Diablo III – Development Hell – [Easter Egg]

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 May 2012 09:37 Written by HalonaZAT Saturday, 26 May 2012 11:30

Diablo III is the eminent dungeon crawler released by Blizzard on 15th May, 2012. As the long-awaited sequel to two previous games, D3 has a legacy to uphold and one aspect of that legacy is the provision of special hidden levels. Today we’re visiting Development Hell!

Diablo III - Development Hell

Diablo III - Development Hell

With the opening week fading quickly into memory, players are finally getting to enjoy the game on a relatively reliable basis and thus be able to experience what this title does best – entertain. Sure, the always-online requirement is still biting some of our members and keeping them from being able to play when they want but so be it. If they can’t get onto D3 they just end up playing something else and it’s Blizzard and the game that suffers. Let Blizzard understand that in the fullness of time.

Meanwhile, some of our team have already discovered several of the delightful secrets the game has buried within itself. The best example so far has been the reveal of the special dungeon area in the cemetery leading up to the Skeleton King encounter in act which is titled “Development Hell” and is populated with all the usual mobs, albeit with one difference: they’re all named after members of the game’s development staff.

Thus, you’ll find yourself killing regular trash with names like ‘Clayton Vaught (Software Engineer)’ or ‘Quang Tang (Technical Artist)’ and if you dare take on the boss of that realm, then you’ll face off against none other than ‘Jay Wilson (Game Director)’. Killing ‘Jay’ nets you a feat-of-strength ‘cheese’ called “Smash! Jay, Smash!” and one of those many indistinguishable custom Sigil graphics.

If you want to explore this special level for yourself, you need to get into act I of the game and head along the quest-line until you’ve got the quest “A Shattered Crown”. At this point, you’ll be heading to the Cemetery of the Forsaken and exploring the crypts beneath it. If you’re lucky, one of those crypts will have been switched from its normal mode to be ‘Development Hell’ instead.

We found it on our second play-through in Nightmare difficulty level. It’s not clear whether the difficulty level is a requirement and looking online, other sources have suggested the crypt only appears after killing the Skeleton King although that absolutely was not the case for us.

In any event, we captured a bunch of screen-shots for you which you can see by clicking our main article image above as normal. Enjoy!

Diablo III - Development Hell

Diablo III - Development Hell

Diablo III - Development Hell

Diablo III - Development Hell

Diablo III - Development Hell

Diablo III - Development Hell

Diablo III - Development Hell

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Diablo III – Gaming Excellence Wrapped in Epic Technical Fail

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 May 2012 02:33 Written by HalonaZAT Sunday, 20 May 2012 09:30

Diablo III is the eminent dungeon crawler released by Blizzard on 15th May, 2012. The game’s launch suffered from numerous technical failures and those failures continue to plague the game through its opening weekend.

Diablo III - Epic Technical Fail

Diablo III - Epic Technical Fail

It’s fair to say that the Diablo III launch that occurred on Tuesday 15th May 2012 did not go smoothly. As contentious as the requirement for the game to be online even for those playing solo is, one might forgive an opening day hiccup or two. However, the problems have extended far beyond simple login issues and caused extensive irritation and frustration as a result.

The Good of Diablo III – Before we dive into the many problems that exist, let’s take a second to note that when it’s possible to login to the game and no errors are encountered, Diablo III is a massively enjoyable and immensely fun game, whether you choose to play solo or with friends/strangers. It’s smooth, slick, accomplished. And for many, there have been very few problems meaning for the most part, it’s been a rewarding experience. Unfortunately, a lot of people have encountered problems.

The following list is a summary of the most serious issues experienced and confirmed thus far within the Halona ranks:

  • Error 37, Login Issues: Mostly this issue has been caused by the large number of people attempting to login to the various Blizzard games hosted on the Battle.net network – remember that WoW and Starcraft utilise the same login servers as D3 so when it goes down for one, it goes down for all.

  • Achievement Woes: For those who find achievements to be a net-positive addition to their games, the D3 achievement system has proven woefully unreliable. Many have played significant portions of the game but been awarded zero achievements, even when such are due. Others have found that achievements that were awarded are subsequently lost the next time they login. All in all, it’s been a complete shambles, to use an appropriate colloquialism.

  • Cut-Scene Cinematic Failures: Less widely reported but far more devastating to the game’s story and lore, some players are finding that key cinematic sequences that join the game’s important ‘acts’ together simply do not play or unlock as players complete those sections of the game. Since the game relies upon these to convey the most important beats of the on-going narrative, it’s tantamount to ripping out the heart of the game’s story.

  • General Lag/Performance Issues: With even single-player solo games requiring an always-on internet connection, every little server hiccup has the opportunity to introduce latency-based lag into your game… and so far, this is far from an uncommon experience.

Despite the above, the future is most certainly a lot brighter than this week has been. Blizzard as a company has significant resources and a lot of earned reputation and customer trust to protect. The likelihood is good therefore that they’ll be moving mountains to resolve these issues as quickly as they can.

The fear is that Blizzard is beginning to show all the signs of falling from the pedestal of high customer expectations upon which they’ve thus far managed to remain firmly seated. Bioware before them had earned a perch on that same pedestal with Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins but then stupendously fell off clumsily with the release of the half-baked Dragon Age 2 and the botching of the ending of the ME trilogy in Mass Effect 3.

Audiences need better treatment than they’ve received this week or even these past years. The saddest thought is that the largest and most successful companies in the field appear less and less like they’re going to be the ones to provide it.

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Diablo III Has Launched!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 01:04 Written by HalonaZAT Tuesday, 15 May 2012 11:30

Diablo III is an epic dungeon crawler released over 10 years after its predecessor. Famed for its ‘kill stuff and loot’ mechanics it was one of the first real-time RPGs helping to define a whole new genre of games. Today we discover what’s happening as the game launches.

Diablo III - Launch Day

Diablo III - Launch Day

It’s the Diablo III launch-day finally and after all the waiting, it turns out most of us will have to wait some more. Reports arrived that almost nobody had managed to login to play the game during the day due to the log-jam, not in the game’s own servers but in the Battle.net authentication servers. What made matters worse was that the server-jam also affected players of Blizzard’s other online games, World of Warcraft and Starcraft.

Those who managed to get online generally found themselves playing an awesomely slick and polished delight of a game which certainly seems to do good service to the Diablo legend and offer players of all backgrounds a fun experience. Until they get kicked, disconnected, randomly glitched or experience any one of a number of other annoying problems.

It’s probably too much to wish for, to hope that one day a company will sell only so many copies of a game as they can handle online on Day One. Sure, after the initial days there will be a drop-off but pretty much everyone buying it at launch wants to play it AT LAUNCH. Not being able to play a game that has been paid for is bad form. Not being able to play other games from the same stable is awfully bad. One day, it would be nice to see greed not be the primary motivational force behind these preparations.

Griping aside though, it has all the hallmarks of being both an instant classic and another Blizzard success. No doubt there’ll be more here in due course on the considered opinions on the game-play experience but for now, we’d simply like to qualify for the login experience!

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Diablo III – Beta Stress Test Weekend

Last Updated on Sunday, 29 April 2012 11:51 Written by HalonaZAT Sunday, 22 April 2012 11:30

Diablo III is the eminent dungeon crawler due to be release by Blizzard on 15th May, 2012. As the game’s release date looms ever nearer, the beta testing of the new addition to this stratospherically popular series continues. This weekend saw the beta ‘stress test’ where anyone with a Battle.net account was permitted entrance to the party. And it was a good party!

Diablo III - Beta Stress Test Weekend

Diablo III - Beta Stress Test Weekend

Anyone with the desire to do so was welcomed with open arms this weekend as Blizzard ran a stress test of the forthcoming Diablo III on its beta-servers. It was a hectic period with initial problems experienced by many simply wanting to get in as server caps restricted the flow.

However, Blizzard increased its capacity and slowly but surely, it seemed like most people we’ve spoken to managed to get in. The game itself looks especially slick and polished and there certainly promises to be a depth of content for players to dive into.

So, with just weeks to go, expect the halls of Halona to ring a little empty when the demonic dungeoner is finally released.

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