Because today Diablo 3 was released, and due to budgetary cock-ups by me, I can’t afford to buy it until payday. This not only makes me sad (and slightly angry at my own financial stupidity), but it also means that I can’t make a post here in the Cantina about how great it is.
However, one thing that has made this slightly more bearable is the fact that there seems to have been a massive issue for a large amount of people when logging in – “Error 12”. I’ve been following the development of this issue on the Blizzard Customer Services twitter stream.
As with Starcraft 2, D3 requires you to log in to play. Unlike SC2, it requires a live connection to the battle.net servers to play. At all times. Which is a bit of a bugger if you have an unreliable ISP *cough*Virgin*cough*, as it means every time you experience a drop in connectivity or a full on failure of your internet connection, you’ll be kicked out of your game and won’t be able to play. I’m sure they have their reasons for introducing this measure (could have something to do with the fact that the previous two Diablo games were pirated to Hell!), but I just like to moan about it.
Anyway, moaning aside, this means that if you can’t log in, you can’t play. So if you’ve just queued for three hours waiting for the midnight launch, paid your cash, gone home and installed the game and then can’t play because you can’t log in, I’d imagine you’d be somewhat annoyed (I know I would have been if I couldn’t have played GoW3 when I got it at the midnight launch). Add to that the massive download times most people who opted for the midnight download version were experiencing, and you have a partially effective salve for my irritation at not being able to play until sometime in June.
Anyway, enough with my rambling, go and see if your copy of D3 has finished downloading yet..
So, in the above video it’s revealed that there will be an auction house in Diablo 3 (ostensibly similar to that found in World of Warcraft and innumerable other MMORPG’s). This in and of itself is not major news – although it does come as a relief to long time Diablo players like myself who have wasted hours upon hours replaying the same set of dungeons waiting for that rare piece of armour to drop.
What is slightly bigger news is that it will include purchase made with real-word currency. This worries me. One of the things that bugs me about “freemium” games is that fact that regardless of how well I play, there’ll always be some noob whose character pwns mine because he’s spent a small fortune of real world money on pimping it out. This to me defeats the object of the game – I mean where’s the fun in levelling up and building your arsenal from scratch if you can just hop into the auction house (or equivalent) and buy all the best gear? In doing so, you’ve just removed possibly the largest element of gameplay from the game. So when looking at top-tier characters it’s no longer a matter of the best players being up there, or those that have devoted the most time to building their character – it’s just a matter of those who have spent the most, and that robs a game of it’s appeal to me.
A bargain. Right?
Purchasing in-game items for real world money is also something that Blizzard have combated in previous games. In fact, I believe they suspend your account if you’re caught doing it in World of Warcraft. I shouldn’t be surprised that they now seem to be taking it on – tentatively at least – since it’s going to happen in some way thanks to those unscrupulous people that seek to make money from other peoples addictions (to WoW), and according to the FAQ on their site it seems as though the player selling the item gets the cash, not Blizzard, which is a good thing, but still, I think this is a bad idea that will polarise the players into two groups; those that can afford to shop in the auction house (for real cash. And let’s face it, if you can sell a sword for in-game gold or real cash, who’s going to choose the gold?) and will be pimped out, and those that can’t who will always be fighting a losing battle.
Can't see this working myself...
Perhaps I’m being alarmist because my laptop feels so hot it’s likely to immolate my jeans, maybe it’ll all work out just fine and the two systems will exist parallel with no ill effects. But I doubt it.