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Diablo

HotS event ends photo
HotS event ends

Heroes of the Storm's Eternal Conflict event ends next week


Get that free Diablo before it's gone!
Sep 03
// Nic Rowen
Blizzard is, ironically, putting an end to the Eternal Conflict event on September 8 next week. The Diablo theme will be taken out, and the special event quest to genocide every last Treasure Goblin will come to an end. ...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III's massive 2.3.0 patch is live on current consoles and PC


New area
Aug 27
// Chris Carter
Blizzard has dropped its 2.3.0 patch for Diablo III, which brings a number of enhancements to the current-gen and PC versions of the game. You'll find the new area the Ruins of Sescheron, new difficulty levels, ability and m...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Here's how to get the Diablo III/Heroes of the Storm cross-items


Items for both games
Aug 18
// Chris Carter
Blizzard has explained the cross-promotion efforts for Diablo III and Heroes of the Storm, which can net you some nice little extras depending on how much you play. First off, anyone who owns Diablo III (has a licen...
Blizzard photo
Blizzard

Blizzard posts art director job for unannounced Diablo project


More expansions gotta be coming
Aug 11
// Chris Carter
After the wild success of Reaper of Souls, it's a given that more Diablo III expansions are coming. To add fuel to the fire, Blizzard has posted a job opening for an art director, for an undiclosed Diablo-related project...

Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

These are the next three Heroes of the Storm


Artanis, Kharazim, and Rexxar
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
I don't think I'll stray far from Valla (especially now that I have her Master Skin), but I have been stockpiling gold for another Diablo character in Heroes of the Storm -- Kharazim, Monk of Ivgorod. At gamescom, Blizzard opened up about the Monk and shared details on two other heroes (Warcraft's Rexxar and StarCraft's Artanis) as well as a new three-lane map, Infernal Shrines.
Diablo photo
Diablo

Diablo's got wood in this awesome Tristram map


$150 though
Aug 04
// Chris Carter
Do you like wood? What if it had a map etched into it? Alex Griendling has crafted just that, and it features Tristram, the classic town from the Diablo franchise. The whole shebang is 18 1/2" by 14", and will run y...
StarCraft II photo
StarCraft II

StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void details cross-game pre-order bonuses


For Hearthstone, Diablo III, and Heroes
Jul 15
// Chris Carter
[Update 2: Said details can be found here, and check out the debut trailer below for the prologue. A retail Collector’s Edition is confirmed, and Heart of the Swarm is now a standalone game as of today.] [Update:&n...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Take a gander at pretty much every upcoming Heroes of the Storm addition


Characters and skins
Jun 18
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm is getting some new content soon, starting on June 30th with a new Diablo level and The Butcher, and following up with King Leoric and the Monk a bit later on. In the meantime, you can take a look at...
 photo

Giveaway: Diablo + Skin for HotS!


Free stuff for your face!
Jun 05
// Mike Martin
[Update: I am still going. It's slow yes, I apologize for that. This turned out to be more complicated than I anticipated and I didn't ask for help to do it. Don't blame anyone but me for that. I am devoting almost all my fre...

Review: Heroes of the Storm

Jun 02 // Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm (Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: Blizzard EntertainmentPublisher: Blizzard EntertainmentMSRP: Free-to-playRelease Date: June 2, 2015 Fundamentally, Heroes is still very much a MOBA experience. It's a five-on-five, top-down, click-heavy affair with various roles such as support, tanks, and DPS, and there's a variety of different characters to choose from. To help break down the barrier to entry, Blizzard has made a number of concessions that set it apart from its competition. Perhaps the biggest difference with Heroes of the Storm is that there are no longer items of any kind, and that's something I'm really, really happy about. While I definitely appreciate the "me-too" nature of adding items to every new MOBA, as it did initially stem from the original DOTA (and by proxy, Warcraft III's shops), learning new item-meta in addition to every map and every nuance for each character can be taxing. I'll often spend hours upon hours theorycrafting builds when returning to specific MOBAs just to figure out the best course of action, which can get tiring if you have to do it for every game. Potions have been replaced by healing wells, found at every fort checkpoint -- making it even easier to get back into the action without any boring moments. Now, there's still plenty of theorycrafting to be had with Heroes of the Storm as characters do get the ability to choose between different abilities after hitting certain level milestones, but you don't need to worry about that one extra crucial layer that can make or break a match. But without items, newer players will be able to pick up any hero and play. Builds are initially limited as you start to level-up within the game's ranking system, offering only a few paths for heroes you've never played as before. It only takes a few games until everything is available though, and at player level 25 (a few days of heavy sessions), every skill will be unlocked automatically. In short, it'll be very easy to come back to Heroes months down the line and learn new playstyles. [embed]292749:58760:0[/embed] The open-ended build system is also great for another reason. Even if you don't build the perfect group composition for any given team, all hope isn't lost at hero selection. For instance, you can spec your support or tank characters into a more damage-centric role over the course of the game. Healers can spec entirely for damage if there's multiple support members on the team, and warriors can go a more tanky route if there's no one to soak up damage. It's far more forgiving than most MOBAs, where you can get yelled at for picking a hero that doesn't fit the current meta, much less your group. Shared experience is the other huge mechanic that Heroes of the Storm is pushing. Basically, it allows everyone on the team to be on the same exact level as one another at all times. For example, you won't have one master player who knows exactly how to lane amassing all of the XP on your team. Instead, the worst player is just as strong as the best one. I dig this system for multiple reasons. For one, it doesn't discourage players from attempting to mount a comeback. While another team can still theoretically outlevel their opponents as a collective, everyone can now feel like they're contributing without having fingers pointed at them. The cast itself is also a huge draw, mostly because it calls upon the rich lore already established in the Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft universes. There's not much backstory in terms of the world itself (unlike Riot Games, which does a fantastic job of keeping its lore interesting and fresh), but each hero has a ton of personality to make up for it. Old familiar characters like Thrall or Raynor have a lot of the same icons and skills from their respective games, as well as updated designs and sound effects. It's a joy to play as Nova and hear the classic StarCraft Ghost phrases, running up against the Lord of Terror himself, Diablo. It sounds hyperbolic, but I really do like playing as everyone (the only hero I straight-up don't like is Tychus), and there's more than enough variation to keep everyone entertained. Abathur, for instance, is a character that doesn't directly fight on the battlefield, but instead hitches a ride on other heroes (as well as towers and creeps) to do battle in the form of a sentient spirit of sorts. The Lost Vikings are a lot like Meepo from DOTA, in the sense that they're actually three different units that can be controlled independently, all in different lanes if you can handle it. There are plenty of more traditional platstyles available, as well as more unique choices like Zagara, who summons minions from StarCraft and can create creep (that barren-esque Zerg terrain) to buff herself. Other characters like Ghost and Zeratul can go stealth to pick off enemies. Sylvanas can disable towers or creeps by attacking them. Uther can heal for a short time after his death. You've seen some of these mechanics before in the genre, but the way each style plays out is unique to Heroes. If you're bored of playing the same exact five-on-five, three-lane map over and over in every game, Heroes can offer some respite. There's tons of maps to learn (seven in all at launch, with another Diablo-themed map in development), all of which have objectives built into them. These mini-quests range from collecting coins to pay a ghost pirate to blow away an enemy base, or defending a circle that shoots lasers at opposing forts. While a lot of folks likely won't enjoy the fact that a team can come back and win because of these events, they're actually just a more streamlined and flashy way of handling the Dragon and Baron Nashor objectives in, say, League of Legends. They're also designed to expedite matches -- an average Heroes game is usually 20 minutes, which is a stark contrast to 45-60 minute matches elsewhere. It's a great philosophy, as one of the common genre complaints is the fact that games take forever. The less Blizzard copies the status quo, the better. Heroes of the Storm also provides a more relaxed environment in general. There's far less pressure in unranked matches (as there should be), and there's even an option to turn off allied chat, thus avoiding taunts from angry players -- instead, you can rely on the fairly extensive pinging system on the mini-map to communicate. "All" chat is also entirely disabled, so you won't hear enemy trash-talking either. There's a few bad apples here and there, but in my experience, this is by and large the most welcoming MOBA community. This should help alleviate a lot of the concerns people have in regards to starting up the genre. For those of you who are more competitive, there is a ranked option called Hero League. There's no bans currently, but you can solo or group queue for it, and hero selection is done by a "draft" style format, where players switch off selecting characters. From what I've played of ranked, the community is just as understanding and helpful, and in every lobby I've been in, players have suggested picks for inexperienced folk and adjusted their picks to help the team. At the highest player rank there's also a team Hero League option for all five players to enter. Currently, the ranked system needs a bit more work in terms of the infrastructure behind it. Blizzard has noted that it is building a system in line with Hearthstone's ladder rankings, but top-tier players will require a lot more to keep playing. In terms of monetizaton, Heroes is roughly on par with League (which is fine by me), but with a slightly lower earn-rate for in-game currency. Yes, it's awesome that Dota 2 has all of its heroes unlocked from the start, and I wish we could have that strategy implemented in every MOBA. But the reality is, Blizzard has created enough avenues to earn gold, and the free-to-play rotation every week will still allow you to play every role and get the full Heroes experience. To earn gold, you can complete daily quests, which will net you around one character per month (depending on the price). By playing frequently, you'll earn gold inherently through completed matches, and by leveling up heroes, you'll earn a nice gold bonus at specific ranks. It's not really hard to do any of these tasks -- they merely require you to play heroes from specific franchises, roles, or play the hero itself a certain amount. There's also a few bundles, including a $20 physical boxed set at launch, that provide a large number of characters. A handful of heroes are also very cheap, to the point where you can buy a few after only a day or so of play. Ever since the beta, I've always had a reserved take on Heroes' economy. In short, it's a bit too conservative in terms of rewards, and Blizzard doesn't put out nearly enough sales (the weekly is usually just a middling one character). That could change over time, but for now, I would like to see a higher earn-rate overall. The good news is that all real-money purchases are just that -- real-money, with dollars and cents. You don't need to wade through and calculate "Riot Points" to figure out how much something costs. Skins are only available for purchase with real cash, which doesn't really bother me as they are a completely optional affair. Plus, when you see how much work goes into making a skin, the prices feel justified, especially when they're on sale. Heroes of the Storm has unfairly been branded as a "just a casual game" due to the removal of many tried and true MOBA mechanics. With over 100 hours of play under my belt, I can say with authority that those claims are untrue. Heroes has a ton of depth, it's very well balanced (though not perfect), and nearly every cast member is a blast to play. It achieves almost everything it sets out to accomplish, so I really hope it catches on with the non-believers and continues to grow. [This review is based on a retail build of the free-to-play game, but Blizzard provided us with 60,000 gold to spend in the shop. A $20 retail starter pack was purchased by the reviewer. I am currently player level 40, the maximum.]
Heroes of the Storm photo
My new go-to MOBA
When people hear the term "MOBA" they usually groan. I tend to respond with, "Tell me more." I grew up with RTS games since I could grasp a mouse and keyboard, and my first MOBA was the original DOTA back in 2005. Over t...

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt photo
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher almost didn't star leading man Geralt


Would you have preferred a customisable lead character?
May 26
// Vikki Blake
Former Witcher project lead Ryszard Chojnowski has shed light on the development of the hugely popular RPG series in a YouTube video, revealing that the game was very nearly a top-down Diablo clone inspired by the l...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm is now in open beta, will launch next month


On June 2
May 20
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm has been in alpha and closed beta sessions for a while, but it's prepping for a full launch next month. For now, you can enter the open beta on Mac or PC with a simple signup on the game's websi...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III to celebrate third anniversary the only way it knows how: cows


Moovelous
May 15
// Chris Carter
Diablo III turns three years old today, and Blizzard is hosting an event to celebrate. PC, Xbox One, and PS4 players will be able to embark upon extra portal quests, which will grant you extra loot. It'll run until May 2...

The beauty and tragedy of a perfectly planned character

Apr 27 // Nic Rowen
I spent way too much time looking at screens like this. City of Heroes probably holds the dubious distinction of having the most skewed relationship in terms of “time spent planning characters VS time spent playing characters” in my life. I spent entire nights pouring over different power sets, ability combinations, and team synergies for a game that doesn't exist anymore. I devoted hours upon hours to figuring out the perfect stat progression for super villains that I knew in my heart of hearts I'd never take out of the starter area. The only crime they'd ever commit would be loitering. However, City of Heroes wasn't the only game to trigger this kind of obsessive cataloging, not by a long shot. I have a stack of character builds and ideas as thick as the Yellow Pages for Dark Souls PvP set-ups, gimmicky X-Com squads, and Darkest Dungeon dream teams. I have concept characters (complete with embarrassing back stories) sketched out for both of the modern Fallout games. All of their would-be perks, S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats, and fashionable item accessories already plotted out -- all that’s left would be to actually wander out in the wastes and find them, but who could be bothered after so much work? This goes way back, long before I had easy access to the internet where character planners and clever apps make it simple to plot these things out. Go back to the Precambrian era of high school days, dig through the fossil records of my notebooks and I'm sure you could find Diablo 2 skill trees scribbled in the margins of my English homework. The cave wall painting blueprints of a Hammerdin specced holy warrior looming above my predictable observations about MacBeth (probably, hopefully, accompanied by a cool doodle of a flying hammer crushing a zombie's skull).   When I step back and look at the sheer amount of go-nowhere ideas and try to tally up the time I've sunk into them compared to the relatively meager hours I've clocked into some of the games they're for, it dawns on me -- maybe this is kind of messed up. Maybe I've been living all wrong. Looking at it from a distance, it all seems quietly sad. I've spent more time in my head with some of these games (some of my favorite games, I might add) than I have playing them. There's a small critical voice in the back of my mind that is furious with me for squandering those hours, for not doing something more productive with the time -- both in the sense of actually playing the fucking games, and in the broader and more judgmental “what are you doing with your life?!” sense.  I have perfectly good reasons (or maybe I should call them “justifications”) for all the obsessive plotting and scheming. For one thing, there are just too many cool ideas out there and not enough time to see them through. For as much as I beat myself up for the papery death of my stillborn characters, I never really would have had the time to convert those dreams into reality even if I had the work ethic of John Henry. How long does a full play through of Diablo 2 take anyway? How many trips through Hell do you need to make to grind through the necessary experience points? If you're after a certain item set (and you know you are because you're the kind of crazy person who didn't stop reading three paragraphs ago) you'd probably need to go online to trade and wheedle your way into a full set to see it done. It's a hell of a lot more of a time investment than goofing off in English class, that's for sure. Sketching out those ideas for gimmicky Paladins and upstart Mages let me stave off the temptation to roll another character while I took my (unfortunately less imaginative) Barbarian to kick the shit out of the Prince of Lies. In a weird (insincere) way, I could even argue it helped me save time. Besides, an immaculately planned character can be satisfying in its own right. It's always good to get your intellectual hands dirty, to put your fingers into the putty of an idea, to roll it around and shape it. As far as pastimes go, you could do worse. Let's not forget all the situations where actually playing a game would be impractical. You can goof off a little at the office and play around with the Borderlands skill editor without causing much of a scene. But try and boot up your lv 30 Gunzerker at your desk just once and you'll never hear the end of it. Human Resources takes a dim view on bringing akimbo guns blazing justice to the wasteland during company hours, apparently.  Still, I look at the swollen and poorly organized folder where I dump all of my character ideas, filthy with PDF character sheets, webpage saves from online builders, .txt documents imported from PC to PC for games I'm not even sure I own anymore, and I wonder if I have a problem. I can justify all the characters I cooked up sitting in class or during lunch breaks? I know I spent just as many perfectly fine nights sitting in front of the same machine that actually displays and runs the games I was thinking about, tapping away at some poorly conceived concept character while utterly ignoring the game itself. At the same time though, I love those characters, I love those ideas. Yeah, most of them never made it out of the gate, but those characters had character. If videogames are mostly an exercise in mental stimulation, of burning off stressed out braincells and decompressing after a long shitty day, does it really matter if the satisfaction you get from them is through play or by tinkering with the ideas they present? If I could swap those hours around, gut about a quarter of that folder and take the time spent on the fantasizing about those ideas to actually playing out a few of them, would I be more satisfied? Or would it shake out to be about the same? I honestly have no idea. What I do know is that while writing this article, I did have an idea for another Dark Souls 2 character, and it's been all I could do to keep myself from drifting over to a wiki to start putting him together. There may be no hope for me.
Character building photo
I'm the man with the plan (and little else)
I've probably spent more time creating characters, builds, and dreaming up party compositions in my head than I have actually playing games. It seems odd to think of it in that way, but if I could somehow tally it all up I be...

Adoriablo photo
Adoriablo

Diablo III's Big Head Mode is too cute


...And it begins
Mar 31
// Brett Makedonski
Season 3 in Diablo III is almost upon us, but before we delve into something that serious, let's pull back a bit and use the adorable as a palate cleanser. (Who would've ever thought that "adorable" would be an adjectiv...
Diablo 3 photo
Diablo 3

Sorry America and Europe, no Diablo III microtransactions for you


It's probably for the best
Feb 20
// Robert Summa
Blizzard has revealed that their upcoming 2.2.0 patch for Diablo III will include microtransactions. However there's a catch: It won't apply to the Americas or EU regions. So, I guess that leaves everyone else to milk that Di...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm entering into closed beta this week


From alpha to beta
Jan 14
// Chris Carter
Heroes of the Storm is feeling pretty great so far, and it's only in alpha form. Well, it was in alpha, as Blizzard has just sent word over that it has entered the beta phase. A patch is ringing in the change, which adds...

100% Series Retrospective: Diablo

Oct 24 // Chris Carter
Why Diablo? Diablo has a special place in my heart for numerous reasons. It was one of the first co-op games I ever played with my pal Joey, who would end up being one of my go-to friends for gaming to this day, nearly two decades later. It was the first game I played over a [dial-up] internet connection. It was also one of the first games I really started theorycrafting for -- or for those who aren't aware of the term, basically obsessing over item values and statlines. Diablo II came at a specific time in my life when I was going through some major family troubles. It also "clicked" with my group like wildfire. Slowly but surely Joey and I recruited tons of people into a massive collective, where we'd share secrets and tips, as well as loot farm together. I saw people go from "I don't know what Diablo even is" to playing it for entire weekends. You know that feeling when you're playing a cool game none of your friends are in on? This was the antithesis of that. I'll never forget a hilarious quote from a newlywed couple that was twice our age and started gaming with us when they said "dying in Hardcore Mode (where your character is deleted instantly after death) is like dying in real life." Diablo II was one of the biggest group experiences I've ever had outside of the original StarCraft and the first Halo. I'll never forget it. Diablo III wasn't nearly as life-changing as the first two, but it allowed my wife to get into the series, and we've enjoyed many hours of co-op together. However you slice it, Diablo has gotten me through a lot of tough times and created lasting memories. Diablo - Mac, PC [owned], PlayStation [owned] Although I had played a lot of dungeon crawlers as a kid, there was nothing quite like Diablo. I still remember the day I unassumingly booted it up for the first time, in the early afternoon, asking my parents to play it late into the night. My first character was a Rogue, the agility-inspired female character that was playable alongside the male Warrior and Sorcerer. I recall the first time I became hooked, very early into the game. The town of Tristram was sprawling, with a decent amount of secrets and a lot of character. The really cool thing about Diablo is that it takes place in one zone, with one giant dungeon at your disposal that you slowly progress through. The first major quest deals with killing The Butcher, who was an immensely satisfying kill after hearing those level-up sounds and seeing all the rewards that came with it. This was essentially Positive Reinforcement: The Game. Diablo was an open-ended dungeon crawler in that it didn't prescribe to a heavy-duty build limitation system. Although it was "best" to min-max, you could freely distribute your stats upon leveling up, and everyone could earn from generally the same pool of spells and abilities. If you played online outside of a circle of friends, mods, trainers, and hacks were rampant, unfortunately. I avoided them wholesale, but one day my friend showed me a hacked item called "The Hair of Coolio," an elaborate mace-like weapon, and I tolerated them after that just due to the sheer comedic value of the items. Plus it extended my playtime for a few months. Since the PC version is so difficult to run on modern hardware I opted for the PlayStation version of the game for this Quest, which runs just fine, even if it's quite dated. I know you're probably wondering about Hellfire, the official-but-kind-of-not-official expansion, which was only available on PC. I wasn't able to play it here, but I distinctly remember it. It was a strange game that wasn't quite up to par with most other PC expansions at the time. Hellfire was actually developed by a company called Synergistic Software, and published by Sierra On-Line. It was authorized by Blizzard but wasn't playable on Battle.net or offered in the physical Battle Chest package. It featured a new class, the Monk, as well as a few new floors of the game's dungeon, and a few extras like traps. While it was an odd duck, it augmented the game in a modest way. I still found it enjoyable. Diablo II - Mac, PC [owned] If Diablo was elementary, Diablo II was university. Here's a small picture of how hardcore some people treated the game. I had a friend who created a Paladin, and wanted to invest into a selection of skills that crafted a "Hammerdin" build. In Diablo II, you couldn't re-invest points at launch (re-spec), and he was off by just a few points, having made a mistake after reaching max level. He deleted the character and re-rolled a new one a few days later. It's sounds crazy, but he loved every second of it. This is DII. It was insane how many elements of the Diablo series were expanded. People created PVP characters, maxed out with specific skillsets and gear just to participate in unofficial PVP matches and ganking online. I had friends who had "chatroom garb," which showed off particularly cool cosmetic gear when you were in Battle.net's chatrooms. It garnered a crazy level of dedication, and there are few games like it today -- even in the MMO space. Speaking of Battle.net, the service was completely overhauled into the powerhouse we know and play on currently. Blizzard cracked down on (but didn't completely solve) hacks, and "closed" Battle.net was generally a safe place where you could play with friends or strangers. I spent endless nights at LAN parties with friends on Battle.net, staying over at their houses sometimes for the entire weekend. It's one of my most-played games of all time -- no other Diablo game even comes close. Personally, I stuck with the Necromancer through and through -- I was known for it within my group of friends, and luckily I had the class on lockdown. As for how it plays today, Diablo II absolutely holds up. The visuals are a bit dated of course, but the updates Blizzard provided over the years streamlined a few aspects while keeping the hardcore spirit intact. If you've never played it, get a few friends together and take the plunge. You can even use a number of popular mods to change the game to your liking -- I know people who still play Diablo II, and every few years or so I still get that itch. Diablo II: Lord of Destruction - Mac, PC [owned] Lords of Destruction was everything an expansion should be and more. The major additions to the base game included an entirely new act to farm, new mechanics like runes, and two incredibly deep classes -- the Assassin and Druid. Like all of the other classes in the game, the aforementioned two newcomers had a multitude of build options available. At this point in the game's lifespan almost no two creations were the same. Some people preferred an elemental Druid, some preferred a Bear build or a wolf build, and others did a mix. This level of customization is nearly impossible today with the amount of streamlining in games. All too often you'll see people resorting to "cookie-cutter builds" or specific types of gear so that everyone looks the same, but in Diablo II, I don't think I ever saw two characters that were exactly alike. Now that Act V was in the picture, our group had a brand new act to farm, new bosses to fight, and new items to look for. It expanded the game's lifespan for a number of years, and Blizzard had a long-term plan that it hasn't replicated outside of World of Warcraft. Diablo II is a near-perfect example of how to build and support a game. Diablo III - Mac, PC [owned], PS3 [owned], Xbox 360 Ah, Diablo III. A sore spot for many, a source of rekindled addiction for me for a number of months after its launch. Look, Diablo III had problems -- the auction house in general, the always-on DRM, the lack of loot, the limited builds. They were all very real issues. But that didn't stop me from leveling up every class in the game to 30 in the first few weeks. It was fun on a different level, because let's face it, I don't think Blizzard will ever make a game like Diablo II again. Diablo III was streamlined, easy to pick up, and still thoroughly addicting if you view it as more of an action romp than an in-depth RPG. I remember getting to Act III in Inferno Mode before it was nerfed, and it was one of the most exciting experiences I've ever had with the franchise. Some people thought it was too punishing, but before all the fixes and updates, Diablo III was one of the most difficult games in that space. Diablo III didn't have the longevity of Diablo II at launch, but Blizzard eventually got wise and started supporting the game with what fans wanted, not what it thought they wanted. The result was the Loot 2.0 patch and Reaper of Souls, which was almost universally liked. Playing Diablo III again recently was still enjoyable, even if I found myself wanting to play Reaper of Souls right after one playthrough. I used the PS3 version of the game for this writeup, since it wasn't fully updated with the newest patch and could be played offline. Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Mac, PC [owned], PS3, PS4 [owned], Xbox 360, Xbox One Reaper of Souls was the fix that Diablo III sorely needed. It brought disenfranchised fans back into the fold, and ushered in an entirely new audience. The level cap was raised, a new character was added (which was a great mix of old and new Diablo sensibilities), portals added a newly minted random element to the game, and quality-of-life updates like the item-modifying Mystic were all good design choices. You also don't have to beat the game three times to get to the "good stuff," as players can instantly switch on harder difficulties from the start. Even better, the console versions had no always-on DRM and could be played by four people offline. It also takes place in an era without the taint of an auction house. While it wasn't nearly as groundbreaking as Lords of Destruction, which offered the depth of nearly three Reaper of Souls expansions, it demonstrated that Blizzard isn't entirely reliant on Activision's business practices, and still has a heart of its own. I hope that the free updates continue to flow, and the next expansion makes things even better. Final thoughts: Playing through the Diablo franchise was bittersweet, because I mostly did it alone outside of the local co-op offered in the original Diablo and Diablo III's console versions. It reminded me of all the great times I had with friends, and also made me realize that said times will likely never happen again in the same way. The videogame market has changed immensely, and you can see that shift through the history of Diablo. From humble beginnings marred by technical limitations, to the extremely deep and hardcore number crunching, to the streamlining we know today, this journey was an interesting way to see how the ideologies of both gamers and developers change over time. I'm mostly just glad that Blizzard was able to salvage Diablo III. I grew up with the franchise and want as many people as possible to feel the same things I did, even if they're in different ways.
Diablo Carter's Quest photo
Carter's Quest
Things have been crazy at Destructoid since I became the Reviews Director. On my first week, I had to tackle a new Ratchet & Clank, Super Mario 3D World, and three other games. It hasn't let up after that, and as a result...

Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III's patch 2.1.0 brings seasonal challenges, Greater Rifts


Leaderboards are also in
Aug 28
// Chris Carter
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls has a new update, titled patch 2.1.0 -- and it comes with a lot of changes. "Seasonal" characters allow you to restart the game with a new build, which can earn you special items, leaderboard plac...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Microsoft worked with Blizzard to get Diablo III to 1080p on Xbox One


Diablo 1080three
Aug 20
// Chris Carter
I had a chance to test out Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition on the PS4 and it's pretty fantastic. At a cool 1080p and 60fps the game runs great, but on the Xbox One, it wasn't always that way. To upgrade to 1080p from 9...

Diablo III's Ultimate Evil Edition makes the core game a must-play for console owners

Aug 12 // Chris Carter
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition (PS3, PS4 [tested], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Blizzard EntertainmentPublisher: Blizzard EntertainmentRelease: August 19, 2014MSRP: $39.99 (PS3, Xbox 360), $59.99 (PS4, Xbox One) If you've played the game previously and want to bring over your character, the process is painless -- you just log into Battle.net by way of in-game menus, and log into Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. You can transfer over saves/characters from the previous console generation to the new generation (even cross-platform or cross-publisher), with the only limitation of not being able to transfer from PS4 to Xbox One and vice versa. The process takes a total of roughly one minute, but it could be longer if you forgot your Battle.net password. What you're getting with the Ultimate Evil Edition is everything from Reaper of Souls basically (which is still currently $40 on PC) -- the new Act V, the Crusader class, Loot 2.0, the new difficulty system, adventure mode, the level cap of 70, the Mystic artisan, and a few more changes. The console version of the game allows you to use an in-game mail system to share loot as well as take advantage of the "Nemesis" feature, which is set up kind of like a Souls game. In short, players can encounter rare creatures that will attempt to assassinate them, which will allow your friends to avenge your spirit. It's a very small social feature, but it's a welcome one that doesn't impede on the experience in any way. There's not a whole lot that's different about Ultimate Evil outside of those small additions, but if you're playing it on PS4 you can nab a Shadow of the Colossus armor pattern, as well as randomized enemies from The Last of Us in certain Rifts. [embed]279348:55207:0[/embed] Ultimate Evil also has the same great console controls, which translate perfectly with Diablo III's skill system. All of the face buttons as well as R1 and R2 are still mapped to abilities, and the right stick is used as a combat roll that's unique to the console version. The only hangup still are the menus, which are particularly slow to navigate with local players since only one player is allowed to use them at at time. Blizzard should have taken a cue from Champions of Norrath on the PS2, which allowed people to have separate menu instances, as well as buy or sell items at the same time. As it stands though it's not the end of the world since the quick-equip system exists with the d-pad, and online players all have their own menus. Speaking of local players, four-player online and couch co-op returns, which is easily one of the biggest draws. On the PS4 the game doesn't chug in the slightest even with extra players on-screen, and there's something about playing dungeon crawlers locally that makes them even more enjoyable. In case you're wondering, loot is distributed equally upon pickup (or directly to players that can use an item, like bows in the instance of a Demon Hunter), and with Loot 2.0, the drops are plentiful. Ultimate Evil Edition is a natural progression for those of you who loved the console version of Diablo III, and current generation owners can pay a $20 upgrade fee of sorts for a slight visual upgrade. If you've already played the PC version to death and don't have any local friends to play with, there isn't much here for you, though.
Diablo III consoles photo
Go try it if you haven't already
Diablo III has had a tumultuous history to say the least. Always-online DRM, the Real-Money Auction House, and loot problems plagued the original release -- all issues that took months to address. It's a hot-button issue even...

Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III will run at 1080p/60fps on both current-gen consoles


Is resolution gate over?
Aug 08
// Chris Carter
After middling around with the idea that the Xbox One version of Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition would run at 900p, Blizzard has confirmed that due to a day-one patch, it will now have full parity with the PS4 edition ...
Diablo photo
Diablo

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition will allow cross-platform save imports


For the ultimate good
Jul 29
// Abel Girmay
Not unlike what Rockstar is offering with the current-gen ports of Grand Theft Auto V, Blizzard has confirmed that players will be able to bring over their characters and saves from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

China can finally join the rest of the world in Diablo III


Diablo finally sacks the Middle Kingdom
Jul 16
// Brittany Vincent
Chinese company Netease will complete its commitment to Blizzard by bringing Diablo III to China. While the release date has not been officially announced, this release will mark the last major Blizzard franchise to hit the C...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III Auction House closing down on June 24 forever and ever, also forever


It's not like you were using it anyway
Jun 19
// Brittany Vincent
If you're using or have ever used the Diablo III Auction House, you might consider claiming your items and clearing out before it closes down for good on June 24. That's less than a week away, so better get cracking. Weirdly ...
Diablo III photo
Diablo III

Diablo III on PS4 will have exclusive Shadow of the Colossus outfit


Transmogrify yo'self
Jun 11
// Chris Carter
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition will be getting a Last of Us tie-in, but that's not the only Sony property that made it in. According to Game Informer, a Shadow of the Colossus transmogrify outfit will launch with the game ...
Last of Us X Diablo III photo
Last of Us X Diablo III

The Last of Us creatures infect Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on PS4


A strange crossover
Jun 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Well, this is certainly a strange reveal. The various forms of infected from The Last of Us will be crossing over into Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on PlayStation 4.
Diablo photo
Diablo

Diablo III's higher Legendary drop rate is now permanent


+100 percent buff
May 22
// Jordan Devore
For Diablo III's second anniversary, Blizzard introduced a temporary one-hundred percent boost to PC and Mac players' Legendary item drop rate. Which was great -- the buff, not the fact that it was for a limited time. From th...
Diablo on PS4 photo
Diablo on PS4

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on PS4 sure looks like Diablo


I mean, what else is there to say?
May 20
// Brett Makedonski
Have you been playing Diablo III's Reaper of Souls expansion on PC for the last two months? If so, then you know exactly what it looks like, and there's probably nothing in this video for you. Go ahead and take this dow...

Remembering the glory of videogame manuals

May 17 // Brittany Vincent
Call me old-fashioned, but the feeling of thumbing through the crisp pages rife with back story, notes from the designers, and detailed instructions on how to play gave me a real sense of anticipation. It was genuinely difficult to wait those few short hours until the final journey home at the end of the day to eagerly devour the content on the disk (or cartridge) inside. In some cases, being treated with some delicious fiction related to the title was something to look forward to as well, especially if you needed a little extra hype to fully enjoy the adventure about to unfold. And let’s not forget the lovely serial numbers or copy protection that would require you to find a certain line or word in the manual to be able to install the thing. Good luck if you threw it away! But even now, as illogical as it would be to require a simple word or pass phrase as DRM, it was part of the charm that came with buying a new game. Of course, the main reason these miniature morsels of gaming goodness exist can’t be overlooked: they teach you how to play the game -- or at least, they're supposed to. And there are those who, back in the heyday of these manuals, completely ignored the instructions within and jumped straight into the game anyway. I was one of them, only to dive back into the booklet to look up exactly what those glowing red items were, or why I can't save at certain points. While the in-game tutorial is perpetuated for a generation who simply doesn’t have time to (or doesn't want to) sit down and get a primer on what they’re about to experience, I find myself frustrated with learning by example in-game and missing the thrill of discovery that came with gleaning information from a physical guide. I’ve always learned through instruction rather than hands-on walkthroughs, so it’s been interesting adapting over the years as tutorials have become more prominent. They’ve had to, because we need to think green, and whatnot. Manuals are a mere few pages, and if they do happen to be a thick slab of paper, it’s because the mandatory multiple language are used as some kind of cruel, sick filler in my world. Spanish-speakers can find reference within these few pages, but where is the meat of the manual? I can read copyright information and EULAs in-game. I suppose that’s just me being curmudgeonly, but I know that opening up a game these days is completely disheartening. And it’s only getting worse. Beautiful works such as the Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete manual and Tie Fighter tomes may never be seen again. And I’m not really okay with that. We shouldn’t be relegated to picking up collectors’ editions or limited runs of titles to receive a booklet that may be of some value. Unfortunately, this is likely just one more step toward moving into the digital age, and soon enough we may not even be graced with the traditional box. As much as I'm for innovation, hanging onto gaming’s yesteryear has and always will be one of my favorite things to do. Though I'm excited to see the future, I’m also a little afraid. Decent manuals completed the package for me. They taught me to game in a much more efficient way than following directions from an in-game scenario, and they acted as one component of the fifty to sixty dollar package I spent my hard-earned allowance on that made it stand out from my collections of DVDs and CDs. Like the liner notes from your favorite artist, the wit and informative writing seen in great manuals were integral to the experience as a whole. But as much as I’d like to see a renaissance of the familiar little booklets, it’s not going to happen. Thankfully, with resources like Replacement Docs or Nintendo's initiative to sell classic manuals, I can take a stroll down memory lane without having to find old PC titles or dig through the multiple plastic bins that serve as home for my precious commodities. I may have to face new titles relying on my familiarity with standard game mechanics and control schemes, but at least I have my memories. So, I guess this is goodbye, you lovely manuals. I’ll miss the way you smell, your shiny covers, and the comments I furiously scribbled in your “Notes” section. I’ll miss the way you divulged secret codes right under my nose. Most of all, I’ll miss your value as bathroom reading material and padding for my bookshelf. Thanks for so many great memories. Here’s to seeing you in digital format again someday.
Videogame manuals photo
Colorful pages, powerful memories
When I was a little girl, purchasing a new game often meant thumbing through the pages of a mammoth tome detailing impending gameplay down to the letter. If I were stuck on a long car trip with a recently-purchased title, dig...


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