Monday, May 16, 2011

Diablo 3 Beta Release Date Revealed

There has been speculation as to when we should expect Blizzard Entertainment to announce when they shall begin the Diablo 3 closed beta. I'm sure a lot of people on MMOwned view the Diablo 3 forums on a regular basis, but if you don't that's why I'm bringing this announcement to the surface. 

A Blizzard Entertainment employee/blue posted saying they expected the games beta testing to commence somewhere between July 1st and September 30th! This date was confirmed by "Bashiok" on the Diablo 3 General Forums. This was on the US Forums, for clarification. Bashiok quoted,

The 3rd quarter reference in the earning's call today was a calendar quarter, meaning that we're aiming to launch the Diablo III beta between July 1st and September 30th. Keep in mind that it's our current goal, and of course that can change as development continues
As he or she was saying, this date is subject to change depending on the development of the game. They have confirmed that there is already internal testing going on which is called the alpha testing which will lead to the highly anticipated closed beta.

For those of us that live within the United States, this release date means that students/employees will get a chance to play during the Summer! I can't confirm that the beta release is the same for those of you that live in Europe.

Here is another quote from Christian Lichtner, he is the Art Director for the D3 development team. He is the co-founder of a comic/art company called "Liquid".

There will be a closed beta. I can say that. We definitely will have that. It’s incredibly important for us to get feedback from people. You know, we only want to put a game out there when it’s done. For example, when ''World of Warcraft'' had its really long beta, everyone thought it was madness. It was like “Who’s gonna buy this game? People have been playing it for free for months!” And all it did was make the game better. We need it. We need people playing the game and giving feedback, so we can make the game better.
That quote was produced during an interview at Blizzard Entertainment's: Blizzcon 2010.

To reinforce Bashiok's statement about the beta date being subjective, here is a quote fromThomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer and acting Chief Financial Officer for Blizzard Entertainment. This is from an Activision/Blizzard Conference Call.

D3 development continues to go well, and we’re very excited about the game... I’m looking forward to sharing more news about the game, and our upcoming beta, during the next conference call.
With that announcement from Tippl, it's now known that release dates are very subjective. If his prediction was to be correct, then the Diablo 3 beta would be being released this month, during Q1 (Quarter 1).

Everyone is probably curious as to what to expect out of the Diablo 3 beta, so here is a quote from Bashiok on what to expect when the Diablo 3 beta invites surface:

You’ve actually seen some of the first three Acts already, and we probably won’t be revealing too much more than what we’ve already shown. We really want to try to keep as much a surprise for you when you play through the game the first time as possible. We will be announcing all of the game systems though before beta, so there are a few things left as far as reveals go. While beta will obviously be a lot of fun, should you get the chance to get in and help test, it’ll only be a small part of the whole game. Some people want to know everything, but we’re really trying to preserve the surprise and wonderment (that we hope will come with exploring Diablo III) as much as possible.
I can verify that that quote is true, as I went to Blizzcon 2009/2010 and I can confirm that they allowed us to play the first 3 acts and we also got to play some pvp. They allowed for you to play the acts in 2009 and then they allowed for you to play some pvp in 2010. They had computers that you walked to after you tested the game, and allowed you to give feedback on what you thought, so hopefully those helped in the development of what it is today.

Blizzard has been very careful with what gets leaked out to the public on the development game, or what the public gets to test out. They really want this game to be the one that saves the company, and brings back the Blizzard name. They are wanting to keep the game a surprise for those that remember the Diablo 2 storyline and have been idly waiting for Diablo 3.

Diablo 3 beta will be available to everyone who is currently registered with and has filled out their beta profiles. They will treat it the same way as they did during Wrath of the Lich King beta testing, they are going to randomly choose various amounts of people to test. Which brings me to remind you guys to keep your accounts secure during the release of the Diablo 3 beta, as you will probably get a lot of fake beta invites from people trying to gain access to your account.

For those of you who don't know how to sign up for Blizzard's beta's, here is how you're going to go about getting yourself prepared to hopefully receive an email from them.

Blizzard Support

That is the method used to sign up for Blizzard beta opportunities, good luck on getting in!

My Opinion

There has been harsh judgements on the game and many of the people who playe Diablo 2 are weary of what is to come of Diablo 3. In my opinion, Blizzard has high expectations of its loyal Diablo player base, so in the end they will probably keep the game as close to Diablo 2 as much as possible. They have announced at Blizzcon 2010 (Which I attended) that they plan to look more into PVE for Diablo 3, which is definitely to tend to the casuals. Diablo is known for its fast action paced and speed of play, people need to know it's not an MMO, it's a breed of its own and hopefully the company keeps it that way. You are probably going to see all the WoW heads move to Diablo 3 as they didn't cling to Starcraft 2. That is my opinion, and my own suspicions.

Thanks for reading!

Sources: - English Forums -> 3rd Quarter
Diablo 3 Beta - Diablo Wiki
Blizzard Support
BlizzCon 2011
Diablo III

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