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    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

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