Gamers who purchase Diablo 3 digitally will have to wait for up to three days for access to the whole game.
As of yesterday's release of patch 1.0.3, Blizzard has introduced a restriction that locks new digitally purchased copies of Diablo 3 into the cut-back Starter Edition version of the game for up to 72 hours (though apparently "sometimes less"), as part of an effort to tackle credit card fraud.
The 'Starter Edition' is the fancy name for its 'demo mode', basically, and restricts you in these ways:
- Act I up to the Skeleton King is available
- Level 13 cap
- Matchmaking available only with other Starter Edition players
- No Auction House access (Real Money or Gold)
- Global Play is not available. Players attempting to connect to Diablo III Starter Edition in a region other than their Battle.net Account's home region will receive Error 12. See the Global Play support article for more information.
Blizzard addressed angry fans on its forums with the following explanation for the move: "Outside of the issue that we fixed, digital purchases do require a review period before they kick over from Starter to Full editions. We apologize for the inconvenience, but it is a necessary step to combat fraud and other malicious activities that can weaken everyone's play experience."
It added, "The delay is no longer than three days, and is often much quicker than that. Hang tight."