Blizzard Clarifies Public Games Confusion Since 1.3 Release

In recent weeks there has been a lot of discussion about the lack of public games which has led to cries of “the game is dying” or “everyone has left”. Just to make sure we all understand how the public game numbers work, Blizzard has clarified how the system changed after v1.3.

According to Blizzard, the matchmaking system was changed so less new public games are created when matchmaking and players are filtered more efficiently into existing games to fill them up. These games, once full, do not show up as open public games when queried. To the player it looks like there are now less public games, (and therefore less players), when in fact there is probably the same amount.

We’ve recently seen a lot of questions from players regarding the number displayed in the Public Games window — specifically, what the number represents and why it’s changed so drastically since patch 1.0.3 released.

Here’s the skinny:

1) What does the number displayed in the Public Games window actually represent?
The number that displays in the Public Games window represents the total number of games currently available to your hero, based on your game region and mode (Hardcore heroes qualify for a different set of Public Games). The number does not represent private games or Public Games that already have four players. Players hanging out in the character menus or using the auction house are not considered here either.

2) Why did that number suddenly change so much after patch 1.0.3?
Prior to patch 1.0.3, the in-game matchmaking system would often create new Public Games instead of filling existing games to their maximum capacity of four players. That configuration was to help reduce server load within individual games (fewer players, less load); however, it caused situations where players were rarely being placed into full games, and our goal has always been to promote the four player cooperative experience in Diablo III.

In patch 1.0.3 we made some changes so that the matchmaking system would attempt to fill Public Games instead of creating new ones whenever possible. As a result, we’re seeing more filled Public Games than ever before (you may have noticed this yourself while playing), but it also means that the number displayed in the Public Games window generally isn’t as high as it was prior to patch 1.0.3. As explained above, this is due to the fact that the value only reflects Public Games which aren’t yet full.

We understand that labeling this number as “In Games” in the Public Games window can be confusing, so we’re currently looking into ways to make the number and what it represents more clear. In the meantime, we continue to closely monitor both the state of the game service and your questions and comments about Diablo III.

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    36 thoughts on “Blizzard Clarifies Public Games Confusion Since 1.3 Release

    1. Another hater myth debunked.

      Put it in with the invented session poofing theories and the fake duping videos.

      As to the guys pointing to Xfire playing sessions: EVERY new game will loose players after a few weeks and the initial launching period.

      Why? Xfire is a FIXED non random group of a defined number of players at a game’s launch.

      To have a real sample you would need a CHANGING and RANDOM sample every few weeks to have a real scientific based sample.

      As an example: Xfire is like a fixed club group that starts playing a game. Once the game is launched, the limited and fixed number of Xfire doesn’t change enough to randomly measure new players that do not belong to the club sample.

      Thats the reason btw why Forbes – who use a random scientific and changing sample – measured that WoW is 3 x more played than LoL, while on Xfire players LoL is 3x more played than WoW.

      So again, the haters were wrong.

      It always surprises me why Blizzard takes so long to point out the obvious and easy to explain facts.

      • take it easy there fanboy. no reason to be upset that other people don’t like D3 as much as you do. don’t you have a raid to attend to now?

        • Wtf happened ? Did he recommend himself 28 times or sth ?

          He says reasonable stuff, gives good examples and that guy just replies with “LOL FANBOY FUCK OFF”…

          Seriously ?

          • What happened is something called “extremism”. It isn’t only in religion that that sort of thing happens. The OP started with the provocation using the word “haters”. It’s natural for the reply to be stronger. People should be more open minded and respect other people’s opinions. I can love or not D3, but it doesn’t make a hater or a fanboy. We all have the right to an opinion, good or bad.

          • quote me where i said “LOL fanboy ****off”
            you just jelly of my +1s, get over it kiddo

            • ” —take it easy there fanboy—-. no reason to be upset that other people don’t like D3 as much as you do. don’t you have a raid to attend to now?”

              There. i just quoted you saying fanboy.

      • Blizzard is putting its spin on the declining numbers. It does not mean people are not forsaking the game in droves.

        • It must be really painful to see all your trolling efforts have no impact on the top Pc sales charts 2 months after launch…:)

          Also the Diablo 3 haters seem to lack some reading skllls when Blizzard explains things.

          Or should I remind you about the few hundred lying troll posts on session poofing ?

          Get over it, d3 is a hit and millions of people play it as it is shown on every half decent tracking tool on the web.

          I think enough is enough: you hate the company.

          No further explanation required.

      • It’s a pure sophism.

        Explaining why XFIRE numbers are not representative (which may be true) in NO CASE does that demonstrate that D3 is not losing players.

      • I’m pretty sure that “EVERY new game will loose players after a few weeks and the initial launching period”, regardless of whether you look at the Xfire statistics, or if you had a mean to count the play time of everyone.

        I’m also not sure why being a “fixed sample” is that much of a problem (if the sample is big enough) : if you could monitor everyone, that would also be a fixed “sample”. It seems to me that the problem is one of the representativity of the sample to begin with, not whether it’s fixed or not.

    2. I haven’t played D3, but are people liking the join game system? D2 certainly had issues with the random join game list being cluttered with garbage, but not having any say in what your game is, or what you can see seems even worse to me.

      • The harder the content the less number of players who join open public games.

        It is easy to track’ in inferno mode you see a lot less public games than in normal or nightmare or hell.

        It is normal most players use closed (friends play only) games in these upper levels. These private games don’t show up in the public stats.

        My experience is that I join public games up till Hell.

        I only joined 2 public games in Inferno and they fell apart rather quickly.

        The replacement factor is great though so you are almost always playing with 3 other dudes.

    3. Does not change the fact that almost no one plays the game anymore, first few weeks after release 50k people in public games, and now 2k.

      No buyers for anything on the rmah, and only good stuff that sells on the gah is top end stuff worth 10+ mil , as all the casuals stopped playing.

      Nice way of trying to talk your way out of it blizz, game is fail and almost no one plays it anymore.
      Fire Jay Wilson

      • Obviously your reading skill is VERY limited.

        Games after patch 1.3 are filled with 4 players constantly, while before 1.3,most never filled at all.

        Also the higher the difficulty (people progress) the lesser the number of open public games.

        As private, solo or Ah play is not even measured …l dear Sir … you were owned BIG time.


          • The only ones crying are the haters here who seem to get beaten every time when another myth of failure is debunked and proven wrong …

            Or should we go back to the session poofing lies ?

            Have a nice day, while we play Diablo 3 with millions around the world πŸ™‚

    4. This explanation was very helpful.

      Public games seem much, much better recently. I finished Act 1 NM last night with a new WD, and we always had a full team of 4 players. If someone left, they were replaced immediately.

      Pre-1.0.3 it was frustratingly common to only have 2 players in every game.

    5. Even on the fixed and non random sample of Xfire, the number of players are above or on par with WoW Xfire player numbers.

      So western players on Xfire are comparable between WoW and Diablo 3.
      Meaning 4 million in the west according to that non scientific sample.

      Their playing time is not the same as at launch, but D3 is not an mmorp either.

    6. They need to implement a ladder, and just have it so people can make their own games much like d2. ffs i hate d3 bnet

    7. It doesn’t stop the public game system from being a failure though. Regardless of what you think about the rest of the game (I personally think it is a great success), the public game system sucks, and there are too few players using it.

      • Yep, regardless of where you stand on the question of whether D3 is dying, it is clear as day that the game has failed for the multiplayer aspect. The game was designed to be a multiplayer game yet from the last I’ve seen the public game count is less than 1500 even at peak times. So even with a low estimate for the US portion in game that amounts to less than 0.5% of the original players playing in public games.

    8. what, i have no problem joining a game and watching people die like 50 times.

      while i hide or kiting in big circles or just plain pretend to play.

      • It is hard for a troll to get owned by some facts isn’t it ?

        Like I said reading skill is not exactly brilliant within the Blizzard hating Community.

        If Blizzard says something … They lie and troll

        If some lunatic posts some D3 hate, he us telling the truth.

        Session poofing account stealing says Hi !

    9. Why don’t they publish the actual number of people in-game playing before and after patch 1.03? You know, the one that’s not afk in menu.

      Yeah, I thought so.

      • Yes it should be a good way to settle all this fruitless arguying.

        Blizzard could publish :
        the number of full public games (already with 4 payers)
        the number of awaiting public games (not already full)

        But, is it in Blizzard interest to do so ?
        You can wonder why they had not did this before.

      • Why the Hell should they?! What’s that actually got to do with anything? Would you stop playing if there were fewer than a certain number of people? Or just sit back, wry grin on your face, and say, snidely, ‘I thought so,’ to your computer monitor?

        As far as I’m concerned – and the only relevant or important point – is whether or not you’re regularly successfully joining multiplayer games. I pretty much always find a group, with people joining and leaving the group throughout my session. That’s pretty much mission accomplished.

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