• 10

    posted a message on Demon Hunter DPS Calculator
    Important update:The calculator is not updated to RoS. There are currently no plans for such update due to the closing of AH, which has originally been the main reason the calculator has been created and changes in Diablo itself which make it easier to compare items,

    Hello there,

    Wanted to share with you guys a tool I've created in order to simplify high-end gear comparison and making it easier to make fully aware purchase decisions on the AH.

    Which is extremely important to know because there is nothing better than buying a ring for a lot of gold just to see that it actually gives you only 300 more DPS, when you thought it would give you a boost of 2000.

    Basically it is an Excel spreadsheet with 3 functions.
    1) Gear comparison.
    2) Specific stat change influence on your build damage.
    3) Absorption calculation.

    Number 1 is achieved by data input in the green marked areas on the left side for both variants, which should give you the picture of the final stat of the builds and damage difference.
    Number 2 can be done via the little table below by typing in changes such as (-100 Dex, + 15% IAS, + 30% crit dmg).. The result is the Final DPS change (without sharpshooter maxed).
    Number 3 is done be proper entry of gear data to the 3-rd sheet, which allows to see your current mitigation versus various damage types and sources.

    Information about the spreadsheet - Read before using: 1) I assume you use a ranged weapon.. Naturally a DH can run around with a spear but.. :)
    2) Sheet is protected so You don't accidentally mess it up. The only cells that You should write up data in order for the sheet to work are marked with a green color.
    3) IAS = Increased Attack Speed, for those that are not familiar.
    4) The sheet is filled in with some entry data so You can see how it is supposed to look like.
    5) Note that the little table below is a simplified model that should rather be used for 1-variable change testing, it will only give approximated data when used for multiple variable changes. It also serves to calculate weights of specific stats, which show the impact of "change of 1" of specific stat to Your DPS. Mind that this table is dependant on the gear figures of Variant 1 only. 6) It is Vital to select from the scroll-down list the appropriate Weapon Type for both Variants since the base weapon speed and the archery passive bonus are derived from the weapon type.
    7) The file consists of 4 sheets. The first sheet is devoted to single-wielding style, the second for more accurate weapon min/max dmg calculation, the third to dual-wielding style, the 4th for the purpose of absorption calculation.
    8) The spreadsheet might not be 100% precise in cases of weapons with +XX% damage affix, because of the rounding error, since the spreadsheet assumes whole numbers, which might not be the case.
    9) The dodge calculation is an estimate, so it might not be 100% accurate. (But works fine for tested sets of equipment).

    If you have any questions concerning the calculations/spreadsheet feel free to write them down.

    FAQ: Q1) Is there a way to disable sharpshooter, because it inflates the value of Crit DMG and underestimates Crit chance? A1) There are 2 figures representing Your final DPS: 1) "Final DPS", 2) "Final DPS with sharpshooter maxed". If you are interested in your base dps without the use of sharpshooter passive or without any bonus crit chance from it, refer to the figure in 1). Since 1.2 You can also disable sharpshooter in the passive section.

    Q2) How should i input data from gear with for example +13-26 damage from an amulet? A2) By typing in both 13 in "Bonus MIN DMG" and 26 in "Bonus MAX DMG" in the row devoted to the gear of one of the variants.

    Q3) I have input all the data as required but i keep getting "###" instead of the dps, what's wrong? A3) "###" in Excel means that the column is too narrow to present the figure. Widen it and It'll be fine.

    Q4) Where should i input the +X% damage from my weapon? A4) You should not enter this anywhere, because it is already taken into account in the weapon minimum and maximum damage that you should enter to the spreadsheet.

    Q5) Where should i input the + X-Y Damage from my weapon? A5) You should not enter this anywhere, because it is already taken into account in the weapon minimum and maximum damage that you should enter to the spreadsheet.

    Q6) Your spreadsheet says that the crossbow has a base attack speed of 1.1, but my one has 1.23, what should i do?
    Your weapon has an attack speed of 1.23 beacuse it has IAS on it. The base weapon speed is still 1.1, but due to the bonus it is enhanced to 1.23. Therefore you should enter the IAS bonus from your weapon to the row of weapon statistics in the AIS column.

    Q7) What does "Assume Dodge as damage reduction" mean? A7) Dodge itself does not reduce the damage taken but gives a chance to completly avoid the damage, but in order to reflect its importance in damage reduction this option has been added. It gives you a chance to simulate how much damage would you take in case of being attacked by an infinitely large amount of attacks dealing infinitely small damage, in which case dodge acts simply as damage reduction instead of chance to avoid damage.

    Q8) The spreadsheet does not consider crit chance when i input it with a dot (like 3.5%) What's wrong? - (Rare occurrence) A8) Try using a comma (like 3,5%). It might occur when using a different software that does not automatically adapt into various regional settings. The spreadsheet has been written using Polish settings in MS Excel where it is accustomed to use (,) as a decimal separator.

    Q9) What's the purpose of "Base Monster Damage" and "Monster Hit Damage" in the absorption sheet? A9) If You are aware of the damage a monster would afflict attacking player with 0 armor and 0 damage reduction (Such information might also be obtainable from some sites or the Bradygames guide) you can input it as "Base Monster Damage" and it will make You see in the appropriate "Monster Hit Damage" cell the actual damage you will receive considering Your damage reduction from armor and resistances - Mind that if You want to check for 1-hit damage, You should turn off the Dodge damage reduction in order to avoid understating the damage redeived.

    Q10) My DPS in game does not agree to the sheet, help! A10) I used to help you out, but due to too many user-made errors i gave that up, instead here's a list of what you can do:
    1) Check whether your DEX,Crit dmg, crit chance, attacl speed agree sheet - game (remember some legendaries have IAS bugged)
    2) Check whether you've input your weapon properly - selected weapon type
    3) Check passives and follower buffs
    4) Check all +MIN/MAX dmg bonusses from jewelery
    5) If you still have an error, mind that some +MIN/MAX dmg are "bugged" giving a different amount than it says they do, therefore remove those items and check if it agrees, if it doesn't go back to 1), if it does, gradually equip those items until you know whats the issue item.

    I will write here what and where You should enter in order to have DPS calculated properly using an item that gives You +X% Elemental damage.

    Let us assume that You have Inna's Blessing that gives 5% holy damage and the example weapon linked below.

    Example item with +X% Elemental dmg:
    Example weapon:
    1) Type in weapon stats:
    Select type of weapon : Crossbow
    801 in MIN DMG (C9)
    1241 in MAX DMG (D9)
    Those are the final MIN/MAX dmg dealt by the weapon
    Type in other additional stats such as IAS/CRIT DMG in E9 and F9 accordingly.

    2) Type in the Elemental damage dealt by the weapon separately
    231 as MIN Elemental DMG (C26)
    554 as MAX elemental DMG (D26)

    3) Type in the +X% Elemental dmg
    5% in B26

    Current version of the spreadsheet: 1.94
    - Adjusted skill dmg to reflect patch 1.08 changes.

    - Fixed the Single-stat change for All Res in the absorption tab.

    - Added Boar Rune for Companion.
    - Fixed Perfectionist Passive.
    - Changed the default number format to % for reduced dmg from elites.
    - Some tweaks to EHP stat-weights (due to changes to perfectionist and boar).

    - Fixed an issue in single stat change in Absorption tab (was an issue with Gloom)
    - +X% elemental dmg affix should now work properly in 1.05.

    - The sheet should reflect the changes made in patch 1.05
    - Deleted the +X% weapon damage for SW sheet, because sometimes it brings wrong results, and I prefer not to have it, than have it wrong sometimes - it requires some work, but the impact of it is marginal so it is not a big loss :(.

    - Fixed an issue with the +X% weapon dmg sheet for SW.

    - Added the skill dmg calculation for skills that can be empowered through gear giving them +crit chance.
    - Fixed a display error in the +X% ele dmg in DW section and fixed a potential issue in variant 2 while both weapons did not have elemental dmg.

    - (Hopefully) last change for absorption to finally work with paragons properly.

    - Fixed Single stat change in absorption for lvls>60.

    - Total health calculation fixed for lvls>60.

    - Fixed IAS single-stat change for SW&DW - Value was wrong while selecting Enchantress buff as YES

    - Paragon Level support for Absorption, which was ommited in 1.7

    - Paragon Level support added - In the cell - Character Level type in a number from 1 to 160 (61 being Paragon level 1 etc.)
    - DW for Open Office should work as indented now.
    - Changed the skill dmg to reflect patch 1.04

    - A new 4-th sheet has been added which allows to calculate the min/max weapon dmg more accurately (in case of weapons with +X% dmg bonus) - works only for SW atm.

    - Change format of cells in Absorption tab to be % by default for melee/missile resistance.
    - Fixed a possible DIV/0 error in DW sheet. (Leaving some cells blank).

    - Hotfixed a 2nd error in the +X% Elemental dmg section. Previous version did not consider +min dmg from set bonusses.

    - Hotfixed an error in the +X% Elemental dmg section.

    - Added +X% Elemental dmg section - See "HOW TO USE +X% Ele in Main post for a guide".
    - Fixed a refferal error in DW - it made to error in the calculations, so its just cosmetics.
    - Fixed the skill dmg calculation from the item bonus for 3 runes that were bugged.

    - The columns are now wider by default so users of OpenOffice who cannot widen them their selves can see 6-digit DPS figures.

    - Fixed a bug with references of Other bonuses for Variant 2

    - Reverted the data entry UI back to its old format due to large negative feedback on the new one.
    - Added a stat weight table to the absorption sheet.

    - Added support for "Gloom" rune for Shadow Power.

    - Fixed a little ref error in attack speed in variant 1 of single-wield style.

    - Remade the UI in order to support calculation of Skill dps, including +X% dmg to skill bonuses and +X% dmg versus Elites.
    Note: Elites include (Champions, Minions, Rares, Uniques, Bosses and Treasure Goblins) - Tested.
    - the UI changes also include merging all of "Gear" into one row, which makes it a bit harder to compare gear (need to deduct or add stats in one row, instead of separate gear slots), but makes the spreadsheet more legible and reduced it's size.
    - Added support for Cull The Weak passive.
    - Added support for Marked for Death ability.

    - Added a new Sheet "Absorption". Which can be used to calculate damage mitigation of two sets of gear, comparing gear in terms of mitigation and effective health.
    - Added support for the spreadsheet for characters of levels 1-60.
    - Added a tiny table showing the comparison of key stats between Variants 1 of Single-Wield and Dual-Wield fighting.

    - Fixed an in the calculation of impact of change of X IAS, the sheet always gave result for 1%.
    - Reduced font.

    - Fixed an error regarding Variant 2's weapon types, which resulted in referencing to Variant 1 instead.

    - Added support for follower buffs and choosing other passives than archery, steady aim and sharpshooter.

    - Fixed a little error with the weapon IAS in variant 2 of the dual-wielding spreadsheet.

    - Added a second sheet allowing to calculate DPS while Dual-Wielding.
    Note: Please mind that it is not 100% accurate (more like 99,9% from my tests), unfortunately after some investigation I am not aware of the source of the issue. However the range of error is so small it should not impact the decision process.

    - Added a possible +Crit DMG stat on the weapon, since it has been missing previously.

    - Added permission to adjust width of rows and columns to prevent from showing "###".

    Link to the current version of the spreadsheet: http://rapidshare.com/files/2723022668/DH Damage Calculation v1.94 prot.xlsx

    Alternate link:

    Googledocs link:
    You have to make your own copy of the document to use it.
    Link to the unprotected version -
    http://rapidshare.com/files/562307258/DH Damage Calculation v1.94 unprot.xlsx

    Alternate link - Unprotected: http://www.sendspace.com/file/vyrsvz

    IMPORTANT If You want to post a "bug complaint" or want me to help You with something You think is an error I will not consider them unless you use the protected version - since You simply could mess up the formulas.

    The spreadsheet is saved in XLSX format, If you use MS Office older than 2007, you will require a plugin in order to be able to open such files.

    Posted in: Demon Hunter: The Dreadlands
  • 15

    posted a message on D3 "DEAD" in 2-3 months
    450+ hours huh? Are you sure you're not just, I dunno... Bored of the game after spending most of the past couple months on it? With a release date of May 15th, that means there has been 66 days between the release of D3 and now.

    66 * 24 = 1584 hours total
    Minus 8 * 66 = 528 hours for sleep, gives us 1584 - 528 = 1056

    1056 - 450 = 606

    450 hours spent on the game, 606 not... I hate to break it to you, but you've spent almost half of your waking hours on D3 since release. I'm pretty sure anyone would call that a resounding success.

    Surely if the game was so horrible, you'd have stopped playing about 400 hours ago maybe? Then your argument wouldn't seem so ridiculously flawed.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 14

    posted a message on Treasure Creatures - a minor insight into loot distribution
    Hello out there fellow gamers.

    Recently I have been putting alot of time into farming the treasure monsters in act II inferno in hope of finding something to sell on the auction house. In this process it came to my interest that the four different kind of "treasure goblins" - so to speak - seem to have slightly differentiated loot tables. I therefore decided to note the loot that I found from farming in hope of finding some expectactions of "what to most likely get" when you kill this li'l son of a **** with a bag of gold!

    I have searched a little around here and there for some elaborate research into this and generally could not find something definitive, so I decided to post my results here. IF there should be some people who have the actual loot distribution tables or have performed far more research than I have collected in the following thread, please bring this to my knowledge.

    Anyway, now that the formal stuff is over, let's get down to business.

    - - -

    The goal of my data is to find:
    1) If there is some sort of differentiated loot tables for the different treasure monsters, aka if bandits generally drop more blues compared to the goblins.
    2) if there is an even or uneven chance of getting each kind of monster; hence expanding the scope slightly.

    SO... What I have collected after a day of farming is a collection of data from 200 treasure monsters killed (these treasure monsters are either Treasure Goblin, Treasure Bandit, Treasure Seeker or Treasure Pygmy). The data is actually from a total of 208 monsters, but 8 of those pesky bastards either managed to run into a group of monsters or some random creature killed me and allowed the treasure monster to portal away...

    I have farmed in a gear set having 165% MF and 0% GF. The % MF may inflict some of these results in the shown percentage of a given quality gear, however, the overall picture should be the same. The reason why I ran with +MF gear was simple: I wanted to farm items, and these data are merely something I came up with along the way.

    - - -


    Raw data can be found here (.xlsx format).

    It should be mentioned that the data set is quite small, so the errors are more likely to have an influence in the charts. I tried to collect as much data as possible without losing too much sanity and I found that 100 treasure monsters killed should do the trick.

    Generally of the 208 creatures I found, 59 were treasure goblins (28%), 62 were treasure bandits (30%), 43 were treasure seekers (21%) and 44 were treasure pygmys (21%). It is possible that the actual distribution is 25% of each; this should be clear if a larger data set becomes available.

    The following chart illustrates the average amount of gold found for each monster type.

    It does seem that there is a difference in these distributions, however, if one could look at the data sheet, the amount of gold picked up ranged widely between 500gold and 4000 gold. It should be fair to say that each treasure monster on average drops approximately 1500 gold with zero gold find gear (at least in inferno act II).

    The following chart describes the average loot collected for each treasure monster type.

    Here something becomes quite clear:
    • The Treasure Bandit dropped vastly more Tomes of Secret than the other three types.
    • The Treasure Seeker dropped vastly more gems than the other tree types (in fact, 2-4 gems per kill).
    • The Treasure Seeker seems to be slightly behind on the amount of gear dropping compared to the rest of the types; but this could be due to the small sample size.
    • Overall, the Treasure Pygmy seemed to be the type dropping the most gear with the highest quality (again, low sample size, but also by looking at the ilvls of the gear from the pygmys - they just seemed better than the rest).
    • The Treasure Goblin may drop more items overall, but not necessarily the best quality. They do, however, drop nice amounts of gold.
    Last, I should also mention that one pygmy had me dropping a legendary (ilvl 62 neck). On the second farming batch, one bandit dropped a set item and another pygmy did as well. While this is very interesting, the sample size is way too small to include this drop into the stastitics.

    - - -

    So to summarize:
    • Treasure Goblins are generally all-around great to kill, dropping mostly gold and magic items.
    • Treasure Bandits have the by far best drop chance for Tome of Secret (I had one bandit dropping 5).
    • Treasure Seekers drop gems primarily, usually 2-4.
    • Treasure Pygmys may be ahead in gear quality, but this is not concluded - the sample size needs to be improved for this
    I hope you found this useful. I also know that some of you may find these statistics very rough and utterly useless, as no conclusions can be made with proper assurance of their validity. The point of this minor research - and it really is minor - is to point out that it actually make a difference to kill one treasure monster compared to one of the others. There is nothing in this research that can by any certainty assure you that e.g. the average amount of dropped rare items from a treasure pygmy is approximately 1.25 when you have 165% MF - it only shows that the different kind of treasure monsters does not seem to share the same "loot table" (I simply can not find a better word for it). It is not rocket science nor is it something that will have a huge impact on your gameplay, but it might be relevant info for some people. Some may say "I don't care about this, I just kill all of the goblins I may find" and honestly, I understand that completely. But after these statistics were made I personally skipped a lot of treasure seekers solely due to the fact that I know they drop primarily gems and therefore I could not be arsed bothering with them.

    I may increase the sample pool if there should be more interest into this subject.

    - Happy Hunting!

    Edit1: typo
    Edit2: Increased the sample size from 100 to 200. Changed the image URL and updated.
    Edit3: updated with a link for the raw data, corrected minor typos and added a short statement at the end.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 2

    posted a message on How DPS and Damage Works
    Oddly enough, I don't believe this topic has been addressed, and if it has, please let me know.

    I've been doing some research about how dps works, and I think I have (sortof) figured it out. Most of this info is based on actual in-game numbers.

    I'd like to start this off by saying damage is not DPS. This may seem obvious to most, but it's important to distinguish the two.

    According to Jay Wilson, your damage is based on your weapon. Simple enough:

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    @Bashiok @angryrobotics It looks like each point in Intel increases base damage by 1%, but I can't find base damage :(

    @CherubDown @Bashiok Damage is based on your weapon, so look at it's damage. Although we'll probably add it to detailed stats.

    You can figure out your actual weapon DPS by


    where W_lower is the lowest dmg your weapon can do, W_higher is the highest, and W_speed_factor is your weapon speed.

    Or you can figure it out by simply looking at that giant number the game throws at you :). That settles damage and weapon DPS, but what about overall DPS? According to the game,

    Interestingly, Blizzard has decided to include your crit factor and crit chance into your overall DPS. So I decided to try to figure out a formula for the whole thing, and this is what I've come up with:

    (W_dps)+(W_dps * dmg_increase_factor) + (W_dps) * (crit_factor) * (crit_chance)

    where W_dps is your weapon's dps, dmg_increase_factor is the factor by which your damage is increased (based on your primary attribute), crit_factor is your crit damage increase, and crit_chance is obviously your chance to crit.

    My calculation isn't perfect unfortunately. It's about 0.2 off and I'm not exactly sure why. If anyone can figure it out, I'd love to know what I've got wrong.

    As for equipping two weapons (duel wielding), there's a thread here on the matter and the formula is quite simple:

    1.15*(W1_dps + W2_dps)/2

    The output of this formula can be replaced by the W_dps in the previous formula. (Thanks chippydip and romique for the correction and clarification) The 15% increase is an incentive to use 2-handed weapons.
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 5

    posted a message on German Diablo site claims Blizzard has booked a holding area for Diablo 3 boxes
    Hey everyone,

    I'm not sure how reliable or trustworthy this website is, but I thought some people on the board might like to see this little bit of info.This site claims that a logistics guy confirmed that Blizzard has booked a holding area for a bunch of Diablo 3 boxes.


    Google Translated
    "Even though many fans think that Diablo 3 in this country certainly strike a meteor in the Cologne Cathedral is, we can present you first insure even realize that the daemon is traveling quite conventional - what we regard even at our source and the latest news the release date would be

    As we learned today afternoon by a reliable person to be in the 7th and 8 Calendar week (yep, this year), tens, expect several meters high pallets packed with the Diablo 3 standard versions and collector's editions in a major international hub. The destination: the big German store chains like Media Markt, Saturn and how it all hot.

    The shipping date could not disclose the source for understandable reasons, but if you take from 10-14 days, starting from large warehouse, it could be Diablo 3 end of February or early March in the stores. The so-called "gold" version and the manuals should therefore be straight in the press. Incidentally, we were also told that Diablo 3 was registered in November 2011 and was ever canceled again. KW 7 / 8 have also been booked under the reservation, but we go out assume that it works this time. As far as our current information. Once more we know about, of course, now there's an update.

    Many thanks go to the bearer of good news!"
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
  • 16

    posted a message on Is It Soon Soon™?

    A Blizzard midnight opening. Soon a reality for us Diablo III fans, too?

    With BlizzCon 2011 over, it's time to recollect what we learned. The major thing to notice is that there were no major Diablo III-related announcements. Some might've been disappointed when the major Diablo III events were showing a cinematic and the Diablo III box covers, but I wasn't.

    Why, you might ask? The lack of announcements really shows how far in development the game is. There are no large systems left to reveal, and there is no system still just lying on the drawing board. Therefore, we are living really exciting times. The wait for a new game in the Diablo franchise, started with the release of the Lord of Destruction expansion pack for Diablo II in June 2001, is soon over. Even the thought is surreal.

    Despite the surreality, this article will try to meticulously gather all we know of the game's progress and make educated speculations as to when we might expect to finally play the finished product. I should set forth a disclaimer that I have no secret information that isn't publicly available, and that all the actual conclusions presented will be highly speculative in nature. Although, I'll try to refrain from making too many pure guesses and base my speculation on actual information.

    Definitely far in development...

    Generally Blizzard has adopted a motto of releasing games "when they're done". The biggest sign of that, they have said, is when the entire development team is spending more time playing the game than developing it. In a recent interview conducted by Sixen and Force, the game's lead Jay Wilson said that the team is already busy playing the game over and over and enjoying it.

    The same was basically stated by Senior Game Designer of Diablo III, Andrew Chambers:

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    Andrew Chambers: Diablo and Diablo 2 were just those kinds of games that you just sunk hours into. It would be like "Oh, wait, it's... morning?" Those types of games. And that's one of the things that's kind of really hard to capture sometimes when you're doing a sequel. But I've been finding myself doing the exact same thing with Diablo 3. Intending to just test one small quest line or something -- like up to the Skeleton King -- and then basically playing the entire game in just one sitting. And then I'd be like,"What, that's not what I was here for!"[...]

    Although never stated directly (damn you people who asked so many irrelevant questions in the Diablo III Q&A panel) the whole game is definitely playable and most likely all of the game models and animations are implemented in some form. Probably some iteration is still left. As I already said, all of the game's systems have been implemented into the game. All cinematics have been finished, all recordings (both dialog, Foley effects and music) have been finished and only some post-production might remain. Not to mention the boxes the game will ship in are ready, and all of the collectibles featured in the CE are ready.

    The game feels altogether very polished as everyone participating in the beta can testify. The team is busy cracking whips to make the game ready. Even the team that is responsible for looking into developing a console version of the game is helping the PC development team to finish the game as soon as possible, as testified here by the Lead Console Developer, Josh Mosqueira:

    Official Blizzard Quote:

    Josh Mosqueira: Literally, there's three of us on the [Diablo III console] team right now. [...] But actually right now, day-to-day, I'm helping these guys [the PC development team] trying to finish this awesome game, Diablo.

    But now that I got you all excited, you should hold your horses.

    ... but still some more needed
    An example Legendary. Click to see full tool tip.
    Another actual info galore we experienced from BlizzCon is the little bits here and there were the development team admitted that there's still some work left ahead of them.

    The item system is still being worked on. As is evident from the recent update on the official site, where the tentative Legendary Item stats were replaced with the text "Legendary and Set items are being worked on. Check back soon to see their stats!"

    For example, the rune system is not finished. Although Jay Wilson said that the current system, and the system before that, would both have been fine for release, they are going to revise the system trying to incorporate the best of both worlds.

    Also, higher difficulties still require some tuning. Although they are definitely playable, the team is still looking into them. This is not a bad thing per se, since the difficulties are one of the last things to be done, and the fact that the team is working on them speaks wonders.

    The followers were only recently changed to be end-game viable, so there'll still be left some tweaking for them, especially in how they act in later difficulties. The team stated that their intention is to try to hit the sweet-spot where they are viable but not necessary, although they admitted that someone serious about min-maxing will most definitely use them.

    As for the beta, some of the recent skill changes (that are on the game's official site) were only recently updated into the beta. That means that there are still several beta patches to go.

    What can history teach us?

    Now that we've definitely noticed that the development is on home stretch, it's time to look back into history and see what we can learn from it. I have gathered the following data of the previous 4 Blizzard releases:

    Although timelines in the past tell nothing about the future by themselves, we can assume that Blizzard has an internal strategy about how they prefer to transition from beta to launch. The data should be pretty self-explanatory, but on the left we have various dates for SCII and three WoW expansion packs and on the right I laid out the times between release date announcement and game release, and beta closure and release date.

    I intentionally excluded the launch of the original World of Warcraft and previous games, since from the fact that WoW's release date was announced only a couple weeks before release we can make that the agenda was simply to put the game out as soon as it's done.

    Let's first look at how far in advance Blizzard has preferred to announce their release dates. Right now we know that Diablo III is aimed at Q1 of 2012, which would place the prospective release date between January and March. Blizzard has gravitated between a steady window of 8-9.5 weeks for the time period they have chosen between release date announcement and actual release date. Only exception is Starcraft II, but because the game was delayed from an original release date in 2009 to 2010, we might assume that Blizzard wanted to give the fans a decent forewarning as the delays were mostly associated with battle.net 2.0 infrastructure rather than the game itself.

    Therefore we could safely assume that Diablo III release date is going to be announced at least 8 weeks before the release takes place. So a January release would be announced this November and a February release the coming December, and so forth.

    The login screen we all want to see eventually.
    Now, turning our attention to beta closure. We should first keep in mind that the Diablo III beta key sweepstakes on Facebook have been announced to continue until December 12. It would make sense that whoever decided on the duration of the sweepstakes had the most recent knowledge available. It would also make sense if Blizzard intended to run the sweepstakes for at least its full duration, since it'd be bad press to stop them earlier than intended, while as prolonging it would be only positive.

    The two most recent betas have been closed roughly 2-3 weeks in advance from release, so we might expect this trend to continue. Therefore at earliest the beta could be sensibly predicted to close right after the Boxing Day (Dec 26). I do expect the beta to continue a little bit longer, but probably not much.

    Thus the earliest sensible release date for the actual game is a Tuesday, two weeks from the Boxing Day, which would be January 10 2012. But because we're talking of Blizzard, any predictions we make should include a couple weeks of extra buffer.

    If I had to make a guess for the release date, I'd place it around January 31 or February 7 2012. However, what's most interesting is that an earlier release date would probably be announced during this November. Henceforth, in just four week's time, we can safely assume whether the game is going to come out in January or February. If the release date hasn't been announced by the end of November, we can pretty safely assume that the date is going to be announced during December and the actual release take place during February.

    An event when we probably won't get the release date.
    Tomorrow, on November 8, Activision-Blizzard will have its third quarter financial results conference call. I'm prone to say that we won't get an exact release date, but it's very possible that Blizzard might clarify their release window to please investors. It might be something as simple as "we expect to launch the game before the end of February", or then they might simply restate their earlier Q1 2012 prediction. We'll cover the podcast in any case, so be sure to check our front page if I'm proven wrong.

    Nevertheless, the end of the year will be a very exciting time for us all. Stay tuned!
    Posted in: News & Announcements
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