Diablo III to arrive in early 2012

Source: Battle.Net

We commonly use the term “soon” when referring to Blizzard releases, because we know that no matter how hard we’re working to reach a target, we’re not going to compromise and launch a game before it’s ready. For Diablo III, we were aiming to launch by the end of 2011. As we’re announcing globally today, our new target for the game is early 2012.

While this news might not be a complete surprise, I know that many of you were hopeful that Diablo III would ship this year. We were too. However, this week we pulled together people from all of the teams involved with the game to decide whether we felt it would be ready before the end of December, and we grudgingly came to the conclusion that it would not. Ultimately, we feel that to deliver an awesome Diablo sequel that lives up to our expectations and yours as well, we should take a little more time and add further polish to a few different elements of the game.

The upside of today’s announcement is that we will be running the beta test longer than we initially planned, which will allow us to invite more of you who have opted in.

For those taking on the Diableard challenge, we salute you — and now fear for your well-being and personal hygiene. We hereby issue an official reprieve to all Diableard participants, including Blizzard employees, if you want to trim or otherwise manage the lower half of your face. We’d still love to see your beardly achievements, and we look forward to seeing more of your efforts as we move into 2012, but not to the detriment of your workplaces and significant others.

Thank you everyone for your support and anticipation for Diablo III. We’re still moving ahead at full pace, and we’ll be keeping you fully informed of any news and developments here at Diablo3.com, including the specific release date when the time comes, so stay tuned.

-Mike Morhaime

 

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Diablo III Auction House

Source: us.blizzard.com

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Diablo III Auction House Overview

introducing a powerful auction house system that will provide a safe, fun, and easy-to-use way for players to buy and sell the loot they obtain in the game. Items can be sold and purchased using real-world money or in-game gold.

An Easier Way To Trade

Sure, slaying monsters, demons, and cultists is a surefire way to obtain a ton of random new loot in Diablo III, but with the new auction house feature, it’ll be easier than ever to gear up your character with the exact items you’re looking for. You can also post the items you don’t need for players who are desperately searching for what you’ve got!

 
 Don’t Need It? Put It Up For Auction!
Nearly everything found in the game, including gold, can be exchanged with other players directly or through the auction house system. So say you’re a witch doctor and you’ve just found an incredibly rare, incredibly powerful axe that only barbarians can use. In the previous Diablo games your best option might have been to sell the axe to an in-game vendor, but in Diablo III, you now have the ability to list that axe in the auction house for your fellow barbarian players to bid on. And you know another player will probably appreciate the true value of that axe more than some heartless vendor who’ll likely just melt it down for scrap….
 
 Amazing Search Functionality
The auction house’s “smart search” functionality can automatically sort items in the auction house based on which upgrades would be most beneficial to your character. Also, searching for the best gear for multiple characters on the same Battle.net account can be done all from the same interface without having to log out.
 
  The Choice Is Yours
Use of either the real-money or gold-based auction house is completely optional — that decision can be made on a per-item basis, and both versions of the auction house are functionally the same. In addition, players have the option to simply sell the items they obtain to in-game vendors for gold. They can also trade items to other players through a direct character-to-character trading system in the game in exchange for gold, other items, or just an overwhelming sense of goodwill.
 
 Players Only
Blizzard does not plan to post items for sale in the auction house. The driving purpose of the auction house is to provide players with a fun additional in-game option for what they do with the items they obtain in the game. Items sold in the auction house will be posted by players and purchased by players.
 
 Safe and Sanctified
The real-money auction house provides players with an easy-to-use, Blizzard-sanctioned way to collect money for items they obtain while playing Diablo III. It also helps protect players from the scams and theft often associated with questionable third-party sites by providing a secure, completely in-game method for purchasing and obtaining the items they want for their characters.
 
 Faster Than A Seven-Sided Strike
Sellers can post items for auction from any of the Diablo III characters on their Battle.net account, or from their shared stash (extra inventory space accessible with any of the characters on their account), without logging out. And after a buyer has won an auction, the item will become immediately available to be equipped and put to good use in the ongoing struggle against the forces of the Burning Hells.
 

Battle.net Mobile Authenticator for Windows Phone 7 Devices

the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator is now available as a free download for Windows Phone 7 devices.

 The Battle.net Mobile Authenticator provides a one-time password that you use in addition to your regular account name and password when you log in to a Battle.net account to play World of Warcraft or StarCraft II.

Versions for other mobile devices are also available for download here, or you can purchase a physical Battle.net Authenticator from the online Blizzard Store. Visit the Battle.net Mobile Authenticator FAQ for more information.

Official StarCraft II custom games now live on Battle.net!

Aiur Chef, StarJeweled, and Left 2 Die, three new Blizzard-made custom games for StarCraft II, are now available<http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/blog/2058906#blog> for beta testing on Battle.net. While these custom games are still under development and we don’t yet have a release date to share, we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to test them out and give feedback before they’re officially released. Simply log into StarCraft II, and navigate to the custom game area to find these new custom games.

To help get you started, here’s a quick summary of each custom game as well as some basic instructions on how to play.

Aiur Chef

Category: Collection/Cooking

Mode: Free For All

Players: Up to 8

Inspired by a popular television cooking show in the United States and Japan, Aiur Chef is a light-hearted free-for-all game. As in the TV show, each round of Aiur Chef features a theme ingredient and three succulent recipes that play upon its unique flavor. Before you can master these themed dishes, though, you’ll first need to scout across the map and collect a variety of tasty ingredients (including the theme ingredient).

Each recipe has its own set of required ingredients, listed in the recipe menu in the upper-left of your screen, which can be picked up off the ground or acquired by killing specific creatures. Don’t get too greedy when loading up on ingredients, though — inventory space is limited, so you’ll want to focus on collecting ingredients for one recipe at a time.

Once you’ve collected the proper ingredients, you’ll need to return to the kitchen in the center of the map and use the Beacon to prepare your dish.

Each dish created using the theme ingredient will award you points based on the complexity of the recipe. Some dishes even award special one-time use abilities like Hearthstove, which allows you to quickly port back to the Beacon, and Decoy, which places a fake theme ingredient on the ground for other players to scavenge. Take advantage of these abilities whenever possible, as they could provide the competitive edge you need to outcook your opponents.

The player with the most points at the end of three rounds will be named Executor Chef, culinary guru of the entire Koprulu Sector. With such a prestigious title on the line, expect some fierce competition… and get those psi blades ready!

StarJeweled

 Category: Puzzle/Strategy

Mode: Solo vs. A.I., Co-op vs. A.I., Player vs. Player

Players: Up to 4 (1v1, 1v1 A.I., 1v2 A.I., 1v2, 2v2, 2v2 A.I., etc.) StarJeweled is effectively a mash-up of StarCraft and your favorite

match-3 puzzle game. The game focuses on matching groups of jewels according to color and strategically selecting StarCraft II units to overcome an opponent’s forces and destroy their base. StarJeweled can be played several ways, including cooperatively against the A.I. or competitively against other players.

Each successfully matched jewel combination provides a burst of energy; the larger the jewel combo, the bigger the energy burst. This energy can be spent to train a variety of StarCraft II units, including zealots, banshees, and ultralisks, which will help you eliminate your opponent’s defenses. You can also use energy to cast spells that heal friendly targets and do damage to enemy units. To activate a unit or spell once you’ve gained enough energy, simply click on the corresponding icon located beneath the jewel board.

Since the goal of StarJeweled is to destroy your opponent’s base while protecting your own, you’ll want to choose which units you purchase carefully. StarJeweled is not just about matching as many jewels as possible, but also managing your energy efficiently and understanding how the units in the game counter each other. If you’re unfamiliar with all the units’ strengths and weaknesses, each unit’s tooltip (which you’ll see by hovering over its icon) includes a list of what it’s strong against and what it’s weak against. Use this knowledge to use your advantage, and pay attention to what units your opponent is building.

A game of StarJeweled consists of five rounds. Each round will continue until one player’s or team’s base is destroyed. Take out your opponent’s base in three out of the five rounds and you win!

Left 2 Die

Category: Survival and Siege

Mode: Co-op, Endless Night

Players: Up to 2

Left 2 Die is a cooperative take on the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign mission Outbreak that shifts between two phases: a night phase and a day phase.

At night, you and a teammate are tasked with protecting your base against waves of infested terrans. In order to survive, you’ll need to use defensive structures like bunkers and coordinate your defenses against the invading zerg armies. You’ll also want to watch out for special zerg units such as the Kaboomer and Stank that can perform unique and powerful abilities capable of overwhelming even the strongest front lines.

During the day, the attacks on your team’s base will cease, giving you and your teammate time to train additional units and take them out to destroy infested terran settlements scattered across the map. It’s also a good idea to continue building up defenses during the daytime so you can survive the merciless onslaught of zerg that swarm your base at night.

While the struggle to survive in Left 2 Die can be daunting, you and your teammate will have some help along the way. You can earn zerg Biomass by killing special zerg units and destroying infested buildings, and then use the collected Biomass at the Science Facility in your base to research new units and structures like medics, firebats, and perdition turrets. Both you and your teammate will receive these upgrades, which will aid you in your struggle against the zerg strain.

In order to achieve victory in Left 2 Die, you’ll need to eradicate all traces of the zerg virus. Work together to survive at night, assault and rebuild during the day, and use Biomass wisely for epic upgrades to win!

Endless Night: If you’re looking for a different kind of challenge, be sure to try out Left 2 Die’s Endless Night mode, essentially a “survival”

mode in which infested structures are invulnerable and daybreak never comes. You’ll have to fend off wave after wave of the infested, with each wave becoming increasingly more powerful. While defeat is inevitable, the challenge comes in seeing how long you can endure in the dark.

To play the beta versions of Aiur Chef, StarJeweled, or Left 2 Die, simply go to the Multiplayer tab in StarCraft II and look for the custom games window. A few of these games have more than one difficulty setting, so select the level of challenge that’s best for you. We hope you enjoy them, and we’re looking forward to hearing what you think.

See you on Battle.net!

STARCRAFTR II: WINGS OF LIBERTYT ONE-MONTH SALES BREAK 3 MILLION MARK

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced that StarCraftR II: Wings of LibertyT has sold over 3 million copies worldwide in the first month of its release, building on the game’s
momentum as the bestselling PC game of 2010 and the fastest-selling real-time strategy game of all time.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty was released simultaneously in North America, Europe, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on July 27. With day-one sales topping 1 million copies, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty became the bestselling PC game of 2010 within its first 24 hours of availability. The game went on to sell more than 1.5 million copies in its first 48 hours, setting the record for fastest-selling strategy game of all time, and has won numerous critical accolades, including multiple editor’s choice awards
from major gaming publications.

“We appreciate all the enthusiasm that players around the world have shown for StarCraft II,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “It was important to us to deliver an overall gameplay experience that was accessible, balanced, and fun, and it’s been gratifying to see how strongly the global community has already embraced the game.”

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment’s 1998 hit StarCraft, which has been hailed by players and critics worldwide as one of the top real-time strategy games of all time. Sporting a vibrant 3D-graphics engine, StarCraft II once again centers on the clash between the protoss, terrans, and zerg, with each side deploying legions of veteran, upgraded, and new unit types. Unparalleled online play for StarCraft II is available through a new version of Battle.netR, Blizzard Entertainment’s world-renowned gaming service. Battle.net has been redesigned from the ground up to be the premier online gaming destination for Blizzard gamers, with several enhancements and new features, such as voice communication, cloud file storage, leagues and ladders, achievements, stat-tracking, and more.The solo campaign for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty continues the epic saga where it left off in StarCraft: Brood WarR. The story line chronicles the exploits of marshal-turned-rebel-leader Jim Raynor and features both familiar faces and new heroes. Players are able to tailor the experience, choosing their own mission path and selecting technology and research upgrades to suit their playing style throughout the 29-mission campaign. Several challenge-mode mini-games are also included, with focused goals designed to ease players into the basics of multiplayer strategies.