Last Monday, Blizzard Entertainment invaded the Irvine Spectrum in full force for the official launch of the much-anticipated and now, error-plagued Diablo III. Despite the server issues you may be experiencing now, I’d like you to take a quick journey back in time with me to the moment when the geeks conquered Orange County. On any other day, you might have spied a housewife of the OC preening in a Nordstroms storefront, but not today. This was our day, and the unworthy crumbled in our presence.

This is essentially my backyard, so I hopped in my car and joined RipTen’s California Division, Catherine Cai and Dave Oshry, in the festivities. Blizzard filled the night with homages to Diablo II, developer diaries, artist demonstrations, and other hijinks worthy of the main stage. There were prizes, cosplayers, Bulgarians, Tupac, and a horde of rabid fans hungry for the game over ten years in the making. I snapped a few chic iPhone photos for your enjoyment.

Diablo III artists show off their skills for the crowd.
Devs and artists finally shave their "diableards" on stage for all to see.
Official Blizzard cosplayers wow audiences. Christina Simms appears!

At one point, the lights dimmed and we watched every single cinematic from Diablo II play out on the big screen. Tristram’s theme boomed, cheers pierced the night and nostalgia was everywhere. Lead Designer Jay Wilson took to the stage with minutes left until midnight and rallied the crowd as he called each class to arms, one by one. The masses roared, unified in that moment by their common goal: kill, loot, kill.

At last, Diablo III.

Midnight came upon us and the slow crawl began. Over one hundred developers turned out to sign fans’ copies of the game, if they were willing to wait the hours required to accomplish this goal. Was it worth it?

Oh hell, yes.