IGN has posted an article on that topic. The five things? 1) How’s StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Going to Work?, 2) The Future of World of Warcraft, 3) A Diablo III Release Date, 4) More Detail on Blizzard’s ‘Next-Gen’ MMO, 5) Blizzard’s Mystery Project.
I’d say this author is pretty well doomed to disappointment, since we’re not going to hear more about the next-gen MMO or the other unknown project for some time yet. If Bliz were going to reveal something about either of those titles, I think they’d schedule some panel time for it. They wouldn’t say what the panel was, but they’d put it on the schedule, since they love to build anticipation that way. They’d also be doing one of those week-long mystery image games on Blizzard.com, as they’ve done before their last couple of new game releases.
As for the much-desired D3 release date, here’s what the IGN article says:
A Diablo III Release Date
The likelihood of this happening is about zero, but hey, we can hope. Diablo III most definitely has a spot on the show floor, and we’ve heard from game director Jay Wilson that the skill system will be talked about in detail. Announcing a release date early just isn’t how Blizzard rolls.
With StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and with so much chatter rattling around video game message boards, the company answered all questions with an anti-climactic press release a few months before the ship date. Expecting something similar with Diablo III wouldn’t be too crazy. One thing we may get to hear about though, aside from the skill system and other details, is the as of yet unknown fifth character class. Odds are it’s not going to be a Necromancer, but hey, we have dreams too.
As the recent announcements of the SC2 and WoW:Cat release dates should have made clear, Blizzard now gives release dates only once they’re positive they can make them, and they don’t know that until well into the beta test. Given those details, I’d say there’s virtually no possibility we’ll hear a word about a D3 release date until we’re well into its beta test, and Blizzard has a date they’re sure they can make for the simultaneous worldwide release.
So, how long would a Diablo 3 beta test run? Unknown. Vanilla WoWs’ beta test ran for more than six months, but MMOs are larger and more complicated than even a massive RPG like D2. SC2’s beta test started in February and the game was released at the end of July; 5 months later. The WoW expansion beta tests have run for 2-4 months. Considering that, it seems crazy to expect less than 3-4 months for the D3 beta, and perhaps up to 6. A very long time… if you’re not one of the testers. Start your hourglasses…