For the past few days, while doing my best Bashiokesque teasing of “I know things you don’t.” I’d been dropping mentions of the impending argument and controversy. I’m not bragging; it didn’t exactly require omniscience to anticipate a lot of debate about the RMT aspect of the Auction House. Though to be honest, I thought we’d actually see as much or more argument about the changes to skills and traits. (Possibly Jay Wilson’s clear-as-mud explanation about what’s actually changing with them has tamped that down, so far?)
As soon as midnight hit and we were able to share the info, our entire live chat (which had nearly 4000 simultaneous users just after the NDA time ended, and would surely have gone much higher if the site main page had been functional at the time) became convulsed in debate over the news about RMT in the AH. And “debate” is putting it mildly. /ragequits were flying.
Looking around the other gaming site coverage of the new Diablo III info, I see a lot of commentary about the RMT Auction House stuff. To my surprise, there are almost as many complaints about the DRM (must play D3 online), and even the no-mods allowed. Some quotes:
The morning brings a trio of horror-news about Diablo III. I’m outright bewildered about what Blizzard have done, and shuddering about the likely reaction in comments. I won’t muck around here, and instead shall just wade straight into the things that are probably going to end up being PC gaming’s biggest controversy of 2011. — Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Diablo 3 will come with egregious DRM, cash-payments and no modding… It gets even uglier. Diablo III will let players trade in-game items for real money, letting richer players buy their way to success, and will expressly prohibit any kind of modification of the game files by players, a process known as modding. The first of those can be explained by mere greed (Blizzard is taking a cut of every sale), but the latter is baffling — mods have proved incredibly popular in Blizzard’s previous games, granting them a considerably longer lifespan than they might otherwise have achieved. Why ban it now?
Diablo III To Feature Anal DRM As Well… Barely an hour ago I spoke about how idiotic it was of Ubisoft to implement DRM that required players to be online 24/7 and now we have Blizzard following suite with Diablo III.
There are plenty more like that, and it’s just the first night; I imagine the rest of the week will bring plenty more from opinionated gamer blogs. I’m not exactly surprised at the vitriol from some of the fans, but why are so many outsiders in the general gaming press up in arms? Possibly they still think of Bliz as the little company that could, with their humble roots and fan-friendly, mod-permissive, community spirit? Didn’t they hear about the Activision “merger?”
At any rate, which are you guys most upset by? They’ve been telling us about their no-mods and no-LAN policy all along. So is it just the RMT aspect of the Auction House that’s got you riled up? Or do you think this is just gaming sites looking to make controversy, and none of it’s a big deal?