Some have questioned whether the limited closed Beta will be enough to get the game out the door in a polished state, but as Blizzard has stated right from the start, this limited Beta test is all about connectivity testing and Battle.Net. And let’s face it, the majority of ‘testers’ won’t actually be testing anything. I don’t think running four naked Barbarian females through the game passes for Beta testing these days 🙂

    When asked whether there would likely be aditional content in the Beta, which obviously there won’t be because the story is an integral part to the game, Bashiok responded:

    We don’t have any plans to extend the beta beyond the Skeleton King fight. Some of the beta content, or items, could change as we make tweaks, but overall the beta is intended mainly to test system compatibility (how the client runs on all the different hardware/software configurations out there) and work out all the kinks of the new hardware running the servers.

    It would be foolish to say we’ll be able to squash every bug, but we have a QA department that is large enough to test a massive online game like World of Warcraft, and so we feel very confident that we’ll be able to test and release an extremely high quality four player co-op game like Diablo III without having to open it up to public testing.

    The QA department will have their work cut out, four player game or not, WoW has seen some humdingers of bugs in the past. There will be bugs and they are to expected, we already know that there are plans for tweaks once the game ships out. Let’s hope they are just tweaks.

    Update: A fan cited Bashiok’s comment and asked why not more testers sooner. Zarhym replied with additional details.

    1. Start with a small sample audience to test stability.
    2. Take bug and crash report feedback; act on them quickly.
    3. Release new patches to make some very necessary changes in the small test environment.
    4. Keep testing stability while adding new battle.net/infrastructure components.
    5. If everything is running incredibly smooth after steps 1-4, invite people from the general public to open the flood gates on stress testing and get focused gameplay feedback/bug reports.

    This is a very layman’s description, but the point is we have to slowly throttle in more people to test the game as we continue to create new builds and work out new battle.net functionality. Once the environment is stable and many of the core features are there, we then start to invite the masses.

    I’d feel remiss in not mentioning this: we absolutely want everyone to play this game as soon as possible. But to make that a reality, we must first excel in both content and deliverance. (So let’s put on our classics and we’ll have a little dance, shall we?) 😉

    I’m guessing we are on step 4 right now?
    Zarhym Basically, yea. 🙂 We’re getting really close! That’s the good news.

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