Blizzard confirms Australian servers for Diablo III

Blizzard has confirmed: Australian servers have launched for Diablo III, as part of the Reaper of Souls expansion set launch next week.

As we reported yesterday, the servers are hosted in Sydney, providing optimum ping for Australian and New Zealand gamers who have been plagued with low latency since launch. According to Blizzard, the new infrastructure “should result in a smoother gameplay experience for local players”.

Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment says:

We’ve listened to community feedback and set a goal of improving the game experience for Diablo players in Australia and New Zealand. By deploying local game servers to the region in time for the release of Reaper of Souls, we aim to make slaying demons more fun—for the heroes, at least. Malthael’s in for a world of hurt.

If you’ve been playing Diablo III for a while now and have built up a friends list chock-full of gamers playing on US servers, you’re not being left out in the cold. Friends lists are powered by and completely separate to the individual game servers, so they’ll remain the same. You’ll still be able to group up and chat with friends on the US servers – or join in with them as they move through their adventures.

On the odd occasion that the ANZ servers are full, you’ll be bumped back to the US machines – unless you’re playing a Hardcore character.

We know that playing your Hardcore characters with high latency is frustrating, especially if this causes you to die. To maintain the quality of the experience, Hardcore characters from ANZ will only be allowed to play on the Australian game servers. In the event that the ANZ Diablo game servers are at full capacity, you will be placed in a queue. We are making every effort to provide sufficient server capacity at launch, but we appreciate your patience during the game’s busy launch window.

If you want to play a hosted game, you have a couple of options: You can create a game in Australia, which will be hosted on Australian servers – anyone joining will play on a machine in Sydney.

However, if your friend creates a game on the US servers, the game will be hosted there, and anyone who connects will play on a US machine.

The changeover is seamless: All of your player data will be transferred invisibly to the new servers (you won’t see any Australian server in the drop-down menu), and your play experience won’t actually change (other than getting a lot quicker). There are no fees, additional registration, or need to re-create your characters.

[img_big]center,74,2013-11-09/D3X_BlizzCon_PS4_UI_AD_07.jpg,Diablo III: Reaper of Souls[/img_big]

As we raised yesterday, this is a lovely gesture for Diablo III players, but we doubt this is Blizzard‘s major intent. Heroes of the Storm is launching in the not-so-distant future, and that game – like close competitor League of Legends requires low latency to run smoothly.

It would not be surprising if this was all part of the larger plan to run local servers for Heroes at launch, with Diablo III performing very nicely as a handy guinea pig for testing.

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