Is Blizzard Getting it wrong with the Diablo 3 Beta Test?


Anticipation was high, the fans were going nuts for it. It was of course the Diablo 3 Beta. With the Beta having been out now for a month, a small pool of testers are running and re-running the small amount of content that’s included in the Beta. Players are busy seeing how big a ‘massacre’ they can unleash, how quick they can complete the Beta, well, they are basically looking for things to do.

So has the Diablo 3 Beta been a massive anti-climax?  Some would argue, usually the players actually on the Beta, that it’s the best thing since sliced bread, but from talking to testers, many have opted to put the Beta down after a couple of weeks of play and move on.

For the past fourteen years, Blizzard beta tests have set the community alight with excitement but there is something odd about this Beta, it managed to achieve a huge level of hype just prior to release and then fizzle out leaving Diablo players feeling a little empty.

When Blizzard announced the game would be released early 2012, fans started to realise that the chances of actually getting into the test were slim because Blizzard are simply not adding enough testers to the pool on a weekly basis. All the Beta content had also been seen over and over thanks to the wonders of Youtube.

This is a test though right? Yes this is a beta test, not a game demo, even if it does feel like demo due to the length of the Beta. People who are actually testing the game have found some great bugs that Blizzard will be squashing as we speak, but where are the patches? It has been weeks since a patch was made to the launcher and Blizzard has already stated that they will only push out updates when there are updates to be done to the installer.

So what about the bugs? Are Blizzard not getting annoyed by seeing the same bug reports? Should testers not be testing fixes to the previously reported bugs? Well you would have thought so. This test is unusual in that there are no fixes being pushed live and the whole process seems to be an exercise in promotion, one that could be backfiring based on comments from the community who are slowly becoming rather apathetic towards the Diablo 3 Beta.

Blizzard has the opportunity to really fire up PC gamers with this Beta test but seem reluctant to do so now the game has been delayed. It appears there is still a lot of work to be done with the game, and while we don’t know what the development team are concentrating on at the moment because there is no information flowing, and there’s certainly not many straight answers to community questions,  fans are being left in the dark.

If we look back at previous Blizzard beta tests, they have always run for a few months and received continual patches which helped keep interest alive and the community talking. It worked extremely well, but Diablo 3 appears to be a different beast with an emphasis on stress testing hardware/servers and not game mechanics. It can be perceived as more of a ‘tech demo’. The development team must be feeling incredibly confident that they’re design decisions are what Diablo players want as they have already stated the Beta is not really for gameplay testing.

Was the Beta released too early due to pressure from fans , will Blizzard ramp up the testing pool enough and has the Beta test launch backfired?

It certainly looks Like the Beta test was announced too early if a Q1 release had already been decided on by Blizzard, four months is a long testing period based on the amount of content included in the Beta considering bug update fixes are few and far between.

Blizzard will ramp up the testing pool as we move closer, but purely to stress test, they are unlikely to be finding any new bugs in two months time if current testers are doing their jobs properly.

Has the test backfired? Well that’s a matter of opinion, but it appears to have had a negative effect on the fans  who were at least hoping they had some chance of playing the game within a month of the test being announced. Right now fans feel frustrated and perhaps a little let down by the lack of feedback from Blizzard, and I don’t mean the community team feedback who more often than not talk in riddles, but the developers themselves.

With BlizzCon just around the corner, there will be a short flurry of activity as some real information on the state of the game is released by the development team , but it’s what happens after that which will determine if this Beta test is working for the players and Blizzard.

Every month we see beta tests start for all kinds of titles, and by all accounts they are great marketing tools which help build hype and anticipation, Diablo 3’s however is not having the same effect, it’s the exact opposite, and this appears to be purely down to bad planning, communication and timing. We have to remember though, if gamers can wait ten years for the sequel, they’ll be quite happy to wait another four or five months, even if they are a little pissed off.

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  1. If testers are finding it boring to play I would gladly take their invite off their ungrateful little hands 😡

  2. There is nothing wrong with the beta test.
    There is plenty wrong with the mindset of the community.

    Blizzard know what they want to test, they know what they want to get out of the beta test.  If it’s not in their plan to release patches, so be it.  They publicly stated right from the start that this beta was to test their server and network infrastructure, so why would they release patches for in-game bugs?

    This is a TEST process for Blizzard, not a FREE PLAY event for gamers.

    – Malignant

    • I agree with you but ‘Beta Tests’ are also marketing tools and apathy is never a good thing when it comes to hyping a game prior to release.

      • The hype will probably come at BlizzCon when we drown in a deluge of Diablo-goodness.
        I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a more typical beta test (i.e. cycles of bug finding + fixing) in the New Year as we get closer to the release date.

        For now, however, I am perfectly happy to endure the apathy and boredom of people who don’t understand the purpose of beta tests – as long as it gives me a finished game that has no problems caused by the new network/server infrastructure that is currently being tested.

        – Malignant

        • Judging by the number of actual Diablo related panels, (not live forums or those lore zone things) I wouldn’t really call it a deluge that is coming our way… more like a brook or a stream… There’s what, 2 actual panels (one gameplay and one lore) and 1 open Q&A session this time around? Yeah… don’t expect a huge amount of new info this time around…

          • Actually, there are 8 d3 panels at Blizzcon, and only 1 is open Q&A. 5 are purely on gameplay and game features, with one lore and one blizz cinematic about the black soulstone; which sounds fairly story/plot related. I’m surprised how many, and it amused me after last year Bashiok was like, “best blizzcon evah!” and then there were only 2 content panels. This year Bashiok said nothing, and there are 7 content panels…

            http://www.diablowiki.net/BlizzCon_2011#Diablo_Specific_Panels

      • Blizzard can solve apathy with more marketing later.

    • agreed. blizzard has made it clear that this is a server stress test only. obviously some changes have been made like the DH skills, and more may be made, but balancing issues are not what this test is for. i think anticipation for final release is getting to everyone. give them a little and they’re going to want more.

      besides, obviously people are going to burn out after a while. it would be like beta testing D2, but only playing up to like.. the horadric malus imbue quest. there’s only so much you can do. obviously there’s no “end game” content yet, so i think people just need to calm down and be happy they were even part of the beta.

      • The Diablo2 equivalent test (The semi-public stress test) went up to the blood raven and that’s it, Barbarian only 😀 imagine that now..

    • On the other hand, it is quite possible to imagine that the excitement levels would be much higher if more people were playing in the beta and we were still looking forward to a Christmas release. So yeah, there’s some “down” about it. However, I don’t think it’s going to affect the Blizz bottom line. This is what we all expect from them and we will be buying the game as soon as it’s released.

    • i was also wondering how this beta test “backfires” as rushster mentions several time ? i mean how does it backfire ?
      what does blizzard lose by doing in the beta whatever the hell they want ?
      everyone who wants so badly into the beta that they complain will buy the game anyway … so Malignant is right the problem is not blizzard its the community … sure i want into the beta – pretty badly – but i cant do sh*t to improve my chances (entering a contest with thousands of entries for 1-2 beta keys ?! LOL ! ).
      there is nothing left to be done about it – i can deal with it – but a lot of people apparently can`t.

      • it backfired because they started too early and people are getting bored; even the press has lost interest 

        surely their company wide internal beta that started on May 1st was capable of testing their servers and network  

        Blizz built up the excitement and interest for the game and now they’ve lost it

        • thats ridiculous – why would they care if people get bored its a BETA not a fullprice game – and people who can play it still get a 100 times more than people who dont.
          i also think its ridiculous to assume that this has any influence on the number of sold copies – even if you are scowling at it you will buy it regardless.
          they just show a never before seen CInematic -Advertisement 1-2 weeks prior to release and everyone who even followed it losely WILL buy it.

          • They should care because the reaction people have to the beta is the same that people will have to the completed game. The fact is…it’s boring because blizz made it so. I also saw someone above blaming the community for the way things are. lol That reminds of when windows made those commercials showing of a reskinned version of windows vista and gave it to “beta testers” and got a lot of positive feedback…then revealed that it was actually just plain old vista with some tweaks and then get this…they actually BLAMED the users instead of themselves for making such a craptacular product with Vista. The same thing is happening now with D3. As it stands now…the game simply…sucks and Blizz won’t admit it…so of course the sentiment should be…blame the player not the designer. sheesh

    • 60 people in public games per night is not stressing their server and network infrastructure 
      and even if you say only 25% of people are in public games that is still a ridiculously small number this far into the test

  3. The worst part about it is that they aren’t inviting a lot of people, and the 1st thing that comes to mind when they say “we want to test the hardware” is that there will be a lot of invites, so this part is really dissapointing. But I’m pretty sure that if I got in I’d play for a few weeks then quit till the actual release….. Thank god for Skyrim.

  4. I think we will see a polished game in terms of art , physics ,sound and graphics. But for the first couple of months after release the game will be plagued with bugs…and exploits.They cant prove im wrong. Blizzard said that they have a massive QA team that will hunt bugs all over the content then in 3 days after beta started we saw 10 pages with many bug reports half of them substantial. Not the mention the DH rework…

  5. Blizzard made it pretty clear the moment they said they were goint to test the servers only. The community has allways been this way. I don´t think Blizzard actually cares for dumb and ungrateful requests like \make the beta bigger\ or \we are bored\. Let others play and move on if that is your case. I am actually waiting to be invited in, but I don´t think that will be the case, so I´ll have to wait. I´ve been playing Blizzard games for mnore than 10 years, and that doesn´t make me automatically selectable. I don´t think it has backfired. With all due respect Rushter, I think you are just being ungrateful like them. We should not complaint. This is a game we´ve been waiting for so many years. We should be glad they are actually making it. Sure, they take forever, but we should be used to by now, right? Also, remember that the \community\ is just a really small group of gamers. The vast majority don´t even read forums. they just go \Hey Diablo 3 is out, let´s play\ and that´s it.

  6. Blizzard made it pretty clear the moment they said they were goint to test the servers only. The community has allways been this way. I don´t think Blizzard actually cares for dumb and ungrateful requests like “make the beta bigger” or “we are bored”. Let others play and move on if that is your case. I am actually waiting to be invited in, but I don´t think that will be the case, so I´ll have to wait. I´ve been playing Blizzard games for mnore than 10 years, and that doesn´t make me automatically selectable.
    I don´t think it has backfired. With all due respect Rushter, I think you are just being ungrateful like them. We should not complaint. This is a game we´ve been waiting for so many years. We should be glad they are actually making it. Sure, they take forever, but we should be used to by now, right?
    Also, remember that the “community” is just a really small group of gamers. The vast majority don´t even read forums. they just go “Hey Diablo 3 is out, let´s play” and that´s it.

  7. I think what made it such an anti-climax was that people expected way more from the beta, length, content-wise etc. And that the beta didn’t just hit us. It started with leaks, then rumours that F&F testing started etc. Lots of confusion and then after everyone has seen whole playthroughs of the beta, then Blizzard announce the beta as “live”.

  8. Sorry for the spam :/

  9. Very subjectively :
    I checked my bnet account every few hours (minutes on maniac occasions) when closed beta was announced. Excitation was at its highest.
    I now do it every few days. Despair grows, anticlimax making me morose. A bit sad.
    Faint hope of Blizzcon reviving the flame …

  10. There will be a whole new setup of scenery in the start of the game when it’s released. You will still go to New Tristram and save Cain but 95% of all the scenery and quests in the Beta will be overhauled for launch. Just so you know.

  11. The fact that a lot of them are still playing the game, despite the small amount of content, is a testament to how good the game is. 

    So Blizzard is not doing anything wrong.  Its just another case of “is it too early to panic?”

  12. The reason for the lack of patch updates is probably that it’s a lot of work to update the beta client, throwing out all the files that would spoil the story line etc. just to keep beta testers happy.
    In Starcraft 2 for instance, they only had to exclude the campaign, so transferring updates from the inhouse version to the beta client was trivial, plus they were a lot more focused on actual balance testing.
     
    As long as they are learning from the beta test what they want to learn from it, it’s a success. Blizzard thinks long term, the hype is a natural part because of the reputation and anticipation, but I wouldn’t say that Blizzard is fanning the flames, they want the game to last a decade.

  13. As a marketing tool it farted on and off the radar. Especially after they announced it will not be out until some time in 2012.  As you say Blizzard were clear it was to test the server structure however they also said they would patch bugs so they should do that so other testers aren’t wasting their time reporting bugs that have been patched in house already.

    They need to add new testers soon as more testers stop playing. As they are not the core community, (many come from press and made it onto the beta by default) they are probably less rabid than the rest of us and possibly it’s why they aren’t playing every day any more.

  14. Battlefield 3 open beta was frustrating. People whining like bitches about bugs in a game.. also “WRONG map this map sucks”, “why this game has so many bugs?”.
    Expectations can be high when a highly anticipated game is about to release and people get to beta and find out its not so cool to play 1 map / area etc.

    • At least BF3 had allready a release day announced compared to D3 🙂

      • plus open beta =D. as awesome as it is (and i am still a big bc2 player) i don’t have time to play more than 1 game, so i will continue to wait for D3 and come here for news. i guess more bc2 in the meantime!

  15. its simple: the game is boring. only fanatics are going to be playing it over and over out of pure buyers remorse

  16. I think the disappointment in the Beta is simply that “I” did not get an invite. It certainly is a let down if you don’t get invited to help test a game you’ve been waiting years to arrive. Certainly visiting the Blizzard site and here with the words Beta everywhere does not help.

    More and more invites will go out and I’m almost certain everyone who wants to test will be able to do so. Blizzard is just using “increase your chances in the Beta by…..” for marketing hype.

    As far as a limited Beta in content, I’m glad it’s limited. I don’t want the main course before the appetizer!

  17. Blizzard does not need to use the D3 beta as a marketing tool. Anyone who cares about the beta is already going to buy the game, or more likely has already pre-ordered it. Yes, the beta and everything leading up to it has been a bit of a clusterf*ck, but pretty much any large project in the history of forever can be described as a long string of clusterf*cks that were either dealt with quietly or… not.

    Blizzard is trying a lot of new things with this project, some of which are bound to progress less than smoothly. Alas, you neophobic masses out there will just have to face your fears and accept that your D2 days are never coming back. 

    I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if Blizzard decided to expand the Beta content in a month or two. Now that release has been pushed to ‘Soon: 2012’, I can imagine they would want to test more of the content, considering not all of the bugs found so far have been strictly server or UI related.

    • Remember though, the target audience is not you guys who are already sold on the game, it’s new players. They want as many of those as possible.

      • and by doing that they are gonna learn their lesson

      • “Remember though, the target audience is not you guys who are already sold on the game, it’s new players. They want as many of those as possible.”

        Sure, but I think that new players should either be viewing the beta as a beta, or a demo. In the first case the point is not to have endless hours of fun but to find bugs. In the second, they get “their money’s worth” with what content there is and probably get hooked on the gameplay in the process.

        It seems unlikely that a person new to the Diablo universe would spend hours trying to get the best massacre bonus… and then not buy the game.

  18. About the patches…
    The way they designed the system, as seen in the emulator article posted some time ago, you don’t need to patch the client for most fixes.
    You can change a lot of things just by changing stuff on the server.

    • Perhaps, but they’re not doing that either.

      I didn’t expect that they would, personally, but fact is that they’re not.

  19. I wish they could have kept the Beta under wraps, I expected more beta invites like what was seen with SC2. Also, the Beta got my hopes up that we would see the game in 2011 which prompted me to buy a new graphics card, what a bust that turned out to be.

  20. People still don’t get it – this game is a loss leader.  There’s no business benefit to cannibalizing even 10% of the WoW subs.  Delays = feature not bug.

  21. Maybe they pushed the release on purpose after SWToR date was announced (Dec 20th). That way they can get some players back in January with D3 :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    • It was actually the reverse.  SWTOR waited until D3 accidentally, then officially announced the push back to 2012 and announced the SW release the next morning (at like 5:30 a.m. PST).  I was worried that these two were coming out at the same time… I’m glad they’re not!

  22. Sorry but this test is an abomination from nearly all aspects.  Poor announcement, poor PR timing, extremely poor transition from F&F into closed Beta.  Lets not also forget the fact that F&F beta literally came out of nowhere and surprised even the more informed followers.  Then there’s the extreme lack of information from Blizzard, the refusal of informing the community of recent waves sent in (probably because they’re hardly ever being sent, and when they are, in VERY small numbers).  Then there’s the content itself, riddled with problems that Blizzard obviously missed using their internal testers but claims to be FULLY capable of finding and destroying throughout the ENTIRE rest of the game using only internal testers.  Give me a break.

    Then there’s the fact that the game ends after 1 hour of play time because Blizzard feels it is more important that they save what is more-than-likely a very minor spoiler for the actual release, instead of opening up a little more content to keep participants interested and playing as much as possible as well as discovering as many issues as possible that exist within the allotted content.

    Then of course, the complete lack of participants and the inadvertent indication that the servers are absolute crap right now.  I’m willing to bet that there are less than 3000 regularly active participants, for a game that is literally going to be seeing over 1000 times more players than that on its release day.

    If the beta was so unprepared for testing, and the servers so unready for use and the game so far from launch, all of this crap should have been held back.  Not blizzard though, they love to build hype for a game 3 years in advance and slowly trickle out information over those 3 years.  Then give a 3 month release time frame for a beta and release it in the 2nd to last week of that time frame with only comments such as, “prly not then, but soon after!”

    Sorry but this whole thing is a giant mess.  They are destroying incentive to play the game and spitting in the faces of the hardcore fans who are DYING to try the game but have absolutely no possible means of acquiring a key.

    They should have started the beta by keeping an NDA on F&F, then inviting a moderately sized pool of testers for the first closed beta wave.  Then twice a week, invite more and more players.  Every wave will consist of more players, until they reach the limits of the server, at which point they release smaller waves each week until the servers are ready to handle new good-sized waves.  This way you have an ever-increasing number of people participating, and new people getting their hands on the game to spread excitement at a constant rate.

    Leaving the game in the same hands for a month while inviting hardly ANY new people?  Awful idea.

    • Your whole post is the real mess here.  Blizzard will handle the beta exactly as it needs to be handled, to provide them the testing data they need.  Your opinion (and the opinions of everyone else non-Blizzard) means exactly jack and shit to them.
      But this is an endless cycle.  People will always whine and bitch and complain.  I’ll leave that to people like you while I wait patiently for what will, no doubt, be an amazing product.

      • It seems to me more like they handle the beta the way they have to for it to be poorly handled frankly… The answer they gave us as to why they invite so few people in, is that they need different hardware setup before they can actually start testing the infrastructure (stress test which requires obviously more than a few hundred testers when you expect hundreds of thousands of players at launch). This is fine and perfectly legit, the problem is more like why is there no sign of this new setup after over two weeks ? does it really take this long ? and didn’t they already plan out several different setups to try ? It seems like they are not well organized and frankly just slow. It’s fine that they take their time to get a quality product out, but seriously a company this successful should be able to get things done a bit faster than that.
        As for the argument that they do their test the way they need it, not to build hype really doesn’t hold. If they didn’t care about advertising through the beta, would they really have invivted every single hick with a youtube account ?
        The thing they fail to understand is that, getting people hyped up to frustrate them because they have no way to actually test that game that looks so great is not really positive, all it leaves is the feeling of frustration. Getting people to try the game, even if it gets boring after a week however will leave a really positive experience. Even if people then forget about the game, the day they hear about it being released they will remember how fun it was in beta, and not that it’s that game that looked so great but they couldn’t try even after spending hours searching for a way to.

      • One of the worst rebuttals I’ve ever read.

        Statements without evidence, blind following, and obviously a complete lack of knowledge on the topic.  So let’s get a few things straight.

        Obviously Blizzard will handle the Beta exactly how they want, was that ever part of this argument?  Could they, or any other respectable company EVER handle it ANY other way?  The issue is understanding where “need” meets “want” and figuring out at what point either was significantly altered in such a way that caused this string of events to lead to such a horrible current state of affairs.  My argument is that these priorities and judgement calls were poor from very early on, and they have resulted in these scenarios which Blizzard obviously did not intend.  I.E. extremely low beta participants almost a month into the test, as well as this extreme decline in hype for the game, and a significant absence of so many of their usual fans.  Not to mention the push back of the official release date.

        If I wanted Blizzard to know my opinion, do you think I would post it in this chain?  I very much doubt that anyone at Blizzard will see this, and I really don’t care either way.  I’m not trying to accomplish anything with them.  It has nothing to do with whining, it’s their loss, not mine.  From my point of view, they did a poor job, and I can guarantee you that there are plenty of people at Blizzard right now who are saying, “guys, we went about this the wrong way”.

        I have absolutely not a doubt in my mind that Diablo 3 will be a masterpiece of excellence when it is finished, and you can bet everything that you own that’ll I’ll have my copy at midnight, regardless of whatever poor PR and Business Strategy choices Blizzard continues to make.

        • I have absolutely not a doubt in my mind that Diablo 3 will be a masterpiece of excellence when it is finished, and you can bet everything that you own that’ll I’ll have my copy at midnight, regardless of whatever poor PR and Business Strategy choices Blizzard continues to make.

          I think it’s this kind of attitude which allows blizzard to toy around with their fan base…  The “I’ll have my copy at midnight” regardless of how piss poor a job they do up to releasing the game.  Let me be frank, I have no problems waiting months to buy this game after release.  I’ll wait until people have reviewed the game before blindly throwing away my money on day 1.  They made me wait, I can make them wait too…

        • It wasn’t a real rebuttal.  I know better than to argue with people here.  Unless you have real insider info or work for Blizzard yourself, your “insights” into the quality of this beta and the “horrible current state of affairs” are just as meaningless as my piss-poor rebuttal.
           
          But get on wit yo bad ‘self, I’m sure your thoughts on Blizzard’s PR and Business Strategy hold merit with *someone* here.

      • “Your opinion (and the opinions of everyone else non-Blizzard) means exactly jack and **** to them.”

        exactly, Blizzard doesn’t give a crap about their fans

  23. This is not a Beta, its a Demo for the game.. Its all about that diablo3 is delayed and blizzard know that.. The call this for beta but, 1 hours gaming?? WTF?? that is not beta. A Beta is test over the full game, to release game faster. This feel very fail and only give blizzard more time to delay the game =((

  24. they need to open beta testing arena 🙂

  25. The game is tremendous fun, but those few hours you can spend on a play through does get tedious after a while. I’m not at all worried about the quality of the game in general. What I AM worried about, is their incredible confidence in their QA team. They are no doubt very good, but they did let Demon Hunter through as it was. I’m worried they won’t deploy the DH changes before launch. Then again, they got one miss out of five pretty nice bulls eyes when it comes to classes. Also, they have a much bigger picture of the class than we do, getting top level chars to play with. The Game mechanics is for the most part flawless. Lag is nearly non-existent in any way that matters, even for EU players like me playing on beta servers that are hosted in the US. Combat feels smooth, fun and intuitive. There are several options on how to play your character even after just a few levels. Add the other 99% of the game and you can’t reasonably complain about anything.

  26. I think their testing goals weren’t met in an ideal manner.  The content of the beta is probably good for a few hours of gameplay.  The more hardcore among us possibly more to uncover every nook an cranny about the game, but in 90% of games the most lean parts come in the beginning before they really layer more complex mechanics on you.  So Blizzard is offering a portion of the game with the least depth.  Now…their goal is pure stress testing.  That’s completely cool and this demo honestly is sufficient for that.

    …the problem comes in they want to extend more beta invites as they need it.  …however with so little content many existing beta players likely stop.  If they want to really stress they really need to dogpile on the invites to get people in there.  

    The lack of feedback is also troubling but seemed to come in spurts before Blizzcon was impending.  They added a lot of stuff on the Diablo website…some being met with mixed reviews though.  (Like the items with all the boring affixes)

    I don’t think the short length of the beta is inherently a problem, but I think for their goals they didn’t execute in the right manner.  Also this is the lead up to release and the feedback and stream of info is pretty light.  The game will sell like mad and I’m stoked as ever on it, but this does feel like a pretty big slip on the usual stellar delivery Blizzard has leading up to a release.

  27. Most if not all changes and fixes they do on beta client side will be off from real game development. AH and server stuff might be different, but otherwise it just working on two different projects and delaying final game even more.

  28. Some very lopsided opinions on this comment list. Some hate what is going on and others are fully accepting that this is what it is. I’m not a rabid fan and don’t plan on pre-ordering. I’m signed up for beta but if I don’t get in there are worse things in life. In the end it is still a game and nothing more than a form of entertainment.

    Blizzard is going to do their normal routine of not saying anything that they are not willing to set in stone. Companies like Blizzard don’t like talking about something that may change simply because they don’t feel like it talking about it or taking that chance. They do that with all of their titles and they are successful. You can’t knock that because it works. Companies like Bioware are very verbal about their titles and testing and like as much feedback as possible. They are very successful so what they do obviously works. My point is that there are multiple paths to success. Unless we are working for Blizzard, then our opinions are just that… opinions. They have their road map for the game they know the status. They pushed back the release because obviously there have been some issues that have been slow to be resolved. They never had a date so that shows why they like to be quiet about their titles. They don’t want to be one of those companies that gives a date then has to change it over and over… like Gran Turismo 5 for example. Now they are aiming for early 2k12. 

    I work for a software company. Their primary goal is to make money, period. It is a business and success is determined by dollars made. Quality of the product is way more successful at bringing in money than hype will ever be. Successful software companies know this. If you hype a product you better bring your A game when it releases. The beta is part marketing tool and part hype. It gets the name out there, but by no means does it reflect what the end product will be 100%. I alpha and beta test software every day in my job. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward. Blizzard knows what it takes to make money and that is to be successful at launching new products which it has been successful at since almost the very beginning. The tiny percentage of beta testers that are griping about the beta are only making themselves look like children, honestly because they probably are. If the whole community as a group spoke out against the game, then they would probably listen to that intently. They know the numbers and see the data. If you enjoy their games, then you will probably not be disappointed in this one. Getting up in arms over a beta test is not going to change the way the company does business when it is as successful at doing business as Blizzard has been.

    Beta tests, especially titles for play never want to show their whole game during beta because of the spoilers in it. In the age of You Tube where videos abound, players that would never be part of the beta or community get to see parts of the game that wouldn’t normally see until playing. If the whole game was there to be seen on You Tube, then there would not be any surprise or story left to learn. That can hurt the bottom line, so why would a company open testing to the entire game simply because the community desired it. That is not good business practice. Those that are saying that 1-2 hr beta (20 min for some) is not a beta test are not being realistic. Now days developers have algorithms and metrics to monitor every aspect of the game and what each and every player is doing. They get a lot more information from that than they do from bug reports in the forums.

    As others have implied, this beta could be an actual sort of demo in size because other than story and NPCs, it may not look anything like this when the game releases. They may have made this simply to test so they don’t spoil the fun for the game when it releases. There have been dozens of play through videos released and many fan sites breaking down all the skills, runes, armor, dyes, etc. More about this game has come from footage in videos than Blizzard ever meant to release on its own. They even said they wanted us to be able to play with the runs to see what we liked best on our own, but the fans sites like this one have nearly laid out what runes do what and which ones will be best to use. That is the sort of stuff that is normally done after release. Excitement for a game is good, but the community needs to realize that their desires will NEVER outweigh the road map that the company plans to follow. No matter how much they beg, whine, or complain. Most of the requests by the community are actually quite selfish, most are wrapped in a layer of BS to make it seem like their intentions are for the better good of the game, but in reality they just want to play more of the game and experience more of it. It happens all the time because humans are selfish. Most of us think about \me\ before \we\. Which is why the world is the way it is. Corruption happens because we are selfish and that can be seen everywhere even in a beta test for a simple game meant for entertainment and nothing else.

  29. I think the beta now is just what blizz said it would be – test the installer, servers, and different pc’s.  You do this best by making a very small playable area so you have high tester turnover.  What we see is a stable game architecture, but the game itself is not complete. Runestones and skill selection systems are NOT done.  These are thebackbone of the game.  Until blizz figures that out, expanding test content makes no sense.  These systems may even define some of the client server communication.

    Additionally, if game is not ready yet, why continue tweaking when new server hardware is available in 6 months?  Basically blizz started the beta when they promised(maybe pressure from activision?) but eventually they realized the game is just not there yet.  So we wait…the beta was ready, the game is not.  So they release beta so if,worst case, it runs really poorly they have ample time to fix it.  Instead, the beta works really well!  So its time totwiddle thumbs til after blizzcon, and the systems are all finalized.

  30. I totally agree with what people said before: for 99% of those who get into beta its free play fest and they are just greedy-> see BF3 open beta whining and bitching. They think beta shoud contain whole game so they can rush trough it and forget after a week or two. Blizz made very good decision releasing so short content in beta for so small amount of ppl. First of all among F&F there is a way higher chance to find those who will give feedback and if they have so big QA team as they say there is nothing to worry about. Do I want to get into test? Hell yea but I probably wont and its ok

  31. seeing as how most of thebeta testers (i know few irl from lan center i saw) there already bored.
    To me I personally think they will ramp-up the beta testers soon.. they will run out of things to do AND fix. :mrgreen:

  32. For all ya’ll: Beta is only 0.000001% of the final release, stop getting so emotional all the time, gawd.

  33. In response to Gosukusan’s post on page two.

    Your post is very selfish in nature. While typing did you ever ponder Blizzards thoughts on all of this or just your own? I respect your opinion, but your lack of facts are disconcerting. If you are trying to make an argument against the beta you might want to include reliable sources other than personal opinion. How do you know that they are destroying incentive to play the game or spitting in the faces of hardcore fans. Maybe you feel that they are doing that to you, but how can you possibly know how the entire Diablo/Blizzard fan base feels about the beta and about how Blizzard is handling it? How do you know there are only 3000 regularly active participants? What makes a regularly active participant? By your math you believe that there will be over 3 million players logging in on release day. How did you come to this result? Only 5.3 million D2 games have been sold world-wide. And DII sold over a million in two weeks, but that is by no means anything close to 3 million let along 3 million sold on the first day. Even top selling releases on PS3 and Xbox have not sold 3 million in a day let alone have all those players actively playing that same day. The best selling game of recent history is COD: Black Ops and that is because it released on PC/Xbox/PS3 at the same time and sold 5.3 million copies on the first day. But D3 is releasing on PC first and may go console after from what I’ve read. So I don’t see where your math is coming from. The newest COD about to release has pre-orders for XBOX at 1.5 million so it will again easily hit over 3 million in sales over all three system types on the first day, but I don’t see D3 doing that. I may, but unlikely that even if it does sell that many that 3 million will actually try and play on day one. I just want you to realize that your argument is purely selfish with little merit and is really just you being upset about your own personal experience with this situation.

    • I thought Gosu’s post was funny in nature and a largely accurate description of my opinion of the way things have gone down.  Your response fails to address 95% of his comments, most important of all:  By calling this a hardware/tech only beta, Blizzard was saying “Don’t worry about bugs… we got this.”  Well, so far, they don’t got it.  The number of bugs and exploits (not to mention the problems with the DH) that have come out of this demo/beta despite the limited time and number of beta testers is pretty alarming.  Will Blizzard address these issues, probably/I hope so, but the point of the article and Gosu’s comment is that Blizzard has not handled this beta well.  I agree… and this opinion has nothing to do with “selfishness” or me being upset at not getting into the beta.

      Side note:  If there isn’t a “how many copies of D3 will be sold by day 1?” thread, we should start one up.

    • And making fans wait YEARS for a game isn’t selfish???

  34. I been in many betas. This hardly resembles a real beta. Blizzard knows what is wrong with the game prior to their so called “beta is live” theme. This is more about marketing sadly. Blizzard has changed so much since their earlier days. Back then they cared about making the game right and trying to monetize a game became less of a priority. Now it is all about how can we monetize the game first then we’ll worry about how well it works. Its sad but this is what happens when greed sets in.

  35. Fairly or otherwise, people are criticizing Blizzard for their handling of the Beta. And a lot more vociferously than any WoW patch, expansion, or SC2. That should tip you off that the D3 team did something differently.
     
    Personally, I’m having trouble figuring out why the patching process is so FUBAR at the moment. As someone said earlier, you’ve probably got to edit out the big spoilers by hand, but then why aren’t they working on two “versions?” The real game, and a Beta spoiler free copy? Look at the changes you do to the real game, copy those, and insert them into the Beta copy w/o adding in all of the spoiler stuff. Why can’t Beta testers get a feel for the new Doctor/Wizard spell scaling? Or the new Monk aura changes? This stuff should be spreadsheet stuff, not super monster game engine reworks. They could have patched that in by now. And if not, they need to flog the patch team.

  36. No. It’s just a stress test. Nothing more. It’s not a Demo. It’s not even really for squashing bugs pre-release. It’s a hardware test – that’s it. I’m not going to make any judgements util I have the hot little game in my clammy paws.

  37. Having had the beta since the initial F&F closed-closed beta, I 100% agree with this post and/or summary of the beta. I do however feel that adding more players (more than intended) will only add to the player pool who play the demo through and grow bored and tired of the game.  And not really accomplishing any good, despite what those not in the beta think they believe =P

    It is interesting how anti-spoiler focused they are on this game.  When other full betas like WoW and expansions clearly spoilered the crap out of all the new starting lore/quests/content with no problem.  And regardless of WoW being an MMO I think diablo series has equal replayability (hell I think I played D2 more than WoW if I totaled it)

    All in all I think the beta was released too soon, for the route that ended up taking place.  Its quite possible blizzard believed they were going to be able to release the game this year.  But with Jay Wilson crying from the mountain tops about completely reworking the entire rune system 1-2 months before expected release would have to be ironed out…  It just seems unlikely they didn’t already know 2011 wasnt happening. Don’t get me wrong I am 99999% excited and looking forward to diablo 3, but the beta has been as described above, a fizzle.

  38. Wow… my post was even removed just because I didn’t like the article… omg what a censureship here…

    • i came back to your post some hours later to see if it got thumbs up. and OMG!!! it got deleted! cant beliefe it!
      NOT HERE ON INCGAMERS!
      I DEMAND A STATEMENT FROM ONE OF THE HOSTS! ARE WE ALLOWED TO EXPRESS THAT WE THINK ONE OF YOUR POSTS IS SHIT OR ARENT WE?!?!?!?
      i never thought this could happen here WTF!!!
      (if u didnt know: thechosenOne said its a post that is untypical for incgamers and realisticly only be seen on unsound unreliable websites to create page hits)
      (i dont have a real opinion on “beta = blizz fail”)

  39. I have no sympathy whatsoever for the beta testers…that is what you signed up for when you opted in.  The beta is not designed to peak your interest or provide you with new content/patches…it is to TEST bugs etc.  It is meant to be more of a job than a game at that stage.  Seriously, if you are going to put down the game after a few weeks and “move on”, give your key to me and I will gladly do what a proper beta tester is supposed to do.

  40. This was the worst possible way they could have handled things!  I have seen many betas come and go and almost all of them build hype for the game for the entire duration, but the D3 beta has deflated the excitement of the community.  Why announce “tiny beta” and then push the game back?  Seriously, why can’t people see how bad this was?  Sure, betas cause games to get pushed back so no big deal there, true, however, most betas also contain content that can continually be improved and tested in order to make the push back worth the time.  Why even put this glorified demo in the hands of the fans in the first place, if there was any chance at all the game would slip?  Whether you realize it or not, something happened that wasn’t part of the playbook and Blizzard balked.  If you were watching D3 as closely as some of us, it was obvious that something behind the scenes happened to scare Blizzard away from a 2011 release.  Thing is they never said what it was and even when we pushed for an answer, they still refused to tell the community.

    No PR department would have ever planned some nonsense like this.  This is especially true with a landmark game like Diablo 3.  Not to mention, lest we forget, Blizzard had built the hype perfectly to announce the release at Blizzcon, it would have been fantastic and pre-orders would have gone through the roof.  The community site and fan sites were buzzing with excitement.  That is not the case now, so everyone saying this was the plan should have their heads examined.  Why would you pop the frenzy bubble you had built?  Consider, they never made any official release date announcement, so why announce publicly with a blog post on the front page of the community site that the game would slip to 2012?  They only did that because Blizzard and the Community thought the game was a lock for 2011 release.  Even you naysayers who will say we figured it would slip have to admit you had high hopes for 2011 when the beta started.

    I was very active on all of the main D3 forums and since that push back I could almost care less what happens for the duration of the D3 beta.  I want to play the game, I will enjoy playing the final game, but I am not getting excited for a game that could very likely slip even further than early 2012.  Mock me if you feel like it, but right now is not the time for self deception.  Rushster made this post with the very same things in mind that I see.  Most fans are bothered by the way this is being handled and bored with Blizzard’s little experiment in frustration.  Ah well, this is bound to go down in history as one of the most poorly handled beta tests of all time!

    • You get my point 🙂 I work with numerous publishers and developers week in week out on the main IncGamers.com site and arrange tests with PR departments as part of their marketing plans and this ‘test’ is simply odd to say the least. There is no doubt that there is a loss of interest which opens the doors for other titles to snap up the cash put aside for Diablo 3. Blizzard want the non-hardcore fans to embrace this game, many who will have never played the first two titles or intend to go back and play them.

      So far the the PR has been really poor and that us evident in the key allocations. As someone pointed out, if you have a Youtube account with followers you were put on the Beta. It was an exercise in keeping press happy and not so much the real fans of the game, who would be stoked to even get a glimpse  of the Beta and ultimately help to build brand loyalty.

      Communication is also a problem, and has been for some time when it comes to fans of Blizzard games, the information is just not there and there’s a lot of spin which again just irritates the loyal Blizzard fan. You do have to wonder if they are that fussed about the HC Diablo nut because they are confident enough that the money is already in the Blizzard bank. Such confidence can lead to a lot of disappointed players when the final game is released. keep your core audience happy and you will make the sales.

      • Blizzard never said they release in 2011 wich technically never “pushed the game back” for release, they only said they would try. You just got your hopes way up in the sky. The same goes for beta, it was plainly known it would only be for stress testing and the introduction/beginning of the game. Compare D2 beta with D3 beta the content is about the same, it’s not to blame.

  41. Blizzard began company wide internal testing on May 1st 

    company wide !

    how was that not enough to test their servers and network ?

    and that started 4 months before F&F beta

    the purpose of the F&F beta was supposed to test hardware, but if you really want to test your servers and network then you’d put more than 300 people on them, especially when you expect to have more than 500 000 people on them on launch day 

    but the fact that that hasn’t happened, that they haven’t added any more testers and that the game was pushed till “early 2012” shows that the game was not ready for beta
    if it had been ready we’d have seen more people in the beta by now to stress test the servers 

    they pushed the F&F beta out too soon, they built the hype and excitement and now they’ve lost it,  
    not for us dedicated diablo fans, but the for casual fans, they’ve lost it  

  42. I think all of those are the signs of cancelling D3. Obviously, Blizzard don`t care D3 anymore as there is no patch or anything about beta they stopped listening feedback. Blzzard is not happy about D3, they finally see that current Diablo 3 version is a huge mistake from scratch, They finally admitted themselves that they messed up so bad. So they are planning how to make a cancellation announcement to the game world.

  43. They are just making stress tests and not fixing bugs because Blizzard is lazy and don’t care about the players. If D3′ servers are down they will lose money because the AH will not be running, so its different from WoW where they can kick everyone for 5+ hours for maintenance and still profit the same amount. My 2 cents.

  44. And as if by magic, more beta keys materialise a few hours later.

    Result.

    😉

  45. It’s the beta… Kinda sad that a lot of the testers are complaining about boredom and, to the extreme, not being allowed to try the beta in nightmare mode or being able to try every skill.
    In my opinion, it is obvious that the beta is supposed to be easy, but there should be some points where it is very possible for players to die. The Jar of Souls random event allows players to feel slightly overwhelmed by sheer numbers (though pretty much cardboard soldiers that will be shredded).
    If Blizzard makes sure that there are plenty of random events that are challenging then I’m sure people will be satisfied.
    About the Skeleton King: Okay, haven’t played the beta, but I believe that bosses and even mini bosses should be challenging (and sure the skeleton king might seem challenging to some, but not to me).
    I imagined this fight to have a continuous flow of Leoric’s cursed skeleton followers climbing up walls / breaking through walls / or dropping from the ceiling to attack you. Sure he summons a motley band of skeletons sometimes, but to me that’s just a waste of time. This fight should be crazy with constant reinforcements for the skeleton king until he obviously dies. OR perhaps after he dies a bunch of skeletons have a final charge at the player.
    Yes Diablo 3 will be intense in Hell and inferno, but that doesn’t mean it should be easy street / boring for normal.

  46. wouldn’t it be nice for everyone to add Arena pvp to a beta. 
    Oh wait wait i know. it wouldn’t cause everyone is going to whine about balance from that point. 
    hm. so it’s kinda circle of whining

  47. “seeing as how most of thebeta testers (i know few irl from lan center i saw) there already bored.
    To me I personally think they will ramp-up the beta testers soon.. they will run out of things to do AND fix. ”
    what i said earlier before the 2000key beta contest giveaway from blizzard, damn i was SOO RIGHT! 😯

  48. I agree with majority of the post, the beta has been getting a little quiet.. not as many people have been on the beta since i first got my invite however i am still loving it. yes i’m not on as much as i was in the first 48hours but that is expected, i have finished the beta on numerous characters and killed skel king uncountable times…

    to those people complaining about the beta being ‘boring’ and not using their account, be lucky you got an invite and stop complaining. We asked for a beta, and blizzard gave us one, even though their previous betas have been longer-lasting-fun. If you don’t want your invite i’m sure thousands of other people would gladly take it.

    but d3 (even in the beta)is shaping up to everything that i have waited for over the past 10 or so years :D. cannot wait for the game to be released!

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