Diablo 3 vs. Diablo 2 — What’s New?
Loot & Crafting
This is a simple change, but an important one: In Diablo 3, each player will receive his or her own individual loot — that means no more scrabbling around after a boss is killed to snag (and in some cases steal) the best items. Take all the time you need — that loot will still be there.
Once loot has been gathered, Diablo 3 has two NPC’s that will attend to all your crafting needs: the blacksmith (Haedrig) and the jeweler (Covetous Shen). The blacksmith will break down unwanted magical items, producing ingredients that can be used in recipes. These recipes produce items of a certain type and level that come with randomly generated properties, a bit like the gambling system in Dibalo 2. The jeweler will combine gems to form more powerful versions — each gem has 14 levels in Diablo 3. For a price, he can also add sockets to items, or remove gems from socketed items so they can be used again.
By investing geometrically increasing amounts of gold, players will improve the abilities of these two NPC’s; the blacksmith will be able to produce more powerful items, and the jeweler will be able to produce better gems. The cash also increases the visual splendor of each NPC’s workshop.
To regularize the appearance of characters wearing a variety of different items, Blizzard introduced dyes, which will enable you to customize your color scheme. There will be 20 different colors of dye available, although some will be rarer than others, making them a valuable trade commodity. Most dies can only be used once, although players who purchase the collector’s edition will get two special dyes which can be used repeatedly. Special “Vanishing Dye” can be used to make an item invisible, and a “Dye Remover” item can be used to remove unwanted coloring on an item.
Destructible Environments and Physics
In contrast to the environments in Diablo 2, which were relatively static, environments in Diablo 3 are very much alive. Books fall out of bookshelves when looted, and savvy players will be able to take advantage of hanging chandeliers and crumbling masonry, and other opportunities to get the drop (pun intended) on their demonic enemies.
Physics is also rife in the combat itself — special attacks and abilities will send enemies flying, and their corpses will crumble realistically. “Visceral” is such a common buzzword in video game PR that it’s lost practically all meaning, but nevertheless — physics makes the combat in Diablo 3 feel more visceral.