quotes!).

or just disconnecting corpses from the physics engine when they come to rest, and have them fade out

Aside from my previous comment of this not being nearly as fun (it would also look/feel kind of lame), Havok already knows when an object has come to rest and so they already have a lower cost when they're still. Additionally with the proposed method there is no reliable way to determine when or even if a body will come to rest. In a single player game with a class that maybe doesn't use a ton of skills that interact with corpses in a significant way this could work, but in a multiplayer game there could potentially be hundreds of corpses piling up as they've never come to rest due to all of the player skills firing off.

We're also taking extra care to minimize the ability of a player to impact the performance of another player, as was sometimes maliciously done in Diablo II.

I am wondering why you just use an object's age and don't specify a complexity and priority attribute for each object. By combining these two with the age method you would be able to fade out highly complex physics and low priority (tiny) objects earlier.


I'm just going to quote Julian from an e-mail at this point so I'm not rewriting his words and acting like I know what I'm talking about here - "Because most objects in the game that use the age method aren't different enough in anatomical complexity for this to yield significant benefits. The size of objects generally isn't a factor. It is the number of unseen physics meshes that the technical artists add to these things that matters and they tend to be pretty similar from actor to actor. This is largely due to the anatomical similarity of living things in nature..."

Most things have appendages, a back bone, head, etc.

Julian also made the point that while we have our new system for determining the number and age of a physics actors, we still have the old tried and true "disappear after n seconds" method. We can actually choose which actors use which system, so our intent is to make sure that a destroyed table won't make a corpse disappear, for instance. The corpse probably being the more important of the two to keep around.

Quite a few of you were discussing options, sliders, ways to control how long something takes to disappear, etc. and that may be a possibility. The current setting, which is around 20, is just our initial implementation. There's always the possibility for that number to change, or for it to potentially be variable by the player. We do want to keep the game options uncluttered and consistent as much as possible though.

Bashiok on D2/D3 Logos
Bashiok: ...the icon right now is literally the Diablo-skull-sans-soulstone from this piece of art -- but I can almost guarantee it will change.

Some fun trivia about that piece though: That piece of artwork was originally created as a logo mock-up, a very long time ago, for Diablo III. The middle numeral was taken out and it was re-purposed as a piece for post-release Diablo II.

The More You Know! *gleam*


Diii.net
So that death skull artwork was created in very early days when D3 was first under development at Blizzard North. They then modified it and released it in 2004 as D2 artwork. And players promptly seized it and re-modified it back into D3 artwork -- it's one of the many fake D3 logos collected on our Diablo 3 History article. We never knew how real that "fake" logo was?

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Update:

New Monster, Screens, Art
Dune Tresher
The news that a rogue burrower had killed a citizen just outside the city gave me the wonderful opportunity to see firsthand one of the more disturbing creatures we share this world with – the savage dune thresher.

Long ago driven away from settled locales to the deep desert wastes of the Borderlands, the dune thresher is rarely seen by city dwellers. Every so often, however, whether due to injury or old age, one of these unholy beasts ventures to the edge of civilization to feast on the frail human animal.
Bestiary: Dune Tresher
http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss60-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss62-thumb.jpg

http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss63-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss61-thumb.jpg

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TrailBlazer schreef op zaterdag 20 september 2008 @ 12:54:
Mooi monster en ook ween een fantastisch verhaal wat ze er aan hangen.
Dat zeker, ook enorm uitgebreid allemaal en lijken net verhalen opzich :)

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LordLynx schreef op maandag 22 september 2008 @ 13:45:
[...]


Zou niet teveel van die beeldenlijn gaan verwachten, Sideshow heeft de laatste tijd een houtje ervan om 1 beeld in een lijn uit te geven en het daarbij te laten (Jurassic Park, World of Warcraft..)
Zou sowieso eerst alle classes willen zien als beelden maar idd zal wel alleen bij de barbarian blijven.

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Update

Bashiok on the Alt Key
The way it works now is that when an item drops the name shows for about 5 seconds and then they fade out and disappear. Pressing Alt shows all dropped item names for again about 5 seconds and then the names fade out and disappear.

I actually didn't like it at first, I liked the on/off state of pressing or not pressing Alt, but with the names showing immediately after drop and having a sort of "grace period" after just tapping Alt, it's really grown on me and is a lot more intuitive. It's a lot easier to see what just dropped quickly and decide if you care, and it isn't necessary to constantly hold down Alt while scavenging after a large fight.

I still want to see -nopickup return but I haven't really asked anyone what the possibility of that is. I don't think it would work well with the current system, so options may have to be a possibility.

Bashiok on D3's DX10
Bashiok answered a few questions about Direct X 10 today. First up, will D3 support it?

Bashiok: We haven't announced any final support for DirectX versions/system requirements. I'll say that right now we're not using any DirectX10 features, but we potentially could.

Follow up questions got increasingly technical. Don't take any of this as set in stone until Blizzard makes a more official announcement, much closer to the release date.

Bashiok: Hrm, I don't know what functions could be running on separate threads to throw to alternate cores, I'd have to ask. As far as I know though multi-GPU support is purely (or almost purely) a function of the drivers to throw alternate frames to each card, and as such shouldn't be dependent on the software(game) whatsoever.

...I could just be wrong about SLi/Crossfire support. It just logically doesn't seem to me like the software can make the call on where the frames are sent to draw. Whether there's a performance increase or not is another thing of course. I don't know enough about it though, I should ask a programmer.

Bashiok on Level Cap and Inventory
Bashiok was asked about the maximum level cap, and he restated something that's been said before.

Bashiok:
The first and last thing said on it was in an interview with Jay at WWI when we first announced, and paraphrasing that: we will probably keep it about the same, level 99, but it always seemed like an arbitrary number to stop at so we may up it to 100.

In another post, Bashiok talked about the inventory system and the concept of using item weight.

Bashiok: A weight system is simply a different approach to inventory restrictions, and it's actually fairly similar to a grid based system except that weight systems are generally augmented by a character stat instead of being item based upgrades.

The main issue with these systems as they relate to Diablo III is they add an additional value to items. That secondary value works to complicate and thus slow down the inventory management of a player, drawing their attention away from the action, which is of course the main focus for us with Diablo III.

I've played a few RPGs with weight systems, and they're among my favorite games of all time, but it's a case of choosing which systems works best for each game.

Someone asked if they might be making things too simple and streamlined, and thus too shallow. Bashiok thinks not.

Bashiok: Well there's still the depth and complexity of item/stat utilization, building out your character, exploration, increased emphasis on story and lore, etc. but aside from those sort of obvious points, no I'm not worried. There are some big things we haven't revealed yet.

Extra's
Diablo 3 Monsters
Planet Diablo heeft de verschillende demons/monsters van Diablo 3 die we tot nu toe gezien hebben op een rijtje gezet, zeker een kijkje waard! Diablo 3 Monsters - Planet Diablo
Fanmade Wallpapers
http://www.diii.net/gallery/data/550/medium/ureh1950x1200.jpg http://www.diii.net/gallery/data/550/medium/skovos1950x1200.jpg
http://www.diii.net/gallery/data/550/medium/tristram1950x1200.jpg http://www.diii.net/gallery/data/550/medium/caldeum1950x1200.jpg

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FloydRaalte schreef op woensdag 24 september 2008 @ 11:57:
Weet iemand misschien wat meer over de verkoop van de diablo boeken? Ik heb geen visa of creditcard dus kopen via amazone lukt niet. Ik zoek een nederlands verkoopadres. Bol.com heeft de meeste boeken wel, maar mist Demonsbane en Sinwars 3. Het vierluik The archive heeft demonsbane wel als 1 van de vier hoofdstukken maar The archive heb ik nog niet kunnen vinden op nederlandse boekensites. Iemand een idee?

Crono Naam
1 Diablo: The Sin War, Book One: Birthright (diablo 1)
2 Diablo: The Sin War, Book Two: The Scales of the Serpent
3 Diablo: The Sin War, Book Three: The Veiled Prophet
4 Diablo: Demonsbane Archive 1
5 Diablo: Legacy of Blood Archive 2
6 Diablo: The Black Road Archive 3
7 Diablo: The Kingdom of Blood / Shadow Archive 4
8 Diablo: Moon of the Spider
Mss niet helemaal de plek om het te vragen maar waar je anders kan vragen is een goede.
Al gekeken op bol.com? Die heeft niet alles maar daarvoor moet je denk ik toch van iemands CC gebruik maken.

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Update:

Jay Wilson @ Buffed.de
First of all about inactive characters and if they will be deleted as in D2: "Never ever, they have to kill him first to get this in, characters will stay!"

Then about the game length, he told Buffed.de that the game will be "separated" in parts of roughly 15 minutes - a dungeon, a town, whatever - and after you finish it, you can stop playing or go on for another part that will also take roughly 15 minutes.

Bashiok on Guns and Spellbooks
Bashiok chimed in on a (not very serious) thread about guns in Diablo III with... a not very serious answer.

Bashiok: Well, you have to realize that it's been 20 years, and in technological terms that can be a very long time. We're trying to create a world that's not static, its filled out, and with that it's an advancing world. With that amount of time, and also the loss of the Arreat Summit much of the remaining barbarian culture has focused on... nah I'm just kidding, there aren't any guns.


Elsewhere, Bashiok addressed the concept of Spellbooks, as they existed in Diablo I. He doesn't seem to have been a big fan of that non-unique style of spells:


Bashiok: That came back in Diablo II too eventually in the form of rune words, and I don't think it really worked out too well in the end. I do think it actually could be designed and implemented properly; balanced, etc. but...

For me the more important question though is what impact does it have on the class you're playing and also our knowledge of the Diablo world? Is a class nothing more than someone who read from a book, or is holding a specific item? No, they're very specific and very iconic figures (heroes even) from very distinct styles and backgrounds. The characters we play are these concentrated images of their cultures, beliefs, etc. Everything they do resembles who they are and where they're from, and what does it mean to then piecemeal that out to any one who just happens to throw a couple runes in to an item.

It worked better in Diablo (1) I think. Conceptually it was a bit easier to digest just because of the basic pen and paper underpinnings, and the heroes were far more generic. It was also far less obtrusive.

In Diablo II though, for me anyway, it always undermined the uniqueness of playing a specific class, and also what it meant to be that character. Aside from everything else it caused.

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FloydRaalte schreef op maandag 29 september 2008 @ 10:40:
Tis gelukt! Ik heb bij selexys.nl de boeken kunnen vinden. Demonsbane en de laatse sinwars waren moeilijk te verkrijgen. Demonsbane zelfs helemaal niet meer. Maar gelukkig is deze te verkrijgen in een bundel genaamd The Archive. Daarin zitten 4 boeken:

4 Diablo: Demonsbane Archive 1
5 Diablo: Legacy of Blood Archive 2
6 Diablo: The Black Road Archive 3
7 Diablo: The Kingdom of Blood / Shadow Archive 4

Selexys had ook de laatste sinwars. Dus ik heb ze meteen besteld en zit nu met smart te wachten op mijn boekjes!

HOEZEE!
Owja klopt dat over die Archive heb ik ook in de zomervakantie voorbij zien komen.

Vind het wel beter dat guns uitgesloten zijn, had niet verwacht dat ze erin zouden komen maar een bevestiging is alleen maar beter!

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Update:

Bashiok on Death Penalties
Before I get in to what we are doing let me go over some things we want to avoid with a death mechanic.

We want to separate being in town and being out on a quest/adventure/dungeon as much as possible. Leaving the safety of a town should not be a decision you take lightly. We don't want to remove the sense of suspense and danger by making town something you're always going back to pretty much whenever you like. The intent is to create a greater separation from being in town, and not, and to make your time away from town a lot more tense.

On that same note we also don't want to remove the player from the action. Throwing them back to town for every death really breaks up the action, and not in a fun, interesting, or necessary way.

So, with these things in mind we've found that a check point system works really well. Throughout your adventures, and generally at the ends of each "floor" of a dungeon your character is saved to a checkpoint. When you die you're dropped back at the last checkpoint with a small amount of health, and the rest regenerates slowly. It's obviously a very forgiving system as it is. It's just too early to put a ton of thought in to what penalties there should be, if any, added on top of it.

Regardless, potential penalties aside, this is the death mechanic we're currently using and it's working really well so far.

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FloydRaalte schreef op vrijdag 03 oktober 2008 @ 09:48:
Wat mij opvalt uit de bovenstaande berichten van bashiok is dat in elk verhaaltje ze proberen Diablo 2 te verbeteren. Elke keer lijkt het wel of ze perse iets anders willen doen dan in Diablo 2 met een bepaald onderwerp. Bijvoorbeeld zoals hierboven beschreven de Death mechanic. Opzich geen foute benadering aangezien we dan ook wat nieuws krijgen, en daarin is Blizz wel te vertrouwens lijkt me ;) Maar als je iets veranderd aan iets wat gewoon goed is, is het niet altijd een verbetering. If it aint broke dont fix it, zeg maar. Ik hoop dat ze hier niet te ver in doordraaien, maar aan de andere kant is het ook weer vernieuwend en denk ik ook wel dat het wel goed komt.

Wat die checkpoints betreft, uit Bashiok zijn verhaal begrijp ik dat het goed werkt al lijkt het me helemaal niks. Als je dood gaat begin je weer bij een checkpoint... dat klink zo arcade achtig, beetje nep als je begrijp wat ik bedoel. We hebben toch waypoints?! Die heb ik langs zien komen in de D3 filmpjes. Ik ben meer voor een logische aanpak zoals de ouwe vertouwde cost en XP penals. Of laat de speler zelf nadenken voordat ze een highlevel area ingaan en maak het mogelijk om zelf een portable waypoint te droppen. Ik kon helaas niet opmaken uit het verhaal of je armor en items achterblijven als je dood gaat zodat je deze weer moet ophalen.
Ze veranderen inderdaad alles wat nog enigzins verbeterd zou kunnen worden, daarom laten ze ook bijna geen chars van D2 terugkomen omdat die bijna niet geperfectioneerd kunnen worden volgens het team.

Die waypoints vind ik ook niet echt passen bij D3, gewoon in town beginnen en dat je dan weer een dungeon helemaal uit moet kammen hoort er gewoon bij.

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Moraelyn schreef op vrijdag 03 oktober 2008 @ 15:41:
Ik vind dit dus wel een verbetering met deze checkpoints. Opnieuw dat hele rotstuk terug lopen voegt namelijk niets toe: de monsters onderweg zijn toch al dood.
Vind het opnieuw lopen van een stukje helemaal niet erg omdat ik alleen online speel en heb je toch respawnende mobs. In SP is het mss wel echt een verbetering want een stuk opnieuw lopen zonder mobs is idd niks aan.
Erg zou ik het niet vinden maar kan me net zo goed zonder redden.
Joarie schreef op vrijdag 03 oktober 2008 @ 16:31:
Die checkpoints klinkt wel heel erg bekend. Dat had THQ in Titan Quest toch ook ingebouwd? Al vraag ik me af wat de penalty daar was als je doodging.
Ja net als bFunk zegt, het is erg hetzelfde als bij D2. Ipv bodies heb je tombstones, enig verschil is dat je je items aan houdt.
Trouwens helemaal niet aan gedacht dat TQ/IT ook waypoints gebruikt, daar werkte het wel lekker om eerlijk te zijn.

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Joarie schreef op vrijdag 03 oktober 2008 @ 18:13:
[...]


Dat was misschien dan het enige wat er lekker aan was. Dat spel is helaas heel snel op de stoffige cd stapel terecht gekomen omdat het belachelijk veel last had van framedrops tijdens actiemomenten. Maar misschien was ik daar de enige in
Het had zo zijn bugs maar veel waren snel en goed opgelost heb het ook enorm veel gespeeld en vrij weinig last van de so-called ' rubberbanding' (alleen bij IT in de crystalroom). Vond het echt een lekkere game die voor mij zeker op nr2 komt wat D2 clones betreft maarja zoals gezegd ik had vrijwel nergens last van.

[Voor 3% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 03-10-2008 18:16]

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Update:

New Monster, Screens, Art
Scavenger
I had indeed seen scavengers: small, burrowing creatures that feed upon carrion. Unlike most animals of this type, however, they are extremely aggressive and will not hesitate to attack those unfortunate enough to encounter them. Scavengers have powerful legs which they use for swift springing attacks, striking at vulnerable faces and throats. Their anatomy bears a striking resemblance to that of the leapers of the Aranoch desert, and thus, many researchers classify the two groups as part of the same family of creatures. An ensorcelled (some say demonic) variant is known to have plagued adventurers in the Tristram region twenty-odd years ago as well.
Bestiary: Scavenger
http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss66-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss67-thumb.jpg

http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss68-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss64-thumb.jpg

Screens
http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss42-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss43-thumb.jpg

http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss48-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss45-thumb.jpg

http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss46-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss47-thumb.jpg

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Update:

Bashiok on "Naked" Female Witch Doctors
As happened in our thread about the newest d3 screenshots, there were questions on the b.net forums about the star of the new shot from Tristram(?), since it/he/she looks strangely naked and light-skinned. Bashiok jumped into the thread to clear up that confusion, while adding a bit of mystery as well.

Bashiok: It’s a “naked” female witch doctor, she’s twisting around to her right on a wind up of a skull of flame cast (previously called fire bomb). I don’t think that’s the most interesting part of the screenshot though.

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Poepertje schreef op vrijdag 10 oktober 2008 @ 14:28:
Ik hoop persoonlijk dat er hiernaar wat beter naar gekeken moet worden of in iedergeval een betere oplossing komt!
ik heb met diablo 2 een hoop narigheid meegemaakt, telkens met pvp als je een duel verloren had (stond er een poppetje die van al die losse spulletjes op mijn lichaam gooide!)
Vervelende........ :X
als je bijvoorbeeld een hoedje oppakte die door dat mannetje was neergegooid en je werd meteen doodgemaakt, was je al je spullen kwijt!


Wie kent deze pijnlijke situatie?
Je bedoelt de str bug? tja daar zit een zeker risico aan.

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Update:

Bashiok on Monster vs Monster and Inventory
Bashiok has been a busy bee lately. With BlizzCon coming up and anticipation for new Diablo III information pouring in, he's somehow found the time to respond to a couple of threads over at the official forum.

First up, a response to a question regarding Monsters:

Basiok: It would be naive to think that with all of the creatures, demons, and monsters in the world of Sanctuary that they'd all purely be concerned with killing you and you alone.

Hinting that the player may discover monsters who fight each other in the wilderness!
Concerning the inventory, Bashiok had this to share:

Basiok: We have an awesome UI guy (Mike Nicholson) who is constantly iterating on the interface. Right now it has a lot of the core pieces of what we want, but it's still being worked on fairly heavily. Specifically regarding item images and being able to see the artwork - being able to reach a happy medium between single slot and having nice big item images is something we're striving for.

Diablo 3 Playable at Blizzcon08
"Fire rains from the skies over New Tristram, landing on the very site where the Lord of Terror was first unleashed decades ago. This dark omen may signal the return of a malevolent presence that has cast a long shadow over the world of Sanctuary. As the mortal realms once again hang in the balance, only a handful of champions rise to meet the coming darkness... out in the bleak corners of the world, where evil has arise once again.

Among these brave champions stands the enigmatic witch doctor, a spiritual warrior from deep within the Torajan jungles. At BlizzCon 2008, the witch doctor is yours to command for the first time ever. Stop by the Diablo area on the show floor for your chance to lead this fierce new hero into the catacombs beneath the Tristram Cathedral.

While you're there, revisit the raw strength of the barbarian - a Diablo series classic - or try your hand at Sanctuary's newest champion, who will be revealed at the event.

If these gameplay offerings don't slake your enthusiasm for demon slaying, you might also want to attend the Diablo III panels, each of which is designed to give you a full behind-the-scenes look into the world of Sanctuary.

In the class-design panel, you'll learn about the personality and game mechanics of Sanctuary's new heroes. In the Diablo III gameplay panel, you'll get an in-depth look at the evolution of the Diablo series and find out how the gameplay and world design are being improved for this third installment. The lore and art panel will bring you up to speed on the story of our heroes and the current happenings in Sanctuary while providing insight into the game's style and art direction.

The time to make your stand against the Burning Hells draws nigh."

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DeepSeven schreef op vrijdag 10 oktober 2008 @ 19:20:
New Class: Wizard. Volgens mij is blizzon nu net begonnen als ik het goed zag op diii.net.
Zag het ja had ook niet anders verwacht moet ik zeggen een casterclass moest gewoon komen, was het niet deze blizzcon dan kwam die later wel! Trouwens wel echt tof van de skeleton king.. ik wist het! Toen Leoric Highlands zag wist ik gewoon dat die er weer in moest zitten :)

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Pheno79 schreef op vrijdag 10 oktober 2008 @ 20:33:
[...]
Het wil natuurlijk niet zeggen dat hij in het echte spel aanwezig is. Het is en blijft gedemo :)
Ook voor jou, pheno, net als de rest is er een edit functie beschikbaar ;)

Nee daar heb je idd gelijk in maar de gedachte dat die in de blizzcon08 demo zit vind ik al mooi :)

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Update:

New Class: Wizard
Flux here: I got about 15 minutes play time on the wizard, and then spent 15 minutes looking over all of her skills and dictating their descriptions. We’re doing some live reports in the chat channel, and here are some quick facts, with more to come later.

There are 3 wizard skill trees. conjuring, arcane, storm. all of the trees have 4 or 5 skills in each tier, and there are tiers at level 1, 5, 10, and 15. 20 is listed, but has no skills yet. there are no dependencies per skill, but you need 10 points invested to use any level 10 spells, and 15 to use any 15. In each tree.

There are a huge variety of skills. Multiple pasives and actives in each tree, all mixed through. All 3 had one attack spell in the first row, and 2 or 3 passives or masteries. Bonuses were to things like spell casting speed, mana cost, critical strike %, type of damage, etc. There are spells of all types of damage, cold, lightning, spectral, etc. Also spells with physical and magical shielding, duplicate (like Decoy), slow time (slows missiles and enemies), increase weapon damage, increase odds of monsters dropping mana globes (fill 25% mana bulb), and much, much more. It looks like there will be several viable builds in each tree, and probably some multi tree ones as well. Massive variety and subtypes and builds.

Play style: The wizard felt like a more durable sorceress. fast spells, variety of early ones, melee and ranged. Lots of monster types and varieties in the early area. great npc dialogues; very realistic conversation. Awesome gory graphics; bleeding heaps of bodies, crows flapping overhead. Very atmospheric. Like D1 with vastly improved graphics. Can’t wait to play it on a home machine in a dark room with the sound up loud.
Chracter Class: Wizard
Diablo 3 Wizard trailer 720p - Wizard gameplay trailer in 720p, 87MB groot.

http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss71-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/artwork/ss72-thumb.jpg

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Update:

D3 Class Panel Notes
Some quick impressions from the D3 class panel I just attended. As with the other panels, we’re filming them all, but Blizzard is not (yet) allowing any sites to post the videos since they have the exclusive TV deal with Direct TV.

The panel opened with a discussion of the Wizard class design. Like the Barbarian and the Witch Doctor, the class is meant to be immediately archetypal and familiar, but to have new features as well. The wizard is an update of the sorcerer and sorceress, but adds a ton of new skills, new elemental types, much more variety, and a more aggressive attitude. The female wizard is the only one playable at this event, and they talked about her personality a bit. She’s rebellious, headstrong, sassy, impulsive, and brilliant. Too smart for the wizard school. Smarter than her teachers. Her opening dialogue in the game she taunts a cautioning guard, says she’ll be back shortly once she’s wiped away the monsters, etc. Very cocky.

Skill theory
D3 is designed to have characters using 6 active skills (and lots more passive). The controls work with that, and they want to allow/enforce about that much variety. So they’re trying to make the skill trees support that concept, and that much variety. They do not want to repeat the D2 style of most players specializing in just 1 or 2 killing skills, with a few other support that you might only have 1 or 2 points in. Or the synergy style of 4 skills maxed out just to support one skill. They want more variety, a mixture of active skills, all of which require multiple points to become powerful. They also want beginning level skills to remain useful throughout.

Wizard Signture Skills
Four skills were profiled as her signature skills.

Magic Missile. This is a firebolt-like skill that hits for spectral damage. It gets much more powerful with additional points, and has some explosive shrapnel damage on impact. Just very viscereal and fun to blast them out.

Electrocute. This is a single beam of lightning that locks onto monsters, like a beam weapon in an FPS. It can chain to multiple targets with more points, and creates a steady drain of damage. Very crackily.

Slow Time. This spell creates a bubble of protection, that greatly slows incoming missiles and monsters. The bubble stays where it’s cast, and the Wizard can move out of it. It’s basically the Amazon’s slow missile, but in one place.

Disintegrate. This one fires a laser-like beam that sweeps around with the mouse movement. The wizard remains stationary while casting. It does more damage the longer it remains on a single target, heating them up.

Skill Runes
These are brand new items in D3. They are used to socket skills, adding damage or other modifications to your character’s skills. They can be used on any character, and runes can be removed and replaced at any time. There are going to be about 5 tiers of quality, and runes should be common enough that most characters will usually have their skills rune’d, but the higher level ones will be quite rare, of course. The best example shown was of the WDs firebomb skill. With a striking rune, each firebomb would bounce several times, like skipping a stone over water. It created an explosion each time it hit, earning applause from the audience.

The panel covered a bit more, but we’ll add that later in our more thorough write up.

D3 Gameplay Panel
The D3 gameplay panel was held Friday afternoon. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly as interesting as the class design panel held earlier in the day. For the gameplay panel, Jay Wilson spoke for about 15 minutes, covering the basic gameplay design concepts of the game. It was largely a repeat of information presented in the WWI panels, and covered nothing we’ve not already heard in various interviews and other info releases. Fortunately, the short presentation was followed by an extensive Q&A session chaired by Jay Wilson and Wyatt Chang, which had quite a few good questions.

We recorded video of the entire panel and will post that when Blizzard allows it. We’ll also type up a full transcript for the wiki next week. In the meantime, I’ve summarized a few of the better questions below the fold…

We’ll post a verbatim transcript when we have time. For now, here are summarized versions of the lengthy answers Jay and Wyatt gave to various questions.

One of Jay’s main points in the presentation, one he’s made a number of times in interviews, is that they want to add more challenge by diversifying the difficulty. Instead of D2’s style of easy easy easy instant-death, they’re making D3 more consistently difficult. They want to create more moments of danger and tension, and one of the ways of doing that is by making potions less useful and less common, and making players earn health globes to heal. Having played the demo a few times so far, I can say that that’s working nicely. I was frequently down to a sliver of red while playing a Wizard, and had to back up, nail monsters with ranged attacks, run past tough ones to nail some easy cannon fodder and hope to find a health globe from them, etc.

They want quests to diversify gameplay. Instead of just attack attack attack, they want players to have to think of strategy, use some caution, and sometimes do things like rescue NPCs, hold off monsters, race to key locations, and other things that will still have combat involved, but will not be solely click click click.

They want to make gold viable and useful and a part of the economy, long term. They don’t want it to just become all SoJs or perfect skulls or runes. How they’re going to do that they haven’t said. Paying for respecs seems to be hinted at, but other methods might be utilized.

A player asked about immunities, and how they could stop players cold sometimes, if they had a build or equipment that couldn’t adapt. Wyatt said that they hope to address that by incentivizing players to use a variety of skills. They’re designing the skill trees so that players will have 6-7 active skills on their switches, along with various support passives and masteries. And they’re forming the skill trees so that there will be a variety of damage types on the top skills, so players will almost unavoidably have ways around immunes. Not that they’ve confirmed that we’ll see immunes at all, in D3. There aren’t any in the low level demo we’re playing at Blizzcon, at least.

Magic find is in the game (I’ve seen multiple items with it in my play time so far) but they hope to equalize the utility of it by making modifiers on all item types that all characters have a need to use. Unlike D2, where sorcs and necros (and others) could ignore stats on lots of equipment and just specialize in MF. During my demo play time I saw staves and wants that boosted spell damage and exp gain, along with other useful mage properties.

Jay confirmed that the 4th and 5th characters will be Wirt, returned from the dead, and a playable verison of the Cow King. He said this with a straight face, but the room laughed.

The max player limit isn’t set yet, but they’re thinking it might be just 4. They can add more, and it’s actually less stress on b.net to have more players in fewer games, but as Jay pointed out, more than 4 turns into total chaos, or else players are off in different parts of the same game. So the upper limit will probably be more about fun and party play than technical capability.

There will be some kind of crafting mechanism, but not like the Horadric Cube. Wyatt said the cube was largely useful in d2 since the inventory was so small that the added space was great. They’re going to give us much more storage space in d3, so they won’t make the item creation utility much like the cube was.

They want stats to be useful for all characters. At least 3 stats useful for everyone, not just minimum str, never energy, and max vit, as many players did in D2.. So they’re going to make stats useful for multiple purposes. Str for wizards might increase hps regen, or make more/faster healing from health globes, for instance.

Binding items is still the subject of internal debate, but Jay’s clearly on the side of no binding. The concern is that with easier trading and muling players will transfer items around too much and the game will become too easy as inflation sets in. But they like that Diablo is a game of finding and trading, rather than endless raid grinding for the best gear in WoW, and they don’t wnat to change that.

And finally, there will be respecs of some kind, but they’ve not worked out a method yet. They want to balance the convenience of it and the accessibility for non full time layers, with the issue of making the game too easy, or making it boring to start a new char since there’s no one else in low level games.

Wizard Talent Tree
STORM TALENT TREE

Charged bolt - Rank 1/1: Launch a volley of 3 electric bolts that deal 1-8 lightning damage each. Mana cost: 8. Critical hits from lightning damage stun targets for 2 sec.
Thunderstruck - Rank 2/15: Increases the critical hit chance of all lightning spells by 10%. Critical hits from lightning damage stun targets for 2 sec.
Empowered Magic - Rank 2/15: Increases the effect of willpower on your spell damage by 20%.
Lightning Speed - Rank 0/15: Increases casting speed by 3%

Requires 5 Points


Storm Armor - Rank 0/1: Surround yourself in electrical energy. Electrical bolts are automatically fired at attackers for 1 to 8 damage. Mana cost: 15
Frost Nova - Rank 0/1: An explosion of ice pelts nearby enemies for 1-3 cold damage. Has an additional 25% chance of a critical hit. Mana cost: 25. Cooldown: 12 sec. Critical hits from cold damage freeze targets.
Deep Freeze - Rank 0/15: Increases the critical hit chance of all cold spells by 5%. Critical hits from cold damage freeze targets.
Power Armor - Rank 0/15: Increases the damage dealt by your storm armor charged bolts by 10%.
Static Charge - Rank 0/15: Convert 5% of all damage taken into mana.

Requires 10 Points

Electrocute - Rank 0/1: Lightning arcs from the wizard’s fingertips towards enemies, electrocuting them for 4-5 damage. Electrocute affects up to 2 targets. Mana cost: 8. Critical hits from lightning damage stun targets for 2 sec. Requires 10 points in Storm tree.
Ray of Frost - Rank 0/1: Project a beam of cold energy that deals 6 cold damage per sec. Mana cost: 16 mana per sec. Critical hits from cold damage freeze targets. Requires 10 points in Storm tree.
Static Residue - Rank 0/15: Enemies damaged by your lightning spells discharge an additional 1 to 3 lightning damage per sec to nearby enemies for 3 seconds. Requires 10 points in Storm tree.
Lethal Energy - Rank 0/15: Increases the chance to score critical hits with melee and spell attacks by 5%. Requires 10 points in Storm tree.
Improved Charged Bolt - Rank 0/15: Increase the number of bolts released by your charged bolt spell by 1. Requires 10 points in Storm tree.

Requires 15 points

Tornado - Rank 0/1: Summon a large tornado that damages everything in its path. Mana cost: 15. Requires 15 points in Storm tree.
Blizzard - Rank 0/1: Call down shards of ice to pelt an area dealing 6-10 cold damage per sec for 3 sec. Mana cost: 70. Critical hits from cold damage freezes targets. Requires 15 points in Storm tree.
Storm Power - Rank 0/15: Increase damage of all lightning and ice spells. Requires 15 points in Storm tree.
Epic Storms - Rank 0/15: Increases size of Blizzard and number of twisters you can have for your energy twister.

ARCANE TALENT TREE

Magic Missile -
Rank 1/1 Fire 1 missile (s) of energy at your enemies causing 7-13 arcane damage to them. Mana cost: 8. Critical hits from arcane damage silence targets for 4 secs.
Arcane Power - Rank 2/15: Increases all arcane damage dealt by 24% (next point 36%).
Efficient Magics - Rank 2/15: Lowers the mana cost of spells by 6% (next point by 9%).
Penetrating Spells - 0/15: Reduces the resistance of your targets to your spells by 8%. Targets with negative resitance take additional damage from spells.

Requires 5 Points

Disintegrate - Rank 0/1: Eminate a beam of pure energy dealing 10 arcane damage per second. Damage is modified by 80% each time the beam passes through the target. Mana cosst: 12 per sec. Critical hits from arcane damage silence targets for 4 secs.
Wave of Force - Rank 0/1: Project a wave of force outwards, repelling enemies and projectiles and dealing 1-8 damage. Mana cost: 25.
Arcane Armor - Rank 0/15: While your Storm Armor, Stone Armor, Stone Skin or Temporal Armor spells are active, your armor is increased by 20%.
Arcane Weakness - Rank 0/15: Enemies damaged by your arcane spells are affected with arcane weakness, increasing damage taken by 10% for 5 sec.
Arcane Speed - Rank 0/15: Reduces the cooldown of all arcane spells by 5%.

Requires 10 Points

Arcane Orb - Rank 0/1: An orb of pure energy explodes on contact dealing 12-16 arcane damage to all enemies in the blast area. Mana cost: 18. Critical hits from arcane damage silence targets for 4 sec.
Slow Time - Rank 0/1: Warp space and time lowing nearby monsters and projectiles. Mana cost: 20. Enemy attack cooldown increase: 1 sec.
Arcane Distortion - Rank 0/15: Enemies damaged by your arcane spells are slowed by 35% for 3 sec.
Mana Recovery - Rank 0/15: Enemies have a 7% chance to drop a mana globe that return 25% of maximum mana when picked up.
Improved Magic Missile - Rank 0/15: Increases the number of missiles launched by your magic missile spell by 1 and increases their damage by 8%.
Temporal Armor - Rank 0/1: Surrounds the wizard in a protective shell that stops all damage from an attack every 6 sec. The shell dissipates after absorbing 12 attacks.
Teleport - Rank - 0/1: Teleport to the selected location up to 40 feet away. Mana cost: 23.
Greater Mana - Rank 0/15: Increases maximum mana by 12%.
Mana Burst - Rank 0/15: Increases the damage of any spellcast from full mana by 25%.
Runic Might - Rank 0/15: Increases the effects of all runes.

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Postius schreef op zaterdag 11 oktober 2008 @ 16:09:
Zijn er mensen die dat echt allemaal lezen? ik weet dat het een grote titel is, maar iedere keer krijg ik toch een beetje de indruk "Much-ado-about-nothing". Zoals in het begin toen er een paar screenies waren, barstte meteen een discussie los over de kleuren etc. Bij die Wizard ook meteen over de skills. Zo verrassend is het allemaal niet toch? Ik weet dat blizzard groot is maar zelfs artikelen over hoe je skills moet verdelen...Heb je daar nu echt wat aan?
Overigens wat gaan de overige klassen worden? Ik gok nog iets richting de Paladin. Want necromancer valt onder witchdocter geloof ik. Of ze maken een soort Ranger(geen amazon) met een Pet die overlappende skills heeft. Maar ik verwacht niet dat er nog echt "nieuwe" klassen inkomen.
Ja mensen lezen dat echt.. het is interessant en ik wil de moeite ervoor doen, kost jou toch geen tijd of wel?
Trouwens als je goed leest zie je dat het helemaal geen guide is, het zijn gewoon de skilltrees (2/3) van de Wizard uitgewerkt zodat iedereen die het wel interessant vind het ook kan bekijken.

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Taipan schreef op maandag 13 oktober 2008 @ 15:42:
Mij maakt het niet uit hoeveel ze veranderen / behouden ten opzichte van d2, ik vertrouw er wel op dat ze bij Blizzard weten wat ze doen.
Zolang ze maar een class hebben met een zwaard en een schild ben ik tevreden.

Ik hoop wel dat ze de muziek verbeteren. Het valt toch wel op dat ik de diablo 1 muziek uit mijn hoofd ken maar niks van diablo 2 onthouden heb. (net als Morrowind T.o.v. Oblivion muziek of Deus ex T.ov. Deus ex IW)
Muziek is meestal een beetje underrated maar ik vind dat het toch een groot del van de sfeer uitmaakt.
Ja de muziek van D1 heeft een grotere aanwezigheidseffect, net als de geluiden van bijv. die bats of de krakende chests die opengaan. Ligt ook deels aan het feit dat ik D1 gespeeld heb toen ik jonger was en het nieuw was. D2 speelt zonder meer erg lekker weg maar de indruk die het me achter laat zit hem meer in de gameplay.
Visgek24 schreef op maandag 13 oktober 2008 @ 15:44:
Op zich van wat ik gezien heb ben in redelijk tevreden, echter zie ik een groot probleem. Waarom gaat alles in die filmpjes zo verschrikkelijk sloooooom? in D2 ging de gameplay echt veel en veel sneller. nu lijkt het voor oude oma'tjes gemaakt :( Zouden ze dit mischien nog kunnen aanpassen?

Voor de rest ziet alles er wel goed uit, al hadden de graphics van mij wel wat donkerder en meer evil gemogen, echter hebben we natuurlijk de verschillende acts nog niet gezien.
Daar maak ik me totaal geen zorgen over, ze smijten met elke spell die ze tot de beschikking hebben/mogen laten zien. Plus ze willen meer dan alleen enorm snelle actie laten zien, denk aan de effecten van de spells, animaties etc.
De snelheid van de meeste gameplay trailers zijn nooit zo heel snel, de fps gameplay filmpjes erger ik me altijd wel aan omdat ik zelf op hoog niveau fps heb gespeeld. Vaak spelen ze dan met een console of ze bakken er gewoon niks van maar zoals gezegd ze willen meer laten zien dan alleen snelle actie.

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john19_386 schreef op maandag 13 oktober 2008 @ 19:50:
[...]


Tyreal is anders ook niet erg sterk dat ie de 'gewone' mensen alles laat opknappen :P
Maar goed, ik denk dat er sowieso nog wel een auraclass in komt. Of het dan een Palladin is, is de vraag, aangezien ze wel een beetje met een cultuurswitch bezig zijn (Witchdoctor een soort van Zulu en Wizard meer Aziatisch).
De Crusader, Afrikaans getinte in battle geharde man die een beetje lijkt op de mercs van a3 in D2.
Veel aura's voor zowel het boosten van spells ed. maar ook sterke dmg aura's. Enchants voor wapens zouden ook goed passen. We zullen allemaal wel in de buurt zitten ;)

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Update:

BlizzCon08 Video Interviews
Diii.net Ray Gresko and Leonard Boyarsky Video Interview
Class Panel Fan Q&A Video
Diii.Net Diablo 3 Gameplay Q&A Videos
Diii.Net Jay Wilson Video Interview
Exclusive Jay Wilson Interview
Attribute points are not player-assignable in D3. They’re not in the blizzcon build, but we thought that was just to simplify things for new players at the show. Jay says no, that’s how it is in the game now. His explanation was that it makes items even more important, and that it lets the designers plan a bit better (they can assume players will have at least X in each stat by a given level). You still get attributes, and they will still be required for equipment use, but they are automatically assigned each level up. Thus every Wizard will have the same base str/vit/dex/etc as every other Wizard of the same level. Same for the Barb and WD.

Jay confirmed that the party interface and system is gone in D3. Now when you join a multiplayer game, you are automatically in a party. Jay said that now that there’s no option to go hostile, it was pointless to force players to go through an additional party joining interface. The team is considering mechanisms that might be needed to deal with griefers or players who otherwise try to ruin the play experience.

There will be waypoints in D3. They’re not in the Blizzcon build, but they are in the full game. The team is also looking at ways to automatically jump players right to the closest one to other players when they join a game. They’re also considering some sort of scroll or other mechanism that would take new players instantly to the others in the party, wherever they are in the game world. All part of their emphasis on boosting the fun, co-op, multiplayer elements of the game.

Jay spoke at length about the newly-revealed spell runes. They are a fairly new addition to the game (they’re only enabled for the Wizard in the Blizzcon build), and are still very much subject to change. However Jay said that there are now 6 or 7 different types of runes, 5 or 6 quality levels, and that they can add as many more types or quality levels as necessary. Their rule for adding more spell rune types is to only add them when they think of a property that will be useful to enough skills that it’s a viable addition. He also said that rune properties would only boost spells and skills; they won’t add say, +5 strength, or other general attribute boosts. Runes aren’t only damage adding either; Jay mentioned the Wizard skill Mirror Image: Runes added to that skill will do things like make the images (duplicates of the Wizard) last longer, or make more duplicates appear.

Also, in a question I sneaked in after our interview time ran out, while we were packing up our gear: I mentioned Jay’s past comment that players would “hate” the next character announced, since it was so similar to a past character. (Which turned out to be the Wizard, who is clearly similar to the Sorcerer/Sorceress, and didn’t result in hate, other than some “it’s too ‘Harry Potter’” comments about the name.) Jay said that comment had been overplayed a bit, and that he’d made it fairly offhand. When I asked him how players would feel about the next character, he grew a bit more serious, and said with emphasis, “I think players wll love the next class.” How much he meant that, and how much he was merely playing off his previous “hate” comment is for us to attempt to determine.

Questions Answered
12:22 [Comment From arthas]—When you level up, are the stats fixed or can you add like 5 points to them?
Flux: i covered that in the jay wilson interview post I just put up. they’re automatically assigned. i thought it was just for the blizzcon show, but it’s how th egame is in full, at least for now.

12:24 [Comment From Doroga]—for the D3 interface I’ve noticed in older videos that the inventory has a bag system much like WoW, is this true?
Flux: you have 10x4 rows of spaces in the inventory. you start off with 12 available, in this build. you find bags that add 1 or 2 more slots. there are 4 bag slots. obviously there will be larger bags to be found later in the game.

also, skill runes are stored in 10 slots you see when you open the skills window. so they don’t take inv space. but apparently you an only hold 10 you’re not using. all subject to change, of course.

12:25 [Comment From Zinliah]
—When will Diablo V’s second expansion release? You know, ballpark figure?
Flux: July 14, 2017.

12:28 [Comment From Bara]—Have they mentioned anything about the ability to respec characters in Diablo 3? Or will we still be re-rolling characters?
Flux: there will be respec of some type, but how is not worked out yet. they’re not giving details yet.

12:49 [Comment From supesta]—are there + skills on items still?
Flux: not in the low level stuff, but they will be on higher level gear. subject to further balance and tweaks. of course.

12:49 [Comment From Lilithsblood]
—Q: Will we hear anything more about Nephalem, Rathma, Uldyssian, or the Dragon from the Sin War trilogy?
Flux: they said that we should see more monsters and plot things from other games and the novels, but they’re not giving out that info in advance. skeleton king, lachdanan’s journal, and other repeats are seen in the blizzcon demo. there’s also a sign for ‘griswold’s weapons’ in the ruined tristram you start out the demo exploring

12:51 [Comment From Woodstrider]—is the health/mana potion system changed having in mind the new “healing globes”?
Flux: it works much the same. just you don’t find healing potions very often. mana regen is very fast. i’ve not seen any mana pots. there’s a wiz skill that makes mana globes drop, at higher levels.

12:52 [Comment From miber]—anything new/interesting for the barbarian or witch doctor?
Flux: the wd’s skills are very few in the demo. only 10 or 12 are displayed;. my fave new ones: firebats, which works like a short range inferno. swarms of bats fly down aned go out in flames. plague of toads is fun too. she hurls out 3 croaking frogs that hop forward a couple of times and blow up in acid splats. it’s basically charged bolt with frogs. they seek in on targets, but not very accurately.

we’ll have full skill hover info for every skill once we have time to type them up. as we did for the wiz already. the barb had a ton of skills on his skill trees. as many as the wiz. 40ish. so that willl be fun reading, when we post them.

12:54 [Comment From Ryujin]—Is it 1 ruen per skill or can we put many rune on a skill ? also if we change a rune is it destroyed like in D2 and wow ?
Flux: the low level skills in the demo only have one rune socket. there might be more on higher level skills. it’s not been mentioned that I’ve heard. the system is new, so they’re still tweaking it. skill runes can be instnatly removed and switched around. no destroying the old one.

12:56 [Comment From Romak]
—When playing Diablo 3, can you zoom into close-up to your character? (Like in the 20 mins gameplay trailer when the Witch Doctor is summining the Mongrels)
Flux: not in the demo. at least not with any control I’ve found. the documentation for controls is pretty lacking now. found that minimap recenters with M by accident after scrolling it around to find an exit of one explored level.

Also, not sure it’s been said, but the zooming in conversation close up we saw in the wwi with cain and barb is gone. they said it took chars out of the action. so now you just see conversations from overhead, in a slightly zoomed in view. also, you can elect to keep playing dialogue and quest info and such audio only, while you continue to play.;

12:57 [Comment From Gheed] —So should I start the petition for us to manually apply stat points ourselves or wait till the weekend is over?
Flux: if you don’t someone else will. i think it’s a silly decision myself. it’s convenient at the demo here, but limiting in the final game. after we got used to that in 2 previous titles.

12:58 [Comment From Remus] —Will Diablo, Mephisto and Baal return or are they banished forever? The hellgate is open so… they can return? Or will we see some lesser evils take their throne now when they are gone?
Flux: such plot info will not be revealed for quite some time yet.

12:58 [Comment From Wlah]—What about hardcore, as well as difficulty settings (normal/nightmare/hell) for d3. any news?
Flux: norm/nm/hell is going to be in the game. talked to jay wilson this morninga bout making hell more fun to play throughout. so it’s not just baal runs. he said that’s on their priority list. no details yet, but tey want to make all of hell fun and end game and valuable for players to explore.

12:59 [Comment From JAmie]
—where u ganna go eat?
Flux: in the press room. i’ve been on the convention floor only for 2 panels so far. we’ve got good food in here, for free, and 4 d3 machines. far less crowds than down below.

12:59 [Comment From atlas]
—Q: does rune affect passive skills?
Flux: the passives i’ve seen do not have sockets for runes. that may change, or may change on higher level ones. but it’s only for acive skills so far. good q, btw. hadn’t really thought to mention that.

1:00 [Comment From morzan] —4th class gonna be reveiled at blizzcon?
Flux: No. months from now, at whatever next big blizz event. unknown. something in the spring or summer, probably.

1:05 [Comment From pirate]—how hard would it be to steal one of the demo machines there?
Flux: they look lke old arcade machines, in the press room. stand up, 6 feet high, heavyy. they’re not actualy nailed down, but you’d need a teleportation device. with bliz people in the room and at the doorl. they have cops prowling around the main hall after hours.

1:07 [Comment From Azymn] —i saw wands mentioned earlier, are any other class-specific items shown?
Flux: i found an axe that my wd couldn’t equip. so i think there’s a lot of it.

1:07 [Comment From Epantiras]
—I’ve read there’s a concept art of Adria in Hall C. Any other ‘known’ or unknown character concept art?
Flux: i’m going to go wander around down there this afternoon. not checked out the art yet. i’ll check.

1:08 [Comment From crono] —items icons are bigger in demo them they were on gameplay trailer showed in wwi? They said they are working on bigger icons
Flux: no, they’re pretty small. i think they should enlarge the tool bar section, visually. all the devs work on massive monitors so they lose touch with this stuff sometimes.

1:08 [Comment From miber] —how did the controls feel? fluid, responsive?
Flux: it feels like d2. a bit smoother, much better graphics, better sound. very familiar, though. nice pace; they could run a bit faster through empty dungeons, though. I thought mythos felt sort of bouncy and floaty, when I played it. didn’t get that with d3.

1:09 [Comment From Romak]
—How many skill points per level? 1?
Flux: 1, now. demo chars start at lvl 6, so it’s easier for the noobs. dunno if any quests will give skill points. it’s on my question list. you can just get to lvl 10 if you clear out everything in the demo. wish it was abit larger; lvl 10 skills would be fun to play with.

1:12 [Comment From miber]
—is that lightning-ball that the wizard is shown carrying in the trailer and actual item they use?
Flux: not that I’ve seen. I think it’s just dramatic for the video. although maybe some high level orb type item would do that.

1:15 [Comment From Philly]
—My biggest worry is that with no stat distribution, certain chars will never have the opportunity to wear certain items because of the Req’s (a.k.a. Wiz or WD not wearing heavier stuff), any chance you could ask around about this today? Because that is seriously frusturating and very dissapointing if true :(
Flux: in theory they’ll take that into account in advance and adjust accordingly. it does seem likely to limit builds. esp since the wiz has skills that boost physial weapon damage. useless if she can’t use big weapons?

1:17 [Comment From Nijura] —Will the followers be like in D2, where you bought them, and they then would follow you, through all following games, or will they only be with you, in that specific quest, and then disappear?
Flux: mercs were confirmed in our interview yesterday with leonard. video on the site now. you find lots of short term npc warrior types in the dungeons; they want you to lead them to a checkpoint, that sort of thing. they fight. useful tanks if you’re a wd or wiz.

1:18 [Comment From deadpool911]
—how did the graphics look? i ask because to me they seem to be alot more atmospheric and ‘’diabloish’’ than they were back at WWI
Flux: it looks like d1 much improved. very gothic, very moody. i love the new tristram. floating mist, ruined houses, dead trees, crows that fly away overhead. lots of gore and blood and bodies. there’s an awexome old dead tree that zombies come climbing out of. it’s very halloween graveyard style. they’ve added details and such since wwi, I think. i very much like the grpahics.

1:19 [Comment From Azymn] —can you describe the character selection screen?
Flux: looks like what you see on the bliz site now. sort of redone from d2; they’re just standing around in a semi circle, and you click which one you want. they have 5 chars standing there now, m/f of each, but just f wiz. the m wiz is sort of transparent; not selectable yet.

1:20 [Comment From Ryan] —Are many dropped items unidentified like in D2?
Flux: just like d2. magical stuff is un ided. i’ve found magical, rare, and unique. had to tell unique from rare at this point; yellow and gold again, and the names are hard to say if rare or unique when you’re new to the game. the skeleton king, who ends the blizzcon demo, drops 4-6 rares. but the demo ends once you kill him so you don’t get to play with the items.

there’s an ultra-rare blizzcon special drop. if you get it you’re supposed to call a bliz guy over and they’l give you one of 200 game posters the whole team has signed. i’ve not seen it, sadly.

1:22 [Comment From crono]
—what about floating numers with dmg done or block? I haven’t seen them on wizard gameplay trailer, are they still in?
Flux: yes. the numbers ar ea bit smaller. block especially. you see a lot of on screen stat displays. it’s not very obtrusive, I don’t think.

1:23 [Comment From crono]
—what about floating numers with dmg done or block? I haven’t seen them on wizard gameplay trailer, are they still in?
Flux: they’re in. much liike the wwi trailer. some tweaks and such. I think they’ll stay. wow influenced type thing.

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oioioi schreef op maandag 13 oktober 2008 @ 22:59:
[...]


Blizzard gaf op erg subtiele wijze nog commentaar op de kleuren-discussie (dat het allemaal te vrolijk was) via één van achtergronden van de podia:
Sterker nog Graphic designer Leonard Boyarsky had een T-shirt aan met dat "logo" :D

@ Boven mij
Die moest ik nog doen idd was er alweer helemaal bij ingeschoten.
In ieder geval.. als je toch bezig bent kun je mss de koppen dikker maken is het gelijk wat duidelijker.
.. Zo inderdaad.. wat is mindreading toch handig :P
Zal meteen even in de TS erbij zetten.

[Voor 27% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 13-10-2008 23:39]

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SpoTs schreef op dinsdag 14 oktober 2008 @ 12:28:
[...]


Met d2 liep niemand met dezelfde gear rond natuurlijk 8)7
Precies, of je nou stats zal kunnen verdelen of niet de guides voor enorm sterke builds zullen na een tijd weer uit de grond gestampt worden. Vervolgens zullen de mensen met veel fg en of de 'benodigde' items het uitproberen. Loopt alsnog iedereen met dezelfde gear en dat zie je ook echt al wel in D2.

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TrailBlazer schreef op dinsdag 14 oktober 2008 @ 12:58:
Ik geloof serieus niet dat ze de stat points automatisch gaan doen. Dat zou een stap terug zijn in de opties die je hebt en dan lijkt me erg on Blizzards.
Volgens mij gaan we dit echt terug zien in de final game, Blizzard is ervan overtuigd.
Sowieso zie je veel meer WoW invloeden of dat het beter of slechter maakt zullen we nooit echt weten daarvoor zou je D3 ala D2 tegenover D3 ala Huidige build moeten zetten.

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Joarie schreef op dinsdag 14 oktober 2008 @ 13:38:
Die statpoints zijn eerder een handicap dan een zegen bij D2. Als je niet oplette als beginneling dan duwde je volledig random punten in de keuzemogelijkheden, met wat serieuzere gevolgen later in de game.
Tegenwoordig zie je, zoals Pheno aangaf, dat iedereen toch de punten op dezelfde manier verdeelt.
Het heeft zo zijn leuke kanten en minder leuke kanten, voor de ervaren spelers (zoals Spots al zegt) kun je tweaken zodat je meer points in vita hebt. Voor de minder ervaren spelers is het meer op je gevoel af gaan.
Either way mij maakt het niet zoveel uit, D3 is een nieuwe game waarvoor nog geen guides of dergelijke dingen bestaan dus het eerste jaar is iedereen toch vooral uitproberen. Ik kan in ieder geval niet wachten.. mss is een parental lock niet zo'n gek idee, laat ik een vriend een max time erop zetten dat ik op bnet mag per dag anders vrees is voor mijn studie :P

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SpoTs schreef op dinsdag 14 oktober 2008 @ 14:11:
[...]


Daar ben ik ook heel erg bang voor.. maar misschien dat ik het eindeloze gamen ook wel verleerd ben :) Speel nu sinds kort Warhammer Online. Vind het een prachtig spel, maar heb niet meer de behoefte zoals vroeger om het elk moment van de dag te spelen. Daarnaast komt Diablo 3 waarschijnlijk pas eind 2009 begin 2010 dus dan ben ik ook alweer 2 jaar ouder :X
Haha nja is het niet met gamen/computeren dan is het wel van uitgaan dus in dat opzicht maakt het voor mij ook niet heel erg uit.
Speel ook veel minder maar is ook meer omdat ik eigenlijk weer iets nieuws zoek, D2 houd ik zeker aan maar een leuke FPS zou niet mistaan.

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ByteMe72 schreef op dinsdag 14 oktober 2008 @ 16:27:
[...]
Ik vind van wel... de developers willen hun spel zo leuk mogelijk maken... na een aantal dagen in een char te hebben gestoken om dan te merken dat je je attibute points verknoeid hebt, dat is balen en vinden de meeste mensen niet leuk.
Ja maar het hele punt is juist dat D3 straks nieuw is, de stats werken anders, er zullen nog geen guides zijn en iedereen probeert zijn of haar char uit. Je kan nog niks 'fout' doen want wie bepaald er wat echt goed is en waar je je punten in moet verdelen? Juist dat komt pas als er xxx aantal mensen een vergelijkende build hebben gemaakt en er achter komen dat het erg sterk is, matchen de items erbij en je hebt een guide die je mogelijk nog een paar keer moet perfectioneren. De mensen die het wellicht 'fout' doen zijn meestal de mensen die geen guides lezen of maar sporadisch spelen, de harde kern zal al snel de skills die het sterkst zijn eruit gepikt hebben en daarbij de items ed gematched.

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RedHat schreef op woensdag 15 oktober 2008 @ 11:35:
Is er al iets bekend over de releasedata?
Ik vind het erg spannend allemaal. En Blizzards kennende komt het echt wel goed met statsysteem enzo. Het lijkt "slecht" omdat we anders gewend zijn maar hou er rekening mee dat een goede gameervaring afhankelijk is van de balans in de game. En dat is bij Blizzard vaak goed.
Nee daarover is nog steeds niks bekend. Releasedata: "It's done when it's done"

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Update:

Bashiok Answers Post-Blizzcon Diablo 3 Concerns
Jay Wilson, according to the interview, stated that this helps development on items as they will be able to predict the attributes of characters at certain levels and it puts more emphasis on items giving stat points for your attribute customization.

Bashiok: First let me state that the interview article has an error in that “You still get attributes, and they will still be required for equipment use” is incorrect. I’ve already let the Diii.net guys know. There are no attribute requirements for items, that would essentially limit items to specific classes which we don’t intend to do outside of actual class specific items, like the Wizard’s off-hand orb for instance.


I can’t think of anything else that could be considered positive, so lets go to the theoretical negatives.

Bashiok: You missed probably the biggest positive, and if you watch the video interview (from which the Diii.net article was written) he goes in to it a bit. (http://www.diii.net/blog/...y-wilson-video-interview/)

To quote Jay “For the most part attribute spending in Diablo II was a great way - when you didn’t know how to play the game - to break your character. Most people didn’t know where to put them and when they found out the answer was always kind of weird like “Put 5 points in Energy and then all the rest of the points in Vitality.”

To expand on it a bit more when you don’t know what you’re doing you’re essentially lost, and you sort of spend points how you think you might want to. When you finally have an idea of how a character should be built, stat distribution generally comes in the form of “this is exactly what you need for x build” and there’s little variation. At that point it’s pretty easy to remove that system and instead offload the potential build ‘requirements’ to something more interesting and something that’s actually more engaging and fun.

The first problem that comes to mind is, character customization is exactly what made Diablo3’s predecessors successful, and that’s what is being hurt by the implementation of this mechanic as it takes away control from the player, essentially, dictating how they will develop their character. It was that aspect that had players coming back again and again over the years just to make a new build or try out something new and attributes were a BIG part of that.

Bashiok: Definitely agree. I’m going to give you a bit of a cop-out answer, but we have quite a few game systems we haven’t even talked about. Those aside, I would argue that the rune system - something we have announced - adds quite a bit of customization, and in a more interesting way than attribute distribution.

The other aspect that quickly becomes apparent is the limitations of itemization for characters to use. What I mean is, because characters have pre-planned stats that when you reach the highest level, there will be item types that your character might not be able to use.

Hypothetical example; I think we can be fairly certain that the Wizard isn’t going to be a strength based character by any means. If this is the case, late game, can we hope to be able to use upper tier heavy armor? If there is an item that might significantly benefit a build but is unachievable due to pre-allocated stat limitations, that is going to be severely detrimental to the game experience.


Bashiok: So as I already said the information in the article is incorrect, so happy happy joy joy this shouldn’t be an issue at all.

It seems like a minor thing, maybe, but it’s the little things that can break a great game.

Bashiok: I don’t think it’s minor at all, character builds and customization is a HUGE thing, and it’s important you be concerned with it. It’s important that we be concerned with it, and customization and differentiating one person from another is a pretty big deal. Being able to try different things with the same class is a pretty big deal.

At this point someone brings up that respecs are going to ruin wanting to replay the same classes over and over again, and you’d be right, if we weren’t already thinking about it and potential solutions.

By shifting itemization focus slightly from more unique and compelling stats like +skills, crushing blow, open wounds, resists, faster cast rate, etc, it puts too much emphasis on stats, as they were already important in itemization before pre-allocated stats.

Bashiok: Hrm, I’ll have to talk to the designers about this but I think you might taking a little bit too much Diablo II experience and overlaying it on Diablo III. Itemization and stat distribution and their relative balance of attributes to unique stats (as you put it) is a bit of a stretch at the moment. I’ll see what they have to say though.

Hopefully I’ve clarified something at this point, the error in the article seemed to be a decent piece of many people’s ire over the situation so I hope that helped. Now, just to read the rest of the thread… and the hundreds of others that have built up.

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DarthDavy schreef op woensdag 15 oktober 2008 @ 15:00:
Als het statsysteem vrij is om je punten in te verdelen, dan zou er geen pad mogen zijn dat "fout" is.

Wat jullie dan een "noob" noemen omdat hij geen enkel punt in vit heeft gestoken zou geen verschil mogen uitmaken in de game. Iedereen zou met gelijk welke stat verdeling het spel moeten kunnen spelen. Wat is anders het punt van een vrije statverdeling als je toch "verplicht" bent om een x aantal punten in een aantal stats te verdelen. Dan kan je het evengoed vast maken en de speler geen keuze geven.

Een spel dat de speler zijn stats vrij laat verdelen, maar in de loop daarvan "in de fout" kan gaan is volgens mij gewoon een slecht spel. Als stat verdeling vrij is, dan moet iedere build playable zijn. Anders maak je de statverdeling beter vast.
Dat is ook precies mijn punt al ben ik het niet totaal met je eens.
Er is zeker wel een superioriteit in bepaalde statverdelingen maar aan de start van een nieuw deel zonder enige guides of wat kan het nog niet fout zijn. Iedereen doet wat die denkt dat goed is en pas zodra de betere statverdelingen uit gevonden zijn kan er bepaald worden of je het verprutst hebt of niet.

Trouwens met de items niet meer statreqs afhankelijk zullen de stats een nog minder grote rol gaan spelen lijkt me. Wel is het zo dat ze nu ook andere dingen boosten dus zullen stat mods nog steeds wel in trek zijn.

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DarthDavy schreef op woensdag 15 oktober 2008 @ 15:35:
[...]


Dan moet je het kunnen reverten. Eerst een maand op een char spelen om dan tot de constatatie te komen dat je hem kan deleten en opnieuw beginnen omdat je je stats verkeerd opgedeeld hebt, staat niet gelijk aan spelplezier. Daarom vind ik de vergelijking met friendly fire in een fps of een tactische fout in een rts nogal een kromme vergelijking. Ik vind de vergelijking met een rpg dan beter opgaan als een fireball casten op een vijand die fire spell immune is (en dat je daarom dan doodgaat), maar je volledige avatar kunnen verneuken als een technisch spelelement zien dat gaat mij te ver.

Nu ja, ik ben er wel van overtuigd dat Blizzard dat niet gaat doen.
Zoals ik al eerder heb gezegd, vaak zijn dat de mensen die geen guides lezen of het toch niet weten of niet uitmaakt. Met D2 kun je binnen een week 90 zijn als je al weet dat je stats verkeerd zijn, of een paar uur als je daar de mogelijkheid toe hebt. Nou is dit met D3 mss niet het geval maar bekijk het positief, heb je in ieder geval een high lvl mule :D

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Pedr0 schreef op donderdag 16 oktober 2008 @ 16:06:
[...]


Diablo III hoort een Hack 'n Slash te zijn! 8)
Ik wou net zeggen, zolang ze dat er maar niet uit slopen ;)
Moet toch wat te hacken&slashen hebben!

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Update:

Diablo III To Use Warden, No DRM
Wired (Game|Life) scored an interview with Rob Pardo who confirmed Diablo III will feature the anti-hack software from World of Warcraft known as Warden, except it will be adapted specifically for Diablo III. Pardo mentioned other measures will be taken to prevent hacking by means of third-party software.

Another question pitched at the Vice-president of Game Design was if Diablo III would include DRM to prevent piracy. Wired specifically compared Spore’s silly DRM as a reference point. Pardo explained that Battle.net is their most effective DRM to prevent piracy of Blizzard games.

There are no plans to use Steam to distribute Blizzard games. Battle.net will continue to be Blizzard’s Steam-equivalent. Any new enhancements on Battle.net 2.0 will address certain plans and challenges for download distribution.

For lore fans who read the Diablo: The Sin War trilogy, it seems Pardo slipped acknowledgement that there are other worlds out there.Trag’Oul was halted from helping the inhabitants of Sanctuary by other guardians such as himself who were watching over other worlds. They warned Trag’Oul the fate of Sanctuary would affect or benefit the fate of other worlds. So if you thought this was a Heaven vs Hell conflict with Sanctuary in the middle of the sandwich, you are wrong. There are more worlds than meet the eye.

New BlizzCon08 Art

BlizzCon Press Conference with Jay Wilson
Q: Diablo 2 Guilds are basically needed in Diablo 3 in order to help you if you get killed, and to give you support when playing, what will be done in Diablo 3 to make guilds needed?
A: We have not looked into making guilds yet as the game is so early in development, but we have some great ideas for encouraging people to make guilds. We want to avoid doing things that can ruin things for non-guilded players. We would love to do a lot of things that play into guilds.

Q: What is the circle in the middle of the inventory screen?
A: It’s a function we call the Talisman. It might not have a function in this build, I can’t remember, but it’s all about character customisation. It’s a feature that is not set in stone, so it might change drastically, or even be removed.

Q: Will there be distinct class roles to fill, like in WoW?
A: We want a well balanced crew, where they are able to hold their own. Not really roles, but there will be good to have some of the special abilities around.

Q: Trading is a big thing in Diablo 2, how will you handle this in D3?
A: We haven’t decided this so much yet, people trade when they get items in games, but trading is definitely something that will have a heavy focus in Diablo 3.

Q: The Automated Stat Assignment, is this a permanent change?
A: Yes, it’s a definite change. The only purpose of the stat assignment in Diablo 2 was to break a character. You level up and realise you did things wrong and had to start over. We decided to remove it and add other customisation options. It works similar as to WoW.

Q: I have never played Diablo 2 online, and Diablo 3 is obviously focused on online play, is it a lot like an MMO?
A: There are some similarities, but it is not an MMO. You can play Diablo 3 besides an MMO, as it’s nothing like WoW, and you can log in to just play a few minutes, where WoW requires more dedication. We’re not worried at all that WoW and Diablo 3 will overlap.

Q: There is a lot of cheating in Diablo 2 trading, what will you do to prevent cheating in Diablo 3?
A: We have been working against cheating for many years in all our games, and there is no dev team on the planet with as much experience fighting cheating as Blizzard.

Q: In Diablo 2 your only way to respec would be to reroll. It got a bit better with the synergy bonuses on skills. What are you doing to improve the skill system?
A: One thing that we have changed is that these synergies is their own skills. A lot of new passive skills are added and the tree is more split up. You can move down your skill tree without wasting points. There is also more room for specialization to grow more individual. We also now have a respec system, so you don’t have to reroll to get other skills.

Q: Is four people multiplayer games set in stone?

A: It grows more and more set all the time. In Diablo 2, eight player games are very uncommon, and they wouldn’t be in the same party or the like and we have just found that it’s not as fun as with four people. We have the ability to set any number we want, but four seems to work out very well.

Q: Playing Diablo III you come to a place where it says “Checkpoint Reached”. Is this the same as a Waypoint?
A: This is more of an improvement on the old system, a checkpoint is a way to save progress. A difference is that you can’t teleport away from them, but you can jump TO any checkpoint. It’s easier, and in Diablo II you might run around for ages looking for the waypoint.

Q: When I played online with a friend, I had the problem that I did a lot of damage, but my friend got the killing blow and all the experience, is there a similar problem with Diablo 3?
A: It actually splits experience if you are in a party, so just join a party.

Q: Other companies use some of your gaming ideas in their games, and you obviously use others. Can you give me an example of an idea you found elsewhere and took to your development.
A: Achievement system. Not really a special developer, for all types of games has this, but a bit like X-Box Live.

Q: Will there be shrines in Diablo 3?
A: We have not decided about it. We have ideas for shrines. The things is that only two shrines were actually interesting to the player: Experience Shrines and Monster Shrines. Other shrines where like “nah”. We want to bring some system in with this functionality. This is where the combo exp bonus comes from. It’s not replacing shrines, but it’s playing in to it.

Q: Is there any caps on the Killing Spree combo?
A: Yes, there is a maximum combination combo. It’s related to your level but I don’t think anyone can actually get it. It has a theoretical limit, but you are not likely to reach it.

Q: I loved Deckard Cain, is the new one the same actor? He was a good point for comic relief in Diablo, will he still do that?
A: Of course it’s the same actor, Michael Gough, and we couldn’t dream of replacing him. Yes, it’s the same actor, but Cain has grown a bit more somber. 20 years have past, where he has been trying to warn people about this war, and he has gotten increasingly desperate.

Q: Will there be any roleplaying aspects to Diablo 3, like changing faces or skin colour?

A: In a previous build you could change face and skin colour, but the problem was that when you entered the game, you couldn’t really tell the difference. You spent perhaps 10 minutes picking your character, and you wouldn’t see anything of him. Another problem was armour would quickly hide it, and it also slowed down the game to go through that process, so we decided to remove it. It goes in line with the philosophy of making a fast game as well. you come in to the game, pick your class and go!

Q: Diablo 3 potions changed, wouldn’t this give potion an inflated value?
A: We work on PvP a lot. We talk a lot about it, but we haven’t decided on much yet. You can certainly use potions, you just can’t use them a lot. They don’t have a great impact on the game. In Diablo 2, potions actually ruined the game, as you efficiently get unlimited health and mana. The person that use up their potions first lose.

Q: Will there be a Stash in Diablo 3?
A: Yes! Bigger as well, and it grows in size.

Q: Will there be another Cain rap song?
A: I’m not sure, was it us that made it (Bashiok: Yes, it was actually us). Well, then there are definitely the possibility.

Q: Talking about guilds, will there be like a Guild Stash?

A: We haven’t started on that type of things yet. Battle.net isn’t done yet. We’ve had some small small talks about it, that’s it.

Q: Will you push Diablo 3 as an eSport game?
A: It will definitely have PvP, but look at how StarCraft II is designed with this in mind, it’s so important for StarCraft. We would have to make quite a few compromises with the game to make eSport a cornerstone of Diablo 3. We will make PvP bigger than in Diablo 2, but our goal is not to take it to the progamer level.

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Dalyxia schreef op donderdag 16 oktober 2008 @ 20:19:
[...]


had je Sanctuary Aura moeten hebben, bijvoorbeeld van azurewrath of Lawbringer Runeword, dan kan je wel leechen van undead...

anyway, D3 wordt fantastisch, gezeik met guilds en blablabla, d2 is ook eigenlijk een singleplayer slasher, geen MMO als WoW, waar het wel constant mee vergelijkt wordt, beetje appels met peren vergelijken vind ik dat
Precies, wijze woorden van Dalyx! :)
Guildsfunctie lijkt me opzich wel grappig maar laat ze eerst maar een friendslist zonder max maken daarna zien we wel verder.. :P

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Update:

Blizzcon 2008: Diablo III Tidbits
1. The mini-map displayed yellow dots and you could see the name by placing your cursor over. Do only NPCs show up in the mini-map?

Bashiok: Enemies don’t display on the map. What they saw were NPC’s.

2. Are attribute requirements in items gone, or do weapons and armor still require x amount of strength and/or dexterity?

Bashiok: There are no planned attribute requirements on items.

3. Is the big overlay map option returning?

Bashiok: We have some various thoughts for map options, none have been decided on or announced at this point.

4. Now that we are traveling throughout Sanctuary, will each region have a map, and will we be able to zoom out and see the whole continent? (like we do Azeroth -> Eastern Kingdoms -> Elwynn Forest).

Bashiok: See above.

5. On the character window there are five resistances: frost, fire, lightning and poison. What’s the yellow icon representing?

Bashiok: I believe it goes frost, fire, lightning, poison, arcane. The yellow one being arcane… I think. They need tool tips obviously and possibly some palette changes to better represent the damage type.

That’s all for now, folks. On another note, for those who would like to see some cool stuff, Blizzard has updated the Diablo III website with details of one of the cities of Kehjistan: Caldeum, former trade capital of the world of Sanctuary. The page got a few updates such as the Caldeum guards animation at the top-right corner


In Diablo 2 there were mobs that was immune to certain elements, at least in nightmare and hell mode. When I first started playing LoD I made a sorceress and played singleplayer. When I reached nightmare I couldn’t continue anymore. I was pure frost and those mobs that was immune to cold ate me up. Does anyone know if they are going to change this now in D3?

Bashiok: We’re looking at most players having an average of six “active"skills, these are your magic missiles, frost nova, electrocute (to use a few wizard examples), and because you’re not just pumping up one single skill - and thus one single damage type, immunities become far less relevant. We’re not going to do away with resistances, they still add something, but they’re likely to be toned down a bit.

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Wilde ik vanochtend al posten maar moest eerst thumbnails maken en bij eentje lukte dat niet dus die komt later :) Kun je wel mooi aantal inventory shots zien.

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Vincent Dwild schreef op zondag 19 oktober 2008 @ 15:30:
[...]


Nice, we krijgen de average damage per seconde te zien. Wat me verder opvalt is dat er zes characters staan bij het selectie scherm. Ik dacht dat er al zekerheid was omtrent het aantal characters, nl 5?

En toch ook wat Titan quest invloeden zoals direct een damage vergelijking als je een nieuw wapen wilt selecteren. Erg handig.
Best of both worlds ;)
Als je goed kijkt zie dat er van elke class 2 staan (female/male).

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Update:

BlizzCon D3 Inventory Images
http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/7136/ds3handson27mg2.jpghttp://img171.imageshack.us/img171/7342/d3handson09zz0.jpghttp://img241.imageshack.us/img241/2400/d3handson10jg7.jpghttp://img241.imageshack.us/img241/6475/d3handson25ki2.jpghttp://img241.imageshack.us/img241/8399/d3handson06le5.jpghttp://img205.imageshack.us/img205/1853/d3handson23ha3.jpg
Let op dit maal geen link naar het werkelijke formaat anders denkt GoT dat er popups komen..
BlizzCon New Character Art



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Koeitje schreef op maandag 20 oktober 2008 @ 12:31:
Ik vind die inventory maar niets kwa stijl :/
Het zal even wennen zijn maarja zo zijn er wel meer veranderingen dat je even denkt van 'wow, totaal anders dan D2'. Daarvoor is het nou eenmaal D3 :)


Updates:
28-06-'08 - Opening tweede deel Diablo3 topic nog aan flinke updates onderhevig.
29-06-'08 - Sectie Content toegevoegd.
30-06-'08 - Sectie Algemene Info uitgebreid. Plaatje van Witch doctor gefixed. Sectie Aanvullende Info toegevoegd. Topic over 2 posts verdeeld.
31-06-'08 - TS Code opgeschoond.
03-07-'08 - Aanvullende Info sectie vernieuwd/updated. Character Classes aangevuld.
25-07-'08 - Wallpaper toegevoegd aan de Content Sectie.
04-08-'08 - Fixed Skills links gelukkig door iemand op photobucket gezet. Skills UI pic niet kunnen redden.
15-08-'08 - Nieuwe Wallpaper toegevoegd.
05-09-'08 - Diablo Timeline aan de links sectie toegevoegd andere updates volgen later. News Updates Sectie toegevoegd, alle updates bij elkaar!
20-10-'08 - Character: Wizard toegevoegd + Skilltrees ipv skills.

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Update:

Barbarian Game Play and Skill Tree Discussion
BlizzCon Demo Impressions

Like most people at BlizzCon (at least everyone playing D3 on one of the in the press room), my first character was a Wizard. I wanted to see the newest of the new, and I did, and there will be a report on that character later this week. Today though, it’s all about the Barbarian. I’m not going to go into detail over the exact functions and my first impressions of the BlizzCon build, since MD did such a thorough job of that in his gameplay report, and since everyone reading this has seen the D3 gameplay movies and played D2. Not to reduce it too much, but D3 "feels" like D2, with a few tweaks. If you are familiar with D2 (or D1, or any other isometric view RPG) the controls, movement, speed, mouse fluidity, etc, all feel very natural. I was immediately comfortable at the controls, with only the altered hotkeys and skill interface giving me any pause.

I tried out the D3 version of our grunting, illiterate, smash-happy friend on Friday morning, some time after my opening salvo with the Wizard, and I found the experience much as I’d anticipated. That’s not an entirely good thing, since while I played a number of types of Barbarians in D2, (and most enjoyed horking Magic Finders) I tended to find the Clvl 1-30 process somewhat tedious, and only began to enjoy my Barbs when they had WW, or at least Frenzy, and enough good equipment to rock and roll. I think I’ll feel more or less the same about the D3 Barbarian. He’s (she’s) got a wider variety of skills, and the lower level ones look a lot more fun than the early ones in D2. But they’re still basically single strike, melee attacks, and those don’t exactly fill me with"woot.

Let me stress that I’m not advocating a major character remodel. It’s perfectly fair to reserve the powerful, multi-target, skills like Whirlwind, Seismic Slam, and Furious Charge for higher levels. The Barbarian would be overpowered and poorly-designed if he could unleash mega-death type skills like those right off the bat. I just don’t find slow, melee-fighting much fun. I didn’t especially care for the D1 Warrior, and in D2 I could never play a Werebear Druid or Assassin. Your mileage (kilometerage) may, and probably will, vary.

That said, the D3 Barb wasn’t horrible, or boring. I enjoyed playing her, and will certainly play a Barbarian in the final game. It won’t be my first character, but it won’t be my last either. For what it is, the D3 Barbarian is very well-executed. The animations are great, the sound effects are massive (buy a new woofer to prepare for D3; the bass is worth it), the skill graphics are nice, the monsters are varied and enjoyable to slaughter. Even the dialogue, as heard through the one lengthy NPC conversation in the Blizzcon build, was interesting and very character-appropriate.

I listened to the full dialogue, with Captain Rumford in the tiny Tristram encampment new characters started out in, but I was bouncing on my toes during it, since I wanted to get out and kill some zombies. And soon enough… I did.

Blizzcon Demo Gameplay

The Blizzcon demo was fun, but it wasn’t exactly challenging. At least not with the Barbarian or the Witch Doctor. The Barb was strong enough to just bash (figuratively and literally) his (or her) way through the monsters, and the Witch Doctor had several spells that were quite effective when used while standing behind the tanking Mongrels
The Wizard was more of a challenge, but that’s for another report.

Before anyone starts worrying about D3 being too "carebear," remember one thing. The Blizzcon demo was supposed to be easy:

This was the first hands-on for anyone outside of Blizzard, and the D3 Team knew that lots of the fans and media at BlizzCon would be eager to play, despite not having touched D2 in years. I heard many people in the press room laugh as they said something like, "I keep wanting to scroll the camera around." Predictable comments from WoW players slipping back into the isometric saddle for the first time in half a decade, and the sort of thing the D3 Team would have planned on. Also, the play sessions only lasted about 15 minutes on the slow floor, and the devs didn’t want new players running out and dying as they struggled with the controls. So characters started off at level 6 in the Blizzcon build, with a variety of skills already enabled. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team had also turned down the difficulty and/or turned up the character stats/hps as well.

As a result, "new" characters in the BlizzCon build were essentially starting off the game at level 6, and while that was an advantage, it wasn’t enough to turn the game into a boring, god-mode-esque slaughter. Still, I only had to retreat from combat a couple of times with my Barbarian, both times when I found a random boss monster who had nasty ranged attacks, skeleton archer wingmen, and a lot of melee skeletons and zombies to tank. On those occasions I just ran back down the hallway a bit, stringing out the melee attackers and getting out of range of the archers and the bosses’ spells. (The encounter was somewhat reminiscent of fighting Radament, in the Act 2 Sewers, if Radament had better magic and was slower to resurrect dead skeletons.) It was easy to slaughter the skeleton minions once they were spread out, and with them gone I rushed back down the hallway and finished off the boss.

Leoric the Skeleton King, the boss whose defeat ended the Blizzcon demo, was actually easier than some of the random bosses. I was level 9 by the time I reached his throne room, and with some decent armor on, I could just stand there and whack away at him, ignoring his summoned minions and his own mighty maul attack. I ended up running around his level a bit just to extend the experience, but my Barbarian was never in serious risk of death in the BlizzCon demo, so I wouldn’t have been able to test out the Barb’s controversial resurrection skill, even if it had been enabled for use at Blizzcon.

Barbarian Skills and Controls

The biggest change to the Barbarian’s interface and controls comes from Fury. See the Fury page in the Diablo Wiki for full details. In brief, Fury is the new mana, but only (so far) for Barbarians. Fury replaces mana, but unlike the old blue bulb, it does not fill up when not in use. Barbarians have zero Fury to start with, and only build it up during combat, when they land successful strikes to their enemies. As soon as the Barb is not fighting, the Fury starts to drain away, and it seeps out quite quickly. I frequently filled my Fury bulb completely during a fight, paused to pick up an item or two, then ran to find more monsters, and arrived just as my Fury went down to nothing.

My Barbarian had about 100 Fury at level 7 or 8, and while I didn’t get to experiment with it that persistently, I could see enough to like the concept. The Barbarian is designed to be a melee battling character. He gets all sorts of bonuses while in combat, and many of his skills only trigger when he scores critical hits. (Conveniently, plenty of other skills boost his critical hit chances.) With that design goal, the fact that he has to fight to build up Fury, and has to expend Fury to use most of his skills, is only natural. It looks like an expert Barbarian player will be most at home when surrounded by enemies, and will have to learn to cycle quickly through a variety of attack skills and war cry-style buffs to stay alive and able to smash his enemies.

The only big Fury expenditure available in the Blizzcon build was Battle Rage, a wary cry that boosted the Barbarian’s damage by 100%, increased critical damage by 30%, and lasted for 15 seconds. (With one point in it, which was all the BlizzCon build allowed to active skills.) That was half, or more, of my total Rage, but I never minded spending it. The combat improvements were substantial, and since Rage faded away so quickly, I had a constant feeling of "use it or lose it." Whenever I finished a battle with a full Rage bulb, I tried to remember to cast this war cry, since the precious juice would all be gone by the time I got to the next battle anyway.

As for the skills available, I mentioned earlier that the Barbarian played like a D2 Barbarian with better graphics. The starter skills were quite similar as well, at least superficially. The new characters were level 6, and already had some skills placed, to make things quicker and easier for the fans. Therefore all Barbarians started out with a point or two in two passives in each of the three skill trees. The skills were all Tier 1 passives, such as Power of the Battlemaster, Iron Skin, Power of the Berserker, Heightened Senses, and Power of the Juggernaut. This gave the characters some survivability, so the new players wouldn’t die immediately, or feel like they didn’t have any skills to play with In addition to those passives, there were some active skills with a point in them, and others that could be enabled as soon as your character leveled up a time or two.

I got to use or watch other players use Frenzy, Bash, Cleave, Battle Rage, and Hammer of the Ancients. All of them were fun and visceral and had great sound effects, but using them wasn’t much different than seeing them in a gameplay movie. They’re all familiar to anyone who played a Barbarian in D2, in function and form if not name. They’re mostly melee attacks, and whether they hit a single target or two, hit a little faster or knock back the monster, or swing a magical hammer overhead for huge damage, they all involve standing toe to toe and clicking away until the zombies or skeletons are dead Which they were, usually after just 2 or 3 hits.

The skills did make a difference. I used Bash, Frenzy, and Cleave constantly, and noticed considerable differences between them. Damage shows up on the screen in D3, so every time I’d whack a skeleton or zombie I’d see a little number showing that I’d just done 22, or 34, or 51 damage. It varied, of course, and I was constantly plugging in the different weapons I found, until I eventually settled on a two-handed sword . It did by far the most damage of anything my Barb found at Blizzcon, and that big weapon was more useful than dual wielding, or using a sword/shield, at least against the slow swinging, low-damage early game enemies.

The sword showed me something new, too—D3 Barbarians can not hold a two-handed sword in one hand. Only one-handed weapons could be dual-wielded or used with a shield. That change aside, dual-wielding is still a big part of the game. I kept doing it accidentally, as I tried to hold a single one-handed sword, and found myself automatically equipping every other one-handed weapon I tried to pick up. In the early stages of the game dual wielding isn’t much more damaging than simply using one one-handed weapon, since the hit rate isn’t that much faster with two weapons than with one. That will change later, of course, since there are a variety of skills to boost the Barbarian’s dual weapon abilities scattered through the three skill trees.

Skill Trees and Signature Skills

Reviewing the Barbarian skill trees, which are now online and covered in great detail (18+ skills in each) in the wiki, it’s possible to gain more insight into the D3 Team’s overall design goal.

Battlemaster Tree
Berserker Tree
Juggernaut Tree

Jay Wilson (and others) have repeatedly stated that they intend players to (regularly) use 6-8 active skills on their character in D3. These active skills will be supported by numerous passive skills, and the game and interface are designed to compliment each other. There are 6 belt spots (which can hold skills or potions to drink, along with the right mouse button, left mouse button, and tab. This gives a character up to 9 buttons that will provide instant access to a skill or spell. Likely players will want to store some potions or other items in some slots of their belt, but that seems to be a designed trade off.

Most of the skills in each tree are passive. As the trees are now formed (they are very subject to change), each tier has 4 or 5 skills, of which just 1 or 2 are active. The Barbarian’s active skills are mostly melee attacks and war cry-like spells that serve to boost the his abilities or to cripple his enemies. These active skills are all enhanced in various ways by the passives. Low level skills are designed to be used throughout the game, though how they will scale up to remain viable isn’t yet known. Long term, it looks like most Barbarians will pick one tree to spend most of their points in, and use 4 or 5 active skills from that tree, while supporting them with a variety of passives. Especially useful passives from the lower tiers of other trees will probably be mixed in as well. Active skills from other trees seem like they’ll be less useful, since there will not be enough skill points to load up the passives required to enhance those borrowed active skills.

It’s also interesting to compare our early skill lists to the signature skills the D3 team has demonstrated at various panels at the WWI and BlizzCon. Surprisingly, virtually every one of the Barbarian’s active skills has profiled by Jay Wilson or some other D3 Team member, though this becomes less surprising when you consider how few active skills there are on the trees. There’s no guarantee things will remain this way through to the final game, of course. The D3 Team’s goal seems to be to develop 10 or 12 top quality active skills for each character, spread them throughout the 3 skill trees, and let players pick and choose. The team could think up more skills, but as they’ve stressed in the Signature Skills demonstrations, they want the D3 characters to have powerful, impressive, memorable abilities. And they want to make all of these abilities useful long term, whether though scaling with Clvl, multiple skill points in the active skill, or tweaking of the bonuses provided by the passives.

Skills of Note

Read over all the skills yourself, when you’ve got the time. They’re listed with their names, locations, and some commentary on each. That’s the best way to get a feel for the character design. That said, here are a few of the more interesting ones.

Attack Rating: One thing that’s glaring, in its omission, is Attack Rating. While there are at least 20 Barbarian skills that boost damage, there are zero that boost to/hit.. Damage is boosted by many skills, and in many ways. There are straight damage increases, +damage to all the skills in a tree, +damage to one or two particular skills, +critical hit damage and frequency, and much more. Yet nothing boosts Attack Rating, or to/hit, or whatever they’re calling it in D3. It’s not just Barbarian skills either—there are no values listed for to/hit in the character window. Perhaps AR is a hidden stat now, or based on Clvl, or boosted solely by equipment, or any/all of the above, but it hasn’t been implemented into the game yet, or wasn’t for the BlizzCon build. If anyone bumps into Jay Wilson, feel free to bring this one up.

Shield Specialization: Not a very impressive skill, but the description hints at at major change from D2. This skill is said to increase the % chance to block, and the amount of damage blocked. So shields in D3 don’t block 100% of the damage anymore? Just some amount of it, an amount that increases with shield type and the appropriate shield skill? This remains to be confirmed.

Deliberate Defense: This skill boosts the Barbarian’s armor when he lands a successful critical hit. D3 barbarians are truly designed to thrive in combat. Hit enemies with devastating critical strikes, and raise your defense in the process.

Death Proof: Probably the most controversial skill the Barbarian possesses; this one works as a sort of auto-resurrection. The changes this would bring to the balance of character power in Hardcore is hard to underestimate. Here’s the description, as best it could be read from the skill hover. "The barbarian overcomes death. Upon receiving fatal damage the Barbarian is kept alive and gains back 30% of his maximum hit points. The effect can not occur more than every 300 seconds."

Stubborn: This one lets the Barbarian resist "all slowing effects." So there will be a lot of such effects, we can assume?

Revenge: This skill is an offensive war cry (Actually a ground stomp, but same thing.) that has a % chance to hit every monster in range with 100% of the Barbarian’s weapon damage, as well as granting him 2% of his maximum health for everything hit. Better than life leech? Best used in a mob?

Bad Temper: Reduces Fury drain by 3% at level one. There’s no telling if players will find this worth investing in, or if it’ll just be easier to get Fury drain reduced on equipment, or simply to ignore the property and concentrate on better techniques to harvest more fury as soon as possible as a new battle begins.

Enrage: A sort of companion to Bad Temper, Enrage is a buff that increases the Fury gained for a short time, but also increases the damage the Barbarian takes during that same time.

Savage: Another Fury-booster from the Berserker Tree; this one increases all Fury generation for X seconds after scoring a critical hit. And yes, there are passives that increase the odds of landing a critical.

Finally, it’s worth noting that the skill trees we now see are far from complete. Even if there are no skills added or removed from now until the game is released (a laughably unlikely scenario), the levels and requirements and stats of all the skills we now see are likely to be tweaked and modified all throughout the design process. There were only Tier 1, 5, 10, and 15 skills at Blizzcon, and only Tier 1 and 5 were usable, but clearly characters won’t access the last skills in the game at level 15, or even 20 (there was another tier in the skill trees, but with no skills listed on it). More skills will be added, existing skills will be moved up or down the tree, and many, many changes will be made, both to prime functions and to minor figures.

New Environmental Art

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Pedr0 schreef op vrijdag 24 oktober 2008 @ 13:37:
Diablo III Fan site kit is released.... Misschien zit er wat tussen voor de TS?
Al vanochtend bekeken maar niet echt heel bruikbaars om lekker te gebruiken. Wellicht dat ik wel de 'char-renders' ga gebruiken maar vind die artwork even mooi zo niet mooier.
In ieder geval bedankt voor de heads up.

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psychodude schreef op vrijdag 24 oktober 2008 @ 17:14:
[...]

Crashje, even weer eens niet opletten, internet van chello welk er toendertijd nogal regelmatig uitknalde :p. Tja, ben toch wel aardig wat chars kwijt geraakt op die fiets :p. Maar vond hc vaak toch wel het leukst ook idd met een bekende groep, maakt het allemaal wat spannender ipv zonder zorgen te kunnen doen w/e je wilt.

Maarja, zeker deze dagen zal lag en internet eruit knallen niet meer van betekenis zijn. Het zo'n beetje wekelijkse tafereel van verscheidene uren downtime is toch al wel een aantal jaar achter de rug bij chello dus zal zelf zeker wel iets in hc mode zien, nu maar hopen dat het er natuurlijk weer is.
Nu zal het bij D3 niet zo snel voor komen lijkt me maar bnet is tegenwoordig anders de grootste boosdoener van lag hoor. Al die bots, dupers en torches icm de weerstanden tegen dupers zorgen voor aardig wat lag.

Nu dat ik het er toch over hebt, ben benieuwd wanneer het bnet team iets laat horen over bnet 2.0. De verschillende mogelijkheden en hoe de lobby van D3 eruit gaat zien zou ik graag iets over horen.

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Koeitje schreef op zaterdag 25 oktober 2008 @ 20:19:
[...]

De looks van de game zelf vind ik wel tof, maar de artstyle van de inventory is te ....cartoony voor mij. Ik hou van simpel en strak :)
Ja ben ik het wel mee eens hoor en liever zie ik ook de inventory zoals in D2 dan moet je nog enigzins je hersens gebruiken bij het oppakken van spul icm charms etc.
Nu is het oppakken totdat je vol zit want de charms kwamen weer apart van de inventory te zitten als ik het goed heb. Zal vast wel goed werken en wellicht nog veranderen maar toch even wennen voor sommige dingen.

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Anoniem: 57485 schreef op zondag 26 oktober 2008 @ 15:12:
[...]


En weer ontkracht:

Update: It appears to be fanmade classes and will not be part of diablo III.
Ontkracht wil ik het niet noemen, lees immers nergens een statement van Bashiok of iemand anders van Blizzard. Sowieso is het nogal logisch dat het fanmade is, daarvoor zijn het rumors en was er nog niks bekend. Ze hadden net zo goed wat andere classes kunnen vinden die zo goed uitgewerkt zijn als deze.
Wat ik wel denk is dat de resterende classes redelijk overeenkomen qua type met de pala en de ama, zal me dan ook niet verbazen als de bedenker van deze 2 classes er niet ver naast zit.

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Fritzz schreef op dinsdag 28 oktober 2008 @ 12:06:
Stiekem hoop ik op een char gebaseert op de afrikaanse stam strijders of capoeira(if you like). Snel, acrobatisch en closecombat. :9
Eigenlijk dus beetje het assasin idee?
Denk eerder dat er een aura/enchantment class en hunter/nature class in komen.
Bij de hunter/nature class denk ik dan heel erg aan een Ranger a la TQ (Hunter + Nature class).
Beetje de summon spells van de druid mixed met de archer skills van de ama.

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Anoniem: 232786 schreef op woensdag 29 oktober 2008 @ 09:09:
[...]


in D3 zitten 5 classes. In D2 ook, overigens. De expansion voegde er destijds 2 toe. Tevens heeft Blizz al gezegd dat ze compleet nieuwe classes willen. We Barbarian en wizard komen overeen, maar de witch doctor is echt iets compleet nieuws. Mogelijk de andere 2 classes ook.
Ja precies komen mogelijk wel weer 2 classes met een expansion.
De witch doctor is naar mijn mening niet echt een nieuwe class meer een merge van 2 d2classes met wat nieuwe skills erbij. Wel vet nonetheless :)

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SpoTs schreef op woensdag 29 oktober 2008 @ 10:56:
[...]


Ik hoef echt geen Elven ras.. dit is diablo en geen Lord of the rings.. de legolasjes heb je al genoeg gehad in d2 -_-

Ik krijg steeds meer het idee dat iedereen wil dat Diablo3 op WoW gaat lijken. Ik hoop het absoluut niet want dan is het hele spel eigenlijk stuk gemaakt. De kracht van Diablo is de snelle directe hack & Slash actie met een fijne character customisation.
Krijg juist het andere gevoel, dat juist iedereen wil dat het op D2 lijkt. Ben ik namelijk ook wel voor, Blizzard neemt juist veel dingen van WoW over zoals de art-style etc. Niks mis mee hoor zolang het maar de feeling/gameplay van D2 heeft met uiteraard de itemfinddrang die zo verslavend werkt.

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Update:

New Screens, Art
Screens
http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss60-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss59-thumb.jpg

http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss58-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss57-thumb.jpg

http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss56-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss55-thumb.jpg

http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss54-thumb.jpg http://www.blizzard.com/diablo3/_images/screenshots/ss52-thumb.jpg

Art




Updates:
28-06-'08 - Opening tweede deel Diablo3 topic nog aan flinke updates onderhevig.
29-06-'08 - Sectie Content toegevoegd.
30-06-'08 - Sectie Algemene Info uitgebreid. Plaatje van Witch doctor gefixed. Sectie Aanvullende Info toegevoegd. Topic over 2 posts verdeeld.
31-06-'08 - TS Code opgeschoond.
03-07-'08 - Aanvullende Info sectie vernieuwd/updated. Character Classes aangevuld.
25-07-'08 - Wallpaper toegevoegd aan de Content Sectie.
04-08-'08 - Fixed Skills links gelukkig door iemand op photobucket gezet. Skills UI pic niet kunnen redden.
15-08-'08 - Nieuwe Wallpaper toegevoegd.
05-09-'08 - Diablo Timeline aan de links sectie toegevoegd andere updates volgen later. News Updates Sectie toegevoegd, alle updates bij elkaar!
20-10-'08 - Character: Wizard toegevoegd + Skilltrees ipv skills.
29-10-'08 - Nieuwe screens toegevoegd!

[Voor 25% gewijzigd door psychoclown op 29-10-2008 23:29]

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Update:

Basic Blizzcon Game Information

The build at Blizzcon was set up to emphasize combat and leaping right into the action gameplay, rather than exploring a town or building a character. New characters started out at level 6, with all of their skill points already distributed across the three skill trees. Each character type had a couple of active skills set to their hotkeys, and various passive skills enabled to improve their performance. None of the characters were built wisely for the real game, where players will (apparently) want to specialize in just one skill tree, and will be spending all their early points in just a few important skills

Other factors emphasized the speed and action design of the demo. There were no NPC merchants at all. No one selling or buying items, potions, or anything else. The only potions to be found were health pots, which dropped very infrequently (I found 4 or 5 per character from clearing out the entire demo dungeon.), and even rarer were elixirs of strength and dexterity that boosted one attribute for 300 seconds. There was no NPC to provide item identification, but ID scrolls dropped quite frequently. There were no town portal scrolls at all though, and the only town portal seen in the demo was cast by an NPC. Players could not pass through it.

The demo was not greatly nerfed, but the characters were boosted. I was told that this was the starting area of the game, just as the D3 team has been playing it, but of course their characters start off at level 1, not level 6. So of course the demo was fairly easy; the D3 team wanted new players and media and others to have fun and kill, without it being so easy that god mode boredom set in. But they didn’t achieve that by nerfing everything; they just gave players a considerable head start. I found the Barbarian and Witch Doctor fairly easy all through the demo, but the Wizard was a struggle on the lower levels of the dungeon. Active skills were capped at level 1 in the Blizzcon build, and with a variety of those, and her not-very-powerful low level passives, the Wizard was quite fragile. Well, she was probably about as durable as the Witch Doctor, but the WD had Mongrels to tank, which made a huge difference.

Dungeon Levels
The dungeon levels in the demo were quite small, compared to how large the dungeons are in the full game. Leonard Boyarsky told me that the dungeons in the Blizzcon build were 6-8 rooms, while the full ones are 12-15, or larger. The definition of “rooms” in this context is hard to express to people who haven’t played yet, but it’s not just one literal room; it means a square, a block of the randomly generated levels. A “room” as Blizzard uses the term during D3’s development is about as much as you’d see on oh, 8 or 10 screens. (Rough estimate by me.) Within those “rooms” you’ll find numerous individual chambers, stairways up and down, special event elements, traps, destructibles, etc.

I was also told by Leonard that players were getting through far more of the dungeons than the team expected. Players were given about 15 minutes per play session on the main floor, and the D3 Team didn’t think that would be enough to finish the demo. Leonard said they’d been playing it for a couple of weeks, and it usually took them 20-30 minutes to clear out. His explanation was that Blizzard employees were clearing out everything to build up their characters and find loot, while players were more interested in seeing as much as they could see, and they (we) were just running through things, skipping NPC conversations, not bothering to pick up items, etc, in order to find the stairs and move deeper into the dungeons and reach the Skeleton King.

Leonard also told me that there were two random quest events in the demo, and that they varied from game to game, just like such elements will in the real game. And he confirmed what I’d figured by playing it myself. The layout of Tristram was fixed and non-random, though the monsters found in it and some of the elements like clickable corpses could vary. The top two levels of the dungeon were fully random, including the quest events found in them, but the third level was a set design, with several events on the way to reaching the throne room, where you awakened and then battled the Skeleton King and his minions.

Blood, Guts, and an M-Rating

One of my questions going into Blizzcon was about Diablo III’s tone and mood, and how much gruesome background art and blood would be present. Most players feel that Diablo I was much more of a horror game than Diablo II. Everyone who played the first title has a very clear memory of how scared they were when they first heard the Butcher give his “Ahh, Fresh Meat!” battle cry, and the dungeons, especially the Hell levels, were well-decorated by bloody, naked, dismembered bodies on stakes. Diablo II had plenty of blood and gore and horror elements too, (check out the tortured corpses and moats of blood in the Act 2 Sewers and Durance of Hate on your next Mephisto run, and there are some nice gory wall decorations in Nihlathak’s dungeon as well), but it didn’t have the same sort of creepy, ominous, horror tone that D1 had.
The D3 team has often said that they were going to recreate the mood and theme of D1 more than D2, and that they wanted to make D3 more of a horror game. I was dubious of this claim going into Blizzcon, but was pleasantly surprised by how horror-filled D3 is. The tone was set with gore and corpses in the very first scene. New players started off in a tiny encampment with just two NPCs. One of them was a talkative soldier, but the other was a silent meat wagon driver who spent his time endlessly shuffling between a wagon stacked high with bodies, from which he kept pulling corpses that he carried over and dumped onto a burning pyre. The animation was great, and the bodies were very well drawn as well. They looked like corpses, bloody and murdered ones.

The mood continued as soon as a player moved out into the ruins of Tristram. The scenery was dark and oppressive, and no, the screenshots don’t at all do it justice. The floating, partially transparent mist looks so much better in the game than in the screenshots, where it just makes things look smudged and blurry. The black, gnarled trees, clusters of crows that flew away when the player got close enough to trigger them, dozens of ruined, blasted houses you could run through, bodies lying here and there, and small bunches of zombies to rout gave the area a great, creepy, doomed mood.

Playing in the Blizzcon press room with crowds of journalists around, bright lights overhead, the only game sound through tinny headphones, and my attention mostly on gathering information, rather than enjoying myself, I didn’t feel any tension or atmosphere. I still enjoyed the visuals and theme, and found myself wishing I could play it at home, in a dark room with some candles burning, and the sound up high. It would be shivery. It will be shivery. I just hope Blizzard doesn’t have to tone down the gore and gruesome visuals too much, for the ratings boards.

There were a number of nice set pieces elsewhere in Tristram that added to the mood. A human hand is seen at one point, clawing at the earth, before being yanked down into a dark cellar from which come horrible screams and a fountain of blood. Ghosts wander the streets, sobbing quietly and pathetically. Zombies are seen gnawing on corpses, and their moans and groans are very horror movie appropriate. The gruesome mood isn’t continued into the dungeon, but the design and graphics of the dungeon areas were very effective. They weren’t trying to be scary, but the monsters are so well animated and formed that they are threatening and very real. You want to destroy them, and even though the zombies you find early on are basically just walking experience pots, they’re loathsome and a little bit scary. I was again reminded of Diablo I, where even the weakest starting monsters were somewhat threatening, emotionally, if not from a survival standpoint.

The death animations of the monsters are well done, and they’re very visceral and bloody. Normal deaths are quite messy, with body parts breaking off in gratuitous fashion and blood spilling, but the real fun comes from critical hit deaths. When monsters die from critical hit damage, (which happens quite often), they get an extra special death animation. They literally explode, in appropriate fashion for the type of damage that did them in. You’ll see frost on the shattered pieces, or lightning flickering along with an extra nova blast, or flames charring the chunks of meat, or gouts of blood from the corpse explosion like critical hits with physical damage. I was frequently impressed with how much blood spilled onto the floor during battles, and the ensanguinated stone and scattered arms, legs, heads, chunks of rib cage, and various internal organs left lying around after a big fight was just awesome. (In the game I mean. Not real life. Do not want FBI visit!)

On the whole I was quite pleasantly surprised by the gruesome nature of D3. Much more than I’d expected, and more reminiscent of the mood of D1 than D2.

NPCs.

The Blizzcon demo had very little NPC interaction, and was not like any of the towns in Diablo or Diablo II. There were no NPC merchants at all, so players had no way to buy or sell equipment, purchase potions, or make repairs. These aren’t complaints since such actions weren’t required in the Blizzcon version of the game. They’re just useful for fans to know, to put the information into context.

Captain Rumford
There were several NPCs in the demo, though none were merchants. The most visible and interesting was Captain Rumford who functioned as the town greeter. The D3 Team has promised that the characters in Diablo 3 will be full of personality, and that the NPCs will react very differently to each of them, as part of their unique stories. This was demonstrated very nicely by Captain Rumford’s dialogue, which varied quite a bit between the three classes. (We couldn’t get enough game time to play both genders for all of the characters, so can’t comment on how much the dialogue varies from the male to female. It was fairly similar for the M/F Barbarian, at least.)

Rumford’s dialogues differed quite a bit, but in all of them he imparted the essential game-starting plot info. A flaming object had recently fallen from the sky and crashed through the roof of the Tristram Cathedral. Great evil had awakened since then, and the area was now overrun with monsters. All of the characters knew this much, and said they’d come after hearing news of the fire from the sky.

* The Barbarian: Rumford was afraid of the Barbarian, fearing the giant hero was a dangerous savage. Once the Barbarian spoke calmly and confidently Rumford was put at ease, and he became quite friendly and almost star-struck as he wished the Barbarian good luck.

* The Witch Doctor: Rumford was contemptuous and dismissive of the scantily-clad, foreign-looking Witch Doctor, making comments about how she would surely be killed by the first monster encountered. The Witch Doctor made a few cryptic comments about not judging others by their appearance, but didn’t say much, exhibiting quiet self-confidence rather than arguing.

* The Wizard: Only the female wizard was playable in the Blizzcon build, and she was very saucy, sassy, headstrong, and brashly-confident. Her dialogue with Rumford was somewhat flirty, as she taunted him for being afraid to face the monsters himself, boasted that she would clear out the demonic infestation in nothing flat, and all but ordered Rumford to buy her a drink to toast her success when she returned. Rumford seemed somewhat overwhelmed by her arrogance and authority, and became rather meek and soft spoken before the Wizard’s powerful presence.

One thing I wanted to find out was if Rumford said anything different to players who returned to town after completing a quest. There were no town portals in the Blizzcon demo, and since dead characters respawned at the last checkpoint reached in the dungeon, the only way to go back to town was to run all the way up through the dungeon, and then through ruined Tristram. That wasn’t the best expenditure of our limited play time, and in any event, the Blizzcon demo ended when the Skeleton King was defeated, so there was no time to see if Rumford had any witty remarks to share upon that event.

Mr. Meat Wagon
Besides Rumford, there was a meat wagon driver in the town area. He had no important dialogue, but did a nice job setting the mood as he shuffled between the wagon and a blazing fire pit, carrying bleeding corpses from the wagon and throwing them onto the pyre. The bodies he produced came from behind the wagon, out of sight of the player, and when he threw them down on the other bodies on the fire they landed in the rear, again our of sight. So no, you don’t actually see the pile of corpses in the wagon decrease, nor the pile on the fire grow. But it’s a nice piece of animation and the background art is great. The screenshots don’t do it justice, since you don’t get the visuals of the floating mist over all of Tristram, the crackling fire, the flames flickering up around the bodies, the thudding sounds of the corpses as they’re dropped, etc

Cellar Grinder
Moving into the ruined Tristram, there was a nice piece of scripted visual. A human arm is seen reaching up from an open cellar, and as the player watches the hand clutches at the ground as panicked screams burst forth. The hand is then yanked down into the cellar while ferocious, bestial sound effects play, and a fountain of blood squirts out of the cellar, splatting down on the dark earth. The cellar isn’t clickable; you can’t go down and fight whatever claimed the human, but it’s a great little visual.

Ghosts
Another NPC (sort of) found in the town is a wandering female ghost. Her graphics are very impressive in the game, with great transparency and subtle colors. She can’t be clicked on or interacted with, and just wanders along, moaning and wailing about how “She’s lost down there. She’ll never find her way without the doll.” This section shows off one of the nice sound/dialogue techniques in D3, since you can see the ghost from a distance, but you can’t hear her words unless/until you are standing very near her. This ghost’s daughter is seen later on in the demo, when the quest is finished. More on that in the quests section.

Injured Villager
There was also an injured villager found near the entrance to the Tristram Cathedral. He essentially recreated the opening quest from Diablo I, telling of a powerful monster within who must be destroyed. The Skeleton King, this time, when it was the Butcher in D1. (The Skeleton King was a later quest in that game.)
The scene is more fun in D3, since when you find the man he’s being gnawed on by three zombies, who are squatting around his almost-corpse and enjoying the tender parts. Once you destroy the zombies the man is clickable, and when given the chance he gasps out his last words, warning of the power of the awakened Skeleton King. Your character says a few words about avenging his death, and here again the dialogues differ between the classes. Not that much though, since it’s just a short “You will be avenged.” type remark.

Chatting Monsters
An interesting sort of quest that presented story info was found shortly after entering the dungeon. When walking along one level, two human monster could be seen down below. One who looks like some type of Dark Cultist is seen standing and waiting, while the other, who is basically an Igor-type minion, runs up. Igor is excited, shouting about having at last found some sort of magical item. The Cultist gloats, and says something about how they can use this to finally awake him, or call him back from his sleep.

The conversation hints at the awakening of the Skeleton King, and you can read more about this in the section on quests. The dialogue is entirely optional to listen to, and it can only be heard while your character is within about half a screen of the two monsters/NPCs. You can hang around on the passageway above them and listen, or run off and kill monsters. It’s up to you. There’s no way down to their passageway at that point, and it’s fairly clear, even to a brand new player that there’s information being presented here, that you may or may not choose to listen to. You encounter these monsters again, later in the demo.

Lost NPC Fighters
Another quest in the Blizzcon demo was a sort of escort quest. While working through the dungeon, the player comes upon a swarm of monsters working over a fallen human. After engaging and destroying the zombies and skeletons, the human gets up and announces that he’s a commanding solder (didn’t get his name) who was cut off from his men. He asks your help in rejoining them, and follows you as you run away. Not too far away you find half a dozen of his men fighting off a large mob of monsters. You and the commander join the battle and his men shout a welcome and give cries of encouragement as the battle rages. The NPC warriors look like the ones we’ve seen in other screenshots, like this one.

Once the monsters are cleared out the commander thanks you for your help, and then he and his men vanish through a town portal that you can not pass through yourself. It’s a bit insulting; “Thanks for saving us, but we’re going to leave you here to die while we head back to town, ale, and whores now. Kthxbye!”

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Koekjes schreef op donderdag 30 oktober 2008 @ 14:05:
Ik ben benieuwd of die sfeer ook echt zo is als ze beschrijven. Met doom 3 voor de pc werd ik er ook helemaal ingezogen. Was gewoon uniek om met de lichten uit en het geluid aan te spelen. Vooral met de zaklamp wat zoeken naar zombies. Het zal wel niet zo aanwezig zijn als in Doom 3 maar ik ben benieuwd wat voor gevoel je krijgt als je door die dungeons loopt. Ik heb al wel verschillende filmpjes gezien op de diablo 3 website waar ze dan in een dungeon liepen maar is dit dan ook de uiteindelijke sfeer? Of zullen ze dit nog meer tweaken? Met tweaken bedoel ik een meer 'donkere' sfeer.
Dat weet alleen Blizzard wat we nu weten is dat het er zo uit zal gaan zien. Wat we ook weten is dat het pas uitkomt als het af is dus mogelijk wordt er nog geknutseld aan de sfeer maar dat weet van ons dus niemand.

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Update:

Witch Doctor Gameplay Report
Witch Doctor Gameplay
To make the obvious comparison to Diablo II, the Witch Doctor plays a bit like a Necromancer with some low-power Sorceress skills. The WD has some minions that can tank, defensive curse-like spells, and a bunch of cool, short range attack spells. The character was very effective in the Blizzcon demo, and I had little trouble plowing through almost every encounter. Occasionally I’d have to recast my tanking Mongrels, or back off to let my mana refill for a moment, but on the whole the Witch Doctor felt very strong and I was never in danger of dying, thanks to my sturdy Mongrels and my effective, mana-inexpensive attack spells.

That said, don’t start thinking the WD is overpowered, since the Blizzcon demo is not the final game. It’s not even the current game. Players at Blizzcon were starting off with level 6 characters who had various skill points already distributed, and taking those level 6 chars into battle against the very beginning of the game. Whether from balance of inappropriate skill distribution, I found the Wizard fairly challenging, but the Witch Doctor and Barbarian quite easy. I was never near death with the WD or Barb, and only had to retreat once or twice with those characters, when I found a really large mob around a boss.

As I say, this was just a nerfed demo version for new players to get their feet wet with; it doesn’t tell us a thing about game difficulty long term.

Combat

A typical battle in the demo involved my two mongrels (2 could be cast with 1 point in the skill, and as with all active skills in the demo, only 1 point could be placed) running up to start biting on some skeletons, zombies, or other monsters. I’d run quickly behind them, and from a safe spot in the back row I’d unload my spells on the enemies. I used Firebats most often, since it had such a cool graphic and sound effect. It was quite effective too; it worked like a short range Inferno spell; dealing constant fire damage to anything in range, and was more than strong enough to finish off all smaller enemies in just a second or two. The flames of the bats spread to my Mongrels as well, as did the poison from Locust Swarm or Plague of Toads. There was no in-game listing of how much damage those effects add to the mongrels, (tool tip documentation was fairly lacking throughout, but that’s not surprising for a game still under heavy development) and I never systematically studied it, counting bites to kill a common monster when a mongrel was enchanted, or not. It certainly wasn’t anything smashingly big; and the vast majority of damage done to the monsters came from my WD’s direct spells. Mongrels were useful tanks, but didn’t do a lot of killing on their own.The attack spells are all fairly inexpensive in mana cost, and with a rapid mana regeneration I was very seldom out of mana, despite using the attack spells (chiefly Firebats, Plague of Toads, and Locust Swarm) constantly. Summoning a Mongrel was more expensive; they cost about 50 mana to summon from my pool of around 100 mana, but they lasted for quite a while, and since my attack spells were sufficient to kill with, I didn’t often have to sacrifice (explode) a Mongrel for the added damage.

Plague of Toads were great fun to use too, though less damaging than Firebats. At level 1 (the only level possible for active spells in the Blizzcon demo) the WD tossed out three toads, which then hopped forward like scaly, slimy, living Charged Bolts. They weren’t entirely mindless—they homed in on enemies, and exploded with a splat of green acid (poison) when they hit a target. If there was no target in range, the toads would hop 3 or 4 times, covering maybe half the visible screen, before bursting in air. They left behind splats of acid on the ground that would damage enemies who stood in it. The toads shared their poison to Mongrels, just like the various fire spells and Locust Swarm.

Spell Effectiveness

A constant for most of the WD’s attack spells was short range. Plague of Toads, Locust Swarm, Soul Harvest, and Firebats were all effective, but all had a rather short range, extending maybe 3-4 yards from the WD, at most. The design goal there is pretty clear; the D3 team wants WDs to stay active and get right up into the action. The curses, Mass Confusion and Horrify, work much the same, rather than expanding to cover half the screen like most of the D2 Necromancer’s curses do.
In short, Witch Doctors have a lot of magical toys, but they can’t use them safely from the back row. Only Skull of Flame could be cast (thrown) from a considerable distance, and while that spell dealt substantial fire, it was fairly slow to use, and to strike. It’s not Fireball; it can be thrown over nearby targets to hit ones in the back row, which makes it useful to take out summoners or monster mages behind their minions. On the other hand, it’s got a fairly slow casting rate, and the lobbing trajectory of the skull makes it take longer still to reach the impact spot.

During longer battles I usually had to cast a new mongrel, to keep my protection intact. The WD had about 100 mana, and while the attack spells were very low cost, the Mongrels were about 50 to cast. I didn’t often blow them up, since the attack spells were damaging enough, and spending the mana to Sacrifice one, then to quickly summon another one for protection was very mana-expensive. The Soul Harvest skill was designed to help with that sort of thing, allowing me to finish off multiple enemies at once, gaining considerable mana from each of them. I seldom needed it, and found it to be less than effective as a killing weapon. It wasn’t that damaging, and wasn’t that cheap to cast either; so I had to make sure it was going to kill at least a few monsters to be cost effective.

After a long battle, one during which my Mongrels took a lot of damage, I’d summon one or two new ones, before moving off to the next encounter. I tried to remember to do this immediately after the fight, so my mana would have longer to recharge, and could start doing so while I was still picking up and examining loot.

Items
Witch Doctors weren’t helpless without spells. They weren’t exactly Barbarians, but I found their melee attacks fairly effective, and to save mana I often finished off the last skeleton or zombie with some good old fashioned left clicking. Since items are not going to have strength or other requirements to equip them (other than Clvl, and some class-specifics), it should be possible to play a reasonably-effective combat Witch Doctor. Not as the character’s main thrust, but supplementing weapon damage with spells and minion attacks should be viable. It’s hard to project too far on this yet, until we know more of the WD’s skills. However, since Wizards have some weapon damage boosting skills, it seems pretty likely the Witch Doctor will get some as well.

One of the design goals of Diablo III is to implement a wide variety of items, including weapons that boost stats (other than magic find) that are useful to mage characters. I found some evidence of that during my Blizzcon play time, since my Witch Doctor found a number of weapons that boosted my experience gain or my spell damage. I greatly enjoyed a staff that added 19% damage to spells, and definitely noticed the effect when paring that with Firebats.

Witch Doctor Skills
The Blizzcon demo only showed off 11 WD skills (compared to 50+ for the Wizard and Barbarian), and only skills from the first two tiers of each skill tree. Here’s a quick listing for reference. All of these skills are detailed on the wiki pages.

Plague Skill Tree
Plague of Toads, Locust Swarm, Spider Statue

Spirit Skill Tree
Skull of Flame, Soul Harvest, Firebats, Mass Confusion

Voodoo Skill Tree
Summon Mongrel, Sacrifice, Horrify, Wall of Zombies

Since we only know a few skills from each tree, all of them active skills, we can only speculate about what we’ll see from the WD long term. Tier 3, 4, and higher skills may totally change the apparent design focus of the WD. Even the low level passives, none of which were visible at Blizzcon, might work in unexpected ways. That said, we can speculate a bit, since we’ve seen the design concepts for the Barbarian and Wizard, and have some comprehension of how the D3 Team is developing the characters.

The WD’s skills seem to be oddly organized, at first look. There are attack skills in all trees, and curse-like mind control skills in two trees, though the only minion (so far) is in the Voodoo tree. This is unlike the Diablo II organizational system, which would have had all the curses in one tree, all the summonings in another, and all the attack spells in the third. However, as we’ve seen with the Wizard’s and Barbarian’s skills, the D3 skill trees are much less thematically-linked. This is for an obvious reason, since the higher level skills in each tree require 10, 15, or more points to be spent in that tree. The characters seem to be designed to specialize in just one tree, with perhaps points in one or two low level skills from the other trees. There are a lot of skills in each tree though, enough that every Witch Doctor who specializes in Plague, or Spirit, or Voodoo won’t be identical.

All of the WD skills on display at Blizzcon were active skills; ones you had to actually click to use, and that did stuff when you clicked them. So even though there were only 11 WD skills, we actually know a lot about how a WD will play at lower levels, since these are all the active skills the character will have available. There might be one or two more, but the Wizard and Barbarian had 11 (or fewer) active skills in their first two tiers, so it seems likely that the other Tier 1 and 2 WD skills will be passives and masteries. It’s not hard to imagine them either, since they’ll follow the format established by the Wizard and Barbarian. The other characters have a few masteries that boost every skill in a given tree, or boost specific skills in those trees, and it’s likely the WD will follow suit. Some speculation:

Plague Skills: Active Skills: Plague of Toads, Locust Swarm, and Spider Statue. It’s a safe bet that we’ll see a passive that boosts the damage of all skills in this tree, or perhaps all WD poison damage skills. Others will probably improve the individual skills; something like Improved Plague of Toads/Locust Swarm/Spider Statue, with more damage, better odds of critical strike, etc. It’s also a decent bet that there will be faster casting rate and/or lower mana cost passives for the WD, as there are for the Wizard.

Spirit Skills: Active Skills: Skull of Flame, Soul Harvest, Firebats, and Mass Confusion. Likely passives will provide boosts to fire damage, boosts to the duration or intensity of the mind control skill(s), and/or a boost to the % of life/mana returned from Soul Harvest.

Voodoo Skills: Active Skills: Summon Mongrel, Sacrifice, Horrify, and Wall of Zombies. Passives will probably boost the damage/hit points of the mongrels, or of all summoned pets, assuming there are others further down this tree. The explosive damage of a Sacrifice (Mongrel or other unknown minions) could also be boosted, as could the duration and damage of the Zombie Wall.

It will be interesting to see what additional active skills do. All of the attack spells (except for Skull of Flame) have a short range. So do the curse-like mind control abilities. Will that be the way of all the WD’s skills, balancing their power with short range? Will the WD get one long range spell per tree? Will there be some sort of tanking, summoned creature in every tree, or will most players stick points into a low level summoning from one tree, no matter which tree they specialize in? It didn’t seem likely that the WD could play very effectively without any minions; the character was very mage-like, with low hit points, but without the powerful spells the Wizard can use to survive without assistance.

Environmental Damage against a Player?
Environmental and interactive objects and traps which use the physix engine might be monitored closely by Blizzard in the internal alpha and future beta. These might be removed or tweaked depending the degree of exploits used to affect other players. Blizzard wants to create a co-op experience that makes players work together as a team. An experience without griefers or gankers who dedicate themselves to killing players when they are low in health or fighting other mobs.

I clicked a mechanism on a wall while playing the Diablo III demo at Blizzcon. A chandelier fell from the ceiling. I ran my Barbarian underneath, and it crashed on his head dealing damage and dazing him for a few seconds. These types of mechanisms or traps could be used against other players to cause damage or provoke their deaths if timed correctly when they are low in health.

In PvP, can a player utilize the interactive environment to cause harm to another player? Can certain Mobs be able to use the interactive environment against you?
Bashiok: Right now if you knock down a wall on top of, or drop a chandelier on the head of someone in your party, it does damage/"daze" them. There’s some potential issues with it, right now it’s sort of just there because of the way those object interact with player characters as a whole. It’s possible that due to exploitative or griefing potential they just can’t continue to work that way. We’ll see.

Enemies will destroy some/most destructible objects if they’re in their way. Whether that may include actual damage dealing destructibles or not is probably more of a design decision on a case by case basis. We sort of want to reserve that for the player too I think, being able to damage enemies with the destructbles, but specific creatures that use the environment to their advantage are always cool.

Bashiok also posted an interesting reply in a thread about the Diablo 3 music, and segued into discussion of how close (not very) to completion the title is.

Bashiok: Well, the overture for Diablo III is available on iTunes. As overtures so often do, it takes bits from the prominent tone-setting compositions already written and puts them all together. So in that regard the basic outline and tone of composition for the game is in place, but no I think it would be impossible to compose and record everything completely before the game is much closer to being done.

I do recommend checking out the overture if you have the ability.

I can’t decide how far along they are in anything. They are sending mixed signals all over the place. Before blizzcon, they were “far along” .. then during/after blizzcon they are “not far along”. They release barbarian and witch doctor first, but the wizard was actually the first class they made. But the demo at blizzcon didn’t have the male version of the wizard, but had both sexes of the WD and Barb.

My head asplode!


I don’t think any one said before BlizzCon that we were “far along”, it’s kind of a nebulous statement any way. I think some people’s perceptions of the game were that we were far along, and that likely shaped some of our desire to make it fairly clear that it’s still early on.

Where did you get the impression that the Wizard was the first class we designed/created? That isn’t the case.

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Dalyxia schreef op zondag 02 november 2008 @ 16:22:
[...]


Mooie uitleg van die gast, echt je voelt de gameplay eraf stralen, oh shit man, dit wordt echt het bruutste spel dat ik ooit ga spelen (al hoewel Left 4 Dead ook een eind komt denk ik :) )
Jazeker, ook lekker uitgebreid zodat we zoveel mogelijk info meekrijgen alsof we het zelf gespeeld hebben.

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SpoTs schreef op maandag 03 november 2008 @ 10:11:
Nu nog een release date.. en het zou een verassing zijn als ze zeggen.. 25 december ligt ie in de winkel :P of een paar dagen ervoor (A)

@ hieronder, ik weet het.. maar het zou erg fijn zijn als die in 2008 komt :P

Kan me het voor blizzard daarentegen niet voorstellen.. als ze D3 uitbrengen snijden ze zichzelf in de vingers met Wotlk ( ga ik even vanuit )
Zou ik anders niet echt fijn vinden want dan hebben we maar een halve diablogame :9
Laat ze maar lekker werken totdat het perfect is we zien het vanzelf wel verschijnen, kan me toch wel lekker maken met alle info die gestaag naar buiten komt.

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SpoTs schreef op maandag 03 november 2008 @ 10:48:
[...]


Beetje fantasie gebruiken, stel dat als big suprise het WEL klaar is.. zou toch machtig zijn? :D maar ik denk ook dat kerst 2009 een betere kanshebber is.. maar hoop doet leven he ;-)
Denk best dat veel mensen dat leuk zouden vinden maar ik niet, zou het net zoiets zijn als RA3 die is er voor mij ook opeens uit de lucht komen vallen. De hype ernaar toe vind ik juist ook mooi maarja daar verschillen meningen :)

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SpoTs schreef op maandag 03 november 2008 @ 10:58:
[...]


Voor red alert is na deel 2 geen hype meer nodig ;-) maar idd.. D3 zal straks een flinke hype worden :p
Klopt en het schijnt niks voor te stellen, tis dan maar goed ook anders krijg je van die crysis taferelen enzo.
Dalyxia schreef op maandag 03 november 2008 @ 12:20:
[...]


laat ik mijn mening over RA3 hier maar niet gaan vertolken XD, hij kwam wel zo ineens uit de lucht vallen... als een bak stront met een strikje erom, maar das mijn mening :P

hype's creeeren verwachtingen, en blizzard is eigenlijk de enige developer die altijd de verwachtingen waar heeft gemaakt, ook al duurt het wat lang altijd voordat een game in de winkel ligt, maar juist daarom zijn het altijd van zulke perfecte complete games, ook al weet je dat bij D3 bijvoorbeeld zeker weten een expansion a la D2's LOD zal komen, ik hoop alleen dat ze die expansion niet te snel er achter aan uitbrengen

anyway, das voor latere zorg, eerst maar is dit bruut gave spel op mijn harde schijf krijgen
Haha heel mooi verwoord :D

Precies en daarom vind ik de hypes rondom blizzard games wel mooi. Sowieso is ook de info die je in de tussentijd krijgt prachtig om te lezen. Kan je je al helemaal lekker maken voor het echte werk.

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SpoTs schreef op donderdag 06 november 2008 @ 10:14:
[...]


Hmm, ik ga denk ik zelf voor de wizzard :) Ik speelde met d2 ook altijd met plezier een sorceress.
Wat is er in Vietnam te zien wat we hier in Nederland nog niet weten van d3 trouwens?

Hier in Nederland is het ook heeeeeerlijk weer.. 9 graden en regenachtig.. god i love these days :X
Ja dat denk ik ook wel als eerste char al is het even afwachten wat de rest zal brengen natuurlijk!
DarthRaider schreef op donderdag 06 november 2008 @ 10:21:
[...]


Doe me een lol zeg... partybased..ieuw.. daar zijn al genoeg alternatieven voor. Het mooie van Diablo was/is juist dat je ook in je eentje een hoop fun kon beleven en alles in het spel kon doen. En daarbij meen ik ergens gelezen te hebben dat alle classes dikke dmg kunnen doen en de afhankelijkheid van een 'tank' nihil is.
Dan vraag ik me sterk af waar je dat gelezen heb, Jay wilson en het team wilden juist meer party gerichtheid.

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DarthRaider schreef op donderdag 06 november 2008 @ 10:31:
[...]


Meer party gerichtheid prima, maar het hele heal/dps/tank principe zou, als ik het me goed herinneren niet in D3 voorkomen. Zal 's kijken of 't stuk waar ik naar refereerde nog kan vinden.
Denk dat jij het potspamming bedoelt? Dat zit er idd niet meer in, zijn nog wel pots maar die droppen erg weinig en healen instantly. De healthglobes zijn overtime zoals de pots in d2.

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Boeboe schreef op donderdag 06 november 2008 @ 10:40:
Ieder personage kan perfect zelfstandig spelen, anders zou het geen Diablo game zijn natuurlijk
Zeg ook nergens dat ze dat niet kunnen, feit is wel dat ze meer partyplay wilden zien.

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RedSoniq schreef op donderdag 06 november 2008 @ 16:01:
[...]

Diablo 2 of Diablo 3. ;)

Er kunnen dingen aangepast worden!
In dit geval praten ze over de functie in d2 maar zoals je zegt, wie weet werkt het wel anders in d3..
Dat kunnen we niet weten.. omg! kan niet wachten op meer info maar dat is er atm vrij weinig :'(

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Update:

Wizard Gameplay Report
Sorceress v2.0?

Though the Wizard was the new character announced at Blizzcon, there’s actually less to say about her (I’ll say “her” since the male wizard wasn’t enabled at Blizzcon.) play style than about the Barbarian or the Witch Doctor. Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s less to say since I assume everyone reading this has played a Sorceress in Diablo II, and if you’ve done that, the Diablo III wizard will feel immediately familiar, at least in the early game.

Sure, the wizard’s skills are different than the Sorceress’, especially at higher levels, but the general “feel” of the character is very Sorceress-like. That’s not because the D3 Sorc Wizard is an unimaginative or derivative character. She’s not a rip off of the Sorceress, it’s just that some similarities are inevitable given the game design. Both characters are fast moving, fast-casting, ranged-attacking, spell-hurling ranged-fighting mages who try to avoid melee range and who spend most of their early game struggling under a mana shortage (if played untwinked). Given that, they’re obviously going to be similar, especially in the early going before higher level spells and equipment allow them to play in more unique style.The Wizard in the Blizzcon build started out at level 6, with all of her skill points already assigned to a mixture of passive and active skills. There were more than six points assigned, to give players a variety of skills to use, and enough passive boosts to make them fairly effective. (And to make things a bit easier so new players could have fun killing, rather than spending most of their time restarting at the last checkpoint. Every wizard had all three active Tier 1 spells—Spectral Blade, Magic Missile, and Charged Bolt—with some of the supporting passive skills enabled as well. This is probably not how characters will be built in the real game, since specializing in one skill tree, with perhaps some low level passives from the others, looks like the best game build. (Unless respecs are easy enough that we’ll all level up with the most useful Tier 1 and 2 skills from any of the 3 skill trees, and then recycle those points into higher level skills in 1 tree when the time comes.)

Gameplay Style

The play style I found most effective with the Wizard was to basically treat her like a low level, twink-free, slightly more deadly version of the D2 Sorceress. The Wizard had a lot of destructive power, but was quite fragile and was more than able to kill herself. She’s got some pretty useful skills right off the bat, actives and passives, but they’re almost too useful, since they’re so fun to fire and they kill so effectively that you want to keep using them non-stop, and your mana pool is nowhere near deep enough to cash the checks your hunger for slaughter is writing.

The Wizard’s mana regeneration seemed much faster than a Sorc’s in D2, but it was even easier to use it all up in the first place. My Wizard had around 100 mana at level 6, and with my main skills (Spectral Blade and Magic Missile) costing (respectively) 7 and 8 mana per use, I found myself resorting to melee weapons every time I had enough health to risk it, in order to let my mana refill a bit. I never missed the ability to distribute my own attributes while playing with a Barbarian or Witch Doctor, but two minutes into the Wizard I wanted to start putting points into Energy Willpower, and two minutes after that I wanted to load up Vitality too, when I found myself almost dead, all the time, while retreating to gain space and mana to wipe out the pursuing skeletons in hopes that they’d cough up some health globes. I don’t know what good strength and dexterity were doing my Wizard, but it wasn’t anywhere near as much good as more health and mana would have done her.

My first game with the Wizard was the hardest, since I joined a multiplayer game (there were 4 machines in the press room, linked up in a LAN to allow MP or SP, though most people chose SP). It’s not known just how much monster hit points and density and level size are modified by more players in a game, but it sure felt harder, and the levels seemed bigger, than when I played later, in a single player game. I can’t make a very good comparison though, since my first Wizard game was my only multiplayer game, and it was the first time I’d ever touched Diablo III. I played a Wizard again the next day, and had much less trouble keeping up her mana, clearing out the dungeons, and eventually defeating the Skeleton King.

It was fun both times. Fun for the novelty the first time, plus the constant near death(s) and struggle for mana and health orbs kept me alert. The next time I played I was alone, more experienced at the game, and I engaged in a more methodical massacre of the dungeon hordes. I needed to retreat far less often, and I wasn’t constantly emerging from crazy, retreating, running, spell-throwing battles with no more than a a sliver of health. The multiplayer game was further complicated by the fact that the other people in it had no idea what they were doing, and kept standing motionless and laughing as they got killed, or casting spells at the walls, or (harmlessly) at me, or simply looking over their equipment and skills instead of fighting. Worse, they were all playing Wizards, so they couldn’t even tank very well. At least if they’d played Barbarians they would have lasted a few seconds longer before each death.

The hardest monsters, or at least the ones that dealt by far the most damage to me, were ranged attackers. I could blast or outrun or chill most melee attackers, (mana permitting), but the ranged attackers were nastier, since they’d always get in a shot or two before I could take them out (this changed somewhat when I got better with Disintegrate). This wouldn’t have meant a thing in D2, since I’d just have sucked down a potion, but in D3 there are no potions to buy, they drop very rarely, characters don’t regenerate hit points right from the start, and therefore, all of those little bits of damage added up. I don’t know if it was true or just my perception, but ranged attackers seemed to drop health globes much less often than melee mobs. As a result the archers were almost always a net loss in hit points, one that I had to overcome with health dropped by the melee monsters, who were easier to kill without being injured by, but who did a lot more damage when they did get a paw on me.

My Blizzcon Wizard play can really be described as a tale of two games. The first was chaotic and funny and frustrating, but quite memorable. The second was much easier and more successful, but far less difficult. In that one I played systematically, only advancing as much as I had to to draw some monsters into sight. I’d the retreat, or hold my ground while blasting them, and take time to look at the items they dropped. Which gave my mana time to regenerate. I had an easy enough time that when I got to the Skeleton King, I ran a few extra laps around his multi-level throne room area, blasting away at his hordes of skeleton minions and taking pot shots at him, just to prolong the fun. Eventually I killed him by experimenting with Disintegrate and trying to judge if the damage actually did increase the longer I held the beam on the same target. (Results = inconclusive.)

Items

Sadly, I don’t have a lot to say about these, since they were pretty much optional for the Wizard. All the low level armor was equivalent to what we’re all familiar with from D2. Blue (magical) gear with minor bonuses to attributes, mana, life, and so forth. I never saw any jewelry in the Blizzcon build (not enabled or the monsters weren’t high enough level to drop it), and since I wasn’t taking many hits (or at least trying not to) with my wizard, I wasn’t much worried about defense or defensive bonuses on armor.

I did find a few nifty wands and other light weapons, with useful mods. As was the case with my Witch Doctor, I found weapons with +% experience gain (around 11%) and +% experience gain (7 or 8%). Those didn’t greatly change the gameplay, but I did notice the improved damage, once I had it. Eventually (D2 style) my Wizard transitioned to magic find equipment, and while the % I had from boots, shield, and chest armor with MF on it wasn’t more than about 40%, it did seem to increase the number of rares I found. Not greatly, and not to my benefit, since I kept wearing the magic items I had found earlier, but it was fun to see more shinies drop.
I didn’t find any uniques with the Wizard, nor any of the crystal ball-looking items she uses in the Blizzcon gameplay and most of her screenshots; I assume those are a higher level item type. I ended up using odd weapons; wands and clubs and short swords and the like, based entirely on their magical bonuses. And they served well enough.

Tier 1 Skills


Spectral Blade is not a good skill to start off with, because it refutes my opening analogy—there aren’t any Sorceress skills like this one. That small point aside, Spectral Blade is a magical attack that deals physical damage to enemies very near the Sorceress. The skill creates a lattice of straight lines of power that overlap like a half dozen toothpicks tossed down in a heap. It’s got a cool, sword-slashing sound to go with it, and can be seen (and heard) repeatedly in the Sorceress game play movies from Blizzcon. The skill hits each enemy in front of the Wizard up to three times, dealing 1-5 damage.

Using this skill is almost like using Bash, or Cleave, or some melee Barbarian attack, if those skills had extra range. Spectral Blade hits enemies at melee range, but can also nail them a yard or two distant, though it seemed like the multiple hits of damage were more likely to occur if the monster was right in front of you, where the lines overlapped. The initial temptation is to use this skill against anything that can be hit by it, but after a bit of practice (and a lot of running out of mana) I realized that it was more effective if I aimed it. So I started letting the monsters get into range, and tried to position myself so that I had several zombies in a bunch, where each slash of the Spectral Blade would have a chance to hit all of them more than once. This immediately cut my mana use since I was using the spell less often, and it was more fun to use it that way. It became a bit of a challenge to try to take out zombies or skeletons in one Spectral Blade, instead of 2 or 3. Especially when I had a couple of them overlapping.

I was not able to use it enough to figure out just what the odds of getting multiple hits were, or if they could all hit even when there were multiple enemies in the target zone, since the damage can vary so much. Spectral Blade can deal 1-5 damage with 1-3 hits, so I could do 1-15 damage with each use of it. Plus, since all 3 hits were added up and dealt at once, there was no way to tell if I’d landed 1, 2, or 3, especially since 3 hits might only do 3 or 4 damage, while a single hit could do 5. Still, it was a fun skill to use, and the multiple hits to multiple targets over a larger-than-melee range made it fun to play with. I enjoyed using it in crowds and watching multiple enemies take hits.

It’s not a spell that can be used machine gun style though, even if enemies are in range. There’s a short delay after each cast, a cool down that’s longer than the Wizard has with her projectile spells. As a result Spectral Blade doesn’t look like a real boss-killer. It also didn’t seem to stun or interrupt the attacking motion of monsters, the way melee attacks sometimes did, so it’s not a way to render targets helpless while you slash them to bits.

Magic Missile is the Tier 1 active skill from the Arcane Skill Tree. It’s a lot less interesting and complicated than Spectral Blade. Magic Missile is basically a Firebolt that deals Arcane Damage. Using this skill fires a small purple projectile that moves across the screen in a straight line and at a fairly fast pace, and it can be cast repeatedly without any cool down time. . Firebolt like, as I said. It deals 7-15 damage, which seems like a lot compared to Spectral Blade’s 1-5, but not when you realize that Spectral can hit up to 3 times, that it costs 1 less mana, that it’s very unlikely to miss entirely, that it can hit multiple targets at once, and that it’s got a slower casting rate, thus making it less mana expensive, whether you like it or not.

At low levels against basic monsters, MM is just a simple projectile. It’s got some interesting properties later on though, since each point you place in the Tier 3 skill Improved Magic Missile adds 1 to the number of missiles fired, and increases the damage of each by 8%. (You can also add to the number of shots, their damage, and more, with Skill Runes.) Improved Magic Missile was too high level to be used at Blizzcon, but Wizards have been seen firing multiple Magic Missiles in screenshots and gameplay movies, and the projectiles seem to be aimed like Multishot, or the Necromancer’s Teeth; they spread out more or less, depending on how far away from your character you aim when you click them. Furthermore, it looks like multiple Magic Missiles can hit a single target, which could keep this one useful even late in the game, if fired at point blank range.

A last property of Magic Missile comes from its damage type. Arcane is a new type of damage in D3, and critical hits scored with Arcane Damage “silence” monsters for 4 seconds. This property hasn’t been explained yet, but the consensus is that a silenced monster will be unable to use some of its spells, such as Skeletal Mages losing the ability to resurrect their slain minions.

Charged Bolt is the third Tier 1 skill, this one from the Storm Skill Tree. Charged Bolt has been featured in Diablo I and Diablo II, and I’m sure everyone is familiar with it by now. Three little crackling bits of lightning are sent forth along the ground, where they zig and zag a bit, but move in a more or less straight line away from the Sorceress. I didn’t use this spell much, but it seemed to me that the bolts spread out quite a bit more than they did in D2, and that made it hard to hit anything in front of me with more than one bolt. That’s now how it looks in screenshots though, where the bolts seem to carpet the dungeon floor quite nicely. More testing will be required.

As soon as a Wizard leveled up, she earned a skill point, with all of the Tier 2 skills were available. The Tier 1 skills were open as well, but since Active skills could only get 1 point in the Blizzcon build, there were only passive skills to put that point into, on the first tier. I doubt that too many people at Blizzcon spent their points on skills like Arcane Power out of their great eagerness to add 12% more damage to all of their Arcane skills. (Not that that would have necessarily been a bad strategy, but most players were eager to see and try out the other active skills, not to incrementally boost their existing ones.)

In Tier 2, players could choose from:

* Arcane Skills: Disintegrate and Wave of Force.
* Storm Skills: Frost Nova and Storm Armor.
* Conjuring Skills: Stone Skin and Mirror Image.

Disintegrate was the the most fun, or at least most talked about, Wizard skill from Blizzcon. Virtually everyone put a point into Disintegrate, either because they liked the name, or because they’d seen someone else using that red laser of death, and wanted to try it themselves. (I feel into the later camp.) Disintegrate has been featured in a variety of screenshots; the straight red laser line it emits is hard to mistake. When using this skill, the Sorceress emits a laser-like beam of red energy that passes through multiple targets, dealing progressively less damage to each. What makes it so distinctive is that it stays active as long as you depress the mouse button (and have enough mana), and that it can be aimed like a beam weapon and swept from side to side. It’s indisputably fun to stand there and basically hose down every enemy in sight, without moving a step.

What makes the spell so effective is not the damage, which is fairly low. (It deals 10 damage per second.) It’s the speed, since unlike every other Wizard skill (and every Sorceress skill) this one moves at the speed of light. The instant you click the mouse, Disintegrate is hitting things at the edge of the screen. The damage is lessened by each monster it passes through, but in practice (at least in the early going) this just means it can kill everything you shoot at in 5 seconds. The ones in front die in 2 seconds, and as soon as they’re down the damage increases to the ones behind them.

Disintegrate is most effective against weaker enemies in bunches, and especially against ranged attackers at the far edge of the screen. I constantly found skeletal archers at the edge of the screen, and used Disintegrate to obliterate them before they could do more than get off a single shot at me. Killing them with say, Magic Missile, would have taken much longer. I would have had to cast half a dozen missiles, they would have had to fly all the way across the screen, monsters in the way would have absorbed some of them, and all that while the archers would have been firing at me. Thus Disintegrate isn’t hugely damaging, but it saves you a great deal of time and damage by instantly wiping out low hit point enemies from a distance.

On the other hand, Disintegrate was not very effective against larger targets. Bosses or big monsters were hurt by it, but not nearly as badly as other spells hurt them. It’s said that Disintegrate increases in damage the longer it’s trained on the same enemy. I was never able to test that out (it killed all the small stuff and ranged attackers too quickly), and it’s not listed in the spell’s hover description, but even if it’s true, it’s hard to use this spell for that purpose when you’re playing alone. Big monsters don’t stand back and let you fry them; they rush up to attack you, and up close Spectral Blade or Magic Missile did far more damage than Disintegrate. I don’t think Disintegrate would be a great choice against a powerful ranged enemy either, such as a boss pack of archers, since while it would be useful to kill them, you have to stand still while you’re using it, and their arrows would pin cushion you in the meantime.

That’s one of the most interesting things about using Disintegrate; that it’s more effective if you’re not moving. But Wizards seldom have that luxury, at least not when they’re playing alone. A solo wizard is a hit and run machine, throwing magical projectiles, rushing back or to the sides to dodge returned fire, darting in to land a few Spectral Blade strikes, etc. Disintegrate looks like it’ll be very useful against weak, ranged attackers, or else will be best used in a multiplayer game, when some other character is up front tanking, giving the Wizard the freedom to pour this one on non-stop.

Wave of Force is the other Tier 2 active spell from the Arcane Tree. Sadly, I never used it, since it’s basically a defensive skill that wasn’t needed in the Blizzcon Demo. It’s demonstrated in the Blizzcon gameplay movies though, and looks pretty fun. Wave of Force casts a nova-like ring of energy that blasts out from the Wizard, shoving back enemies and reflecting projectiles towards their source. The possibilities created when teaming this with Slow Time are fun to contemplate.

The Storm Tree also has two active skills in Tier 2. Frost Nova is pretty much the same skill it was in D2, but with vastly improved graphics. Instead of just a ring of frost, it now sends out a gaseous ring that’s speckled with dozens of shooting, snowball-like projectiles. As it was in D2, the skill is not very damaging and is best used for defensive purposes, a fact that’s reinforced by the eternity of a 12 second cool down it’s saddled with.
Storm Armor sounds pointless, since no one was bothering much with defensive skills at Blizzcon; not in the short time we had to play, and the small dungeon we had to clear out. I didn’t test out this one, but it sounds like a fairly interesting skill. It’s somewhat misleading in name, since the description doesn’t mention any defensive properties; just that it fires out lightning bolts at nearby enemies. Sort of a short range, low-level Thunder Storm?

The last two active skills available in the Blizzcon demo came from Tier 2 of the Conjuring Tree. Stone Skin reuses the name of a Barbarian skill from D2, but doesn’t work the same way. It’s an active skill that mimics the D2 Necromancer’s Bone Armor in function; absorbing 30 points of (physical?) damage at level one.

Mirror Image is a skill that, in retrospect, I really wish I’d tried out. The description does nothing to encourage experimentation, “Create an illusionary duplicate of yourself.” It sounds like a boring reuse of the Amazon’s Decoy skill, but from what’s been shown in the gameplay movie, it’s closer to the Assassin’s Shadow Master. Using this skill creates one (more with the help of skill runes) duplicate of the Wizard, who can use spells and fight alongside you. Five duplicates are shown being cast (at once) in the gameplay movie, and other skills address the hit points and duration of the Mirror Images, so presumably they’ll last for some time, and are able to survive some damage.

Conclusion

I enjoyed the Wizard the most of the three characters available in the Blizzcon build. That’s no guarantee of long term fun though, since the characters are kind of apples to pomegranates at low levels.I enjoyed Barbarians in D2, but not until level 24, or 30, or really, 60ish. Late game Barbarians were a lot of fun, with powerful, fast skills, good equipment, etc. I found them very tedious early on, when they could do nothing but swing swing swing single-target, melee style. I wasn’t bored with the D3 barbarian, but he’s pretty much the same thing, early on (though at least his “early on” wouldn’t last until level 30, as it did in D2). The Witch Doctor was fun at Blizzcon, but like the Barbarian, that character is only scratching the surface of her long term abilities at level 8 or 9. One kind of minion, a few fun starter attack skills, but little more.

The Wizard, on the other hand, is just dripping with coolness right from the start. She only had Tier 1 and 2 skills available, but there were 9 active skills to choose from at those levels, and only one or two of them were just some defensive, “use me to succeed in utilitarian fashion.” The rest were all shiny, multi-colored, widely-varied types of attack spell, and all of them were fun to use. So of course the Wizard is the most fun character at this point (in most player’s opinions). How true that would be if we’d gotten to play them to level 20, or 30, or 50, remains to be seen. The Blizzard guys have played much more of the game, and they report a variety of favorite characters, so it’s not like everyone likes the Wizard best and they’re just putting in the others to flesh out the character selection screen.

That said, I did enjoy playing the Wizard most of the 3 characters in the Blizzcon build. She was fast, destructive, varied in her attacks, strong but not overpowered, and just generally a lot of fun to play. As Jay Wilson keeps saying during panels, “Everyone likes blowing stuff up.”

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Update

Bashiok Discusses Diablo III Inventory and Monster Respawn
Drac_100: Will monsters respawn after you have saved and logged off a game then return to play?

Bashiok: We’re looking to follow Diablo II. After a game closes, or you exit from a single player game, the world essentially “resets” in regards to monster spawns. There’s the potential for some exceptions though.

Yummypuppy: As seen on screenshots, the characters start with 12 slots in inventory. Now many (including me) said that the new inventory system would allow us to carry lots more stuff than in D2. Now I’m starting to wonder if I wasn’t wrong about that. 12 slots is a really low amount of space. Obviously, there was just so many large items you could carry in D2, like 6 or 8 slots items (armors, polearms, etc...). You could carry 3-4 of those depending on what you were already carrying (tomes, potions, etc...)

But for small stuff, like rings, amulets, elixirs, potions, you could carry 15 of those and still have room for a couple big items. Which wouldn’t be the case in D3. I realize potions won’t be such a big part of the game anymore, but all the small stuff like amulets, runes or other small stuff, that would now cause problem ... So in the end, I thought I wouldn’t have to do all those trips to the city to sell stuff anymore, but it doesn’t look like that right now, does it…

Bashiok: As others have said you’ll start with a smaller inventory size, and you’ll be able to increase that by picking up bags. Right now these drop off of monsters but there’s potential to have them come from vendors, quests, etc. We’re still going through UI revisions and changes, and some of that includes inventory. We do like the ability to upgrade your character’s storage capacity though. It gives it a comfortable RPG element.

We obviously don’t want to create a situation where there’s huge amounts of inventory space, there should be a choice as to what items you want to hold and carry. However, we also don’t want to create a restriction that ends up hurting your ability to play effectively and have fun. I have seen quite a few people comment in various threads that a limitation on the ability to get back to town quickly and frequently will compound storage issues, and that would be true, if we hadn’t already designed solutions for it.

Also keep in mind that alternative item storage such as a stash is still likely if not guaranteed.

I would like to see “%slow an enemy on attack” reintroduced as “% to cripple”.

Wccannons: I think this would be an awesome way to incorporate the Havok engine into the game…

Crippled arm= Graphically: Enemy arm becomes limp and dangles at its side/ on the ground. Effect on gameplay: Causes enemy to have a weaker attack/ spend more time casting spell.
Cripple leg= Graphically: enemy begins to limp. Effect on gameplay: Enemy moves slower.
Crippled head= Graphically: ???. Effect on gameplay: enemy is temporarily disoriented.

Bashiok: Been playing some Fallout 3? smile I just finished it last night, but it was sort of bittersweet as I sort of rushed through the end to ensure I could focus on Wrath. Yeah, I know, I play WoW. I’m a traitor or whatever. IT’S A FUN GAME!

Anyway… It’s a cool idea, but yeah, they probably won’t be around long enough to actually get any use out of it. We’re obviously putting a greater emphasis on varying mechanics on enemies and trying to make them interesting to fight and ‘game’, but the game is still about pulling your sword through a massive huddle of demons. Something as complex as a limb-specific crippling ability probably just wouldn’t get enough screen time to make it worth it.

I could see it more as a potential mechanic for progress in a boss fight maybe? Something that’s a bit more substantial in health/fight length and also size and visibility of something like a crippled limb. I don’t know, it’s cool, but whether it would actually work out or not is debatable.

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Dalyxia schreef op donderdag 13 november 2008 @ 20:57:
inventory WOW-style... bags, gadverdamme
Was al veel langer bekend, ik zie het trouwens niet echt als WoW style maar eerder als TQ style. Daar hadden ze ook bags en vond ik best wel handig, 1tje voor de runes etc..

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Update:

Bashiok on Skill Trees
Flux: A question about the skill points in D3. Active skills only took one point at Blizzcon, after the gameplay movie from WWI showed multiple ranks in active skills. Will they allow more points in the final game?
Bashiok: It was the BlizzCon build. Jay said a few times in interviews and I think even on stage that people like the feeling of pumping points in to their main skills so that’s likely to be something we’ll do. Overall the skill trees seen in the demo were just giving a glimpse of the kind of direction we’re looking to go. The “ranks” from the WWI were part of an older system. The skill trees and UI in general are changing on an almost weekly basis. Not like total rewrites, but they’re not final is what I’m getting at.

Flux: Understood. We try to stress that to the fans. That the interface especially is prone to changes and evolutions. Some fans see a bit of something 2 years in advance and start complaining that it’s not polished. The perils of having people care about your games, I suppose.
Bashiok: Oh yeah, it’s expected. Unless you’re involved VERY heavily in games, or actually work close to or in design, it’s sort of hard to wrap your head around development processes. Especially when it’s an iterative process we invite people to see. It doesn’t happen a lot even with similar types of entertainment, or even quite a few titles. If you’ve been around you know how this stuff works and I think there’s enough people out there that “get it” where we’re not uncomfortable showing completely unfinished ideas.

Flux: On a related question, any idea if we’ll get some disclosure of more Witch doctor skills at some point? the WD fans are bitter that they only got 11 skills and wiz/barb had 50+ at blizzcon. Of course most of the rest will be +11% poison damage passives, but anyway…
Bashiok: Haha. To answer specifically, no I don’t know. The WD though is kind of a tough cookie to design for I think, conceptually it can be so many things and so locking that down is important. It’s much easier to say “magic caster go” or “physical guy go.” The WD is a bit more… open. Which probably makes it the most interesting to come up with stuff for. Of the announced classes that is.

Flux: The revealed WD skills don’t see to have that much obvious overlap. It’s not like there are 5 with fire damage that would be obvious ones to link with passives. Or multiple zombie skills to go with Zombie Wall. Amphibian mastery!
Bashiok: I love those frogs. WTB homing rune.

Flux: That would give them more range? The frogs didn’t seem to go far enough to be very homing before they blew up, when I used them at Blizzcon. A plague of toads chasing people around would be the coolest thing ever.
Bashiok: They’re just situational, they’re kind of a up-close AoE cone. For me they tend to hop just around enemies, so I’d like a homing rune.

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Update:

New Diablo III Art Director
Shortly after the announcement of Diablo III at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitationals, former Art Director Brian Morrisroe departed Blizzard to pursue a personal non-gaming business. We recently reported Brian and some friends launched Booyah.

Job openings for the Art Director position were posted at the Blizzard Jobs section for months. The long wait is over. The Art Director and other positions were removed from the jobs section. We contacted Blizzard Public Relations to find out the name of the new director, but at the moment it is kept under wraps. We will get back on this once the name is revealed. What matters is that Diablo III has a new Art Director to move forward.

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psychodude schreef op maandag 17 november 2008 @ 17:01:
Ach leuk, een nieuwe art director. Betwijfel of het in dit stadium van development nog een heel grote impact zal hebben echter met grotendeel van het spel waarschijnlijk toch al redelijk gezet. Denk niet dat we er veel door zullen zien veranderen.
Nee ik ook niet maar wel goed dat er weer iemand is, evenals voor de andere jobspots.

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TrailBlazer schreef op maandag 17 november 2008 @ 20:27:
Als de vacature maanden op de site heeft gestaan zal het wel niet heel erg urgent zijn geweest. Ik kan me namelijk niet voorstellen dat ze te weinig gegadigden hadden.
Nee precies, en de monster art etc liep gewoon door (of het moet heel oud geweest zijn).

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Update:

BlizzCast 6: Diablo III Q&A
Anthony Rivero (Senior Character Artist)

Bashiok: Hey everyone this is Bashiok your Diablo community manager. Today I’m going to be interviewing Anthony Rivero. He’s our Senior Character Artist on Diablo III. He also worked on Diablo II and the Diablo II expansion as a character artist. Anthony how’s it going?

Anthony: It’s going really good. I got my teeth drilled today but the Novocain has worn off, and I’m ready to go.

Bashiok: [laughs] Excellent. So you actually started at Blizzard; Blizzard was your first game company that you worked for as an artist…

Anthony: Actually no Gravity Incorporated was the first game company, if you could call it that, that I worked at. That was a little start up company in San Francisco, and that was around ’94-’95. They were making a real time 3D game called Banzai Bug, which we actually put out – hit the shelves and everything. Probably sold 5,000 copies but, you know, it was a good experience.

[ 33:25 ]
Bashiok: And when you actually came to Blizzard, how did that come about?

Anthony: I worked at Gravity for a little while and did some other startup stuff on the web, all of them real time 3D related projects. I was getting kind of tired of that, and I wanted to work for a cool game company really. I had applied at a few different places, LucasArts, and some places like that. I saw that Blizzard was looking for people, I saw an ad in Game Developer [Magazine] and so I worked really hard on a new demo reel, because I wanted to impress them. Sent it in and I got a call from Matt Householder, who was the producer at the time.

Bashiok: On Diablo II.

Anthony: On Diablo II, and I came in and interviewed and everything worked out and I got hired, and that was it. That was the beginning.

[ 34:25 ]
Bashiok: When you started working on Diablo II what were your first tasks?

Anthony: Yeah, let me see let me look at my notes. The first thing I worked on I remember asking my boss, “Hey what can I do?”, after being there a few days getting situated, and that was Erich Schaefer at the time. He and Stieg Hedlund said they needed some type of flying insect monster for Act 3, so I came up with the mosquito demon. What’s now called the mosquito demon, and that was the very first thing I worked on. It was kind of for a swampy area so I figured that was appropriate, a mosquitoish-type monster, and yeah that was the very first thing I worked on.

Bashiok: Ok and are there any other notable creatures or monsters you worked on for Diablo II specifically?

Anthony: Probably the most notable monster I worked on was Mephisto. Phil Shenk had concepted Mephisto, so I already had something to start with. I modeled and textured him and set up the initial rigging, and then handed that off to Cheeming Boey to animate. I actually helped a little bit with the effects as well, the effects that are at the base of Mephisto. He has like swirling smokey skulls that kind of swirl around the bottom of him as he’s moving around.

Bashiok: You mentioned you did multiple things on that character, and it works a little bit differently now…

Anthony: Yeah things back then were quite different. Most of the time the artist did everything from concept, to getting it you know with effects and everything in the game. So you did your concept stage, your modeling, your texturing, your rigging, and your animation and then effects. You know whatever skill effects you may have needed for the monster or for the character, and then got that in to the game. On some characters we decided ok let’s have one guy animate it, and I’ll model and texture it, and we started to do a little bit of that back then. It was very different from what we do now.

Bashiok: And now it’s a little bit more piecemeal where…

Anthony: Yeah now ... you know modern art production [and] pipelines for games are way more specialized. They have to be, it’s just the nature of getting things done. So definitely on our team we have things more broken down, not so much as some companies I hear about, but you know I do modeling and texturing mostly. I do some concept work. I help with effects sometimes if the guys need certain things modeled or textured for their effects. The animators pretty much animate all the time, but they also contribute concepts and stuff like that as well. Like sometimes we just want to brainstorm on new ideas, you know everyone will pitch in on the concept phase. But for the most part things are definitely more specialized; you know we have a team that’s just dedicated to rigging.

Bashiok: And rigging being?

Anthony: Setting up the characters with skeletons and enveloping the characters, and stuff like that. Making sure things are named properly so they export correctly, and all that kind of stuff.

[ 35:23 ]
Bashiok: Going back to your work on Diablo II, you did a little bit of work on Diablo II most of your work was actually on the expansion…

Anthony: Yeah, yeah I guess so. I mean I did some work on Diablo II, Mephisto, mosquito demon, the tentacle that comes out of the water and stuff, and some items that you’ll see in the inventory like Silks of the Victor. Then I moved on to the expansion pack, and we started with a small group of guys. It was myself, Tyler Thompson, Phil Shenk, and I think a couple other guys in the begging. As guys were getting freed from Diablo II they would move over to our team. So on that project I think I started working on the Druid pretty soon, like pretty much at the beginning. We were brainstorming on monsters and stuff like that, and Druid designs, but yeah that’s where I started. That was the first hero I worked on, which was a pretty massive undertaking for an inexperienced guy. Just because of the complexity of dealing with just pre-rendering sprites and then compositing them all together so that they work in every direction and all that kind of jazz.

Bashiok: So on that note would you say that working in 3D is more difficult than working 2D or both have their trade-offs?

Anthony: Oh, 3D is a lot easier. I actually came to Blizzard with no sprite experience; I was working in real time 3D before that. Now that has its inherent difficulties as well but it’s just so much easier to do things like create armor sets for characters and what not, for your heroes, like all that kind of stuff. You don’t have to worry about your data size in terms of you can only render so many sprites and fit them on a disc. You don’t have that limitation. Your limitation is mostly man power, and how much can you get done, and how much texture space do you have and stuff like that. But it’s a lot easier, like you can have … if you want your character or hero to be able to wield 50 different types of swords and 50 different axes and what not, that’s really easy to do. Your only limitation is how fast can you make them.

Bashiok: For the expansion, aside from the Druid, are there any other notable creatures…

Anthony: Well, like his pets, some of his effects, the Death Mauler, and you know I had a lot of management duties on the expansion so I was doing a lot of that as well.

Bashiok: What was your title for the expansion?

Anthony: Lead Character Artist.

Bashiok: And for Diablo II?

Anthony: Just an artist. Just Character Artist.

Bashiok: Working management in a character artist sense, what does that generally entail day to day?

Anthony: You’ll work on some assets but you’ll go around see what otherpeople are working on, give feedback where necessary, scheduling, a lot of meetings, working out issues between disciplines, things like that, communication with the programming team/designers. You know it depends it varies from day to day.

[ 38:39 ]
Bashiok: When you were working on the Diablo II units, what was design and creation process start to finish more or less, and how has that changed for Diablo III?

Anthony: Well the creation process was fairly different, like I said before, a lot of the artists did everything from the ground up. Then there was the sprite rendering part of it, you would have to pre-render your assets, and so basically you’d wait forever for all the stuff to render out, and with the heroes you’d have to render out all of their body parts separately. Things like the gloves and the boots, things that would change on the character. Then you would have to composite those together, for every direction he was rendered in for every frame of animation. So if he’s rendered in sixteen different directions and he has a … whatever, an eight frame animation, well you have to go through all that and composite all those separate elements in the right order for it to look correct on the screen. So you don’t have an arm that’s supposed to be behind the body in front of the body. And… that was a real tedious process.

So thankfully with real time 3D we don’t have to worry about that, and that’s kind of what I was getting at, with things being a lot easier. Also your animation frame count is not an issue any more. We can have nice fluid, smooth animations now whereas before they were really choppy because, you know, we were only given six or seven frames for a walk cycle. You need a lot more than that to make a convincing walk cycle, but you had to make it look its best within the limitations. So the technical part of it was very different, the creation part of it… I think back then things were a bit more tight-knit and collaborative I guess. You know because the team was smaller, you know when you came up with ideas or designs, there was just a lot more back and forth with designers and artists and programmers. It really felt like everybody was more cohesive in that sense, whereas now the department is bigger, there’s more people on the team, it’s more specialized. There still is that collaboration, I mean I can get up and go talk to anybody on the team that I want to, but when they’re way down the hall you start to get lazy and you don’t want to go chit-chat with somebody. You want to get your tasks done. The design process is a little different, but we still, when we come up with an asset now, there’s a particular monster needed for an act for instance, before we really start working on the asset we’ll get together with a designer, a technical artist, character artist, and producer, anybody that needs to be involved and we’ll talk about it and spin ideas around and make sure we can troubleshoot anything we can in the beginning stages. Come up with ideas for how it may die, what else can it do that would be really cool, and we didn’t have that kind of organized meeting when we were working on Diablo II or the expansion pack.

Bashiok: So how would it work, would the artist themselves come up with maybe a function for…

Anthony: It was more… I don’t want to say disorganized, but it was more freeform back then. It was kind of just a natural riffing off each other, and not an official kind of “Hey let’s get together and make sure we’ve discussed everything that needs to be discussed” and sign off on that and move forward. It was just more organic.

Bashiok: I think that’s generally how game design has evolved for most companies. It seems like game design back in ’95 to 2000 was more, I don’t know the game industry itself was a little bit less refined.

Anthony: Yeah definitely, but there was a real charm that came with that too.

[ 41:56 ]
Bashiok: For sure. So as a Senior Character Artist on Diablo III what are your main responsibilities?

Anthony: They’re pretty straight forward. I mean in the beginning of this, I’ve been on this project for a while, and you know I was helping a lot with helping to get art in to the engine in its very early stages. Jason Regier, our Lead Programmer, has been working on this engine for quite some time, so I used to help him get assets in to the game to help him figure some things out. I helped develop the system that we still use, although it’s more refined now, for displaying the armor on the heroes. The various types of armor and things like that. Nowadays pretty straight forward modeling, texturing, some concept work. You know, help other artists if they need help, but most of the guys are kick ass artists and they teach me more than I teach them, so you know that’s changed a lot too.

[ 46:15 ]
Bashiok: Are there any creatures that are announced that we can talk about that you’ve provided some modeling for or have contributed to?

Anthony: The female witch doctor’s heavy armor set, her look is my design and work.

Bashiok: That was seen at WWI, the large feather headdress look.

Anthony: Yes, yes. And the scavenger monster.

Bashiok: Those are the little burrowing dudes.

Anthony: Yeah the little burrowing guys. The Corpulent, the guy that blows himself up, I did some retexturing work on that. Let’s see, the tree that explodes, I helped with some effects work on that. I helped provide some modeling/texturing needs for the effects team. The shaman goatman I built and textured, the other goatmen I did some touch up on, their textures. The ghosts, I created and modeled and textured the ghosts.

Bashiok: From the announcement video the orbs they were spawning out of.

Anthony: Yeah exactly. I think that’s all I can think of right now.

Bashiok: On the website, we plan to have at least, the ... pretty much we’re showing a new monster for everybody listening to BlizzCast right now, is the Malformed. I believe you worked on those quite a bit.

Anthony: Yes I did. I modeled and textured those off of Josh Tallman’s initial concept design.

[ 47:20 ]
Bashiok: Yeah we should have some concepts. If you’re listening to this on iTunes go ahead and check out the actual BlizzCast website for that artwork.

I think that about wraps it up. I want to thank Anthony Rivero for talking to us.

Anthony: You’re welcome.

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Updates:
28-06-'08 - Opening tweede deel Diablo3 topic nog aan flinke updates onderhevig.
29-06-'08 - Sectie Content toegevoegd.
30-06-'08 - Sectie Algemene Info uitgebreid. Plaatje van Witch doctor gefixed. Sectie Aanvullende Info toegevoegd. Topic over 2 posts verdeeld.
31-06-'08 - TS Code opgeschoond.
03-07-'08 - Aanvullende Info sectie vernieuwd/updated. Character Classes aangevuld.
25-07-'08 - Wallpaper toegevoegd aan de Content Sectie.
04-08-'08 - Fixed Skills links gelukkig door iemand op photobucket gezet. Skills UI pic niet kunnen redden.
15-08-'08 - Nieuwe Wallpaper toegevoegd.
05-09-'08 - Diablo Timeline aan de links sectie toegevoegd andere updates volgen later. News Updates Sectie toegevoegd, alle updates bij elkaar!
20-10-'08 - Character: Wizard toegevoegd + Skilltrees ipv skills.
29-10-'08 - Nieuwe screens toegevoegd!
20-11-'08 - Links subsectie verhuisd naar de sectie 'Aanvullende Info' + minor changes.

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Anoniem: 247627 schreef op zaterdag 22 november 2008 @ 11:04:
is de release date al vastgesteld ? kan niet wachten !
Zoals trail al zegt, 'It's done when it's done' .
TrailBlazer schreef op zaterdag 22 november 2008 @ 12:37:
Mischien idee om een topic warning op te nemen dat de release date is when it is done. Echt om de 50 posts komt er weer iemand langs die dit vraagt.
Mss idd wel een idee, zal ook eraan proberen te denken dit onder elke update te vermelden :)

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Nyarlathotep schreef op zaterdag 22 november 2008 @ 21:15:
09/09/09 lijkt mij de meest logische datum :P
Mijn theory: Diablo 3 wordt DE game der games en zal perfect worden. Echter bestaan er geen perfecte games allen maar near perfect dus hij zal nooit gereleased worden. Sad but true...

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Ed_L schreef op zondag 23 november 2008 @ 18:59:
Vergeet niet dat ze SC2 in episodes gaan releasen en zo het product uitsmeren over misschien wel heel 2009.
Ja maar D3 willen ze dat misschien ook meegeven.
Dit heb ik alleen niet gepost omdat er erg veel speculatie in zit en tussen neus en lippen door in een interview ter sprake is gekomen:
Blizzard have not really discussed any expansion plans for Diablo 3 yet, which isn’t really surprising considering that the main game isn’t even in Alpha stage yet. The same could be said about StarCraft II up until BlizzCon 2008. Blizzard had mentioned nothing of additional expansions of the game before October.

With StarCraft II, the team have created a plethora of lore and content for the game, and they came to the conclusion that squeezing this down to 10 missions for each of the three races would seriously hamper the epic scope of the new RTS. As a bit of a background to this; they had originally planned two expansions for the game, much like Brood Wars, just adding a second one on top of it. Instead of squeezing the game down, or pushing the production time up another 2 years, they decided to push the story contents out over the two planned expansions, and hence they announced the StarCraft Trilogy at BlizzCon. They would most likely not have revealed their plans for having two expansions until well after release if this had not come to pass.

As Blizzard is now looking to release content on a regular basis, like World of WarCraft and “one expansion per year” goal, it would be UNLIKELY that they would do just one (or no) expansion to Diablo 3. They have already hinted that the story line will tie up loose threads, and make it possible to add new content, be it games, expansions, books or comics to the Diablo Universe.

Now, MTV talked to Mike Morhaime about World of WarCraft expansions, and he said:
I don’t think Blizzard will ever be able to do sequels of products like a “Diablo III” or “Diablo IV” on an annual basis, but we might be able to do expansions to those games close to annually.

Hmmm, is there more profit? In an ideal scenario, I think we’d probably do [expansions] a little bit more often than we’ve been able to do. But I agree — I think putting too many expansions out too frequently, you probably get to the point where people do need to start taking a little break.


Now, all I’m saying is: It’s quite hard to make expansions annually, if you ever only planned to make one, or none.

We are going to se at least two Diablo III expansions!

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Ed_L schreef op zondag 23 november 2008 @ 22:52:
Er is niets mis met expansions. Blizzard heeft er patent op. Brood Wars, The Frozen Throne, Lord of Destruction, Burning Crusade... zo ongeveer alle Blizzard games worden uitgebreid. Als ze de waarde maar netjes intact houden is het prima. Ik zou er niet mee kunnen leven dat SC2 50 euro zou kosten voor 1 campaign en vervolgens 20-30 euro voor de andere twee campaigns. Hetzelfde geldt bij D3 voor aanvullende rassen. Het 'oude' expansion plan lijkt me iig prima.
Nee precies en volgens de interviewers, die op blizzcon hebben mogen spelen, voelt het erg vertrouwd aan en doet het meteen aan D2 denken. Zolang dat goed zit hebben ze sowieso hier een koper zitten hoor ;)
Trouwens is er ook niks mis met specula(as)(tie), laat de rumormill maar draaien dat hoort gewoon bij Blizzard games :D

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Update

Blizzard Does Not Have all Classes and Act 1 Done
There has apparently been a misunderstanding growing from one of the interviews Rob Pardo did at WWI 2008, which would imply that Blizzard have all the classes and most of the game ready to play in their office. Besides the fact that they mentioned the BlizzCon 2008 build as being about a month behind their actual work, some people still think a lot more work is done, and Blizzard is just keeping their great game back to spite the fans. Bashiok tries to clarify by basically saying that “playable” does not really mean it’s good enough to show. In layman terms: they might have non-animated figures without textures and gameplay spells without graphics on an huge Act 1 without terrain or textures for most of it.

Well, most likely they would have a lot of partial things done a bit of everywhere, but anyone familiar with game development would know this. The whole point is, that Blizzard is not holding back things from us because they want to point and laugh at us, but because they are busy working on the game. Things like WWI and BlizzCon takes a lot of time, and if it’s a bit quiet right now, then that’s just great news for getting the actual GAME out quicker.

Bashiok:Just to clarify this was an interview with Rob at the announcement of the game at WWI, and just to avoid any conclusions drawn without watching the video here’s the quote:

“I think most of the other classes are actually playable back at the home office, but I’m not going to tell you about them today. And most of, kind of the first act, is also pretty playable, but we still have a long ways to go.”

So you’re quite a bit off from “all classes” and “all of act one” being finished. It’s really insubstantial information though, because anyone that understands the Blizzard development process and core values we’re all about iterating. It’s not done until it’s done.

As far as information releases go and current development everyone on the team is working really hard on the game, and it’s progressing really well, but we’re just kind of in a weird spot as far as new information releases go right now.

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Ed_L schreef op donderdag 04 december 2008 @ 23:17:
Ah, om het publiek te masseren op een releasedate die wat verder in de tijd ligt dan we zouden willen?
Zou kunnen, want nu krijg je idd wel mensen die gaan speculeren over een datum en je weet hoe de rumor mills zijn van Blizzard games.. hi-tech zodat ze zoveel mogelijk onwetende zielen bereiken dat het vanzelfsprekend wordt aangenomen dat het die datum wel eens zou kunnen zijn :P

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Pheno79 schreef op vrijdag 05 december 2008 @ 07:20:
Blizzard heeft geen releasedates die al jaren van te voren bekend zijn. It's done when it's done. Een pluspunt, het duurt iig nooit zo lang als Duke Nukem Forever, maar toch dat wachten is altij dkilling, al zou het volgende week uitkomen ;)
Ja precies, als je er dan niet aan kan voldoen moet je het weer verschuiven etc etc
Daar worden de fans alleen maar geïrriteerd van iit als je geen realedata hebt.

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