A big batch of interesting Diablo III news, since there’s just too much else going on to devote an individual post to all of these.
Yesterday’s news about the guy who allegedly died after playing 72 straight hours of Diablo III has been walked back quite a bit. GameRanx was apparently the first to report on it, and they’ve updated their news post with a completely vague and confusing retraction.
This is a full retraction of statement regarding the death of Russell Shirley and the events surrounding said death. While we know that – morally – what has transpired here cannot be undone, we apologize to Russell, his friends, and his family.
So did he not die and it was a hoax? Did he die but without any assistance from Diablo III? Dunno.
Speaking of death and Diablo III, Kotaku Oz reports that a computer engineer in Poland showed up at work armed with three large knives and a desire to talk incessantly about playing Diablo III and killing people. And not necessarily in that order. Panic ensued, the police were called, and the individual was disarmed and taken into custody.
Presumably he was playing a Monk, as he was triple-wielding daggers IRL.
GameRanx posted an article on the Twenty Biggest Gaming Worlds. Diablo III came in at #8. What was #1? God knows. Probably some Mario game or something. Do I look like a man who has the time to read all of these damn things I link to?
Games on Net is concerned with the spam now clogging up public chat in Diablo III. According to the article, Blizzard has once again displayed their sadiM touch for Battle.net social features, by allowing trial accounts to chat (and spam everyone), by neglecting to include automated URL-blocking, and not included a way to directly report infractions on gold or item sellers.
The article goes on to suggest various easy improvements to the chat system, such as automatic muting of anyone who gets flagged as a spammer by more than three unrelated individuals. A great idea, which we’ll perhaps see added in oh… 2015, around the time of D3Y?
Incidentally, it seems that v1.02 has added a horrible feature of displaying in-game, the chat from whatever public channel you got slotted into when you first logged on. It’s bright green and ever-scrolling in the tiny little text box, so good luck trying to type to anyone in your game, or to someone on your friends list. I couldn’t find any way to stop it in-game — there was nothing in the Social tab of the Options menu, at least. Only by exiting my game back to the character selection screen could I click on the chat channel and leave the channel, which stopped the blab. (Elly pointed out later that “/leave General” will shut it up from in-game.)
This needs to go. Seriously. Like today. I do not want the idiotic babbling of random bored strangers intruding into my game; the goddamned Templar and town NPCs are bad enough on that front. This is not a bad idea, though I can’t imagine anyone would want it from general chat. From your guild channel, sure, but in any event, it should be your choice to turn it on/off, and it needs to have a toggle check box, and to be off by default, since it’s back on next game when you join again.
There has been an update on this now.
Finally, there’s a short article on GamesTM about the dangers of games with online-only DRMs, since when their companies stop supporting them, they are gone forever. This has happened with a lot of MMORPGs already, though in some cases the developers released the source code so fans could run private servers into the foreseeable future.
If more publishers follow Activision/Blizzard’s strategy with D3 though, we’ll be entering an era when games exist only as long as their publishers support them. Obviously Blizzard has done a great job maintaining Battle.net for D1, War2, D2, etc, and those games weren’t locked away behind DRM walls anyway, but going into the future, very few developers will be able to offer 10+ years of free online support for their titles.