Diablo III has been announced

Posted by Jonatan "Mazor" Littke at 28 June 2008 12:15

The speculation is over - Diablo III is here. Our on-the-spot Crew will update this news as more information comes in!


Cinematic trailer, 14:06 CET

The cinematic trailer just reached YouTube.

Screenshots, 13:35 CET

See all the 22 screenshots in our photo album. Below are a couple of teasers. Click to enlarge.


Press conference, live updates, 13:05 CET

What should I be excited about for Diablo III, if I'm not a Diablo player?
- Diablo is a very game to get into, very quick, if you don't have a lot of time to play you can play it in a short time frame. It's a great co-op game. Those are the best reasons. We all play a lot of WoW and it's a great game, but when you just want to kill a short amount of time, it's not one of the best things, it's one of the things Diablo can offer.

- It's a brand new engine for Diablo, in house, we've been working on it for several years now.

Release date?
- When it's done. Far too early to say anything right now.

How long has the development been?
- It's been in development for quite a number of years. First at Blizzard North and then here, 4 years in total.

Is Diablo 3 project Hydra?
- We dont comment on project names.

How did you manage to keep the secret?
- We're a company of secrecy. We get a lot of value from a big announcement on this, the dev team wants to keep it hidden until we actually announce it.

What will the changes be on
- We're not announcing any changes right now. We have a new version coming in the coming months. You'll see some of these news features in conjunction with the Sc2 development.

- We're not developing (or he maybe said 'announcing') any competitive features.

How many players?
- We have a limit, it's a game play limit, we're trying to decide on what that number is. We can support, technically, quite a number of players. We believe it plays a little better with just below 8.

Another question on eSports:
- We're not announcing anything on PvP right now, but it will happen.

Tell us about the multiplayer.
- Primarily, there's a lot of things we tried to do for co-op, we're not revealing all of them at this time. We have a new health system, recover health, it's a coopeartive system, it heals anyone near you. You can be a healer this one. Loot drops on a per-player basis. And anything you see on the ground is for you, it helps the competitive nature. We're trying to make such changes and want to add more ellaborate features but we're not discussing any of those now.

Will Diablo 3 come to any of the consoles?
- Blizzard would love to do console stuff but we don't have any plans to do console development for D3.

Will you transfer old characters from Diablo?
- No, it's not compatible.

Can you play with two players at the same computer?
- No.

How long will it take to finish the campaign?
- We don't really know until it's done. We're aiming at the same lenght of Diablo.

Where does the story pick up?
- 20 years later. We have two panels, one about character and one about character, there will be more information there. But essentially the invasion that occured is almost mythical to most people and this is a lot later. The few who know about it don't really believe that it happened, so the story takes place a lot later.

Will there be a major Blizzard account where I can have all my characters, WoW and D3?
- That's a good idea. We should get someone on that. :D

Tell us about the growth.
- We tried to change some of the way we do some things. We want to communicate our values to 3,000 people instead of to 30 people like 10 years ago. We want everyone to internally understand that we focus on doing good games, and then we should be able to manage it.

Tell us about the environment.
- Themes are good, they make for the best video game fair, it's not so much fun to game in an area that is unspecific or not super cool. There are some of the areas that will reappear, and some settings will be new. Some of the big cities will reappear.

Tell us about the penguin.
- I actually don't know what that was about. There were a lot of hidden images in there. I'm sure it will come out though, I personally don't know it.

Are you afraid of losing WoW subscribers because they switch to D3?
- We're not afraid of losing WoW subscribers. We have over 10 million subscribers. It's actually not such as a big cross over as we had expected, but we hope the WoW will like D3. But nonetheless, we still see it as they are playing Blizzard games.

Will there be difficulty levels?
- We have not decided on that yet. We plan to do that not unsimilar to Diablo 2. Whether or not it will be the same, we haven't decided.

Is hardcore going to come back?
- I don't see a reason why we shouldn't support it. We haven't decided but it seems like something we would like to do.

Are there going to be any physics puzzles?
- The way that we do that system, we could create physics puzzles, but we're not a "puzzle-heavy-game", we're a "smash-a-lot-of-monsters-type-of-game". But the system could handle that, you never know, we do come up with a lot of crazy stuff so it could happen.

Pay to play?
- We haven't made the decision on how we're doing the economy. It might be different for each region.

Will it be in all languages?
- We hope to do in many languages. We can't say exactly which, but its certainly our goal to do as many possible.

The role playing aspects will be enhanced. Will it be character driven?
- Absolutely. It one of the big focuses. We speak about that in the other panels.

You showed a few monsters that had awesome "coming together" (spawning) and then "breaking apart". Are those going to be for main buzzes like once every three levels or very common?
- We have not decided on the frequency. But it will be a lot of it. The monster that spawned in the video was not a boss, it was a regular unit. It will be common with ghouls coming out of the walls, etc.

What about end games in Diablo 3?
- Have not made decision of that yet. [Didn't follow on this question, sorry].

What kind of customization can you do of the characters?
- We want you to get into the game as soon as possible and get to the monster as soon as possible. At this moment, you can only pick the gender.

Will there be more complex bosses?
- Definitely. We have thought we can improve a lot of that in Diablo 3. We've been inspired by WoW and Zelda on that.

What kind of specification do you need?
- We don't have a detailed list, but we want to have games that are broad and not only high-end can play.

Will there be a secret cow level?
- No comment.

Will there be mounts?
- Yes, but we're not going to use it, not usable.

Beta? Demo?
- We don't have any specific plans right now. We will be discussing that as we get closer to the release of the game.

What's the defining difference between D2 and D3?
- There are a number of things. Obviously updated graphics and 3d. But we made a lot of improvements to boss design and monster design, the character classes have been a big focus to make them crazy cool. Also a bigger focus on story and role playing. You don't have to follow the story but you can focus on it ingame if you want. We've really thought about the story for D3.

Seasonal events?
- A really good idea. We haven't discussed that yet. :)

What about piracy?
- We want to make the online experience so compelling that they want to be a part of it, create a community where everyone feels involved.

Horadric cube?
- No decision yet.

Character cooperation?
- We are going to add improvements to the inventory, make trading easier, etc, but we're not talking about that right now.

Can private servers be allowed?
- We want to focus players on That's our focus. We're not planning on supporting private servers. The online experience should be good enough to avoid that.

What do you do about improving the stability of, with manners between gamers and accountability, etc?
- We're definitely looking at features and functionality to increase the accountability, but we will be revealing it in the future.

We also want to design a game that is cooperative and that isn't designed to encourage cheating between players, etc.

Will you stop patching StarCraft and Diablo?
- We will continue support our legacy games as long as there is a community supporting it. We still host the SC tournament, for example, here at WWI.

- We want to explore that. Haven't decided.

Live updates during the announcement, 12:00 CET

Here's the transcript from the live updates we did during the announcement:

A video is playing.

"It has been said, that in the end of all things, we'd find a new beginning"

"Blizzard Entertainment presents:"

"The shadow once again cross our world"

Nice landscape, everything looking deserted, nice music. Woman still speaking, too quick to transcribe.

A large army is being seen, fighting, indoords, looks awesome so far. DIABLO HIMSELF BEING SHOWN; it's certainly official now.


We're being showed ingame now. Looks very good. Looks very Diabloish, but still new. Very, very nice graphics. A single guy is fighting a lot of ghouls now, standing on a bridge. I see the normal health and mana rings in the left and right corner.

This unit is a Barbarian.

They're talking about hotkeys now. People are not screaming out of amazement yet, but it does look cool. Showing the inventory now, all looks good. In fact, I say again, very very good.

The Barbarian is running around killing everything. There are a lot of nice visual effects, everything looks a little laserish but very dynamic and not overdone.

The terrain is very dynamic and can be destroyed and modified easily it seems.

Lots of cool ingame graphics that I cant really describe right now because its so quick, but it looks like Diablo with a combination of the new graphical development Blizzard has done recently. It doesn't look like WoW, it's a lot more graphically beautiful and well done in my opinion.

They just showed an armour you can put on and it looks very good. The Barbarian can leap and do lots of things, several new skins. He just threw away a fire bolt causing the wall to fall in and kill some creeps, making applause ring in the hall for the first time.

The Whirlwind of the Barbarian was just displayed, loud cheering again, it's very clear graphics while at the same time visually appearing and cool. Lots of cheering now, the visuals look great, hard to find words.

Deckard Cain was just showed, started saying "Stay a while and..." where the Barbarian interrupted him, everyone laughs. The conversation view looks very very good.

We're only looking from above so far, but they zoomed in once sort of like WC3, but we dont know how closely you can zoom in so far.

Again, lots of graphics like blue lightning a lot and yellow flames and effects, but it doesn't look overdone, just beautiful and visually appearing. Guess I said that already.

Gold drops from a box, looks very Diabloish.

A huge monster just spawned from some bones, he's very gigantic and looks a little like the beast Frodo is fighting in the dungeons of Moria. He was just killed by the Barbarian.

Here comes a new class; Witch Doctor. He can summon pets and control the minds of his enemies. The Witch Doctor runs with the Barbarian now, showing multiplayer.

We're in an outdoor environment now that looks awesome. It's not at all like the WoW engine where the terrain is very animated but not so detailed; these graphics are more "painted" and are very detailed.

The Witch Doctor has now summoned some guys which he gave an aura and let them charge at their enemies.

Here comes a "Wall of Zombies", which the Witch Doctor summouned. We're outside now, it's raining.

The whole announcement process reminds me of that of SC2, showing some pieces and things at the time.

Hehe, that appears to be true, here's comes the ending fight of the announcement. Lots of major trees coming out from the ground, three characters fighting them with lots of magic and stuff.

WOW here comes Diablo himself. I think? No it's a major beast that just turned up...

Btw the press conference should be able to answer more questions that are not ingame, going to run there very soon so stay with us.

The ending fight is still on here.

The Witch Doctor attacking that Beast... haha so much and so quick, hard to cover.

Diablo 3 presentation is over. Lots of cheering.

Apparently this was streaming live on MTV as well.