UPDATE: Blizzard have issued a statement regarding restrictons on digital purchases of the game. Apparently, the level-13 cap was not intentional, nor was the fact that players are finding themselves unable to progress pass Act 1 of the game. They’re currently working on a fix for these two problems, but confirm that the other digital restructions will remain in place. They have also stated that these restrictions are usually lifted within a day. Only in some cases does it take up to 72-hours for for the restrictions to be removed as payment is verified. These restrictions are to help deter credit card fraud, according to Blizzard. You can find the post by Blizzard HERE.
The launch of Diablo III hasn’t exactly gone smoothly for Blizzard, what with the bucket-load of issues that plagued the games release and the controversy surrounding their introduction of a Real-Money auction place hampering what should have otherwise been a good day for gaming. Now it seems that Blizzard are going to be getting dragged into the spotlight once more, and for the wrong reasons as they’ve announced that as of the latest 1.0.3 update they’re introducing restrictions on those that purchase a digital copy of Diablo III rather than a physical copy.
Purchase and install your digital copy of the game and you’ll be restricted to what Blizzard are calling the Starter Edition of the game for up to 72-hours as the payment for the game clears. So, exactly what does being restricted to the Starter Edition mean? Well, it means that you’ll be restricted to level 13 and unable to access certain features of the game, as detailed below:
- 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.
According to the Blizzard this is to help combat piracy, but really all it’s doing is stopping people from getting full access to the game for 72-hours, a game they gave up their hard-earned cash to play. Essentially, for the first 72-hours, you’re playing the demo version of Diablo III, rather than the full retail release.
The Starter Edition of the game originally began as a way of gamers letting their friends try out a limited version of the game. You could simply hand out a Guest Pass to a friend who could then go and download the Starter Edition of the game to try out, and if they liked it they could upgrade to the full title.
So, what do you think of Blizzard’s new restrictions on those that download the game? Do you believe them to be justified or do you think they’re draconian methods that are simply restricting players for no reason?