Remember when we thought that Diablo III was going to launch in 2011? Ah, those were the days. But Blizzard put a halt to that rumor train soon after the launch of D3's closed beta test, saying that the game was being pushed back to Q2 2012 to avoid releasing a game that was "almost ready." They apparently don't want to release "almost ready" components of the game, either: Blizzard recently said that Diablo III won't include PvP when it launches.
After conducting a review of its business and analyzing "current organizational needs," Blizzard made the tough call to axe around 600 employees, the game developer and publisher announced this week. Only about 10 percent of those pink slips will be handed out to workers in departments related to game development, and of those roughly 60 workers, none of them will be from the World of Warcraft team.
Diablo III's beta is nice and all, but in this case, that's the problem. The mean streak Diablo I and II players so fondly remember has seemingly had its edges rounded and then carved into perfect replicas of each of the Carebears. Blizzard, however, is quick to note that Normal mode hardly even scratches the surface of Diablo III's penchant for inflicting grievous harm on both your character and your pride. The hell-bound hack 'n' slash will apparently slice and dice players with all manner of nastiness on higher difficulties, and Blizzard's even gone so far as to release a video detailing the entire gruesome process. Aptly titled “You Will Die. We Promise,” it's basically a couple minutes of various developers promising that you will die. So that's cheery. Check it out after the break.
Blizzard's generally not so big on the whole talking thing, but the past 24 hours have given everyone an uncommonly good look at the powerhouse developer from all angles. The good news? Diablo III's almost kind of sort of but not quite here. And the bad? Try a no-holds-barred legal cage match with Valve over a name Blizzard's community – and certainly not Blizzard – invented.
Diablo III's been attempting to battle its way out of development hell for ages, but a release is finally just around the corner, right? Maybe. Maybe not. Blizzard is, as always, non-committal, but at least this time the notoriously meticulous developer has a reason: It's in the process of playing development Operation with its game, removing and replacing key bits without touching the sides. To be sure, it's touch and go, but as game director Jay Wilson puts it “No one will remember if the game is late, only if it's great."
Is it that time already? Gordon, Alex, and Nathan gather in our once-again-functional podcasting studio to discuss HP, LSI buying SandForce, Battlefield 3, Diablo III, and more! All this, plus suggestions from the peanut gallery and more in Episode 180 of the No BS Podcast! Unfortunately, the MacBook in the podcasting studio cut off the last 20 minutes of the podcast for unknown reasons, so we don't have a rant. Rest assured that this will become fodder for next week's rant.
Computer trouble? Star Trek argument? Need advice? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
I don't know if you've heard, but Minecraft is pretty great. Now, maybe (read: probably) I'm crazy, but building towers that scrape – nay, grievously paper cut – the sky and versions of Mt. Rushmore with the faces of Rush band members actually isn't my favorite part of the game. Truth be told, that award goes to the simple act of cracking open a fresh world and seeing the sights. Minecraft's random generator is a subtle master of “Ooooo, what's that over there?” and each unique world is a joy to explore. Towering, snowcapped mountains, glorious seaside vistas, winding cave mazes that feel thousands of years old (as opposed to seconds) – each one's a Costco bulk bag of block-shaped eye candy.
Meanwhile, when most gamers hear “randomization,” they probably think “Diablo loot,” or – if you've been around the block/are a clinically diagnosed masochist – “roguelikes.” That, I think, needs to change.
Online communities need an outrageous outrage every once in a while to give the forum jockeys some opportunity to vent. The latest tempest in an A-cup is Blizzard's decision to give Diablo III an "always online" DRM system, meaning you need a live Internet connection to play the game. People were reacting to this with the kind of disbelief, betrayal, and fury usually reserved for something like Neville Chamberlain signing away Czechoslovakia.
Surprise podcast! Nathan, Alex, Alan, Amber, and Gordon gather in the podcast pod to discuss the Qwiksterization of NetFlix, the de-Apothekering of HP, the UI updates of Facebook, the why-don't-we-have-access-to-the-Diablo-III-closed-beta of Diablo III, and people who don't have anything nice to say. All this and more in Episode 179 of the No BS Podcast!
Plus, we take a few questions and topic suggestions from the peanut gallery, and Gordon's Rant of the Week!
A note: We noticed in editing that our mics seemed to cut out intermittently. Sorry about the audio issues; we're trying to figure out what happened.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are not standing by.
The mere announcement of Diablo III's always on DRM had many players putting down their socketed swords of the bedazzled alligator to pick up their pitchforks and torches, but now the moment of reckoning has arrived. And the verdict? Not so hot. Now, this is still a beta, mind you, so some issues could get ironed out. Most of the issues RPS zeroed-in on, though, stem from the hack 'n' slash genre's inability to cope with a constant connection.