Diablo 3 Server Maintenance Sparks Gamer Rage

Rage knows a new name, and this name is Diablo3!

The internet was all a buzz on the hotly anticipated Diablo 3 release on Tuesday. Retailers had midnight launches and people booked days off work to dive into the latest installment of the click and shoot dungeon crawler that defined a genre.

And then Darkness Fell. To be fair, they said it would. Still, I don’t think they predicted this.

Instantly there were issues with the login, then those who were lucky enough to get in were bumped offline with a random error number. Internet Rage was instant and fierce. The forums were flooded with comments that ranged from weak grasping hopes of “Why? Why is this happening” to outright spewing of hate.

North American servers were up for a few hours, but late night on the 15th, they were shunted to emergency server maintenance which just fueled the hate. Players were teased with what they thought was a rough start only to be knocked down again.

But where does this hate really come from? Oh sure, piles of people now own this game that cannot be played and that seems like the obvious answer. But a little below the surface the problem is that this game cannot be played in SINGLE PLAYER mode without being connected to the Battle.net servers.

I am of two minds on this particular choice of Blizzard/Activision. I can see why they wanted authentication online. Game piracy is rampant, and this gives the biggest roadblock to trying to break this game. If you don’t log into Battle.Net then it doesn’t work.

But this is the other side and where the core of the real rage stems from. Why can’t I play single player mode? Authentication is a valid reason to have the game online. But when I have 15gb of game on my computer right now, why exactly do I have to be connected to their servers to play?

When the game loads, it already authenticates and brings up my character list. That works. This is fantastic. I can play on ANY computer that Diablo3 is installed on. My characters are always there. But that is where it should end. If I am not playing multiplayer, I should still be able to access the game to play my toons all by myself. But that is not how it works here. It’s all on their servers.

If Multiplayer was down but you could still solo, this rage would not exists. Well, maybe not as bad.

So for me, the game is on ice until a definitive answer is given on the state of the servers. I am getting kicked out every 5 minutes.

Are you still fighting with the servers? Or are you waiting too?


39 Responses to Diablo 3 Server Maintenance Sparks Gamer Rage

  1. Blizzard thinks they are putting a stop to piracy with this move, but in reality it will only cause people to flood to it. I remember them saying this would stop it with Starcraft 2, but within a week I saw several versions on torrent sites. Give it 1-2 weeks, they will be out & cracked.

  2. The permanent internet connection which is even required to play single player mode was why I didn't buy the game in the first place.
    I'll just wait a few more months to avoid frustration due to login problems/server performance…

    I wonder what will happen in >10 yrs. If I get nostalgic and want to play Diablo 1 now, I can just install it and go. But if the server infrastructure is switched off, what will happen to Diablo 3?

  3. Are these problems just in America then?
    Because I'm in the UK and I haven't had a single thing go wrong so far

  4. Waiting & being patient.

    I'm unsure how much of an actual game issue vs a server side issue dealing with the sheer amount of players trying to log on and use server-side space. With the understanding that all character information is server side the required online connection is there to prevent and reduce piracy like events. But any gamer or even programmer understands that there will always be someone out there who will crack the game into an offline single player mode. Which is fine because lets me honest if your going to go to the point you download a cracked D3 edition and play it in single player your not there for the online features, bonuses or social play continuous connectivity offers. Most of all if you do manage to get a cracked d3 edition would it influence or impact a possible legit d3 install and there for either prevent it from working or blizzard's server pining your computer detecting a pirated copy and nuking your CD-key & possibly your battle.net account.

    Piracy is always an option when it comes to programs, and more so video-games but I stress the important to remember it's illegal and if your caught, you face several thousand dollars in fines, a public record of dealing or handling in illegally distributed software and depending upon your internet provider they may opt to cut your service & black list you.

    Those who have played Blizzard Games before know that launch day hell launch week is usually riddled with server side issues, just wait and be patient. Shit happens.

  5. Thought I would sneak in an hour this morning before heading to work. Got up early, got ready, came and sat down and logged in only to find that they are doing server maintenance and "should" be back online at 7:00am. And that's when I have to leave to go to work. While I gladly forked over the dough to buy this on release day, I was unable to play on that day, and now on the morning of the third day I can't play solo because their servers are down again. Stupid. This is why I no longer play MMO's, I am at the mercy of the servers as to when I can play. Wake up Blizzard, this isn't WOW!

  6. Blizzard didn't go with the constant connection model just to stop piracy. They're not Ubisoft. The reason why they have to have constant connection on this game (even for Single Player) is because of the Auction House. They're allowing real money transactions for in game items, and real money extractions. They have to be able to save your character server side and leave your game open to checks to prevent fraud, account jacking, item duping, general cheating, etc. This isn't just a piracy thing with this particular game.

    • Sure, online only for the auction house. That doesn't warrant prohibiting an entirely offline mode without it, though. I'm another who won't be buying it because of this garbage.

      • If your offline they can't see you and you could be exploiting to make money, even if your not using the AH at the time you could later

        • Or they could take the approach they took in Diablo II. Fully seperate offline and online characters.
          Offline characters you could hack to pieces and play LAN with your friends, but your online characters were all stored on Battle.Net.
          But they're hoping to make bucketloads of cash of the Auction House, the only way they can do that is if most people are playing online, so they're forcing all the single player fanbase to be online all the time.

  7. I've yet to have an issue. I installed the game just prior to the midnight launch as I had the downloadable version, however living on east coast I couldn't actually play it at midnight and I didn't want to stay up til 3am, so I woke the next morning and logged in without issue for a bit before work. that evening I played 2-3 hours without problem. Then last night I was able to sneak in a good 2 hours before they had to reboot the servers. This was just as I was about to log so I could make some dinner and watch a bit of TV. Then I was back on for another hour before off to bed.

    I realize others play a lot more than me and so would be more prone to encountering the issues described in the article. I also think the single player suggestion is brilliant. Log in online, download the characters, let me play the game. The only issue I see is that it would need to reconnect right before you log off to upload the character data otherwise if you resume playing on another machine you'll have to redo everything you already did.

  8. I really wish everyone would chill about it. I hate to be the one to say "it's just a game", but… It's just a game! XD

    • I agree it’s just a game. However, it’s like if you bought a brand new car and you couldn’t drive it because the car doesn’t start half the time, and when it does start, it stalls after 5 minutes. For me it’s really about the fact that I paid money for something that’s worthless right now.

    • It may be just a game, but when you pay $60 and you can’t even play it because of something that’s the company’s fault. It pisses the people who jut HANDED them $60 for nothing in return.

      Now That being said, how much money do you think blizzard Made on release day? And people are trying to defend their servers being shit? Sorry but that’s ridiculous, there is absolutely no excuse. A multimillion dollar company can’t fix their servers? Theyre just cheap pricks who wanted your money and don’t care how long it takes you to play.

      And no I don’t have the game.

  9. First of all, it's just a game. I think work / education is more important than it. Servers are down? No problem… I'll just code something for my work, or I'll just read some stuff for college.

    Also, the main reason for being online is the Auction House, playing offline allows you to edit your character (like what most people did on D2), and the Auction House will be a freaking circus. The "piracy" thing is just a secondary effect.

    • Done. Just like I stopped buying Ubisoft stuff when they pulled the "always on" stuff. Hasn't hurt my enjoyment of my gaming time in the least.

  10. Personally I think people are seriously overreacting. I can totally understand being upset that you cant play RIGHT when you want to, but at the same time its useless to expend all that energy on being angry. It solves nothing. It happened with SC2, and now with D3, and I would bet money that alot of the same people who were complaining about the same issues with SC2 are the ones complaining about D3. Server goes down? Big whoop, go outside, read a book, watch a movie…the servers will be back up eventually, why waste energy on being angry?

  11. You're missing a key point, it's not just about anti-piracy. After the dupe items in D1 and D2, Blizzard had to lock down on items and inventory – even allowing an offline single-player mode would have left a door open to the very resourceful item hackers of old. Now, they could use a separate client / character system, however that would break what I've found to be a VERY impressive ease of grouping… at any time, my friends can pop into my game and play along or vice-versa… with offline modes, that would break a key component of the 'always available' playstyle. Yes, it's a pain in the arse, but this is a lot more reasonable than UbiSoft's always-on for SP systems where there is ZERO reason to have that always-on connection. Now, let me go put on my flame-proof suit before I get roasted alive…

  12. I am not that into Hack&Slay, so I didn't buy Diablo 3…
    But requiring a constant internet connection if you just want to play SP is stupid and only punishes the majority of players.
    Now, if there are issues with an auction house (whatever that is) – do you really need to combine the singleplayer game in any way with your online-MMO-character? Can't there be another technical solution?

    • Alternative technical solution does not spring to mind. That is if you have any desire to play Diablo seriously or even competitively.

      1) Yes, Blizzard could do something like other games- e.g: Borderlands- Play offline, or online. Then trade gear when online. Sadly that method while avoiding any specific probelms in gameplay will be prone to hacking and player side item changing and etc: All to create better items.

      2) Blizzard could create a powerful anti-hacking tool for client-side. Sadly this approach has never worked consistently, as any such utility is (easily?) hacked or bypassed.

      3) Blizzard could do what Dungeon Defenders did. They could create an off-line single player gaming mode that would not be able to access the public auction house- or would only be able to access the AH that people playing in the "unprotected" mode will be able to buy and sell. However it is at this stage that piracy becomes an important concern. What can be single player- with no need to login- can be made "Torrent Freeware".

      Just in case that somebody had not joined the dots why I put such an emphasis on hacking: Diablo's powerful Auction House system- CAN & WILL USE REAL MONEY to buy items and gold. Incentive to hack, change save game files and etc- is therefore much greater.

  13. "When the game loads, it already authenticates and brings up my character list. That works. This is fantastic. I can play on ANY computer that Diablo3 is installed on. My characters are always there. But that is where it should end."

    It's all related, right? You play the game on one computer, then logout, walk across the room, and instantaneously pick-up where you left off on a completely different computer. How does the game preserve the state of your game when you can logout at any moment from any computer? Because…you're always connected to the cloud.

    Keeping the game state in the cloud also avoids all the duping problems that plagued Diablo 2.

    The real technical challenge is not cloud-based storage, but no restriction to a particular server. The fact that you can play with anyone, anywhere, makes it a much more complex back-end design.

    • Actually no, it doesn't keep the state of the game as it was, it keeps your player variables (level, items, and quest/achievement progress) on the cloud, but the actual game world you're in changes considerably each time you log on/off due to the randomly generated nature of their environment system. In fact, I've found I'll often log off in town and when I log back in my char will spawn in another place entirely usually at the last 'checkpoint' I encountered.

  14. I just don't agree with the concept of always online video gaming… Penny Arcade just said it best:

    "Requiring that players be online is one thing – but we are! We’re online right now! They’re the ones who aren’t online. "

    The matter is simple though… Blizzard should have anticipated the load on their servers, they HAVE EXPERIENCE with this sort of thing from WoW…. That's why there's no excuse for them to say they didn't realize how many problems they could have.

    Me, I was fence-sitting and eyeing D3… now, I'm just going to pick up Torchlight 2 for 1/3 the price AND get TL1 free by pre-ordering it from Steam.

  15. Let's send the NATO protesters and the Occupy Protesters to Blizzard's doorstep. And get our game back.

  16. I agree that customers should have the option to play offline too. I imagine you can't currently because single player and multiplayer use the same "character". So it opens the possibly to cheating hacks or simply just syncing issues.

    A fix that comes to mind would be during character creation, you have to choose offline or online modes. Offline would obviously allow play without internet connections. But that character would never be able to set foot on battle.net servers.
    Online would require connection to b.net at all times. Single player would still be possible however. You'd just need to maintain a connection to the bnet servers to play it.

    • That fix was exactly how Diablo II worked, for D3 they just figured they'd remove single player altogether.

    • That just means Blizzard made D2 wrong.
      Having seperate offline characters is entirely seperate from fixing item duping online.

  17. I simply refuse to buy a game that requires constant internet access period. I also do know what I am missing because I was one of the few people who didn't have any login issues for the open beta. The beat was amazing, but not enough to compromise something I believe. I will never be able to play the game and I am just fine with this and Blizzard has lost a customer.

  18. yeh the us servers are run by lazy americans while the asian and euro servers and run by the precise japanese and efficient germans. enough said

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