It was last September, I remember the feeling of excitement after hearing the D3 beta announcement. "The decade long wait was over, Diablo III would soon be in my hands" I thought. From then till now, my interest in the game waxed and waned several times. An eight month beta will do that to you. With the beta coming to an end and the game only two weeks away from release (feels great to say that), I thought it was a good time to write about these last eight months.
One of the biggest controversies of the Diablo III beta was its unfortunate delay. Many became furious at the announcement that the game would be delayed by a further few months. "When its done" was the last thing that fans wanted to hear from Blizzard at the time. However, now we are on the cusp of the release and we have the advantage of looking at the events in hindsight.
Many of us have different opinions about the decisions made by Blizzard during the Beta. Was the delay worth it?, are the game systems, and overall game, better now than it was months ago? Jay Wilson, continues to argue that...in the end the players and the community will not care whether or not the game was late, they will care whether or not the game was great.
I tend to agree with this sentiment as Blizzard games normally score very high marks on my personal evaluation and their development process is very long and thorough. Considering all the systems and other in game changes made due to the delay, I think that the final product is in much better shape than it was orginally presented in the beta. The systems are cleaner and less cumbersome to use, and seems to fit with the "Easy to learn, hard to master" feel that we have come to expect from Blizzard games. There are always elements of a game that we would have done differently, but on the whole I think they did an excellent job and I give a hat tip to the dev team and the rest of the staff for their great work.
In the comments below, let me know what you think about the delay. Was it worth it? Is the game in better shape now than without it? Did it change your perspective on the game and/or Blizzard's development process? I would love to hear your thoughts/comments.
Thanks for reading,