Blizzard Apologises For Diablo III Launch Mess, Delays Real-Money Auction House

In a statement released tonight, Blizzard has apologised to fans for the technical problems plaguing Diablo III since its launch, and has announced that as a result the release of the game's real-money auction house has been delayed.

Blizzard community man Bashiok writes, on behalf of the entire company, "we'd...like to say that we've been humbled by your enthusiasm — and we sincerely regret that your crusade to bring down the Lord of Terror was thwarted not by mobs of demons, but by mortal infrastructure."

"As many of you are aware, technical issues occurring within hours after the game's launch led to players experiencing error messages and difficulty logging in. These issues cropped up again last night for the Americas and Europe servers. Despite very aggressive projections, our preparations for the launch of the game did not go far enough."

Saying that "several optimizations" have been made to the game's back-end to improve matters, he adds that "In order to make sure everything is continuing to run as it should, we've decided to move out our target launch for the real-money auction house beyond our original estimated date of May 22. We'll post further updates on that in the near future."

Bashiok also says that the matter of disappearing achievements is also being investigated.

"We greatly appreciate everyone's support, and we want to sincerely apologise for the difficulties many of you encountered on day one" the statement concludes with.

For the full statement, see below.

Diablo Players:

We'd like to extend a very sincere thank you to everyone who joined the global Diablo III launch celebrations this week, as well as to everyone who was ready to jump into Sanctuary the moment the game went live.

To that end, we'd also like to say that we've been humbled by your enthusiasm — and we sincerely regret that your crusade to bring down the Lord of Terror was thwarted not by mobs of demons, but by mortal infrastructure. As many of you are aware, technical issues occurring within hours after the game's launch led to players experiencing error messages and difficulty logging in. These issues cropped up again last night for the Americas and Europe servers. Despite very aggressive projections, our preparations for the launch of the game did not go far enough.

We've been monitoring the game 24/7 and have applied several optimizations to help our systems better weather the global rush. As of late last night, specifically 11:50 PM PDT on May 15, all systems have been online and running relatively smoothly. We're continuing to monitor performance globally and will be taking further measures as needed to ensure a positive experience for everyone. This includes some maintenance to implement additional improvements for each region.

In order to make sure everything is continuing to run as it should, we've decided to move out our target launch for the real-money auction house beyond our original estimated date of May 22. We'll post further updates on that in the near future.

Aside from the tremendous number of players simultaneously logging in to the game, one of the launch-day service issues was linked to the achievement system. Some players began to notice early on that achievements were either not being earned properly, or not being saved between multiple logins. We're investigating this issue and will provide a specific update as soon as possible.

We greatly appreciate everyone's support, and we want to sincerely apologise for the difficulties many of you encountered on day one. Please visit the Battle.net Support site or Support forums for the latest service-related updates or for help in troubleshooting any technical issues you may be having downloading, installing, or while playing the game.

Thank you again for your patience while we reinforce the gates of Sanctuary and further strengthen it for your onslaught.

Respectfully,

Blizzard Entertainment


Comments

    NEED AUSTRALIAN SERVER!!!

      NEED AVAILABLE RACK-SPACE AT A COMMERCIALLY VIABLE RATE!

        need people to stop being apologists and inane mouthpieces for bullshit statements made by others.

      +1

      i love rubber banding in single player!

      Agreed I'm playing with Asians that don't understand my witty comments.

        The asian servers have worse pings than playing on the u.s. region

    They should delay the RMAH, fix the servers, compensate me fr pain and suffering, give me 10 free copies as well as a brand new top end PC, donate all profits to charity and send Bobby d door to door to personally apologize for everything.

    Maybe then I'll consider forgiveness.

      That sounds like a good start...

      And now that they've made peace with KeSPA, LAN for SC2!

        And a pony!

          They're a step a head of you on that one
          http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4210101417?page=1

    The game gets delayed for years, then released incomplete, then it doesn't work. This is why Blizzard piss off anyone who's already not addicted to their games. No one who bought it going "this could be good" will be playing it.

    I totally agree with you Bruce. I have double the internet speed than the average Australian, yet I'm pulling 300+ms when the Yankees are online during their peak times.

      ....You have bad net or stop torrenting.

        The comment had to be approved :D

        I lived in the states, and Diablo 1 and 2 both worked fine on dialup. The game shouldn't actually have to exchange more data than either of those, were it actually made to be played cross-continent.

    Instead of losing money on piracy now they'll be losing money on servers and technical staff. Serves you greedy MFs right.

      A hit I'm sure they're more than happy to take to maintain the integrity of the RMAH when it launches.

        Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner.

        The magic phrase of the day was 'maintain the integrity of the RMAH'. This is more important to the future of D3 more than anything else. Why doesn't everyone see this?

          because allowing offline play would somehow affect their ability to have the online play function exactly as it does now right...?

          What is with so many ppl pretending they know wtf they are talking about when it is plain to see they don't even know how the old diablo games worked.

            "they don't even know how the old diablo games worked". You mean with rampant item duping? That sounds like something that'd be great with real money involved. Offline play means exploits and cheating, people then flood the AH with duped items, the economy goes down the drain and the flagship feature of the new game becomes a cesspit.
            Based on your rampant hate in this thread though I'm not sure reason is the way to go with you. That seems to just get met with being called an "apologist", and "mouthpiece for bullshit statements".

              Good to see you've got my back haha

    I am now eagerly waiting for the response of 'Yeah! Now compensate me with free stuff! Wahwahwah!' from a great many 'gamers'.

      I'd settle for a "we were wrong... here's the offline single player mode and multiplayer LAN".

      My money would leap and dance into their bank account.

        ^^ This.
        Quick way to fix the server problem. Let people play off-line.

          As soon as the *majority* (yes, majority) of PC users stop pirating digital content - games, movies, music - then you can play offline with your colour crayons and non-toxic glusticks. Until then, they will babysit you.

          Isohunt.com - one of the top search terms is Diablo 3.

            DRM is _NOT_ a solution. I have bought the game, I don't expect to be stuffed around further to play it. They need to offer a service, not restrict peoples rights to a product.

            Stupid trolls.

            Never pirated a video game in my life.
            So kindly STFU troll.
            And I wonder how many of those searches were for people looking for a way to play it offline.
            Which should have been an option to begin with.

        You do realise it's not that simple, they can't just go, 'Oh well, you can play offline.'

        The entire game was built around the Battle.net platform. Pirates will likely circumvent it via fooling D3 into thinking your local PC is a b.net server like they did with SC2. (And I'm not advocating piracy, just using it as an example) But in an official capacity, it's not simple, and it won't happen regardless.

        Best make peace with it and move on, cos it won't be changing.

          Yeah I know. Wishful thinking and all that.
          But I am fast reaching final straw scenarios with this sort of rubbish. I don't think I will be buying a game ever again that has this sort of DRM procedures.

          My comment was somewhat rhetorical. I know it's not that simple, and I'm certainly not expecting it of them. My message is simple: the decisions they made have pushed me away from their game.

          I know why they structured D3 this way, and they're fair reasons. They're free to make Diablo however they want. I just see it as a step backwards, ergo my money goes to the competition.

          I am sure that the lack of my $60 will be of little concern to Blizzard. That doesn't mean I should just shrug and accept it.

            My reply sounded a little shorter than I meant it to, apologies.

            I fully agree with you though, if it wasn't for the fact it's Diablo, there'd be no chance I would've bought a game with this level of online only and DRM integration. (Not to mention no LAN play) At the same time, I know Blizzard only did it because, it's Diablo. They could've shipped it wrapped in a giant turd with a little note that read 'lulz, f**k you sucker' and people still would line up for it.

            I do weep for video games as a whole now that this sort of thing is becoming more and more commonplace. The sad fact is, I'm pretty sure almost all games will be doing it eventually, and we won't have a choice.

            The biggest issue is online-dependent single player. As someone else said, I feel like I've paid $70 to rent a game. It's a strange feeling, and not one I'm sure I like.

              No problems. Thanks for clarifying :)

              I'm with you in being concerned about the direction that games seem to be taking with the always-on thing. The runaway success of Diablo 3 could well raise a flag to other developers that gamers are cool with the always-on thing, and we'll see it expand. However, the futility of a thing is no reason to not rally against it. But, we're the minority, unfortunately.

              I'm with you on how it makes me uneasy, but I guess the only option for me in future is to go to another hobby.

              Exactly this. This always online attitude will only work for a very select few games. these games are generally highly expected sequels that people will bend over backwards to get their hands on them. BF3 and yes diablo 3 spring to mind. If they did this to torchlight it wouldnt work and the game would most likely flop. Just look at most Ubisoft games on PC they are generally flops then Ubi spouts stuff about piracy but the fact is when the pirates offer a more complete product you cant compete with them. There will always be piracy because there will always be people wanting something for free just like their will always be thief. The key for businesses is how to optimize the number of people who are willing to buy the game and not think about the number to pirate the game. If have no online drm increases numbers by 100,000 sales but increases piracy by 700,000 it is still a success.

          Hackers got server emulation going on the Beta. It didn't work terribly well mind you, but it shows that such things are A, not impossible and B, a more stable option is thankfully probably not all that far away for the full version.
          I don't think I'd considering buying this game with my flakey net connection. If I have to get a third party to provide that, so be it.

            Jacka, i too was worried about my internet connection cos i can only get mobile broadband at my place but thankfully i can play it without issues and the ping stays at 250 most of the time. :)

        I'm with you Andy. With an offline capability I'd likely have bought 2 copies for the household by now. I would likely have even put up with their online multiplayer implementation. The problems being experienced for single player just reinforce my decision to not reward Blizzard's position by buying D3.

        I'd actually buy it if they did that.

          Actually, correction, I'd buy it 3 times if they did that.

        At this point, I would pay extra for this feature if it meant it would happen.

    Stay a while, and listen... to our apologies!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDqatJPvOfk&feature=related

    I was going to give my opinion on why i think this really isn't as big of a deal as people keep saying it is. I was going to say that but i realized something in the last 20 minutes.

    Queen makes everything better Take it freddy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=irp8CNj9qBI

    Reposting this from the WP forums care of 'steveylol'

    "I can't believe in this day and age of games like battlefield 3 we have a game like this with such terrible graphics. I mean, if such a high quality game with tonnes of immersion and storyline like battlefield can also have amazing graphics, why can't Diablo have both, instead of falling back on the absolute joke of "storyline and immersion only".

    Also, why would it take them 11 years to make a 6 hour long game? I mean, if they can't make it take longer for those of us who enjoy zerg rushing checkpoints then why bother at all?

    And lastly, I knew about the fact it was an online game, but it didn't click that they meant I'd have to play it online all the time. I mean, don't get me wrong, if it wasn't, and it meant there would be a lot of hackers and pirates I would be equally angry, but I want the best of both worlds. I think maybe blizzard should have a way to publish one version for legit buyers and one version for pirates.

    That is all."

    Sarcasm at it's finest.

      Ha about 2 seconds in i was like this guy is a genius

    When Lag dictates if you live or die in a single player game putting you are the mercy of someone else's servers and net connection it makes me sad. I might install Helgate : London again and give it a whirl

      OH GOD I LOVED THAT GAME! (that's an example of how much I loved that game)
      But unfortunately my copy of Hellgate disappeared when I moved house and I can't track another copy of it down. (it was even my first preorder. ever.)

    This apology is basically saying "yeah sorry, whatever...we dont give a s*%*".

    I picked the game up just becouse of the hype surrounding this release. Sadly after trying for over 4 hours to play some SINGLEPLAYER i just couldnt take it anymore and went and traded it for MP3.

      Wouldn't you have to have activated your battlenet account to "try to play"
      How did you trade that activation key back exactly?

    It's pretty simple. You purchase a piece of software with the intent to use it. I know this is an alarming thought, but no matter how you rationalise it, you pay to play, not pay for a hope to play. Fix it, Blizzard.

    Anyone who thought this diablo 3 launch was going to be any different than it was is naive.
    It was always going to be an online game (just like SC2) singleplayer or not, and every single online game with such a big fan base was always going to crash at launch. It's happened with almost every MMO released since WOW, and every WOW release has been the same.
    What are you people expecting?
    If you bought an online game and your internet went down for a whole day would you bitch and moan to the ISP and demand your money back because you couldn't play a game?
    It's not like you spent money on something you can't use. You spent money on something that you have to wait a few hours to use. Boo Hoo.
    I came home at 5:30pm on launch day, saw the servers were struggling, went to dinner, came back at 7pm and played without a single problem since then. I think I've had one disconnect over the last few nights.
    First world problems for sure

      This^

      Seriously, if you're all going to bitch and moan this much, then you shouldn't be playing video games. Or at least if you do, save the rage for when you get your n00b ass fragged.

      "Anyone who thought this diablo 3 launch was going to be any different than it was is naive."

      I thought it was going to be different because smart developers would usually try to not piss off anybody.

      "It was always going to be an online game (just like SC2) singleplayer or not, and every single online game with such a big fan base was always going to crash at launch."

      Yeah, but not singleplayer. Even Demon's Souls asks you if you want online features.

      "It’s happened with almost every MMO released since WOW, and every WOW release has been the same."

      It's not an MMO

      "What are you people expecting?"

      Diablo 2 with better graphics, new content, characters, story and revamped modernised gameplay, and multiplayer when you want it.

      "If you bought an online game and your internet went down for a whole day would you bitch and moan to the ISP and demand your money back because you couldn’t play a game?"

      No. I'd play the single player.

      "It’s not like you spent money on something you can’t use. You spent money on something that you have to wait a few hours to use. Boo Hoo."

      I can't use single player without internet, and I won't be able to for any and all hours it could possibly be down.

      "I came home at 5:30pm on launch day, saw the servers were struggling, went to dinner, came back at 7pm and played without a single problem since then. I think I’ve had one disconnect over the last few nights."

      Good for you.

      "First world problems for sure"

      First world problems are still problems.

        "I thought it was going to be different because smart developers would usually try to not piss off anybody."

        You can please everybody, and developers are people too, and people make mistakes. Le gasp! Did they not just say that's what happened and made an apology?!

        "Yeah, but not singleplayer. Even Demon’s Souls asks you if you want online features."

        See: the continuating argument about DRM.

        "It’s not an MMO"

        Wikipedia: 'Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world.' Considering your last point about single player still being online, I'd say it falls even closer to the MMO category than D2 ever did.

        "Diablo 2 with better graphics, new content, characters, story and revamped modernised gameplay, and multiplayer when you want it"

        It has all of those things, you can still play non-multiplayer when you want, only difference is it still requires an internet connection.

        "No. I'd play the single player."

        Play the single player of another game then.

        "I can’t use single player without internet, and I won’t be able to for any and all hours it could possibly be down."

        See above response. Also, a few hours of downtime is not something to cry about.

        "Good for you."

        On behalf of Inquisitorsz, thanks!

        "First world problems are still problems."

        It's also a problem you think any of your weak arguments have any validity at all. Probception!

        See, i can dissect someone else's comments also.

          You can't*

          Dammit, i made a mistake. Better crucify my clearly inferior understanding of the English language.

          I think we'd both agree that trying to quote each other on Kotaku is tiring and cumbersome, so I'll continue our friendly debate the normal way.

          No you can't please everybody, but you can try not to displease people. Just because you don't have enough cake to hand out at a party does not mean you must give them a steaming poo in its place. I know there would still be haters on D3 even if Blizzard made it 'perfect.' But if they simply did not participate in this terrible DRM online debacle then there would be no complains against it.

          Please lets not get into semantics about game genres. Using dictionary terms to define games would make result in everyone referring to Zelda as an RPG (or most games for that matter) or Metal Gear Solid as a third-person shooter. We both know that today's use of MMO refers to an online-only game where the only manner of playing is to join hundreds of other players in a world constantly traversed by them. As far as I know D3 (or at least D2) is a single-player game where you can enter servers to play with a smaller group of players within the static world. But if you're right and it is an MMO than my gosh, no wonder people are upset.

          I disagree that I can play single-player when I want. I want to play it when I'm offline. I especially want to play it when it disconnects. You say I could play another single-player game? Why do Blizzard get to dictate whether I play their game or not? Surely they don't want me to play another game, or worse, never buy theirs. I never said we should be crying about a few hours of downtime, we should be crying about the fact that this downtime is pointless and makes no sense. You must have a pretty laid back life if you wouldn't be perturbed by something you have right to access, and deserve is removed for dumb reasons.

          People should be patient I agree, but all I could think of when people were raging about disconnections on launch day were a bunch of tired overworked types who were really excited to play, but now had that hope of relief and relaxation replaced with irritation, while the clocks ticked to their next work day.

          I said "Good for you" as an actual compliment, but also hopefully to point out that mentioning your success doesn't help the people with problems. "Hahaha, you're car crashed! But look mine is fine!" I hope you also know that pointing out the weakness of somebodies arguments is a tactic employed by those who have poor reasoning. I may have provided counterpoints but I didn't attempt to belittle your arguments.

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