Potentially bad news: Diablo III will have servers split into three regions: Americas, Asia and Europe, with Australia/New Zealand gamers smooshed in with the American gamers.
However! These region-based servers are in name only, meaning you can create alliances without borders and jump into any one you like, thanks to Blizzard trying out what it calls “Global Play”.
Unfortunately, “Global Play” doesn’t quite translate to truly region-free: You’ll have to play as a separate character in each geographic location. That means drafting your friends lists, collecting items and creating a character from scratch for each of the three regions you’re able to play in (you may access just one, or as many as three, depending on where you’d like to hang out).
That’s not all of the restrictions, though: When you participate in the game’s auction house, normal gold auction rules apply regardless of which region you are in. All well and good, unless you want to take part in some real-world money auctions – they must be accessed by characters in your home region. Sorry.
Global Play will be switched on when all of the servers are live, so you’ll be waiting until the Americas (that is: U.S., Canada, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia) catch up to the rest of the world at 12:01am Pacific time.
To help explain things further – and to answer a whole bunch more questions, Blizzard has set up a Launch Day Preparation Guide, full of useful bits and pieces, including instructions on how to set up your own BattleTag account – essential if you want to play Diablo III at launch on May 15th!