This was especially troubling due to the game's 24/7 online requirement D2R Items. Although Diablo has the option of playing multiplayer, you can complete the entire game in your own time if you want to. There was no reason players couldn't simply fight their way through the game on their own, regardless of whether servers were functioning or not.

The offline mode, which you could do in the first two games, was not an option. As such, eager players were unable to make any gains whatsoever as Blizzard sorted out the server problems. This issue wasn't entirely by surprise: Prior to the release and based upon the beta playable players had already expressed concern about the requirement to be online 24/7.

"Right now, in the condition it's in, it's a fundamentally damaged product" said John Walker for RPS. "A single-player game that won't suspend, and should you keep it running, it will shut you out and stop your progress."

But Blizzard stayed the course and the launch-day catastrophe was the eventual comeuppance. In addition to the frustration, the requirement for always-online seemed to be linked to another online feature, and one that was the most crucial to the game's woes during its early years.

The Auction House

Blizzard had a problem. In the previous Diablo game, the capability to trade items had created the possibility of a black market for loot. Fans looking for the latest equipment would pay, but this also left the possibility of unscrupulous third-party sellers and price-fixing. Blizzard knew the risks of an unregulated, unofficial marketplace for Diablo products and thought they could have a better experience with a legitimateand regulated one.

"The auction house came out of the need to legitimateize third party trading , in order that players can be able to engage in trading, not visit third-party sites and consequently decrease fraud, scams spamming, and profits from hacking into the game, creating dupes, etc.," former game D2R items cheap director Jay Wilson said in an interview with DiabloII.