Diablo III Beta and Launch Plans

Useful article on IGN today about Blizzard’s plans for ongoing beta updates and timetables. It’s got a number of quotes from Diablo III Senior Producer Alex Mayberry, which cover (vague) details about what we can expect to see in beta patches, ongoing changes to skill swapping, and their plans for patches and content support post-release. A quote:

“Even for future content updates we have the ability to sprinkle more in anywhere we want. You won’t necessarily as a player know what’s new. If you haven’t played enough to see every permutation, it really gives us the ability to have this ongoing new content roll in. We’re still formulating our post-launch plans. We have streaming in the game so it’s much easier for us to add new content. We’ll also be looking at expansions down the road. We have to formulate that plan.” Items will likely be added into the game outside of expansion content as well as the time after launch stretches on.

Many, including myself, were expecting a final release date for Diablo III at BlizzCon. It was previously announced the game would be ready for some time in early 2012, and that still seems to be the case. “The game is complete from a content standpoint. We still have bugs to fix, not a lot, but we still have some. Really it’s about if the Battle.net platform is stable, it’s about making sure our servers are working well, we want to make sure that the online experience is solid. We could have probably made the year, but we all just felt it needed a little bit more. We’ve worked on it so long, we didn’t want to rush it to end and put it out and have people be upset about it. We never look back and think wow, we really should have put that out a month sooner. We never say that. It’s easy to find yourself in a position where you put it out and think wow, we should have held that.”

I guess he’s got a point at the end, there. We’ve all seen games that were released too early and destroyed by it. Less often is a game ruined by the fans having to wait a few months (years/) longer.

And yes, I must quote from every article that mentions beta patches, since the imminence of those was almost the best news I heard at Blizzcon. There hasn’t been a beta patch in a month, and I’d pretty much resigned myself to the beta staying the same until release, without any of the big skill changes they keep talking about for the full game. I’m eager to try out the new design to the Demon Hunter, and yes, I’m still going to post mega reports for the Barb, Monk, and DH. Just as soon as the Blizzcon rush dies down a bit.

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13 thoughts on “Diablo III Beta and Launch Plans

  1. This is very heartening. I’d love to see additional random quests just sneakily added into the game! This is one of the things I always thought the game would end up having, and I hope that this will be a great way to add loads of content that I’m sure will keep us all interested with new things to discover for a very long time! Yay!

  2. \I’m still going to post mega reports for the Barb, Monk, and DH\ – That’s what I really wanted to hear 8) Please don’t forget to include a proper coverage of exploding palm! Does it still have that kick-ass look?

    • No, it’s a lame energy explosion sort of thing now. Not the blood supernova. You can see it in some of the videos already posted.

      Happily, the blood supernova graphic is still in the game; several types of bosses emit one as part of their death animation.

  3. I feel really sorry for the people in the beta (that I don’t have access to) who are not getting content updates. My heart goes out to them.

  4. Pretty funny to see that the senior producer was expecting to see a launch date at Blizzcon, makes me wonder how many people at Blizz don’t know that are involved in the game. If they really want to test server stability to make sure this puppy works they will need more then just 2000 people. I got the new Battlefield 3 yesterday and I couldn’t even do the online multi-player because so many people got the game. This game is online only, so I hope they can occupy as many of the copies they sell.

    • Take a look at the quotation marks – it’s the author who was expecting a release date announcement, not Mayberry. There’s no way Blizz would announce a release date to the public before they told staff, let alone staff working on the actual game.

      • Ummm, If you are to read said quote of Alex Mayberry in the second paragraph it says, “many of us, including myself, were expecting a final release date for Diablo 3 at Blizzcon.” This says to me he was EXPECTING to see a release date AT Blizzcon, meaning he thought when he went to Blizzcon 2011, they would have an announced date for said game. He might have known that it wasn’t going to happen, but he EXPECTED it to happen. I sell product for a fortune 500 company, I EXPECT to see a major release on a product in my division very soon that i will have to tell thousands of customers about. do I know when it will be released? No.

    • Yeah go figure, a game that needs to hold more than a million and they’re only letting in 2000 so far. What is wrong with this picture ? Testing the hardware, lol I think not. Its all about marketing. I would bet the dollar in my pocket that hardware testing was done months ago over in another country.

  5. I’ve had my gripes about this game but I simply can’t deny my eagerness to try it out for myself come release. Wasn’t too happy about that pushback, but I suppose he does have a point. That’s how Blizzard rolls anyhow.
    But no matter what’s currently going on behind the scenes, I just hope they’ll be fully prepared to handle hundreds of thousands of players on day 1. That’s just about all I could ask for at this point.

  6. ya i feel so bad for you guys not getting updates in the beta as often as youd like, if you get bored let me get your beta info

    • As I’ve already given about 8 people access to my beta account, I’m sorry but there’s not room for you.  If only you’d spent your spare time over the past couple of years helping out on this site, then perhaps there would be!

      • I joined in ’08 anyways im not really asking for your beta info id rather have my account flagged for beta sometime 😉 Ive been a dedicated blizzard player most of my life!

  7. Rumor has it they are pushing the game to 2012 to make their fiscal $$$ profit look good. Based on the comment above and the ones given by Jay (saying the rune system isn’t delaying the game… other things are which is allowing them to  play with the rune sytem) makes me believe it.

      If they were really testing the servers and b.net, you would think they would have more testers stress testing it by now. Coz how can he claim that the issue is making sure b.net is ready when they haven’t even stress tested it in my eyes. He can make that claim if they tested it and it failed and know it still needs work or …Unless the hardware hasn’t arrived yet.:)

    Either way, it doesn’t matter to me as long as I can play it sometime next year.

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