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Diablo III: A survival guide for launch day

Diablo III, after nearly 12 years of anxious anticipation, will launch at 12 a.m. PDT on May 15. Here at the Grid, we want you to be prepared.
Diablo3 release date 2012 03 5Enlarge
Computer gamers play in front of their screens on August 17, 2011 during the gamescom fair in Cologne, western Germany. The trade fair for interactive games and entertainment is running until August 21, 2011. (Oliver Berg/AFP/Getty Images)

May 15 is a relatively unremarkable day in history. On this day in 1718, an English lawyer patented the first machine gun. In 1862, the US Department of Agriculture was founded.

That, however, is about to change. For on May 15 of this year, Diablo III will finally be released.

It will mark the end to almost 11 years of waiting for Blizzard entertainment’s beloved hack and slash action role-playing franchise. The popular game pits players against hordes of hell spawns trying to save the imaginary world of Sanctuary from demonic annihilation.

Eleven years is an excruciatingly long to wait for anything and The Grid wants to ensure that everyone is adequately prepared to have the best gaming experience possible. Here are a few simple steps:

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Step one: If your significant other is a non-gamer, you need to let them know what’s going on. It's important to talk these kinds of issues out in advance.

If you’re a diehard fan, odds are you’ll be quietly crawling out of bed at midnight Pacific Daylight Time to get your first live look at the game. If your significant other won’t be setting the alarm along with you, make sure to let them know that you’ll be crawling out of bed at an odd hour and that it's for a very important reason. If they really love you, they’ll leave you alone and let you play. Husbands, wives, girlfriends and boyfriends — for the sake of Sanctuary and all that is wholesome and decent, let them play.

Step two: Be absolutely sure of the class you’ll want to play.

If you’re a serious Diablo fan, you’ve already decided on which class you want to play. Before launch, be absolutely sure of it. When it comes time to choose, indecisiveness will cut into game time. Remember, you can choose from Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard. This time around, there is also an option to pick male or female. Don’t let that throw you off and set your decision in stone. Visualize youself as your class and become one with your character through focused meditation.

Step three: Stock up!

You’re going to want to take as few breaks as possible while you’re playing and you’re going to need to stay energized. You won’t be leaving the house for a few weeks, probably, so stock up on the essentials. Bring the microwave into the computer room and have those quick and easy nuke-ready meals within arms reach. It’s the Diablo III launch day and your health has to take a back seat. Another tip: Energy drinks can clutter up your gaming space, put the coffee maker next to your desk for an easy access, small mess, caffeine source. 

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Step four: Prepare to miss work. 

At the end of the day on May 14, you’re going to need to strategize how to blow off work on Tuesday. If you have some personal days, tell the boss that you’ll be using one of them tomorrow. If you don’t have the luxury of personal days, get a 24-hour illness excuse ready. It’s allergy season so severe reactions to high pollen counts is a solid, plausible one. Since the weather is warm and flu season is over, avoid saying you have a cold. 

Food poisoning is rare but works as an excuse if you haven’t used it in the past. Before you leave the office today, Google horrible restaurants in your area and mention to your coworkers you’re going to try it for dinner. When you call in the next morning, do it from the bathroom. The echo will add a sense of urgency and severity. When you make it back to work, whenever that might be, sell your affliction. Leave the top collar button open, blow your nose, cough throughout the day or run headlong to the bathroom a few times. If you’re lucky, your boss will let you go early thinking you haven’t fully recovered.  And then you can play some more.

Step five: Be patient.

The entire world will be logging onto battle.net at midnight PDT. The amount of stress dropped on Blizzard's servers at one time will strike harder and more severely than Tyrael’s sword. There will be issues at launch. Your first emotion will be unbridled nerd rage. So take a few deep breaths before you start flipping tables. While you wait, do some yoga, meditate, light some candles or crawl into the tub with your favorite bath salts. Today is about you — treat yourself to the most pleasant gaming experience possible, it could take a while.

Enjoy yourself, gamers of the world. And see you in Sanctuary, I’ll be playing a monk named JebOfArabia.

Good hunting!

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