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Emulation (Games)

Video The State of the Diablo 3 Beta (Two Videos) 237

It's been almost four years since Diablo 3 was announced, and its development began years earlier. Its predecessors helped define the action RPG genre, so anticipation is high among fans of the franchise. The game has undergone closed beta testing since September, and a lot has changed since then. Now that Blizzard has settled on May 15th as a release date, we thought this would be a good time to take a look at the state of the game as it currently exists. These two videos show actual gameplay of the various classes, explain the skill and rune systems, take a look at the auction house, and go over many of the other changes since the beginning of development. (Click to play the first video, and the second one will play automagically after the first one ends.)

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The State of the Diablo 3 Beta (Two Videos)

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  • by Totenglocke ( 1291680 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:08AM (#39570099)
    The real state of Diablo III is that is has DRM forcing you to be online even to play single player. As a result, my almost two decade long love affair with Blizzard games has come to an end.
  • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:15AM (#39570139)

    This is basically my thought on it as well. Loved Diablo and Diablo II, but my wireless is a little flaky because of my apartment's layout so the only multiplayer that works well is on the LAN. I'd be ok with an online activation. I'd tolerate it checking in once a week or once a month. But I don't want to have to spend a half hour fudging around with the wireless signal every time I want to play an offline game.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:34AM (#39570249)

    It's not really so much as always on DRM, as it is always online like an MMO.
    The always online means:
    They can easily make changes on the server like balance fixes etc without client patches.
    Allow you to use your "single player" instance in multiplayer without worrying that you cheat hacked the character.
    Still let you interact with some online components like auction house.
    Not have to test offline vs online modes.

    I mean, if you have an unreliable internet connection or want to play on the go on a laptop it sucks, but I genuinely do believe the DRM aspect is more of a "bonus" side effect of the decision rather than the goal of the decision.

  • by Troyusrex ( 2446430 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:34AM (#39570251)

    Digital media is like love, in that you can give it away without ever running out of it.

    Digital Media is also like love in that you can't eat it (insert 'witty' innuendo here). Media makers like to eat and giving it away free isn't conducive to the goal of feeding oneself.

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:36AM (#39570263)
    Companies in the past have tried selling games for Linux. Including some big titles. However here are some estimates
    1. Linux use for the desktop is at around 1%
    2. 25% of that 1% are Open Source Zealots who will not pay for a program that isn't open source.
    3. 25% of that 1% are just too cheap to buy software.
    4. 25% of what is left isn't interested in games.
    5. 15% Will just Duel Boot/Virtualize/Wine to play the Windows version of the game.
    Leaving 10% of that 1% (0.1%) of sales. Of the product. Is that worth having to program a port, have support trained, and testing and bug fixing for that platform?
  • by Tyler Eaves ( 344284 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:49AM (#39570345)

    Nowhere, if he's interested in actual market research, rather than a publicity stunt.

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:50AM (#39570363)
    That is the stupidest comment I have ever read.
    You know these companies that make software, they have staff, they are not going to work for free because they need to pay for food, shelter, travel, fuel, health care, entertainment, education and save some up for an emergency, For themselves and often for other dependents as well. These people are good at "sequencing bits" in new original ways, when executed on a computer that will give entertainment to others. You are not paying for the bits you are paying for the work to make it. Well if you think about it you are probably more likely paying for them to work on their next project.

    Standard GNU methods of making profit doesn't work too well with games.
    1. You are not going to charge for consulting. If the game needs a consultant they wont play it.
    2. If you are not going to charge for support. They just won't pay for it.
    3. You could sell add ons. However you need to be careful as those add ons may break the GNU.
    4. You package the game on a piece of hardware. Which may work... However after they get the source there will be a PC version soon and they will no longer need your hardware.

    Sorry but the GNU model doesn't lead itself for a market of developers. if all software was GNU then Programming will be strictly a part-time/hobby thing and quality will go down the toilet because in order to make money they will need other full time jobs with a different discipline and less people willing to study computer science.
  • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @08:58AM (#39570423)

    So computer programs appear out of thin air? They don't require programmers, artists or project managers? With automobiles, there's heavy costs on both design and production. With software, almost all of the cost is shifted to design... but there's still significant cost that needs to be recouped.

  • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @09:22AM (#39570609)

    Not even that, what happens in 5-10 years when you want to dig up the game and play it again? Will the servers still be online? Will there be a "required" patch which doesn't work well with your system or nerfs your favorite character?

    Blizzard is actually the one company that I feel I can trust to keep the servers running for a lon gperiod of time, becuase they tend to stick with and support their games. They seem to have a corporate mindset that looks and plans in the long term, as opposed to most other publishers that just look to the next game and leave just a token force to maintain a previous game. That being said, I really enjoyed Diablo II, but after being disappointed with SC2, I do not expect to buy D3 any time soon.

  • Re:Meh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by twocows ( 1216842 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @09:27AM (#39570661)
    At least there are Path of Exile and Torchlight 2. I'm still excited, even if it's not about Diablo 3, personally.
  • by Yosho ( 135835 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @09:40AM (#39570785)

    It's a shame that numbers you've made up off the top of your head are meaningless, especially when youre entire argument is based on them.

  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @09:43AM (#39570813) Homepage

    It's much harder to entertain that asinine entitlement mentality when eating fried chicken means going to the coop and wringing its neck yourself*

    Now, I have a few Mennonite friends who've explained this to me, and from my understanding, this is exactly the point. Religion aside, the Amish culture values hard work, cooperation, and human interaction above worldly things like material goods, entertainment, and wealth. Putting in a good day's work to produce something is valued more in their society than coming home to a store-bought meal and the latest TV show.

    In that way, Linux fans are much like the Amish. Open-source developers often contribute not for money, but for the pride in having contributed to a larger goal. Sure, there are some who sell their open code to earn money, just as there are Amish who have cars, phones, and radios to interact with the world outside their hometown.

    It is the ideals we live by, not the technology we use, that truly defines who we are. Linux embodies a certain set of ideals, that the OP claims to live by.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @09:57AM (#39570949) Journal

    This is what Torchlight II is for.

  • by Courageous ( 228506 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @09:58AM (#39570957)

    The initial version, patches, support, and other infrastructure are all labor that go into making the software. In additions to all this, there are fringe costs, such as the building, power, computers, administrative support, social security fees, and so forth. The fact that the marginal cost of production is zero is neither here nor there. Investments must be recouped, or there will be no investments to speak of.

  • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @10:12AM (#39571089)

    I've heard of a few Mennonite cultures that allow them to work at call centers and the like (their use of technology is accepted as its part of earning a living) and the supervisors love them because they work very hard, take pride in doing a good job and never complain. My only complaint is that they let their kids play in the road far too much, I've almost hit a few of them on blind curves and hills when traveling through the backwoods.

  • by Reverand Dave ( 1959652 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @12:45PM (#39573047)
    Totally, that's why you buy a nice sturdy chunk of tungsten.
  • by rosciol ( 925673 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @12:46PM (#39573053)

    I know you're just throwing numbers out there, but the way you arrived at your figure is flawed. You claim that Linux use on the desktop is 1%; okay, fine, I can live with that. You then go on to show that only a fraction of those Linux users are interested in games, and that fraction of the total computer population is the market size.

    Your assertion that this is then 0.1% of sales presumes that 100% of the non-Linux market is interested in games, which is clearly not the case. That is, in order to make the numbers comparable, we have to make the same comparison with other platforms that you did with Linux:

    1. PC use for the desktop is at around 92%.
    2. 50% of that is installed base in corporate systems (market share is common derived from units sold, not 'platform preference by person').
    3. 25% are not interested in games.
    4. 15% of what is left will pirate any game that comes out.

    So, again, maybe 10% of that is actually a viable market. Sure, 9.2% is > 0.1%, but that presumes that any of these ballpark figures are meaningful. What if the average Linux user is actually more likely to be a gamer than the average PC user? That is, there might exist a correlation between being a gamer (or at least being the kind that buys blockbuster titles) and platform preference. What if the average linux user is more likely to pay (when they aren't open source zealots) than the average PC user? All of these ideas need to be factored in to any real calculation of market size.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"