Tell Your Family, Tell Your Friends

This evening the forums saw a couple of posts from Vaeflare, a CM I’ve never noticed before. In them he dropped a few subtle hints encouraging readers to assist Blizzard in spreading the word about the impending release of Diablo III.

Keep up the great work on contributing to the Darkness Falls, Heroes Rise site! The first mysterious, unlockable piece looks to be close at-hand. 🙂

Bear in mind that the more you contribute, “like,” and “share” goodies from the website, the closer you will be to unlocking further Diablo III secrets. So it’s up to you to rise to the occasion, gather the force of the community, and move that percentage marker forward.

just what exactly can we do to further the promo site unlockables?? Besides sharing and liking?
“Sharing” and “liking” content is really the biggest thing you can do that will help speed things along. Not only can you create a banner to earn an exclusive in-game sigil each week, but there are loads of banner entries to share and like in the Mark of Valor Gallery and we’re adding more all the time!

You can also share the pages for each Diablo III hero class as they are unlocked, which presently includes the demon hunter and barbarian.

Another place to get involved is the Art Contest Gallery. There you can share and like the great artwork that is just starting to pour in from fan artists from near and far. They are certainly pumped to take a stab at illustrating heroes from the world of Sanctuary and to share their creations with Diablo players from around the world. Want to have a chance to see your own artwork up on the website? Grab those pens, pencils, and paints, submit your original art, and share your passion with us!

Spread the good word and remember to check back frequently to indulge in all of the new content and submissions we have rolling in, and to ensure you’ve done all you can to help move that percentage meter along.

Like the future of Sanctuary, it’s very much in the hands of you, the players. 🙂

Tempted though I am by the opportunity to devote hours of my free time to the viral marketing of Diablo III… the progress meter is just a calendar. Math time! The D3 reveal pages went live last week with the progress bar at 0% and 40 days until launch. Today it reached 10% with 35 days to go and unlocked the first special feature box. On Friday or Saturday it will reach 20% and we’ll get another special feature, hopefully one that devotes less than a third of its running time to bad facial hair.

I’m not here to tell you not to throw yourself into doing Blizzard PR’s job for them, but if you’re expecting your efforts to make the earth rotate more quickly and thus bring May 15th sooner, as advanced in 10% increments, you may be disappointed.

I added below the fold a list of all the planned content for the progress bar unlocks. You might want to skip reading it, because SPOILERS!!!1!

All info datamined from the Bliz page; may be subject to minor adjustments. The % complete amounts and projected dates are not listed on the page, but I’ve added them since it’s pretty obvious that 9 updates = the 9 secret boxes that we’ll get at 10%, 20%, 30%, etc.

0% — April 5, 2012. Reveal page goes live.

10% — Developer Diary I, April 10.
Game Director Jay Wilson, Art Director Christian Lichtner, and Lead Software Engineer Jason Regier sat down last spring to discuss the state of Diablo III development in this exclusive first video installment of Developer Diaries.

20% — Diablo III: Book of Cain, April 14(ish)
The following comes from the bloodstained pages of Deckard Cain’s own illustrated journal, Book of Cain. Brimming with forgotten knowledge, this tome puts forth the histories of Sanctuary and realms beyond in an attempt to forestall the End of Days.

30% — Developer Diary II, April 18(ish)
(No details yet revealed.)

40% — Developer Diary III, April 22(ish)
On May 3, 2011, Jay Wilson, Christian Lichtner, and Jason Regier reconvened to discuss some of their biggest challenges going into the Diablo III testing and localization phases in this third video installment of Developer Diaries.

50% — BlizzCast 17, April 26(ish)
Our own Rob Simpson talks Diablo III item, quest, and sound design with Senior Designer Jason Bender, Senior Sound Designer Kris Giampa, and Lead Content Designer Kevin Martens. What are the best ways to capture the sound of bones breaking? Find out in this BlizzCast 17 video exclusive.

60% — Diablo III: The Order, April 30(ish)
Explore this chilling excerpt from The Order, an upcoming novel recounting Deckard Cain’s struggles against the forces of evil alongside his mysterious young charge, Leah. This story takes place years before the events of Diablo III.

70% — Developer Diary IV, May 3(ish)
With internal testing complete and the game launch rapidly approaching, Jay Wilson, Christian Lichtner, and Jason Regier share what they’ve learned over the course of Diablo III’s development, how they’ll spend their time after the game releases, and final thoughts they’d like to leave you with in this fourth video installment of Developer Diaries.
Developer Diary V


90% — Class Wallpapers, May 10(ish)
Congratulations! Your actions yield for you new treasures of true artistry. Choose any of the desktop wallpapers here to champion your favorite hero.

100% — Diablo: Wrath, May 14(ish)
Long before the creation of Sanctuary, the Eternal Conflict between angels and demons raged on for untold millennia. Blizzard Entertainment teamed up with renowned director Peter Chung and acclaimed animation studio Titmouse to create this unique vision of a fundamental moment in the battle between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.

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62 thoughts on “Tell Your Family, Tell Your Friends

  1. You know that the closer it gets to release date the slower time will pass. I hope I’m not the only one here who realizes that. Besides, I’ve already used word of mouth to promo D3 to enough people that if this were a pyramid scheme I’d have 6 collectors editions coming my way already.
    Damn your count down, should be 32 days already.

    • I’ve also told friends about the game release already. Kinda wish I hadn’t when I see this PR-crap, I don’t want to be an advertisement 🙁

  2. Is there anything that will be game content related unlocked on that site? coz i really cant find the luxury to be participating in some marketing scheme atm, but also dont wanna miss out on some secret chapter comes release……..

    • From the web data-mined details we posted previously, there should be some pretty cool info, yes.

      My whole (attempted) point in this post though, was to point out that the unlocks and secrets and contests and such are all PR bull****. Blizzard is counting down 40 days to release, and every 10% of that time (4 or 5 days) they’ll “unlock” one of these features, many of which are apparently portions of a video interview from last February. This isn’t FB where they won’t give us X w/o a set number of likes. It’s a calendar. Tick tick tick.

      • Totaly agree with you. When I see the news about the “unlocked secret” woha!???!! This shit get from 0% to 10% in some hours… Well make the math… Secrets / Days  🙄

      • what i meant is, if i dont do this darkness and hero bull****, when the game release will i be denied access to anything substantial in the game? like a secret cow level, or will it just be cooler banners? i dont really giv 2-f*** bout banners……. 

        • just sigil bro…. a small part of the banner, you won’t be denied even a banner, chill 😛

        • The only in-game impact that this program has is access to exclusive class-based sigils. Five altogether.

          Otherwise, Flux is likely correct as this is how it worked for SC2 as well: it isn’t a matter of participation, but a matter of an automated web app updating the page. EA does this all the time.

          The goal is to spread word of mouth across social networks, but not from Blizzard, from fans.
          For us, yeah, they’re just preaching to the choir because we’re already excited. The funny thing is that someone who hadn’t heard of this stuff, someone Blizzard will benefit from, probably won’t care about a year-old dev diary, while we will. Which means that the rewards aren’t for the people getting spammed on facebook, but for those who are spamming. 

  3. I can’t help but be a little ticked off whenever Blizzard does this.  They’re luring their most hardcore fans with “unlocks” to get us to provide free PR to casual / not-yet fans on Facebook.  However, the unlocks themselves aren’t even geared towards us.  On the contrary, they’re geared towards the same casuals that we’re sharing the Facebook page to.  The whole thing is just a pitch to sell the game to people outside their normal audience, at our expense.

    I find the whole thing pretty insulting. As fans, we’re naturally going to spread the good word on our own. Don’t pretend that you’re being generous and giving out rewards for our participation, when really the rewards themselves are just more marketing tools.

    • I said it a post above but I don’t think the rewards are geared towards the “casuals” as you put them, because why would they care about the first reward at all? I can’t imagine they’d even watch it.
      The in-game sigil is a different story but it’s still just a picture you put on a piece of cloth on a digital stick. 

    • I think “insulting” is a little much.  Sadly, this sort of thing is the reality of the current times of “viral” “marketing”: it costs them nothing and gains them a small amount of hype and publicity.  Until people stop hitting the like button we’re going to see this stuff forever.

    • Why don’t you just deal with it and let the people who enjoy this kind of PR stuff do their thing.  If you don’t like it just chill the hell out.  

  4. I’ve been talking about D3 since the announcement in 2008, to people that care about the series…  and to plenty of people who don’t.  Between chats with friends and coworkers, effbook posts to everyone and no one, even name drops and discussions of game mechanics with random clerks in grocery stores and ordering food…  that’s nearly four years of free marketing, Bliz. 

      • Heh.  I thought about writing something about not being a whiny, entitled fanboy.  …Now I don’t know why I refrained.

        I guess my point was only that the people who are hyped about D3 have had plenty of time to do all the free promotion Blizzard is now asking of them.  For them to ask now is….  maybe on the same level of handing out a mere eight beta keys this week.  In other words, I personally find their recent tactics to be low class and disrespectful.

        • But Blizzard can get away with it, ’cause the hardcore loyalist like us is going to buy the game anyway haha… 😛

  5. Why don’t they publicise more aggressively? ‘Cause I’m not going to do the job for them. I’m a consumer. What is this, some sort of sect, or what? Unbelievable!!

  6. Guys, it’s time to get serious about this. If you don’t like them on Facebook, they will hold back those wallpapers forever.

    • Actually, I find this to be rather true. 
      Anyone in the know about how soon before a game or expansion release we typically see television or Internet advertisements?  I’d expect something soon.

      • The final reward is a trailer for the game, and it appears to be one that won’t have material in the game itself.

        The Ghosts of the Past trailer for SC2 was super spoilery, too, so maybe they can avoid that this time. 

  7. Pass me the bucket, what a vomit-inducing post. 

    This is firmly down there with what some of the two-bit websites did to distribute beta keys.  I never thought I’d see the day Blizzard force fed syrup down the community’s neck in order to coerce them into marketing the fuck out of one of their games.

    They squeeze out beta keys like some constipated banker and then expect the same mugs who failed to enjoy the slightest morsal of beta access to help with viral marketing of the same game.

    I hope he felt dirty after typing that one – I did just reading the damn thing.

    • Yes.

      Hey Blizz, if I had access to your game, I might be able to tell people how awesome it is. But I don’t. WTB open beta plz.

    • I don’t understand.  Blizzard and ALL developers do this PR crap all the time.  Deal with it.  Hopefully you didn’t have a heart attack after pressing Post Comment. 

    • I wonder if enough people could dislike their FB to get it down to below 2 million 🙂  It’s not as if we would miss anything as it’s all reported here anyway. Just for the hell of it i have unliked it.

  8. Flux is right, Blizzard has done this before even ingame at wow and your likes does not mean practically anything. It is all timed events +/-1 day at most.

  9. OMG, cant believe id see this day, 21st century sucks so far…. blizzard now is evil and only wants your money, definitely (damm word had to look whos written xd) they sold their soul to the capitalism when they trown those guys from the D2-era away… THEY WANTED TO REWRITE D3 FROM SCRATCH SO IT COULD BE A MONEY-MAKER MACHINE !!!! and so trew away the old d3project staff. i suppose they also gave them some money to buy their silence, but hey, given the chance id take the money and shut my mouth… man theres a whole global economic crisis out here in europe and things are gettin bad.
    So to sum up, the more i read the less im beeing inclined to buy the D3, not the CE at least for sure.

    • Yeah your right. Bliz should stop try to make so much money, they should fire the thousands of employes they have and only keep a handful to make games…
      Please, Blizzard is no where near as bad as EA or even their partners over at Activision.  Yeah, so what they have an online marketing campaign that relays on the consumers to spread the word free of charge.  If you ran the company you would do the same thing,  its free advertising.  You would have to be a moron to pass up that.  If you don’t want to participate then don’t.   Your not going to miss much.

      • Why do you even dignify these tools with an answer? Let them live in their lala land in which people do things because of pure goodness in their hearts. As long as Blizzard keeps the quality of their games high i wish them to make all the money in the world.

  10. “Tempted though I am by the opportunity to devote hours of my free time the viral marketing of Diablo III…”
    Silly bear, you been marketing for them for the last 15 years.  Even though you be banished from the dinner table you’re still washing the dishes. >:P  

  11. 1.Start Open Beta and give out keys to everyone.
    2. Every one including their great grand-mother will be quitting their day jobs to play.
      No but seriously, even providing keys to those who pre-ordered would be awesome, or some sort of multiplayer demo.That would do SO MUCH MORE in terms of marketing.People would be more willing to if they are \involved\ in it somehow(playing the actual game, showing it to friends and family). It is so much more powerful, god knows why they don’t want to do that.

    • Do you know how many have pre-ordered the game?  In the US alone it’s almost 554,000.  I am guessing world wide it has to be close to a million (if not more)  If you want to include WoW annual passes it looks more like 2 million. That’s not beta numbers that’s stress test numbers.  Most stress tests happen about 2 to 3 weeks before the game comes out.

  12. i read that whole thing, and all i got out of it was “Here at Blizzard we need help to advertise our game from people that have nothing to do with the company.”

  13. It’s obvious to me too.
    But I don’t mind, I keep reminding me Blizzard is a BIG corp and this is the marketing department strategy. The PR just do their job at executing orders. It doesn’t matter to me, this is not Jay Wilson behind this and therefore so far has no influence on my view of what matters at Blizzard, their dev department.
    I just ignore it.

  14. Typo that has been annoying the f*ck out of me

    “Tempted though I am by the opportunity to devote hours of my free time the viral marketing of Diablo III… ”
    …of my free time TO the viral…

    The Eye of Sauron

    • I went and fixed it just for you.

      Amusing part is how many drafts I did trying to strike the right tone on this post. 95% of updates here I type as fast as my fingers can go. This one I was all, “mustn’t be too sarcastic or snarky, to let the PR guy’s words speak for themselves.” That and it was like the 12th news item within 18 hours, so it seemed more momentous, for some reason.

  15. I remember when all you had to do to support your favorite game was to buy it. Now with “social marketing” we are doing their job for them by getting people interested. You want me to promote your game? Hire me and pay me. If you want people to buy your game, make it so good that gamers can’t afford to miss it.

  16. I’m fine with advertising and whatnot.
    The annoying part is when they try to disguise it as something it’s not when it’s so obvious. The Fry image with “shut up and take my money” really is spot on 🙂


      • Sure, that would be honest at least 😉 But joking aside, your exact statement in bold there is exactly what they are doing, but they are hiding it by saying that somehow our input matters for the uncovering of the banners and whatnot. Which it obviously doesn’t. I would go as far as to say that it’s borderline to false advertising. And that is in turn pretty much an insult to any intelligent person.

        •  None of us can prove that they will unlock these things themselves nor could we prove that the unlockables are unlocked by us.  Only Blizzard knows for sure.  So unless you file a case with the better business bureau and win your claims are just slanderous.

  17. This is the cool info they are planing on releasing to us bit by bit for spamming their PR, is this a joke none of those info bits seem remotely interesting or new

  18. It was 12% yesterday, its 18% now. Somethings wrong, unless the timer is not set for release but maybe 10 days ahead of release?

  19. I bought the game but they can market their game themselves atm (or they should pay me a reasonable hourly rate). If I actually like the game, I can then go on and spread the word. They should just get rid of marketing and communication teams within big corporations and let them do something useful for a change.

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