Bashiok revealed a few tidbits about the upcoming beta testing. Some bits have been filtered out in interviews, and serve as reassurance for those who missed said interviews.
Beta testing has a length of about two hours of gameplay. However, counting on beta testers to try out the other five classes definitely counts as a 10 hours of basic experience, plus the countless replayability for those who will keep playing throughout the lifespan of the beta test.
This is not a normal beta in the sense of what we have experienced in StarCraft II and World of Warcraft, so don't take those assumptions with you aboard.
Blizzard has enough internal testers to guarantee a nigh perfect game without a public closed or open beta. If Blizzard wanted to -- they could release Diablo III in a couple of months or who knows even sooner. That gives me a sense of awe to know this game development is pretty much ironed out and ready to ship.
What the Diablo III beta test aims for is to test and monitor battle.net 2.0's performance via stress test. More and more invites will be sent over time as needed.
Some might find these statements disapponting. Many of us are used to beta test for up to three or four months. However, the fact they don't need more feedback than that of their internal QA Team and family & friends to test the alpha client means Diablo III is closer to release than assumed -- and it is a technical matter for this game to be released or not within 2011. I'm game for that. Let beta testing roll, and let Diablo III come out Q4 2011. Gimme !!!!
Beta will only go to Skeleton King?
Bashiok: It's a couple hours of content, times five classes (times two genders if you want).
The intent of the beta is purely to test hardware, server stability, the launcher, patcher, and other very technical bits. We frankly have more than enough testers in-house to test a game like Diablo III for bugs and balance (I fully expect someone to quote this when the game releases with bugs or imbalance). We really need help from the beta to see how it runs on a wide variety of systems, and how the servers hold up with a large amount of people.
Cutting it off at the Skeleton King gives enough gameplay to hit those intents of the beta, and it's a great place to stop as it's also right before some huge spoilers. The game has a fairly straightforward campaign, and so keeping that under wraps is extremely important to us, and we think you'll ultimately appreciate us protecting the sanctity of the release experience.
how the servers hold up with a large amount of people." SO that means you're going to invite a ton of people?
Bashiok: It depends on how active people stay. If concurrency dips, we'll invite more. If the first wave stays active to the end of beta then we may not invite anyone else.
We'll just have to see.
Personally I expect the need for lots of continual invites just because of the limited amount of content peoples desire to not 'spoil' the final game experience. But we'll just have to see.-- Source