Diablo III is a hack and slash action role-playing video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the third installment in the Diablo franchise and was released in the Americas, Europe, South Korea, and Taiwan on May 15, 2012, and Russia on June 7, 2012, for Microsoft Windows and macOS. A console version was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 3, 2013. Versions for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were released on August 19, 2014.
In the game, players choose one of seven character classes – Barbarian, Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Necromancer, Witch Doctor or Wizard (with the Crusader being unavailable unless the player has purchased the expansion pack, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and the Necromancer added later as separate online purchase) – and are tasked with defeating the Lord of Terror, Diablo.
Diablo III set a new record for fastest-selling PC game selling over 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release, and was the best selling PC game of 2012, selling over 12 million copies during the year. It has sold, along with Reaper of Souls, 30 million copies across all platforms. Diablo III received critical acclaim from critics, although its digital rights management that requires an internet connection at all times was criticized.
The expansion pack Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was released for the Windows and macOS editions of the game on March 25, 2014. For consoles the expansion pack content was released as part of the Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition version. It was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 on August 19, 2014. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition includes the original console version of Diablo III and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion pack.
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 1 to 3 random properties, rare-quality items have 4 to 6 random properties and legendary-quality items typically have 6 to 8 properties with varying degrees of randomness (for example, the Mempo of Twilight, a legendary helm, always has a socket, bonuses to elemental resistance, attack speed and life, a bonus to either Intelligence, Dexterity or Strength, and one additional random property, however the magnitude of these bonuses varies from item to item), and 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.
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 gameplay is that health orbs drop from enemies, replacing the need to have a potion bar, which itself 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.