Yesterday’s dip into the early Diablo III bestiary covered many of the Undead creatures you’re certain to encounter in the early stages of the game. Today’s report will discuss the remaining two categories of monsters you will inevitably face by the middle of Act I.
The category of Beasts refers to enemy units that tend to resemble wild animals rather than beings conjured by evil or magic. Their attacks tend to stem merely from natural instinct and therefore serve no dark purpose other than survival. In previous Diablo games, creatures that fell under this category were more susceptible to hits from bladed weaponry as opposed to blunt weaponry, but, once again, we can neither confirm nor deny that this is the case with Diablo III.
Quill Fiend: These are likely to be the weakest beasts you will encounter in the whole game. They have incredibly low hit points and possess only a weak ranged attack. The pre-eminent in-game scholar Abd al-Hazir, whose informative notes are scattered about New Tristram, warns you to “underestimate them at your own peril.” But then again, he wasn’t a level 3 adventurer with decent armor and weapons. Instead, he was a mere level 5 nerd armed only with a shoe.
Scavenger: The next beasts you’ll encounter lie beyond the gate that leads towards the village crypts. Scavengers are quite agile creatures that possess the features of several different real world animals, but their movements and attacks most closely resemble wild dogs. Like most early monsters, they too are easy to dispose, but they can be a handful if you encounter them while engaged with other, more powerful enemies along the forest paths.
Carrion Bat: As you continue on your path to the cemetery, you may come across the entrance to an optional two-level cave dungeon. The Carrion Bat will be amongst the enemies you’ll encounter there, and, like most tiny monsters, they do little damage and don’t pose a threat unless they swarm around you in great quantities. However, there may be an inexhaustible supply of these bats because of the…
Carrion Nest: Carrion Nests are actually living, breathing creatures that exist only to spawn a limitless supply of Carrion Bats. According to the lore written by the Horadric scholar Deckard Cain, these creatures are actually mutated Carrion Bats who have grown to enormous sizes as a result of some magical manipulation of nature. You may consider the possibility of gaining XP simply by sparing the Carrion Nest, instead patiently waiting to slaughter each new bat that emerges from the Carrion Nest’s festering birth hole, but there are far simpler and more straightforward ways to earn experience. Trust me.
The abundance of demon-like creatures on the battlefield has always been an indication to Diablo players that they’re nearing the conclusion of the game. Unlike the earthly Beasts and the supernatural Undead, Demon creatures are denizens of the fiery pits of Hell. Their presence is an indication that either strong, powerful agents of evil are nearby or that your character has entered Hell itself. Since Demons usually appear towards the later stages of the game, very few of them actually appear in Act I.
Imp: These little creatures can be found on the very lowest position of the demonic totem pole. Simply put, they are demonic hell spawn: the children of fully-developed demons. However, demons tend to get very hungry after committing acts of unspeakable evil, so, according to lore, they will sometimes have cravings for a nice hot bowl of baby demon stew. In an act of self-preservation, some Imps find refuge in portals that lead to the human realm, where they dwell in dungeons and catacombs to feast on careless tomb raiders. Since they are relatively harmless to seasoned adventurers, they tend to run away if overwhelmed, making them more of an annoyance than an actual threat.
Treasure Goblin: Consider yourself lucky if you run into one of these creatures. These lesser demons exist only to relieve dungeons of their treasures and weapons. Once they’ve completely filled their sacks, they open a magic portal that leads back to their avaricious masters. They are incapable of attacking you, which makes them completely harmless. Additionally, being struck by weapons or magic causes them to run away and drop a small amount of gold, and, if defeated, they tend to drop magical items as well. It is therefore in your best interests to slaughter them before they get a chance to create a portal and escape.
Cultist: These are not actually demons, but human members of a cult that worships the great evils of Hell. In other words, they seek to restore power to Diablo, Mephisto, and Baal, the three brothers who have plagued the lands of Sanctuary for eons. They will likely play a central role in the game’s plot, but the only way to find out what their aims are and how they intend to achieve them is to buy and play the game just like everybody else.
There's plenty more for you to contend with once Diablo III is available for purchase on May 15, but hopefully our Monster Guide has given you some preparation for the enemies you'll face on your travels. Good luck!