If You Buy Diablo III Online, You May Have To Wait 72 Hours To Play The Whole Game

If You Buy Diablo III Online, You May Have To Wait 72 Hours To Play The Whole Game

In a bizarre decision presumably made to reduce server overload, Blizzard said last night that new Diablo III players may not be able to play the entire game.

Here’s what Blizzard Support Forum Agent Medearn says:

As of patch 1.0.3, when purchasing a digital version of Diablo III through the online store or your Battle.net Account, players are restricted to the Starter Edition for the first 72 hours (sometimes less). Players on Starter Editions have the following restrictions:

  • Act I up to the Skeleton King is available
  • Level 13 cap
  • Matchmaking available only with other Starter Edition players
  • No Auction House access (Real Money or Gold)
  • Global Play is not available. Players attempting to connect to Diablo III Starter Edition in a region other than their Battle.net Account’s home region will receive Error 12. See the Global Play support article for more information.

More information regarding the Starter Edition is available here:


So if you buy the game online, you might have to wait up to three days before you can play the whole thing. Weird.



    • Read the article more… for the first 72 Hours ALL DIGITAL PURCHASES are reduced to the Starter Pack version.

      Thats right.. your brand spankingly newly bought online game is fo all purposes a DEMO for the first 72 hours of purchase! xD

  • Wow. Just wow. I don’t even know where to begin with that.
    Needless to say if this is correct I smell lawsuit in the air.
    Also it guarantees I will never purchase a Blizzard game again now.
    In stead of saying “Hey we stuffed up here have the ability to play off-line” to lower server load they simply decide to screw their customers even more.

    • I doubt a lawsuit. However, there are clearly some grade A asshats making decisions in Blizzard, and they’re clearly convinced that the world will collapse if they don’t stop piracy.

      I certainly won’t be purchasing Blizzard games in the future, it’s just not worth it. There are too many great games by great developers to need to put up with their completely abusive and aggressive attitude against their customers. Sure, 14 year olds will put up with this crap for the game that they think absolutely must play, but for the rest of us, well, we’ll take my money elsewhere.

  • I reckon what they are doing is preventing people using credit card fraud to create accounts for scamming, spamming and shifting hacked gold around.

    I think this is a good thing.

    • I think if they just locked those things out until you were past the skeleton king or something it would force people to play at least a few hours of the game on each account and would make those spammy messages take a lot more work to produce.

      I think if I set myself a weekend, bought the game and could only play 2 hours worth of content for the first 3 days I’d be absolutely livid.

  • How can you sell just an 8th of a game? Such a problem buying a full game now with all the dlc going around, but this is stupid

      • re-reading nope’s comment, I was a little wrong there. DLC is not affecting THIS decision, but has been seen as causing problems with buying full games with some games presenting DLC as necessary for the full story

      • I think he is making a correlation abd likening this to buying an incomplete game and getting the rest via DLC.

  • If this is really about handling server load, then surely limiting new players is not the answer, especially by giving them access to Starter Edition after they purchase a full edition. And it seems that by buying in store I can play immediately? That sounds like it isn’t about server loads at all.
    If it was about server loads, why not limit play time for everyone to, for example, 5 hours at a time. Then as soon as possible implement NEW SERVERS. If you expect your consumers to be online to use your product you need to let them be online. Definitely something that should be brought in front of the ACCC.

        • “In a bizarre decision presumably made to reduce server overload”

          An assumption made by the author, so no I didn’t pay it very much attention.

        • A stupid assumption at that, how does limiting users starter accounts briefly reduce server load? They can still login to the servers, therefore their load still counts.. .Frankly Jason just made a stupid assumption and people are eating it up.

          • “That sounds like it isn’t about server loads at all.”
            I don’t blame you Glenn.
            I didn’t think it was about server loads, in fact my entire comment was implying that I didn’t think it was server loads at all and if it was, Blizzard could have many better avenues.

  • Ok, for those that don’t understand, it’s to ensure that the credit card payments clear correctly. They’re not limiting your for 72 hours, they’re saying that you may be limited if your credit card takes longer to clear than it should. You could be up and running in an hour, it’s just they’re letting you play the game immediately, they’re just not giving you the full thing until your payment has properly cleared.

    • Pretty piss-poor communication on Blizzard’s part if you’re right. They’re really not making that clear.

      “when purchasing a digital version of Diablo III… players are restricted to the Starter Edition for the first 72 hours (sometimes less).”

    • If that’s the case then whoever does their credit card payments sucks balls. You should be able to get an auth within 60s.

      • As someone pointed out above, it’s more to stop botters from using stolen credit cards, I dare say most people buying it digitally will have their purchased approved by the time they’re done downloading and installing the game.

  • So after holding out all this time, I get home tonight and decide I really want to buy and play the game this weekend… It wouldn’t work until Monday?

  • It’s clearly to combat gold farmers… How is that not the first idea that pops into your head rather than assuming it’s to combat server load…

    • Also, more specifically I believe this is to combat the Euro Banks -> Blizz store bugs. Apparently you could chuck in a fake credit card number and play for a short period (I’d now assume 72 hours?) before blizz realised the credit card was fake and cancelled the account. This could help restore the AH economy, but I highly doubt it. That economy is more inflated than Zimbabwe.

    • Thats what i thought as well. Playing act 1 and playing act 2 is really no different in terms of server load. You still connect to the server no matter what, the difference in loads between act 1 vs act2-3-4 or level 13 vs lvl 60 character would be negligible.

  • i think it’s a non issue really. You get starter edition. U get to play up to level 13. You get to beat up skeleton king.

    Digital versions require a download of i think 6~7gb for the full game? Good thing you don’t need to wait for the full download to complete before starting to play. I think that’s a good thing.

    • That’s all well and good but you might not be able to connect to the server you might want to connect to that all of your friends are on. So you may need to start from scratch again once you can connect to the server you want to connect to.

    • My first play through of the game took about 7 hours, the Skeleton king was probably dead in under 30 minutes so I don’t see how this is in any way acceptable.

      If they weren’t such bastards they would limit your Battle.net access for 72 hours and let you play offline single player.

  • The longer D3 has been out, the less & less I’m regretting not buying it.

    Cut the MP & RMAH Blizzard – sell me a stripped down version with only the campaign, with no option to go online. I’ll pay full price for that. Until then, stay Activisioned.

      • I know, and this had been a planned day one purchase for years.

        I just figure that on this one case, I’ll make a stand. Lets me catch up on my backlog anyway 😀

      • I have to disagree, I found it to be more addictive than fun. By the time I hit Act 2 in Inferno I realized I had played through the game nearly 4 times and got a feeling of this is it? How many more times do I have to complete this 5 hour campaign? Where is it leading? I can get more loot but the people willing to invest 20 bucks will have better gear than me and WILL beat me when the PvP arena comes out.

        That said, I did have fun playing through the first time on normal but that was a very short experience and in no way worth even close to the ludicrous asking price.

        I would be interested in knowing how far you have played and what keeps you interested or what you really liked about it.

  • without the bloody RMAH we wouldn’t need to worry about credit card fraud. the rmah is such a stupid idea…unbelievable.

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