Diablo 3 Open Beta

Oh snap.

We’re pleased to announce the Diablo III open beta weekend, which offers open access to all players with a valid Battle.net account! Beginning this Friday everyone is invited to log in and help us put the game and servers through their paces in this three day stress test as we march toward the game’s release on May 15. You can begin downloading the Diablo III client right now!

From Friday, April 20 at 12:01 p.m. PDT (noon), until Monday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT you’ll be able to log in, team up with friends, and play each of the five heroic classes to level 13 as you fight to save the world from the impending demonic invasion.

It sort of further cements the notion that betas are marketing demos rather than for catching bugs, but that has always felt like a distinction without a difference to me anyway. What company actually relies on untrained, untested volunteers to submit bug reports? It seems to me that if betas were actually for bug testing, some resumes and portfolios would have changed hands rather than simply signing up on the forums and downloading the client.

Regardless, time to take advantage of this opportunity to test drive a Day 1 purchase before having to slap pre-purchase pre-order pre-pay pre-collect-interest-for-months-on-my-cash money down on a “limited edition” infinite digital good.

Posted on April 20, 2012, in Diablo and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. ” What company actually relies on untrained, untested volunteers to submit bug reports?”

    Well look at it this way. Say you have 100,000 beta testers, and 1% of them are actually useful. That means you have 1000 testers assembled with little effort on your part and don’t cost you a dime for labor or recruiting. I have no doubt that Blizzard has an internal test team as well, but that’s a lot of benefit for essentially no cost.


    • Right… but they could have achieved the same results by asking for resumes on the webpage somewhere and not have endured 99,000 “useless” beta testers.

      My point is that beta tests have been marketing-driven for a long, long time now. And that the “betas aren’t demos!!1!” people are being pretty naive. That Blizzard or whomever can collect useful information is a bonus to their true marketing purpose of ginning up interest.


      • Well, closed betas are different from these newfangled open betas. In the olden days, you were expected to actually submit those bug reports. And it was assumed that if you applied to be a beta-tester, you were a dedicated fan of the genre/game who would keep an active eye out for bugs and point them out to try to make things better. The untrained volunteers were a kind of neighbourhood watch – useful not just by dint of no-cost and numbers but also dedication and enthusiasm. But that was before we invented entitlement.

        It is definitely all about marketing now, and I suspect any bug reports are ignored. In TOR’s case, the kind of bugs and inadequacies that made it through were exactly the sort of things that might have been overlooked by a frazzled, time-pressed internal echo chamber, but could not have been missed by a prospective player’s fresh eye.

        Worth noting, also, how DRM changed the equation. An open beta with a fully functional game would have, once upon a time, amounted to giving it away.


  2. If I’m going to stress test a new pavement, I’m not going to pay 50 engineers to drive over it at a test track all day. I’m going to put it on a road and let random cars drive over it, counting them.

    Then the engineers will come back and inspect the surface for wear.


  3. They stated that it’s a stress test, so I’m assuming the quality of testers is completely irrelevant.


%d bloggers like this: