Diablo 3

The first expansion for the action role-player makes the changes players wanted - and a good few more besides.

Spotlight

VideoDiablo 3 is getting a new Challenge Rift mode

Plus a bunch of other things Blizzard just told us.

FeatureBlizzard's road to redemption: Diablo 3 and Reaper of Souls

"The Auction House is a very complicated conversation..."

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Diablo 3

PC veteran Blizzard rolls the dice on PS3 and Xbox 360.

Key events

3rd September 2013

Face-Off: Diablo 3

29th August 2013

Diablo 3 console review

21st May 2012

Diablo 3 Review

30th April 2012

Diablo 3 TV teaser trailer

18th April 2012

The Diablo 3 beta opens up

23rd March 2012

1000 Diablo 3 Beta Keys!

6th January 2012

Interesting Sequels of 2012

16th December 2011

Blizzard announces BattleTags

20th September 2011

Diablo 3 closed beta goes live

1st August 2011

Diablo III Beta

7th February 2011

BlizzCon 2011 dates announced

14th August 2008

BlizzCon panels announced

Battle.net renamed Blizzard Battle.net

Bigger name change rejected, new logo erected.

For nearly a year Blizzard has been threatening to change the name of its proprietary online multiplayer service Battle.net to the more on-brand Blizzard.net. That is the name of the company, after all, which would theoretically make things less confusing. However, after a scant few months under the new monicker Blizzard rethought this approach because the Battle.net name has been around for over 20 years (since the studio launched Diablo in 1996). Changing it now has led to bewilderment.

Blizzard says the Necromancer, which arrives as an add-on for Diablo 3 today, is one of the most-requested characters in any of its games. That's no surprise - it's an iconic player character and a fun class to play, and it was always very popular in Diablo 2. But perhaps there is something else going on behind the public demands for the Necromancer's apt resurrection, because the class is pure Diablo 2: none more Gothic, not so much dark as sepulchral, stitched together from sackcloth and bone, pentagrams and guttering candles. A dry, death-metal kind of fantasy horror.

Diablo 3's Necromancer DLC out next week

Plus a new, complete Eternal Collection for consoles.

Blizzard has announced that the Rise of the Necromancer pack for Diablo 3, which adds the much-loved Necromancer character class from Diablo 2 to the younger game, will be released next week on 27th June.

Diablo 3 players divided on 20th anniversary patch

Diablo 3's long-awaited 20th anniversary patch goes live this week - and it's already got players talking.

For the month of January, a recreation of Diablo 1 can be played inside of Diablo 3. The Darkening of Tristram Event arrives with the release of Patch 2.4.3. Blizzard put out a video, below, to explain how to access the dungeon (it's through a portal in the town of Old Tristram) and what to expect from it. Through the portal you find a huge dungeon that's essentially all of Diablo 1 recreated with Diablo 3 assets. That's all 16 levels of the first game remade.

This retro dungeon comes complete with pixelated visuals, old-school animations and sound effects. The camera has moved. Everyone's locked to eight degrees of rotation. Your character walks everywhere. The sound is a little tinier and the sounds repeat more often - a classic mechanic of 90s PC games.

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VideoDiablo 3 is getting a new Challenge Rift mode

Plus a bunch of other things Blizzard just told us.

It's been a decent Blizzcon so far, hasn't it? Despite both Overwatch's new hero and Diablo 3's next character pack being leaked prematurely, there have still been a couple of surprises.

Stars align for Diablo 4 reveal at BlizzCon

UPDATE: David Brevik says he's not working on Diablo.

UPDATE 5PM BST: There's been a development and it may not be the one you're hoping for. David Brevik has said he's not working on Diablo now or in the near future.

Blizzard story overlord Chris Metzen retires aged 42

"I won't lie - it's going to be really hard stepping away."

Chris Metzen is retiring. He's leaving Blizzard Entertainment after more than 20 years' service. He, the overseer of story at arguably the world's most successful game maker. He, the earring-wearing cool guy on the BlizzCon stage. He, the voice of Thrall. Retiring. And he's only 42.

Diablo 2 gets a surprise patch five years later

Diablo 2 gets a surprise patch five years later

Runs on modern operating systems but "journey does not end there".

Blizzard has only gone and released an official patch for Diablo 2, a game that's 16 years old - and hasn't been patched in five years!

The new patch - 1.14a phwoar - aims to get the old game running properly on newer operating systems. But there's a suggestion in a quote from Blizzard that there may be more support yet to come.

"It's been a long time coming but today we're releasing 1.14a for Diablo II," wrote Classic for Blizzard on the Battle.net forum.

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What does Diablo 3's new patch offer for the end-game player?

Diablo 3 makes an art of relentlessly gouging your time, but rarely your wallet. If the Auction House had persisted it would be a different story, but Blizzard's hectic smash-and-grab has maintained its flip-reversed trajectory to become one of the most lovingly-maintained games in recent memory.

Since the game's launch in 2012 a steady stream of updates have added layers of complex, compelling and mutually-amplifying processes and tools to refine and power up your character. The Paragon system alone will soak up thousands of hours of play, and the endless lottery of loot drops, the daily-style Bounties and options to burn your hard-earned materials crafting elusive, perfectly rolled gear in Kanai's Cube for all intents and purposes makes Diablo 3 a game you never need to stop playing.

So, why the latest patch? 2.4.0 feels like Blizzard showboating - a high profile demonstration of the team's creative resources, a firm handshake to the game's community and, I suspect, part of a shadowy PhD project studying behavioural psychology. It's also, if you look for it, a sign of Blizzard thinking about what comes next, about what a Diablo storyline should look like now that Adventure Mode is the new heart of the game.

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Whopper of a Diablo 3 patch arriving very soon on PC and consoles

UPDATE 13TH JANUARY: The patch is rolling out now in Europe on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Full console patch notes and PC patch notes are available.

ORIGINAL STORY 8TH JANUARY: The expansion-like Diablo 3 patch, numbered 2.4, arrives simultaneously on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One before 15th January.

"The January 15th date is the start of the new season," said Diablo community official Brandy 'Nevalistis' Camel (in the comments) "We plan to release the patch prior to the start of [the new season].

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Big Diablo 3 patch adds new areas, adds special Set Dungeons

Big Diablo 3 patch adds new areas, adds special Set Dungeons

"Impale deals an additional 40,000% weapon damage to..."

I love that Blizzard still releases great fat patches for Diablo 3. With every one, the game gets crazier. And the freshly-detailed patch 2.4 - heading to the public testing server soon - is no exception. It's massive.

There's a whole new zone in 2.4 for Adventure mode only, which means it's not being shoehorned into the story. It's called Greyhallow Island and it's dark and mysterious and foresty, and wants to eat you; "the land itself is said to be hungry for blood", the game's website warned. Other areas have been expanded, again only in Adventure mode. You'll be able to go beyond the rubble in Leoric's Manor, and beyond the gates in the Ruins of Sescheron, into the Eternal Woods.

All - repeat, all - of the game's 24 sets of class armour (the ones with green writing) are being either revamped, revisited or revised. Thorns of the Invoker and the Shadow's Mantle are getting total overhauls. The six-piece Shadow's Mantle bonus is now, "Impale deals an additional 40,000 per cent weapon damage to the first enemy hit." That's enough to break a calculator!

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Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.2 details announced at BlizzCon

Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.2 details announced at BlizzCon

Blizzard outlines its plans to improve Diablo 3's end-game.

Blizzard has announced a host of changes that will be made to Diablo 3 in the game's next major patch. The updates were revealed during the game's dedicated panel at the publisher's BlizzCon gathering in California.

Patch 2.1.2 addresses a number of issues identified since the launch of Patch 2.1 earlier this year, from a rebalancing of the Greater Rift system, to the addition of new creatures, weapons and armour.

Success in Greater Rifts is measured by the speed of completion, yet certain random elements can have a radical, random effect on your chances of success or failure. Conduit Pylons, which cause a character to temporarily fire devastating electrical damage around the scenery, often determine victory outright.

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Diablo 3 patch 2.1 out this week

Diablo 3 patch 2.1 out this week

Seasons begin this Friday.

The Diablo 3 patch 2.1.0 comes out in the Americas region this evening and should hit Europe shortly after, Blizzard has announced.

The patch enables the long-awaited Seasons feature, which begins this Friday, 29th August, Blizzard confirmed.

Seasons starts heroes fresh with no gold, no Artisans, no gear and no Paragon levels.

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How to transfer Diablo 3 saves to Ultimate Evil Edition

From old-gen to new-gen, and across brands too.

If you played the already-released Diablo 3 game on PS3 or Xbox 360 then good news: you can transfer your characters' progress into the new game - Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition - when it comes out later this month (19th).

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls review

With the exception of Firaxis, there's no-one left that makes expansion packs like Blizzard. In an age of bite-sized downloadable add-ons, their premium price tags raise eyebrows, even with the generous supply of new content - but that content is usually less than half the story. In these expansions, the new ideas and hard graft that have been poured into the renewal, rebalancing and restructuring of the original game usually exceeds what goes into your average blockbuster sequel.

So Blizzard expansions are a big deal, and few have been more crucial than Reaper of Souls. Its headline additions are a new campaign act, a new character class, a raised level cap and a new gameplay mode. But it has bigger fish to fry than what's listed on the back of the box. It has an audience to win back and a reputation to save. Diablo 3 sold extremely well but left a sour taste for its community, and for once not just among the vocal minority. The always-online requirement was unpopular even before it led to a painful launch, when log-in servers crumbled under the immense demand. Soon that was just a bad memory, but another decision taken by Blizzard had a longer-term and arguably more damaging impact.

The game's auction house was pitched as a way for players to trade items in complete security. But its legacy was to angle the all-important acquisition of loot hard - far too hard - toward trading and away from gameplay. Although reviewers didn't realise it after a week's play - myself included, regretfully - the result was that Diablo 3's later stages and endgame became a dour, parsimonious grind, rarely rewarded with useful items and knocked out of shape by brutal balancing. Diablo's mantra of "kill monsters, get loot" had become "grind monsters ad infinitum, browse fantasy eBay". It didn't help that by then you would be on your umpteenth run through the overblown campaign. It was built for the long term, but in the long term, it just wasn't that much fun.

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Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls' launch "will be fine"

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls' launch "will be fine"

Blizzard confident there'll be no repeat of Error 37.

Diablo 3's first expansion, Reaper of Souls, launches at midnight tonight - in fact, if you're in the UK, a bit earlier at 11pm GMT - and the mood among players is upbeat. A month ago, Blizzard released the 2.0.1 patch which introduced many of the base changes of the expansion; it's been well received, while last week the decidedly less popular auction house for trading items was turned off.

But some are still wary that, come tomorrow, they may not be able to play the game at all. Diablo 3 is an always online game and its launch in May 2012 was marked by stellar sales and disastrous service, as the famous Error 37 denied many players access. Is there a chance that the influx of players brought by the expansion will cause history to repeat?

"I think it'll be fine," lead producer Alex Mayberry told me in a London hotel today, sounding confident. The reason for his confidence? That patch, which means that players have effectively been playing the expansion, and Blizzard testing its performance, for four weeks now.

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Diablo 3 sales hit 15m as WOW subs rise

Diablo 3 sales hit 15m as WOW subs rise

Activision reckons Destiny will be the "best-selling new video game IP in history".

Sales of action role-playing game Diablo 3 have now reached 15m, Activision Blizzard has announced.

The impressive figure, which came as part of the company's latest financial report, include sales of versions across all platforms. Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick said it bodes well for the upcoming launch of expansion pack Reaper of Souls in March.

In other good news for Blizzard, World of Warcraft ended the year with 7.8m subscribers, a slight increase on the last reported figure. Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime put this down to excitement generated by BlizzCon (more than 4.5m people tuned in), Christmas and new promotions designed to get lapsed players back into the game.

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Diablo 3 was supposed to be my game of 2012, but it wasn't. As a recovering World of Warcraft player, I thought its accelerated, flamboyant grind would be just the lightweight substitute I was looking for. I'd been following its development for years and already knew how fun it was to play. I was convinced this would be a long-term affair.

Why Blizzard won't add controller support to PC Diablo 3

When is a control scheme more than just a control scheme?

There's been a great response from players of the console version of Diablo 3 - yours truly included - to the more immediate feel of its pad control scheme. This has naturally led the game's PC fanbase to ask if controller support could be patched into their version of the game.

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls PS4-exclusive features detailed

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls PS4-exclusive features detailed

Adds "Avenger Kills," lets you import PS3 characters.

The PS4 version of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls will get a few new features in addition to its spruced up 1080p visuals (that allegedly run at 60 fps), touchpad support and shorter load times.

As reported by Polygon, perhaps the most exciting new addition to the PS4 version is something called "Avenger Kills," a feature in which certain monsters can kill a player, level up, hop into their friend's game, then try to kill them too.

These monsters will spawn during special events where the skies darken and an announcement will tell the player that "[Insert friend's name here]'s Bane" has arrived. If you manage to defeat your friend's killer, both you and your friend it most recently slayed will get a piece of loot. If the monster kills you, it will level up further and find a friend of yours to hunt. Think of it like a sentient, demonic chain letter. Blizzard is still deciding how to deal with Avenger monsters that get too powerful.

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Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls trailer details its features

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls trailer details its features

Kill bounties, unlock all waypoints, and enchant weapons.

A new trailer for Diablo 3's first major expansion, Reaper of Souls, shows off a number of the upcoming add-on's new features.

First up there's an Adventure Mode where players can hunt bounties for XP and hop into Nephalem Rifts where they must kill enemies until a Nephalem Rift Guardian appears. The DLC also unlocks all waypoints for quick bounty-hunting action.

There also new game systems such as enchanting, transmogrification, an updated Paragon system, and a new Artisan called the Mystic.

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Diablo 3's Auction House is closing in March

"It ultimately undermines Diablo's core gameplay."

Diablo 3's much derided Auction House - a system that enables players to purchase loot with either real world currency or in-game gold - will cease to exist after 18th March 2014.

Blizzard's back! It's phenomenal to think that it's been nearly 15 years since the company's been on consoles, and it's even more extraordinary to think that in all that time we're still yet to see a sequel to Rock n' Roll Racing. While we wait for that there's at least Diablo 3, which has made a quite splendid debut on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as Oli attested earlier this morning.

Diablo 3 console review

Diablo 3 console review

Suited and looted.

The last game Blizzard Entertainment made for consoles - not counting an outsourced Nintendo 64 version of StarCraft, a PlayStation port of Diablo (outsourced again) or the unreleased StarCraft: Ghost - was The Lost Vikings 2 for the Super Nintendo. That was in 1997, 16 years ago. The strange thing isn't that the titan of online PC gaming is back on consoles - that was always going to happen. The strange thing is that its return is marked with a release that is more like a classic PC game than the PC game it's based on.

Love it or hate it - and Diablo 3 has certainly proved divisive - you cannot fail to be impressed by how complete and insanely customisable the console version of this visceral action role-player is. Every update to the PC version in the last 15 months has made it across intact. Every feature is there too, save one, the unloved auction house for trading items with other players. And there are additions to make your eyes light up: offline play, system link support on Xbox 360 - yes, you can LAN it up like the good old days - and the coup de grâce, local multiplayer on a single console for up to four players.

About the only thing you can't do to console Diablo 3 is mod it. Everything you can think of is supported - right down to custom soundtracks and exporting your profile to USB - and it all works seamlessly, flawlessly. This lavish approach to fixtures and fittings is nothing new for Blizzard, of course, but it's notably unrestrained here by a corporate mandate for an internet connection, or by the need to protect a real-money trading market. Go nuts, break the game, see if they care. So console Diablo 3 feels like a return to the Blizzard of 1997 in more ways than one.

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Diablo 3's first expansion is Reaper of Souls

Diablo 3's first expansion is Reaper of Souls

New hero, new act, new endgame, new level cap, new loot.

Blizzard has announced Reaper of Souls, the first expansion for Diablo 3, at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.

Reaper of Souls introduces a new hero class, the Crusader melee fighter, as well as a new campaign act that pits you against the Angel of Death in the new setting of Westmarch.

The level cap is raised to 70, the game's loot drops have been rebalanced, and the endgame has been extensively revised, with the addition of randomised "Loot Run" dungeons.

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FeatureDiablo 3 on consoles: hell or high water?

Jeffrey plays the PS3 game at PAX and finds that one man's loot is another man's soot.

Diablo 3 on PS3 and PS4 is a pretty big deal for Blizzard, as it marks the first time in two decades that the wildly popular strategy and MMO developer has made a game for consoles (not counting a couple of ports made by third parties). As such, it seems to be targeting a different market: one that prefers a more action-focused, one-to-one, button-to-attack approach over the more distant experience of lording it over your avatar with a mouse.

Every PlayStation 4 game, every developer announced so far

Every PlayStation 4 game, every developer announced so far

UPDATE: 169 companies have now signed up. Still no The Last Guardian.

Last night's PlayStation 4 unveiling included a flurry of new game announcements, and confirmation of the 60-odd games companies which are already signed up to support Sony's next-gen console.

Deep Down (working title) - Capcom

Destiny - Bungie

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FeatureThe big interview: Sony's Shuhei Yoshida on PS4

"It's more about services than the system."

"I'm not directly managing third-party relations," says Shuhei Yoshida, when I ask him a question that pretty much has nothing to do with the area of Sony Computer Entertainment for which he is responsible.

Diablo 3 coming to PlayStation 4 as well as PS3

Includes single-screen, local four-player co-op.

Blizzard has finally put the official stamp on Diablo 3 for consoles, revealing at Sony's PlayStation Meeting that it will be coming to both PS3 and PS4. (He didn't say it was exclusive, so Xbox versions should still be considered likely.)

BlizzCon 2013 announced for early November

BlizzCon 2013 announced for early November

Diablo 3 and WOW expansions? Blizzard All-Stars?

Blizzard has announced the dates for BlizzCon 2013. They are Friday, 9th November and Saturday, 10th November.

There was no BlizzCon last year, but in 2011 the event took place in October.

This year's event will likely be the time and place for Blizzard to show a Diablo 3 expansion, another World of Warcraft expansion and, hopefully, Blizzard All-Stars, the DOTA game.

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Blizzard explains how Diablo 3 dueling works in patch 1.0.7 preview

Blizzard explains how Diablo 3 dueling works in patch 1.0.7 preview

"We don't expect that battles will be necessarily balanced."

Diablo 3's long-awaited dueling mechanic arrives with patch 1.0.7, and Blizzard has explained how it works.

To duel another player you have to speak with Nek the Brawler at the inn in New Tristram. He'll whisk you and your party to the Scorched Chapel, a new zone for player versus player action. It has custom geometry and four different areas: the church, the graveyar, the river and the lake.

Dueling as it stands supports up to four players in a Free-For-All mode. So, that means the options are one versus one, three-player FFA or four-player FFA.

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Blizzard: Diablo 3 expansion in the works

Blizzard: Diablo 3 expansion in the works

Plus, what's happening with Blizzard All-Stars?

A Diablo 3 expansion is in development, Blizzard has confirmed.

During an investor call last night Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime revealed an expansion to the 10 million-selling action role-playing game is in the works, but stopped short of saying when it will release.

“So we do have a plan,” he said. “An expansion planned for Diablo. I don't have any timeline to talk about. I think that the most important thing for us always comes down to the quality of the expansion and the gameplay, and so that will be a big factor in terms of driving our schedule.”

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Diablo 3 has sold over 10 million copies

Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm to miss 2012 release.

Activision Blizzard announced in its most recent earnings report that Diablo 3 had sold over 10 million copies as of 30th September. It was the top-selling PC game in both dollars and units in the U.S. and Europe.

Make Diablo 3 harder and more rewarding with tomorrow's 1.05 patch

Is Diablo 3 a bit easy for you? Would you like to up the challenge and also up the rewards? Tomorrow you can, with patch 1.05 and Monster Power.

Patch 1.05 rolls out at 2am UK time tonight/tomorrow morning. Maintenance won't be finished until 12pm tomorrow, according to Blizzard.Monster Power must be enabled in the menu. When it is, you'll have 10 levels of Monster Power you can apply. Each level gives monsters more health and makes them do more damage, but it also ups the XP you receive from them as well as boosts magical and gold find chance.

On Normal, Nightmare and Hell difficulties, Monster Power 10 increases monster health by 400 per cent, monster damage by 200 per cent, XP gain by 200 per cent and magic and gold find by 100 per cent.

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Upcoming Diablo 3 patch 1.0.4 detailed

Upcoming Diablo 3 patch 1.0.4 detailed

Blizzard tries to make co-op more appealing.

Diablo 3 developer Blizzard has outlined a ton of changes it'll be making to its top-selling dungeon crawler in the upcoming 1.0.4 patch due the fourth week of August.

First off, Blizzard would like more people to play in co-op. "Ideally we would like players who want to play solo to be able to solo, and players who want to play co-op to play co-op. At the moment though playing solo is the clear choice, even for those who would prefer co-op with some of their friends," said senior technical game designer Wyatt Cheng on the official blog

To accomplish this, Blizzard will be removing averaging of Magic Find and Gold Find in multiplayer games, so players will benefit from their full Magic Find stats independent of other players.

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Battle.net has been hacked, e-mails compromised

Blizzard advises players on North American servers change their passwords.

Battle.net - Blizzard's online service that stores personal and financial data for players of games such as Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft - was recently hacked, the developer confirmed.

Diablo 3: the state of play two months after launch

Diablo 3: the state of play two months after launch

Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime on always-online, the real-money auction house and more.

Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime has issued an open letter to the Diablo 3 community, addressing many of the concerns players have with the game.

In a post on Battle.net Morhaime thanked players for their feedback, which Blizzard has gathered since the game's record-breaking, and controversial, launch two months ago.

"The launch week of Diablo 3 was memorable for many reasons - some positive, and some not so positive," he said. "We were thrilled that Diablo 3 had the biggest PC-game launch ever, surpassing the lifetime sales of Cataclysm (the previous record holder for biggest PC-game launch) in a matter of weeks. We've been floored by the response."

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Diablo 3 Patch 1.0.3b live in Europe

Diablo 3 Patch 1.0.3b live in Europe

Full patch notes inside.

A fresh round of updates and fixes for Diablo 3 have arrived in Patch 1.0.3b, now available in Europe.

New features include an increased roster of commodities available to trade at the game's real-money auction house. But while gems, materials and other designs can now be bartered for, gold commodity training remains "coming soon".

A short list of other bugfixes are also included in the update. See below for a comprehensive listing of what's changed.

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FeatureError 37: The future of always-online

Eurogamer asks the games industry whether it plans to follow Diablo 3's lead.

It's fair to say that Diablo 3's launch did not go to plan. Had it gone smoothly, Blizzard's always-online Trojan Horse would surely have snuck quietly by, with few gamers batting an eyelid. As it stands, its horribly botched release has invited a furious consumer backlash, igniting serious debate on the ethics of demanding players maintain a permanent internet connection, even if they're attempting to enjoy a seemingly solo, offline gameplay experience.

Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3a now live in Europe

Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3a now live in Europe

Item durability damage halved.

The Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3a is now live in Europe, Blizzard has announced.

The headline tweak is to equipped items, which have seen their durability damage taken halved. This should help mitigate against the rising cost of repairing equipment.

Meanwhile, a range of bug fixes have been implemented and gold and levelling exploits fixed.

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Diablo 3 patch limits new players from accessing entire game for up to 72 hours

Diablo 3 patch limits new players from accessing entire game for up to 72 hours

"A necessary step to combat fraud and other malicious activities."

Diablo 3 update 1.0.3 restricts new players who've bought the title online from accessing the entire game for up to 72 hours, Blizzard has announced.

New copies purchased through Blizzard's online store will initially be restricted to the game's Starter Edition. Here's what that means:

Act I up to the Skeleton King is available

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Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3 now live in Europe

Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3 now live in Europe

Full patch notes revealed.

The Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3 is now live in Europe, Blizzard has announced.

On Battle.net Blizzard published the full patch notes for the update, which makes sweeping changes to the action role-playing game.

Blizzard has changed the Inferno difficulty, rare item drops on bosses and bonus monster damage when playing in a group, among many other things. It has also nerfed attack speed - deemed an overpowered statistic.

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Diablo 3 offline tomorrow morning to prepare for patch 1.0.3

Diablo 3 offline tomorrow morning to prepare for patch 1.0.3

Should be ready around midday tomorrow.

Diablo 3 will be offline tomorrow morning to prepare for the release of patch 1.0.3, Blizzard has announced.

The scheduled maintenance begins Wednesday 20th June at 2am UK time. Blizzard reckons it'll be finished its work by around 12pm.

Players will not be prompted to download the patch until it is live in their home region, however.

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Blizzard: Diablo 3 has been stable in Europe for two weeks

Moves to reassure players as pressure over Error 37 intensifies.

Blizzard has issued a statement to Eurogamer on the status of the Diablo 3 game service, as pressure on the company intensifies over the poor availability of the game at launch one month ago.

US chart: Diablo 3 pips Max Payne 3 to May crown

3DS was the only system to show year-on-year growth.

UPDATE: A few more numbers. NPD's Anita Frazier has confirmed to Eurogamer that Dragon's Dogma sold 92,000 copies in the US during May, while Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter Tweeted that Max Payne 3 sold less than 50 per cent of what LA Noire managed in its first month last year - putting its total somewhere below 450,000.

Diablo 3 updated to fit Apple's new Retina MacBook Pro display

Diablo 3 updated to fit Apple's new Retina MacBook Pro display

Gaming seeps into the core of Apple's announcements.

Apple's big World Wide Developer Conference announcement last night was a new MacBook Pro with Retina display.

But gaming was also front and centre.

Most notably, Diablo 3 will be updated to support - flaunt - the new 2880 x 1800 pixel resolution of the MacBook Pro Retina display.

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Diablo 3 patch 1.0.2b out now

Diablo 3 patch 1.0.2b out now

Server load! Damaged items! Monsters!

Blizzard has released the Diablo 3 patch 1.0.2.b.

Login has been changed slightly to reduce server load, the sale of damaged items on the Auction House is now allowed and a few bugs related to the Barbarian class have been fixed.

The changes in full:

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Blizzard details Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3

Blizzard details Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3

Rare item drops! Bonus monster damage! Inferno!

Blizzard has detailed the Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3, due out later this month.

Writing on Battle.net, Diablo 3 senior technical game designer Wyatt Cheng revealed plans to change the Inferno difficulty, rare item drops on bosses and bonus monster damage when playing in a group, among many other things.

The headline change is the best items in the game will drop from many more places - not just Act 4 on Inferno. This, Cheng said, should make a wider variety of play styles viable. "If you would rather chain-pull elite packs in Act 1 than three minute cat-and-mouse in Act 4, we'd like you to be able to do that and know you can still find the best items in the game," he said.

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Diablo 3 struck by Error 37 woe again

UPDATE: Players claim server problems have killed Hardcore Mode characters.

UPDATE: A number of players are now complaining that the server problems have killed their character in the game's permadeath Hardcore Mode. We've contacted Blizzard for comment and will update should we hear back.

Diablo 3 real money auction house delayed again, client side patch out next week

Diablo 3 real money auction house delayed again, client side patch out next week

First Diablo 3 hotfixes published, classes nerfed, game breaking bug squashed.

Blizzard has confirmed a client side patch for Diablo 3 will be released next week.

In doing so it announced a further delay to the real money auction house beyond the end of May target release. It's also still looking into those nasty missing achievements some players have suffered.

"Since the game's launch, we've applied a number of hotfixes to address gameplay issues, made tweaks to improve our service stability, and performed occasional server maintenance when necessary to ensure that in the long term, players have the best gameplay experience possible," community manager Nethaera wrote on Battle.net.

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Diablo 3 fastest-selling PC game ever, biggest PC game launch in history

Diablo 3 is the fastest-selling PC game ever, and enjoyed the biggest PC game launch in history, Blizzard has announced.

The game sold over 3.5 million copies in the first 24 hours on sale. That eye-watering number does not include the 1.2 million players who received Diablo 3 as part of the World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion. In total, over 4.7 million were playing the action RPG day one, making it the biggest PC game launch in history.

Now we're a week in, over 6.3 million are playing. This figure does not include players in Korean Internet game rooms, where Diablo 3 is the top-played game, Blizzard said. In these game rooms, Diablo 3 has a 39 per cent share as of 22nd May.

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Eurogamer.net Podcast #113: Diablo 3

Oli, Donlan and Champ talk skills, auctions, internets and Anna the Ukrainian.

Seems like, in 2012, the bigger the game launch, the more furious the message-board outcry that surrounds it. We've had the uprising over the Mass Effect 3 ending, and now it's all about Diablo 3 and Error 37gate. Meanwhile, Rockstar, previously the champions of popular outrage, barely raised a heckle with Max Payne 3; gratuitous violence is so nineties.

Diablo 3 Review

Diablo 3 Review

The devil is in the details.

Diablo 3 is an action role-playing game - with the emphasis firmly on action. You'd get that, of course, from the murderous riot on the screen, the boom and splatter from the speakers and the showboating skills of its five astonishing playable heroes. You'd get it from its two predecessors, in which you hand-cranked your characters through near-limitless levelling with furious clicks of the mouse.

The action bias goes deeper yet, though. Game director Jay Wilson and his team have taken big risks, stripping the game's role-playing systems to the bone in a series of pitiless cuts that lasted into the final months of development. Their bosses have taken even bigger risks, requiring an internet connection to play and introducing an auction house that allows players to trade items for real money (which isn't online yet).

The result is an incredible game that finds, in Diablo, the link between two worlds you never thought you'd see reconciled. On the one hand, it channels the senseless thrill of the arcade, reconnecting dungeon-crawling with Atari's 1985 classic Gauntlet as well as the furious spectacle of modern greats like Geometry Wars. On the other, it embraces the customisation, connection, macroeconomics and long, long, long-form progression of massively multiplayer online games - including World of Warcraft, of course, but also more liberal player economies like CCP's Eve Online.

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UK top 40: Max Payne 3 beats Diablo 3

Blizzard's PC/Mac game 8000 boxed sales behind.

Rockstar's new multi-platform shooting game Max Payne 3 has beaten Blizzard's new PC and Mac game Diablo 3 to the top of the UK all-formats chart.

FeatureGame of the Week: Diablo 3

Tempus fugitaboudit.

Remember when we had to wait, really wait, for a new game in a beloved series to come out? I barely do. These days, while we're happy (and, if you ask me, correct) to moan at the annual overexposure that progressively washes the fun out of hits like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty, we also start looking pointedly at our watches when three years pass between BioShock games. It's become routine to assume that we'll get through three episodes of an Uncharted or a Gears of War in one hardware generation.

FeatureAlways Online: What Diablo 3's Battle.net Does Wrong

It's had a rough start - but don't stop roughing it up just because it works now.

Here's one to file under 'lessons we probably should have learned from writing stuff on the internet for over a decade': if you're planning to publish a couple of different perspectives on a contentious issue, either publish them together or lead with the one that reflects the prevailing consensus. Otherwise everyone calls you a c***!

FeatureAlways Online: What Diablo 3's Battle.net Does Right

It's had a rough start - but Blizzard has put together a world-beating online service.

Diablo 3 is an online game. That's not an opinion, it's a fact - Blizzard requires you have an internet connection to play it, although previous Diablo games allowed offline play and many (most?) people enjoyed playing them solo. The controversy surrounding that decision has been intense, and so was fans' understandable frustration when server load made the game difficult to play on launch day this week.

What happens when you're disconnected from Diablo 3 servers

Booted to last checkpoint, but keep gold, experience and items. Video inside.

If you're disconnected from the internet while playing Diablo 3, your game instance freezes straight away and after a minute or so, you're booted back to the character selection screen. When you log back in, you restart from your last checkpoint - but keep any gold, experience and items you earned.

Diablo 3: hardcore difficulty, replayability and post-launch plans

FeatureDiablo 3: hardcore difficulty, replayability and post-launch plans

We talk to Blizzard about crafting a PC game to last a decade.

At 11pm last night the bell rang out in HMV's flagship store in Oxford Circus. The Diablo 3 servers went live, hundreds of fans roared, and the tills were set alight. The loot hunting had begun.

Today is Diablo 3 launch day, the culmination of a giant effort from Blizzard's Diablo team, which has spent years crafting the follow-up to the 12-year-old Diablo 2. But it is just the beginning. In this interview with Eurogamer, lead technical artist Julian Love and senior world designer Leonard Boyarsky reveal that hardcore difficulty, replayability and post-launch support will ensure Diablo 3 lasts over a decade.

There's so much hype and discussion among fans about Diablo 3. As makers of the game, are you aware of what's going on outside the game, or are you oblivious to it all?

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Diablo 3 had over 2 million pre-orders, 8000 midnight launches

Diablo 3 had over 2 million pre-orders, 8000 midnight launches

UK launch video, images, Iain Lee, people in wizard costumes.

Diablo 3 had over two million pre-orders, a record for Blizzard Entertainment.

The PC game launces today amid huge interest from players - so much so that servers are at capacity and thousands are unable to log in.

Blizzard's eye-watering pre-order figure takes into account units pre-ordered as part of the World of Warcraft Annual Pass promotion, as well as retail and digital pre-orders.

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Diablo 3 servers "at full capacity" following midnight launch

Diablo 3 servers "at full capacity" following midnight launch

Error 37. Error 37. Error 37. Error 37.

UPDATE: Blizzard has taken Battle.net offline and launched more servers as players struggle to play Diablo 3 this morning.

The company issued the following update on Diablo 3 server capacity:

"Please note that due to a high volume of traffic, login and character creation may be slower than normal. If you're unable to login to the game or create characters, please wait and try again. We've temporarily taken our Battle.net websites offline and launched more servers to accomodate for the traffic. We hope to resolve these issues as soon as possible and appreciate your patience.

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Diablo 3: Blizzard may trigger 40 second connection delays on launch log in

Blizzard may trigger delays of up to 40 seconds when trying to log in during the launch of Diablo 3.

In a Diablo 3 launch day update Blizzard said it may do so to ensure a stable launch from midnight Monday, 14th May. If your attempt to log in fails after 40 seconds, you'll get an error 37 message. Don't worry - try to log in again.

"It's possible we'll need to adjust the rate at which we're logging people in to ensure a stable experience, and if we do you may see a delay when attempting to login," Blizzard warned. "Please be aware that a delay of up to 40 seconds is possible while the game attempts to connect you. If your connection doesn't succeed in 40 seconds, you'll be presented with an Error 37 message and asked to try again.

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Diablo 3 to allow multi-region online play

Blizzard details Global Play feature.

Forthcoming action RPG sequel Diablo 3 lets you face off against players located anywhere in the world via its new Global Play feature, developer Blizzard has announced.

Diablo 3 launch night events announced

Diablo 3 launch night events announced

HMV Oxford Street kicks things off in the UK.

Blizzard has announced a series of launch events to mark the long-awaited launch of action RPG sequel Diablo 3.

HMV Oxford Street in London will open late on 14th May to start selling the game from 11.00pm. The game's lead technical artist Julian Love and senior world designer Leonard Boyarsky will be in attendance, no doubt with autograph pens at the ready.

There'll also be contests, activities and giveaways starting from 10.00pm, full details of which are yet to be confirmed.

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Diablo 3 open beta saw 300,000 play at the same time

Diablo 3 open beta saw 300,000 play at the same time

Server gets stiff stress test ahead of launch.

The Diablo 3 open beta saw a whopping 300,000 people play at the same time, Blizzard has revealed.

The open beta, which ran over the weekend, was designed to stress test Blizzard's servers ahead of the hotly anticipated PC game's launch. It certainly did that.

"I think we peaked at around 300k concurrent [users]," Blizzard community manager Bashiok tweeted.

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Official Diablo 3 open beta this weekend

The Diablo 3 beta opens officially for a weekend today, from 8pm UK time (BST), Blizzard has announced.

"Everyone" is invited. You'll need a Battle.net account and a BattleTag. And you'll need to download Diablo 3. That's it. All free.

The beta weekend ends on Monday, at 6pm BST. Oh no, I can feel a cough coming on now.

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The Diablo 3 beta opens up

The Diablo 3 beta opens up

UPDATE: Blizzard responds.

Update 2: Blizzard evidently didn't release any more information at 4pm BST. But we're keeping an eye on this and will update when necessary.

Update: Blizzard has waded in. It sounds like the beta wasn't supposed to open up, and that Blizzard has taken the servers down across the board while the issue is resolved.

Wrote Blizzard community poster Ulvareth: "The Diablo 3 beta is currently not available for play while we're working to resolve an issue. We don't have a current ETA for the beta to be back and running at the moment, but we plan to share an update with you in approximately 2 hours from now."

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Diablo 3 beta shutdown date announced

Diablo 3 beta shutdown date announced

Blizzard finally gets ready for launch.

The Diablo 3 beta goes offline on 1st May, developer Blizzard has announced.

The rabidly-anticipated action RPG sequel will then hit the shelves a few weeks later, on 15th May.

All beta accounts and character information will be reset, and you'll only be able to make forum posts on the game's official site if you've pre-purchased the title or have a StarCraft 2 or World of Warcraft game license attached to your Battle.net account.

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1000 Diablo 3 Beta Keys!

1000 Diablo 3 Beta Keys!

UPDATE: Wow, that was quick. All gone.

Update: Sorry, too slow! Or rather, 1000 other people were too quick. They all went in around 20 minutes.

Not sure what to do with what looks like being a sunny spring weekend? How about closing the curtains and clicking on thousands of monsters until they explode?

Blizzard has kindly supplied us with 1000 keys to the Diablo 3 beta test for Eurogamer readers. Just head to the 1000 Diablo 3 Beta Keys page to receive a code. The beta is available on both Windows PC and Mac.

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Torchlight 2 dev shrugs off Diablo 3 release date

Torchlight 2 dev shrugs off Diablo 3 release date

"We believe the best business model is to do what you love."

Torchlight 2 developer Runic Games has shrugged off concerns that the announcement of a Diablo 3 release date could spell trouble for its game, which takes clear inspiration from Blizzard's action RPG.

A statement on its official website over the weekend offered the Diablo 3 team congratulations on last week's release date reveal, then added that it has faith fans will still want to check it out its sequel as well.

"We know a lot of you are worried about us. We've heard what you're saying, and sure we've had similar discussions," read the post.

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Diablo 3 release date announced

Diablo 3 launches on 15th May, Blizzard has announced.

On that day you'll be able to buy the PC exclusive from shops in the US, Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Gamers there, as well as in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, will be able to buy Diablo 3 digitally via Battle.net. Diablo 3 launches in the listed Latin American countries and in Russia from 7th June.

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Blizzard: no PVP at Diablo 3 launch

There won't be any player versus player (PVP) combat in Diablo 3 at launch, Blizzard has announced.

This will be implemented later via a game patch.

"After a lot of consideration and discussion, we ultimately felt that delaying the whole game purely for PVP would just be punishing to everyone who's waiting to enjoy the campaign and core solo/co-op content, all of which is just about complete," wrote lead designer Jay Wilson on the Diablo 3 website.

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Blizzard announces 600 redundancies

Blizzard announces 600 redundancies

90% of those affected "not related to game development".

World of Warcraft developer Blizzard has announced a major round of lay-offs, with around 600 employees now out of a job.

It added that 90 per cent of those affected are "not related to game development" and that the World of Warcraft development team is not affected at all.

CEO Mike Morhaime attributed the cuts to wider changes in the way the games industry operates.

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Diablo 3 release date narrowed

Diablo 3 release date narrowed

Blizzard sequel due between 1st April and 30th June.

Blizzard has narrowed down the release window for keenly anticipated action RPG sequel Diablo 3 to the second quarter of 2012 - so some time between 1st April and 30th June.

CEO Mike Morhaime announced the news during an investor call earlier today.

"We can also confirm that we are targeting a Q2 launch for Diablo 3. We expect to announce more details about the release schedule in the coming weeks," he said.

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Big changes to Diablo 3 detailed, more to come

"No one will remember if the game is late."

If you played the Diablo 3 beta, admired its polish and reckoned the game couldn't be far from release, think again: game director and arch-tinkerer Jay Wilson has unveiled extensive changes to the game's systems, some minor, some major - and promised that even bigger revisions are on the way.

Blizzard dilutes Diablo 3 console confirmation

Blizzard dilutes Diablo 3 console confirmation

Not a no, but a sort of maybe yes kind of.

Halt excitement - Blizzard apparently didn't confirm console Diablo 3 yesterday.

When Blizzard community manager Marc "Bashiok" Whiple was asked on Twitter, "Can you confirm or deny Diablo 3 coming to consoles?", his answer - "Yup. Josh Mosqueira is lead designer for the Diablo console project." - didn't mean what it looked like it meant.

Explained Blizzard in a statement: "Bashiok's response on Twitter was intended as a confirmation that we're actively exploring the possibility of developing a console version of Diablo 3, as we've mentioned in the past.

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Diablo 3 console release confirmed

Diablo 3 console release confirmed

Blizzard community manager spills the beans.

PC and Mac role-player Diablo 3 will be released on consoles, Blizzard has confirmed.

Blizzard community manager Micah Whiple broke the news via his Twitter feed. No specific platforms were mentioned for the console version, or a release date.

When asked if he could confirm or deny rumours the anticipated hack and slash was on the way for consoles, Whiple responded with the affirmative:

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Interesting Sequels of 2012

Tom's already offered you a rundown of this year's Actual New Games - the ones that are offering, in their own ways, something unique - and now here's the slightly less glamorous look at the other side of the coin.

They're big business, these blockbuster sequels, and for all that we lament the lack of innovation it's these big-budget series that inevitably garner the most attention and inspire the most devotion from the majority. That's nothing to be scorned - iteration's an important thing in games development and indeed the development of games - and a composite of evolved features designed to fulfil a particular desire, be that the needs of a sports fan or those wanting a fresh shooter fix, can be just as important to the progression of the medium as the advent of a new game mechanic or control concept.

Sequels take many forms and capture our attention for many reasons. Some build their features up year by year, like FIFA and Call of Duty, and will continue to be brilliant when we encounter them later in 2012. Others build on the storytelling or world-building of games a few years past, like Gearbox's brilliant-looking Borderlands 2 or the sure-to-be-spectacular finale to the Shepard's tale in Mass Effect 3. And some are interesting because of their circumstances - Halo 4, for example, is another big-budget sequel on the near horizon, and with a new and as-yet unproven developer filling Bungie's big boots, we're just interested in that out of morbid curiosity as devotion to the series.

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Blizzard announces BattleTags

Blizzard announces BattleTags

A unified nickname for players on Battle.net.

Blizzard has announced BattleTags - unified nicknames that identify players across all of Battle.net.

Your BattleTag is used in Blizzard games, on Blizzard websites and in Blizzard forums.

BattleTags are similar to the controversial Real ID system (but will not replace it), and gives players a new way to manage public profiles, find and chat with friends they've met while playing, form groups and stay connected across Blizzard games, the company said.

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FeatureThe Hero Factory: Conversations with Chris Metzen

As he retires from his position as Blizzard's head writer.

Blizzard's head writer and lore guru - or senior vice president of story and franchise development to his friends - Chris Metzen has just announced his retirement. To mark the moment, here's a profile of the man we originally published on 20th October 2011.

Diablo 3 "feels better" with a game pad

Blizzard discusses console experiments.

Blizzard's much-anticipated PC action RPG Diablo 3 "feels even better" when played with a console-style controller, according to game director Jay Wilson.

Diablo 3 closed beta goes live

Diablo 3 closed beta goes live

Invitations going out today.

A closed beta for Blizzard's long-awaited action RPG sequel Diablo 3 has just gone live, the developer has announced.

The first wave of invitations are in the process of being sent out, with more participants to be added later on in the test.

Should you be lucky enough to get the nod, you'll be able to play through part of the game's first act as any of the game's five classes - barbarian, witch doctor, monk, demon hunter or wizard. You can also go toe-to-toe with the Skeleton King, meet up with key characters in the Sanctuary and tinker with the game's skill and crafting systems.

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FeatureAlways Online with Blizzard

Co-founder Frank Pearce and StarCraft 2's Jonny Ebbert speak.

Blizzard goes big at GamesCom, and this year was no exception. Gargantuan queues wrapped around its Diablo 3 booth on the show floor, and its 20th anniversary press conference was packed to the rafters. With Diablo 3, StarCraft 2 expansion Heart of the Swarm, an unnamed World of Warcraft expansion and Project Titan all in the works, these are exciting times for the company.

FeatureSaturday Soapbox: Pay Up or Shut Up

Why we should stop moaning and spend more on our games.

Last week, John decried the rise of the free-to-play game and, by extension, its cousins in the murky world of digital business models: micro-transactions and downloadable content.

Runic: Diablo DRM vital for auction house

Torchlight 2 won't follow Blizzard's lead.

Blizzard's controversial decision to demand Diablo 3 users have a persistent online connection isn't necessarily there to combat piracy, believes Torchlight 2 developer Runic Games. It could in fact be a vital measure in ensuring the security of the game's new real-money auction house.

FeatureThe How and Why of the Diablo 3 Auction House

An in-depth look at the first official real money market.

Ahead of my visit to Blizzard's Californian base for a preview of the Diablo III beta, I was told that there was going to be a major announcement. The developer's press office seemed unusually anxious about how it would be received.

Blizzard aiming for 2011 Diablo 3 launch

Blizzard aiming for 2011 Diablo 3 launch

But not ready to commit.

Blizzard is "working hard" to get Diablo 3 out this year.

But it's not ready to commit to a 2011 release date.

"We are still working hard to ship [Diablo 3] before the end of the year, but we are not ready to commit to a release date at this time," Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime said during an investor call last night.

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Diablo III auctions "a design decision"

Lead designer defends real money trading.

The creation of Diablo III's real money auction house for trading items was "definitely a design decision" rather than a commercial one, according to the game's lead designer Jay Wilson.

Diablo III has real money auction house

Game cannot be played offline.

Blizzard has revealed that Diablo III will allow players to trade in-game items for real money via an officially sanctioned auction house, integrated in the game.

Diablo III Beta

FeatureDiablo III Beta

What's new, what's changed, what's in the test.

Diablo III has hardly been under wraps since its Paris unveiling three years ago. It's been playable at BlizzCons and other events, and Blizzard's currently open mood has allowed press and punters to follow its development in some detail.

But last week was the first time the studio has invited press to its Orange County campus for a full briefing on the game - from first principles to latest developments, including a hands-on preview of the coming public beta. Despite the game's familiarity, we emerged from a 100-minute presentation and Q&A with our heads spinning - from the accumulated mountain of detail on this apparently simple and visceral game, from its quite dizzying quality, but also from the boldness of the thinking behind it.

The big shock is an officially sanctioned real money auction house - an in-game eBay - where players will be able to sell loot to each other in their local currency. This development is so daring, complex and potentially controversial, we'll discuss it separately in a full article soon. There'll be a separate but functionally identical auction house where players can trade using game gold.

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Diablo III external beta due Q3 2011

Diablo III external beta due Q3 2011

Finished game could be out this year.

Blizzard's long in development PC action RPG Diablo III gets an external beta test in the third quarter of 2011, the developer has revealed.

CEO Mike Morhaime made the announcement at an investor call earlier today, adding that the development team was doing its best to ensure the finished game makes it onto shelves before the end of the year.

"We began internal company-wide testing last week," he revealed. "The game is looking great and we are currently targeting a Q3 launch for external beta testing.

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FeatureCheap This Week - 27/04/11

Brink! Diablo 3! Castlevania! 3DS!

Fancy some cheap games? You're in luck, because here's the lowdown on what's Cheap This Week – the finest bargains from all over the internet collected in one convenient place for your consideration. There's a couple of hotly anticipated pre-orders for low prices, and the first signs of 3DS software getting proper discounts, so read on for the best in cheap gaming fun.

Diablo III team "love" Torchlight

Blizzard hails hit look-alike RPG.

It's been an awfully long wait for Diablo fans since the second entry in the beloved action RPG series saw the light of day in 2000. But for many, the thumb-twiddling has been made easier to bear by Torchlight, Runic Games affectionate riff on Blizzard's classic beast-slaying formula.

Blizzard hopes for 2011 Diablo III launch

Blizzard hopes for 2011 Diablo III launch

Pardo: "That's our goal."

You'd get long odds, but much-anticipated action RPG sequel Diablo III might just see the light of day before the year is out, developer Blizzard has announced.

When asked by Kotaku if a 2011 release was on the cards, Blizzard VP and World of Warcraft lynchpin Rob Pardo offered a slither of hope.

"We really, really hope so. That's our goal," he explained.

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BlizzCon 2011 dates announced

Blizzard has announced dates for BlizzCon 2011.

The annual fan event will take place in Anaheim, California on Friday, 21st October to Saturday, 22nd October.

Ticket pricing and ticket availability haven't been announced. Tickets sold out in the blink of an eye last year, but Blizzard offered a paid-for internet TV service as consolation for its millions of fans worldwide.

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Diablo III

Deck the hells.

The other night in the pub, my (otherwise quite bright) editor suggested that there was something festive, something Christmassy, about Diablo, Blizzard's famously bloody series of fantasy-horror action RPGs.

No COD on Battle.net any time soon

We're "two separate entities" - Blizz.

One day Activision and Blizzard may share; one day Call of Duty may work inherently with Battle.net - but for now the companies remain, in the words of Battle.net overseer Greg Canessa, "two separate entities".

Diablo III's Demon Hunter in detail

"Obsessed" ranger with gadgets and magic.

Blizzard has explained that the Demon Hunter - the fifth and final Diablo III player class to be revealed - is a ranged weapon user with a penchant for gadgets, traps and shadow magic, and a revenge-fuelled obsession with killing demons.

BlizzCon schedule hints at Diablo focus

No sign of SCII: Heart of the Swarm.

Blizzard has published the schedule and panel descriptions for this year's BlizzCon fan convention, which takes place on 22nd and 23rd October in its usual venue of the Anaheim Convention Center south of Los Angeles.

FeatureDesigning Diablo III

Game Director Jay Wilson picks apart what he's putting together.

On the Gamescom 2010 show floor, Blizzard's imposing stand featured a huge enclosure. Its black walls, printed with glowering artwork, enclosed dozens and dozens of PCs hosting a playable demo of Diablo III.

Blizzard forums to require real names

Storm of protest over Battle.net Real ID.

Blizzard has unleashed a hurricane of internet rage by announcing that it will require users to post under their real names on its forums, in a move intended to create a more "positive", "constructive" community.

BlizzCon 2010 ticket dates announced

BlizzCon 2010 ticket dates announced

Going for $150 in early June. Two batches.

Activision Blizzard has announced BlizzCon 2010 tickets will go on sale in two batches.

The first batch will sell on Wednesday, 2nd June at 7pm Pacific Time. The second batch will sell on Saturday, 5th June at 10am Pacific Time.

Tickets will be $150 each and available to buy from the BlizzCon website. To make things easier, Blizzard suggests registering a Battle.net account in the lead-up.

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BlizzCon moving to Vegas in July?

LVCC thinks so, Blizzard not so sure.

BlizzCon could be moving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas next year, if the Las Vegas Convention Centre is to be believed.

Diablo III

A tale of four classes.

Blizzard says it's focusing on character class reveals for Diablo III - like the recent unveiling of the Monk at BlizzCon - because "seeing a guy running around exploding people" offers the most bang per buck, and conveniently avoids story spoilers to boot. That's logical - but it's hard not to think that there's something more to it.

BlizzCon 2009 sold out in eight minutes

20,000 people to attend this year.

Here's a snippet we missed from the Activision Blizzard conference call earlier in the week. This year's BlizzCon Blizzard fan convention sold out in just eight minutes, according to Big Download.

New Battle.net "similar to Xbox Live"

Vision outlined for "social gaming network".

Perhaps feeling the need to explain to shareholders why it was delaying StarCraft II, Activision Blizzard has given a broad explanation of the features we can expect from its new Battle.net online gaming service.

FeatureBlizzard's Rob Pardo

How the world's most successful studio makes games.

Sitting in an office in the memorabilia-filled halls of Blizzard's nerve-centre in southern California, Rob Pardo is unassuming, chirpy and sincere - a manner which belies the fact that this is unquestionably one of the most influential men in the games business.

Build for hardcore first, says Blizzard

Pardo argues accessibility can come later.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Blizzard's game design chief Rob Pardo has argued that it makes more sense to build a game with the hardcore gamer in mind first, and then improve its accessibility later.

First block of BlizzCon tickets sells out

First block of BlizzCon tickets sells out

More available in a fortnight.

The first batch of tickets for Blizzard's BlizzCon fan convention went on sale on Saturday and sold out within "minutes", according to VG247.

As originally announced, a second batch of the USD 125 tickets will be made available on Saturday 30th May for those who missed this first round.

BlizzCon runs from August 21st to 22nd at the Anaheim Convention Center near Los Angeles. If previous years are anything to go by it will have a five-figure attendance, and offer hands-on opportunities with StarCraft II and Diablo III, some surprisingly frank developer panels, and the heart-warming spectacle (yes, really) of the fan costume and dance contests.

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BlizzCon tickets on sale next week

Event will live internet streaming.

Blizzard has announced that tickets for the fourth BlizzCon fan convention will go on sale on Saturday 16th May. The event runs from August 21st to 22nd in Anaheim, California.

Blizzard releases iPhone authenticator

US only so far, other phones to come.

Blizzard has released an iPhone and iPod Touch application that works as an authenticator to help keep your World of Warcraft and Battle.net accounts secure.

Diablo III shows new user interface

Slots. Loot. Talents. Tabs. Oh God.

Blizzard has leaked a little more information on its in-development super-RPG, Diablo III. A fresh batch of screens show a user interface revised over previous versions of the game shown at last year's BlizzCon and Worldwide Invitational events.

Blizzard launches new Battle.net

Blizzard launches new Battle.net

Unified login for WOW and future games.

Blizzard has launched its new Battle.net online gaming and account management service. At present, it's simply a unified login that will work for up to eight World of Warcraft accounts and all future Blizzard games such as StarCraft II and Diablo III, as well as Blizzard's online store.

Players who've already created one of the stop-gap Blizzard Accounts have had that login automatically transferred to the new Battle.net.

Merging World of Warcraft accounts with Battle.net accounts is currently only available in the Americas. Europe and Korea will get this service at a later date. It's currently optional, but "we will eventually require all active World of Warcraft accounts to migrate over to Battle.net Accounts in order to continue playing," according to the FAQ.

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BlizzCon 2009 confirmed for August

BlizzCon 2009 confirmed for August

Third WOW expansion to be announced?

Blizzard has confirmed dates for the fourth BlizzCon fan convention. This year's event will return to its usual home of the Anaheim Convention Center near Los Angeles on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd August.

In reponse to the five-figure crowds drawn by the last two BlizzCons, this year's event is being expanded from three convention halls to four. No specific details of the convention's line-up were given, but the outline indicates business as usual: hands-on with upcoming Blizzard games, panels with developers, tournaments, community contests and more.

Previous BlizzCons have seen the announcement of the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions to World of Warcraft, and we'd lay money on a third add-on being revealed at this year's event.

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Diablo III

The devil makes work for clicking hands to do.

BlizzCon 2008: thousands of people travelled from all around the world and crammed themselves into a convention hall in sun-baked California. Many were hoping to be thrilled by the opening ceremony where Blizzard traditionally make a highly anticipated, but not always unexpected, announcement. The ceremony went by without any new games or projects unveiled, yet these dedicated fans walked away all the more excited - Diablo III has a new class, the Wizard, and the crowd at BlizzCon would be the first to play it. Such is the furore this game inspires in fans that any chance to get hands-on more than justifies their trip.

Diablo III in full content production

Wilson on progress, trading, tone and more.

In the latest Blizzard podcast, Diablo III's lead designer Jay Wilson - we talked to him last week, nice man - reveals that the game is technically in an advanced state of completion, and the team is fully focused on content production.

FeatureDiablo III

Lead designer Jay Wilson plays devil's advocate.

Jay Wilson - portly, laconic, in a black Diablo t-shirt, in a black briefing room, in Activision Blizzard's black business suite at the Games Convention - is in Leipzig to talk about the game he left Relic Entertainment and joined Blizzard to make. At Relic he worked on fan favourite Dawn of War and critic's favourite Company of Heroes, but he's jumped from RTS to action-RPG now, as the lead designer on Diablo III. As we saw at its June unveiling, it's a sumptuous, visceral update, whose traditional isometric camera belies some deceptively subtle twists in its design - all of which has been overshadowed by the fan-created brouhaha over its brighter art style. We sat down with Wilson to find out how he goes about making the old new, and the new old again.

BlizzCon panels announced

BlizzCon panels announced

More Diablo III info promised.

Blizzard has posted a preliminary line-up of the developer panels it will be running at this year's sold out BlizzCon fan convention in Los Angeles in October.

As attendees of previous BlizzCons and June's Paris Worldwide Invitational will know, the developer panels are when the secretive developer opens up and showers its fans in new information, as well as insights into its game design processes.

A panel on Diablo III class design hints that classes beyond the Witch Doctor and Barbarian will be revealed with an invitation to "see if any other champions emerge to defend the mortal world".

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BlizzCon ticket demand griefs site

Sales offline until solution found.

BlizzCon 2008 ticket sales have been temporarily taken offline while Blizzard alters the website to handle outrageous consumer demand for the event.

Blizzard to start "gamerscore" system

WOW Achievements are just the beginning.

World of Warcraft lead designer Jeff Kaplan has let slip the first details of a Blizzard Account system that will track Achievements across all the publisher's games.

"Darker" Diablo fan petition rejected

The colours stay, says Blizzard.

Blizzard has stamped on the hopes of the 52,744 Diablo fans who have signed a petition asking it to change the art style of Diablo III.

FeatureDiablo III

Blizzard's next blockbuster dissected.

It's easy to figure out where Blizzard is going with Diablo III. Or so it seems. Throughout the weekend of press conferences, panels and interviews that followed the game's memorable unveiling in Paris last weekend, the developers' speech was peppered with phrases like this:

FeatureBlizzard's Perfect Storm

The industry's top developer knows the merits of the confessional.

Published as part of our sister-site GamesIndustry.biz' widely-read weekly newsletter, the GamesIndustry.biz Editorial is a weekly dissection of one of the issues weighing on the minds of the people at the top of the games business. It appears on Eurogamer after it goes out to GI.biz newsletter subscribers.

Console Diablo "theoretically possible"

Pardo: "most console friendly" of franchises.

Speaking to Eurogamer for our Diablo III preview, Blizzard's vice president of game design Rob Pardo has admitted that a console version of Diablo is "theoretically posssible".

FeatureBlizzard's Mike Morhaime

He runs the world's most successful developer. But what makes him nervous?

Mike Morhaime is the chief executive of Blizzard Entertainment, co-founded with his college buddies Allen Adham and Frank Pearce under the name Silicon & Synapse in 1991. Over the next 17 years it built a formidable name for itself in real-time strategy (Warcraft and StarCraft), action RPG (Diablo), and more recently massively multiplayer gaming, with World of Warcraft, the proverbial golden egg that has brought in 10 million subscribers. Blizzard is known for its perfectionism, its lengthy, iterative development process, its early embrace of online multiplayer gaming, and its staunch support of the PC and even Mac as gaming platforms.

Blizzard Worldwide Invitational

Diablo III, Lich King, StarCraft II.

If you went outside this weekend you may have missed the exciting unveiling of Diablo III at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational event. It hit headlines with a meaty gameplay trailer, screenshots and a cinematic movie.

Blizzard announces Diablo III

Blizzard announces Diablo III

"It is time for shedding our enemies' blood, not idle talk."

Blizzard has announced Diablo III, the sequel to its smash hit action-RPG series, and demoed the game to its Worldwide Invitational audience in Paris.

In a press conference following the reveal, the developer confirmed PC and Mac platforms, saying it had "no plans" for console versions, and added that it was too early to talk about a release date - although Frank Pearce added, "as much as possible it will be our goal to release simultaneously worldwide".

Blizzard also released tons of screenshots, a cinematic trailer and gameplay footage.

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