Diablo III downloads restrict features, cap levels temporarily

[UPDATE]: Blizzard's 1.03 patch limits digital purchasers to Starter Edition until payment is verified; publisher says level cap limit is unintended, will be fixed soon.

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Gamers who pay to download Diablo III won't have full access to the game for up to three days, thanks to tweaks made in the game's latest patch. According to a post on Blizzard's forums, Diablo III downloaders will only be able to play the Starter Edition of the game for up to 72 hours after purchase.

Hope you like killing the Skeleton King, because you'll be doing it for the next 70 hours.
Hope you like killing the Skeleton King, because you'll be doing it for the next 70 hours.

The Starter Edition for the PC dungeon crawler caps character levels at 13 and progress through the end of Act I. It also prohibits auction house access and multiplayer matchmaking with anyone who is not also using a Starter Edition or in the same region.

A customer support article on Blizzard's site states that the restrictions remain in place until payment verification is completed, a process that can take up to three days. The change was made Wednesday along with several other modifications in the game's 1.03 patch.

"We apologize for the inconvenience, but it is a necessary step to combat fraud and other malicious activities that can weaken everyone's play experience," Blizzard support forum agent Kaltonis said in a forum thread about the issue.

To find out more about Diablo III, read GameSpot's review.

[UPDATE]: A Blizzard representative explained the limitations to GameSpot, saying, "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."

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