The Diablo III Beta Has Officially Ended


Blizzard announced the end time yesterday, and 3am PDT has come and gone, and with it the DiabloWikiDiablo III Beta. I saw a lot of comments from players who said they’d uninstalled it days ago, to give them a longer break between Beta and Final, but that wasn’t my path. For me, knowing that the beta was about to end motivated me to get in my last licks, and I actually played more the past couple of days than I had in the previous month. Elly and me even recorded two full two-player clears that we’re calling “playcasts” as they were half play through, half podcast. Look for one or both of those in the days to come, just when you start to itch from withdrawal.

Whatever complaints you might have had about it, we can all agree that the Diablo III beta was full of surprises. It certainly wasn’t the beta many of us expected, and probably wasn’t what Blizzard expected either. When it began last September, the official plan was still to push for a December 2011 release, and Blizzard had repeatedly told us they wanted a quick beta with limited content that would function chiefly as a Battle.net stress test.

Obviously, that didn’t happen. Twice during the beta, Blizzard announced that Diablo III had missed a release window, but at least we could see what they were working on, as the beta underwent massive content changes over the months. These included the introduction of the entirely new DiabloWikiskill and DiabloWikirune system, numerous changes to DiabloWikicrafting and DiabloWikiArtisans, a full makeover of the character DiabloWikiinterface and DiabloWikiattribute system, several complete rebalances of the game difficulty, and much more. (Remember DiabloWikigold pets? The DiabloWikiCauldron of Jordan? The DiabloWikiNephalem Cube?)

The amount of testers was a surprise as well. Far from being a quick short test with a rapidly-increasing number of players, the Diablo 3 Beta started small and stayed that way for months. It began as a friends and family test back in August, and scaled up very slowly, remaining basically a glorified F&F all through 2011. More invites finally started to trickle out in early 2012, but even then it was just a few hundred here and there, mostly via contests. Not until the second week of April did we the number of testers finally begin to scale up dramatically, with 275,000 added from Battle.net account opt-ins, a glorious event occurred more than seven months into the beta test.

The biggest event came a week and a half ago, when the open beta weekend let everyone who hadn’t played yet (and who could slay the tech dragon that is the new Blizzard B.net launcher) got their chance on the realms. Well over 200,000 games and 500,000 players were online simultaneously during that event, and Blizzard seemed pleased with it from a tech fix aspect, as they crammed as many players as possible onto just one North American server. The full worldwide launch will feature additional server capacity in the US, as well as multiple servers in Europe and Asia, and after the last day and a half of the open beta weekend ran smoothly, many players feel fairly confident that launch day won’t be an unplayable traffic jam.

If you haven’t done so already, you should uninstall the Diablo III Beta from your computer before you start installing the full game. The Beta client can not be upgraded to the full game, and you do not want to give the Blizzard Launcher any confusion or potential interference from old game or Battle.net files.

Diablo 3 was Blizzard’s longest-awaited and longest-running beta ever, and Diablo III is the Blizzard title that’s had the longest time between announcement and launch — June 2008 – May 2012.

The Beta is dead. Long live the beta.! Farewell to the Beta, and now that you’re gone…. I miss you already.

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3 Beta, Diabloii.Net Articles

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  1. You keep mentioning launcher problems Flux – but I don’t know how common this actually is. I’ve not had any problems with and of Blizzard’s recent launchers (Windows 7 Pro 64 bit) – apart from the D3 beta one freezing on the ‘Updating system files’ screen, which was solved by just closing it and re-opening…

    Who else on this site actually had launcher problems during the open beta weekend? 

    • I’m guessing you don’t look at the Bliz tech support forum very often?  Posts reporting issues with the launcher make up at least 50% of the posts that get blue replies, and if you look at the actual forum you’ll see dozens and dozens more. It’s a very common problem, for D3 and WoW:Panda beta players.

      http://blues.incgamers.com/Topics/10/1/42/832/

    • The launcher problem seems to be bad news. 2 out of 3 of my friends that got into the beta had big launcher problems.

    • I had issues with it and had to enable Windows XP SP3 compatability on my Win7 Pro 64-bit installation. I played the beta for several months until this happened, so it might have been introduced by any of the patches.

      So yeah, the fact that you don’t see it has no bearing on whether anyone else does. That’s how software issues are.
       

    • I can confirm that what Flux is saying is correct.

      I have been so vocal on bnet the shottyness of things like agent.exe and Mac compatibility (don’t flame, I have 3 Win 7 boxes at home) that I was recently temp-banned because I used the word “damn” (I’m sure that was the technicality that let them send a message to the resident thorn-in-their-side).

      Perhaps Blizzard is getting too big for their shoes, not being able to carry over successful launcher implementation from non-beta WoW… funny, as of yesterday I thought I was Blizzard’s White Knight. 

    • I’m on Windows 7 64bit and it wouldn’t work for me during open beta. It just wouldn’t open, there wasn’t even an error message. Had to run it in Windows XP compatibility mode.
       

  2. The beta servers may be gone, but I can still look at the login screen and DREAM. 

    They can’t take that away from me!   

    • Watch gameplay videos and move your mouse around.  Five mins of that each day should tide you over.

      Great beta, longer than I thought (and hoped it would go on) but even over the 8 months I still enjoyed playing the same stuff last night.  Seen it all umpteen times so it’s testament to the dev team that I hadn’t lost the will to live by that point.

      I said to flux last night in game that I don’t enjoy some games for the first time as much as I’m still enjoying this now.

      • “I don’t enjoy some games for the first time as much as I’m still enjoying this now.”
        Truer words were never spoken.  I have spent more time in the hour and a half beta content then I have spent on any game in years. 
         
        I stopped playing the beta on April 15th.  Here I am half way through the wait and I feel like a junky.  I had to stop myself from trying to load the game up a few times.  Even went so far as deleting the beta a few days ago to make sure I don’t play it.  Now I only have to wait 13 and a half days to get my sausage fingers on my social life doom. 
         
        I will make sure to let all my friends know, if they want to spend time with me it will have to be in the world of Sanctuary.

  3. “Farewell to the Beta, and now that you’re gone…. I miss you already.”

    Awwwww….   that’s cute Flux (but good riddance I say – bring on the real thing!)

  4. I don’t feel special anymore, that sux 🙁

    • guess what! you were never special! just lucky -_- welcome among the normal people real world. Good morning -_-

  5. Welcome in the world of the 99% who weren’t invited into the beta!
    I merely got a handful hours during the open beta weekend.

    Suffer with us until the 15th! 😈  

  6. Finally !!!  Now we can all relax. I am preety pissed I was not invited but wtf – its finally over. Uhaaaa!

  7. “Long live the beta.!”
     
    Fix that dot there 🙂
    But, back to topic. I don’t miss it as I ain’t get in, but at least it’s now gone and release is so damn close.

  8. Enjoyed the beta as one of the 275K but now ready for the real thing…dang students need to finish up their finals early so I can post grades and play…
     
    Mogs

  9. Sign of release?

  10. 14 days to go

  11. Farewell until we meet again.

  12. Had a great time in beta. Cannot wait till the 15th!!

  13. I shared the Beta with 2 firends of mine from my account and between us we clocked well over 100 hours, and played every character up multiple times to see what had changes. Highlights for me were:

    – Introduction of Skill Runes
    – Finding my first Amulat
    – Discovering the monster count increased with several patches

    It’s been a blast Blizzard! I feel I owe you money already as I discovered very few bugs to report.

  14. Haha between two other people you clocked 100 hours, I clocked 38 just over the open beta weekend 😀

  15. Finally the beta is over. I must of played it for like 2 weeks before I got dead bored of it. Seriously, with so many other great games out there, how could some of you be hooked to a beta with such limited content and zero character depth? I’ve been playing Battlefield 3 religiously and will finally take a break on that when D3 releases. Once I get bored of the lack of character customization in D3, I will return to BF3 where I find weapon customizations to be on par with D3’s character customization, lol.

  16. Well written Flux.  It is a little hard to believe we spent so many years waiting for the beta milestone, and now we are on the other side.

    It is strange to think back to some of the features like gold companions.  They didn’t fit in the world of Sanctuary, but they sure make clicking on bookcases more interesting. 

  17. As much as I like Diablo (perhaps not as much as before since priorities for me has changed a bit… married w/kids), the beta didn’t do much for me.  In fact, it probably exacerbated my itch for playing.  I didn’t spend more time on the Beta because it felt like a waste of time due to the fact that it doesn’t count.  I felt like running into a wall (lvl13). 

    Glad I got in the beta back in Jan, so I can’t complain too much about that. 

    One suggestion.  PLEASE change the skill interface.  Just make it a drag/drop function.  Who cannot figure out how to do that nowadays?  I don’t think its necessary force players to use Left mouse as prim attk, right mouse as defenseive attk.. so forth. 

    • Is it really necessary? I believe with elective mode you are able to put whatever skill you fancy in whatever slot you want? I suppose i could even put Call of the Ancients on LMB if I wanted. Maybe i am wrong 🙁

  18. I loved the beta.  
     
    Played through once as barb, that’s all I had time for (open weekend only). Got hooked on it immediately, can’t wait for more.  
     
    I played tonnes of Diablo 1 and 2, I believe the difficulty level in the beta is perfect for the introductory phase of the Normal game.  
     
    Everything just flowed, one can just enjoy the storyline and get used to the mechanics as they blast through waves of enemies. While quite easy, as it should be, I was kept on my toes a couple times, and the fight with SK had an epic feel to it, I had to back off several times and run for health globes.   Regarding all the criticism thrown at the beta and design decisions in general, I think the problem is often with the people themselves – they are just bored, period, and nothing will really please them. I get annoyed when I see these unrealistic expectations, usually coming from people who don’t have Anything else to do for their entire day and expect to get 10,000 hours plus out of a 60 dollar product. I also think anyone who is preparing some \mod\ to make Diablo 3 \look better\ is naive, has ego issues, and is impossible to please. 
     
    I’m glad Blizzard has the strength of character, and the funds, to take a stand against customers like this and say: \We hear you, but we don’t agree.\.      

  19. I’m sure we all will be talking about this time and all the fun it was 10 years from now.

    • 10 years from now Diablo IV will have been in the works for 6+ years and the usuals on this site will be complaining about how D4 will suck compared to D3.

      Just getting this on the books now so that I can reference this for those that are experts at revisionist history.  You all know who you are.

      • IIRC Blizzard said that D3 would be the last of the Diablos in an ARPG format. It was a few good years ago so I really can’t see myself trying to dig that quote. 

        That being said +JW interview on gamesplant about making an expansion only if D3 is successful boils down to the question of money. If D3 is the bomb and the fans want more we will get expansions and maybe even D4.

        edit: I hate this tablet and it’s auto correct. Also the reason I can’t link quote from interview.

  20. Just to be safe and not get any problems on launch day I will format my computer to make sure the launcher is completely gone 🙂

  21. The launcher is a piece of $hit. Thats a fact. There will be miles long whine threads come release if they didnt change something general in that craptastic half-ass retarded updater

  22. Sniff…sniff…tear…goodbye beta!
    Wow, it does seem kinda unreal that release is only 2 weeks away.

  23. Hey Flux, before the 275,000 invite there was a 200,000 invite as well that wasn’t in your post, because that’s when I got in around February.

  24. Around the beginning of March, I got into the BETA by winning a key drawing on VoodooExtreme (bless those guys). The install went fine, with the only problem I encountered was that I had ON AVERAGE a ping of 600-900ms, which made the game pretty crappy to play. After about a week or so of playing the game with unbelievable “rubberbanding” and hit detection, I was about to give up on it but decided to give it one more try. Lo and behold, my average ping hoovered around 40ms and VERY RARELY went above 100ms. It stayed like this until the very end of the beta. I gotta say, I had a hell of a time with the game and am really looking forward to the retail version coming out. True, there are things that I am not too jazzed about with the game, but all in all, I think Blizzard did a fine job with it.  

  25. Or they’ll know who they were at this moment in 10 years.

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