A recently released video from Blizzard Entertainment unveils three new additions to the Diablo III cast.
Now don't get too excited. These aren't three new playable characters that Blizzard has been keeping a lid on. Instead, the latest media from the beloved developer unveils Diablo III's "Followers System."
These three helpful mercenaries can be considered the Diablo III analogue to the hirelings found in Diablo II. As in their previous incarnation, followers exist primarily to assist players in their quest to murder as many demonic beasts as possible.
That said, the new system brings with it a number of changes. Most crucially, followers will only be available in Diablo III's single-player mode. "It encourages co-op by giving people that are going to be playing the game alone from the start many of the thoughts and process that go into playing with another person," Blizzard claims.
Instead of simply hiring followers from friendly merchants, players will have to complete special quests. All three variations will be found relatively early in the game, and once located players will have the option to decide which AI-controlled companion they use via the game's caravan system.
Followers can be equipped with armor and weaponry, and unlike Diablo II's hirelings, their aesthetics will change in real-time depending on what sort of gear they're wearing.
Most intriguingly, Blizzard claims that each follower will have his or her own exclusive item type that not only improves their value as demon killers, but also ties into each character's unique storyline.
A full run-down on the system straight from the developer can be found on the game's official forums, alongside a collection of designer justifications for the inevitable gripes from the intensely critical Diablo fanbase.