Diablo 3 goes beta

Blizzard has today made public it’s highly anticipated beta of the sequel to the 2000 hit game, Diablo. The company, which is well known for the Starcraft franchise in addition to Diablo is known for long development cycles, and this is no exception. However, gamers will be excited to hear they might finally get a turn to play Diablo.

Well, that is, if they opted into the beta, ran a system analyzer and were lucky enough to be selected for this phase of participants. In a post on the Diablo Blog, Blizzard announced that “The fiery gates leading to the Burning Hells have begun to swing open, and the Diablo III beta test is officially underway.”

When Starcraft 2 was in beta a few years ago, the company allowed groups of users at a time into the beta, with a small test group initially growing into thousands of users over multiple months. Blizzard also say they’ll be giving out keys through beta promotions and giveaways, what these actually are is not clear right now.

Diablo 3 has been in beta for some time, but an NDA was in effect stopping users from sharing it with the world. The team now says that;

If you have a beta license, you are free to show, share, or talk about any portion of the beta content to which you have access, as this beta test is not confidential.

Due to the popularity of the Diablo 3 beta, the games giant points out that phishing attempts are extremely likely, and if users receive an email they should log in to Battle.net and check if the game appears on their dash rather than clicking links.

The team says that for those who received an invite, “we thank you for helping us test out our server stability and hardware” and “for those of you still hoping for an invite, we wish you the best of luck.” Giveaways and promotions will appear on the Diablo 3 community site.

Blackburn Rovers have money to spend


Blackburn boss Steve Kean does not expect any further departures from Ewood Park before the start of the season and is confident of bringing in a number of new faces.

Rovers have sold Phil Jones to north-west neighbours Manchester United, while fellow defender Chris Samba’s future has been the subject of speculation.

However, Kean underlined his priority is to keep a squad together that avoided relegation on a tense final day of last season while adding some much-needed bodies, disputing recent reports that inactivity in the transfer market was due to a lack of funds.

“Phil’s moved on, that was a difficult thing because he’d only played a small amount of games for us,” he said, “but we appreciated he wanted to go and play Champions League football now and we’re not at that stage yet.

“Hopefully we will be in the next three or four years but we appreciate he’s moved on and we’ll fight hard to keep everyone at the club.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean
Blackburn manager Steve Kean

“Chris Samba is only a few months into a new five-year contract, we haven’t had any bids and hopefully we don’t get any.

“We’ve got three or four active bids that are actually out there and we’re just waiting for confirmation those bids have been accepted.

“There’s two or three that are quite far down the line, so we’re confident we’ll have bodies in and we’ll be adding to the squad and if we can fight off interest that you’re always going to get for your players, then we’re confident we can have a very good season.

“We’ll be spending. We’ve got a very good budget and we’re looking to strengthen in areas that we need to improve on from last season.

“We don’t have to sell before we buy because we’re trying to keep the majority of the squad together. It is a fixed budget, it’s competitive and will bring in players of good quality.”

Kean’s main priority is a striker, although he is keen to add another midfielder and centre-back.

The Scot denied it was proving especially difficult to persuade players to come to Blackburn.

“If a player’s coming from a club that’s playing European football, then I think it’s going to be difficult to attract them. If we can take them from different areas of the world and show them what we’re trying to do, then I don’t think it’s a hard sell,” he added.

Kean has targeted a top-half finish for a side that barely retained their Premier League status but the Scot believes the experience of last term will stand Blackburn in good stead.

“We’re going to be stronger from coming through the experience of a tough period last season, towards the end we delivered and we’ll be all the better for that,” he said.

“From our point of view, we got seven good results out of the last nine and were four unbeaten at the end of the season so to try and continue that positivity straight into day one of pre-season was what we were aiming to do and I think that’s been achieved.”

Rovers skipper Ryan Nelsen agreed. “We’ve got a lot of young players and I think you need a nice bend. The trials of tribulations of last season, to get out the back of it, it hardened the young players,” he said.

“You can’t buy that sort of experience. They will be different players coming into the season.”