Diablo III

Some sort of devious sorcery exists at Blizzard for it to lavish a playable morsel of Diablo III upon our eager computers on this particular date. It's as if a rambling old man wielding a wooden stick prophesied 4/20's sedentary celebration coinciding with one of the most potentially addicting games ever. Unless, of course, you're already tripping out on other, less expensive games. If that's the case, carry on, shooting star.

News Blips:

Diablo III's open beta weekend casts time-warp on your clock with critical success. Anyone holding a Battle.net account (and a sturdy mouse button) qualifies for the public stress test of the upcoming hack-n-slash dungeon crawler. Players can level each of the game's five character classes to level 13 — which is probably the low-level "sweet spot" before loot mania truly ends your sanity. The event lasts until 10 am PST Monday, so stock up like it's the zombie apocalypse, bar the doors, and head to the client download page.

No, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook didn't meet with Valve after all. On the inaugural episode of the Seven Day Cooldown podcast, Valve co-founder and Internet memester Gabe Newell crowbarred rumors, saying, "Nobody here was meeting with Tim Cook or with anybody from Apple that day. I wish we were. We have a long list of things we'd love to see Apple do to support games and gaming better, but no, we didn't meet with Tim Cook." Check back next week when we postulate if Newell's Monday latte has a headcrab foam swirl or not.

Developer Maxis says the always-on Internet requirement for SimCity is "worth it." Eurogamer reports that while Maxis is "not surprised" by the predictable community backlash, the benefts far outweigh the inconvenience of no offline mode. "From the ground up it's been a multiplayer game," Maxis Producer Jason Haber said. "Once people see it in action — and at E3, we're really looking forward to showing people multiplayer and how it works — hopefully that will show them why it's such a great feature and totally worth having." I look forward to rubbing my hands malevolently during tax season and pondering the solidity of my roads' asphalt with my fellow mayors online.

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