As you may have heard, Sixen, ScyberDragon (myself), Magistrate, and Force have all received invites into the beta once it goes live. We will all be doing our best to get everyone else complete coverage of the game. Our plan is to have at least one recap of all aspects of the beta, five days a week as well as in-depth analysis articles of various game mechanics. With the help of Force, we will also have daily video covering all aspects of the game; from play-throughs of each class to system focused videos. We are also planning on having live streams including a complete play through the beta with all four players. With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to share just exactly what kind of coverage to expect.
First, let me begin by saying we still do not know when the actual beta will start. It could be anytime from today until the 30th of September. With that in mind, we are ready at any moment to begin full coverage to share with you guys. With that said, we also know that the beta will only cover a portion of the game. Approximately, it will cover the first 1/3 - 1/2 of Act I. According to Sixen and Force who already got to play the beta, the beta takes about 2-4 hours to clear. While we will cover everything that the game has to offer at the beginning, we will not be able to cover everything in the game.
We will have full coverage of all five classes in Diablo III. No matter which one is your favorite, no class will be left behind. The plan for now is that each day of the week, we will be covering one class. For example, the Barbarian will be covered on Sundays, the Demon Hunter will be covered on Mondays, so on and so on. This will help us focus on one class at a time and give them the attention they deserve. You can expect full coverage from the feel and play style of the class, the use of their resource, their skills (see below), dialogue and story, and any other aspect that makes playing each class feel unique.
Skills and Passives
Witch Doctor, to the more obscure battle mage Wizard). Thanks to Diablo III's open skill system, we can try out almost any combination imaginable. However, the beta will not allow us to obtain every skill. With the limited range of the beta, it is most likely that we will only be able to unlock the first four tiers and have only four skill slots available. This means that we will all have to wait to try out skills like Blizzard and Fetish army. However, this still leaves us with approximately nine skills per class to dive into. Skillrunes will also not be available in the beta since they do not drop until Act II so, unfortunately, we will have to wait until release to see what these stones actually offer to the gameplay. Passive abilities do not become available until level 10. However, with some grinding, we should be able to at least get a few to test out.
Inferno. We will also have coverage of the Nephalem Cube, Stone of Recall, and Cauldron of Jordan including their use and viability of using them.
What would Diablo be without its hordes of demons to slay. We will be sharing through pictures and videos the various monsters that lay wake in your hero's path. From type, name, attacks, and stats, we will get you everything you need to know about the denizens of Hell. We will also share any encounters with any champion and unique monsters and what special affixes the brought with them. You can expect detailed combat logs of encounters highlighting Diablo III's improved encounter system. We will also be taking a hard look at the first boss fight we will get at the finish of the beta with King Leoric. Expect to hear about our battles against him as well as descriptions of how they have improved boss fights from Diablo II.
Quests and Lore
We will go in-depth with the lore and the quest system of Diablo III. While the lore will not be plentiful in this small section of the game, their will definitely still be something to talk about. As we help Leah and make our way through the Tristram Cathedral to the Skeleton King, we will share all the story has to offer. NPC dialogue and other flavor text will be shared to help flesh out the lore behind Diablo III. We will also be covering any quests that occur within the beta. How the system works, the rewards, and how the random quests change the gameplay experience. In any write-ups involving quests and lore, we will be adding the spoiler image seen above for those of you who wish to keep this part a secret until you can experience it yourself.
Any information about Battle.net will also be explored. From simple avatars and profiles to the match-making system to party up. Options for creating games will be covered so players know what to expect compared to the old Battle.net. This new 2.0 Battle.net will host a bunch of other options to help players communicate and play together and we will tell you exactly how they are doing that.
The beta will grant us access to the Follower system with the introduction of the Templar. We will explore the use of the Follower, his skills, and his added dialogue. We will find out just how important these characters are to single-player and how they effect the overall game.
Blacksmith will be the only Artisan we run into during the beta. However, we will make sure that we are giving as much coverage to this smith for players to understand how the entire system works. With the use of the Nephalem Cube, we will test out the crafting system. We will also try out socketing items and see how gems will affect our gear. Repairing gear from durability loss and buying gear from the Blacksmith will round-out our Artisan coverage.
The Auction House will not be in beta at launch. However, it will be patched in later and you can bet we will have coverage over its use the day it does. We will explore just how this new system revolutionizes how players will be trading with each other. From selling to buying, we will try our hands at the market and see how well the system works.
As of right now, there will be no PvP in the beta. Due to the fact that Blizzard is not trying to balance PvP to a razor's edge, they do not need us testing the system endlessly to ensure it does. Everyone will just get to experience together so nobody has an edge over one another.
If there is any other aspect of the game you would like covered or would like to hear about the beta, please let us know. I am sure we are all eagerly awaiting for this day but with every passing day, it will be here that much Soon™-er.