As I am sure that all of you are waiting for that wonderful day when you open up DiabloFans and read "Beta has started", any news of this date is something we would all love to know. Unfortunately, that date is still unknown. However, Bashiok has given just one more insight to when this day may come. A user of on Battle.net asked about the areas that each Act will cover and what more can we look forward to seeing.
Official Blizzard Quote:
You've actually seen some of the first three Acts already, and we probably won't be revealing too much more than what we've already shown. We really want to try to keep as much a surprise for you when you play through the game the first time as possible. We will be announcing all of the game systems though before beta, so there are a few things left as far as reveals go. While beta will obviously be a lot of fun, should you get the chance to get in and help test, it'll only be a small part of the whole game. Some people want to know everything, but we're really trying to preserve the surprise and wonderment (that we hope will come with exploring Diablo III) as much as possible.
This quote actually gives us a lot of information. First, we already know that Act 1 will be in New Tristram and Tristram Cathedral. Numerous videos and pictures have highlighted this area. Act 2 will include a desert type environment with areas like Caldeum and Alcarnus. The only part we know of Act 3 is Bastion's Keep as it is the only area not tied to the first two Acts. So, even with beta's release, we will not being seeing anything more of the areas, especially where Act 4 will take us.
Moving onto the next subject at hand, Bashiok mentioned that all of the game systems will be announced before beta starts. The only system we know we are waiting to hear about is the trading system that we will use in Diablo III. There is also no information out yet about how Diablo III will use Battle.net 2.0 and what features that will bring. Any other systems they have in store for us remain a mystery at this point. The real question is though, how and when will they be sharing these last bits of info before we get into beta? With an unknown amount of information to share, this unfortunately gives us no real time frame on beta's release.
The last part from the quote gives us a little bit of information on what will be included in beta. According to Bashiok, it definitely will not be the entire game, although most of us already suspected that. It seems as though the beta will be limited to some previously seen dungeons and areas from videos and screen shots that they have already released. Perhaps a run through of Act 1 and part of Act 2 with major spoilers being edited out. This could be possible since the three artisans are supposed to be gained through about this same amount of gameplay. However, it won't be until we all have our hands on this game that we find out just how this epic trilogy ends (until the first expansion pack comes out).
With no real information on when the beta starts yet, stay tuned as we will share any and all information that comes out regarding beta. As of right now, the only event we know something will be talked about in regards to beta will be the May 9th conference call where Mike Morhaime promised to talk about it.
UPDATE: I asked Bashiok if they had plans on how and when they are going to announce these remaining systems.
Official Blizzard Quote:
@ScyberDragon Yes. Very specifically.
It appears as though Blizzard knows exactly what they will be doing up until beta and more importantly, when they plan on starting beta.
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Exciting. I wonder if one of the systems we can expect to hear more about before the beta is the resource system?
Kojain, epic avatar and quote!
Edit: On a more serious note, it really surprises me we aren't going to get the full game or most of the game for beta. I can understand removing cutscenes and perhapse some dialogue story-wise, but they definitely want to be testing all the areas.
I wonder if, due to a decrease in activity from their other franchises, they'll try to up the hype for D3 some more and start announcing these systems more frequently than we've seen in the past. I don't think it's likely, but it's worth taking into consideration seeing that Cataclysm was released last December.
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I hate the way you cling to ignorance and pass it off as innocence
Maybe they will reward us with system reveals for the final 100,000 Facebook Likes. Sounds far fetched, but it would really be sweet. So what do you think is left for systems? Traits? Trading? Waypoints? Resources?
I think we should riot if they don't announce the beta on the May 9 conference call.
It will either be announced at the closing ceremony for the 'con, or put in turnaround for more time at that point. Upper management will probably review the state of things in august and commit to a release window at that point, and there's no reason to make it '11.
Think of it from ATVI's perspective - they could get a boost from d3, Hos, and the next WoW release all in 2012, WITH the new CoD. Seven or eight billion bucks in a year buys alot of stock buyback $$$. They don't care about the upcoming CC - they want the one 7 quarters from now to be super-kaching.
Theres no benefit to clumping your profits into one year, especially if you could end a year on a high note after canceling a bunch of projects early on. If anything you're just making it so you suffer in the surrounding years, especially since WoW/SC2/D3 xpacs will probably come out every 1.5 years, so you would basically leave 2013 empty for Blizz. Theres also no reason to keep saying 2011 is your goal when you're planning on 2012, and theres even less of a reason to explicitly state that you're going to talk about the beta during the upcoming conference call and then not say a word about it.
Again, the combination of a beta six months before release (if that is still the case) and a goal for a 2011 release adds up to a summer beta. Even if its on their minds that early 2012 would be an OK outcome, they still would need to get the beta going this summer in order to see whether or not its capable of coming out in 2011. Not to mention the SC2 beta was announced at a similar conference call and released a short time after.