Diablo III – Day 1 Experience
We were lucky to receive a review copy of Diablo III from Blizzard Entertainment. In doing so, I stayed up until midnight for the launch of one of my and the world’s most anticipated games of all-time.
Unfortunately though, the launch was plagued by errors and massive amounts of players jumping online once the servers were flipped on at 12:01am Pacific Time. In trying to login with seemingly the rest of the world resulted in a myriad of error messages: Error 37, 300008, and 3005. Blizzard has compiled a list of all the error messages seen, what they mean, and how to fix them – depending.
While I waited, I began watching Twitter and Facebook and saw the complaints pouring it, forums were filling up pages every minute and you still couldn’t login. Around 12:30am I was able to get authenticated At 1:22am I was finally able to get in proper. Of course I was displeased at staying up and doing a bunch of clicking that wasn’t slaying monsters. It was really unfortunate this historic and monumental launch was marred by many connection issues. I did get to play until about 4am and was happy with my time as I didn’t get disconnected or lag out.
Playing Diablo III
Most of Act I is familiar territory for those like me who played the Beta. Nothing has changed there except the inclusion of achievements. I had a couple of friends online playing, but decidedly chose to play solo to not incur any unnecessary disconnects, issues, or lag. If you didn’t know, Diablo III uses an “always-on” DRM system that has left many fans angry. And the issues that were present all related to login to Battle.net and could have been avoided if singleplayer didn’t require it. Even when you’re playing the campaign solo, you have a latency to the server and could leave your game open for people to jump in.
As seen in the screenshots, I chose the close-range melee, one-man army known as The Barbarian. One of the easiest and powerful classes of the game. I was able to make my way past where the Beta ended and started to see some new areas for a change. Though, the game is designed for multiple playthroughs over increasing difficulties. You can even choose which quests to go back and replay rather than whole Acts. The cinematic interludes that cap the big quests are exciting to watch and almost unreal to believe you’re actually playing Diablo III.
As the night wore on, my energy drink expired it’s resource and I began to feel the energy fade. So I fought the last boss and it dropped some really powerful loot for my Barbarian to wield. A pair of enchanted sickles that did massive damage. I was satisfied, immediately feeling that through all the waiting and errors, it was worth it.
All throughout the day today, Blizzard has been hard at work on fixing the issues that have hurt Battle.net and Diablo III. Repeatedly taking down the servers for maintenance, disgruntling even more people as they are being prevented from playing the game. But they are communicating as best they can to give time periods of how long the downtime will be.
Blizzard is well known for not releasing products until they’re ready, and the purpose of the Beta was to stress test the network in preparation for this day. But I guess nothing could have prepared them even with an MMO launch and subsequent expansion packs under their belt. How did this happen? Well, now is not the time to be asking.
I suggest you be patient and allow Blizzard to do what they have to do to ensure a smooth playing experience for all involved. I know that it interrupts your game-time for a product that you paid for, but give them time to clean-up the mess. There are many years ahead of playing Diablo III to come.
Expect a review as soon as possible – “when it’s done”, if you will.