Blizzard on D3 Skill Changes and 2012 Despair

Bashiok answered a question about the ongoing Demon Hunter skill changes, with some insight into the overall website update process.

Are the skills gonna be fixed on the website soon? Cause right now it says we start off with impale with no hatred generator abilities. Also the strafe ability is listed under hatred generator but it says it costs 2 hatred per second?
A lot of info is going to be and remain all kinds of jacked up. We’re making constant changes to skills and items. Since the website literally pulls from the game data, we don’t want it to be a metagame of watching live updates as we design and balance the game. We’ll probably only update website data at key points before launch.

These sort of changes have gone on all through the game’s development; it’s just that we’re now getting some insight into them in semi-real time. I’d expect that to change fairly soon, and the official site will lock down the info shown and not update it until things are nearly final, much closer to the game’s release.

Elsewhere, the “delay” announcement has driven some fans to despair.

This is great
Now I have nothing to look forward to, I know I won’t get into beta no game that has a set release date interests me. I also have no games to play they all sucks, by the time diablo is released the graphics are gonna be outdated even more :/ I just don’t know what to do I’m sick to my stomach now.

Nethaera: You don’t know that you won’t get into beta. We have time and we’ll be adding more people over time.

As you read in the post by Mike Morhaime, we are working very hard to get Diablo III ready and out as soon as possible. We’re shooting for early 2012 right now. I know some doomsayers are calling that it will be later, (and I’m not making promises), but it’s very rare that we even try to give a time frame and call it out like this. So that, at the least, should count for something or at the very least show that we have nothing but the best intent for the game and the community.

In the end though, we want to make sure that when we release it, that it’s something we can be proud of and that you can enjoy as much as possible.

We aren’t doomsayers because we are confused by this development. There hasn’t been any actual reason for pushing back given, only silly marketing fluff about polishing the game. You cannot tell us that you intended to put “tiny beta” into the hands of the press for 6 months, can you? We would really appreciate some communication regarding the nature of the push back. Why build all of the hype just to kick it out of your fan base a month before Blizzcon? Please give us a little respect and explain what has happened here.
Nethaera: We’ve given enough reason at this point in time. We’re generally very careful about “building hype” “too soon”. We don’t do it with any purposeful or malicious intent. We also aren’t going to be suddenly silent. We’re all in this together.

The purpose of the beta is the same. We want to make sure the systems and design are solid. Feedback, (constructive) as always is valuable on the experience people are having no matter how limited the beta is (content wise). And, how the game is holding up with so many people connected, is likewise important. We want to make sure everyone can get in, connect, and go slay some hellacious demons.

We’re doing what we can to be as open and honest about this as possible because we know that there are so many people looking forward to the release. We’re equally looking forward to the release, have no doubt about that. But, we want to make sure that we’re confident in what we’re going to be delivering and then let it fly.

Emo fan is emo! The announcement of the delay into 2012 was a surprise… but was anyone *really* surprised? Blizzard had spent the whole year making those “no expected 2011 game releases” financial disclosure statements, and all of their 2011 comments were of them, “really hope to, but it’ll be tough.” Obviously we all hoped, but it’s not like they said “November 2011 for sure!” and then changed it.

Besides… they’re Blizzard. As the joke goes, you’ll never go broke betting on them taking longer than expected to release a game. Check the release date news items for much more on this, or the DiabloWikirelease date article in the wiki.

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49 thoughts on “Blizzard on D3 Skill Changes and 2012 Despair

  1. Taking a break from Diablo news/forums for a few months like I did last year.  Sorry but I am really bummed out right now where I lost all of my excitement.  Maybe it will come back in a few months and I will see whats going on. I will probably check again during Blizzcon.
    For all I know Diablo 3 may get get delayed even more next year.
    I also believe I will not get invited to Beta so no point even checking.

  2. Starting a new D2 character named Job while Blizzard continues to debate how best to utilize my prodigious beta testing skills…

  3. Real simple have everyone that wants to play play it as open beta and then they get real feedback. I don’t understand the comment of nothing to look forward to. There are games like skyrim, Uncharted 2, Ultimate marvel vs capcom 3, heck I’m even looking forward to lego harry potter years 5-7. Lego games are a blast.

    • it is all to the person’s taste really, i cant find myself looking forward to anything u mentioned, but i do look forward to TL2, and hope they come out before D3, else i wont hav time for that game when D3 comes out. 🙂

  4. The only other game I am looking forward to besides Diablo 3 is Skyrim personally. I knew the game would be pushed back to 2012 and I am still stick with my window of 2-3 quarter of 2012

  5. Hm, not surprised about the delay. But there are so many amazing games comng out over the next four or five months, Diablo is getting pushed further and further off my radar (something I wouldn’t have thought possible a year or two ago). While some fans are dismayed, Blizzard should start getting more concerned about the fans who are decreasingly giving a damn. They have enjoyed a leisurely development cycle that other AAA developers couldn’t imagine in their wildest dreams. The beta footage, while good for one or two playthroughs, is now substantially less exciting to watch. On a site like this I’ll obviously be in the minority, but most of the gaming population might agree that the Diablo team is possibly taking their fan base for granted. But this is 2011, amongst one of the greatest years for gaming, and a poor economy makes triage of releases much more necessary (and easier). Food for thought, that’s all I’m saying.

  6. I personally felt a little relieved that it got pushed back now I will be able to enjoy sky rim for at least a couple of months

    • oh ye  i  would have pittied you if you had to rush trhough a game you deem fucking aweseome in a hurry just to play another aweseome Game – that would be really cruel ….
      it must be hard to be the center of the universe ….
      i for once have no game iam looking forward too… maybe TL2 but not even that one has a release date yet…
      i guess reread  some Jim Butcher / Stephen King novels … for my free time

  7. So….Nethaera basically said nothing. They’ve given enough info but nobody knows what’s causing delay except some vague statement about polishing the game. I don’t think an extra 1-2 month is enough for fixing whatever they’re trying to fix, so that means Feb. and beyond? I wouldn’t be surprised if they push for summer/2012 release.

    • It was a beautifully written crap post. “Early 2012” could mean anything within the first 6 months. Remember they promised us “3rd quarter beta” and BARELY managed to bring out the beta by that timeframe??

      • Only thing Blizzard promised is that D3 will be awesome. About beta….they ALWAYS said they AIMING for beta start in 3rd quarter.

      • Barely no they did it in plenty of time as 3rd quarter don’t end until midnight on the 30th of September and the F&F beta started around the 4th.

  8. I personally think they sabatoged this beta so they have an excuse to launch Starcraft2: Heart of the Swarm before Diablo 3. I remember when they revealed their plans over a 3-4 year period I think it was GDC 2011, they had SC2: HOTS schedule to release before Diablo 3 and everyone was wondering why would you prioritize an expanison over a full blown game. Can anyone dig up that image ? Anyway, I’ll bet all my blue items that HOTS gets released before Diablo 3.

    • “I personally think they sabatoged this beta so they have an excuse to launch Starcraft2: Heart of the Swarm before Diablo 3.”


      O thats a bet I will take.   If your are right I will give you all my blues from lvl 1-30.  And if I am right (D3 will be out before SC:HotS)you will give me all your blues from lvl 1-30. (not joking I will take the bet if you will)

  9. It was just the one thing they could have done for fans and now they go and goof that too. It’s not like we’re all mortal or anything. 11 years is nothing to us right? Just another big biz torturing fans in their own unique way.

  10. If only this delay meant that the game would be great, more likely than not this delay was because issues and auction house, not to improve the gameplay, voice acting, sound and armor design. there is just not enough time for that.
    we are now just basically waiting even more for a game that is certainly going to be a disappointment in comparison to it’s predecessor.
    better to move on to better games 😕

    • If you’re certain it’s going to be a disappointment, you shouldn’t even know the beta was delayed cuz you shouldn’t be following the game.

      • it being disappointing does not mean I will not follow it, I will just be angered/annoyed that what was to be a great sequel to one of my favorite games will not be half as good as it could have been.

  11. I’m still a little annoyed about the whole beta thing. Why announce beta is live and then have such a long time before you let the opt-ins in, and do exactly what you said the beta was for – stress test. Especially after the blue said we would know when beta would start, “with twitter, news posts, blah blah blah”. Much rather them have delayed “releasing” the beta and make sure they could do it full bore.
    All we got was a release of beta for media to write up lame pieces about crap we already knew from NDA F&F, which could’ve probably been bundled together with media beta. I remembered when SC2 beta was announced it had regular joes getting in right after, not this lame process as with D3. It’s stupid muck-ups with the community like this and the delay(which really doesn’t bother me much), that makes me burnt out on following the release and just being low-key about it from here on out.

    • F&F beta is still beta Tryfis also they most likely done some kind of deal with gaming sites/mags and are waiting until they all released their articles about the beta/game.

  12. Totally happy with the decision. We’ll be playing this thing for years anyway, and the more polished it is at release the better the experience. Not only that I’ll get to play some other games I’ve wanted to play that are coming out this year too 😀

  13. it’s only a vid game lads, sure i’d like to try the beta but life ain’t over, quit your whinning. Blizzard makes AAA title, not like duke forever which took 10+ years and sux
    go outside, pick up jogging or some other healthy exercise cause you’ll need it for when it comes out 😉

  14. I for one thought they’ve given plenty of info on why its being delayed.  Some info has been said outright, other info has been implied.  

    The item name kerfuffle for one.  What a HUGE fuck up.  I’ve tried to stay real positive over the last year.  But something tells me they actually thought those names were fine.  Maybe not though with all the placeholder images.  Seriously tho, some of those names were idiotic.   Not to mention, this late in the stage trying to reach a 2011 release and you don’t even have the real artwork in place for items?   wow.  I think they were kidding themselves that 2011 was even possible.  

    I think the game looks amazing.  The environments are pretty incredible. The music and sound is brilliant.  That said, I am as confused about their beta and Q&A teams as many of you are.  It’s quite obvious that their Q&A team might be good at catching some things, but they are horrible at others.  That issue with Day[9]’s play thru where he left the dungeon with the crown TWICE was inexcusable.  For one, why put an exit like that when you are about to give them a town portal.  Second, why not just make the crown a drop of the boss?  That really confounded me.  And then there is the obviousness of beta players feedback on the demon hunter.   Maybe they really were preparing to already replace that..i dunno, but it seems suspicious that quickly after there was simply too much criticism of it, they finally started saying, oh ya we are fixing that now.  

    Anyway, I too am gonna unplug myself from the D3 news.  If I get a suprise email saying i’m in beta I’ll jump for joy.  in the mean time, back to work and real life.  

  15. Blizzard have clearly been overly optimistic regarding D3’s development cycle.  The game is still very clearly in the middle stages of development, and I think they shot themselves in the foot by talking about things too soon.  You don’t have discussions about changing high-level systems (runestones, DH resource) if a game is only three months out from shipping.  If it were going to be coming out, everything would be pretty much nailed down right now.

    The “delay,” if you can call it that since there was no release date set, isn’t about the AH, or the beta, or anything else.  It’s simply a matter of Bilzzard vastly underestimating the amount of development needed on the game.  From what I’m hearing, my guess is going to be a March/April 2012 release.

    • JRR Tolkien took 12 years to write LOTR. Now 60 guys take 7 years to bring out a sequel to a game. Not aiming for hyperbole, but seriously, what the hell have these guys been doing all the time?
      I know all the usual arguments about quality v/s time input are gonna pop up, but seriously, Blizzard has NOT been efficiently developing this game! Only since May this year have they REALLY started crunching. And that is poor, poor process design, and poor project management.

      • have you evidence to support your claim about the working process ?
        – im really curipus because appaerantly you already know all content / cinematics

  16. Also, think about the beta. Lets not view it with rose-tinted glasses anymore. While Tristram is moody, they could have thrown so much more into it. Rain, thunder, start off in some forest with zombies around you, something that makes for an interesting open. rather than new characters just standing under a lamp on “Overlook Road”, so close to New Tristram you can see people below.
    I agree that the developers are human, and we should not be expecting perfection. But then, I think this delay should give us license to nitpick like hell and ask them to remove anything that we think sucks. The idea is not to force them to follow fan opinion. The idea is to get them off their asses and make the game moodier, darker and more atmospheric than ever before, not just fix bugs and what have you. Because when you take 7 years to develop a game, we should not be satisfied with anything below 95 on Metacritic. That’s harsh, but so is all the s*** they’ve been doing for three years.

  17. > We’re generally very careful about “building hype” “too soon”.
    > We don’t do it with any purposeful or malicious intent.
    > We also aren’t going to be suddenly silent. We’re all in this together.

    Is he joking or what? He can’t be serious.

    • Hes trying his best, but really, I’m afraid the time for consoling posts is gone. We have waited longer than SC2 fans, we have waited for ages. If you see cracks beginning to show among us, understand that they’re for a reason. And please urge your developer friends to make changes that really matter. Because now that you HAVE made this delay, our expectations are going to be insanely high.

      • 1998 to 2010 = 12 years
        2000 to 2012 = 12 years
        So it’s the same amount of time (give or take a few months).

        • Of course SC fans had War 3 and an expansion to play in between, made by the same RTS devs from the same company…

  18. We’re generally very careful about “building hype” “too soon”. <–  yeeaahh …. allright *lmfao* -_-

  19. …nothing coming out this year?  Is this guy nuts?  This is probably one of the biggest holidays seasons for the game industry ever.  We’ve got Uncharted 3, Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Arkham City, Skyrim, Saints Row 3, Gears of War 3.  (This is the year of the 3 apparently considering this and Mass Effect 3 were both slated for this year as well, but they’ve been pushed back until 2012)  

    …also I really want to contest Neth’s point about building hype too early.  Honestly Blizzard is probably the worst about this of all game development studios as they announce stuff literally 2 and 3 year prior to any realistic release and have a slow leak of info the whole time.  I can’t think of any other studio that builds the hype machine this far out with maybe the exception of Irrational with Bioshock: Infinite this time.

  20. i have to say im a little disappointed , but not really surprised. i was hoping for a 2011 release because i have holidays in dec / january with which to spend some uninterrupted time on D3, looks like thats not going to happen .

  21. Lol at all the nerd rage. To anybody who’d read all these posts, it’d read like Blizzard had personally promised to each and every one of you, in contracts written in Jay Wilson’s very own blood, that they would make each of you a game attuned perfectly to your tastes and deliver it to you on the date you demand.
    Get real. Funnily enough, no, they can’t cater to everybody’s tastes. And no, you’re not the only ones that are going to buy this game and therefore your individual tastes are not representative of every single player. I mean, look at that whimpering idiot quoted at the top: ‘OH NO! By the time it’s released newer games are going to have better graphics!! q_q’ Presumably, then, he would have stopped playing D3 halfway through next year anyway, just because the game’s graphics didn’t quite compare to the latest strain-every-last-ounce-of-juice-out-the-system gaming blockbuster.
    And they never promised you a thing about when it would be released. Jeez, sort it out. How the hell do you get through life by being this wet? Oh no, you have to wait another couple of months. Big deal.

    • It is a big deal, Mr. Me-So-Cool-You-So-Nerdy, because only an idiot (or team Jaw Wilson) takes 7 years to develop a game. Look at the brilliance of Mass Effect 2 and The Witcher 2. Brilliant gameplay, brilliant storylines…less than half the dev time of the NEW, Blizzard Irvine version of Diablo 3.

      • Different companies develop differently.  Is your argument really “OMG I CANT BELIEVE I HAVE TO WAIT THIS LONG FOR A GAME OMG!” ?   That’s what it sounds like.  “Monumental wait” Really?  What have you been doing since then?  is your life so bankrupt you let things like this bother you?  A video game?  I’m just as excited about D3 as the next guy, I basically grew up on D2… but I’m not going to get my nuts in a twist over it.
        You sound like a child. Poor lil’ Billy is throwing a tantrum about a game.  The sense of entitlement is enough to make you puke.  If you think those games have “Brilliant storylines and Brilliant gameplay” then go fucking play them.  Jesus.  You’ll be so busy playing these awesome games, D3 will be out before you know it.  Then you’ll have a whole new game to complain about.

  22. blizzard PR bot 2000:

    positive throwaway BS replies in system: 1300

    ‘question received’

    –processing… processing–

    marking prime responses…

    –found: 14–

    configuring in competent order…

    adding some more words.


  23. I’m actually happy about the pushback. I start a new job tomorrow and will be training 12 hours a day until late December.  I didn’t want D3 as a distraction until I’m out of training  😈

  24. As unfortunate the news is about the push back, It does allow me to enjoy 2 other games for longer before they are..well..practically abandoned for D3. I am REALLY excited for Skyrim and Zelda: Skyward Sword. BOTH come out in November and only 9 days apart. So I will be extremely busy with those, so I will still be content during the wait.

  25. They have already had so many years with the game. If you can’t get it right by now then what makes you think an extra 3-6 months is going to do ? They better pray that their miracle beta patch is going to work or we won’t be seeing this game for quite some time. Starcraft Ghost anyone ?

  26. Does anyone know when Blizzard’s Fiscal Year ends?  If it is December, then I can see a very real Feb-March release.  Otherwise…well…
    These decisions are always financial.  They need big $$$, and they had 2 big releases in 2011, with nothing planned for 2012.  So, yeah, not only was it not unexpected, but it almost seems justifiable.

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