An anonymous poster has created a Diablo 3 blog upon which he is “answering” fan questions about Diablo III, allegedly with inside info from his time play-testing the game. Fans are enjoying it, as evidenced by a massive comment thread in our Diablo 3 forum. More readers seem to be cynical than credulous, but there are enough “he’s real” vs “obviously fake” and “Bashiok said it’s super-fake” vs “Of course an employee of Bliz PR is going to say that!“posts to make for an entertaining read.

    So could the guy be legit, and the “info” he’s posting accurate? It’s possible, but you’ll note that the author isn’t even claiming that for himself.

    As specified already in my legal disclaimer, things posted here are purely speculative and are of my opinion (as its MY blog).
    Read into that how you wish, though.

    Personally, I think it’s 100% fake, and by that I mean no, he’s not a Blizzard game tester or anyone with inside info. He’s well-informed about D3 and has thus avoided making any crippling errors, and the general vagueness of his replies leaves him the option of explaining them away as misremembered facts, or else things that have changed since our last confirmed factual info, as of last October’s Blizzcon.

    For instance: he says he hasn’t played the Demon Hunter much, which is convenient, since that’s the char we know the least about. And he says he hasn’t tried out all of the skillrunes so he can only describe a few. And he says he doesn’t want to reveal plot spoilers so he won’t talk about plot/story/locations we don’t already know.  Etc.

    The problem is his wildly-inaccurate depiction of his job as a game tester. He talks about playing one character (a Wizard) for weeks and weeks, while slowly leveling them up and only interacting with other players in occasional MP games. That’s nothing at all like how actual Q&A testers work, in every game testing instance I’ve heard of or personally observed. Testers do play some characters to high levels, but the vast majority of their time is bug hunting and verifying and reporting. They play all the characters all the time, constantly use cheat codes to warp to problem areas or test out different skills and situations to attempt to replicate bugs, work long hours many days in a row testing out the same thing over and over again, take endless notes and fill out constant bug reports and feedback forms, etc.

    All those sort of activities that are radically different than the leisurely, relaxed, undirected sort of “testing” this guy describes. And that, more than his various game detail errors, is what makes me unwilling to take any of this on faith.

    That and the fact that another guy tried the exact same scam a couple of months ago, albeit much less skillfully.

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