The Unofficial
    
                                        
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                                              \\   1.31


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                         * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *          
                         *                           *
                         * Welcome to the Unofficial *
                         *         Diablo FAQ!       *
                         *                           *
                         * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *




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                ....,-*'^'*-,..TABLE-OF-CONTENTS..,-*'^'*-,....

    i.   Introduction

   ii. * New in this version

    I.   What is Diablo?
          A.  What type of game is Diablo?
          B.  What is so new about Diablo compared to other games? Why all 
               the hype?
          C.  Who is creating Diablo?
 
   II.   What is the story behind Diablo?
       +  A.  What is to be included in the storyline?
          B.  What character classes are available?

 III.    What does Diablo look like?
          A.  How is the interface designed?
          B.  What do the heroes look like?
          C.  What do the monsters look like?

  IV.    How is game play designed?
          A.  How is the battle system set up?
                  1.  Hand Combat
                  2.  Magic System
       +  B.  How is the computer AI designed?
       +  C.  How is the rest of play designed?

   V.    What is the setting like?
          A.  What is the appearance of the levels?
          B.  Is level layout always the same?
       +  C.  Do you just fight monsters, or are there subplots?
       *  D.  Are there music and sound effects to add to the atmosphere?

  VI.    How is the multiplayer aspect of Diablo implemented?
          A.  What types of multiplayer games are available?
          B.  What is "battle.net"?
          C.  Is Warcraft's 'cloning' technology included in Diablo?
          D.  How does play change during multiplayer games?

 VII.  + What kind of hardware does Diablo require?

VIII.  + When is Diablo expected to be released?

  IX.  + How can I find out more about Diablo?

   X.  + Credits / How to contact the author / Mailing list information / 
          Updated FAQ copy info


        * = New in this version
        + = Updated since last version (1.0,1.02)

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                              * Introduction *

Welcome to version 1.0 of the Unofficial Diablo FAQ! Within this document I

will attempt to provide the most complete, updated, and correct information

about the game Diablo as is possible. Please keep in mind that this FAQ is
in
no way endorsed or supported by Blizzard Entertainment. Questions,
comments, 
corrections, complaints or anything else are gladly accepted at the address

lchark@ma.ultranet.com, or visit the BEST Diablo web site around at 
http://www.tiac.net/users/jscanlon/diablo (PLUG!). I've talked enough, now
to 
the game...


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                           * New in this version *

        Besides small updates and corrections, there are two new changes. 
The first is a response to the problem viewing the FAQ in browsers such as 
Netscape that do not have word-wrap. This is now (hopefully) fixed 
completely. The second update involves the width of the FAQ. At resolutions

below full-screen 800x600, the text would become split-up and choppy. Now
all 
resolutions should work just fine. I apologize for any inconvenience this 
may have caused to the readers.


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                            * What is Diablo? *
        

        "Diablo invites you to enter a world of dark gothic fantasy. Choose 
        your persona, and enter the labyrinth beneath the decaying town. As 
        you venture deeper into the catacombs, you'll discover weapons, 
        armor, and magical treasures, and develop your character's skills and 
        abilities. You might also want to bring a friend or two to help... 
        Built in support for battle.net, as well as modem, serial, and  
        network play, insures that you'll never have to go in alone." 
                <From Blizzard's web page>


        Q. What type of game is Diablo?
        
        A. Diablo is modeled to be an RPG (Role-Playing Game), focusing 
heavily on real-time action, much in the manner Ultima 8 was created to be 
but wasn't. The atmosphere is reminiscent of the Dungeons and Dragons RPG, 
providing a large dose of dungeon-romping spiced up with magic, traps, and,

of course, plenty of monsters. NPC (Non-Player Character) interaction is
also
planned, along with multiplayer support, in case the action elements become

tiresome. Overall, Diablo is designed to breathe life into the faltering 
computer RPG market as a fresh and innovative game. 


        
        Q. What is so new about Diablo compared to other games? Why all the 
           hype?
        
        A. There are many reasons why Diablo is one of the most, if not THE
most anticipated games of the year. Foremost, the graphics and animation
are 
stunning, providing a sense of realism never found before in an RPG, but
more
on that later. The programming is top-notch, including everything from
spooky
sound effects to detailed light-sourcing, yet still delivering exceptional 
content beyond the eye-candy. RPG lovers and non-lovers alike will feel at 
home with the game's sophisticated interface and impressive storyline,
which 
will most certainly draw you into the world of the demon Diablo. And
finally, 
the game includes a feature unheard of in a quality single-player RPG: full

multiplayer capability. Whether you prefer null-modem or free internet 
play (see section VI for details), Diablo has got it. For these strengths
Diablo is heralded as the game which will bring mass-appeal to the CRPG 
market.


        Q. Who is creating Diablo?

        A. Diablo is the brain-child of Blizzard North, a subdivision of 
Blizzard Entertainment and a division of Davidson & Associates, Inc. Best 
known for their legendary productions Warcraft and Warcraft II, Blizzard is

devoted to creating only the finest-quality and full-featured games. See 
http://www.blizzard.com for more information.
        

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                     * What is the story behind Diablo? *
        
        
        Q.  What is to be included in the storyline?

        A. Blizzard is far from finalizing the prologue to Diablo at this 
time, but certain aspects of the plot are known. As Blizzard puts it, "A
town
vanishes... Creatures roam the countryside... The smell of death hangs
heavy
in the air... You've been hearing the tales for weeks now. The catacombs 
beneath the town are said to house long dead warriors from a forgotten age.

Some say that they have awakened. Others say that the maze leads to the
gates
of Hell itself. Whatever the source of the evil, you have sworn to destroy 
it." On some unholy day, our character awakens to find its home and its 
people destroyed, the work of an evil demon called Diablo. The hellspawn's 
terror does not cease here, however, as legions of his dark minions are 
released upon the world. In a fit of vengeance, our hero decides that the 
only way to save himself and his world is to delve into the heart of
Diablo's
realm, and strike him down in his own lair. Who knows what else may pop up 
along the way?


        Q. What character classes are available?

        A. Your hero, although confined to being human, can choose from any 
of three character classes: the Sorcerer, master of magic, the Warrior,
lord 
of combat, or the Rogue, a sort of mixture of the others, yet still 
possessing her own unique qualities. It is not yet known if the sex of the 
hero will be an option, and as of this writing, the Sorcerer and Warrior
are 
male, the Rogue female. Each class of character will have certain strengths

and faults, yet each will be almost equally appealing, much in the manner
of 
the Orcs vs. Humans of Warcraft. The Warrior's proficiency, obviously, will

be in hand combat, but the warrior is not restricted to this as his sole 
method of battle. All spells and magic objects will be open to his use, but

he will not wield this power with the skill of the Sorcerer. Likewise, the 
Sorcerer will be highly trained in the use of magic, but again will not be 
restricted to only sorcery. Any weapon used by the Warrior can be bestowed 
upon the Sorcerer, with the appropriate penalty for non-class use. The
Rogue,
who was created as an Archer in the early design stages, has been revamped
to 
give her a more unique flavor when compared to the Warrior and Sorcerer.
She 
can use all magic and all weapons, again with penalties, but she will most 
likely be slightly better than the Warrior at magic, and slightly better at

battle than the wizard. She will also have a set of interesting talents at 
her disposal, for example a keener eye great for detecting secrets and
traps,
and enlightened senses providing her with an extended range of sight. These

three classes should create good sense of excitement and add to the replay 
value of an already deep adventure.
        

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                        * What does Diablo look like? *


        Q. How is the interface designed?

        A. As is the trend in adventure games these days, Diablo uses a 
three-quarters isometric view. This type of view has been used recently in 
games such as Druid, Relentless, and Ultima. The graphics are all 640x480 
Super-VGA and 3-D rendered, heroes, monsters, and walls alike, and the view

appears much like a medieval Crusader: No Remorse. The World View of your 
surroundings takes up a little over 2/3 of the screen, from the top down. 
Here you see your hero in the center, and you can zoom in or out to enlarge

or shrink your surroundings. The bottom portion is the Status and Options 
area, where you have buttons to access your inventory (which then
temporarily
unfolds over half of your World View), spell book, disk options, and the 
like. Also included here is a status line, which updates things such as 
spells cast or objects acquired, and two globes, one red, one blue. These
two
globes represent your health and mana, respectively (see section IV. C:
"How 
is the rest of play designed?" for more). All interaction is done through
the
use of the mouse, including battle.


        Q. What do the heroes look like?

        A. The three heroes, as mentioned before, are SVGA and fully animated
with several thousand frames of animation each. The currently selected
weapon
is placed in the hero's hand, but other objects such as armor or helms are 
not viewable upon the character's body. 


        Q. What do the monsters look like?

        A. The monsters are also SVGA and fully animated, like the heroes, 
and each have their own distinctive sound effects. The undead stagger
slowly, 
the skeletons die in a shower of bones, and the snakes slither with uncanny

realism. Unlike Crusader: No Remorse, which suffered from too little 
variation in the enemy pool, Diablo has a large and diverse number, a
virtual
cornucopia of monsters. From acid beasts to withering zombies, Diablo has
it. 


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                         * How is game play designed? *


        Q. How is the battle system set up?

        A. To keep the action element alive in Diablo, the designers have 
chosen to include real-time combat as opposed to the traditional turn-based

RPG format. Again, learning from the faults in previous games employing 
real-time combat, Blizzard has placed the emphasis on skill and strategy, 
rather than forcing players into a mouse-clicking contest.
        As far as hand combat is concerned, the choice of weapon vs. the 
specific monster will play a large role in the hero's success or failure. 
Each tool of destruction has its own swinging speed, so the players must 
decide if they prefer a quick dagger or a sluggish halberd. Every
left-click 
of the mouse begins a swing, so the player must be certain that their
weapon 
makes contact before beginning another strike. 
        The magic system is different, but not overly so. Right-clicking will 
cast the currently selected spell, and draw from your mana reserve. A spell

catalog, accessible from the bottom portion of the screen, keeps track of
the
different magics the hero can use. Spells can be acquired through the 
discovery of rings, wands, or scrolls, or by finding the occasional spell 
book. Although the characters start out with only a couple of spells at
their 
disposal, locations such as the Mages' Guild assist in the heroes' quest
for 
knowledge and power.


        Q. How is the computer AI designed?

        A. Although the AI is still in a transition phase, it is evident from 
the alpha version that the computer will be no joke. The monsters not only 
think of themselves as an individual, but as a group, as they often attack 
from all sides or come one after another in a seemingly endless assault. 
Smaller creatures find safety in numbers, and skeletons attack with a 
non-stop mindless rage. Evasive maneuvers are not uncommon to the
creatures, 
nor is it unusual to see the AI taking advantage of the heroes' weaknesses.

Players who are about to cast a spell or make an attack will often find 
themselves stumbling backwards after a monster strikes, unable to follow 
through with their attempt. Though it still needs work at this stage, the 
computer AI will most likely turn out to be quite a formidable opponent. 
        

        Q. How is the rest of play designed?

        A. Bits and pieces of other play design factors are known. For 
instance, a good portion of treasure, weapons, and armor are found on the 
bodies of the deceased. After successive use, the weapons or armor may
become
worn, and require a blacksmith to restore their strength. If the heroes 
choose, they may return to the surface for further discussion, to purchase 
equipment, or for discussion with the few remaining NPCs of the village. 
Wounds can be healed through the use of magic or physical means, but unlike

an earlier report, cannot be healed through simply waiting. This revised 
feature insures that there will be nothing but non-stop action in Diablo.


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                         * What is the setting like? *


        Q. What is the appearance of the levels?

        A. Following suit with traditional RPGs, Diablo is set in a medieval 
land. Most of the areas to be explored are dungeons, with brick walls,
stone 
floors, high pillars, looming arches, and spiraling stairwells. Torches
line 
the walls, blood is scattered over the cold stone floor, and darkness
lingers 
everywhere beyond the hero's torch. Shadows are also implemented nicely, 
adding to the already impressive hi-res realism. Another nice touch
involves 
the use of translucent walls in the foreground which would otherwise block 
creatures or items behind them. Seasoned RPG gamers recall games such as 
Crusader: No Remorse or Ultima where all too often a chest or body would 
sneak under one of these walls, unable to be seen or manipulated with the
set
3/4 perspective. After an all-too-long wait, this problem is corrected with

Diablo's enhanced engine.


        Q. Is level layout always the same?

        A. No. This is another area where Diablo will most likely shine. In 
an attempt to enhance replay value and add to the excitement of multiplayer

games, Blizzard has added a dungeon randomizer. The entire level layout, 
including all items and creatures, is different every new game. And if the 
player finds a level which they would like to return to in a new session,
the
seed number of the level can be saved and recalled. Whether you love single

or multiplayer games, you can be assured that you'll never know where the 
next turn may lead or what may lie within the coffin before you.


        Q. Do you just fight monsters, or are there subplots?

        A. In the rare case that the hunt for the demon Diablo may grow 
tiresome, Blizzard has included a variety of mini-quests for the player to 
embark upon. A player may stumble upon one of these new paths, or they may
be
directed by an NPC. Once again, a randomizing engine is used, and each new 
game Diablo chooses from a database of 30 quests to use. Anywhere from six
to
eight of these subplots are used in any one game. And once (if) you have 
completed the game, you can return quite a few times, resting assured that 
the plot of the game will not be the same as before.


        Q. Are there music and sound effects to add to the atmosphere?

        A. Most definitely yes. The music is clear and crisp, adding to the 
gaming experience without becoming a nuisance. There are a variety of music

tracks, all redbook audio, and all intuitively designed. With each new area

or setting, the music automatically adjusts itself to support the ambiance.

As for the sound effects, these will be equally well-done, with examples
such
as blood-curdling screams and crackling fires. The main character and NPCs 
will have voice-overs to their conversations, making full use of the 
capabilities of CD-ROM media.

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           * How is the multiplayer aspect of Diablo implemented? *


        Q. What types of multiplayer games are available?

        A. The multiplayer aspect of Diablo encompasses every form of gaming 
available, short of hot-seat competition. For those of you with null-modem 
cables, a serial game is possible, as is a modem game over telephone lines.

With an IPX-compatible network, larger multiplayer sessions are possible,
but 
at this time only up to four players are supported in any one game. While
the 
fact that Diablo is IPX-compatible suggests that the game will be 
Kali-compatible, Blizzard has eliminated the need for Kali with its 
innovative "battle.net". Read on for details.


        Q. What is "battle.net"?

        A. As an extra service to its players, Blizzard has developed a 
Kali-like internet server designed specifically for Diablo. Entitled 
"battle.net", all a player must do is load up Diablo and select Internet
from 
the main menu to be linked to a battle.net server. From that point, players

may chat in a variety of channels, challenge other opponents, or engage in 
multiplayer games. Blizzard charges no fees for this service, no startup, 
hourly or monthly costs, so gamers can battle to their hearts' content. 
Unfortunately, the four-player game limit is still in effect. The only 
requirement is a Internet connection. Be aware that any hourly or monthly 
charges from your local Internet Service Provider still apply. Battle.net 
will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Allen Adham, president and 
founder of Blizzard Entertainment, spoke recently to the press concerning 
this new service.
        
        "Internet gaming is the next level in computer entertainment, and we 
are dedicated to offering our customers the latest in on-line multiplayer 
technologies. The multiplayer option in our products is an integral part of

the gaming experience, so we designed battle.net to not only provide easy 
access to on-line competition, but to do so with no extra game charges to
our 
customers."  <From Blizzard's web page>

Diablo is the first of Blizzard's games to take advantage of battle.net,
but 
future titles will most likely include the service. Starcraft, a sort of 
Warcraft II in space due out the end of this year, will also have enhanced 
battle.net capability.


        
        Q. Is Warcraft's 'cloning' technology included in Diablo?

        A. Yes. It is reported that Diablo will carry a cloning engine 
similar to the one available on the Warcraft II install utility. This
feature 
allows a player who does not own the game to legally play multiplayer
games, 
as long as at least one player in the game has the Warcraft CD available.
It 
is unknown if the specifics of the cloning remain the same, but it should 
perform as expected. 


        Q. How does play change during multiplayer games?

        A. Much of the game remains the same during multiplayer sessions. The 
randomizer is in effect, and gamers may engage in cooperative play, or, of 
course, deathmatches. For the former, a party of four may be formed,
solving 
puzzles as a team and battling monsters as a group. Don't worry if a
teammate 
gets on your nerves: players can freely harm each other, and sneak attacks
on 
each other will not be uncommon. It will be very interesting to see how
this 
characteristic of Diablo unfolds at release time.


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                * What kind of hardware does Diablo require? *

        A. Surprisingly, the requirements are only typical of today's games. 
Diablo will need at least a 486/66 Mhz computer, with 8 megabytes of RAM
for 
single-player games, or 12 megabytes for multiplayer support. A mouse is 
required, along with a Super-VGA VESA compatible video card. The game will
be 
released on CD only, and a minimum of a double-speed CD-ROM is required. 
Diablo is also a Windows 95 native game, using the latest in DirectX 
technology, so DOS or Windows 3.1 diehards are out of luck (These minimum 
requirements describe my computer exactly!). A Macintosh version is in the 
works, but the hardware requirements are not known at this time.


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                 * When is Diablo expected to be released? *


        A. The incorporation of several new features, especially battle.net, 
has pushed back the release of Diablo. Sound effects, music, AI, and bug 
fixes are amongst those added. See http://www.mcb.net/parsec/p_diablo.html 
for a complete listing. Originally planned for the second quarter of this 
year, the PC version of Diablo is now headed for an early October release 
date, with a Macintosh version planned for the summer of 1997. Look for the

game to retail at about $50 in stores. Let's hope that Blizzard makes up
for 
the delay in following through with an excellent game.


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                   * How can I find out more about Diablo? *

        A. Luckily for Diablo fans, there are many sources of information on 
the game. The most obvious is Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo page 
(http://www.blizzard.com/diablo/diablo.html), where news and updates will
be 
released first. Another excellent source is this FAQ, which will be updated

and released as soon as new information is available, or The Unofficial 
Diablo Home Page at http://www.tiac.net/users/jscanlon/diablo, which will 
also include all information. The August 1996 issue of Computer Gaming
World 
(Ziff-Davis) has a very good preview of Diablo, the best I have seen from a

magazine. For perhaps the most well-done Diablo site out yet, check out 
http://www.vistech.net/users/kingn/diablo.html. Here you can also check out

Blizzard's forthcoming space strategy game, Starcraft. Another promising 
independent web site is the Diablo Killing Fields, 
http://http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/1572/diablopage.html, where
you 
can assemble your very own band of warriors, for fun or for internet play. 

  Finally, here is a list of web pages with content on Diablo:


                          Additional Diablo Sites                       
                          ----------------------                                                
  http://www.mortimer.com/users/pcme/previews/diablo2/diablo2.htm  
        Preview from PCM&E magazine
  
  http://www.mcb.net/parsec/p_diablo.html                          
        Preview, news, updates
  
  http://ogr.nrgroup.com/preview/diablo.html                       
        Preview of Diablo
  
  http://www.cyberatl.net/~grendel
        General information

  http://www.nai.net/~duane/rumors/rumors.htm                      
        Diablo rumors
  
  http://www.nuke.com/cgr/previews/diablo/diablo.htm               
        Another preview
  
  http://www.texas.net/~wise/diablo.htm                            
        General information


        Your Diablo site can be a part of this FAQ! Just drop me a note at 
        lchark@ma.ultranet.com, and I'll add you to the list ASAP.
 

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       * Credits / How to contact the author / Mailing list information *


I'd like to thank the following for their support with this FAQ:

Rob Scanlon <jscanlon@tiac.net>, who besides being a good friend, is still 
   working hard on this Diablo project.
Kingy <kingn@vistech.net>, who helped me extensively with an early version
of
   this FAQ.
Ruari <parsec@mannet.mcb.net>, for helping me with various sections and 
   notifying me of needed corrections. 


The author can be contacted at lchark@ma.ultranet.com! Please mail me! I
get
  lonely, too! Please send any concerns, questions, corrections, 
  or complaints.


If you would like to be automatically sent each update of this FAQ, or
would 
like the most recent version of this FAQ, leave me a message at the above 
address (lchark@ma.ultranet.com). For the request to be processed quicker, 
put the word "Request" as the subject. Just be sure to include your email 
address, if different from the FROM: address. Anything else (except for
mail 
bombs) are gladly accepted. An up-to-date version of this FAQ can also be 
found at the web page http://www.tiac.net/users/jscanlon/diablo.


         * Thank you for using The Unofficial Diablo FAQ 1.31!!! *


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Diablo is a trademark of Blizzard Entertainment. All trademarks, products,
or 
copyrights contained within this document are owned by the companies who 
market or license those products. The author assumes no responsibility for 
any errors in the above document. Please feel free to reproduce/post this 
FAQ! Any modification without the expressed written permission of the
author 
is prohibited. Have a nice day!