Blizzard Entertainment provided the Diablo III Beta Press Event attendees a B-roll video showing all classes battling through Tristram and the Cathedral dungeon. The monsters targeted are slightly red-highlighted to identify which the player is attacking at a given time. Some of the changes made to certain spells and abilities modified by runes can be seen in this b-roll video.
The Witch Doctor’s Wall of Zombies is modified by a rune displaying instead zombies climbing on top of each other creating a sort of tower then dropping forward over a bunch of monsters to pulverize them. The Witch Doctor has an ability to throw a jar upon the ground to unleash a giant spider minion. There is a weird stone-cloud animation around the giant spider. You can see the Witch Doctor and its three mongrels get a golden glow on their center every few seconds (Aura buff?).
01:31 – Interesting. There are two Fetish Shaman (as seen in Diablo II Act III: Kejinstan Jungle). They seem to be channeling a massive rune spell on the ground with a large area of effect. The Witch Doctor walks back and forth within the rune area, and monsters enter it. This scene suggests the Fetish Shaman are NPCs helping the Witch Doctor or they are summoned. The monsters seem to get damage over time while in the area of effect.
2:05 – The female Wizard casts a blue electric discharge in a frontal cone causing aoe damage to any mobs within 5 yards. Additionally, you can see her casting the firebolt-like ability. Whenever that’s cast, a pool of lava spawns beneath the Wizard. By moving away, you can force monsters to walk through these pool of lava.
3:04 – The Demon Hunter throws a couple of giant ninja hira-shurikens that swirl around.
3:40 – Odd. Monk abilities have golden special effects, but here are a few abilities with a teal special effect. Another resource type?
4:00 – The monk summons one of those giant bells and kicks it to knockback a large group of monsters. The rune effect used by the Wizard at 2:05 is seen again with the Monk. When he casts a specific ability, the ground beneath him becomes a pool of boiling lava.
6:50 – Demon Hunter casts Fan of Knives. A redish rune appears before the fan of knives kicks in, allowing you to preview the circular range to be affected.
7:00 – The male Wizard casts a huge elemental nova. All mobs within the nova get knockback and a slow-movement windy-like aura for a few seconds. Curious thing: The wizard is using a sable sword and shoots some magic spells through the sword.
We’re introducing a powerful auction house system that will provide a safe, fun, and easy-to-use way for players to buy and sell the loot they obtain in the game. Items can be sold and purchased using real-world money or in-game gold.
An Easier Way To Trade
Sure, slaying monsters, demons, and cultists is a surefire way to obtain a ton of random new loot in Diablo III, but with the new auction house feature, it’ll be easier than ever to gear up your character with the exact items you’re looking for. You can also post the items you don’t need for players who are desperately searching for what you’ve got!
Don’t Need It? Put It Up For Auction!
Nearly everything found in the game, including gold, can be exchanged with other players directly or through the auction house system. So say you’re a witch doctor and you’ve just found an incredibly rare, incredibly powerful axe that only barbarians can use. In the previous Diablo games your best option might have been to sell the axe to an in-game vendor, but in Diablo III, you now have the ability to list that axe in the auction house for your fellow barbarian players to bid on. And you know another player will probably appreciate the true value of that axe more than some heartless vendor who’ll likely just melt it down for scrap…
Amazing Search Functionality
The auction house’s “smart search” functionality can automatically sort items in the auction house based on which upgrades would be most beneficial to your character. Also, searching for the best gear for multiple characters on the same Battle.net account can be done all from the same interface without having to log out.
The Choice Is Yours
Use of either the real-money or gold-based auction house is completely optional — that decision can be made on a per-item basis, and both versions of the auction house are functionally the same. In addition, players have the option to simply sell the items they obtain to in-game vendors for gold. They can also trade items to other players through a direct character-to-character trading system in the game in exchange for gold, other items, or just an overwhelming sense of goodwill.
Blizzard does not plan to post items for sale in the auction house. The driving purpose of the auction house is to provide players with a fun additional in-game option for what they do with the items they obtain in the game. Items sold in the auction house will be posted by players and purchased by players.
Safe and Sanctified
The real-money auction house provides players with an easy-to-use, Blizzard-sanctioned way to collect money for items they obtain while playing Diablo III. It also helps protect players from the scams and theft often associated with questionable third-party sites by providing a secure, completely in-game method for purchasing and obtaining the items they want for their characters.
Faster Than A Seven-Sided Strike
Sellers can post items for auction from any of the Diablo III characters on their Battle.net account, or from their shared stash (extra inventory space accessible with any of the characters on their account), without logging out. And after a buyer has won an auction, the item will become immediately available to be equipped and put to good use in the ongoing struggle against the forces of the Burning Hells.
The primary reason for the Diablo III beta test is for us to test out our new hardware, see how the server–client infrastructure holds up, and look for bugs in the installer and patcher as well as the game. We’re also looking to get some quality feedback about the beginning game experience and how the different classes feel. The beta test will help us ensure that the release is stable and fun, and that we’re ultimately able to deliver the experience we intend with Diablo III.
How do I sign up for the Diablo III beta test?
To sign up for the Diablo III beta test or future Blizzard Entertainment beta tests, you first need to create a Battle.net account. You can then opt-in to the beta test for Diablo III, as well as beta tests for future Blizzard Entertainment games, through the beta opt-in process. To get started, simply click Beta Profile Settings in Battle.net Account Management. Please note that opting in to a beta test through this method does not guarantee that you will be selected.
If I opted in to the Diablo III beta, how will I know if I’ve been selected to participate?
If you are selected, you will receive an email from Blizzard instructing you to log in to your Battle.net account at www.battle.net if you don’t already have one. You’ll then be able to download the beta client directly from within Battle.net Account Management. We plan on inviting players in waves, so if you do not receive an invitation in the beginning of the testing period, there’s a chance you might receive one in a later wave.
1,000 Diablo III beta keys were promised at BlizzCon; how do I know if I am winner?
We will be sending out emails with beta keys to winners along with detailed instructions on how to access the beta test. Players who receive a beta key via email will need to create a Battle.net account, click “Add or Upgrade a Game” in Account Management, and enter the key there. The beta client will then be available for download from within Battle.net Account Management.
How long will the beta test last?
We have not determined an exact date for the end of the beta test. We will notify participants when the beta test is nearing completion.
How many players do you plan to invite to the beta test?
The number of players we invite will be based on our testing needs. If during the course of testing we determine we need more players to participate, we’ll invite more.
How are beta test participants selected from the opt-in pool?
Beta testers are chosen according to their system specs and other factors, including luck. Our goal is to have a good variety of system types to best test compatibility.
Which regions will be able to participate in the beta test?
All regions will be able to participate in the Diablo III beta test; however, to keep the process as efficient as possible, and ultimately to release the game as soon as possible, we plan to roll out the hardware infrastructure for Diablo III in waves, starting with North America. This means that players outside of North America who are granted access to the beta test may experience some latency issues.
What game content will be available in the beta?
You’ll be able to try out all 5 character classes and experience the early stages of Diablo III from the start of the game through the Skeleton King encounter. You’ll be able to interact with new and returning characters in New Tristram and fight the reawakened evils emanating from the cursed Tristram Cathedral. You’ll also experience the randomized elements of Diablo III as well many of the new system designs that take many of the core Diablo design elements to a whole new level.
Will the progress I make during the beta test carry over when the game launches?
No, the purpose of the beta test is to ensure that the game and hardware infrastructure are ready to go as soon as possible. The main benefit of participating is being able to be among the first to play the game extensively prior to release. However, everyone will start on equal footing once the game is launched.
Will the Diablo III Auction House be available in the beta?
Yes, we plan on testing the functionality of the Diablo III gold-based auction house during the beta phase.
Will Mac users be able to participate in the beta?
Yes, Mac users will be able to participate in the beta at the same time as Windows-based users.
After 10 years of anticipation following Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo II (2000) and its expansion, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (2001), the iconic action-RPG gameplay of the Diabloseries is back with a vengeance in Diablo III. In the upcoming Diablo IIIbeta test, selected participants will be among the first in the world to rejoin the battle against the minions of the Burning Hells as they explore part of the game’s foreboding first act.
Stay Awhile And Listen!
Meet up with Deckard Cain in New Tristram and get up to speed on what’s been happening in Sanctuary since the events of Diablo II. Interact with the townspeople and introduce yourself to Leah to immerse yourself in the world and lore of Diablo.
Choose Your Hero Wisely
All 5 character classes will be playable in the beta test: the dual-wielding barbarian, the fearsome witch doctor, the elementally adept wizard, the dexterous monk, and the notoriously deadly demon hunter. Each character brings the pain to the demons and undead of Sanctuary in unique and spectacular ways.
Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Skeleton King?
Evil is alive once more in the bowels of the Tristram Cathedral as the once-vanquished Skeleton King returns to plague the tiny village with gruesome horrors. The beta will pit players against this returning Diablo villain as they battle to restore peace and tranquility to New Tristam — and to finally put the tortured soul of King Leoric to rest.
Good Company In Bad Times
Players will be able to meet and interact with some of the Artisans and Followers of Sanctuary during the beta test. These characters will aid your hero in different ways along his or her journey, providing some valuable services and much-needed martial companionship.
Something Looks Different…
Each play-through of the beta test will feel like a new experience thanks to the randomized elements of Diablo III. Randomized maps, monster distribution, scripted events, and loot all make for highly replayable gameplay.
A (Treasure) Hunting We Will Go
Finding, collecting, enhancing, and trading items has always been a core component of the Diablo series, and like its predecessors, Diablo III was designed from the ground up to make the rewards as much fun as the challenges. During the beta test, players will experience the joy of anticipation and discovery with every enemy they lay waste to, ever-searching for that amazing upgrade that will take their character to a whole new realm of power.
Make It Your Own
Each character is brimming with possibilities. Which potent combination of skills, weapons, armor, and enhancements — including gems, charms, and runestones — will you assemble? With countless ways to customize each hero, players will definitely get a taste of what it means to be unique in the Diablo III beta test.
During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel held by Blizzard Entertainment and its licensed partners, Blizzard license product manager Kat Hunter and Blizzard SVP of Creative Design Chris Metzen revealed a few details of the upcoming Diablo III: Book of Cain.
Stay tuned to Blizzplanet. I have been in contact with Insight Editions since early July and waited until the SDCC panel for the official roundup of details to surface. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I will request some preview scans. This might take a while because the Book of Cain book will be on sale around the Diablo III launch date.
Chris Metzen: 13:04 – “Another really cool project we are working on with a brother named Flint Dille is a source book for the Diablo universe. It’s been many years since we published a Diablo game. There’s a lot of weird stuff floating out there in the internet and wikis and things like that, so we wanted the opportunity to really create a product — it’s essentially Deckard Cain’s journal … I think we are calling it the Book of Cain … where over the course of his adventures, his archaeology, and studying of the manuscripts over the years he’s put together a compendium of what makes the Diablo universe the Diablo universe.”
13:34 – “We are highlighting Heaven and Hell, the people that lives there, the realms of Heaven and Hell, the history of Sanctuary, the lands of Sanctuary, highlighting maybe the classes that have been playable in the games up to this point, notable people in history and pretty much trying to create a fairly tight compendium of all Diablo lore and you know one nice edition. So with any luck, that book will pop around whenever the game comes out and will be a very useful tool in getting back up on what’s up with the Diablo universe. So that’s something we are very very excited about and working on rapidly and intensely right now.
During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel, DC Comics Hank Kanalz revealed details of their Blizzard licensed graphic novels.
There will be two World of Warcraft graphic novels telling the stories of a Alliance team and a Horde team. These won’t be your usual mega heroes like Varian or Thrall. Each team is composed of characters like any other player, more down to earth. Teams that come unwillingly together to handle specific threats.
The characters are the same shown in World of Warcraft Special # 1 (Dec 2009) who were going to star in the now cancelled ongoing comic book series … World of Warcraft: Alliance # 26 and the World of Warcraft: Horde # 1. As everyone knows, the ongoing comic books were cancelled, and shortly after Wildstorm was shutdown after 18 years in the business (read Jim Lee’s Farewell). DC Comics inherited the rights to develop the World of Warcraft and StarCraft Graphic Novels.
During the SDCC 2011 panel, DC Comics Hank Kanalz unveiled three OMG-Awesome-sauce covers of the World of Warcraft: Dark Riders, World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn and StarCraft Graphic Novels. I think we have never seen artwork like this before in DC Comics Warcraft and StarCraft comic books. They look WoW TCG / Blizzard top-notch quality.
World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn
Hank Kanalz revealed at SDCC 2011 the World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn graphic novel is written by Doug Wagner with artwork by Samwise Didier, Jheremy Rapaak and Alex Horley Orlandelli. The Horde characters are: Malgar (orc hunter), Shagara (female orc shaman), Ironhoof (tauren warrior), Felgrim (undead warlock) and Ashra (blood elf paladin).
This Horde militia team is put together to address a new threat to the Horde from a new power behind the Centaur.
World of Warcraft: Dark Riders
The World of Warcraft: Dark Riders Graphic Novel shows four characters on the front cover. These fit the class and race profile shown in World of Warcraft Special # 1 for the characters that were to debut in the cancelled ongoing series: World of Warcraft: Alliance # 26. These characters in the front cover of the World of Warcraft: Dark Riders graphic novel are: Brink (gnome rogue), Karlain (human mage), Mardigan (Worgen warrior), and Revil (human priest). Loreli Fallglade (female night elf) is missing in the front cover, but she was shown in the 2009 Special # 1.
World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is written by Mike Costa, with artwork by Samwise Didier, Neil Googe, and Alex Horley Orlandelli. The Alliance story delves into the history of the Worgen, the Scythe of Elune, and the Dark Riders. After reading through this graphic novel fans will learn where the Dark Riders came from.
StarCraft Graphic Novel
The StarCraft Graphic Novel (Untitled yet) will debut in 2012 by writer Simon Furman and artwork by Wei Wang. It is a 120-pages hardcover graphic novel featuring Kerrigan vs Nova.
Hank Kanalz: Hank Kanalz: 25:34 – We are moving to do exclusive graphic novels for the World of Warcraft property. We got a couple in the workshift, the first one is a World of Warcraft Alliance graphic novel. It is written by Mike Costa and illustrated by Neil Googe. Mike Costa is better known for his work in The Transformers and G.I. Joe). Terrific writer, but also extremely into the Warcraft mythos here.
26:05 – It’s very interesting because while working on the script he’s like “I’m doing research, I’m doing research”. We know what he means. He works very closely with Micky Neilson and the lore team to really put together a lot of information in this expansive epic graphic novel that really focuses on the Alliance and the history of the Worgen. So, Micky do you want to talk about how’s it been so far?”
Micky Neilson: 26:35 – “How many people actually played the Scythe of Elune questline? This features the Scythe of Elune. It features Worgen. Some of you who played that questline must remember the Dark Riders. You never actually got to see the Dark Riders in the game. So this is a really cool opportunity to see them, to get into their history, where they came from.
27:02 – And also featuring characters who are not marquee characters. It’s not King Varian. They are more like the characters that you play everyday in the game.”
Hank Kanalz: 27:18 – “It’s been terrific too, because working with these guys very directly we are able to live a lot of the storylines together, a lot of the stuff you see in-game, or couple bits and pieces in Christie’s novels and the other novels all relate to each other. So you would be very pleased with how this is tied into everything else.
27:38 – Art by the fantastic Neil Googe. He’s terrific. He is been in Thailand for several months now, but he’s moved back to UK and he’s on homestretch finishing up the OGN. It should be up in the fourth quarter of this year.
27:52 – Next up is the Horde OGN (Ongoing Graphic Novel). This one is fantastic as well obviously. Working with Jheremy Rapaak on art, and Doug Wagner on the script. Doug is no newcomer. He’s probably most recently known for the work he did on RED which became a motion picture. He did some of the adaptatin work for comics. Rapaak is known for his work in Xmen vs Hulk. So who better to draw the orcs than a artists with his caliber. Again, terrific work. Hardcore player. He’s going really deep on details on the armor sets. Doug going very deep on story detail with Garrosh putting together an elite team of Horde warriors, and through this Micky has been working closely with Doug.”
Micky Neilson: 28:50 – “There’s a militia team, and there is a member of each race on this team, and they are kinda forced into this situation where they have to confront this new threat which is tied into the Centaur, and a new power behind the Centaur. So it’s really a representation of the Horde itself and the Horde is comprised of races who had to come together, and they are kinda forced to work together.”
Hank Kanalz: Expect the Horde OGN in the fourth quarter of this year.
31:28 – Next we have the StarCraft graphic novel. It’s a 120-pages hardcover that’s coming on 2012. It’s written by Simon Furman who is probably best known for his The Transformers work, past and present. He also worked in the ongoing StarCraft comic book that we used to ship in a monthly basis.
This one is an epic battle between Nova and Sarah Kerrigan. We were talking about the novel earlier there.
During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel, Blizzard licensing product manager Kat Hunter reported they are excited about their new partnership with Mega Bloks. A product line-up will be revealed more in-depth at BlizzCon 2011 between October 21-22.
The first wave of products will come out in 2012. Kat Hunter displayed onscreen a work-in-progress of the StarCraft II Viking Mega Blok. It actually transforms back and forth between flying or land vehicle modes. Could this be a hint of what some of these products are capable of? This product was shown to Blizzard recently by Mega Bloks representatives. Blizzard fell in love with the prototype and the house of ideas started jamming right away with the guys at Mega Bloks the possible line-up of StarCraft II and World of Warcraft units that might be attractive to fans. They decided which products will come out first, and last.
More information will come afloat at BlizzCon, and Kat Hunter revealed there will be a BlizzCon exclusive Mega Blok set of 2000 pieces. I’m not certain if it will be in the Swag Bag or on sale. We will find out as BlizzCon nears and the Swag Bag content is revealed.
During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel, Cryptozoic CEO Cory Jones revealed a new World of Warcraft TCG expansion titled Throne of the Tides which introduces a third faction which includes new monster heroes and races: Naga, Murlocs, Ogres; and monster allies for your card deck. Cryptozoic is very excited about this new feature.
In addition, Cryptozoic plans to introduce a new Product known as “Dungeon Decks”, a new gameplay dynamic for small amount of players 3-5 or such.
Automated Dungeon Decks! – Introducing a brand new raid style product!
Level Up! – Fight your way through the dungeon, and add powerful new cards to your deck as you level up!
Popular Dungeons! – Featuring The Deadmines, Scarlet Monastery, and Shadowfang Keep.
Cryptozoic CEO Cory Jones and Micky Neilson debunked the rumor I started (bonks-self) that there are plans to launch brand-new mangas. However, Micky Neilson and Chris Metzen acknowledged they loved to develop all these mangas with TOKYOPOP, and the door is not close for new Warcraft and StarCraft manga some time in the future when the time is right and ripe. That’s certainly a relief. Want Moar Manga.
Cory Jones: “14:28 – One of the things that we hope to do with the TCG is the idea that we need to continually innovate and create something that remains fresh and fun for our consumers. We are coming into five and a half to six years now. We’re now on our sixteenth set of the TCG. I think that’s a remarkable accomplishment. Most TCGs don’t last that long.
15:00 – But for that to be something that is a benefit, we need to continue to innovate. When Blizzard helped create Cryptozoic that was one of the big things that came out of that was they want a partner that you know do whatever it takes to make sure that part of quality is there.
15:14 – So the next set coming up is THRONE OF THE TIDES, and it’s going to be very interesting because for the first time we’ve created sort of a third faction. Not an official faction, that is monster specific. The first set will allow you to play a monster hero and you will have the nagas, the murlocs, the ogres — and the handhold that goes along with playing these monster races are incredibly fun with splashy effects, and the set will also have monster allies that you can put on your deck.
15:48 – So the way it’s going to work is you can be Horde or Alliance and throw a monster in, or be a Monster Hero and if you are a Monster Hero then you can only play with Monster Allies which is going to be a ton of fun. We are very excited about it.
16:01 – So the next thing, we’ve been lucky enough to be right next door to Blizzard and work very closely with them, and so for this very next set coming up — the Aftermath block — we are gonna actually include sort of [one on one ties (sp?)] back into the lore and the story as it’s happening.
16:16 – That has always been a challenge for the trading card game because the lead times are so long that you have to actually catch up with what’s happening in the MMO is incredibly difficult. We’ve finally after five years now been able to accomplish that with the last set of the Worldbreaker block actually included things around Cataclysm and as you can see in the last set we have actually gotten Deathwing as a Master Hero, so that was a splashy exciting card that we were able to include. That was awesome, and as we move forward, we are actually working with the lore team and with Chris Metzen to make sure that characters, in advance, that are going to be coming up in the MMO are reflected in the trading card game so that it’s a very natu ral extension of your experience with the IP in terms of learning about that lore, and for me that’s what I feel is great about all of this license because it allows you to have a much deeper connection to this property we are very very passionate about, and we want to make sure that we are one of those companies that advocates that experience, that’s a big priority.
17:15 – So one of the core elements for Cryptozoic is our model which is “Fans first”, and nothing really speaks to our “Fans first” ideal as much as all of the events we put on. We spend millions of dollars a year putting on events all around the world. We attend all of the major shows, and we make sure that they are very active; and large communities centered around the trading card game have this incredibly robust organized play program.
17:34 – Coming up for 2011, we actually have our World Championships, it’s going to be in Amsterdam. We are a global property. It’s just like the World of Warcraft MMO. We have offices in China, we have offices in Europe. We service an actual global community. One of the things we did recently was a World Cup, and we had 26 different countries represented with their own teams, it was very successful event. Everyone had a great time.
18:10 – Coming up shortly is the World of Warcraft World Championships, that’s gonna be in Amsterdam, and it has $250,000 as a cash prize pool, which is by far the biggest cash prize pool for any TCG out there. People gets very excited about that. It’s a very serious competition, and we are looking forward to see how it turns out in that event.
18:34 – Some of the things we are trying to do is to support the Brick and Mortar Hobby industry without finding someone to play a physical trading card game. So having some of those shops supported and doing great, having a place where you can go to meet up with your friends, and play some WoW TCG is incredibly important for us. We are doing all kinds of programs. One of the ones coming up are the Goblins of Anarchy Promotion. So we put out a series of four different cards and the only way to get these cards is to actually go down to a local Hobby Store and they give it to you free as a participation prize, and when you are actually going to run events when you can play with these cards on your deck, and they are not legal typically because they are wildly overpowered but it’s going to be something you can play with in these tournaments, and they are incredibly fun. The goblin cards are Power, Time, Cunning and Money. Those are the riders of the Apocalypse for the goblins.
19:35 – The WoW TCG innovated the idea of a raid deck where it was sort of a “one versus many” idea where someone would be the raid boss, you would invite friends over and you could have this sort of very interesting single experience with your friends trying to build this series of decks that could [be you as a massive raid boss], and playing all those overpowered cards and trying to beat other people is quitely enjoyable, and you would team up with other players to try to take your friend down.
20:08 – We had an incredible response to that over the course of the WoW TCG’s life. As always we try to think through how we can innovate and come up with something a little different and unique play experience. What we are doing moving forward is we are doing Dungeon Decks. So the idea of a dungeon deck is that it is a smaller experience than the Raid, but it is an automated dungeon deck. Sometimes it is hard to find a group of four people to play a trading card game with. The way that this works is that you can actually play between two and four people against the dungeon deck.
Or we could play three people with the Class Starter Deck, one of the gr eat features of it is there are rules inside the dungeon deck to level your deck up, so you’ll actually be able to get experience and then have access to new cards to add to your deck based on your deck leveling up. So you can continue on with the same deck and face all of the different dungeons: The Deadmines, Scarlet Monastery, and Shadowfang Keep. We have tons of quests for those locations, because people have such a strong emotional connections to those original dungeon experiences in WoW.
21:30 – Very excited about dungeon decks. The idea of leveing up my deck, and it is something I keep and I bring with me and I add new cards and I think about what kinda cards I want add as I level. That to me is very compelling as a huge fan of Warcraft and also as a huge fan of the TCG.