Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Diablo 3 Starter Edition Confirmed, Limited at Launch

By - Source: Blizzard | B 24 comments

The Starter Edition to Diablo 3 will be available only via a Guest Pass key until 30 days after the game's launch.

On Friday Blizzard confirmed that it will offer a "Starter Edition" at launch -- which is tomorrow, May 15 (or tonight at midnight). Unfortunately, it won't be open to the public from the start, but instead be limited to Guest Pass keys that are provided with the paid boxed copy. Naturally the only way to gain one of these keys is to nag a paying customer, or wait until Starter Edition becomes available for everyone thirty days from tomorrow.

According to this Blizzard support page, Diablo 3 Starter Edition will allow players to hack their way through Act I until they defeat the Skeleton King -- the very same campaign we played in the closed beta. There will also be a level cap of 13, matchmaking only with other Starter Edition players, and no Real Money Auction House access. All five classes will be available, but limited in abilities due to the level cap.

That said, Starter Edition doesn't have any time restraints much like World of Warcraft Starter Edition. Fans will be able to play all five classes up to level 13 for as long as they want. It's an extended demo that potential customers will eventually grow tired of and purchase the retail version so that they can hack and slash their way through Sanctuary beyond the Skeleton King's defeat.

Blizzard also said that it's launching a Profiles section on the official website shortly after the game's launch. This will allow players to review all of their character information at a glance, share it with others, and check out the accomplishments of the other player characters.

"You’ll be able to look at your heroes (or your friends’ heroes) from any page on the Diablo 3 site through our personalized menu," the company said in a blog. "If you’re curious about the exploits of your fellow forum posters, it’ll be a simple matter to click over to their profiles and feel envious of their gear or how long they’ve managed to keep their Hardcore characters alive."

The first release of the Profiles section will feature two elements: a career tab and a heroes tab. "We’re planning to add tabs that’ll show off your artisans and achievements as well," Blizzard added. "Profiles will be available on the site sooner rather than later, but you should feel free to share your suggestions and thoughts in the comments section below or in the Website Features forum."

As reported last month, the launch festivities across the globe begin today. Here in the States, the official launch event will be hosted by Blizzard and GameStop in the Great Wheel Court of the Irvine Spectrum Mall, located in Irvine, California. The launch party will start at 8:00pm PDT on May 14 and include multiple giveaways, entertainment, and contests offering exclusive Diablo 3-themed prizes including laser-etched desktop PCs from Intel. The team will also be on hand to meet with players and to sign physical copies of the game.

"In addition to the official US launch event, other retail locations around the country will open at midnight to support gamers looking to pick up their copy of the game the moment it goes live," Blizzard said. "Please check with your local retailers for further details."

Last week Blizzard said it may enforce a log-in delay of up to 45 seconds to ensure that everyone has a stable experience as gamers leap onto the servers after waiting nearly 12 years for the third installment. The actual installer will be unlocked today as of 8am PDT so that users can begin to install the game, troubleshoot any issues that may occur, download and install the launch day 1.0.1 patch, and be ready to play as soon as the servers come online.

Additional launch information can be found here on the Launch Day Preparation Guide.

Discuss
Display all 24 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    zak_mckraken , May 14, 2012 6:42 PM
    This kinda defeats the purpose of guest passes. "Hey buddy, I'm playing Diablo III. Here's a free pass to try the game with... some random guy."
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , May 14, 2012 6:14 PM
    "matchmaking only with other Starter Edition players"
    No... I already pre-ordered my game, and I plan on having my brother running the starter edition. No able to play with him will suck...
  • 9 Hide
    mobrocket , May 14, 2012 6:25 PM
    I rather only be able to play with the person who gave me the starter key then strangers...

    but its free, how many games over that... in the console world next to zero
  • -8 Hide
    mobrocket , May 14, 2012 6:25 PM
    *offer
  • 7 Hide
    MxM , May 14, 2012 6:38 PM
    mobrocketI rather only be able to play with the person who gave me the starter key then strangers... but its free, how many games over that... in the console world next to zero


    Not so long ago, most of the games had demos on PC with some limitations (level, or play time, or no save, whatever).
  • 11 Hide
    zak_mckraken , May 14, 2012 6:42 PM
    This kinda defeats the purpose of guest passes. "Hey buddy, I'm playing Diablo III. Here's a free pass to try the game with... some random guy."
  • 6 Hide
    tuffjuff , May 14, 2012 6:44 PM
    The ability to download ahead of time, install and patch a day before is REALLY SMART. I wish more companies did this. Steam's pre-loading is about as good as you can get to competing with this idea. The last thing I want to do tomorrow after work is sit around waiting to download a patch from a server serving up 5+ million copies of the same game/files (since I live in the CST part of the country, it doesn't become unlocked until 12:00am PDT, or 2:00am here, so no playing tonight).
  • -1 Hide
    zak_mckraken , May 14, 2012 6:44 PM
    mobrocketI rather only be able to play with the person who gave me the starter key then strangers... but its free, how many games over that... in the console world next to zero

    Consoles offer demos much like PCs nowadays. In Castle Crashers on Xbox, for example, you can play the first level over and over for as long as you want for free. Of course, it gets boring quickly, and it will be the same for D3 Starter Edition.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , May 14, 2012 6:45 PM
    Killing the skeleton king is NOT act 1, its only the first 1/3rd of Act 1.
  • -5 Hide
    bejabbers , May 14, 2012 7:25 PM
    This is lame... I thought this would be something so that those of us who ordered limited editions will be able to play until our game arrives, at which point we can simply insert our game key.

    LAME blizzard, LAME!
  • -1 Hide
    halls , May 14, 2012 7:52 PM
    Probably one of the smartest decisions Blizzard could have made to demo their game to potential buyers. This exact segment in the beta convinced me to play by itself, and each time I defeated the boss with a different character I just wanted more. Smart to stem the tide of login attempts at launch by limiting the trial to guest passes at first too. I've liked just about every decision they've made with this game.
  • -1 Hide
    smitty10 , May 14, 2012 8:16 PM
    bejabbersThis is lame... I thought this would be something so that those of us who ordered limited editions will be able to play until our game arrives, at which point we can simply insert our game key.LAME blizzard, LAME!


    This is exactly what was hoping to do :( 
  • 0 Hide
    DroKing , May 14, 2012 8:28 PM
    Blizzard is a lame company. All of the good creative and game-loving devs have left Blizzard long time ago. Let them die in peace please.
  • 1 Hide
    Smeg45 , May 14, 2012 8:50 PM
    How long till SKIDROW/RELOADED/FLT/RAZOR1911 cracks this? I bet within three days. How long till P2P cracks this? Within a day. *YAWN*
  • 0 Hide
    Zeppelingcdm , May 14, 2012 9:05 PM
    10 hours @%#$%@!!!!
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , May 14, 2012 9:22 PM
    tuffjuffThe ability to download ahead of time, install and patch a day before is REALLY SMART. I wish more companies did this. Steam's pre-loading is about as good as you can get to competing with this idea. The last thing I want to do tomorrow after work is sit around waiting to download a patch from a server serving up 5+ million copies of the same game/files (since I live in the CST part of the country, it doesn't become unlocked until 12:00am PDT, or 2:00am here, so no playing tonight).


    kingdom of amalure, i know i spelled that wrong, but the game was cracked and pirated 3 days before launch because of pre loading.

    diablo 3 cant do this because most of the core game play is server side and you cant play without that information.

    steam gives you most of the game, than on launch a small bit more and you are good to go. realisticly that is the best we will ever get.

    Smeg45How long till SKIDROW/RELOADED/FLT/RAZOR1911 cracks this? I bet within three days. How long till P2P cracks this? Within a day. *YAWN*


    its not just a simple crack to get this game to work, you need to get all the server end opperations too, which if mmos and other games of the like are anything to go by, can take months to obtain.
  • 2 Hide
    jonyah , May 14, 2012 9:30 PM
    Kind of shitty that they would exclude those who purchased directly just the digital copy. We save them money by not getting physical media and they screw us. Thanks Blizzard!

  • 2 Hide
    jonyah , May 14, 2012 9:31 PM
    asdfklj2kljkljslkjKilling the skeleton king is NOT act 1, its only the first 1/3rd of Act 1.


    True and it only takes about 30 minutes. The Beta got really old really quick. There isn't much exciting about the first 13 levels of your character.
  • 1 Hide
    Smeg45 , May 14, 2012 9:47 PM
    Pfft, emulation or not, it won't take months to crack. No game takes that long emulation or no. Once its out the race is on.

  • 0 Hide
    alidan , May 14, 2012 10:49 PM
    Smeg45Pfft, emulation or not, it won't take months to crack. No game takes that long emulation or no. Once its out the race is on.


    yea, look at how long it took everquest, wow, phantacy star online (to a lesser extent), ragnarok online, ultima online, to get a private server... THAT is what you are up against.

    blizzard IS NOT giveing you the full game, they let the graphics be done on your computer, but most everything else is done on their end, and it will take a crap ton of time to get that code.
Display more comments