What We’ve Learned: January 2010 in Review


We continue/resume our monthly reviews of the Diablo 3 news with January, 2010. The year began slowly, with v1.13 testing on the PTR, but little in the way of Diablo 3 news. Things picked up with the first reveal of DiabloWikiInstability and some titillating news about the “naked” female wizard in the mid-month, but things didn’t really start cooking until late in the month, when the female Monk concept reveal drew near, and fans began churning out female monk concept art at a blistering pace.  Especially considering the total lack of prizes for contests featuring their work here or on the B.net forums.

Here’s the start of January’s news; click through to recap the whole month and see/remember how this year began. February, March, and April will follow shortly.

January 2010 in Review

The year started off with a whimper, with nothing but the ongoing, largely-disinterested play testing of the v1.13 patch to occupy fans. When Bashiok made his first appearance of the year it was obvious that he’d recharged his snark over the holidays, and he let loose on overpowered Monks, Blizzard vaporware, and more on the 5th, then followed that up with more sarcasm on the 6th about the evils of Activision and why expansion characters will (not) suck.

The 5th brought the first “real” info of the new year, courtesy of Diablo’s Facebook page, where a short and tempting update was given about progression in the Monk’s resource system. This was also the first reveal of “DiabloWikiInstability” as the name of the Wizard’s resources system, and the post touched off a large resource system debate amongst content-starved fans.

 

More good info came on the 7th, when Bashiok addressed the issue of Fury generation in a brand new game. How’s a Barbarian to get going, when he needs to hit stuff to do so…. especially in PvP, when his enemies have an advantage in the early going?

The 12th brought news that the Legacy Team had met and decided to further develop the v1.13 patch; news that most fans greeted with joy, since the consensus was that v1.13a had not sufficiently addressed the game problems or added anything new (of note) to the game. Ultimately fans were disappointed, since the additional changes were deemed insufficient by most.

News lulled (which is not the same thing as lol’ed) during the second week of January, with no blue forum posts until the 14th, when Bashiok made some comments on Witch Doctors and Waypoints.  He followed those up on the 16th with short hits on the size of the D3 Team and the development process of the female Monk; a character design that would become a major topic of conversation later in the month.

The 15th brought an interesting tidbit, when some fans noticed that Blizzard had ret-conned some of the dates and events on their official Diablo world timeline. They were presumably changing previous events to better fit the plot events of Diablo 3, but the changes weren’t specific enough to give any hints as to what they might be up to.

The 20th brought some word-based amusement, thanks to Bashiok’s comments about the “naked” female wizard. Her new outfit was further detailed and visualized in a follow up post on the 21st.

The 23rd brought up an issue that gets an amazing amount of discussion, considering that virtually no one wants to see it; guns in Diablo 3.

http://diablo.incgamers.com/gallery/data/501/medium/Female_monk_by_hunajakoiso.jpg
The 26th kicked off a few weeks of female Monk hysteria. Fans had been turning out female Monk concept art for months, since (just) the male DiabloWikiMonk was revealed in August 2009, at BlizzCon. In retrospect it’s obvious that Blizzard had planned this out in advance, since they knew the Jace Hall Show was going to reveal her look. The fun started on the 26th, when Bashiok announced the female Monk FanArt Challenge, a non-test that invited fans to submit their speculative pieces of concept art for the female Monk. Nearly 40 pieces were ultimately submitted, all of which we presented in one, two posts. Fan voting was opened a week later, with the final five posted a couple of weeks after that. Bashiok never returned to post news about the winner, leaving fans to click through to the thread once the voting closed, if they wanted to find out who won.

A better organized female Monk concept art contest was held here on Diii.net. We started our tournament several days before Bashiok announced Blizzard’s, and ours featured the nine best fan submissions, with three finalists taking on the official artwork, once it was revealed, in February.

The 27th brought some fierce debate over a fairly absurd question, “Is D3 the new Duke Nukem?” Most fans gave an emphatic “No!” but a few did point out that D3 has been under development since 2001, albeit with a total team change over and restart in 2005. Which means the game will be ten+ years in development by the time it’s released.

The 28th brought us closer to the female Monk reveal and some real game content, with the premiere of season three of the Jace Hall show, and footage of their visit to Blizzard’s offices. More was promised for the next week, when we would indeed finally see the female Monk.

  • All of January 2010’s interviews and major media.
  • All of January 2010?s news headlines.
  • Or head back to December 2009 in review.

 

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