Blizzard is introducing an interesting new mechanic in regards to how health is replenished in Diablo 3. In addition to health potions and health regenerating talents, obtaining health globes will be a primary means by which you can keep your character alive.
Health globes are like floating red spheres filled with life force. They are released from the corpses of your fallen victims and can be acquired and utilized for regenerating a portion of your character’s health pool. Regular monsters will have a (very high) chance of releasing small health globes when killed. When a player grabs one of these health globes, it will then replenish the character’s health by a small fixed percentage.
Stronger monsters that provide greater challenges, such as rares and champions, will release medium sized health globes when approaching death. After battling them to a certain health level, or once their defenses have been stripped, a medium sized health globe will emerge. Obtaining these larger health globes while slaying these more powerful monsters is an important part of the strategy when dealing with the more formidable demons.
Boss fights will make interesting use of this new health globe mechanic. Boss fights will be set up in a variety of ways to allow your player to regain health during the encounter.
For example… one encounter might have the boss release health globes periodically throughout the fight, as it takes damage. Another fight may require that your character search for stored or hidden caches of health globes. There will also be fights where a boss will have a legion of less powerful minions to deal with, thus allowing your character to dispose of the lesser foes as additional health globes are needed.
Healing will be much less bursty in Diablo 3. Health globes will be the primary form of healing, and will provide a much more metered form of replenishment. Rather than swill rejuvenation potions one after the other in order to stay alive during difficult fights, players will have to make tactical decisions in order to stay alive.
Health potions will be present in Diablo 3, but they will not be available in surplus quantities, nor will they be consumable back-to-back. Health potions can either be purchased from specific vendors or looted from the corpses of slain monsters, but will be relatively rare in Diablo 3. In addition to their scarcity, health potions will also impose a cooldown this time around.
Some class specializations will have access to talents that will help to regenerate health through some sort of means, but there will likely be trade-offs. Health regenrating skills will not be available to everyone, will require some careful play, and will probably incur some sort of penalty, e.g., a decrease to damage dealt.
The Diablo 3 UI will possess a blood red health orb, similar to those present in Diablo and Diablo II. As long as there’s a drop of liquid in the orb, your character will remain alive. Once the last drop of blood red liquid has left the orb, your character will fall. Health orbs will play the most important role in ensuring that your orb remains plentiful with blood red, liquid life as it were.
You need not grab every single health globe that drops either… The exciting thing about health globes is that they will require players to make game play decisions on how and when to acquire them. Players will have to employ strategy and technique when trying to sustain themselves through difficult encounters.