Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Diablo 3: Out To Launch

[Currently on Launch Day, this is a Text-Only Version]

To quote another author: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...". That's the D3 Launch Day in a nutshell.

Don't get me wrong, I was actually able to play for a couple of hours, which according to the forums, is more than many many people got to experience.

After having a blast with my crazy Shaman, throwing jars of spiders around and barfing up burning firebats, I was perusing the Auction House when I tried to go back into the game for a moment. Alas, I was unable to, as my luck caught up with me, and now I cannot get in at all, and I am receiving various error messages, from "Servers Are Busy, Please Try Your Call Again" to a "Temporary Outage Of Battle.Net" to the now famous "Connection Was Interrupted" that has been around since the 90's. To be fair, this is their Worst Day Ever. I don't mean that in terms of their worst performance, I mean that in terms of their worst incoming experience. The traffic, the logons, the installations, the downloads, the people. This is like feeding time at the trough and it will undoubtedly get rough.

As a former System Administrator, they have my sympathy. Whether they are working hard, putting in overtime for the next week or so, diligently hacking away at the weeds and problems that are coming up - or whether they are laughing and popping champagne, smoking Cuban cigars while they scan their bums and only try to reboot the login server once in a while at the party - in either case today will be the 'worst day' for Diablo 3. Hey, look on the Bright Side, it can only get better from here, right?. Heck, there are people that paid a hundred bucks for the Collector's Edition that have been trying for over 12 hours to get things working and have not played a single minute of gameplay. It can only possibly start looking up for them.

For those who have found this blog while waiting between refreshing the Battle.Net forums and retries of logging in, let me say to you as well, you have my sympathy. You have paid your hard-earned money and purchased a product as a customer and I know you expect to have results and pronto. Perhaps this is another nail in the coffin of Online-Only gaming. Or possibly, it is just another Waste Canister that will be buried in the foundation cement of Online-Only entertainment. Only time will tell, but personally, not just from the viewpoint of a consumer, but also from the viewpoint of a producer, I think that a product that requires a connection that may not always be there is a bad move. There is a reason not every company jumped on the "The Cloud" concept. There is a reason why you don't put all your Stormtroopers in one huge moon-size base. If there was Offline Play, Single-Player only even, this huge amount of people foaming at the fingertips, would only be a trickle, as most would just switch to that, while waiting for things to get going again.

Now I understand the reasons it was made Online-Only. The ability to sell in-game items and currency is one. Copy Protection is another. The thing I don't understand is, why didn't they make an Offline Version that was simply 'disconnected' from the in-game currency capability? Let the people who want to play their heroes and beef them up with "D3heroEditor"'s buff up all they want - so long as absolutely none of their items, gold, or anything else, is connected to their Auction-House capable characters. Why didn't they allow this? This would even solve the traffic/load/whining problem that is currently going on in the forums, because they would be in there playing Offline instead. Now even the forums are Unavailable.

For now, I must sleep. It was fun for some, a nightmare for others. Perhaps that is fitting, for a game such as Diablo 3.

See you in there.

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