Diablo III community site launches, game sure to follow

Blizzard has launched the new Diablo III community site that will be regularly updated with new information and strategy, serve as a discussion hub through the new Diablo forms, and occasionally host crazy contests. Blizzard's first competition has already begun. The “Challenge of the Diableards” asks fans to grow a massive beard and not shave it off until Diablo III ships.

While the endeavor shouldn't be attempted by the faint of heart or weak of whiskers, the rules are simple. To participate simply send your Diableard photos to diableards@blizzard.com. The best beards or manufactured beard-ish creations will be posted on the new site. Several members of the Diablo dev team have been getting a head start over the last six months, so there's a bit of catching up to do.

Above: This is the general idea with growing a bear

Blizzard hopes to ship the game by the end of the year, but hasn't been willing to put a launch date in writing before the beta begins next month and it has a chance to gauge how much more work the game needs. So Diableard participants could easily remain bearded through early next year, or — in an unexpected worst case scenario — the game could be canceled and they would be doomed to remain bearded for all eternity. Of course, that’s fairly unlikely.

The site hasn't been completely opened to the public. Blog comments, forum posting, and profile management are only available to those with an active StarCraft II or World of Warcraft account. Diablo III beta participants will be able to post and comment when the beta begins. But if you don't have an account and don't get into the beta, you'll just have to enjoy the site passively while patiently waiting for the game to come out... whenever that is.

Aug 25, 2011