Blizzard Defends/Explains Digital Purchase Delays


We posted news a few days ago about new buyers of the digital version of Diablo III being assigned to the trial version and stuck at level 13 for up to three days, while Blizzard verified that their payment was legit. Reader comments on that post were fairly scathing, as Blizzard didn’t make any effort to explain the financial or technical reasons behind their decision.

They did release a longer statement that does make some effort at that, via kotaku just to clarify the issue.

For security reasons and to help ensure the integrity of the game and auction house service, players who purchase the digital version of Diablo III may have to wait until payment verification is complete before they can access certain game features. (See below for a full list of restrictions associated with digital purchases.) While most payments are approved and restrictions are lifted within a day, in some cases it can take up to 72 hours to complete this process.

Similar to World of Warcraft, these restrictions were put in place to deter credit card fraud, which in turn helps reduce gold spam and other harmful activities that can have a negative impact on the game experience for everyone.

However, as an unintended consequence of these security measures, players who purchase the game digitally after patch 1.0.3 are temporarily being capped at level 13 and not able to proceed beyond Act I. We are working to correct this as soon as possible and will provide another update when we have more details to share.

Aside from the two unintended restrictions noted above, below are the standard security-related restrictions that will be in place for digital purchases until payment verification is complete:

  • No public game access for unverified digital purchasers
  • No auction house access (real-money or gold) for unverified digital purchasers
  • Unverified digital purchasers cannot trade items or drop items for other players to receive
  • Unverified digital purchasers are not able to chat in any public or game channels
  • Unverified digital purchasers cannot attach a custom message to friend requests, but they can send/accept friend requests, and play with their friends
  • Global Play is not available for unverified digital purchasers
  • Again, we want to be perfectly clear that these are temporary restrictions (often lifted within a day and at most 72 hours) associated with digital purchases for the protection of players. We appreciate player feedback and will continue to evaluate the best methods for ensuring a positive game experience for everyone.

    These rules are in place to keep griefers and scammers from using free trial copies to ruin the economy or game experience for the rest of us. Everyone accepts those, but the fan anger comes in when legitimate buyers are locked into a trial version for a day or two (or three).

    The problem, of course, is that in some circumstances Blizzard needs a day or two (or three) to be sure that you are, in fact, a legitimate buyer. As anyone who has researched ebay payment systems knows, there are a lot of scams and ways to (temporarily) appear to have money that you do not. Fraudulent wire transfers and paypal bouncing checks and other such scams abound, and there are no doubt numerous ways to try to trick e-commerce sites into thinking you have money that will not exist after a few days, when some bank scam catches up with it.

    The (understandable) fan anger over this seems to stem mostly from Blizzard’s customary non-communication about anything financial or technical. (Plus lingering fan rage over anything related to D3’s online-only DRM.) If Blizzard explained why they mandate these delays, and listed some of the scamming scenarios that occur without delays, and explained what kind of credit card or digital purchase had shorter delays, I think people would be more understanding. But then again, that very transparency would probably just give the hackers new windows to try to peek through. Alas.

    Tagged As: | Categories: Community Relations, Legal, Online-Only Diablo 3

    Comments

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    1. I don’t understand why they need to limit leveling.

      Just don’t let them trade,drop items, use AH until blizzard has the money.

      BOOM blizzard problems solved.

      If they spam, or send spam friend requests, they get flagged for spam…
      Ban that account Flag that IP address to watch for further activity.

      Meanwhile the vast majority of players that are purchasing the product won’t be hamstrung.

      Its quite interesting how blizzard feels within their rights to translate all of their problems onto the consumer. You can make a AAA best selling PC game of all time, but you can’t figure out your own digital security??? That just strikes me a lazy.

      • Did you even read it at all?

        “However, as an unintended consequence of these security measures, players who purchase the game digitally after patch 1.0.3 are temporarily being capped at level 13 and not able to proceed beyond Act I. We are working to correct this as soon as possible and will provide another update when we have more details to share.”

        • I did read it. But they can’t claim now that these are unintended. They implemented it on purpose. They were just too lazy to do it the right way. As usual their security issues are placed on us consumers.

          Did you by chance read all of my post?

          • What happen was they tried to leverage their Stater Edition and missed removing the progression cap. I read your post and I read the article and in pong’s defense your comment does sound like you didn’t read the article at least the way it’s worded. I won’t say that it sounds “lazy” the way Blizzard handled this situation, but it does seemed rushed. My guess is they made the realization of what was happening and had to find a quick solution to the problem. And since there were client side restrictions to be put in place they wanted to put it out with the patch. Sometimes developers don’t have the time to do things the right way, and need to get a quick fix in first and work on the correct solution later. And that’s where we’re at right now, it sucks but nothing we can do about it and I’m sure they’ll have it fixed in the near future. Also flagging an IP is useful for people who don’t know how to flush their IP pool. It’s not hard to reset your IP, unless something’s changed from the days when ppl used to do it to clear their bans in DotA 1 on WC3.

            • OK that’s fair I suppose. But considering blizzard just a few days ago mentioned explicitly that the changes were intentional Ans a necessary evil…I don’t buy their new story.

              With regards to the up flagging. If they flag ups for further scrutiny..they can always unflag after a certain timeframe of no suspicious activity. But these people running hundreds of bots at a time are likely doing it from a specific domain space…and flagging that space it part of it could help warden out as well

        • Unintended my ass, they are just trying to cover a bad decision.

    2. Agree with you meanchris, and that is probably what they are alluding to with the “unintended consequence” language, removing level caps. I think Blizzard did a great job defeating the gold spammers, the silence is deafening now. Still getting a friend request everytime I log out from spammers, but, that is far less annoying. Too bad the patch also nerfed “price discovery” and “caveat emptor” from the commodities side, at the same stroke. A dead market is surely not a sign of a performing economy.

    3. >If they spam, or send spam friend requests, they get flagged for spam…
      >Ban that account Flag that IP address to watch for further activity.

      Then they can still spam until someone decides to flag them. I prefer Blizzard stop the scammers/spammers before they can even start. Blizzard is doing the right thing.

      • ridiculous

        its more of the same nonsense of punishing legitimate players because of the actions of a few spammers and botters

      • I’m of the mindset that blizzard shouldn’t be punishing a majority to combat the gold spammers. There is technology out there that has worked for other companies. Blizzard is either too lazy or too incompetent to implement it. Considering the quality of game they are capable of releasing I’d guess its lazynness

    4. Somehow after the patch my account became a trial copy, even though I digitally purchased the game a month ago and have been playing with no problems since. It really makes no sense how so many other game publishers manage to sell digital copies without harming legitimate customers yet Blizzard can’t manage to do so. And even if a small percentage were playing the game without paying that would not be a reason to ruin the game for the rest of us. Who needs botters and spammers to ruin the game when you have the publisher doing it themselves.

      • I agree with you completely.

        Blizzard’s decisions have just been a slap in the face to their consumers.

      • “It really makes no sense how so many other game publishers manage to sell digital copies without harming legitimate customers yet Blizzard can’t manage to do so.”

        I’m speechless. And so my head meets my desk.

    5. I think they knew this in advance and I believe they should’ve announced this IN ADVANCE. If it is temporarely needed to fix such an issue, so be it. But do not let anyone buy the game and let them find out they can’t really play (with friends) until a day or 2 after purchase.

      Blizzard communication has always been notoriously bad, but it seems it has become even worse with them growing in size.

    6. “at most 72 hour”. Bullshit, I bought it 4 days ago and still caped to level 13 :@

    7. When you order it from Amazon it ALSO takes 3 days to arrive.

      SO order it from amazon.co.uk :))

      Oh … it just reminded me D3 is sold out there since June 22 th and only back in stock on June 28th …

      🙂

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=diablo+3

    8. Yea, a player base of 5 million is much easier to manage your digital sales than something like Timmy’s Ice Cream Stand MMO.

    9. As long as blizzard says when you click purchase on diablo 3 . Warning you will be stuck at lvl 13 untill your credit card is approved do you still wish to purchase. They would be told this so that if they don’t want to wait they can walk or drive to a local store and buy the game.

    10. I heard interesting information about Blizzard`s new digital purchase methods, my son bought Diablo 3, he got stuck at lvl 13 thought it was a game issue so he reinstalled the game twice. This was a bad decision and they should solve it immediately not after a couple of weeks.

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