Expect Massive Diablo 3 Delay

#1 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Blizzard Making Big Changes to Diablo III Systems, Expect Delays

 
 
It's looking extremely likely that Diablo III will arrive much (much) later than February, as some hopeful retailers had estimated. Blizzard's Jay Wilson explains in an update today that after receiving a great deal of feedback from the Diablo III beta, it's reevaluating some of the game's core systems.

Blizzard's going back to the drawing board on some of the finer Diablo III details that players have been testing out for months, meaning an even longer wait for the next entry in the hack and slash action RPG.

The Diablo III team is ripping out things like Scrolls of Identification, the disposable items that identify mysterious weapons and armor; the Cauldron of Jordan and Nephalem Cube, which let players sell items from anywhere and break them down into raw materials, respectively; and the Mystic Artisan, the NPC that enchants player items.

Blizzard's even ripping out some of the character stats, with replacements or alternate solutions for all these now scrapped features. Major features touted as Diablo III innovations are gone, as some, Blizzard explains, detracted from the gameplay that makes Diablo games so playable and addictive.

It's kind of a big deal this late in the development game and may mean a substantial wait for Diablo III on the PC and Mac.

"There’s a lot of work left to be done, though," Diablo III game director Jay Wilson writes on the official site. "We’re constantly tuning and making balance changes; it’s a massive task."

"We want Diablo III to be the best game it can be when it launches," Wilson continues. "To get there, we're going to be iterating on designs we've had in place for a long time, making changes to systems you've spent a lot of time theorycrafting, and removing features you may have come to associate with the core of the experience. Our hope is that by embracing our iterative design process in which we question ourselves and our decisions, Diablo III won't just live up to our expectations, but will continue to do so a decade after it's released."

More details at the game's official site.


This just in. As seen on Gametrailers newsfeed. Blizzard ripping and re-assembling core systems of Diablo 3. Delays inevitable.
#2 Posted by Gargantuan (1883 posts) -

Is anyone actually surprised?

#3 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Gargantuan said:

Is anyone actually surprised?

I am frankly. Thought they'd be about ready to introduce the full skill and rune system to the beta and revv up for release soon after.

Then again, I'm thinking Blizzard's timetable for Diablo 3 currently is about matching release windows with Guild Wars 2, because I think ArenaNet has them running scared a bit.

Stealing as much of GW2's thunder as it can, that would maxime Diablo 3's strategical market value. Mark my words, GW2 and D3 will release within 1-2 months.

#4 Posted by Unchained (1081 posts) -

I hope it is still released this year. Given the sweeping changes they are making to the game, I'm not so sure. I imagine Heart of the Swarm will beat it to release now.

#5 Posted by Morningstar (2194 posts) -

Noooooo! Good news for torchlight 2 though.

#6 Posted by amir90 (2175 posts) -

Or they don't want to release it close heart of the swarm.

But cool, I can wait.

#7 Posted by xxNBxx (980 posts) -

"Keep in mind everything detailed in the article today is already in the game, and most of it is complete. Once you get Patch 10 and see that, I think it may sink in that these aren’t theoretical changes we’re still working on, they’re changes we’ve completed. Obviously the potion button still needs a little work to hook it up correctly, and the character attribute changes need to be balanced and tested for itemization throughout the game, but overall these are changes we’ve already made.

I do not intend to impress that we’re close to release, or infer any such “we’re <-- this --> done” kind of statement, but most of these are fairly straightforward changes that are already complete and implemented. We do have more changes, skills and runes, affixes to add, more items, Battle.net features, testing, testing, and more testing etc. to do so we’re obviously still not there yet, but none of the changes detailed today are theoretical or yet to be implemented." Posted by a CM on the Diablo 3 forum

So this report doesn't mean its going to be later then Q1. But it might...

#8 Posted by xyzygy (10043 posts) -

It sounds to me like they're getting rid of "confusing" gameplay elements in favor of more "streamlined" elements. For that crowd.

Kill me now.

#9 Posted by AndrewB (7670 posts) -

@amir90 said:

Or they don't want to release it close heart of the swarm. But cool, I can wait.

Heart of the Swarm doesn't have a release date either, and seems to be even further out from what I can tell. At least, it hasn't been in any sort of public beta yet (has it?) and I've seen much less coverage.

But honestly, I don't care. As long as Blizzard maintains a track record of releasing awesomely polished games, I can wait. As long as we don't end up with a Half-Life 3 scenario where they seem to deny a project even exists.

#10 Edited by Mcfart (1662 posts) -

@AndrewB said:

@amir90 said:

Or they don't want to release it close heart of the swarm. But cool, I can wait.

Heart of the Swarm doesn't have a release date either, and seems to be even further out from what I can tell. At least, it hasn't been in any sort of public beta yet (has it?) and I've seen much less coverage.

But honestly, I don't care. As long as Blizzard maintains a track record of releasing awesomely polished games, I can wait. As long as we don't end up with a Half-Life 3 scenario where they seem to deny a project even exists.

Lol, this way Valve doesn't have to delay it again every few months.

PS: Then again, when they do announce it, they'll probably delay it anyway....it's Valve ._.

#11 Posted by JJOR64 (19024 posts) -

If this makes the game better, I'm cool with that.

#12 Posted by AndrewB (7670 posts) -

@Mcfart: When a company releases vague month or season for a release date, it's rarely something set in stone. I'd rather a confirmation that it's still something that exists than a denial and 8 year wait.

#13 Posted by Mnemoidian (955 posts) -

*shrug* It'll be done when it's done. Don't get your heart set on a date until Blizzard announces it. That said, as Jay Wilson said in his post, most of the changes listed are already implemented and will be in (beta) Patch 10.

Besides, I half-expect Blizzard to delay a game out of spite whenever someone leaks/guesses their target release date. :P

#14 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

I'm still waiting for the CE to go up for pre-order over here.. That alone seems to rule out a February release, they're not just going to sell it for a week or two before it comes out.

And Blizzard games are always heavily delayed, I'd love to play it soon.. but I'm not expecting it until the end of the year. Expecting it any sooner will only lead to disappointment.

#15 Posted by Ethan_Raiden (344 posts) -

Bad reporting on their behalf seeing as you can't delay something that hasn't been announced.

#16 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8699 posts) -

This can only be good for the game, that's what I'm hoping.

#17 Posted by macky (14 posts) -

If they postpone it more, it's totally gonna grind my gear and i'm thinking of not getting it at all. They've been working on this game more or less for over a decade. They can release it and patch it 'till better just like Blizzard did with WoW. But then again, these are only my thoughts...

Somehow i saw this coming in one way or another, so i got myself a ps3 recently. RE: Operation Racoon City and the new RE: 6, iz gon be teh SHYTE!

#18 Posted by Jimbo (9877 posts) -

I didn't play the beta, but there is still so much room for improvement in this genre. Really in any genre with looting tbh. They need to be absolutely ruthless about stripping out busy work.

#19 Posted by sins_of_mosin (1556 posts) -

I'm very happy to hear that they are going to redo a lot of the game because frankly it sucked. I now have a slim interest in the game again.

#20 Posted by phrosnite (3518 posts) -

Blizzard is the only company that can freely completely change the game mechanics over and over again. I find the constant changes funny. "We removed this, we removed that." Things that they hyped 6 months ago. Hahaha. Good thing I had my fill of dungeon crawlers with Dungeon Siege 2 and Titan Quest. Diablo 3 could come out tomorrow and I wouldn't care.

#21 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1546 posts) -

I'm glad, after playing the beta I'm not too hyped for this game anymore. I'll probably still pick it up but I won't play it for nearly as long as Diablo II.

#22 Posted by Aus_azn (2224 posts) -

Wow, this article is full of shit.

All of the changes have already been implemented and are coming out with patch 10 within the next week. It's been on the D3 forums (which, right now, is full of whining, crying babies) since the announcement yesterday.

Mind you, I wouldn't be surprised if this delays it, but the changes have been implemented already and that they theoretically shouldn't delay it.

#23 Posted by mordukai (7159 posts) -

I got off of the Diablo III hype train when I heard about the dumb DRM it's going to have. Completely took my interest levels down to zero.

#24 Edited by Floppypants (798 posts) -

I have no doubt that D3 will be a great game.  Whenever they decide to stop sitting on it, I'll be there at midnight picking up my Collector's Edition.
 
When I went to BlizzCon in '09, I was able to talk with a developer shortly after I finished playing the game.  He wanted to know if I was excited for the game.  I told him that I hope I'm still alive when it comes out.

#25 Posted by Irvandus (2882 posts) -

A delay from Blizzard? Never. Next you're going to tell me Half Life 3 isn't coming out this year.

#26 Posted by Rotnac (792 posts) -

I can't say im surprised by the delay but if it makes the game better than I'll gladly wait.

#27 Posted by TheJappernaut (124 posts) -

To be honest these changes don´t sound huge in my opinion. I realize that even changes like this will take some time to complete. I´m still hoping it will release in Q1, but then again I´m an optimist.

#28 Posted by Marokai (3074 posts) -
@xyzygy said:

It sounds to me like they're getting rid of "confusing" gameplay elements in favor of more "streamlined" elements. For that crowd.

Kill me now.

Pretty much.
#29 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7099 posts) -

@JJOR64 said:

If this makes the game better, I'm cool with that.

Yep. Blizzard gets as many delays as they need for Diablo III because I want it to be incredible and I'm willing to wait.

#30 Posted by ajamafalous (12051 posts) -
@Seppli said:

Then again, I'm thinking Blizzard's timetable for Diablo 3 currently is about matching release windows with Guild Wars 2, because I think ArenaNet has them running scared a bit.

I lol'd.
#31 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@ajamafalous said:

@Seppli said:

Then again, I'm thinking Blizzard's timetable for Diablo 3 currently is about matching release windows with Guild Wars 2, because I think ArenaNet has them running scared a bit.

I lol'd.

Everybody is on a time budget. Everybody who spends his or her time in GW2 rather than D3 or WoW gets drawn away from Blizzard. Especially these days, looking at Diablo 3's real-life money economy and the increasing importance of microtransactions, you want players in your game generating value and revenue.

Blizzard is working hard on their Battlenet community. Trying to keep their customers immersed in their games and their universes. With cross game social glue. With cross game promotions. Across everything Blizzard. In-game or not. At home and when mobile. Anytime and everywhere. Blizzard does network their communities into one.

The prospect of losing 1-2 million customers and significant amounts of their time to a direct competitor and a product that might be better than theirs - that's something they can't afford to ignore. There's only about 4 million western consumers willing to subscribe to their MMO, if they get their fix elsewhere without service fee... you do the math.

#32 Posted by tekmojo (2302 posts) -

Half-Life 3 must have spoiled me. Delay, schmelay.

#33 Posted by kindgineer (2773 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

I didn't play the beta, but there is still so much room for improvement in this genre. Really in any genre with looting tbh. They need to be absolutely ruthless about stripping out busy work.

Thank you, I am glad to see someone here that understands we don't need tons of "confusing" or "hard" busy work that gets us to the same place as streamlining it. All I have seen lately pertaining to this kind of stuff is Blizzard (and other companies) dumbing down their games.

#34 Posted by MentalDisruption (1650 posts) -

It's kind of hard to delay something that doesn't have a definitive release date. Either way, Blizzard is the only company that I don't mind waiting for as long as they keep releasing quality products.

#35 Edited by Feikken (221 posts) -

@Gargantuan said:

Is anyone actually surprised?

FUCK no.

anyone who expected that it would come out in a convenient time-frame probably hasn't had the pleasure of waiting for a Blizzard title before.

and if you have you should know better.

#36 Posted by Ethan_Raiden (344 posts) -

@Mordukai said:

I got off of the Diablo III hype train when I heard about the dumb DRM it's going to have. Completely took my interest levels down to zero.

What DRM?

#37 Posted by Mnemoidian (955 posts) -

@Ethan_Raiden: Battle.net, active connection required.

Which I personally think will make it a much better game.

#38 Posted by NekuCTR (1663 posts) -

SC2 HotS coming Spring 2021.

#39 Posted by Flaboere (344 posts) -

@NekuCTR said:

SC2 HotS coming Spring 2021.

Ok. I trust in you.

#40 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@Mnemoidian said:

@Ethan_Raiden: Battle.net, active connection required.

Which I personally think will make it a much better game.

I don't think it's enough to sour me on the game, but I'm not sure how you can think it's a good thing either.

I most enjoyed playing Diablo 2 on a LAN with my friends and brother. Being forced to play online means we have to constantly worry about the internet connection, if it goes down.. no more game. It's an irritating addition to what was before a very smooth experience. I'd gladly take being locked out of the cash shop/online play in favour of being able to play offline on a LAN.

#41 Posted by Mnemoidian (955 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind: Well, I appreciate your concern regarding LAN-play, but on the other hand, I am glad for what it means for online play, and for the eco-system of the game - considering all the rampant cheating that has been plaguing the first 2 games in the series. (which Battle.net won't be foolproof against, but it makes cheating have a very serious price).

Sure, in a friends-only group you probably don't have to worry about that anyway, but... maybe this way I'll be more likely to play with people outside of my small circle of friends.

Beyond that, everyone being forced to play online will most likely result in better online communities (because it'll be easier to reach out to other players, if you want) and Blizzard gets the possibility of providing additional services - like browser-based armory, access to certain features through smartphone applications (from WoW: Auction House, Guild chat), etc. It adds to the meta-game and allows you to keep in touch with your WoW and Starcraft 2 friends - which is worth nothing for those new to Battle.net, but I'm sure will be very nice for those who have friends on their accounts previously.

As for connection, I can only speak for myself, but I don't worry about my connection going down. Ever. The moment I would, I'd start looking for a new ISP, and as such, I don't worry about losing connection. I'm sure it'll happen, and I'm sure that Blizzard's servers will go down at some point as well - but *shrug* why worry? Unless you have a bad ISP.

#42 Posted by Arker101 (1474 posts) -

The delay doesn't really upset me, but I don't know if this should be considered streamlining or dumb-ing down. I never played Diablo 1 or 2. I hope it's streamlining for the sake of fun, though.

#43 Posted by NoRemnants (384 posts) -

I'm in the beta and can say that most of what they are implementing is not going to require that large parts of the game code be rewritten or lots of new art assets generated. It's mostly from a game design standpoint. In fact, pretty much all of the changes have already been implemented in the beta. Some of the highlights are below.

  • Removed Scrolls of Identification, you now simply right click an item to identify it.
  • The fifth quick slot button is now a dedicated potion button.
  • The mystic artisan has been removed, reasoning is that it was too similar to gems/sockets.
  • Selling and salvaging from out in the field has been removed.
  • Blacksmiths now salvage items and white ones are no longer salvageable.
  • Added a dedicated Town Portal button that does not require scrolls.
  • Names of the main stats have changed and their effects on each class has been changed. (Strength = Barb, Dexterity = DH/Monk, Intellect = WD/Wizard, Vitality = Health)
  • Full stats are now exposed directly on the inventory UI.

All of that is pretty much complete. They are now balancing and polishing and also adding more secondary stats (like + lightning damage, % to find more gold from enemies, etc.)

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