Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My hesitance has been validated

There is certainly much humor to be had at the expense of Blizzard and Diablo 3, mostly because it is a problem entirely of their own creation. Blizzard decided to require an online connection at all times, both to prevent piracy and because significant portions of the game do not actually exist on the user's computer. As a way to keep people from duping items and ruining the 'economy' it will work very well, as long as their servers are up to the task.

Oh yeah, about that, their server were not up to the task and quite a few people could not actually play yesterday. These were angry, internet people who have taken their revenge the best way they know how: intentionally sabotaging Diablo 3's metacritic ranking. Right now it is at a 3.6, but I got a screen shot of it at a 3.3. These are of course meaningless numbers, but there are no more or less meaningless than any other form of internet rage. When people pay their money to play a game and can't, what do you expect to happen?

I have seen opinions defending Blizzard as having done nothing wrong and others that swear they will never buy another Blizzard game again (until the next expansion). The truth is of course somewhere in between. Blizzard has not made a single player game, they have made a multi-player game that you can play by yourself if you want to. Think Guild Wars, but with a fixed isometric camera. This is of course their option, but is also brings with it the responsibility to have all their shit in order for the day that boxes actually hit store shelves. Clearly they did not, but since there is not a subscription fee players are technically not owed anything because they have lost nothing of monetary value.

Yes, I am saying internet rage has no value.

It is nice to be looking at this from the outside, from the safer confines of my console games that can be played from a bomb shelter with a gas generator if need be, but it is only a matter of time before Microsoft and Sony begin to levy similar online requirements. The idea is sound and I am not offended by it (because I don't steal games), but they need to have the infrastructure ready before rolling it out for the public to hate and cut to pieces. No company, not even Blizzard, has an unlimited ban of positive public opinion. They certainly spent a lot of it yesterday, I just hope that the game behind it is actually good.

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