Diablo III’s servers are still down this morning after patchy service yesterday, but don’t let teething troubles spoil one of the year’s most deserving games, says Patrick Garratt.
Go to the Blizzard forums and post about how Diablo III’s downtime allowed you to reconnect with those closest to you, greatly fulfilling your life and helping you become a generally better person.
It was inevitable. More than 2 million people pre-ordered Diablo III for its launch yesterday, and many more attended over 8,000 midnight release events. The weight of traffic instantly killed the game’s servers, prompting “error 37″ to stop many logging in, and there’s a message on the check-in screen this morning, in the EU at least, that says the game’s offline and thanks for being patient. We should be back up by 11.45pm PST.
The backlash is tedious this time. Anyone who’s been playing online games for any length of time will know that the first few days of any popular release are going to be patchy. And after waiting for nearly 12 years for a full sequel to Diablo II, a beloved PC game by all accounts, it’s not hard to understand why Blizzard is struggling to make everything work properly. Play was intermittent yesterday, but many were levelling for hours. One guy even finished it. It’s not as if it wasn’t there; Blizzard just needs to do some fiddling so millions of people can play it at once without a smoking hole being left where the company’s Irvine campus currently stands. This could take hours, or even a couple of days.
Here’s five things you could be doing while Blizzard’s trying to make their most amazing addition to the action-RPG genre bulletproof.
- Shut up. Seriously, stop whining. Making this stuff work for a rush of millions is verging on rocket science. It happens for pretty much every major online game – including Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 – and you should be used to it by now. Just be patient and let Blizzard fix it. Save your bile for something that actually matters, like the fact you have little chance of achieving your life goals because you can’t stop playing computer games.
- Make a cup of tea. Microsoft suggested PS3 owners should spend the time GTA IV took to install on the console to make some tea, and it’s not a bad piece of advice. Everyone loves tea. Try a herbal variety, something soothing like camomile. Inhale the flowery vapours and feel your entitlement rage dissipate with the rising of the morning sun.
- Take some exercise. That’s right. Stop sitting there repeatedly trying, and failing, to get a game, get off your ass and go for a walk. Maybe break into a run. Use the time and head space to formulate class strategies and daydream about the sheer joy of finally getting a link to Blizzard’s servers and moving nothing but your eyes and fingers for about 300 hours as you click yourself to demon-busting fame. Get back, have a shower, try, and fail, to log-in again, smile happily and say, “It’s fine! I’m sure it’ll work later!”
- Do some work. Radical, yes, but doing some work while you’re waiting for Blizzard to engineer one of the largest game projects yet created will make you feel better about your life. Write something. Build something. Dig something in the garden. Organise something. Pay some tax. Make a todo list and do some of it. As you cross off the items you’ll feel your anxieties fall away, making it less likely for you to behave like a child on the internet and have a cry over the fact you may have to wait a little while before you can play a video game.
- Spend some time with your family. Fucking madness, obviously, but use this time positively by reading to your kids, or sitting down and having a chat with your mum, or helping your dad wash the car, or cooking something nice for your spouse. Stun family members by speaking to them in coherent sentences. Look them in the eye and tell them you love them. Give them a hug. Then go to the Blizzard forums and post about how Diablo III’s downtime allowed you to reconnect with those closest to you, greatly fulfilling your life and helping you become a generally better person.
Do all that. Then when you’re finally able to get a game of Diablo III, you’ll feel happy you had to wait. Turn that frown upside-down, soldier. You’ll be murdering Hell’s happy bastards before you know it, and you’ll feel all the better for it when you are.