While 2011 proved to be one of the more jam-packed years in recent memory for triple-A games, delays seem to be making the first months of 2012 increasingly sparse. Blizzard still isn't revealing exactly when they plan on releasing Diablo 3, but are doing everything they can to meet whatever date they have in mind. According to the developer, the Scrolls of Companion and Scrolls of Reforging were more than a little broken in the current Diablo 3 beta, and as a result are being removed for the retail release.
Whether players may have personally experienced issues with companion pets or reforging as they existed in the beta, Blizzard is justifying their decision with the best possible reasons. Diablo 3 may have been said to hopefully arrive in 'early 2012' but already the optimism of the announcement is starting to dissipate. Fans have been given more than a few reasons to worry this month, with the game's senior producer leaving Blizzard, and a cancellation of Blizzcon 2012.
Regardless of how badly the world wants Diablo 3 to be released, the development team's own standards are the ones that will have to be met before that happens. According to a post by Community Manager Nethaera on the Battle.net forums, that means taking out two more systems that just aren't working the way the developers had hoped. Reforging and Companion Scrolls may have given beta players a few more abilities, but in the end they didn't pass inspection:
"In both cases these are features we felt were underdeveloped and just not quite good enough for the game in their current state. The companion pets felt like they were mandatory to maximize play efficiency and some of the pets were too cutesy for the gritty, dark world of Sanctuary. Neither of those are issues we felt like we could solve without a lot of additional work, and we’re trying to close in on a solid release date for the game, not move further away. When weighing these systems against releasing the game, we decided to cut these scrolls and stay on track for the game’s release."
Obviously this is terrible news to those RPG fans who have always longed for a pig or spider best friend, but it's hard to not side with Blizzard given their reasoning. The team still has high hopes for both mechanics, but the game will be shipping without them in the name of deadlines. Blizzard still plans on adding the features at a later date, if and when they enrich the experience instead of hindering it.
Pessimists will have an easy time keeping expectations for Diablo 3 lowered, when combining this news with the systems previously confirmed to be cancelled. Of course, that would mean ignoring the extremely impressive beta gameplay and the brand new villains and story that are taking the Diablo universe to the next level.
Are you on board with Blizzard scrapping the systems to avoid further delays, or have your hopes for an imminent release already been dashed? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Diablo 3 is expected to release on the PC and Mac sometime this year.
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