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Diablo's action RPG core has remained the same, and will do so in the third version. But it sounds like they are also introducing a number of new systems that borrow from WoW, Guild Wars, etc. Can someone list out the new systems with a brief comparison of how they worked in earlier versions of Diablo?

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closed as too localized by Raven Dreamer Jun 4 '12 at 3:10

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I know this is kind of broad, and we may end up with a community wiki answer, but it felt like something we could handle. –  bwarner Aug 1 '11 at 11:54
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I think that is a bit premature start asking questions about Diablo 3, maybe it could be matter of discussion on meta. –  Drake Aug 1 '11 at 12:31
    
@Drake Why? Everything that I list in my answer is confirmed by Blizzard. Its not like I'm just listing speculation from fansites. –  bwarner Aug 1 '11 at 13:26
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Related meta discussion at meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/2512/… –  bwarner Aug 1 '11 at 16:05
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This shouldn't be closed because it's a new game, but because there's no real problem here. –  Nick T Mar 5 '12 at 17:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 21 down vote accepted

You can find a good official overview here. Some highlights include:

Skill system - No more skill tree with assigning points to different skills. Instead it will be more like Guild Wars. Leveling up will make skills become available, but you only have a certain number of slots for skills (6 active, 3 passive once you've unlocked them all). Skills can be swapped in and out easily, so no need for re-specs.

Rune system - Runes are variations of skills that not only give them bonuses, but can actually completely change the way the skill works. They might change a damage over time into a direct damage, or add area of effect, etc.

Auction House - There will be two auction houses supported by Battle.net. One will be gold based, the other will be real money based. The real money AH will allow carrying a positive balance, so you can sell your items for credit and then use it to buy other items without ever spending real money.

PvP Arena - PvP will be separated from the PvE game. There will be 1v1 and team competitions, and will use a matchmaking system. PvP will earn you achievements, but not actually boost your character.

Artisans - Artisans are a way of crafting new items. They will be similar to gambling in earlier versions of Diablo, where the input will be gold and items, but you will have a bit more control out of what comes out of it.

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The skill system is a major break through in my opinion –  pinouchon May 4 '12 at 21:07

This site has the most comprehensive list.

I am in no way trying to steal this answer, I just would like to add some more information becasue I just wasted my time answering a question that closed.

  1. Loot is now personal, meaning all of the gold and items that drop are exclusive to you. So nobody can come through and snatch up your loot.

  2. There is a fourth difficulty called Inferno which is built to put your maxed out character to the ultimate test. It is very tough and has been said to be two times harder than the agreed difficulty the testers thought was sufficient.

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