Devil In The Machine: Error 37 Returns To Diablo

Guess who's baaaaaack!

Edit: Reports are that people are now managing to get back in. John just got an orange drop, for instance.

Have you ever built a house of cards? It takes ages, and then all you can do is pray that the cruel forces of nature don’t send a gentle puff of wind or prancing baby deer in its direction. If anyone so much as enters the same room as it, you reflexively scream “DON’T TOUCH IT.” 6.3 million people touched Blizzard’s latest house of cards. It exploded. So then Blizzard touched it and, well, it double-exploded. In the wake of patch 1.0.2 going live (which, itself, necessitated many hours of downtime to apply), EU players reported prolonged server outages. Amongst all the rioting in the streets, people on fire, and not-looting, some claim to have seen Errors 37 and 73 creeping through the wreckage, wringing their cold hands maniacally. Now a more than 80-page forum thread is finally seeing claims of successful logins – but with swift disconnects shortly after.

Blizzard responded around six hours ago, but hasn’t given a status update on the situation since. So for now, here’s the only word from on high:

“Login is currently being impacted by the number of players that are coming online after they downloaded the patch and accepted the Terms of Use. Sadly, the additional steps required to patch and log in to the game is creating a lot of the ‘Error 37’ prompts for players.”

“We’re currently working on a fix for this and are looking to have it implemented as soon as possible; we hope to have future patching processes smoothed out for Diablo III.”

US servers, meanwhile, appear to be functioning normally – making this situation all the more perplexing. In related news, an in-game prompt (you know, when you can log-in) now pegs the oft-delayed real money auction house’s launch on June 12. It is, at this point, a bit difficult to not be incredibly skeptical.

So, right then. As always, we’ll keep you updated. The whole situation’s a bit of a mess – as we’ve discussed countless times – and it’s immensely discouraging that it still hasn’t gotten any better. Launch hiccups? Sure, those are a thing. But these are acidic mini-volcanoes of launch vomit.

Some players, predictably, are accusing Blizzard of laziness. I actually do not think that’s the case. This is the company that still releases patches for most of its more-than-a-decade-old games. There’s no lack of dedication in this rapidly festering formula. But clearly, Blizzard’s bitten off more than it can chew, and now customers are paying the price.


  1. AlwaysRight says:

    Thats weird. I was getting error 37 until I read this article, now its fine.

    • Plivesey says:

      Yeah, it seems like they purposefully waited for it to be fixed before posting this article? Either that, or just a case of very bad timing.

    • Maktaka says:

      Clearly, just as the speed of internet news exceeded the speed of print news and rendered the latter obsolete, Blizzard Forum news has rendered mere internet news obsolete. Let us now all rage at each other in a manner befitting our oracle.

  2. Spider Jerusalem says:

    just waiting for my refund to come through.

    • Desmolas says:

      I have made my request to be refunded my money for the game. But that will probably go nowhere.

      They will just thank me for my patience while the issues are resolved. =/

    • mrjackspade says:

      I’m thinking about doing this. I guess you just email their support line?

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        you can open a ticket through bnet or you can call billing. they only employ two people in their call center it seems like, so you’ll probably wait for an hour or two to talk to a live human.

    • misterT0AST says:

      You enter the store and say:
      “I would like to buy this game which is bound to a server at all times”
      Then, after a few weeks:
      “I want a refund, this game doesn’t work every time the server goes down!”

      I really don’t understand the thought process.

      • Bhazor says:

        The key phrase
        “I want a refund, this game doesn’t work”

      • wu wei says:

        Are you really incapable of understanding that consumers have a right to being able to utilise services they pay for?

        If you can point to anywhere in the D3 advertising that warns users to expect erratic downtime and ongoing inability to connect, maybe then you’d have a reason for being so condescending.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        i’m sorry that i value my rights as a consumer re: using the product that i paid for.

      • fish99 says:

        Maybe people were expecting the servers to work?

      • mike2R says:

        I’ve not played much D3. Until last night, the last time I tried to play was early morning a week or two ago.

        That time the servers were “down for maintenance”, this time I got error 37. Then I did finally get in, cleared what I suspect was nearly all of a large area when the land ran out (literally just ended in a blue haze), I wandered around lost for half a minute, then the game dumped me back to the title screen. It let me start it up again right away… right back where I’d started before. I gave up.

        I realise I’ve been unlucky, I’ve probably hit the only two major outages during that period. But shit, I bought this for single player, and this is ridiculous.

        I doubt I’ll bother getting a refund, but this is the only game in like forever that I’ve been seriously thinking about it. The fact that they are apparently offering refunds is about the only positive thought about the whole experience that I have.

        I’ve gone from almost ignoring always-on DRM (I play on a desktop with a stable connection, what does it matter to me?), to making this a likely deal breaker. I’ll have to want to play a game a lot more than I wanted to play D3 to buy another game like this.

    • Khann says:

      My refund came through a couple of days ago. My ticket consisted of one simple paragraph explaining that 250ms latency was unacceptable, and that Australia/NZ should not be forced to play on US servers.

    • Hvr says:

      MFW people are already trying to refund..

      • Didero says:

        Yeah, people should wait at least a couple of weeks for the product they buy to work before they have the right to complain.

    • Yar says:

      Yeah, I’m not raging or hating. But I only get a little time to play now and then and I want to be able to play. I’ve wasted two whole evenings trying to log in. There are other games that I will enjoy and that won’t do this to me. I requested a refund. The ticket was closed by inviting me to read the forums. I opened a second ticket requesting a refund.

  3. HexagonalBolts says:

    It’s definitely a bit sloppy. Obviously a vast number of people have bought the game, but I’m not sure they have bitten off more than they could chew though, surely WoW is a more substantial mouthful?

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Yeah, it’s puzzling. WoW is substantially more complex, with multiple servers used to compose a seamless world.

      In terms of server architecture, D3 should be very similar to SC2, which as far as I know didn’t have much in the way of significant problems. This is really exceptionally poor from Blizzard, given their experience.

      • subedii says:

        SC2 wasn’t “always online”, at least not in the way D3 is. All the game logic wasn’t shifted server-side, and even then, I imagine the majority of people were playing singleplayer when SC2 launched.

        So yeah, a lot more strain here, where everyone’s online at all times, the server’s doing a heck of a lot, and sending and receiving a lot more as well.

        • Bhazor says:

          It is wierd just how much they’re doing server side. It must be costing almost as much as running WoW but without the subscription fees. The running costs must be in the millions. For a point of reference Guild Wars is rumoured to cost $9million a year to run.

          Any fans of D3 better be hoping the RMAH is a runaway success because I don’t see Activision keeping the servers alive if they start bleeding money.

          • diamondmx says:

            Yes, there is a very real possibility this game will be disabled within the next 5 years.

          • thestage says:

            I am wondering exactly how stupid you would have to be to think that it is likely that blizzard would abandon Diablo III any time within the next decade.

            Even if, somehow, the inevitable 10 million copies sold plus the existence of the real money auction house were not enough to pay for servers, Blizzard would bleed money from now until the apocalypse rather than face the backlash of taking the game offline. I can play Diablo ONE online TODAY. The game came out in 1996.

            This whole post is a joke anyway. Yes, the servers sucked during a patch. Blizzard servers have sucked for each and every one of WoW’s four hundred thousand patch days, none of which have been covered here or anywhere else.

          • Trith says:

            I’m sorry but I am here merely to debunk this utterly foolish rumor, as Guild Wars 1 servers where covered for about 20 years by the first year of sales alone. It does not cost 9 million to run these servers and whoever is saying that is an incessant fool.

          • NathanH says:

            Anyway I would expect that if they decided to take the servers down relatively soon they’d patch in offline play. Not doing that would be so detrimental to their reputation after all. It’d also be good for PR the next time they make a game with no offline mode: they can immediately dismiss the “what happens if you shut down the servers” criticism.

          • Ragnar says:

            Back when I played WoW, I accepted that the servers might suck on patch day. That’s the kind of stuff you put up with for an MMO. But it’s been 4 years since I last played WoW, and Diablo 3 isn’t an MMO.

            I may only have an hour a night to play with my woman. If I’m presented with Error 37 and 3006 instead of being able to play, I am understandably frustrated. I am meeting all the requirements to play the game, but Blizzard isn’t holding up their side of the bargain.

            Now, I know the support team at Blizzard is working diligently to resolve the issue, and I thank them, and i know that Blizzard support their products for far longer than most. But if they can’t handle a patch 2 weeks after release (and the server outage in both the US and UK shows that they can’t), then clearly the server solution required more testing, and they shouldn’t have rolled out the patch. In fact, given that the only significant change was turning General chat on for everyone each time they log in, they could have held this patch off indefinitely and I’d be just fine with that.

      • HexagonalBolts says:

        I guess making a singleplayer game require server side content generation has never really been done before whereas the simple online login and MMO are both well established systems. You would imagine that 4 players in a game would require less work than 4 people playing the game individually (less monsters and terrain to generate), perhaps they significantly underestimated how many people would play the game alone?

        • p12t says:

          Closed for Diablo 2 was/is doing it the same way as Diablo 3 is doing it now. So server-side generation of the levels isn’t something new for Blizzard.

    • frightlever says:

      WOW didn’t have almost 10 million players straight out the gate. BUT if GW2, which has a similar structure to D3, as I understand it, is half as popular with a fraction of Blizzzard’s resources. Could be rough.

      I lost (I assume) some nice toys in a crapout last night, but I remain sanguine. I’m having a lot of fun with the game. Normal really makes the game look like a turd though. They need to fix that.

      • Azhrarn says:

        How does Guild Wars 2 have a similar structure to Diablo 3?
        Guild Wars 2’s structure is, just like most MMOs, a shared world where loads of players per shard can interact. Nothing like D3s structure then.

        Guild Wars 1 was heavily instanced, with only the hub cities being shared.
        Which bears more similarities to how D3 works than GW2 ever did. :)

      • Ragnar says:

        WoW didn’t have 8 years of MMO hosting experience providing servers for 10 million players either.

  4. Bahoxu says:

    I think i would find this downtime more acceptable if it was an actual MMO suffering through early release troubles. But since its just broken copyprotection i’m a bit annoyed.

    • frightlever says:

      You misunderstand how much of D3 is server-side, I suspect. A lot. It’s not a MMO but there is still CONSTANT communication between the game and D3. So the D3 client is doing as much as a WOW client, possibly more even, while server side the D3 mega-brain may have less to do with each individual instance of the game, but there almost as many instances and as much data getting shuffled about. I’d say there isn’t THAT much in it.

      Hell of a way to make a potentially single-player game though.

      • kaffis says:

        “Hell of a way to make a single player game, though.”

        Yes. This is why the poster you replied to called it “broken copy protection.” Because, from a functional standpoint, the server-side content generation isn’t fundamentally necessary. It’s only necessary because Blizzard wanted to utilize it as an ambitious anti-cheat (since modifying loot tables and whatnot would obviate their monetization scheme) and draconian anti-piracy measure.

        Thus, I think it’s entirely appropriate to lay the blame at Blizzard’s feet. If you can’t handle the load, requiring the load when you didn’t have to is a poor design decision. Poor design decisions yield bad game experiences. Bad game experiences are the number one factor in a bad game, in my book.

  5. Mr. Mister says:

    So releasing a patch causes hype, said hype causes a login overflow, said overflow causes errors, said errors beg for a patch to fix them…
    Am I the only one following the logic?

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      Surely the minor patch can’t have caused a similar level of hype to the first 45 minutes of the game being unlocked (how long it took me to get in)? I suspect there is a different problem here.

      • Ragnar says:

        I don’t know about you, but as soon as I read “Players will now automatically join General chat when logging in” in the patch notes I felt very excited!

        • Hematite says:

          hey can u tell how to get to XR my friend said to meet their. i am at the crossroads.

    • elevown says:

      Its not hype about the patch, but the traffic jam it causes.

      If people cant play for 8hr, the big back-log of people, who would of otherwise been playing spread out over the day, all have to wait and then try to all play at once.

  6. Aedrill says:

    I think this is the best way to describe this situation. Anyone defending Blizzard and this silly idea of always-on should consider this fact: if ANYTHING goes wrong it’s the customer (i.e. the one who paid for the bloody game) suffering, not Blizzard. All of the risk is being laid on the gamers. If you really think it’s all right, then something’s clearly wrong with your perception and your definition of free market.

    • alundra says:

      Don’t be mad at them, soon enough they will start selling…uhmm…lets say… a LOGINATOR!!!, for a price you will be instilled with a preferential place in the login queue.

      Of course poor poor blizzvis will be selling those at a loss, some say.

      • Richeh says:

        That’s a little cynical. Always-on DRM and server swoggling is pretty crap. But Blizzard have always had, and continue to have, excellent customer service. They’re still a class act in my book. Not that they’ll ever see any of my money for such a shoddy product.

        • Bhazor says:

          I have to wonder how much more mediocrity Blizz can get away with before people realize the magic left the company years ago. Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 were both HD rereleases of decade old games and WoW was Everquest with a paint job and already outdated by release.

          This is not the same developer that made Warcraft 3 or Starcraft.
          They used to be known for daring reinventions of genres like Diablo 1 and Warcraft 3 now they’re known just for copying existing games with an extra layer of polish.

          This DRM bullshit was where I drew the line. I liked Starcraft 2, WoW was completely fine, but there is no way Diablo 3 justifies this crap. In regards to customer service the existence of this DRM is the biggest “FUCK YOU” imaginable delivered to every single customer personally.

          • Psychopomp says:

            If you think D3 is just an HD rerelease of D2, you clearly haven’t played, read, or seen anything about it.

          • Bhazor says:

            If you think this game isn’t a stale rehash of a moribund genre then you really need to play more games in the genre.

            Hell, Dungeon Siege 3 was more daring in terms of what it tried. Not to mention Nox or a dozen other games in the genre that did so much more. Add to that they didn’t tie their games to a broken and entirely superflous infrastructure and the defenders of Diablo 3 really come off as people who don’t know anything exists beyond Diablo.

            My simple question.
            Is this game really worth 7 years of development? Is this really all you expected?

          • InternetBatman says:

            God I loved Nox. It came with a bonus disk so you could play online with your friends.

            Also, WoW was not mediocre. While it went way down in quality after the Burning Crusade, it was just a fantastic example of the MMO genre for a while. There are multiple reasons it far exceed EQ in player base, and some of the areas were just pure fun to play in like the Barrens, Stranglethorn Vale, or the Netherstorm. If it was mediocre, it wouldn’t be so hard to knock it off its throne.

          • mouton says:


            Of course, “HD rerelease” was Bhazor’s hyperbole. But it doesn’t change the fact, the SC2 and D3 have been extremely non-innovative. Heavily polished, yes, but still little more than rehashes of stale 90’s formulas.

          • NathanH says:

            I’ll continue saying this until I’m blue in the face, but Starcraft 2 has the most innovative and varied single-player campaign I’ve ever seen in an RTS. And before you say “It’s all about the multiplayer”, I don’t care, make your statements more careful!

          • Bhazor says:

            @ NathanH

            No it wasn”t.

            The structure was a near linear series of scripted missions. Of those missions only some were interesting (the rising lava level, the laser tunnel) whilst many others were crap build a base to destroy a base. The idea of upgrading units between missions has been done many times before.

            The actual second to second gameplay is a horribly outdated relic.

            Again, look at how they changed the gameplay from Warcraft 2 to Warcraft 3 to see how Blizzard used to innovate.

            @ Internet Batman

            Compared to games that came out years earlier like Dark Age of Camelot (3 years earlier), Ultima Online (7 years earlier) and Eve Online (1 year earlier) WoWs gameplay is horribly limited and just plain archaic. The fact that so many developers then tried to jump on the new money wagon is no compliment to the genius of Blizzard, it’s an admission to the creative bankruptcy of many developers and publishers.

            I mean queing for instances? How the literal fuck did they get away with that?

          • Zihua says:

            >many others were crap build a base to destroy a base.

            There isn’t a single one of those missions in the game. There are some “hold on for this long” missions, but everything else is different.

            >The actual second to second gameplay is a horribly outdated relic.

            I’m assuming you think this because it doesn’t have idiotic cover and retreat mechanics like CoH? Blizzard understands that this “outdated” gameplay is the only way RTS can be done. All these modern “innovations” remove depth and skill. It is why Starcraft 2 has the biggest competitive scene an RTS has ever had and CoH doesn’t have one at all.

          • mouton says:


            Iidiotic CoH mechanics? You must be Korean.

            Also, COD has a lot of players as well.

        • Auldreekie says:

          Blizzard perhaps, Activision Blizzard is a whole new beast.
          They now answer to new overlords, the shareholders will it.

    • Flavioli says:

      All of these news about trouble logging in are the main reason why I haven’t bought the game, and don’t plan to in the future. If anything, that’s Blizzard taking a loss, not me. Sadly, I’m the only person that I know in my circle of friends that didn’t preorder the shit out of the game as soon as preordering became possible. So I think it’d be fair to say Actiblizzard doesn’t have much of a lesson to learn here.

  7. WoundedBum says:

    Mass Effect 3’s ending, Diablo’s copy protection…what next, I wonder.

    • Torticoli says:

      You’re comparing bad writing to technical issues preventing you from playing the single player mode of the game you bought. Sounds like a fair comparison.

      • Meldreth says:

        He’s only comparing these two issues in terms oh how much they suck. Both may be seen as outrageous decisions made by developers. It does sound like a fair comparison, I guess.

      • WoundedBum says:

        Yeah, I’m just saying there’s been two fairly major disappointments this year, calm down.

      • Meusli says:

        No, he is comparing two bad light stories against Blizzard and probably wondering what crazy nonsense they come up with next to deliver service to the customer.

      • rocketman71 says:

        He’s comparing two issues that destroyed the credibility of the developers in question, and both could have been easily avoided if said developers had not been so GODDAMNED STUPID.

        (greedy stupid in the case of Blizzard, lazy stupid in the case of Bioware)

        • Joshua Northey says:

          If you think Blizzard and Bioware have “destroyed credibility” you are very, very wrong.

          • alundra says:

            No Joshua, it is only you who think you are right. What an imaginative fella you are.

          • Supahewok says:

            Oh, their credibility hasn’t been completely destroyed, but for many of us out there ME3 ended our relationship with Bioware. Blizzard took a hit with their always online shenanigans, but the real damage because of that happened months ago back when this plan was first announced. So Blizzard’s popularity took a dent, yeah. Bioware substantially more so. It’s okay to say so. These companies have all of the tools, resources, and minds to regain their standing with a substantial number of consumers. The big question is: Will they?

          • Joshua Northey says:

            alundra, the next big Blizzard and Bioware projects will fly off the shelves, their credibility is fine. But keep living in fantasy land if if makes you feel better.

          • Mercurial says:

            I think Bioware destroyed their credibility (for me at least) with Dragon Age 2, the Mass Effect 3 affair (DLC on the disc etc, online play requirement) was just further evidence that they had jumped the shark.

        • Richeh says:

          I don’t think wanting to be paid for every copy of your work that’s played could exactly be called “greedy”. More “naive, overbearing and under thought out”.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I view it more as a comparison between the bad decision to integrate multiplayer into a single-player a poor way that affected many players attempts to satisfactorily complete it and Diablo III.

  8. Shadram says:

    After applying the patch last night (I’m in NZ, and so on US servers) the game felt somehow less responsive – the mouse cursor was ‘floaty’, especially when dragging items around, and my clicks didn’t seem to register as well as before. The framerate also appears worse. Was it just my imagination, or are others finding the same thing?

    • TechnicalBen says:

      They will probably gradually slow down the gameplay (and mouse) until the servers can cope. You’ll be playing in treacle in a week. :D

    • Shadram says:

      It seems better tonight. It probably had something to do with the servers being overburdened, or perhaps my PC was having a bad day.

  9. nasenbluten says:

    I’m glad that I tried the beta and didn’t like it that much.

    Blizzard is dead for me since Warcraft 3.

    • MistyMike says:

      For me, Blizzard ended after The Lost Vikings.

      • Beelzebud says:

        So that means you never played Rock and Roll Racing? Shame!

      • mzlapq says:

        For me, Silicon & Synapse died with the Lost Vikings. Blizzard died with Blackthorne.

        • nasenbluten says:

          Backthorne, that was a nice game. Shooting orks and elves in the face with a shootgun, jumping around and writting down those level codes… good times.

    • Aedrill says:

      Well, I didn’t like the beta as well. Mostly because it was Error 37 all the fucking time. I didn’t play the bloody thing even for a second.

      So yeah, I’m lucky I didn’t like the beta.

  10. Kefren says:

    I think I’ll stick to my offline single player games.

    • Plivesey says:

      It’s a good job you looked up that this was an always-online game before buying it then, if you wanted singleplayer offline games eh?

      • Kresh says:

        “It’s a good job you looked up that this was an always-online game before buying it then, if you wanted singleplayer offline games eh?”

        Nothing like a straw-man argument to make yourself feel smart, eh?

        Patches (in general) are famous for mucking things up, so people being upset isn’t a real surprise to anyone that doesn’t have their jaws firmly locked around Blizzard’s e-wang. This is just more of the same old song and dance. I do hope Blizzard learns the right lesson from this.

        The right lesson being; forcing you players to play a historically off-line capable single-player game online is retarded, no matter how much you try to BS the players to the contrary in an effort to pretend that the game ISN’T built purposefully to be a RMT cash vacuum.

  11. SirKicksalot says:

    Why can’t software makers include a description of exactly what the error is about?
    It’s baffling to me that Blizzard explained it in their blog posts in the weeks before D3’s launch but there’s no in-game explanation for the millions who never read those.

  12. Skipperoo says:

    OH, is Diablo 3 out then?

  13. Bennet says:

    The patch hit the U.S. yesterday, accompanied by around 15 hours of server downtime and good old Error 37. What’s *truly* perplexing is Blizzard had the big patch mess over here and deployed it in the EU anyway…apparently with the same messy result.

  14. Skeletor68 says:

    It makes me sad. I’m a few minutes away from fighting Diablo for the first time. So irritating when you finally get time to play.

  15. milan.jirkovsky says:

    I only hope this will discourage other developers from always-online gameplay model because if Blizzard can’t do it, who can? So maybe it will be remembered as a good thing ;o)

    • Fumarole says:

      This is the best case scenario from all of this drama.

    • Zenicetus says:

      One would hope so, but it will probably be rationalized as… “Not every game will draw that kind of traffic, so our game will be okay if we use this method.”

      Or the more cynical… “We can only hope to draw that traffic, and if we do, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get there (and be laughing all the way to the bank)”.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Unless you are the bank (see Northern Rock, and a few US ones too).

  16. Aldehyde says:

    Me and my friend’s hardcore characters died because of these issues. We were level 57 in hell and suddenly we get disconnected. When we finally get back in, we’re dead. 36 hours gone, wiiee!

    Luckily, Blizzard has a policy not to reinstate heroes for any reason. That should help out.

    • squareking says:

      I hadn’t even imagined this horrible scenario. Ouch.

    • PacketOfCrisps says:

      I thought losing my level 13 hardcore character to a disconnect was annoying, I can’t imagine how you feel. I know one thing though, I will never make another hardcore character in Diablo III.

    • elevown says:

      I find it hard to belive you were on a 3rd play through in that little time.. My normal play through is about 40hr. And I didnt die much or do any grinding. What are you doing skipping every side dungeon and running through it in a straight line?

      • Shadram says:

        In a Hardcore game, yes, skipping side stuff is a good idea. One unlucky combination of elites can be game over, so avoiding as many as possible is the best plan if you want to get to the end.

      • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

        40 hours for normal? 40?

        I played 57 hours on my demon hunter and I’m halfway through act 2 inferno. It’s not like we went through the game slowly, but I wouldn’t call our pace rushing either. I mean, there are achievements for finishing each chapter under an hour after all.

        I can understand maybe 20 hours for normal, max. What were you doing?

      • Aldehyde says:

        Yeah, if you were playing 40 hours just for normal then you were doing something… not wrong but just not playing at all for long periods of time. Took me and friends about 10 hours to complete normal when we explored exactly everything.

    • Zarunil says:

      Oh dear, that has to suck. OUCH! I would be furious.

  17. tomnullpointer says:

    Phew well at least we will get a few days refund on our online subs for the game…
    oh, wait….

  18. Fincher says:

    No problems, they said.

    Barely any downtime, they said.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      enhance your gameplay, they said

      protection from hackers, they said

      • wu wei says:

        “Separate SP & MP characters are too confusing,” they said.

        “Of course you need separate characters for each region!” they said.

  19. LionsPhil says:

    Enough already.

    Nathan using RPS as his personal axe-grinding podium for this is tiresome. Everything that has to be said about how awful this DRM is has been said. Preaching to the choir is now just pushing articles about other, far more interesting to discuss games off the frontpage within the same day they’re posted.

    • Fincher says:

      Just curious, did you buy Diablo 3?

      • LionsPhil says:

        Fuck no.

        Perhaps you’re missing the point here. It’s not that “Diablo 3’s DRM is an awful affront to the very concept of Personal Computer gaming” is wrong; it’s that saying that ten times in a row is just tedious and doesn’t achieve anything because after the first nine there is nothing new to discuss, and all it is doing is flooding out other, more interesting topics of PC gaming discussion (see: articles from today already pushed off the front of the site). Move on.

        • rocketman71 says:

          It IS newsworthy. It seemed like the tempest was calming, and now we’re at it again.

          I didn’t buy Diablo 3 because of all of this (and StarCraft 2 because of the lack of LAN), and I want to hear these news. The fact that Blizzard fucked up so bad and still a big part of the gamer community is giving them a pass because this is Blizzard.

          If Nathan never posted about this, those of us who didn’t buy D3, and many who finished it and uninstalled it because it didn’t offer them anything new (I know a few) would never know how much Blizzard is doing trying to catch up to Bioware in the 2012’s Worst Fall from Heaven competition.

          • Vorphalack says:

            RPS could consolidate all of the Diablo 3 developments into a weekly round up post, instead of bombarding the front page with daily (and fairly trivial) micro-updates. You wouldn’t miss anything and space would be saved on the internet. The game is out, it has issues, but it’s not going anywhere.

            I know the issues D3 raises are quite important, but this is starting to feel more like a tabloid witch hunt than useful news blog material.

        • MrWolf says:

          One second. Let me give Nathan a quick call and ask him to stop pointing a gun at your head, forcing you to read the article.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Is it the hot weather, or are you just a bit of a dick?

            RPS readers have finite capacity for reading things, if only because at some point we have to do something productive instead. The site itself prioritises the most recent eleven by putting anything older onto a separate page. Every article posted has a cost vs. the opportunity for another article.

          • Bhazor says:


        • Gasmask Hero says:


          This place gets a bad case of the Eurogamers every time D3 is mentioned (look below for evidence ‘whaambulance’ indeed). Yeah, a bunch of persons may have bought it but if the sum of those persons is nothing more than two packs of apes flinging shit at each other what does this add? Page views? Can’t be short of those following the recent Alexa revelations.

          At the same time though, a quick Google doesn’t seem to reveal any anti-blizzard bias on behalf of Mr Grayson. Sure, he has a girly curly piss poor hairstyle but then I’m not going to hold that against a gent.

          …”RPS readers have finite capacity for reading things, if only because those of us with jobs have to go back to them at some point.”

          Oh, wait, thanks LionsPhil for using your employed status as a veiled insult. I take back everything I said. Maybe the prevailing economic conditions will catch up with you soon, who knows. And thanks for reinforcing my earlier comment about the tribes of apes.

          I should just stop reading D3 RPS articles full stop.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I’m not some Jesus-esque figure who turns the other cheek when people act like complete bell-ends. Just a regular dude with regular dude flaws like getting into idiotic Internet slapfights at times. Sorry.

            But hey. Why the heck not. Post amended so that it doesn’t distract from The Point.

            Your plan of action’s a pretty solid one.

          • PopeJamal says:

            I found it easier to block all his comments.Try it, you know you want to…

          • LionsPhil says:

            (Hunh. Must be pretty confusing seeing a thread where the original post is hidden. How the heck does that work?)

    • noom says:

      Fuck that. Complaining is fun.

    • Kresh says:

      Somebody call this man (LionsPhil) a whaaambulance! Somebody is saying something that he doesn’t like! Oh noes!

      So, when a hugely successful game continues to have problems… it’s not news? We should ignore the fact that Blizzard was (and it appears, still is) mildly (as in totally) unprepared for the strain on their server farm? We should ignore that they couldn’t take the hint from their pre-orders and just wandered into the release date like a drunk wino wanders into traffic with the same approximate result?

      Huh. You’re right. We should totally ignore their inept handling of this situation and just go look at some kickstarters or something. ‘Cause some guy trying to raise 18K for a game is totally more news that Blizzard (super-awesome ghods of games and the internets) f*cking the whole thing up over and over again.

      To be honest, the guy trying to raise 18k actually is interesting, but the Blizzard news is just to delicious. I’m starting to think the “Leave Brittany Alone” tears that flow from the Blizzard fanatics anytime someone raises a slight problem with a Blizzard game is almost as tasty as Dr. Pepper.

      • LionsPhil says:

        The other problem with this being aptly demonstrated by twats like this. By this stage the whole “discussion” can be summed up as “APOLOGIST!” “HATER!” “APOLOGIST!” “DOUBLE-HATER!”

        • Kresh says:

          I’m guessing you don’t actually read what you write. It’s ok, I wouldn’t expect someone who calls another person a “twat” in the middle of a civil discussion about what is news worthy of being covered to actually understand the point they’re trying to make.

          *yawn* Come back when you’ve matured a bit, would you?

          • LionsPhil says:

            >civil discussion


          • Lemming says:

            “Somebody call this man (LionsPhil) a whaaambulance! Somebody is saying something that he doesn’t like! Oh noes!

            Yeah you’re all about civility, mate.

        • NathanH says:

          I bet you’re being paid by… by… by someone!

          • Kresh says:

            Gosh, secret’s out. Don’t tell mum, would you? She’d revoke my allowance for sure!

        • DiamondDog says:

          “Somebody call this man (LionsPhil) a whaaambulance!”

          “civil discussion”

          “Come back when you’ve matured a bit, would you?”

          Kresh, LionsPhil isn’t defending Blizzard, he’s saying that RPS are just retreading old ground at this point. I mean, are we now going to get a news post every single time the D3 servers are down, forever more?

          Still, well done going off on a rant and then trying to crawl back to the high ground.

          • Kresh says:

            Hey, guess what; “whaambulance” isn’t “twat.” One is funny exaggeration to make a point, the other is being a douchebag because someone pokes fun at you. Learn the difference and you might be able to detect the high ground next time. As they say in baseball; “Swing, and a miss.” Besides, I wasn’t crawling back to the high ground. If you must know, I was clinging by my fingernails. Pity you didn’t recognize my heroic efforts.

            I’m also well aware of what he’s saying. The problem is, he (and you) don’t seem to understand what I’m saying. Which, to repeat because it seems reading comprehension is on the decline; Blizzard failing to “handle their sh*t,” as the saying goes, IS news. Complain all you want about the fact that it’s not what you consider newsworthy, but many of us do. Why? Because with any luck Blizzard will learn from this horrible roll out and do the next one better.

            Also, it’s fun to see the fanatic supporters roll out and cry about how it’s unfair to Blizzard to complain about the colossal c*ck-up that is the D3 roll out. Really, I expected better and I’d never planned to buy the game. I’m actually very disheartened by what has happened to Blizzards reputation because of this one specific game. I thought Blizzard was better than this. I hope the next release proves that they are.

          • PopeJamal says:

            “I mean, are we now going to get a news post every single time the D3 servers are down, forever more?”

            I hope so. I hate to admit it publicly, but I’ve been enjoying the hell out of watching people tell me they love their nutritious meal with a big smile on their faces while they force down their RMT-Turd-and-DRM sandwiches.

            With a Diet Coke.

          • beekay says:

            Kresh: I’m sure your heart’s in the right place, but “waaaahmbulance” is pretty much synonymous with “twat.” Or more accurately, with “I am a twat.”

          • Heresiarch says:

            @DiamondDog, LionsPhil, beekay

            Hey guys, here’s a fun little experiment to try out. First walk up to your mother and tell her “I’m going to call the whaambulance for you” and then call her a “twat”. After you remove her shoes from your collective sphincters, ask her which comment was the one that really set her off. If you come back and tell me it’s anything but the latter, I’ll know you’re lying.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      yeah I’d say the fastest selling game of all time, that also prominently requires an always on internet connection for a dedicated single-player mode, a single player mode that made up the majority of the way its prequels were played, constantly stopping people from playing said single player mode (or at all) because of server-side fuck ups is worth reporting. The old adage applies: if you don’t like it, don’t read it, certainly don’t waste your time posting about it. Plenty of other stuff on RPS that you do like, read that instead.

      • Heresiarch says:

        No, LionsPhil said it isn’t news, so that must mean it isn’t news! Even if D3 is one of the fastest selling PC games of all time with some of the most controversial design choices and restrictive DRM ever implemented, IT’S NOT NEWS!!!


    • max_1111 says:

      Right, so i just created account so i could respond and say your attitude is complete balls.

      Too much bullshit gets to slide on by in this industry now and somebody (even if it is only RPS in the end) needs to keep this crap in the hot seat.
      It’s not okay and it needs to stop.

      There.. said my piece…
      I feel good.

    • Zarunil says:

      Considering how many people bought D3 and are experiencing problems, I’d say D3’s troubles are still newsworthy.

      Not to mention Blizzard’s success/failure will be a factor when other companies decide to implement always-online DRM.

    • Lemming says:

      They aren’t posted articles about the DRM issues just for the hell for it. This is here because it happened. It’s news. Why is that a problem for you?

  20. ix says:

    I came here just to tell you all to stop complaining about it on twitter. Seriously, I didn’t buy the game, but I feel like I’ve been playing it since launch. :-)

    • rocketman71 says:

      Diablo 3 is not the game they thought they had purchased. The ARPG is just a filler :-P

    • MarkN says:

      Very few other people feel like they’ve been playing it since launch, so hats off to you. :)

    • Lemming says:

      If you haven’t been playing it since launch, then you’ve been playing it since launch. :)

  21. gladius2metal says:

    sue ’em

  22. aliksy says:

    Meh. I played some Binding of Isaac (new DLC!) and then read my book when the servers went down. I mean, it sucks, but I’m having trouble keeping a sustained rage about it.

    Now the lousy gear-checks, hit-detection, and “farm moar” design, that I can stay irked about.

  23. Beelzebud says:

    I can’t wait until all games are on the cloud, then we won’t have to put up with this!

    • MythArcana says:

      So, what you are saying, in essence, is that you want ALL games to require Internet?


    • alundra says:

      Yeah yeah, so glad nvidia thinks only a 10% of (PC) gamers will not enjoy this.

  24. doggod says:

    Well it seems that the Korean government wont take this treatment of their citizens

    link to

    Dissatisfied customers who couldn’t log into the game were denied a full refund by Blizzard, which said that it was under no obligation to do so under the game’s contract. The studio claims that it has a strict policy of “no refunds” in the country if a product is used.

    • gladius2metal says:

      interesting. Blizzard claims… well Blizzard, if Terms of Service break law (and customer rights are law in most countries…) those terms or “your policy” are invalid.

    • alundra says:

      Just more proof that the so called EULAs and TOSes won’t hold in court, it’s just a matter of enough citizens uniting against this, or more governments show interest in protecting theirs.

      If only such a huge percentage of governments around the world weren’t screwing in bed with corporate interests.

      I said it, 7 million units sold, yeah, how many of those units represent a satisfied customer, one that will purchase again?

    • Apolloin says:

      In related news Blizzard threatens to destroy Korean society by taking Starcraft servers down for 36 hours unless their demands are met.

      Seriously though, it’ll be interesting to see whether the Korean government or Blizzard flinch first. The South Korean government, of course, the people in North Korea need to master electricity THEN computers and THEN the internet before they can get hooked on PC games.

  25. MythArcana says:

    Consumer fraud at its finest level if you ask me. I have willpower of the Gods, it’s just too bad that most of you fell off the cliff on this one.

    Perhaps when the expansion comes out in 2014, you all will be able to connect like Kotlick intended. For me? My fucking ribs hurt from laughing so hard and I haven’t (nor will I ever again) bought a Buzzard release since LoD. The REAL D2 team is over at Runic. Come join the fun when you get tired of looking at login screens.

    • SirKicksalot says:

      The real D2 team really knocked it out of the park with Hellgate.

      • MrWolf says:


      • Lemming says:

        Thing is, people weren’t bothered about Hellgate because its server model was pretty much D3s…..But Blizzard gets a free pass, apparently.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      If you think this is consumer fraud what did you think of SotS, or Stronghold 4 (or whatever it was). This game at least works and is fully complete (90% of the time).

  26. MarkN says:

    What’s more interesting to discuss than this massive fuck-up? I have no interest in the Diablo franchise, but this clusterfuck around one of the biggest games of the year on any format needs to be discussed because it has huge bearings on the way hogh-profile games are handled in the future.

    This should not be allowed to stand – it’s bloody ludicrous. “Bored now” is a piss-poor lazy response that looks like an apologist attempt to sweep an unacceptable issue under the rug.

    Apologies if that isn’t the case, but as a complete outsider who doesn’t want always-online as standard that’s how it comes across.

    • Moraven says:

      Happened with WoW launch, and other MMO launches. Nothing new, other than there is millions more at launch than past games.

      • Zanchito says:

        It was not right for those games and it is still not right for this one. Also, this is not an MMO.

        • Snakejuice says:

          It is not an MMO gameplay wise but it is an MMO from a technical/netcode standpoint.

          • Milky1985 says:

            Its not an MMO from a technical/netcode standpoint as its simply client server.

            For it to be an MMO the first M is the most important, this is not massivly unless massivly is now defined as 4.

      • kud13 says:

        The fact that it’s not an MMO makes it news-worthy.

        also, the more fuss (and the longer) is raised about this, the greater the chances that other big publishers may decide not to try implementing this always on for single-player idiocy.

  27. marcusfell says:

    The technology just isn’t there.

    Edit: Is Diablo Month over yet?

  28. Ham Solo says:

    Meanwhile at the legion of doom:
    Just waiting for lovely Torchlight II to arrive.

  29. DalamarNL says:

    Well, at least the patch added the #General chat to my single player game…
    Why would Blizzard think anyone would want the option to look at people blabbering about nothing at all as default?

    But hey, they’re “looking into it”.

    Still having fun with the game though :)

    • MrWolf says:

      I like the #General Chat channel. It’s like being back in The Barrens (pre Cataclysm, ‘natch).

      That is, when you can actually, you know, log in….

      • Kresh says:

        There was a reason people turned off Barrens chat. Barrens chat was the Mos Eisley of WoW chat channels.

    • DodgyG33za says:

      My understanding was that they turned on the general chat to ensure there was enough traffic between client and server to prevent a disconnect for some network configurations.

      • BaronVonsnakPak says:

        and now the chat is being taken over by gold-selling bots. so thats one feature of diablo 2 they managed to bring over.

      • Milky1985 says:

        The age old idea of Keep Alive packets of data being transmitted every now and again too simple for fancy old blizzard?

        I did wonder why general chat was enabled when I played last night (and promptly gave up after it spawned me in the midle of 1 yellow mob (freezing, molton) and a group of blues (jailer, vortex) that were impossible to kite and killed me in 5 hits)

  30. Moraven says:

    They should have pulled Copies of Diablo like they Did with WoW launch.

  31. BaronVonsnakPak says:

    anyone else noticing…strange map designs?

    link to

    i also saw, but unfortunately didnt screencap, a dungeon layout in the shape of a swastika.

    • grizzled young man says:

      I’m usually loathe to point these kinds of things out, but yeah, I did notice an unusually large number of cock shaped dungeon elements.

      • BaronVonsnakPak says:

        i brought it up on the chat, and shockingly was met with replies of “you just want moar cocks lawls”.

        and not to mention that on that level alone there were atleast 4 more phallus shaped corridors.

    • theleif says:

      I think Freud would like to have a word with you.

      • BaronVonsnakPak says:

        the word would be “penis”. as in, “Yes, there is a penis in that map design. oh, look, another one.”

  32. Dances to Podcasts says:

    John is a terrible handler of fruits.

  33. grizzled young man says:

    Personally, I’d like to hear Blizzard’s side of the story here. It must be very hard for them, knowing all their paying customers dislike them at the moment. With all the complaining going on around here, I bet their feelings are really hurt!

    Not hurt enough to have spent a few extra million building a working server stack and validating the thing, but that’s not important because shut up.

    If only Blizzard had better customers, this problem would go away. Customers who understand that it would take a company with hundreds of employees and millions of dollars to have delivered a working product on time. Blizzard has merely thousands of employees and billions of dollars, so obviously there is no way they could have made this work without a paid beta. They just don’t have the resources!

    Real gamers bite their lip, bend over and politely take in the ass from huge corporations. Like a real man.

    • Kresh says:


      Can’t. Stop. Giggling. Too. Funny.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      I suspect 90% of their paying customers just load up some other game or read a book or something and get on with their life.

      Twice I have not been able to log in when I wanted to, once I just did something else for a few hours, then went to bed, once I took a bath, read a book, then still couldn’t log on, so I watched a movie with my life.

      Not everyone lives the same high stakes anytime-anything-isn’t-exactly-the-way-I-want-it-everyone-responsible-must-pay-with-neverending-hatred lifestyle a lot of you do.

      • grizzled young man says:

        Ah ok. Thanks Joshua. Should I read the book? Or bite down on it to distract from the pain in my asshole?

        The point of complaints about D3 isn’t that without D3 working, life isn’t worth living because there is nothing else to do.

        The point of complaints about D3 is that Blizzard sold a product that doesn’t work. More importantly, given their expertise in THIS EXACT SORT OF THING, it’s extremely unlikely that they couldn’t have anticipated this clusterfuck.

        In any other situation, if a consumer buys a non-functioning product, they are entitled to consumer protections and refunds. Simple. In any other situation, if a company willingly sold a non-functioning product that they knew wouldn’t be functional, they’d be subject to penalties.

        At the very least, the consumers of that faulty product wouldn’t bully each other into quietly accepting subpar treatment from a vendor. The reason that is important is because, as this incident indicates, the software gaming industry lacks basic consumer protections and those protections will only arise if we make a big stink.

        Why is this so hard to understand? What is this bizarre submissiveness to authority? By now, I’m more frustrated over what a bunch of pathetic sissies some of my fellow gamers are. Do you think that if we silently take it in the ass, that companies like Blizzard will voluntarily unfuck themselves and resolve to never make these mistakes again?

      • Apolloin says:

        “I got in my car to drive to the restaurant for lunch and it crapped out halfway there but, you know, I went for a walk in the moose-infested wilderness and came back and tried the ignition again, it still didn’t work but I just slept in a storm drain and got raped by Squirrels.”

        As someone has said, it’s not that there’s nothing else to do if the game doesn’t work, it’s the fact that they traded real money for it (money which works 100% as designed) and then it doesn’t work.

        • Toberoth says:

          The thought of mooses infesting a place makes me feel uncomfortable.

          • Heresiarch says:

            Really? I was more disturbed at the thought of being gang-raped by a group of squirrels.

  34. Gnoupi says:

    Courage people, the wait is soon over. Torchlight 2 is coming.

  35. rockman29 says:

    So this is going to happen every time a new update comes up or what? I never had these lame problems with Warcraft III.

  36. wcanyon says:

    6.3 million suckers <— FTFY

    Seriously, I hear stuff like this and think: man, you guys paid a premium for this crap?

  37. Joshua Northey says:

    At this point this is almost certainly costing them a tiny bit of future revenue. Too bad for them it didn’t go better.

  38. Jimbo says:

    This really Diablows. Ah haha. Guys.

  39. szendroib says:

    At least they did something with the european servers, tonight was the first night since release that I had 60 latency instead of 250.

    • fish99 says:

      Just depends on the time you play. During 9-11 pm it’s usually over 100ms, the rest of the time I’m seeing 40-60 ms.

      I still sometimes get hit when on-screen it looks like my character has avoided an attack, I dunno if that’s latency or the hit box issue some people were complaining about.

      • MrMud says:

        This is actually a design decision. (there is a quote from JW but im to lazy to find it).
        The reason is that they dont want players to “game” slow mobs by running in to do one hit and then running out.

        • Archipelagos says:

          That can’t be right. They purposely slowed down the game? No. That can’t be right. Can it? No. No studio is that insane, right?

        • fish99 says:

          That’s pretty poor IMO, to deliberately take out one of the few skill elements the game has.

  40. SketchyGalore says:

    Are we really going to report every time this happens?

  41. malkav11 says:

    What’s weird is I’ve seen people arguing that the always online requirement -improves- patching! In what universe is that?

  42. Caiman says:

    Diablo 3 and Error 37 stories are about as interesting as Skyrim and “arrow to the knee” jokes.

    • Shadram says:

      I used to get annoyed by ‘arrow to the knee’ jokes like you, but then I took an arrow to the knee.

  43. woodsey says:

    They don’t sound lazy at all. What they sound like is a bunch of greedy idiots.

  44. Khann says:

    Please don’t stop reporting on this.

    It is a problem, and while repetitive, needs to be repeated. Just because you’re “bored” of a problem doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist anymore.

  45. Soccermom says:

    “Now a more than 80-page forum thread is finally seeing claims of successful logins – but with swift disconnects shortly after …”

    The main post on the issue is now 1336 pages (LOL) with 26000 people raging :)

    link to

  46. zagor says:

    that was a half hour issue..
    why does rps makes such a buzz about it is beyond me
    rps should appreciate this game more ,because D3 is a prime example that PC games can sell more and are better than most of its console counterparts

    • fish99 says:

      It was 7-8 hours.

    • Kresh says:

      RPS should appreciate it more? This is an opinion site, not a “Gee, I better say nice things else Blizzard won’t mail us a check (or your preferred imaginary review-site bribe)” site. It’s why it’s a nicer place than most. Well, that and the pun threads. Those tie me into stitches.

      RPS is helping us to be better informed consumers. Never mind we’re becoming better informed about a leisure/ luxury product, but these things trickle down to all other aspects. People getting tired of their unsatisfactory playtime (when they get some) with their $60+ AAA title will also likely start to pay attention when other “service” companies give them the big shaft-a-rooney instead of performing as promised.

      Really, this stretches across more than just gaming. Plenty of western civilization is seeing a “meh, we got their money, screw ’em” attitude from companies. If Blizzard is the company that gets people off their asses and jerks them out of their meek sheeple attitudes and stops them from blindly accepting whatever sh*t they get handed in exchange for their hard-earned money (at least what’s left after the government takes their generous cut), then it’s awesome.

      As the kids say; Moar plox.

      • zagor says:

        this is a pc site and its certainly a NEWS site as well(the best site in news department imo)
        also the reason D3 is having a DRM nad online only is the piracy
        D3 sold beyond good,and the reason is because no one could pirate it(and prob wont for a long time)
        Also Blizzard always wanted to make Diablo game with strong emphasis on online

  47. The13thRonin says:

    The game is nowhere near good enough to warrant this amount of struggle to play it.

    The saddest thing is that because it’s Blizzard they get away with it because most people are all too happy to make excuses for them.

    For a game which has been in development around about a decade to be less accessible and generally worse than its predecessor is a tragedy of epic proportions.

  48. The13thRonin says:

    If this is ‘the future’ of PC gaming then we are in for some hard times.

    • Vinraith says:

      A true dark age for PC gaming, actually, right down to the fact that when it’s over none of the games produced during it will be recoverable.

    • kud13 says:

      Thankfully with the dark times of Mass Effect 3’s ending, Blizzard’s bid to take over the Internet by forcing us all onto its servers, and GSC shutting down, we’ve also had the Kickstarter wave, the free release of Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition, and (fingers crossed) a worthy successor to Deus Ex in the guise of Dishonored.