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Diablo III: Timeline, Expanded RPG Elements, iTunes D3 Music
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

More information is now available about Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo III, the eagerly anticipated return to the action RPG franchise. Blizzard recently updated the game's official website with a timeline of pertinent events in the world of Sanctuary, GameBanshee has published a new interview with lead world designer Leonard Boyarsky, iTunes is now offering a free thirty second clip of the Diablo III Overture, and both Ten Ton Hammer and Gamereactor have posted video interviews with Jay Wilson.

From the Diablo III timeline:

897:
The archangel Tyrael gathers together mortal heroes to create the Horadrim. He bestows the Soulstones upon them and tasks them with tracking down and imprisoning the Prime Evils.
902:
Mephisto is captured near the jungles of Kehjistan and imprisoned under a Zakarum temple in what will eventually become Kurast.
903:
Baal is tracked to the desert near Lut Gholein. Tal Rasha, the leader of the Horadrim, sacrifices himself to capture Baal in a damaged Soulstone.
912:
Diablo is finally captured by a group of Horadrim monks led by Jered Cain. The monks bury Diablo's Soulstone near the river Talsande in Khanduras, and a Horadric monastery with a network of catacombs is built over the burial spot.
918:
The town of Tristram is established around the Horadric monastery.
From GameBanshee:
GB: Tell us about a few of the more important ways you intend to expand Diablo III's RPG elements compared to the previous iterations. How do you ensure that expanding on the RPG aspect of Diablo III won't interfere with the core hack & slash experience?
Leonard: The RPG elements we're focusing on developing more this time around are in the areas of story and character development. We really want you to feel like you can have an effect on the world -- and that the world can affect your character in turn. In the past, action-RPGs have either come down on the side of action or RPG, and we don't think that's a choice that necessarily has to be made. Our goal is to make the RPG-style story elements more engaging than they previously have been in the action-RPG genre. The main way we do this without interfering with the hack-and-slash gameplay is by making it opt-in -- if you don't care about the story, or if you’re replaying the game and have already seen the story elements, the game will still be fun, but if you do care about it, the story will bring a whole extra level of involvement to the game experience.
A central feature of this philosophy is making as few quests as possible mandatory, but having a wide variety of interesting side quests and random quests to play through if you want to. We are also doing a lot with scripted sequences and books that you can read in the game, but once again, you can completely avoid these things if they don't interest you.

GB: You've talked about fleshing out the game's NPCs more than we've seen in the past. Does that also mean more interactivity with NPCs or does the game still utilize the one-sided monologue method of its predecessors? Can you expand further on the dialogue system for us?
Leonard: We're using dialogues instead of monologues for a few reasons. For one, compared to constant NPC monologues, dialogues are more interesting for players to hear and more interesting for us to write. It also allows us to have the player drive the action and not be a pawn at the mercy of the NPCs in the game. We really want to develop the player characters as distinct in their own right and show how they view and interact with the world differently from each other. Something else we're expanding on is how characters in the world, both player and non-player, change over the course of the story.

Head over to the links provided below to learn more.

Diablo III Timeline
GameBanshee: Leonard Boyarsky Interview
iTunes Store: Diablo III Overture Clip
Ten Ton Hammer: Jay Wilson Video Interview
Gamereactor: Jay Wilson Video Interview
Blizzard Entertainment (add to watch list)
Diablo III (add to watch list)
Buy Diablo III


 

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