Some user on Reddit posted what appear to be cell phone ninja photos of some pages of the Diablo III manual straight off the printing press. They’re fairly good quality images and nothing in them is spoilery, so click through the thumbs here and enjoy the preview.
Most of them look pretty light on text, with just a picture of the class and some basic info, but this one of the Barbarian (to the right) seems to have a whole short story on the facing page. It’s hard to read in the blurry picture, but it sounds like a story of human interacting with Barbarians, now that they’ve gone largely insane and feral due to the destruction of the worldstone.
I eagerly await someone with better eyesight sharpening the images, painstakingly transcribing their text, and proving my above words entirely inaccurate. Thanks to Neinball for the news tip.
Many comments speculating on what this means about a release date. I’d say not a lot. While they’re still working on the game, burning DVDs or uploading files for digital download isn’t that time consuming. Producing millions of game boxes and manuals, translated into a dozen languages, distributed all over the world for a simultaneous release, is a huge project. It must take a tremendous amount of planning and advance preparation, and must begin months in advance of the actual release date.