Diablo 3 has had a rough start. More specifically, Blizzard's always-on Internet connection for the new PC game is currently haunting it.
Long before the game's release, fans complained about the always-on Internet requirement. Blizzard said it was necessary, as the single-player campaign contains Internet-related features. Many saw the requirement as a form of DRM, and to some degree that's true: Diablo 3 will be nearly impossible to pirate and play thanks to its dependance on Battle.net.
But now those complaints seem justified as customers were unable to play their $60 game because the servers overloaded and couldn't accept logins. That meant players couldn't even access the single-player campaign because of this specific type of DRM. Thus, disgruntled customers are now taking to the likes of Metacritic to offer a piece of their mind and dropping the average user review score in the process.
Actually, Diablo 3 has served up numerous errors from the start outside the connection issue. Error 37 is the one everyone is getting when trying to actually log onto Battle.net. Error 3006, aka "The Game Breaker," actually boots the player from the game and won't let them back in until Blizzard fixes the problem. There''s also Error 108, Error 12, Error 33 and 34200, Error 24000, and numerous others.
This guy sums up the frustration over all the errors, and even beats himself in the head at the end of his personal message to Blizzard. "How many @#$% errors can't you guys count to?" the raging gamer spats.
Blizzard eventually took the servers offline at least twice on Tuesday to address the issues, but then brought them back online hours later. However players posting to the Blizzard support threads continued to complain that they still couldn't play for hours thereafter. The company now has a list of known technical issues here on the Diablo 3 forum, and how to work around the problems.
As for the Diablo 3 review scores, the game's current "User Score" on Metacritic resides at 3.6 out of 10. Out of 1505 user reviews, 497 are positive, 50 are mixed, and 958 are negative. There are numerous entries giving the game a perfect "0" which, to be honest, is a little suspicious. Are these gamers merely taking their rage out on Blizzard over the technical issues? After all, the closed beta was a great experience.
"I pre-ordered Diablo 3 years ago expecting a masterpiece but instead got a master disaster of massive proportions," reads one review. "Due to blizzards underestimating launch day I can't even connect to their servers to play. You're wondering "oh just play single player!" but I can't because of the need for a constant online connection. Not to mention the loss of features and feeling of the last two games."
"As an old Diablo 2 and Diablo 1 player i must say I am greatly disappointed," read another user review. "After initial problems with logging in and character creation I have must say that graphics are amazingly bad. I mean, being so many years in development I hoped for something better. Not only that, but the game itself gives me stable 14 FPS and not a one more, must be some engine bug!"
Despite Blizzard's best efforts, server connection issues were expected. After all, Diablo fans have been waiting for another sequel since 2000, and an initial server-crashing flood was imminent. Issues related to hardware configurations were also expected, especially when software arrives fresh out of the oven and consumed by thousands upon thousands. But Diablo 3 may face the same fate as Duke Nukem Forever: expectations have escalated over the years to the point where even the most polished game won't be good enough.
That may not be the case however, as StarCraft 2 has become one of the most successful PC games on the market to date.