E3 2001 Preshow ReportDiablo II: Lord of Destruction

Blizzard will be showing the add-on for Diablo II at E3.

Blizzard's expansion pack to its popular role-playing game Diablo II will include a wide variety of improvements. In addition to a large new area to explore and a new fifth act, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction will also add a large number of new items, including a class of items that will only appear on the "hell" difficulty setting. The expansion will also have additional items such as jewels and runes, as well as a number of charged items. It will feature lots of new quests, monsters, and non-player characters, and it will increase the size of the stash, so players can keep more of the items they find. In addition, the expansion will add support for 800x600 screen resolution. The biggest additions to the game, though, are the two new character classes--the assassin and the druid.

The assassin features a number of new skills, including martial arts, shadow disciplines, and traps. The martial arts and shadow disciplines make the assassin effective in melee combat by giving her skills like tiger strike, cobra strike, burst of speed, and venom. The traps give her a great deal of tactical potential, with enemy-triggered attacks like blade sentinel, fire blast, and shock web.

The druid has a number of skills as well, broken down into shape-shifting, elemental, and summoning. Using his shape-shifting skills, the druid can transform himself into either a werewolf or a werebear in order to gain special advantages in combat. The druid's elemental skills give him a variety of attacks based on nature, such as hurricane, volcano, arctic blast, and firestorm, while his summoning skills let him call different creatures to fight with him: a wolf, a bear, a raven, and the plantlike "creepers."

Lord of Destruction recently entered beta testing, and Blizzard will be showing off a great deal of the expansion at the show and giving hands-on demonstrations.

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