In a rather lengthy letter to Diablo 3 players on the Battle.net forums, Blizzard president Mike Morhaime presents a makeshift State-of-the-Union-type update on the game, talking about the launch and the game's progression over the last several months, to where the popular action-RPG is headed. He also thanks the community for their passion and affection for the Diablo series, for sharing their experiences that have helped improve the game overall.
First and foremost he admitted his utter pleasure in the sales numbers, saying that Diablo 3 had the biggest PC gaming launch ever, surpassing even the lifetime sales of World of Warcraft's third expansion and previous PC launch record holder, Cataclysm, in a matter of weeks. But he also acknowledged that the launch was plagued by problems that the team simply did not expect.
"We’ve never gone from 0 to more than 6 million players across multiple continents within a few days with a brand-new game," he said. "For Diablo 3, we looked at historical sales for Blizzard games and other top-selling PC games and watched pre-order numbers. We even upped our estimates to ensure we had additional capacity, or so we thought. In the end, it just wasn’t enough, and that is something we will work hard to conquer for future releases."
The immediate and overwhelming demand for the game has kept the team working around the clock to support all regions, increase capacity, ship additional hardware to Blizzard's data centers, and troubleshoot and fix bugs as they spring up, he said. Over the past several weeks things have "by and large" been running smoothly, but there are still issues that the team is still trying to resolve like latency problems for many players.
"Rather than address every subject individually, I’ll just say that even as we work to address or resolve current issues, it’s always possible that further issues will crop up," he said. "We hope that our actions in the past have demonstrated that above all else, we’re committed to delivering an awesome game experience, and we hope you’ll have faith that we will continue to keep that commitment and respond to any new or outstanding issues quickly."
So what's in Diablo 3's future? Buffs to many rarely used, underpowered class abilities. Patch 1.0.4 will include new and improved Legendary items that are more interesting, more powerful, and more epic in ways players probably won’t be expecting, he said. There are also a number of interface updates in the works such as social improvements that will allow players to more easily join games and communicate with their friends. The auction house is also receiving a boost in search functionality and more.
To read the full State of the Union to Diablo 3 players, head here. Get a little snack and maybe someone to cuddle with before you read it, though.