Diablo III Previews

A couple more BlizzCon-based previews of Diablo III have trickled onto the ‘net. First up is GamingExcellence:

Although still in its very early stages, the Diablo III hands on demo played great. Now in fully fledged 3D, all character models animate beautifully when tearing their way through hordes of monsters. The physics engine is particularly impressive, and best shown off under the command of the mighty barbarian hacking and smashing his way through monsters. Corpses fly around realistically, and the destructible environments are truly a sight to behold.

The ways in which monsters die is even impressive. Instead of a standard death animation, monsters can die in several ways. For example, there are (critical deaths) that monsters suffer after scoring a critical hit, which results in said monster exploded in a brilliant blood shower. There are also skill driven deaths. This way shown briefly at WWI, where the witch doctor’s locust swarm would actually eat the flesh off of enemies. This wizard showcased this even further at BlizzCon, as her disintegrate ability does exactly what you think it would – it completely disintegrates enemies most extravagantly. So far, the game feels just like the good old Diablo we all know and love, and will no doubt get even better as the months pass.

And then there’s Diii.net, where they analyze the Barbarian specifically:

The only big Fury expenditure available in the Blizzcon build was Battle Rage, a wary cry that boosted the Barbarian’s damage by 100%, increased critical damage by 30%, and lasted for 15 seconds. (With one point in it, which was all the BlizzCon build allowed to active skills.) That was half, or more, of my total Rage, but I never minded spending it. The combat improvements were substantial, and since Rage faded away so quickly, I had a constant feeling of “use it or lose it.” Whenever I finished a battle with a full Rage bulb, I tried to remember to cast this war cry, since the precious juice would all be gone by the time I got to the next battle anyway.

As for the skills available, I mentioned earlier that the Barbarian played like a D2 Barbarian with better graphics. The starter skills were quite similar as well, at least superficially. The new characters were level 6, and already had some skills placed, to make things quicker and easier for the fans. Therefore all Barbarians started out with a point or two in two passives in each of the three skill trees. The skills were all Tier 1 passives, such as Power of the Battlemaster, Iron Skin, Power of the Berserker, Heightened Senses, and Power of the Juggernaut. This gave the characters some survivability, so the new players wouldn’t die immediately, or feel like they didn’t have any skills to play with In addition to those passives, there were some active skills with a point in them, and others that could be enabled as soon as your character leveled up a time or two.

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