Blizzard making big changes to Diablo III; delay possible?

It's been over three and a half years since Blizzard announced its plans to release Diablo III, the long awaited third game in its hit fantasy action-RPG series. Since then, the team at Blizzard has been working on the game and showing it off to the public at events like Blizzcon. In September 2011, Blizzard launched its closed beta test of Diablo III, and later that month Blizzard announced that the game had a new target release date of "early 2012".

However, the game is now looking like it might even miss that "early 2012" release date window. This week, Blizzard's director for Diablo III, Jay Wilson, posted up a lengthy article on the game's official web site announcing that the team will be making a number of system changes in Diablo III. Among the changes is the elimination of the Scrolls of Identification and the the Mystic artisan and altering the core character attributes to Strength, Dexterity, Intellect, and Vitality.

Wilson also says that the Diablo III team has even more changes in the works, saying:

We’re also working on a number of other large systems changes -- specifically with the skill and rune systems. We're not quite ready to share what those are just yet, but we look forward to being able to do so in the near future.

Why make these changes now, when the game seems to be getting close to its release date? Wilson says:

Our job isn't just to put out a game, it's to release the next Diablo game. No one will remember if the game is late, only if it's great. We trust in our ability to put out a great game, but we're not quite there yet.

He didn't commit in his post if Blizzard plans to delay the release of the game as a result of these changes but it does seem like the development team is making a lot of major alterations in the game at a fairly late point in its development. We might learn more when Blizzard's parent company Activision Blizzard reveals its latest financial numbers on February 9.

Image via Blizzard

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Blizzard destroyed WoW with pandas and pokeymon. You know they'll do it to Diablo 3 also. Enjoy wasting your money.

WoW is dead for me, even Rift has gone stale. Maybe I'm just tire of MMO's. I want Diablo 3! I hope it's not the next Duke Nukem Forever! ;-)

epk said,
You know, I wish other companies would do this. Stop rushing games!

A Rush? seriously? I don't think you realize how long this game has been in development.

I played D2 when i was in high school and loved it. 12 years on I'm still hanging to play D3. I've been playing Blizzard games since Warcraft 1.

There's just something about Blizzard games that I think people find enjoyable. Back when Starcraft was released, Total Annihilation was supposed to be much better because it had all the bells and whistles like 3D graphics and physics. But even today, people are still playing Starcraft and I don't think anyone even remembers Total Annihilation anymore (although I'm probably wrong on this point - I think the authors have made another game?).

I would sooner see them release the game without some of the end content, let that come with patches. WoW anyone?

Can you really delay something that haven't got a date set? Blizzard knows what they are doing, and the changes seems good to me.

or Maybe they've heard the people complain about the always connected to the internet to play single player mode that nobody wants and decided to make single player mode for off-line play

Surprise, Surprise.. OPEN BETA, 'nuff said. I am so tired of waiting for this game! ugh. I hate how blizz never sends me beta invites for anything. My friend told me that the reason was because i am on a pc and they want/need more mac testers, makes sense i guess, still makes me mad tho.

Jesus, normally I get mad when people say this but:

This is old, 3 days old, so old that I waited and finally posted it today in the D3 forum for those interested which hadn't been touched in a week so nobody was interested.

Tell me about it. Just about every article written on this site nowadays is some re-hashed version of something that was news days ago. Its sad that this used to be my first stop for news and is quickly becoming my last.

Grrr was looking forward to Diablo III since I already Preorder from amazon now they're to delay it how dare they to make a big change during close to release

How exactly does this screw you over? You are still getting Diablo 3 for free and a whole year of wow. Its a good deal if you plan on sticking with it.

DrOmango said,
That screws me over if they delay diablo and I signed up for the annual pass thing.
I dont recall seeing a date in that promo? Just the offer of Diablo III with 1 yr WoW

Most of the changes will be in the beta with a new update most likely coming Monday. They were aiming for the end of last week but ran into some issues.

Blizzard better start being careful. They may have a few big name games out at the moment (specifically WoW) but eventually interest will eventually wane.

Their development cycles are insanely long atm, and probably very costly to the company.

Everyone wants them to 'get it right' but questions have to be asked, such why did it take so long for them to realize they needed these changes?

They clearly have the power and the money to pump into their games so that they are happy with them when they ship. What's wrong with that? Who cares if someone is tired of waiting? Get over it and enjoy the game and its immense level of polish when it does release. Everyone needs to stop getting their panties bunched up and relax.

As for your question, Jay Wilson explained that in his blog update about the changes.

kevinadam said,
They clearly have the power and the money to pump into their games so that they are happy with them when they ship. What's wrong with that? Who cares if someone is tired of waiting? Get over it and enjoy the game and its immense level of polish when it does release. Everyone needs to stop getting their panties bunched up and relax.

As for your question, Jay Wilson explained that in his blog update about the changes.

I understand that, I read Jay's post as well. Just a little concerned that he's being too much of a perfectionist. Every method of gameplay has some small flaws, and these can be rectified in a patch or two. If they were massive faults with the system, it would've been fixed a long time ago (at least you would expect that).

I don't mind waiting longer for the game, I'm just worried that they aren't making it any better by doing it.

I guess the the only way to tell is by what the beta testers say...

I think you're wrong. Interest doesn't wane on Blizzard games. Nobody goes "Oh that SC2 took 10 years to come out, I just don't care anymore." Nobody is going to get tired of waiting for this game, and of course it will be shiny special like every non WoW Blizzard game.

And why ask questions about why it took them so long to realize they needed a change? Better then after release. If he didn't make a blog post on it, you would have never known and never questioned.

And the game will sell millions of copies, easily making back whatever development costs it took. Just like every Blizzard game ever has. It's why they can take such long times.

Mercuie said,
I think you're wrong. Interest doesn't wane on Blizzard games. Nobody goes "Oh that SC2 took 10 years to come out, I just don't care anymore." Nobody is going to get tired of waiting for this game, and of course it will be shiny special like every non WoW Blizzard game.

And why ask questions about why it took them so long to realize they needed a change? Better then after release. If he didn't make a blog post on it, you would have never known and never questioned.

And the game will sell millions of copies, easily making back whatever development costs it took. Just like every Blizzard game ever has. It's why they can take such long times.

If anything interest will grow as it has been for close to a decade at least. I have been waiting for it since 2004 and I know all other Diablo fans have only be wanting it more. After almost a decade of waiting, do you really think those people will loss interest over a few months? Lets be real. For everyone else, it is just another game and they will buy it regardless of when it comes out anyway. Kudos for them taking their time and making sure it is right.

imachip said,

Their development cycles are insanely long atm, and probably very costly to the company.

I'd say Blizzard feels quite comfortable with their current cash flow.

Mercuie said,
I think you're wrong. Interest doesn't wane on Blizzard games. Nobody goes "Oh that SC2 took 10 years to come out, I just don't care anymore." Nobody is going to get tired of waiting for this game, and of course it will be shiny special like every non WoW Blizzard game.

And why ask questions about why it took them so long to realize they needed a change? Better then after release. If he didn't make a blog post on it, you would have never known and never questioned.

And the game will sell millions of copies, easily making back whatever development costs it took. Just like every Blizzard game ever has. It's why they can take such long times.

im kinda getting sick of waiting for the starcraft addons that should have beenpart of the game, it sbeen too long as it is

Mercuie said,
I think you're wrong. Interest doesn't wane on Blizzard games. Nobody goes "Oh that SC2 took 10 years to come out, I just don't care anymore."

Oh come on. It's been 12 years since Diablo II. Are you saying myself and many other hardcore fans of Diablo II haven't lost interest in Diablo III? I think you're mistaken my friend.

I actually didn't lose interest until this spring to be honest. I look around now at all these great indie games, as well as the big names, seeing what they're doing differently to bring something new and fresh to the people... Then I look at Blizzard and read the comments of other people going on about "OH IT HAS PHYSICS NOW!!" and just shake my head. Physics in gaming had a big impact between 2004-2006 between Half-Life 2 and Oblivion... I'm not saying it's unwelcome in games today, but sticking it on the list of features isn't something I find impressive.

I guess I really shouldn't make too big a deal over this. By the time they actually release this game, I'll probably be gone off to the Air Force already. So much for all that waiting.

kevinadam said,
YEAH! ...how dare them take the time to go the extra mile with their games! Who do they think they are?

sigh


Half my life has gone by since Diablo II... Just saying.

People think WoW is dying, but after playing everything else, I think it's stronger than ever. Star Wars takes much from Star Trek, and the list goes on. But they all take from WoW, not being able to re-create the wheel. Blizzard can completely restructure WoW at any time they wish, but with the current subscription rate, why would they? With an 11 year head start, it's becoming even more difficult to come up with that type of content that WoW has not already done in some or many ways. So I bet they are trying to separate things in Diablo for WoW players, because of the number of WoW players that already own, and will own Diablo3.

2xSilverKnight said,
Same old blizzard ...

Not at all.

The old Blizzard would have delayed the game to make it better.

The new Activision / Blizzard will delay the game to milk the cows.

Edited by LaP, Jan 23 2012, 2:51pm :

justmike said,
People think WoW is dying, but after playing everything else, I think it's stronger than ever. Star Wars takes much from Star Trek, and the list goes on. But they all take from WoW, not being able to re-create the wheel. Blizzard can completely restructure WoW at any time they wish, but with the current subscription rate, why would they? .

Did you even play SWTOR ? It feels more like a Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect MMO than a wow clone. The talent trees and profs are taken from the original wow but the whole game doesn't fell like wow at all.

The story is interresting to follow. I actually take the time to listen to quests something i never did while playing wow. The baddies are there for a reason not only because dragon x wants to kill you for reason y nobody care about cause nobody read quest text.

Healing feels more like Guild Wars than wow.

Edited by LaP, Jan 23 2012, 2:44pm :

LaP said,

Did you even play SWTOR ? It feels more like a Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect MMO than a wow clone. The talent trees and profs are taken from the original wow but the whole game doesn't fell like wow at all.

The story is interresting to follow. I actually take the time to listen to quests something i never did while playing wow. The baddies are there for a reason not only because dragon x wants to kill you for reason y nobody care about cause nobody read quest text.

Healing feels more like Guild Wars than wow.

Yes, I have been playing TOR for months. It's borrows from Star Trek, that changed a few things from WoW. There are more videos yes, but less overall play-ability in the end.