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Role Playing (Games) Games

Diablo III Beta Begins 102

dotarray writes "Diablo III really can't be that far off now. Blizzard has just announced that the closed beta test for the game has kicked off – meaning you can start checking your inboxes for an invitation now." The expanded Friends&Family test had been underway for a week or so, but now gaming sites are getting invitations. Of course, given the popularity of Diablo III, phishers are out in force with fake beta invites. For those who opted-in, the best way to check is to simply log in to your account. The beta is limited in terms of content — it only includes the first couple hours worth of play in Act 1 — but all five classes are available for play. There's no NDA, so plenty of commentary has sprung up already. Rock, Paper, Shotgun has early impressions of the Demon Hunter. Blizzard has also created a skill calculator for anyone who wants to play around with character builds ahead of time. The beta will be expanding in waves as they ramp up stability tests.
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Diablo III Beta Begins

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  • by Deflatamouse ( 37653 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @01:39AM (#37464672) Homepage

    Alright! Another 3 years of my life is about to disappear!

    • by sortius_nod ( 1080919 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @02:32AM (#37464934) Homepage

      Tell me about it... oh well, might as well quit my job now.

    • by Ozeroc ( 1146595 )
      Lol! That was my favorite thing to make my Barbarian say in Diablo II... Yeah, I do foresee some late night gaming coming back into my life as well.
      • soundchaosdebug! soundchaosdebug! players 8!

        (I hope they have something like "players 8"... for those who don't know, it let you simulate multiple players in single player - eg the difficulty would ramp, making the game harder but giving you more rewards for it)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      DRM'd Network Only Activation? Nah, it's a bloody game, I don't need it and they, apparently, don't want to sell it.

      • Same here, I shelled out for an Alienware gaming laptop after barely playing PC games in the last 5 or so years, primarily to play D3 (I went for a laptop so I can have some portability when I'm away from home). After hearing the directions they're going with the game, I've cancelled my pre-order. I don't care if they want to protect their in game economy so they can farm players for cash (although I don't particularly agree with that either, since I think it'll take a lot of the fun out of drops and replac
  • by Sasayaki ( 1096761 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @01:39AM (#37464674)

    ... but I already gave both my wrists to Diablo and Diablo II. They are now RSI ridden husks, ready to be discarded and replaced with official Blizzard prosthetics.

    While the body fails me, my mind -- sharpened in the Halls of the Blind and practiced at hunting for elusive pixels outlined with the tab key -- remembers is training well, ready to once again take arms against the forces of Hell.

    Sometimes, when I sleep, all I can hear is the clicking of the mouse and the 1, 1, 1 of potions chain-quaffed in haste. The clicking, like the jaws and mandibles of a billion fiendish ants, coming to tear me limb from limb unless I find the last piece of Tal Rasha's Wrappings. ... and the Baal runs. Endless Baal runs, searching, always searching...

    Now gaze ye upon my graveyard of Hardcore mode characters, mortal, and despair . Despair as I do when inspecting this broken, shattered life; a veteran of a digital war, a soldier of fictitious battles... ... stay a while, and listen.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I can see what you see not,
      Vision milky then eyes rot,
      When you turn they will be gone,
      Whispering their hidden song,
      Then you see what cannot be,
      Shadows move where light should be,
      Out of darkness out of mind,
      Cast out to the Halls of the Blind.

  • by SendBot ( 29932 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @01:40AM (#37464676) Homepage Journal

    Huskystarcraft has a 4-part youtube series of co-op play. Great to watch if you don't have access to the beta yet! They play a wizard (so full of himself, it's great!) and witchdoctor. [] (1st part)

    • Fellas, how about next time we turn off "Stream of Consciousness Dork Babble" for those of us who don't need to feel like we're in a WoW pug raid while watching amazing beta content of DIII.
      • by SendBot ( 29932 )

        Normally I'd agree with you, but I've been watching husky for a while and those two made me lol quite a bit. The go-to harry potter reference "I'm a WIZahd!" and ATHF reference "Chicken, arise!" they kept saying kept a grin on my face. I'd love to kick it with those guys and play games.

    • Yogscast, Jesse Cox and TotalBiscuit also have Diablo III footage.

      Yogscast vids start here: []

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps slashdot has changed and people aren't going to care, but it used to be about more than just playing games.

    DON'T FORGET! Blizzard is the company that set the precedent for validity of EULAs (wow glider case), demanded real names on and sued an open source battle net clone out of existence.


    • by SendBot ( 29932 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @02:10AM (#37464816) Homepage Journal

      I value my freedom to play some seriously fun games that take advantage of my slick 2011 hardware. They dropped the real names issue after all the outcry, by the way. Blizzard puts a lot of their name into the quality of their games, being unafraid to shelve a project with heavy investment if necessary. I'm not especially happy about the bnetd thing, but I do kind of appreciate that they make it difficult to operate a bot in WoW.

    • I bought Diablo II. I bought Lord of Destruction. The last time I played them was about 18 months ago - not bad for a game from 2001. I won't be buying Diablo II though. Blizzard's policy on aggressively tethering the game to their servers means that it's not of any interest to me. Fortunately for Blizzard, I'm sure a large chunk of their WoW players will disagree.
      • by Totenglocke ( 1291680 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @05:06AM (#37465578)
        Exactly. I haven't purchased Starcraft II and I don't plan on buying Diablo III. I've purchased every other game Blizzard made (save WoW expansions after I stopped playing years ago), but until they ditch the DRM, I'm done with them. Sadly, I don't think this is something Blizzards wants to do, but the DRM is most likely forced on them by Activision.
        • by ifrag ( 984323 )

          the DRM is most likely forced on them by Activision

          I dunno, people keep saying that and assuming it (and I've thought it myself) but I'm not really sure that's the way it is. Blizzard still has some of the older blood in it, and I really am starting to think they are on board with it. As far as Diablo III goes though, RMT has probably greatly encouraged them to go this direction. And people playing offline means nothing for trading revenue. The one thing that could make me more OK with the forced on-line aspect is if Blizzard provides frequent content u

          • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @08:43AM (#37466692) Homepage Journal

            There's no surer way to kill an online game than balkanization by releasing too many expansions. When people can't play together because they don't own the exact same expansions or DLCs, they'll say "fuck this" and move to a game that doesn't irritate them. And the publisher then scrambles to release a GOTY edition with all the add-ons, in hope to salvage pieces. But by then, a large part of the damage is already done.

            A good game doesn't really need to always show the player something new. Familiarity is a lure in itself. Yes, you might get tired of raiding Bhaal for the hundredth time, but then again, you might also be working on perfecting your runs. People return to far simpler games than DII. I won't even try to estimate how many hours (and coins) I spent on certain arcade games, which were far more repetitive. Cause that weakness can be a game's biggest strength too.

            Honestly, I fear this game will fail because they've jumped on the PORT+DRM+DLC bandwagon. The only thing missing are in-game mood breaking sales pitches[*] and gratuitous product placement[**].

            [*]: "You are overburdened. For only $1.99, you can buy a storage expansion from the Blizzard store".
            [**]: "Stay a while, have a Mountain Dew Vibrate(TM), and listen", "Beyer Health Potion" and "Stone of Nike Air Jordan".

          • You're right. This new way is much better. Instead of deciding that 20,000 Baal runs is enough, Blizzard will just shut the service down and you won't even have the option to make another Baal run.

            I absolutely used to love Blizzard. I had been looking forward to both Starcraft 2 and Diablo III for something like 10 years. I don't plan on buying either of them now.

        • by Triv ( 181010 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @11:30AM (#37468902) Journal

 haven't bought a recent WoW expansion, or Starcraft II, and you won't be buying Diablo III.

          In other words, you haven't bought a Blizzard game since, when? Diablo II? Brood War? You haven't bought a Blizzard game in something like ten years, and you're upset that the way games are played and the requirements for those games has changed out from under you? Do you still want your games only to be playable with the disc in the drive, too? Which, by the way, was as frowned upon back then as DRM is frowned upon now. Same stuff, different decade.

          Get with the times, man.

          • I haven't purchased a Blizzard game in around 5 years, but I've purchased many others that don't fuck you in the ass with DRM. Blizzard used to be the epitome of great customer service and giving customers what they want - hell, I had a Starcraft disc get a mysterious burn mark on it and after one email to customer service, they sent me a replacement disc, no charge or questions asked. Now they only care about screwing the customer for more money.

            Why do people bitch about needing a disc to play? It's not

        • by SendBot ( 29932 )

          I've purchased every other game Blizzard made...

          I bet my super nintendo you never bought the lost vikings.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Absolutely. I destroyed more then 1 mouse playing Diablo I & II but their stance on Always On connection when 1 wants to play single player is something i Will NEVER stand for. I talk with my wallet here and so i'm turning away from Blizzard for the foreseeable future until they start respecting their Fans and customer.
        Being treated like a thief I do not like

      • I bought Diablo II. I bought Lord of Destruction. ... I won't be buying Diablo II though

        Say what?

    • by brkello ( 642429 )

      Oh shut up. Blizzard makes fantastic games. If you boycott them, you pretty much have to boycott every single company on the planet because they are all going to do something you don't approve of.

      They backed off on the names thing ( are such a drama queen), WoW glider was a bot that people were using and then getting banned for using (it was a tool specifically made to break the rules and exploit one program, this isn't a general use thing like a p2p service), and the open source bat

  • The way they handled this game is idiotic. It's like they know they're about to run out of WoW stuff and now they need another cash cow.
    • by SendBot ( 29932 )

      I'm not sure what you're talking about unless that's a reference to online-only play. I like they way they've handled co-op loot, not having to click on gold, a cauldron that magically turns your crap into gold (saving you a trip to town), and a lot of other little niceties that make it look VERY fun to play and a worthy sequel. Not to mention it looks amazing.

      Whether or not they need another cash cow (spoiler: they don't), this most certainly will be one.

      • Personally I'm disgusted they're giving every skill to every class, you no longer select them and build your own guy...every guy will be the same if what I've read is correct.
        • by Rebelgecko ( 893016 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @03:26AM (#37465148)

          Check out the skill calculator in the summary. There's a lot of different possibilities (Unless I screwed my math up, something like 170,000,000 combinations of skills/runes JUST for the barbarian class. The other classes look about the same give or take a few million combos). Obviously some combinations will be better than others, and even the "best" build will be pretty situational for a given class depending on what you're doing and your playstyle. Personally, I like how they're allowing some more flexibility with abilities by getting rid of skill trees and allowing you to change what skills you have relatively painlessly. When I played Diablo II, I spent a bunch of time leveling a druid, only to realize after I'd played for dozens of hours that my I had allocated my skill points stupidly, and there wasn't anything I could do about it other than make a new character or deal with it.

          • There are 3rd party character editors which can reset your skill points.
            We used to use the hero editor [] for this.
            • Good luck using that character editor on a character. Having built in character respecs is needed. 3rd party hacking tools don't cut it. I do hear this has actually changed in a recent D2 patch, but I havn't played in a good 2 years myself.

          • They implemented a way to respec your skills in the last year or two. I don't know if it applies just to Ladder or not since that's all I play. But when you finish the cave quest in chapter 1 it opens up a respec option with Akara in the Rogue Encampment similiar to Larzuk's Socket quest. So you get three respeccs essentially for free now. And several of the Act bosses drop special essences which can be combined in your cube to make a respec token, which means you can respec to your hearts content so long a
  • Keep that in mind guys, it's not open for everyone yet - nor is it even closed for random invites. - So don't bother losing your marbles or logging in to bnet / email to check.

    Don't have an ETA when but obviously soon, my wild guess - maybe another 3 to 7 days.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Friends and Family beta was a week or two ago, they were allowed to stream the beta.

      Press (e.g., Day9) also received beta accounts a week or two ago, but were under NDA and could not stream gameplay.

      Closed beta invites are out, and the NDA has been lifted from the press as of tonight. For interesting commentary, I recommend checking out Day9 or HuskyStarcraft's (no-longer-live-but-recorded) streams.

      Day9 Solo Gameplay & Commentary:

      Husky9 Coop Gameplay & Comm

      • I watched the stream from the Day9 site the other night. Best line of the night, while playing the witch doctor:

        "OH ****, KILL IT WITH FROGS"
  • The end is here, no more "sign of beta" [].

    Hide the children and women! The Betacolypse [] is upon us all!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @03:18AM (#37465110)

    i've already won ten million dollars in the British lottery and may need to see a doctor about how large my penis has become, she wants me so badly.
    on top of that, my account has been under investigated for ilegal actions and i need to login to and click the "i am the owner of the account shown below" button so they don't ban my diablo 3 beta trial key and prevent me from claiming my free winged zebraconponycar.

    blizzard keeps telling me not to click links in emails, but just to login to my account to see if i've got a beta invite, but heck the link looks so inviting..

  • by dbet ( 1607261 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @03:22AM (#37465128)
    Keep checking. Blizzard staggers their beta invites so that different people are at different stages of play. If you don't get one today you may in a week or a month.
    • They only do this for WoW, so areas are not clogged with people all doing the same quests. D3 is not like that. The only reason why they might not release them all at the same time it to stop their servers being trashed by people downloading the game. With the download being peer-to-peer (optional) I don't really see this as being an issue either.

      They don't need to stress-test their servers, so they won't need to increase the numbers to breaking point. That's why the F&F alpha/beta was so short too.

      • by SendBot ( 29932 )

        From what I understand they're starting out small with the beta invites because they want to make it more stable before inviting in more people. It would make sense that they're only inviting people with certain hardware configurations or high status. Imagine how unhelpful it would be to them if droves of people started saying how unstable it is, even for the first beta release.

  • by Phaid ( 938 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @03:43AM (#37465216) Homepage

    I just checked out the video from HuskyStarcraft [], and I guess I must be missing something. Aside from the DRM that forces you to be online to play, and the fact that they censor your character names, how is this an improvement over Diablo 2? It looks like exactly the same game, just at a higher resolution.

    Way back in the WoW beta, I remember fantasizing about Blizzard making a Diablo III using some of WoW's technology. By which I meant the best of both worlds, a game that looks and plays like WoW but set in the darker Diablo universe with single player and LAN play. Instead, we get basically the worst of both worlds, a dated look and feel saddled with unnecessary online requirements. Next.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How does one discern the feel of a game without actually playing it?

    • by SendBot ( 29932 )

      ... I guess I must be missing something. Aside from the DRM that forces you to be online to play, and the fact that they censor your character names, how is this an improvement over Diablo 2?

      A quick list of what I saw:
      - no longer have to click on gold to pick it up, just run next to it
      - in co-op mode loot drops and becomes visible to players individually. No more "community loot"
      - same for shrines... one player can't just take em all
      - the cauldron that magically recycles your crap into gold so you don't have to keep running back to town to sell it and empty your bags
      - a box that does something similar, but functions like "disenchanting" in wow. not sure what you do with the materials just yet

    • by brkello ( 642429 )

      Blizzard borrows concepts from all of their games and uses them in other. I expect to see some of the things they learned from WoW applied here.
      I don't really get your logic though. If you love the previous games, then the best possible outcome is they give it better graphics, improve some of the mechanics, and give you a new story. The worst outcome is if they do a crazy overhaul of the whole system and make it totally not like diablo.

  • Once upon a time... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wickerprints ( 1094741 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @03:56AM (#37465258)

    ...I was very interested in Diablo III, but it's been so many years that in the meantime, life happened to me, I grew up, and lost interest in spending my time playing online video games. Diablo I and II were a lot of fun, but it's hard to muster the enthusiasm for stuff like this as I've gotten older.

    • Heresy!

    • I feel that way about console games.

      PC games however, they will pry from my decrepit old fingers after I die.

      If you don't have the enthusiasm anymore, it could be because you've been brainwashed into acting like some else's definition of an adult.


    • by brkello ( 642429 )

      Right, that's why you are posting in the games section of Slashdot. Because you "grew up" and don't have time for it now.

  • Deal breaker (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tecnico.hitos ( 1490201 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @07:55AM (#37466256)

    The game looks good, but I can't buy it. I travel regularly and I don't always have an internet connection available. Always on connection for single player is a deal breaker.

    I will wait for Torchlight 2

    • Same here. I was greatly anticipating it until the always connected single player stuff was revealed. I will not be purchasing it now.
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      I'm not getting it because of my 2.0 experience with StarCraft 2.

      And I nearly considered putting a deposit down for Diablo 3 when I picked up SC2, too. Little did I know it would become a huge clusterf*** of small print and other crap that basically ruined all the enjoyment out of SC2. I was so bad I considered just break out the stuff from the SC2 Collector's Edition I had and putting it on eBay to recover some of the money back.

      It got resolved eventually (a month after release) at which point I

      • Little did I know it would become a huge clusterf*** of small print and other crap that basically ruined all the enjoyment out of SC2

        It got resolved eventually (a month after release) at which point I gave up and played other games

        Let me guess, you named your profile "Poopfist" for the single player campaign and didn't get to change it anymore?

        That was a "feature" I personally remember fondly. My rather obscene profile name violated the Terms Of Service. :-)

    • It's even worse. According to RockPaperShotgun you cannot even pause the game (to answer the door, take a dump, etc.) and when you quite, there's a cooling off period: []

  • Um, 95% of the stuff from Blizzard in your In Box is pure phishing scams. People shouldn't be clicking on any links in their In Boxes at all. They should be visiting and logging into their account to check and see if the beta is on their account. Please people, do not assume that invite in your In Box is actually from Blizzard or that the link actually points to the download. Chances are it doesn't.

    • I most certainly have better things to be doing than checking bnet every few hours. My email, for example. I got my Cataclysm beta invite in my inbox, my WotLK invite too. Both were authentic. Now I still don't know if the links were right, only an idiot clicks on the links, but checking your inbox, just for the prompt to check bnet is definitely worthwhile.

  • Diablo 3 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CFBMoo1 ( 157453 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @08:39AM (#37466638) Homepage
    I'm not interested in Diablo 3, unless I can play off and online like Diablo 1 or 2. I'll stick with Minecraft, at least the worlds are fresh when I put a new seed in and there's more seeds then I'll ever see in my life time. Bonus, Minecraft runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Thats where I'll put my money in to companies who produce things like that.
  • by amaupin ( 721551 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:47AM (#37467582) Homepage
    Count me among the thousands of diehard Diablo fans who won't be buying D3 because the player is forced to always be connected to the internet to play, even in single player "offline" mode. That's ridiculous. It's an affront to all logic and decency. But I fully expect Torchlight 2 to scratch the "click for loot" itch - the first Torchlight was a blast and the second one is going to be bigger, better, and even more of a blast.
    • by geraud ( 932452 )
      You're not a diehard fan. Face the truth, you're not even at fan level. The fact that you even think of this tiny detail proves it.
    • by brkello ( 642429 )

      Did I travel back in time? Is it 1990? Do people not always have a connection to the Internet on their home PC these days? I get people who travel not liking this and some people in extremely rural locations. But the vast majority of people have no problem playing WoW or other online games so I don't see how this is such a big deal.

      I honestly think you guys hang out in Slashdot too much. To be cool and gain points you have to reiterate the same thing everyone else says. You are going to miss o

      • Sure, I have internet at home, but I'm not guaranteed to have internet on a road trip, on a plane, at a random bookstore, on vacation, or one of a dozen other places where I'm liable to have plenty of free time and the desire to play a game.

        I ran into this situation with StarCraft II recently. I had a 15 hour flight to Dubai a few weeks ago on a plane with power in the seats and was actually looking forward to the trip because it meant I could play through some of the challenge missions and against the AI

      • Since when is it unreasonable to complain about an arbitrary limitation put on a product for the sole purpose of making the user's experience worse? DIII may be great, but if people don't like being tracked, or knowing the game will go "offline" at some point, and they decide the only way to make their voice heard is by not purchasing the product, who are you to tell them they are in the wrong? Different kinds of evil set off different kinds of folks. Get used to it.

  • by PJ6 ( 1151747 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @09:50AM (#37467620)
    Imagine the Diablo III engine applied to an Avatar: The Last Airbender video game, where you could control the 5 main characters all at once a-la the original Dungeon Siege, and go off with one or two at a time on sub-quests. And all the voice acting and cut scenes were done by the original cast and writers, with a lot of story mixed in unobtrustively. And you have like, 80 abilities for each element class. And 'leveling' is very much based in your own skill. Blizzard + Nickelodeon... I would love to see them collaborate.
  • I've put together [] for people-who-would-like-to-but-won't buy Diablo 3 because of the "MMO" additions to the game : the always-connected requirement, lack of LAN play, no mods and the real-money Auction House. I think we can understand why Blizzard's doing it — trying to control the environment to cut down on cheating and adding aggressive DRM to stop piracy — but it's an overly ambitious and unnecessary solution they came up with. The MMO additions don't add real value to the way mo
    • by brkello ( 642429 )

      There is no chance. I am not trying to be mean, but you are wasting your time. From a programming stand point, all that stuff is so integrated in to the system at this point for the Beta to be even functional, that it would take months if not years and millions of dollars for them to change course. Maybe could convince them to not have a real-money auction house...but that would just mean they wasted all the effort of coding in the payment system for it. You are best just moving on to Torchlight 2.

      • I suppose that might be one reason they sprang it on us when they did and not earlier. Perhaps — *gasp* — they never wanted our input to begin with. :) How respectful.

        Best case scenario, they have some sort of secret emergency plan for removing the always-online requirement for single-player games. Move the missing code down to the client. But even if that were possible, it wouldn't happen fast, or soon. By that point, they've made their billions and they've essentially "won" with their DRM an
        • by brkello ( 642429 )

          I'm a blizzard fan, so will get it for sure. Probably the collector's edition. I have no issues with having an always on connection and no LAN...since I have had LAN parties with 8 people and had no problem playing with my friends like that. SC2 was probably the best single player campaign I have ever played. But I understand how some can see it differently. I just think people on her overreact to everything.

        • by ildon ( 413912 )

          They have the input of the millions of people who purchased SC2. They looked at the data of who actually used the limited offline mode and realized it was a waste of development time.

    • Not sure how much of a chance we have of changing things at this point, but if the MMO additions have made you decide not to buy Diablo 3, please consider lending your support at []

      To quote Bender:


      Oh wait, you're serious. Let me laugh even harder


      Sorry man, best of luck with the website though.

  • Check out Crimson Alliance, available through Xbox Live Arcade for 1200 pts ($15). Action RPG in the vein of Gauntlet, Torchlight and Diablo. The best part: 4-player couch/online co-op. I'm playing it with my two younger boys. $15 is a great deal when we can all play together on the same box.

    • Shame that it's over in about 5 hours and there's no replayability due to the static/limited items/armor. It's really more like Gauntlet than either Torchlight or Diablo

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.