Mike Morhaime, the boss of Blizzard Entertainment, has stepped down.
Plus a bunch of other things Blizzard just told us.
"The Auction House is a very complicated conversation..."
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Last week, Blizzard set tongues wagging with an apparent tease for a Diablo game on Nintendo Switch. The image - of a Diablo night light being repeatedly switched on and off - felt fairly deliberate.
UPDATE: Blizzard has issued a statement addressing its tweet that heavily suggested Diablo was coming to Switch.
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.
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.
Blizzard has emerged victorious in a long-running lawsuit against Bossland, a German company that creates cheats for online games.
If you haven't played it already, this week's Tavern Brawl event in Hearthstone is a neat nod to Blizzard's sister series Diablo.
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.
After 23 years at Blizzard, we were all a little surprised to hear that Chris Metzen had actually retired.
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.
No Diablo 4, but a new Necromancer class and a recreation of Diablo 1 in Diablo 3 instead.
Imagine if they don't actually reveal Sombra.
Could Diablo 3 be about to get a Necromancer playable class? That's the suggestion in the newest piece of leaked Blizzard concept art - which was found on the same Blizzard Gear servers as the secret Overwatch Sombra art earlier.
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.
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.
Blizzard is going to make another Diablo game, according to a new job listing.
Diablo 3 director Jay Wilson is leaving Blizzard Entertainment after a decade with the company.
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.
A new limited time event has been discovered in Diablo 3 paying tribute to late Blizzard artist Kevin Kanai Griffith.
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.
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].
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!
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.
And that's a wrap!
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.
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 has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide as of 30th June, publisher Activision Blizzard announced in its latest financial report.
Blizzard is making the 100 per cent Legendary drop-chance buff permanent.
BlizzCon, Blizzard's gargantuan get together, returns this year, the company has announced.
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.
You asked, Blizzard apparently listened: seasons with a ladder-like system are coming to Diablo 3.
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.
Diablo 3's controversial Auction House today goes offline.
If you pre-purchase Diablo 3 expansion Reaper of Souls you'll get a character for upcoming MOBA Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard has announced.
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.
Is Diablo 3 coming to Xbox One? Some shops seem to think so.
Blizzard has made a change to parental account controls that, by default, set kids' accounts to 'not allowed to buy stuff'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Action role-playing game Diablo 3 has sold over 14 million copies, Blizzard Entertainment has announced.
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.
A demo for Diablo 3 is available to download now from the PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3 and Xbox Live for Xbox 360.
"The Auction House is a very complicated conversation..."
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.
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.
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.
Going deeper into hell?
Blizzard's Project Titan probably won't be a subscription MMO, the company has said.
Diablo 3 launches 3rd September on PS3 and Xbox 360, but it won't arrive on PS4 (and presumably Xbox One) until 2014, Blizzard has said.
An alluring new feature for the console versions of Diablo 3 is same-screen co-op for up to four people.
Diablo 3 is coming to the Xbox 360 as well as PlayStation, Blizzard has announced.
Diablo 3's new game director, like a country's leader fresh to office, has made his inaugural pledge.
Yesterday's Diablo 3 patch 1.0.8 contained a bug that enabled a gold duping exploit that some people, who should be ashamed of themselves (read: well done - can I have some please?), took full advantage of.
Pre-order Diablo 3 on PlayStation 3 and you'll get the Infernal Helm, which grants an experience point boost, Blizzard has announced. Each of the game's five classes can wear it.
A wheelchair-bound gamer has been accused of faking his disability after he stood up and walked while on camera.
BlizzCon 2013 tickets will go on sale in two batches later this month.
Blizzard plans to improve Diablo 3's co-op experience with patch 1.0.8.
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.
Diablo 3 was on shown on PS3 at PAX East at the weekend, and the first video of it in action has popped out.
It sounds like Diablo 3 on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 may not connect to Battle.net at all.
Diablo 3 on PC/Mac required an internet connection to play. But it doesn't sound like Diablo 3 on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 will.
There's been a cacophony of views on Sony's PlayStation 4 reveal. Our writers have shared first impressions, you've shared your opinions and, slowly, game makers emerge with their thoughts.
Blizzard has released the first screenshots of Diablo 3 running on PlayStation.
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
"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.
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.)
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.
Activision cast doubt on a 2013 launch for Bungie's hotly anticipated new game Destiny during its annual money meeting last night.
Blizzard chief creative officer Rob Pardo has jumped to Jay Wilson's defence in a 184-page Diablo 3 forum thread that turned nasty.
Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson has left the project to work on something new at Blizzard.
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.
Blizzard has ditched Team Deathmatch as it battles with the yet-to-be released Diablo 3 player versus player portion.
Blizzard has hit out at a law suit that calls into question the way the company protects player information.
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.
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.
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.
Diablo maker Blizzard once planned a version of the series for Game Boy Color.
Iran has been blocked from accessing World of Warcraft, Blizzard has confirmed. United States trade restrictions and economic sanctions prohibit it.
Diablo 3 development chief Jay Wilson has issued an impassioned apology to Diablo 1 and 2 co-creator and Blizzard North co-founder David Brevik after telling friends on Facebook: "F*** that loser."
David Brevik, Marvel Heroes developer, co-creator of Diablo 1 and 2 and co-founder of Blizzard North, was working on a very different Diablo 3 to the one that eventually released.
Marvel Heroes developer Gazillion Entertainment is standing by company president David Brevik after Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson hit out at him on Facebook.
Blizzard is adding a new leveling system to Diablo 3 that lets players at the level cap continue to enhance their abilities.
The Starter Edition i.e. demo of Diablo 3 is now available on Blizzard's online service Battle.net.
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.
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.
Blizzard has launched character profiles for Diablo 3.
Diablo 3, the fastest selling PC game of all-time, has rocketed to 10 million copies sold overall, Activision Blizzard announced in an earnings call last night.
Does Steam selling games with DRM in the free and open source environment of GNU/Linux defeat the entire point?
Blizzard has issued a hotfix to combat the Diablo 3 invulnerable Wizard exploit that emerged yesterday.
A Diablo 3 exploit has been found that turns wizards invulnerable.
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."
Blizzard has called on gamers to play in moderation after an 18-year-old died following an uninterrupted 40 hour Diablo 3 session.
Diablo 3 players will soon be limited on how many games they can launch in short succession, Blizzard has announced.
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.
The Diablo 3 item hunt is not enough for a sustainable end-game, Blizzard has admitted.
Blizzard denied allegations of banning Linux users from Diablo 3 for using Wine, and insists all bans were due to cheating, plain and simple.
Inferno monsters across all Diablo 3 Acts, and Hell-difficulty monsters in Act 3 and 4, now have a greater chance of dropping high-end loot.
New players picking up Diablo 3 via Blizzard's online store can now advance beyond Act 1 and lv. 13, the developer has announced.
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.
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.
Blizzard has moved to clarify its controversial decision to apply certain temporary restrictions to new players buying Diablo 3 online.
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
Blizzard has taken the drastic step of offering South Korean Diablo 3 players a full refund following the server woe that plagued the game's launch.
For the first time someone has finished Diablo 3 on the hardest difficulty using a Hardcore character - just over a month after launch.
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.
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.
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.
South Korea has banned the trade of virtual items.
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.
The delayed European Diablo 3 Real-Money Auction House will finally arrive this Friday, 15th June, Eurogamer can confirm.
An in-game notification announced the date - the same notification that promised a 13th June release until a few days ago.
The RMAH has already arrived in North America.
Blizzard has threatened Diablo 3 cheaters and hackers with permanent bans.
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.
Diablo 3 servers in Asia are currently offline following reports of item-duplication exploits.
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:
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.
On the eve of the E3 trade show, Diablo 3 for PlayStation 3 has popped up on an online shop's website.
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.
In a detailed community update on the developer's website, Blizzard has outlined plans for the short and medium term development of Diablo 3 post-launch.
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.
The number of players who have reported a Diablo 3 account hack is "extremely small", Blizzard has insisted.
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.
Blizzard has nerfed Diablo 3's monk class as part of its first round of hotfixes.
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.
UPDATE: Diablo 3 accounts are being compromised through "traditional means", Blizzard has insisted.
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.
Eurogamer has received multiple reports of Diablo 3 accounts being hacked.
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.
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.
The Diablo 3 Secret Level - an evolution of the iconic Diablo 2 Secret Cow Level - has been found.
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***!
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.
Blizzard has apologised for the server problems that have made Diablo 3, which requires an active internet connection to work, difficult to play for hundreds of thousands of gamers.
Blizzard is investigating reports of vanishing achievements in Diablo 3.
Error 37. Error 3007. Error 315300. The launch of Blizzard's long-awaited Diablo 3 was marred by a day of server problems and at least one game-breaking bug, forcing gamers to wait up to 24 hours to play a game they had legitimately paid for.
What happens when the internet is not always on?
Someone has finished Diablo 3 already.
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.
UPDATE: Blizzard has confirmed a hotfix for those players experiencing Error 3006 is on the way.
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?
As thousands struggle to play Diablo 3 and servers buckle under the strain, Blizzard has explained the various error messages players are receiving as they attempt to log-in - and offered advice on how to deal with them.
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.
Blizzard will refund GAME Australia customers who had pre-orders for Diablo 3, the publisher has announced.
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.
Blizzard has rejected accusations that it has dumbed down Diablo 3.
You'll be able to try Blizzard's long-awaited new game Diablo 3 without having to buy it.
GAME Group's Australian business has entered administration. Shops will remain open for the time being.
Angels and demons.
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.
Diablo 3 has been a long, long time coming.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Murder most cowl.
15th May release date just a month away.
Blizzard role-player due 15th May.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New GeForce drivers (295.73) are out, and they dramatically boost Skyrim and Mass Effect 3 performance.
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.
Annual fan convention BlizzCon will not happen in 2012, Blizzard has announced.
Steve Parker, senior game producer of Diablo 3, announced on Twitter last Friday that he is no longer working for Blizzard.
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.
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.
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:
A Blizzard of memories.
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.
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.
Blizzard has never committed to a console project as it is, now, with Diablo 3 - the days of out-sourced and eventually scrapped last-gen project StarCraft Ghost should be forgotten.
This interview appears simultaneously on Eurogamer and on our sister trade site, GamesIndustry.biz.
But still no darned release date.
Blizzard releases Black Soulstone clip.
Diablo 3 will be given for free to all World of Warcraft players who opt for the new 12-month Annual Pass subscription.
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.
Alt rock veterans Foo Fighters close out this year's BlizzCon event, Blizzard has announced.
Diablo 3 will ship in early 2012, Blizzard has announced.
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.
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.
The Skill Calculator is now live on the Diablo 3 website.
The Diablo 3 real-money auction house will use online payment service PayPal, Blizzard has announced.
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.
Blizzard gets creative at Gamescom.
Eurogamer is proud to announce the 10 nominees for its Game of the Show, gamescom 2011!
Blizzard has given its firmest indication to date that Diablo 3 is coming to consoles.
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.
Famed first-person shooter developer id Software would love to force gamers to connect to the internet while playing its games.
Blizzard was surprised by the reaction to the news that upcoming PC game Diablo 3 cannot be played offline.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
A real tome of Diablo lore will be released alongside Diablo III, Blizzard has announced.
Blizzard appears to want to adapt Diablo III for PlayStation 3.
Temptress! Templar! Scoundrel!
Blizzard has unveiled Diablo 3's Followers system.
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.
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.
Blizzard, perhaps the finest game maker on the planet, has turned 20 years old.
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.
The male demon hunter is the latest addition to Diablo III's line-up of playable characters, Eurogamer can exclusively reveal.
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.
Blizzard plans to release at least two games by the end of 2012, the publisher has 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.
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.
UPDATE: Blizzard has posted a clarification on Battle.net.
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".
Honing the barbarian.
World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and StarCraft 2 creator Blizzard has rebuffed the suggestion that PC gaming is dead.
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.
Blizzard has announced the fifth and final class for Diablo III - the Demon Hunter - and PVP arena battles.
Diablo III's final class and PVP plans revealed.
Blizzard has hired Jack Black's band Tenacious D to end BlizzCon 2010 with a bang.
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.
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.
Artisan gameplay revealed.
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.
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.
Blizzard's fifth annual fan convention BlizzCon 2010 will take place on 22nd and 23rd October.
Blizzard has updated its website with a 3D image and concept art for the female version of the Monk class in Diablo III.
Blizzard offers desert.
Kotaku has secured an actual photograph of the rarest beast in gaming - a Blizzard release schedule.
BlizzCon could be moving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas next year, if the Las Vegas Convention Centre is to be believed.
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.
A console version of Diablo III may be close to becoming reality, after Blizzard claimed it was "theoretically possible" last year.
Those kicks were fast as lightning.
Blizzard has revealed a fourth character class for Diablo III at BlizzCon 2009 today - the Monk.
Oli Welsh is here and the conference is underway. He's sorry for the holdup! Let's jump straight in...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Blizzard's CEO Mike Morhaime has revealed the latest class for Diablo III - the Wizard.
Blizzard plans to offer hands-on time with Diablo III at the BlizzCon this weekend.
Blizzard co-founder Frank Pearce has described the staggering success of World of Warcraft as "exhausting".
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.
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.
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".
Blizzard has said the Diablo universe will live on in some form or another after Diablo 3.
There are no more tickets for BlizzCon 2008, after waves of adoring fans pecked them up like frenzied pigeons.
BlizzCon 2008 ticket sales have been temporarily taken offline while Blizzard alters the website to handle outrageous consumer demand for the event.
The art director for Diablo III has packed his bags and gone off to start his own company.
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.
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.
Blizzard has signed a deal with pay-per-view channel DIRECTV to televise the third annual BlizzCon gathering, where real humans dress like elves.
Blizzard has announced that tickets for its third US fan convention, BlizzCon 2008, will go on sale on 11th August.
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:
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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".
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.
Fallout 3 production director Ashley Cheng has asked for forgiveness from Blizzard for calling its StarCraft and Diablo updates "conservative".
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 has said that it is "hoping" that World of Warcraft's monstrous fan-base will take an interest in its latest game, action-RPG Diablo III, but that it isn't concerned about losing monthly WOW revenue.
Revealed at Blizzard WWI today.
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.