After several years of exhaustively covering every aspect of Diablo II's development, the webmasters of Diabloii.net were rewarded with an invitation for a three-day, all expense paid visit to Blizzard North's offices in San Mateo, California, in December, 1999. No other fansite had ever been so honored, and no media of any kind was ever given that level of access to the game in progress. The resulting reports and coverage were far and away the most detailed ever written, and created enormous anticipation in the community, with the beta test just around the corner.
The information in these reports is, of course, entirely outdated at this point, but like the other articles in the Dii.net Archives it's interesting to view now for historical reasons and nostalgia.
Flux, Elly, Gaile, and Gaile's husband Gary made up the visiting crew, and their combined article output was prodigious. The follow links point to pages that archive their original reports, posted in the days after their visit. Not all of these are online yet, but all will be unearthed from the archives, eventually.
Gameplay and Visit Reports
- Quick Facts from the Scene -- Short updates posted the first and second nights we were there.
- Diablo II Overview: From Acts to Zoom -- The biggest chunk of info, this ran 9 pages in the original HTML formatting.
- Tour of Blizzard North's Offices - Meet and greet with extensive photos.
Character Gameplay Reports
Much of the coverage was translated into Swedish and posted on Diabloii.nu. That link is long since dead and the site is now inactive, but you can view some of the translated pages via Archive.org.
A few extra photos that didn't make it onto the office tour page. The Diablo I monster art is much to be coveted, since none of that was ever posted in digital form. It's probably all lost now, since the Blizzard North offices are long closed.