Despite one unexpectedly long down time, all of 30 minutes long and which among other things allowed me to get my own Error 37, Diablo III seemed to be having a good night.
Hopefully they are getting things reinforced for what will no doubt be the extra heavy load that will come with the weekend.
When things were back up, I put in the Battle.net Battletags of a couple of people I knew as friend invites. Battletags are the “not quite RealID” alternative that Blizzard came up with when it became clear that not everybody wanted their real name made public when playing an online game.
Having sent out the invites, I went AFK for a bit. I sure as hell wasn’t going to exit the game! I’ve seen my error 37 message, I’m in the club, and now I want to move on and play the game.
When I came back I found one of my old friends… both “old” as in I have known him for nearly 20 years and “old” as in very close to my own age… in the game with me. This was kind of cool because I had played the original Diablo online with him way back when that was the hot new game.
And with somebody in the game with me, I got to sort out a bit of how multiplayer works.
I was, for example, able to jump right out to my friend Xyd by clicking on his banner in town. This action also earned me an achievement, because this is Blizzard.
Dropping in and out of somebody’s game seemed very easy. This might keep me from posting my Battletag on the blog for all and sundry. But if you have friends you want to play with, it is easy to find them. An upside of the always logged in I suppose, unless you don’t want to be found.
The difficulty of all the mobs went up when he joined. They did not go up as much as they used to back in Diablo II however. I recall that being a shock back in the day. We used to play Diablo, where the mobs were the same with one to four people, at widely different levels, each person off in their own corner but all able to chat while we played. Then came Diablo II and we tried that and all got pummeled.
We each lost our hired minions. With multiplayer, you do not need a helper. We did get to keep Leah, as she is a quest mob. But there was only one of her, and she does spout some inane dialog when things are quiet. She kept going on about an Inn she wanted to open.
I am not sure, but the game may have sync’d up our quests. When I got back to my computer and joined Xyd, we were both on the same stage of the same quest. This was either incredible luck… well, we were both level 10 at the time, so maybe not that incredible… or the game does something. But I am not sure which.
And it was pretty fun. Xyd is a witch doctor while I was playing as Vikund the barbarian. We ran around and beat the crap out of things and generally moved ahead in the game.
Xyd and Vikund running around
Playing with somebody else made me start to look around for what else the game does to support multiplayer. The only item, aside from the awkward (for the instance group) party size that I spotted right away was an apparent lack of built-in voice communications. That seems like an odd oversight, given that Blizzard has built-in voice in other games already and the “always gotta log in” nature of Diablo III.
But other than that, things went well. Hopefully I will find more time to play with friends online.
Diablo III is not just a single player game.