Unannounced Diablo III ‘Starter Edition’ accidentally leaks to beta testers

unnanounced diablo iii starter edition accidentally leaks to beta testers d3beta

At roughly 6AM EST this morning, Diablo III fan forums throughout the ‘net began to light up with reports that anyone with a free Battle.net account could now access the game’s beta test. As the test had previously only been available to those who received invites from Blizzard itself, this news started a miniature rush of prospective players hoping for a chance to play the highly-anticipated title prior to its official May 15 release.

You can’t blame the fans for attempting to join the beta test, but it should be noted that the version of Diablo III they had downloaded via Battle.net wasn’t the standard beta client. Instead, through some bizarre glitch, these players had received a previously unannounced version of the game. This “Starter Edition” of Diablo III reportedly includes all of the features of the beta client, only it periodically asks players to purchase the full version of the game.

Once Blizzard was made aware of the leak, it scrambled to plug the hole in its usually ironclad veil of secrecy. At about 9AM EST the beta servers were taken offline altogether. “The Diablo III beta is currently unavailable until further notice while we work to resolve an issue,” writes pseudonymous Blizzard community liaison “Nethaera” on the official Diablo III forums. An update on the servers’ status is expected shortly, though it’s anyone’s guess when they’ll actually be up and running again.

More importantly though, is that mysterious, heretofore unknown “Starter Edition” of the game that beta testers seem to have stumbled upon. As Ars Technica points out, Blizzard released a Starter Edition for StarCraft II following its launch as well as a World of Warcraft Starter Edition in June 2011. Both releases were essentially free iterations of the full game that had a hard-coded time limit built into them after which they would no longer function. The idea was that new players would get a taste of Blizzard’s wares, get hooked and spring for the full version of the game. With this morning’s discovery, it seems that Blizzard plans to offer a similar scheme for Diablo III. Presumably we’ll be hearing more about this as we approach the game’s launch.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Peter Dinklage gets cryptic about two 'Game of Thrones' characters' fates

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable -- if you don't mind spoilers.

Apple Mac users should take a bite out of these awesome games

Contrary to popular belief, there exists a bevy of popular A-list games compatible for Mac computers. Take a look at our picks for the best Mac games available for Apple fans.

Turbo-powered Quadcrasher crashes the party in new ‘Fortnite’ update 6.01

Season 6, week 4 marks the arrival of Fortnite update 6.10 patch notes. It brings with it the arrival of the new Quadcrasher vehicle, in-game tournaments, a ton of Save the World additions, and much more.

From Blackout to Zombies, here's everything we know about 'Black Ops 4'

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. Here's everything you need to know about the game, including info on multiplayer, Zombies, Blackout, and Signature Weapons.
Product Review

The Oculus Rift is cheaper, the Vive Pro is better. Is the original Vive still worth it?

The Oculus Rift may have brought virtual reality into the public eye, but HTC’s Vive, built in partnership with Valve, does it better. Does the Vive still represent the true future of virtual reality, or are there better competitors on…

As deaf gamers speak up, game studios are finally listening to those who can’t

Using social media, personal blogs and Twitch, a small group of deaf and hard-of-hearing players have been working to make their voices heard and improve accessibility in the gaming industry.

Nvidia is slowly rolling out its next generation of GPUs. Here's what you need to know about them

Nvidia's new RTX 2000 series graphics cards are impressive pieces of hardware, with some amazing advancements and some rather high price tags to match. Here's everything you need to know about Nvidia's new top-tier cards.

Grab a comfy saddle — ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ campaign clocks in at 60 hours

According to Rockstar Games co-founder and head writer Dan Houser, Red Dead Redemption 2 features a 60-hour story. Houser said "superfluous" content was removed from the game. It launches October 26 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Jump into an internet DeLorean and play free Commodore 64 games online

The Internet Archive has added more than 8,800 full Commodore 64 games to its software library. Here's how you can play them completely free in your browser without the need for a joystick.

‘Fortnite’ in-game tournaments will give you the chance to beat the pros

Epic Games is introducing in-game tournaments to Fortnite. The initial schedule includes five tournaments, with commemorative pins going to the victors. Down the road, the pins might grant you access into additional rounds.

Here's how you can keep up with your favorite streamers at TwitchCon 2018

From sessions with your favorite streamers to epic Esports tournaments, there's plenty to look forward to at this year's TwitchCon 2018. We cover how you can attend, where you can watch if you can't, and which events you don't want to miss.

Monsters you get in ‘Pokémon: Let’s Go’ can be transferred to the next main RPG

Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let's Go, Eeevee! monsters will be able to be transferred to the next main Pokémon RPG on Switch, according to game director Junichi Masuda.

What you should know about 'Red Dead Redemption 2' before it launches

The long-awaited (and long-rumored) sequel to Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption is confirmed. Red Dead Redemption 2 will arrive next spring. Here's everything we've heard about the game so far.