Diablo Computer Game Is Back

Diablo III is a horror role playing game that takes place in the fantasy world of Sanctuary. Diablo III was released on May 15, 2012 for the Mac and PC and is the third installment in the series created by the game developer Blizzard.

As an online game, Diablo III requires an internet connection. Players must also create an online account on Blizzard’s battle.net. Since the first Diablo was released in 1997 and Diablo II’s release in 2000, die-hard players have been anticipating this game’s release for over ten years. Despite my personal excitement I will try to be objective.

Diablo III has five different character classes to choose from: barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk or demon hunter. Each new character starts outside the small village of New Tristram and has to fight off the undead swarming the town to gain entry. Players will recognize a few familiar NPC’s, or non player characters, and several places from the first two games. Having played the first two games, I found parts of the story predictable, but several times I was surprised by interesting plot twists.

Diablo III has a similar play style to its predecessors. The player clicks with their left mouse button on the ground where they want to travel. When they come across an enemy they left click on the enemy to attack. The right mouse button and the number keys are used to activate Special abilities.

The skill system for Diablo III has been improved over previous versions. Instead of 60 different skills for each class, they break it down into six different skills categories. Each category includes skills and modifiers to those skills which keep selection quick while at the same time giving players a multitude of choices.

The game graphics have also been improved over the first two games. The graphic improvements from Diablo 1 to Diablo II pale in comparison to the leap from Diablo II to Diablo III. Diablo 1 and 2 had 2D graphics and Diablo II’s perspective view made the game seem 3D, but it really wasn’t. The 3D environments in Diablo III are rendered beautifully.

Several environmental effects like fog and blistering winds, along with the intricate detail of the terrain and the environmental sounds, create an immersive environment that pulls the player in.

The game mechanics of Diablo III have been improved. In Diablo II you needed to carry scrolls around that would either teleport the player to town or identify items. Blizzard noticed the redundancy. Players can identify items just by right clicking on them and can now teleport to town after reaching a certain point early in the game.

Diablo III’s new auction house was a smart move by Blizzard. It fixes the Diablo II’s spam problem that prompted players to go to third party websites, give their credit card information to strangers and hope that those strangers met players in game give out the items that were purchased. Blizzard’s auction house provides players a way to get equipment faster without having to grind, or play long hours, to get them.

Another improvement to the game is the friends system. This new streamlined system, similar to World of Warcraft, allows players to use their battle.net account to manage their friends list. Players can join each other at any time either in the game lobby or in the middle of a dungeon with just a couple of clicks.

Before the game was released, I had the opportunity to play the open Beta test. Blizzard opened the game to the public for a weekend last month to test the load on their servers. Despite their efforts, Blizzard’s servers weren’t running smoothly until 11:45 p.m. on the day the game went live.

While this inconvenience was minor, it does bring up another subject. Diablo II’s offline mode allowed play without an internet connection. Diablo III’s lack of an offline mode has caused many complaints on the Diablo III forums. Diablo III Players with a slow internet connection will have trouble playing the game to its full potential. Diablo III also uses a lot of system resources. Make sure you go to the Diablo III website to check that your system has the resources to run the game.

Diablo III can be purchased from most retailers that sell computer games and online from Blizzard’s battle.net website at http://eu.battle.net/en/. The game costs around $60 and is well worth it in my opinion. For more information on Diablo III you can visit the official website Here.

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.