The Diablo III Beta Is Now Live

source:Blizzard Entertainment

The fiery gates leading to the Burning Hells have begun to swing open, and the Diablo III beta test is officially underway. Invitations to participate in the beta test are now being delivered to the chosen heroes. As with beta tests for other Blizzard Entertainment games, the testing process for Diablo III will occur in phases. In addition to selecting players who have opted in via their Battle.net accounts,  also Blizzard will be providing keys through beta promotions and giveaways — stay tuned for more info.

Blizzard Entertainment would like to remind those looking forward to an invite to be wary of phishing attempts. If you believe you’ve received an invite to the Diablo III beta test, it’s best to refrain from clicking on any links in the email, and instead log in to your Battle.net account to see if a Diablo III beta game account was granted. Or, if you were sent a key, attempt to add it manually by going to the Add or Upgrade a Game section of the Battle.net account management page.

For those who have received an invite to the beta test, we thank you for helping us test out our server stability and hardware. For those of you still hoping for an invite, we wish you the best of luck and hope you’ll keep an eye out for some of the beta-key giveaways and promotions we’ll have right here on the Diablo III community site.

World of Warcraft Patch 4.3 & Diablo III Updates from gamescom

The gamescom 2011 convention is underway in Cologne, Germany, and Blizzard Entertainment revealed new details about Diablo III and the next World of Warcraft content update (patch 4.3) currently in development. Here’s a quick summary of the news:

 

WORLD OF WARCRAFT – COMING IN PATCH 4.3

 

Transmogrification: The ethereals are setting up shop around Azeroth to offer adventurers their latest astonishing interdimensional service. The upcoming Transmogrification feature will let players customize the appearance of their gear like never before. For the full rundown on how it works, check out Blizzards recently posted blog: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3309048#blog.

Void Storage: Now that players have a good reason to hang onto old gear, they’re going to need somewhere to store it all. With Transmogrification comes Void Storage, a long-term stash where players will be able to keep the items they just can’t seem to let go of. Those ethereals think of everything, don’t they? Read more about it here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/3342240#blog.

Death to Deathwing: Alongside all this comes a whole lot of new content. The developers revealed that patch 4.3 will feature three new 5-player dungeons, setting the stage for the ultimate fight in Cataclysm: the final showdown against Deathwing himself. Patch 4.3 will include a whole new tier of raid content culminating in an epic boss encounter unlike anything players have yet experienced in World of Warcraft.

Raid Finder and More: We’re also working on a number of other new features, including a Raid Finder — a tool similar to the Dungeon Finder designed to match players looking for PUG-friendly raids — and some cool renovations for Azeroth’s traveling Darkmoon Faire.

 DIABLO III

 Inferno Mode: In addition to Normal, Nightmare, and Hell difficulty levels, Diablo III will feature a new difficulty mode called Inferno designed for players looking for the ultimate Diablo III challenge. Players will need to complete Hell and reach level 60 in order to play on this difficulty setting… and have access to the greater rewards that await.

 This piece of 3D street art depicting Diablo and the legions of the Burning Hells bursting forth from the streets of Cologne, created by artist Manfred Stader.

Diablo III Beta Test Unveiled

SOURCE: BLIZZARD

 

with the upcoming launch of the Diablo® III beta test, the armies of the Burning Hells will march forth from their forgotten lairs to besiege the mortal realms anew.

To prepare for this renewed demonic invasion, the Blizzard Insider has secured an exclusive interview with Lead Content Designer Kevin Martens as he shares his thoughts and insight on Diablo® III’s upcoming beta test. So read on, and prepare yourself for the next chapter in the Diablo® saga.

Insider: Aside from the story elements, how are you tuning the game’s combat encounters?

Kevin Martens: We want the game’s difficulty to hit a range of “peaks” and “valleys” as the player progresses from battle to battle. During the “peaks”, the challenge level spikes and players will be tested to their limits. In the “valleys”, the difficulty relaxes and players can build up their health and energy again. From a gameplay standpoint, valleys are important because they allow players to learn and experiment with their abilities without too much fear of failure or death. It’s the skills and techniques developed during the valleys that enable players to survive the peaks, which tend to be much tougher encounters, like ambushes, large groups, rare monsters, or even bosses. The peaks will require players to think quickly, spend their resources carefully, and move around the battlefield to avoid getting surrounded.

Read the Full Interview

Over $1.9 Million Raised for Japan Earthquake Relief Through Cenarion Hatchling Sales

 Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of World of Warcraft players around the world, Blizzard raised a total of more than $1.9 million USD to support the ongoing earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan.

 In May, Blizzard announced that for every Cenarion Hatchling pet purchased by July 31, 2011, 100% of the $10 USD adoption fee would be going to assist victims of this disaster — and the community responded by opening their hearts and wallets wide.   

 The generous spirit shown by the World of Warcraft community continues to inspire and humble Blizzard.

Diablo III Auction House

Source: us.blizzard.com

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.
 

Diablo III Beta

Source: us.blizzard.com

About DIABLO III BETA TEST

After 10 years of anticipation following Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo II (2000) and its expansion, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction (2001), the iconic action-RPG gameplay of the Diablo series is back with a vengeance in Diablo III. In the upcoming Diablo III beta test, selected participants will be among the first in the world to rejoin the battle against the minions of the Burning Hells as they explore part of the game’s foreboding first act.
Stay Awhile And Listen!
Meet up with Deckard Cain in New Tristram and get up to speed on what’s been happening in Sanctuary since the events of Diablo II. Interact with the townspeople and introduce yourself to Leah to immerse yourself in the world and lore of Diablo.
 
 Choose Your Hero Wisely
All 5 character classes will be playable in the beta test: the dual-wielding barbarian, the fearsome witch doctor, the elementally adept wizard, the dexterous monk, and the notoriously deadly demon hunter. Each character brings the pain to the demons and undead of Sanctuary in unique and spectacular ways.
 
 Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Skeleton King?
Evil is alive once more in the bowels of the Tristram Cathedral as the once-vanquished Skeleton King returns to plague the tiny village with gruesome horrors. The beta will pit players against this returning Diablo villain as they battle to restore peace and tranquility to New Tristam — and to finally put the tortured soul of King Leoric to rest.
 
 Good Company In Bad Times
Players will be able to meet and interact with some of the Artisans and Followers of Sanctuary during the beta test. These characters will aid your hero in different ways along his or her journey, providing some valuable services and much-needed martial companionship.
 
 Something Looks Different…
Each play-through of the beta test will feel like a new experience thanks to the randomized elements of Diablo III. Randomized maps, monster distribution, scripted events, and loot all make for highly replayable gameplay.
 
 A (Treasure) Hunting We Will Go
Finding, collecting, enhancing, and trading items has always been a core component of the Diablo series, and like its predecessors, Diablo III was designed from the ground up to make the rewards as much fun as the challenges. During the beta test, players will experience the joy of anticipation and discovery with every enemy they lay waste to, ever-searching for that amazing upgrade that will take their character to a whole new realm of power.
 
 Make It Your Own
Each character is brimming with possibilities. Which potent combination of skills, weapons, armor, and enhancements — including gems, charms, and runestones — will you assemble? With countless ways to customize each hero, players will definitely get a taste of what it means to be unique in the Diablo III beta test.

New Real ID Party Feature Now Available for Testing

World of Warcraft has a new feature called, Real ID Party, which is now available for testing. This feature allows World of Warcraft players to invite their Real ID friends of the same faction to a party regardless of the realm they play on, and then queue up for a 5-player normal or Heroic dungeon. 

For more information about how the Real ID Party system works, check out the FAQ below. To learn more about Real ID, please visit the Real ID web page and read the FAQ.

Real ID Party Feature — Test Phase FAQ

 Q: What is the Real ID Party feature?

A: Players can now invite Real ID friends of the same faction to a 5-player normal or Heroic dungeon group, regardless of what realm their friends are on. This system is designed to make it easier for real-life friends to play together.

 Q: How do I invite Real ID friends to a Real ID party?

A: Inviting a Real ID friend to a Real ID Party is simple. Just open up your Friends list to see which Real ID friends are online. Click on the “Plus” button to send an invitation to a Real ID friend to join your group. You can continue to add Real ID friends to your party until the group is complete. If you cannot complete the group with Real ID friends, you are free to join the Dungeon Finder to fill in the missing roles. 

 Q: Does a player need to have Real ID enabled to accept a Real ID group invite?

A: Yes, a player must have Real ID enabled, and both players must be Real ID friends to accept or initiate Real ID party invitations. 

 Q:  Can a party leader invite a mix of Real ID friends, character-level friends, guildmates, or random players to the same party?

A: A party leader can invite any combination of Real ID friends from any realm, guildmates from the same realm, or other characters from the same realm to the same party. If the party leader isn’t able to fill up the entire party, the Dungeon Finder can fill in the missing roles. 

 Q: Can I invite someone who is not a Real ID friend?

A: You can only invite members to a party if they are on your Real ID friends list or if they are on the same realm as you are.

 Q: Can I invite a friend of a Real ID friend?

A: No, you can only invite your own Real ID friends to the party.

 Q: How long will the testing period last?

A: We haven’t yet determined how long the testing period will last. We’ll keep you updated on the status and inform you when the test period is going to end in the future.

 Q: Will aspects of the Real ID Party system be premium-based?

We’ll have information on this toward the end of the testing period

Make-A-Wish FoundationR Receives $800,000 Donation from Blizzard Entertainment

The Make-A-Wish Foundation today announced a $800,000 donation from Blizzard Entertainment, a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software. The donation is based on 50 percent of the total sales during November and December 2010 of a special in-game pet, the Moonkin Hatchling, for Blizzard’s award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft®.

Blizzard Entertainment celebrated the donation on World Wish Day®, April 29, by granting the wishes of two boys at the company’s headquarters in Irvine, Calif. Blizzard welcomed the two gaming enthusiasts and their families to enjoy an exclusive learning experience with the World of Warcraft development team, including an inside look at how the game is created.

World Wish Day is the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s global celebration of wish granting. The Make-A-Wish Foundation honored the day that sparked a global wish-granting movement by granting wishes in 41 countries that it serves. More than 250,000 children with life-threatening medical conditions around the world have received their fondest wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“We’ve had a long relationship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and are proud to help contribute to the great work they do for children,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re also proud of the spirit and generosity of our players – their enthusiasm for World of Warcraft and for supporting a good cause made this donation possible.”

The contribution will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, which serves children in the United States and its territories, and Make-A-Wish Foundation International, which serves children outside the United States in 40 countries.

“Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft players around the world are helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation again this year to improve the quality of life for children with life-threatening medical conditions through this generous donation,” said David Williams, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and chief executive officer. “Children who have their wishes granted feel stronger, more self-confident and are more willing to fight their conditions. Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft players are giving an incredible gift to these courageous children.”

“The global nature of Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft players makes this collaboration incredibly special. It’s supporters like Blizzard and its players that give our organization the ability to grow our wish-granting efforts around the globe,” said Jon Stettner, Make-A-Wish Foundation International president and chief executive officer. “The continued support of Blizzard Entertainment and World of Warcraft players has allowed for hundreds of children around the globe to have their most cherished wishes granted by the Foundation. Thank you on behalf of the Foundation and the children we serve.”

BLIZZCON 2011 ANNOUNCED

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. today announced plans for its sixth BlizzCon® gaming convention, to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22, 2011. BlizzCon is a celebration of the global player communities surrounding Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft®, StarCraft®, and Diablo® universes.

“We look forward to holding another exciting BlizzCon this year, filled with some great entertainment and competition, as well as the latest news about Blizzard games,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “BlizzCon is built from the ground up with our community in mind — we’re pleased to be able to host an event where players can come together to have fun and celebrate their passion for gaming.” 

In addition to serving as a gathering place for Blizzard Entertainment gaming communities, BlizzCon will offer attendees a chance to enjoy:

  • Hands-on play time with the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment games
  • Discussion panels with Blizzard Entertainment developers
  • Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
  • Community contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise based on Blizzard Entertainment’s game universes
  • More activities and attractions to be announced

The previous BlizzCon was held in Anaheim in October 2010. Tickets to the event sold out in minutes, and some of the highlights included the unveiling of Diablo III‘s fifth and final playable character class, the demon hunter, and an epic closing concert featuring Tenacious D.

Further details about BlizzCon 2011, including ticket availability and pricing, will be announced on the official Blizzard website, www.blizzard.com, as the event draws closer.

To keep pace with the continued growth of World of Warcraft as well as development on other Blizzard Entertainment games, the company is currently hiring for numerous open positions. More information on available career opportunities can be found at www.blizzard.com/jobs.