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Diablo 3

Diablo 3 is an action RPG where players choose one of six classes to crawl through dungeons and defeat the minions of hell. A huge catalog of skills and randomized equipment drops enable players to customize their playstyle.

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Playerbase: High
Type: Action RPG
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Pros: +Competitive ladder system. +Huge number of skills for each class. +Cooperative play with up to 4 players.
Cons: -Highly repetitive gameplay. -Limited PvP system. -No server finder.

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Overview

Diablo 3 Overview

Diablo 3 is an action RPG that sends players through hell and heaven to kill Diablo and his demon-spawn. Six character classes offer unique playstyles that complement each other in parties of four players. Learn your character's talents and customize your skill layout to slaughter endless waves of hell’s minions. Items possess random stat bonuses that further refine your characters build, such as critical hit bonuses, elemental bonuses, and random properties. Elite enemies challenge players with specialized skill combinations and must be tactfully combated to successfully defeat them. A random level generator and random encounter generator ensures that each dungeon crawl is a different experience. Diablo 3 promotes player cooperation, allowing players to partner with up to three other players. Furthermore, players are able to test their skills in a mode called Brawling, which pits players against other players in the PvP arena.

Diablo 3 Key Features:

  • Numerous Builds and Playstyles – easy to swap skill sets that add up to an innumerable number of builds and playstyles for every class.
  • Competitive Ladder System – play against other players in the Brawling game mode.
  • Level Generator – changes dungeon layout and monster encounters for every game.
  • Random Equipment Drops  equipment have random stats so that no two gear pieces are exactly the same.
  • Special Elite Mobs  more difficult enemies that possess up to five special abilities and challenge players to fight tactically.

Diablo 3 Screenshots

Diablo 3 Featured Video

Classes

Diablo 3 Classes

  • Witch Doctor able to communicate with spirits, the Witch Doctor summons the souls of the dead to fight for him. Surrounded by rotting flesh and vermin, the Witch Doctor defeats demons by chanting curses, hurtling poisons, and crippling enemies from afar.  
  • Barbarian strong as stone and as immense as giants, the Barbarian slaughters the onslaught of hell’s minions with brute force. The Barbarian prefers close combat, using mighty weapons and becoming stronger with every subsequent strike.
  • Demon Hunter swearing vengeance on demonspawn, the Demon Hunter reigns destruction by fast-firing their crossbow and is adept enough to dual-wield the ranged weapon. They employ traps, grenades, and hand-thrown weapons to cut down hordes of minions.
  • Monk honing their minds and bodies, the Monk channels divine powers through sheer will. Their knuckles harbor waves of destruction, and crescent kicks along with elemental attacks shatter any demon unfortunate enough to be in their way.
  • Wizard channeling arcane energy, Wizards manipulate the forces of nature to freeze, burn, trick, and deflect hellspawn. They make up for their weak defenses by turning demons to ash through powerful destructive spells.
  • Crusader holy warriors trained to channel sacred powers, the Crusader uses flails and immense shields to slaughter the demons of hell. They can cast destructive, divine spells and draw enemies towards them while buffing allies.

Full Review

Diablo 3 Review

By Sean Sullivan

I was awake until the sun rose the night Diablo 3 released, clogging the server queue with friends by impatiently pressing “Login” until the game finally accepted my credentials. For the next two months I lived in Sanctuary, traversing heaven and hell, and spending hours grinding for loot. My friends and I ran through every difficulty level with joy. When the paragon system was released, we raced to see who could break level 100 first. Eventually, my Monk was clad in legendary gear, dishing out over 100,000 damage with each knuckle (I was proud at the time). Today, Diablo 3 is as fun as it ever was. It’s one of the best top-down dungeon crawlers to eat up my hard drive.

The Nephalem Awakens

Diablo 3 lets you pick from one of six classes (the sixth added with the Reaper of Souls Expansion)—Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, and Wizard. Some are better suited for survivability, like the Barbarian, while others specialize as a glass cannon, like the Wizard. You’re not going to find deep character customization upon creation. However, unlike Diablo 2, you’re not gender-locked by what class you choose. I chose to play a female Wizard named “JamesRandi,” and entered the world on Normal difficulty.

Looking Good While Killing Demons

The isometric visual style of Diablo 3 is one of my favorites in any video-game. It’s almost cartoon-like in its presentation, with smoothed edging and colorful environments. However, any childish-aspect is undermined by the game's serious tone. Overturned wagons coruscate scattered corpses, human and undead alike. The haunting fog of New Tristram is contrasted with the gleaming desert surrounding Caldeum. Skill animations look fantastic, each skill imbued with a distinct flavor that pops out on your screen.

Rag-doll physics makes killing waves of enemies an entertaining bloodbath, as defeated enemies fling through the air. Even cut-down bodies flop if your skills hit them. Meticulous attention has been paid to the world of Diablo 3. Scattered voice-acting adds a narrative element for players wishing to immerse themselves into Diablo’s deep lore. Considering Leonar Boyarsky was one of the lead designers, previously one of the key designers of Fallout, it should come as no surprise that Sanctuary is a finely polished world. I sent JamesRandi into town to investigate the sick smell in the air.

Thrashing Hellspawn

After one-shotting a couple of reanimated corpses, you’ll start to unlock skills. By default, you’re first two skills are bound to the left and right mouse buttons respectively. Additional skills are bound to 1-4, adding up to a 6-skill build. You can swap the keybinds around when not in combat. It’s a simple system that makes combat smooth and easy to navigate, particularly when you’re dodging and attacking legions of the undead.

You have six slots for skills and each slot corresponds to a skill category. Within each skill category there are three to four skills to choose from. Then, each skill is further refined by skill runes. My Demon Hunter’s secondary skill is Rapid Fire, and the skill rune I’ve attached is Fire Support, launching homing rockets instead of the default arrow bombardment. I could switch it out for the Bombardment skill rune, turning Rapid Fire into a barrage of grenades. Every skill rune changes the skills animation, making them both distinct and attractive.

Every character has four passive skill slots, with around sixteen passive skills to choose from by the end of the game (the number varies by class). There are a ludicrous number of possible builds for your character. It can be a daunting task, but Diablo 3 makes it easy to test your skill set; switch them out when not in combat. You’ll need to find the right build to survive the higher difficulties. At the end-game, you’ll inevitably be engaging the community and learning what works best.

Dungeon Crawling

Barring the story, Diablo 3 is a game where you traverse fields, deserts, forts, dungeons, hell, and heaven, slaughtering monsters and killing demons embodying sin. The story is broken into five acts (the fifth being the expansion), and completing all of the acts unlock the next game difficulty. When you start the game, you’ll be playing on Normal mode. Monsters are easy to kill and beating the game takes about six hours, on average. It’s meant to. Diablo 3, like its predecessors, is a game you’re meant to beat over and over again, increasing your level with each subsequent completion. When you play, you play for the game's combat mechanics and the allure of being lucky enough to receive the perfect piece of loot. As monsters become more difficult, the chance of receiving legendary items increases as well. The game's loot system is a bit odd, in that players can only trade items with those in the same game as them when a piece of loot originally dropped. Blizzard likely made item trading extremely restrictive to combat hacking, as there's no point in hacking someone's account if you can't clean out their characters.

Elite Loot Hunter

Diablo 3 could change its name to “Loot Hunter” and it would be an apt title. But, whereas in Diablo 2 you spent hours killing Mephisto, in Diablo 3 you’ll spend hours killing Elites with random attack patterns. At the higher difficulty levels, Elite Monsters have four affix skills, combinations of specialized attacks that will kill players more often than Azmodan, the Lord of Sin. Sometimes, they have a fifth additional skill. Some of these Elites are almost unfair in their affix combos. As a Monk, I have to be up close to enemies to dish out a fury of punches. However, one group of Fallen Prophets was Plagued, meaning venomous pools spawn under them to drain my health. They were also Jailers, locking me in place momentarily—sometimes trapping me in their noxious acid. To top it off, they had the Arcane affix—a skill my friends and I dubbed “clock lasers.” Purple arcane balls spawn and spin nonchalantly. While I’m trying to dodge plagued pools and becoming chained, I’m running into burning lasers. While at times frustrating, higher difficulty level Elites are immensely satisfying to kill. Especially when they seem overwhelming in the tight corridors of dungeons. More than once, my allies and I felt ready to give up, but that last attempt saw us killing the Elite, to watch a glowing orange item clang the ground.

Paragon

Hitting level 70 does not signify the end of the game. After reaching the level cap you begin to gain Paragon levels, an infinite number of levels that allot specialized skill points. Paragon levels are shared across all characters, so long as they’re not part of a ladder season. By opening your character sheet and pressing “Paragon” you can increase passive skills in four categories: Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility. On my Demon Hunter I’ve allotted 28 points into attack speed and 28 points into Movement Speed. You can reset Paragon skill points any time outside of combat. And they are infinite. The world’s first level 1000 Paragon leveled up in February 2015. The game's paragon system ensures there's a TON of replay/grind value in Diablo 3.

And then there's Adventure Mode, a game mode that exists outside of the story. Players are able to freely travel to each Act where bounty quests can be completed for rewards. One sees you taking down waves of enemies to purify a shrine. Another might have you meet an NPC in a dungeon to complete a quest normally available in the story. Completing 5 bounties in one Act grants you a Horadic Cache, with the chance to drop items—including legendary items. While playing for this review, I managed to find a set piece legendary—Eight-Demon boots, part of the Raiment of the Thousand Storms.

PvP

Diablo 3's PvP is an afterthought, a lackluster system that may never become more than it is now. It’s called Brawling and was added to the game in Patch 1.0.7. An NPC named Nek the Brawler can be found in each town hub. Talk to him and he’ll transport you to a sealed off Scorched Chapel where you can fight other players in your game. It’s a free-for-all for the 2-4 players present.

The task of balancing classes to create a competitive PvP scene is a daunting task, if not impossible given the current layout of skills. The only solution I can forsee is creating a secondary skill set for each class, exclusive to PvP. But I don’t imagine Blizzard wants Diablo 3 to have a PvP aspect. After the disaster that was the Auction House, the developers will likely play it safe and stick to creating more PvE content and leave PvP to Heroes of the Storm.

Reaper of Souls

The first expansion, titled Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, adds a new act, new class, Paragon levels, and a max level of 70. The story is simple, former Archangel Matlhael thinks he’s the Big Boss and seeks to destroy Sanctuary. The Crusader is the most appealing aspect and is worth the buy if you’re nostalgic for a Paladin-like class. The expansion is not necessary for the Diablo experience. You can get a complete game out of the vanilla package. If you truly love to grind, killing Elites over and over again, then I recommend picking up the expansion after playing vanilla.

Final Verdict - Excellent

Diablo 3 is one of the best top-down action RPGs, throwing hundreds of enemies at you for a chaotic dance of blood and rag-dolls. The in-depth skill system offers more possibilities than one brain can comprehend, creating nearly limitless ways to slaughter demons. It's a game built for people who can grind for hours. Experiencing Diablo 3 with friends is the best way to play, as you grind through gritty and beautiful environments until finally beheading Diablo. No other game makes going to hell look this good.

Videos

Diablo 3 Videos

Links

Diablo 3 Links

Diablo 3 Official Site
Diablo 3 Wikipedia
Diablo 3 Wikia [Database/Guides]
Diablo 3 Gamepedia [Database/Guides]
Diablo 3 Reddit

System Requirements

Diablo 3 Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP 32 bit
CPU: Pentium D 820 2.8GHz or Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+
RAM: 1 GB GB RAM
Video Card: GeForce 315 512MB or Radeon HD 4550
Hard Disk Space: 12 GB Free Space

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows Vista 32 bit
CPU: Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz or Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5600+
RAM: 2 GB RAM
Video Card: GeForce GTX 260 or Radeon HD 4870
Hard Disk Space: 12 GB Free Space

Diablo 3 is Mac OS X compatible. 

Music

Diablo 3 Music

Additional Info

Diablo 3 Additional Information

Developer(s): Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher(s): Blizzard Entertainment, Square Enix (JP)

Designer(s): Russell Brower, Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford

Composer(s): Russell Brower, Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford, Joseph Lawerence, Neal Acree

Release Date: May 15, 2012
Reaper of Souls Release Date: March 25, 2014

PS3/Xbox 360 Release Date: September 3, 2013
PS4/Xbox One Release Date: August 19, 2014

Closed Beta Date: September 20, 2011
Closed Beta End Date: May 01, 2012

Open Beta: April 19, 2012
Open Beta End Date: April 23, 2012

Other Platforms: Mac OS X, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One

Update History: Diablo 3 is regularly updated by Blizzard Entertainment. Updates rectify bugs and expand upon game content. Below are listed some updates that significantly effected Diablo 3's gameplay.

Patch 1.0.4: Introduction of the paragon leveling system that allowed players to continue leveling after max level was reached, but capping at paragon level 100.

Patch 1.0.5: Difficulty settings expanded, allowing players to increase Monster Power level from 0 to 10, increasing monster stats and increasing rewards with each subsequent Monster Power level.

Patch 1.0.7: First introduction of PvP system, "Brawling," and introduction of several new crafting items.

Patch 2.0.1: Introduction of multiple changes to prepare the game for the release of the Reaper of Souls expansion.

Development History/Background:

Diablo 3, developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, was released on May 15, 2012. At the time of release, it sold over 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours, setting a new record for fastest selling PC game of 2012. Development began in 2001 while Blizzard North was still operating. Diablo 3 was not announced until June 28, 2008 at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris, France. Diablo 3 runs on Blizzard's proprietary game engine that incorporates a custom in-house physics engine and features destructible environments. A limited form of PvP combat was added to the game in February 2013. Beyond being a local free-for-all, Blizzard has not announced any plans for expanding Diablo 3's PvP system. The game originally featured a real-money auction house, where players could buy and sell virtual items with real money. Due to several issues the feature was removed on March 18, 2014. Several Diablo 3 characters are available for play in Heroes of the Storm, including Diablo, Azmodan, and Johanna the Crusader.

  • Boltonsquad

    Diablo 3 is a fantastic game but lacks replayability in my opinion, farming the same stuff over and over again just gets tedious.

    • gumby

      You have to love the grind! My days of Ragnarok Online prepared me for farming in Diablo 3.

    • I like Path of Exile's approach to the Diablo style gameplay. I don't like the fact that you can't trade with other players in Diablo 3. What kind of online game doesn't have trading?

      • Boltonsquad

        Indeed I have reached around 3500 hours played on path of exile now the game is insanely good, and yeah which game does not allow trading surely there's another way to resolve RMT other than removing player interaction all together.

      • Boltonsquad

        Indeed the auction house was incredibly flawed and abused by RMT however no trading at all kills it for me.

  • Rui Serrano

    im gcurrently playing Grim Dawn and i love it ^.^