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Friday, August 21, 2009

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The Witch Doctor Battles Evil In Diablo III
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

IGN has posted a new preview of time spent with a demo version of Diablo III, Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming return to the popular action RPG franchise. The preview details some of the capabilities of the new Witch Doctor class as well as the game's new healing mechanics.

Huge swarms of enemies rushed at me in a desert environment as I chose the Witch Doctor, the Necromancer-like wielder of weird magical arts and summon abilities. To turn monsters into a bloody paste, I had only a limited number of skills, but they all proved useful. I could toss fiery skulls into the air which detonated wherever I happened to hit the attack button, giving them a flexible and welcome range. The explosions also caused a fair deal of area of effect damage, making them ideal for wiping out packs of jittery fallen or skeletons or whatever other kinds of beasts decided to bunch together. With a piercing howl a menacing specter erupts from the Witch Doctor's body, which works to horrify enemies and send them fleeing for a limited time. To my side could be called zombie dogs in battle, which I think we can all agree are the best kind of dogs. Then finally, I could pitch out a corpse spider attack, which causes opponents, when killed, to erupt into ravenous swarms of sickly green arachnids that skitter toward and inflict violence on whatever's near. Using the dogs, corpse spiders, and fire bombs all during the same fight led to some satisfying scenes of destruction.

As tends to be the case in Diablo games and others like it, there are quite a few bad guys to absorb your punishment. I was attacked by hyena-like creatures, misshapen salamanders that popped out from beneath the earth, floating specters capable of unleashing deadly whirlwind attacks, giant demons carrying long jagged swords, four-legged ice mages, toxic bees, fallen guardians who could drive their minions to all attack at once, and slithering lizard people in crypts beneath the sands. The Witch Doctor's posture isn't exactly upright. Instead it's almost comically hunched so that you could mistake him for the gnarled branch of a tree if he wasn't moving. While he didn't seem very powerful with melee, his mana recharged pretty quickly in this build so it was no problem to launch a near constant stream of fire skulls and horrify the area when things got too dangerous.

It took me a few minutes to realize I wasn't spamming potions during all the fighting. I did have a few healing draughts on my hotbar (which, by the way, also accommodates skills, a change from Diablo II I barely even noticed), but in about 20 minutes of play time I only used one. That's because some enemies will seemingly randomly drop health potions on the ground. You don't pick these up. Instead, you just walk over them and they instantly restore your health as well as, to my surprise and delight, the health of my summons. Gold also seemed to be auto-collected from the ground as the Witch Doctor walked over it.
Visit the site below to read the full preview

IGN: Diablo III Preview
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Other Mac Games News for Friday, August 21, 2009

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