Another round up of recent media coverage of Diablo III. Because I read Google News so you don’t have to.
Diablo III account “hacking” remains a hot topic on the general gaming sites. Joystiq posted an article quoting a Blizzard CM asserting (as they’ve done numerous times) that public games are safe and that no one’s account has been compromised who had an authenticator.
This drew the ire of a writer at Gaming Blend, where they’ve been working hard to rouse the rabble with conspiracy theorizing on this issue. The title of their editorial is more than enough to give you the gist of their reaction. Joystiq Puts on Fanboy Goggles, Claims Diablo 3 Public Games are Safe. Click it if you want more from the, “There’s something Blizzard isn’t telling us!!” point of view.
A less impassioned tale comes from another gaming journalist at Ars Technica who woke up to find himself naked. As with a lot of other hacking reports, it’s odd in the relatively worthlessness of the gear stolen. The article is mainly about the account restoration process and has some interesting tidbits about what it’s like to interact with Blizzard CS on this issue.
If you want another good first hand report about that virtual hell, check out Bulkoth’s post from last week, in which he recounts his level 60 being stripped and gives some useful advice on what to do (and not do) when you contact Blizzard to get your account restored.
New York Times video game writer Seth Schiesel submitted a column about Diablo III, which serves as a general introduction to the game and a teaser for the RMAH, now rescheduled to debut June 12th. There’s no new ground broken in this piece, but Seth always writes well on the subject and if you’ve got older relatives who know nothing about gaming, it might impress them to see your hobby in the Paper of Record.
And yes, I cite this one at least partially since I Seth last year, shortly after he’d visited Blizzard’s offices for a personal preview of Diablo III. Check out The Diablo Podcast #7 for that conversation, which is mostly about Seth’s gaming experience and various Blizzard office visits, but there’s also some interesting material about how Blizzard treats fansites vs. writers for the largest newspaper in the US. At the time many listeners thought it was the best show we’d done, though as it was only #7 the bar wasn’t set all that high.
An interesting editorial on Kotaku talks about how Diablo III is “adorable” with its tiny little characters and monsters battling away for our amusement. It’s an offbeat take on the experience of playing the game, and it gets metaphysical while staying entertaining. Quote:
My play experience matches his: as the 2-inch-tall characters chat among themselves, I usually smirk. It’s so cute, the way you believe everything is so important! I think at them imperiously. Even the largest, most intimidating baddies are simply pygmy figures on a small stage: Isn’t that dear, how this guy supposes he’s going to destroy my tiny Jaelym, I idly wonder. Then an adversary will murder my tiny Jaelym and I am very slightly irked.
If there actually is a Christian God, I imagine this is how He might feel when He peers in at us.
Something that’s not “news” is that Blizzard’s offices in Seoul Korea were “raided” by the police. No, they weren’t trying to find out who stole all the good legendary items. In fact, calling it a “raid” seems to be a mistranslation or just headliner writers trying to get attention, since the issue is purely legal and electronic, in regards to alleged troubles some Korean gamers are having in getting a refund for their digital purchase of Diablo III. That sounds like a job for government lawyers in bad suits, not a SWAT team and hostage negotiators.
I say it’s not news since it happened on the 28th. We posted news about it then, when the story was fresh on the Korean Times. As often happens, something we hit when it was brand new took a few days to trickle down to the mainstream gaming sites, so this story is popping up again and we’ve had several emails from readers. Thanks but it’s not new and yes, the news is flying pretty fast around here lately.
There is some new news from Korea; Diablo III is revitalizing the e-conomy. It’s dominating the play time in Baangs, at over 40% of total play time (2nd place is LoL at 11%), and computer parts and sales are up 30% compared to this month last year.