On June 1, Diablo IV’s early access began and it just worked. No ubiquitous error codes. No server crashes. No major bugs. Some players on console are encountering a nasty license code issue with a bizarre workaround, but more broadly, and especially on PC, things appear to be going surprisingly smoothly. And after the debacle that was Diablo III’s launch, many fans can’t believe it.
“I just completed Act 1 at level 16, stayed connected the whole time and not even a bit of lag,” wrote one player on the Diablo IV subreddit. “Settings 150fps at all times outside cutscenes, no rubber banding, no [disconnects],” wrote another. Multiple threads are filled with players shocked at the lack of queue times and the stability once logged in.
That’s in stark contrast to when the last Diablo shipped. Diablo III, which arrived first on PC back in 2012, plagued fans with an “error 37” screen at login. There was no real info about what exactly the error meant, and as one of the first big “always-online” games, players were outraged that they were at the mercy of Blizzard’s servers. “I don’t even want to play with other people!” wrote former Kotaku editor Kirk Hamilton at the time. “I just wanted to click some stuff to death before I went to bed, you know?”
That’s not to say that Diablo IV’s launch has been completely free of unexpected snafus. Players on consoles, and particularly PlayStation 5, have been combating an “invalid license” issue that prevents them from getting past the main menu. They soon discovered a workaround that included buying digital currency from the Diablo IV shop.
Another better fix seemingly requires just downloading any new free-to-play game from the PlayStation Store in order to get the license error sorted out. Blizzard is currently investigating the problem, and it’s unclear if it’s caused by the game or how the console networks are configured.
And of course there are some complaints on PC as well, though it seems to be isolated to issues with particular hardware configurations, drivers, and other wrinkles unique to the benefits and complexities that come with PC gaming. Unlike some other rough PC launches recently, like The Last of Us Part I and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, there doesn’t appear to be any consistent problems with optimization, framerate performance, or crashes.
We’ll see if all of this changes as more players start logging on over the weekend. The biggest test will come on June 6 though when access to Diablo IV opens up for all versions of the game. That’s when the floodgates will be raised and we’ll see if all of Blizzard’s work around the multiple open betas and staggered launch windows has really paid off.