Dungeon Siege III Previews

Obsidian Entertainment's Dungeon Siege III has been treated to a few more previews, starting with this favorable piece over at GamesRadar:
Perhaps the most striking new feature was the one that showcased the game's stunning graphics. You'll be able to survey your surroundings more effectively by using vistas vantage points in areas that let you see far out into the distance, giving a better glimpse of the areas and goals that lie in wait. This has allowed the developers at Obsidian to remove the unsightly mini-map that mucks up the view in most Action RPGs from Dungeon Siege 3's HUD. It might seem like a terrible design choice at first, but once you see the beautiful landscapes stretching before you from a vista point, we doubt you'll miss that ugly thing.

Underneath everything, however, lies the awesome action/RPG gameplay that fans have come to know and love. Gameplay still emphasizes killing lots and lots of monsters and collecting piles and piles of awesome loot. During our demo, our Guardian class character was able to quickly change stances to handle his blade in different ways, making him a more effective opponent against certain situations: a one handed style for precise, single enemy combat and a two-handed form for sweeping, crowd control moves.

NowGamer chimes in, as well:
As ever, the emphasis in Dungeon Siege 3 will be on Diablo-like hack-and-slash combat against hordes of D&D-style enemies with the usual loot drops, weapons and other goodies to run around gathering as you quest. As you'd expect, Obsidian is promising the usual gamut of dungeon crawler environments, from snowy forests to deep dark dungeons for you to explore, but there's a great epic feel to the world of Dungeon Siege 3 that we can't wait to explore.

Only two classes have been revealed for Dungeon Siege 3 so far: The Guardian, a hefty melee class warrior with equipped with armour and a sword, and The Archron, a spellcaster who can wield powerful spells from a distance in combat. Each class looks set to be fairly versatile, with The Guardian able to switch between two stances. One lets you quickly attack single enemies, meting out large amounts of damage, while the other is more of a slow pressing attack, enabling you to whittle down large groups of enemies in a form of bloody hack and slash crowd control.

And then GameSpot recaps Obsidian's "Fallout: Writing for Evolving Game Franchises" panel discussion at Comic-Con, which included talk of DS3:
As with Gonzalez, Ziets first immersed himself in the established world of the franchise, playing all of the previous Dungeon Siege games. He then acquired Dungeon Siege's lore bible from Gas Powered Games, reading and internalizing the backstory of the franchise.

From there, Ziets said he settled upon four conditions to establish what the team should focus on in crafting the new game. These included what he and his team were most excited by, what is most central to the franchise, what can provide interesting visuals and gameplay, and what will make the fans happy.

As a result of this process, the team pulled a number of elements from the original Dungeon Siege. Namely, the game would be returning to the Kingdom of Ebb, and it would focus on the 10th Legion, which was a central protective force. From there, it became a matter of expanding the world by doing their own bit of world-building. To get this process started, Ziets sat down to write the Ebb sourcebook, which is a compilation of short stories, legends, calendars, and even a language.