Diablo III: The Monk Trailers

By Jim Rossignol on August 22nd, 2009 at 8:33 am.


BlizzCon has revealed the Monk as another class for Diablo III, as well as revealing new environments with the borderlands, an evil-infested desert zone. The Monk, needless to say, has miraculous punching and teleporting abilities, for the slapping of evil. Multiple trailers below, along with the traditional scene-setting cinematic.

There’s some crazy rumours flying around about Diablo III coming out this year, with the original story being that it won’t hit in 2010. Obviously we’ll be keeping an eye on that.










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114 Comments »

  1. Vinraith says:

    Hmm. I was a big fan of the story trailer up until the final baddie, whose design I don’t care for at all. Generally I’ve been a detractor of the “LOLZ LOOKS LIKE WOW” crowd but that particular critter… looked a bit WoWish.

    Fortunately all the gameplay trailers look great, so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue. It’ll take more than a bad critter design here or there to bump this out of “must have” status.

  2. Vinraith says:

    Oh, and the Monk class itself significantly exceeds my (admittedly low) expectations. That actually looks like something I’d enjoy playing, and I’m not usually a fan of eastern martial arts classes in western fantasy settings.

  3. dadioflex says:

    Meh. I’m sure it’ll play far better than it looks.

  4. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Oh I would so love to play a guy who punches things which then a short time later explode. I support Blizzard’s respect for the classics.

    Unfortunately, word is that playing the Monk might take some actual skill. This worries me.

  5. invisiblejesus says:

    I wish I had miraculous punching and teleporting abilities. For the slapping of evil. Or my upstairs neighbors. Same thing.

  6. N-Al says:

    Where have all the ghey colours gone?!? :-(

  7. Andresito says:

    I don’t care about graphics, but the first video looks like an early PS2 game. I’m still sooooo hyped though.

  8. Psychopomp says:

    @Andre

    They have to keep the models below a certain level of detail. Remember, there’s going to be hordes of enemies onscreen, and if they look amazing up close…

    Well.

  9. Mac says:

    Hard to believe that it is over 12 months away though …

  10. Kester says:

    The monk has a cracking beard: I hope he somehow uses it to destroy people.

  11. Bib Fortuna says:

    Unispiring. While I found the original Diablo interesting (genuinely creepy atmosphere and new gameplay, for the time), Diablo 2 was boring and ripetitive (I never managed to finish it). Diablo 3 do not seem to add anything new…

  12. Howard says:

    Odd that they should bring the Monk class back again. I thought he wasn’t very popular first time around?

  13. alset says:

    The monk in Hellfire wasn’t good because it was made by Sierra. I’m sure once we see blizzard’s take on it we’ll love it.

  14. Herpers says:

    @Howard There’s never been a monk class in diablo.

  15. Sagan says:

    The Financial Times Deutschland recommended investing in Activision Blizzard because Modern Warfare 2 and Diablo III were coming out this year. Thus the rumors must be true.

  16. subedii says:

    @Bib Fortuna: My experience was largely the same (although I did just about manage to finish it). However, Diablo 2 was far more built around the multiplayer, and if you could get into that with a group of friends or people you knew, the game really came into its own.

    Which is actually part of the problem I had with it as well. At high level play there was such a ridiculous emphasis on “builds” and DPS and grinding for drops that it pretty much became a mini-MMO. The 99 level limit combined with levelling your skills to 20 points meant that you had to put each point into a specific power of your build, and ultimately even though you had 3 whole freaking skill trees, only a few of those skills were used consistently because those were the ones you’d levelled up. That only serves to make the game more dull. People talk about things like the Hammerdin or Meleemancer, and these are things that are incredibly boring to play because they’re entirely built around one or two heavy damage skills and nothing else.

    From what I’ve heard they’re addressing that for the sequel, but we’ll have to wait on the release for that. If I remember right, they said something about skills being capped at 5 points instead of 20? Maybe I’m remembering wrong, but if true, that should make thins a LOT more interesting to begin with.

  17. Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

    Subedii:

    Yes, the whole point of D2 was builds and items, and that is exactly why it’s one of the most popular games around. The whole point of the skill-system and how items and modifiers works is that you’re supposed to be able to make loads of completely different characters, instead of a small set of cookie-cutters or one character that can use all the skills, and guess what: the system works PERFECTLY. It’s exactly why D2 is lauded as one of the best games ever.

    D3 is, of course, another story. I don’t have much to say about it. It looks absolutely horrible and every time Jay Wilson opens his mouth, I’m amazed by his stupidity.

    At least the Monk is a cool concept, but it’s not like that’s a problem with Blizzard. They just can’t execute things properly.

  18. Howard says:

    @Kakksakkamaddafakka
    Hang on. In one breath you are saying that Diablo 2, a game developed by Blizzard, is “PERFECT” and id “one of the best games ever” then in the next you are saying that they cannot execute things properly? Say what now?

  19. Sonic Goo says:

    “At least the Monk is a cool concept, but it’s not like that’s a problem with Blizzard. They just can’t execute things properly.”

    Blizzard? The company known for taking ideas that were attempted by others and polishing them to perfection to the point that no one remembers their origins?

  20. subedii says:

    @ Kakks: Yeah um, we’re going to have to disagree on D2 being perfect. What you call perfect, I call dull. I don’t care if it’s popular, plenty of MMO’s are as well but those bore me too. In particular, I’m really not interested in grinding up about a half-dozen different characters.

    D3 is looking a lot more interesting in the directions they’re taking it though, at the very least the singleplayer is looking a lot less repetitive with some nice grandiose set-pieces (that battle with the Siege breaker Assault beast looked positively epic in the original gameplay trailer).

    Hey, you’re free to hate what you see in D3, they’re making changes to the gameplay. Me, I can at least understand what they’re doing and why. Keeping things exactly the same as D2 but with nicer (But must be darker!) graphics is a surefire way to shrink your playerbase into an impenetrable hardcore, which is exactly the kind of thing they want to avoid.

  21. Jacques says:

    Subedii, that build thing is what makes the game fun for a lot of us. I was mainly an Amazon player when I played, but do you realise quite how many builds there were within that? Off the top of my head you had, jab, lightning, poison, mellee, passive, physical bow, ice, fire, mage and various hybrid types, would you rather see all those different builds go into one character? I sure as hell wouldn’t, which is exactly what put me off Sacred 2, the lack of build diversity.

  22. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Ok: I’ve gone from being sort of non-commital about this to wanting to play it. Damn game developers and their warrior monks…

  23. Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

    Howard, it was poorly worded by me. I meant in this specific case.

  24. subedii says:

    @ Jacques: My issue isn’t with having a variety of different builds. My problem is that those builds were so limited in scope that they only focussed on a few core powers. The entire skill tree had to be left behind as largely useless apart from those powers. Playing the game focussing on those same few powers all the time just got dull for me. Item drops varied things up, but not much. You talk about offshoots of the Amazon for example. It’s weird that people say that’s how the game avoids being “cookie cutter” when one Jabazon or Hammerdin build is often pretty much exactly like another, even down to preferred armour sets.

    I just feel The game would be better off with more versatility to builds so that a wider range of skills are useful.

  25. Tei says:

    I like the cinematic video.

  26. Jacques says:

    They were only the same because there was optimal skills to use for the build and optimal gear to use with that build, the only way around that would be to completely remove unique and runeword gear, so that everyone is left using rares that spawn with random mods.

  27. Psychopomp says:

    “D3 is, of course, another story. I don’t have much to say about it. It looks absolutely horrible and every time Jay Wilson opens his mouth, I’m amazed by his stupidity.”

    I feel the exact same way.

    And by same way, I mean opposite.

  28. subedii says:

    @ Jacques: That is one possibility, but I don’t think they necessarily have to go that way. The design decisions they seem to be making with D3 (at least from what I’ve heard so far) appear to be at least partly to do with tackling this proble,. Especially with things like item and skill customisation. I mean adding in secondary traits to skills was built pretty much with this problem in mind. If they can allow players that kind of leeway in how they tweak their builds, I could see a lot more variation coming about, more do do with preferred playstyle than raw DPS.

  29. MrMud says:

    In any stat based game there will be optimal builds.
    Given enough time, players will gravitate towards that build (with inhabiting local maxima in the intermittent period).

    It doesnt really matter what you do, this will happen. All you can do is to try and minimize the difference between the global maxima and the surrounding local ones and also to try and have as many “viable” builds as possible.

  30. Jacques says:

    I don’t know, Sacred 2 allows skill customisation and it’s definitely missing something.
    Unless they manage to make all the skill modifications desirable, I think they’ll be missing some of the magic that made D2 what it is today.

  31. alset says:

    Everything I’ve seen so far looks great. The combat feels so fluid and satisfying, something so few games did since D2. One gripe I had with D2 and I hope in D3 will be fixed is lack of respecs.

    I’ve racked maybe 1000 hours of D2 all in all, and if this footage is anything to go by, they can’t possibly ruin D3 now.

  32. Jacques says:

    alset, you don’t need respecs in a game that allow you to get to level 91 in a few hours :/

  33. subedii says:

    @ MrMud: This is true, but that’s why what they’re doing with D3 makes sense. The ability to hot-swap out secondary traits to your core skills for example, should allow for some nice on-the-fly changeups of how you can handle different combat situations. That alone adds in a tonne of variety, and means that even two players playing the same build will likely be using their skills in different fashions.

    @ Jacques: If there’s two things Blizzard knows, it’s polish and balance. so I’m willing to trust that they can make a system like this work well.

  34. rocketman71 says:

    That first video was pityful, even by the new no-LAN-Blizzard standards.

  35. Jacques says:

    Subedii, I agree, I’m keeping optimistic about it, and unless it somehow looks like absolute poo in previews, I’ll buy it on day 1.

  36. Theory says:

    The first trailer, with the Barbarian and Witch Doctor, was sublime. What the hell has happened since then? We’re back to washed-out monotone colour and a generic superpowers guy. What’s his USP? “Faster”?

    (I shouldn’t need to add that the class trailer is truly awful. Calling it a PS2 game hits the nail right on the head.)

  37. Jacques says:

    Theory, what colours do you expect to see in a desert?

  38. Beastman says:

    Three thoughts:

    1. While it does look fairly well polished, unless they’re holding back a lot there’s no way it’s going to get cranked out in the next 4 months.

    2. They’ve pretty much stated the only reason SC2 is being delayed til 2010 is because battle.net 2 is taking longer than they thought to perfect. And they’ve announced before that b.net2 will go live with SC2.

    3. Just because they say SC2 and Cataclysm are they only games expected to ship in 2010 doesn’t mean that D3 couldn’t sneak in there. Or even if not, I personally wasn’t expecting it til fairly late in 2010, so perhaps just early 2011.

  39. Bremze says:

    That trailer is 11 minutes of gameplay by the way.

  40. Vandelay says:

    I agree with Theory on the graphics in the first trailer. Cutscenes are usually Blizzards forte; where is Blizzard’s usual lush CGI?

    Oh well, that is irrelevant. Still looks like it could be fun. Never played the earlier Diablos, with my only experience of this type of game coming from Titan Quest (fun but got bored by about the third world and haven’t gone back to it again.)

  41. R. says:

    There was a guy at the Diablo III panel Q&A who asked the following question:

    “Di…ablo 1 looked DARRRRRRRRRK…and….Diablo 2 was…DARRRRRRRRRK and I’m…wondering…if you’re going to make…sure Diablo 3′s look keeps more in line with them and…looks…DARRRRRRRRRRRRRRK because…it doesn’t really…look DARRRRRRRRRRRK and the earlier games were….DARRRRRRRRRRRRRK.”

    I’d love to think he was joking but you could tell by the nerdrage in his eyes that this was 110% 4REAL and now I just can’t help but think of that spacker when I see people whittering on about “OMG IT’S NOT DARK ENOUGH”.

  42. TotalBiscuit says:

    I can’t help but notice folks are bitching about graphics in a Diablo game.

    Nuff said.

  43. rivalin says:

    You can see Blizzard really are starting to put business decisions first. The much derided complaints (see above) about the art style are right; Blizzard has every right to change it, but they havn’t come up with something new, they’ve just copied one of their other games. If there was nerdrage over Blizzard doing something novel and innovative it would be a fair target, but defending corporate homogenisation and reductio ad absurdums implying that complaints were simply over it not being “DARK ENOUGH” doesn’t make you clever.

    And as for excuses for the poor graphics, no Blizzard games have never been bleeding edge but they always used to have at least current gen graphics, Diablo III’s look about three years out of date.

    Neither of these design decisons; the art style change and the low end graphics, are creative ones, they are purely about the bottom line. Blizzard simply wants to leverage the current wow casual player base by providing the same generic unthreatening cartoon art style, and the ability to run the game on their outdated pc’s. Blizzard has every right to do so, but the kneejerk defences of their mercenary attitudes are wilfully stupid.

  44. Psychopomp says:

    I’ve said it once, I’m going to say it again.

    “They have to keep the models below a certain level of detail. Remember, there’s going to be hordes of enemies onscreen.”

    Think before you post.

    In addition, realism in 3D does not age well, at all. Go play Far Cry, and Viewtiful Joe. Which looks better?

  45. bookwormat says:

    The game still looks like a lot of fun. But since it’s not coming out anytime soon, why would I want to see or read anything about it today?

  46. Bremze says:

    rivalin, seems you weren’t there for Diablo 2 launch because the game looked dated as soon as it came out, if you are judging the graphics from the Monk trailer you might want to check out the gameplay video I posted. Also could you be more specific about the “WoW gayness fagottery artstyle” complaint?

    I’m having high hopes for Diablo 3 just because Blizzard has shown that they don’t care that nerds are raging about COLOUR RUINING “THEIR” PRECIOUS GAME!!! because I realy want the series to evolve. Lets be honest, even though I loved the game, Diablo 2 was using one skill for the whole game and picking up loot . They tried to change that a bit with the Assasin class, that had charge up skills and finishers. If they somehow implement something similar for all clases the game would become much more diverse and interesting. But the “hardcore fans” would probably respond to that in the same way as to Blizzard making the visuals interesting and diverse instead of boring and gritty.
    Of course there will probably be tons of dark dungeons, hell they have already shown lots of them but that has never bothered people going “Colours in my videogame?! RAGE!”

  47. Kakksakkamaddafakka says:

    Rivalin is completely correct.

    Psycho: Oh, please, having low poly models has nothing to do with oversized armor, disproportion of bodyparts, colours or generally anything the game has beeen criticised for.

    Bremze: Please, troll somewhere else.

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