Diablo II: Resurrected released weeks ago, and it didn’t exactly go as planned. Server issues and locked characters were common in the days following the launch, but server outages and authentication issues have persisted since then. In a new post on the official forums, Blizzard explains what exactly is going on with Diablo II: Resurrected’s recurring server issues, and what the team is doing to fix it–including login queues and a limit on rapidly creating and joining games.
Most of it boils down to server load. As highlighted last weekend, large spikes in player numbers, and the amount of in-game lobbies they were creating, caused a global server outage. Blizzard says the spike in traffic on October 9 was bigger than that of the game’s launch, and that when combined with an update rolled out for the game just a day before, caused Diablo II: Resurrected’s global database to time out. Server traffic increased the following day, causing another outage. A switch between global databases caused yet another server outage on October 11, followed by another spike in player traffic on October 12 that caused more issues.
As for why Blizzard’s servers seem completely unable to meet player-demand, that has to do with legacy code used in the original Diablo II which is still present in Diablo II: Resurrected, and the fact that modern players are very rapidly creating game lobbies, then abandoning them, and then creating new ones.
“In 2001, there wasn’t nearly as much content on the internet around how to play Diablo II “correctly” (Baal runs for XP, Pindleskin/Ancient Sewers/etc for magic find, etc),” Blizzard writes. “Today, however, a new player can look up any number of amazing content creators who can teach them how to play the game in different ways, many of them including lots of database load in the form of creating, loading, and destroying games in quick succession. Though we did foresee this–with players making fresh characters on fresh servers, working hard to get their magic-finding items–we vastly underestimated the scope we derived from beta testing.”
To ease strain on the game’s servers, Blizzard will be creating a login queue. This is being done so Blizzard has time to diagnose and address issues as they arise, and will keep the game’s population levels stable so the whole system doesn’t go down, as has been the case recently. The queue will be coming to PC players in the days ahead, with an update for consoles to follow.
Players may also occasionally encounter an error message when trying to create or join games in the days ahead reading, “There is an issue communicating with the game servers.” Blizzard says this won’t actually indicate that the Diablo II: Resurrected servers are down, but that players are being temporarily limited in creating or joining new games in order to reduce strain on the game’s database. Blizzard says limiting game creation is “just mitigation for now” and not a long-term fix. Other fixes will include breaking out critical pieces of in-game functionality into smaller services.
Diablo II: Resurrected is a faithful recreation of Blizzard’s classic action-RPG, albeit one with modern visuals and small quality-of-life improvements. While it seems Blizzard currently has its hands full making sure the game stays online and playable, the developer hasn’t ruled out bringing new content to the game in the form of news items or runewords. Blizzard’s next entry in the series, Diablo IV, recently received a new game director, but does not yet have a release date.
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