Meet the Diablo III Public Beta, Officially Live Now

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And just like that, there's a Diablo III closed public beta test afoot. I was sitting in the home office yesterday afternoon, minding my own business, when wham, an email from Blizzard titled "Diablo III Closed Public Beta Test Invitation" appears. Needless to say, I...well, I didn't do anything, because I had to get my wife off to the airport. (Remedying that today, of course.)

But if you weren't fortunate enough to receive a "Congratulations! You've been selected to participate in the Diablo III beta test" note yesterday, here's what's on tap for those that did:

As a beta test participant, you'll have the chance to check out all five hero classes -- barbarian, witch doctor, wizard, monk, and demon hunter. You'll fight your way through part of Act I and go head-to-skull against the Skeleton King, taking him on alone or cooperatively with other adventurers. You'll also get to meet up with some of the artisans, followers, and other key characters from Sanctuary, and try out the game's skill and crafting systems.

Not bad, as betas go. At least it's not one of those multiplayer-only bits, where you're shock-dropped into the game without a tutorial (see: StarCraft II), squaring off with others who've already all but genetically merged with the game's mechanics, standing by to beat you to a pulp.

My only gripe about beta tests: to quote Matt Smith (or Alex Kingston), "spoilers!" Once you've played it, well, you've played it, though in this instance there's the cooperative angle, and it's not like anyone's playing Diablo for its sophisticated story, right?

Want a look at the first 15 minutes? FleshEatingZipper (I've actually owned several of those) walks you through character creation and the first quest in the video below.

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