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Diablo 3, the Madness Returns

After 11 years since its predecessor was released, Diablo 3 is finally become a reality. It is rumoured that external beta testing may even begin within the next two to three months.

The game will stay true to its origins and features some familiar faces including Deckard Cain, as well as having the chance to once again battle against the forces of evil within the Sanctuary.

Five classes have been confirmed, with the chance to choose between alternate genders, a first in the Diablo series. These include the Witch Doctor (Diablo 2 Necromancer), the Barbarian, the Wizard (Diablo 2 Sorceress, Diablo 1 Sorcerer), the Monk and the Demon Hunter (Diablo 2 Amazon and Assassin).

Blizzard will continue with their quest for domination. The game will only be playable online with no LAN or offline modes. Diablo 3 will be heavily tailored towards the cooperative initiative, encouraging players to group up with their friends.

The multiplayer domain will not only include a game designed more around attracting a balanced group of classes (Diablo 2’s group play saw monsters only receiving HP increases) which will need to fight against a smarter AI and dynamic of play, but also a player vs player (PvP) orientated arena for 3 vs 3 encounters.

The largest overhaul in the series will come in the form of the skill system. Skills will no longer be upgraded individually through points, but we will see the overall skill set upgraded simultaneously. Acquiring new skills will now be accessed every few levels, where a completely new tier of three to four skills will be unlocked, all of which are immediately available.

The most unsettling addition to the game comes in the form of the recently announced Auction House. Blizzard has revealed that both an in-game auction house (similar to World of Warcraft) as well as a real-money auction house will be available to players to trade items and other components within the game. The proposed system, in Blizzard’s eyes, will see the elimination of an essentially ‘black market’ system which plagued Diablo 2. The announcement has seen mixed reactions.

Diablo 3 will feature at GamesCom from the 17th to 21st August. It is hoped that the beta will be announced and playable at the event, which will give Do Gaming the chance to test this action-packed role-playing game hands-on.

Diablo 3 is slated for a 2012 release on PC.

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