-> graphics are complete (despite of the ""art direction"" ...)
-> chars are *not* completely done: only few skills, which are not even completed. The other chars are missing.
-> story is not complete, listening to the panel about world and art
-> acts are not done... more important, how many acts there will be? are they 2, 3, or 5? if so the time required is much more.
The other chars aren't missing. They said they are playable back at blizzard HQ. Of course not finished. The story not being complete kind of blows my theory out of the water but I don't know, maybe they have sufficient manpower??
I think StarCraft2 will come out in about 2 months with a release of the new battle.net, then beta will start for D3 shortly after that, like 2 months, then in about 4 more months the game MAY be ready for release.
They have to wait long enough to create a media circus, but not so long that lots of non-fans get bored of waiting. I'm guessing it'll be at least a year, but less than 3. Maybe open beta in a year or so...
I honestly think that Blizzard is exaggerating their development progress (in terms of what stage they are in).
They have act 1 done, they have 2 chars completely done, with the other 3 partially worked on. They have the engine down and the art direction (sshh). They have the story down.
All that needs to be done now is finishing the acts, finishing 3 chars, finishing items, and polishing.
It's all content adding.
I really don't think this should take longer than 1 year, with 1.5 years MAX.
With all of their manpower and resources, it should be done much quicker and more efficient, and it's different from back in the day (D1 1997 to D2 2000).
What do you guys think?
Who said that all that is done? since starcraft 2 is set for urleay 2009, i doubt you will see diablo 3 anytime before end of 2009 most likely urleay/mid 2010.
It's not only about finishing up/polishing, they don't really benefit from releasing both SC2 and Diablo 2 close togther, and there is usually 12-18 months from a blizzard title is announced until it is released.