Update: The realms are back up and the bonus areas are gone. I just checked with 3 chars that had access last night, and the DiabloWikiFestering Woods waypoint was no longer accessible to any of them. Pity Blizzard had to remove our fun, but at least these areas gave fans a hint of how much better the full game is than the limited content we have in the Beta test.

    The Diablo 3 Battle.net servers have been down all morning, with an error message that says “temporary outage in service.” In light of the mad goldrush of players trying to illicitly enjoy the bonus beta areas, there are rumors and fears that Bliz has taken down the servers in order to disable the access to that content. (I knew I should have taken a caffeine pill and stayed up to play all night!)

    Fans who did get to try out the new stuff had unanimously positive reactions, even though the levels were not fully-enabled in this hacked beta form. The gameplay is much more open and fast-paced than the early Beta content, with more varied, more interesting, and more challenging monsters. Here are a couple of quotes from comments on our previous confirmation post.

    I got my chance to play and I have to say that I’m completely blown away. The new content is just awesome. I did not expect Blizzard to throw so many different kinds of monsters my way only a couple hours into the game. –Gosukusan

    I spent the last two hours playing through the new areas. A metric TON more atmosphere than what is in the ‘vanilla’ beta — I’m super impressed! The farm and sunken temple, in particular, gave me ‘wow!’ moments. My energy for this game has definitely been re-kindled, because I wasn’t overly impressed with the beta content’s monsters or environments.

    The later areas almost have a Kurast feel to them, though I reckon they’re going more for a “cursed southern bayou” kinda feel with the hanging moss and marshy-ness. Regardless, it works super well.

    Watching the big beasts explode into a large skeleton is super satisfying, and the walking trees look 1000x better in person that I ever thought they did on gameplay videos.

    10/10 from me! –Kaeros

    While the lucky beta testers wait and hope we’ll get to continue *testing* the new areas, everyone can enjoy some videos recorded by players last night. We’ve got two so far with good video quality (though both have lame sound).

    This one is 23 minutes featuring a pair of Witch Doctors roaming the bonus areas and killing things.

    Click through for a larger video, over an hour in length, with more varied action.

    A full play through, 1:15 in length with a Barbarian and up to three other players as people join in and out. Shows all of the new areas and includes numerous monsters and boss types not seen in the normal beta content, including the deadly tree poison, and bosses with properties including Vortex, Wall, and Jailer. Approximate times for cool stuff can be seen in his forum thread.

    Watch live video from vggaming on TwitchTVThose who played through the new areas have added more movies to Diablo3.TV.

    Screenshots and other general information on these areas can be found in an earlier news item.

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