Assorted Diablo III News and Comics

Several quick hits on recent Diablo III articles and comics. I don’t know that Simpsons Diablo III fan art by Jangpiel (prelim sketches here) is awesome and deserves to be more widely-seen. It’s got nothing to do with the Kotaku article, though. Click to embiggen it.

On Kotaku there’s an article that’s largely a lament for a simpler day and a lost childhood, in which the author asks:

Can Diablo III capture the magic of its predecessor?

Don’t get me wrong: I have no doubt that Diablo III will be a wonderful experience. I’m sure it will be stuffed with addictive loot drops and entertaining plot twists. Diablo will be nasty and Cain will be wise and the skills will be crunchy and it will be genuine fun all around. I can’t wait to play through it.

But there’s a lot working against Diablo III’s magic-inducing abilities. For one, I don’t have the time I did 12 years ago. Maybe you can relate. Us cranky, ancient Diablo addicts who are now in our 20s and 30s just don’t have the freedom to spend hours and hours gaming like we did when we were in school. We have wives and boyfriends and dogs and kids and mortgages and car payments to worry about. We might be able to get away with plugging in a few hours of Mass Effect a week or delving into some Persona 3 Portable on the bus home from work, but we can no longer commit to endless magic-find runs or Baal-crawling sessions. Not anymore.

Tom’s Hardware Review posted a bunch of benchmarks for Diablo III’s performance and as you’d expect, the game ran pretty well on damn near every system they threw at it. I only linked to the first page of video card info; click through the other pages of the article for performance charts for many more systems.

Games Radar posted a slideshow article that covers The 13 Diablo II features we’ll nostalgically miss in Diablo III. Included are things like the Horadric Cube, Mephisto Runs, Inventory Tetris, The Secret Cow Level, and others. Curiously, none of the major system changes that really change the gameplay, such as stat points, skill points, skill trees, etc, are mentioned.

Penny Arcade covered Diablo III in their news and comic today, with a humorous complaint about digital download purchasers being forced to wait to start playing for a release date that means nothing to them. The comic has a bad word in it, but you might as well start getting used to them, what with all the time you’re soon going to be spending on Here’s a quote from the news post.

No, it’s the idea that we have to go through all these gyrations even though scarcity and its crude attendant necessities have been (for a not insignificant portion of the gaming public) relegated to history. If anybody could break this thing, it would be Blizzard, right? If anyone could just say, “Hey, it’s 2012 alright, and nobody can play our game offline anyway because we won’t let them, and boxes are made of cardboard and are not in any way magical, so go ahead and install your game” it would be them.

In other comic news, Control Alt Delete posted a D3-related comic a few weeks ago, which we didn’t news up since it wasn’t funny. Admittedly, the PA one above isn’t exactly side-splitting either, but at least it’s topical.

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18 thoughts on “Assorted Diablo III News and Comics

  1. Nobody’s waiting till the 15th because of retail boxes. You wouldn’t get to play D3 early, even if download was the only option.
    The boxes are produced long prior to any set date, and the date set is whatever point in time Blizzard deemed the code to be done.

    “I have a copy of Diablo III sitting on my computer…”
    That’s where PA is dead wrong. This code is not the final product. They’ll get to patch it the 15th, when it’s done, like everybody else.

    • Indeed, the PA strip and post made a stupid argument.

      Purely digital products have release dates also, to build demand and expectation and media attention and get on first week best seller lists, etc. After all, there has to be some date upon which a product begins to sell, and whenever that is this comic could be posted 5 days before, to infinite regress.

      Also, the whole point in releasing the digital version early is to ease bottlenecks on everyone trying to obtain it that day. Bliz could have let no one touch a byte of D3 until midnight may 15th, and then the PA comic would be about how stupid their distribution was and how it took 17 hours to download the game, etc.

      That said, the PA guys aren’t idiots (though their characters in the comic often are) and I think they realize the reality of the situation and were just crafting a comic to make a joke about the oddity of a product that can only be played with an internet connection, that has a release date tied to its physical distribution.

      • “Purely digital products have release dates also”

        This was highlighted recently when Legends of Grimrock announced they had “gone gold” a couple weeks before their release date. It’s a purely digital release, and it was finished, but they sat on it to let reviewers play first and to build hype.

        The only slight oddity about the D3 release is what they’re doing with different regions and timezones. I guess that *is* done for the sake of stores and a midnight release, because otherwise it makes little sense not to let everyone start playing at the same time. It’s not like it helps load balancing during the initial rush, because each region has their own servers anyway.

      • Indeed. I watch the PATV, and I find those guys to be well reflected as well as highly enjoyable to watch.
        It just seems to me more like a masked opinion, than the scenario where they let the characters carry out the fallacy of a known rant.

        I think the reason that the humorous notion of a release date tied to a physical distribution completely misses me, is the fact that I can only see it as a physical distribution being tied to a release date. The boxes would have hit the stores in time, had that date been 1st of may, 15th of april or holidays 2011…

  2. While we are going on that route, it will take a long while for physical mediums to completely disappear, if that ever happens. Digital copies are cheaper simply because you don’t have to spend all the money making the CD, the box and the manuals x5,000,000 for all the players. I don’t think that digital will ever completely replace physical because people, including me, like the sense of owning something, and like holding what you own in your hand. Howver, the digital trend is increasing and the retail stores are already suffering loses from digital attacks. 

    One big problem the digital has is that, it requires interent to both buy it and play the game, so in that sence, you don’t really own the game so much as you rent it from the publisher. And they reserve the right to block you from playing the game that you bought if you break the ToS. And, that isn’t exactly the bright future. 

  3. good thing I finished all my exams, and have way too much time to spend on playing Diablo3.

    I guess this will be the one and only time I can use this chance, since I won’t have that much free time to spend in the future…

    I’ll be enjoying every little second of that gaming experience, before I get too old!  

  4. The Simpson version of the D3 fan art is drawn by Jangpiel at Inven, one of leading D3 fan sites in Korea. You can also see some drafts. Here is a link for it.

    • Cool. Looking at the pic again… the dog should really have been drawn like a Mongrel.  As for the cat…. hmm.  We don’t really know what the Demon Hunter’s familiars look like yet.

      • I was thinking the same thing. We have seen the bat and crow I believe. They are pretty much just the animal with a little bit of shadowy-ness coming off them.

  5. Games Radar was spot on with some things they mentioned. Seems they forgot to mention the music though. No more magic tunes by Matt Uelmen. 

    • They weren’t spot on… They mention that there’s not reoccurring super unique monsters when we know there are. There’s still rushing as well, but it’s just not as efficient with experience. Many of the other things listed are opinions, assumptions, and annoying/broken things that were vastly improved upon. Also, nobody can say for sure if the Secret Cow Level is gone… Hints by Blizzard staffers seem to suggest that it’s returning and it may be as lucrative as the D2 one.

  6. IMO, the real reason for the hard release date is that’s when the devs have to let go of the Day 1 patch 😉 We may have most of the game on our hard drives already, but it’s not the WHOLE game, and I’d be very surprised if the patch wasn’t still being worked on.

    • If u got march client pre-downloaded – it’s gonna UPDATE nowdays =) check it out

  7. From the beta, it was quite clear that it didn’t take much of a system to run D3 at min settings (great for maximum sales!), but I would have liked to see to include test results on D3 in a 3D setup, which would be much more taxing on any system. But then, I have an overclocked i7 3770k + GTX 680 on the way just for this, so I should be just fine. 😉

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