Devil May Buy: Real Money Auction House Delayed Again

By Nathan Grayson on May 25th, 2012 at 12:00 am.

Oh my god! Those skeletons had kids! Well, once. They're probably dead now.

Things haven’t been going so hot for the Lord of the Damned lately. At this point, his rocky start‘s probably better documented than, er, Rocky’s rocky starts, and then that whole hacking thing happened. Granted, somewhere in there, Diablo III also sort of became the fastest-selling PC game of all time, but honestly, millions and millions of dollars can only wipe away so many tears. At any rate, the fallout continues – this time with a second delay for the hellish hack ‘n’ slash’s controversial real money auction house.

Blizzard explained in an rather large status update on Diablo’s official forums:

“In light of the post-launch obstacles we’ve encountered, we have made the decision to move the launch of the real-money auction house beyond the previously estimated May time frame. As we mentioned in our original announcement, our goal has always been to ensure everyone has the smoothest experience possible when the real-money auction house launches, and we need a bit more time to iron out the existing general stability and gameplay issues before that feature goes live. While we don’t have a new launch date to share just yet, we’ll have more information soon.”

Even so, the king of MMO mountain continued to severely downplay recent hacking complaints, reiterating that its servers haven’t been compromised and the Authenticator code (novelization coming this fall from Dan Brown) has yet to be cracked.

“First and foremost, we want to make it clear that the Battle.net and Diablo III servers have not been compromised. In addition, the number of Diablo III players who’ve contacted customer service to report a potential compromise of their personal account has been extremely small. In all of the individual Diablo III-related compromise cases we’ve investigated, none have occurred after a physical Battle.net Authenticator or Battle.net Mobile Authenticator app was attached to the player’s account, and we have yet to find any situation where a Diablo III player’s account was accessed outside of ‘traditional’ compromise methods (i.e. someone logging using an account’s login email and password).”

Blizzard also ruled out “session spoofing,” wherein some malcontent nabs another players identity after they’ve logged into the game. So, in short, the crafter of all things ‘Craft (except mines) is putting account protection largely on the shoulders of personal responsibility. In the short term, then, the plan is to hotfix and tweak the game for both stability and gameplay balance issues. Already, for instance, the Monk’s punches are packing a bit less pop.

So that’s where we’re at. It’s still an unfortunate state of affairs no matter how you slice it, and I’m still keeping my credit card far, far away from the real money auction house just in case. But, if Blizzard’s being completely honest about the situation, it’s largely only capable of doing damage control on account compromises. I still think the “always” part of “always online” is far, far more trouble than its worth, but in this specific case, Blizzard’s probably more huntsman than Big Bad Wolf.

Even so, I have to remain skeptical, if only because of the sheer volume of people I know who’ve woken up in a bathtub full of icey sorrow sans gold, loot, and other essential Diablo-playing organs. Regardless, here’s hoping this is the worst things are going to get.

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175 Comments »

  1. Greggh says:

    “Devil May Buy”

    Oh, you carefree devil you…

  2. Duffin says:

    It would be nice if they scrapped the whole thing. Not that that would stop people buying and selling items like.

    • HothMonster says:

      Hopefully making buying and selling gold legal and an option for all players will drive down the black market demand and actually lessen the amount of account hijacking that goes on in Blizzard games. If any wow player could sell his gold it, possibly, wouldn’t be worth enough on the black market to make all the thievery that goes on lucrative.

      • diamondmx says:

        It’s a good idea and it works up to a point, but as EVE’s market shows – it does not eliminate gold selling, it just hurts the gold sellers, driving down prices. In many ways it forces them to find more extreme methods of collecting gold – botting, account hijacking – in order to keep the effort to reward ratio down.

        I have to wonder though, if what they’re doing will in fact simply legitimise gold selling, and so long as they don’t get caught cheating to gain the gold, then they are free to sell it.

        Conversely, this means that Blizzard will by necessity, have to treat anyone who cheats for their own benefit in their own game, as exactly like gold-farming cheaters who’re trying to rake in profits.

        Illegalising cheats in a game with a single-player component is a bit fishy, in my opinion. Many a game is improved on some level by a little cheat here and there – eg. To get out of a bugged area, to balance out when the game does something stupid, or to do something silly and fun.

        I sure wouldn’t have finished Fallout 3 without a no-clip, so many places the game might glitch and trap me in a pile of rubble.

        • HothMonster says:

          “To get out of a bugged area, to balance out when the game does something stupid, or to do something silly and fun”

          True, its now up to blizzard to provide these services and they are increasing the pressure on themselves to do so by not allowing mods and offline. Well see how they do, they certainly won’t please everyone like a large mod community can though.

          “It’s a good idea and it works up to a point, but as EVE’s market shows”
          Hopefully with millions of people participating it will make it not profitable enough for try as hard as they do now. Moving the market to a legitimate market also destroys some of the easy vectors for attack: the gold selling sites themselves. Of course making it harder just makes them try harder. They could just end up creating the jokers to their securities batman.

          “I have to wonder though, if what they’re doing will in fact simply legitimise gold selling”
          Unfortunately I think enough people will still go to third party sites to buy things because they think they are sticking it to blizzard by not giving them the tax without realizing they are also encouraging attacks on their fellow players.

      • Docslapper says:

        Erm, no. the current black market is a method for hackers to get their stolen wares to their customers. If Blizz provides an easier method for that, then hacking is only going to go up, obviously.

        At the moment if you want to buy gold in WoW, then you have to go to a shady person and conduct what you know to be a shady deal, which stops a lot of people doing it.

        In the proposed auction house, you just buy stuff. You don’t know whether it’s stolen or not, and it’s not your responsibility to determine that. So more people will be buying stolen stuff, which creates more demand for stolen stuff.

        This is a massive problem for Blizz. In a hypothetical example: I acquire an Axe of +500 Awesomeness off a mob, then my account is hacked and my Axe is sold on the AH to an unsuspecting buyer while a bunch of other stuff is given to the hacker’s account for them to sell. I contact Blizz and get my account reinstated and my stuff back. But are they going to roll back the sale? If so, are they going to claim the money I made from the sale back off me and refund the buyer? Or do I just get a new axe? Can I sell the new axe? What’s to stop me repeatedly claiming my account was hacked to sell the same axe over and over again? If they won’t let me sell it again and again, what do they do if I’m hacked again?
        Like I’ve said before, this is a nightmare for Blizzard because (and I’ll explain more this time) each AH transaction is a sale of goods, potentially from a person in one jurisdiction to a person in another jurisdiction. Each one of those transactions is covered by the relevant Sale of Goods Act (or equivalent) in each country. So if I bought an Axe of Awesomeness +500 and then had the sale refunded and the Axe taken away, I could go to the OFT (in the UK, there are other similar organisations in other countries) and demand that the contract I made for the purchase of the Axe be honoured.

        • frightlever says:

          If nothing else it’ll broaden interest in case law re: tangible vs intangible goods.

          I’m kinda interested in the RMAH to see if I can recoup some of the cost of D3 by selling odds and ends. I will not be spending real money on anything though.

        • HothMonster says:

          Its true that players will not know if they are buying stolen goods or not if they buy on the ah. But blizzard will be watching people selling more gold or items than average could draw their attention. Hackers sell lots of gold, they make lots of real money doing it. If they are trying to do that on the AH it won’t be long before blizzard wonders where all that gold it coming from. They then risk losing their whole stockpile.

          In your example it seems the hackers put your ax on the ah from your hacked account. They wouldn’t do the its only a matter of time before you get it back and that could be before the auction is over. If its a seriously rare item they will take it but they will probably just vendor it for the gold. It is harder to track and they only have so much storage and auction space. But lets stick to your example, so they take your ax as is and sell it. Blizzard can give you your ax back, take the money from the from them ban their account and hopefully find where they funneled all their gold to, and the buyer can keep his ax. Its a digital item they can simply make another one now that two people have a claim on it, both the hacked and the unknowing buyer can walk away happy.

          “What’s to stop me repeatedly claiming my account was hacked to sell the same axe over and over again?” The same thing that keeps you from tricking them into giving you free wow items if you lie to them, logs. If it was that easy to lie to them and get them to give you awesome items and gold every mmo would just be rich people walking around in the best gear. Will some people scam them? Yes will they do it over and over again? No, if for no other reason than if your account gets compromised twice you can’t use the rmah anymore.

          They have teams of lawyers who wrote up the tos and eula that they hope will protect them and that says you can’t sue them you have to arbitrate. But more case law and attention to digital markets by courts and law enforcement is going to hurt the scammers more than blizzard. If it is a nightmare though they want to know now because this is surely a test run for a similar system that will replace sub fees for Titan if the rmah is profitable for them.

    • godlike says:

      They won’t scrap it… because they can make money from it.

      I got my account hacked today. And I’d like to protest against Blizzard’s assumption that I join every public game with, “Hello, my name is Bob and my account’s password is HaxMePlease”.

      And so what if No-one with a mobile authenticator has been hacked yet (although there are reports there are). It’s not what you supplied us with in the beginning. It’s irrelevant. You supply us with an Always-On Internet connection DRM system. Which logs us in, and AUTHENTICATES US, and DL’s our Heroes from your supremely safe cloud storage.
      Why would we go then digging into your website and search for Additional security? Especially for an Authenticator to help with our… Authenticator!

      And back to the topic of making money.

      All my LOOT, Gear and Gold were stolen.
      Supreme rare stuff goes to the Auction house. Anything house is sold immediate to in-game NPC merchants for quick cash.

      The hacker builds up a wealth of Gold. Goes to Auction House and buys TOP GEAR.
      Then goes to Real Money Auction House and sells TOP GEAR and makes REAL MONEY.
      Blizzard LOVES THIS because they get a cut.

  3. Brun says:

    Knew RPS couldn’t make it one day without posting a Diablo 3 article.

    • Greggh says:

      Well, it IS the “fastest-selling PC game of all time”

    • Bhazor says:

      “PC gaming news website posting news about biggest PC game of the year shocker!!!”

      • Brun says:

        Never said it bothered me, or that they shouldn’t do so. Just that the frequency (and dependability) of the subject was interesting.

        • Phantoon says:

          Have you been paying attention to the situation? Of course there’s going to be updates. The game sold like hotcakes were never going to be made again, so you better get your collector’s edition hotcake so you can tell everyone how you had the best hotcake.

          And then they had massive failures, like the game being unplayable for a large amount of people via the Dread Lord of Suffering, Thirty Seven.

          Then there’s this possible hacking scandal which they refused to acknowledge at first, then said “IT’S THE PLAYERS’ FAULTS!” at which one ravenous fanboys (reminiscent of SWTOR fanboys, how’d that work out) descended upon the threads and echoed “IT’S YOUR FAULT, YOU’RE ALL LIARS THAT DON’T KNOW SECURITY, I HAVE TWO ANTI VIRUSES I’M UNTOUCHABLE” and on and on…

          So yeah, there’s been that. It’s kind of big news. And this is a gaming news site.

        • ipshdg says:

          I’m glad you enjoy DRM free gaming and hope you can get more out of it than what you will ever get from trash products like what Activision produces.http://exiledonline.com/failing-up-with-citigroups-dick-parsons/

          • HothMonster says:

            ^ Spam

            I’m pretty sure skynet will be a computer made by spammers instead of the government.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            2nd elaborate spam trap from the same account in the same day, needs more report buttons.

            Or can we just remove the html code from the comments so you just have to post full URLs?

        • zaphod42 says:

          Hey, any of you guys noticed there’s a lot of news going on about Diablo 3?
          I noticed because this news site has lots of news about it.
          Isn’t that weird?

          Wut.

      • ukpanik says:

        “PC gaming news website posting news about biggest PC game of the year shocker!!!”

        Smug PC gaming news website gleefully posting only the bad news about biggest PC game of the year shocker!!!
        I think they love the game really tho….kinda like pulling the pigtails of the girl you hate at school but secretly love.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      It increases and sustains mass readership. Money money money

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        Oh come off it gents. This is news. News should be reported.

        • Stromko says:

          I don’t even play Diablo 3 and I still believe it’s newsworthy. D3′s sold a bajillion copies, and that fact is going to effect the future of gaming, especially given the controversy.

        • HexagonalBolts says:

          Indeed, MrEvilGuy you are being absolutely ridiculous. This is a PC gaming website – a niche hobby website – it’s hardly reeling us all in so as to further reinforce the consumer-capitalist hegemony. I don’t think RPS even made a profit for a good part of its existence. Go and be angry at Rupert Murdoch or the Daily Mail.

      • Havok9120 says:

        0_o

        You realize that this is, in fact, news right? And that you’re on a site dedicated toward gaming and news thereof?

        • MrEvilGuy says:

          That’s exactly it. News for the masses, for the money.

          • Mallic says:

            Oh you…

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            Yes, all to further their stake in the super-lucrative…games journalism business. Where hard working writers make nearly a pittance and get bitched at by idiots on the internet for being so “greedy.”

            Yeah, you might have thought that one out for more than two seconds before you posted.

          • RegisteredUser says:

            What is this I don’t even

          • mrwout says:

            What news would you rather have? News for the lucky few?

          • subedii says:

            What is RPS’s problem with posting news about the growing of root vegetables? I’ve yet to see even a single article on the subject.

            Clearly they only care about DRM and citrus fruits.

    • dmoe says:

      People complaining about a gaming news site posting news.

    • Roshin says:

      It wasn’t that long ago when people whinged about Minecraft posts.

    • Wisq says:

      Yes, because it’s totally RPS’s fault that the most newsworthy game to come out so far this year is continuing to produce newsworthy developments at a rate of at least one per day.

      I’m going to write to my local paper and complain about them running political news every day during the runup to election day.

  4. Reapy says:

    I don’t think the AH is bug free yet… commodities are down assuming it wasn’t working right, and a friend of mine lost 30k GP through a disappearing auction. That is all just hoo hum errors with gold, but if that was cash…oh boy.

    They better get it 100% right before you allow real money to change hands.

    • Bhazor says:

      Theres already dupes and fake auctions going on in the gold auction house. Just wait for the cash house to open and see how much fun the scammers have then.

      Theres a reason most MMOs don’t allow you to sell in game content for cash, it’s not because they didn’t think of it first. It’s because they know hackers/scammers are probably smarter than the people working in your security department.

      • Rhin says:

        I’m not an MMO player, but it seems to me that EVE players seem to not mind their stuff having real-world value. But then again, EVE players are made of different stuff.

        • Bhazor says:

          From what I understand scamming and robbing each other is basically the interesting part of the game.

          Also Plex can’t be sold for cash and is really the equivalent of paying someone elses subscription in return for ingame goods. I guess you can sell your account though but that’s outside the game and I would be interested just how many buyers were cheated and just how hard the community laughed at them.

          • mmalove says:

            Scamming and robbing, yes. Account hacking in any form remains strictly forbidden, which is what’s happening to most Diablo players.

            It’s interesting that we’ve had anecdotes on reddit and such that players with authenticators have been compromised, but Blizzard’s claiming not a single service case where an authenticator was on the compromised account. Somebody’s lying, though I wouldn’t put it past the DRM haters to make something up.

            I’m in the camp of my CC isn’t going anywhere near that RMAH though. Not only is it a disaster waiting to happen should the account be compromised, but to me my game experience would be cheapened if I pay to win. Can’t wait to see how Blizzard handles “my credit card just got charged for 1000 dollars worth of virtual goods” claims. Lawsuit inc, I’m sure.

          • Baines says:

            Blizzard sells Authenticators. And have been criticized for having a lackluster approach to basic security.

            I wouldn’t expect them to even risk implying that they think Authenticator-protected accounts might have been compromised, at least not until they’ve already proven to themselves beyond doubt that it has happened. Anything else opens them to a potential firestorm, one that might be otherwise avoidable.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            Your CC won’t go near the AH. Blizzard accounts now have a money saldo, which you can pay into or pay out. There’s no direct connection to your credit card.

            Authenticators are a technology also used by major banks to secure their customers’ accounts. If those things were compromised, someone’s Sword of Awesome would be the least of people’s worries.

      • Cruyelo says:

        Dupes and fake auctions?
        [Citation Needed]

        • HothMonster says:

          Someone on the internet told her, they had like pictures and everything.

          • Phantoon says:

            If you’re going to throw out [citation needed], then you best cite where it was said that all the people complaining about getting hacked were at fault for it, and that there is no exploit (that I’ve looked up and know how to do, but I don’t have diablo 3), and that there are no cheats (you know there’s been a couple cheat sites with everything since closed beta?) and that no one is buying or selling accounts yet (though Chris Donlan may disagree over at Eurogamer http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-05-21-diablo-3-accounts-hacked-gold-and-items-stolen)

            Really, rushing to be the first to say “no you’re wrong, prove it” just means someone will come up with evidence of why you are wrong. And no, I won’t list the hack sites. You’re still wrong.

          • HothMonster says:

            I think people who get hacked are victims not morons. I know there have been private beta servers. Of course there is a black market for items and accounts. But feel free to provide any examples of how to dupe items that isn’t from the beta. I love that you call me wrong for things I didn’t say but fail to actually provide evidence for the claim I have called into doubt.

      • Eamo says:

        This is how it goes:

        1. Person sees dupe program on the internets.
        2. Person downloads and runs this program.
        3. Person loses their account.
        4. Person posts “omg, my account got haxxored and I am totally innocent” post on internet.
        5. Someone believes that both the dupe program and the person claiming to have been hacked are legit.
        6. Someone who has never played what is by any measure a pretty great game claims to be glad to have dodged that bullet.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          And we have a winner. I know dozens of people who play this game, none have been hacked. Are we lucky? No we are all people who are mature enough to not bother with things like “duping”.

  5. Syra says:

    I wonder if anyone is sorely disappointed by the delay?

  6. Bhazor says:

    So their servers weren’t hacked and they’re delaying the RMAH (pronounced rammer I assume) for entirely unrelated security reasons.
    Seems legit.

    • Cruyelo says:

      Not security reason, the AH is just slow and buggy.
      It’s definitely a good idea to delay it and iron out the problems.

      • Bhazor says:

        The auction house becoming buggy and glitching out and its servers suddenly going down for emmergency maintenance has nothing to do with the reported mass hacks two days ago.
        Seems legit.

        • Duffin says:

          The AH has been buggy since day 1, I don’t see the connection you are trying to make. Perhaps they are worried about the sale of stolen items but there is no direct correlation between that and the AH being a buggy mess. The RMAH was already delayed before release, I guess that was because of accounts getting hacked then?

        • Reefpirate says:

          The ‘Mass Hackz’ that went down a few days ago seem to be a bunch of people who leaked their password info somewhere. This happens frequently in any sort of online game environment. It takes someone with a serious ‘Blizzard fucking sucks’ hard-on to link some accounts acting normally to a lack of optimization on the Auction House.

          I’m not a hacker, and not a scammer, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the RMAH play out, and possibly making a few bucks. It is one of the same kind of thrills I got from playing EVE for the first time, so I like that analogy.

          • Phantoon says:

            Let’s ignore that. Thought experiment time: What if Blizzard IS lying and accounts HAVE been compromised? In this situation that you don’t believe is the case, what would you think then?

          • Reefpirate says:

            Accounts have been compromised, so I’m half-way there. But a compromised account still kind of behaves like a normal account, and I don’t think it can infect the Auction House in the way you think it can… If anything, there might be some stolen goods on the Auction House. But the good news is that because everything is on a central server, these sorts of activities can be traced and rectified to a certain extent.

        • ScubaMonster says:

          Yes, people never exaggerate on the internet blowing problems way out of proportion. People are dumb and don’t take internet security seriously.

          Also, stop being a douche.

    • Moraven says:

      You best keep your tin foil hat on.

  7. Stephen Roberts says:

    I wish people had more backbone than ‘Fastest selling videogame of all time’. I would quite like to play Diablo 3. There is no way in hell I’m playing Diablo 3. I refuse to shovel through that much shit for the diamond beneath (especially since review clatter makes it sound more like a quartz stone at best).

    If you bought Diablo 3, or even if you didn’t, please send a letter to Blizzard letting them know how fucking annoying it is to have lag in your single player game and how the respectable game bit that you paid for is being marred into disrepair by the protection layered on top. Look here’s their address so you can send a letter:

    145 rue Yves le Coz
    78000 Versailles
    France

    You could even mention how damaging this could be for the creativity of the games industry as Mods are a big part of what keeps games alive and new ideas turning into actual games. You might even mention the continual improvements made to WoW by mod makers paving the way for Blizzard to appropriate and internalize each good mod that’s out there into their own addition.

    Or you could just play Diablo 3 and grit your teeth when error messages fly up or lag happens despite your good connection. That’s good too.

    • alundra says:

      Mr. Grayson is right, millions and millions of dollars can (only) wipe away so many tears. And I agree with you, one could expect more a little more backbone from people, then again, this is not people we are talking about, it’s sheeople, and they are leading us into the next golden era, to be called, idiocracy.

      Let’s think for a minute, who proclaimed how many units has this thing sold?? furthermore, at which point in time we all started following their rationale that unit sold = satisfied customer ??

      But hey, blizvis is stating that the hacking thing is just their customers posting their passwords to the net. I guess we should believe that too.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        YOU BOUGHT DIABLO 3 NOW YOU’VE DOOMED WESTERN CIVILIZATION YOU GODLESS HEATHENS OH LORD SAVE US

        • Phantoon says:

          Well, it is terribly overrated and dumb- but I guess Jersey Shore is popular too.

          • TsunamiWombat says:

            Now if you said Jersey Shore was the doom of Western Civilization I would have agreed.

          • gwathdring says:

            Would you say the result of Jersey Shore is an apocalyptic situation?

      • Freud says:

        I enjoy RPS comment field belief in that those that bought Diablo 3 are sheeps who got tricked into it and now are suffering. Meanwhile, pretty much everyone I know who plays it has very little problems with the servers (after the rough first day) are loving the game to death.

        So yeah, I guess we got tricked into playing the best PC game in ages by those shrewd Blizzactivision fiends.

    • jaheira says:

      I’ve never had a problem with lag in this game. Would you like me to pretend that I have?

      @ alundra
      Here’s an idea: stop insulting people that bought a game just because you don’t happen to like that game.

      • Phantoon says:

        We would like you to understand that other people have, and that your experience is atypical.

        But by all means, feel defensive about how everything has been fine for you so clearly it’s everyone else’s fault for lag. Must be slow internet on their part, right? Can’t be there’s a vocal outcry for any reason. Nope, must just be trolls. Speaking of trolls, I heard the Mass Effect 3 ending was completely fine and people complained because they didn’t like the colors.

        Also I’m being sarcastic. Don’t throw that defensive crap out there. That’s ASKING for people to get mad. He wasn’t directly talking to you, but you made yourself the target. So, good job, I guess.

        • arccos says:

          Who says his/her experience is atypical?

          The rage and insults directed at people who bought the game is getting really old. We get that you don’t like the game. We get that you’re upset about the online requirement.

          We bought the game anyways. Not because of weak backbones. Not because we’re stupid. Not because we’re sheeple. It’s because the positives outweighed the negatives for us.

          So maybe that’s a valid opinion, too?

          • alundra says:

            Yeah the problem is that it is those who purchased the game that call our concerns for the future of games a bunch of whining.

            Surprise surprise, RPS itself, and many other non mainstream gaming sites are whining.

            See, we are not arguing that Torchlight is better than Diablo, we are trying to bring to the front light the consequences such massive support for always online single player drm, and the incompetence of a company, will have to the industry, because you know what?? We care for this industry more than getting our next mainstream gaming fix.

            Of course there are those who would rather shove all that dirt under a rug.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            It is totally valid to decide that the positives outweigh the negatives for you, and make the individual choice to buy the game.

            But just because it was an individual choice, doesn’t mean it only effects you. Inconveniently enough, that choice impacts all of us, and there is no avoiding that.

            I won’t go so far as to say it’s antisocial, but people who chose to support D3 have, for the most part, put their own immediate gratification before the long-term good of the industry and their fellow gamers.

            That doesn’t make consumers of D3 spineless irresponsible sheeple, it just makes them human. But it remains a fundamentally selfish choice, as most choices are in our modern economy.

            The few relatively ethical choices that are available to us usually involve settling for relatively crude (or otherwise less “shiny”) products which cost more money. While I usually support such products, I can’t bring myself to fault anyone who chooses not to.

      • Reefpirate says:

        They’re now doing worse than insulting… It’s quite comical actually. I’m now part of a doomed generation of ignorant gamers, inadvertently bringing about an apocalypse of everything that everyone ever loved. It’s almost like some people around here are working on some sort of political treatise where I am the traitor.

        Meanwhile, although I am fully enjoying Diablo 3, I also have a number of games on my GoG account, I plan on buying Torchlight 2, I bought Terraria, Minecraft, SPAZ, pre-ordered Project Zomboid, along with several other DRM-free, offline only single player games. Yet, somehow in net, I come out as the anti-christ. Seriously, I think you people have lost your fucking minds.

        • Phantoon says:

          I like how you’ve made it “us and them” when everyone here is a RPS Commenter. You know I haven’t seen any pun chains since this Diablo fiasco? You don’t have to defend the game here, you know. Really! In fact, would there be any amount of evidence I could level at you to convince you that the game is being hacked?

          • Havok9120 says:

            You did that yourself by attacking everyone who bought the game and labling them spineless sheeple and simpletons. And God forbid that they ENJOY the game. You’re the one who’s mindlessly attacking the people with views opposing your own, not the people who like the game.

          • Reefpirate says:

            I never questioned that accounts were compromised… But sure, if you have evidence that Blizzard is at fault I’d be happy to read it over.

            And the ‘them’ I was referring to were people that were insulting other people who bought Diablo 3. They were scum of the Earth because they bought it, and they had the balls to enjoy it.

            I’ve been on the RPS train for a long time now, and I just saw another pun thread today that made me giggle. It only seems to be Diablo 3 articles where the freaking apocalypse breaks out. Torchlight 2 can’t arrive soon enough to pacify YOU freaking people.

        • alundra says:

          I’ve never seen anyone pointing at you and calling you the antichrist. I’m glad you enjoy DRM free gaming and hope you can get more out of it than what you will ever get from trash products like what Activision produces.

          Another thing, we, anti drm, are not the ones implying that we should gather all pro drm people and gas them, we are not the ones trying to hide facts behind fanboyism.

          We are not the ones willing to put up with all the irresponsible, incapable, incompetent and unethical behavior from a company that receives our money in exchange for nothing more than their lust for retaining full control of their wares.

          Sucks that you are now so paranoid, maybe you should listen to what your conscience is trying to tell you, and concentrate on drm free gaming only.

          • Havok9120 says:

            Have you been reading Phantoon’s posts in the Diablo threads? Because he’s come just short (or gone well beyond) doing almost everything you said there.

            Heck, you just gave a lecture that amounted to “I’m better, or at least smarter, than you because I think DRM is evil.” You implied that they are spineless and/or stupid because they don’t agree with your views. Heck, you outright said just that a few posts above this. And now DRM is “unethical?” Or is it something else going on here that’s unethical in your mind?

          • Reefpirate says:

            I can enjoy movies in the theatre, or I can enjoy them at home on DVD. If I go to a movie theatre, I’m not aiding in the destruction of the home movie industry, am I? There’s also Netflix, or watching movies on TV or at school… The point is there is a diversity of delivery mechanisms for media and just because one is successful does not immediately cancel the others out. Ie. DIABLO 3 WILL NOT DESTROY THE GAMES INDUSTRY, PLEASE CALM DOWN.

            I don’t really have the energy to pull quotes from another thread above here, but I was paraphrasing when using the anti-christ name… It has been said that anyone who bought Diablo 3 is aiding and abetting the enemy, ie. in cahoots with Satan (diablo lol).

            I am enjoying Diablo 3, and I’m legitimately excited about the possibilities of the RMAH. It’s something totally new and innovative, and new things excite me.

        • Viserion says:

          I’m really sorry to say this but RPS has become another RPG Codex. A crusade of haters. It used to be a site I had respect for, not necessarily for the journalistic side of it, but certainly for the high quality of most comments. Still, it’s funny seeing people so pissed off about a game and turning this into a crusade for the “future of pc gaming”.
          Don’t mind me though, just another sheeople.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            This. And the worst thing is, the tone is set by the articles.

          • mire says:

            I’m still getting a kick out of the crazy/misinformed/entitled/so-so-angry commenters, but yeah – this site’s probably getting the boot from my RSS reader after this dies down. The tone of the articles is amazingly juvenile and biased. Maybe make an attempt to confirm at least a single one of the “I had an authenticator and I got hacked” stories before accusing Blizzard of a massive coverup? “The sheer volume of people I know who…” – how many is that, exactly? How many had authenticators? How many do you only know through the internet? Ugh.

          • Freud says:

            Reading the articles, it’s obvious the RPS writers are fishing for these kinds of posters and those kinds of posts. Diablo 3 being an online game has made this site completely lose it and the sneering tendentious reporting reflects quite poorly on the writers for the site.

          • Reefpirate says:

            To be fair, I think Mr. Grayson was talking about the hacked, duped and broken state of D1 and D2 when talking about the people he knows who got hacked.

            I knew there was a backlash coming, and I guess I kind of based that knowledge on the heavy scepticism RPS shows towards DRM… But I am glad they are sceptical, and I think they discuss it intelligently.

            What I didn’t expect was a comment thread civil war type engagement, and it kinda isn’t fun after a while. That being said, RPS is still my #1 place to go for PC game writing.

        • Brise Bonbons says:

          When people get emotional they break out the broad brushes and start slapping the paint on fast and loose. It’s happening on both “sides”, yet more proof that speaking in generalities does nothing but destroy any intelligent thoughts attempting to get out.

          Specifics, people. Basic fucking brain skills. Don’t assign others made-up motivations or engage in internet psychological profiling.

          Sheesh.

          P.s. of course I’ve done it myself often enough, we all do. Fun on the internet.

      • alundra says:

        Jaheira Jaheira, tsk tsk.

        Here’s an idea, stop replying to my comments if you don’t like them.

      • Weevil says:

        No lag in my game either. One disconnect in 30 hours, really enjoying it. I have an authenticator though : )

    • Shooop says:

      Oh look, another one who thinks Blizzard actually cares about customer satisfaction after the sale is made.

      How cute.

      I remember I couldn’t find my Diablo 2 key one day, told their support I could send a scan of the receipt to prove I bought it and they told me “Oh no problem! You can buy another key for $30!”
      That was as much as I paid for the entire battlechest. Lucky I found the thing soon after.

      Blizzard’s reputation as this patron saint of gamers is disgustingly at odds with the reality. They never did care, and they never will.

    • Supahewok says:

      Dude, your thinking about this wrong. Think not “This is the fastest selling PC game of all time”, think “Just how much faster this game would’ve sold with an Offline Mode?”

      People have bought the crap out of this thing WITH all this shit tacked on. How much of an opportunity has Blizzard lost by angering a sizable portion of it’s potential customers, especially considering that they haven’t yet gotten their Auction House working yet, which was what was supposed to provide ongoing revenue and is the whole point of not having an offline option?

      Blizzard has made more than a few bucks from D3, sure, but it just makes me sad to see a company not utilizing an opportunity such as this to its fullest potential. Hell, I don’t even like this type of Action RPG gameplay, and I’m still sad.

      • Baines says:

        Blizzard did use the opportunity to its fullest potential. The difference is that you saw “fullest potential” as a short term “Make the most money possible from Diablo III” while Blizzard saw “fullest potential” as the long term “Force the gaming world to accept an ‘always online’ requirement through sales of an insanely popular general appeal game.”

        • Brise Bonbons says:

          I don’t think they care about the industry as a whole. I’m certain they just wanted some of that Ebay action via the RMAH, millions of transactions a week each depositing a little bit of raw profit in Blizzard’s account on their way through the server.

          It’s even better than TF2′s hats – Blizzard doesn’t even have to pay artists to make new items!

    • Consumatopia says:

      It’s entirely possible that Diablo 3 makes an insane amount of money (already happened) AND this could be an infamous fiasco that discredits similar always-online games. I mean, I never liked the idea of always-online, but this is working out worse than I expected it to. So however much I opposed always-online before, I oppose it even more now.

      We know that players will accept always-online games if they are A) Massively-Multiplayer B) Free-to-Play or C) key Blizzard franchises. But if you, as Publisher X, decide to make your next boxed single-player game always-online, you’ll get just as many hacker/connectivity/latency complaints, but you probably won’t get the “fastest selling game of all time” headlines that Blizzard is getting. I’m not sure that’s a good deal for Publisher X.

      More significant–I think ALL OTHER DRM will come under less scrutiny now. “Well, at least it isn’t always-online.”

    • zaphod42 says:

      Be careful.

      Diablo 3 is the “FASTEST selling PC game of all time”. I highlighted the two VERY key words.

      It is neither the top selling PC game of all time nor the top selling game of all time, by a longshot.

      They’ve made ~ 6.3 Million sales. Half-life was more like 9 million, and The Sims 16 million. They’ve got a long ways to go before they’re even the top selling PC game of all time.

      Then you’ve got console games like CODBLOPS selling 12 million, Halo 3 selling 8 million, etc. etc.

      So they’re not even close.

    • mire says:

      HI I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT BUT IM REALLY MAD PLZ STOP ENJOYING YOUR GAME AND BE MAD WITH ME THX

  8. Kuipo says:

    You know what… the gold auction house is junk as it is. They need to fix that one before they introduce the real money one. The current AH is always down, slow when it is up, has tons of problems with auctions not going through or items not allowing you to claim them.

    This is all aside from the INCREDIBLY terrible UI that it uses. Why bother with the AH when it’s so damn tiresome to use?! I don’t know how they can go BACKWARDS from world of warcraft’s auction house, but that’s exactly what they did.

    • Fiatil says:

      I really like hyperbole too! I’ve seen the auction house down for maintenance once while I’ve been playing, and I haven’t encountered any lag or lost items whatsoever despite using it fairly extensively. It does need a few more search features which I’m going to give them enough credit to think they’ll patch in soon, but aside from that it’s not really that terrible. YMMV, and of course as with everyone else who’s having a pleasurable fairly lag-free experience with Diablo 3 I’m obviously the atypical one and not the (mostly) silent majority or anything.

      • KikiJiki says:

        Issues I’ve had with the gold AH (not that I’ve used it much):

        It’s been down a few times in Europe, mostly when the entire game has gone down.

        I’ve had lag/contradictory messages when posting auctions (told me an auction had failed when it had gone through)

        The UI is awful. To explain a bit better:

        I can’t see whether an item is actually an upgrade in Health, DPS or Protection to what I am currently using. I have to guess/do math that I don’t really have the time or inclination to do right now.

        Searching for items is just awful, the criteria filters are pretty lacking and aren’t good at filtering properly.

        What I’d love is a simple AH search, pick a slot and the categories include an UPGRADE option that can then be subfiltered by health, DPS and protection.

  9. Walsh says:

    I still don’t understand how the real money auction house is legal since diablo item drops can be analogous to slot machines and you are selling that randomly obtained item for real cash.

    • Kandon Arc says:

      Well these kind of things only tend to be tested when someone takes them to court. So unless someone decides to, it could be illegal and still continue.

    • Vorphalack says:

      It’s not gambling to buy or sell something with fixed and known properties. That’s just……you know……trading stuff.

    • wasabi2k says:

      I fail to see where the illegality comes into it? Also slot machines are HEAVILY regulated in comparison to game items.

      If you want to sell your slot machine winnings (money) for money – you are welcome to do so, you can even exchange it directly for goods!

      The random generation aspect has nothing to do with it – If i create a randomly generated picture using paintbrushes and a bicycle I can still sell the generated product for real money.

      I believe there is existing case law on the sale/theft of virtual items (Lineage? Everquest?). Nothing to do with slots or random item generation.

      • Phantoon says:

        Sort of. In Japan, you can’t gamble for money, but you CAN gamble for things in which you can go next door to trade for money. Technicalities make it not gambling, even though it clearly is.

        Just depends on how many loopholes Blizzard lawyers can jump through.

      • JackShandy says:

        “If i create a randomly generated picture using paintbrushes and a bicycle I can still sell the generated product for real money.”

        That’s not it at all. It’s more like a slot machine with a barter system. You roll a dice, and every time you get a six the machine dispenses a sword. You may then sell that sword.

        • HothMonster says:

          Yes but its free to roll the dice as many times as you want and you lose nothing for failing to sell it. If it were a monthly sub game or if there were fees for placing unsuccessful auctions then they might be treading some risky waters. As it stands though its the same as any other market that allows people to trade money for digital items. The only real difference is the items are made randomly by an algorithm instead of hand crafted or made by public mathematical formulas.

          • Reefpirate says:

            It’s the ‘no purchase necessary’ rule… If you don’t have to buy in, it’s not gambling according to the law (as far as I know). Although you have to purchase the game to play it, you don’t have to pay to participate in the random dice roll. As for the auction house, I think even if you had to pay to list items that’s not gambling, it’s more like eBay.

          • HothMonster says:

            Does ebay charge you for failing to sell something?

          • Gilmir says:

            Indirectly – you pay to put up an auction, so if you don’t sell the item, you still payed. So, in a way, you do “pay for a failed auction”.

    • Moraven says:

      EQ2 did it before D3.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Because you can play the slot machine as many times as you like and don’t have to pay for it?

      I don’t know what the laws are like in your country but they’d also have to forbid any free entry competition too.

    • wu wei says:

      I seriously expect that Blizzard will alter item drop rates in order to drive up RMAH sales.

  10. misterT0AST says:

    “millions and millions of dollars can only wipe away so many tears. ”
    No. They can wipe away every freaking complaint anyone throws at Blizzard.
    Millions of dollars can wipe away anything.
    Thousands of people could protest in front of Blizzard’s offices without them breaking a sweat.
    So don’t worry. They’ll carry on as if nothing ever happened.
    They can afford not to care.
    Millions and millions of dollars mean they don’t have to answer to anyone.
    Money is stronger than any of our whining.

    That’s something RPS doesn’t seem to get.
    They seem to think there is still hope of their business model changing or even failing to work if enough consumers nag on their forums, while still throwing money at them.

    Consumers are POWERLESS against Blizzard.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      1. I agree that millions of dollars can wipe away any amount of tears

      2. Consumers aren’t powerless, they can stop paying. Like it or not, the fact people are paying means they want this/don’t care.

      • Phantoon says:

        “Want this/don’t care” should be “stupid”.

        • TsunamiWombat says:

          I won’t agree or disagree with that assessment, because even being one of the people whose bought and sunk 30 hrs into the game i’m still out on whether or not this will be “good” for gaming. It’s important to remember however that gaming is a commodity product (like any other media art) – at least for the time being more on that below – and while stupid projects may not be GOOD for gaming they may not necessarily be bad, either. One could argue the Wii in general was a very stupid product, it was an unnecessary development (lol motion control) and came with a shitload of terrible shovelware games, but the damn thing practically printed money for nintendo and flushed the market with a new market share of more casual gamers, penetrating the family demographic further than adult 18-30. Zynga, despite their deplorable and noxious business practices did the same thing. This will be a good thing for gaming, once the growing pains stop.

          Blizzard is performing an interesting experiment, one that was bound to happen eventually, and we’re going to see the fallout from that experiment one way or the other. We’re watching the transferrance of the idea of gaming from a PRODUCT to a SERVICE. Now I know that frightens alot of people, especially with the Bobby Koticks of the world sharpening their dicks in glee at the thought of micro and macro charging the unfleeced masses for Call of Modern War Shooter Face VI: Online Edition. But as time goes on, consumers will become more savvy and businesses will be forced to produce -better- services to compete for our limited dollars, which will require a greater investment from the games industry then just “make game, ship game, patch game”. Social/Economic services like Valve exemplify that (yes I know ‘everyone’ hates that too).

          What i’m saying is, the immediate and forseeable future is filled with sandbars and reefs and pirates flying the corporate jolly roger but god damnit beyond that is a new world flush with resources and natives to exploit and murder, what could be a more english – nay, what could be a more human sentiment than that?

          • Reefpirate says:

            I like the cut of your jib, good sir.

            (In particular I like your closing metaphor there, arrrr)

        • AmateurScience says:

          Is it so difficult for you to accept that many millions of people don’t share the same opinion as you?

          Calling all of them ‘stupid’ and all the other insults you’ve been throwing around on here today is a bit much.

          There’s a genuine discussion to be had about the pros and cons of implementing the kind of systems in D3 (yes there are pros too). But any meaningful discussion is being drowned out by people such as yourself hurling insults instead of actually doing anything constructive.

        • subedii says:

          “But as time goes on, consumers will become more savvy and businesses will be forced to produce -better- services to compete for our limited dollar”

          I would agree with most of the post, but not that.

          I don’t actively disagree with it either as such. But frankly, I don’t see how you can predict such a rosy eventual outcome. It just reminds me of free-market capitalists talking about how the “invisible hand” will always make the market auto-correct itself, the initial presumption being perfect information (and then spreading on to a half dozen other presumptions from there).

          ‘Consumers’ in the general term (and before you baulk, yes I include myself in amongst them. And yourself too, just so you know), have swallowed a tremendous amount of tripe over the years, and most of the time all it really needs is half-way decent marketing.

          • Reefpirate says:

            Clearly what we need is a federal bureau of Games That Are Fair to All People and of Good Quality.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            @subedii:

            Exactly right. I see no reason to assume consumers will get more savvy as long as our educational systems continue to be eviscerated (mostly by conservative pro-business politicians, funnily enough) and corporations consolidate their control of the public conversation.

            Citizens becoming better critical consumers involves education. Exploring how they’re manipulated by marketing, trained by industries to desire exactly the soulless filler that can easily be mass-produced and mass-marketed (with obsolescence built in, of course).

            I find very few people consider how their taste in entertainment is shaped by those selling the entertainment. After all, why should a massive company gamble millions guessing the market’s fickle taste, when it can just produce a marketing campaign that shapes that taste to suit what it’s already producing?

            It doesn’t take bloody mind control rays. Just basic positive reinforcement does a lot (though it is not all-powerful, of course). “Don’t you feel nostalgic when you see Diablo in this commercial? Isn’t this movie comforting and eeeeeaasy? It’s the same plot and characters as last year’s, so you don’t have to think or do that uncomfortable stuff, just sit back and enjooooooy”.

            I dunno. Maybe I’ve got my tinfoil hat on too tight, but this stuff seems pretty inarguable to me.

          • Reefpirate says:

            So what do you say to a liberal arts student who went through a degree in social studies taught by a lot of Marxist and left-leaning anti-corporate professors, yet who also bought and fully enjoys Diablo 3?

            To twist this around and say that we need education reform to teach people about the DRM debate is more than a little bit of a stretch.

            From what I can tell from a lot of comments around here, you apparently need very little if any education to be anti-DRM. To be fair, the same can be said for pro-Diablo 3… Point being education has little if anything to do with this I think.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            You should read my comment again, because I’m not talking about DRM at all, but the idea that consumers will magically become more savvy over time with no external input (other than the constant marketing background noise).

            In short, I don’t even understand what you’re responding to in my comment. I could be dense.

            As to the hypothetical (and ludicrously stereotypical) character you’ve constructed, I don’t care to tell them anything. We are free to buy whatever we want. I am not claiming that if you are educated and critical in your consumption you will never make a bad purchase, or a good purchase that happens to involve a problematic product. That’s absurd and simplistic.

            Having the tools to understand how marketing shapes your desires doesn’t make you a better person, it just gives you another tool in making choices. What choice you make is down to who you are as a person and what makes sense for you.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Well it’s a good thing Blizzard is POWERLESS over consumers too… They can’t force you to do anything. If you don’t like their game, don’t buy it. This isn’t politics.

  11. RAMburger says:

    This is a nightmare for Blizzard. After the hacking, how will they be able to ensure the security of people’s REAL MONEY in the game.

    Goes to show how much of a headache online only really is.

    • Phantoon says:

      It’d be a nightmare if people would take them to task for it, maybe even hell.

      But since no one will say anything about the game, everything will be totally normal at Blizz HQ.

      Look at it this way. Mainstream gaming, for people that aren’t into the hobby at all, consists of playing what your friends do, getting bored of it, then doing something else. Like the popularity of Skyrim and Mass Effect- surely helped along by me-too thinking.

      It’s why people say incredibly stupid shit like LOL I TOOK AN ARROW IN THE KNEE XD well after it wasn’t funny the first time, and those same people don’t know what the Cloud District is and how you don’t get there often because they didn’t play that far or pay enough attention. They’re casuals, and Blizzard has catered to them in a genius way- have been ever since Burning Crusade in WOW.

  12. Xardas Kane says:

    For a game that fans have been waiting for for a dozen years and could could show off a seemingly polished gameplay demo 4 years before its release date Diablo 3 sure has a rocky launch, wouldn’t you agree?

  13. Phantoon says:

    ” But, if Blizzard’s being completely honest about the situation, it’s largely only capable of doing damage control on account compromises.”

    But they’re not. Clearly. Why would anyone believe Blizzard about anything? Hey, remember how they said they were going to do improved player models every previous expansion? What about “players will never be able to faction change, it doesn’t make sense”? What about “we double check the lore to make sure it makes sense, especially with our new books coming out”?

    Blizzard lies, all the time, because they can.

    • Deano2099 says:

      Not the same thing, even slightly. Those questions are asking them to predict the future, and people change their minds. This is about what’s happened in the past.

      And companies don’t tend to lie about stuff like this. At the moment, this is just bad PR, not great for them but it’s a minor hiccup given the sales figures. Lying about stuff like this could see them faced with not only far worse PR, but heavy legal action. You don’t fuck around with stuff like this, not in a company the size of Blizzard, and with that many users. Because it only takes one whistle blower to bring you a whole world of hurt. Or one guy with a smoking gun proof that there was a hack.

  14. Azradesh says:

    “Even so, I have to remain skeptical, if only because of the sheer volume of people I know who’ve woken up in a bathtub full of icey sorrow sans gold, loot, and other essential Diablo-playing organs. Regardless, here’s hoping this is the worst things are going to get.”

    You personally know them, or do you know of them?

  15. piratmonkey says:

    Don’t really plan on using this feature so no big loss for me, still happily enjoying D3.

  16. Hurion says:

    After the stories about people being hacked from joining public games, I avoided it. Yesterday I read a bunch of stuff saying that was bullshit, impossible, etc, so last night I decided to play in a couple pub games.

    I log in tonight, my stash is emptied, main char is naked and all my gold is gone. I used a strong unique password, had no keyloggers/malware/trojans/viruses, and didn’t get phished. It seems like a big fucking coincidence that pretty much immediately after joining a public game, I got hacked.

    • Mungrul says:

      God, I hate to play Devil’s advocate here, but you don’t mention if you had an authenticator or not.

      Then again, I believe this is an invalid argument on Blizzard’s behalf.

      If an authenticator is required to maintain a secure account, it should be provided free of charge, especially considering the “Always Online” nature of Diablo 3.
      Arguing that there’s a free smartphone authenticator app is a fallacy too, as not everyone buying Diablo 3 will necessarily have a smartphone, particularly in poorer countries.
      If the security of your game relies on a paid-for device external to the boxed product, you MUST be held accountable for any and all security breaches. Simply arguing that the accounts that got hacked weren’t using authenticators is not good enough and is likely to be frowned upon if ever raised as defense in a court of law.
      Does the box of Diablo 3 state that an authenticator is REQUIRED to protect your account?
      I doubt it very much, and if someone decides to take them to court over this, Blizzard WILL lose.

      It becomes even more interesting when you consider that when the RMAH goes live, you won’t be able to say for sure exactly how much you may have been able to sell an item in your inventory for. With no upper limit on the potential, one could feasibly argue that you could have lost millions of dollars from having your account hacked.

      Also, while this is evil shit, one has to acknowledge that Blizzard is one of the bigger AAA developers out there and that they do provide a high degree of polish while having a great deal of experience in the field of multiplayer and online gaming. The precedent they’re setting WILL result in companies with a lower degree of experience in this area experimenting with Always Online, without a doubt providing a worse experience for the end user. It is highly doubtful that any other game company would be able to provide the backbone needed to support a similarly large Always Online release, so the issues that Blizzard are experiencing will only be amplified when users are subjected to another companies attempts.

    • lasikbear says:

      Got hacked last night too, but I haven’t ever played in a public game except in the beta. If you open a ticket they can roll your account back to hopefully sometime between when you last played and when you were hacked. If you do that though don’t bother playing until the rollback because you will lose all progress.

      I don’t have a smart phone, so I was just using the SMS authentication, but apparently its not actual authentication like Google or Steam uses cause the hackers just logged in to battlenet first and turned it off…

  17. HaVoK308 says:

    Personally I hope it never sees the light of day.

    Anyone that would use it would be taking a serious risk with their personal information in my opinion. If hackers can already rob your character blind of gear and gold, they will have no problem taking your real money either.

    Why does the game need it. Other then for Blizzard to make a profit and mess with the loot system. You know damn well Rares will be easy to come by. Hell, I get a Rare about every ten minutes as is. Diablo is about loot and the next best piece of gear. If you use the Auction House, you are pretty much rendering every piece of gear you find useless. Personally, I do not see the point. Too each their own though.

    • HermitUK says:

      Diablo 3 probably doesn’t need it. However, it makes for a useful test case for Blizzard; if they can secure it properly and players use it, I would not be surprised to see a similar RMAH in the new MMO they’re working on (which would be far more lucrative for them, I suspect).

    • Reefpirate says:

      I think your Real Money will be quite a bit more secure than your Gold and Items because you will have your bank and your credit card company to back you up as well as Blizzard. Even if Blizzard drops the ball, which they have a little bit lately it seems, you can always call your credit card company and shut it down if someone is stealing from it. Last time it happened to me I didn’t even notice and Visa shut it down for me and basically restored everything to normal with a new card. I didn’t even have to call them until I noticed my old card stopped working.

      Oh, and all Real Money is going through PayPal, so you have an added level of security there as well. If not going through PayPal, all the person can do is steal Blizzard Bucks, I think.

  18. Mallic says:

    So is the RMAH coming in before or after the Australian servers?

  19. MythArcana says:

    No PvP, no RMAH, no security…you guys are lucky they shipped this buzzard in color! *smirk*

  20. pkt-zer0 says:

    “Even so, I have to remain skeptical, if only because of the sheer volume of people I know who’ve woken up in a bathtub full of icey sorrow sans gold, loot, and other essential Diablo-playing organs.”

    Is that “sheer volume of people with authenticators“, though? That clarification is conspicuously absent, and that’d be the newsworthy part – and why Blizzard fails to acknowledge them.

  21. MrKay says:

    I was thinking of writing something nice about Blizz, as I still have confidence and don’t think of them as being the incarnation of Diablo himself, but given the general attitude and comments I’ve seen here, I actually don’t dare going into that :-/

    One thing though, quoted from the article: “…continued to severely downplay recent hacking complaints…” Are you guys in any position to say that they’re downplaying it? People have always been hacked when it comes to online games. That the always online DRM is stupid is one thing we’ve been through, but it’s hardly surprising that some guys would be hacked (even if it was optional to play online, people would still get hacked). Blizz have been handling this for WoW players for years. I don’t think downplaying is the word. It doesn’t take a lot of people to make a lot of noise on the internet…

  22. RegisteredUser says:

    I just saw a battle net thread where Blizzard openly stated they do not use case sensitive passwords.
    Not in SC2, not in WOW and not in D3, either.

    And it is 100% the users who are to blame for getting hacked. Mkay.

    • Baines says:

      Case insensitive passwords, and apparently no protections to prevent passwords from being brute forced. I don’t post on Battle.net, but I recall complaints about how the Battle.net forums make it easy to find user IDs as well.

      Blizzard is … lacking …. in regards to security. And Blizzard also doesn’t seem to care. But then, why should they? When they can push security off onto their Authenticator, which they conveniently sell in their web store.

    • Mungrul says:

      Do they use non-standard characters like /,;@ etc?
      Have they imposed minimum and more importantly, maximum lengths on passwords?

      If it’s “No” to the first and “Yes” to the second, they really only have themselves to blame.

  23. MD says:

    Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second newbiehood and shameful nakedness,
    Sans loot, sans gold, sans gear, sans everything.

  24. DickSocrates says:

    RMAH is like the government legalising drugs and getting tax from the sales.

    You ok with that? Is that the right way to handle things? Considering this is Activision we’re talking about, the suspicion has to be it’s the wrong thing or else they wouldn’t be doing it.

    • zeroskill says:

      Its so horribly obvious to a person with a normally functional brain is it. What Blizzard is doing is nothing more then wanting thier cut of the massive china farming in video games, and they finally found a way to legally do it.
      Of every chinese 14 year old sitting in a basement playing video games 14 hours a day for food, Blizzard is taking legally a cut now. No not one cut, three cuts in fact.

      • Reefpirate says:

        I’m not being sarcastic here, but Blizzard is creating a job for that kid to feed his family. You’d rather take it away somehow? Surely if he could find a job that pays better and has better conditions than farming in Diablo he would take it, right?

        And also… I think it’s painfully obvious that drugs should be legalized and maybe or maybe not taxed.

        • zeroskill says:

          You can’t be freakin serious. Do you know what the term child labor means? Blizzard isn’t “creating” jobs, they are exploiting a system that is already in place, for their own profit. I’m amazed to what length people are capable of going to defend this company.

          • Reefpirate says:

            My argument has nothing to do with Blizzard… If this Chinese gold farmer is hungry and in need of food, and he somehow ends up farming gold in Diablo to support his family, I fail to see the tragedy. If he could get a better job in China somewhere, would he not? If he can’t find a better job elsewhere, if you take that job away from him, then he’ll be left with the next best option which we have already established is not as good.

            Even in prosperous (for now) economies, there are children who want to work… I don’t see why we should ban them. In less prosperous economies, sometimes (more like most of the time) it might be necessary to take advantage of the labor resources your children provide. Agricultural economies would think you’re crazy if you tried to tell them the kids shouldn’t work.

            The end game, obviously, would be a state where children never need to work and instead can just burn through resources until their mid-20′s before providing anything, if anything, in return to their families. In the meantime, labor conditions such as they are in China are actually necessary in order for the economy to progress.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            I don’t think anyone is trying to ban kids from having healthy, part-time jobs. I worked part time on a farm from age 14 to 18, but always had enough time to continue my education and generally have a good childhood and adolescence. That is not the same as my family using me as labor in the fields (which is what happened to my dad, actually, though he still went away to high school in the city later).

            Either way, it’s ignoring the real problem to put it like that. The tragedy is kids (or adults) who have no choice or power being exploited, forced to work long hours in unregulated industries – and then for Blizzard to treat them like normal customers. Sure, the situation will be temporarily worse if that job vanishes, but either way it’s just a band aid. What happens to those people who are relying on that “job” when their bosses realize it’s cheaper to pay someone in an even poorer country, or just use bots?

            This happened across the border in Mexico. When many of the TV factories moved to SE Asia, huge populations were left unemployed with no useful job skills, and with no money to relocate the families that they started there. Being exploited by an unethical organization might get a tiny pittance to people in the short term, but it will almost always result in long term suffering for the exploited.

            Best to rip the band aid off and develop real solutions now.

          • Reefpirate says:

            I appreciate your reasoned response, but I would still disagree on a couple of points:

            The ‘no band-aids, real solutions’ part: I’m never quite sure what people mean when they say this in relation to developing world labour conditions. I am guessing you mean stronger labour unions or regulations that limit how many hours a week you can work, or have a minimum age or wage for workers. I’m all for unions not being busted in an illegal fashion, but I also don’t think they are responsible for the standard of living that we now enjoy in the West. It comes from production. How do you regulate industrial output into existence? I don’t think you can, otherwise you could just make a regulation saying minimum wage is now $100/hour and then everyone can just work 3 or 4 hours a week. Sounds good to me!

            You need as much production as possible in a country… I imagine Mexico has many more problems besides some TV factories leaving the country. If there were more industries and more production happening in the country it would be much easier for the workers to be absorbed somewhere else. The problem with ‘what about the children, save them from Diablo gold farming, it’s inhuman!’ is that you’re removing one of several different options for labour in the country, which makes them more vulnerable to suffering and not less.

            The situation in China, while a bit deplorable, is for the most part a voluntary situation. People line up and beg to work in the factories, they line up and beg to get in to the major commercial zones like Hong Kong or Shanghai, even though conditions there are ‘inhuman’… Why? Because it’s about 100x better than the situation in rural China. And yes, even these evil factories offer opportunities for them and their families that simply did not exist before they arrived. I’m open to listening to what solution you propose, but honestly I believe if China could double the number of factories they have and double the amount of gold farming operations, the next generation will be much much better off.

            And yet here we are in the noble West telling them what jobs they should or shouldn’t have access to. It’s kind of arrogant, in my opinion.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            I appreciate your thoughtful response as well.

            I’ll back up a bit, since my earlier comments were heated and lacking nuance. I think there is a perfectly viable middle ground, where gold farming operations still exist and offer work, but are brought out of their current gray area so they can be properly monitored. I.e. how some factories are, in theory, certified by the corporations that contract with them.

            Blizzard explicitly treating them as paying customers doesn’t help this happen. And it’s done, as far as I can tell, because Blizzard values the cut of their auctions more than it does ethical business or the integrity of the RMAH. Not that Blizzard have a role to play in solving this, but I think taking a verbal stand against people being payed to flood your game with goods is a decent start.

            I agree entirely that gold farming is probably a much better job than some of the other ones available at this moment. But I’d argue that if foreign companies enforced their standards better – creating healthier work environments – perhaps people would be less eager to work in unregulated gray area jobs such as gold farming. I mean, abstractly, I’m fine with the idea of teens working 20-40 hours/week farming Diablo 3 items, if I had a way of knowing the conditions were decent, and they had decent alternatives.

            The most organic solution would be for consumers to demand ethical products, perhaps, but that’s not likely to happen right now. So yes, I think government needs to step in at some point. Unions are powerful tools, but I don’t think they’re the answer to every problem. There’s certainly no reason to not allow them, except to enable managers to better bully and exploit their workers.

            The only solid solution I have is personal, and that is to buy as many products as possible from US sources, or that are known to be manufactured in an ethical work place overseas.

            I think it’s illuminating, by the way, that you say Mexico would be fine if they just had more production. That’s exactly why this sort of exploitative globalization is so destructive: it doesn’t actually develop anything lasting in these communities, just uses them up until something cheaper comes along.

            As to the accusation of arrogant Western-centric thinking, perhaps you’re right. This whole discussion is so broad it certainly steps over the line into racism here and there. But I’m (hopefully) directing my demands towards the Western companies whose practices are proving so destructive. I’ve tried not to say what the Chinese or Mexican governments and people “should do”. I believe they can make their own choices. But their options will be much better, and their choices less rigged, if foreign corporations are held to higher standards by someone with the power to do so, whether the consumers or governments.

  25. reyn78 says:

    I’m curious how Blizzard will protect against this kind of situation:
    - and account is hacked/stripped bare of everything valuable
    - all this is transfered to a middle-man account
    - he immediately sells it in AH to a legal buyer
    - person whose account was hacked reports it and wants its stuff returned.

    If they return it – that could lead to inflation of items and decline in their value. If they don’t players will leave. Not to mention what should happen to the person that bought the stolen stuff and the real-world-money paid for it. Will Blizzard guarantee financially all transactions? Or will Blizzard be the counterparty to each transaction? It would be risking its own money then…

    And to all those who say “but did you have an authenticator???” – last time I checked Blizzard did not mention authenticator IS REQUIRED to play. If they would say that, they should provide it FREE.
    I think this is the key point – it turns out that if you want to be secure you have to spend more cash in addition to paying for the game and bearing costs you knew about before getting it.

    • Freud says:

      There is massive inflation in the game already, due to there not being any significant gold sinks. Restored accounts bringing more gold into the economy is such a tiny factor.

      Eventually Blizzard will have to come up with something that starts draining gold out of the game or items will sell for billions of gold.

    • mire says:

      THEY DO PROVIDE IT FREE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD AN APP ON EVERY MAJOR SMARTPHONE PLATFORM OR USE THE DIAL IN SERVICE KTHX

    • Soon says:

      Also, most (but certainly not all) home insurance covers digital theft.

      Although, I suppose it’s technically not from your home if it’s from Blizzard’s server. Hm. Ah well.

  26. derbefrier says:

    so much butt hurt from all the liberal anti-business crowd in here. pretty typical liberal BS the sky is falling nonsense all because one extremely popular IP sold well in spite of an always online requirement. So since your campaign against all things that don’t hold the coveted “indie” label seems to be failing what will you do now? Well, the usual Liberal MO is to start making stuff up..Oh wait you already have with this “epidemic” of account hacking which has all been proven false. so what will they do now? I know start insulting and insinuating all those who bought the game are some how sheeple and are the cause of the fall of modern civilization because we dont think like you do(see the irony their?) And when that fails what will you do? more lies and misinformation? most likely as the truth probably wont help your crusade against the evil empire that is blizzard.People like this rely on raw emotion and not facts to help their cause. But don’t worry your little group will keep sucking each other off and telling yourselves your smarter and more informed than 6.5 million people who thought D3 looked like a fun game. While us “sheeple” will do as we please with no thought to what the “cool internet kids say we should do”. I have made my decision and i am very happy with my purchase if that makes me an enemy in your eyes well fuck off

    • Vorphalack says:

      Blizzard forums banned you again, eh?

    • Anorak says:

      Good grief. Really? Is this real? I honestly can’t tell.

    • subedii says:

      I’m half curious, and half genuinely frightened, to ask him what he defines a “liberal” as.

    • mire says:

      I… I agree with some of the things you’re saying… but then you…

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      In a Fox News/ News Corp board meeting, in a secret underground meeting cave:

      “We have released our new X27 FoxBat organic cyber-android spambot onto the internet. This… Is its first post”.

      Everyone: “Oooooohh.”

      Mr. Murdoch: “Exxxxxcellent.”

      *creepy music swells!*

      *

      As directed, I am making things up. I guess that solidifies my liberal creds, though I prefer “progressive socialist” if I had to choose a label.

      *

      As to what I’m doing in the face of this all-out rout of my indie games crusade? Playing Dwarf Fortress, Krater, AI War, and dozens of other indie games which I prefer to D3, just as I was before. Sorry if I disappoint.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying your purchase, though! I have a friend who also enjoys D3, but is finding it far too easy.

    • MD says:

      But don’t worry your little group will keep sucking each other off and telling yourselves your smarter

      Yet again, I seem to have missed out on the blowjob/positive self-talk party. Why am I never invited to these things :<

  27. KratosZero says:

    That’s hilarious that they say its extremely small amount of hacking, I logged on last night to find that I was missing over 60k gold which they kindly left me 1200, all my rares and half of my gems. The D3 forums have been filled with hacking related topics. I can’t wait for Torchlight 2 and Grim Dawn. Also this looks like a pretty interesting kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/massiveblack/zombie-playground-zpg-3d-action-online-battle-rpg?ref=category.

  28. Synesthesia says:

    Im extremely worried by this. Even if you do hate the online drm, i notice the amount of sales it has achieved, and i sense the eye of every other moneygrabbing company looking at this antipiracy scheme. And those of us who dont live in the UK or the US, will be eternally fucked. I DO NOT want to be kicked out of my single player sessions because i dropped a packet. I would EXTREMELY FUCKING HATE getting lag on a single player game. Why do i feel they dont give a fuck? And the apologists! Oh god, the apologists.

  29. Theschiznits says:

    I could give a crap about the auction house. Just fix the fact that the login screen crashes 9 out of 10 times before I can actually play. Fix that and then we’ll talk about MORE money. I cant justify the 60 I spent in the first place.

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