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Monday, November 1, 2010
 

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Diablo III Hands-On Preview Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Slashdot has posted a new hands-on preview of Diablo III, the much anticipated next installment of the popular action RPG series from Blizzard Entertainment. Them preview includes information about the environments, missions, character classes, and abilities in the upcoming game.

The first class I tried out was the Witch Doctor. It's a caster class with voodoo- and necromancer-style magic. My main ranged attack was Poison Dart, which did some damage over time to monsters I hit. Adding a rune, it changed to a fire dart, which did more up-front damage at the expense of the DoT. I also had a skill that summoned pets to help me fight -- up to three Zombie Dogs at one time. They were actually powerful enough that I eventually let them die so I would have more to do. Runes affected them differently one rune gave them a chance to drop a health orb when they died. Others modified how they did damage. The AI was pretty smart about having them attack the groups I wanted them to, and not go charging off on their own.

The skill I chose when I hit level 10 was Firebats. It functions similarly to the Inferno spell in Diablo 2, only instead of projecting a cone of flame in front of me, it projected a cone of flaming bats. The first Skill Rune I looked at extended the spell's range, trading off damage to do so. That was a bit underwhelming, since I already had ranged attacks, so I went with a different rune that turned the cone into a whirlwind of flaming bats that surrounded me. Another rune added a life-drain effect. It was tempting, but the whirlwind looked too cool to pass up. Finally, the skill that sold me on the Skill Rune system was Zombie Charger, a spell that summoned a zombie, who would shamble a few steps forward and then spray poison in the immediate vicinity. It was a solid, short-range attack. Fortunately, I lucked into a rune that modified the spell to summon a group of zombie bears that charged forward and trampled whatever was in their path. The buddy I was playing with happened to get a rune at the same time that made his Wizard's basic lightning spell change into a massive, conical spray of electricity, and we couldn't help but laugh as we used our new-found power to demolish groups of monsters.
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Archives  News  Diablo III Hands-On Preview Available