After weeks of speculation, Blizzard has officially announced Diablo III at its World Wide Invitational event in Paris.
Said to feature more quests than ever, the anticipated sequel will stick to its roots by being "first and foremost a cooperative game."
Diablo III will feature old standards such as the quotable Deckard Cain, as well as a new version of Tristram and a fresh class dubbed the Witch Doctor. The jungle-born warrior will use ancient tribal magic to cast disease and mind control spells, in addition to utilizing pets such as locust swarms and mongrels.
The game will also include several control improvements, including full zoom capability and a hotbar to easily access skills. Players will be able to quickswap between skills using the mouse wheel or tab key.
Armor will now be class-specific, designed to provide each character a unique look. Classes themselves are more diverse, as it was noted that there will be female versions of both the Barbarian and Witch Doctor.
In a demo of the Barbarian class, the company noted that less of an emphasis will be placed on potions for health. Instead, red orb-like items will drop that immediately recover health once the player picks them up.
Environmental destruction was also shown off, with a character at one point busting through a solid wall. The environment can also be used to kill enemies, as in the case of objects that fell from a wall, killing a group of monsters.
Enemies were shown to be larger in scale than in past games, with giant evil trees and a massive demon called a Siegebreaker.
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.
- Explore a fully-realized Sanctuary--the living, breathing gothic fantasy world of Diablo III rendered in gorgeous 3D.
- Battle the unholy forces of the Burning Hells with all-new character classes like the otherworldly Witch Doctor, or with re-imagined warriors from Diablo's past: such as the fierce Barbarian.
- Rain Hell on your enemies wielding the interactive environment as a weapon: lay cunning traps, turn destructible objects against your foes, and use environmental obstacles to your advantage--all powered by the Havoc physics system.
- Experience the intensity of multiplayer Diablo III over an all-new, wickedly-enhanced Battle.net platform with numerous enhancements to make connecting with your friends easier--and cooperative gameplay more fun.
Blizzard's Diablo 3 FAQ page is still acting wonky, or if you're too impatient to read through everything here are the highlights:
- Return to Sanctuary, the same world as the previous 2 games. The game takes place 20 years after Diablo 2.
- There are 5 character classes in the game. We know two so far: a new Witch Doctor class, and a completely redone Barbarian class. Male and female options for all classes.
- Havok-powered physics
- Building on previous random environments, Blizzard promises "a host of new ways to create random scripted events throughout the game."
- Upgraded Battle.net
- Deckard Cain returns, but is noted as the "first victim" of the new horrors
- Plan is to release the game "simultaneously in as many regions as possible, and to localize the game in several languages." The game will ship for Mac and Windows simultaneously.