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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Diablo 3, the game we have waited a decade for.

Diablo III picks up the story twenty years after the events of Diablo II. Mephisto, Diablo, and Baal have been defeated, but the Worldstone, which once shielded the inhabitants of the world of Sanctuary from the forces of both Heaven and Hell, has been destroyed, and evil once again stirs in Tristram. Playing as a hero from one of five distinct character classes, players will acquire powerful items, spells, and abilities as they explore new and familiar areas of Sanctuary and battle hordes of demons to safeguard the world from the horrors that have arisen.

Game 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-customization options for the ultimate action RPG experience
  • Multiplayer functionality over Battle.net with support for cooperative and competitive play

An interview with one of the D3 producer:
GameSpot: You joined Blizzard in 2006, but you're no stranger to the role-playing genre, having worked at Interplay and helping form Troika. What does experience with other development teams and a fresh set of eyes bring when you begin working on a game like Diablo III?
Leonard Boyarsky: I can't speak to how other people have approached the franchise in the past, because I didn't work with any of the previous designers, but when I approached it, I came in looking at it from a deeper story standpoint than I think it had in the past. Shockingly, I found out there was a deeper story there; it just really wasn't presented in the best possible format. There was huge dialogue, paragraphs and paragraphs of dialogue when you talk to an NPC, and it didn't grab me the way it could have in previous iterations. I came in, and [vice president of creative development] Chris Metzen and I had a lot of conversations about bringing the emotional resonance to the series. It was all there in the background, and we just wanted to bring it to the forefront.
GS: You've worn a lot of different hats in your development career: project lead, art director, designer, and writer. How has your own role flexibility helped with working across teams with different tasks?
LB: I think I speak pretty good artist [laughs] because I've had that experience in the past. I think it helps to have that experience when you talk about things you want to see in the world and your ideas. It also helps to know what is and what isn't possible.
GS: What are the non-negotiable elements that make up a Diablo game?
LB: For us, it's not so much on the story side; like I said, I feel like that's where Diablo had the most room for improvement, on story delivery. The action RPG side was where I think all the checkboxes were. It had to have a great item game, it had to have unrelenting action, it had to have mouse-breaking capabilities, it had to have all those things that people remember so fondly from the first two games, and I think I'm pretty confident we've accomplished that and brought it even further.
GS: Are those expectations challenges or opportunities? Were there any off-limit elements of the franchise when you started working on Diablo III, or was all previous work up for potential change?
LB: Everything was open. There were obviously things set in stone in terms of story and what the world was, but we wanted to open up the world into a lot of different areas and bring the story into some new areas. I think it was more of a mood and feel thing, where we ran into areas that we didn't want to touch, and it was more us searching around and trying to find that Diablo sweet spot for our story delivery and our tone. We knew what we wanted; we had a really good idea of what it was, but for us to put it down in a game and have other people feel that was the biggest challenge, I think. It took a lot of iteration. We were changing dynamics, the player now spoke a lot more, we delivered dialogue in a different manner; just all that stuff.
GS: Is that a constant challenge for you as developers--understanding the intentions of what you're trying to achieve, but not knowing how the audience will receive the content?
LB: I think early on it was a bigger issue, and through the iteration process we've really dialled it in. I think that's one of the things that we're fortunate of here at Blizzard; we have time to iterate and have great designers on other teams. Any game you're working on, just by the nature of the beast, you get too close to it to actually be able to see what you need to see. To have fresh eyes to look at it and give you feedback is invaluable. I think the challenge with Diablo that I've found, that's been a little bit more than some of the other games I've worked on, is the economy of delivery systems. We don't have a huge amount of dialogue with which to convey ideas, we don't have a lot of the RPG conventions that I fell back on in the past, like dialogue trees, to really convey a lot of the stuff, so for us to convey the mood and vibe in a really succinct manner was a really big challenge, but I think after a lot of iteration and a lot of great feedback from other designers I think we've pretty much hit it.


  1. I can not wait for this game to come out... It is going to be awesome!

  2. Looks awesome! Might have to get this game once it comes out,

  3. the beta is promising, too bad it only takes like 20 minutes to beat :\