Diablo 3 ‘Witch Doctor’ Revealed

Week 4 of the Diablo 3 reveals this week, and now we have the Witch Doctor. Once again the video has a very cool comic style telling the story of the class before jumping into some gameplay action.

“The witch doctors. Sage conjurers, enchanters, and mystical warriors who are driven by a charge to maintain spiritual balance and harmony in the violent world of Sanctuary. They command ancient magics rooted in the primal powers of life and death, and are adept at summoning fearsome, shadowy creatures. A witch doctor is armed with simple talismans, fetishes, rough carvings… and endless ravening throngs of vengeful spirits set to bring destruction at their master’s command.”

I’ve got to say that Blizzard keep making it more and more difficult to choose a class to play at launch, I thought I had decided but now I am not so sure.

Watch the trailer after the break.

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Diablo 3 Launch Site Reveals The Monk

The third reveal from the Diablo 3 launch website, Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise, is the Monk;

“The monks. Holy warriors who believe that the madness and chaos of Sanctuary are destined to be brought into order, and that it is their sacred mission to assist their thousand and one gods in doing so. Arrayed in the fiery colors of Ytar, the fire god, monks draw from their years of intense training and meditation to become masters of melee combat. While proficient with many types of weapons‚ Aistaves, blades, maces and spears, monks have no real need for such crude tools. Their discipline has honed both body and mind into living instruments of divine justice”.

You can read a new short story for the Monk class on the website as well as a short background.

Watch the trailer for the Monk after the break.

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Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm Multiplayer Updated

Blizzard’s Dustin Browder has updated the Starcraft II website with a long post detailing the changes and challenges of creating the multiplayer in Heart of the Swarm.

From the blog:

Terrans

Terrans have undergone significant changes since we talked about them at BlizzCon. We have not kept the shredder, and even the warhound is in contention. The shredder was very confusing for players as well as being something that was easily used to kill a large number of workers with little to no warning. It was rarely used for its intended role of map control. The warhound still feels a little too much like a small thor, which is just not new enough to give terran players new strategies. We are still experimenting with a wide range of units, particularly from the factory, which we think is a little light on options. We have had a great deal of trouble with the terrans largely because they are such a flexible and effective race in StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. We want to provide terran players with new strategies, however, so we will continue to work on them.

If we keep the Thor, we are currently experimenting with an anti-air spider mine that would give the terrans a way to get some factory-built anti-air into small places that a Thor has trouble reaching (like near your minerals). Whether this is meaningful, considering terrans have marines, is still in question. We are also experimenting with an extremely long-ranged terran missile launcher that can be used to break siege tank lines to make terran-vs.-terran factory-based games more dynamic.

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Diablo 3 Launch Website is Now Live

Blizzard have made the launch website for Diablo 3 live. From the website:

The “Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise” site will reward you and your friends for preparing to face the impeding demonic invasion and rising up as the heroes of Sanctuary. You’ll be able to find new information, videos, unlockable content, contests, a banner customization tool, and your chance to win five exclusive sigils for use on your customizable banner when Diablo III launches. Venture to New Tristram, seek the fallen star, and fulfill your heroic destiny”.

The website contests give you the chance to win gear signed by the Diablo 3 development team. Each week leading up to released there will be a new class revealed with information and videos of the class in action, as well as short stories featuring that particular class. The launch here is the Demon Hunter class. The video is a mixture of a cool graphic novel style and Demon Hunter gameplay.

Probably the most exciting part of the website is the art contest. As stated on the Blizzard site, “The Portrait of a Champion art contest challenges artists far and wide to depict one (or more) of the Diablo III classes rising to meet the challenges of the demonic invasion. Artists who instill the essence of the campaign’s theme — “Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise” — in their images can win some impressive loot! Prizes include ASUS monitors with 3D Vision kits, ASUS video cards, Antec Diablo III computer cases, and SteelSeries peripherals. See the Portrait of a Champion Art Contest rules for further details, or enter now. We’ll be adding approved images to the gallery up until the deadline, so keep an eye out”.

Watch the Demon Hunter video after the break.

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Diablo 3 Inferno Difficulty Updated

A blue post on the Diablo 3 forums by Bashiok has revealed that Blizzard has changed the difficulty in the Diablo 3 Inferno mode from a flat level from the beginning to something that gets progressively harder as you progress through the game.

Reasons behind the change were explained as:

  • It just felt wrong. It didn’t feel right to be progressing through the game and have it stay pretty much the same difficulty the whole time. It felt like a letdown to get to the final boss of the game and it be no more difficult than the first.
  • There’s a wide variety of players out there and we wanted to make sure everybody had something to sink their teeth into. We expect that anybody with enough time and dedication will reach level 60.  But the jump in difficulty to Inferno needed to be different amounts for different people.  For the crazy people they need a HUGE ramp in difficulty, for a more “casual but still hardcore” audience you want an obvious but milder increase in difficulty.  So for the crazy people who play non-stop they’ll hit Act I and get a challenge, but 1 month later they’ll still have something to work on (Acts II, III and IV).  For the “hardcore-casual” they will reach level 60 later and not get brick walled when they reach Inferno.  They can experience some “small victories” working on Act I with the dream of maybe someday reaching the later acts.
  • Longevity.  We know people really want goals to work towards and challenges to overcome.  We made Act III and Act IV really, really brutally hard, for the most elite players only.  It felt wrong to make ALL of Inferno that brutally hard.

I think this is a good thing, another example of Blizzard trying to accommodate all gamers, not just the hardcore. A lesson I’m sure they took from World of Warcraft dungeon design.

Diablo 3 releases May 15.

Source

Guild Wars 2 Collectors Edition Revealed

If you are a fan of Guild Wars you are going to drool over this Collectors Edition of Guild Wars 2 that has just been announced. The release contains:

  • 10-inch Rytlock Figurine
  • 112 Page Making Of Book
  • Best of Guild Wars 2 Soundtrack
  • Art book and 5 art Prints
  • Custom Art Frame
  • Special in-game items, Summon Mistfire Wolf skill, Mini Rytlock, Chalice of Glory, Tome of Influence and a Golem Banker.

You will also receive access to all Beta events prior to release of the game, a 3 day head start into the game and a Hero’s Band in-game item that grants +2 to all stats.

A pretty impressive Collectors Edition if I do say so myself. It will sell for $149.99.

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