Diablo 3 Has Not Been Delayed Until November

There’s a letter being posted in the forum here and on the official Battle.net forums, that purports to be from Jay Wilson, explaining why Diablo 3’s release is being delayed until November.

There’s no blue comment on this yet, but seriously, do you really need one? Of course it’s not legit. Besides there are a lot of grammatical errors and issues, and the whole thing directly contradicts numerous recent Blizzard remarks about stress testing, features being postponed due to the time crunch, “days” left before a release date announcement, etc… just the title should give away the fakery — as if Blizzard ever targets anything to a month, much less a day, this far in advance?

Here’s the start; click through for the whole thing, though I dearly hope no one is bored or paranoid enough to read the entire thing. It’s the very definition of TLDR.

A message from Jay Wilson:

We know that all of you have been waiting for the imminent announcement of the release date for Diablo 3, and we want to thank each and every one of you for your patience. With that in mind, we’ve got some good news for you today. The release date for Diablo 3 has been set, and the game is scheduled for release on November 5, 2012.

Now before you race off to the forums and start screaming for our blood, I want to take a few moments to explain why we’ve decided to hold the game back for a later release, and why this announcement is a good thing. As well as announce a few things that should make the wait a little more tolerable for our most ardent fans.

First off, I want to address the elephant in the room. Many people are going to see this as another delay, in a long series of delays, that they think Diablo 3 has experienced. I want to assure you however that this is completely untrue.

We’ve been working hard on the game and its systems, and going through the iterative process that makes each one of our games the best it can be. While we’ve certainly had other launch windows in mind, in classic Blizzard fashion we’ve been sticking to “It’s done when its done.” Diablo 3, while still very good, just isn’t where we need it to be to officially launch. It has some rough edges, and while I want to see the release of the game as badly as anyone, we need extra time to polish some systems before they are ready for release. The extra time from now till our official release date will be used to continue our iterative process and make the game into the phenomenal success we want it to be.

Now for the inevitable question, if we’re still developing the game and its systems, why have we announced an official release date? This is not Blizzards standard procedure but put simply, we feel the game works very well as it is today, and expect it to improve a lot in the intervening time from now until release day. As such, we feel confident that even if internally we see that there are things that could still be improved, by November the game will be ready for its public debut regardless. Development on Diablo 3 will not end on release day. Far from it. We will continue developing content and making changes for many years to come. So on November 5, 2012 the game will be in stores. We want everyone to experience the amazing adventure of Diablo 3, and we expect it to be a spectacular success.

What does this mean for the Beta? The Diablo 3 Beta test has been going extremely well and we are exceptionally pleased with the progress we’ve made stress testing our systems. Feedback from Beta testers has been very positive, and everyone has been instrumental in getting the final bugs worked out. Auction House testing has revealed a few issues with our systems, but once we get some new hardware in place to handle demand we expect it to work flawlessly. Therefore we fully intend to continue running the Beta right up until release, and will continue to work with the community to find and resolve any issues that we find along the way.

And now as a preview of things to come, I wanted to share a few of the systems we are currently focusing on and what sort of changes you can expect in the Beta between now and release.

Internally we’ve developed some fundamental changes to the resource systems of three classes, namely the Wizard, the Witch Doctor, and the Demon Hunter. We really enjoy the feeling of the Barbarians and the Monks resources, and how they are focused on generating their respective resources and then spending those resources on unleashing powerful skills.

The Demon Hunter matches this style most closely, but we feel the dual resource system of Hatred and Discipline isn’t working out the way we want. The system is a holdover from a previous iteration where Hatred and Discipline balanced each other in pendulum style swings from one to the other. As the game stands today, we feel Discipline is superfluous and have decided to remove it. The Demon Hunter will now operate the same as the Barbarian or Monk, generating Hatred, and then consuming that Hatred to use various skills. Most skills that previously cost Discipline, now simply cost Hatred instead. To keep the resource balanced now that there are extra abilities to spend hatred on, hatred generators give slightly more hatred, while spenders cost slightly less. The Demon Hunters natural Hatred regeneration has also been increased.

In keeping with this new design philosophy the Wizard has undergone some changes as well. Natural regeneration of Arcane Power has been reduced, and the Wizards signature spells now generate Arcane Power rather than simply being free to cast. As well, some skills that were previously Arcane Power spenders have been reworked into signature skills. Arcane Torrent for instance, now generates Arcane Power when used.

Similar to the Wizard, changes have also been made to the Witch Doctor. First a thematic change has been made to the class’s resource system. Mana has come to feel like a poor fit for the Witch Doctor, and we are renaming the Witch Doctor’s resource to Mojo. This will also be accompanied by an artwork update to make Mojo a sickly green liquid filled with bones. This will be a resource that better reflects the nature of the Witch Doctor’s skills and makes the class feel more cohesive as a whole. Next, to bring the Witch Doctor into line with the generators and spenders design, some of the witch doctors skills like Poison Dart, Hex, and Soul Harvest now generate Mojo. Zombie Dogs also generate Mojo for the Witch Doctor based on the damage they deal. Other abilities such as Grasp of the Dead, Haunt, and Firebats will continue to cost Mojo. The Witch Doctor has not been altered to generate Mojo naturally over time, but will generate additional Mojo from attacks which do damage over time.

We feel these class changes make for a much more dynamic experience within the game. The Barbarian and the Monk remain largely unchanged at this point, though we are also working on adding a few additional skills to each of the classes which will include those two as well.

Speaking of skills, that brings me to the current iteration of the Rune system. While we feel it works well enough within the game right now, it also doesn’t match our expectations for how the system should operate overall. When we began on the current iteration we wanted to emphasize a guided experience for our newest players. Along the way we seem to have lost a bit of the specialization or choice that we all enjoy and hurt the experience overall. As well, forcing a player to level to 60 to get all of the available Runes left some of our internal testers discouraged, and detaching the Runes from the loot system meant there was no longer that instantaneous spike of happiness at finding a Rune.

To remedy the situation we’ll be making some fairly large changes to the Rune system once again to bring back choice and customization, while still guiding new players who may be confused by the complexities of the system.

We’ll be moving back to a system where runestones drop from monsters, but to counteract the bloated inventory issue we ran into previously they will only drop as three different types and not be tied to individual skills. The three types of runestones will be Lesser Runestones, Greater Runestones, and Exceptional Runestones. Lesser Runestones will drop in Normal difficulty, Lesser and Greater Runestones in Nightmare, and Lesser, Greater, and Exceptional in Hell and Inferno. The runestone item that drops will be unidentified, and will be called Runestone until it is identified and the player discovers its quality. When a runestone is used, you will select an ability and the rune effect you want, and inscribe a blank runestone tying it to that particular skill. The runestone will then be removed from your inventory and the rune of that quality for the selected skill and rune effect will be activated in the Skill panel. Lesser Runes will endow abilities with a reduced effect, Greater with an effect roughly equal to what is currently in Beta, and Exceptional will be equivalent to what the internal rank seven runes used to be.

With this change comes an additional one. We are in the process of reintroducing the Mystic to the game. While previously the Mystic’s role was to enchant items with various enhancements we felt that was better covered already by the Blacksmith and the Jeweler. The Mystic will now be involved in upgrading and breaking down the various runestones. After a runestone is inscribed it can not be altered and exists only in the Skill panel, but uninscribed runestones can be combined to create a runestone of the next highest quality, and higher quality runestones can be broken down into lower quality ones. Currently we have five Lesser Runestones forming one Greater Runestone, and five Greater Runestones forming one Exceptional Runestone. Breaking down runestones is not perfectly equal to upgrading however, a single Exceptional Runestone breaks down into three Greater Runestones, and Greater Runestones break down into three Lesser Runestones. This is to encourage the player to use the runestones as the quality they are dropped at, but still allow the system to provide the type of runestone the player needs as they see fit. The Mystic is also restricted in that runestones can not be transmuted into Exceptional Runestones until at least Hell difficulty to avoid to much focus on upgrading the runes of any one skill to the detriment of all others.

Rarity within this new system is paramount to its success. We expect to tune the drop rates so that a person will have the option to either inscribe all or nearly all of their abilities with all possible Lesser Rune effects by the end of Normal, or to choose a few abilities to focus on and inscribe Greater Runes. Nightmare will equivalently involve getting most runes to Greater quality with a few remaining as Lesser, and Hell and Inferno will then provide the ability to access Exceptional quality through transmutes or drops. Drop rates will be tuned such that Lesser Runestones are relatively plentiful, while Greater and Exceptional are much more rare respectively.

We feel such a system fixes several major issues. Inventory bloat no longer exists, unidentified runestones stack and identified runes stack by quality. After a rune is inscribed it is removed from inventory altogether and attached to the Skill panel. At worst this means a person could horde unidentified runestones and the three qualities taking up a maximum of four inventory slots. Secondly, choice is reintroduced to the system, the upgrade path for runes is unique to each person, while never punishing the player for choosing any particular rune. Additionally upgrading each rune from Lesser to Greater to Exceptional provides another layer of choice within the system. Add to that the excitement of seeing a rune drop and the double excitement of identifying it and finding its quality and you can see why such a system benefits the play experience.

Now the only question that remains is what to do about new players. As I said earlier, the system in use in the Beta today was designed to be easy to understand and provide a guided experience. To help players who may be confused by the abundance of choices, by default, the game will suggest a skill and rune to inscribe when opening the Skill Panel. That suggestion will be based on the players available runestones and on the players level and skills currently in use. The suggestions themselves will be modeled on the current upgrade path that we have working in the Beta. So for instance, if a new Wizard opens the Skill Panel with an uninscribed Lesser Rune in their inventory, the game will suggest that the rune be inscribed with Magic Missile – Charged Blast. If that same Wizard is a higher level and using Arcane Orb, the game may instead suggest Arcane Orb – Arcane Nova. More advanced players will be able to toggle the suggestions off in the game menu options. This way we provide that same guided experience for new players, while not forcing more advanced players down any specific path.

Finally, Arenas and PVP will be available in the game at launch. While we previously had said that we would hold PVP back until a later patch, that decision was based on an earlier release timeline. With the move to a November release, we will have ample time to bring the PVP systems up to our, and the players, standards. The players and fans voiced major concerns about releasing the game without its PVP component and we’ve eventually come to agree. That said, we intend to begin adding PVP and Arenas to the Beta within the next two months so we can get a feel for the current systems weaknesses and give us a better idea of where specific improvements need to be implemented.

Hopefully that provides a little bit of insight into why we are holding release until November. But before I go I want to make one last announcement.

While the Beta has been great at testing our hardware, we’ve come to the conclusion that we need something even larger, something more monumental, to really put everything through its paces in preparation for release. In light of that, after next weeks maintenance, we will be moving the Beta from its current closed invite system, to one that is open to the public. So please, if you are not already part of the Beta test, come and join us for a first peek into the world of Sanctuary and give us a hand finishing this thing off right.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Thanks for reading.

Jay Wilson

Game Director for Diablo 3

You can stop mailing in for clarification now, Jay has tweeted :

That post is not me, and not true.
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53 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Has Not Been Delayed Until November

    • I tried reading a bit, and then started to scroll to see the comments.
      Then I continued to scroll, and scroll, and scroll…

      Oh my god this was by no means worth the trolling possibilities. 

    • You don’t set a release date so you can continue on iterating different ideas. You set a release date when you’re done iterating.
      So this is not true.

  1. I didn’t know Jay had the time to write a novel! 

    Captcha was: “oh brother.” 

    Looks to me more like a gambit – something to entice a legitimate date by stirring up a complete uproar.

    • “Looks to me more like a gambit – something to entice a legitimate date by stirring up a complete uproar.”
      Great point. In this way it’s kind of brilliant.

    • My thought exactly Nizaris and I think the author had a similar intention with the amount of effort invested (or lack of legitimate entertainment).
      I must say, Diablo 3 fans are certainly a different breed.

      • It’s too bad the author didn’t state the release date as something like August 25th. :/

  2. It’s absolutely fake, but I’ll be damned if this person didn’t emulate the bullshit Jay et al. spill from their mouths perfectly. 

  3. “Announce we’re delaying PVP from the final build/release” “Say we’re going to release PVP with the final build a few days later”

  4. Thats so fake! Someone asked Jay on his twitter about it and he responded saying its not him and not true.

    Thanks Denninger for posting the link

  5. lol…so fake…

    though the rune stone idea could potentially work. 

    a random rune drops, 1 of the five colors for each of the 1 – 7 ranks.

    you then get to use the rune, attaching it to that skill permanently and allowing you to pick it whenever, like the current interface.

    difference being you find the runes, rather than just simply unlocking them upon level up. runes would be rare, so you’d need to choose wisely. and you can still find more powerful verions later on throughout the game.

    this was the system in borderlands, albeit much more simplified, you had 4 elemental artifacts ranging from lvl 1 -5, but only 1 skill. once you unlocked an artifact you could freely change between them at any time.

  6. Wow.. Think about it.. This troll just weaseled his way into confirming the April 17th release date! Blizzard has yet to debunk or deny the date or the source, but they were quick to debunk the November release date. I think this guy just unintentionally or possibly intentionally made blizzard show there cards!

      • You’re thinking of the wrong game here. He used Leap Attack of course! 😛
        To get back to the subject at hand, one would have to be really dumb to fall for this hoax, or to think it would trick Blizzard into revealing a hypothetic release date that even they probably don’t know yet. 🙄
        Besides – and I know I’m nitpicking here – Diablo 3 can’t be delayed: for that to happen it would need to have a release date…

    • Sadly, that was the first thing i checked too. Nov 5th is a Monday, so clearly that disproved it all. If it had been Nov 6th, I might have been sucked in by the devious forgery.

  7. Obv fake, but still kinda sad that a troll, in probably 30 mins time, came up with better systems than Blizz has in all these iterations and all these years.

  8. Too bad it’s fake… I like a lot of the ideas presented in the post.  I’d be willing to wait until Nov if it meant we weren’t going to get a watered down version of D3 to appeal to the masses.

  9. at first when i saw this, i thought it said ‘diablo III delayed until November” i was just about ready to yell NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • Diablo 3 will only lanch after MoP is announced in Beta.

      1.2 billion dollars yearly revenue primes a one time shot of 150 m any day (+ a few RMAH peanuts).

      I am quite convinced D3 was already cancelled if the RMAH was not included … Because it is such a perfect testing ground for both WoW and Titan to replace tye subscription model.


  10. Lol, so the first three mistakes that I was able to find, im sure there are others:

    1:for a letter with a greeting from Jay Wilson and signed by Jay Wilson, just the first word of the body of the letter is wrong. Using ‘We’ would be ok if he said ‘on behalf of’, otherwise, as Jay is the speaker, ‘I’ is the appropriate pronoun.
    2: After the first word in the second paragraph ‘Now’, there should probably be a comma because it is being used as an adverb (though im not positive about this one)
    3: The way it is phrased, the author would have been better served by turning the entire second paragraph into one long sentence (at least that is how it reads). The sentence starting with ‘As well as’ should be integrated into the previous one.

  11. Oh good god, I saw Release date november, and went straight to the quote  and read most of it. (skipped the class changes) and noobishly started to believe it. Then saw at the end it was fake. Scared the crap out of me!!!! 🙁

  12. holy crap… so… much … text…. for a trolling.
    This probably took an hour to write… I guess +1 for the effort put into making it authentic????

  13. Alot of these ideas are quite good actually. I too was one of those that at first thought it was real until I read the last part.
    Kinda sucked when I thought I had to wait until end of year, but at same time I felt hat some of the class changes and the rune system was awesome. Bah, boo or yay? Blehayoo :p

  14. Some of the ideas in it were not too bad.

    However, if this had been a real letter from Jay, I would seriously begin to wonder why the D3 development team still has their jobs. 

  15. Jay responded on his twitter to this letter saying its fake, now lets please move on to the next fake sign of release.

  16. Man this guy has a lot of free time to come up with that, but it is obvious that he just pretended to be Jay Wilson while posting a bunch of his own opinions of how the game should be. To those who said his ideas were good: How is homogenizing all of the resources to be the same generators and spenders style a good thing? This wall of text is full of fail opinions with a fail date… A Nov. release date wouldn’t believable even if they hadn’t postponed PvP.

    • I don’t know about the spenders and all that, but the ideas he has about the rune stones is not too shabby imo.

  17. Well, if D3 wasn’t delayed, it probably will be now. The D3 dev team is saying, “why the hell didn’t we think of these things?”

  18. Briliant ideas! I love the mojo thing for WD 😀 And the green colour would be perfect !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. LOL, I skipped the intro text and read straight into the post deeper and deeper thinking it was real at first, I would like it if D3 dev team added a couple more resource spending skills to the monk at least. Also, I liked the rune system idea as it sounded very interesting. I can see it working if it was built into the game with some auction house limiter in place to stop the market flooding with runes so it doesn’t defeat the point of that magical identification feeling. It also rids of the need to grind to 60 to test a build and helps newbs as well.

  20. You should not have published this dude’s message cuz he got what he wanted – infamy. now we’re all talking bout it.

  21. I read this as a fan letter/plea to hold the release until the game was fully completed and the systems were what they wanted and not some compromise struck to get the game out faster.

    I had felt like “just get the game out” after they started cutting things out and streamlined the runes. After PvP was cut for release, I changed my mind (and I don’t even PvP). We have waited years for this and had our imagined deadlines come and go several times already. At this point, they need to stick to their word and hold release until the game is fully polished and ready. Things lately feel very rushed.

  22. now that i know i can pre purchase gw2 on april 11th and get into every beta weekend they do, i feel sort of relaxed about D3. Don’t get me wrong, i already pre ordered my D3 CE. But well, both are great games and at least one of them will lead me to the other…
    Those news i couldn’t believe. If you know blizzard for as long as i do… Giving release dates, yeah sure!

  23. I actually read 3/4 of that and I definitely did not like the ideas about the Wizards signature skills generating Arcane Power, but the rune ideas are not to bad. Reminded me a little of cubing runes in D2. Somebody has way to much time on their hands to write all that for sure.

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