Official Diablo III Logo (Courtesy Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo III Beta Gameplay Screenshots & Movie

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It’s been years in the making, but finally fans all over the world are getting their first look at the newest Diablo title from Blizzard Entertainment. The Diablo III beta was launched late last week and Blizzard was kind enough to let us check it out firsthand.

Official Diablo III Logo (Courtesy Blizzard Entertainment)

Diablo III Logo (Courtesy Blizzard Entertainment)

To call the Diablo franchise a success is a huge understatement as many fans are still playing Diablo II nearly 12 years after its original release date. Some gamers might recall seeing these long, long wait times for sequels in the past. In some cases the new games were worth the wait like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which took up several years of my life. However, other games, like Duke Nukem Forever, turned out to be a major flop. Only one way to find out whether Diablo III shares the same fate, let’s dive into the gameplay.

The beta is made up of the short segment of the first act of the game and ends at the defeat of King Leoric. All character classes are available, including Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard. I was able to grow to about level 10 before completing the beta, and I will say it was a solid 3 hours or so of excitement. Movements, attacks, potions, items, and inventory are all very similar to its predecessor.

From a performance standpoint, I was able to play the game at the highest graphic settings available including 1920×1080 full HD with my unlocked Sapphire HD 6950 card. I also tested out the game with a HIS HD 6770 and was noticing some lag and artifacts at the highest settings. This card was not designed to handle HD gaming, so it’s not really a big issue. At lower settings, this GPU managed to handle the game flawlessly.

The graphics were outstanding, in my opinion. For a game of this nature, graphics are not usually a focal point but the effects were solid, especially the lighting and shadows. Although improvements can be made according to longtime Diablo fan and Overclockers.com editor Matt Green, who hopes AA and dynamic lighting are available in the final game release:

AA should be there since it’s an option in the settings, but there’s just no mode other than off. Dynamic lighting would be nice, to see abilities light up the environment, like a Wizard’s spell shot down a cave would light up the cave along the spell’s path.

As stated above, there are some settings that do appear in the graphics menu that cannot be toggled in the beta. It is likely that these enhanced effects will be added in the final version of the game, although we cannot confirm that.

For your viewing pleasure, we created a gameplay video to showcase the full experience of Diablo III (please note the gameplay was not created in HD resolution, so graphics may be less impressive):

Also, check out some screenshots:

To stay up to date on the latest game releases, rumors and performance data, keep a close eye on the OC Forums Games section. Currently there are several active threads on the upcoming Battlefield 3 beta, Resident Evil 6 trailer and the discussion that inspired this article, Diablo III NDA Lifted.

Additional Resources from the official Diablo III website:

If you have the beta, please share your impressions with us regarding GPU performance, gameplay, and anything else.

- Matt Ring (mdcomp)

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Discussion
  1. MattNo5ss
    Introducing Global Play for Diablo III

    Source


    Well that will push money diggers to either have spoof IP addresses for regions or what not. Maybe that might keep the real money auction houses in line for a little bit.
    Oh, and beta has officially ended...

    As a reminder for all beta participants, the Diablo III closed beta will officially end tomorrow morning (May 1) at 3:00 a.m. PDT. At that time, beta servers will no longer be available for play.

    Thank you so much for your insight and feedback during this critical stage of Diablo III's development. We look forward to seeing you online -- or at one of our midnight launch events -- on May 15!



    Source
    Introducing Global Play for Diablo III

    Want to take on the hordes of the Burning Hells with a friend from halfway around the world? In Diablo® III, you'll be able to play on game servers in regions outside your own, with a few restrictions, using Battle.net®'s new Global Play functionality. Here's how it works....

    Diablo III's global game servers are grouped into three distinct game regions:



    • The Americas - For players in the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.

    • Europe - For players in the European Union, Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, and Middle Eastern countries such as Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

    • Asia - For players in South Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.



    In general, players will create characters and play in their "home" region, which is determined by where they live (specifically, the country of residence registered to their Battle.net account). Global Play gives players the ability to switch to any of the other game regions via the in-game options menu, either before or after they log in to the game.

    Note that characters, items, and friends lists do not transfer across regions. Playing on a different region's servers means you'll be creating characters and friends lists specifically for that region, and you'll be accessing the gold-based auction house for that region.

    In addition, players will only have access to the real-money auction house (where applicable) when playing in their "home" game region. That means that, for characters outside of your home region, items cannot be bought or sold in any real-money auction house. The focus of Global Play is simply to give you the ability to play Diablo III together with your friends in any region.

    For more information on Global Play in Diablo III, see the FAQ.


    Source
    MattNo5ss
    Unless I missed some changes, stats do increase damage for characters:



    • Strength increases damage for Barbarians

    • Dexterity increases damage for Demon Hunters and Monks

    • Intelligence increases damage for Wizards and Witch Doctors



    IIRC, each point equals 1% more damage.


    Oh, I know it does, what I'm saying is on the character sheet the DPS numbers don't increase. Would be nice to see that when I add 5 dext (for example) the DPS numbers increase as I just added 5% more damage/ability power
    Unless I missed some changes, stats do increase damage for characters:



    • Strength increases damage for Barbarians

    • Dexterity increases damage for Demon Hunters and Monks

    • Intelligence increases damage for Wizards and Witch Doctors



    IIRC, each point equals 1% more damage.
    Yeah, that's what I ended up doing for most of it until I got a rare xbow to go with another high-dps xbow. I wish the DPS numbers increased as the stats went up (ie dexterity/int/strength/etc... but they don't)
    Yeah, the xbows seem to just add to your DPS while you attack about the same speed. Seems the same for all dual wielding really...maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention.

    A single xbow + quiver seemed to give me better DPS than dual xbows, so don't forget to try that out too. Don't just assume dual xbows is better, I did that for a while :facepalm:
    So I have now played through the beta with each of the characters. I honestly have no idea which I liked the most (:facepalm:) I was hoping that it would be an easy decision, but each one I played with I really enjoyed... wizard probably the least . I think Monk was a blast to play, especially with the teleporting punching, barbarian was good after I could leap. WD is a great time with the pets/etc, and DH is a great hit/run fighting type [although I wish it would be more noticeable if you have dual-CBs equipped, faster shooting or something, I didn't notice anything like that). Basically makes any secondary weapon just a stat-stick.
    MattNo5ss
    Like you said, D2 was just enough str/dex for equipment and the rest into vitality for every class, except for a couple builds like glass cannon zon or ES sorc. I'm thinking the set attribute points per level in D3 will make the difference between classes larger. There are also huge stat affixes on items (unlike D2), so stat customization will come from items in D3.

    I like the skill tree because it's familiar, but it didn't really give us much customization in D2. It was usually max 2 skills and put rest of the points in synergies. So, there was probably 3-4 viable builds per class and everybody who had a specific build used the same skills and synergies.

    The barbarian in D2 had a total of 30 skills to unlock and use (every character had 30). In D3, the barbarian has 38 skills plus 5*38 runes, so that comes out 6*38=228 different skills. However, not all runes completely change a skill, but many do make a significant change. I think there's possibility for quite a bit more diversity in D3 than there was in D2.

    I think what a lot of people don't like about the new system is that there aren't really any permanent decisions to make about your character. Whether that's a good or bad thing is debatable.


    One of my friends worked it out and i dont remember the exact number all i remember that if you were able to try each combo of runes and skills for 10 min each you would be dead before you got to try them all... it was rediculous. if i can talk to him again ill see if he remembers the exact numbers or would do the work to figure it out again.
    I personally loved the stat building in D2 and such. And most of the time I dropped more into strength/vit... though I didn't always dump everything into Vit! Gave me a little more edge for damage and just quicker with the potions :)

    I think I'll like my Barbarian again as usual! Though not totally sold on the WH yet, though I would play him but probably take a little interest into the Sorc.

    So how many days? :p All I know its 6 days when I get back from my vacation.
    bigben6
    THIS is also a problem IMO.... at any given time if you find a new build form someone else you can swap it over, there r no long term consequences to your choices.... i dunno, im gonna play it, its very good, but i think it could be better honestly... we will see how runes play out and forging gear plays out once it is live, but it would be nice to have some sort of choice system with some semblance of permanence attached to it...


    I personally would hate to make a newbie mistake and put points into things that I didn't' know any better about and then have to completely re-roll a character in order to make up for that. I'm all for stat allocations, but there needs to be a way to re-do them (ala the talent trees in WoW) that could be a gold sink/etc.
    MattNo5ss


    I think what a lot of people don't like about the new system is that there aren't really any permanent decisions to make about your character. Whether that's a good or bad thing is debatable.


    THIS is also a problem IMO.... at any given time if you find a new build form someone else you can swap it over, there r no long term consequences to your choices.... i dunno, im gonna play it, its very good, but i think it could be better honestly... we will see how runes play out and forging gear plays out once it is live, but it would be nice to have some sort of choice system with some semblance of permanence attached to it...
    MattNo5ss
    Just knowing how much time I'll put into this game makes it worth the $60 to me. IIRC, D2 + LoD was ~$60, and I played for 10+ years, so that's $6 or less per year :rofl:


    Diablo 3 should challenge my playtime of starcraft for most people.
    I was a bit surprised to see that the attributes were automatically applied to the charachter - but I guess it's a lot like traditional RPG's where as you would level up, some attributes would go up more than others depending upon charachter class. Unfortunately, I missed a week ago where NewEgg was selling D3 for $50. The plus side, however, is I remembered I have $20 in credit there, so if I can pick up the game for $40 it's worth it for me :) Would be nice to play w/ people who want to follow along the story line and don't go running all over creation, at least during the first round of play.
    Like you said, D2 was just enough str/dex for equipment and the rest into vitality for every class, except for a couple builds like glass cannon zon or ES sorc. I'm thinking the set attribute points per level in D3 will make the difference between classes larger. There are also huge stat affixes on items (unlike D2), so stat customization will come from items in D3.

    I like the skill tree because it's familiar, but it didn't really give us much customization in D2. It was usually max 2 skills and put rest of the points in synergies. So, there was probably 3-4 viable builds per class and everybody who had a specific build used the same skills and synergies.

    The barbarian in D2 had a total of 30 skills to unlock and use (every character had 30). In D3, the barbarian has 38 skills plus 5*38 runes, so that comes out 6*38=228 different skills. However, not all runes completely change a skill, but many do make a significant change. I think there's possibility for quite a bit more diversity in D3 than there was in D2.

    I think what a lot of people don't like about the new system is that there aren't really any permanent decisions to make about your character. Whether that's a good or bad thing is debatable.
    it will be well worth 60 dollars IMO, i played the Demon Hunter a.k.a. thief from the original, like it alot but i have always liked the glass cannon/hit and run style of play. Played witch doc to lvl 8ish too and had fun but it was MUCH harder, possibly by design possibly because im not used to that play style....

    I am VERY torn on the lack of attribute points, str, dex, vit, mag, stamina etc. alot of people are saying "everyone put only enough into str for armor and dex for dodge/block and dumped everything else into vit" and maybe they did but i feel like opening up stuff along the way with lvl is kinda shallowing the play. Now, maybe with the rune stones and crafting etc. ill get the decision making/craft a custom avatar experience i felt like i missed, but in the beta at least i felt like save for luck fo equipment found, every lvl13 DH would be essentially identical to mine... maybe not on the end game..

    even a skill tree like say Hell Gate London (if anyone else ever played that one) would be good because you can still have separation between 2 avatars of the same root class...

    Thoughts?
    I'm with Matt on that one it was the same for me. And just to show how different every play through can be because of the random events I just found Warriv's Journal on dead Warriv's body first time I have found that.