(Source: Blizzard)

  (Source: Blizzard)

  (Source: Blizzard)
Blizzard ends the suspense and announces Diablo III

Blizzard Entertainment today confirmed it is working on Diablo III, a video game long rumored to be in production with little chatter from Blizzard.  Announced for the first time during Blizzard's 2008 WorldWide Invitational (WWI), the company also provided a handful of game details to help draw interest to the game.

Even though Diablo, Mephisto and Baal were slain in Diablo II, Tristam is again under siege by evil creatures that players will have to eliminate.  The game is being designed to focus more on cooperative play instead of soloing through the world.

As expected, cooperative and P2P gameplay will be available online using, Blizzard's free online service that launched with the original Diablo in 1997.  The only game that hasn't used has been World of Warcraft, so unconfirmed rumors reporting Diablo III would be subscription-based have been debunked.

DIII gamers will play in a new 3D graphics environment based on Havok physics, where they will be able to interact and even destroy the environment.  Diablo III will also have a random-level generator to make each new level unique.  

Similar to Dungeon Siege and other newer role-playing games, the latest Diablo will offer full zoom capability and a customizable hotbar to help access inventory and skills.  There are no more health or mana potions, as players will now have to walk across floating orbs to get their health benefit.  Armor will also be class specific unlike in Diablo or Diablo II.

There will be five different classes in Diablo III, with the barbarian class making a comeback, using Cleave, Ground Stomp, Seismic Slam and Whirlwind.  A new class will be made, Witch Doctor, who will be able to use ancient tribal magic to help slay enemies.  He'll be able to use Mass Confusion, Soul Harvest, Firebomb, LocustSwarm and Horrify while also having abilities similar to the Necromancer from Diablo II, such as summoning pets.

Deckard Cain, a central figure in the first two games, will make a triumphant comeback into Diablo III, though his specific role is unknown.

Gamers became excited about a possible third Diablo video game after Blizzard acquired the domain name in May.  The team responsible for creating the previous Diablo video games, programmers from Blizzard North, has seen a mass exodus to a company they created in 2003, so it will be a new team creating Diablo III.

Diablo II and Diablo II:  Lord of Destruction have both sold more than 20 million copies since their release in 2000 and 2001.

Blizzard has launched the Diablo III web site and an official new trailer for the video game can be found by clicking here.

The game will be released for both the PC and Mac, but a potential release date for Diablo III has not been announced.  It is likely Diablo III will release after Starcraft II, which also has not been given a solid release date.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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