Diablo 3 beta throws open doors, this weekend only

Diablo 3, the much-anticipated fantasy game, is scheduled for launch in North America on May 15. In the meantime, you can get your hands on the Diablo 3 beta version.

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    Visitors play Diablo at the Blizzard exhibition stand during the Gamescom fair in Cologne, Germany, in 2011. Diablo 3 opens for live beta this weekend.
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Diablo 3: One of the most eagerly-anticipated games in recent memory, and also one of the most frequently delayed. Horizons readers will remember that back in September of last year, Blizzard announced that Diablo 3, originally slated to arrive in 2011, would be held until early 2012 – enough time for the developer to polish up the gameplay. 

"[T]his week we pulled together people from all of the teams involved with the game to decide whether we felt it would be ready before the end of December, and we grudgingly came to the conclusion that it would not," a Blizzard exec wrote at the time. "Ultimately, we feel that to deliver an awesome Diablo sequel that lives up to our expectations and yours as well, we should take a little more time and add further polish to a few different elements of the game."

Since then, Blizzard has finalized a May 15 North America launch date for Diablo 3. 

This week comes news that Blizzard will stage an open beta event for Diablo 3, a kind of "stress test" for the forthcoming fantasy title. VentureBeat reports that the beta test will extend from Friday afternoon to 1 p.m. EST on Monday. Anyone with a valid account is invited to play (excepting folks in the Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau markets, who are getting a separate beta event, on April 23).

You can get started here

Diablo 3, like Diablo 2 and the original Diablo, will take place in the the murky, shadowy world of Sanctuary. Among the playable character classes are the newly-introduced "monks" – "priest-warriors who follow the divine injunctions of their Patriarchs, the rulers of Ivgorod," according to Blizzard. Sounds like some good, geeky fun to us. 

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