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    FAQ by LChark

    Updated: 01/01/70 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    
    
                    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!