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Diablo III Beta and Launch Plans

Posted 26 Oct 2011 by

Useful article on IGN today about Blizzard’s plans for ongoing beta updates and timetables. It’s got a number of quotes from Diablo III Senior Producer Alex Mayberry, which cover (vague) details about what we can expect to see in beta patches, ongoing changes to skill swapping, and their plans for patches and content support post-release. A quote:

“Even for future content updates we have the ability to sprinkle more in anywhere we want. You won’t necessarily as a player know what’s new. If you haven’t played enough to see every permutation, it really gives us the ability to have this ongoing new content roll in. We’re still formulating our post-launch plans. We have streaming in the game so it’s much easier for us to add new content. We’ll also be looking at expansions down the road. We have to formulate that plan.” Items will likely be added into the game outside of expansion content as well as the time after launch stretches on.

Many, including myself, were expecting a final release date for Diablo III at BlizzCon. It was previously announced the game would be ready for some time in early 2012, and that still seems to be the case. “The game is complete from a content standpoint. We still have bugs to fix, not a lot, but we still have some. Really it’s about if the Battle.net platform is stable, it’s about making sure our servers are working well, we want to make sure that the online experience is solid. We could have probably made the year, but we all just felt it needed a little bit more. We’ve worked on it so long, we didn’t want to rush it to end and put it out and have people be upset about it. We never look back and think wow, we really should have put that out a month sooner. We never say that. It’s easy to find yourself in a position where you put it out and think wow, we should have held that.”

I guess he’s got a point at the end, there. We’ve all seen games that were released too early and destroyed by it. Less often is a game ruined by the fans having to wait a few months (years/) longer.

And yes, I must quote from every article that mentions beta patches, since the imminence of those was almost the best news I heard at Blizzcon. There hasn’t been a beta patch in a month, and I’d pretty much resigned myself to the beta staying the same until release, without any of the big skill changes they keep talking about for the full game. I’m eager to try out the new design to the Demon Hunter, and yes, I’m still going to post mega reports for the Barb, Monk, and DH. Just as soon as the Blizzcon rush dies down a bit.