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Friday, November 7, 2008

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Diablo III: Meddling In The Affairs Of Wizards
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story has published a new article examining aspects of Blizzard Entertainment's upcoming action RPG, Diablo III. This time the Wizard takes center stage with an in-depth examination of the class based on hands-on time with the game at the recent BlizzCon event.

Though the Wizard was the new character announced at Blizzcon, there’s actually less to say about her (I’ll say “her” since the male wizard wasn’t enabled at Blizzcon.) play style than about the Barbarian or the Witch Doctor. Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s less to say since I assume everyone reading this has played a Sorceress in Diablo II, and if you’ve done that, the Diablo III wizard will feel immediately familiar, at least in the early game.

Sure, the wizard’s skills are different than the Sorceress’, especially at higher levels, but the general “feel” of the character is very Sorceress-like. That’s not because the D3 Sorc Wizard is an unimaginative or derivative character. She’s not a rip off of the Sorceress, it’s just that some similarities are inevitable given the game design. Both characters are fast moving, fast-casting, ranged-attacking, spell-hurling ranged-fighting mages who try to avoid melee range and who spend most of their early game struggling under a mana shortage (if played untwinked). Given that, they’re obviously going to be similar, especially in the early going before higher level spells and equipment allow them to play in more unique style.The Wizard in the Blizzcon build started out at level 6, with all of her skill points already assigned to a mixture of passive and active skills. There were more than six points assigned, to give players a variety of skills to use, and enough passive boosts to make them fairly effective. (And to make things a bit easier so new players could have fun killing, rather than spending most of their time restarting at the last checkpoint. Every wizard had all three active Tier 1 spells—Spectral Blade, Magic Missile, and Charged Bolt—with some of the supporting passive skills enabled as well. This is probably not how characters will be built in the real game, since specializing in one skill tree, with perhaps some low level passives from the others, looks like the best game build. (Unless respecs are easy enough that we’ll all level up with the most useful Tier 1 and 2 skills from any of the 3 skill trees, and then recycle those points into higher level skills in 1 tree when the time comes.)
Head over to the link below to read the rest. The Wizard Class
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