Saturday, September 17, 2011

Blizzard throws us a bone via the Diablo 3 Skill Calculator

According to who you talk to, Diablo 3 is either a.) never coming out or b.) coming it in ten years, and I'll admit I've stopped holding my breath waiting for the follow up to 2000's Diablo 2 (though there was ONLY four years between that and the first Diablo!), but Blizzard are still actively trying to convince us that yes, it actually is coming, and please don't give up on them, please.

Gears 3 does not appear to be the only highly anticipated pair of boombox tits in the industry. 

More beyond the break:
The preamble for this game has taken so incredibly long that there's now a gigantic pile of stuff sitting around for Diablo fans to sigh wistfully over. Extensive, beautiful artwork (the Tyrael one above is my favourite), trailers, MAPS (oh god I love maps), and now this:

I know how difficult it must be, sitting on their pile of World of Warcraft money surrounded by booby Kerrigan cosplayers, but I do certainly appreciate that they've chosen to bestow on us this rather enjoyable piece of hypothetical character building. And it's a pretty incredible tool - the combinations are endless, and the end result is extremely customisable and a bit Warcrafty in terms of skill options. Too early to say how it works with a real character emerging at the end of it, but in theory? Awesomesauce. It paints a really vivid picture of how you can expect characters to play out - the Demon Hunter, for example, appears to be a crosspoint between D2: Lord of Destruction's Assassin class and D1's Rogue class. I loved both of those!

And for the first time in what feels like ages, I want to try all these classes. Even the Witch Doctor, which felt like was a strange choice, has emerged as a really flamboyant and crazy character. In fact I think all the characters classes have struck that balance between being recognisable (" I like hitting things. BARBARIAN LOL") and being very unique and colourful. And it's finally given the world (Sanctuary, FYI) some much needed depth. I've always loved the Diablo world, but it suffered from clear and unfiltered references - the city which is Aztec, the country which is Egypt, the town which is Medieval England - and now with this host of characters I'm starting to feel like it's coming to life more.

So I'd totally suggest getting in there and playing with the Skill Calculator. It'll get you amped! Maybe not enough for the year or so (or four or five) that it might take to get the damn game out, but it's a fun and an awesome diversion.

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