Blizzard recently announced Diablo III. The first Diablo was essentially a dungeon crawl in the classic sense: you create a character and increase in power by killing monsters. After you kill them, you loot their bodies for gold and items. The game had an interesting backstory and the dungeon levels were well designed. It had only three character classes, but had great reply value-it takes a long time to tire of killing and looting.
Diablo II improved on the original by adding better graphics and more character classes. It provided large gaming areas for killing and looting; it also provided yet another interesting plot to provide some additional motivation for killing and looting. Blizzard came out with an expansion set (Diablo did have a third party expansion set) that added a new area as well as new character classes. While I played the game solo sometimes, the real fun was in teaming up with friends. Since these were typically my D&D buddies, we quickly fell into our usual roles. For example, Ron would always be gathering loot, buying, selling and gambling. He is the merchant of the group. I usually played the assassin. I’m always the killer in the group. I’d loot from time to time, but for me the real joy was in watching the bodies pile up. Of course, all the monsters are bad-so they are in need of killing. Dave was usually the magic user (sorry, AD&D flashback there). Sadly for Dave, the monsters trying to escape from me would run into him. Since Ron would either be picking gold off the dead or back in town selling and shopping, Dave would usually die fairly often. This was, I must admit, not his fault. Eventually he learned to deal with my bloodlust and Ron’s loot fixation and managed to avoid dying.
Since Diablo and Diablo II were so good (Diablo II is still installed on my Mac and PC), I am really looking forward to Diablo III. I played WoW for over a year, but eventually found that things just took way to long. Believe it or not, I actually am a casual gamer-I spend most of my time running, writing, teaching and taking Isis to the dog park. Diablo II was always great for playing an hour or two with the guys and it looks like Diablo III will have that same sort of fast paced action.
As far as the classes go, Blizzard has only released information about the Barbarian and the Witchdoctor (seems a lot like the Necromancer). The Barbarian seems like the original-he yells, he jumps, he pulls the jaws off big monsters. The witch docter can cast fire and disease spells, plus summon pets. I do hope the assassin returns-that is my favorite class. Blizzard does allow players to switch their characters’ sexes. In previous version, each class had a fixed sex. For example, the assassin was a female.
I’ve just seen the gameplay video, but the graphics look good. The game still seems to preserve the Diablo feel-only with better graphics.
I’m stoked for it, but I expect that there will be quite a wait. Blizzard makes great games, but greatness takes time.