I’ve been playing the DiabloWikiDiablo 3 beta on and off since last week, and while I don’t have any big character analysis reports ready (yet), I have taken a lot of screenshots of various odd and interesting things. I’ve got about 40 (so far) that show unusual things, bugs, dangers, cool monsters or areas, etc. I’m going to be adding them to the gallery this week, and each time I put in another bunch I’ll do a news post with a bit of text describing what’s in the shots and why they’re worth a closer look.

    This first update has 9 images; one is below, click through for the others, and each shot is 1920×1200, so click through to see them much larger. You can also browse them via the Beta screenshot gallery; though their captions are a lot shorter and less informative than the ones in this news post. If you’ve got questions about the things show in the shots, feel free to ask in comments and I’ll answer them, assuming some other beta tester doesn’t beat me to it.

    Here you see DiabloWikiMira Eamon, the DiabloWikiblacksmith‘s wife. She appears as a shuffling, tiny, hooded complainer at first, but shortly after you arrive she throws off her cloak and becomes… well… rather hot. Any man would prefer this tall, slender, fire-haired version! Well, aside from her murderous, undead, “You forgot our anniversary again!” rage, I guess. But don’t all women display that, from time to time? It’s no reason to smash them with a hammer.

    Click through for 8 more shots and info.

    The most common bug in the beta is this one, where the Blacksmith’s anvil is invisible. This happens almost every game when you first use him, to repair Leoric’s crown, which you need as a quest item to awaken the DiabloWikiSkeleton King. Haedrig sets the crown down on the anvil, then pounds it a few times. Which is fine, except that the anvil is usually invisible, and the crown just floats in mid air. Other elements of his shop aren’t showing up properly either, as you can see by the odd shadows and floating swords. This display is fixed when you next return to town, and Haedrig’s wagon is open for normal business.

    Speaking of the Blacksmith and his wagon, this shot combines 4 different images to show all the clicking options. You don’t just have to click on the NPC himself; you can click on the swords, the anvil, or the weapons, all of which prompt different actions. This is not necessary; you can do any action from any of them, you’ve just got to click different tabs on the Blacksmith’s DiabloWikiinterface window.

    The ferry to DiabloWikiWortham is accessible from DiabloWikiTristram (run left at the fork in the road where you first see the Blacksmith, who leads you right to the cellar and the zombie battle) but it can not be used in the beta. It is in the full game; there are multiple levels in Wortham listed in the game code, but they’re not accessible until later in the act. The DiabloWikiScoundrel follower DiabloWikiNPC is found in the Wortham area.

    You’ve certainly noticed DiabloWikiArcane Enchanted bosses if you’ve watched any number of gameplay movies, as they are by far the most dangerous boss type in the demo. During the fight, apparently every time they take considerable damage (or die), these bosses spawn one (or sometimes more) purple Arcane-orb firing DiabloWikiHydras. These Hydras do not have huge range, and they only last for a second or so, but they’re able to spit out 5 or 6 Arcane shots in very rapid succession. This screenshot shows why you must keep on your toes even in the back row in Diablo III, as the DiabloWikiWitch Doctor found his many minions of zero protection against the true danger of this boss. (I didn’t die, but only because I ran the instant I clicked the screenshot. The Hydras wait half a second before they start shooting.)

    I saw this big circle of runes many times during movies and screenshots pre-beta, and always wondered what it was. It didn’t seem to be any particular skill, and it was shown by several different characters. Mystery! It’s actually quite simple; disappointingly so. It’s the aiming grid for any targetable skill, if you left click on the active skill icon. This almost always happens by accident, when you’re trying to click-and-drag a skill icon from the 1234 keys to the LMB or RMB slot. No one does it on purpose, unless they haven’t yet figured how the hotkeys work.

    It’s not exactly an Easter Egg, but one cool little detail of the game is shown here. This is Leah’s Room, as the caption shows, and you can enter it any time from the main room of the DiabloWikiSlaughtered Calf Inn. The cool thing is that if you enter it when DiabloWikiLeah is following you, as she does on the Adria’s Hut quest, she runs in and says, “This is my room. Do you like it?” She’ll even follow you into the bedroom, and stand there uncomplaining while you splat dozens of slimy toads onto her bed. Yes, it reminds me of the dorms in college, too.

    There are tons of little artistic details and flourishes all over the dungeons and surface areas in Diablo III. This is one of them from an early surface area, as you see a washed out bridge across this creek. There’s no function here, you don’t get to repair the bridge or anything. It’s just pretty.

    A zoomed in view of the Witch Doctor in town, with Leah, Cain, DiabloWikiCaptain Rumford, the Witch Doctor, and his DiabloWikimongrels. Nothing special here; I just like how it looks in the zoomed in view. None of the NPCs or the Witch Doctor ever reaches down and pats one of the Mongrels, but it would be cool if they did.

    You also see a little graphical bug I got in a number of my screenshots, as the cursor or one of he NPC dialogue balloons appeared duplicated 5 or 6x. I never saw this in the game, just in the screenshots, and it’s probably an artifact of my not-very-powerful system. I got a second or two of frozen game every time I took a screen, using the in-game PrintScreen option. (Using Fraps didn’t cause as much lock up.)

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