Bye Bye Bots: Game Limits Returning To Diablo

By Nathan Grayson on July 17th, 2012 at 10:00 pm.

Have you got the money? 'Cause I've got the stuff. Welcome to the black market auction house, where we do this shit the old-fashioned way.

I don’t imagine it’s easy managing an economy in which many of your customers are both wizards and basically The Matrix. You may, for instance, think you have everything locked up tight, but then hackers storm your walls, or you remember that fraud exists, or bot farmers see gold in them there hills. So, how do you fight back? Well, if you’re a member of the Blizzard school of thought, the answer is to add more locks, then put locks on your locks, then tell those locks the cautionary tale of both gold and locks that is Goldilocks. At the very least, however, the latest Diablo III restriction shouldn’t affect most of you – at least, in theory.

Game limits, after all, simply refer to the number of games Diablo players have open at once. And while I’m sure some people like to rock multiple monitors and dual wield mice of +10 to click-click-click (actually, is this even possible with only one copy?), I’m going to go ahead and guess that most of you just do things the normal way. Blizzard did, however, offer the following explanation:

“In the near future, we’ll be re-enabling the limit on how many games a player can create within a certain amount of time. We’ve further tuned and tested the conditions that trigger this limit to ensure, as much as possible, that it only affects those abusing the Diablo III game service in a way that violates the Terms of Use – for example, by using bots that create games in rapid succession.”

“The use of bots not only impacts the stability of the game service, but it also has an impact on the player-driven economy. While we regularly take action against accounts for the use of unauthorized third-party programs and bots, this additional measure will help us further preserve and protect the integrity of the game and economy in between ban waves.”

Blizzard further noted that it’ll be watching player feedback very closely once the new limit system goes live, with the aim, of course, being to squelch any instances of legitimate players getting left out in the cold while bots point and laugh from inside hell’s warm, cozy confines.

Time will tell, however, the exact nature of the issues that arise. I could certainly see this impacting players who’ve had connection failure issues or some form of crash error. If that ends up being the case, then Blizzard will have another firestorm on its hands – and rightfully so. Another layer of inconvenience for Diablo players at this stage is akin to hurling a hay bale at a camel whose back has already been thoroughly broken by a piece of straw. But if the hack ‘n’ slash giant can deliver on its promise of a bot-seeking missile, then the rest of us can just get on with our lives. Given the game’s history, I’m skeptical, but also certainly not ready to pick up a pitchfork and torch just yet.

I have to wonder, though, if it’s possible to fully control a market so rooted in a practice that was once expressly forbidden. I mean, this is gold farming we’re talking about. Some people – many of them in dire straits money-wise – make a living off this practice, and Diablo offers them one of PC gaming’s single largest audiences. Where there’s a will (and people willing to flagrantly break the rules because they have to eat), there’s most certainly a way. So is it any wonder that Diablo’s economy immediately toppled over – with heaping stacks of hundreds of thousands of gold going for mere cents – the second Blizzard let people start putting price tags on everything? Long story short: I don’t imagine we’ve seen the end of this issue. Not in the slightest.

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109 Comments »

  1. Hypernetic says:

    Does anyone even play D3 anymore?

    • Vinraith says:

      Bots and hackers do, didn’t you read the article?

    • Salt says:

      In my personal experience, no.

      But some Blizzard person recently posted on their forums saying that the rate of Diablo III players ceasing to play has been slower than the rate at which numbers drop off after a WoW expansion. Which is quite surprising to me. Of course they don’t release any detail so it’s hard to know exactly what they’re counting and how they’re counting it.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        I saw that “fact”… seems a bit silly to compare a new game in a series which hasn’t been touched in over decade, to an expansion for an undying MMO that has been around almost a decade.

        people enjoy our new red colour more than our occasional change in this shade of grey we’ve been painting everything in for years

        • ynasvdvs says:

          Today’s deals! HD waterproof sports watch (8G memory, movement activated, hidden cameras, digital video recorders) price reduction of 20% € 49.19! http://tinylink.ir/7684

    • Premium User Badge

      piratmonkey says:

      I do.

    • vandinz says:

      Yes, plenty of people. The chat is still constantly full. I don’t get your point? It’s a brilliant game, I’ve had my moneys worth out of it multiple times over.

      • Dr I am a Doctor says:

        It’s the smug “I don’t like this game, I can’t imagine anybody else liking this.” Smug, condescending, and implies that his opinions are the only ones that matter.

        • CrookedLittleVein says:

          Ridiculous isn’t it?

          Everyone knows I’m chief opinionator.

      • Milky1985 says:

        They make new chat channels once the main one is full, so it will always be full basically :P

        But there is a drop of in players amoungst my mates, even the hardcore diablo 2 player has stopped playing, at the start was a full group of about 12 of us playing, now 0.

        Yes people are playing, yes there is a massive drop in people playing.

    • Nokterian says:

      No,i finished it and well that’s that. Redoing it again just sucks.

    • Metonymy says:

      I waited for a pirate version, but then I guess the pirates stop caring about it. I’m a little bit curious, but if its anything like the beta, I’m not missing anything. I’ll just have to wait for TL2, GW2, BL2

      • BooleanBob says:

        I read that as ‘I’m a little bit furious’, which for some reason made the post incredibly funny.

    • aliksy says:

      I uninstalled it last week. I didn’t enjoy it outside of a few rare moments, and then inferno is “hammering nails into your dick” levels of not-fun for me.

    • Lobotomist says:

      I do some time. Because I play casually from start.
      It has good gameplay. You cant deny them that.
      But it seriously lacks content variation.

      Not something Blizz could not repair if they just let the random game actually be random

      • Kdansky says:

        That’s the weirdest part. D3 suffers a ton because it has so much story, and that requires static set-pieces, which in turn make the game boring when you encounter them the seventh time. Its best levels are those that are truly random, like Zul’s archives, or the basement below the keep in act 3.

        It’s exactly what Keith Burgun and Raph Koster are right about (and what everyone hates them for): Don’t focus so much on narrative, it makes your game bad!*

        *It’s not impossible to make a good game with a good story (e.g. Planescape Torment or Psychonauts), but you have to work extra-hard, and those games are exceptionally rare.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          Ehh.. really? I’d say that’s more symptomatic of games which are 100% gameplay-based at their core. The Diablo games are a good example.

          • Kdansky says:

            Call me when Tetris, Chess and Go have become boring.

          • Lobotomist says:

            Touche

          • Slaadfax says:

            I mostly agree with your main point, though personally I often prefer narrative (I’ve always found Tetris to be quite dull), and competitive games can subsist on the strategic and competitive elements by themselves (though atmosphere doesn’t hurt).

            All that aside, I believe Diablo 3 suffers in particular for two reasons:

            1) The narrative is constantly shoved in your face. It’s not an atmospheric thing that helps with world building, it’s bloody Azmodan gloating about his obvious sexiness while always telling you precisely what your next objective is, which leads me to…

            2) The narrative is pretty bad. Lame twists, lame characters, pointless objectives.

            Of course, you already did mention a few games that benefit from good narrative, but it just makes them all the better for actually spending a decent amount of time on the writing.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      A little less than half the number of people who played it just after it came out. Why?

    • ColonelClaw says:

      Technically and artistically, D3 is an amazing game. Absolutely brilliantly put together.
      The problem is, I found playing it to be an almost completely joyless experience. And this is coming from someone who played more hours of D1 and D2 than is medically healthy.

      Short answer: no, stopped playing it.

  2. Torgen says:

    I can’t figure out what they’re doing. Are they saving a game right before opening an uber loot chest or fighting an end boss, and just quickloading over and over?

    • Salt says:

      Saving and loading a game? What is this, the 90s? We have everything in The Always Online Battlenet Two Point Oh Cloud Database now, which will deign to save your progress at least every couple of hours.

      Having said that, I believe the dubiousness done by bots is actually quite similar. Throughout the game there are checkpoints from which you can resume playing. When you “resume” it actually generates a new game world and places you at the correct location. Because there’s some random generation stuff it’s possible that there will be a valuable chest located near certain checkpoints.

      The bot will repeatedly create a new game at that checkpoint until it gets lucky and the chest spawns. It’s a huge waste of time for a human player to do it compared to just fighting stuff, but I guess no one has yet made a bot that can fight successfully on the highest difficulty. Making a bot that checks if a nearby chest is present and opens it is pretty simple though. Run a load of copies of that bot on separate accounts and you’ll have a steady stream of junk to sell on the auction house.

      • carlthuringer says:

        Actually there are apparently some quests where you can turn in the reward prior to the game checkpointing. The bot repeatedly creates games, turns in the quest, reaps xp rewards, then leaves the game. Level 65 overnight.

        • Baines says:

          So it is because they left a loophole in turning in quests? Something that could have been avoided if they’d either made sure quests and checkpoints were better placed in relation to each other, or made the game checkpoint (or otherwise save a permanent flag) when you turn in a quest?

          • Vorphalack says:

            It reminds me of the one time I got a battle.net ban for doing an hours worth of Pindleskin runs in D2. I made game after game just running the boss, then got a temp ban out of the blue. So yeah, apparently finding a good place to farm gear in a gear farming game is frowned upon, even when no money is involved : |

  3. dawnmane says:

    @Hypernetic: I do! That is, when I’m not trying to finish my masters thesis in time for my pregnant wife’s due date this saturday, I do. It’s still fun.

  4. scorcher24 says:

    “Player driven economy”

    When I read that as an eve player, I have to laugh hard..

    • PopeJamal says:

      Lies! We all know that Eve players don’t laugh. They have no souls!

      • jconnop says:

        I’m quitting life! Billions of souls to give away! Send me any number of souls and I’ll send you back double!

    • Namey says:

      Well, it’s certainly player driven. The “economy” part could be contested though.

  5. Jraptor59 says:

    I quit playing this game a month ago. The story is poor, the game lags badly, and I am tired of Bliz being so hostile to the players. Down time on Tuesdays? Do they think this is WoW. No SP offline? I am boycotting Bliz; no MOP:WoW, Starcraft, anything, anymore until they wake up and realize the customer deserves to be treated well because WE are their bosses because WE give them our money. Time to wake up Bilzzard. If you don’t like their crap YOU should boycott them too. Whining here won’t do the trick.

    • scorcher24 says:

      I dont have diablo 3 :p

    • nasenbluten says:

      You boycott after buying it? How nice of you!

      • theallmightybob says:

        yeah i am boycotting it after buying it to. diffrance is i got a refund on day 3 :P

    • Fincher says:

      “The story is poor, the game lags badly, and I am tired of Bliz being so hostile to the players. Down time on Tuesdays? Do they think this is WoW. No SP offline?”

      But we knew all this before the game even came out, AND YOU STILL BOUGHT IT.

      • Sensai says:

        Thank you for this. Summed up exactly what I want to tell most everyone complaining about it.

    • misterT0AST says:

      Buying their games and then complaining doesn’t mean “boycotting” I’m afraid.
      If they take tonnes of insults and tonnes of money they will keep acting like that. It’s easy to shrug off complaints. It’s a bit harder to ignore shareholders.
      “Time to wake up Blizzard”… I can assure you they are prefectly awake, they’ve never been better and they’re laughing their ass off at people who keep throwing money at them only to later whine about it on the internet.

    • The Random One says:

      I for one would also boycott them if they had ever published anything I was interested in.

      It’s like my boycott of Activision, which has so far meant that I won’t get Prototype 2 even when it drops in price some two years from now.

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        phuzz says:

        I thought I’d never played anything that Blizzard had ever made, until a friend pointed out that it was Bliz who made Battle Chess back in the day. Mind you, I’m pretty sure that was a pirate copy I played on my Amiga, proof positive that piracy will lead to the inevitable death of the games industry.

        • kio says:

          Um, Blizzard didn’t make Battle Chess. They made several Battle Chests, though…

          • Squirly says:

            Actually they made Battle Chess for windows and the commodore 64. And battle chess 2 for the Amiga. they were just called Silicon & Synapse back then.

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      Smashbox says:

      The lag, oh Christ the lag. I knew what I was getting into with the rest but the lag is game-literally deadly and constant. I thought I read that most stuff was client-side before it came out.

      Literally unplayable and beyond infuriating on my actually-decent Internet connection. I really do feel ripped off and a bit betrayed (and I’m not being hyperbolic!)

      • Vorphalack says:

        Lag. Because, piracy. Welcome to the enlightened 21st century indeed : |

      • Baines says:

        I had some friends who thought the lag they were hitting was client-side, until I pointed out that they were hitting it in the same situations on completely different machines with different settings.

  6. Premium User Badge

    piratmonkey says:

    I can’t figure out why I’m supposed to feel any sympathy for people using bots to gold-farm?

    • Sakkura says:

      I can’t figure out why you think that’s what the article is trying to convince you to do?

      • Premium User Badge

        piratmonkey says:

        “I have to wonder, though, if it’s possible to fully control a market so rooted in a practice that was once expressly forbidden. I mean, this is gold farming we’re talking about. Some people – many of them in dire straits money-wise – make a living off this practice, and Diablo offers them one of PC gaming’s single largest audiences. Where there’s a will (and people willing to flagrantly break the rules because they have to eat), there’s most certainly a way.”

        It was probably this bit here.

        • Ateius says:

          I read that as less “asking for sympathy” and more pointing out that it will take incredibly complex and draconian measures to discourage the people who make their living off this sort of thing.

          • Premium User Badge

            piratmonkey says:

            I hadn’t taken that away from it but you’re probably right.

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        Hidden_7 says:

        I can certainly think of more harmful ways to earn a living, executed by people in far less desperate situations, that people generally have little problem with, but that’s somewhat beside the point.

        It’s never really a bad thing to find some sympathy for other human beings. Remember, sympathizing doesn’t mean endorsing, excusing, or justifying.

    • The Random One says:

      Go read Cory Doctorow’s For The Win (available for free online) and maybe you’ll figure it out.

  7. FunkyBadger3 says:

    Blizzard are being run by G4S now, aren’t they?

  8. Bhazor says:

    You gotta have locks on your locks! You gotta have locks on your EYES!!!

  9. Stardog says:

    This is genius from Blizzard. Get a news story for every tiny little update of your game.

    I’d rather have seperate Kickstarter stories, and bunch all of the Diablo 3 news into one large post once a month instead.

    I think that would benefit readers more…

    • Gnoupi says:

      The last article about D3 was 11 days ago, don’t exaggerate, maybe.

  10. SketchyGalore says:

    You mean you made a game where you could get real money from people, and people had the audacity to CHEAT?! I’m shocked… What’s next? Gold farmers in World of Warcraft?!… I’ve fallen into a sar-chasm again, haven’t I?

    • Heisenberg says:

      excactly! if the whole thing wasnt water tight from day one it makes you wonder if blizz are incompetent or just naieve.

    • Bhazor says:

      The best part is that the Blizz fanboys actually said that allowing cash auctions would remove the farmers. Heh.

      I have no idea how they thought that would work.

      • Moraven says:

        They doing a lot more than the old west D2 was. No one said that botters will simply give up since there is a official AH to regulate the transactions. At least they are actively closing up exploits that are being abused. Along with the ability to track how much gold someone is earning.

        I have had a friend’s WoW account suspended (then revoked) from trading money to a gold buyer (he “bought” gold by offering to create an account that you refer as a friend then adding 2 months of game time, netting you a free month of wow along with the Refer A Friend mount).

        They will keep trying and some will slip through, but its a lot better than before.
        I am sure farmers will keep trying as long as they net more than the purchase price of the game before the ban. Endless fight.

  11. Jorum says:

    Gold farming is a business where you can convert nothing but time into money, with only very limited overheads.

    It’s the closest anyone’s come to having a way of literally making money from nothing.
    No wonder it’s so heavily exploited. The attraction is so huge controlling it seems almost impossible.

    • Nethlem says:

      Basically any job boils down to “making money out of invested time”.

      And if it’s about making “money out of nothing” i think the finance and banking industry might wanna call first on that one too.

  12. Premium User Badge

    Clavus says:

    Strange. I don’t remember Valve freaking out and constantly ‘correcting their economy’ when they launched the store in TF2…

    I don’t play Diablo 3 but it’s still kinda sad watching it slowly sink from a distance.

    • Gnoupi says:

      They did, though. When people starting to make idle servers, and leaving their characters idling, they modified the “drop rates” depending on the amount of time you haven’t played, so that idle players don’t have much more items than someone playing from time to time.

      • RakeShark says:

        If I remember correctly, they weren’t so much concerned about players logging into idle servers through TF2 to just sit around in the background. They got concerned when someone made the bypass program to make Steam and TF2 /think/ they were playing TF2 without any of the executable running. That’s when they stepped in and purged the month or two of hat drop idling, and afterwards adjusted the drop rate to be a pool, rather than a straight chance.

        • Gnoupi says:

          Probably, yes, I forgot about the exact details, thanks.
          But there was indeed some adjustment to the way items drop, this I remembered.

        • Premium User Badge

          Malibu Stacey says:

          All of which happened long before the store was introduced.
          Don’t worry, plenty of people forget VALVe added items to TF2 long before they added the crafting system which also pre-dated the trading system which also pre-dated the mann-co store.

    • Namey says:

      It’s a bit of a different deal with it though, since the TF2 store is your usual Game Company-to-Player cash shop type of a deal, with mostly cosmetic items and such. There’s not Player-to-Player selling going on there, so there’s no real way for your average player to get a monetary benefit from it. Obviously trading exits in the game too, but Valve has no stake in that, like how Blizzard has the 30% cut in RMAH transactions, so they don’t really have a reason heavily moderate the economy. The actual monetary Player-to-Player selling and buying is purely player driven, though influenced by things like drop rates, windows and cost of keys.

      That doesn’t mean that they don’t step in occasionally, though. There have been times when item drop rates have been adjusted and some items patched due to unexpected side effects. Like when the Mannconomy update gave everyone free Paper Hats, there was a huge frenzy to trade and hoard them because they were usable for crafting hats with real demand. Valve stepped in and made the paper hats untradeable after a small while.

  13. grizzled young man says:

    The phrase “player-driven economy” is a real tip as to what is wrong with this frankly detestable game.

    I just finished Inferno with my (only) D3 character, and I’ve never felt so frustrated or empty as a result of playing a video game. I managed to devise tactics and skill combinations that got me past Inferno without resorting to the RMAH, but I still felt used and mistreated by the experience in a way that has really stuck with me, that I find objectionable and worthy of protest.

    I’ve been very disappointed by video games before without using such strong language. I hated Mass Effect 3, but I found all the whining and demands for a rewrite inappropriate and self-entitled on the part of fans.

    I’ve found that D3 deserves uniquely strong criticism because it represents a new low in terms of the relationship between game developer and game player. Sure, it’s embarrassing that the game shipped in a form so incomplete and dysfunctional that it is effectively a $60 beta. Sure, it’s disappointing how much they have simplified game-play and the plot, in a way that feels lazy and reductive and all too reminiscent of WoW. Sure, it’s frustrating that the always-online DRM has yielded none of the advertised benefits in terms of reducing botting and other exploits.

    All of that is besides the point.

    The really vile thing about D3 is the inescapable sense that Blizzard set out to make a designer drug, not a video game. That they want me to spend more money, and don’t really care if I enjoy the game so long as I can’t stop playing it. Instead of focusing on ‘fun’ (in all its various forms, including providing challenges to those who want them), D3 seems to be designed to be viscerally addictive enough to get the player highly invested, so that when the player encounters one of the game’s many frustrating gear-checks, the player will be highly incentivized to spend additional money on the RMAH.

    It’s horrifying to imagine what would become of gaming if this model were to really take root.. As it is, many have a healthy suspicion of DLC and the like. I cannot imagine gaming continuing to advance as a creative medium if gamers are treated as ongoing revenue streams, and not the loving recipients of someones’ creative endeavor.

    • Metonymy says:

      The key word in your post is reductive. This was a problem with Warcraft 3 as well, with every unit having nearly the same mathematical model with respect to the others. It’s a lazy development method, and it was proven by how little balancing was required on non-hero units. You saw it in SC2 as well, where units like the marauder and roach represent a complete unwillingness to take chances with unit interaction.

      • grizzled young man says:

        Yeah, SC2 is definitely lazy and more than a bit exploitative, right down to the fact that they divided it into three (right? I don’t even know any more) games. Played it through a couple of times then got bored.

        I loved SC1 and its multiplayer, but had zero interest in returning to a world and a story that felt smaller this time around.

      • misterT0AST says:

        The last thing I’d say about Blizzard is that they are “lazy”. They work their ass off to make sure that their gamers will remain hooked to their creatures as long as possible.
        And Warcraft 3 with its endless mod support, simple account creation and deletion, innovative mix of RPG and RTS is not lazy at all. They released the last patch 2 years ago: it added Hashtables to the Warcraft 3 World Editor.
        Diablo is definitely something else, but remember that even if it’s simplistic, it’s still a perfectly engineered psychological trap. It’s catnip for humans. It’s genius, and its every little detail has been perfectly crafted to hook. It’s not lazy. It’s a dangerous, soulless masterpiece.

        • grizzled young man says:

          Warcraft 3 was 10 years ago, and honestly I much prefer that approach to addictive gameplay.

          “Lazy” in this context refers to creative risk, not effort put into exploiting the player. But yeah, overall we agree.

        • theallmightybob says:

          “its catnip for humans” the term your looking for is skinner box ;)

          http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Skinner_box

          just replace “small amount of food” with diablo item.

    • Shezo says:

      Got the same feeling for the game.
      Addictive and frustrating at the same time, it’s like eating tasty cactus.
      That’s the worst kind of games, no game should be like this.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      You think the game is “detestable”, but still played it enough to complete it on Inferno? (And given that you’ve “just” done this, I guess you’ve been playing for a couple of weeks at least?).

      Something doesn’t add up here….

      • TariqOne says:

        I hated that huge wedding cake every minute that I sat there devouring the whole thing.

        And when it was gone, I hated myself.

  14. Moraven says:

    Blizzard did this in WoW also for instances. They did make it more lenient then originally but still it can have an impact on legit players farming older content for mounts and gear. (we run into this farming raid mounts, usually have to wait 15 mins)

    Sounds like in D3 this would have no impact on the user since botting is doing excessive(20+) recreates an hour.

  15. McDan says:

    Seems to be that Blizzard are working devilishly hard against these hackers/gold farmers and such.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Well, they’ll surely have a hell of a time eradicating their presence.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jubaal says:

      Let’s just hope that they don’t demonize the players in the process.

  16. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    I’m always a bit fascinated by player-driven economies and their quirks; they’re microcosms of real economics!

    In this case, the abundance of super cheap goods delivered by a (relative) few has utterly devalued the goods of all. Worryingly, I can’t help but think of the arguments that Steam sales devalue games. The evidence is here: if goods are consistently cheap, consumers won’t buy them, which means that profit can only be made in bulk (if at all), squeezing anyone who can’t mass produce goods out of the field.

    I know it isn’t that simple in real life, but these kinds of scenarios boil issues down to their most basic forms. Without mitigating factors, this is how the situation unfolds. In a way, it’s terrifying.

    • BooleanBob says:

      “anyone who can’t mass produce goods out of the field”

      The overheads of reproducing a digital file are essentially zero, though. So surely that particular playing field is level, particularly if a third part like Steam are handling all distribution through their own servers.

      And people seem to be as happy to buy one good game for $4-7 as a bundle of five – more so, if they already own two or three games in said bundle. Because of the minimal overheads, discounts seem to increase profitability, rather than driving it down, with uptake easily outstripping the reduced per-sale margin.

      If Steam sales weren’t profitable, developers wouldn’t do them.

      • Baines says:

        To be fair, a few developers have implied in the past that that they feel like they are forced to join in Steam sales because everyone else is doing it. Not necessarily “profitable” in the sense of “look at all the extra money we are making” as much as “everyone will just go elsewhere if we don’t do it”.

        • HothMonster says:

          Gabe has said that a 75% sale increases, in the example, profit by a factor of 40. He has also said that the revenue increase lasts beyond the sale because now you have shit tons of new players who will then recommend that game. So its not like everyone is just waiting and buying on sale, people still buy in the first two weeks, then a shit ton buy on sale and then even more people buy it when the price goes back up because of all sale people talking about it.

          http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/10/24/less-is-more-gabe-newell-on-game-pricing/

    • HothMonster says:

      If virtual economies interest you check this out http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/economics/

  17. fish99 says:

    I don’t really get how this can hurt anyone but the gold farmers. So they limit you to creating 10 games per minute or something, how is that going to hurt regular players?

    The big problem with the game IMO is the insane difficulty jump in act2 inferno and that you basically have to run away from champ packs with certain random attributes after that point, and that’s even if you spend a ton of time farming the best gear, which most people don’t have the time/patience for (and with the shrinking player base it’s getting hard to find good gear on the AH). How is that good game design to have virtually unkillable enemies? The moment you hit act2 inf the game turns into an unrewarding grind fest.

    Bottom line though, I really enjoyed my time with the game, despite all it’s problems. The gameplay is slick and satisfying, especially through nightmare and hell. Yes the story is garbage, but no more so than every other diablo game/clone. People saying Diablo 1/2 had anything but garbage stories need to take off the rose tinted glasses.

  18. Phantoon says:

    As a recovered WoW addict (praise jaysus), even I’m tired of reading about Blizzard being failures about some other thing, again, in regards to Diablo 3.

  19. Novotny says:

    We do love your writing, Larry, but I’m going to to be the guy that points out that you’re misspelling stuff.

    It’s scepticism.

    I fully accept the vitriol coming my way. I just couldn’t help myself.

    • Skabooga says:

      Well, I’ll try and dilute the vitriol a bit, but considering Nathan’s American origin and current residence, I think he is justified in using the American English spellings of words.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        True on the spelling. We use a “k” in the USA. We also do some other stuff, like “burned” instead of “burnt” and so on. I often find it very odd that words that I, seemingly, properly spelled are highlighted by my MS dictionary. It makes sense, though, given that I tend to use a mix of international/UK and American spellings, even though I’m a native American who has always resided in the States. Although, I don’t do the additional “u” found in words like honor/honour. I usually just add them to MS’ dictinoary so it won’t flag them and confuse me.

        I blame classic literature. Damn you James Joyce, Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, Daniel Defoe, Mary Shelley, George Orwell, and H.G. Wells!

        • Heisenberg says:

          hang on, in the UK we say “burned brightly” and “burnt toast”, is it not the same in the US?
          surely you dont say “burned toast”?

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            Really? Hmm. Often times, yes, people will say burned toast, though older folks, like my grandmother, will still sometimes write and clearly say burnt toast. I know I’m not the only one who uses burnt in the States, but I think it’s become mostly antiquated. I rarely see burnt when reading the papers, and it tends to be “what sounds/looks correct.” However, I will often write “a burnt hand,” while I often read others write “a burned hand.” A burnt down house/a burned down house.

            There’s a few other examples, such as I write “theatre” even though I pronounce it as “theater.” I also often use -ise, as in organise, rather than the standard US -ize of organize. I also have a nasty habit of using the ll’s in words like traveller/traveler. I try to be aware of the difference and use the proper US spellings, but if I’m not careful it’s very easy for me to go into Int/UK spellings. I wish it were the same for measurements, but I’m no good at converting a mile to a kilometer or a foot to centimeters. Thankfully, a yard is a meter, so that’s easy to do.

            I found it odd when my MS dictionary flagged “burnt” as misspelled, so I looked it up. According to Webster, burnt is international/UK spelling. I’ve become a lot more reliant on my MS dictionary now than in the past because my recent broken wrist and subsequent nerve damage often causes my right hand to hit keys faster than my left, where I would think that I’ve already hit a key with my left when I actually haven’t. For example, it’s very common for me to write “atteniotn” when I mean “attention” or “remmeber” when I mean “remember.”

            Overall, though, I don’t think it matters too much. I just really don’t know why I slip into alternate spellings so much, but I blame it on good literature and my books that still have the UK spellings. ;)

            A lot of books nowadays have these spelling differences fixed for the market. Most current version of Nineteen Eighty-Four, for example, will not have the extra u’s ll’s and other such spellings, like the aforementioned theatre.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            “Burnt” is the property of having been “burned” – I burned the toast, the toast is burnt.

            but I’m no good at converting a mile to a kilometer or a foot to centimeters

            Those 2 are pretty easy:
            1 mile = 1.6 km (for larger distances, calculate on the bases of 5 miles = 8 km)
            1 foot = 30 cm
            Or near enough anyway.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            That makes sense. Thinking through a few more examples, it fits to use “burned” as a past tense verb and “burnt” as an adjective. As in; “The house burned. What is left is a burnt house.”

            However, most Americans would write, “The house burned. What is left is a burned house.” For the most part, burnt is antiquated and I only really hear it with older people in their 70′s and such.

            Thank you very much for the handy tip on km, especially the 5 mile = 8km. Long distances is what always hung me up the most.

  20. Esoteric says:

    I’m pretty disappointed with this game. I was looking forward to it, too. The boring loot, the entire system…is designed around the Auction House. I didn’t believe it at first, and wanted to give them a chance, but it’s quite obvious now.

    Stop playing/giving them money. Give it to people who deserve it more, like Torchlight 2, Grim Dawn, and Path of Exile. They are trying to make good games first, not a RMAH cash-in that hurts the game.

  21. MythArcana says:

    I took that $60 I saved and bought a bot. One of those remote vacuum jobs that cleans the house all day. Neat stuff.

  22. Xaromir says:

    Someone’s still playing that thing? xD

  23. Anarki says:

    You reported this wrong, it’s not multiple games at the same time, it’s seperate single games within a certain amount of time. This is because people like to exploit a quest where you can get to an elite pack quickly, so you do that, quit, restart, kill it, quit, restart etc. Only takes a minute or 2 each time. This is the exploit Blizzard are stopping, not multi boxing as you described. (Of course you can’t load your 1 game more than 1 time at once)

  24. Srethron says:

    Gold selling on the game’s auction house finally got enabled. I’ve been selling gold from my massive many millions stockpile gained from playing the Auction house. It does sell, but I’m amazed at how slowly it sells, despite being listed at the lowest price the system allows.