Diablo 3′s Public Game Counter Clarified
One after another, Blizzard has hit its players with a number of nerfs that for many were the breaking point. No one really knows how many players are left. The numbers of which have drastically shrunk after patch 1.0.3 was deployed.
This is that little number that says ‘in games’ on the upper center part of the public game screen. What this number actually represents is the number of available games available to your current character.
What does this mean? It means it represents the games you can join. For instance a level 60 character cannot join public games in nightmare. Nor can a hardcore character join a non-hardcore game.
Also this number does not represent the number of public games that are full with four players. Prior to patch 1.0.3 the public game counter was so large due to a different priorities. Instead of filling games with four players the game would often create new games with less players, the initial set up was designed to reduce server load.
Now, the number has shrunk due to the fact that Blizzard is filling up its public games instead of creating new ones. Instead of playing with just one other player, when you join public games the chance that it fills up to maximum capacity is much higher, ensuring a four player party experience. It also means that the public game counter is a poor meter stick for determining Diablo 3‘s game population. First off, it doesn’t show the number of full games neither does it show number of people checking auction house. Blizzard has acknowledged that the number is confusing and intends to fix it or make it clear as quickly as they can.
We’ve recently seen a lot of questions from players regarding the number displayed in the Public Games window – specifically, what the number represents and why it’s changed so drastically since patch 1.0.3 released.
Here’s the skinny:
1) What does the number displayed in the Public Games wind ow actually represent?
The number that displays in the Public Games window represents the total number games currently available to your hero, based on your game region and mode (Hardcore heroes qualify for a different set of Public Games). The number does not represent private games or Public Games that already have four players. Players hanging out in the character menus or using the auction house are not considered here either.
2) Why did that number suddenly change so much after patch 1.0.3?
Prior to patch 1.0.3, the in-game matchmaking system would often create new Public Games instead of filling existing games to their maximum capacity of four players. That configuration was to help reduce server load within individual games (fewer players, less load); however, it caused situations where players were rarely being placed into full games, and our goal has always been to promote the four player cooperative experience in Diablo III.
In patch 1.0.3 we made some changes so that the matchmaking system would attempt to fill Public Games instead of creating new ones whenever possible. As a result, we’re seeing more filled Public Games than ever before (you may have noticed this yourself while playing), but it also means that the number displayed in the Public Games window generally isn’t as high as it was prior to patch 1.0.3. As explained above, this is due to the fact that the value only reflects Public Games which aren’t yet full.
We understand that labeling this number as “In Games” in the Public Games window can be confusing, so we’re currently looking into ways to make the number and what it represents more clear. In the meantime, we continue to closely monitor both the state of the game service and your questions and comments about Diablo III. @bnet
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