More Hopes Dashed, 1.13 Delay Going Strong

Standards continued to waver as the patch faced delay after delay since its official announcement. Today, Bashiok was the unfortunate bearer of bad news yet again.

Official Blizzard Quote:

Update - 11/18
We've recently completed a revised version of the Diablo II 1.13 patch that removes the increased stash size. A larger stash will unfortunately no longer be a feature included in patch 1.13 due to the previously mentioned concerns. As higher priority work continues on Warcraft III we're hoping to complete our quality assurance tests for the 1.13 patch in the next few weeks. But as always, the types of issues that may appear and take higher priority are rarely foreseeable. We continue to plan a release based on our best intentions.

If it is indeed true that increased stash size is now no longer in the picture (see Patch 1.13: Larger Inventory for Diablo II), every top request made by fans when Blizzard ran its fan-request patch marathon (see Tell Blizzard Your #1 Diablo II Patch Note) earlier this year has been denied so far, with the possible exception of skill resets, which we have received no further conformation or details on since it was hinted at:

  1. Increased stash size, which is the cause of the current delay as they take hardware and server considerations in to thought, is so far essentially confirmed [highlight](now debunked)[/highlight].
  2. No increased resolution- it would require "fundamental change" to the game and would have to account for faster player traveling issues (like being able to Teleport or Jump farther), spawning monsters on a larger scale around the player, and monster aggro would have to be taken in to account.
  3. No new end-game content. Bashiok noted that with this patch it would not be possible to add it, although there was no inkling of whether or not it would or would not be included with any future patch.

As far as why the expanded stash upgrade was also nixed, it was apparently due to outdated hardware and software, as hinted at before:

Official Blizzard Quote:

The service is designed specifically for the requirements of the game. Meaning that specific hardware has and continues to be used because the game was designed to run on it. The limitations now are that this hardware is pretty old, the storage capacity is more than enough to hold the data from an increased stash size, but at peak load can the service and database actually handle the ability to record all the data without fault? The feeling is probably not.

Now, that's only a reasonable doubt. If we were to throw caution to the wind and see if it works anyway the teams that would be responsible for cleaning up the mess are hard at work on completing the new for StarCraft II. We're just not willing to bet the manpower that it will work and potentially impact one of our next major game releases.

The question then comes up that why don't we just upgrade the hardware? As I sort of hinted at this isn't off the shelf hardware and we can't simply throw in some new parts and hope it all works. It would be months of work, again, by teams of people that we simply aren't willing to remove from their current tasks.

Yet again, Blizzard raises the pretense that the patch could be expected in the next "few weeks" and is now on hold due to more "higher priority" issues concerning Warcraft III patching, when progress was said to pass over to Diablo II's patch (see WCIII Patch is Up- Diablo II Patch 1.13 Soon to Follow?) since the PTR went live for WCIII some time ago.

On the flip side, this may mean the patch will come along sooner without complicated additions to work in to massively-outdated server technology and software.

Whether this patch will continue to hold the nearly decade-faithful player base of Diablo II in sway is yet to be seen, but in light of recent events, it may be that this news will meet a frothing pot of dissatisfaction for those who have been waiting for months for not only this patch, but years for basic fixes for many issues with Diablo II.

(Astion first posted about it- see here for the original thread.)


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