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Thursday, April 28, 2011
 

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Diablo III Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The New York Times has posted a new preview of Diablo III, the much anticipated next installment of the popular action RPG series from Blizzard Entertainment. The preview focuses on the game's randomized item creation and player trading.

Diabloís main lure is randomization. Every time you step into a dungeon, itís different. The layout has changed from the last time, and so have the monsters. Most important, though, each time you kill some slavering, otherworldly abomination, you never know what it may be carrying. Most likely, it will be garbage. But there is a slim chance that youíll end up with an incredibly powerful relic that no other player in the world has seen. Thatís because each piece of treasure is generated randomly.

Call it the slot-machine effect. Every time you pull that handle, you might, just might, hit the jackpot. You probably wonít, but the tantalizing possibility keeps you playing. (The human brainís eager response to intermittent rewards is well known and explains much of the appeal of sports like golf, where the memory and feeling of one good shot maintains playersí interest even though they are hacking around dreadfully most of the time.)
Like a well-designed slot machine, a good action role-playing game also satisfies the brainís craving for feedback by rewarding near-constant clicking of the mouse (or the pulling of the entirely cosmetic wooden handle) with a steady stream of little audio cues like chimes and bloops.

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NYTimes.com: Diablo III Preview
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