Diablo 3 Battle.net Downtime and Fan Rage

Yesterday’s routine weekly Diablo 3 maintenance proved a bit less routine than usual. Whenthe realms came back up many people were unable to log in. This required Blizzard to take down all of the realms for emergency maintenance. That took 6 hours, and afterwards everything was fine.

Gamers who were out all day, or on vacation, or who just didn’t try to play Diablo 3 during that time never even noticed. Some other players did…

Urgent Game Maintenance – #1 – 2013/06/18 07:00:00 PM

In order to help address issues with players being able to connect and stay connected to the game, we have brought all Diablo III servers offline in the Americas for urgent maintenance. We currently anticipate that this maintenance period will last approximately 6 hours, concluding around 6:00 p.m. PDT. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this maintenance will cause, and will provide another update once all servers are back online.

2013/06/19 01:03:00 AM —
Maintenance is complete. Thank you for your patience.

I included the time stamps since it’s cool to note the time; 6 hours and 3 minutes between posts. Even a hater would have to admit they did a good job keeping to their “approximately 6 hours” estimate.

The ‘extended maintenance’ isn’t really what concerns me. Servers go down, stuff breaks, whatever.

What concerns me is that Blizzard is pushing almost 20 YEARS OF NETWORKING EXPERIENCE from the original Bnet and they STILL can’t manage to keep their servers up and running, even with weekly maintenance.

It took WoW almost a DECADE to become stable. Will D3 share the same fate? Blizz, at what point do you ask yourself ‘we need some help’?

There are plenty of companies with much higher data loads that manage to stay up and running. Any hosting company that’s <99% uptime is garbage. D3 is significantly less than 99% uptime.You make great games, but you really should put greed to the side and spend a little more of your IRL gold and build a legitimate network.
Vaeflare: This thread is being locked because it’s non-constructive.

If you would like additional information regarding today’s game maintenance, please keep tabs on the following thread: Urgent Game Maintenance – 06/18/2013.

I suppose at some point it will become reasonable to expect 99% uptime from any online service. In my experience that time remains well in the future, as even websites are down for maintenance and repairs all the time, and most of those are stupid “serve data” systems. The more database and interactivity required, the more that can and eventually will go wrong, so I’m not surprised that B.net has some technically issues. (Other things about B.net often do surprise me, such as D3 requiring a year to finally get good social tools in v1.08, but that’s a different issue.)

Do you guys really think B.net is uniquely lacking in technical competence, in the world of online gaming services? (A bit of perspective.) Is the Blizzard / Diablo community especially bitchy? Is this Blizzard’s price to pay for making games that people want to play constantly, thus making any downtime very noticeable?

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50 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Battle.net Downtime and Fan Rage

  1. I think the poster might have been a little hostile, but he has a point. For as much money as Blizz makes, and as long as they’ve been around providing online service for their games, their network infrastructure sure seems pretty pathetic. It’s unreasonable to expect 100% uptime, but for as long as Blizzard has been around I don’t think something like 95% uptime is out of the realm of possibility.

    • It’s not only the asinine periodic and sudden downtimes. Every time I and everyone logs onto the game we are reminded how mediocre their entire system is because of the god damn stuttering when the game is first loading assets. To top it off these incompetent dolts have the gall to suggest on their website to get an SSD or some other stupid workarounds like putting some files on a flash drive. Are you assholes going to pay me for that expense?

  2. I think Blizz should be able to keep the servers running 24/7. If an ISP can stay up and running, then so should Blizz. They are a big enough Online Gaming Company to be their own ISP.
    The one i am with wouldn’t have had 24hours downtime in the past 5 years that I’ve been with them, and most of the people nation wide that they would supply a service to would be doing so over the country’s old copper wire, and they have to pay another company for the rights to use it!

  3. Well, blizzard pretty much does have 98% uptime. If BNET is down for 1 third of one day a week for maintenance, that is 8/168 hours, or a little under 3% downtime. The problem, however, is they do that every. damned. week. They only ever DON’T have maintenance when a big competing MMO comes out the same day, and shrug it off as coincidence that that day, the first in months, just happens to be a day that a simple restart 15 minutes works.

    And the worst part of all this, is that it happens until 2 PM on a tuesday for east coast. The servers go down pretty much RIGHT when people would be waking up and stay down for half of a persons waking day. Rather than do it in the dead of night, such as from say 2 AM to 8 AM, they do it 8 AM to 2 PM. Rather than inconvenience their maintenance staff one day a week by coming in late at night, they inconvenience every single customer every week for half a day.

    95% uptime doesn’t count when technically us humans sleep through half your uptime, and your downtime intentionally occurs at the time when we are all awake. Then, the percent of uptime changes. Since they do maintenance for 6 hours that we’d be awake, I will count their downtime vs actual awake-time (assuming a basic 8 hours and waking at 8 AM): 6/112. That comes to almost 6%. nearly doubles their downtime.

    And now I just did a math post for what was going to be a short rant. Guess I was mad about Blizzard’s downtime yesterday. Of course, all of what I said ignores the fact that maybe once a month it’s WAY longer than a simple 6 hour maintenance (6 hours? really?)

  4. Playing D2 LoD with no problems at all, IT must be a BETTER/MODERN game…STFU! What do you say, now the game are worse? Gaming evolution did you said?¿

    • Yep, I can’t recall more than a handful of times in the decade I played that I couldn’t get into Bnet for D2 because of maintenance.

      • To be fair, single D2 servers are being crashed on a daily schedule. Ever had a World Event?

        • Whats there to rage about, when it comes to choosing between good ol D2 vs the modern WOW version D3. D2 had some server issues yea, i admit but on the D3 case its just a joke. Just check the first weeks of launch, playability was just out of window. Not that id really care anymore, coz the game is pretty much been dead for quite sometime now.

  5. considering how much money they make from wow and making games so long they go cheap on servers thats for damn sure and acts so suprised everytime they have to take them down rofl..

  6. Bnet is an OK service. While not great, it has to support more traffic than most I guess, and I’m fine with the minor hiccups that often happen. And this comes from someone that hasn’t played anything else but D3 since 15.05.2012. But I still have a life outside the game I guess..
    As for the bitching, as Mitch Hedberg once put it, “you can’t please all the people all the time, and all of those people seem to be on bnet forums”.

    • RIP Mitch Hedberg. Well placed quote!

      On Topic: I think the downtime is acceptable for the most part (given that this is an online-only game). I do think the weekly maintenance window is curiously long, especially since I’ve yet to figure out what they are really doing during those windows when patches aren’t being deployed. But I think what comes out of the forums is essentially that the disgruntled voices are often the loudest. Such is the case with…well, pretty much anything.

  7. Blizzard really has no excuse. Data Center. Network Clusters. Backup Servers. Two hours before maintenance, boot up the backup servers. An hour before maintenance, flip a switch that routes all logins/games to the Backup Servers. 30 minutes before maintenance, start broadcasting shutdown messages to any games still running on the servers that are going to be powered down for maintenance. At zero hour, boot anyone that did not exit, shutdown those servers.

    Anyone, at any time should be to able login and play. Even those that were kicked from their existing game should be able to re-login immediately. All logins are routed to the backup servers which are up and running, which are now the live servers, and the servers that were shutdown are now the backup. Rinse, repeat, and maintenance times and schedules are irrelevant. Take as much time as you need. Schedule them whenever you want.

    When Management has yachts and ownership stakes in sports teams, you cannot tell me they don’t have the resources to provide a zero-downtime network infrastructure for their games.

    • your solution doubles their hardware and maintenance cost to increase uptime from 96% to 99.5%. there is a point where something is good enough. who exactly is inconvenienced by the scheduled maintenance? how many people have this time off and use it as prime gaming hours?

      would you pay more money for d3 for 99% uptime?

    • “Blizzard really has no excuse.”

      Yes, really, they do. Battle.net for D3 is free. It doesn’t have advertising on it.

      • What the fuck is this attitude that somehow “not being screwed over too much” is some kind of fucking curtesy from today’s game companies? I payed the same 60$ for Wc3 10 years ago and old-ass battle.net for that was never down while featuring, what, one tiny ad which was mostly used for promoting blizzard content anyway? Fuck your attitude you slave. Blizzard’s got their big blue and black dick so deep up your anus you can’t reflect clearly anymore. TAKE IT OUT

        • If you want to go back to playing WC3 on battle.net, no one’s stopping you.

          As is perfectly obvious, Battle.net today is far more complex than the b.net in WC3. It serves far more customers across the globe, doing far more stuff, than the old b.net does. It is still free.

          Comparing b.net uptime to other MMO’s that charge subscription fees is comparing apples to oranges. Comparing modern b.net to ancient b.net uptime is comparing apples to oranges.

  8. There have been weeks when there haven’t been any maintenance periods, while others have had 1 or 2 unscheduled “scheduled” maintenance.

    I think this one didn’t go over so well because of its duration, that it came just after a scheduled maintenance window, and because the bitter taste of 1.09 coming very late this year is still fresh in our minds.

  9. Most companies that change or update software regularly have downtime. We want Blizzard to work on these games. The conveyancing program we use at our office is down every night at 11 and up at 6 am.

  10. Eh, I was gonna play D3 last night, but the servers were down. I played PoE instead. Eh.

  11. Once a year patches.

    No pvp.

    Crappy items/ skills/ level systems.

    All this from a multi-billion dollar company… now how could anyone possibly rage about that??

    • If only Blizzard’s servers were as dependable as your posts complaining about the game. Those seem to be available 24/7. Maybe D4 should run on your whining.

  12. Server downtime is a small price to pay for complete elimination of bots and cheats, routine content patches, fascinating ladder play, and compelling player to player social interaction. Oh wait, Diablo 3 has none of the above, WTF?!?!?!

  13. Well, if complainers were really knowledgeable about all the “X should be better” they could take up a job in the industry and fix everything. Surely if Joe User has a better way to do everything flawlessly, industry consulting jobs would flood in and they’d be set for life. I mean, if it’s as easy as conjuring up a perfect system (which complaining would suggest) someone would have done it. No one complains just for the sake of complaining, right? Right?!

    • That’s why 10+ million people paid them $60 or more each you dolt. If they are incapable of delivering a quality experience they should be called out on it.

  14. Currently going to school for programming, and they teach us that businesses tend to expect a 99% uptime. In fact, there’s like a standard of 99.999% or something, I forget the exact amount.

    I also agree with a point made earlier about downtime happening during waking hours. With billions of dollars, I think you can pay the server maintenance people a little more to work a night shift instead.

    I also think, throwing enough money at it, you could completely duplicate the system and run off one set of servers while the others are in maintenance, etc.

    Of course, we all remember Diablo 3 on launch day.

    I think as a consumer it’s reasonable to expect that an always-online game be always available to get online.

    The least Blizzard could do is give better explanations of what exactly needs to be so maintained. There are enough of us tech geeks out here that would understand that we could explain it to the rest. But plenty of us tech geeks are scratching our heads over what takes so long and needs to be done so often.

  15. “Is the Blizzard / Diablo community especially bitchy?”


  16. Not sure why they have a network problem. Ain’t nobody playing the damn game anyway, to burn anything out.

  17. It doesn’t matter if you play the game straight up on BNET your gaming experience will be effected by SOMETHING sooner or later.

    I actually like diablo 3, I just do not like getting punished by other peoples actions over and over again. This is what happens when I am put into the same boat as so many others. It was worth it for a while but now it just grinds on a person.

    I gave away my gear and deleted all my characters, I am going single player console. When I did this in daiblo 2 LOD my gaming experience quality went way up and I played the game for many more years than I would have ever though possible.

    When the PS4 gets here its goodbye:

    1. Server outages and downtimes
    2. Gold bots wrecking the Economy
    3. Using an authenticator to avoid having my gear stripped within 24 hours of not using one.
    4. AH house fiasco’s and hacks.
    5. The RMAH and the gold AH
    6. Disconnects and Lag
    7. Exploits and cheats in game (Like the XP hack with brawling and the deaths in HC due to monsters in town on act 1)
    8. Playing with Credit card warriors and level 100 paragons that bought their levels from a leveling service.
    9. Poor performance
    10. Characters that I do not own or can never back up and save properly.
    11. Servers that will not run forever.

    The only thing that even remotely cancels this out partially to some degree is playing with close friends in a group. Other than that Offline wins every time.

  18. When you force people to play online you should really put in all effort to keep that service online…

  19. As someone said, the 6 hour weekly maintenance relates into more than 97% uptime, which while not ideal is more than acceptable. However, this is not the only downtime, there are outages all the time. This week alone, there have been 3 or 4…which would put the uptime at much lower than 97%

    The other point raised, is about “when” the maintenance occurs. As a player from Asia (which, let me remind you, is considered part of the Americas region for B.Net purposes…and timezone wise similar to Aus/NZ also part of Americas) the weekly maintenance happens every Tuesday during primetime. My game will go down for 6 hours starting at 7pm. So, for a working adult, ignoring any other issues, I’ve already lost 1 day due to maintenance, meaning my uptime is only at 86%. Once you start taking hours out of that, it becomes rather pitiful.

    The surprising thing is, as a player with 100s of D2 hours in, I never recall any comparable downtime. Considering D3 has a constant income stream (rmah) one would hope for the same, if not better.

  20. This is only really an issue because there’s no offline mode.
    But almost 100% up time is impossible without doubling your infrastructure and who’s going to pay for that? They don’t do it for WoW which continues to bring in a hell of a lot more money, so how is it that we can expect it for D3? Such a big expense for so little gain?
    But anyway, at least it gives you a taste of what us Australians have to deal with every week; just as I put my kid to bed and have free time, maintenance starts.

    • I think so too. People go apeshit over this because they are still angry about D3s online only requirement. They were like: “WTF online only for security? F U Blixxurd and ur lies, dem survers better be online 24/7!!!1”.

      Now there is a minor downtime and here they go again.

      While i think they have a point, occasional server maintenance really is D3s smallest problem, if you ask me.

  21. The moment people rage because they can not play for 100% of the time, it is time to pull the plug on those people.

    Get a grip. There is more to life than playing a video game 100% of your time.

    And if you can’t cope with that, please the jump the bridge as your life clearly sucks.

  22. I stopped currently playing in D3 and don’t give a s*** about some servers problems. I will wait to another patch, maybe expansion will improve game-play because now it’s f****** boring, paragon leveling is lame. I think that D3 has still big potential, I’m waiting for the better times. Unfortunately there is no good alternatives, I don’t like POE, Van Helsing is good, chek it.

    • I am fed up with people promoting terrible games on Blizzard fan forums.

      Certainly when you watch objectively the extreme low quality of these products.

      The last 3 games I bought crashed within 10 minutes of play, 2 on PC one on the iPad.

    • If you can’t cope with it being an FPS, Borderlands 2 has some of the most satisfying loot since Diablo 2. Lots of cool items, neat ways to customize your character just by what you’re wearing, even though there are only 4 slots, the game makes the most of them.

  23. The single biggest thing about maintenance is that during that period you can’t play D3 AND you can’t play WoW AND you can’t play SC2.
    I think Blizzard should provide 99% uptime at least for their Battle.net since everything is tied to that (I mean even buying stuff in their store is tied to Battle.net; name one online shop that hasn’t 99% uptime, I think they all know downtime means lost customers and so they can’t afford that).

    • They already provide 99%. This one time 6 hour surplus was only for the US and happens every 3 months or so.

      Even if it were 95 %… Not even drug addicts are stoned 95% of their lives.

      Going nuts over these things shows some people can not even control themselves for a time passing like a video game.

      Human species…

  24. Just note that IT people don’t take in account the time of “programmed maintenance” when calculating services’availability.

    That being said, 6 hours of programmed maintenance every week is a very bad performance. It is even more bad, as this maintenance occurs during day time.

    The second post got the point, Blizzard is far from being up to date in terms of on-line software design.

    And unfortunately, locking thread does no do any good to it.
    But is it something new, can Blizzard listen to what people say ?

  25. Well considering a game like GW2 has less than an hour downtime each week (usually around 20-30 minutes, but could reach 60), then yes I think the Battle.net team is incompetent. Also that mysterious former Blizzard GM said Battle.net was a complete mess.. sort of affirms the suspicion.

    Starcraft 2 was heavily delayed because of Battle.net, and took forever since to get updates in the Battle.net related things (separate teams, one team works on BNET another works on SC). The Starcraft team is the bread winner at Blizzard HQ IMHO, I think the Diablo 3 and Battle.net teams could learn a thing or two.

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