Diablo 3 FAQ

Diablo 3 FAQ by Sixen

Table of Contents

1: Official FAQ & Social Media Sites
2: General Information
3: Battle.net Information
4: Character & Artisan/Follower Information
5: Game Mechanics
6: Lore and Novels

1. Official FAQ



Q: What is Diablo III?
A: We’re developing Diablo III to be the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline, engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, growing in experience and ability, and acquiring items of incredible power. Diablo III will be a fitting sequel to Diablo II, with the easy interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. It will also include many new features that will take the Diablo action-RPG experience to the next level.

Q: Which characters will be in Diablo III?
A: Players will create a male or female hero from one of five distinct classes — barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, or demon hunter — each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. New customization options will provide for an even greater level of character specialization than the previous Diablo games, allowing the player to create unique characters brimming with power.

Q: What can you say about the different classes?
A: Returning from Diablo II, the dual-wielding barbarian is one of the stoic guardians of Mount Arreat. Retooled with powerful new abilities and moves, this plate-wearing savage wields ferocious weapons to annihilate the demonic forces threatening the world of Sanctuary.

The fearsome witch doctor hails from the terrifying Tribe of the Five Hills of the legendary umbaru race. The witch doctor is equipped with spells and alchemical powers; can summon mongrels, locust swarms, and zombie armies; and hurls fiery concoctions to annihilate any demon foolish enough to trifle with the powers of the umbaru.

The wizard is a wielder of the elements and a master manipulator of time, who combats the hordes of the Burning Hells by launching environment-shattering lightning bolts, channeling explosive arcane energies, and creating pockets of space outside of the normal flow of time.

The monk is a skilled warrior of unparalleled dexterity. Armed with speed, holy fervor, and a quest for physical and spiritual perfection, the monk becomes a deadly apparition in the heat of battle, moving faster than the eye can follow to strike down enemies with a barrage of lightning-fast blows.

The demon hunter has a sole purpose in life: to track down and destroy every last demonic being that dares to threaten humanity. Lithe and notoriously deadly with a pair of dual crossbows, the demon hunter brings an entire arsenal of arcane gadgets and mystical traps to the battlefields of Sanctuary.

Q: How did the new demon hunter character class come about?
A: When we set out to create the fifth class, we knew we wanted to add another ranged character to the game. However, we also wanted to create a class that was more sinister than the typical ranger archetype. In the end, we came up with a character who has a personal vendetta against the demons and who will stop at nothing to eradicate every last trace of evil in Sanctuary. While the demon hunter primarily uses traditional ranged weaponry such as bows, crossbows, or even dual-wielded one-handed crossbows, the class is also incredibly proficient with gadgetry, traps, and deadly grenades. The demon hunter has dedicated an entire lifetime to training to destroy demons, and few can rival her skill.

Q: What is the story of Diablo III?
A: The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced Hell’s armies — and were fortunate enough to survive — went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts. In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again.

Q: Will Diablo III still have randomized events?
A: Diablo III builds on the random environments of the previous Diablo games by adding random scripted events and encounters throughout the game, creating a dense and exciting world alive with quests, NPCs, and dynamic encounters.

Q: What can you tell us about Battle.net?
A: Diablo III will benefit from Battle.net upgrades that will provide some exciting new features for players. Cooperative online play remains a primary focus, with multiple enhancements being planned to make connecting with your friends easier and cooperative play even more fun. We’ll have more details on all these aspects as well as other exciting new features at a later date.

Q: How will PvP be implemented in Diablo III?
A: While Diablo III is designed primarily for cooperative multiplayer, we are building in support for competitive player-vs.-player gameplay as well. We’re focusing on team-based PvP in an arena setting, and we are being careful to avoid PvP features that can easily lead to griefing, such as the ability to go hostile at will. We also plan to integrate Battle.net’s matchmaking system, a progression-based ranking system, and more.

Q: What will Diablo III be rated?
A: The Diablo III rating will be determined by the ratings boards in each region. We still have a good amount of work to do content-wise, so we’re not quite ready to submit the game for ratings yet.

Q: Will players interact with any familiar faces or places in Diablo III?
A: Yes, definitely. Players will return to Tristram and certain other locations from the previous games and they’ll also be exploring new areas of Sanctuary. Players will also encounter several new characters as well as a number of characters from the previous games including Deckard Cain.

Q: What will questing be like in Diablo III? Will it be similar to Diablo II?
A: Our plans for the story and quest mechanics are still under wraps. We’ll go into detail on those elements of the game at a later date. We can say, however, that we expect to have class-based quests in addition to the main story-line quests.


Q: Will Diablo III be running on a new engine?
A: Diablo III is powered by a new graphics engine that can display characters and hordes of monsters in lush, fully 3D environments. Powerful special-effects systems and Havok-powered physics allow for realistic object dynamics and cloth simulation, and enable players to lay waste to the minions of the Burning Hells in spectacular ways.

Q: What are the system requirements for Diablo III?
A: We’ll announce specific system requirements at a later date.


Q: When will Diablo III be released?
A: It’s too early to estimate Diablo III’s release date. As with all Blizzard Entertainment games, our goal is to create a game that is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible. We intend to take as much time developing Diablo III as is necessary to ensure the game meets our own high expectations and those of our players. We’re aiming to release Diablo III on both Mac and Windows simultaneously in as many regions as possible, and to localize the game in several languages. We’ll have more details to share about countries, languages, and specific dates as we get closer to release.

Q: Will the game be released in multiple countries? Will the release be simultaneous? Which countries and what languages will Diablo III be localized in?
A: As with all of our games, our goal with Diablo III is to release the game simultaneously in as many regions as possible, and to localize the game in several languages. We’ll have more details to share about countries, languages, and specific dates as we get closer to release.

Q: Will Diablo III be available on Windows and Mac simultaneously?
A: Yes. As with all of Blizzard Entertainment’s recent releases, Diablo III will ship for both Windows and Mac simultaneously.

Q: How much will Diablo III cost? Where can I buy this game?
A: Pricing and availability for Diablo III will be determined and announced closer to the release of the game.

2. General Information

Q: When will Diablo III be released?
A: There is no release date yet. Diablo III could potentially be released in 2011, though they have not planned for it in their Financial Goals. They are still shooting for a 2011 release though, as noted in the May 9th Conference Call.

Q: Are there currently any betas?
A: At the 2010 Blizzcon, 1000 Beta keys were given out for Diablo III. The ActivisionBlizzard Conference Call stated that Beta is slated to begin in Q3 of this year. That means sometime from July 1st to September 30th. If you didn’t attend BlizzCon, you can still opt-in for the Beta. There’s actually still a guide available for StarCraft II, and much of the info is still accurate for the process to opt-in for the Diablo III beta. http://us.starcraft2.com/beta-faq.xml. Aside from the normal opt-in there will undoubtedly be contests and promotions, such as the keys given away at BlizzCon.

Q: How does the “random” opt-in work and how many people are chosen
A: They have not released statistical information, but Bashiok explained how it breaks down…

Q: How many Acts will there be?
A: There are currently 4 acts planned.

Q: What difficulties will be in the game?
A: Similar to D1 and D2: Normal, Nightmare, and Hell.

Q: Will there be expansions for Diablo III?
A: While it is unknown exactly how many expansions there will be for Diablo III, Blizzard does plan on expanding the game with future installments.

Q: How many people can we party up with?
A: As of now, there is no set number to how many people will be able to join the same room and party up. Most recently, the number was said to be around 4 players.

Q: We will have to get in a party to do some content or everything is “soloable”?
A: Every aspect of Diablo III is playable through single-player and everything can be completed single-player.

Q: Is there any hope of it coming out for the 360?
A: There is a possibility of Diablo III being released on consoles as Blizzard is currently looking into the Console Market.

Q: Is there going to be an open/closed battle.net like on Diablo 2?
A: Very little is known right now on how Battle.net is going to work with Diablo III, mainly because they haven’t done much work with it yet. It is unknown right now whether or not Diablo III will have an open/close Battle.net option. There will be an off-line mode but it is unknown whether or not you will be able to use those characters to play on-ine.

Q: Will there be a secret cow level?
A: Blizzard is not one to tell secrets. However, Blizzard is known for the abundant number of easter eggs scattered across their games. Some have mentioned that the unicorn shirts the development team wore at Blizzcon may be a hint to a secret.

Q: How will gold be worth more?
A: The crafting system has been shown and will help create a better market by both being a viable gold sink as well as causing players to destroy more items to create others.

Q: How will magical resistances work in D3? Will there be monsters that are fully immune?
A: Resistances in D3 will no longer be based on item affixes that yield flat percentages. Rather, items will yield Resistance Ratings (similar to D2’s Attack Rating), which allows more efficient balancing between items from lower versus higher levels, as well as creates a system that allows character level and monster level disparities to affect the effectiveness of this form of damage resistance. As far as immunity goes, they plan on keeping monsters with one-element immunity at most.

Q: How do sockets and runewords work in Diablo III?
A: Like in Diablo II, items may have sockets on them: slots that you can fill with gems to permanently change the function of the weapon or armor. Sockets can be added to any quality of item at the blacksmith, from common to legendary, but not all slots. Unlike Diablo II, Diablo III will only allow gems to be socketed in to gear, not jewels or runes, and therefore not runewords.

Q: How many levels of gems are there?
A: There are 14 quality levels in D3 last we heard, and it took something like 19600 level 5’s (the highest quality of gem that is capable of dropping from monsters) to create a single level 14. Level 14 gems are called radiant stars. The effects of socketing an item with a gem are, as of Blizzcon 2010, quite similar to socketing a gem in an item in D2.

3. Battle.net Information

Q: Will there be some sort of microphone chatting?
A: Yes, this functionality is built into Battle.net 2.0.

Q: Will Diablo 3 have LAN?
A: No. All multiplayer games will now be played through Battle.net.

Q: Will Diablo 3 be available for digital distribution?
A: Yes!

Q: Is Diablo 3 going to have a pay 2 play system?
A: Diablo III will be free to play in the U.S.. There will be no fee through Battle.net to play Diablo III. While the game will be free to play, Blizzard has mentioned the possibilities to have certain functions available for a fee. These functions have not been disclosed yet.

Q: Will there be a choice to play on ladder or non-ladder?
A: As we know it, Ladders will not be in Diablo III. Although it has not been stated directly, it has been said that they will not use ladder resets which negates the use of ladders. However, this is not to say that there will not be leader boards of many different stats with the use of Battle.net.

Q: Will there be achievements?
A: Just like Starcraft 2 and WoW, Diablo III will also have achievements to unlock. They won’t be pure “grinding” achievements, though (killing things is still encouraged). Instead the achievements will be rewarded for killing unique monsters, crafting and/or fully exploring the regions, and likely for reaching certain level goals.

4. Character Information

Q: How many spells will each class have?
A: It is unknown exactly how many skills each class have. With the separation of passive into the new trait system, the number has dropped significantly. Many have speculated that there will be 28 per class based of the 700 skillrune choices divided by the five types of runes divided by the five classes. The default cap for skills is 5 ranks. This can be increased over time, however we do not know how yet.

Q: Is there a skill tree? How are skills and abilities chosen?
A: The forms of the skill trees in Diablo III have evolved radically during the game’s development. The current form, revealed in October 2010, has no “tree” aspects to it. Skills are listed in tiers, with no dependency or synergy connections between them, and only a minimum Clvl as a pre-req. There are no passive skills in the trees anymore, since they were all moved to the traits, leaving just active skills to spend skill points upon. You can choose up to 7 active skills, and spend points you earn every level into those as you see fit, up to a specific number, likely either 15 or 20. Traits cap at either ranks 1, 3, or 5.

Q: Will there be oskills in D3?
A: As of now, no. You will not be able to obtain other classes’ skills.

Q: What are traits?
A: Traits are a separate set of skills, all of which are passive, that provide strong bonuses for the active skills and general character abilities. Since characters only earn traits every other level, they do not earn enough points to use every trait, or even most traits. Choosing which traits to spend point in allows each character to specialize their play style in unique fashion.

Q: How will the attributes be distributed?
A: Stat/attribute points are automatically distributed.

Q: What types of attributes are there?
A: The latest system of attributes includes 5 different types: Attack (which increases damage), Precision (which increases crit chance), Vitality (which increases health), Defense (which decreases all damage taken), and Willpower (which affects class-specific resources). You can read more about them at the source: http://forums.battle.net/thread.html?topicId=27795769376.

Q: Will our characters be able to respec? How?
A: Respec will be available for Diablo III. It is still unknown exactly how the system will work and the cost/availability to respec. There plan is to have a gold cost as well as something else. The respec is also planned to only target select skills and not the entire skill “tree”.

Q: Are there any cross-class skill effects?
A: There has been no mention of skills of one class affecting the outcome or looks of another class.

Q: Will there be charms?
A: Yes, there will be charms, but they will no longer take up space in our inventories. Now, they have their own special place on our character screen, within the Talisman.

Q: What is the Max level a Character can reach?
A: 60 is the current maximum level you can obtain and it can be reached by playing through the game to the end of Hell difficulty, no grinding will be required.

Q: Can I wear any equipment I want? What requirements are there to wear items?
A: Items no longer have Strength or Dexterity requirements, but you will need to meet certain level requirements to equip different items. Provided you meet the level requirements, any class may equip any non-class-specific armor; however, what weapons you can use will depend on what class you are playing. There is some speculation that the level requirements could be dependent on what class you are playing, as seen in the requirements to invest in traits. There will be class-specific items, such as the Witch Doctors’ Headdresses and the Wizards’ off-hand Orbs. There are no items that have a gender requirement.
Artisan/Follower Information

Q: What is an Artisan?
A: Artisans are personal NPC’s that can be found in the nearest city/village you visit that allow you to craft items. There are 3 types of artisans: the Blacksmith (who creates weapons and armor), the Jeweler (who creates rings and amulets), and the Mystic (who is responsible for enchantments). Finding the artisans will be part of the main quest. Each artisan has been fleshed out to include their own story and quest line.

Q: How can they craft items?
A: In order for these mercenaries to craft items, you need to have the recipes and crafting materials required for the item, as well as some gold.

Q: Can Artisans level up as well?
A: Yes, every Artisan can level up 5 times. They gain experience by crafting items for you, and the higher level they get, the better items they have for sale.

Q: Will there be mercenaries?
A: Yes, but in a different implementation. Mercenaries are now called Followers, which will be temporary NPC’s that will travel and fight along your side. An example of the followers were shown in the first gameplay video as two archers followed the Barbarian and attacked the enemies close to them. These followers are a separate system from the Hirelings system of D2. Followers are mostly short-lived aids in combat. It is unknown at this stage whether there will be hirelings, and how they will function.

5. Game Mechanics

Q: How will we get around long distances through the game?
A: There has been no confirmation on exactly how the characters will move from area to area yet. It has been confirmed that the game is linear, meaning that there is only one path to travel unlike an open world such as WoW. Checkpoints and Waypoints are also in the game to help keep progressions and allow you to move instantly from one area to another.

Q: Will there be waypoints? How about Town Portals?
A: Waypoints will be in Diablo III, they will function very similarly to Diablo II and will allow quick travel from one area to another. However, Town Portals will not make it into the game.

Q: How will respawning work?
A: There are two ways that respawn will work in Diablo III. The first way is through the new check point system, after clearing so far in the game, the player will hit a check point. If the player dies, they will respawn back at the check point with all of the gear still equipped. There will be a penalty to dying but it is still unknown as of now.

The other way to respawn is through co-op respawn. Party members will be able to resurrect their fallen companions. There was originally a regent needed to do so but it has been removed. No other details are available on how the system works.

Q: What types of runes are there?
A: There are five types of Runestones: Gold, Crimson, Alabaster, Obsidian and Indigo. Each type of Runestone will come in various quality levels, including Stone (levels 1-3), found in Normal difficulty; Silver (levels 4-5), found in Nightmare; and Gold (levels 6-8), found in Hell.

Q: Will there be any new PVP system besides dueling?
A: PvP will be handled through single and team dueling in Battle Arenas. Players will face each other and duel to the death in multiple rounds to determine a winner. If you PvP on Hardcore and die, your character will be permanently dead as well.

Q: Will there be player bound (BoP or BoE) gear?
A: Yes. Some high level items will be Bind on Equip. Once a character equips this item, no other character can equip. However, this BoE may be account-wide, so any character on your account can use the item. As far as Bind on Pickup goes, only Quest items will be BoP.

Q: Will quests give experience?
A: Yes. With the new random adventure system, there will be a lot more quests and some of the rewards for completing these quests will be experience.

Q: Will there be Magic Find in Diablo III?
A: Yes. The attribute of Magic Find has been seen given from a shrine as well as during the 2009 Blizzcon they said it would return on items.

Q: Will there be a shared stash?
A: Yes. There will be a shared stash which all characters from your account will be able to access.

Q: Can all gear be obtained by solo playing?
A: Yes. All content is accessible in single player. This includes gear, skills, quests, and all other aspects of the game.

Q: What are the in-game benefits of playing in group?
A: There are no direct benefits from playing multiplayer. There are no items, quests, monsters, or anything else that is exclusive to multiplayer. The only real difference is getting to play the game with other people. There may be some indirect benefits like larger access to items since each player gets their only loot and can trade it with you. There is also the possibility of increased leveling speed by being able to kill harder monsters quicker.

Q: Are new tiers (for gear) added only by new expansions or through patches?
A: Diablo does not use a tier system for their armor and therefore will likely not get higher ranking armor in patches. The game is designed with an end and therefore they can include the highest armor needed initially without having to increase it more. They are also not adding in content just for PvP which would be another reason to add more armor through patches. When an expansion is released and the end game content changes, then this is when they will probably increase the level and rank of gear to higher level to match the new end game.

Q: Are the towns big cities like where you hangout when you are not playing?
A: Diablo 3 will have bigger and more interactive cities than Diablo 2. However, it is unlikely these places will be a central hub where people gather when not killing demons. Firstly, the development team is doing everything they can to minimize down-time in Diablo leaving you as much play time killing demons. Secondly, as of now, each game can only have four players leaving no real need to create a large scale gathering point.

Q: Does the number of monsters or their health pool scale with regards to the size of group?
A: Yes. Like Diablo 2, the more players in the game, the harder the monsters become to defeat. However, with the advancement of Diablo 3 over the past series, it is more than possible that this difficulty will be more than just a boost in HP.

Q: How does defense work?
A:Unlike armor and resistances, which reduce physical and magical damage of different types, defense is a flat reduction of all damage received, regardless of type.

Q: What effects our hit chance?
A: Nothing. Currently there is a flat, unmodifiable 5% chance to miss certain skills. (mostly of the “spammable” melee variant) Whereas most ranged skills, and skills designated “high cost” never miss.

6. Lore

Q: Is there any difference in the background story for both genders for each class?
A: There is no difference in story between genders of the same class. The only exception may be the male Barbarian but this is still under debate.

Q: Will each class have a different beginning?
A: It has been said that each class has a different beginning lore wise and this will be shown through an intro machinema video. As far as the actual game, no matter what class you play, everybody will start the game in the same place.

Q: What is the story leading up to these events?
A: Diablo III begins 20 years after the previous game. 20 years after the Prime Evils were defeated and the Worldstone was destroyed by the Archangel Tyrael. After a long time of peace a meteor hit the cathedral of Tristram and Evil stirs again. Heroes rise to fight against the Evil that’s taking the world of Sanctuary once again… While it’s not much, what they told us was that this time, it’s not just the presence of certain demons that will corrupt Sanctuary, but a full scale invasion from the Burning Hells. According to Jay Wilson, the Burning Hells decided to destroy Sanctuary since the humans are becoming a great threat should they take Heaven’s side on the Great Conflict. They were strong enough to destroy the Three after all.

Q: Where does the game begin and where will I travel?
A: The adventure will begin near New Tristram, so the first act will remind us a bit of the first game. Same for the second act that (at least mostly) will be in the desert near Caldeum. As for the third and fourth act, there hasn’t been official word yet. But if we take a look at the art section of the official site we can see an image of a harbor in Skovos Isles (the isles of the Amazons) and a monster called “Crater Assault Troops” (concept goes back to 2004 but it was in the teaser trailer with the announcement) that could make us assume that the third Act might play in the amazon jungles. In addition, @Diablo recently mentioned that we have seen bits and pieces of Act 3. Only new thing (as in environments) that we’ve seen so far was Bastion’s Keep. It should be relatively safe to assume it’s act 3. It is also possible the fourth act will in the Dreadlands, where Mount Arreat used to be, however this is just guess-work.

Novels (in Chronological order)
1. The Sin War: Birthright by Richard A. Knaak
2. The Sin War: Scales of the Serpent by Richard A. Knaak
3. The Sin War: The Veiled Prophet by Richard A. Knaak
4. Demonsbane by Robert B. Marks
5. The Black Road by Mel Odom
6. Legacy of Blood by Richard A. Knaak
7. The Kingdom of Shadow by Richard A. Knaak
8. Moon of the Spider by Richard A. Knaak

Here are some proposed Novels that have never been published…
A Kingdom for a Sword by Robert B. Marks
The Fate of Siggard by Robert B. Marks
Angels of Darkness, Soldiers of Light by Robert B. Marks

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