And lo, it did pass that a select group of players of Diablo III were invited to test the Necromancer in the beta version of the game’s next major patch. And those players did test, and they experimented, and there was much rejoicing. But then Blizzard did decree that the Necromancer would be removed from testing for an unspecified timeframe as of today, and Blizzard didst encourage its testers to continue testing, but without the new class.
Now there was time when those who had seen the message (and those who had not, for it could only be accessed by those in the test) didst debate why the Necromancer was removed. And one soul rose with a speculation, saying this: “Could it be that the Necromancer is going to undergo major changes and the developers don’t want us testing it until then?” And many did raise their voices in assent. But then one soul offered a different idea, saying this: “The developers want us to be testing the other parts of the patch and this is the only way to be sure that happens.” And many more did raise their voices in assent. And the speculation reigned, for all that was known for certain was that it would indeed be removed from testing for a time.
It’s time to start dredging up corpses and making them do what you want in Diablo III, because the Necromancer closed beta has arrived. Of course, it is a closed beta, so if you haven’t been invited to test the new class you’ll have to just watch other people testing it. Still, you can look through the full list of Necromancer abilities to get an idea of what it’ll be capable of once you do get to play it in the future. It’s necromantic stuff, you know.
You can also test the rest of the patch as well; it might not contain any more corpse-animating weirdos, but it does contain new Challenge Rifts, new Adventure Zone maps, and various quality-of-life improvements and fixes. Obviously, those aren’t the things that will draw the most attention, but they’re all still there. And who doesn’t want more adventure zones to explore with the eventual and inevitable Necromancer? No one.
Ever since the addition of Necromancers to Diablo III was first announced, players have been eagerly anticipating the first chance to really try out the class. The good news is that people are going to get that chance soon; the bad news that it might not be you. But the good news again is that it might be you, and even if it’s not, you can still learn all about it. The closed beta for the new class is coming soon, in other words.
Players who opt in to the beta on Blizzard’s account management page will have a chance to be invited to test the class; there are no promises about the number of testers, however, and most people who opt in will likely not get to test it. There will not be an NDA in place, however, so you can read all about marching through the landscape while looking like a Hot Topic display mannequin circa 1997 with more corpse explosions. It’s the next best thing to detonating cadavers yourself.
German bot company Bossland has lost another battle in its war with Blizzard, though that’s to be expected since it didn’t even show up for the fight.
Bossland creates, distributes, and sells bots for World of Warcraft, Overwatch, HearthStone, Heroes of the Storm, and Diablo III, which Blizz argues violates its copyrights and costs it exorbitant amounts of money to fight in-game and out. In May of 2015, Bossland convinced a German court to deny Blizzard’s request for an injunction against it, which prompted Blizzard to sue Bossland’s American contractor in a California federal court. That led Bossland to absurdly accuse Blizzard of copyright infringement for its acquisition of the Heroes of the Storm bot’s source code. Last year, Blizzard sued Bossland again in a California court over its many hacks, as of March seeking the minimum $8.5M in damages, and this past January, Blizzard scored a win against the botmakers in a German Supreme Court ruling, which overturned lower court rulings to determine that Bossland’s HonorBuddy bot program for World of Warcraft is in fact in violation of anti-competition laws.
Diablo III’s 10th season is officially live as of this weekend, capping off last week’s 2.5.0 patch by welcoming console players to the seasonal fun.
If you’ve never played through the seasons before, know that they’re an epic way to play the game for the first time, zip through a class you’ve always wanted to try, or rack up a ton of loot on a rebirthed toon, even if you don’t finish every last achievement.
“Seasons are an optional, recurring game mode that offers players the opportunity to periodically start fresh, leveling new Normal or Hardcore heroes from level 1 without any currency, resources, items, or previously earned Paragon experience. Similar to the separation between Normal and Hardcore game modes, Seasonal heroes will also have their own shared stash and Artisan progression. Any currency, materials, recipes, items, Paragon experience, and Artisan progression earned during a Season will be rolled over to a player’s non-Seasonal profile once the Season concludes.”
Remember how Blizzard told us that it just wasn’t going to implement its Diablo III season campaigns for the game’s console versions? A year later and it seems that either the studio had a change of heart or its technical wizards figured out how to make it happen because console seasons are about to kick off at the end of this month.
On March 31st, both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will enjoy their very first seasonal journey in the game, offering players an opportunity to level up new characters to pursue special challenges. Players can either create a brand-new character from scratch for the season or choose to “rebirth” an existing character back to level 1 for the duration of the event.
Guess who’s getting a Necromancer class this year! If you said Diablo III, well, I can’t tell you you’re wrong because that’s also happening. But I’m talking about Grim Dawn.
“Although they primarily engage in the weaving of magic, necromancers are aptly equipped to enter the fray in close quarters, or to weave their death magic into ranged weaponry. Do not for a moment think that a cornered necromancer is easy prey,” Crate posted following a lore dump on the new class today.
Players should look forward to a number of masteries currently in development, including Drain Essence, Raise Skeletons, Necrotic Edge, plus skill that help you “shatter the souls of your enemies to conjure violent wraiths,” “bolster your minions with necrotic powers, “fill the battlefield with disease and rot,” and generate “cruel new ways to dispose of your pathetic enemies.”
No, the Necromancer isn’t coming to Diablo III any time in the near future, but Blizzard did want to show off some of the class’ skills and give a brief update on the progress of the ARPG’s newest class.
The Necromancer will use both melee and dark magic attacks as she decimates the battlefield. Some of the skills (shown as animated GIFs) include Grim Scythe, Blood Nova, Devour, Raise Golem, and Leech. The team is also putting the final touches on the female Necromancer model.
To answer the most pressing questions for any Diablo III fan, no, Blizzard isn’t quite ready to announce the price point of the class pack or a specific release date (although the studio said that it’s aiming for the second half of the year). Prior to that release, the Necromancer will be put through her paces on a special public test realm.
Have you done everything you wanted to do in Diablo III’s Season 9 challenge? If not, the good news is that you still have a little bit of time. The bad news is that it really is just a little time, as the current season is ending on March 17th. So you might be able to clear one or two final challenges along the way, but you’ll be out of luck if you’re trying to accomplish something big with zero progress up to this point.
Whether you’re out of luck or you’ve gotten almost everything done, you’ll still be able to greet the new season on March 31st. The usual rules about transitions between seasons and the de-seasonification of seasonal characters will apply; if you’re unfamiliar with the transition, check out the full rundown to see what happens to your seasonal challenge characters and what transfers over to your normal play in about a week.
The clock is ticking down to PAX East on March 10th, and the Chronicles of Elyria team is whipping itself up into a frenzy to get everything prepared for its public debut.
In addition to all of the hardware and booth decorations, the team is putting in a few late nights to get the demo done for the show. According to this week’s dev blog, the demo will feature the Silver Run Mines and the countryside. Playable females, climbing animations, underwater filters, and damage filters are all expected to make an appearance.
Amid all of this hubbub, Soulbound Studios has added a tech art lead to the team. Dennis Price comes to Chronicles of Elyria fresh from Blizzard, where he worked on the cinematic team for World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and StarCraft 2.
Like the dinosaurs and giant shoulderpads in women’s suits, World of Warcraft support for two older Windows operating systems is about to become extinct.
Blizzard announced this past weekend that it will be discontinuing support for Windows XP and Vista in all of its titles, including World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Hearthstone. The studio said that it will begin the process of all this sometime later this year. The studio noted that Microsoft hasn’t been supporting these operating systems for many years now.
“After these older operating systems are no longer supported, the games will not run on them, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We’ll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game,” Blizzard posted.
In a new interview with Glixel, World of Warcraft Game Director Ion Hazzikostas opened up about the creation and use of WoW Tokens in the Blizzard ecosystem, especially in light of last week’s expansion of the tokens’ functionality. Hazzikostas said that the demise of Diablo III’s RMT auction house paved the path for WoW Tokens.
“One of the original purposes for the token, and something that it’s served very well, is undercutting the illegal gold selling market that exists within the game,” he noted. “The way that gold is acquired is by compromising the accounts and using various methods that are harmful to players. Anything we can do to make those things harder is a net gain for us.”
Hazzikostas said that only a small segment of World of Warcraft players actually buy or sell tokens: “We were very satisfied with the fact that it was harmless, that it was not having any negative external effects on the economy or the game, and was just making people happier.”
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we have stories and videos from H1Z1, Gloria Victis, Diablo 3, Path of Exile, RiftStar Raiders, Gigantic, Lineage M, League of Legends, Fish Island 2, Wild Buster Online, Heroes of Incredible Tales, World of Tanks, God Eater Online, Closers Online, and Star Citizen, all waiting for you after the break!