Everything We Know about Diablo 3
Diablo 3′s overall difficulty will be roughly comparable to D2′s, broken up into multiple difficulty modes that are unlocked by completing the game. As in D2, the difficulty modes increase from Normal, to Nightmare, to Hell, with the addition of a final level, Inferno, in which all monsters will be at least level 61. Inferno will create a more challenging endgame than D2 offered, and is so difficult that most Blizzard developers could not effectively test it.
Quests are broken down into a main story quest line, character-specific quests, and randomly generated mini quests.
Much of Diablo 2′s environment and dungeon randomization is retained, with some exception. Certain areas will have fixed borders with randomly generated interiors.
The Havok physics engine will allow players to use the environment to slay enemies, such as by toppling a crumbling wall or cutting the rope that holds up a chandelier.
The role of potions has been greatly diminished since D2, now being reserved for occasional use. Instead, health globes have a chance of dropping when a monster is killed, which can be walked over to regain a percentage of health. In co-op, nearby allies will also be healed if you walk over a health globe.
Loot drops in co-op are individual, doing away with D2′s need to race to pick up an item before other players. The loot a player sees cannot be seen by anyone else.
Gems in D3 will have 14 quality levels, up from five quality levels in D2.
Waypoints are being supplemented by a checkpoint system; players that reach a checkpoint will respawn at the checkpoint when they die, rather than in town.
D2′s semi-transparent overlay map is gone, replaced with a traditional MMO-style minimap in the top-right corner of the screen. Inventory management is simplified; small items take up one square, large items occupy two.
Blizzard did not want player-versus-player combat to negatively impact the game’s cooperative experience, as it did in D2, so PvP will not be integrated into standard play. Instead, separate Battle Arenas will see duels and team battles in a more organized environment. However, this feature will not be available upon launch, but will be patched in at some point post-release.
Class and skill balance is focused around player-versus-monster combat, not PvP combat. Blizzard does not want Diablo 3 to become an eSport, and will compromise PvM in order to better balance PvP.