Oh my god …. apparently Diablo 3 has been delayed to Q2 2012 wtf.
We began beta testing for Diablo III last year. After receiving feedback from the community and our internal teams, we have implemented changes to the game which we believe will greatly improve the game experience, and ensure that the final release will live up to our high expectations. We have also been testing the Auction House functionality. This testing will help ensure a smooth roll-out of this feature with the retail launch, so our players can safely and securely trade items with each other.
Given the popularity of the action RPG genre, and the keen interest in Diablo III, we expect this launch to be a big opportunity for Blizzard.We can also confirm that we are targeting a Q2 launch for Diablo III. We expect to announce more details about the release schedule in the coming weeks.
Blizzard had repeatedly said they shouldn’t have debuted it so early in the development cycle, which seems like they wanted it done before 2011. At any rate, their first stated release target was 2011, and when that didn’t happen, Mike Morhaime wrote a letter in which he said “early 2012″ would be it for sure. Sadly, as of yesterday’s conference call the new release target is the second quarter of 2012, which means April, May, or June 2012.
Seems kinda screwed up if you asked me when you consider they kept hyping the fans up, then turned a 180 to tell us it’s our damn faults for getting ourselves excited over nothing, when actually they had been helping stir up the fans as well to begin with. So not only were we let down in 2011, but now in Q1 2012, as the game has yet again been delayed to Q2 2012 ….
This is some of the info the fans managed to wrangle out of Bashiok.
- The Rune system appears to be finished
- We should see the new skill system in an upcoming beta patch
- We will see a some class balance in this patch
- We should expect to get another Jay Wilson article “Soon” with information about the rest of the changes
- There will not be a voice chat built into Diablo 3
- Halls of the dead (for hardcore characters) did not make it in, it’s on their “to do list”
- There will most likely not be any pre-order bonus from blizzard
- Guild features will come after release at some point
- They plan to update and support Diablo 3 for a long time into the future
- They like to keep the level with the content, this means we might see level increases with expansions
- You should be able to understand the story, even if you have not played D1 or D2
- The graphics in the beta are AS IS for retail (AKA no “ultra mode”)
So apparently the rune and skill system is essentially done. Although they may be at the polishing stage yet again to ensure that it’s working as intended, that is my guess. Or maybe Jay Wilson will inform us soon regarding the other changes to give us an idea why they delayed the game even further.
Oh and in regards to Diablo 3 updates, apparently this only covers adding in new items from time to time, not adding in new content which is something that is specific to their monthly subscription game like World of Warcraft. However naturally you would expect more story and levels in the expansions, which I heard may be once every 12 months or so. This coming directly from Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime when interviewed by MTV Multiplayer a while back.
“In terms of expansions, I think a little bit more frequently is probably good with sort of the goal to get closer to an annual expansion. But I think it really depends on what content you put in the expansion. I don’t think Blizzard will ever be able to do sequels of products like a “Diablo III” or “Diablo IV” on an annual basis, but we might be able to do expansions to those games close to annually.
Hmmm, is there more profit? In an ideal scenario, I think we’d probably do [expansions] a little bit more often than we’ve been able to do. But I agree — I think putting too many expansions out too frequently, you probably get to the point where people do need to start taking a little break.”
But then Activision Blizzard COO Thomas Tippl in the investor presentation later in 2011 went on to say that the first expansion would be done within 3 years from 2011. And there’s another source who refers to Blizzard’s leaked production schedule that puts an 18-month timeframe on the expansions.
Basically at this point it’s anyones guess.
Anyways I may have erred from the original topic title when I ranted on about when to expect the expansions, so back to topic ….. the point I was getting to is, what exactly causing the delay of Diablo 3 being pushed back to Q2 ? I guess we will need to wait for Jay Wilson’s explanation in regards to the new changes and hope he also tells us why they decided to go this route.