An odd addition in Diablo 3's latest patch has garnered more and more attention over the past 24 hours.
It seems a ‘feature' similar to the game's Starter Editionhas been packed in that puts various restrictions on players who purchase a digital copy of the game for ‘the first 72 hours (sometimes less).'
What it breaks down to is that new, paying customers can only play Act 1 up to the Skeleton King, carry a level 13 cap, and can only interact with other players in the Starter Edition.
Blizzard is claiming the feature has been put in place to combat fraud, but speculation from all over suggests an attempt to ease the game's notable server woes.
The retail version carries no such restriction, so if you're looking to avoid this nonsense you'll want to go that route.
UPDATE: Blizzard has issued a general press response clarifying a few issues that aren't meant to be a part of the restrictions. The publisher's full statement:
"For security reasons and to help ensure the integrity of the game and auction house service, players who purchase the digital version of Diablo III may have to wait until payment verification is complete before they can access certain game features. (See below for a full list of restrictions associated with digital purchases.) While most payments are approved and restrictions are lifted within a day, in some cases it can take up to 72 hours to complete this process.
Similar to World of Warcraft, these restrictions were put in place to deter credit card fraud, which in turn helps reduce gold spam and other harmful activities that can have a negative impact on the game experience for everyone.
However, as an unintended consequence of these security measures, players who purchase the game digitally after patch 1.0.3 are temporarily being capped at level 13 and not able to proceed beyond Act I. We are working to correct this as soon as possible and will provide another update when we have more details to share.
Aside from the two unintended restrictions noted above, below are the standard security-related restrictions that will be in place for digital purchases until payment verification is complete:
No public game access for unverified digital purchasers
No auction house access (real-money or gold) for unverified digital purchasers
Unverified digital purchasers cannot trade items or drop items for other players to receive
Unverified digital purchasers are not able to chat in any public or game channels
Unverified digital purchasers cannot attach a custom message to friend requests, but they can send/accept friend requests, and play with their friends
Global Play is not available for unverified digital purchasers
Again, we want to be perfectly clear that these are temporary restrictions (often lifted within a day and at most 72 hours) associated with digital purchases for the protection of players. We appreciate player feedback and will continue to evaluate the best methods for ensuring a positive game experience for everyone."