No Diablo 3 Beta Keys with Pre-Orders Planned

The two most common complaints about the Diablo 3 Beta are that it’s too easy, and that there aren’t enough testers. Point #1 has been (and will continue to be) much debated by fans, though Blizzard insists that it’s supposed to be very easy (even as they make it harder in every patch). On #2 though, I don’t think there’s any debate. Everyone (outside of Blizzard) feels that there are far too few beta testers and is amazed at how slowly Blizzard has been ramping up the numbers.

Since the last Blizzard beta test was for Starcraft 2, it’s tempting to compare. Obviously the games and target audiences and testing needs were much different, but Starcraft 2 generally had more than 20,000 testers online, at once, during the entire beta test. And Blizzard distributed tens of thousands of keys through numerous channels, gave every tester “invite a friend” keys several times during the test, gave out keys with pre-orders, etc. Many of us were expecting something similar with Diablo III, yet the D3 beta seldom has more than a couple of hundred concurrent games. This state of affairs creates the “Wow, another whole 200 testers added?” sarcasm that flows from the not-yet-selected masses.

Sadly, this doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon, at least judging by Bashiok’s forum comment today.

I preoredered the game already, so give me Beta?
We’re restricting beta access because the intent is to test specific features, updates, and changes with specific amounts of testers. Inevitably we will want, at times, ‘stress’ testing with larger groups of testers allowed in, but it’s unlikely we’ll have an open beta or an invite included with the purchase of the game.

Now obviously, if Blizzard said, “We’ll have D3 beta keys with preorders at some point.” that would affect the buying habits of many people, and all of their preorder partners who aren’t in on that deal would scream bloody murder. Therefore, I wouldn’t take this as the final word — Blizzard PR routinely says, “X will not happen” until about 3 hours before X begins to happen, since that’s their job, and since nothing exists with Blizzard until it’s been officially announced.

Those reality checks delivered… it doesn’t sound like we’re going to see any big changes in the beta invite options, at least not any time soon.

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    20 thoughts on “No Diablo 3 Beta Keys with Pre-Orders Planned

    1. honestly i was shocked i got chosen for beta, that said……..i have not seen more than 200 public games at one time….i wonder what the actual number of testers is right now.

      • I would expect that it reaches no more than a couple thousand players online at any time except for maybe prime time hours on the day after a big patch release such as when all the people that came back to test the changes on the DH in addition to the new invites at the time… then it probably gets to a few thousand for a little while before petering back down to normal levels…

        • Scotch Hellfire are you going to take that?  I mean, Shott just totally one upped you man.  He has gone from Three periods after a sentence to 6 with a 2 commas.  O man you just been served…….,,,
          O dam now I just did it.

          • Who is this “Scotch Hellfire” you speak of? 😉

            I don’t really care if other people want to use the elipsis replacing a normal period thing if they want or if they add a lot more in… I just like to type kind of how I talk, which is in chains of statements that I add onto after ending them, and I doubt they could ever be considered proper sentences if they were being written down, so I don’t type them out as such… so yeah… whatever…

            I actually pride myself on being able to use adhere to proper grammar and spelling very well when it counts (I got a 32 out of 36 on the grammar portion of the ACT)… and it certainly doesn’t when I’m posting on forums or chatting in games…

            • A lot of times you do finish the sentences, so using the ellipsis the way you do is kind of like someone that types in all caps.


              I’ll use whatever punctuation I damn well please and thank you to accept it or suck my balls, k brah?

              Used to think you were a cool person, but now that you feel the illogical and unprovoked need to insult me, not so much… 😕

      • Depends which “soon” you mean… Blizzard soon or everyone else soon? My guess is that it will end around the end of January with a mid Febuary release…

        • So long as it doesn’t happen this year, then I think I’ve hit the deadline for “soon”. 😉

    2. Damn… I was hoping they would have these near the end as it would probably be the last (and only) chance I would have to get play the game before the holidays… oh well…

    3. “Blizzard PR routinely says, “X will not happen” until about 3 hours before X begins to happen, since that’s their job, and since nothing exists with Blizzard until it’s been officially announced.”
      This sorta scratches me. They do sometimes go back on things they’ve said, see Town Portal and similar, but the routine is “no information at this point” or similar and not “will not happen”. They say what they’re told and if they’re told “we don’t know” then they will post that, so if they post “unlikely to happen” then it’s just that, unlikely to happen.

      • I wasn’t referring to game features so much as general company PR issues.

        They’ll often say, “We have no idea what we’ll be showing at Blizzcon.” when they obviously had it all planned out months in advance to create the videos for the panel, prepare their presentations, etc.

        They said no plans for a D3 console, and then suddenly they had 10 job openings and a small team long since at work internally.

        Quite recently they’ve said they have no concrete plans for a d3 expansion, that they’re just working to finish the first game, etc. And yet we all know they’ve got rough draft class concepts, major game features that didn’t get into D3C, the new act, the basic plot, etc, All at least sketched out at this point.

        None of this lying/diversion is anything unusual to Blizzard or in the industry or business itself. But it does force the skeptical observer to question most everything their PR people say, knowing that they might well have plans directly contradicting their current public pronouncements, which they’re simply not prepared to reveal yet.

        • Indeed… in fact, I can recall [b]a lot[/b] of features in WoW that they added in after saying for years that they either had no plans for them or downright had no intention of every adding them… They change their minds or hide their true plans all the time…

    4. I think they really don’t care much about their fans and followers.\We are working on this… we are working on that.. but we can’t share any info atm\ OK,I’m sorry but you are working on this and that 6/7 years already,and we still have no clue when \This/That\will be released. 200 bkeys?? C’mon are you kidding me?\We might need SOME more testers SOMETIMES in the future for SOME \stress\testing,BUT we can’t share any info about it yet\-mmmm another great info. Why Blizz continue to keep silence about eventual game delay? What happened with \early 2012 release\?I understand peoples rage because they want to know what the word \soon\ actually means… Janyary? February? March? mid 2012? later? 2013? NEVER?

    5. Heheh I still laugh at the Beta key distribution through the Facebook contest. 1.4 million likes and they hand out 200 here, 200 there. Odds are infinetesimal of my getting a key that way.

    6. I’m not too broke up about it, although I loved being part of the SC2 beta. The main reason I’d like to play the beta is to get the flavor of all the characters so I know who I want to play first when I get the actual game – I prefer to only go through with one character at a time. I’m leaning toward the Barbarian, but… the Wizard and Monk look like a lot of fun too.

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