Ahead of tomorrow’s Diablo IV open beta, Blizzard warns that—as was the case last weekend—players will likely suffer from long waits and other server issues as even more folks than last weekend all queue up to try to play the super-hyped sequel.
In case you missed it, yeah, upcoming dungeon-crawling action-RPG Diablo IV had a closed beta last week, and it was really, really good, offering just the kind of loot-driven action I crave. But to gain access to last weekend’s test, players needed a code, which could only be received by either pre-ordering the game or by purchasing a KFC chicken sandwich. (We live in a weird world…) But things were rocky due to the long queue times many players faced right out of the gate, and laggy gameplay once they got in. Worse, some reported that after waiting in a queue for an extended amount of time they’d get kicked after just a few minutes of gameplay. Eventually, experiences improved. But with even more people expected to pour in for this weekend’s completely open beta, Blizzard is warning folks to expect more problems.
On the official Diablo forums, Blizzard community manager Adam Fletcher posted “expectations” players should have going into the second beta weekend. And first up, Blizzard wants people to be ready for “lengthy queue times,” especially on Friday when the servers will first come online. The company is expecting a lot of people this weekend, due to the beta being completely open to all, and reminded folks that while these issues can be “frustrating,” it’s all part of the process.
“This past weekend helped us to forecast the capacity we expect this weekend,” explained Fletcher, “And we will be using that capacity to intentionally stress our systems in preparation for launch. In summary, while we know it can be frustrating, we need queues to properly stress test our services and we are designing to ensure we have them some of the time.”
Fletcher also explained that as Blizzard monitors the number of people playing the beta and any in-game issues they may experience, there may be times when the company will “take the game offline temporarily” to fix stuff.
In general, Blizzard wants to make it clear that this is a beta and that means various aspects likely won’t work properly, or at all. The game will break, servers will melt. This is all part of the process and while it might be annoying, Blizzard says these betas are “incredibly useful” for the team working on the game.
“They allow us to test things at a scale that we cannot test on our own, like server capacity, class balance, usability, accessibility, etc.,” said Fletcher. “This information is invaluable, ensuring that your experience at launch is as smooth as it can be.”
You can download the Diablo IV open beta now, before the servers go live tomorrow, March 24. Meanwhile, the full game is still a few months out. It doesn’t launch until June 6.