Starting with Diablo III patch 1.0.3, new players who purchased their copy digitally via the Blizzard store found out that, because they bought a digital copy and not a boxed retail copy, their character was restricted to level 13, and couldn’t progress past the Skeleton King.
Part of this was unintended, Blizzard explained shortly after the release of the patch, and those issues have now been addressed. Now, digital purchasers will be able to progress past act 1–which includes the Skeleton King, of course–and their level won’t be capped at 13.
There are, however, still restrictions for new digital copies.
For example, new users who purchased a digital copy of Diablo III won’t be able to access the auction house, won’t be able to join public games, won’t be able to trade items (yes, that includes dropping them), and they are restricted from accessing Global Play. Additionally, you’ll be unable to send a custom message with your friend invite (you can still send the invite), and you won’t be able to talk in any public or game channels.
So what’s the reason for all of these restrictions? Well, Blizzard said that it imposed the Diablo III digital copy restriction to deter credit card fraud, as well as to cut back on all of the gold spam that plagued the general chat right after it was first released, among other things.
On the bright side, the restrictions will only last “up to” 72 hours, with most purchases being verified sooner than that.
Are you still playing Diablo III, or have you already moved on?