The entire internet* is besieged by outrage** today*** by the news**** that an exploit in Blizzard's Diablo III can allow some folk playing as Wizards to become invincible.***** No doubt it's being patched out at a desperate rate, but personally-speaking it exemplifies just why Diablolikes, WoWlikes and games using similar progression mechanics will often lose their appeal to me relatively quickly. It's all about the invisible numbers, forever escalating, forever having the ceiling above them raised, and our being tricked into thinking we have any real control over those numbers. Something can go wrong with the equations, and the numbers can then dictate something like invincibility - the state that we essentially seek from our endless quest for better gear. With info on how to achieve this now widely available, Wizards are currently drowning in risk-free loot.
Diablo III's undoubtedly a pretty good game in terms of ARPG clicky-stab joy (if one hamstrung by mercenary business decisions) but I wish its playerbase could treat it as the throwaway instant-feedback lottery it actually is rather than as though it's a way of life. I certainly had a good time playing it for a week or two, which I neither regret or deny, but I simply do not understand why it and its never-ending numbers should be one of the biggest PC games of recent times, still played by millions months and likely years on from release. But maybe that's just because I'm also the kind of guy who doesn't have a favourite sports team to support across their endless cycles of success and failure, so something in me might simply be programmed against long-term attachment.
Anyway, that invincibility exploit. It essentially involves casting some spells in a particular order, and grud only knows the effects it'll have on the damnable real money auction house when a bunch of invici-wizzes fill it with their ill-gotten gear. Blizzard don't appear to have responded as yet, bar censoring forum posts that told all on how to achieve the trick.
I did think about posting the exploit instructions, but concluded I'd feel bad if I did. I don't want to be part of upsetting some other player's game experience because he finds himself in a team with an invincible loot farmer. Also, it's not impossible that Big Brother Battle.Net will be able to track who did what and dole out punishments.
* Some gaming sites/forums
** Fleeting annoyance/amusement
*** For, like, a few minutes this morning
**** Reposting of a fact someone else found
***** Their characters, not them. I'm reasonably sure that even Blizzard's dark, sinister always-online tech isn't capable of mystically imbuing its players with immortality.