“Damn it, I wish you people would just leave me alone! I…oh, you’re new here, aren’t you?”
First things first. I’m fully aware that not everyone reading this is a huge Diablo III fan and/or has even played either of the first two installments. Do you want to know how I know this? Well, it’s because I’ve never played Diablo or Diablo II. I know, I know — a travesty of the highest order. But whatever. I’ve always been about 4-5 years behind on current PC gaming technology. Or at least until now. *fistpump*
In the interests of catering to the folk who aren’t as privy to the Diablo universe as most others (just like I was not so long ago), this Diablo III Preview Extravaganza is going to take on the form of a question-and-answer session. Or at least, it’ll start out as a question-and-answer session. I’m not making any promises as to which other — if any — completely random directions things may or may not take. But I do promise that it’ll be a good time. You can write that shit down in red crayon and take it to the frigging bank, son!
True, I’ll essentially be asking myself questions and then subsequently answering them, but I think the simple fact that I’m brand-spanking-new to this whole sub-culture as well will make it work. Or at least… that’s what I’m truly hoping will happen. And stop asking questions like that — you’re being annoying. But anyway, I think it’s about time to get this party started, boys and girls. So let’s get right into it and let the good times roll — right over the undead spawn en route to an awesome, extremely sparkly-shiny, loot-packed treasure chest!
Author’s note: We didn’t lie when we decided to call this a preview “extravaganza”. In translation, it’s… long. Like… really, really long. As in, you’re probably going to want to print this out and read it with your cereal, dessert or while in the restroom for an extended period of time. Or if you need to look really busy whilst on your smartphone. Regardless, please do enjoy!
Why Should I Care About This… This… Diablo III?
Oh you. You should care about this Diablo III because it’s the latest iteration in arguably one of the most important game franchises ever made. In the history of franchises. There’s a reason practically every action-RPG with a focus on excessively-obsessive inventory/loot management is referred to as a Diablo clone. Even with it being — what — about a decade since the last game release? Yeah, that’s right. What now, son?
Okay, So How Much Is This Game Going to Cost Me? Is It Pay-to-Play Each Month Style or a Straight-Up, One-Time Purchase Type Deal?
Thankfully for those of us with a multitude of bills to pay and/or kids, it’s a one-time purchase (whoop-whoop!). Although, due to the newly implemented in-game/cash auction house for selling loot and items, you’re going to have to be connected to the Internet at all times whilst playing Diablo III. Which I guess would have been much more drastic and controversial-sounding back when Diablo II was released in 2000… but whatever. It’s certainly worth knowing about going in at the very least. The game itself will run the standard $59.99 and you can either purchase it old-school style at an actual store or get-with-the-2012-program-yo and just download it after buying it online. The choice is yours. Just make sure you buy the damn thing!
Okay, So What’s The Gameplay Like? Can I Customize My Character and Shit?
Whoa, buddy. Watch the language, will ya? There are ladies present! But yes, you can customize your character “and shit”. As for the gameplay? Well, to say that it’s akin to your above-average, action-RPG dungeon crawler would be a grievous understatement. This isn’t just akin to that — this is essentially the grand-daddy of all of those other above-average, action-RPG dungeon crawlers. A true O.G., if you will.
Essentially, you’ll choose from one of five available character classes from the outset: the witch doctor, the barbarian, the wizard, the monk and the demon hunter. But don’t think this curtails the customization side of things, because there are literally dozens upon dozensof different ways to customize each class to best fit your playing style. Want to sling magic but also be able to hold your own up close in melee combat with a wizard? Sure, no problem. Want a beastly intimidating barbarian that sacrifices brute power for a more defensive frame of mind? You got it, friend!
Quite literally, the sky’s the limit when it comes to whatever kind of character you want to play. Just ask yourself how you think you’d most enjoy playing through the game with then pick the requisite or best-fitting character class. Then just level-up, customize, rinse, wash and repeat from there. Easy as pie! The fact that there’s oodles and oodles of loot to be found, awarded or stolen just adds yet another layer to an already very-deeply-rewarding process.
My PC Kind of Sucks if You Catch My Meaning. Will I Be Able to Play Diablo III? Like, Should I Not Even Check?
I feel your pain my good friend. I feel your pain. You see, I was once like you. I had a computer that could barely run Nintendo 64/Playstation One emulated games on its best day. Unfortunately, Diablo III – while not the most graphically demanding game in the current lineup of mostly graphically demanding PC games — will need a relatively decent rig to run the game smoothly. If you’re unsure of the specs side of things, don’t want to have to write down all of said specs and compare them to some random list or have an extremely, laughably awful memory like me, simply click right here and select Diablo III from the drop-down. A Java scan of your computer will automate the process for you and give you the verdict after a few moments. I wish you the best of luck, good sir (or lady)!
Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About Diablo III?
Other than the fact that you absolutely, positively must get the damn game? Actually… yes, yes there is. There are actually quite a bit more things that you’d likely want or need to know. Also, because I’ve run out of reasonable, kind-of witty questions to ask myself, I’ve amassed all of this additional info below with the help of our good friend the bullet system. And yes, this was entirely fabricated so I could just have an excuse to use the bullet system. I just like using bullets — I don’t really know what else there is that I can say. You wanna fight about it? Cue em!
- Story-wise, the game takes place — just like it always has — in the world of Sanctuary (which, yes, is astonishingly, darkly ironic). This world was saved by a bunch of unnamed heroes some twenty years prior, which officially chronicles/summarizes everything that happened in Diablo II, canon-wise. Diablo III speeds us up to the present day and it’s now up to you (yeah, that’s right — YOU!) to fill a role within the group of a new generation of world saving, kind of laughably overdressed heroes. Or at least, you’re hoping you’ll be able to save the world. There’s no guarantees of such things in the world of Sanctuary, brave traveler.
- In addition to what’s conceivably a ridiculously, obscenely large number of items available throughout the entire game is the all-new crafting system. In short, you can use any junk that you’ve collected in your travels in order to make totally-not-junk-anymore items courtesy of special crafting NPC’s scattered throughout the land. As if the item/loot portion of the game needed to become any more addicting… I mean, come on!
- For those of you who like to die an awful lot — or like to replay certain games on a progressively harder difficulty to give yourself more of a challenge or something (see also: die a lot more than you did originally) — Blizzard has included an aptly named Inferno mode. Presumably available after completing the game on either the Nightmare or Hell modes, Inferno mode is essentially akin to the Legendary level of difficulty in the Halo series of games. Although to be fair, I would think that both of either Nightmare or Hell modes would be ranked more difficult than Inferno just based on the names themselves, but I’m also a huge vocabulary dork, so… by all means… don’t mind me.
- You can choose one of three different NPC followers to… well… follow you around during your exploits throughout the world of Sanctuary. These followers consist of Kormac the Templar, Lyndon the Scoundrel and Eirena the Enchantress — or, in layman’s terms, the tank, the rogue and the mage. Only one follower may be utilized as a follower at any given time so expect a strategic aspect in regards to choosing which of the followers will undertake a particular quest with you. Understandably, though, followers will not be accompanying you within your co-op games because you already have actual people to follow you around in that mode instead, silly!
- Although not officially confirmed yet, Blizzard has gone on record stating that the company is actively “pursuing” a console port version of Diablo III. Which would be absolutely bat-shit-crazy-insane and would also probably cause the universe to implode or something. In a good way, though. So let’s keep our fingers crossed on that one!
- Diablo III is officially set to release this coming Tuesday, May 15th, 2012. A la, just over four or so days from now. So, consider yourself lucky if you’ve just stumbled upon the Diablo franchise because series fan veterans have been waiting since oh, around 2001 for this sequel. Yes, that’s right — 2001! More than a decade ago! The poor things…
- Yes, Diablo himself will apparently appear in the game at some point in addition to the Archangel Imperius. Whoever that is. No doubt, he sounds like a straight frigging badass, though. Apologies if I just caused the collective Diablo fanboy/gal-base to have a collective conniption. But my heart’s in the right place, I swear!
Sick of bullets yet? Okay then. It’s actually about that time to bring this wonderful Diablo III Preview Extravaganza to a close anyway. I know, I know, we’ve had an absolute blast. But it’s okay! Because we can continue the fun in the comments below. Definitely feel free to discuss anything your heart desires about this blockbuster PC gaming release in the comments below. Seriously, that’s what they’re there for. And you can potentially win a Gamestop Gift Card by simply posting a bunch of comments, so it’s really a no-brainer if you think about it — what with the free shit and all.
You can also stay tuned right here on OWNT for an in-depth review sometime in the middle of next week. In addition, of course, to any other news, rumors and/or sheer, baseless speculation following the highly, highly anticipated Diablo III launch next Tuesday as well. If you haven’t bookmarked us yet then you’re doing it wrong. So go ahead and commit already, won’t ya?
Until next time ladies and gentleman, thank you for reading (all three of you who actually read to the end)!