Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diablo 3 Aftermath

The Diablo III launch party at the Irvine Spectrum in Irvine, CA
A week has passed since Blizzard has released their most anticipated title Diablo III, with much celebration and frustration. Blizzard set up many "launch parties" where Diablo enthusiasts got together to experience the opening of the iconic computer game. The main event was held at the Irvine Spectrum in Irvine California where blizzard's headquarters reside. Others promptly waited in line at the gaming store they pre-ordered from to receive their copy. For people like me who pre-ordered a digital copy, I was sitting back on my computer chair with a cup of coffee eagerly waiting to log in. Little did anyone know, the horrendous amount of traffic the servers had to handle was an understatement. For most online gamers, launch day for a big name like Blizzard is asking for server overload issues. Knowing this, many individuals including myself, inevitably expected for the worst. What many had experienced was beyond their expectations, having login issues for hours after launch as well as servers going down periodically in between causing major down time.

Launch Party Coverage by Gaming Illustrated

The login errors people were having quickly rose to internet fame, grabbing top trending on social media websites such as Twitter and online communities like Reddit. Reddit in particular had a sub-reddit (a sub-community if you will) that participants actively discussed the content of the game even before it was released. Blizzard released the game in multiple countries including the Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and the list goes on. It was a historical event for many gamers on the basis that many had grown up playing the first two games in the franchise. On an earlier post, I explained the possible reasons as to why this game had such a influential impact on the global gaming community. One of the points brought up was the idea of "nostalgia", being a "gateway" online game for many present day gamers. Playing the game for almost a week now, I have never played a game that emphasized team work and cooperation along with the joy of playing with friends so pleasingly. This synergy creates a dynamic space for critical thinking and compelling gameplay. I interviewed a fellow UCSD student Brian Im, to see what he thought of the game.

"I've always loved the Diablo games, especially the second one since that one was the one that I had the most closest relationship with. I would remember when I used to come home from school and play with my friends until my mom yelled at us for playing on the computer too long. It just reminds me of those days when we were young and carefree that makes this game so fun for me." 
-- Brian Im, fourth year UCSD economics student

After talking to many other gamers online and in person, they seem to have a general sense that the game's intuitive collaborative play and nostalgia kept them coming back for more. Whatever it may be, Blizzard has done something right. Beyond the server connection issues and reoccurring server maintenance downtimes, they have successfully dominated the online gaming industry at the time being. From the casual gamer to the hardcore enthusiast, this game appeals to a plethora of individuals for different reasons aside from the content. Now go on and plunge into the world of Sanctuary, cause' evil is back!

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