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Diablo III Released 594

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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  • 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)?

    Sure, just Google for a crack to apply to your legally-owned copy. The Internet will always come through.

  • Re:NewFail (Score:4, Informative)

    by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:24PM (#40008027)

    Actually, I take that back. I have friends who got it today and they can't even join a game the servers are so overloaded. Looks like I'm missing nothing by waiting another day or two.

  • Don't care (Score:5, Informative)

    by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:26PM (#40008047) Homepage

    Requires an internet connection even for single player.

    Not paying for that. I'll go find some indie developer to give my money to instead.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:30PM (#40008115)

    My Internet is always up. As I played 10 minutes today, my Internet went down and I was booted out. A little irritating. When I played Diablo 2, I played once offline, then I only played online. I wanted to be able to play with the mostly legit pool of players. I didn't want a repeat of the first Diablo and being required myself to use some hacks so player killers wouldn't one shot me. It's the only cheat I ever used as I don't believe in cheating. So, I never really played on the "open" in D2 as I believed I would have had to deal with even more cheaters, like in the first. (Open allowed you to play online with your offline character if I remember correctly)

    In the end, while I think not being able to play solo offline is a major loss, I know that I want to play online with people, so the always-on connection isn't that big a deal to me. Diablo is very much a multiplayer experience for me. Just the same, I never bought Assassins Creed and I don't buy any solo player games that required and instant on connection.

  • Not quite ready yet (Score:5, Informative)

    by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:30PM (#40008117)

    Add this [] to the borked-beta weekend and I think they have more polishing to do.

  • by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:31PM (#40008121) Homepage Journal
    Check out torchlight 2, It looks really good and will allow multi-player without all the hassle.
  • by firex726 ( 1188453 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:33PM (#40008163)

    But there is no guarantee of that.
    15 years down the road, if they take the servers down will anyone care? Will anyone even remember this post?

    But then we'll have a ton of games that are on a planned obsolescence scale.

  • by LambdaWolf ( 1561517 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:34PM (#40008171)

    The real evil here, where players will suffer even if they don't mind jumping through the hoops, is the limit of 10 characters per game copy, even if they are only used for single player. That pisses me off. I've been told you don't "need" more than that many, because there are only five classes times two sexes, and apparently no exclusive character choices such that you would need alts for game-mechanics reasons. But you're SOL if you want to enjoy the game experience from level 1 forward and don't want to delete any of your old characters.

    But... I went and picked up my collector's edition this morning anyway. I already play all-online games such as World of Warcraft with similar limitations. I can reluctantly live with with paying for Diablo III as long as I think of it that way: as a limited Internet service and not a game you can really, you know, have. It would be a better product if it were the latter, but oh well. Hopefully it will at least be fun.

  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:34PM (#40008181) Homepage Journal

    You are, of course, severely late to the party; a lot of interesting discussion on this point happened way back in August. Here's the Slashdot conversation from then []. I believe the consensus is that since this is Blizzard and not EA, no boycott like the one that marred Spore's release will transpire, and the loss of flexibility will simply be accepted.

    Another controversy from about the same time (which didn't receive Slashdot attention) is that all gameplay-altering modifications are banned [] in D3, a somewhat harsher stance than the one Blizzard took with WoW interface mods. There has been some concern [] that DarkD3 [], a mod that diminishes the game's 'painted' look to make it clearer and crisper graphics may be cause for a ban, but so far the word is "probably not".

  • Re:Release Failure (Score:5, Informative)

    by don depresor ( 1152631 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:36PM (#40008205)
    Because right now you have to login to their servers to play single player, and since the autentication servers are overloaded they just reject most of the connections, so you have to try a hundred times to get logged in. A queue would somewhat aleviate that problem.

    Seriously, that stupid online single player idea is a damn fuckup...
  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:38PM (#40008225) Journal

    I've had a general policy of not buying games for any platform if their PC version requires an always-on connection (aside from MMOs, which it would be unfair to penalise, as "always on" is the very nature of the game there). This means I've missed out on every Assassin's Creed game since the original and a few other titles to boot.

    I agonised about Diablo 3. It did look, at face value, like a straightforward case of Ubisoft-style DRM. However, Blizzard did push quite hard the line that the game had integral features that meant they couldn't have done it without the always-on without making serious compromises to the game. I was... unconvinced. So I decided to wait and see how things went at launch.

    As it happens, Blizzard then wheeled out that "subscribe to WoW for a year get Diablo 3 free" thing at just about the time when I was in the market to get back into an MMO. On balance, I decided that I might as well go for that.

    Now that I've had a few hours with Diablo 3, I can conclude that if it hadn't been for the WoW special offer, this would still have been firmly in the "boycott" camp. I've yet to see any online features that could not have been made 100% optional at no expense to the player (though possibly at some expense to Blizzard through lost real-money auction house fees). If you're in the "undecided" camp on D3 over its DRM, my advice would be to avoid it.

  • by hvdh ( 1447205 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:38PM (#40008233)

    It's a bit more complicated than just hacking away some license check. Each game happens in it's own randomly generated game world.

    The world generator code & data is server-side only. The game client does not have the code to generate a world, it can only display and navigate a world. I heard that some (or all?) world generator stuff was shipped with the closed alpha test builds, but was removed before beta test.

    It would take somebody to code something emulating a Blizzard D3 server with quite some logic.

  • by Vaphell ( 1489021 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:41PM (#40008269)

    the difference is that here you got almost mmo requirements - server does much more than it did in case of older titles, which was facilitate connection between players. You don't need much power to do that. Afaik in D3 the servers provide monster AI, control the amount of map data sent to the client (to fight maphacks?), manage drops and shit - the computing power required stops being trivial and the maintenance will cost some serious dough.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:51PM (#40008397)

    Not even 12 hours after launch Blizzard is taking down US zone servers down for 3hr maintenance. Task: Calculate uptime so far.

    11:30 a.m. PDT- We are in the process of performing an emergency maintenance for Diablo III servers in the Americas to resolve several issues that are currently impacting the game. This maintenance may cause some interruption in communication, ability to log in, use of in-game features, and disconnections. We anticipate all servers will be available for play at approximately 1:30 p.m. PDT. We will provide further updates as necessary. Thank you for your patience.

    10: 22 a.m. PDT- We are in the process of performing an emergency maintenance for all North American Diablo III servers to resolve several issues that are currently impacting the game. This maintenance may cause some interruption in communication, ability to log in, use of in-game features, and disconnections. We anticipate all servers will be available for play in approximately 1 hour.

    Thank you for your patience.

  • by perpenso ( 1613749 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:59PM (#40008503)

    Blizzard is one of the few companies to patch their older games years later to no longer require the CD's to play. It wouldn't surprise me if down the road they patched Diablo III to no longer require an internet connection.

    Just to elaborate on this for those unfamiliar with Blizzard's older games. It is *not* that they simply put out a patch to remove the CD requirement.

    The older starcraft and diablo games have been actively supported for over 10 years. Periodic updates for bug fixes, exploit fixes, new features, new support for communities and tournament organizations (thinking about some starcraft 1 updates), etc.

    Blizzard has a team dedicated to actively maintaining and enhancing their "old" games. It is *not* an afterthought for the original dev team if and when they have time like at other companies.

  • by slyrat ( 1143997 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:25PM (#40008789)

    Just checked it out, Torchlight looks pretty sweet. Diablo III is out? Time to buy Torchlight!

    Oh and you get a free copy of Torchlight if you pre-order torchlight 2. Another reason to get it over Diablo 3.

  • by allanw ( 842185 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:56PM (#40009141)
    I don't really understand this argument. In Diablo 2, you could play single-player, but that character would never make it onto Sure, you could just always play LAN games with your friends, but you'd never be able to take any of your progress online. Or if you go on open, anyone can just edit their save file and give themselves whatever items or levels they wanted. In Diablo 3, it's the same thing if you want to play your character on closed
  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:05PM (#40010037)

    And it will still be illegal to create the crack, since Diablo III will presumably still be under copyright by the time Blizzard pulls the plug.

    Er... the interoperability clause is part of copyright law, so no, it wouldn't be illegal at that point.

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:42PM (#40010505) Journal

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

    Whomever bought the IP rights of the company for cheap when it goes belly up.

    What? You think Blizzard is going to go out of business without selling it's IP? You know nothing of business.

  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Wednesday May 16, 2012 @09:37AM (#40016005)

    Your remark begs the question whether my country would actually extradite someone for a copyright infringement or something of the sort. Actually, I seriously doubt any country would

    IIRC, New Zealand, Britain, and France have all done it. So I wouldn't make that assumption so quickly.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982