After last week's announcement that it would be inviting in a further 275,000 Diablo III beta testers, Blizzard today opened the floodgates to eager gamers with a one-weekend stress-testing open beta. The beta will be open from shortly after midday PST (8 p.m. BST), the firm said, and is open to anyone with a Battle.net account. The client is available to download now via the Battle.net blog.
Participants in the Open Beta Weekend will get access from today until 10 a.m. PDT (6 p.m. BST) on Monday. Player classes will be unrestricted, but players will not be able to take their characters past level 13. Blizzard says the purpose of the open beta weekend is to "put the game and servers through their paces" ahead of the launch.
The core game will be the same for everyone, but access to beta forums and some aspects of auction-house testing will remain the privilege of invited beta testers.
Blizzard also offered a warning for those who would be participating that technical issues were to be expected. "It's very possible that players connecting to the stress test could experience issues with the service," the firm said. "While not ideal, this is exactly why we're having a stress test. We want to catch and analyze as many bugs as possible during this stress test period, so that we can try to ensure a smooth launch."
The closed beta test will continue until May 1, two weeks before the game is officially launched on May 15.