Are you having trouble logging into Diablo 3 again? Fret not, this latest downtime – unlike the problematic launch of the game – is intentional. Blizzard posted on their official Diablo 3 forums this morning an update to let players know that the game will be unplayable for a hefty 10 hours as they run server maintenance in preparations for the patch 1.0.3.
This of course, again brings up the issue of forcing players to connect online to play a game that’s largely single-player (read: DRM).
We will be performing scheduled maintenance for Diablo III starting tomorrow (June 20) at 3:00 a.m. CEST in order to deploy patch 1.0.3. We anticipate that maintenance will conclude and that all services will be available by approximately 1:00 p.m. CEST.
Important: Please note that you will not be prompted to download patch 1.0.3 until the patch is live in your home region. If you are logging in from a European or Asian client, you will need to wait for this patch to release in that region before it can be installed. Additionally, if your home region is the Americas, you will be unable to log into Europe or Asia using Global Play after patch 1.0.3 is live until those regions have also patched.
10 hours of downtime is a long time even, if it’s not during peak hours. While continued maintenance and patching are critical, the issue that’s not going away remains – players are forced by Blizzard to connect to their servers to play the game, even if they want to play by themselves. No single-player, no LAN allowed.
During maintenance, Diablo and Diablo II work, but during maintenance Diablo III - the fastest selling PC game ever – does not. If you don’t want the patch, too bad. If you just want to play your video game, too bad.
Whether you’re okay with DRM or not, this practice is arguably anti-consumer (remember the rage over Ubisoft’s PC games DRM?) and I know a few players myself who are begging for Blizzard to patch in non-online play. Believe it or not, the problem is so severe in Korea, that Blizzard’s offices were raided by the Fair Trade Commission because of issues caused by server problems and consumers demanding refunds.
But at least the real-money auction house is up for Blizzard to profit from digital transactions between players (the real reason players are forced to connect online). I’d like for there to be a mode for players who don’t want to play online and don’t care for the microtransactions. Remember when Blizzard supported spawn copies of games? Those were the days.
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