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 Diablo III 's latest snag: temporary restrictions for digital buyers
Diablo III's latest snag: temporary restrictions for digital buyers
June 22, 2012 | By Mike Rose

June 22, 2012 | By Mike Rose
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    20 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



More online issues have emerged for Blizzard's Diablo III this week, as the game's latest patch has unintentionally, according to the company, locked new digital purchase players out of the full game for up to three days after purchase.

Despite its extensive online experience with its hit MMORPG World of Warcraft, Blizzard is still grappling with issues unique to digital distribution and online games, including Diablo III's initial 'Error 37' messages and Korean refunds investigation.

The latest update for the game level-caps new players who buy the game after the release of the latest 1.0.3 patch through the official Diablo III website. The update stops these new players from proceeding past the first act of the game.

The new security measures, said Blizzard in a statement, were put in place to reduce gold spam and other harmful activities that have a negative impact on players.

The security measures come into effect when a player first purchases the game online, and are removed once the payment has been authorized, which can take up to 72 hours.

However, while the update was meant to restrict access to the auction house, item-trading, public or private chat and Global Play, it is also currently halting players from progressing past level 13 or Act I of the game. These two issues, says Blizzard, were unintended, and will be corrected "as soon as possible."


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Comments


Bob White
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WOW. I predicted five years before they started capping/limiting/charging for the game. I was WAY off. Blizzard to customers-"Enjoy your DRM riddled garbage everyone! Make sure to buy Diablo 4 next year which will only play under direct in person supervision with one of our Staff."

I hate to say I told you so.....but I and many others told you so.

Jonathan Osment
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Diablo 3 is one big black mark on Blizzard's over all good track record. If I take the perspective of a consumer, it will be the last time I purchase a Blizzard game on blind faith. It is hard to believe they could release such a horrible game and in the state it was in and not be surprised by the outcome.

Mathieu MarquisBolduc
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Remember when blowing on the cartridge was the worst hassle you had to go through?

E McNeill
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You know, for all the sound and fury, I've had a pretty good experience with D3. Not having single-player is clearly a negative, but I was only going to play multiplayer anyway, and the technical issues haven't affected me so far.

I can't defend them in full, since I may just be lucky, but do keep in mind that some (most?) consumers are pretty well satisfied with the game.

K Gadd
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Lo and behold: You pollute a single/small group multi player RPG experience with real money item trading and suddenly you have to take dramatic steps to curb gold sellers and exploits. Suddenly your players are suffering.

Who would have guessed that trying to milk money out of customers has consequences?

Adam Bishop
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Cutting off access to 3/4 of the game's acts to customers who have already paid for the game is theft. It's that simple.

Harold Myles
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Actually its not that simple.

And in general most video games are about limiting access. Think world of warcraft that limits how many times you can do a raid for rewards each week.

The Le
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Sadly, with the probably success of the Auction House, this will just encourage other publishers to screw over players in the future.

Travis Flynn
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This had to be done. There's a lot of backlash, but it's necessary to keep Diablo 3 from turning into Diablo 2 in terms of bots running and ruining the game. It's still up, just make a realm character and login, then create a public game...

The fact of the matter is that this move isn't even limited to Diablo 3. They've been doing this in WoW for some time now. This has absolutely nothing to do with the RMAH and everything to do with 3rd party gold sellers, power-levelers and spammers.

It's currently very easy to obtain stolen CC numbers to buy the game, and if people can just log on and do what they want with those stolen accounts from the word go, it pollutes the game. It will happen in any game that is a) sufficiently popular and b) online.

They probably should have only instituted the wait on accounts which were less than 1 month old and had no other games attatched, or something like that, but really something has to be done to preserve the experience for the people who bought the game.

Should developers just stop making online RPGs altogether or something? There simply isn't a clean solution to this, particularly when there's such a demand for the in game commodities.

Adam Bishop
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"something has to be done to preserve the experience for the people who bought the game. "

One good thing to do to preserve the experience for people who bought the game is to let them play the game they bought.

Jeremy Reaban
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I can understand this sort of thing for trial accounts, where restrictions are quite common.

But for people who bought the game? I guess there must be a lot of credit card fraud or something...

Jonathan Osment
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The fallacy is in the fact that botting is still happening in Diablo 3, gold sellers still flood their chat system, item duplication via exploits still take place. Nothing has changed in that regard except for the fact hacked accounts are at an all time high, even for those players who only play by themselves as though it were a single player game.

Diablo 3 is akin to a one way trip on a train to a location you really dont care about and the trip is neither interesting or thoughtful. Every time you get to the end of the track, you get the option to take the train ride again, only each time the ride gets more and more uncomfortable.

Nuttachai Tipprasert
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And why should legit player always be the one who need to sacrifice? This is not thing new. Since the Starforce era, legit players were the one who suffered while pirates can played the game without worrying about any restrictions.

Trent Tait
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They could have preserved the experience by including a single player, offline game.

Sheez.

Jorge Ramos
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And people wonder why I have such questionable opinions regarding Blizzard...

First, they cancelled or thoroughly delayed *every single project* since WoW's inception, making VALVe time look punctual by comparison. At this point, even if they re-do Starcraft: GHOST for real, it would officially have a longer development time than Duke Nukem Forever before it would see release. And that's IF they decide they want to make something that would reward twitch gameplay ever again.

The amount of mismanagement seen regarding how they've handled Diablo III since its initial announcement, much less since release, just begs for a collective facepalm from the development and gaming communities at large.

Jorge Ramos
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I need only point to Too Human, and Half Life 3--... :(

yea. those games got delayed beyond belief, and only one of them has any hope of being good. The other ended poorly.

Starcraft GHOST was about the only thing I had been looking forward to from Blizzard. I was bored with WoW even when they did the ten-day trials, and Diablo just wasn't my kind of game. I could see why some liked it, but I couldn't get into it.

Jorge Ramos
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The other thing that bugs me, is that people will gripe here until the end of time about the draconian DRM for PC games lately, like the always-on DRM that EA and Ubisoft have implemented in games, which only serves to screw with their paying customers while pirates never experience the problem in the first place.

Yet Blizzard does it and people are throwing money from nearly every conceivable orifice and defending them to the death. Just screams double standards to me.

Stephen Chow
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I don't understand...why they earn so much money still providing poor quality service. Server lagging, fucking error 37...3004, after upgraded patch, completely locked out for 1 day.

My assumption is because D3 is not MMORPG, it's still a retail game. They have limited budget for server deployment. That's why have so big issue when handle high peak concurrent user.

Auction house tax will give revenue for D3, but since more and more rare items been found and sold in gold auction. it can't give stable revenue for long run...should D3 start sell the gold? lol...

Jared Psigoda
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I think you guys need to remember that, in Western societies, credit card companies have VERY lax chargeback policies and tend to stand 100% behind consumers. There is essentially ZERO protection for the distribution of digital goods.

Now take into consideration that it costs around $1 to buy a stolen credit card in China.. You can imagine how many people are using these stolen credit cards to purchase accounts, spam, engage in trade, etc. Also remember that every time the original CC holder calls in and charges back, in ADDITION to any losses Blizzard incurs from that CC being used to purchase the game or use the RMAH, they are also FINED heavily by the credit card companies for, themselves, being defrauded.

I give props to Blizzard for trying a new business model with Diablo III. Compared with a lot of other models out there, it is pretty balanced and has been tremendously successful in other countries (where the concept of a 'chargeback' does not exist).

Harold Myles
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This is such a screwed up thing to do.

But honestly I don't personally care. I got the game early and I am having a good time.


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