Diablo III launched on May 15, 2012 and with it being probably the most anticipated PC release in the last two years, you’d think Blizzard would have been prepared. Except they weren’t and the fallout has been quite severe. Diablo III requires players to be always online and connected to a server even when playing through the single player mode in some kind of bizarre antipiracy/anti-cheating measture. The resulting swarm of players all trying to play immediately after the game launch overwhelmed the servers, leaving many people unable to play the game they just bought. Even now, some people still can’t log in to play and people who do get in are experiencing problems because of the overload.
Which leaves Blizzard on clean-up duty. The company has issued an official statement via the Diablo III Forums that apologizes for the troubles people have been having trying to actually get on to play the game. They apologized for the log-in problems, for the achievements not working properly and all the different errors people keep encountering.
It’s also said that it’s trying to do its best to fix everything for everyone. So much so that it’s delayed the launch of the real-money auction house. That was supposed to launch May 22, 2012, but Blizzard has decided that the overload issue is far more important. Which makes sense because I’m sure people don’t care about an auction house when they can’t even log in to the game.
Of course, part of the fix involves server maintenance, which is going on right now. This means that people in the Americas servers can’t play at all, because they’re all down while Blizzard works on them until 7am PDT/9am CST/10am EST.
I think we’ve all realized now that always-online is the worst form of DRM/anti-cheating ever. Blizzard’s response is also disappointing. The company knows the kind of hype they’ve generated and had to have some idea of how many people would swoop down on the Diablo III servers at launch from pre-orders. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed and hope this round of maintenance gets things fixed for people so they can actually play their games.