Chalk this up to another great moment in customer service history. With Diablo III's 1.0.3 patch
came an interesting change that's hurting those who purchased the title as a digital download. Blizzard's
made it so that only a small part of the game is accessible
for up to 72 hours following its purchase, after which the rest of the game will unlock.
Digital download customers are now restricted to the starter edition section of the game: part of Act 1, a level cap of 13, no auction house access, and limited interaction with other players. These restrictions do not apply to those who purchased the retail box of the game.
A Blizzard employee explained the unlock delay
in a forum post: "Outside of the issue that we fixed, digital purchases do require a review period before they kick over from Starter to Full editions. 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. The delay is no longer than three days, and is often much quicker than that. Hang tight."
This follows this morning's news that the South Korean government is twisting Blizzard's arm
to make the studio issue refunds for dissatisfied customers.
[Thanks to Marc for the tip!]