Diablo III out for open beta this weekend


Diablo III is the first all-new Diablo release since Diablo II, above, debuted in 2000. (Copyright 2000 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. )

Blizzard is giving patient fans a chance to play Diablo III, the next installment of the popular series that last released a new title in 2000.

Diablo, as a franchise, is a massive success that has sold over 18.5 million copies to date. Diablo III is expected to sell 5 million copies in its first year according to a report from MCV.

Details on the third installment of the franchise have been scarce, but gamers have been excited about a few announced features. Not only will the graphics for the game be fully updated after a 12-year hiatus, but the game will also feature a new item called Skill Runes, which are baked into the leveling system. The runes will make it possible for players to add or alter skills to fit their character, Gaming Blend reported in February.

You can get a taste of the game this weekend before it hits stores on May 15. From Friday, April 20 at 3 p.m., Eastern to Monday at 1 p.m, Eastern, anyone with an account on Blizzard’s Battle.net gaming service will be able to take part in all the demon-fighting fun.

There are some rules to the beta, however. Players will be able to play with friends and play each of the five classes, but only to level 13. Users will not be able to post in the beta forums or have access to in-game currency for the Diablo III auction house. Also, Korean players will not be able to participate in this weekend’s test, though there will be an invitation-only beta for players in Korea on April 23.

If you don’t have a Battle.net account and would like to play, you can create a free account to download the client onto your computer. From there, you will have to set up an account.

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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