As promised last week, here’s the first (of five) batches of new screenshots, culled from the huge number (mostly not-new) that Blizzard added to their D3 community site. These are all Monk shots, and while most of them are not brand new shots (several of the Act Two Monk shots were clearly taken a second before or after other shots we saw back in February 2011), they are all, at least, never before seen outside of Blizzard.

    Since just throwing in a bunch of tiny thumbnails is not a real inventive or inviting method of presentation, I’ve cropped out a few of the juicier bits, which you can see below, linked to the full size shot from which it came. There are thumbs for the other newly-added screens.

    This shot features a female Monk with impossibly, delightfully-long legs. Now you know why the DiabloWikiScoundrel keeps trying (unsuccessfully) to flirt with her during the game play? A number of Monk shots show kicks, or leaping/flipping kick attacks, and sadly we don’t know exactly what skill(s) is being shown off. The only named “kick” in the DiabloWikiMonk skills is DiabloWikiLashing Tail Kick, which is pretty clearly the flipping roundhouse kick. That doesn’t seem to be the “face punt” seen in this shot, unless there’s a basic kick on the way to the leaping roundhouse? Perhaps a kick is part of one of the new DiabloWikiCombos, or it’s a move that gets mixed in from time to time with the basic attack?

    Click through for lots more new visuals.

    A nice view of a Monk battling a pair of DiabloWikiFallen Shaman Champions. They’re shiny, eh? Almost WoW-quality in their SparkleFallen graphics. Theyr’e definitely DiabloWikiChampions (you can see one more in the full-size shot, battling the DiabloWikiEnchantress), but we don’t know enough about Champion appearance yet to say what type they are. Confirmed Champion types in Diablo III include Champions (like mini-bosses), Fanatics (faster movement and attack), Frenzied (super fast and hit point bonus), and Possessed (huge health bonus), but there are surely more types than that. We don’t know if their graphics are individualized; can you tell Frenzied from Champions at a glance? Also, Champions may have additional DiabloWikiboss modifiers in Diablo III, something they didn’t qualify for in Diablo II. (D2 champion stats and types.)

    A Monk prepares to unleash one of those leaping, spinning, DiabloWikiLashing Tail Kicks against a DiabloWikiWraith in an Act One dungeon. Another shot from later in this same encounter was released previously. This shot shows off the return of the DiabloWikizoom feature in Diablo III, which we were told would not return, because some noobs turned it on by accident in D1 and couldn’t figure out how to turn it off. Presumably the developers found a way to use the UI to idiot-proof this feature?

    A lovely, fiery battle here as the Monk takes on a bunch of DiabloWikiFallen Shaman and DiabloWikiFallen Hounds. We’ve got two new shots from this sequence, and they mesh nicely with a shot from the same encounter that was released back in February. To proceed in order, do your mouse wheel click thing to open new tabs for step one, step two, and step three. You can almost makie movie! (Spoiler: the Monk wins.)

    A nice view of the DiabloWikiScoundrel‘s Multishot skill here, as he teams with the Monk to deal with some DiabloWikigoatmen. As every shot I can remember of this skill shows poisoned bolts, and plenty of other Scoundrel shots show bolts that are not glowing with green pestilence, apparently the poison is a default property of Multishot. And yes, there is a Demon Hunter skill called DiabloWikiMultishot, though it fires out just a few more projectiles per use.

    The Monk stands safely within his DiabloWikiInner Sanctuary, which keeps attackers out. When I used this in past demos, it was literally a barrier, but only to the monster bodies. Short-armed enemies like DiabloWikiFallen Imps lined up at the edge, helpless, but attackers with longer reach, like DiabloWikiFallen Overseers or DiabloWikiLacuni, could still poke at you, and it was no barrier to projectiles. We think this same skill is seen in other screenshots where it’s got a a very different graphic, so it’s either changed during development, or the runestone makes a big difference. (Though it looks a lot like DiabloWikiSweeping Wind, it’s not identical.)

    Another new shot shows the Monk battling zombies in the DiabloWikiBlacksmith‘s surprisingly-extensive basement (with the Blacksmith assisting) in the early game quest that earns that NPC DiabloWikiArtisan‘s trust and assistance. Because if helping a man to murder his ex-wife won’t earn his trust and loyalty, what will?

    I like this almost black and white shot of the Monk fighting a DiabloWikiLacuni in a box canyon in the early stages of Act Two. The clickable bone shrine just above the action is a nice design touch.

    Here you see the Monk using DiabloWikiFists of Thunder against an assortment of Desert enemies. I think the skill might still have been called Hands of Lightning back in February, when the shot was taken. Not that that makes any real difference.

    I like this one, showing a DiabloWikiSand Shark attack. It’s like those Chuck Norris joke pictures, where he’s punching toothy, carnivorous, aquatic life forms. Or was that Lara Croft in one of the Tomb Raider movies? I forget. At any rate, the DiabloWikiEnchantress, busy sand bowling in her miniskirt, hair scrunchie, and hot pink sports bra, is a nice added bonus to the image. When we have our “NPC who is least appropriately dressed for battle in the medieval era” vote, I know who I’m putting my money on.

    The Enchantress looks a little braver in this pic, where a chain of Fallen Imps seem to have caught her scent. This may be a nice preview of what our Wizards and Demon Hunters will see in Diablo III, as melee monsters occasionally elect to bypass the meat shields in the front row and train right towards us. And won’t that be exciting!

    You can see all of these shots in the Act One and Act Two folders of our Diablo III screenshot gallery, right on top if you sort them chronologically. Enjoy, and we’ll have a similar update for the Witch Doctor’s new screenshots tomorrow.

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