Posts Tagged ‘DRM’

Blizzard Acknowledges Diablo III Always-On Acts As DRM

By John Walker on July 19th, 2012.

Blizzard have finally admitted that their useless always-on DRM in Diablo III is partly to prevent piracy. Despite having previously insisted that it was purely to improve gamer experience (oops), in a post spotted by Eurogamer, Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime has pointed out that it does “help us battle” such issues. But then goes on to say that it’s still the best solution, that it’s essential, and while there are “some downsides”, it was “the best long-term decision for the game.”

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Epic Considering Always Online For Fortnite [Updated]

By Nathan Grayson on July 19th, 2012.

Update: Epic’s issued a statement clarifying its meaning, noting that – while nothing’s off the table – it hasn’t entered serious talks about how it’ll implement online play at this point. Here’s the official word, in full: “We’re not talking about our plans at this time, mainly because that plan doesn’t exist yet. Fortnite is an iterative, living project and many things are still being decided prior to its release in 2013.”  

Original article: Let’s start with some good news, shall we? First off, Fortnite’s looking quite nice and – based on an interview I just wrapped with producer Tanya Jessen (which you’ll see all of tomorrow) – the Unreal-Engine-4-powered survivor is, by and large, taking full advantage of every tool at PC gaming’s disposal. In other words, expect a constant flow of new content, some form of mod support, and impressively open-ended, procedurally generated worlds. It’s not all uncharacteristically colorful cartoon roses, however. At this stage, Jessen told me, a constant Internet connection requirement ala Diablo is still a possibility. She assured, however, that it’d be used first and foremost to improve the game – not as a last line of defense against piracy’s nighttime pillages.

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Devil May Buy: Real Money Auction House Delayed Again

By Nathan Grayson on May 25th, 2012.

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

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

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Blizzard Tries To Reassure Hack Victims, Results Vary

By Nathan Grayson on May 23rd, 2012.

Perhaps the next version of the Authenticator should be a real-life Barbarian who physically assaults all hackers within a 30 mile radius.
Because the universe loves comedic irony, Diablo III’s online infrastructure specifically put in place to keep out cheaters and hackers is currently being besieged by cheaters and hackers. Yesterday, Blizzard acknowledged the issue, and today, the damage control process has officially begun. From where I’m standing, though, it leaves out one very important step: the part where it, you know, actually solves the problem in the long run. Perplexingly, the multiplayer-loving megalith has opted to calm players by pointing out that account compromises skyrocket with new game releases, ala WoW expansions. Fair enough. But why, again, is it supposed to be reassuring if it keeps happening?

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Shout At The Devil: Blizzard Aware Of Diablo III Hacks

By Nathan Grayson on May 21st, 2012.

Undead-vaporizing wizards: more susceptible to kidnapping than you might think.

First things first: everybody, go change your Battle.net passwords. I have to imagine that someone at Blizzard uttered the phrase “Besides, what else could possibly go wrong” over the weekend, prompting the god of comedically cruel timing to bring its massive whack-a-mole hammer down on Blizzard’s doorstep. And so: hackers! Diablo III‘s official forums are currently rife with tales of items and gold going missing and characters even being hijacked wholesale. Even Eurogamer has firsthand experience. Now, though, Blizzard’s attempting to play knight-in-increasingly-tarnished-armor once again.

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How Diablo III’s Solo Experience Reveals A Hollow Game

By John Walker on May 18th, 2012.

The game starts satirising itself.
My companions have stopped following me. The map has suddenly blanked out. The dungeon doors aren’t opening. And despite my just having cleared out a two-storey dungeon for the second time, there hasn’t been a checkpoint in over a half an hour. If I quit out to fix it, the entire area map will be reset yet again (a previous quit to see if there was any way to raise the difficulty had already done this to me once, and is how I discovered the dungeon wasn’t checkpointing), so in total an hour’s play time lost, and, well, here’s the thing: Diablo III just isn’t brilliant enough to warrant this.

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Opinion: Why The Problem With Diablo Isn’t Diablo

By Nathan Grayson on May 17th, 2012.

The devil is real, and he's a menu screen.
A videogame came out recently. If you consider yourself part of the unruly mass that is Everyone On Earth, you’re probably playing it, thinking about it, dreaming about it, or stroking it in a none-too-subtly suggestive fashion right now. (Stop that, by the way. It’s really weird.) Or, you know, you’re not. Because – given Blizzard’s track record so far – there’s a very good chance the servers are down, or lag has hurled you into a minefield of hungry, hungry Diablos, or the unnatural reaction that is Templar-meets-shield has broken reality again. I imagine you’re angry. It’s only natural, after all. You’ve waited more than a decade, and you just want to dive headfirst into hell while the hype fires are still at their brightest. Really, though, it’s probably only a matter of time before PC gaming’s most massively successful giant steamrolls the kinks and turns this nightmarish launch into an ugly, short-lived (in the grand scheme of things) memory.

That perspective in mind, it’s easy to watch the pitchfork-and-torch-wielding hordes storming Blizzard’s walls and think “Yuck, these people sure are blowing things out of proportion – just like they always do.” So a major game launch came down with a fairly violent case of the hiccups. Don’t they all? And now Blizzard’s apologized, so what more could these people possibly want? At this point, you’re just waiting for whiners to swallow this bitter pill and eat their words so they can inevitably start singing Diablo’s praises again. That mentality, however, is precisely why I’m begging you: please stay angry.

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Blizzard Address Diablo III Issues With “Emergency” Fix

By Nathan Grayson on May 15th, 2012.

Many players waited more than a decade, only to be met with this. Yep.

Update: After many hours of patching and subsequent server outages, Blizzard’s claiming everything’s good to go. If, however, you kick open a rotten stump only to discover an outpouring of bugs instead of loot, you can take your complaints here.

Original article: Hey everyone, I just played Diablo III without a single hiccup! Ow, argh, oof, ugh, whyyyy. Oh, I get it: you’re all beating me because my experience is atypical, and instead of feeling happy for me and perhaps throwing some form of party, you’re booting my ribs from my body (henceforth known as “Error 37-ing”) out of rage at what you’ve encountered. Oh you guys. Fortunately, Blizzard claims a round of “emergency maintenance” should have things functioning far, far better than new.

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Hack Slashes: Three Hours With Diablo III

By John Walker on May 15th, 2012.

Ballet has never been so dangerous.

Diablo III is out. (In the UK and Asia, at least, with the US version unlocking in about four hours.) Words that still don’t make sense when you look at them. So after the struggles of server issues all experienced at the start, I finally settled in to spend three very late hours with the game. A game which is, at least so far, action RPG perfection, worryingly troubled by the requirement of its always-on DRM. This is the tale of my first three hours, joyful and infuriating.

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SimCity Always-On Clarified: Needs Internet For Launch

By John Walker on March 29th, 2012.

At the coalface of bad ideas.

EA have issued a clarification to Gamespy that while you will have to have an internet connection to launch SimCity, it will not boot you off if your connection goes down. Which is to say, it’s not as egregious as others’ “always-on” DRM, but we maintain is still an unnecessary and game-crippling mistake, which we really hope they will reverse before release. That the game won’t stop working if your connection goes down sounds great, but it makes no useful difference to those who wish to play the ostensibly single-player game without an internet connection, whatever the cause. As we’ve said before, the online features sound like they’ll superbly enhance your single-player experience, but enforcing them is cruel and stupid, and renders the game broken for enormous numbers of players. We desperately hope to see EA backing down from this position before release. Just as we expect to see Blizzard come to their senses and not release a self-sabotaged version of Diablo 3. The reality is, unofficial versions of the games will appear very soon after release, offering useful features that the publishers’ versions of the games will not. That’s simply crazy. We’ve contacted EA to ask if we can talk to them about this all.

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SimCity To Be Crippled By Always-On

By John Walker on March 28th, 2012.

Scenes in my head as I read the news.

Some good news and some bad news about the forthcoming SimCity reboot. Good news: you won’t have to buy it through Origin, meaning there can be pricing competition. Bad news: you will have to play it through Origin, with a permanent online connection all the time. That’s some fairly bloody enormous bad news. But there is time to convince EA that while there are many merits to having your game online, there are also some vastly more dreadful downsides, and failing to recognise that would be a terrible shame.

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