Saturday, May 14, 2011

Michael Bolton, we're really gonna need you to [chat] up

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Diablo 3: Beta date set, to be inevitably changed.

The 3rd quarter reference in the earning's call today was a calendar quarter, meaning that we're aiming to launch the Diablo III beta between July 1st and September 30th. Keep in mind that it's our current goal, and of course that can change as development continues.


Oh, don't worry, Blizzard. We know that your release dates are subject to change. Because, as Blizzard fans and supporters, we accept that you need to spend years testing and tweaking your products so that, upon release, your customers have a finished, pristine, product that shall be endlessly patched and tweaked for years in order to achieve a balance and perfection that is demonstrably impossible.

We accept the importance of testing, of development. We understand that as game developers you cannot simply craft an algorithm to discern a balance of power between the various classes or units in your game. As a logical, mathematical program, your games are subjective, perspectival engagements with the ambiguity of reality. One cannot simply take two spells, from two classes, and balance the base numbers and multipliers to create a harmonious, equal allotment of damage between class mechanics. The notion that a fire mage’s primary attack and an arcane mage’s primary attack ought to simply have the same base damage is sheer lunacy, tantamount to proclaiming that a thing be both P and ~P at the same time, in the same respect!

I, for one, take comfort in the delay of release schedules, the undefined timeframes of development. Because I know that my patience shall ultimately pay off once the game is released. After release, my playtime shall not be interrupted by patches, by server down times. Because those flaws are being ironed out right now, as we speak! I do not have Diablo 3 right now, because the product I could have right now is flawed, unfinished. If Diablo 3 were released today, it would need to be patched and tweaked. But if we wait, then the inevitable product that is released will be complete, which is to say that it will need significantly less patching than the present game requires.

That’s the true beauty of Blizzard’s business model: They do not rush games out the door to an eager market. Instead, they ceaselessly delay games to ensure that once the game is released it does not need to be significantly changed.

Until, of course, they change their mind about core game mechanics and modify the whole thing.

Also, WoW lost 600k subscribers. Because, apparently, after handing people free loot in Lich King, the notion of having to work for epics pissed some people off.

Who could have possibly seen that coming?