Diablo III finally out

Diablo III, one of the longest-awaited titles in gaming history, is to be released within minutes. The second game—released fully 12 years ago—sucked countless hundreds of my hours with its near-perfect combination of clicking, stat-grinding, loot-hunting, medieval gloom, clicking, and right-clicking. This is why I'm sat up at 11:30 p.m. waiting for a video game to unlock, like an indolent rat watching a ball of rat crack slowly tumble its way toward him through a translucent plexiglass rat crack dispenser somewhere in a lab at Merck.

Already the most pre-ordered game of all time, Diablo III will be familiar territory to anyone who has played an action RPG since Gauntlet: new character classes, slicker graphics and 2012's more reliable internet connections garnish what promises to be the same gloriously addictive co-op multiplayer fare.

Controversial changes include a real-money auction house for trading in-game gear with other players, and the lack of player-vs-player combat at launch. Having played the beta, I might add that some World of Warcraft-esque visual camp lightens up the series' necrotic Gothic airs a little—this seems to bother hardcore fans a lot.

But hey, it's not like they're about to just say no, is it?

Diablo III [Amazon]

UPDATE: Countless customers report that the game won't start: even single player games run online, and Blizzard didn't set up enough servers to handle the launch-day load.