You’d think Bashiok, as a long time Blizzard employee, would know better than to tentatively predict a release date for anything, but two weeks ago he used @Diablo to boldly raise the hopes of perpetually chronologically-downtrodden Diablo 3 followers:
How’s the male DH progressing?—DonGuillotine
He’s doing well. He’s supposed to be stopping by sometime next week actually. We’ll see. You know how he is.—Diablo
Fans were excited, but with the inevitability of the tongue returning to probe a sore tooth, “next week” became “last week” and tonight @Diablo canceled the vigil and kicked us back into the cold ashes and dust of a Diablo drought? with some cold hard reality.
Can we expect to see the male Demon Hunter before February?—Lytus
Unlikely. He went back to animation, some of his moves weren’t gelling quite right.—Diablo
History check: The Male Monk debuted at Blizzcon 2009, and was well-received. The female Monk wasn’t ready yet though, and we didn’t see her until early 2010, when some concept arts were previewed via the Jace Hall show, and then released her pixie hair cut in full quality images a couple of weeks later. The female Demon Hunter was revealed last October at Blizzcon, and it seemed the male Demon Hunter was following the same path as the female Monk. But now he’s been delayed… because his animations weren’t quite right? Why would that matter? Weren’t we just going to see some artwork, as we did for the female Monk?
At the end of my recount of my conversation with Bashiok about (hypothetical) higher difficulty AI improvements, I sneaked in a very short quote from Bashiok saying that the male DH reveal was going to be “bad ass!” After relaying that, I speculated that maybe Blizzard had more planned than just a couple of pieces of concept art. I didn’t really believe that, though. I was just trying to give you guys something to think about and maybe hope for. Ironically, it looks like I was right in my teasing, since as @Diablo said today, (paraphrasing) “the animations didn’t portray, so they had to delay.”
I can’t see why they’d delay showing us character artwork just because the animations weren’t right. Why would anything in-game matter, if they’d only been planning to upload a few artworks? They’re not going to rework the whole class/gender appearance because some early animations weren’t perfect. Which means they must have planned to show us more than just still images. A new gameplay movie? Some new DH skills in action? Dare to dream!
And in that light, there’s a silver lining to this delay. If we’re interpreting events correctly, and if Blizzard sticks to what they apparently had planned for last week, when we do see the male Demon Hunter he’ll be doing something more than standing there, looking all van Helsing-tastic.