Diablo III – Gaming Excellence Wrapped in Epic Technical Fail

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 May 2012 02:33 Written by HalonaZAT Sunday, 20 May 2012 09:30

Diablo III is the eminent dungeon crawler released by Blizzard on 15th May, 2012. The game’s launch suffered from numerous technical failures and those failures continue to plague the game through its opening weekend.

Diablo III - Epic Technical Fail

Diablo III - Epic Technical Fail

It’s fair to say that the Diablo III launch that occurred on Tuesday 15th May 2012 did not go smoothly. As contentious as the requirement for the game to be online even for those playing solo is, one might forgive an opening day hiccup or two. However, the problems have extended far beyond simple login issues and caused extensive irritation and frustration as a result.

The Good of Diablo III – Before we dive into the many problems that exist, let’s take a second to note that when it’s possible to login to the game and no errors are encountered, Diablo III is a massively enjoyable and immensely fun game, whether you choose to play solo or with friends/strangers. It’s smooth, slick, accomplished. And for many, there have been very few problems meaning for the most part, it’s been a rewarding experience. Unfortunately, a lot of people have encountered problems.

The following list is a summary of the most serious issues experienced and confirmed thus far within the Halona ranks:

  • Error 37, Login Issues: Mostly this issue has been caused by the large number of people attempting to login to the various Blizzard games hosted on the Battle.net network – remember that WoW and Starcraft utilise the same login servers as D3 so when it goes down for one, it goes down for all.

  • Achievement Woes: For those who find achievements to be a net-positive addition to their games, the D3 achievement system has proven woefully unreliable. Many have played significant portions of the game but been awarded zero achievements, even when such are due. Others have found that achievements that were awarded are subsequently lost the next time they login. All in all, it’s been a complete shambles, to use an appropriate colloquialism.

  • Cut-Scene Cinematic Failures: Less widely reported but far more devastating to the game’s story and lore, some players are finding that key cinematic sequences that join the game’s important ‘acts’ together simply do not play or unlock as players complete those sections of the game. Since the game relies upon these to convey the most important beats of the on-going narrative, it’s tantamount to ripping out the heart of the game’s story.

  • General Lag/Performance Issues: With even single-player solo games requiring an always-on internet connection, every little server hiccup has the opportunity to introduce latency-based lag into your game… and so far, this is far from an uncommon experience.

Despite the above, the future is most certainly a lot brighter than this week has been. Blizzard as a company has significant resources and a lot of earned reputation and customer trust to protect. The likelihood is good therefore that they’ll be moving mountains to resolve these issues as quickly as they can.

The fear is that Blizzard is beginning to show all the signs of falling from the pedestal of high customer expectations upon which they’ve thus far managed to remain firmly seated. Bioware before them had earned a perch on that same pedestal with Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins but then stupendously fell off clumsily with the release of the half-baked Dragon Age 2 and the botching of the ending of the ME trilogy in Mass Effect 3.

Audiences need better treatment than they’ve received this week or even these past years. The saddest thought is that the largest and most successful companies in the field appear less and less like they’re going to be the ones to provide it.

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Diablo III Has Launched!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 May 2012 01:04 Written by HalonaZAT Tuesday, 15 May 2012 11:30

Diablo III is an epic dungeon crawler released over 10 years after its predecessor. Famed for its ‘kill stuff and loot’ mechanics it was one of the first real-time RPGs helping to define a whole new genre of games. Today we discover what’s happening as the game launches.

Diablo III - Launch Day

Diablo III - Launch Day

It’s the Diablo III launch-day finally and after all the waiting, it turns out most of us will have to wait some more. Reports arrived that almost nobody had managed to login to play the game during the day due to the log-jam, not in the game’s own servers but in the Battle.net authentication servers. What made matters worse was that the server-jam also affected players of Blizzard’s other online games, World of Warcraft and Starcraft.

Those who managed to get online generally found themselves playing an awesomely slick and polished delight of a game which certainly seems to do good service to the Diablo legend and offer players of all backgrounds a fun experience. Until they get kicked, disconnected, randomly glitched or experience any one of a number of other annoying problems.

It’s probably too much to wish for, to hope that one day a company will sell only so many copies of a game as they can handle online on Day One. Sure, after the initial days there will be a drop-off but pretty much everyone buying it at launch wants to play it AT LAUNCH. Not being able to play a game that has been paid for is bad form. Not being able to play other games from the same stable is awfully bad. One day, it would be nice to see greed not be the primary motivational force behind these preparations.

Griping aside though, it has all the hallmarks of being both an instant classic and another Blizzard success. No doubt there’ll be more here in due course on the considered opinions on the game-play experience but for now, we’d simply like to qualify for the login experience!

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