What We’ve Learned: March 2010 in Review


March 2010 was a very busy month for news, thanks to numerous Bashiok forum posts, a couple of useful interviews, and a plentitude of tasty new eye candy. Controversy and debate were in attendance as well, of course, and the following news wrap up never misses a chance to point those two horsemen out.  Read on for the first few days of the month, and click through to see the full 31 day wrap up.

March 2010 in Review

The fun began on March 2nd, when one of those obscure, wiki-style “post your own gaming news” sites put up an uninformed article postulating that Diablo 3 might be released in 2010. Since past announcements from Blizzard had ruled out this possibility, Diii.net posted a fairly scathing editorial about this sort of misleading “journalism” which touched off a fair fan conversation.

The 3rd brought one of the bigger tempests in a teapot yet measured during Diablo 3’s development, courtesy of the “gay” male wizard. The male wizard was playable at Blizzcon in 2009, and no one at that show took any special notice of his appearance. That changed in early March, when Blizzard added the in-game animation of the character to their website, and legions of fans choose to take great offense at what they thought was his effeminate, passive, wimpy appearance. A pushback kicked in the next day from fans who said the initial haters were being silly. The public pulse was best checked by a public vote on Diii.net which found… just about equal numbers of pro and con voters, with very few undecided voters.

 

On the 3rd Bashiok returned to a topic that had been much discussed in February: Bind on Equip items. Which might also be Bind on Account or Bind on Pickup, depending on how Blizzard decides to work it in Diablo 3. Fan opinions remain hugely mixed.

The least happy news on the 3rd was Blizzard’s confirmation of the first working hack against the Blizzard Authenticator.

March 5th brought some non-Blizzard news of note, when EA fired the company heads of Infinity Ward, producers of the mega-selling Modern Warfare 2. Worrisome parallels to Activision’s ownership of Blizzard were drawn, perhaps unnecessarily, as Blizzard’s founders are said to retain ownership of their IPs in a way that would preclude Activision from kicking them to the curb.


March 10th brought an interesting discussion, when an article on Diii.net focused attention on the “mysterious” burning tower, a structure seen in the background of artwork featuring the Monk and Barbarian. The structure is shown clearly enough that it must represent something important; whether from the undisclosed plot of Diablo 3, or another unknown scene from the world lore.

Bashiok returned to beat an old, but never-quite dead horse on the 12th, when class-specific weapons became the topic of the day. Much more came in follow up a few days later.

The 12th brought a rare non-Blizzcon interview of anyone in any way connected to Diablo 3, as Blizzard composer Russel Brower spoke to CVG about their game music, including some mentions of Diablo 3.

Another interview came on the 13th, when Rob Pardo spoke about lessons Blizzard has learned from their game design mistakes. Two examples from Diablo 2 were presented as the “before” part of the equation; problems that were fixed in WoW.

Bashiok was busy all month, but on the 16th he shared some notable info about the design goals for Diablo 3’s trading system and auction house. Specifics remain to be revealed, of course.

The 17th brought us some fresh Jay Wilson comments, albeit babel-fish translated ones from a presentation on Diablo 3 from a Chinese tech conference.

There were boobs on the 18th, when the topic of discussion turned to the female Witch Doctor, who some fans feel is too “sexy.” The issue isn’t her appearance per se, but is more about the issue of eye candy vs. realism in the game.

March 23rd saw a return to Diablo 2, as the v1.13 patch went live on Battle.net. Early player reactions were largely positive.

The 23rd brought new visuals and debate, as the female Witch Doctor’s in-game animated model was added to Blizzard’s official page.  Unlike the unfortunate male wizard, she was received warmly by a majority of fans

. There were five new screenshots added as well, though they were more from the same ancient, pre-Blizzcon 2009 batch.

Blizzcon 2010 was announced on the 25th; mark your calendars for October 22-23, at the Irvine Convention Center.

The 27th brought another hot topic of debate, when the issue of paying for beta test access popped up. Blizzard has not done this in the past or given any indication that they will in the future, and when Diii.net ran a vote to determine public sentiment on this issue, the strong majority of fans indicated that they were entirely opposed to paying for such access. Whether all those people could really pass up the chance to get access to Diablo 3 several months early… remains to be seen.

The month wrapped up with another Bashiok forum post, this one about DiabloWikiWizards, mana and DiabloWikiInstability.

  • All of March 2010’s interviews and major media.
  • All of March 2010?s news headlines.

 

Tagged As: | Categories: Diabloii.Net Columns

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