Diablo II Coming

Blizzard green lights Diablo sequel, title slated for late '98 release.

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It should come as little surprise to gamers that Blizzard Entertainment has announced a sequel to Diablo.

The action-RPG, developed by Blizzard's northern California counterpart, Blizzard North, has remained one of the top-selling games of 1997 and garnered several awards, including 1996 Game of the Year accolades from GameSpot and Computer Gaming World.

Diablo II was announced today at the European Computer Trade Show, and is scheduled for a late 1998 release.

Details on the sequel are still sketchy, but Blizzard has announced several new additions, including five new character classes, all new quests and items, an advanced combat system, and an expanded game world including four towns and surrounding wilderness area to explore. Each town will contain multiple dungeons, crypts and caverns.

Blizzard has also announced new multiplayer options for playing on Battle.net, its free Internet gaming server.

Improvements include increased multiplayer support, an online trading post and a ranking system. Fans who grew tired of the widespread cheating on Battle.net will be pleased to learn that Blizzard is taking steps to prevent this becoming a problem with Diablo II.

"We are aware that the cheating is a problem," said Blizzard Entertainment President Allen Adham, "and it is about the highest priority on our list." Adham went on to say that the development team had a number of solutions in mind, but would not specify further at this early date.

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