Diablo 3 Day I Pitstop: How’s your Internet Connection?

If it’s one thing gamers will never compromise, it’s their Internet connection. The launch of Diablo III has prompted gamers around the country to scrutinize the quality of their Internet connectivity. As a fan myself, I really take these things seriously and no amount of marketing BS will convince me otherwise. The proof is in the pudding and it seems that not everyone is a chef.

This feedback is based on a number of qualitative feedback from friends and personal experience as well.

So far, it seems that Diablo 3 works fine with the following ISP’s

Smart (tethered) – I tether my MacBook with my iPhone 4s and get to play just fine. Some people prefer a fixed wireless broadband connection though.

Globe (tethered) – I get to play with Rico of (he tethers using a Samsung Galaxy S II)

PLDT – Generally good. I hopped into a number of games of friends and we’re rolling seamlessly.

On another note, one ISP stands out to be the provider to avoid for Diablo III:

Sky Broadband – Woes to Sky Broadband. They really dropped the ball on this one. I used to swear by Sky publicly as the best wired connection money can buy in the country. Service has dropped to a really poor rating in the past 2 months.

Brendan outlined it all here in a comment:

Hi there,

Many many emails to Skybroadband support center regarding Blizzard downloader P2P issues and unplayable in game experience with Diablo 3 (may be DNS, but may be that they have restricted Port 1119, which Diablo 3 uses) – to no avail.

Sky simply does not respond to queries and when you call them they tell you to send an email through to support center. Its a vicious circle.

Playing it on my friends PLDT connection works perfectly.

After 2 years with Sky, seems like PLDT really is the way to go.

– Brendan

As my cousin said, ” Pre-term fee for Sky is PHP 2,000.00, Diablo 3 is priceless. If it doesn’t work at 3Mbps, I’m dropping them for (insert ISP here).” Sorry Sky Broadband. I swore by your services. I really did. But sad gamer can’t compromise.

You know what’s most interesting? My wireless tethering is faster than my ethernet connection. Why, Sky, why? Note that I write this not to smear Sky’s reputation but 2 months of your IT support not knowing what the problem is makes for really bad service. Fans have waited for Diablo III for about a decade and we absolutely need to be online to play this (there is no offline mode). So you definitely should understand why gamers feel really bad about this and need to switch. We waited 9 years for Diablo III. We absolutely can’t wait for you.

To the others: how’s your gaming experience? Add me up: LOLMOWER#1648


Trailer: Summoner Wars for iOS

I can’t stress it any more: iOS is the platform of choice if you’re a fan of modern (and classic) board games.

Summoner Wars is a fast-playing, action-packed 2-4 player card game. Players take on the role of Summoners: powerful beings who harness the power of mysterious Summoning Stones to lead their race to conquest on the war-torn planet of Itharia. These Summoners wield terrible magic on the battlefield, freezing their foes in place, draining their enemies of power, and even bringing rains of fire down from the heavens. But most notoriously, they summon their great race’s hordes of warriors to the battlefield, to clash in the never-ending struggle for supremacy. A Summoner is both mage and general, and must combine their wizardly might with clever tactics to defeat the enemy Summoner on the opposite side of the battle. [BoardGameGeek]


Zombie Friendster is back to play your games

So Friendster is back from the dead and they’re here to make you play online games.

Truth is, this is old news as the pioneering social network announced their shift from social networking into social gaming as late as last year. It’s only this 2012 that they’re making a huge marketing push bringing things like the “biggest gaming event” to SM North EDSA. I have some friends from the Level-Up eGames merger who will emotionally contest this claim.


So how was your Diablo III Open Beta Experience?

Got to play Diablo III over the open beta weekend and it was a great experience. The game is worth the pre-order and it looks like boyfriends and husbands will be AWOL starting May 15th. Although I got a decent playthrough, I wasn’t able to finish the game with the Barbarian nor the Demon Hunter. I spent most of my time with the Monk, Witch Doctor and the Wizard and albeit 13 levels of play doesn’t give you the clearest picture of endgame builds, it’s still a great sneak peek. It’s on beta after all.

But this isn’t what this post is about.

**Raise your hand if you’re on Sky Broadband**

After moving into our new place at The Fort, we subscribed to a new Sky Broadband plan. I was very sold on Sky’s fixed line cable service in Paranaque and have been with them for years. Barely any problems and service was epic. It seems that my move to a different location coincided with a problem with their connection that’s being replicated by other users as well, as seen on Twitter.

The symptoms are as follows:

– if you have a download meter installed, it looks like there’s no problem as we’re getting spot on 150Kbps speeds for the price we pay for surfing. And it jumps to 250Kbps. Even more sometimes!

– BUT downloading huge files like email won’t work

– BUT downloading seeds doesn’t work (these are purely legitimate seeds because a lot of legitimate services make use of torrent technology)

– AND playing online games is abysmal; Diablo III barely loads and you won’t even see enemies. You can’t even open crates. Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer is unplayable.

Here’s the thing: I tethered my iPhone4s to my computer and everything runs really well on HSPA (Go SMART!). The photo above shows my lag on an iPhone. It’s just silly that we’ve come to the point that mobile data is actually more reliable than this wired connection. And that’s how I’ve been playing Mass Effect and Diablo III ever since. This is most probably a DNS issue for Sky. I tried doing a direct connect, eliminating the possibility of the wireless router being the problem, but it didn’t help. Port forwarding doesn’t do anything as well.

Just wondering — has anyone experienced similar problems with Sky Broadband and if you’ve fixed the issue (I really think it’s DNS!) What did you do? Been trying to talk to someone from @skyserves but talk isn’t happening.

@SkyServes, please fix this problem before May 15 2012. That’s when Diablo III launches worldwide. I will have to point out that in 2010, on the day Starcraft II launched, your service went black throughout the whole of Paranaque for a couple of hours and many gamers from the south couldn’t authenticate their copies. Sad panda.

Your service was great! Let’s keep it that way!


Can’t wait! Nightfall for iOS Coming Soon

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I love the Android mobile platform but when it comes to this little niche of board game / card game titles, iOS is always first to market. If you’re a board game geek, you’ll be pleased to know that Nightfall is coming to the App Store very soon. I previously did a short overview and unboxing of the Nightfall: Martial Law a standalone expansion on GeekOut and if you read closely, the physical card game, albeit fun can bring about a huge impediment with the setup process as there are over 300 cards to organize. Bringing the game to iOS removes this hassle!

Added bonus: Check out this interview with Playdek and AEG.