Developers Blizzard Entertainment has made action role playing game Diablo III free to play up to level 13, as the firm tries to encourage more sales of one of the year's most commercially successful titles.

Available through Blizzard's account management system Battle.net, gamers will be able to reach the Skeleton King boss in Act I playing the Starter Edition without having to purchase a copy of the game.

Players can either create a new Battle.net account or use an existing one to access Diablo III through the "Your Game Accounts" section. They can download the client and then log in. Alternatively, they can borrow a copy of the title off a friend to install it and then access the Start Edition through their Battle.net account.

However, there are some restrictions in the Starter Edition of Diablo III. For example, there is no access to the Auction House using real money or in-game gold, matchmaking can only be done with other Starter Edition players. Yet, Global Play will be available to players giving the game a free trial.

Any achievements earned during Starter Edition play will be automatically carried over to the full version, if players choose to buy it, and the above restrictions will also be removed.

The Starter Edition is the same version of the game that players who bought the game were initially restricted to for the first 72 hours of play, in a move designed by Blizzard to reduce gold spammers. The restriction was, however, quickly relaxed.

Diablo III's forthcoming patch 1.0.4 is set for release at the end of this month, bringing a number of changes designed to balance the game. These include making the harder enemies a bit easier and increasing the difficulty of the meat and potatoes of the game's hordes of monsters.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801430419-ADNFCR
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