In an investor webcast yesterday, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime confirmed that Diablo III would enter a closed beta “later this month,”  though it appears some friends and family may already have access. According to MMOsite, Blizzard has also issued beta invitations to members of variousDiablo/Warcraft fansites. 

If Diablo III releases in December 2011 (as has been speculated for a while now), Blizzard will have had four solid months of beta testing to iron out any major kinks. Beta participants will have access to all five character classes and roughly four hours worth of early-game content. A version of Diablo III’s controversial Auction House, which allows for player-to-player transactions of in-game items, will also be in the beta, though it’s not clear if this feature will be available at launch.

You can join the opt-in pool for the Diablo III beta through Battle.net. If you don’t receive an invitation, you can always keep an eye out for footage and screenshots that will surely flood the Internet over the weeks to come.

Source: MMOsiteBlizzard

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  • gnesterenko - Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - link

    "D3 is not looking good.
    -Constant Internet connection required."
    My refrigerator has an always-on internet connection. Welcome to the 2nd decade of the 21st century.

    -No mod community due to no offline mode.
    OK, I'll give you this one. What mod were you looking for in a point-and-click arcade-style RPG?

    -Bad art direction and overuse of special effects.
    Personal choice, so will give you this one as well... BUT. Have YOU personally seen or played it? Betta graphics/art does not a good game make. Plot and gameplay do that. Try focusing on those. Oh wait, you can't focus on the plot. And gameplay is identical to D1 and D2. So maybe I shouldn't give you this one afterall.

    -Arcade-style health orbs.
    Hmm.. I'm pretty sure Diablo 2 had those as well. Potion clickfest - hmm THAT was the fun part that I remember loving and coming back to Diablo 2 for. /sarcasm

    -No attribute customization.
    Illusion of choice > meaningful choice. I understand. /sarcasm

    -No skill points.
    Illusion of choice > meaningful choice. I understand. /sarcasm

    -Paying real money for game advancement = cheating. "
    go to www.ebay.com. Look for Diablo 2 & "unique item name". See how much they are going for. Then google 'Diablo 2 Items Buy'. My point is - you are barking up the wrong tree. Paying real money for game advancement has been a part of Diablo since Battle.Net came online. They just changed the venue. Sounds like you preferred the old venue because it wasn't right in front of your face? Here's an idea. Avert your eyes. Done.

    All these complaints I keep reading over and over and over have ZERO to do with what made Diablo universe so great - the story, the game play, the thrill of seeing an orange item drop from a boss kill. Lets take a look at Diablo 3. Story? (probably) check. Game play? Check. Uniques? Double-plus-check. Either grow up or don't buy the game. VERY simple.

    Posting from work, so need this disclaimer:
    "The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."
    Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Wednesday, September 7, 2011 - link

    gnesterenko,

    -You apparently can't see the value of an offline mode, and associate it with cheating. Look around; nobody is saying they want an offline mode so they can cheat. Reliable internet access isn't in all parts of the world. It may be on your fridge, but is it in all countries? Or remote places in the US? Or if you go on a business trip, do you necessarily have internet access where you stay? And aside from access, do you get the same lag-free experience online as offline? (hint, the answers are no, no, no, no.) This has nothing to do with wanting to cheat.

    -Ahnilated said "If you thinks a 200-300ms ping is ok to play a game then you are too old and slow." You respond "This isn't an FPS where 10ms difference..." Why are you talking about 10ms? He said 200-300ms. Your response doesn't even make sense. 200-300ms indeed makes a huge difference in any realtime game.

    -You're wrong again: D2 did not have arcade-style health orbs. Potions that regenerate life are very different, and are used commonly in medieval worlds.

    -I'm not looking for any particular mod. But mods are great, and I love playing what the creative community comes up with.

    -Attribute and skill customization is not an illusion of choice. It's a real choice. You can invest in more strength to wear higher defense armor, or you can increase your hit points. Dex buys blocking, attack accuracy, defense, and the ability to equip some weapons. Boosting mana lets you cast expensive spells more repetitively. There are all sorts of trade offs. If you can't recognize that, it's due to your own lack of awareness. I've probably created 30 D2 characters in the last 10 years.

    -Call it "changing the venue of cheating" if you want. The problem is, it's making cheating part of the game, while not even calling it cheating.

    -This all doesn't have "ZERO to do with what made Diablo universe so great". The atmosphere of D1 made it great; D3's art direction kills that. LAN/offline made it great; laggy online-only kills that for some people. A thousand combinations of class building made it great; having no skill/attribute customization hurts that.
    Reply
  • Degrin - Thursday, September 15, 2011 - link

    D3 is looking great!

    -Constant Internet connection will help combat cheating and piracy. Little to no downside since beta testers have already reported that the server lag that existed to in D2 is basically non-existant D3. The number of gamers without a net connection is so small that the benefits of this outweigh the costs.

    -No mods is really a preference. I happen to prefer no mods as long as the standard UI is good. Mods open too many doors to cheaters, which can be a HUGE problem as we saw with D1 and D2. Then Blizz has to dedicate time and money to combat mod exploits and such. Also, D3 is a rather "simple" and "arcade style" game when compared to something like WOW. So custom UI mods are not as beneficial.

    -Bad art? Not sure where you are getting that from...

    -Overuse of special effects...on some skills I may agree with you, but id have to play the game to make a judgement on this one.

    -Health orbs....oh yes this is terrible, You are so right, I would much rather be spamming pots with my number keys... /sarcasm.

    -No attribute customization, this was pretty cookie cutter in D2. Sure it was exciting to get new points when you level up, but eventually it just became a chore to pump attributes every level.

    -No skill points. Again, skill points end up being cookie cutter. Now you dont need to re-roll every time you want to try a new build. Now you can be inventive and try new builds that may work or be fun to play. In D2, you had to reroll a whole character to do this. Come to think of it...this alone gets me excited about the game.

    -Paying real money for in-game advancement. This can't be avoided...period. The only true way to combat this is to make items BOE. This just isn't the Diablo model. RMAH will not be as bad as everyone is making it out to be because it will be available to everyone. As long as drop rates are done right, the demand on the AH will HEAVILY outweigh the supply keeping scarcity and therefore prices high.
    Reply
  • junk430 - Sunday, September 4, 2011 - link

    Gaming people hear us. I represent your educated target audience. We don't like where things are going. We don't want to pay $60 for a game like these with no community support, wants us to pay for upgrades, be online to play, been thrown together and feel like the #1 deciding factor in the development of the game is it's revenue/risk ratio.
    We want a game that continues to offer value beyond the initial purchase. Sadly I feel the golden age for the user comunity has set for major titles. Half Life was the apex and we are now on the right hand side of the bell curve. Think about the value that game has given us. The studios only see "look how much profit we missed out on by letting the mod comunity give away stuff built on top of our game".
    I'm posting on my iPhone and kind of ran out of steam for my rant... And knowing it falls on deaf ears. What ever... This is why I buy so few games in the past couple years. I think the COD games really pushed it over the top. In years past the "new" COD games would be add on packs, xbox even got us used to paying $20 for a map pack! As I was typing this I was thinking about what I have purchased and enjoyed lately and almost all the titles have been indy or small house games. Torch Light, space pirates and zombies, cut the rope, dungeon 1/2 come to mind. I've also enjoyed many of the $1-5 games I've got on my iPhone.
    One thing about Diablo, why didn't they milk us for more expansion packs? They could have taken me to the BANK on these! I would have happily bought every pack they felt like putting out! They really missed a cash cow there.
    Reply
  • jimhsu - Monday, September 5, 2011 - link

    The new Deus Ex and Skyrim (hopefully) are exceptions (to the idea that all blockbusters these days are generic rehashes), but I do emphasize with your point. Unfortunately as the Escapist explains it in a series of videos, it's less than "there are no new ideas out there" then "publishers simply can't, from a profitability aspect, take risks with new games that allows the type of games we saw in the 90s and early 00's". The economics of game development nowadays doesn't allow for that type of risk-tasking we saw, with developing teams ballooning into the hundreds and production budgets comparable to major Hollywood movies.

    TL;DR: So yes, the next frontier is indie games. It remains to be seen whether big-budget studios will take the successful ideas from those (e.g. Minecraft) and build something around it.
    Reply
  • ascian5 - Sunday, September 4, 2011 - link

    I understand the hate on auction houses, but are people just completely in the dark on D2? Online sites selling items were EVERYWHERE. Everything people are complaining that auction houses will ruin, was and is completely available in D2.

    While bringing it to the mainstream will certainly make such item procurement more mainstream.... it seems like a necessary evil to me. There are plenty of free2play games that have similar systems in place, and by legitimizing it and keeping a form of control and security in place, it seems like the right direction to me.

    Heaven forbid a company make money on the product they produce. I don't understand this "universal constant" that gamers seem to apply to companies. i.e. "In the past we've only had to buy 1 product for X amount and that's the way it always has to be." As a consumer, I hate opening my wallet as much as the next guy, or more as my wife would say, but seriously... grow up.

    There are certainly a plethora of instances where companies purposefully milk this evolving business model *cough* Capcom *cough* but that doesn't mean we need to cry foul over any instance where we are given the OPTION to spend more on a product. That's not even getting into instances where extra content would previously have been omitted, eternally left on the cutting room floor, or never even produced in the first place.

    As for the online connectivity... I just don't have sympathy for people complaining about this here. For another game, in other circumstances, sure, OK. But if you're not playing Diablo as an online-multiplayer game... you're not playing Diablo.
    Reply
  • ascian5 - Sunday, September 4, 2011 - link

    Terribly worded post, forgive me. Silly cell phones wreak havoc on my ability to type legible sentences. Reply
  • LordanSS - Monday, September 5, 2011 - link

    I am going to comment only on your online connectivity, make this short(er).

    I started out playing Diablo 1 with my friends, back in the late 90s. We'd all connect to Battle.net and play together. Back then, B.net worked mostly as a lobby of sorts, allowing the players to easily connect to each other. Considering all we had was dialup back in those days (at least here), it worked fine.

    Then came Diablo 2... and for me and my friends, playing online through B.Net was no longer a possibility. Since, apparently, the traffic between the clients now had to go through their servers, it added crazy lag/latency to our games, making it unplayable. Thankfully, we had the option to directly connect, in-game, using our IP addresses, which allowed us to play together once again (mostly) fine.

    That's not going to happen with Diablo 3, though. Everything being through B.Net now, and the way it's set up... not going to work. For customers in the US and most European countries, I suppose it wouldn't be an issue. But for the likes of me, living in South America, with no local servers (and even if we did have servers here, depending on their location, performance would be very poor due to bad Internet infrastructure) makes it a no go.

    I suppose, this time, and and my friends won't be trying this one... besides, I think this style of game has long lost it's appeal to most of us anyways, heh.
    Reply
  • LazyBoyTony - Monday, September 5, 2011 - link

    Its not going to be an issue with Broadband. A 200-300ms ping to the USA is plenty fine for online play.

    At least with battle.net play you don't have to deal with cheaters with server charactors.
    Reply
  • Ahnilated - Monday, September 5, 2011 - link

    If you thinks a 200-300ms ping is ok to play a game then you are too old and slow. People can run into a room and have rounds on the way to you in that amount of time before you even see them. Reply

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