After nigh on a year since we heard of patch 1.13, we get an update that will make both Blizzard and the players sing the blues. Everyone was excited to hear this patch would increase the stash size, but after months of analysis they have decided not to take the risk of system overload or missing data during peak times. While that’s bad, wait — [pretty bad] — they can jump straight to quality assurance for whatever else the infamous patch holds.

    How far along is the development of Diablo II patch 1.13? It is on its final stages or mostly completed, but because of the Warcraft III vulnerability fix those developers involved in the patch were moved to help with the emergency a few months ago. The latest we got about how far along is Diablo II patch 1.13 was on July 20 when Bashiok said the following:

    20 July – The 1.13 patch is very far along so it should only be a limited amount of testing before it hits the Westfall PTR. Still, any number of issues could delay a release so any dates or estimates for release won’t be made available.

    By September 30, the Diablo II team was about to release the patch within a few weeks window, but held back that decision to diagnose if the Battle.net platform would withstand the impact of the increased stash feature. So what’s holding the patch from being released? Bashiok explained in order to remove the increased stash feature, which by the way was one of their big highlights for this patch, they had to remove a lot of this feature’s code and that takes time, then an internal test of patches to make sure it’s stable enough for release. Bear in mind localization too.

    In retrospect, this patch has been a PR nightmare dragging on for a year, and from this sour experience they have learned to hold back. Translation: We won’t get as much info on Diablo II patches until they are on PTR. Regardless, we can’t deny that Bashiok has been very brave facing the wrath of the hungry wolves and has come through updating the community at least once or twice a month, letting us know their internal decisions, unexpected issuess, and diagnostic/analysis outcomes.

    Bashiok posted a new update a few hours ago. It’s now official, patch 1.13 is currently under scrutiny of the Quality Assurance team and that phase is nearing completion. We won’t get a release date because they have learned to keep shut. They can’t foresee any possible complications or issues — and boy have they had a good taste of that throughout the year — so all we know is that now that it’s under quality assurance’s scope, it won’t be far from reaching the localization team. My personal guess: Give it a month or so there, and we might have this patch on PTR either around christmas 2009 up to January-February 2010. Give or take a few weeks.

    Bashiok: We’ve recently completed a revised version of the Diablo II 1.13 patch that removes the increased stash size. A larger stash will unfortunately no longer be a feature included in patch 1.13 due to the previously mentioned concerns. As higher priority work continues on Warcraft III we’re hoping to complete our quality assurance tests for the 1.13 patch in the next few weeks. But as always, the types of issues that may appear and take higher priority are rarely foreseeable. We continue to plan a release based on our best intentions.

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