Diablo 3 Starter Edition and Guest Passes Explained

Lots of fans have noticed that the “Diablo 3 Starter Edition” is now enabled on their battle.net accounts. You might also have seen cards for Diablo III Guest Passes on the D3CE unboxing videos. What’s the difference? A Battle.net tech post explains:

Diablo III Starter Edition provides players the ability to try out a limited version of Diablo III. Guest Pass keys allow a player to give friends the opportunity to play the Starter Edition of Diablo III. Guest Pass keys are included in all box copies of Diablo III.
Players on Starter Edition game licenses have the following restrictions:

  • Act I up to the Skeleton King is available
  • Level 13 cap
  • Matchmaking available only with other Starter Edition players
  • No Real Money Auction House access
  • How do I get the Diablo III Starter Edition?
    Log into your Battle.net Account Management page and navigate to the Download Game Clients section. The Diablo III Starter Edition will be available for download there.
    Players without a Battle.net account can create one, and then download the Starter Edition.
    Note: The Diablo III Starter Edition will not be available without a Guest Pass until 30 days after the game launches.

    How do I download the Diablo III Starter Edition?
    Navigate to the Download Game Clients section of your Battle.net Account Management page and click the icon for your operating system under the Diablo III heading.

    How do I upgrade from Starter Edition to the full version of Diablo III?
    Log into Battle.net Account Management and select your copy of Diablo III Starter Edition on the Game Account list. On your Diablo III Starter Edition Game Management page, you will see your upgrade options on the right-hand side.

    The starter edition was briefly (accidentally) enabled back in April, if you remember one night when suddenly everyone could download the beta. Players who logged on that way had a “Diablo 3 Starter Edition” tag… for like an hour, before Blizzard realized it and shut down the server and the party.

    More details came from a post by Wuluxar, one of the EU CMs. Site reader KERMIz translated that post for us, as follows:

    Wuluxar said that guest pass allow us to play only to Skeleton King quest (beta content only). We will not be able to go any further. There will be no time limit – we can play as long as we want and can start at midnight on 15.05.2012.

    Those people who bought digital edition will not get a guest pass – it’s only in box edition (standard and CE).

    Progress in game will be saved, so when you attache you cd-key you will be able to play after Skeleton King content. You will not have to start from the beginning.

    If the Starter Edition really does go live at midnight when the realms open, that could be a great thing for anyone who didn’t get their copy of D3 on time. You’d basically be playing in the Beta (again?) but with the ability to upgrade to a full install and keep your characters once you get your copy of the full game.

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    54 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Starter Edition and Guest Passes Explained

    1. …Except you’d need to know someone with a working copy on time in order to get a guest pass from them (from what I understand from reading – no Starter without a pass for 30 days from release.)

      • I’m curious about that since I already have a “Starter Edition” attached to my account (close beta tester). Would be nice to play before my CE gets here. Hoping the starter edition gets the cinematics, but never tried a Blizzard starter edition before.

        • Damn, what hasard!

          Such a coincidence that we beta testers have been playing the same exact content as the starter edition offers!

          It’s almost as if we hadn’t been paid to polish a demo in order to attract as much potential players as possible! 

          • Starter Edition is running ONLY on US? Or also on EU? Im EU and i got Starter Edition on my bnet account, but when i look into it, it show “Region – The Americas”.
            Any idea?

    2. I guess this means that the Skeleton King will be defeated very early in Act 1, which is different than people had previously thought. Kind of sad 🙁 

      • It’s been confirmed for a while now that the content in the beta was exactly how it would appear in the final game.

        • That confirm came from Grug talking to Bashiok at PAX East. Weren’t you the one in another thread who said no added content in patches was unconfirmed, when that info also came from Grug talking to Bashiok at PAX East?

    3. They mention that matchmaking is “available only with other Starter Edition players”. However what they don’t answer is rather or not friends of people using the starter edition that have the full game will be able to manually join starter edition games or vice versa. Let’s say you have a friend who is using the starter edition and you want to play with them but you have the full game, what then?

      • They don’t say one way or another, but I highly doubt it. They won’t want starter editions to be able to endlessly farm gold and then trade that off to real accounts. I’m sure a number of restrictions will be put in place beyond what’s been listed here.

      • The wording is unclear, but I’m sure that no starter edition can mix with full edition, which is the same way it works in WoW. This is to keep people from using exploits, RMAH tricks, transferring farmed gold, using the starter as a mule or added stash space, etc.

        • If so, disregard my lower post. If not, then yeah, I’m concerned about the points below.

        • It just seems weird that you could give your friend a starter edition key but it would be like saying “here, play this cool game that’s intended to be for multiplayer but since I already own it we can’t play together.”
          If I had to guess, I would say that full version players and starter edition players can play in private games together but only in areas/quests available in the starter edition. At least, that’s roughly how it is in the SC2 starter edition anyway, so I guess I can hope it works similarly to D3.

        • Any idea if we actually need a separate client for it? Or can we play with the one we have for retail?

          • I think the starter and the full are the same client, I think the only thing that differs is the license on your bnet account used to log into it. So if you have a full license and your friend has a starter license, you can both use the same client. You will just be restricted to whichever content your bnet account is limited or not limited to.

    4. Why is it bad that the Skeleton King may be defeated early in Act I? It’s a lot better than what friends and others were supposing – that the Skeleton King was the end of Act I. 

      I know some people know the answers thanks to Achievement spoilers – I don’t want to know.

      One would assume that a full member can create a game with a friend manually, or there’d be no real point to the starter edition. Making a game with a friend doesn’t require matchmaking.

      • It’s bad because the story seems backwards; we get to discover all these “Leoric” locations, well, after beating Leoric. It seems like it would be the other way around, and that’s what some were hoping for.

        • Maybe he comes back later as DEMON Leoric ;o I don’t know. That’s a good point, though.

            • Conveniently, new Diablo podcast going up later tonight in whcih Grug talks about his encounter with Bashiok at PAX east, where Bashy confirmed that the beta content was identical to the full game. And we talk over why that seems weird, why skeleton king quest seemed rushed, templar is just thrown in there, odd intro to the cultists, etc.

        • the point (according to blizzard) is that you’re supposed to me more interested in these areas and its lore, now that’ve killed the skeleton king. whatever…

    5. Im still curious as to why I have the starter edition flagged on my bnet account. I have some friends who were in the beta and they dont have it.   Im wondering if ill be able to play at midnight since im flagged or will still need a guest pass..   

    6. >Edition really does go live at midnight when the realms open, that could be a great thing for anyone who >didn’t get their copy of D3 on time. You’d basically be playing in the Beta (again?) but with the ability to >upgrade to a full install and keep your characters once you get your copy of the full game.

      Nope, Blizzard really knows how to make sure you get hit hard. If you don’t get your box copy before midnight, you CAN’T use the starter edition. You need a guest pass FROM a boxed copy. I tell you, they really know how to make you mad! Everytime you think you’ve found a way around something to improve your situation, they either “fix” it, or make it not work.

    7. seems like the only reason you can’t play the starter edition for 30 days without a guest pass is to make those guest passes at least have some sort of value (not monetary value), because if anyone could get starter edition right away why even give away the passes. They should enable some more content with the guest pass and allow anyone to join the starter edition right away but only up to the skeleton king without the pass, or just open it for everyone at launch and say the guest passes are more of a promo type think just so people know about the starter edition.

      • They also might want to avoid flooding the login servers with “guest” accounts during the initial launch. Some starter accounts will be active then, but the vast majority of people playing at launch will have the full game.

      • I think it’s just their way of reducing stress on the servers the first month.  The more people who play (yet haven’t bought the game yet) right at the beginning, the worse the servers will do, and it may make them less likely to purchase if it ends up too badly.  Plus if a friend has to give you the guest pass, they’ll be able to tell you how awesome the rest of the game is and beg you to buy it.

        • makes sense I guess, I just think they should have it open for the beginning. You know they should have all servers worked out and running great at launch anyway (we can always hope, but yeah right).

          • I don’t think it’s a question of whether the servers are running great or not, more a question of how much server capacity they need – better to add more servers to compensate for increased load, than having servers just gathering dust doing nothing.

    8. No RMAH, but still having access to the gold AH. That worries me. I’d prefer Blizz made it where the Starters don’t have access to -any- AH features, because not only do I see people using them as mules, I see people using them as AH scanners and other ‘safe’ things.

      Not to mention I do wonder how it’ll work for people trying to test hacks. :< 

    9. So Digital gets no guest passes? Why? I can’t convince my bro to buy D3, and if he doesn’t play at launch — don’t care. Good luck with that Blizzard.

      • Yeah, I’m in the same position… have a friend that I would like to suck in, but I’m getting the digital edition.
        Don’t really see any reason why the digital edition can’t provide a guest pass too. It costs the same, and is cheaper to produce… heck we should get MORE of em ><

        Hey, if anybody has an extra guest pass they are willing to give away, please PM me… I assume it's just a code? 🙂

    10. I had the beta and i have the starter edition too… hope that means i can play it until i get my copy…

    11. I’ll ask a friend of mine who’s attending one of the launch events to give me his guest pass, since my copy won’t arrive on time. What I’m wondering, though, is whether a  guest pass would work with a pre-downloaded full game client or if it is specifically required to download the starter installer in order to use the guess key. 

    12. Question: I have Starter Edition on my bnet account. But i cannot see Starter Edition in the download section. So, when can i download the Starter Edition to play at the midnight from 14th to 15th? Or i can only install full version and then play the Starter Edition at the midnight?

    13. Question regarding character naming – are character names unique, or are they non-unique like battletags?

      • Unique to your account. You can’t have two characters named Bob. There can be 4 Bobs in the same game at the same time from 4 different players.

        • Incorrect – you can name all of your own characters the same name, if you want. At least you could in beta, and I haven’t seen anything indicating it would change from that.

          Character names are not unique whatsoever. 

    14. Does anyone from EU have a starter edition? I don’t. Any chance to make a forum where ppl can post there starter edition codes for us that are waiting for the physical copy?

      • I have a starter edition linked to my account, though Blizzard will remove them I’m afraid. Too bad as my CE won’t make it on time. I wonder whether people who had closed beta access are the only ones who have SE?

    15. Yeah, right…..
      Only few people can download SE edition and that is it. For others SE edition is NOT available.

      • All it takes to get a starter edition going, I suspect, is battle.net account w/ a battle tag.  It will pobably appear once the severs go live.  I think this to be the case because I have a similar WOW thing in m account, despite the fact that I have never played WOW.  For the first 30 days you need a guest pass but I suspect those will be easy to come by-probabavail available on the web.  So one could play starter edition as soon as one’s friend has a boxed copy!  

    16. I notice that the screenshot used has “region” set to “The Americas.” How does one set region? Mine currently shows “Global.”

    17. In case anyone else is wondering:
      To answer your question, the guest pass should work with a pre-downloaded full game client. The trial restrictions are based on the account that is created for them, so the game itself should recognize that and act accordingly. 🙂  

      In other words we should be all set without downloading a “starter edition client” 

    18. Hi All,
      Could you please send me a guest pass. I would really appricaite it. ([email protected])

      Thank you very much in advance.
      BTW – right now it is not available for me to download the starter edition from
      battlenet, maybe they removed it? Altough I have it, but need a guest pass… please  

      Best Regards,

    19. Hey guys, if anyone has an extra guest pass key (for starter’s edition), and have no need for it, I would really appreciate it. Want to make up my mind whether or not I should buy it 🙂
      – Alex ([email protected])

    20. If someone has a guest pass they won’t to give away, I would appreciate it. I played Diablo, Diablo2 and Diablo2 Lord of Destruction. I know I will like Diablo3, but have since moved and don’t have as fast a internet connection as before. 🙁 

      I want to try it on this slower connection before buying it.

      [email protected]

    21. mokay.. so I’ve been trying to buy Diablo 3 but they all sold out !!! (I prefer the physical copy) so they will restock in about a week !! I really need a favour from a person that has a heart and knows how I feel about this game 🙂 I really want to try the Starter Edition but unfortunately I do not have one 😐 
      If any1 has a spare Guest Pass for Diablo 3 Starter Edition please don’t hesitate to Contact me at (“[email protected]”)  🙂
      Appreciate you kindness <3

    22. Of course, now that it’s been over 30 days, the page says “Note: The Diablo III Starter Edition will not be available without a Guest Pass until further notice.” Typical Blizzard.

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