been over a decade since the release of Diablo II, and while we
learned of a Diablo III in the works a few years ago, there
hasn't been much talk in the way of specific new game changes -- until now.
Blizzard's Diablo is a series of dark fantasy-themed action
role-playing games. Diablo was first released in 1996, and Diablo
II was released in 2000. Diablo III was announced on
June 28, 2008.
Blizzard has a lot of changes in the works, but one of the most notable
features is the requirement to play online. New Battle.net and Auction House
features have made it so that players cannot play Diablo
III offline according to 1UP, and the main reason for this is of
course authentication (which really means more money and less piracy). In
addition to this reason, Blizzard is offering a slew of new game features that
the company feels everyone needs to experience in order to enjoy the game to
its full extent.
According to Rob Pardo, executive vice president of game design at Blizzard, Diablo
II's multiplayer Battle.net platform had some issues that
needed to be resolved. For instance, there was a lack of persistence in online
characters, which expire if not played on a regular basis. Also, single player
characters had divided access to multiplayer mode, and the system for finding
and making friends online was inefficient. Player-killing and cheating were
also huge problems that needed to be addressed.
Now, Blizzard is fixing all of the above with a revamped Battle.net system that
keeps Diablo III players connected at all times. Some of the new
features include a persistent friends list, persistent characters that are
stored server-side, persistent party system, cross-game chat via the RealID
system (allowing Diablo III players to chat with friends on
other Blizzard games like World of Warcraft and StarCraft II), dynamic drop-in/out for co-op,
player-versus-player/public game matchmaking, a larger item stash that can be
shared with up to 10 of your characters, and the Banner system, which allows
players to display their skills in the way of Achievements earned, PVP
victories, and other stats tracked.
In addition to the above-mentioned changes, the Auction House has received a
few updates of its own. The Auction House's features include an interface that
can be pulled up anywhere, auto-bidding/instant buyout price (of course),
smart-search mode to automatically loot appropriate items for your characters,
listing fees/sale fees (and a number of free listings), optional currency-based
Auction House, and nearly everything from gold to items (and even characters,
later on) can be sold. In addition, Blizzard itself will not post items for
sale in the Auction House (it's for player trading only), characters in the
hardcore difficulty mode cannot use the currency-based Auction House (only
in-game gold), and if an item is altered in a patch later on, Blizzard will not
provide a refund.
While the online-only requirement may anger customers who don't have an
Internet connection, or those who like to play the game offline on airplanes,
Pardo noted that the list of new game features will outweigh the negatives.
"I want to play Diablo III on my laptop in a plane, but,
well, there are other games to play for times like that," said Pardo.
One new Auction House game feature that is sure to lure in new and old Diablo gamers
alike is the ability to sell Diablo
III loot for real money reports Kotaku.
The Auction House will allow Diablo III players to buy and
sell loot for real cash instead of virtual gold, if they choose to do so.
Diablo III players can partake in anonymous transactions, buying
gems, armor, weapons, runestones, etc. with the option to auto-bid or instant
buy any of these items. If a seller chooses cash instead of virtual gold,
Blizzard will charge sellers a listing fee and a nominal fixed transaction fee
if the item has a buyer. The cash proceeds are then either applied to an
e-balance, allowing players to buy other Blizzard products, or a third-party
payment provider (who is unannounced for now) that will let players cash out
Blizzard said that incorporating real-world money to the game will add depth to
the long term game, and will also help monetize the game.
While there is no set release date for Diablo III quite
yet, the new sequel seems like it will not disappoint. Michael McWhertor, senior
editor at Kotaku, attended
a hands-on session with the Diablo III beta at Blizzard's
headquarters in Irvine, California, and noted that the new features and levels
leading to the Skeleton King are entertaining and true to Diablo form.
A few changes to enhance gameplay, however, are the elimination of talent trees
and the addition of new character classes. Instead of talent trees, characters
can achieve active and passive skills every level or so, utilizing a set number
of skills at once. As for character classes, the new set consists of the
Barbarian, Witch Doctor, Wizard, Monk and the Demon Hunter.
Blizzard hasn't announced when the game's beta will begin or end, but it will
be available for PC and Mac.
quote: "I want to play Diablo III on my laptop in a plane, but, well, there are other games to play for times like that," said Pardo.
quote: It is a reality that any game with an open trading system is going to enable people to buy and sell stuff for real cash via 3rd party systems like paypal. In the case of diablo 2 it was fairly widespread. I dont see anything wrong with blizzard attempting to centralize it to improve player experience. Afterall there's nothing to stop people from resorting to 3rd party methods if blizzard charges too much or whatever.If you are simply opposed to people spending money to buy stuff in game then I dont know what to tell you. This is the digital age, embrace it or be left behind.
quote: What about when Blizzards servers are eventually taken down for the game?
quote: Starcraft is what? 11-12 years old? And people are still playing it.
quote: China is largely a third-world wasteland
quote: It's a factual statement
quote: China has half of the world's population
quote: The problem is that people feel betrayed.
quote: which was for many the most important feature of the game
quote: Blizzard has made another WoW.
quote: They can call it Diablo 3 - but it bears little resemblance to the tradition of D1/D2.
quote: if i find a dungeon-crawl game even half as compelling as diablo3--but available for offline play; and without the "gotta pay for items" BS that blizzard LOVES--it will still be a better experience.
quote: What people that unwittingly upvoted you do not realize is the vast majority (%90+) of Wow content is solo-able. You do not have to group if you dont want to. So this is just you whining about a non-existing problem.
quote: I ran away from WoW, and online games in general, because most of them are designed for group play. I don't want to play with a group. I don't want to rearrange my real life schedule just to get in on a 6-hour, 25-man raid, only to have some idiot pull a Leeroy Jenkins. Online games need to find a balance of multi and solo play. I hear the new Star Wars MMORPG will try to address this.
quote: Online games need to find a balance of multi and solo play.
quote: "rip Diablo III because no offline play
quote: This is a social game. But just because it requires online access doesn't mean you have to play with other people. You can still be an angry loner all by yourself in a passworded game. And I bet that almost everyone here complaining about the internet requirement will buy D3 anyway just like they did with Starcraft 2.
quote: Sucks that someone has gone to the effort of giving you -1.
quote: For the record i am going to boycott D3 because of the only online gaming... for me thats a total deal breaker.
quote: once again Blizzard's accountants are ruining another quality brand.
quote: and at the end of the day if another company takes note then you will benefit too.
quote: It's 2011. Why would you want to play anything "offline" when we're all connected 24/7 anyway?
quote: While the online-only requirement may anger customers who don't have an Internet connection
quote: While I'm not faulting Blizzard, I call it like I see it. Money has gone to their heads and they are sacrificing content in their games
quote: The thing is though, Valve left it all up to the community. Okay, they do host a store that you can buy items from Valve directly through.
quote: Sacrificing content? I don't know any game developer that releases content like Blizzard. It costs a lot of money to provide the kind of service that WoW has. I play 3 other MMO's besides WoW, and none of them come close to the massive content patches and game upgrades that Blizzard does with WoW.
quote: For example they just added a feature that allows players from completely different game servers to group up together and fight in the same dungeon instance. Cool for me because my best friend and I are on different realms.
quote: The last main patch had a new end-game raid instance as well as adding HUNDREDS of new armors, weapons, trade items and profession enhancements to the game. All in a single patch. Do you see anyone else out there cranking out that much content?
quote: These are all just your opinions with nothing of substance. Content is content, just because you don't like it, doesn't invalidate what I said. You hate WoW and Blizzard, and you haven't even bothered to hide it. Everything you said is so tainted I'm not going to bother countering it because it would be a waste of time. Just a hater.
quote: If what you said was true, WoW wouldn't have some 14 million players or whatever the hell it's up to now.
quote: Raids used to be 40-man and now they're what...10 or 25? You really believe it was changed to make the game easier? No, it was changed because it's nearly impossible to find 40 willing players to raid on all but a few of the realms.
quote: The writing is on the wall but I'm sure wowtards like yourself will continue playing until they milk you for every last cent your parents are worth. lol
quote: Case in point. 40 man raids were eliminated in WoW's very first expansion pack. They were certainly not "bleeding" subscribers then, and the decision had nothing to do with player retention. Subscription rates went up from what they were in "vanilla" WoW by a huge percentage.
quote: And you say I made ad hominem attacks? I haven't lived with my parents in almost 15 years. And playing WoW is far more economical than buying $60 console titles several times a month.
quote: I don't know why I'm bothering to debate you, since anyone who enjoys the game is a "wowtard" that you'll just insult out of hand.
quote: So what exactly is the problem there?
quote: I didn't WANT to play it online.
quote: Forcing me to be online at all times when I play it is unacceptable, and defeats the concept behind the wildly-successful D1 and D2.
quote: will they be charging a monthly fee to connect?
quote: A few changes to enhance gameplay, however, are the elimination of talent trees and the addition of new character classes. Instead of talent trees, characters can achieve active and passive skills every level or so, utilizing a set number of skills at once.
quote: Diablo III players can partake in anonymous transactions, buying gems, armor, weapons, runestones, etc. with the option to auto-bid or instant buy any of these items. If a seller chooses cash instead of virtual gold, Blizzard will charge sellers a listing fee and a nominal fixed transaction fee if the item has a buyer. The cash proceeds are then either applied to an e-balance, allowing players to buy other Blizzard products, or a third-party payment provider (who is unannounced for now) that will let players cash out their money.