Clarifying Delay and More Beta Keys


Yet another post has appeared from Bashiok on the reasons behind Diablo 3’s delay. It’s nothing we haven’t heard before, the reasons are many and varied but he has to keep repeating them and it always boils down to polish. However, the two main positives that should be taken from his latest statement are:

  • It is indeed playable from beginning to end
  • Before too long that’s going to include a large influx of new invites

Whilst it’s been playable from beginning to end for a long time now it’s good to have it restated for the newer audience.

For those eager to test the game it looks like the glacial distribution of keys is about to dramatically increase as Bashiok states a ‘large’ number of invites.  Even in Blizzingo (Blizzard & lingo, see what I did there?) ‘large’ has to mean in the thousands or they would have simply said something like “as we continue to distribute keys” or “as we add more testers” or something even vaguer.  Unfortunately, ‘before too long’ definitely falls within the ‘When it’s Done” calendar so that doesn’t suggest before Xmas which is a shame for those who have time off over the festive period.

But, (and you knew there was one) in the same post he also confirms there is a “great deal of”:

  • Iterative tweaking
  • Balancing
  • Polishing
  • Adjusting
  • Redesigning
  • Retesting
  • Working on critical game systems that directly impact the core of the experience

The two there that concern me are ‘redesigning‘ and ‘critical game systems‘ and it’s my hope that this is just the reworking of the skill runestone system which is the only system I am aware that’s still on the drawing board.  However, in a later post in the thread Bashiok states “we have some other changes that are going to shake up characters a little bit.”  To make specific mention of that, outside of the standard ‘balancing’, suggests something more than simple skill tweaks and balances.

I would suggest those anticipating a January or February release don’t go booking any leave just yet.  All of Bashiok’s posts can be found in full in ‘more’.

 

Thank you for voicing your concerns, Starbird. I realize you and many other people are excited to play the game, and are probably feeling a bit let down that we haven’t yet announced a release date. While you bring up a number of points of speculation, I just want to cut right to it and state that the reason we don’t have a release date yet is because the game isn’t yet where we want it to be in terms of our quality standards. We aren’t holding it back on account of any one piece of the game, or for any other outside factors. While it is indeed playable from beginning to end, we’re still actively working on many individual game elements and the ways that they interact with one another, with a great deal of iterative tweaking, balancing, polishing, adjusting, redesigning, and retesting going on. We’re going to continue beta testing, and before too long that’s going to include a large influx of new invites.

Much of this iteration obviously takes place behind closed doors, so I can sympathize with the concerns about the lack of visible progress, and the sentiment that we should just go ahead and ship the game. Until we’re able to reveal more of the results, I can only assure you that we are indeed working on critical game systems that directly impact the core of the experience.

I also realize a lot of people were hoping for a release date announcement at the VGAs. We’re simply not going to be able to dispel or comment on release date rumors and speculation every time someone expects an announcement. We’ll be announcing a release date when we determine the game is ready, and not holding it back just to line it up with any particular game-industry event.

The bottom line is that development of our games and preparations for release are long and complicated. We’re just as excited to get the final version into your hands as you are to play it, but making sure it lives up to our quality standards will always be the most important factor in that process.

Why not make the beta open now. Mayby all the hard fans can have a chance to ploay before release. ~ Markus

The service currently available is a single test site, it just couldn’t hold that many people. While we’d certainly like to make people happy, it wouldn’t be a good experience, and frankly letting people try the game is not the purpose of the beta test.

Also why not tell us what your working on fixing and let the people in the beta help? I lknow I would be deeply honored to have a chance to help. ~ Markus

Well most everyone already knows we’re working on runestones still, and we have some other changes that are going to shake up characters a little bit. We’ll be letting you know as soon as we’re sure they’ll work out at all, and then we’re going to be asking everyone for feedback.

Source: Blue: IncGamers

Comments

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  1. It’s gonna be out by February for sure.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    2013 😈

  2. large influx of invites huh? now my weekly disapointment can go to major disapointment.

  3. This game will be outdated when it will be released

  4. I will buy SWTOR and diablo3 can suck my ass slowy.. I have wait to long for this game, and i dont want this game anymore..

  5. I know why i never get invited to the beta……..

    Its because they are only allowed to invite complete idiots so that they can test how noob friendly the game is!

    No offence to people in the beta, maybe they made a mistake and let a few smart ones in 😉

    • I facepalm every day seeing the amount of bads playing the beta. Good thing is they will make me lots of money for the same reason. I was able to get capped at the auction house limit of ~500 in less than a week selling nothing but the 5th tier hand me downs after all my characters were geared up.

  6. Regarding critical game systems… I remember that they wanted to overhaul the combat system as well. I think Bashiok said that when someone found out that you could interrupt certain skills with other skills.

  7. So many blue words, and absolutely no answers. Bashiok is amazing at what he does.

    Also I love how Bashiok wants to give everyone the impression that the development team is stuck at some impossible design conundrum, when its a millions dollars worth of a project in a multi-bilion company. Do they expect us to believe that the designers are stuck on balance and design issues at this late in the development? Seriously?

  8. Bashiok’s post just takes Korea out of the line of fire, and that’s about it. Strees test inc. soon, probably by xmas or shortly after, and January release too, if Korea gives the OK by January.

  9. ok guys,here is my new prediction:release date until the end of January? ROFL this date wont come until the end of June for sure(after i’ve read the blue post here) The game will come maybe for my birth day on September 23th,but this is only IF we have huge luck.Otherwise the end of 2012,or early 2013 seems very likely.Good luck with waiting to everyone,buy Torchlight 2 and forget D3 for another year!
    PS:I’ve made a mistake when I said that NASA build space shuttles for  the same time Blizz develop a PC game.Unfortunately every next Blizzard game takes longer developing  time than the previous one and soon we will have a paradox. 1 lifetime of a normal human being wont be enough to see some of the future Blizzard games. I’m sure project Titan will take atleast 8 years before release-SHAME!

  10. Im amazed at that this guy could b**** that much without coming off as a jerk or troll post. Well done sir, you speak true words. Also surprised bashiok gave such a long and weighted response, and not a quick off the cuff reply. Not suprised that it waited until the thread was 19 pages long before that happened…

  11. One way or another Diablo III has officially been in development since 2000. After 12 years, I can understand that they don’t mind another few months for the greater good of the game. But really, stylized or not, no 3D game in 2012 can survive more than a few years with 2002’s graphics. Especially if it’s not moddable. They could update textures and models and tone down chaotic spell and particle effects to maintain hardware friendly aspect of the game.

    Back to release date bingo, as I said before, I don’t think they have any idea about exact release date. The game has been delayed because it’s not ready and they still try to polish the mechanics… I can’t agree with those complot scenerios involving SWToR, WoW, RMAH etc.

    • I do hope they work on the textures. The models, I’m okay with.
      But if you look at some of the soldiers in tristram, they’re exactly the same, model and texture, as the bowmen in the original gameplay movie from 2008. They look like ass in-game.

      Even if it was post-release like they did with Dragon Age 2 or other games, a high-res texture pack, I’d be very happy with that.

  12. I think that this is the beginning of the end of Blizzard as a big game studio. Not because of them not releasing diablo 3, but because wow will lose a lot of subs due to swtor and guild wars 2. Wow just lulled them so much. I think that they really didn’t anticipate this kind of drop in wow subs as they have experienced in last several month. 
    So, they will try to push titan out. Probably it won’t be well made cause it will be a bit rushed.
    I think that the main reason why diablo 3 is taking so long is because of titan, they’ve probably assigned a lot of diablo 3 devs to work on titan.

    • I don’t think so. WoW will lose a lot of subs in the coming weeks/months for sure (due to SWTOR, GW2 etc), but it will still be profitable for some years until “Titan” takes over. It won’t generate nearly as much revenue though, and that’s what the Diablo 3 RMAH is for. I have no idea which revenue it will generate, but it must be enough to delay this game until Korea is aboard. The blues can post as much denials as they want regarding this issue now, but I firmly believe that the blogger from Digital Castration is right on spot with his Korea RMAH/game delay theory.
       
      Note that Jay Wilson himself said (to Force Strategy Gaming) at BlizzCon 2011 that the game is done, and that they now have – presumably because of the Korea RMAH delay – the “luxury” (his own words!) to finetune and iterate even more (on the runestones etc). If they still have serious issues, he would have simply lied.

      • By the end of 2012, Wow will still be – by a wide margin – the biggest mmorpg in the west.

        Sw tor will drop subscriptions very fast after the first 2/3 playing months.

        The game is simply not on par what people expect from a new mmoprg.

        No living open world, no life, no atmosphere, no day/night cycles, no decent city animations, no water scenes, etc.

        While blizzard animates critters all over the place and put little round foggy circles around the mouths in cold Northrend, SW TOR is clearly underdevelopped as a real breathing world.

        It is a static plastic world with voice overs that are used in too expensive cut scenes but never backed up as a living world.

        The overall world designer of sw tor must be a complete noob in MMO’s and has certainly no idea how an mmo should suck players in a living and well animated world.

        Sw is sub par to even ftp games these days in this living world idea (lotro comes to mind).

        If not backed up by the marketing campaign of SW, it would follow the same route as STO on launch. There is no doubt in my mind there will be a very low retention rate once people look at it from a distance and the honeymoon is over.

        • Note that by far not everyone likes WoW’s or Blizzard art style!

          • Same thing can be said for SWTOR.  I liked Star Wars when the IP was less kid friendly, and smugglers shot first. *flips Lucus the bird*

          • No, but 7.2 years after WoW published it still has 10.3 million paying subscriptions and so still will make 1.3 billion dollars per year.

            Tell that to the mmo competition who -on average- lost more than 80% of its launching populations after just one year.

            And believe me, the static plastics in Swtor is just another launch with a far fetched star wars sauce. Albeit one without strong visuals at all.

  13. For the Optimist:
    A large influx of invites?!?! STRESS TEST INC MAYBE?!

    For the Pessimist:
    Even with the “large influx of invites” i doubt a large percentage of us still wont get into the beta.

    I am so tired of this bullsh**. POLISH POLISH POLISH. So tired of hearing it. Shouldn’t take 5 years for a game to be released. Are they seriously going for the “Duke Nukem Forever” title? Cause its a hard one to beat.

  14. They certainly know when its going to be released, they just wont make it public but they need to tell the shareholders when its comming out and its certainly doesnt involve this “polishing” bs.
     
    Btw they have an essay at GDC about D3’s artstyle and its on March. So take that as you will but for me it just means that the game wont be out by then. Ah and there is the SEA beta invites, which will be up until 31th december and even after that it will have 21 days of tolerance for claiming the beta key. Bye bye january.

  15. it’s fact already: blizzard is the slowest company in the industry.
     
    and dont even come with the polish bullshit: their games do ship with bugs. wc3, wow, sc2, d2, d1.
     
    d3 will ship with bugs, believe me.
     
    i think their development process must be something very burocratic because even simple retarded things take days to get implemented

    • What’s funny is that the longer the company is around, the longer it takes them to make games.
      They really need to re-asses what it is they’re doing.

  16. By the way, Nethaera also made a sizable post right after Bashiok’s second post…

    I’m confused as to what else they think they need to reiterate on. Jay Wilson stated that the runstone system was the only one that wasn’t locked down so what the hell else are they doing to “shake up the classes?” Blizzard seriously needs to learn how to impose strict deadlines on themselves or we end up in ruts like this where they think they need to perfect things to no end even though they will never really be perfect. If Korea’s rating decision is reallly not an issue, as this post seems to suggest, then they really should just release the damn game already and leave the tweaking for patches that will inevitably come shortly after release anyway…
     
    Also, ten bucks says that implimenting this whole “BattleTag” thing as the default naming and social interaction system for Diablo 3 is one of the major things holding it back that isn’t directly gameplay related.

    • I can’t answer your PM, so here we go:
      There is a very simple rule in business – just follow the money, and you’ll quickly find the answer. ^^

  17. The main reason for the delay is the publication date of Mop.

    The goal is to launch Diablo3 and the Mop beta within a 2 week bracket. Just like SC2.

    Wow brings in 1.4 billion dollar each year. Total revenue from SC2 after 1.5 year is barely 150 million.

    You don’t launch a competitive game when your marketing in this season is still focused on Wow.

    Blizzard knows Wow has a very strong fighting chance against those new mmo’s, so they want to make sure Diablo 3 is linked to
    Wow instead of bringing a valid alternative without a new Wow expansion.

    And I have more bad news: GC said Mop is not even in alfa. I expect Diablo3 in march/april and within 2 weeks followed by the Mop beta play.

    The RMAH is too risky to give it priority over Wow, the cash cow. At least for now.

    • The WoW patch 4.3 content will be old by the end of February (if not earlier), and they better should have the MoP beta ready then (if they want to launch in summer 2012).

      • I wonder where you get that expire date of Feb even. Since I am a PvP player, I need at least 12 to 14 weeks to get me the highest gear to climb the ladders and get decent bragging titles.

        In my view that’s almost 4 months playing time… IF i can keep up the playing for 3 hours a day. And we are counting just one avater here. With 3 avatars to play holy pala – rogue – hunter I am occupied till June 2012 no doubt.

        I hate it when people make a count like a patch = 6 weeks playing. It shows they have no clue why Wow has this 5 months patch cycles. I even suspect them of not playing the game at all and just brabble a bit of what they read on forums.

        • For me the patch 4.3 dungeon and normal raid content will be done in 6-8 weeks. I don’t pvp nor do I raid heroic mode (which in my book isn’t content anyway).

  18. “and we have some other changes that are going to shake up characters a little bit.” 

    As long as it ends up in the beta, I’ve heard it can get boring after a while… 😮

  19. From all beta i have a feeling that the major problem is with AH. I bet that without this feature diablo will be already released and those game tweaks would be made with first patches. But when i heard posts like Ah dont return golds, wrong sorting, it looks like AH and especially RMAH  is real pain for blizz.

  20. You know it’s funny, for me this is actually good news.  I was hoping the game wouldn’t actually come out until February since I’m going to be away from home for pretty much the entire month of January.  It is Blizzard after all, taking their sweet time is modus operandi so why do people get so upset when they do exactly as they normally do?  Find something else to do for the wait, you’ve managed to survive a hellish decade without your precious D3, something tells me you can survive another few months.  I mean, D3 isn’t the only game in the world, and there is a world away from the PC, I’m sure you can find SOMETHING to occupy your time.

  21. I recently received an email from amazon pushing my book of Cain back to Jan 17 how long can they delay the book alone it’s all crazy but owell I’ll survive a lil longer I suppose

    • Read the news. The book IS published. Only the sales dude at Amazon had no idea that this book (of course) would be sold by the thousands.

      If the man would know his job, he would know that a new Blizzard game is followed by multi millions, so a new book on a new game by Blizzard is not something you pre order with 10 copies.

      • I see now I have really slowed on reading all the news I just skimmed the email but I agree with what you ar saying is crazy

  22. The way I look at it, you’re going to get the company line from Bashiok until he’s got the green light to give you something else.  The tone of the recent blue posts on the subject feels to me like about as close to an apology as you’re going to get out of them.  Myself and others who’ve complained about the lack of communication from Blizzard have to feel at least a little vindicated that we actually got a post out of them on the state of the game.  All the “it will be out when it’s done” b.s. aside, Bliz must know that fans of their games have a realistic “Blizzard” timeline for a games release and that Diablo 3 clearly is behind even that timeline much less one of a developer that actually forces their employees to make decisions on games that lead to more typical development cycles.  Blizzard makes games like the guy who takes a written test and keeps going back to questions he’s answered already and rethinking his answers instead of just making sure he answers these questions right the first time.  I just find that approach extremely inefficient and ultimately unlikely to produce a better result.  You’d think that if you’re as good as Blizzard seems to think that it is at making games that it would display a little more confidence in itself rather than worrying they’re not getting it right.  It’s actually quite amazing that Blizzard does continue to make great games seemlingly in spite of themselves.

    I’m just glad to hear that they might finally be shooting the lock off the beta sometime soon.  Let’s hope the invites are as many as Bashiok seems to suggest.  Anyone like me that’s been critical of them for not having a release date yet is likely also with me in that if I actually managed to get in the beta, I’d complain a lot less about the massive delays with the game.  Sitting on the sidelines when you’d rather be helping getting the game out the door really makes waiting infinitely more frustrating.

  23. 150 mil from SC2??? for 1,5 years?Dude,go back to school! The game costed 60 EU in Europe and 60$ in US at launch, so with your math it means Blizzard has sold 2,5 mil copies  worldwide during 1st couple of months and nothing for the whole 2011? Explain that!!

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