A gamer with 20-years of IT experience, poundcake_64, posted in Reddit a few hours ago something that fans might find interesting concerning Diablo 4 CDN data.
I've worked in IT for 20 years and have worked in data centers, networks and systems, and with developers and product managers. I am very familiar with dev ops and typical development processes and product life cycles. Having this experience, I am seeing certain patterns across Blizzard’s Diablo builds on the CDN I'd like to share with you. While I have not gained access to the underlying files to datamine I was able to ascertain quite a bit of information.
To prove my point, Blizzard are currently performing Diablo 4 RGB product integration testing with Corsair using their CUE SDK. Blizzard are also deploying a very modern version of Vivox SDK which is a voice and chat commonly used for video games, most notably this was used in Overwatch. If Blizzard was years upon years away from having a 1.0 version of the product would they being participating in RGB lightning kit and 3rd party SDKs tests?
His post is quite long for me to quote in its entirety, but you can continue reading it here.
He made a point about his assessment by mentioning two peculiar things found in the CDN text.
Those strings of text reveals that the latest Diablo 4 CDN -- which allows Blizzard employees to play the game during the Covid-19 work-at-home policy has support for:
Corsair iCUE SDK -- which allows Diablo 4 RGB product integration testing.
Vivox SDK -- a modern voice chat system currently in use in Overwatch.
I visited the Corsair iCUE page to learn more about what this interface does. Here is a direct quote from their webpage.
Turn your entire setup into an extension of the game with iCUE game integrations, as your RGB lighting dynamically reacts to in-game events and takes the action beyond your screen.
Turn heads with a wide selection of brilliant preset lighting profiles such as Rainbow Wave or Visor, or even turn your room itself into a reflection of the battlefield with iCUE-controlled ambient lighting.
Give yourself a competitive edge in battle with fully customizable multi-command macros and key remapping on iCUE-compatible peripherals.
Switch from an MMO to an FPS without missing a beat—automatically launch custom profiles with your saved macros and lighting settings whenever you launch a specific game.
I visited the Vivox page to learn more details about its Vivox SDK.
Our Core SDK allows developers to create custom integrations in any code base, with plugin support for Unreal and Unity developers. Every SDK comes packed with features - allowing your users to chat Cross-Platform with 3D Positional Audio and support for both Voice & Text.
Cross Platform Comms
3D Positional Audio
Text & Voice Support
So that's basically support for a third-party Voice Chat system like the one we have for StarCraft II and Heroes of the Storm.
Are these two SDKs something Blizzard tests this early 1-2 years before Blizzard even thinks of launching Diablo 4 Alpha for testing to streamers, press, fansites and gamers who pre-register to participate in Alpha?
Well, that is a very good question not many have the answer for.
The Reddit user provided some appealing arguments based on his professional hands-on IT experience. He is not saying Diablo 4 testing is happening in 2020, but his compelling argument makes the case that Diablo 4 is not so far away as Blizzard's "not even Blizzard Soon™" might suggest.
Another Reddit user responded to the thread with equally compelling counter-discussion:
There's a lot of jargon, but the underlying reasoning is fairly simple (not to say that it is correct).
The build number is a number assigned to a particular version of a game / piece of software when it is in development. Different companies come up with these numbers in different ways, but typically each segment of the build number tells you something about where it fits in the order of all the builds that have ever been created of the software.
OP is suggesting that because the version number indicates 23157 builds for D4 and only 9558 builds of D3 when it was released, that D4 is significantly far along. That's not necessarily true, because software development is very different than it was when D3 was created, but speculation is often like that.
They also note that the download currently available for internal use at Blizzard is bigger than D3 was when it released, and that Blizzard is already working with companies on seemingly small aspects like integrating with RGB lighting in PCs for the game. Again though, games are much bigger now than they were in 2010 and Blizzard is a huge company so having a team do RGB lighting while they keep working on major aspects of the game is totally possible.
It's all interesting but I don't think there's anything like a guarantee here that release is closer than indicated by Blizzard (aka not close).
Hopefully we hear more about Diablo IV at the IGN Summer of Gaming event this June (confirmed to have Blizzard on schedule), and/or GamesCom 2020 which is now happening in livestream platform (August 27-30).
At the moment of this posting, Blizzard Entertainment has not announced plans for BlizzCon 2020. The latest date Blizzard has ever announced BlizzCon was late April -- and that's long past due. It is unknown if BlizzCon 2020 might happen as a livestream. If Blizzard decided to go that route, it might be possible that DirecTV would be the platform as it has been for the past years via the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket.
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