D3 Hardcore Disconnects: fact and fiction


Lag is a monster both softcore and Hardcore deal with. However lag and disconnects can be deadly in Hardcore. Looking at the D3 forums would have a person thinking this is a regular occurrence, in fact it’s one of the most cited reasons people don’t play hardcore. So is it true? Are disconnects so rampant? Or are we making mountains out of molehills?
Diablo-III-Disconnected

In my D3 time, both Beta and Release, I’ve been disconnected once. I was in the middle of act 1 clearing out one of the defiled crypts in the cemetery when I went down. My ISP was down and after quickly reconnecting I rushed on to find..my monk still alive. Sure it would have sucked but as I play on wireless, I knew the risks involved. Having come from the old days of dial-up hardcore D2 I knew what it was like to lose characters to rogue disconnects. However that fear has been largely abated in D3.

One of the major causes of uproar at the moment in the question of the disconnect timer itself. When you are disconnected from the server it isn’t an immediate boot out of danger but the server must recognize that you are gone. It should be within 1 second. But if there is high latency, or you just cast a ton of spells and a flood of packets is still reaching the server, it could be longer. Top range would be 3-4 seconds. Should not take any longer than that…and that’s only in extreme circumstances. Which means in the worst scenario you could be out there for 15 ( five for d/c plus the 10 second timer)seconds or so. Granted that’s enough to kill most players but it’s a far cry from the alternative.

Let’s say we were to go back to an instant disconnect. No timer, just disconnect and done. How would you die in Hardcore? It’s simple, you wouldn’t. Diablo now isn’t full of immediate deaths, in fact most of the time you can avoid death for awhile even while trapped. If an insta-disconnect feature was put in you could just drop out at the sight of half health and come back to fight again. Welcome back to the days of Alt-f4 in D2 and if I recall correctly, we weren’t that found of it. The sad truth of this system is that it will be far more advantageous to botters and farmers than it ever would be to the average player.

Disconnects on blizzards end however are just as mentioned above. If blizzards servers go down you’re in the clear. No timer, no lag, just a get out of death free card. So that begs the questions is Blizzard killing you or your own ISP? If you fear it might be on your end check out this link or of course take to the forums and accuse wildly!

How has your disconnect experience been? An every day problem? or something you’ve never experienced? Sound off in the comments below!

Tagged As: | Categories: Diablo 3, Game Features, Hardcore, Hardware & Tech

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  1. It’s a fact 🙁
    I lost 5 characters to disconect. first 3 in solo play the last 2 in multiplayer (f****ing arcane torrents!!!).

  2. it is a fact…I have a P32 right now…I’ve been D/C’ed probably 4 times…usually the entire game crashed though so I survived…but don’t believe I wasn’t sweating trying to log back in…

  3. I’ve only had one or two disconnects playing D3 since release that have not been caused by my own internet connection going down. If you have issues with disconnects I’d begin with your isp.

  4. Fact! 3 of my Plvl30+ characters dead to it. Several other deaths related to my own settings which could not handle jumping into a graphics intensive melee. 2 deaths legit in one year both on the learning end of my D3 exp.

  5. I haven’t died to any disconnects, but all of my high level hc deaths have been directly caused by rubberbanding. I only play barbs (since D2–in case you have anything snarky to say), so I know it is a function of the ww build, but it blows my mind that the servers can’t keep up with the glacial speed we move at now compared to D2. If there is a waller boss, rubberbanding is almost guaranteed. My last barb lost an IK helm and belt and a decent set of lacunis when all of a sudden the damage sounds stop, and he shows up dead half a screen away. That was the last straw for me.

  6. I have died to massive rubberbanding/lag, but I don’t think I have ever disconnected.

  7. I haven’t disconnected and died, but I have frozen and died and frozen and almost died once or twice.

  8. Lost the power in my house and died once, my P100 died from “first game load lag”, but I’ve never died due to a simple disconnect. There have been a few times that it was obvious I’d lost communication with the server (monsters stop, only I’m moving, etc.) but those were temporary and I always managed to get connected again soon enough to stay alive.

    One thing I did a long time ago was to change from a wireless connection on my desktop to being wired directly to my router.

  9. My ISP has the habit of doing unannouncd maintenances past midnight, so for me, it’s playing HC not longer than 23:30 CET, and then play either SC or WoW.

    • As far as “first game load lag” goes: I ALWAYS load my SC WD first and play him a a minute or so before I play with my HC WD.

  10. Lost 3 characters to disconnects. The 10 second timer does not work exactly as you state. When a disconnect on your end occurs, bad ISP, power outage, game crash, whatever, the 10 second timer kicks in, then other waiting. Folks on this form have tested it. From the time of cable pulled from a router to character leaving game is more like 35-45 seconds. There is a thread about it somewhere in the HC forum.

  11. I have not lost a HC in D3 to lag or disconnect or realm down, though I’ve had a few moments of VERYDONOTWANT lag bubbles, when suddenly none of the monsters are moving, and I’m scared to run and add rubberbanding to the problem when it catches up, and I’m thinking maybe I should leave the game, but that would only make it worse, and finally OHMYGODLOWREDBULBHITALLTHEBUTTONS etc.

    Part of what makes Hardcore so exciting, eh?

    BTW, back in the D2 HC days it became a running joke when people who played hella recklessly in MP games would mysteriously always have lag or disconnect to blame when they died in solo games. When you see someone nearly die half a dozen times purely from their own carelessness (usually trying to push faster/harder than their gear would permit), it’s hard to summon up too much sympathy or understanding when they blame lag for their eventual (inevitable) death.

    A disconnect while in the middle of an Arcane mob is probably death for almost any char, but 1) you could be more careful about not putting your character into such a dangerous position, and 2) higher EHP and playing on a responsible MP level will certainly add to your margin of error.

  12. For me it hasn’t been an issue of disconnects as much as sudden lag. Quite often you don’t even realize its happening until you are “rubber-banded” back somewhere or suddenly a huge burst of damage hits you after appearing to not take damage for 5 to 10 seconds.

    These situations caused my death a few times in softcore and made me not play hardcore, for sure.

  13. Not an every day issue for me, but maybe a 2-10 times every month. Which is still way too often for hardcore.
    While I did play hardcore, for quite some time, I had two disconnects. Luckily both times the person I played with managed to kill off the enemies just before they got me. So basically pure luck.

    I would love to see a system where the game paused instantly upon disconnect, then saved your game, and when you got back, it would pick up exactly where you left, with monsters and all.
    Then you wouldn’t be able to use disconnects as an survival exploit either.

    Removing the logout timer on the other hand would be a sucky solution, for the reasons mentioned by Xanth.

    Btw, it doesn’t matter if the issue is Blizzards or your ISP. Its the same damn issue anyway. This isn’t a blame game. Blizzard should try to find a way to take disconnects out of the equation in HC, otherwise HC will always feel like a gamble.
    Which is a shame, because HC is a lot more fun than SC in Diablo 3.

  14. I haven’t had many disconnects.
    Last weekend I had a server disconnect, however I was still connected to the chat server.. as I was whispering buddies. Monsters stop moving, spells don’t work.. I msg my friend to tell him I’ve lagged and I’m going to die. 20sec later I’m kicked out the game to a fallen hero.

    Para75 monk, fighting vs a handful of white mobs on Mp4.
    As I was still connected to the chat server, I have to put this d/c on Blizzard’s shoulders.

    Secondly I have issue with “fact” that it only takes 10-15 seconds to be booted from the game in case of lag or d/c. There have been many posts where players have tested (with the help of a friend timing) how long it takes to be booted from the game from the time the “cable is pulled”. Reports of anything from 20seconds to 1minute were heard. So the “issue” is not that you get kicked in 10seconds, it’s that it usually takes much much longer than that. 10 seconds gives a fighting chance.

  15. I wouldn’t care i the dc was actually 10 seconds, but it is not.

    I’ve lost 400+ hours played to disconnects.

  16. Lost several par 7/10 character to my own fault mostly for playing while very tired. Every’time I came back even more motivated.

    Then I got disconnected and find my Hero Death on relog… and I just coudnt handle it. Felt like all my effort and, most of all, the time i put in this mode was a completle waste. Not coming back on HC till Blizzard finds a way to overcome this problem.

  17. I’ve lost 7 lvl60’s now.
    I think 3 were monster killed. 2 were pc crashes and 2 were disconnection’s.
    But i’ve also been lucky and been disconnected or crashed about 10 times when i was in town or a safe area.

  18. So far so good, all my lag has been while the people I’m playing with aren’t lagging and kill the stuff and keep me alive.

    So far disconnects have been when I’m safe.

    But I really haven’t played all that much and there HAVE been a few disconnects. I’ve just happened to be safe when they happen. I would say the amount of disconnects is higher than it really needs to be.

  19. no disconnect in 14 months of playing D3. cable connection.

    but when I am on my iPad my wireless is losing connection around 3 times a day.

    do not play HC on a wireless connection, it is enough your neighbour starts up something to blow up one of your channels.

    good point of the article: if a DC occurs from a Blizzard server: you are safe as everything stops…

    something the hate trolls forgot …

    LOL

  20. Never had a disconnect. I died once because my laptop ran out of power because I forgot to plug it in.

    I always use a cable connection.

  21. Eventhough I have had immense problems with dissconnects throughout the year the game has been out, it’s been 100% my own fault, as well as my ISP’s. Everything from blue screens, to pc freezes, to the ex-girlfriend using too many appliances at once and making the electricity to disappear, to pretty much anything else you might imagine.

    The solution?

    As Zappa said, moving away from the wireless connection, plugging an old school ethernet cable directly into my desktop, and since then… no DC’s whatsoever!

    I’ve ALWAYS hated and saw down upon the fact that people in D2 used to alt f4 out of dangerous situations, and hated the fact that even in our own D2 hardcore forum, it seemed like a very accepted behavior. Always felt that was cheating oneself out of the true nature of HC, and I am glad that it’s both impossible nowdays, as well as the attitude of most of the HC community towards such methods. Go hard, or go home!

  22. Disconnection timeout is around 35-50 seconds, I am surprised you do not mention this in the article. Please go and test for yourself and see.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/Diablo/comments/12o0we/disconnection_timeout_is_3550_secs_not_10_secs/

  23. Unless they have changed this in 1.0.8 35-50 seconds still stands as the time it takes for your char to leave a game when you disconnect.

  24. don’t care hardcore is a waste of time and mostly those whinners have a bad internet connection so its not blizz there fault.

  25. When the game released I tried to start straight in HC mode without trying SC. I wrote down my playing history so here are the results:

    1. Death at lvl 26: Lag spike
    2. Death at lvl 46: Own fault
    3. Death at lvl 53: Disconnect in Wortham
    4. Death at lvl 56: Own fault
    5. Death at lvl 53: Disconnect at Belial (absolutely no chance…)

    You see that I did not even reach lvl 60 before I stopped playing HC. I really wanted to go on but it just felt so stupid to die to disconnects. I did SC for quite a while but that felt dull in the end, so I completely stopped playing some months ago, waiting for the itemization patch / expansion.

    I must admit I played via wireless connection, but bought a somewhat expensive wlan-stick that always has good signal. Maybe I will try to get a physical connection if the new itemization looks good.

    • Seriously … people have no clue that playing on wireless is simply asking for trouble?

      ANY apparatus that is actvitated in your neighbourhood within 50 meters can interrupt your wireless connection.

      Wireless works within channels of the GHz being used. 3.2 GHz with channel 1 activated is simply suicide.

      Get a cable connection first please.

      • Don´t just imply that nobody has knowledge about wireless. If done right, a wireless connection can compete with a wired one. The connection also won´t get interrupted if an apparatus 50 meters away gets activated as you say. The signal of the devices within the apartment is much higher and even if a real interference like from a microwave-oven or similar things do happen, the packets sent will most likely be delayed or sent again. This may lead to a little lag spike, but this is nothing that should kill your char.

        This said, a wireless connection may be the reason of problems but it is far away from being \suicide\. Of course it is worth a try if a physical connection does solve my disconnect problems, which is why I want to try it out someday, but it is more likely on the ISP side.

        • True Hirgie, however most people have some rather sucky wireless router that they got from their ISP or bought for cheap somewhere. Those tend to reboot now and then and very often have problems with dropped connections if the load increases. However the same sucky router usually works a LOT better if you use one of the ethernet ports instead.

          • Well that´s a good point, of course. What I wanted to say is that a wireless connection is not bad per se, rather it depends on the used hardware. Just like you say.

  26. I have only experienced 2 hard disconnects, most hairy situations are caused by lag spikes.

    I’m perfectly able to keep my barb alive during those, but my first DemonHunter to reach 60 was hosed down by a (distant) arcane turret when a 2 sec lagspike took her out of my control the first time I tried out a higher MP (2) shortly after gearing her up.

    Load lag, etc are nonexistent here, UTP connection to the cable router and SSD fix most problems. Team games fix most lag spike problems, although my DH would still be dead unless I was lucky enough to have a teamie pick up a globe in those 2 seconds.

    There is 1 problem that needs to be fixed though, imho… And that is the fricking votekick. I don’t get a notice when a kick is voted against me, I have to notice the slim yellow message I have been removed from the game. That shit is utterly retarded…

  27. Fact. Lost all 6 of my characters to D/C, never died to a monster/boss in HC ever. Pretty sad. Several were in Para 50+. It was werid though, I never laggout pre-Inferno, then I get to Inferno and get slammed with D/C’s constantly.

    I am running 50meg HighSpeed, best money can buy and I have a brand new super sleek Alienware computer. Haters going to hate but Ive been using Alienwares since forever and know how to work on them, ect. my computer is flawless and I get way better FPS in other online games that have 10 times more graphics. Its something on Blizzards end.

    HC is how D3 is meant to be played, but the fact is.. Blizzard doesn’t care about HC players. We spend real money and find HC players who are willing to trade SC gold for HC. In my mind since we spend real money, we should receive the same gaming experience as SC players. Oh well. Until they care about HC players, then I will care to waste my time and play their game!

    -Zero

    • If you mean that you spend real money on RMAH to transfer gold to HC, that can hardly be Blizzards problem 😛

      They really should do more to support HC with some sort of Disconnect protection however.

  28. From my observation, any live stream/emule/torrents, make you vulnerable to disconnect.
    So play in party (if something happens your friends can protect you) and close any program that uses the net line heavily.

  29. My first few deaths (apart from my very first time facing normal belial :/) have been dcs. I hope I’m not jinxing anything by posting this but it hasn’t happened for like a year now.

  30. Not even one disconnect and almost no rubberbanding (only pre 1.03 or so, I think…)…that is for EU server though.

  31. Wired connection, good router, and no other running programs that use the Internet.

    Disconnections since launch: 0
    Rubberbanding since launch: 3 mild occurrences

    Thankfully, I wasn’t playing the few times that the D3 servers actually had issues.

  32. tbh, I blame Bliz. Every single disconnect I have had on my PC for the past 12 months has ONLY been whilst I’ve been playing Diablo.

    I’ve only just got into playing HC but I fully expect to lose me character due to a disconnect.

  33. God I died soooo often to disconnects..
    nothing is more frustrating than seeing the game become unresponsive.. then you logout (thinking, maybe that will help), then you return to the menu still seeing your char alive.. but you are unable to enter game.. what? you log back in.. dead! weeee!
    The game also crashed plenty of times. Lost over 20 characters to the above.. and Im actually one that enjoys seeing his own character die if it wasnt to dc/crash 🙂 I dont mind it one bit ^^
    new level 60 in a day anyway without boost 😀

  34. The problem with hardcore is that instead of unfairly staying alive because you pressed alt-f4, many characters now unfairly die because the game lets monsters wail on you for 10 seconds if your connection drops.

    • Well said. It was pretty unfair from the ones rescueing their chars with alt-f4 and then laughed at the ones who played fair and didn´t. But the system now is also really unfair for the ones with a bad/unstable connection.

      Personally I did never really care if someone used alt-f4 or not. What´s the big deal? They took an advantage that you for yourself decided not to use. It pretty much equals using real money to buy better gear.

      But loosing your char repeatedly completely without a chance to prevent it is just so much worse and is plain frustrating. It wouldn´t even be a problem if they implement a ~5s timer at disconnects, so that you couldn´t chicken out when you are on low health.

  35. I almost lost another 1 last night. The power went out!

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