What To Expect In Diablo III?

The Diablo series has been a much loved franchise of mine ever since I was nine years old. My first experience with Diablo was the very first game, insanely terrified when I first heard the words of the Butcher; "Ahhh, Fresh Meat!" the hair on the back of my neck shot straight out, a chill creeped down my spine as I tried to shiver it off, and then the Butcher ate my face.

I have been eagerly waiting along with the rest of you guys for a third installment to this magnificent series, and sadly Blizzard has pushed the release date back to "Early 2012" but fear not, for I have come to you with gifts of knowledge that I wish to share to all of you, so enjoy.




"Barbarians are savage wanderers who never flinch from close-quarters combat. Mighty ground stomps, leaping attacks and dual-wielded slashes leave a barbarian's enemies dead in their boots and send any survivors fleeing for cover."

The key features of barbarians do not stray too far from the barbarian in Diablo II. Barbarians can take hits like a champ, dual wield some heavy duty weapons and swing them like a tree, and shout their way into some good buffs. Barbarians use Fury as a resource (similar to the Warrior in World of Warcraft)

Here are some highlights from the Barbarians skill tree: *Note, info in the barbarians is based on a lvl 60 character with rank 7 runestones* (I'll get into runestones later)

  • Bash: Generates 6 Fury per attack. Brutally smash an enemy for 145% weapon damage with a 20% chance to knock the enemy back
  • Battle Rage: costs 20 fury. Enter a rage which increases damage by 30% and critical hit chance by 4% for 30 seconds.
  • Wrath of the Berserker: Costs 75 Fury, 2 minute cooldown. Enter a Berserker rage which raises sever attributes for 15 seconds; Critical Hit by 10% Attack Speed by 45% Dodge Chance by 20% and Movement Speed by 20%
  • Unforgiving: You no longer degenerate Fury. Instead, you gain 1 fury every 2 seconds.

Demon Hunter

Demon Hunter

"Demon hunters are relentless vigilantes who execute their infernal targets with an arsenal of ranged weapons. They crouch and take aim far from danger, relying on bows, deadly traps, and projectiles to swiftly bring an end to the creatures that haunt their world."

As you can tell Demon Hunters will be having a heavy emphasis on ranged combat, while they do have limited melee weapons training which will leave them in danger if they are cornered or surrounded. But thankfully they also have evasive skills such as defensive rolls and jumps and abilities to slow enemies. They will also be able to use Shadow Magic giving them abilities to cloak them in darkness, and confuse their enemies. Similar to the Assassin in Diablo II, Demon Hunters will have traps such as Mines, Caltrops, or smoke bombs to escape in a hurry.

Demon Hunters have a unique resource called "hatred/discipline" constantly at war with themselves. Every attack is soaked in hatred, while defensive maneuvers such as traps or rolling out of the way will consume discipline. You must find a balance between the two, if you send out an endless volley of projectiles you will leave yourself open and unable to defend yourself with your discipline abilities.

Here are some highlights from the skill tree: *note: info is based on a lvl 60 character with rank 7 runestones*

  • Impale: Costs 40 Hatred. Fire a massive shot to impale a target for 325% weapon damage.
  • Evasive Fire: Generates 10 Hatred at the cost of 4 Discipline if you back flip. Shoot for 115% weapon damage, if an enemy is at close range, you will also back flip away 15 yards.
  • Preparation: Cooldown 2 minutes, instantly restore all of your Discipline.
  • Thrill of the Hunt: every 10 seconds your next normal attack will immobilize your target for 3 seconds.
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"Monks are sacred warriors who channel divine power through sheer force of will. Healing waves, mantras of protection and attacks empowered with holy might are all within their purview."

Delivering super fast attacks via their fists or from a variety of well-balanced weapons, Monks focus on being able to out maneuver their enemies rather than sheer power. Monks use mantras to heal or strengthen their nearby allies, as well as a combo system (I'm assuming similar to the Rogue in World of Warcraft) for some truly powerful "Falcon Punches". With each attack Monks built up Spiritual Power which is their resource.

Here are some highlights from the skill tree: *note: info is based on a lvl 60 character with rank 7 runestones*

  • Fists of Thunder: Generates 6 Spirit per attack. Deal a series of extremely fast punches that do 100% weapon damage as lightning damage. Every third hit deals damage to all enemies in front of you. Each strike has a 15% chance to interrupt enemy attacks. (I instantly thought of Haschel from Legend of Dragoon for this attack)
  • Lashing Tail Kick: Costs 25 Spirit with a 3 second cooldown. Unleash a deadly roundhouse kick, knocking enemies back and dealing 130% weapon damage. (Falcon KICK!!!)
  • Mystic Ally: Costs 50 Spirit. Summon an elemental ally capable of engaging enemies in combat until it is destroyed. The ally deals 21 - 36 physical damage per swing.
  • Near Death Experience: When receiving a fatal attack, you are instead restored to 35% of your maximum health and 35% spirit. This effect cannot occur more than once every 90 seconds

Witch Doctor

Witch Doctor

"Witch Doctors are spiritual warriors who summon dead souls and crawling creatures to do their bidding. By surrounding themselves with conjured zombies and vermin, witch doctors are free to assault their enemies with exploding skulls, acrid poison clouds and wasting curses. (Sounds like an upgraded Necromancer)

Witch Doctors will emphasize on control over the battlefield, using DoT (Damage over Time) abilities as well as slows and being able to make their enemies flee in terror all while the witch doctors pets sink their teeth into them, pets such as Zombies, Bats, Fetishes, and Spiders. But be wary a witch doctors mana resource can only last so long before you find yourself screaming "OOM!!!" ("Out of Mana" for the non-WoW players)

Here are some of the Highlights from the skill tree: *note info is based on a lvl 60 character with rank 7 runestones.*

  • Plague of Toads: Costs 211 mana. Release a handful of toads that deal 155% weapon damage as Poison to enemies they come in contact with.
  • Grasp of the Dead: Costs 53 mana with an 8 second cooldown. Hands reach out from the ground slowing enemy movement by 50% and dealing 50% weapon damage per second as Physical damage for 8 seconds.
  • Horrify: 20 second cooldown. Don a spectral mask that horrifies all enemies within 12 yards, causing them to run in fear for 5 seconds.
  • Vision Quest: Anytime you have 4 or more skills on cooldown your mana regeneration is increased by 300%



"Wizards are renegade spellcasters who use their bodies as vessels for arcane energy, forsaking the more careful path favored by other magic users. They manipulate all manner of forces to disintegrate, burn and freeze their foes, and they can control time and light to teleport, create powerful illusions, and deflect oncoming attacks."

Wizards emphasize on ranged attacks, with very few exceptions. Using AoE (Area of Effect) attacks, magical protective spells such as encasing their skin in diamonds, or creating duplicates of themselves to confuse their foes. Wizards rarely find themselves without the power of magic, using Arcane Power as a resource they can almost always afford to cast some of their weaker skills while the extremely fast regenerating power fills up.

Here are some highlights from the skill tree: *note info is based on a lvl 60 character with rank 7 runestones*

  • Ice Armor: Costs 25 Arcane Power. Surround yourself in a barrier of ice that increases armor by 50% and causes 10% weapon damage as Ice to melee attackers, chilling them for 2 seconds. Lasts 2 minutes. *note this is an armor spell, only 1 armor spell can be active at a time*
  • Electrocute: Costs 0 arcane power. Lightning arcs from your fingertips towards an enemy dealing 150% weapons damage as lightning damage. The lightning can jump, hitting up to 2 enemies. Damage is reduced by 30% for each jump. *note this is a signature spell. Signature spells cost 1 less arcane power every time you gain a level*
  • Disintegrate: Costs 20 Arcane Power per second. Thrust a beam of pure energy forward dealing 150% weapon damage per second as arcane damage and disintegrating enemies it kills. (Excuse me; I'm rolling a wizard now)
  • Arcane Dynamo: When you deal damage with a signature spell you gain a Flash of Insight. After 8 flashes, your next non-signature spell deals an additional 50% damage. You cannot gain a flash more than once every 1.5 seconds. The following are signature spells: Magic Missile, Shock Pulse, Spectral Blade and Electrocute.


"As ravening hordes of demons plague Sanctuary, some heroes choose to forgo all companionship and stand alone against the forces of evil. While they find solace in solitude and their bravery cannot be questions, these lone wolves are often bestowed with titles that will echo into eternity: Corpse, Carcass, Food for Crows."

As you can tell from the above statement, Blizzard really wants you to play with some friends, and have given you the ability to pick one of three followers:

The Templar

The Templar

He's the tank. Heavily armored and extremely tough. He can be spec'd into a meat shield for insane amounts of damage absorbing. Or if need be, he can support you via his healing spells. He's like the tank and/or healer that never yells "OOM!" or "Stop stealing agro!"

The Enchantress

The Enchantress

Heavily focusing on ranged attacks she will be the DPS (Damage Per Second) class that will help you out, or if you wish you can spec her into a class that buffs your character to ungodly new heights. She's the damage dealer where you don't have to complain if she steals agro.

The Scoundrel

The Scoundrel

This guy is a nice little throwback to the rogue of the first Diablo. Using ranged attacks and a little bit of crowd control to help you out in some sticky situations. He's the damage dealer who saves the day with some crowd control so you can focus fire on the heavy hitters or save them for last.

Followers have 12 total skills, and players will be able to choose which 4 that they would like to use. Also being able to equip various items to them: 2 weapon slots, rings, amulets and a unique class item available for each Follower. As they level up they will also advance visually so you can see how they become more powerful looking over time as they quest with you. If your follower loses too much health they go out of commission for a few moments but have no fear you won't ever have to go back into town to have them rejoin you.


Artisans follow you in your Caravan, the caravan is a group of npc's that follow you across Sanctuary, providing a hub to find quest givers, artisans and other important people. There are three types of artisans; The Blacksmith, The Mystic, and The Jeweler.

The blacksmith can craft weapons, armor and even add sockets to some of your items. The mystic can create scrolls, potions, magical weapons, spell runes, charms, and also enchant items. The jeweler crafts gems, amulets, rings and can remove gems from socketed items or combine gems to improve their quality. Leveling up your artisans will unlock new recipes, but you can also find more powerful recipes from monsters out in Sanctuary.

The Auction House

Blizzard is adding an auction house to Diablo III, since most players in Diablo II simply bought their items off the "black market". You can also use real life money or in game gold on an item to item basis, so dust off that paypal account and get ready to make a boat load of cash.


PvP (Player vs Player) in the past Diablo games were not really fleshed out and mainly only came down to "So and So wishes to duel you, accept?" But in Diablo III, Blizzard is adding arenas, along with matchmaking, different level layouts, rates of health spawning and so on to ensure those of you who are PvP fanatics can finally enjoy some good, quality PvP.

Can I Get A Real Challenge?

So, you think Diablo III might be a little too easy for you? Well be prepared to eat your own words; Blizzard has the returning "Nightmare" and "Hell" difficulty modes but have also introduced "Inferno" difficulty which may only be unlocked after beating Hell difficulty. With each difficulty increase there are more powerful and intimidating armor sets, potent unique items, high-level runes, and super powerful runes and recipes.


Blizzard is adding an Achievement system to Diablo III (I assume it will be like the system in World of Warcraft). So if you beat the game and you get bored, there are some Achievements you can shoot for and then brag to your friends.


Diablo III is introducing Runestones into your player's skills. With each rune your skills change. There are five different rune stones; Alabaster, Crimson, Golden, Indigo and Obsidian. Only one may be placed in a skill, for instance if you place a Crimson Runestone into the Barbarians Bash Ability (scroll back up if you forgot what it does), it changes the skill to now add 7 reverberation that causes an extra 18% weapon damage per strike. Or if you add a Golden Runestone to the Wizard's Ice Armor ability it now increases the bonus armor granted by Ice Armor by 85% for 10 seconds when you are struck by a melee attack, stacking up to 3 times.

Head on over to www.diablo3.com for more information and a talent tree calculator. Leave your questions and opinions in a comment below. Keep it real guys and lets all wait for Diablo III.