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Blizzard assures fans Diablo 3 'is in great shape'

Launch date announcement coming "in the near future"

Blizzard has moved to assure fans that Diablo 3 is in "great shape" following some ominous sentiments expressed by one of its own community managers.

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Earlier this month, Micah 'Bashiok' Whiple, a community manager at Blizzard, expressed concerns that the game might not meet fan expectations, causing a bit of a stir among forumites.

Still You'll have a chance to find out for yourself on Monday when we give away free and exclusive Diablo III beta keys only on CVG.

"I too worry that we won't be able to meet the expectations people have built up for themselves," continued Whiple. "Part of my job is managing people's expectations, so... eh... stop it. Stop thinking about how awesome this game could be," he said.

"Just imagine it's a new M. Night Shyamalan movie. Sure Sixth Sense was amazing and Unbreakable had it's moments, but this right here is the sequel to The Village ... or The Happening ... or Signs ... or any of the movies besides the two I first mentioned. So just like, lower those expectations, but still definitely buy the game please, and everything will be just fine. K?"

However, Diablo 3's game director, Jay Wilson, took to the forum to tell fans that the Whiple's post was "obviously sarcastic" and that actually "nothing could be further from the truth".

"As those of you in the beta have seen, the game is in good shape. Actually, I should say that the beta version of the game is in good shape. The latest full build we've been testing here in the office is in great shape," said Wilson.

"We get a lot of sympathy from the other teams because of the long hours of crunch our design team is putting in, but the secret is that playing through the game as we do final tuning, bug fixes, and optimizations is a real joy. We always know a Blizzard game is almost ready when we have to ask members of the team to stop playing so they can get their work done. That's definitely been the case around here."

Wilson also teased a release date announcement, saying fans could expect news "in the near future". He ended by telling fans they should have high expectations.

"And by the way, we want you to have high expectations for Diablo III and all Blizzard games. That's what pushes us to try to make the best gaming experiences we possibly can. If Diablo III wasn't a worthy next instalment in the Diablo series, we wouldn't release it. That's the way we do it. That's the way we've always done it.

"As I've said many times in the recent past, we think Diablo III is coming along great and we can't wait for you to get your hands on it. We're doing all we can to ensure you have one hell of a time once you step foot in Sanctuary."

Oh and he said Diablo is more like Evil Dead than any of Shyamalan's work.

"Also, I think Diablo is much more comparable to the Evil Dead series personally, and those just kept getting better. OK, I know a lot of you prefer Evil Dead 2 to Army of Darkness, but come on, Bruce Campbell fights a squad of little Bruce Campbells! Priceless. =)."

We're now thinking about Ash as DLC character for Diablo 3.

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