Diablo 3 Patch Blocks The Full Game For 3 Days [UPDATE]

UPDATE: Blizzard has released a statement clarifying some of the things written in its official Diablo 3 forums, and clarifying that the issue capping some players at Level 13 is, in fact, a bug. Hit this link for more details.

Not content with having one of the most notorious botched launches in history, Blizzard seems determined to ensure that the ongoing experience of playing Diablo 3 feels like a frustrating rip off.

The latest issue? For reasons Blizzard has yet to adequately explain, with the release of Diablo 3 patch 1.0.3 they have limited all new online purchasers to the starter edition of D3 for the first 72 hours. A terse post to the Diablo 3 forums laid out what this means:

Act I up to the Skeleton King is available

Level 13 cap

Matchmaking available only with other Starter Edition players

No Auction House access (Real Money or Gold)

Global Play is not available. Players attempting to connect to Diablo III Starter Edition in a region other than their Battle.net Account’s home region will receive Error 12. See the Global Play support article for more information.

In case you’re curious, no effort was made to warn players ahead of time that this action was forthcoming. Worse, it appears that some players who bought their copies shortly before the patch was released, but managed to exceed the caps before it went live, found themselves effectively reset. It’s no wonder then that many players are feeling like the victims of a bait and switch. Not helping matters is Blizzard’s rather breezy, inappropriately cheerful approach to player complaints, best typified by this follow-up post to the forums by a Blizzard customer service rep:

Outside of the issue that we fixed, digital purchases do require a review period before they kick over from Starter to Full editions. We apologize for the inconvenience, but it is a necessary step to combat fraud and other malicious activities that can weaken everyone’s play experience.

The delay is no longer than three days, and is often much quicker than that. Hang tight. :)

I dream of a world in which PR and Customer Service managers learn that emoticons used in response to customer fury only make you look like an asshole. But I digress.

Frankly, the claim that this action was taken to combat fraud doesn’t feel entirely credible. These restrictions only apply to digital copies of Diablo 3. If you buy a boxed edition, you’ll be able to jump right into the full game. Note that Diablo 3 requires a persistent Internet connection, which means all players are required to join Battle.net. Presumably fraud is a problem regardless of whether someone bought a physical or digital copy of the game.

Further, Blizzard seems to be suggesting that there is no unified database of Blizzard customer data. One forum poster summed up the problem thusly:

That is the WEAKEST answer I have ever heard. My same credit card that is on file for paying for my World of Warcraft for FOUR YEARS is the same card I used for the Digital Download of Diablo 3 over 9 hours ago.

Indeed. We’ve reached out to Blizzard for comment and will update you as soon as we know more about this.

The follow up post mentioned above found thanks to Kotaku.

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5 Comments on Diablo 3 Patch Blocks The Full Game For 3 Days [UPDATE]

Michael

On June 21, 2012 at 11:27 am

This is just getting utterly ridiculous.

I really enjoyed the game, found it very entertaining. But between their incessant suggestion that they don’t think the ways that I and other folks play are “fun” resulting in those methods being removed from the game or nerfed to the ground, to the punishment of honest and paying customers to prevent malicious content by a highly select few(seriously…persistent DRM and now THIS?), their decisions to completely alter stats after introducing a real currency AH, the frustratingly frequent server downtime, and finally…just the general tone taken by the devs and CMs…this game has quickly lost it’s entertainment value to me.

Sure, logging on and enjoying some ARPG action is still a little entertaining. But knowing that Blizzard has such little respect for me as a paying customer just crushes my desire to start this game up.

Seriously…I didn’t even suffer through this, but just the idea that a CM decided to essentially say “It’s just three days! :) ” about paying customers “intentionally” not being able to access a game infuriates me as a consumer to a level that is reserved for an excessively tech support or that jerk that decides he can cut to the front of a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG line.

I’m not sure exactly when gaming companies decided that they could just flip off the customer base, and do whatever they want in the name of “anti-piracy”…but it’s starting to get ridiculous.

R.J.

On June 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

So, ultimately those most affected by this will be the legitimate purchasers. I’d be pretty mad if I was punished by having my character reset purely because of how I decided to purchase a game.

LTenhet

On June 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Blizzard is just intent on driving away future customers. Kudos.

Kevin

On June 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm

First….. Bioware fell. i figured ME3 and TOR would be awesome, because damn, it’s Bioware brah!

Now Blizzard falls. I figured Diablo III would be awesome, because damn, it’s Blizzard brah!

I haven’t had time to play D3 yet, but based on the way the game launched, and now this, Blizzard helped me not to buy their game. Cheers Blizzard!

CD Projekt, you are one of the few relevant game producers left. Hope you are paying attention for Cyberpunk and Witcher 3!

quicktooth

On June 24, 2012 at 5:40 am

I haven’t played Diablo 3 in several weeks- and I haven’t noticed it’s absence at all. Temple of Elemental Evil (an semi-old PC rpg on Gog.com) has been taking up all my time in the last few days, and it feels great! It’s like all the fun I could of had playing Diablo 3, but without the crippling bugs and terrible customer support. And I don’t get punished for being a paying customer, either. Or insulted by it’s developers. You know what Blizzard? You’ll not get a penny from me again. I used to like you as a company, but I’m content now to know you won’t get to attack me again. Wish I could sue. Love, Me.