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Filed under: Diablo 3

Watch Blizzard's Gamescom 2013 Diablo 3 presentation


Recorded by someone up nice and close to the stage at Gamescom 2013, you can watch the entirety of Blizzard's Diablo 3 presentation on YouTube. This is not an official Blizzard video, so there's a chance it'll be taken down (although this isn't an official Blizzard event either, so who knows -- either way watch I'd watch it soon).

One of the big things that stood out for me was when they were talking about the end-game; Blizzard wants there to be something for everyone in the end-game of Diablo 3, not just for the hard core players. This feels like a departure, somewhat, from previous paradigms; and is certainly an echo of what WoW's end-game has become.

You can watch the trailer for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls over yonder, and also read up about what we heard will be coming in a pre-expansion patch to Diablo 3.

Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo 3 to get new features, for free, in pre-expansion patch


Following in the footsteps of WoW's pre-expansion patch, Diablo 3 will give the community quite a bit of stuff for free. Blizzard Community Manager Grimiku explains:

Grimuku
We want to implement a lot of the new systems and features in a pre-expansion patch for free. That should include Paragon 2.0, Loot 2.0, Loot Runs, and Nephalem Trials. For now, you'll need to purchase the expansion to play as the Crusader, explore Act V, unlock the Mystic, and level up to 70. These details may change as development moves along, but we want some of the core gameplay improvements to be available for everyone.

The new Paragon system will remove the Paragon level cap (meaning you'll be able to, well, infinitely level your toon), which is good news for the few and proud that have reached the max paragon level. There'll also be other changes Paragon 2.0 will bring, and we'll get those then too.

The Loot 2.0 vision for Diablo 3 will be especially important for those that want to get characters ready for the expansion. Loot 2.0 means that the gear drops you get will be more focused on your current character, which means that in general, gearing up should be easier; and that there should be more 'reward' for playing the game.

The other features Grimuku talks about, the Loot Runs and the Nephalem Trials, are end-game modes/activities.

Blizzard seems to be taking a new direction with Diablo 3, addressing some of the fan complaints. No matter what your feelings on Diablo 3 are, this will certainly be interesting to watch.

Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls expansion and cinematic


It looks like Leah is coming back and is gonna cause some trouble. Today at Gamescom Blizzard announced the Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls. The first expansion to the game will focus on Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, and his possession of the Black Soulstone, which contains the remaining essence of Leah (Diablo).

Notable expansion features include:
  • A new Crusader class, wears heavy armor as a tank, buffs/debuffs friends and enemies, not unlike Diablo II's Paladin
  • Reaper of Souls will officially by Act V of Diablo III
  • Level cap raised to 70
  • Paragon level cap removed
  • All classes will get new spells as they progress to level 70
  • Something called a "multilevel Legendary item"
  • Substantial updates to the loot experience, "Loot 2.0" as named by Blizzard -- you're more likely to pick up items tailored to your current class
  • Overall loot reduced, not picking up as many items not needed by your current class
  • New Crafter: Mystic -- re-roll stats on items, gives chance to create better gear
  • Two new endgame modes/activities: loot runs and Nephalem Trials
Check out the cinematic above for some Diablo goodness. More information is available over at our sister site Joystiq.


Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls?

Diablo III Reaper of Souls
After yesterday's furore over the rumored Blizzard trademark, "The Dark Below", with every man and his dog confidently asserting that this was the name of the next Diablo III expansion, Blizzard has played a decisive card.

A new subcategory of the Diablo III website was added very early this morning, titled Reaper of Souls. The above image is all the site holds for now, and if you're unable to read the writing it is ostensibly a quote from the Book of Tyrael, saying "Death, at last, shall spread its wings over all".

Now, while this is by no means a complete, firm confirmation that Reaper of Souls is the title of the next expansion, it's certainly looking that way. So that leaves the question of The Dark Below -- what could it be, if it is even a trademark? It did show up eventually on the US trademark registration site, but it's certainly not conclusive. So that adds to the recently registered "Cute But Deadly" trademark in the list of marks of mystery. What's your take?

Filed under: Diablo 3

Congressional report says you 'may' owe taxes on your WoW income

Image
If you're a World of Warcraft or Diablo 3 player, the federal government would like to have a word with you. Congress's U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), at the request of Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), just wrote and filed a 23-page report on the tax implications of earning gold in MMORPGs. Seriously.

The report, titled "Virtual Economies and Currencies," focuses on buying, using, and selling virtual currencies like WoW gold. The key takeaway for World of Warcraft players is that the in-game economy is a "closed-flow system" -- because you can't exchange your gold for U.S. dollars, you don't need to worry about claiming those 26 gold pieces from completing a quest on your 2013 income taxes. If, however, you decide to sell your accumulated WoW items through a third-party exchange (Don't do it! It's against the Terms of Service and could get you hacked!), then you "may have earned taxable income from the sale of these virtual goods."

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Economy, Gold Capped, Diablo 3

Diablo 3 coming to the Xbox 360 (and PS3) September 3rd


The Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 version of Diablo 3 will launch September 3, 2013, according to a Blizzard post today. This is the first time that we've heard of D3 appearing on the Xbox 360. We heard back in February that D3 was headed to the PS3 and PS4.

We do know that the PlayStation version of the game will play on a different realm and not be accessible by PC consoles. It's probably safe to assume the same will be true for the Xbox 360. We don't know if these console realms will be able to interact with each other. The console versions o the game are also having their UI updated to a more console-friendly format.

The play testing on the PS3 version of Diablo 3 has generally been positive. Blizzard's move to bring the game to the Xbox 360 bodes well for it appearing on the next generation Xbox console as well, although no announcement has been made there. Diablo 3 is expected to have its first expansion announced at BlizzCon in November this year.

The full blue post after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Diablo 3

Proceeds from Diablo III auction house exploit to be donated to charity

Diablo logo
At this point we all should be pretty familiar with what happened in Diablo III with the release of patch 1.0.8. The patch contained a bug in the way the auction house functioned that allowed for people to make lots and lots of gold - far more than they were intended to. The bug was fixed very quickly, but for the last few weeks Blizzard's been busy auditing both their code and the accounts of the players who exploited the bug. Late Friday evening, John Hight, the production manager for Diablo III, put up a post on the Diablo forums explaining in detail both what happened and what Blizzard has been doing about it.

The actions taken seem fairly straightforward and sensible - Blizzard has evaluated the necessary code to check for any other potential weaknesses, and they have either banned or rolled back the accounts of players who abused the bug's existence. That seems pretty typical. But, what's nicest to read is the fact that Blizzard is taking any real money generated by these auction house transactions - including their own transaction fees - and donating them to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. We have no idea as of yet what that amount might be, but it's certainly a nice gesture.

The full blue post is after the break.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Diablo 3

Diablo 3 bug sees trillions in gold duping, auction houses shutdown

Sure, we all like gold. But even the most gold hungry among us can see the problem with a bug that allowed players to accumulate trillions of in-game currency, which is exactly what happened with Diablo III's patch 1.0.8. As a result, the game's Auction House was taken down, and Blizzard is still debating what actions to take to correct the issue, but Lylirra posts on the official forums that roll backs won't be necessary.

Lylirra - Auction Houses Temporarily Offline -- Update
12:00 a.m. PDT: At this time (and after careful consideration), we've decided to not move forward with rolling back the servers. We feel that this is the best course of action given the nature of the dupe, how relatively few players used it, and the fact that its effects were fairly limited within the region. We've been able to successfully identify players who duplicated gold by using this specific bug, and are focusing on these accounts to make corrections. While this is a time-consuming and very detailed process, we believe it's the most appropriate choice given the circumstances. We know that some of you may disagree, but we feel that performing a full roll back would impact the community in an even greater way, as it would require significant downtime as well as revert the progress legitimate players have made since patch 1.0.8 was released this morning.

I know it would be a pretty big blow to lose character levels or gear acquired legitimately, so if they can go after the actual accounts that used the exploit and remove just their duplicated gold, that seems like the best option to me.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Economy, Account Security, Diablo 3

Will WoW ever come to consoles?

With Blizzard taking Diablo 3 to the PlayStation, we kind of have to wonder... is World of Warcraft ever going to make a console debut? And before you say it's impossible, that World of Warcraft is too complicated to play on a console, once we would have all said that about Diablo, too. And if Diablo makes the jump successfully -- there's no release date yet, so it's hard to say when we'll be able to judge its success -- maybe WoW will follow. At any rate, seeing WoW come to a console is probably a lot more likely than ever getting that pony Ghostcrawler promised us.

So, fellow gamers, if WoW did come to consoles... would you be playing it? Would it encourage you to buy one of those next gen consoles we've heard so many rumors about? Or would you stick to your PC gaming rig?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Diablo 3

Diablo III on the PlayStation 3 and 4 to have offline play?

We spotted an interesting tidbit from the above interview GameTrailers did with Chris Metzen and John Hight (a new Production Director at Blizzard) after the PlayStation Diablo 3 announcement. Hight says around the 8:35 mark:

We think the thing that was really cool, that Chris talked about, is that we're going to allow for local co-op as well as online co-op. So you can have four people on the same screen, no split-screen, and we just zoom the camera out, or if you're offline...

Now at the end of his sentence he gets cut off by the host, but the fact is easy enough to pick up. It would appear that Diablo 3 on the PlayStation 3 and 4 will have offline play; which would be the total opposite of the PC version.

Having to always have an internet connection for Diablo 3 has been a source of, what's the right word... annoyance for a lot of players. The fact that this might be changing bodes well, even if it is only for the PlayStation for the time being.

There is no indication offline play is coming to the PC. We've reached out to Blizzard for a response to this, and will update when we know more.

Many thanks to the readers who sent this in!

Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo 3 coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4

Diablo 3 coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
"One couch to rule them all!" -Chris Metzen at the PlayStation 4 announcement

Chris Metzen, Senior VP of Story and Franchise Development at Blizzard, went on the stage at the Sony presser and announced Diablo III is coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It will have not only the single player campaign, but also 4-player coop mode.

Blizzard originally started out very strong in the console market, but in modern times hasn't been active. They have, however, constantly been hiring console developers, so it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that they finally have something to reveal. But the fact that Diablo 3 is coming to the PlayStation 4 in the grand fashion that it was revealed today says a lot about their commitment to the game.

Metzen makes it known what their intention is: "Blizzard and Sony have entered into a strategic partnership, through which we will take over the world." Metzen went on to say that more information will be forthcoming, and to look specifically at PAX East.

The PlayStation 4 will be coming out during 2013's holiday season. For more information on the PlayStation 4 reveal, checkout Joystiq's liveblog.

Filed under: Diablo 3

"Appear Offline" coming soon to Battle.net

A much asked for feature is on its way into the game -- you will soon™ be able to set your Battle.net status to "appear offline," letting you have some much needed peace and quiet from the clamor of all those friends playing Blizzard's various games.

Currently, if you're logged in and have Real ID, Battle Tag, or character-level friends, then they can see you online no matter what. While this doesn't present a huge problem, sometimes people just want to go in a game and play by themselves, without the presence of a group. And even though WoW will never be a single player game, this upcoming change will certainly allow you to disappear into the masses when you want.

Blizzard's full release as follows:

Blizzard
In the coming months, we're planning an update to Battle.net that will give you more control over your online presence when playing Blizzard games. Soon, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III players will be able to select "Appear Offline" as one of their Battle.net social-status options (along with Available, Busy, and Away) for those times when they want to wander Azeroth by their lonesome, dominate the galaxy in radio silence, or slay demons in solitude. When you choose this option as your status, all of your Real ID friends, BattleTag friends, and character-level friends will see you as "Offline" in their friends list whenever you're logged into a game.

The "Appear Offline" status option will be added to World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Diablo III separately in future updates for each game. For Diablo III, we expect to add the feature in a patch after 1.0.5. For World of Warcraft and StarCraft II, we expect to add the option sometime after the release of each game's upcoming expansion.

Thanks for your continued feedback, and we'll share more information on the availability of this new feature in the months ahead.



Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria, Diablo 3, StarCraft 2

Blizzard releases details for Diablo 3's big 1.0.4 patch

Blizzard releases details for Diablo III's big 104 patch
Blizzard has been promising for a while that Diablo III's patch 1.0.4 would be a Capital B D Big Deal for the game, and a blog post from developer Wyatt Cheng seems to reinforce that notion. What's missing from this particular post is specifics about the sweeping class changes the devs have been talking about, but apparently that's going to be a whole 'nother blog, so fear not.

Some major features of the patch are below, with the whole blog after the cut.
  • Magic find and gold find will no longer be averaged in multiplayer games.
  • Monster health will now be a flat increase of 75% health (per player), regardless of the game's difficulty level.
  • No more Out Of Time enrage timers on elites or healing to full after you die a few times.
  • Normal monster HP is increasing by a slight amount, but the chance of finding rare items on normal monsters is being increased by a factor of four.
  • To close the gap between normals and elites, elite HP will be reduced slightly.
  • Weapons of ilvl 61 and 62 can now roll weapon damage that extends to numbers currently reserved for ilvl 63+.
  • Use of two-handed weapons will be encouraged by new sets of affixes.
  • Repair costs of high-end items will be reduced by about 25%.
  • Problem affixes like Fire Chains and Shielding are being adjusted, and Invulnerable Minions is gone, baby, gone.
  • A tentative release date of the fourth week in August.

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Filed under: Diablo 3

Diablo 3 character profiles preview now available

Diablo III character profiles preview now up
We all know about the World of Warcraft site's Armory feature. Now, this official preview over on the Diablo III EU site shows off the character profile system coming for DIII. If you're familiar with the armory, it's not going to shock or surprise you. Character profiles will present your character's gear and accomplishments for other players to look over. Yes, this means my poor abandoned barbarian (fun to play, but I got bored grinding gear) will forever be presented to the world in all his not particularly impressive glory.

Unlike the WoW armory, the profile page will be linked to you, with a career tab that presents all of your characters and a heroes tab that gives detailed listings of equipment and skills for your individual characters and their followers. If you have ideas for features you'd like to see, be sure to leave some feedback.

Evil has returned! 1.2 million WoW players are getting Diablo III for free thanks to the Annual Pass. You can get prepared for the evil with WoW Insider's launch coverage. From the lore of Diablo, to the important blue posts and the basics of Diablo gameplay, we'll get you on the inside track for the return of evil.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Diablo 3

Does WoW need variable raid scaling?

If you've ever played a game of Diablo III and had a friend join you, you've heard the message "The minions of hell grow stronger." When you play DIII in a group, the monsters you're stepping on either grow in number or power and sometimes both. When you or your friends leave, the game tunes itself back downwards, so that while there are fewer of you, there are also fewer of the monsters or they have less punishing abilities.

I bring this up because I wonder if just such a system would help address or perhaps even destroy the 10/25-man raid debate in World of Warcraft. What is there was no fixed raid size? What if raids were any group up to 25 players, and the trash and bosses simply scaled themselves for the size of the group?

You see threads on the forums constantly debating the back and forth on 10- vs. 25-man raiding, exclaiming how 25-man raids are dying out, which I find undeniably true purely based on the logistics of each size of raid, and so on. I'm sure we've all been in a situation where we wanted to raid but we were a few short. Now, imagine if you could always raid, as long as you had the two tanks and three or four healers ready to go, because the raid would scale itself based on how many people you brought.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Cataclysm, Diablo 3

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