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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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  • by gblackwo ( 1087063 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:23PM (#40007997) Homepage
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:24PM (#40008025)

    While it's anecdotal for a single company, you can still play Diablo and Diablo 2 on, not just on single player. As long as Blizzard exists you'll probably be able to play Diablo 3. It's not perfect, but at least it's not as bad as some companies (EA, Ubi).

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:26PM (#40008049) Journal

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

  • by firex726 ( 1188453 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:31PM (#40008123)

    Except under the DMCA cracking the game would still be illegal.

    At this time we have no legal recourse to play a game if the DRM servers are taken down. Even in 15 years, they can still come after you for pirating the game if they wanted to.

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

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:31PM (#40008125)

    And to add insult to injury they didn't even have the nice idea of implementing queues like most similar systems do..

    Why should anyone ever have to queue to play a single player game?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:41PM (#40008265)

    Only the people with problems are here to post their complaints. Anyone who it's working fine for is too busy playing/enjoying it.

    Except the bastards who have to work, like me, that is.

  • by Translation Error ( 1176675 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:45PM (#40008309)
    I personally don't like the required internet connection, but I wouldn't say it's strictly to prevent piracy. I'm sure everyone remembers what a mess dupers and hackers made of Diablo II; having everything server-side is an effort to stop the same thing from happing to D3. And with the real money auction house, such measures really are necessary because in-game items have an actual cash value.

    So, yes, I'd prefer it if there was an offline single player mode with modding possible, but I understand why they don't have one and that there are benefits to doing it that way.
  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:50PM (#40008391)

    Oh look, here's another game I'm not going to buy. I don't care how good your game is, if you pull bullshit DRM stunts like this, it's off my radar now and forever.

    Maybe I'll download the pirated version and play that, just out of spite.

  • by cheekyjohnson ( 1873388 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:54PM (#40008435)

    No, because then I'd be supporting a company that supports DRM. Instead, I'll just not buy the game at all.

  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @02:55PM (#40008445)

    If you haven't realized that U.S. law applies everywhere now, you certainly will when the FBI asks your country to extradite you and they comply.

  • by Mindcontrolled ( 1388007 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:02PM (#40008533)
    If they gonna extradite me for cracking my legally owned software, I got one thing to say: When they kick down your front door, how you gonna come? []


  • Re:Whats the fun? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:09PM (#40008613)

    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.

    Then I've got a game for you, and it's 100% less expensive than Diablo III.

    Behold: []

  • by EXTomar ( 78739 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:22PM (#40008761)

    I've viewed this "controversy" with curiosity and it somewhat mimics progress vs tradition arguments. I'm not trolling but honestly looking for insight:

    - Day after day we have people happy to play single player games in online systems without complaint from consoles to phones to even Facebook. Why is this game different? The explanations so far lacking because the most compelling one is that "Diablo 2" used to do it. That doesn't mean I don't think an offline mode would have been impossible but that it isn't required.
    - Do we operate under the illusion that all PC games are portable? I remember trying to play "Diablo 2" which has an offline mode, on vacation and on airplanes and other places and it was a miserable experience. "Diablo 3" is not meant to be portable or played in an environment with spotty power or spotty connectivity. Why do people insist on this mode when it seems more like an environment and usability issue instead of a missing feature? I suspect people believe that if "Diablo 3" had an offline mode they could play it anywhere but experience has showed me with "Diablo 2" that never happens nor is worth it.
    - Are we denying the advantages this tech brings just to enhance the argument of what it takes away? I like the idea of storing characters "on their systems" instead of my computer since I've lost "Diablo 2" saves when machines and hard drives die. I like validation of characters, items, hosted environments because I've also lost a ton of characters to just joining the wrong games. It is not impossible to support both a completely validated system and offline but I would always lean in supporting the validated system when it comes to active support.

    Basically I'm unconvinced that an offline mode is valuable let alone an effective workaround. Even if "Diablo 3" had an offline mode, we'd still have an article on /. complaining about how Blizzard/Activision/Blizzard-Activition/Satan is evil and can't handle it. Blizzard needs to address connectivity issues and delivery on the features they said they were supporting.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:25PM (#40008781) Journal

    I'm sure everyone remembers what a mess dupers and hackers made of Diablo II

    What could dupers and hackers possibly have to do with single player or LAN play? Dupers and hackers are only a problem on internet matches. The solution to that problem should only apply to internet matches.

    Those who would sacrifice essential functionality for temporary security deserve neither.

  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:32PM (#40008871)

    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?

    Executable code is tiny by comparison. All that data is textures, models, animation, and audio (sound effects, voice, and music). So, no, there's nothing to ponder, really.

  • by Vaphell ( 1489021 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:32PM (#40008881)

    'actively maintaining' is an overstatement. Usually Blizzard promises some patch 'soon' and 2years later it is still nowhere in sight. I don't know if WC3 players got their promised last patch ever. In case of SC1 few patches fixing meaningless shit nobody cared about, botched the community antihack and few other useful features for no benefit whatsoever and the community had to fix the shit again instead of waiting for some blizzard intern to change 3 lines of code and get approval for release which could take months.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:35PM (#40008905)

    "It wouldn't surprise me if down the road they patched Diablo III to no longer require an internet connection."

    Well, IF they do that, then I'll consider picking up a copy. Until then, they can go fuck themselves.

  • by The Moof ( 859402 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:41PM (#40008991)

    I'm not trolling but honestly looking for insight

    Here's the insight: The server for the US zone are offline for "emergency maintenance []." This means people who purchased Diablo III cannot play the game in any way shape or form, including launching a single player campaign.

    I will repeat that again - On launch day, nobody in the US can play the game because of the DRM.

    If you can't see the problem with that, I don't think you will ever see it.

  • Re:Release Failure (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ardaen ( 1099611 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @03:58PM (#40009179)

    No, a queue is a fix for a manufactured problem.

    Similar problem solving:
    Because your friend keeps stabbing you in the leg with a sharp knife, we've hired a paramedic to follow you around.

    Proper solution:
    Because your friend keeps stabbing you, we arrested him. As a result you will not get stabbed by him again.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @04:08PM (#40009289) Journal

    As someone who doesn't play online, I'm not terribly sympathetic. Why should that be my problem, and why shouldn't I just buy another game if Blizzard insists on making that my problem?

  • by pcgc1xn ( 922943 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @04:15PM (#40009355) Homepage
    It doesn't get your hour back, and it doesn't get you the game, but - return it. The game doesn't work. Not sure of the exact details of the UK Sale of Goods Act, but seems pretty clear to me. If enough people return the game, it might encourage them to think a little about their strategy next time. Sucking it up won't.
  • Re:Stop whining (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cheekyjohnson ( 1873388 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @04:19PM (#40009413)

    Stop whining about needing an internet connection.

    I'd say it's a valid criticism.

    You see, different people value different things. Some people value being free from DRM, and others do not. The fact that you don't agree with their criticism doesn't make them wrong.

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

    You shoulda said that before you got down on your knees and sucked their cock by paying for D3 and its abusive internet-based DRM.

  • by Whorhay ( 1319089 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:12PM (#40010127)

    Except even at it's best it doesn't come close to being an MMO. Games are limited to a player cap of what, 4? That's a Multi-player Online, although not massive in anyway except price and hype.

    I had beta access since some time in November. I played it on and off a good bit. I frankly prefered the older skill swapping system although the skill system as a whole leaves a lot to be desired. One of my complaints about Torchlight was that the skills were so limited and 66% of the skill trees were identical between character classes. And now Diablo 3 has come along and taken a page from their book and gone with a dumbed down skill system.

    And they completely nuked the idea of having individualized characters. With skill swaping the way it is everyone is practically speaking identical. That would be great if this were a Team Fortress style game, but it's in the Diablo franchise, character building was a large part of the fun.

  • by black3d ( 1648913 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @05:39PM (#40010471)
    No - the client for WoW ships with all world data and quest data. This can be simply mined out of the data files. The only things the server handles are NPCs and items. This is what the emulated WoW servers perform. With D3, it's a matter of creating the randomized dungeon structures, handling the loot, handling all the mobs and all the quests, all the drop rates, all the items and their stats. It can't be mined from the game data as it's simply not available. No doubt once statistics are available for average drop rates, monster levels, rare spawn rates, etc, it'll be eventually possible to put together this data to create private servers which function fairly similar to the online experience. It's unlikely the random dungeon creation will ever be the same as we won't ever see their algorithms, but again - a savvy designer could figure out a decent enough algorithm to emulate the experience. The point is simply that its in no way as simple as it is with WoW.
  • by Kalriath ( 849904 ) on Tuesday May 15, 2012 @08:48PM (#40012101)

    Dude, the N64 version of StarCraft was fucking awful - and I've played it. Controls and horrible and hard to use, the interface was terrible, and the game was laggy as shit.

    And health orbs? Really? You're claiming that that's from Marvel Ultimate Alliance when games from the bloody 80's had that (on PC no less, not console)?Sounds like the lazy elitist might be you.

When a fellow says, "It ain't the money but the principle of the thing," it's the money. -- Kim Hubbard