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Diablo III is a hack-and-slash action role-playing game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment as the third installment in the Diablo franchise. It was released for Microsoft Windows and OS X in May 2020, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September 2020, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in August 2020, and the Nintendo Switch in November 2020. Players choose to play as one of seven character classes – Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, Witch Doctor, or Wizard – and are tasked with defeating the Lord of Terror, Diablo, as in previous games in the series.
An expansion pack entitled Reaper of Souls was released for PC in March 2020. It was released for consoles as part of the Diablo Ultimate Evil Edition version in August 2020. The Rise of the Necromancer pack was released for the Windows, macOS, and PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 2020. Diablo Eternal Collection, combining Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer, was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 2020, and for the Nintendo Switch in November 2020.
The game received critical acclaim, although its always-on DRM feature was criticized. The game set a new record for “fastest-selling PC game” by selling over 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release, and became the best-selling PC game of 2020 by selling over 12 million copies. As of August 2020, the number of sales had grown to over 30 million.
Much like in Diablo and Diablo II, the quality and attributes of equipment are randomized. In addition to base stats (such as damage and attack speed for weapon or armor points on armor) higher-quality items have additional properties such as extra damage, attribute bonuses, bonuses to critical hit chance, or sockets, which allow items to be upgraded and customized by adding gems for various stat bonuses. Magic-quality items have up to three random properties, rare-quality items have up to six, and legendary-quality items typically have up to eight with varying degrees of randomness. Set items are a subtype of legendary items which provide additional, cumulative bonuses if multiple items from the same set are simultaneously equipped. Higher level monsters tend to drop higher level items, which tend to have higher base stats and bonuses.
Diablo III’s skills window. depicting the abilities of the wizard class
The proprietary engine incorporates Blizzard’s custom in-house physics, and features destructible environments with an in-game damage effect. The developers sought to make the game run on a wide range of systems without requiring DirectX 10. Diablo III uses a custom 3D game engine in order to present an overhead view to the player, in a somewhat similar way to the isometric view used in previous games in the series. Enemies utilize the 3D environment as well, in ways such as crawling up the side of a wall from below into the combat area.
As in Diablo II, multiplayer games are possible using Blizzard’s Battle.net service, with many of the new features developed for StarCraft II also available in Diablo III. Players are also able to drop in and out of sessions of co-operative play with other players. Unlike its predecessor, Diablo III requires players to be connected to the internet constantly due to their DRM policy, even for single-player games.
An enhanced quest system, a random level generator, and a random encounter generator are used in order to ensure the game provides different experiences when replayed.
Unlike previous iterations, gold can be picked up merely by touching it, or coming within range (adjusted by gear) rather than having to manually pick it up. One of the new features intended to speed up gameplay is that health orbs drop from enemies, replacing the need to have a potion bar. The latter is replaced by a skill bar that allows a player to assign quick bar buttons to skills and spells; previously, players could only assign two skills (one for each mouse button) and had to swap skills with the keyboard or mousewheel. Players can still assign specific attacks to mouse buttons.
Skill runes, another new feature, are skill modifiers that are unlocked as the player levels up. Unlike the socketable runes in Diablo II, skill runes are not items but instead provide options for enhancing skills, often completely changing the gameplay of each skill