Diablo 3 Beta
Announced on June 28, 2008 at Blizzard’s Worldwide Invitational in Paris, Diablo 3 is still yet to receive a proper release date. Regardless of when the full game is to be released, the public beta has been announced to be taking place in the 3rd quarter of this year.
Nearly 12 years after the release of the previous Diablo game, Diablo II, this release somewhat mirrors the long wait for StarCraft 2, which also took more than a decade to produce. As Blizzard is well known for its critically-acclaimed games and patiently loyal fanbase, hopes are high for this third entry into the franchise.
A Short History of Diablo
The original Diablo game had been in development in the early 90′s by a company called Condor Games. This company was bought out by Blizzard in 1996, and was renamed to Blizzard North.
Diablo came out that very same year and met almost universal critical acclaim for its addictive gameplay, unparalleled variety in items, levels, abilities and quests as well as the dark atmosphere, superior graphics and musical score.
Set in the world of Sanctuary, an eternal conflict between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells rages on as a lone hero travels into the depths of hell to eventually battle Diablo himself.
It was also ahead of its time in terms of multiplayer, but was known to be easily hacked by players looking to gain an unfair advantage. An expansion pack developed by a third-party developer named Synergistic Software named Diablo: Hellfire was released in 1997. This expansion added an additional three character classes, as well as secondary explorable dungeons. A Playstation port of the original Diablo came out the year after that.
Diablo II came out in June 29, 2000 and was also extremely popular with fans and critics alike. It won the 2000 Guiness Book of World Records award for being the fastest selling computer game ever sold, with more than 1 million units sold in the first two weeks of availability.
Diablo II continues where the first game leaves off, as the unnamed warrior who had vanquished Diablo becomes possessed by the demon himself. As the new threat arises, the new player must combat the new threat through a variety of new classes with many different abilities.
An expansion for the sequel was also released, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction it added two new classes, an additional fifth act, as well as many new items, weapons, and armor.
The collected edition of the first and second Diablo games and their expansion were compiled into Diablo: Battle Chest and continue to be sold in retail stores, appearing on the NPD Group’s top 10 PC games sales list as recently as last year.
Betas: Public and Private
Considered a form of external or consumer-level user acceptance testing, beta testing comes after alpha testing, and are released to a limited audience outside of the programming team. The software is released to specific groups of people as development is in progress but contains the functionality of a complete version to ensure the product has few faults or bugs.
Beta versions are made available either to a selected group of individuals as a closed beta or as an open beta, which is open to the public to increase the feedback field to a maximal number of future users.
Regardless of being an open or closed beta, the primary goal of any beta test is the reporting any bugs that they find, and sometimes suggest additional features that testers feelshould be made available in the final version or full game.
A semi-open beta is where potential users are chosen publicly, but usually at a limited number and at random. Back in 2000, Blizzard announced the open beta for Diablo II just before the game was released only two months later. Starcraft II went into open beta for about 3-5 months before being released in July 27, 2010.
How to Obtain a Key for the Diablo III Semi-Open Beta
Activision-Blizzard stated on May 9, 2011 that internal testing for Diablo III had already been underway for a week, and that the beta shall commence in the third quarter of that year.
Obtaining a Diablo 3 Beta Key starts with enrolling onto Blizzard’s Battle.net account, which is used to play other Blizzard games such as Starcraft 2 or World of Warcraft on official Blizzard servers. You must log in and find the Account Summary page, and to the right of that will be the Beta Profile settings. Simply add Diablo 3 to the list and update the preferences.
It should automatically update the profile with your PC system specifications, as beta testing to a public capacity is also used to gauge the performance of the game on different kinds of systems. When this happens, you now have to wait and hope that you are one of the lucky few to be chosen for the beta testing phase.
Beta related scams should be watched out for as the closed beta date comes closer. Opening an email that says that you have been chosen for the closed beta should be verified by simply logging onto your battle.net account and seeing if you have been selected for the closed beta or not.
Regardless if you have been chosen or not, there may still be hope: Open beta tests ran after the closed betas on most of the early Blizzard games such as Diablo II. Starcraft 2 did not have an open beta phase but due to the large following the game had, the closed beta participants were extremely great in numbers.