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Blizzard moves to reassure fans Diablo 3 is in "great shape"

Release date announcement "in the near future".

Blizzard has moved to reassure gamers that Diablo 3 is in "great shape" after a community manager expressed concern that the upcoming PC title would be unable to meet fan expectations.

Diablo 3 game director took to the forum to clarify comments from community manager Micah "Bashiok" Whiple, who told fans in a blue post to "stop thinking about how awesome this game could be".

"Just imagine it's a new M. Night Shyamalan movie," Whiple said. "Sure Sixth Sense was amazing and Unbreakable had its moments, but this right here is the sequel to The Village... or The Happening... or Signs... or any of the movies besides the two I first mentioned. So just like, lower those expectations, but still definitely buy the game please, and everything will be just fine. K?"

Wilson said the post was "obviously sarcastic", and rejected the suggestion that Blizzard was "unsteady" about Diablo 3, or the assertion that fans should "temper" their expectations.

"Let me be clear: Nothing could be further from the truth," he said.

"As those of you in the beta have seen, the game is in good shape. Actually, I should say that the beta version of the game is in good shape. The latest full build we've been testing here in the office is in great shape.

"We get a lot of sympathy from the other teams because of the long hours of crunch our design team is putting in, but the secret is that playing through the game as we do final tuning, bug fixes, and optimizations is a real joy. We always know a Blizzard game is almost ready when we have to ask members of the team to stop playing so they can get their work done. That's definitely been the case around here."

Wilson said he expects fans will "love" Diablo 3 when it eventually launches, and promised a release date announcement "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."

He added: "And by the way, we want you to have high expectations for Diablo 3 and all Blizzard games. That's what pushes us to try to make the best gaming experiences we possibly can. If Diablo 3 wasn't a worthy next installment in the Diablo series, we wouldn't release it. That's the way we do it. That's the way we've always done it.

"As I've said many times in the recent past, we think Diablo 3 is coming along great and we can't wait for you to get your hands on it. We're doing all we can to ensure you have one hell of a time once you step foot in Sanctuary…

"Also, I think Diablo is much more comparable to the Evil Dead series personally, and those just kept getting better. OK, I know a lot of you prefer Evil Dead 2 to Army of Darkness, but come on, Bruce Campbell fights a squad of little Bruce Campbells! Priceless. =)"

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