The Diablo III Launch: A Split Fault

Diablo III is brilliant.

It's what we've waited twelve years to play: click your mouse a bunch, murder monsters in gory fashion, and collect loots of randomly assorted colors to one-up your friends and become an unstoppable wrecking machine. It accomplishes every one of those goals fantastically...except for the part where you can barely play the game.

It's no surprise at this point that the launch is a touch-and-go experience, with many becoming "internet rage" infuriated with the constant disconnections and server instability that they have been trying to run uphill against. Within all of that internet rage, the blame is shifted in one hard direction - towards Blizzard. Meanwhile, none of those people throwing their self-entitled ramblings at the developer/publisher do not seem to be lobbing a healthy handful of that chaw they are spitting back at themselves.

That's right. Blizzard isn't the only one at fault here. You are as well.

"How is it that I'm at fault?" Quite simply put, this game is being released feature-incomplete because people continued to beg and beg for its release, even going so far as to say "I don't care if the PvP isn't in it - just release it finally". Sure, Blizzard threw a closed beta out there some four or five months ago that they've been working with, and they had one big open beta weekend to stress test. However, the information that a company gets from a beta still cannot be accurate. How many people playing in that open beta? I can guarantee it wasn't 3.5 million people, which is the projected number for first-day sales of the game.

3.5 million people...worldwide...logging into the same servers...at the same time. I don't care what size your server farm is, even if you've been running the #1 MMO in the world for the last seven years in a row. As a company, you can NEVER be prepared for what is coming. The best you can do is try, hope for the best, and when the issues arise, get them fixed as soon as possible in order to give your customers what they want: some play time.

Blizzard is doing just that. It's not as though this game launched and then every employee took off to the Bahamas, hauling a bag of gold from their basement in each hand and sipping on daquiris in the shade while laughing maniacally. They are still at their desks, working, trying to fix the problems while they are verbally berated by thousands upon possibly millions...

...because you asked for them to finally release the game...feature-incomplete...for your amusement.

There are things that could've made this go easier, sure. They could've done some of the following:

  1. Launched servers based on a time zone basis, thereby preventing immediate overload on the servers due to massive and instant interaction with their servers by millions of people by launching everything all at once.
  2. Had a longer open beta to work out many of the Battle.net bugs as well as the Diablo III bugs, since Battle.net is an interlocked system and a fickle bitch about it.
  3. Delayed the game again in order to ensure a feature-complete product gets released through digital distribution and brick-and-mortar stores that could potentially not have all of these problems.
  4. Include an offline mode (StarCraft II has an option for this).

Unfortunately, all of those have negatives that go against it:

  1. Launching on a time zone basis would mean that 1 million would log in, followed by another million...and another million, meaning that it would still overload the servers...just not bottlenecking the door into those servers.
  2. A longer open beta would've meant more stress on Battle.net, causing issues for the games that people are already playing like WoW and StarCraft II (many don't know that the open beta was causing issues with connection and lag on both of those games during its timeframe).
  3. Delaying the game would've raised the ire of the internet, causing more shitstorms and whiny emo posts about how the game will never come out.
  4. Including an offline mode would've given way to potential hacking, an issue that has been well known and documented throughout the history of the Diablo franchise, meaning that anything you picked up in an offline mode possibly wouldn't carry over to online.

Therefore, when you want to spew your vitriol at Blizzard for all the bugs and glitches in their game, the design decisions they made, and whatever else you feel like beating your chest about, do remember one thing: it's not entirely their fault. No single company can anticipate what it is like to launch an online game with 3.5 million potential people logging on all at the same time, just the same as no single player can anticipate a game too much without realizing that their anticipation can lead to issues.

That's not to say that Blizzard doesn't have fault in this. Battle.net has been an existing system for a while, and it runs multiple different games through its servers. Therefore, they should know how to work multiple titles across the same infrastructure. There is also the fact that they DID host betas, and the open beta in particular was used...their words, not mine...as a way to "stress test". Therefore, they should've known something like this would happen and needed to be far better prepared for it.

But in the end, folks....

....we knew Diablo III wasn't going to be a perfect launch, and we knew there would be bugs and glitches and disconnections. In turn, why are you getting so pissed off about it when you knew this would happen?

Instead, remember that this game isn't going away in a week. Yes, that addiction is in you...but it WILL be fulfilled.

Until next time...piece...and may the Heavens tremble when you can make them do so.

26 Comments
27 Comments
Posted by jakob187

Diablo III is brilliant.

It's what we've waited twelve years to play: click your mouse a bunch, murder monsters in gory fashion, and collect loots of randomly assorted colors to one-up your friends and become an unstoppable wrecking machine. It accomplishes every one of those goals fantastically...except for the part where you can barely play the game.

It's no surprise at this point that the launch is a touch-and-go experience, with many becoming "internet rage" infuriated with the constant disconnections and server instability that they have been trying to run uphill against. Within all of that internet rage, the blame is shifted in one hard direction - towards Blizzard. Meanwhile, none of those people throwing their self-entitled ramblings at the developer/publisher do not seem to be lobbing a healthy handful of that chaw they are spitting back at themselves.

That's right. Blizzard isn't the only one at fault here. You are as well.

"How is it that I'm at fault?" Quite simply put, this game is being released feature-incomplete because people continued to beg and beg for its release, even going so far as to say "I don't care if the PvP isn't in it - just release it finally". Sure, Blizzard threw a closed beta out there some four or five months ago that they've been working with, and they had one big open beta weekend to stress test. However, the information that a company gets from a beta still cannot be accurate. How many people playing in that open beta? I can guarantee it wasn't 3.5 million people, which is the projected number for first-day sales of the game.

3.5 million people...worldwide...logging into the same servers...at the same time. I don't care what size your server farm is, even if you've been running the #1 MMO in the world for the last seven years in a row. As a company, you can NEVER be prepared for what is coming. The best you can do is try, hope for the best, and when the issues arise, get them fixed as soon as possible in order to give your customers what they want: some play time.

Blizzard is doing just that. It's not as though this game launched and then every employee took off to the Bahamas, hauling a bag of gold from their basement in each hand and sipping on daquiris in the shade while laughing maniacally. They are still at their desks, working, trying to fix the problems while they are verbally berated by thousands upon possibly millions...

...because you asked for them to finally release the game...feature-incomplete...for your amusement.

There are things that could've made this go easier, sure. They could've done some of the following:

  1. Launched servers based on a time zone basis, thereby preventing immediate overload on the servers due to massive and instant interaction with their servers by millions of people by launching everything all at once.
  2. Had a longer open beta to work out many of the Battle.net bugs as well as the Diablo III bugs, since Battle.net is an interlocked system and a fickle bitch about it.
  3. Delayed the game again in order to ensure a feature-complete product gets released through digital distribution and brick-and-mortar stores that could potentially not have all of these problems.
  4. Include an offline mode (StarCraft II has an option for this).

Unfortunately, all of those have negatives that go against it:

  1. Launching on a time zone basis would mean that 1 million would log in, followed by another million...and another million, meaning that it would still overload the servers...just not bottlenecking the door into those servers.
  2. A longer open beta would've meant more stress on Battle.net, causing issues for the games that people are already playing like WoW and StarCraft II (many don't know that the open beta was causing issues with connection and lag on both of those games during its timeframe).
  3. Delaying the game would've raised the ire of the internet, causing more shitstorms and whiny emo posts about how the game will never come out.
  4. Including an offline mode would've given way to potential hacking, an issue that has been well known and documented throughout the history of the Diablo franchise, meaning that anything you picked up in an offline mode possibly wouldn't carry over to online.

Therefore, when you want to spew your vitriol at Blizzard for all the bugs and glitches in their game, the design decisions they made, and whatever else you feel like beating your chest about, do remember one thing: it's not entirely their fault. No single company can anticipate what it is like to launch an online game with 3.5 million potential people logging on all at the same time, just the same as no single player can anticipate a game too much without realizing that their anticipation can lead to issues.

That's not to say that Blizzard doesn't have fault in this. Battle.net has been an existing system for a while, and it runs multiple different games through its servers. Therefore, they should know how to work multiple titles across the same infrastructure. There is also the fact that they DID host betas, and the open beta in particular was used...their words, not mine...as a way to "stress test". Therefore, they should've known something like this would happen and needed to be far better prepared for it.

But in the end, folks....

....we knew Diablo III wasn't going to be a perfect launch, and we knew there would be bugs and glitches and disconnections. In turn, why are you getting so pissed off about it when you knew this would happen?

Instead, remember that this game isn't going away in a week. Yes, that addiction is in you...but it WILL be fulfilled.

Until next time...piece...and may the Heavens tremble when you can make them do so.

Online
Posted by akzo

Blizzard isn't a charity, they should have the bandwidth (and expertise) to launch the game with fewer issues. I'm not having an issue now, but they were frustrating when they happened.

Posted by jakob187

I'm not saying they shouldn't. However, do you personally know the specifics of the upgrades they made in anticipation for Diablo III's launch?

Bandwidth isn't the only factor in this. You have to look at it as putting a square peg into a round hole. It's not going to work until you start whittling that square down to a circle. You won't get the perfect circle for that round hole right off the bat without 100% precise calculations and measurements. In essence, Diablo III is the square peg going into the round hole of Battle.net. There are different infrastructure necessities for each game that exists within Battle.net, and again, no company can anticipate precisely what is needed.

What I'd assume is that they were not expecting 3 million sales on the first day (again, those are not 100% accurate numbers, only the roundabout given until final numbers are released). The pre-orders were at a little over 1 million, and usually you want to overshoot that by about 60 to 70% for those who didn't pre-order. In turn, Blizzard more than likely was expecting something closer to 2 million, and that can be seen in the fact that they are performing small bursts of maintenance (an hour here, two hours there) and the game works in between those times. If there isn't that much downtime between server maintenance and play time, it would mean that they are close to where they need to be in order to get it to work consistently.

Nonetheless, that square peg still has some snags on it. There's still some whittling to do - whittling that they didn't have a whole lot of time between open beta and launch to make what I would assume are all the necessary adjustments and upgrades in order to ensure that the game launches without a hitch. Again, whose fault is that?

Beyond that, the most I can say is this: it's the launch of a highly anticipated PC game. I can't think of many PC games that have a minimalist bug/glitch launch. Why? It doesn't exist. You won't have a perfect launch, and with something on PC, you are lucky to have anything close to even a mediocre launch in most cases.

I just hope that people will realize it's not all Blizzard's fault, that we are the players have some fault to hold on our own for constantly pushing and pushing until the company finally says "fuck it, we've gotta put it out even if we have to cut some shit, let's get it going". Blizzard may be a company that has constantly said "when it's done", but at what point do they say "the people don't understand the phrase, so we need to just get something out before we see a bigger backlash"?

I'm not playing white knight for them. I definitely feel a good handful of blame is on Blizzard's side. I just think we need to take a step back and realize why they are in this position.

Online
Posted by happypup70

I think the main fault was Blizzards. From the beginning they have stuck to the mindset of "We will release the game when it is ready." For the first time in the history of Blizzard they decided to launch a game before it was done. Yes it is polished. It is pretty and it plays well. Sure they cut PvP. Yes they cut one of the Artisans. They had tons of pressure to launch on May 15th. This is the result of not saying "hey Diablo 3 isn't ready yet," in spite of the pressure. However I am not going to complain. The creators of this game made something really special. When I can play I will. By next week I am sure everything will be as smooth as butter with Diablo 3. In the mean time I am almost done with act two and I love the game.

Posted by jakob187

@happypup70 said:

I think the main fault was Blizzards. From the beginning they have stuck to the mindset of "We will release the game when it is ready." For the first time in the history of Blizzard they decided to launch a game before it was done. Yes it is polished. It is pretty and it plays well. Sure they cut PvP. Yes they cut one of the Artisans. They had tons of pressure to launch on May 15th. This is the result of not saying "hey Diablo 3 isn't ready yet," in spite of the pressure. However I am not going to complain. The creators of this game made something really special. When I can play I will. By next week I am sure everything will be as smooth as butter with Diablo 3. In the mean time I am almost done with act two and I love the game.

Thank you, good sir. I agree that the MAIN fault is Blizzard. You hit many other good points about this. I also fully agree that what they have created is a fantastic game that I anticipate spending many...many...MANY hours playing...for many years to come. I knew this when I had a friend that was interested ask me "what can you compare Diablo 3 to" and my only response was "it's a hack 'n' slash RPG like...well...you know, NOTHING compares to Diablo". It doesn't. Despite this rather shifty launch, the times that people do get to play are full of enjoyment for what has obviously been a labour of love. I wouldn't be surprised if part of the reason for getting it released ASAP was because they've been sitting on this awesome shit for so damn long and wanted people to finally get to experience it.

I also wanted to throw a comment out referring to something Will Smith posted up on Twitter, how he has no sympathy for companies when their anti-piracy bullshit causes problems like this on a single-player game. Is Battle.net anti-piracy DRM? Sure, anyone can see that from a mile away. However, it's also something that's pushing what that is capable of by a significant amount. It's not like this is Ubisoft, where you are needing an online connection at all times...and there's really no fucking features to go along with that always-online DRM setup. Instead, Battle.net features crossover game chat, statistic tracking, server side saves, and a slew of other shit that actually work as FEATURES. I would agree that they should've included an offline mode, and I'll even agree with Brad that it's weird how StarCraft II and WoW both have VOIP (SC2 had it day and date I believe) but D3 doesn't. At the same time, refer back to the part where the game is also launching without an Artisan class, PvP, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Moreover, I wouldn't necessarily say that I think Blizzard's VOIP is exactly great. I still prefer using Skype or Vent.

All in all, it's a mixed bag of emotions, but at least the general consensus is that when the game is able to be played, people are finding it to be something they love. That's at least one good thing that Blizzard and the fans can both take from this.

Now, Blizzard, can I play some fucking Diablo III already? Please? = D

Online
Posted by spazmaster666

Really it's lack of any offline mode at all for the single-player portion of the game that really annoys me the most. Even though it doesn't affect me very much (since I have a very solid internet connection), there have been times where my internet has gone down for a couple of days, meaning I would basically be screwed at that point. Even Starcraft II had an option for offline play. Blizzard really needs to consider adding that option into the game, though I don't expect that to happen considering how much of the game is generated server-side (basically making the game more akin to an instanced MMO than a singleplayer game with always-online DRM.)

Posted by SomeDeliCook

I actually never wanted them to hurry and release the game or sacrifice game features to be put in later so it gets released quicker.

I bought the game purely from peer-pressure by friends who wanted to play it together and we can't until probably the weekend (which is find because thats when I'm off work)

So don't blame me.

Posted by jakob187

@spazmaster666 said:

Really it's lack of any offline mode at all for the single-player portion of the game that really annoys me the most. Even though it doesn't affect me very much (since I have a very solid internet connection), there have been times where my internet has gone down for a couple of days, meaning I would basically be screwed at that point. Even Starcraft II had an option for offline play. Blizzard really needs to consider adding that option into the game, though I don't expect that to happen considering how much of the game is generated server-side (basically making the game more akin to an instanced MMO than a singleplayer game with always-online DRM.)

StarCraft II had an option for offline play AFTER launch in a patch. Moreover, Blizzard didn't include the option solely because they know the history of hackers and gear modding from the previous games, and they were hoping to avoid that from happening with this as a solution. At the same time, they could simply offer an option where anything earned offline doesn't carry over to the online.

Here's the thing that I'm wondering, though: when the fuck did Diablo become a 'single player game'? It is a game that can be played both single AND multiplayer, and the co-op is one of the most hyped things about the game! I mean, I get it. You can play through it solo. That's cool, but that doesn't make it a single player game. I mean, is that the way that people refer to Baldur's Gate...or Icewind Dale...or Champions of Norrath? I look at those games and automatically think "co-op games that I can play solo if I need to".

Just saying... It seems almost like people are trying to use this 'single player game' thing as a way to throw discredit at Blizzard for using Battle.net as an always-online DRM setup, because all I remember people talking about before all these problems was co-op.

Online
Edited by jakob187

@SomeDeliCook said:

I actually never wanted them to hurry and release the game or sacrifice game features to be put in later so it gets released quicker.

I bought the game purely from peer-pressure by friends who wanted to play it together and we can't until probably the weekend (which is find because thats when I'm off work)

So don't blame me.

I don't blame you, sir. I was in the same boat as you: I wanted them to release the game when it was ready. It just so happened that they cut features and gave a release date, and well...I mean, I'm not just going to NOT buy Diablo III. = /

Also...the game is back up...for me at least. LATER!

Online
Posted by SomeDeliCook

@jakob187 said:

@SomeDeliCook said:

I actually never wanted them to hurry and release the game or sacrifice game features to be put in later so it gets released quicker.

I bought the game purely from peer-pressure by friends who wanted to play it together and we can't until probably the weekend (which is find because thats when I'm off work)

So don't blame me.

I don't blame you, sir. I was in the same boat as you: I wanted them to release the game when it was ready. It just so happened that they cut features and gave a release date, and well...I mean, I'm not just going to NOT buy Diablo III. = /

I literally had zero interest in Diablo 3 a week ago and I've never even played a Diablo before it. It was literally the excitement of all my friends finally playing something that isn't WoW or CoD (which I don't play either of) together, and I could actually join and not be mad.

I knew what Diablo was like but I couldn't name anything beyond that it has 5 classes and the style of gameplay. And loot.

Posted by Jimbo

Your argument is silly. The responibility for not being able to provide what they have sold is Blizzard's alone. People begging them to release it doesn't mean they had to - they aren't a small child being egged on by their friends. They didn't have to sell 3 million copies if they knew they could only handle the initial activity from 2 million copies - control the supply, like many other industries have to do.

Online
Posted by Fallen189

It'd be real swell if Blizzard actively made an active effort to relay information to their fans. It's not like they don't know it's gonna be a big game

Posted by Bocam

There was no reason not to include an offline mode.

Posted by Tennmuerti

@jakob187:

How do you have time to sit there and write these long posts on a forum, HOW?

click, click, click, click

Edited by Tennmuerti

@Bocam said:

There was no reason not to include an offline mode.

Eexcept that the game would have to be completely redesigned architecture wise from the ground up. D3 basically functions similarly to an MMO with everything actually being done on the Blizzard servers. For an offline mode they would have to have provided a server setup for client copies, which instantly opens them up to piracy, hacking, bootleg servers etc.

Not saying it's not bad, i have openly spoken against always online D3 is doing.

Just saying that it's not that easy with the way they have designed the game.

Posted by el_tajij

@Bocam said:

There was no reason not to include an offline mode.

Number one is piracy. A lot of people didn't pay for Diablo 2 and number 2 is it helps prevent gold/item farmers and others who might abuse the multiplayer.

@jakob187: Couldn't agree more with your post. I guess it's understandable everyone is frustrated because they just want to play this awesome game, but launching a game of this magnitude is no walk in the park, no matter how much money you have. I do feel though, in a week's time when all this sorted out, nobody is going to remember all this and Blizzard know it.

@Jimbo said:

Your argument is silly. The responibility for not being able to provide what they have sold is Blizzard's alone. People begging them to release it doesn't mean they had to - they aren't a small child being egged on by their friends. They didn't have to sell 3 million copies if they knew they could only handle the initial activity from 2 million copies - control the supply, like many other industries have to do.

They've done pretty well considering the number of people trying to get into the game. It's sort of impossible to expect the launch to be perfect. Unfortunately, I guess a lot of people don't understand what's going on behind the scenes.

Edited by AndrewB

Patience, sure. For all intents and purposes, you might as well just have said the game launched a day late, because I haven't had any connection issues (beyond the hiccup of server lag; which is still weird for someone playing single player...) since late yesterday after I actually got the game. And what's one single day, really?

But I can't say Blizzard isn't at fault in some way, because yeah, even with fewer people playing during the open beta weekend, their servers were absolutely crippled. They had forewarning.

But with that said, I'm happy thus far, and I do want to see Blizzard take their time on every project because continuing a streak of flawless titles that put other developers to shame could really be a wake-up call for publishers to stop riding the asses of their developers and let them complete a game before shipping it. Even Blizzard's "rushed" product feels pretty well-polished so far.

Edited by spazmaster666

@jakob187 said:

Here's the thing that I'm wondering, though: when the fuck did Diablo become a 'single player game'? It is a game that can be played both single AND multiplayer, and the co-op is one of the most hyped things about the game! I mean, I get it. You can play through it solo. That's cool, but that doesn't make it a single player game. I mean, is that the way that people refer to Baldur's Gate...or Icewind Dale...or Champions of Norrath? I look at those games and automatically think "co-op games that I can play solo if I need to".

Just saying... It seems almost like people are trying to use this 'single player game' thing as a way to throw discredit at Blizzard for using Battle.net as an always-online DRM setup, because all I remember people talking about before all these problems was co-op.

But there's a difference between a single-player game that uses online DRM versus a game that is basically an instanced MMO that includes an auction house where you can buy items with real money, which I'm guessing is the real reason why Blizzard made Diablo III online-only. Sure co-op and PVP are nice features, but if I just want to have a single-player experience, that shouldn't be totally reliant on the stability of Blizzard's servers.

Posted by Wallzii

@spazmaster666 said:

@jakob187 said:

Here's the thing that I'm wondering, though: when the fuck did Diablo become a 'single player game'? It is a game that can be played both single AND multiplayer, and the co-op is one of the most hyped things about the game! I mean, I get it. You can play through it solo. That's cool, but that doesn't make it a single player game. I mean, is that the way that people refer to Baldur's Gate...or Icewind Dale...or Champions of Norrath? I look at those games and automatically think "co-op games that I can play solo if I need to".

Just saying... It seems almost like people are trying to use this 'single player game' thing as a way to throw discredit at Blizzard for using Battle.net as an always-online DRM setup, because all I remember people talking about before all these problems was co-op.

But there's a difference between a single-player game that uses online DRM versus a game that is basically an instanced MMO that includes an auction house where you can buy items with real money, which I'm guessing is the real reason why Blizzard made Diablo III online-only. Sure co-op and PVP are nice features, but if I just want to have a single-player experience, that shouldn't be totally reliant on the stability of Blizzard's servers.

One thing to note is that Diablo 3 has been marketed as an online game for quite a while now. It has been widely published that Diablo 3 would require an internet connection to play, and that most of its features rely on the community to functon properly, hence its online nature. While I understand that people want to play offline given the opportunity, this isn't an offline game. The series has evolved (for better or worse is purely a subjective topic), and this is how things are now.

Look back to Diablo 2 for a minute and just think about where that game is now, a decade after release. 98% of the population who play Diablo 2 for any substantial length of time do so online. It is only logical that Blizzard move their entire Diablo experience to an online-only format that they can more closely control and monitor, which in the end will benefit those using their service, I think.

Did the auction house and the chance to make some money from the player base influence Blizzard's decision to make this online-only? I'm sure that it did, however I also believe that the opportunity to create an experience that isn't riddled with hacks and exploits did as well. I've had a lot of fun playing Diablo 2 throughout the years (99% of that time being on Battle.net), but I cannot begin to tell you how much it pissed me off when the bulk of the Diablo 2 experience, which is playing with the community, was ruined at one time or another by exploits of the system.

With all of the information out there about Diablo 3 and how it has changed to an online experience soley, it is sort of baffling to me that people still complain that they cannot play their "single-player game" when it clearly is not that anymore.

Edited by jozzy

@Wallzii said:

@spazmaster666 said:

@jakob187 said:

Here's the thing that I'm wondering, though: when the fuck did Diablo become a 'single player game'? It is a game that can be played both single AND multiplayer, and the co-op is one of the most hyped things about the game! I mean, I get it. You can play through it solo. That's cool, but that doesn't make it a single player game. I mean, is that the way that people refer to Baldur's Gate...or Icewind Dale...or Champions of Norrath? I look at those games and automatically think "co-op games that I can play solo if I need to".

Just saying... It seems almost like people are trying to use this 'single player game' thing as a way to throw discredit at Blizzard for using Battle.net as an always-online DRM setup, because all I remember people talking about before all these problems was co-op.

But there's a difference between a single-player game that uses online DRM versus a game that is basically an instanced MMO that includes an auction house where you can buy items with real money, which I'm guessing is the real reason why Blizzard made Diablo III online-only. Sure co-op and PVP are nice features, but if I just want to have a single-player experience, that shouldn't be totally reliant on the stability of Blizzard's servers.

One thing to note is that Diablo 3 has been marketed as an online game for quite a while now. It has been widely published that Diablo 3 would require an internet connection to play, and that most of its features rely on the community to functon properly, hence its online nature. While I understand that people want to play offline given the opportunity, this isn't an offline game. The series has evolved (for better or worse is purely a subjective topic), and this is how things are now.

Look back to Diablo 2 for a minute and just think about where that game is now, a decade after release. 98% of the population who play Diablo 2 for any substantial length of time do so online. It is only logical that Blizzard move their entire Diablo experience to an online-only format that they can more closely control and monitor, which in the end will benefit those using their service, I think.

Did the auction house and the chance to make some money from the player base influence Blizzard's decision to make this online-only? I'm sure that it did, however I also believe that the opportunity to create an experience that isn't riddled with hacks and exploits did as well. I've had a lot of fun playing Diablo 2 throughout the years (99% of that time being on Battle.net), but I cannot begin to tell you how much it pissed me off when the bulk of the Diablo 2 experience, which is playing with the community, was ruined at one time or another by exploits of the system.

With all of the information out there about Diablo 3 and how it has changed to an online experience soley, it is sort of baffling to me that people still complain that they cannot play their "single-player game" when it clearly is not that anymore.

You are right, it was no secret that this game would be online only. Blizzard did a good job communicating that clearly. I still don't think that is the right decision though, and thus I haven't bought the game.

About the other poster, I didn't even remember that baldur's gate had co-op (had to look it up because I thought it didn't). So yeah, it might have been mostly a co-op game for you, but it was strictly single player for me. And Diablo 1 and 2 were that too, I can remember playing Diablo 2 in co-op one time. I didn't like it.

Posted by Hailinel

You can't blame the end users for something Blizzard should have been better prepared for.

Posted by Ravenlight

@jakob187: Way to bring some logic to the party, duder. How am I not following you already?

Posted by jakob187

@Hailinel said:

You can't blame the end users for something Blizzard should have been better prepared for.

I'm assuming that you work for a multi-million dollar company that just shipped a game which has 3 million+ people pounding its server and online infrastructure like a $2.00 hooker on discount day, because otherwise, you would've probably given a little more detail about how Blizzard could've been better prepared for launching Diablo III and not have any problems.

By the way, the problems seem to be all but gone as of today...which everyone was pretty much expecting...minus a little server lag.

@AndrewB: It does indeed feel polished. I just finished Act II, which gave me a lot of fond memories of Diablo II's desert area while also being its own beast. That end fight was AWESOME! I cannot wait to start doing it on Nightmare and higher!

I think that's the best part of the game for me so far: seeing all these fights, I cannot wait to play through them on a higher difficulty.

@Tennmuerti: I wrote this while Diablo III was down for maintenance last night, and I work at a LAN gaming center...so I'm basically tied to a computer for at least six hours a day. I will say this, though: anyone who thinks THEY have been having problems with Diablo III, please come talk to me after you've finished installing the game on 40 computers within a 12 hour period before the launch. O_O You guys don't know pain.

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Posted by Mikemcn

Why would you ever apologize for the publisher? The consumers would have waited until hell froze over for this game, Blizzard rushed it because they wanted to rush it, and fucked it up on release day.

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Posted by jakob187

@Mikemcn: I'm not apologizing for the publisher. I will say that I have friends in technical support for Blizzard down in Austin, and hearing some of the things that people have been spewing on the phone to these people is completely uncalled for.

Again, I do hold Blizzard at fault for many things, but the players should not be feeling like these complete innocent victims in the situation. It's like being the crowd of a million standing behind someone who is about to jump off a bridge and kill themselves. Sure, willpower is a muthafucker and you shouldn't give into it, but when you have a million people standing behind you saying "jump", it makes it pretty fucking tough to not do it.

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Posted by Hailinel

@jakob187: I don't work for a game company, but I do work in QA for a software company that gets a lot of server traffic. And yeah, you know what?

We don't blame the users. If there's ever a problem on our end for any reason, we look for a way to fix things, and we most certainly don't blame the users for doing what the users are doing (using, or trying to use, our service). That's how the process works. If there are server problems, we go through the process of fixing them. We don't don't necessarily expect problems, but we do our best to anticipate them so that if and when they occur, they can be tackled as quickly as possible.

So no, this is not the users' fault in any capacity. Users are simply customers that want to use the product/service. If it breaks because of non-malicious user activity (and millions of people all trying to play their purchased copies of Diablo III is not malicious activity), then it's not their fault for wanting to play a game that they paid money for, and if you were in Blizzard's position, it would be stupid of you to suggest otherwise, because what you believe simply isn't true.

Posted by jakob187

@Hailinel: I'm not saying that Blizzard should be throwing the blame at the users. I'm saying the users should throw some blame at themselves. You just said it yourself: a company does what they can to anticipate but "don't necessarily expect problems". I would say the game is pretty much stable now, and it was pretty much stable yesterday too. In turn, I would say that they worked rather quickly in order to fix the problems they had. In turn, you did nothing but agree with what I've stated in this entire discussion!

The only thing is that if the users would stop hounding someone about releasing a game...even if it has been twelve years...and instead would let the company do what they need, it shouldn't be a problem.

All in all, I'm over it, though. The game is working magnificently and I'm enjoying the hell out of it. Hopefully it's a lesson for all companies and users out there.

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