Diablo II is an action role-playing hack-and-slash computer video game developed by Blizzard North and published by Blizzard Entertainment in 2000 for Microsoft Windows, Classic Mac OS, macOS. The game, with its dark fantasy and horror themes, was conceptualized and designed by David Brevik and Erich Schaefer, with Max Schaefer, acted as project leads on the game; the producers were Bill Roper. Building on the success of its predecessor, Diablo II was one of the most popular games of 2000 and has been cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. Major factors that contributed to the game's success include: its continuation of popular fantasy themes from the previous game, its access to Blizzard's free online play service, Battle.net. An expansion to the game, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, was released in 2001. Another sequel in the series, Diablo III, was announced in 2008 and released on May 15, 2012. Diablo Immortal, the fourth installment in the series, was announced during Blizzcon 2018 and is set after Diablo II: Lord of Destruction.
Diablo II's storyline progresses through four chapters or "Acts". Each act follows a predetermined path, but the wilderness areas and dungeons between key cities are randomly generated; the player progresses through the story by completing a series of quests within each act, while there are optional side dungeons for extra monsters and experience. In contrast to the first Diablo, whose levels consisted of descending deeper and deeper into a Gothic-themed dungeon and Hell, Diablo II's environments are much more varied. Act I is similar to the original Diablo. Act II mimics Ancient Egypt's desert and tombs. Act III is based on the Central American jungles. Act IV takes place in Hell and is the shortest, with just three quests compared to the other Acts that have six; the Lord of Destruction expansion adds the fifth chapter Act V which continues the story where Act IV left off. Act V's style is mountainous as the player ascends Mount Arreat, with alpine plateaus and icy tunnels and caverns. Occasional portals can take the player to dungeons in Hell for extra monsters and experience.
After reaching the summit of Arreat, the player gains access to the Worldstone Keep. In addition to the acts, there are three sequential difficulty levels: Normal and Hell. On higher difficulties, monsters are more varied and may be resistant or immune to an element or physical damage. However, better items are rewarded to players. A character retains all abilities and items between difficulties, may return to a lower difficulty at any time, albeit it is not possible to re-play the quests that are completed. Players can create a hardcore character. In normal mode, the player can resurrect their character if killed and resume playing, while a hardcore character has only one life. If killed, the character is permanently unplayable. In addition, all items and equipment on that character will be lost unless another friendly character has the "loot" icon checked. Standard and hardcore characters play on separate online channels. Diablo II uses a system of randomly generated equipment similar to the original Diablo, but more complicated.
Weapons and armor are divided into several quality levels: normal, set and unique. Normal quality items are base items with a fixed set of basic properties, such as attribute requirements, maximum durability, armor rating, block chance and attack speed. Magical quality items have blue names and one or two randomly selected bonuses, such as bonuses attributes, skills or damage, indicated by a prefix or suffix. Rare quality items have randomly generated 2 to 6 random properties. Unique items have fixed names in gold text, instead of randomized properties, they have a set of 3 to 8 preselected properties. Green-named set items have fixed names and preselected properties like unique items, belong to specific named sets of 2 to 6 items. Additional properties known as set bonuses are activated by equipping multiple or all items from the same set; these are themed on individuals, like Civerb's cudgel and amulet each provide individual bonuses which are enhanced if two or more of the items are used to equip a character.
It is unusual to encounter more than one item from a set in a single playthrough of the game, so collectors need to play the game many times to accumulate all items from a set, or purchase them online from other players who possess them but do not need them. Additionally, items can possess sockets, which can be used to upgrade items by adding gems for various bonuses. Diablo II includes an item crafting system. An item known as the Horadric Cube is used to combine two or more items to create a new item. For example, 3 identical lower quality gems can be combined to create a single higher quality gem, 3 small rejuvenation potions can be combined to create a single, more powerful rejuvenation potion. Diablo II allows the player to choose between five different character classes: Amazon, Barbarian, S
StarCraft (video game)
StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment and released for Microsoft Windows computers on March 31, 1998. The game spawned a franchise, became the first game of the StarCraft series. A Classic Mac OS version was released in 1999, a Nintendo 64 adaptation co-developed with Mass Media was released on June 13, 2000. Work on the game started shortly after Warcraft II was released in 1995. StarCraft, in its first incarnation, debuted at the 1996 E3, where it was unfavorably compared to Warcraft II; as a result, the project was overhauled before being showcased to the public in early 1997, at which time it received a far more positive response. The game's multiplayer is popular in South Korea, as of 2006, where players and teams participate in professional competitions, earn sponsorships, compete in televised tournaments. Set in a fictitious timeline during the Earth's 25th century, the game revolves around three intelligent species fighting for dominance in a distant part of the Milky Way galaxy known as the Koprulu Sector: the Terrans, humans exiled from Earth, now skilled at adapting to any situation.
Many journalists of the industry have praised StarCraft as one of the most important and one of the greatest video games of all time. It is said to have raised the bar for developing real-time strategy games. With more than 11 million copies sold worldwide, as of February 2009, StarCraft is one of the best-selling games for the personal computer; the game has been praised for pioneering the use of unique factions in real-time strategy gameplay, for having a compelling story. StarCraft has had its storyline adapted and expanded through a series of novels, the expansion pack, StarCraft: Brood War, two authorized add-ons. A sequel, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, was released in July 2010, while a remastered edition of the original and expansion was released in August 2017; the original game, along with the expansion, was released for free in April 2017. Blizzard Entertainment's use of three distinct races in StarCraft is credited with revolutionizing the real-time strategy genre. All units are unique to their respective races and while rough comparisons can be drawn between certain types of units in the technology tree, every unit performs differently and requires different tactics for a player to succeed.
The psionic and technologically adept Protoss have access to powerful units and machinery and advanced technologies such as energy shields and localized warp capabilities, powered by their psionic traits. However, their forces have lengthy and expensive manufacturing processes, encouraging players to follow a strategy of the quality of their units over the quantity; the insectoid Zerg possess organic units and structures, which can be produced and at a far cheaper cost to resources, but are accordingly weaker, relying on sheer numbers and speed to overwhelm enemies. The humanoid Terrans provide a middle ground between the other two races, providing units that are versatile and flexible, they have access to a range of more ballistic military technologies and machinery, such as tanks and nuclear weapons. Although each race is unique in its composition, no race has an innate advantage over the other; each species is balanced out so that while they have different strengths and abilities their overall strength is the same.
The balance stays complete via infrequent patches provided by Blizzard. StarCraft features artificial intelligence which scales in difficulty, although the player cannot change the difficulty level in the single-player campaigns; each campaign starts with enemy factions running easy AI modes, scaling through the course of the campaign to the hardest AI modes. In the level editor provided with the game, a designer has access to four levels of AI difficulties: "easy", "medium", "hard" and "insane", each setting differing in the units and technologies allowed to an AI faction and the extent of the AI's tactical and strategic planning; the single-player campaign consists of thirty missions, split into ten for each race. Each race relies on two resources to sustain their game economies and to build their forces: minerals and vespene gas. Minerals are needed for all units and structures, are obtained by using a worker unit to harvest the resource directly from mineral nodes scattered around the battlefield.
Players require vespene gas to construct advanced units and buildings, acquire it by constructing a gas extraction building on top of a geyser and using worker units to extract the gas from it. In addition, players need to regulate the supplies for their forces to ensure that they can construct the number of units they need. Although the nature of the supply differs between the races—Terrans use physical supplies held in depots, Protoss use psionic energy channeled from their homeworld via pylons, Zerg are regulated by the number of controlling overlord units present—the supply mechanic works in the same way for each race, allowing players to create new units when there are sufficient resources to sustain them. Protoss and Zerg building construction is limited to specific locations: Protoss buildings need to be linked to a power grid while every Zerg structure must be placed on a carpet of biomass, called "creep", produced by certain structures. Terran buildings are far less limited, with certain primary base structures
Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns
Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns is a real-time strategy video game developed by TimeGate Studios. It was published for Microsoft Windows by Strategy First, ported to Linux by Loki Software, both in 2001. With a high fantasy setting, the game follows immortal beings named Kohan, it features a lengthy single-player campaign and skirmish maps playable in multiplayer or against the AI. The gameplay focuses on controlling companies instead of individual soldiers, a mechanic praised by critics for eliminating micromanagement. A sequel, Kohan II: Kings of War, was released in 2004; the Kohan economy has five resources, of which gold, as the only resource which can be stockpiled, is the most important. The four secondary resources, wood and mana, are used to support the military. Resources are produced in mines. Settlements have a number of slots to be occupied by one of eight components. Settlements determine the support limit, which represents the number of companies the player can support; the main military unit in Kohan is the company.
Each company is led by a Captain, has four front line units, can have up to two different support units. The units available for company creation depend on the components in the settlement where the company is being recruited. For each company, a recruitment cost must be paid in gold. Companies are defined by experience and formation. A company's support units and Kohan can provide additional modifiers, affecting attack strength, move speed and other. Once a company engages in combat, each unit will fight individually; as long as a single unit survives combat, the company can resupply to full strength. Units in Kohan are divided into six categories: infantry, archer, specialty and Hero elements; the first four categories can be both front line and support troops, while the fifth may only occupy support unit slots. The sixth category represents the Kohan, who are the most powerful units, can only be put in the Captain slot; each Kohan can cast several spells. Kohan have an experience stat separate from the companies' experience.
If a Kohan dies, he will lose all experience. If no Kohan is available, a Captain without any special abilities will lead the company. Kohan can be attached to companies at any time if the company is in supply. A significant element in Kohan are the three zones: Zone of Control, Zone of Supply and Zone of Population; each company has a ZoC, based on formation. If a company's ZoC overlaps with an enemy company's ZoC, they will engage in combat; the ZoS is the area. If a company's ZoC overlaps with a friendly ZoS, the company is considered "in supply" and will heal when out of combat; each settlement has a ZoP, representing the lands inhabited. New settlements must be built outside the ZoP. Kohan follows the story of a Kohan named Darius Javidan as he fights the rise of the Ceyah, Kohan tainted by evil, to re-establish Kohan society in Khaldun. According to Steve Hemmesch, TimeGate Studio's lead designer at the time, the storyline of Kohan was influenced by Persian mythology and Zoroastrianism; the Kohan are a group of immortals that the Creator tasked with fostering Khaldun.
Although the Kohan can be killed with violence, they only remain dead until they are "awakened" through the use of individually assigned amulets. When the Creator desired to build a new world, he consulted the two greatest of his Saadya, angel-like beings, named Ahriman and Ormazd. Of the two plans proposed, Ormazd's best fit the Creator's vision and the remaining eight Saadya were ordered to create the world, which Ormazd had named Khaldun. During its construction, Ahriman, whose plan had been rejected, plotted Khaldun's downfall. While Kohan culture bloomed early on in Khaldun's history, it was destroyed in The Great Cataclysm when certain Kohan desired to be free from the will of the Creator; the Kohan defeated the traitors were sent away from Kohan society. One Ceyah, Vashti known as Roxanna Javidan, Darius Javidan's wife, was rebellious against the Creator, she led the Ceyah armies, hoping to become a tyrant over all of Khaldun. There are seven distinct playable races in the Kohan series, all of which are common within the fantasy genre, though some have game-specific names.
The Mareten, Drauga, Slaan and Shadow have Kohan that resemble them, although all Kohan appeared human. It is explained that Kohan who dwell with a race for a number of years begin to take on their physical attributes, it is said that Kohan who were enlightened could take on a War Form or a Magic Form in addition to their Normal Form and that these races were descendants of Kohan while in those forms. The Gauri being descendants of Drauga and Haroun inheriting qualities of both. In Kohan and its expansion pack Kohan: Ahriman's Gift, the player can gain control of Gauri, Drauga and Slaan settlements and control units from these races, but the player's main settlements are always Mareten settlements. Instead of selecting a playable race, the player selects
Tribes 2 is a first-person shooter multiplayer video game developed by Dynamix and published by Sierra On-Line in 2001 as a sequel to Starsiege: Tribes. Set in the year 3941 of the fictional Earthsiege universe, Tribes 2 allows the user to play as a soldier in one of several factions, namely the Children of the Phoenix, the Blood Eagle, the Diamond Sword, the Starwolf. Players can choose to play a rebelling human-created soldier/worker race called the BioDerms. None of the factions differ from each other in strengths or weaknesses, but each has a distinctive look and background story. Tribes 2 is a multiplayer online game, designed for Internet or LAN play with up to 128 players or bots per match, although a small single-player tutorial mode is included; the game may be played from both first- and third-person perspectives. Each match takes place on an Earthsiege-themed map; the Tribes 2 engine, an early version of the Torque Game Engine, is capable of both indoor and outdoor maps, with expansive play areas.
Player movement about the map may be on foot, using a jet pack, or in various ground and airborne vehicles as pilot, co-pilot, or passenger. Each match is played according to one of a number of possible game modes, which dictate the rules of the match; these modes include Capture the Flag, Rabbit, Hunters, Duel-MOD, Siege and Bounty. Players are free to choose their own role, may deploy various items of weaponry and emplacements. Many of these items can be left unattended to operate automatically, or control may be assumed by players; each player may choose from three armor types, a weapon and equipment loadout, which may be reconfigured at any time during a match. The large variety of equipment and deployable items results in many opportunities for creative play and tactics, from pure combat to stealth. Tribes 2 gameplay makes extensive use of jet pack-powered flight, which adds a notable vertical element to combat, a skiing action to slide down slopes; as such, playing style varies from player to player, from moment to moment, but Tribes 2 gameplay may be generalized as being fast-paced three-dimensional combat over a wide playing area.
Player vs player combat is a central element of Tribes 2 gameplay in team-based modes. Tribes 2 was developed by Dynamix as a sequel to Starsiege: Tribes. Mötley Crüe recorded a song for the game, never released with the game. On November 2, 2008, Sierra/Vivendi disabled the authentication servers required for its online multiplayer and dropped all official support for the Tribes franchise. In early 2009, a fan community project provided an unofficial patch and replacement server which restored online multiplayer functionality; the Torque 3D game engine, on which Tribes 2 is built, was released by GarageGames under the MIT license on September 20, 2012. The Tribes 2 source code beside the Torque engine was not made available. Published by Sierra On-Line, it was released for Microsoft Windows in North America on March 28, 2001, in Europe on April 13, 2001, in Japan on June 22, 2001. A Linux port was released by Loki Entertainment on April 19, 2001. On November 20, 2002, Sierra released an update for Tribes 2.
This update contained new maps and updates to address several issues. Sierra, part of Vivendi Universal Games, licensed the franchise to Irrational Games for a third installment. In an effort to increase interest in the upcoming sequel, Sierra released both the original Starsiege: Tribes and Tribes 2 as freeware download on May 4, 2004. In 2015, the game was released as freeware by Hi-Rez Studios. Tribes 2 was commercially successful, its sales had surpassed 200,000 copies and were rising by the time of Dynamix's closure in November 2001, according to the company's Dave Georgeson. By August 2006, the game's sales had reached 280,000 copies in the United States alone, accounting for $9.2 million in revenue. This led Edge to declare it the country's 70th best-selling computer game released between January 2000 and August 2006. Combined sales of all Tribes computer games released between those dates, including Tribes 2, had reached 480,000 units in the United States by August 2006. Tribes 2 received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.
Tribes Universe - A website with a download link to the game Tribes 2 at MobyGames
Civilization: Call to Power
Civilization: Call to Power is a PC turn-based strategy game developed by Activision as a successor to the Civilization computer games by Sid Meier. It was ported to Linux by Loki Software. A sequel, Call to Power II, was released 18 months after the original; the sequel could not have "Civilization" in its title because Activision did not have a license for the "Civilization" name for a second game. One of the most noticeable differences from the previous Civilization games is that the timeline of the game does not end in the 21st century, but rather goes to the year 3000. There are five epochs in this game: Ancient Age, Modern Age, Genetic Age, Diamond Age. Call to Power adds a more thorough space colonization as well as sea colonization, with the appropriate technological advances. Similar to Civilization II, the game uses an isometric view, although each tile is two separate tiles: the space level on top of a "terrestrial" level. Players can toggle between "Earth view" and "space view". All land and naval units are terrestrial, although most land units can be launched into space inside a cargo pod by a rail launcher in cities or via a space plane.
Space fighters and space planes can travel in space and in the atmosphere. While the SWARM warrior can survive in space as well as the earth, it cannot launch itself into space. There are some units that exist in space such as the Star Cruiser, the Phantom and the Space Bomber. Space produces no resources. However, once a space colony is built, players can build food pods and assembly bays to produce resources for the colony. "Water tiles" are divided into several types. After submarines are available, the type of tile in oceans can be seen. Once the technology for sea colonies is discovered, undersea tunnels can be built to link to other sea colonies and dry land. Fisheries and undersea mines can be built to produce resources. In Call to Power, pollution is produced in meaningful quantities after the Industrial Revolution advance. Cities that produce a lot of pollution will start to produce "dead tiles" within their city radius; such tiles produce no resources. If pollution is left unchecked the game will give a warning that global disasters will occur.
Disasters include change in climate, ozone deterioration, global warming. In the case of global warming, the game informs the player that "ice caps have melted" and sea levels have risen. Tiles affected are turned into either coast or shallow water, cities on tiles that become shallow water or coast are destroyed; the destruction of the ozone layer causes a large number of land tiles to become dead tiles. If a nation is appropriately technologically advanced that nation can repair dead tiles, but only at a significant cost of industrial production; the "Gaia Controller" wonder removes all pollution in the game but can be built only in the Diamond Age. Pollution is exacerbated by several city facilities such as factories and oil refineries. On the flip side, some facilities such as recycling plants and nuclear reactors will reduce the production of pollution. Additionally, certain events such as space launches and use of nuclear weapons will result in one-time additions of pollution each time that they occur.
An initial setup feature is game play without pollution problems. While playing the game, the happiness level of the citizens must be maintained. If a city is far away from the capital, is overcrowded, overworked, starved or underpaid, the happiness level will drop with riots and revolts occurring. Cities experience unhappiness during wartime if they have just been conquered by another empire. Many terrorist units can decrease the happiness of an enemy city. For example, if a city is "infected", it will lose both happiness. If the happiness' level goes under 75 the city is in danger of rioting. If a city riots, it does not produce any work during that turn. If happiness in cities continues to decline, revolution becomes a possibility. If that happens, the city's inhabitants become "barbarians", or change nationality to another country if another country has the Egalitarian Act Wonder. However, if the happiness of a city reaches high levels, it "celebrates"; some buildings can increase happiness, wonders can increase happiness.
These can be built by any civilization. They take a longer time to build than ordinary buildings or units of that age, but have a greater effect, a cinematic is shown when the player builds one; the wonders affect the civilization as a whole, can only be built by one civilization. As with previous games, wonders can go obsolete with technological advances. Wonders of the future have a greater effect than wonders of the past. If a city containing a wonder is taken by another player ownership of the wonder and its benefits go to the conqueror. Apart from conquering all opponents, players can achieve victory by completing the Alien Life Project, triggered by the "wormhole sensor" wonder. After a wormhole probe is sent through the wormhole, an alien life lab and a series of upgrades must be built to achieve victory. A player can win by converting all enemy cities on the map; the final option is to get the highest score by the year 3
Linux is a family of free and open-source software operating systems based on the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. Linux is packaged in a Linux distribution. Distributions include the Linux kernel and supporting system software and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project. Many Linux distributions use the word "Linux" in their name, but the Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to emphasize the importance of GNU software, causing some controversy. Popular Linux distributions include Debian and Ubuntu. Commercial distributions include SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Desktop Linux distributions include a windowing system such as X11 or Wayland, a desktop environment such as GNOME or KDE Plasma. Distributions intended for servers may omit graphics altogether, include a solution stack such as LAMP; because Linux is redistributable, anyone may create a distribution for any purpose. Linux was developed for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system.
Linux is the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, the only OS used on TOP500 supercomputers. It is used by around 2.3 percent of desktop computers. The Chromebook, which runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS, dominates the US K–12 education market and represents nearly 20 percent of sub-$300 notebook sales in the US. Linux runs on embedded systems, i.e. devices whose operating system is built into the firmware and is tailored to the system. This includes routers, automation controls, digital video recorders, video game consoles, smartwatches. Many smartphones and tablet computers run other Linux derivatives; because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems. Linux is one of the most prominent examples of open-source software collaboration; the source code may be used and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License.
The Unix operating system was conceived and implemented in 1969, at AT&T's Bell Laboratories in the United States by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Douglas McIlroy, Joe Ossanna. First released in 1971, Unix was written in assembly language, as was common practice at the time. In a key pioneering approach in 1973, it was rewritten in the C programming language by Dennis Ritchie; the availability of a high-level language implementation of Unix made its porting to different computer platforms easier. Due to an earlier antitrust case forbidding it from entering the computer business, AT&T was required to license the operating system's source code to anyone who asked; as a result, Unix grew and became adopted by academic institutions and businesses. In 1984, AT&T divested itself of Bell Labs; the GNU Project, started in 1983 by Richard Stallman, had the goal of creating a "complete Unix-compatible software system" composed of free software. Work began in 1984. In 1985, Stallman started the Free Software Foundation and wrote the GNU General Public License in 1989.
By the early 1990s, many of the programs required in an operating system were completed, although low-level elements such as device drivers and the kernel, called GNU/Hurd, were stalled and incomplete. Linus Torvalds has stated that if the GNU kernel had been available at the time, he would not have decided to write his own. Although not released until 1992, due to legal complications, development of 386BSD, from which NetBSD, OpenBSD and FreeBSD descended, predated that of Linux. Torvalds has stated that if 386BSD had been available at the time, he would not have created Linux. MINIX was created by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, a computer science professor, released in 1987 as a minimal Unix-like operating system targeted at students and others who wanted to learn the operating system principles. Although the complete source code of MINIX was available, the licensing terms prevented it from being free software until the licensing changed in April 2000. In 1991, while attending the University of Helsinki, Torvalds became curious about operating systems.
Frustrated by the licensing of MINIX, which at the time limited it to educational use only, he began to work on his own operating system kernel, which became the Linux kernel. Torvalds began the development of the Linux kernel on MINIX and applications written for MINIX were used on Linux. Linux matured and further Linux kernel development took place on Linux systems. GNU applications replaced all MINIX components, because it was advantageous to use the available code from the GNU Project with the fledgling operating system. Torvalds initiated a switch from his original license, which prohibited commercial redistribution, to the GNU GPL. Developers worked to integrate GNU components with the Linux kernel, making a functional and free operating system. Linus Torvalds had wanted to call his invention "Freax", a portmant
Diablo III is a dungeon crawler hack-and-slash action role-playing game developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment as the third installment in the Diablo franchise. It was released for Microsoft Windows and OS X in May 2012, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013, the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in August 2014, the Nintendo Switch in November 2018. In the game, players choose to play as one of seven character classes – Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Necromancer, Witch Doctor, or Wizard – and are tasked with defeating the Lord of Terror, Diablo, as in previous games in the series. An expansion pack entitled Reaper of Souls was released for the original PC versions of the game in March 2014, it was released for consoles as part of the Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition version in August 2014. The Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer pack was released for the Windows, macOS, latest-generation console editions of the game in June 2017. Diablo III: Eternal Collection, combining Reaper of Souls and Rise of the Necromancer, was released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 2017, for the Nintendo Switch in November 2018.
The game received critical acclaim. The game set a new record for "fastest-selling PC game" by selling over 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release, became the best-selling PC game of 2012 by selling over 12 million copies. As of August 2015, the number of sales had grown to over 30 million. Much like in Diablo and Diablo II, the quality and attributes of equipment are randomized. In addition to base stats, such as damage and attack speed for weapon or armor points on armor, higher-quality items have additional properties, such as extra damage, attribute bonuses, bonuses to critical hit chance, or sockets, which allow items to be upgraded and customized by adding gems for various stat bonuses. Magic-quality items have up to three random properties, rare-quality items have up to six, legendary-quality items have up to eight with varying degrees of randomness, set items are a subtype of legendary items which provide additional, cumulative bonuses if multiple items from the same set are equipped.
Higher level monsters tend to drop higher level items, which tend to have higher base stats and bonuses. The proprietary engine incorporates Blizzard's custom in-house physics, features destructible environments with an in-game damage effect; the developers sought to make the game run on a wide range of systems without requiring DirectX 10. Diablo III uses a custom 3D game engine in order to present an overhead view to the player, in a somewhat similar way to the isometric view used in previous games in the series. Enemies utilize the 3D environment as well, in ways such as crawling up the side of a wall from below into the combat area; as in Diablo II, multiplayer games are possible using Blizzard's Battle.net service, with many of the new features developed for StarCraft II available in Diablo III. Players are able to drop in and out of sessions of co-operative play with other players. Unlike its predecessor, Diablo III requires players to be connected to the internet due to their DRM policy for single-player games.
An enhanced quest system, a random level generator, a random encounter generator are used in order to ensure the game provides different experiences when replayed. Unlike previous iterations, gold can be picked up by touching it, or coming within range, adjusted by gear, rather than having to manually pick it up. One of the new features intended to speed gameplay is that health orbs drop from enemies, replacing the need to have a potion bar, which itself is replaced by a skill bar that allows a player to assign quick bar buttons to skills and spells. Players can still assign specific attacks to mouse buttons. Skill runes, another new feature, are skill modifiers. Unlike the socketable runes in Diablo II, skill runes are not items but instead provide options for enhancing skills completely changing the gameplay of each skill. For example, one skill rune for the Wizard's meteor ability reduces its arcane power cost, while another turns the meteor to ice, causing cold damage rather than fire; as in Diablo II, Diablo III gives players the choice to make hardcore characters.
Players are required to first level up a regular character to level 10 before they have the option to create new Hardcore characters. Hardcore characters cannot be resurrected. Hardcore characters are separately ranked, they can only form teams with other hardcore characters. After dying, the ghost of a hardcore character can still chat, their name still shows up in rankings. If the hardcore character reached level 10 before dying, it can be placed in the Hall of Fallen Heroes. Artisans are non-player characters who craft. Two types of artisans can be introduced by completing a quest for each: Haedrig Eamon the Blacksmith and Covetous Shen the Jeweler; the Reaper of Souls expansion introduced the Mystic artisan, who can replace individual item enchantments and change the physical appearance of items. Artisans create items using materials the player can gather by scrapping acquired items and reducing them to their component parts; these materials are used to create items. Unlike Diablo II, rare and magic items can be enhanced, not just basic armor.
Crafting can be used to train and improve the skills of the artisans rather than create new items. When artisans gain new levels, their