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The “3” in Diablo 3 Stands for Days

With the recent 1.0.3 patch, folks who buy Diablo 3 directly from Blizzard’s digital storefront may have to wait upwards of 72 hours in order to have the game switch over from the Starter Edition to the Full Edition or, as I like to call it, the goddamn version I paid for 56 hours ago.

Now, there are a few things to keep in mind, and yes, I’m being somewhat hyperbolic here, so here are some grains of salt with which you can read that statement:

  • Blizzard is saying that 72 hours is the upper max for the switch to full ownership to be flipped. Most people will be able to play the game they paid for, following accepted rules of commerce that have stood for over a hundred thousand years, in less time than that.
  • The starter edition still lets you play the game. I mean, sure, you can’t progress past level 13 or go beyond Act I and you certainly can’t play with your friends who are probably rocking the full edition because they got in on the game before the patch. But, why would you want to do that any way? Friends are overrated. Plus, Blizzard knows that once the full game is unlocked, you will be spending every waking moment playing it, so this is a way to limit your interactions with the game and get your affairs in order. Oh, you can’t use the Auction House either, but seriously, if you can’t go past level 13 or Act I, what the hell do you need to buy in the first place?
  • This whole thing has been done to prevent “fraud” and a negative user experience for all players. I understand completely. It’s hard to have a negative user experience when you don’t have any user experience, or have a severely limited user experience.
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Granted, you can still buy the game in physical form, if you want to buy games like a troglodyte. I have no idea how this patch affects physical copies, given that even your physical copy has an online portion, but from what I’m reading, it shouldn’t affect it at all.

For now.


Brandon loves games, which shouldn't be a surprise given where you're reading this. He has written for GameShark, The Escapist and G4, and made them all less relevant as a result.

11 thoughts to “The “3” in Diablo 3 Stands for Days”

  1. I don’t understand how this is supposed to prevent fraud. I’m guessing it’s to inconvenience the fraudsters because they’ll be out of a working copy for three days after getting banned and having to buy a new copy? But they probably have multiple copies going on at once, or a freaking farm if they’re a big enough operation. Losing one copy for three days isn’t going to slow them down very much, and I bet it will piss off legitimate customers more.

    Despite the fact that I hate Diablo 3 on principle for forcing an online connection all the time, I actually had to give Blizzard kudos for launching a digital download version directly from them on the same day as the physical game. I’m officially revoking that kudos for now.

  2. It prevents fraud because people get their accounts hacked or get their credit cards stolen, these accounts are then used to purchase diablo 3 and tie it to the account if it doesn’t already exist, or the stolen credit cards are used to make new accounts and then purchase diablo 3. These accounts paid for with stolen money then enter the system and are used to bot/transfer/sell in game items. Does this prevent fun for individual players? Probably not as much as Blizzard is getting hammered by random idiots who lose their credit card information and then they have to return money to cards once they manage to find out that the purchase was fraudulent.

    The real incredible thing I’m seeing is Blizzard actually taking such a hard stance against botters/cheaters etc. It does seem as if they are putting that before anything else, but I guess their current philosophy is that people can’t have fun if there are botters and gold sellers out there.

    Do I agree with this hard line stance? I’m really not sure.
    Would an offline mode have solved this? Potentially, but it all hinges on the assumption that they could not have fully prevented an offline made character from being put online at some point IMO.
    You do have to wonder about their invasive stance on how people who bought the game play the game, it’s really intense for a single player game.

    That said, I’m still having a blast and loving the game.

    1. If Blizzard writes their game properly, there should be no way to get an offline character potentially hacked to all hell into the online mode. The characters for online should be stored on the server side. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s what they did with D2. The problem was that people found glitches and exploits in the game in online to dup items and such. The online mode could be exactly the same as the game is now, but there should be an offline mode totally segregated from it.

  3. 1) Why is the screenshot of a Warcraft 3 mod?
    2) Couldn’t you just buy the full digital version and download it?

    1. 1) Maybe Brandon is giving away free cookies to anyone that noticed. Or he’s subtlety hinting that WC3 is working fine offline atm.

      2) You can, but that would require another account if you opt’d into the “Guest Pass” to try out Diablo 3’s demo (aka Starter Edition). So when you try to purchase D3 from the BlizCo web store on said B.Net account, it’ll still flag it as an upgrade & 72hrs in the penalty box.

      I’m guessing it has more to do with the RMAH, gold farming & money laundering (w/w/o stolen accounts in the equation).

      1. I blame Google image search. I put in Diablo 3 and that image popped out.

        That, and you now get cookies, AngryOgre. I’d mail them to you but I don’t think they’d survive the trip. I will think of you fondly while I eat them.

          1. It’s a Mister B classic. Keeping you all on your toes, for sure.

            72 hours seems a bit harsh. I think the world could lie with upgrades having a delay, but not three days. Blizzard fail on this choice.

        1. I’ve played a Diablo III monk halfway through Nightmare Mode and a wizard to the end of the first act on normal, and I honestly did not notice that screenshot was of a different game. You don’t even see the graphics after the first couple palette swaps.

          The farther I go, the more certain I become that Diablo III has meticulously engineered the dullest, most soulless game play this side of a Farmville clone.

          1. They’re making it even duller and soullesser by balancing everything so damn carefully. In a single-player game, if you find a cool exploit, then yay, go use it and have fun. In Diablo 3 they will nerf your character build faster than a bot’s backend penetration of your credit card information.

  4. Who’s still waiting to buy Diablo 3 besides botters, hackers, and smurfs?

    Ok, so I know one person who might buy it, but now they have a starter edition to try first.

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