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.