Today, I am excited to tell all of you about the Diablo 3 beta. The Diablo franchise has been a favorite of mine since I was eight years old. Now, nearly eleven years since its last installment, the series is finally back. I was one of the lucky few to be invited into the game’s beta testing, and I am glad to report that Diablo 3 has not left me disappointed. It is chocked full of new features, awesome loot, and all the brutal, story-driven action that I have come to expect.
Classes and Skills
One of the best things to look forward to in Diablo 3 is the new set of character classes, each with a plethora of skills and powers. There are a lot of new faces in the line up, from the enigmatic Demon Hunter to the frog-chucking Witch Doctor. There is even what I can only describe as a Russian Shaolin Monk. The only familiar character is our old pal the Barbarian. He works pretty much the same as he did in Diablo 2, right down to the battle shouts and dual wielding. You shouldn’t count out this old warhorse, however, because he’s got plenty of new moves ready to bring some pain. The game uses the classic mouse controls we all know and love, but also supplements them with the addition of hotkeys. This gives the player access to up to six skills at a time. Though this does not seem like much, it definitely gives the player more options than the simple left click/right click that were seen in previous games. The developers at Blizzard have also changed how new skills are acquired, opting for a linear progression rather than a skill tree. This means that players will eventually have access to all the powers available to their class. They have also added an extra level of customization to character building by implementing “skill runes”. As a character levels up, they unlock runes that can be applied to their skills. Each active skill can be augmented by one of five unique runes, resulting in hundreds of potential character builds. Throw in three slots for passive skills, and the possibilities are almost endless. As awesome as this is, I would have liked it better if I could also have customized my character’s appearance like in other RPGs. You do, however, have the ability to choose the gender of your character. It’s not perfect, but at least I can bash some heads with Xena, Barbarian Princess.