Blizzard posted a lengthy guide on how to prepare for the end of days. The good news is that we can start to install the game early.
8:01 a.m. PDT on May 14
16:01 BST on May 14
17.01 CEST on May 14.
I’ve bolded some text below but it’s worth pointing out here that if you planned on playing in a different region you will not be able to before that region has gone live. For example, in Europe you can play before the US but if you were going to utilise Global Play to play with friends in the US you won’t be able.
As we near Diablo III’s long-awaited May 15 launch date, we have some additional details to share on what to expect, how to prepare, and when you’ll be able to begin installing and playing.
Purchase the Game
If you haven’t already purchased Diablo III you can acquire it directly from Blizzard through the digital presale. You can also preorder the game at most major retailers and fine purveyors of high-quality gaming products worldwide. If you’re interested in the Diablo® III Collector’s Edition, please be aware that this physical retail-only edition is printed in limited quantities and has already sold out in most places that take preorders on games. We recommend calling around and checking if your local retailers will have the Collector’s Edition available.
Create Your BattleTag™
We expect that on launch night both the game service and website will be under very heavy strain due to the immense number of people excited to be among the first playing Diablo III. With that in mind, we highly recommend you create your BattleTag now, as it’s required to play Diablo III. Please keep in mind that this non-unique nickname is a permanent choice, and will display both in-game and on the website, so be sure to choose one you like! (What is a BattleTag?)
Regional Launch Times
As previously mentioned in the announcement of our midnight launch events, the launch time of the game is broken down by region.
The Americas (U.S., Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia) servers open at: 12:01 a.m. PDT, May 15
Digital Presale Download
If you’ve purchased a digital copy you can begin downloading your client right now, and we highly encourage you to do so. We also have a available that may be helpful. As it may take you some time to download the full game, it’s best that you begin early. This may afford you additional time to troubleshoot any downloader or installer issues you may encounter.
We will be unlocking the game’s installer at 8:01 a.m. PDT on May 14. This will allow you to begin installing the game, troubleshoot any issues you run into, download and install the launch day 1.0.1 patch, and be ready to play as soon as the servers come online.
Global Play Launch Time
We’ll be turning on Global Play when the game has launched in all regions. This means that you will not be able to play in a region outside your home region until after the Americas’ midnight launch at 12:01 a.m. PDT on May 15. We’ll provide an update once Global Play is enabled, and you’ll then be able to change the region you connect to through the game’s options. Please note that characters, items, and friends lists do not transfer across regions and players who use Global Play to connect outside of their home region will only be able to access the gold-based auction house. More information can be found in our Global Play introduction article.
Launch Night Login
As we’ve unlocked the Diablo III installer early, many people will be ready to log in right when the servers go live at midnight, so we’re going to be closely monitoring the impact on the service. It’s possible we’ll need to adjust the rate at which we’re logging people in to ensure a stable experience, and if we do you may see a delay when attempting to login. Please be aware that a delay of up to 40 seconds is possible while the game attempts to connect you. If your connection doesn’t succeed in 40 seconds, you’ll be presented with an Error 37 message and asked to try again. If you see this error it does in fact mean that you should try again. We’ll be working around the clock to keep you informed of any issues that are occurring through the in-game breaking news window, as well as the official forums.
And in a similar vein a thread in the General forum that initially kicked off discussing the state of desks on the 15th has evolved into a sort of survival guide. It’s quite amusing to see what people have on their desks, some of whom need some serious de-cluttering. Check it out and join in.