San Francisco (CA) – Blizzard Entertainment has introduced the ‘holy’ monk – a highly anticipated fourth playable class for Diablo III. Although the character is influenced by classic pen and paper RPG archetypes, the monk reportedly incorporates the development team’s ‘love’ of arcade-style fighting games.
“While many of the monk’s influences are from traditional light and fast melee, he is indeed a holy warrior. His use of holy magic flows through each of his skills, combining martial arts with divine justice,” Blizzard explained in a statement.
“It’s a class that prefers speed over toughness, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of handling the hordes of enemies that he’ll be fighting. The skills and use of the combo system makes the monk a character that will be a bit more challenging to play than the other heroes in the game, but when played expertly can unleash truly devastating damage upon the demonic hordes facing him.”
Indeed, monk skills that use the combo system can be “chained together” in various orders to achieve different results. For example, the first hit of exploding palm will deal some damage, the second causes a little more, while the third results in a bleeing “damage over time” (DoT).
Blizzard has also revealed details of its upgraded Battle.net.
The new ‘net – billed as a “full-featured online game service” – will include an achievement system, social networking features, structured competitive play options and a marketplace.
In addition, Battle.net will feature Real ID, which allows players to connect, communicate and play with “real-life” friends.
“Beyond simply seeing your friend’s character names (e.g. ‘Gorlac’ in World of Warcraft or ‘Snip3r’ in StarCraft II), and having to remember which character name goes with which friend, you will be able to see your Real ID friend and chat with him or her across Blizzard games. What’s more, Real ID is totally optional,” added Blizzard.
Battle.net is expected to be offered free of charge for players who buy and register the full version of StarCraft II.