Blizzard (Italy) Confirmation Regarding Delay
Here's a very interesting post in the Italian (Battle.net EU) forums.
Basically, the users are talking about the delay of the game due to the RMAH, and a government in another region causing the delay of the game.
Then, Blue posts the following (translated):
"I can tell you that immediately after the delay of the game, it was decided that we no longer speak about possible release dates until we actually have an exact date with 99.99% confidence.So, Blizzard has just confirmed what I've been writing about. They have no idea what the release date is yet, that it was put up in the air after the unexpected delay, and they don't know what the release date is because it's based on the decision of another government in another region questioning the RMAH. :)
When we do finally announce the release date, you can be confident that it won't be delayed any longer. (Subject to natural disasters, emergencies, blah blah blah.)"
Some more related information has been found thanks to our loyal readers. Here's the specific post, and it's full of interesting (new) information. I really like this Blue. :)
If you go through all of the blue posts in this thread, Zhydaris basically says that because of the Diablo 3 delay, the development team has been given more time to add new features and make changes that weren't supposed to be done until after retail.
Before Gold, there's another very important date, which they internally call the "Content Lock" stage. Simply put, that's the day that they finalize the list of features that are present in the game and complete before Gold.
Because the release date has been moved to an undetermined date, the development team can now add additional features like the Simple Tooltips (which were supposed to be added post-retail), and they can also add new features, new items, updated item affixes, balance skills, change graphics of items, etc. But, all of the changes they're making right now were supposed to be done after launch. :)
Having "more time now means having more content", even though the game was finished.
I talked about this before actually.. like how most player balancing, quest fixes, items, and tuning were done after the WoW Expansion Pack releases, and very little changes were made during the beta.
There's another really fun quote in there too. They are aiming for a global release (like what I speculated) and Zhydaris said that although older Blizzard games (region-locked) may have had regional legal issues, they did not impact other regions. But, he/she never denied that the current Diablo 3 (region-free) is being delayed due to one region. It was actually just like "Tom Chilton's denial"; "Well.. if you look at traditionally (or historically) how we've handled that.." Brilliant. :)
Top Posts on the Diablo Forums
On the major forums (especially the US), you'll notice that Blizzard has been addressing many concerns and questions on the forums.
They'll spend a lot of time defending the new Simple Tool Tips feature, they'll address questions about the Book of Cain delay, they'll talk about how "diablo looks like 2008 game", they get involved in troll posts, they'll keep talking about inferno being soloable, they'll talk to people who are refusing to use the RMAH (on strike), they'll talk about the RMAH or AH bugs, and they'll even address mass layoff rumors on the forums.
But, for some reason they're avoiding the TOP POSTS on the forum that ask if Diablo 3 is being delayed because of Korea.
They'll talk about everything else, even the RMAH, but they're not touching the subject of Korea approvals holding back the game. It's what they're not doing that interests me. :)
Oh, by the way, there are no current plans for Daily Quests in Diablo 3. Something that blue just posted.
Interplay VS Bethesda Progress
The Interplay vs Bethesda trial (fight over rights to Fallout) started yesterday morning, and the trial is expected to last 2 to 2 1/2 days. So, keep watching the headlines on DuckAndCover and we'll probably find out more about the battle either today or tomorrow.
I'm really excited about this. I've been leaning towards Interplay during this battle, but only because I still remember Interplay as the "Brian Fargo Interplay". Unfortunately, it's now the "Caen Brothers Interplay", and knowing their poor decision making skills, I'm inclined to believe that Interplay has just been performing a whole Dog & Pony Show. I think that their real intention is to hold the Fallout IP hostage after winning their legal battle, so that they can sell it back to Bethesda at a substantially higher price (or even sell to a competitor who might be interested in a post-apocalyptic MMO.) :)
I think they'll also sell off all of their other highly valuable IPs too. The next couple days will be very exciting indeed.
Why You No PayPal Blizzard??
Blizzard post regarding payment methods for Digital Downloads, confirming what I wrote the other day. (Thanks Ichigo!)
BlackReaper4: "PAYPAL,Paypal...EU can't use paypal to buy CD keys add subscription etc"This is their standard response. And they say they're always looking for new payment methods.. and yet, they haven't changed in years. Regarding the "reason for it" (e.g. not using PayPal, even though they're partnered that their systems are fully integrated together), it's because they want players to be restricted to their own regions to buy games where they pay the most. Even for region-free games. So, I'm not going to be shocked if Diablo 3 can't be sent as a gift during the opening month, even though every other game can.
Nakatoir: "We are always looking into new payment methods to use, if a certain payment method is not available in a particular region, there is a reason for it. If we are able to make a certain payment method available, then we will try our best to make it so."
Apparently, there's a rumor going around that Blizzard might be ditching NetEase (whose contract will be expiring next May) and they're shopping around for another service provider in China. (Thanks again Ichigo!)
Tencent, although very big and may have offered a handsome deal to Blizzard, has a lot of competing games, their own (and possible problematic for Blizzard) QQ Coins currency system, and current Chinese players prefer NetEase, so they're not the most ideal candidate. This rumor could just be a power play by Blizzard to update their NetEase contract for a better deal on Blizzard's end. :)
Just a heads up that when Diablo 3 finally goes live, the blog will be taking a slightly different direction. I intend to focus on practical applications within Diablo 3.. specifically gold making strategies, even though they'll be rather difficult to make. I might take it in some interesting directions though that others might not have considered.. at least I'm hoping.
I'll still have some speculative or theoretical discussions about Titan and their future paid services though. Maybe even some progression into Guild Wars 2 once the game is finally out.
Diablo's New Anniversary
December 31st is Blizzard's "new" Diablo Anniversary, so you can expect something nice to happen that day. Apparently, it was just a coincidence that there was a ton of "Diablo News on November 30". November 30th just happened to coincide with Blizzard receiving a major update from the GRB. Still.. a very nice and convenient coincidence. (Those happen a lot here.) :)
The Blizzard_ANZ Twitter contest also ends on December 31, 2011 at which point the beta key winners will be announced. By then, the D3 beta would have been running for 4 months, and will be running at least another month (for a total of 5) for those beta key winners.
Jay Wilson originally expected that the Diablo 3 beta would run for 6 months ("six months before we release", quoted often by other blogs).. but that was for the FULL game. They changed it into the much shortened tech demo (a fraction of Act 1) that we see now, and planned on a 2-3 month release date so that they could release before Christmas. That's just how excellent the progress on D3 was, why they admitted to their intention for a Christmas release (the game was done), and how their plans were ruined due to the unexpected Korea GRB troubles.
This beta key contest is just another way to keep players busy and occupied until things get settled. (If things are approved by Jan 10th, they'll have a short beta period.) :)
* UPDATE: Bashiok later tweeted that they would have the anniversary activity during the following week, instead of on the anniversary day.