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Diablo III Released 594

Posted by Soulskill
from the stay-awhile-and-listen dept.
Almost 12 years after the launch of its predecessor, Diablo III has now been released. The game went live last night with over 8,000 midnight launch parties across the world. 2,000,000 players showed up for the beta test prior to launch, including 300,000 concurrently during an open beta weekend, but even so, the login servers struggled for the first few hours after launch. Diablo III had been in the works for quite some time — another example of Blizzard's notoriously long development cycle — and game director Jay Wilson said it was in "polish mode" for the past two years. "One of our sayings internally is 'polish as you go.' We have a belief that when you put a feature in, you should prototype, but then after you prototype you should do the real thing, and you should polish it to shipping quality." For those of you who are familiar with this type of game, there's an official game guide in which you can browse class skills, items, and other game information. There are also YouTube videos showing how each of the classes work.
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Diablo III Released

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:18PM (#40007891)

    But should we really be celebrating one of the first major single-player games to *require* that you have an internet connection to even play in solo mode? You can still pop in your ancient copies of earlier Diablos and play. Will the same be true 10 or 15 years from now when the Diablo 3 servers no longer work, or if you should lose your internet connection for some reason (or if Blizzard ever goes belly-up)?

    I know they want to fight piracy and all that. But once again, I think the people who will pay the price are the honest gamers who are going to be forced into piracy some day just to play the game they actually paid for. You try to do the right thing and end up having to make a choice between either not playing the game at all or becoming a criminal.

    Now maybe they'll release a patch some day that will override this, or maybe they won't. But you can bet that the one group that will *definitely* have a patch are the pirates.

  • NewFail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:21PM (#40007953)

    NewEgg has failed me for the first time in a decade. I pre-ordered a copy ($10 off) but they didn't bother shipping it until today (UPS 3 day). Considering D3 has an interesting DRM that allows you to install it before the launch date and just prevents you from playing it until then, it would have made more sense to me if NewEgg shipped them late last week so they would arrive today or yesterday. One egg off for poor planning.

  • by Spad (470073) <<slashdot> <at> <spad.co.uk>> on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:24PM (#40008031) Homepage

    To quote the PC Gamer "live review":

    I alt+tab out to check my net connection, and it’s working fine. When I get back in, the game’s quit to the main menu with an error saying there’s been an error – it has a number but no specifics. When I try to get back in, it throws up another error that says to make sure all of my party is ready. I’m playing single player. In a few minutes I’m able to log back in and play again. I’ve lost all my progress through the current zone and the world has reset and repopulated with monsters, but my character, items and quest status are intact.

    There’s a lot to say about the fact that this can happen even in single player, but I’ll keep it brief: this is utter bullshit.

  • Release Failure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by don depresor (1152631) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:29PM (#40008105)
    So they told us that having to connect to their servers to play in single player mode wouldn't be a problem, that we should trust them.

    And now the EU login server is melting under the pounding of thousands of angry players trying to play solo.

    And to add insult to injury they didn't even have the nice idea of implementing queues like most similar systems do..
  • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:35PM (#40008195)

    Pre-ordered a copy a couple of weeks because a bunch of friends are also going to play it, despite me normally avoiding always-on DRM for single player games like the plague. Retail copy arrived today, get home to play. Had already preinstalled the game, put my retail code in via the website... And have spent literally the last hour (6.30 to 7.30pm UK time) trying to login to the bloody thing to play single player, nothing but error 37 and error 75.

    Fuck Blizzard for requiring always-on DRM, and then cheaping out on enough servers to meet demand. Fuck em right up the arse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:38PM (#40008231)

    Nope.

    The game client is "dumb" - all the AI and such is done server-side. It's similar in execution to an MMO with only a single player (or small group).

  • Re:Whats the fun? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:39PM (#40008239)

    The fun of the action-RPG genre comes from a number of sources. First is crafting a character through a selection of choices. This is analogous to having a backpack that can only hold so many items and a large selection of tools to bring along. In a backpacking situation this would be something like: Perhaps you want a very sturdy shovel so that you can dig a very good fire pit and latrine, but then you don't have room for a comfortable chair.

    The trade-offs involved make it entertaining to find a character loadout that fits your play style and preferences while also being "viable".

    Beyond character selection there is skill in the "clicking and walking" where you're trying to keep track of what spells and abilities are activated at any given time and in what manner you approach enemies to ensure you efficiently dispatch them. Or, if you prefer, just running into combat and wading through it all with reckless abandon.

    Thirdly, there's usually an aspect of item collection where you find new items that have different abilities attached and you try to find the synergy between different items and your character's strengths and weaknesses.

    Finally there is usually a story associated with the game and, in the really good games, your actions modify the story and show some effect upon the game world.

    Personally, I'm much more a fan of character creation and item discovery than the actual hack-and-slash or story parts, but it's all pretty fun for me.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:48PM (#40008359)

    15 years from now we'll have games and entertainment that will make us not care if some grotty old point and click thing still works.

    But it could just be me, I admit. I never understood gaming nostalgia. I try and go retro once in a while. Lasts about a day or two.

  • by slyrat (1143997) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:52PM (#40008413)

    Indeed. I will not be playing this one. Even pirated. Torchlight II will get my money, time, and affection. Blizzard can FOAD.

    I agree, for a third of the price (1/4 if you find 3 friends) you can get Torchlight 2. I've already bought the 4 pack and am eagerly waiting for torchlight 2 to go live. They are doing beta testing now so hopefully it won't be too much longer.

  • by AntiNazi (844331) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:59PM (#40008517) Homepage
    Unless a LOT has changed in the last few expansions, they didn't leak enough. Huge amounts of quests and integral spells did not work on privates last time I tried to play on one (admittedly during vanilla). These were things people definitely wanted to work but couldn't make happen, not your standard mods of xp and gold amounts.
  • by X0563511 (793323) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:00PM (#40008521) Homepage Journal

    Both will get my money and time, and neither will get my affection.

    Affection is for people, not companies.

  • by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:02PM (#40008539)
    Lack luster story and quests, progression is on rails, no character customization and the itemization is dull. Bit of a let down overall. The defense is that the game doesn't REALLY start till nightmare difficulty, but that feels like a cop out to me.
  • by jmerlin (1010641) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:10PM (#40008629)
    This isn't true. The interoperability clause in the DMCA is what makes no-CD cracks legal. A no-internet crack would be legal by the same reasoning. When you start using it to distribute infringing copies of the game, yes, you are violating copyright law, the same way a no-CD crack let you play a ripped copy of older games, despite the crack itself being legal for personal use.
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:19PM (#40008739) Homepage

    At 7.76GB installed, that's one helluva a "dumb" MMO client. You are right of course, I'm just throwing that out there for everyone ponder. Video and music take up space, sure. But is there really that much texture data?

  • by tedgyz (515156) * on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:51PM (#40009083) Homepage

    Sure, but if the company goes belly up in 15 years who is going to pay the lawyers to go after the hackers?

  • It's May 15th and I'm going to rant, and you know why: Diablo.

    I have a love/hate relationship with Blizzard. I love Diablo, but I absolutely LOATHE Blizzard as a developer.

    First: Go here and page down to the Diablo section: http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/games/legacy/ [blizzard.com]

    Do you see the PSone version listed? No. And you won't see the PSone version of Warcraft II listed either! It's not as if those games got bad ratings either, both got ABOVE average ratings at the time. It's like Blizzard doesn't want to admit one of their premier franchises had a console release at all.

    And for those who don't know, this is the PSone version:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yv5dQwCFWoQ [youtube.com]

    It actually plays better (and faster) with direct movement control. And it's the ONLY version to have French language support, not even the PC version has that. (also German and Swedish even in the US version)

    Then they did Diablo II...which I've never played because it never got ported. This is D2 as it's called:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ea8Ma7qqQaQ [youtube.com]

    Like D1, it was isometric 2D and since it came out in 2000 the PS2 should have been able to handle a port easy. But Blizzard never did it, and I think the following is the reason why:

    2001's, Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srBRB18mHEs [youtube.com]

    Notice how in the review, Diablo is mentioned? BGDA is a Diablo clone, and a very good one, with a true 3D engine with a rotatable camera. It was a VERY popular game. The company that made it, Snowblind, licensed the engine out and there were more similar games made a LOT more. Good times, good times. Blizzard simply couldn't release D2 on consoles with Snowblind having trumped them with their engine.

    And as always Blizzard said, "Oh were not doing Diablo III yet, it''l be ready when it's ready"

    And my thoughts were, "yeah, if you were still had theconsole developer get-up-and-go like in the old days D3 would have been out in 2002! Because the sequel comes out in 2 years or less or heads will roll. Lazy Bums."

    It didn't come out in 2003, or 2004, or 2005, or 2006, etc etc. Really what were they doing? It's not like a developer can't develop an MMO AND single player games at the same time......Square-Enix did....twice.

    So eventually D3 was announced in development, and eventually video was released in 2008.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NR6XNYs8f4 [youtube.com]

    When I was that video my first thought: "Did Blizzard buy Snowblind's engine, because it looks EXACTLY like a snowblind engine game on the PS2."

    in 2010 they posted job listings for people with console experience for a Diablo-related concept. So I expected the game to be cross platform from the start But then Blizzard executives said things that implied that a console release wasn't certain, very very stupid things
    One was reported to say that D3's gameplay "might" work on consoles. Might? It's rather funny that he said, "Might" Since
    the original Diablo game was released for the PSone... in 1998. Doesn't he remember?

    He also said that the controls might be an issue. Well now, considering D1 was released for the pre-dual shock PSone
    I don't think that's a problem at all. Heck, the modern consoles have USB ports so a keyboard+ mouse control
    option could be thrown in alongside a traditional controller one. In fact, having played both the PC and PSone versions of
    Diablo, I can say that the control pad suits the game better because it's less stressful on the hands. I can play the PSone
    version for far far longer without crippling hand fatigue/pain.

    In an interview Alex Mayberry is quoted as saying: "We want to give console players the Diab

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @07:14PM (#40011405)

    "I'm not sure why slashdot hates the DRM here so much."

    Because it's people like you who allow corporations to strip us of our rights to own the products we buy by blinding buying their bullshit. Most older slashdotters remember when you owned the games you bought and could play them without the hassle of the nanny corporation to look over your shouldre 'authenticating' your copy every time you want to play a game YOU PAID FOR. If you're paying you deserve to own it, this idea that when you pay for a product it is 'never yours' and you should just bow down for a bunch of greedy corporations who don't give a fuck about you is just fucking DISTURBING.

    Most intelligent people on slashdot don't like the way gaming is going. We all grew up during era's where we owned the games we bought (effectively) both console and PC. Even console games have been getting worse with 'already on disc dlc' and 'online passes' and other nonsense. The game industry is corrupt and out of control and it's people like you that tick us off.

    As time as gone on DRM has gotten more intrusive and restrictive. Do you think it's just going to stop?

  • by Trubacca (941152) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @11:49PM (#40013075)
    I think the relevant facet of this conversation involves their new cash auction-house revenue stream. While eliminating piracy is probably a very appealing notion to them, it alone doesn't justify such a ridiculous notion as an online-only single-player game. On the other hand, the only way their auction house will realize any value is by preventing the "dupes and haxx" and I can think of no surer way of providing that security than by separating the user from the most important parts of the program and tightly controlling the experience from their end. It could even stand to make Blizzard quite a bit of money, though they made a serious mistake that would ruin a lesser-company: the price point. From my perspective (I haven't played it), if the entire game is modeled to support the auction house in a way that diminishes the user experience then it shouldn't be treated and priced like a full game.. especially if you don't own a playable copy of the game after purchasing it. In which case it would seem to make a lot more sense to set it up as a freemium, free-to-play kind of thing.. vastly widening the audience and the participation in their auction house. I would be all over that. Their loss.. this seems like a game designed by committee, lacking the courage and fortitude to actually embrace any one vision or another.

    Notice that I have refused to address any of the allegations of dated graphics or diluted gameplay.. I haven't played it, and I probably won't. Personally, I have been really digging an old-school diablo 2 clone called Path of Exile that is currently in closed beta.. Lots of fun, highly recommended to any D2 fans lamenting a sequel they will never get. While it is online only as well, their model is looking pretty tight: free-to-play with an in-game store that will only sell cosmetic and non-gameplay related items, like extra character or storage slots. You can buy into the beta by purchasing store credit.. and it was totally worth it. IMHO.

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