Archive for September, 2011

Diablo 3 releases in 2012 (official)

OK, we’ve suspected this for a bit... Blizzard’s Ron Pardo has been spinning the truth for the last few months. They really wanted to release in 2011 but… (fill in the blank).

It’s now official: Diablo 3 is postponed for early 2012:

HELL FREEZES OVER — DIABLO® III TO SHIP IN EARLY 2012

Despite a sterling record of always hitting its release targets, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that the expected launch window for Diablo® III, the next title in the company’s critically acclaimed series of action role-playing games, will be moving into early 2012.

That’s the BAD news. Is there any good news? Well, the play test has been extended and additional beta invites will be sent out. In addition, I expect that the open beta will last A BIT LONGER as well.

Diablo 3 Skeleton King gameplay video

I checked Gamespot’s coverage for Diablo 3 and there was a video called something like “two friends looking for the Skeleton King“.

If you think the title is bad, you should’ve seen the video! Ten minutes of mindless dungeon crawling with NO actual sighting of the Skeleton King.

So if you are interested in the Skeleton King, check out the video below. If you only care of the King, fast-forward to 22:00.

I am a bit disappointed with the boss fight. The mercenary was able to tank the Skeleton King with no issues. The adds that the King summoned died in 3 strikes. The whole fight lasted a minute. I hope other bosses are more of a challenge.

Diablo 3 Demon Hunter revamp

Diablo 3 Demon Hunter was announced last, so it stands to reason that it is the archetype in most need of fine-tuning. After all, the Barbarian is almost identical to it’s Diablo 2 counterpart. The Wizard looks very similar as well.

Blizzard, however, has been sending mixed signals when it comes to the scope of the changes to class – as a result of user feedback during the closed beta.

First, they said that the Demon Hunter is all fine and dandy and that the only changes will be to the skill unlocks:

We’re not overhauling the class, just changing up what skills unlock at which levels and fixing some of their resource starvation issues. It’s easy to change this kind of stuff. Spreadsheet stuff.

However, on the Italian Battle.net forum, they posted:

We are radically changing the resource management of the Demon Hunter, including changes to unlocking skills, use of resources and more. (Translated)

I think both of these could actually be true.

The demon hunter is the only class where the player has to manage two resources at the same time: hatred and discipline.

In an ideal world, it could have worked but when you consider everyone of the other character has a single resource, you realize that might be a losing battle for the game designers. There will be pressure from players to see a streamlined character.

There have been enough complaints already from beta testers about the healing orbs falling too far away for ranged characters, requiring constant going back and forth. So you add dual resource management to the health management issues already present, it becomes a bit too much.

Diablo 3 character skill calculator

Lately, Blizzard have been doing a pretty good job of adding info about Diablo 3 beta. I guess their marketing department woke up and saw that the site is a bit short actual info on classes. Background for each class is all fine and dandy but I couldn’t care less where the Witch Doctor comes from … marshes of Zanzibar is fine by me.

So imagine my surprise when Blizzard announced they’ve updated the site with an actual skill calculator! The design is pretty good and you can really see what the 700 skills are all about.

The bad news is the skill system has been radically changed from Diablo 2. You can have up to 6 skills in total. In addition, there are 3 passive skills but frankly, 6 action skills looks VERY limiting.

Now, in Diablo 2, you could put a point in some skills and use it only occasionally. Now, you must think long and hard before committing to a skill, because you only get 6!

Diablo 3 beta system requirements

The system requirements for Diablo 3 beta have been made public. Remember, there is no guarantee that if you meet them (and have filled in the Beta profiler), you will get an invitation for the open beta.

MINIMUM SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS

PC system requirements
OS: Windows® XP/Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 (Latest Service Packs) with DirectX® 9.0c
Processor: Intel Pentium® D 2.8 GHz or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 4400+
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT or ATI Radeon™ X1950 Pro or better

Mac system requirements
OS: Mac® OS X 10.6.8 or newer | Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT or ATI Radeon™ HD 2600 or better

All Platforms
HD Space: 12 GB available HD space | Memory: 1 GB RAM| Internet: Broadband Internet
connection | Display: 1024×768 minimum display resolution

RECOMMENDED SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS

PC system requirements
OS: Windows Vista®/Windows® 7 (Latest Service Packs) | Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
or AMD AthlonTM 64 X2 5600+ 2.8 GHz | Memory: 2 GB RAM | Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 260 or
ATI Radeon™ HD 4870 or better

Mac system requirements
OS: Mac® OS X 10.7 or newer | Processor: Intel® Core 2 Duo | Memory: 2 GB RAM
Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 330M or ATI Radeon™ HD 4670 or better

These specs hold true for the beta only but I expect that a similar setup (especially the recommended one) will be perfectly adequate for the Diablo 3 release.

Diablo 3 beta video (streaming)

As you know, the closed Diablo 3 beta has started for some LUCKY game journalists and all Blizzard employees (about 5000). Btw, if you know a Blizzard employee, page him because he has additional invites for family and friends.

For the rest us, we could follow several beta testers feeds that provide streaming video as they play. The quality is not superb but you can get a pretty good idea of what’s happening. Ignore the coala at the start… (imagine it’s a panda, i don’t care).

I have two channels so far that have more than a character selection video:
http://www.twitch.tv/fluddastud/videos
http://www.justin.tv/wigens

Official Blizzard Quote:

FYI, we’re getting very close to starting the closed public beta test for Diablo III. You might start seeing some new reports about the beta client as we’ve begun limited external testing with employees and their families, and there is no non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for that. We look forward to sharing more info about the beta test in the near future. Stay tuned.

If you have a beta license, you are free to show, share, or talk about any portion of the beta content to which you have access, as this beta test is not confidential.




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