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Diablo III Open Beta Weekend

For those of you eagerly anticipating the upcoming release of Diablo III, which is likely a rather large swath of PC gamers worldwide, this weekend Blizzard is opening the door a tad early so you can get a taste for — OK look, you know what you are getting with a Diablo game, right?

Get your finger ready and tell your mouse you are sorry and that you don’t mean it any harm. It’s just the way things have to be.

We’re pleased to announce the Diablo III open beta weekend, which offers open access to all players with a valid account! Beginning this Friday everyone is invited to log in and help us put the game and servers through their paces in this three day stress test as we march toward the game’s release on May 15. You can begin downloading the Diablo III client right now! From Friday, April 20 at 12:01 p.m. PDT (noon), until Monday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT you’ll be able to log in, team up with friends, and play each of the five heroic classes to level 13 as you fight to save the world from the impending demonic invasion.

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

17 thoughts to “Diablo III Open Beta Weekend”

  1. I’m cautiously optimistic about this one. I played the hell out of DII, and while i’m not expecting anything earth-shattering about III, let’s hope there’s enough variety for established fans.
    I’m trying to update the client right now. Must be pushing their servers though because nothing’s happened for a good hour now, except for a couple of ‘pls check your install disc’ errors.

    1. Just as an additional note, it seems the stress test is working out, as I’m currently downloading at 200kbs, and cannot login to the site.
      I guess this is the point of the beta weekend but come on Blizzard; you didn’t forsee a certain amount of demand?

  2. I DL’d at over 1MB/s the whole download, with no issues. But now when logging in, looks like they’ve set a cap and the logins are maxed out until they fix some issues with their Login servers.

  3. Got down into The Cathedral and it crashed, and I haven’t been able to sign in again. I’m usually connected, but this constant connection bullshit is some serious bullshit. OTOH, I now remember why I loved the Diablo series so much. I think I’ll wait until the 360 version happens as playing on a 13″ laptop just isn’t all that epic.

    1. Yeah I know its a beta and so I’m being patient. I mean thats why they are doing this but I cant play it long w/o it dying.

      1. I’ve been trying to sign back on occasionally over the last 4 hours with no luck. I’ll try and sign on 10 or a dozen times and never get past the “try later” screen. I have to say it’s becoming quite the disappointment as an experience. If nothing else it’s 100% convincing me that the _always on_ connection thing is the wrong direction for them to be going.

  4. Nope. Sorry. Played it and decided that it feels like a Freemium game, all it misses is a “Charge Zen” button and a perfect world international logo. Diablo 2 captured something you could never quite put your finger on, but it kept you playing until god knows what hour, and co-op with other players over LAN was a riot (and kept me and my friends up until stupid hours too).

    This? It’s too commercial, too clinical, too polished in the wrong places and not polished enough in the right ones, and the worst part? It lacks soul. This would have been a barely passable effort back when Titan Quest came out, now with Grim Dawn and Torchlight 2 on the horizon this is somewhat unforgivable. It smells too much like a funnel for their Real Money Auction House setup and as a result the beta somehow feels like it’s missing a limb.

    No. I’m now actively telling people -not- to purchase Diablo 3. Something I never expected to do.

      1. I’ll give some examples of what I mean, just to flesh out what I said.

        Too much polish on the login screen, this is all great and well but it becomes jarring when you’re presented with a bunch of character models who look way too low poly/detail for the size they’ve been blown up to. The character models end up looking significantly out of place, a lot like a freemium game.

        The graphics are, I’m going to be kind and say that someone got a bit too happy with the fog settings, I can run max everything on my system and it still feels like a blurry muddy mess, except when there’s actions and then it looks like an old man puked lucky charms everywhere. There’s a mob that on death spawns worms, the problem is the animation is blown up such that it actually shows pixellation when spread across the ground texture, which is jarring.

        The voice acting, barring Deckard Cain, is stilted, okay, Blizzard games are never going to win awards (anyone remember emodrake from cataclysm?) but this is terrible even by their standards. The monk’s voice actually made me -stop playing- the monk because it was that cringeworthy.

        Salvaging and crafting right now feels off somehow, as does the fact you can collect items with the words “account bound”, the inference very clearly present that there’s one category of items to put on the RMAH and another which are not. The font for the items and ground loot is also jarring in the context of the game, it’s very readable, but it feels too clinical.

        The game necessitates an always on connection, this is a *Recipe for disaster* when the code is still not rock solid and you use the teleport glyph for the monk’s punch. Talk about desync city. It’s like WoW’s warrior charge back when that was a coin toss on whether it would disconnect you.

        Right the way through the playthrough I did I got the distinct impression the game never wanted to let me do my own thing, but would rather I ran inside a hamster wheel and bounced back and forth to constantly feed the merchant or the AH with whatever goodies I picked up (a fact hammered home with a BRIGHT SHINY TIP informing me my inventory was limited and I should go home and sell my stuff).

        1. I don’t know about the fog thing man – watching videos and seeing pics of later levels makes me think the fog is a stylistic choice for that section of the game. Like you’re in the English contryside. I’ve seen plenty of pics in the desert and jungle with no fog. And I actually liked the contrast between foggy land and the slightly saturated, fog-less dungeons.

          The voice acting is great! It has a wonderful, pulpy old fantasy horror flick feel to it. A bit over exaggerated and I love it. I also really enjoy the fact that crafting doesn’t really require me to do anything. I don’t have to pick flowers and collect wood and do dumb mindless crap. I can just destroy old weapons and make new ones.

          I also don’t think the game makes the AH obvious at all. At no point did I feel it was telling me to go sell my stuff in AH – it was just letting me know my bags were full and I should go hit up that vendor in town.

          This is also from someone who played maybe 3 hours of Diablo II in his life so this whole things is fresh to me. Which is probably why I think the game is incredible and I’m actively recommending it to even my non-gaming friends.

          Long story short – I didn’t see any of what you were saying, and I’m absolutely in love with the game. I can’t stop killing end boss.

          Oh, except for the always online thing. That is terrible.

          1. So essentially your recommendation is based on the fact you’ve no points of reference or prior experience in the genre save about three hours (which is really not enough) exposure to the predecessor? I can safely say people would think Limbo of the Lost too, would be incredible, if they had absolutely no other games to compare it against.

  5. Can’t hit reply button, so this is my reply:

    Wait, all I said I hadn’t played Diablo 2 much at all – nothing about the genre, and I’m finding Diablo 3 to be a great experience. Not having a deep familiarity with genre, or series if you want to be more specific, in no way impedes someones ability to recognize quality. The only thing it stops me from doing is recognizing if something is similar to what came before it.

    So yes, I’m completely qualified to comment on my experience with Diablo 3 based on the 25+ years I’ve been playing game and the fact that I am intelligent human being who can reasonably critique something. And my experience with the beta up to this point has been fantastic, and more importantly incredibly fun and engaging.

    Doesn’t mean we have to agree on the game, but blasting me instead of laying out why you think the game fails or why you don’t agree is silly.

    1. Fair enough, from your initial post it sounded like you were saying “it’s great because it’s the first time I’ve touched Diablo-games”, so I take that back. Apologies.

      That said, I disagree with a lot of your points. The voice acting is terrible once you step away from Deckard Cain, who is the only person that appears to have any idea of how he should sound, and delivers his lines with gravitas. The voices for some of the characters are godawful bad, we’re talking interns who thought this was their big break.

      On the topic of the AH side and the funnel, the point is that it’s alerting you and prompting you to go back and reload, it -shouldn’t- be harassing you into following the hamster wheel. Now I do accept there are people who can’t play a game without incessant handholding, but it’s borderline insulting to essentially imply “GO! SELL YOUR STUFF! RAISE GOLD!”, this is what Perfect World International does, and it sucks there too.

      On the topic of graphics, the landscape has a really high quality rendered feel to it, which I approve of, but the models then seem to be overlaid on the top, they don’t actually -feel- like they match the game, if that makes sense. Kill one of the explodey undeads and watch the textures on the ground, it’s very poor overlay and very shoddily done. In effect there’s a mismatch between character model quality and landscape quality.

      My argument on the familiarity with the genre is simple : Diablo 2 was for a long time considered the gold standard. Torchlight whilst as shallow as a paddling pool also showed how such games could be cartoony without losing the feel and style that makes it addictive. Grim Dawn does the gritty angle a -hell- of a lot better than D3 on that count too. Looking at Diablo 3 in isolation, it’s passable, sometimes good. But that’s as much as I can credit it for. When I put it next to my experiences of Grim Dawn, Titan Quest and the initial impressions in Torchlight 2, it does not stand out, of those games cited, it’s the weak link.

      1. Yeah, reading through my post I can see how I worded it to sound like that. I just meant I didn’t have the benefit or curse of being able to compare it to old Diablo, so I may be looking at it with different glasses.

        In regards to the “Go sell your stuff!” thing – I just read a bit from a Blizzard dev responding to those types of complaints. He explained that what we have as the beta is essentially the tutorial. Those pop-ups go away after you kill the Skeleton King. Hopefully it’s true.

        Anyway, bummer you didn’t dig on it man. Torchlight 2 will get here soon!

      2. Reading all the H&S games you mentioned and skipping Path of Exile may I assume you are not aware of it?If so you should try it as a fen of this genre and maybe will like it.

  6. I thought your original post was spot one robotlazer, and I’m a huge fan of the genre.

    I thought the beta was absolutely brilliant, technical issues aside.

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