Nearly a week on from one of the biggest releases of the year, Diablo 3, the servers provided by Blizzard are finally becoming stable enough to play for large bouts of time. However, due to the popular nature of the game, and in-between errors anywhere from number 37 to number 3006, the game isn’t always available to play, and if you’re anything near addicted, suddenly a lot of spare time opens up to you. Instead of sitting there twiddling your thumbs and refreshing Blizzard’s server status page, I’m here to help give you things to do.
1. Play Diablo 1 and 2
The Diablo series is quite an old, deep series that has a huge amount of lore and backstory to it. Starting from Diablo 1, a game taking place in Old Tristram under the Cathedral, where you journey down to the depths of hell to take on Diablo, working through Diablo 2 and battling other Prime Evils, the previous instalments have plenty to offer someone waiting for their errors to fix themselves. Not only do they offer hours of fun and enjoyment, they have so much click-y potential that if you don’t have carpal tunnel yet, you are definitely certain to get it.
2. Play another game entirely
It might be a slightly-overlooked fact nowadays, but there exist games that aren’t Diablo 3. While this is quite a shocking revelation, some of them are even quite good. If you’re looking to build up the stamina in your right hand (not that most people need it), games similar to Diablo 3 exist, such as Torchlight (where a great-looking sequel is in the works) and Titan Quest (which is Diablo but in ancient Greece/China/whatever). If you’re looking for something to purely fill in the time between server maintenance and downtime, Tetris is a tried and true classic.
Or, you can try and peel your friends away from their monitors for a bit and try and play a bit of retro, split-screen multiplayer. You know - with real people, at a common, pre-determined location. Maybe a little bit of Mario Party/Kart/Tennis. With your… friends. Like, real people. Yeah.
3. Theory-craft your character for maximal DPS
The servers are down; you’ve been doing Mephisto runs in Diablo 2 for a few hours now and tire of the down-time. You start to sweat, lightly at first, but it increases with your shakes and spasms. You know what is causing such a problem – withdrawal. A small problem at first, but as it looks more and more likely Blizzard are taunting you with the downtime, you need a fix.
What’s the logical choice? The previous Diablo games aren’t cutting it anymore, so you log-on to your favourite fan-site, and boot up the skill calculator. You shiver in anticipation, and nervously click your class. MIN/MAX-ing heroes is the timeless past-time of any online game; being able to brag to your friends and online companions that you’ve got your wizard robe and hat and your +8 Sword of the Infinite is what friendships are built on in today’s age. Plus, everyone likes a guy who brags about how, after 2500 hours of farming one creep that has a 1/100 chance to spawn, he may be able to get an extra 4 DPS. Raid boss status right there, folks.
4. Complain endlessly about error 36/75/3006/etc.
Look, guys, contrary to popular belief, you are the only one experiencing error 36/75/3006/etc. So, the logical solution, being the nice person you are, is to tell as many people you can about how you’re having problems playing the game.
Tell everyone on your Facebook, on Skype, go down to the shopping centre and picket with a sign. It is your civil duty, as a gamer and as a Blizzard fan, to alert as many people as you can about this issue, because the more people know about the issues, the faster Blizzard will work to fix them. That’s how it works, isn’t it? Blizzard have a brilliant track-record with this sort of thing; their servers are never down on the release day of a new title. And the only way to make sure it never happens again is to tell everyone about it. Even though there might be another post on reddit or the Blizzard forums, your problem is the important one, and don’t let anyone ever tell you differently - Blizzard always act in the interests of their fans. Right…?
5. Go outside and do something completely unrelated to Diablo
Look, I could be crazy, but hear me out. Going outside is good for you! You get sunlight, can smell the flowers, and be reminded how delicious fresh air is. There is life outside of waiting for servers to come back up, and it can be pretty good for you, I think. In-between cardiovascular activity and Vitamin D, your body will thank you before you return to your cave and play a marathon 4 hours of Diablo 3 until the servers go down again.
Or you can cop out, buy a sword and go slaughter the residents of your town as a Paladin of Zakarum*.
By Thomas Robinson - Bio
*I do not actually recommend you do that. Sleep on it first; if it still sounds like a good idea in the morning, well, you didn’t get the idea from me.