Oct 042011
 

 
One of the features in Diablo 3 that was not present in either of its predecessors is the introduction of the three Artisans. These specialized craftspeople will follow your characters from act to act, providing assistance along the way. And the more you work with them, the better your rewards will be.

The current plan at release is to have a Blacksmith for your forging needs (weapons, armor, and socket creation), a Jeweler for all things gem-related (upgrading to higher quality gems and removing them from sockets), and a Mystic for magical and alchemical items (potions, scrolls, runes, and charms). And one of the most exciting features of the Artisans is that their level, goods, and services are shared among all your characters, at least in the beta. This is especially beneficial for people who don’t generally stick to just one main character.

In the current beta build, the only artisan that is available for testing is Haedrig Eamon, the Blacksmith. After completing a couple quests for/with him, Haedrig will begin to offer his services to you.

The materials Haedrig needs to craft items for you are mainly acquired through using your Nephalem Cube to break down your loots (however, they can also be dropped by monsters, chests, etc.). You can break down items of any quality and are given materials of that level. For example, if you use your Nephalem Cube to break down an Inferior or Superior item, you will get Common Scrap. Magic items award Subtle Essence while Rare items award Fallen Tooth and Legendary give Petrified Bark. However, it should be noted that you are sometimes, albeit very rarely, awarded higher level materials than the item you broke down (i.e. getting a Fallen Tooth from a Magic item) and the only items for testing currently are from Act 1 Normal. Additionally, it is not known if Set items can be broken down by the Nephalem Cube or what materials they would provide if so.

In order to craft higher level items, the Artisans require training. This training is provided to them by collecting Pages of Training, combining five of them into a Tome of Training, and giving that tome to them with some other varying materials and gold. Every time you train your artisan, they will have a few more items/services available to you. After training five times, the Artisan will level up and provide you with items from the next higher tier as well as get an upgraded physical appearance to their shop.

The Blacksmith starts off as a Apprentice (level 1), crafting items with that prefix. With training materials available in Normal difficulty, Haedrig can learn Journeyman, Adept, and Master prefix items as he levels up. However, for Grandmaster and beyond, items such as the Assorted Fragment from Nightmare difficulty is required. Because of this, it is not possible to get to level 5 in the current beta build.

Here are a few of the higher level items available for characters in Normal difficulty. Mouseover the links to see the item’s stats and the materials required to craft it.

 
 
Again, I would like to reiterate that all of this information is based off of the current beta build and is always subject to change. However, if it does, we will keep you updated. And, as always, let us know your thoughts and opinions on the artisans in the comments!

Oct 032011
 
If you’ve ever played a Blizzard game before you probably know how much they love to slip in pop-culture references and call backs to their older games. Diablo 3 is no different in this regard, and the items recently released on the community site are filled with them. Here’s a bunch that we found, along with some returning fan favorites from Diablo 2.

 


Oculus Ring = In Diablo 2 this was actually a hacked item with the same stats as the sorceress’ occulus wand.
Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac = In Diablo 1 the suffix “of the zodiac” gave a bonus to every attribute. Rings of the zodiac were very commonly duped.
Justice Lantern = “In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight, Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!”
The Murlocket = Anyone who has played World of Warcraft won’t need an explanation for this one. Mrglgrlgrlgrlgrl!
Ouroboros = An ancient symbol of a serpent devouring it’s own tail, important in alchemy and several religions.

 

 

The Sporting Hat = The Sorting Hat decided which house students of Hogwart’s were assigned to in Harry Potter. The Diablo 3 Wizard would obviously be in Slytherin.
Storm Crow = This was one of Gandalf’s many nicknames/titles in Lord of the Rings.
Ghost Face Mask = The mask worn by the killer in the “Scream” movies.
Andariel’s Visage = Andariel was the final boss in act 1 of Diablo 2, though she was less famous for her visage than other…assets.
Quetzecoatl = “Quetzalcoatl” was a mesoamerican feathered serpent deity.

 

 

Ice Climbers = The Iceclimbers are Nintendo characters from their own NES game and the Super Smash Brothers series.
Hammer Jammers = Stop! Hammer time!
Blood Raven Armor = Blood Raven was the first miniboss in the first act of Diablo 2. There is unconfirmed speculation that she was supposed to be the Rogue character from Diablo 1.
Lachdanan’s Hauberk = In retconned Diablo 3 lore Lachdanan was the Captain of King Leoric’s guard, and it fell to him to slay Leoric once his madness became too prevalent to ignore any longer.
Chaingmail = Gmail is Google’s web-based e-mail service.
Tyrael’s Might = Tyreal is an angel who plays an important part in Diablo lore, as well as the storyline from Diablo 2.
Beckon Sail = Kate Beckinsale is an actress, most famous for her roles in the “Underworld” movies.
Hands of Fate = “Manos the Hands of Fate” is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time, and a very popular episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000.
The Undisputed Champion = In professional Wrestling/Boxing/MMA champions are awarded belts as proof of their accomplishments.
Pride of Cassius = Cassius Clay was Mohammad Ali’s name before he converted to Islam. He is considered the best boxer of all time.

 

 

Pig Pimple’s Crucio = Pig pimple, or another way to say hog wart. Another Harry Potter reference folks. The crucio curse was a name of a spell from that universe.
Jaryth’s Crystal of Dreamshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt2zoY45508
Murderer = Axe Murderer. Cute.
Fenrir’s Tooth = Fenrir is a monstrous wolf from Norse mythology.

 


Logan’s Claw = Logan is Wolverine’s real name in the X-Men universe. You’ll also note this item provides health regeneration, which is one of Wolverine’s mutant powers.
Odyn Son = Odin’s son, or you know, Thor. Carried a hammer, you get it.
Harvest Moon = Harvest Moon is a long-running farming simulation game series.
The 300th Spear = A reference to the graphic novel/movie “300″ by Frank Miller.
Griswold’s Edge = Griswold was the blacksmith in Diablo 1, and a zombie in Diablo 2.
Rakanishu’s Blade = Rakanishu was an unique monster in act 1 of Diablo 2. Also the noise fallen shamans made.

 


Blackthorne’s Sword = Blackthorne was the first game made by Blizzard Entertainment, after changing their name from Silicon and Synapse.
Thunderfury = Thunderfury was the first Legendary Sword in World of Warcraft
Butcher’s Carver = Ahhhh! Frest Meat! The Butcher was an iconic boss from Diablo 1.
Sister Sledge = Sister Sledge was an all girl group who enjoyed some success in the 80s, most famous for their hit ‘We are Family.’
Cataclysm = Cataclysm is the title of the latest expansion for World of Warcraft.
Monster Masher = You might start hearing this 1962 novelty song pretty soon as the Monster Mash is a Halloween favorite.
Wormwood = This one might be a bit of a shot in the dark, but the graphic on the staff is rather green, and wormwood is one of the primary ingredients in Absinthe, also known as ‘the green fairy’ for it’s distinctive color.
Maximus = “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

 

 

Monster Hunter = Monster Hunter is a long-running video game series known for their garish weapon designs.
Flavie’s Vigil = Flavie was the helpful little Rogue Scout in Diablo 2 who warns you about the Cold Plains if you haven’t completed the Den of Evil yet.
Hawk Eye = Hawkeye is a bow-wielding superhero from the Marvel universe. He will be in the upcoming Avengers movie.
Manticore = A Manticore is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and tail of a scorpion.
Styx Shooter = A double whammy! A six shooter is a nickname for revolver type handguns that carry six rounds. The river Styx is the border between the land of the living and the underworld of Hades in Greek mythology.
Calamity = ‘Calamity’ Jane was a famous American frontierswoman who was known as a crack-shot marksmen.

 
 

Returning Items:

 
 

Can you find any that we missed? What’s your favorite reference? Which items are you happiest to see returning? Let us know in the comments!
Sep 262011
 

 

Since the announcement of the Real Money Auction House, strong opinions have surfaced from every corner of the globe. Blizzard is sanctioning the sale of their virtual property and hosting the service through their site!? What a outrageous thought! Or is it?As we continue salivating at tiny morsels of Diablo 3, many of us think back to its predecessor. Diablo 2 was a fantastic game but it was not without its flaws. For many of us, the worst parts of the game were the byproducts of the third party companies whose only goal was to make money from the game. Be it spamming, item duplication, account hacking or the like, these companies did everything they could to turn a quick profit- without even a thought at the consequences of their actions. After all, it isn’t their game and there are countless others that can be exploited for profit after this.

So, what does this mean for Diablo 3? Well, as they continue work on the next installment of their best franchise, Blizzard is determined not to allow history to repeat itself. The Real Money Auction House is the first step to combating these issues. Since Blizzard will be hosting these services, they can prevent anything that may have long-term damaging effects on the game. And the best part? The community controls the economy as we once did in Diablo 2. This isn’t to say that the third party websites aren’t going to be working D3 like a full time job, as there is no use kidding ourselves. However, paired with the online-only access that the game will require, botting can be kept in check- limiting the farmers to only being as productive as any of us would be with a case of Mountain Dew and a stack of Hotpockets.

I, for one, am rather excited about the new AH. Aside from being able to make a little cash with nothing but some time invested, gearing up for PVP will be considerably easier. With randomized drops, farming for specific items is nigh impossible. However, if you get some amazing item that you don’t need, finding a buyer is as simple as listing it and walking away. Additionally, should you decide to change classes and want to quickly acquire all new gear, sell what you’ve got and buy what you need.

What are your thoughts? Are you for or against the currently announced version of the AH? How do you plan on using it? Post your comments here!

Sep 252011
 


For the first time, maybe ever, Blizzard has released information about one of their games before it was datamined. The official Diablo 3 community site was recently updated with information on the classes (overview, skills, background, unique equipment, and armor progression), items (common, crafted, legendary, and set), and even a Skill Calculator that is complete with runestone effects for each ability.

While there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the page stating: “Note: Content is not final and is subject to change at any time.”, all these updates are very exciting even though they only contain what is currently in the game’s database.

Browsing all of this information is sure to put a smile on your face as there are quite a few references to previous Blizzard games, especially Diablo 2. However, if you are anything like us, most of your time will be spent building the perfect PVP build with the Skill Calculator- even if the information may change before release. We are also going to start posting theorycrafted builds explaining our skill and runestone decisions as well as discussing situations in which to use them, so be sure to check back soon!

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