Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Did Amazon leak the Diablo 3 Release Date?

With an announcement regarding the long-awaited release of Diablo 3 approaching, all of us have been on the edge of our seats waiting for more information. 

We may have gotten that announcement early.  The release date according to Amazon recently showed up as April 17th, 2012. This would mix perfectly with Blizzard's expectation that Diablo 3 will be a 'Spring release' in the second quarter of 2012. 

Curiously, Amazon removed their expected release date from the product shortly after. April 17th was originally listed as the date here, although now it just reads "2012". Interesting.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More Diablo 3 Release Date Hype from Blizzard CEO

Mike Morhaime, CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, has given us more information on a possible Diablo 3 release date during a company-wide announcement. This time we have a more specific timeframe as to when we can expect a release date: "in the coming weeks"
"We're continuing to develop, iterate, and polish Blizzard DOTA, Diablo III, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, as well as other, unannounced projects. We'll have exciting news to share in the coming weeks regarding Diablo III's release date, and will soon be holding a private media event to showcase the latest work on Mists of Pandaria."

The announcement itself was regarding company layoffs at Blizzard, although Morhaime noted that the job trimmings at Blizzard were focused at support staff and did not affect the development teams.

For the full announcement, check out the Blizzard Forums.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blizzard previewing new abilities

As the Diablo 3 developers continue to refine the game, Blizzard has been kind enough to post previews of several abilities that have not been accessible in the beta. A full 20 new abilities have been added to the official site's game guide, including at least a few from each class.


Ancient Spear - Throw a spear to pull an enemy back towards you
Earthquake - Shake the ground violently, doing 1600% weapon damage as fire
Overpower - Deal 260% weapon damage to all enemies within 9 yards
Furious Charge - Rush forward, damaging and knocking back enemies

My Thoughts

Ancient Spear (level 28) - Now that we get to see this ability in use,  the spear's quickness and utility seem ideal for pulling enemies towards you and away from your allies in both PvP and PvE. As the Barbarian is one of the classes built to take punishment, it seems Blizzard is trying to allow for players to tank more effectively.

Earthquake (level 19) - Seemingly a pretty standard AoE DoT. It's also pretty hard to be disappointed by the effect - lighting up everyone around your character with flames is just cool.

Overpower (level 18) - The damage triggers instantly. Overpower has a low cooldown coupled with a very quick cast time, meaning it should make for a good follow-up for mobs weakened by earthquake.

Furious Charge (level 21) - Words cannot describe the awesome that is witnessed in Blizzard's demo video of this ability. Many exploding boars. As far as the ability itself, it has a pretty decent range, even damaging enemies past the end of its destination.

Overall I'm very happy with the way these abilities look so far. Ancient Spear and Furious Charge open up opportunities to reward skillful Barb play, while Earthquake and Overpower synchronize well for straight-up AoE damage.

To see new video of the other four classes' abilities, head over to Diablo III's official site.

Monday, February 27, 2012

More Information on Runes Released

Recent changes to the beta build have revealed a new direction Blizzard is taking for Diablo 3's rune system. 

While you were previously able to find general runes that could be applied to several different abilities to gain a certain bonus effect, now runes are unique to skills. This means that each skill now has its own set of runes, what appears to be 5 runes per skill. These rune slots are unlocked as you level.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Diablo 3 Release Date on the way

Included in a post on the official Diablo 3 forums by Jay Wilson recently was this gem:
"We think you're going to love Diablo III when it's released, and speaking of release plans, you can seriously expect a launch-date announcement from us in the near future. See, I didn’t say “soon,” so I’m not taunting you. ;) You’ll know as soon as I know for sure the exact date."

Wilson, director of Diablo 3, also said that the team was putting in long hours of "crunch time". It's also worth noting that the beta was recently updated to patch 13.


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