Beta Status Update from Blizzard

Bashiok replied to one of the thousands of “beta news plz naow!” threads, with a useful tidbit.

Beta coming any time soon at all? 🙁

We’re still looking good for third quarter, which is before the end of September.

We’re preparing ourselves for an extremely limited, and extremely rough beta. The number of people let in will simply be dependent on concurrency of active players (we want to keep it full), and rough because we expect many issues as we’re trying out a lot of new hardware and systems all at the same time. We’ll get it ironed out before release of course, but while most of our other game tests have been of seemingly releasable products, we’re preparing for this one to be a true beta.

The info I’ve been hearing from people (who know people) is that the DiabloWikiDiablo III beta likely won’t start until September. That’s not guaranteed, of course, but it seems logical. If they were going to start it in the first two or three weeks of August, they’d have given us a release window during the last conference call. As we know, they gave no beta update at all then, other than to repeat their “3rd quarter 2011” estimate.

Bashiok’s post here does nothing to contradict that, and seems to support most of our conjecture that the beta will be small, fast, and probably open to a lot of testers, as Blizzard will need a lot of people to keep up high concurrency numbers to properly stress test the servers. Those are good things, as far as I’m concerned. Better chance for more of us to get into it, and less waiting for the final product!


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  1. 1st, and again OLD NEWS.

    • Old news? It happened yesterday. Are you, like, Benjamin Button or something?

      • That. Also, I wrote the post yesterday. I just delayed it going live since there were like, 10 news items yesterday, and I figured today would be slower and this one going up in the morning would lead to some discussion.

        There is thought given to presentation and thematic grouping and comprehensive discussion in the news we post; the blue and twitter spider are there (though temporarily not showing due to server load issues) for people who only care about seeing things the instant they go live.

  2. Is anybody see this – “while most of our other game tests have been of seemingly releasable products, we’re preparing for this one to be a true beta
    Doesn’t this indicate LONG beta???

    • This is pure speculation but I suspect it means they’re under a lot of pressure from all levels of the company to ship it before Christmas and that they’re going into beta sooner than they normally would if left to their own devices. So, it’s going to be a rougher and more unstable beta than the SC2 beta which was (mostly) stable throughout. It doesn’t necessarily mean a long beta.

      • Yeah, so they won’t release it “when it’s done”, they’ll release it “when it sells the most”.

        Expect a game that’s sub-par compared to other Blizzard titles in terms of quality.

    • It does not.

      They are as they have claimed several times before testing the Server Infrastructure. That is completly new. The servers will lagg, The Launcher will give crash. It will be rough but its needed for them to solve the biggest issues before they release the beta. When they solved the crashes and are happy with the servers they are free to push out the game. As most balance issues can be solved with patches.

    • I also don’t know why he thinks “We’re preparing ourselves for an extremely limited, and extremely rough beta” translates to “a lot of people” and “fast”.

      • “The number of people let in will simply be dependent on concurrency of active players (we want to keep it full),…”
        certainly seems to indicate “a lot of people”

        • Except he has also said earlier that they’re “starting with essentially a ‘single’ server to test the system out” so it probably won’t be that much…

    • I found his comment about their other game tests being of “seemingly releasable products” odd since most people that have played different Diablo 3 demos have said it was good enough to be released now and I know from experience and the reports of many others that their other game tests have been quite buggy and unstable and that includes WoW, SC2, and WC3…

      • WoW was very buggy and laggy during it beta and sometime after launch, but SC2 wasn’t.
        SC2 beta had a lot of downtime due to one patch per week, but it wasn’t buggy or laggy (for a beta).

  3. Before the end of september can as well mean 29 of september…
    2 months of beta…that IS short…if they still plan to release full game this year offcourse.

    So at least we have a clue that it will be september for the beta, at least this is what I understand between the lines.

    • Yeah this is why I’m rapidly loosing faith in a 2011 release. I hope they stick to their guns and decide to keep polishing it before release rather than a pre-chrissy deadline.

  4. Yeah wth does “seemingly releasable products” mean? I think it means that they havnt been testing system techs broadly and that is mainly what they’re meaning to do – and that’s how the beta is more “true beta” compared for sc2 where focus was on game balance and bnet2.0 test, obviously.

  5. Still hoping for the beta to come out this month. Anyone knows the South Park episode where Cartman is waiting for the WII? That’s how I feel everytime I read something Diablo 3 related.

  6. No shock they have said in a few other interviews that they are only testing the Bnet features and not gameplay since they feel that is exactly where they want it via internal testing.   And since bnet will be mostly a stress test I don’t see it taking long at all.   Unless of course they find some glaring issue but they already use the basic infrastructure for WOW and SC2 so those type of issues should be absent.

    • They must already have glaring issues if Bashiok is making this kind of comment, more than once, no less.
      I know he plays WoW, he was around for that beta, the expansion betas, the SC2 beta. I would take what he says on this issue at face value, myself.

  7. “We’re still looking good for third quarter”
    Notice theres no guarantee here. Most likely it’ll happen before October, but like with everything else theres still a chance =/

  8. Whatever. Already been waiting forever, what’s another 4 weeks. I’ll probably burn out on sucking at SC2 by then anyway.

  9. Has there been any mention of system requirements for the game yet?

  10. My thoughts on this are as follows:

    1. The beta will start during the 3rd quarter, but Blizzard is still working on getting their infrastructure in place to support both the beta and the live game.  There is quite a lot of hardware that needs to be acquired in order to launch this title, especially given that it is client server based.  Also, they have to train the staff to support Diablo 3 at every level, from technical to customer service.  Just preparing to launch is a big job.
    2. They will likely announce the release date at Blizzcon.  If you look at the timing of all this and how coy they are with their responses, it’s most likely because they want to announce the actual release from their own show.
    3. The launch will probably be late November or early December.  This is just common sense, as many people are in buying mode for Christmas.  Fans obviously will buy Diablo 3 no matter when it launches, but aunts and moms will be more willing to drop the cash for a Christmas gift.

    These are just my thoughts and they could be entirely wrong, but this makes the most sense from all that’s been made public thus far.

    • They got a maintenance time for WoW servers tomorrow or somewhen. Blizz-store and main Blizzard site will be on maintenance too. I wonder can that be related to D3 beta? And one week actually passed after conference call. SC2 beta started one week after 10th February conference call.

  11. Hmmm… at this stage, if someone goes wrong or needs revision, then I can see this game easily ending up as a 2012 release 🙁

  12. I wonder how many people is considered full…

  13. yeah, have to be after 1st week of September
    beta won’t start before Labor Day in the US

  14. Be prepared for a long beta people. Look at the way they’re messing around with game systems so close to beta. They achieved content lockdown ages ago I think (which is a good thing) but their systems are still very much in the cooking pot. Which is uncharacteristic of a Blizzard game.

    I wonder, did they do this much last-moment dabbling for D2 as well?? If they did, that would be somewhat reassuring…anybody here who can answer this?


    • They really aren’t doing anything majorly new with their infrastructure so I doubt there will be many surprises. If know blizz it will be a modified version of what they already use for their other 2 juggernauts of Games SC2 and WOW.   Just tweaked on newer hardware to run D3 but it won’t be like they are blazing new territory.   I see an extremely short beta followed by a December release.

    • Well, I can’t answer the question directly as I didn’t start playing D2 until after launch.  However, this is an entirely different team and honestly an entirely different Blizzard, post WoW.  I believe them when they say they want their games to be fun and they are going to take the time to make sure they are, so if anything comes up that causes questions as to whether the game will sell, they will halt the process and fix it before release.  That said, Diablo 3 was “content complete” a while back and they have already had an internal alpha that lasted several months, so the game is fun and playable already, and anything they are doing now is just to further polish the product.  I do not think any of the announced changes or system concerns will affect the release of this game.  The rune system change was more of an idea that they will test on a development server and none of that system will go into the primary code stream unless they decide it is more fun in their development environment.  Jay was up front that it was more of a working idea and not something they were absolutely going to change and he said the current system is already fun.

      Don’t worry, Blizzard wants this game to launch in 2011 too, so unless something catastrophic happens, we will almost certainly see it before the end of December.

  15. The good news is that the game itself sounds as if it is performing just fine. Gameplay reports from the press event often mention how well the game ran. Blizzard knows about server setup, they’re pretty well-versed in all of that fun stuff. They’re expecting problems, but it doesn’t mean they will necessarily take a long time to fix.

    It almost sounds like they’re doing stuff in waves, ie no AMM when the beta first launches, introduce it later, introduce the AH later.

  16. Seriously?  Some of your information is wrong on the chart.  I know you don’t like Diablo 3, but at least include the latest information.  Here are just a couple of problems with your chart, I’m sure you will hear more from other folks on this.

    1. You can trade player to player.  They have said that in multiple interviews.  You do not have to use the auction houses if you do not want to.
    2. Some corpses will remain on the ground after a battle.  I don’t think the actual number was revealed, but from user feedback they changed it so it looked like a battle happened after you finished fighting.
    3. I’m sure you have offended more than just the Blizzard employees with your statement about where they are from.  Who can take you seriously when you make blanket statements like that?

  17. Some people like it rough.

  18. Why would it be an extremely rough beta? With the new severs and etc?  Is that why it would be rough? Stress testing their machines?

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