Upgrading To Diablo 3 Full Edition Can Take Three Days
If you've played through your Starter Edition of Diablo 3 and want to upgrade to the full version, you won't be able to do it instantaneously. Blizzard says that you should expect a wait of up to three days for the transaction to go through.
Every physical copy of Diablo 3 includes download vouchers for the Starter Edition. The Starter Edition allows the owner to play the part of Act I, from the very beginning to the Skeleton King encounter. They can play co-op with other Starter players but can't use the Auction House at all. Global Play, which allows you to play on a different region's servers, is similarly unavailable.
The reason for the delay is that Blizzard wants to prevent fraud. Someone overseas could hypothetically purchase the game and then cancel the transaction before it's finalized. Maybe gold sellers would do this to access the auction house and in some way ruin everything. I don't know exactly what they'd do. However, to prevent these terrible, terrible things from happening, Blizzard has to review every upgrade from Starter to retail edition.
This delay seems to completely contradict the point of a Starter Edition: convenience. The Starter Edition, in D3 as well as StarCraft 2 and World of Warcraft, lets you try out a game and then carry over your progress from this demo into the full game. This three-day waiting period presents you with two options: wait around for three days, or buy a boxed copy of D3 and start your character over from scratch. I wouldn't describe either solution as very user-friendly.
I think it's helpful to step back and take a full look at this situation. Some gold-farming company in China (or wherever) wants to make a fraudulent purchase of D3 in order to make real-world money on the game's auction house. A gamer on the other side of the world who could give two shits about gold farmers or the real-money auction house, is being forced to wait to play the game he properly paid for. Digital distribution is starting to feel a lot less exciting than it used to.
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