Previously a guest pass-only offering, Blizzard said on Tuesday that the free Diablo 3 Starter Edition is now available for all PC gamers -- friends aren't required. Offered exclusively on Battle.net, potential customers can play the action-RPG up to the Skeleton King boss in Act I, and advance all the way to level 13 without having to purchase the $59.99 PC game.
To play the Starter Edition, gamers must do one of the following:
* Log in to your existing Battle.net account and sign up for the Diablo 3 Starter Edition through the "Your Game Accounts" section.
* Create a new Battle.net account and the Diablo 3 Starter Edition license will be added to your account automatically.
* Grab the Diablo 3 game disc from a friend, install the game, and then log in with your Battle.net account. The Diablo 3 Starter Edition will be added to your account automatically.
In addition to the two previously-mentioned limitations, the Starter Edition only allows matchmaking with other Starter Edition players. There's also no Auction House access (Real Money or Gold), and Global Play is not available. Players attempting to connect to Diablo 3 Starter Edition in a region other than their Battle.net Account's home region will receive Error 12.
"Any progress and achievements you earn while playing the Starter Edition will automatically carry over if you decide to upgrade to the full version of Diablo 3, and the Starter Edition restrictions will be removed," Blizzard said on Tuesday.
These restrictions are essentially the same ones Blizzard imposes on consumers who purchase the digital version of Diablo 3 from Battle.net. The restrictions can last for up to 72 hours while payment verification is fully complete. However gamers playing the Starter Edition can upgrade to the full version by heading to the Game Management page and clicking on the option on the right-hand side.
For more information and a full list of restrictions, check out the Diablo 3 Starter Edition FAQ.