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.
At the very least, Blizzard is now acknowledging the issue. You will, however, need to be patient for a bit longer. A Blizzard rep explained on the forums:
"Hey guys, we are very aware of these reports and are taking them very seriously. Please keep an eye on the General Discussion forums as Community members will be posting something soon. If you have been hacked, please contact Customer Service as soon as you can. In addition, using an Authenticator can help secure your account even more."
Unfortunately, some players are reporting hacks in spite of Authenticators, so take all necessary precautions regardless.
All of this, of course, comes after DRM woes ranging from lag to disconnects to lengthy periods of server downtime that have - among other things - severely hampered our enjoyment of Blizzard's loot-loving opus and raised serious questions about the future of always connected games.
Moreover, while Blizzard's delayed the grand opening of Diablo III's real money auction house, it still plans to take a pair of giant celebratory scissors to all the red tape eventually. With account hacking in the picture, however, that prospect goes from mildly controversial to downright frightening. Blizzard, then, has an uphill battle ahead of it on par with peddling a unicycle up the side of a skyscraper.
Ultimately, I'm still rooting for the Titan-developing titan to get things under control so people can actually, you know, play the game they spent their hard-earned coin on, but here's hoping Blizzard learns a very big lesson from all of this. And everybody else? Just because a heavily server-based infrastructure thickens your hulls against pirates and knocks down the barrier between single and multiplayer, that doesn't mean it's anywhere near unassailable. Time will tell what kind of toll these issues take in the long run, but for now, this certainly doesn't look like the cure to all of PC gaming's greatest perceived ills.