At the request of many of our readers (Read, one. Mike Martin) we here at Three Yards are proud to add more articles about video games to our ever-growing list of society-enhancing literary masterpieces.
This particular work of art concerns the newest blob of money-sucking poo produced by Blizzard Entertainment, Diablo III.
Diablo II, the previous incarnation, was released for PC in 2000. That’s right. TWELVE FUCKING YEARS AGO. That being said, the Diablo 2: Battle Chest version of the game (which included expansion pack, fold-out map and, presumably, a sexy demon chick who gave uncomfortably warm handjobs) was one of the top ten best-selling games of 2010. (Source) Some eleven million users still use Blizzard’s Battle.net online system to play Diablo 2, and that doesn’t even include the people (like me) who either don’t play online because we’re perfectly comfortable playing with ourselves…
…or downloaded the game illegally without a serial number and, thus, cannot log on to Battle.net for serial number validation. So, in the intervening twelve years, while Blizzard was amassing an army of Mountain Dew-swilling gold farmers to quietly take over the world starting from South Korea (See: World of Warcraft) they decided to make sequels to their second- and third-most absurdly popular games, Starcraft and Diablo.
Starcraft II, released last year, required purchasers to validate their serial code online, but following that users were not required to keep logged into anything or maintain an internet connection in order to play the game. Which is good. Unless you market your product as a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG), your game should not require the Internet to play. Then, of course, Blizzard took this concept one step further with the release of Diablo III earlier this year.
When users pre-downloaded the game in preparation for the “launch date” (the date they could actually play the game), they were presented with the same login screen as Starcraft II. Only, this time, Blizzard was requiring users to stay logged in to the Battle.net servers THE ENTIRE TIME they wanted to play the game. Which, technically speaking, wouldn’t have been a bad thing, except for the fact that all the servers Blizzard used for Diablo were the same log-in servers they use for World of Warcraft. Also, World of Warcraft has 10.2 MILLION users, as of February 2012. (Source) Basically, you had everyone who was playing World of Warcraft getting blitzkrieged (or Zerg’d, take your pick) by the millions of people trying to log in to play Diablo. As you might expect, the servers didn’t handle this well.
“But,” you may be asking, “why are you writing an article bashing a game you haven’t even played, a month after it was released?”
Well, dear readers, because of this:
I'm a Diablo widow already. He's now only speaking in grunts.—
Bogart (@TweetingBogart) May 17, 2012
@blue_crab Yep. I'm a soon-to-be Diablo widow myself. He's getting it for Father's Day.—
Lee Meadows (@leenow) June 02, 2012
Excited for date night tomorrow but Diablo Widow tonight and this weekend 😦—
Victoria Roberts (@Victoire25) May 29, 2012
And so on and so forth. Our good friend Jenn Cloud of Young & Free St. Louis posted a blog entry today and asked a very simple question:
…my husband isn’t completely nuts over Diablo III so I’m not one of the many “Diablo Widows” out there. Has anyone else been absorbed into this game or lost someone they love dearly to it??
This is an issue? People are allowing Blizzard to do this? Don’t get me wrong here, I play City of Heroes, another successful online multiplayer game, for hours on end; but I pay a subscription fee. and I understood that I couldn’t play the Internet-centric game without, you know, the Internet. One would think gamers (a traditionally intelligent, if at times ridiculous –
– group of people) wouldn’t allow themselves to be subjected to this sort of treatment, but hey, OMG IT’S DIABLO III! BEEN WAIT 4 THYS GAM FOR ELEVNTYBILLION YRZ!