Blizzard Declares Diablo Starter Edition Snafu “Unintended”

By Nathan Grayson on June 22nd, 2012 at 10:00 am.

I find it morbidly amusing that this whole thing can pretty much boil down to 'So wait, why can't I access the auction house?' 'Well, because... the auction house, pretty much.'

The never-ending soap opera that is Diablo’s online strategy continues. First there were connectivity issues, then claims of hacking, and, yesterday, new buyers began getting slapped with up-to-72-hour restrictions to Diablo III’s Starter Edition – aka, its demo. Next up, we’ll probably find out that Torchlight’s been Diablo’s son all along, but both of them got amnesia and the paternity test exploded. It turns out, however, that the credits haven’t quite rolled on this week’s episode. Apparently, new players actually aren’t supposed to be thrown into demonic demo dungeons. They are, however, still subject to roughly a gazillion other baffling restrictions.

Blizzard clarified the situation to Kotaku, explaining that the Starter Edition downgrade is “an unintended consequence of these security measures” and specifically noting that the level cap of 13 and progression halt at Act I were never meant to plague new buyers in the first place. “We are working to correct this as soon as possible and will provide another update when we have more details to share,” said the beleaguered behemoth in a statement.

However, Blizzard’s suite of fraud-fighting security measures is still very much in place. So, for up to 72 hours, customers can look forward to not looking forward to the following:

  • No public game access for unverified digital purchasers
  • No auction house access (real-money or gold) for unverified digital purchasers
  • Unverified digital purchasers cannot trade items or drop items for other players to receive
  • Unverified digital purchasers are not able to chat in any public or game channels
  • Unverified digital purchasers cannot attach a custom message to friend requests, but they can send/accept friend requests, and play with their friends
  • Global Play is not available for unverified digital purchasers

So then, you’re still being fairly massively (and paradoxically) inconvenienced by the “service” part of “games as a service,” but at least you can cobble together a functional single-player experience out of all that. Well, you know, aside from connection issues, lag, and downtime, anyway.

It’s honestly sort of incredible how out-of-hand this has gotten. There is, admittedly, a lot on the line between all the personal info and bank accounts that have been stirred into the mix, but when Blizzard announced all of this, it vehemently claimed the ups would outweigh the downs. Convenience, in other words, would make doubters eat their bile-coated words about lack of true single-player or mods. And yet, new barriers to entry keep popping up. I don’t doubt that games can be services, but this is a pretty awful way to do it.

Fingers crossed that Blizzard’s finally run out of whiplash-inducing plot twists, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find us all tuning in for another episode of Diablos Of Our Lives in a week or two.

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203 Comments »

  1. Belsameth says:

    Whie this is more then sickening from Bliz, you can actually pause the “single player” portion of the game. Just hit escape…

    After this latest fuckup I’m all for roasting blizzard at the stake, but at least roast it with facts..:)

    • Lord Byte says:

      Was just about to say the same thing. Misinformation shouldn’t be the cause of people not playing Diablo 3.
      That it’s a weak excuse to monetise your equipment and final play-through, is a more valid one.

    • Andy says:

      While this is technically true, it’s really only good enough for you to just about make a cup of tea or empty out the last one…
      It’ll still log you off the servers if you’re idle for about twenty minutes (I’m sure someone knows exactly how long the timeout is) and you’ll be presented with a re-covered map and the last checkpoint upon logging back in.

      • mr.ioes says:

        10 minutes or less. At least when I played Diablo I was always logged off after about 10 minutes. So annoying.

      • mwoody says:

        I’ve had it sit for 40 minutes or more, easily. Not sure WTF you’re talking about.

        • fish99 says:

          You probably live on a hill and your mouse is slowly sliding along your desk, tricking the game into thinking you’re playing. Seriously though, you absolutely do get pulled from the game after 20 mins of inactivity, at least in SP, not sure about MP.

          • Edradour says:

            Im pretty sure i stayed logged in for over 2 hours and that was while being alt-tabbed…but that was fairly early while still playing on normal difficulty dunno if they changed something never tried it again

          • fish99 says:

            Yeah maybe they changed something, or there’s some difference between EU and US servers, but as recently as 2 days ago I was pulled from the game for being inactive for 15 mins, and again a few days before that. Doesn’t seem to matter whether you hit escape or not.

      • lordfrikk says:

        This is not universally true. While I don’t know the details myself, I wasn’t logged out even though I left for about 45 minutes. YMMV.

    • Whallaah says:

      Yeah, like people needed yet an other reason to stay miles away from Diablo 3…

      I got it together with all my colleagues, enjoyed it for two weeks, but I’m already done with it, turning back to Skyrim and Civilization.

      • Spen says:

        12 years to make, 12 days to bore. How long did YOU last? Join the club: https://www.facebook.com/SickOfDiablo3

        • The Hammer says:

          A mighty 12 people there. Outstanding numbers for a group founded in May.

        • lordfrikk says:

          Not sure if joking…

        • ScorpionWasp says:

          If you’ve got 12 days of enjoyment out of that, then I say you’ve got a lot. These Skinner Box thingies can hardly hold my attention for half an hour.

      • Artificial says:

        I lasted 2 weeks as well, strange. It’s such a boring game, feels like there’s nothing worth aiming for as the gear is so rare and uninspiring to look at but can just be bought off the AH anyway.

    • derbefrier says:

      so i guess you would rather them ignore the botgold farming problem?

      edit: figured i could explain myself. this is their attempt to stop fraud and you think this is a bad thing? maybe you don’t know whats going on. People(most likely gold farmers) are buying digital copies and using them to botfarm for free before the credit card goes through then cancels it before they are actually charged. basically giving them free D3 for 8 hours or so

      I understand that it sucks but its a very serious loophole and needed to be addressed. I suppose with the RMAH they just couldn’t let this slide this time. I am sure it wasn’t an easy decision its fairly obvious the internet would, well, react exactly like it is and always does. very negative with no attempt to even try and understand the decision and just going straight for the pitchforks yet they did it anyway. This is probably a bigger issue than we realize for them to got to such extremes to stop it.

      • JakobBloch says:

        The RMAH and the normal AH are their problem. They are the ones who decided to make them and the issue of making it work is their headache. They can not turn around and then suddenly make it my problem which is what these new measures do. The points they make are fine but when I have to wait 3 days to get the full multiplayer experience then someone has messed up badly. If me and my buddies buy D3 today, we want to play together and give each other gear to increase our effectiveness. We have to wait 3 days for that? Because Blizzard can’t get their precious AH to work?

        No I say. Let blizzard sleep in the bed they made and stop trying to make me sleep in it.

        • soco says:

          ^
          This.

          There is no way I’d put up with anything less than a full game when I bought it, especially when I’m paying $60 for it. A $5 indie game on sale a year after release I have a whole lot more slack to give, but for the amount of money Blizzard pulls in there is no excuse.

          There should be another way. Blizzard, find out how you can take care of your problems without inconveniencing your customers.

      • skalpadda says:

        The RMAH seems to be the root problem that’s led to all this. If their intention was to stop fraud and shady item selling it seems absurd to think the answer was to legitimise the trade and expand it, thereby creating even more incentive to scam people, steal accounts and buy dummy accounts with stolen credit cards.

        If they really wanted to get rid of frauds they should simply have removed or lessened the incentive for it. I talked about this on an other forum and came up with three easy and cheap solutions:

        1. Have a similar system to D2 and simply accept that there will be a black market, but make sure you wash your hands of it and let your customers know that if they go there and get burnt they won’t get any support.

        2. Allow trading but restrict it in a similar way to boss loot in WoW, where you can trade items only if you participated in the boss kill.

        3. Remove trading altogether and make a loot system that doesn’t assume people will be trading items in the first place.

        The only way I can make sense of all this is if:

        1. They were so naïve they didn’t realise that expanding the market would give even more incentive to scammers and farmers.

        2. This is a pet project and they won’t let it go no matter what.

        3. They were so overconfident they thought they could somehow make not just their own systems bulletproof but also those of their customers and third parties.

        4. They are whores who don’t care about worsening their creative output or the experience of their customers if there’s a bit of extra revenue to be had.

        • psyk says:

          “2. Allow trading but restrict it in a similar way to boss loot in WoW, where you can trade items only if you participated in the boss kill.”

          That is just pfffft words escape me.

          • skalpadda says:

            @psyk: Yeah,”pfffft” certainly is a magnificent argument. Why not though? It would allow you to trade items freely with those you actually play with while removing all incentives for scammers and farmers since they couldn’t sell their wares. I don’t see how the ability to trade with people you don’t play with is in any way intrinsic to the game itself.

        • diamondmx says:

          Question A:
          4) Cripple the black market by not giving a shit about how fair/valid a character’s loot is. Allow players to openly cheat for single player and friendly multiplayer, if they want to. Do one of the other things for the rare cases where people have reason to give a crap.
          If I’m playing single player and I want to spawn a rare uber item to cheat my way ahead, then let me. I generally won’t because it might lessen the fun available to me. It’s MY GAME.
          If I’m playing with friends and I want to spawn a dozen of the rarest most uber items so we can all be kick ass – then if we all want to do that, who cares? It’s OUR GAME.
          If I’m playing competitively, then maybe someone cares, but I honestly don’t see the point of a competitive grind-em-up.

          It only matters when it matters, and stop screwing up all the times it doesn’t matter for these exception cases.

          Question B:
          5) All of the above, but mostly 4

          • Xerian says:

            According to Blizzard, its their game, and they’re letting you lend it with a ton of restrictions for an idiotic amount of money.
            Yay for Blizzturd!

    • Ateius says:

      On pausing with ESC: No, it doesn’t. Try it with enemies around. It freezes the display, but the action continues behind it. I tried doing that once, for all of twenty seconds, and when I “un-paused” I was nearly dead with five beasties (who were previously at the distant edge of the screen) nobbling at my ankles.

      • Brun says:

        Maybe back in the beta. But I’ve confirmed MULTIPLE times that it functions correctly as a pause on the live version.

  2. trjp says:

    When can I get the free starter edition so I can actually judge this stuff for myself without spending a hozillion pounds (which is what the pricetag of D3 looks like after all these sales and bundles!)

  3. Yachmenev says:

    That actually sounds pretty reasonable. The whole idea of connectivity being a requirement for singleplayer is of course stupid, but to add restrictions for the auction house for the first couple of days is a good idea, that will benefit others.

    Then again, the whole idea of a real money auction house for digital items for your digital doll is stupid, but if we are to use it, we need to do stuff to avoid frauds.

    • jalf says:

      Reasonable? Did you read it all? It’s not just about locking you out of the auction house (which I couldn’t care less about).

      There are also gems like this: “Unverified digital purchasers cannot trade items or drop items for other players to receive”

      Great, it’s so much fun to play with your friends when you have no way of sharing your loot.

    • Makariel says:

      It’s for the greater good!

    • Lamb Chop says:

      Looking at the actual set of restrictions, there is nothing in that list that I did in the first 72 hours of play (and keep in mind, for most people this is less than 24 hours), and I believe by that point I was in hell mode, so it’s not like I wasn’t playing, and I also played with friends for much of that. I would be fully in favor of this measure even if all it accomplished was preventing me getting those stupid spam friend requests for gold farming, and it undoubtedly has at least some benefit in limiting farming activity.

      I understand that many of the prior decisions totally screw over the (offline) single player experience (because it doesn’t exist), but there is a non-trivial segment of gamers who are interested in endgame item trading and online economy, and we do appreciate efforts to secure that experience. I have similar doubts to many here about the RMAH and never actually use it, but at least for this specific update, these restrictions would have the same benefit even with just an AH and no RM. Blizzard is not *just* monetizing their product. I understand (and even share in some cases) the outrage over every other step that blizzard has taken with its online strategy, but this one just seems completely inoffensive to me.

      As a sidenote, messing it up so that it locked you into the starter edition was impossibly stupid.

      • subedii says:

        As a sidenote, messing it up so that it locked you into the starter edition was impossibly stupid.

        That wasn’t messing up, and it certainly wasn’t “unintended” or “accidental” or “a bit of a whoopsie” or whatever they want to characterise it as.

        That was a decision taken. It was deliberate. And they specifically POSTED about it and stated “this is what is going to happen / is happening”.

        And the reason it was taken was the same as for all of the changes posted above: To try to fix issues surrounding the RMAH and the activities of certain 3rd parties. And the reason they renegged on it is because they didn’t expect the sheer volume of fire and brimstone that hit their way as soon as they implemented it.

        So they back off, try another approach.

        But no, I’m not going to pretend that the initial decision wasn’t exactly what they intended to do. The only problem for them was that the response they got wasn’t exactly what they intended to receive.

  4. EvilG says:

    I feel like a complete ass for paying blizzard money for doing this, ive voted rong with my monies :(

    • Njordsk says:

      Same, but at the same time I’ve had so much fun…

      Can’t even make my mind to uninstall it.

      • EvilG says:

        unfortunately the circular nature of diablo 3′s gameplay makes it very difficult to justify the waste of my prepaid RL credit, id rather be drunk although that does incur some not so micropayments.

    • mr.ioes says:

      I can relate to that.

    • Sensai says:

      What a coincidence…I feel just great for having NOT purchased it.

      AND I helped the gaming industry. Maybe. I hope. But probably not really.

      • Leandro says:

        I feel bad for not buying it yet because I want to play badly. I keep telling myself it’ll be a bad experience. Still waiting for them to sort out the issues, perhaps get rid of always online (yeah, right). Perhaps in another 10 years!

        • diamondmx says:

          Find another game in the same genre without all the crap – I haven’t played it myself (either of them) but I hear Torchlight II is trying to be what Diablo III is failing to be. Not shite.

      • Bonedwarf says:

        I’m with you Sensai. I missed out on D2 due to not having a system that could run it at the time. So basically I’ve waited a DECADE to get a Diablo experience (I have played D2 of course by now but you know what I meant) and then they saddled it with this always online bullshit.

        Really sucked to have to pass on it, but pass I did since unlike most spineless gamers who bitch and moan then pony up the cash anyway, I refuse. (A man’s gotta have a code.)

        I’m very happy I didn’t drop a dime on this crippled junk.

        Bring on Torchlight 2!

        • crizzyeyes says:

          I’m suffering some pretty bad buyer’s remorse myself, and yeah, of course it’s a digital copy so I can’t return it. I wasn’t badmouthing it though or being a hypocrite, I told myself, “Yeah, it’s not going to be like Diablo 2, no way. But it’s Blizzard, surely they’re smart enough to make something fun out of it.” I even played the beta and thought it would be decent come launch time. Not only was I disappointed in the gameplay itself, I get all this other shit shovelled on on top of that. Man, what a bummer.

  5. acho says:

    Yeah RPS we get it, you hate Diablo 3.

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      Yeah acho we get it, you hate RPS talking negatively about Diablo 3.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        No he hates it when RPS force him to read the very obviously Diablo 3 articles by coming to his house or place of work and holding a real gun to his head and forcibly clicking the link and them reading the words out loud to him so he can’t possibly just ignore it.

        • Shodex says:

          A real gun? I’ve always seen John as the water gun type.

          • arccos says:

            A gun made of water doesn’t seem very sensible. Do you freeze it first?

          • Sassenach says:

            Nah, if it was frozen it would shatter when the propellant ignited. Water’s quite good at absorbing shockwaves, though, so I presume it’s liquid but held together with magic.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      No, Diablo hates you!

    • weego says:

      This. I know RPS has clearly defined the demographic as “mature gamers who understand the social and industry impact of gaming and games companies” and use that to whip up a storm by separating every possible detail into it’s own story for people to argue over. It’s not a good long-term model.

      • Vorphalack says:

        If a company is consistently making bone headed decisions, they will keep making the news. If Diablo 3 had no issues, it would likely have been warmly received and then never spoken of again. You obviously don’t accept negative reporting on a game you like, but it’s there for a reason. Diablo 3 has problems, and keeps trying to fix them by making yet more problems.

        • mr.ioes says:

          Well worded.

        • P34nk says:

          I concur!

        • psyk says:

          What a great way to get good games in to the public eye :/

          • Vorphalack says:

            That’s a little unfair to RPS. We should all be aware by now that they give plenty of page space to games that most other gaming sites wouldn’t even consider reporting on. Additionally, in the case of ”AAA” releases, they really don’t need any extra publicity these days. I mean the world first Diablo hardcore kill even made the BBC news website for gods sake. They normally only report on games when some jerk in a suit is trying to ban something comparatively harmless. If D3 was working flawlessly, and there were no newsworthy updates, then they would be entirely justified in keeping to a single Wot I Think.

          • Leandro says:

            Bringing good games to light is not the only purpose of the website. Condemning poor decisions in a badly thought-through high profile game is at least as important for the PC gaming hobby as talking about a great little game nobody knows. And RPS does both of these things and more.

            I don’t read every RPS article, they’re not all for me, but I still like to know that they’re there. I didn’t buy Diablo 3, but I personally am very interested to know where this is going.

          • psyk says:

            Two ways to go about that, going the route the news takes prob not the best way.

    • Keirley says:

      Did you even read the RPS verdict on Diablo III?

    • Milky1985 says:

      No RPS don’t hate diablo 3, in fact much of the hive mind has come out and said that they enjoy it.

      What they hate is the business decisions and drm arouund it. Lets be honest any gamer who even gives a small damn should too in my honest opinion, as its god damn awful.

    • SteamySashimi says:

      But! But! You clicked the link to write the comment. Why not just.. Not click it?

      • zaphod42 says:

        ^^^

        I’m pretty sick of hearing complaints like this. If you’re not interested in D3 news, SKIP THOSE ARTICLES. Big freakin’ deal, guys. There’s all kinds of articles that don’t appeal to me on RPS, doesn’t mean I spend my time complaining on those articles’ comments pages. WTF?

        You only have yourself to blame.

      • Amun says:

        Why do you care that another internet-man left a negative comment? Negative comments are 98.95% of what’s on the internet anyway!

  6. John Connor says:

    Congratulations everyone who bought this shit: you are responsible for destroying PC gaming as we know it. SimCity is just the beginning. The fun future of DRM is here and you dumbasses with no restraint are funding it.

    • weego says:

      It’s a cracking game, certainly tiding me over nicely till MoP.

    • Matt says:

      Shouldn’t you be off the grid?

    • Fenn says:

      And we’re all responsible for the ‘war on terror’ by buying petrol; the economic collapse of banking and the Western recession by living in houses; and the reduction in social services by paying tax.

      Indirect cause is not cause. But if I admit to being responsible for Blizzard’s business model just because I bought Diablo 3, then everyone really will have to muster up some sense of responsibility to all the above.

      After all, if people didn’t buy petrol, there would be no reason to go to war to protect ‘interests overseas’; if people didn’t want to buy houses they couldn’t afford the loans for, there would be no need for sub-prime mortgages; and if people didn’t mind paying more tax, there wouldn’t be a need to cut funding for public services like healthcare, social security and pensions.

      Of course, I don’t believe that those were all the causes: the world is a lot more complicated than that. Likewise, the buying and playing of games like Diablo 3 is not the be-all end-all cause of DRM, always-online, micro-transactions, restrictive demo modes or anything else you fancy vilifying today.

      And if people really believe these are unwanted, I’m sure the economic impact of reduced sales of such games will send a message to games companies.

      • Phantoon says:

        You’re not part of a system in which you had to buy Diablo 3 to get to work.

        Your hyperbole is not on the same level hyperbole as we’re throwing around. It’s more akin to if someone said “Buying Diablo 3 makes you Hitler!”

        Then it’d make sense to say what you said. Because it’d be as ridiculous. Supporting the latest in mainstream, dumbed down gaming (or any media for that matter), means you make poor choices and have no interest in quality. That’s the anti Diablo hyperbole. It’s that you make bad choices and probably play Call of Duty. And you probably play it because your friends do and you’ve not tried other games, or found them too hard to get into since gaming isn’t really your thing. Much like how Skyrim sold a bajillion copies, everyone and your sister made a “LOL I TOOK ARROW TO THA KNEE XD LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!” jokes for a week after then immediately forgot about it because their friends weren’t playing it anymore.

        I’m sure the game is fine. It’s just not for people that like Diablo.

        • Fenn says:

          With respect, it’s all a matter of perspective and opinion. No one HAS to drive, pay taxes, own their house or play computer games. You also don’t have to own an iPad, or a smartphone, or a pet dog. The restrictions in doing any of these, and the consequences, are all inherent in you making the choice to do or own these things. What I am trying to point out (using hyperbole, yes) is that people tend to erroneously conflate acceptance with support.
          Or as someone else said, you accept DRM,you accept the consequences of DRM. Support is something completely separate- and I will happily decide on a case by case basis which way I stand.

          And you couldn’t be more wrong about my taste in games. And my sister never once made an arrow-to-the-knee joke – but nice guess.

    • Antsy says:

      Awww bless, it’s Angry Self-Righteous Internet Man!

      I heart you Angry Self-Righteous Internet Man!

      • Phantoon says:

        I ADMIT ONLY TO SHEER LOATHING OF YOUR PERSONAGE, SOMEWHAT REASONABLE INTERNET MAN.

    • psyk says:

      Thank you digital purchasers for making my box copies get shittier and shittier over the years.

      YES FUCK YOU AND YOUR CHEAPNESS

    • Jackablade says:

      Wait.. what’s this about Sim City?

  7. NathanH says:

    If those restrictions are the only ones they want to implement, they’re fairly reasonable. It’s nothing really that your average player needs to be able to do for the first couple of days anyway.

    • Belua says:

      Except for “Unverified digital purchasers cannot trade items or drop items for other players to receive”. I find that a pretty vital part when playing with my friends.

      • NathanH says:

        Well, that is the most restrictive part of it, but it’s also quite important for stopping the sorts of scams this is trying to stop. Given that it’s only going to affect a legitimate user for a day or two, and given that the start of Diablo 3 is (by all accounts; I haven’t played it) extremely easy, I don’t think this is practically something that’s going to cause players a lot of trouble.

        • Milky1985 says:

          You mean to stop scams with people taking items and not paying money, like might what have happened here :

          http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5835835567

        • Belua says:

          But because it is so easy, you quickly get forward into more challenging parts of the game (or at least parts where it would be good to give that awesome item you found but can’t wear to your buddy). I know that there are serious problems they’re trying to solve, but this “solution” seems kind of overkill.
          Kind of like when rats keep eating your dog’s food, you “solve” it by putting rat poison in his food bowl. The results are not optimal.

  8. mynsc says:

    I love reading you RPS, but please don’t go completely off the road, trying to hit the sensationalism angle.

    You can pause, if you’re not in a party of course.

    And the connection issues, lag and downtime (except for patches) are mostly gone, for quite a while now.

    And the claims of hacking were just that, claims and as it turned out false ones. So it’s dumb including them in the list of problems, when they weren’t a REAL problem in the first place.

    I agree that Diablo 3′s start wasn’t a smooth one and it had plenty of problems, but this thing has been sprung WAY out of proportions by people and press that go over the top.

    Oh and about this issue with digital buyers, while I agree it can be a bit annoying for first time players, it’s a god send for the already existing players, as it has drastically reduced the number of spammers on the chat and I’m guessing number of AH farmers.

    • Walter Heisenberg says:

      Let’s look on the bright side this game isn’t giving me cancer therefore-

    • Beerey says:

      Strange that myself and three friends this week have lost hardcore characters to inexplicable lag and disconnects, given that “the connection issues, lag and downtime are mostly gone”. Of course, I’m talking about lag besides the inevitable lag of up to 500ms from Australia, which I’m super happy about as well.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        Finance DRM, deserve DRM consequences.

      • subedii says:

        Now that you’ve said that, which angry response would you prefer to wait for? The “DIABLO 3 IS AN MMO STOP TREATING IT LIKE SINGLEPLAYER” classical rager, or the “Your connection sucks and it’s your own fault and why should Blizzard care about your tiny proportion of the buying public?” Ayn Randian approach?

        EDIT: Oh, I guess it looks like there’s a 3rd contender.

    • Keirley says:

      Wait, so all the claims of people’s accounts getting hacked were false?

      • mynsc says:

        The claims that there was a problem with Blizzard’s system and that people were getting hacked even when they had authenticators were false.

        Of course people will get hacked sometimes, it’s inevitable in any online game, but it’s because of something they did and not a problem with the game.

        • Keirley says:

          Right, so people are getting hacked. Obviously that’s going to happen since, as you said, it’s an online game. That’s still kind of a problem, isn’t it?

          Lag (you say it’s not an issue but to me that cries out ‘it’s not a problem for me therefore it’s not a problem for anyone) and the possibility of getting hacked seem like real issues here. You can say that it’s to be expected for an online game, and we can have the same tedious back and forth about Diablo III as a single-player game, but you seem like you’re trying to sweep these problems under the rug entirely.

      • Salt says:

        There were claims that accounts were being hacked through a new “session spoofing” technique, but it seems that was unfounded.

        All accounts that have been ransacked appear to have suffered their fate through the traditional technique of getting hold of your password somehow. The reports of people experiencing this despite having an authenticator are blamed (British Rail would be proud) on them having the wrong sort of authenticator. There’s the proper authenticator that generates a constant stream of numbers, either as a plastic dongle or as a phone app. There’s a second thing also known as an authenticator that does something with text messaging, but apparently it doesn’t do much good in these cases.

        That at least is Blizzard’s story, and reports of authenticator-protected accounts getting compromised do seem to have quietened down.

        • frightlever says:

          The text message service isn’t an authenticator – it just sends you an SMS when you change something important on your account. I run both.

      • D3xter says:

        They all stopped mysteriously after Patch 1.0.2b: http://www.cinemablend.com/games/Diablo-3-Hacked-Account-Claims-Instantly-Stop-What-Happened-43412.html

        Obviously everyone playing Diablo III had a sit-together and decided to collectively improve their account security that day.

        Blizzard is always honest and right!

        • Milky1985 says:

          Interesting reading, although i’m sure i will be called a tin foiled hatted idiot again by some people for saying that.

          There is a corelation not equals causation thing but the reports of hacks did seem to suddenly stop.

          • briktal says:

            The one thing would be that if the session thing was real and it got fixed, people would still be getting their accounts compromised the old fashioned way, keyloggers/phishing/etc, so he should’ve still been seeing those threads.

        • mynsc says:

          Nah, just that the paranoia stopped because Blizzard CMs started calling out people that were claiming they got hacked with an Authenticator active and such. Among other factors, like them sending the message that they investigated all the claims and found nothing suspicious.

          I can totally see Blizzard and any other game company holding out info on some bugs and stuff, but like they said on the forums, hiding something like this is unthinkable because it has implications way over one’s game experience. It would be worthy of the harshest prosecution and it’s something that nobody in the online medium jokes about or treats lightly.

        • reggiep says:

          I like how you seem to accept that as fact simply because the author fails to come up with a reasonable explanation. There’s some major confirmation bias going on there and an amazing lack of evidence. People that jump to conclusions without evidence are assholes. Stop being an asshole.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      AFAIK Grayson is still new; I’m fairly certain the vets, most of whom also are playing D3, would have known about the pause thing.
      Made me pause briefly, too, when I read it, since we’d cleared that up some comment threads ago.

      Still an atrocious piece of DRM shit regardless, of course.

      • TheApologist says:

        But according to other commenters above, you get logged out if you pause for more than a few minutes?

        That is not a pause function I recognise.

        • psyk says:

          20mins is a few mins now?

        • RegisteredUser says:

          Yea, I agree. If you get logged out at all, be it 20 or 200 minutes is irrelevant; you should not have to have that be an issue in a single-player game.

          Believe you me, I hate this whole D3 DRM nonsense with a passion.

          Still, was just trying to say the new guy is just being the new guy.

    • Flamekin42 says:

      You are missing the point of why Activision-Blizzard has to be publicly spanked for each and every misstep with Diablo. Here’s a hint – it starts with “In the grim darkness of far future there is only auction houses and full-time internet connection requirement in all games…”

      • Phantoon says:

        Naw. Only Games Workshop could breed such ravenous fans that they unite in hate of a common enemy (Ward) and continue to buy their products while endlessly complaining and hoping that their complaints will be heard and the next version made better.

    • SteamySashimi says:

      Pausing a game and coming back 20 mins later to find it kicked you from a server for inactivity and have to restart a dungeon is not pause.

  9. Neurotic says:

    Blizzard were always going to be extra tough with the security measures they implemented in Diablo III anyway. But making it a conduit for real-money transactions is a blank cheque for them to go berserk with the security.

    Everybody has known point one from the beginning, and should have seen point two coming the moment they said ‘RMT’. I’m only surprised that anyone’s surprised!

  10. Flamekin42 says:

    So, uh, why not correct the feature BEFORE you proudly wheel it out? “Unintended”, you say? Forgetting that starter edition comes with a level cap – what kind of employees they have in their Super Duper Fraudfighter Squad? Are we supposed to trust these people with our personal and banking information? Next time they’ll forget that dollar banknotes are green or smth. (Although they probably wouldn’t, now that they have so many of them.)

    In all seriousness it all looks like sheer panic to me. Or the contrary, a company that completely stopped giving a shit. In no way these actions can be qualified as “keeping things under full control”.

  11. Mr. Mister says:

    “customers can look forward to not be looking forward to *list of negations*”. (11:19 Spain)

    Don’t force yourself.

  12. Thermal Ions says:

    It kind of sounds like some low level techie at Blizzard has looked over the list of proposed restrictions, thought “this is pretty close to the starter edition restrictions, I’ll just apply those and save having to create another separate restriction profile”.

    So what does one actually have to do to get “verified” to avoid these, or is that not really an option within the three day window anyway?

    • Belsameth says:

      The press release, which RPS ripped out of context, says it’s untill payment clears. Usually within a day, but it can take upward to 72 hours.

      • Thermal Ions says:

        Cheers, I should have thought to scroll back up and click through myself.

      • Zanchito says:

        Bollocks, I can buy any game in Steam, GOG, Origin, etc. and play it instantly. Maybe their bank connections are made of magical fairy dust or something.

        • mondomau says:

          I imagine the idea is to allow time for a stolen / cloned card to be reported before allowing the user access to the RMAH.
          Not saying it’s a good move, but I understand the specific reasoning at least.

          • piratmonkey says:

            Woah, hold your reasonable horses! That sounded like a tempered opinion here and we don’t like those around these parts.

  13. Aiven says:

    There was a guy who commented yesterday that Blizzard’s reason is that scammers would:

    1. Buy the game with a stolen credit card.
    2. Sell stuff at the RMAH.
    3. Cash out before Blizzard can do anything about it.

    Why couldn’t they just do this from their normal account? Seems like a part of this puzzle is missing.

    • mengley says:

      My understanding is this:
      1- The scammers use one account to buy items for money on stolen cards.
      2- They move the items to another account, which sells the items for real money.
      i.e. The money they put in is stolen dirty/illegal. The money they get out is clean/legal.
      Blizzard have applied the restriction to account #1, therefore stopping the buying of goods on bad cards/burnable accounts.

    • SteamySashimi says:

      So why dont blizzard just block the RMAH? Why all the other restrictions?

      • mengley says:

        Maybe it’s to stop scammers moving items around through multiple (possibly hard to track) accounts, but to be honest I don’t really understand that myself. The key in money laundering is making your trail hard to follow, so it would make sense.

      • Joof says:

        I’d guess that they reused the code from buying WoW, where until your payment processes and clears, it sets you into trial mode, and didn’t think anything of it, since it worked so well for WoW. But then, since Diablo 3′s trial has much less content compared to WoW’s, it became an issue.

  14. Hoaxfish says:

    See, I think we’re getting our jargon mixed up.

    we all think “service” in terms of “I’d like to have this please”, while they mean “you’re now in servitude to me”

  15. pkt-zer0 says:

    So, basically the restriction is that your items cannot enter the economy until they’ve verified that you have indeed bought the game legitimately.
    Umm… why is this a big deal again? You’d be seriously inconvenienced if you intended to play the game for 72 hours straight immediately after you bought it, so you could farm Inferno ASAP, but… that doesn’t seem like a typical use case?

    • Milky1985 says:

      Currently due to there screw up you cannot enter the economy or access a big bunch of game content.

      They are changing it (calimign screw up, I call backpeddling) to something half ok, except the not dropping loot for friends thing which will annoy people playing with actual friends.

    • chackosan says:

      I think you might be a bit confused. You’d be inconvenienced if you wanted to take a character past Act I within 72 hours of buying the game, which is a far more typical use case than playing 72 hours straight, right after purchase.

      • pkt-zer0 says:

        Being limited to Act 1 and lv. 13 is supposedly unintentional, and getting taken out. That was kind of the point of this blog post, updating the previous one on the same subject.
        Also, this being a screwup rather than a conspiracy isn’t hard to imagine. Remember when people were getting messages about a Starter Edition when they were transitioning from closed to open beta?

  16. roryok says:

    I haven’t played a Diablo since the demo for Diablo, which was cool. Is there still and old guy who says “Hello my friend, stay a while and listen!” I remember him, he was good. Also there was a bug where you could drop treasure out of the inventory and but also keep it so you had infinite wealth. Oh and then the guy said “The smell of death surrounds me”.

    Good times.

  17. Filthius says:

    If this was any other publisher, and any other game, using the same approach to the DRM, no one would have bought it. I have never understood the whole blizzard “fanboi” thing as it is. Even more so now. There games are mediocre at best.

  18. Shortwave says:

    Everytime I see a new Diablo article I start laughing..
    Am I a terrible person?

  19. spec10 says:

    I keep coming back to D3 despite hating what Blizzard does. In fact, i’m quite angry right now. Servers are down again. Shutdown with no announcement in advance. The same thing happens over and over again.

    I’m working in Customer Care myself, and I know why stuff like this happens. However, what I also know is how to solve those problems. Being transparent to your customers is quite easy if you want to. And it doesn’t even cost money, or at the very least is pretty cheap.

    Taking the “Blizzard / D3 best sale ever / etc.” factor in the equation, there’s absolutely no excuse for the behaviour we saw since release and keep seeing right now.

    • PopeJamal says:

      “I keep coming back to D3 despite hating what Blizzard does.”

      Focus on this part and figure out “Why?”.

      • Starky says:

        Because the game despite it’s flaws, the drama surrounding it and the anti-bliz hoohaa (justified or not) is fun as hell to play.

  20. Koojav says:

    I just logged in to say one thing.
    I preordered Diablo 3. Even took some days off from work to play it. After getting to level 60 this game can go straight to trash.

    FUCK YOU Blizzard, seriously every Blizzard’s employee should eat a tasty dick for what they’ve done to the series.

    • mwoody says:

      LOL oh, classic. “I spent over 50 hours with the game, then I got bored. TERRIBLE!”

      • Toberoth says:

        Yeah, I don’t get that either.

      • Bluerps says:

        I think those come from people who spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours with Diablo 2 and expected to do the same with D3. I can understand the disappointment, but I still agree with you – to get 50 hours of solid entertainment out of a game is nothing to complain about, even if you expected to get 500.

        • Lamb Chop says:

          Actually, in my eyes, it would be something to complain about in this case, precisely for all the other reasons people bitch about Diablo on RPS. If this were just a 50-hour singleplayer experience, all those steps taken to secure the always online stuff would be total bullshit, and I’d be just as vitriolic as many in these comment threads. The 50-hour experience is severely limited by the steps taken to try to improve and secure the 100-1000 hour experience. Fortunately, I’m 100 hours in and enjoying myself, so I haven’t gotten grumpy yet (Patch 1.03 came out just in time to fix a lot of the balance issues).

          As a sidenote, if the dick was tasty, wouldn’t they enjoy it? Or are you just being heteronormative and homophobic?

          • subedii says:

            Yeah I can understand that perspective. If you’re not going to play the game for a long period of time, but instead shelve it faster than the previous two, then the whole RMAH and all the nutty stuff that’s been put around it has been of no benefit to the player concerned, it’s instead acted as a hindrance.

            The ones that would potentially benefit from the RMAH are the ones who would be playing for a long time to come, perhaps years.

  21. Mr. Mister says:

    New dificulty level “Blind Heaven”: Yhe roofs are not invisible.

  22. mwoody says:

    Meh, this is a non-story; more painful tabloid reporting from RPS. It’s until payment clears, which will be MUCH less than 72 hours; in many cases, faster than you could download the game. Expressed more truthfully, this means if there’s something wrong with processing your credit card, they’ll let you play, but keep you from screwing with other players until it goes through.

    And yes, in game services like Steam and the like, they essentially use the honor system while your payment clears. That’s because there’s no auction house or other tremendous incentive for new players in Steam games to screw up the system. There, they can just revoke the license and no harm done; for D3, they could use stolen credit cards and items to launder very real money.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      The thing is that these are inconveniences, and it seems to be one after the other. A good service does not involve imposing restrictions on your customers. I also think you’re minimising the restrictions, when D3 came out their defense against the always on DRM was that it was nessecary for the gameplay which hinged on its multiplayer element, even though most people in past games played only singleplayer. Now the features of multiplayer, voice chat, auction house, are restricted for a time after purchase. These particular restrictions might seem minor but you seem to be forgetting that the vast majority of games do not have these restrictions or problems AT ALL for their multiplayer, and especially not their single player. You might not mind these restrictions but they represent ways in which customer expereince is made worse, when the marketing line from Blizzard was that the DRM and security they have implemented was intended to improve customer experience.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Because thers no trading of items in steam at all via things like the mannco store or anything :p

    • jalf says:

      So you’re saying that because Blizzard opted to include a way for players to launder money, the right thing to do is to inconvenience the players who aren’t?

  23. DMStern says:

    Surely the strangest thing about Diablo 3 digital purchases is how much more it costs compared to getting a physical copy?

  24. Beernut says:

    I wonder, how many more annoyances Blizzard’s going to throw at their customers? Most of them were still busy digesting some of their more questionable changes made with 1.0.3., not to count all the other streamlining-stuff they got going on server-side to balance the crap out of the game until it feels as bland as a piece of dry toast (“You found shortcuts or interesting ways to farm? Can’t have such nonsense interfering with our precious economy now can we?!”). Then there are serious problems with the RMAH, which – despite pissing people off – could very well pose a lot of new and interesting legal challenges for Blizzard. Combine that with the fact that the servers are down for scheduled or emergency-maintenances quite often (like now, for example…) as well as this new 72h-manoeuvre and you really have to admire the amount of abuse Diablo fans are capable to endure, just to play their damn game.

  25. jellydonut says:

    What the hell happened to Blizzard? They used to be the good guys.

    Was it Activision? Did Bobby Kotick infect them with asshole-itis?

  26. MajorManiac says:

    Games as a disservice…

  27. Benjamin Sherwood says:

    I know this has been said a thousand times, but I’ve been a lurker for years and am only just starting to voice myself on here… So yeah, I waited for Diablo3, having grown up playing 1 & 2, and since I couldn’t find it on the High Street, lumped for paying £45 or whatever it was directly to Blizzard. Not really fussed, I mean, if I get at least ten-twenty hours out of a game at that price point (and I’ve easy had half of that already), and I’ve enjoyed the experience, then that’s all fine. I choose how to spend my money, and if I can afford it, etc etc.

    My issue is that I’m in the middle of moving house, I have no Internets, and therefore can’t play. And even when I did have a connection at home (BT Infinity, ~27MB, easily 2-3mb/s throughput off of a decent server connection), I still suffered serious lag. I know millions of people are playing it, and hopefully it get better, and at least I’ve always been able to connect, but still…. Stuck in a time where I would have invested 20 hours plus in the last week, not to mention this weekend (STILL no Internets, thanks BT house moves…), to not be able to play, is a pain… Seems so silly. I get why, I get their reasoning, but even Steam has an offline mode… and sure, apparently that means there are ways of bypassing Steam’s protection. But whatever….

    • psyk says:

      OH NO

      You brought a game you knew was online only while you also knew you have sketchy internet access, MONG MONG MONG

      • Milky1985 says:

        How is “BT Infinity, ~27MB, easily 2-3mb/s throughput off of a decent server connection” a sketchy internet connection?

        Or is this a really bad attempt at a joke?

  28. MiKHEILL says:

    Oh, so I can only access the first hour or so of content from the game whilst in my mandatory 3 day isolation period implemented as some sort of bizarre punishment for giving Blizzard my money?
    That’s fine, I can wait. I’ll just turn up the difficulty so it takes longer. Oh, wait..

  29. sexyresults says:

    Can someone clarify ‘unverified’ for me? Let’s say I purchase the game online with a Visa credit card, for the first 72 hours is that ‘unverified’?

    • Lamb Chop says:

      There are typically two checks on a card for online payment. There’s a first check to make sure the card actually exists (is that a real 16 digit code? do the security code and expiry date match?). If that passes, which happens in a few seconds while you get the ‘complete this order’ button greyed out and wait for the confirmation page to load, then it becomes a pending transaction on the account. These usually take anywhere from 1 to 24 hours to clear the bank, although they give 72 hours as some buffer time. Once the money transfer actually takes place, your card has been ‘verified’ as you’re using the term, and your account would be unlocked to the full version.

  30. sophof says:

    At this point it feels like this is just an experiment to see just how much they can get away with. I find it a little embarrassing really… I mean, I’ve seen people defending this apparently ‘unintended consequence’, what the hell is going on here? I want to pick these people up and shake them till they wake up :P

  31. zeroskill says:

    And when I said, the Activision/Blizzard merger is the end of Blizzard as we know it, people called me crazy. Because all of these business decision clearly don’t stink of Activision influence. No sireee.

  32. Unaco says:

    “The never-ending soap opera that is Diablo’s online strategy continues.”

    Hahahaha… Blizzard actually have a Strategy?

    • Milky1985 says:

      Course they do

      Its “How much can we get away with and have peopel still support us”

      So far so good on that front seeing the forums and a couple of the more “lively” posters on here :p

  33. fish99 says:

    I’ve been playing an addictive game recently, it’s called Auction House 3. They decided to innovate with this version and attach this ‘game’ thing, but that part gets dull really quick.

  34. oceanview says:

    best selling pc game of all time. Just shows again people want to be treated like shit.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Two things:

      1) FASTEST selling, not best selling. Huge difference right there.

      2) I’d bet my hat that most of the people who bought D3 weren’t aware of the DRM, or the issues associated with always online DRM. Or simply under estimated how severe the problems would become. No one wanted the game to have huge launch problems.

      • psyk says:

        “2) I’d bet my hat that most of the people who bought D3 weren’t aware of the DRM, or the issues associated with always online DRM. Or simply under estimated how severe the problems would become. No one wanted the game to have huge launch problems.”

        Who are these people who just buy things with out reading anything about them?

        • Milky1985 says:

          Its hard to know about connection issues of a game thats now out yet, from a company that has expecerience with big online launches so should know what they are doing :p

          Also a vast percentage of people don’t give a crap about DRM unfortantly :/

          [EDIT] So really we should all be thanking blizzard because now even more people know why always online is a TERRIBLE idea because they have experienced it first hand!

        • fish99 says:

          Go into any GAME store, you’ll see plenty of them.

        • Vorphalack says:

          ”Who are these people who just buy things with out reading anything about them?”

          Most people. Blizzard don’t break week one sales records by making games that cater to informed, careful consumers after all. You have to understand that gaming is becoming a disposable pass time for a lot of people these days. People buy blind, mostly directed by hype. If what they get sucks, it just doesn’t matter as it’s only a relatively small investment. As an example, everyone I know that bought Skyrim had no idea it was number 5 in a series. It had an advert on TV with a dragon. That’s all it ever needed to get massive sales.

  35. nrvsNRG says:

    “Well, you know, aside from connection issues, lag, downtime, and the inability to pause, anyway.”

    Connection issues – fixed weeks ago and extremely rare (personally ive only had 1 DC on the very first day of release and none since)
    Downtime – 5am once a week
    Inability to pause – Playing solo you can press escape or teleport to town absolutely no problem there. Co op, same deal as with mmo’s, AFK or brb or just teleport so no problem there.
    Lag – Latency has gone right down to normal double figures weeks ago,I still notice it occasionally but it is by no means game breaking, but i appreciate it may be more bothersome for some, but do think its been over exaggerated.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Meanwhile, issues with the singleplayer mode of all other games:

      Connection issues: none at all because no always on DRM

      Lag: none at all because no always on DRM

      Downtime: none at all because no always on DRM

      Lack of pause: pause instantly and resume anywhere because no always on DRM

      But yeah, Blizzard are really improving the experience with always on requirements.

      • nrvsNRG says:

        but why even bother including the “pause issue” when he KNOWINGLY understands it is a non issue?
        …because he doesnt want the truth to get in the way of a story, thats why, and that sucks.

        • fish99 says:

          I assume he’s talking about the game disconnecting you if you leave it paused.

    • piratmonkey says:

      Same here.

    • fish99 says:

      Yeah but where the benefit to players from the game being always online? There is none.

      • nrvsNRG says:

        no but thats the where theyve taken the game, to always on like mmo’s, so it might be shit for some but not for others who dont mind it as much, for the ppl that hate the idea just tell yourself “Blizzard is dead to me” and get on with it.

        • fish99 says:

          That’s not much of an argument when the game has none of the benefits of an MMO. Also there’s been a ton more downtime than just ’5am once per week’. The game (EU) was down 3 times for 6hrs each time in the first 5 days, then for almost a whole sunday, and several times since then. For the 1.03 update the servers were down for like 12 hrs.

  36. Beacon87 says:

    I’m a long-time reader, first-time poster on RPS, but at this point I am quite a bit frustrated.

    This reporting is really just getting irresponsible.

    They are simply waiting until your payment clears. For almost everyone, that will be almost instantaneously. In fact, unless you are trying to do something sneaky, I can’t think of a time it would take 3 days to clear a payment.

    Most people that read this article are not going to go check where RPS is taking their information from. Because RPS is *heavily implying* that you are stuck doing half of Act 1 for 3 days, they are just stirring up more anti-Blizzard sentiment from people they are “falsely” informing.

    While *technically* the article says things like “up to 72 hours,” the implied message is that “Hey, thx 4 buying game, now wait 3 days to play!!!” The reality is that almost all new customers wouldn’t even notice that this change occurred.

    The false information included in this article (regarding pausing, for example) just gives more weight to the idea of an uninformed reporter.

    Stop it. I started reading this site because you guys did a good, honest job of giving your opinion on games and the gaming industry. This isn’t an opinion, this is just blatantly trying to increase Blizzard hate.

    • Brun says:

      It’s obvious that they have a personal issue with the way Diablo 3 handles the always-online restriction, so it technically is an opinion. I’m not saying I like that restriction, but their reporting on Diablo 3 has been heavily…tainted by that one particular issue. Their opinion has become an agenda, or it certainly feels that way.

      I fully expect their review of Torchlight 2 to be glowing, even if the game itself has glaring problems – simply because it’s not always-online and they somehow feel the need to “punish” Blizzard while rewarding a smaller studio.

      I think the thing to keep in mind though, is that this is a blog, not a news site, so everything they write is technically an opinion piece.

    • Milky1985 says:

      So you say its not a report, but its also not an opinion, so what is it?

      My first is in peacock, but not in canoe, what am i!

    • piratmonkey says:

      This.

    • subedii says:

      “Up to 72 hours” has been the terminology that Blizzard themselves have been using. And you yourself say it’s right.

      • Brun says:

        I think his point was that the article glosses over to some extent the fact that the 72 hours is an upper limit that few users were reaching.

        • subedii says:

          To be honest, I don’t view loss of access to the RMAH as a big inconvenience. However I am also intelligent enough to know that up to 72 means what it says, and it’s what Blizzard have been saying.

          The former’s opinion, but I don’t see the latter as anything spurious.

    • Freud says:

      RPS, especially this new Nathan guy, seems to love making anything Diablo 3 appear worse than it really is.

      It’s not reporting in any traditional sense, it’s constant tendentious jabs at Blizzard.

      • R10T says:

        Do not kill the messenger, just because Blizzard is making more bad decisions than the right ones. Especially when these bad decisions are a “must fix”, because of even worse decisions made before.

  37. Brun says:

    @ Everyone saying that people who bought Diablo 3 are irresponsible and are destroying PC gaming because it will validate other companies’ drive toward always-online:

    Copy sales will not be the yardstick by which Diablo 3 is measured. Although it put up some impressive numbers in that department, a shrewd businessman will know that initial sales are driven primarily by hype and brand recognition – indeed, many AAA titles are designed specifically to exploit these factors to generate sales. The real measure of Diablo 3′s success will be the financial return from the RMAH. THAT will be what the VPs from Activision and EA will be most interested in seeing. So if anything, it’s the people who buy items for cash that are destroying PC gaming.

    And I wouldn’t get too discouraged about it. Blizzard has been getting plenty of bad press about the game, and has had some highly visible technical and legal troubles as well. Enough that other studios will likely be thinking twice about implementing similar systems (beyond what they already have in their pipeline).

  38. Iliya Moroumetz says:

    So… popcorn anyone? :)

    *Om nom nom!*

  39. Stackler says:

    “Fingers crossed that Blizzard’s finally run out of whiplash-inducing plot twists, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find us all tuning in for another episode of Diablos Of Our Lives in a week or two.”

    Sorry Nathan, but hell no. I hope Blizzard breaks and a lot of these dickheads are unemployed for a little bit.

  40. piratmonkey says:

    So Blizzard fucked up hard by limiting to the demo experience but I’m not seeing what the problem is with the planned restrictions.

  41. MythArcana says:

    What really transpired was that Kotlick saw his kids’ Ferrari fund dwindling and realized his big mouth screwed the company yet again. Yet another diverted retraction hiding in Gumby’s clothing.

    Hey, on a side note; are you guys still enjoying your $60 “game”?

    • Brun says:

      Hey, on a side note; are you guys still enjoying your $60 “game”?

      Yep. Well, I was, but I’m taking a break this week to try out some sweet new Skyrim mods. Probably jump back into D3 in another week or so.

    • jaheira says:

      I haven’t got a $60 “game”. I have got a $60 game, which I’m enjoying very much thanks!

  42. Freud says:

    I have a bigger problem with buying the game digitally from Blizzard being more expensive than buying a boxed copy from a retailer. No physical product and no middle men involved makes something more expensive?

  43. Zarunil says:

    Imagine how good Diablo 3 could have been if it hadn’t been focused around the Real Money Auction House.

    No lag. No disconnects. No login server errors. No getting banned for using the RMAH the way it way it was intended.

    It would have been blizz.

  44. oldfart says:

    So assuming the 72 hour quarantine is related to RMAH frauds, then one may expect similar procedure every time our gold farmer fellas find out a way to break their delicate system. In other words, expect things going worse.

  45. ffordesoon says:

    I’m honestly a bit relieved that this launch has gone so comically wrong.

    I mean, I like the game a lot, and I wish I could play it without a stiff breeze murdering me or something, but, taking the long view, all these very public fuckups are good for games.

    I mean, think about how this must look to any publisher considering always-online DRM as a solution. The largest, most successful game developer and game publisher in the world has failed to deliver a game that works one hundred percent of the time, and even when it does, it still doesn’t work perfectly. People are justifiably angry, and all Blizzard’s attempts to double down on this awful crap instead of giving consumers what they want have blown up in their face in absurd ways. Yes, it sold a lot, and yes, it’s a very good game, but those are expected from Blizzard. If you’re the publisher of a game with less potential for success than Diablo III (which is to say, if you do not publish Diablo III), you’re basically shooting yourself in the foot and the chest and the head if you announce that your game that is definitely going to be less successful than Diablo III will have an always-online requirement. Not to mention how much server upkeep costs!

    Frankly, I look forward to the day Blizzard fixes this, but I couldn’t be happier that they haven’t, because these problems aren’t going to go away for companies who aren’t Blizzard, and they know that, so there’s just no reason for them to bother with it.

    • Shandrakor says:

      Hear Hear!

      Additional point: if you are NOT Blizzard, how many people will be around in your game or CARE that you still haven’t gotten it right months after release?

      On a personal note, I’ve been playing blizz games since Warcraft first came out. I squealed with joy when I discovered that they were (finally!) making D3. But the implementation….ugh. Blizzard appears to intent on pissing off their customer base. There were a few gaming companies who products were an insta-buy for me; Westwood, Bullfrog, Blizzard, Sierra…but Blizz was the only one left standing. Looks like I’ll be giving Heart of the Swarm a miss. :(

  46. Frostbeard says:

    I caved, I am sorry but I caved in..I got D3 despite everything thats wrong with it. I am a weak soul, and its not really that good a game.

    My reasoning is thus: I have over 30k played games in minesweeper, and I might as well play a game if I am going to acquire repetitive stress injury while watching TV or listening to audiobooks.