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back to article Diablo III

Back in 1997, I worked in a youth centre and some fool gave me the keys to the place. So I would sneak in every night to continue a degrading tryst with Diablo I, cutting down waves of monsters in anticipation of a loot splurge. It was a while before I worked out the portal system – I used to moan about the amount of walking – …

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Amazing game

Shame they completely fucked up the lauch, many many posts complaining about the error 37 and 75 problems, Saying that once in and playing the game is awesome, sooo much fun.

£50 is over the top, I paid 40 for it at Game and I was told by a friend he paid 35 from Tescos I think so if you wanna buy it then have a look around.

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Facepalm

Re: Amazing game

I pre-ordered in 2010 on Amazon, got it for £22. However, forgot I had already purchased it and tried to buy it again...

Thankfully the second shipment was delayed due to lack of stock!

D'oh.

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jai
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Re: Amazing game

i did that too! luckily i checked my pre-order list before buying it again.

then i went out and bought a 50quid mouse to use with the game and completely wiped out my savings. doh!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Amazing game

£40 you was robbed - I had it on Amazon pre-order from ages ago for about £22.

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting your review starts with a nostalgic look back at the original. Given the always-on-internet-required DRMy goodness of D3 even for the single player mode just how do you think it's gonna pan out if you decide in 2025 you want to relive some of those D3 memories? Still, if people want to pay £50 to rent a game for as many years as Blizzard will deign to keep their servers alive, that's their choice...

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Linux

Re: always-on-internet-required DRM

gamers should vote with their wallets when they see something they don't like, but alas, this game sold so well that the servers were overloaded!

sorry mate, while I understand that many gamers are complaining about the game's DRM in many forums and blogs. The reality is: the game sold well. Which basically tells the developer that the gamers will still buy the game and those complaining about the DRM are an isolated few gamers.

I intend to play the demo of Diablo III once it comes out next month and I have no intention of buying it due to the DRM. But I honestly doubt that Blizzard will notice that my money is missing from their wallets.

a gamer: a person who will complain a lot about a product but still go ahead and buy it.

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Blizzard could patch the game to not require battle.net IF they were to ever shut it down

It's also likely Blizz will still be around and battle.net alive and kicking of course

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Go

well

Diablo 2 is still receiving patches and battle.net for D2 is still active. They have no plans to drop D2 support so I imagine (based on those stats) that D3 has quite a bit of legs to run.

Ref error 37. 4 of us sat up on monday night for the EU launch. 11pm and it was error 37, after 15 mins of cut and paste one of us got in and played. I got in at 11:30 ish then hung on the creating character. Cancelled got in properly at 11:45 one of the other two gave up at midnight and the last lass got in at about 12:30. Played rock solid till 4AM.

We tried relogging at 4AM and all 3 of us got back in immediately. Not had any issues with 37 since launch night, and we've been on every night from tea time ish.

Perhaps it is just the US servers with the big issues? Euro ones seem OK.

Personally I think it is too dumbed down. Leveling system is too simplistic and obviously geared more to loot rather than character customisation (funny that there is a paid-for auction house....)

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Anonymous Coward

You have to move forward - the extra features of online play out-weigh the disadvantages - I prefer electric lighting to candles as well - but there could be a mains failure.

If they decide to shut down the servers perhaps they would issue a final patch to allow play without the Internet.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: always-on-internet-required DRM

Or maybe it tells the developer that many decent gamers who object to this treatment have felt obliged to scour the Internet for a patch to play the game they already bought? But you are correct, if there were enough willing to forgo the game in order to send a message then the development company would have to stop treating the customer as unimportant/worthless.

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"You have to move forward - the extra features of online play out-weigh the disadvantages - I prefer electric lighting to candles as well - but there could be a mains failure."

But there the change is an advantage, here there change is a disadvantage. It is not sufficient to simply point at the fact that both are change and say they are therefore the same. If you want to see DRM done right look at something like the Zune music pass or movie downloads from e.g. BlinkBox. I have my music on multiple devices for as long as I want, I'm not bugged by sign-in issues when I play anything I've downloaded (if I want to play streaming, obviously I need to connect to the servers because my phone IS NOT MAGIC, but I can download locally any of the music I want to). But with Diablo III, it appears that you are constantly dependent on their servers and it's in your face.

If DRM is invisible, people will live with that, particularly if they know it's a requirement for the seller to feel comfortable selling online in the first place. But if it gets in their way... they get upset. It has to work well.

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I'll play devils advocate

There is NO single player mode period. Even when you are in "single player"mode people you know can jump in at ANY point unless you block all players, or have no friends at all.

Diablo 2 was like this in a lot of ways if you wanted to play multilayer you had to have a separate characters which had absolute 0 interaction with each other. You couldn't just go level up in single player, and go HEY I WANNA GO ONLINE and take the same character online. If I remember right there was a lot of bitching at blizzard over that cause people leveled up offline and expected to be able to use it online like in the original diablo. In Diablo 2 I had to sit on battle.net in games alone leveling to catch my buddies (I started a month after them) so I could play with them so in honestly its the same thing.

Now as to why you can't use a offline char online its simple. In the original diablo it was so friggin easy to hack your character it wasn't funny. Example I got bored of the game uninstalled it then my buddies started playing and got me to play with them I went installed it made a character quit, and hacked the save file to put me up where they were so I didn't have to replay it.

then there were the people who royally hacked their chars into gods seriously this game was not fun when you would get someone jumping in your game and use the hack so they could kill you in town, and camp you. I'll be honest due to this alone I'm happy they went this route with this game.

Only game I do not agree at all with requiring online all the time is Starcraft 2 that one I can see bitching that game was just a royal fuck up IMO. What I do in single player campain has absolutely 0 effect to what happens online why in the fuck am I forced to be on b.net is beyond my comprehension, and I will not be getting any of the "expansion packs" (I rank it with DLC seeing the game was unfinished compared to the 1st, and the exp)

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Unhappy

I tried the beta

and bought the full game on the 16th - which I have been trying to install since.

I get an error message "Data required to install this game could not be found" and there doesn't seem to be any solution.

Oh well, at least I'm not bothered by Error 37.

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Re: I tried the beta

I'd suggest logging into your account on battle.net and try downloading the client installer - there was an issue with earlier installers where it didn't download a few files and generates that error for you.

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Re: I tried the beta

Have you tried both the disc and digital download?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I tried the beta

I'm in the same boat I can't get the fecking thing to install, the launch has been a total utter shambles the whole installation procedure is a disaster area

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Re: I tried the beta

Have you uninstalled the beta and removed that beta battlenet installer? Same happened to one of our beta testers (closed beta not the open one).

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Re: I tried the beta

Advice on the Battle.net forums and Diablo III's FAQ says to uninstall the beta completely before installing the full game again.

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I found the cause (and solution)

It was a simple downloader mistake.

What I mean is that, when Blizzard shows you Diablo III EN (US) on its download page, it doesn't mean the English version, it means the English version tied to the US region.

I live in France, so the downloader couldn't find its data.

The solution was to change the language of the downloader and choose the EN (GB) version, English tied to the Europe region.

So okay, I get it, it was a region issue with my confusion over the downloader. My bad, apparently, but could someone tell me why Blizzard did not publish this error message on its support page ? And why Blizzard Support itself cannot tell me anything more than to go to its support pages ?

I posted the solution in my support ticket, and added a suggestion that they change their support page to talk about this issue - we'll see how long it takes them to react.

Meanwhile, my download finishes in 3 minutes - gotta go ! :)

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May I suggest.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-reasons-diablo-iii-represents-gamings-annoying-future/

The article here outlines the severe problems with the surrounding areas of D3, as the game itself looks superb, what it brings to the table in terms of complete lockdown is far more worrying for consumers.

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Unhappy

Oh for the old days...

...where you could put a Floppy/CD/DVD into the drive and play the game.

No decrypting, no "internet connection required", no login details, no "server too busy" etc etc.

I appreciate some of the reasons for the changes: reduce piracy, stats gathering, trying to squeeze every last penny out of the gamer by offering in-game purchases etc but I really can't be arsed now with all the faff. It also feels like, for £50, you're renting the game for a period of time determined by the publisher (i.e. until such time they decide to turn off the servers). I still like playing the oldies occasionally but I doubt very much that I’d still be able to play Dungeon Keeper 2 had it required a “phone home” to Bullfrog to work…

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Oh for the old days...

Play the old game then. What's with all this 'when I were a lad...' crap??

If you buy it now (and I only paid £22 on a pre-order) you will certainly get your money worth before they turn the servers off and they may even 'add' a single user / LAN mode if that were to be the case. Most likely it will not be for many, many years and there may be a D4 by then.

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JDX
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Re: Oh for the old days...

Lets say they only support it for 2 short years, which is highly implausible. £50 for 2 years' gameplay is still very very cheap by any other standards of media.

I don't approve with requiring online access for single-player for the record.

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Re: Oh for the old days...

"£50 for 2 years' gameplay is still very very cheap by any other standards of media."

I dispute this on the basis that if I buy a blu ray for 20 quid I can watch it until the disc falls apart and I think a 30 year life span is reasonable for those discs.

Of course if you're talking about games, say a mmorg then yes 50 quid for 2 years is good.... but this isn't.

For a more realistic comparision try Balders Gate, single player & co-op but still playable over 10 years later since it's not dependant on any back end servers.

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JDX
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Re: Oh for the old days...

It's hours entertainment you actually get not what you could <theoretically get</i> I was referring to - you'd probably spend more hours on D3 in the first week than you would watching any individual movie over a decade.

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Re: Oh for the old days...

quote: "I dispute this on the basis that if I buy a blu ray for 20 quid I can watch it until the disc falls apart and I think a 30 year life span is reasonable for those discs."

Absolutely, however bear in mind that for computer programs, you do not buy the data. You buy a license to use the program. You do not own the program, you never have owned the program. You own a (revocable) license, which is governed by the EULA that you agreed to when installing the program.

I'm not saying I agree with this state of affairs, and I'm not saying that this state of affairs is "right". It is however how things have been set up by the industry, and you no longer have a choice in the matter. You cannot install software without having to click "I Accept" on a EULA, even if it is the GPL EULA.

So for your more realistic comparison: if Bioware choose to revoke your license to use Baldur's Gate (which they most likely are within their rights to do after giving notice, read the EULA to check), you can still install and run the game, but you would be doing so "illegally". You would be a software pirate, for using a CD that you had previously purchased legally. Like it or not, for computer programs, physical possesion of the install media does not automatically grant you the right to use that media.

So bearing that in mind: for Diablo 3, did the launch day server issues break Blizzard's obligations as defined in the EULA? If they turn the servers off in 2 years, will that break Blizzard's obligations as defined in the EULA?

I suspect that, thanks to the terms of the EULA (I never read the buggers because I know they are deliberately far too long and complicated to easily understand), Blizzard have not in fact failed in any obligations that could be used to attempt redress. If that is not the case, and they have in fact broken their own EULA, feel free to start legal action against them for breach of contract (or tort, or whatever it is you need to do when one party fails to uphold their end of a formal agreement).

In my opinion, someone whining that they can't play a game they "purchased" simply shows their lack of understanding of what it is they actually spent money on. It also tends to demonstrate that (like me) they didn't take the time to read and comprehend the EULA that they have already legally agreed to.

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Re: Numpty and EULAs

"Breaking" an EULA is not illegal, as an EULA is a contract. Breaking a law is illegal, breaking a contract is not.

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FAIL

Re: Numpty and EULAs

So the purpose of court cases to decide remedies for breach of contract? Indeed to decide whether any such breach ocurred? No its not a criminal offence, but a breach of contract is still legally actionable.

Numpty.

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Silver badge

An EULA is NOT a "contract"

A contract is a legally binding agreement which none of the two parties can change without consent from the other party.

EULA's today can be (and are) changed on the whim of the company selling you the product. Indeed, every update and upgrade has you "agreeing" to a new EULA (here is this vital upgrade to your product sir, without it you will not be able to benefit from the basic services we actually promised you the first time, but before installing this you will have to agree to give us your daughter). That, in effect, is called extortion. They already have your money, if you don't agree to the new "contract", you can kiss your money goodbye.

All these shenanigans totally empty the EULA of any semblance of credibility in my view.

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Re: An EULA is NOT a "contract"

Contacts can however be modified or varied if consented to. In the case of an EULA, as you say you are asked whether you agree to this 'variation'. If not, then you may no longer enjoy the benefit of the product - there is most likely a clause in the EULA stipulating that the terms are subject to change etc etc. which you initially consented to, thus enabling the company to introduce such variations.

An EULA is a contract and is legally binding, breach of an EULA can potentially render you liable for whatever the breach is.

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Re: An EULA is NOT a "contract"

However I agree it is tantamount to extortion and is rather immoral, but otherwise...no software!

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Only 85%

Only 85%? The game itself deserves more imo and yes I agree the launch night was annoying but that has always happened when an online service sells beyond expectations.

To anyone complaining about the DRM, just cast your memories back to how the lack of it destroyed D2. Item duping, trade scams where one player fakes the content of the trade window, item buying/scamming rampant online. Diablo 2 was one of those games that created the gold farming industry.

Blizzard knew they had to come down as hard on cheating as any MMO and also bring buying and selling items in house to regulate it and stop the scams.

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Flame

Re: Only 85%

I'd say 85% is fair. Not enough customisation. Runes are too simplistic compared to the D2 level trees - far too easy to respec for a boss then respec back. No ability to choose what to add to your stats on leveling is also a pain (i.e. only add dex and stay low health but high damage etc).

Call my a cynic but im sure they want you to buy better loot to get uber stats...

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Bronze badge

Re: Only 85%

I'd say that 85% for a game he was unable to play some of the time is insanely generous. No matter how good it was while I could play it, it would not get more than 50% from me. But since I am boycotting it and all other Activision/Blizzard games (the lack of an offline mode in Diablo 3 is just the latest reason) I'll never know how good it is on the occasions you can play it.

Yes, Diablo 2 has problems that spoiled the game for some people. They didn't affect me because I mostly played offline and only played online with RL friends. That doesn't those problems less real though. I Blizzard is trying to fix that issue in the wrong way, though.

While I can understand Blizzard hosting the online game to reduce these issues, it will never eliminate them. The lack of a true offline mode makes me believe this is more about promoting their item marketplace than preventing duping and scamming. That is just a happy side effect.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only 85%

Duping was a mega problem - I had effectively unlimited mana and everyone had super equipment - actually ruined the game.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Only 85%

To be honest I didn't like D2's level trees, it was a balancing nightmare with the constant nerf and buff cycles, and the really silly overpowered builds centered around one move (hammerdins, bonemancers) really made it difficult. Plus if you made a mistake in your trees you couldn't respec, that was it!

D3 has enough customisation for a game of its type you do not need that much really.

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Re: Only 85%

Are they just going to replace getting killed by cheaters, with getting killed by people willing to spend extra money on fancy weapons?

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jai
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On problems logging in now

I've had no problems logging in to play the game lately. In fact, it was only on Tuesday that I had issues. The last two nights have been fine. And also in the mornings for half an hour before i leave for work.

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"... it was only on Tuesday that I had issues"

Exactly. The login issues only existed on Tuesday, as Lucy Orr would know had she not - as usual - written her review based on a single gameplay session. The fix was deployed within 24 hours of launch.

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Re: "... it was only on Tuesday that I had issues"

Only error I got was 316921 which basically said I didn't have a valid character (went away when I let it sit 2 mins). I only remember the error cause my buddy was reading something where people were talking how error 3000 was high and they bet there was over 9000, and I said yup there are. I took a screen shot cause he didn't believe me ;)

Outside that no problems

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WTF?

Dialogue

The review says the dialogue is "hammy and hilarious" yet also "immersive"? Are the graphics beautiful but ugly, and the gameplay enthralling yet tedious?

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Re: Dialogue

" Are the graphics beautiful but ugly, and the gameplay enthralling yet tedious?"

Strangely, yes they are :).

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FAIL

Nice game, but...

... but I like to play Diablo 2 offline in coop mode with some friends, on a LAN with no internet connection (at a cottage with flaky cellular connection and no phone and dsl line). This "online only" mode, that is not actually required (except for DRM purposes) when playing solo or in a LAN environment will spoil our Diablo nights at the cottage.

So I', not buying it, at least not until we find a way to play offline in our LAN, which may be possible by cracking the DRM, or may not be possible at all, if the game can only talk to its servers to setup a multiplayer coop game, instead of talking to the other local installations.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Nice game, but...

So install D2 and forget D3 even exists or find some other ways for you to 'amuse' yourselves.

Most people go into the middle of nowhere with their girlfriends and too much alcohol - try it.

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JDX
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Re: Nice game, but...

You go to a remote location to sit inside and play video games?

Some new variant on cottaging?

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Re: Nice game, but...

Not only to play Diablo, but we also play Diablo. We eat, chat, drink, then someone goes to sleep and someone pulls a Diablo all-nighter.

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But is it...

... 5 years better than Titan Quest which was released in 2007? Are the visuals better? When TQ came out it was the game that Diablo 1 and 2 could only have dreamed of being. So naturally, it became the game that D3 would have to beat to make it's mark.

So the question is simple - has D3 managed to beat the technical bar that TQ has set 5 years ago?

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Re: But is it...

TQ is good. But it's not all about technical quality - I found that TQ lacked the character and atmosphere, personally. That said, I will probably be giving Torchlight 2 a try in a month or two when it's released.

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Anonymous Coward

They still need to sort their servers

Still suffering from disconnects which is extremely annoying when you haven't reached a checkpoint and need to do all of that big map and it's beasts again. I got my copy as I'm a WoW subscriber so will go back to WoW and let D3 gather some dust until they sort out the bugs, shame really as D3 has brought back a lot of memories of the good old D2:LoD days at Uni and they have provided some good improvements to the game. Could just do without the server reliance though.

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Fantastic game, apart from this online single player nonsense. I already submitted my support ticket to Blizzard:

http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4211002285#1

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