Diablo 3 is the third installment in the Diablo series. After years of rumours, the game was finally officially announced on June 28, 2008 at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris. It was not published until four years later on May 15, 2012, partly because legal disputes about the real-money auction house (keyword gambling) that was still active at the time significantly delayed the international release. The console versions appeared the following year. The PC version is only playable online and does not support mods. On March 25, 2014, the game received its first and only expansion, Reaper of Souls. A second expansion was in the works but was not released due to poor quality. Instead, fragments from it, such as Kanai’s Cube, were free in subsequent patches.
Although players sometimes complain that Diablo 3 (buy now €31.08) not changing much from season to season, the game has evolved a lot in those 10 years. Diablo 3 has added numerous items, improved mechanics, the introduction of pets, and interesting events over time, including the Tristram Eclipse, where you can revisit the Tristram Cathedral known from the first Diablo.
Blizzard Irvine took over development of Diablo 3 in 2006 and effectively restarted it. The reason for the delay was that there was a lot of discussion within Blizzard about what kind of game Diablo 3 should be. In fact, several versions have been scrapped and rumors link these difficulties to the dissolution of Blizzard North in 2005. After first game director Jay Wilson started work on Diablo 3, the developers spent over a month brainstorming the game. During this time, they also studied and played other games in the genre, most notably the previous Diablo games.
Diablo 2’s legacy overshadowed every aspect of the game’s production, according to a former Blizzard executive who worked on the game for most of its 11-year development cycle. The staffer claimed that the team had different ideas about what the franchise actually stood for, so multiple versions of the game were created, all of which “ended in a dead end”.
Once the direction for the game was established, the art style was discussed. The game was originally intended to be dark and gloomy overall, like its predecessors, but the monsters turned out to blend in all too well with the environment. The game’s original art style received “good, but not great” feedback internally. A second art style was chosen and received a much more positive response within Blizzard. This art style was similar to what the game possessed when it was released.
The game’s art style was not universally received with enthusiasm by the public after its presentation, and players created a petition to force Blizzard Entertainment to change the art direction for the game. Blizzard subjected the game to three artistic overhauls and found that an all-dark style was too monotonous. As the designers noted, the “sunny” art style is meant to represent the early parts of the game. This should provide a contrast between the early and late stages of the game as the story gets darker and darker as the game progresses.
The closed beta started on September 20, 2011 and the open beta on April 20, 2012. A number of patches were written during development. The beta was just a short demo of the game to avoid story spoilers – a big mistake, as it later turned out, given the death of Diablo icon Deckard Cain and the weak, real-money auction house-centric itemization in the community at all not well received. Also, the originally existing fourth level of difficulty “Inferno” was completely exaggerated and it lacked a solid endgame progression like the Paragon system, which was only added later based on suggestions from the community.