Everyone (?) Hates D3’s DRM, RMT, and No-Modding

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 DiabloWikiRMT aspect of the DiabloWikiAuction House. Though to be honest, I thought we’d actually see as much or more argument about the changes to DiabloWikiskills and DiabloWikitraits. (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?
Wired UK

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?

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    97 thoughts on “Everyone (?) Hates D3’s DRM, RMT, and No-Modding

    1. Diablo 3 felt like my dream girl.  I asked her out and she said yes.  Things were going great and then she showed me she has a…
      The relationship is great but she has a…
      I am about to say no thanks to Diablo 3 with RMT on almost every item you could want.
      I also like what someone said before.  A lot of people use map hack (probably more than people who do RMT).  To protect their safety from 3rd party sites stealing their account, Blizzard should sell map hack for $4.99 per month.  This way your account isn’t compromised and the people really want it anyway.
      Do not give in to cheating.  This is possibly the most disappointing thing Blizzard has ever done that I have seen.

      • always online is plain bullshit. i wanna play it even if I lose internet connection. it is also stupid to say no dupes due to always online. single player chars can’t be used on bnet!! damn kotick this is all his fault!!!!

      • Umm… you can play the single player campaign of Starcraft 2 without being online… you just don’t have access to achievements and such while offline… it will probably be the same way with Diablo 3…

    2. For me Diablo 3 announcements fall into one of two categories:

      1) That sounds interesting

      2) I don’t care, that won’t really affect me or how I play.

      A lot of the changes announced today are firmly in category 2. I might not wholly agree with RMT and the always-online DRM, but at the same time it’s not going to affect me. If my computer is on, so is my internet. I won’t be using the RMT auctions myself but I’m sorta glad it’s in there so people aren’t using shady third party sites. This might be a selfish viewpoint, I can totally understand why people are so upset over this, but the changes don’t bother me particularly.

    3. I think you have to look at everything and say…what the hell are they thinking? Why are they taking the game in this direction? Who are they making it for? I think this is one of those cases where in striving for the largest possible audience (including gold farmers!), they’ve forgotten what made the game good in the first place.

      The quotes about the RMT auction house were pretty damn funny, though.

    4. I don’t care. I think all new changes are great. Real money? Superb. No skill points? Even better. No offline playing to prevent dupes? Fine with me. So I’m very happy with all new infos.

        • I’m with Oconnel, I like what I hear. It all sounds very inovative to me. Obviously Blizzard knows where the dupes are coming from, much better than we do! If they say  it will cut back on dupes/prevent them, I’m all for it!!!

    5. Online verification – no problem with this because it doesn’t affect the way I play
      No modding – doesn’t affect me negatively…but puts everyone on the same playing field and will go a long way to preventing bots and map hacking (which is a very good thing).  People are really up in arms that they won’t be able to bot more than that they won’t be able to mod.  And let’s face it, mods were a disease in D2.
      RMT AH – A good thing but I see it from another direction.  There was a community outside of Blizzard that existed to trade money for real items.  You had the forums that allowed you to buy points and you could work out deals for items and you had to perform the trade yourself or you could go perform trades with gold buying sites (which was very risky).  Now, Blizzard brings that interface into the game and makes the dealings more secure.  I fail to see the downside.

      • “No modding – doesn’t affect me negatively…but puts everyone on the same playing field” 

        one good thing about modding in D2 was that there were ladder only runewords that could be modded into the offline single player game 

        this is no longer possible, but it may not be necessary 

        • Yeah, Blizzard took care of the need to use mods to get the best gameplay out of single player… By removing the single player feature.  Progress!

      • “And let’s face it, mods were a disease in D2.”

        I have the creeping feeling that you have no idea what a mod is.

    6. Just giving my opinion about the mods.
      I absolutely understand why they don’t want 3rd party programs in Diablo 3 now with the real money at stake, that could of course offer advantages to some.
      I didn’t like them at all in WoW either, some were great, the minimal ones like Postal or CritLine but as Blizzard have said, at the end they became a nessesity so players without them had a disadvantage in pvp for example.
      Not going to talk about the other aspects because they’re really depressing 🙁

    7. no skill customization really pisses me off. selling gear and CHARACTERS for real world cash in game ‘legitimizes’ the process and infact changes the economic system because they are undercutting the reasons to sell items at the AH for in game gold, thus penalizing players who have no interest in spending real world money on anything. this pisses me off a bunch as well. i live in china though and seeing the chinese gamers makes me understand why they want to eliminate LAN/IP games, mods, and control the sale of items, as they will make a killing off of the chinese kids if they can keep them penned in, but i still cant defend their reasons for eliminating skill customization. is there anything unique about characters’ functionalities now? or is just down to hair styles and armor dyes? … =( =( =(

    8. RMT is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. What complete imbecile at Blizzard thought letting people pay for cheating was a good idea. Because that’s basically what it comes down to.
      I sure hope I can see if people have bought any items so I can point and laugh at them and tell them how big of a tool they are.
      Preferably I would like a completely separate realm or “ladder” that doesn’t allow RMT.

      • Read carefully. You actually have access to two AH. One which includes real money, and one which is gold (in game currency) driven. So basically, you have a choice.

        • I know there are two different AHs, but I don’t want to play with a bunch of cheaters. So that’s why I want some way to separate myself from people who do.

          • Really now? Let’s not be naive here. Whether or not you want to believe it, you will *ALWAYS* be playing with people who buy items. Whether it’s from D2items.com, or Blizzard, is irrelevant.
            And for the people who talk about Blizzard doing this for greed…. if you spent MILLIONS of dollars and almost a decade of development on a game, wouldn’t you want to make money off it and not see people profiteer from your work?

            • Yes I will, but the difference is it’s Blizzard promoting cheating this time around instead of making sure to keep it fair for everyone. They’re basically giving the OK for cheating, which I find unacceptable.

          • Why is it cheating? It’s not like it’s dupes, or that you buy a copy directly from Blizzard. Someone has to find the item, then put it up on the auction house for someone to buy. Hell, that might be you, and you make a few bucks on the sale, instead of in game gold pieces. It amounts to the same. People will decide if they want to spend time or just money to get the items, which in turn just cost them time somewhere else. That’s assuming that the item they want is even available for sale. Whether you buy it for gold pieces, Stones of Jordan or real life dollars or whatever currency you use doesn’t really matter. It all amounts to time spent somewhere. So what if someone else bought their Legendary Staff of Awesome on the Auction House? For real money, traded it for another item directly with another player or gold pieces? How does that even remotely affect your game? They won’t be in your games. They can get matched with you in PvP, but in that case you’re about the same strength. The buyer might not know how to play effectively, and you win. He might have an awesome overpowered build, and you lose. Or you might have an awesome fight because you’re equal. How does it matter?

            Blizzard deserves to make money on this, and also, it means they have additional funds to give us more stuff. If you don’t want to support that, you’re free to NOT use the system. They gave you something for that as well.

          • Yeah .. becasue in D2 you didn’t play with people who bought tons of items from 3rd party sites … no of course you didn’t .. lols

            Besides … HC doesn’t have real-money AH .. you can only trade items for in-game gold in the HC AH.

            • Still doesn’t change the fact that it’s cheating. And if they can make it so people do that I’m sure they can make it so you can see who does.
              I just don’t get why people would even consider buying something that’s supposed to give you a sense of achievement. Why even play the game then? What’s the point?

          • So trading is cheating now? if you’re against trading in general, fine, but traders aren’t cheaters. Also, if you don’t wanna trade and find all your gear yourself, that’s fine! you play the way you want but keep in mind that trading is bound to happen within the community, specially if the developer designed a trade system (which exist in D2, minds you, In D3 they only make it MUCH more convenient).

        • Yeah, but suppose you get a really rare/powerful item. Why would you sell it for in game currency if you can actually sell it for real money? And if you’re rich/don’t have to worry about money, why would you spend the time and effort getting to farm or save up in game currency when you can just buy it with your credit card? The economy is going to suck due to this. Don’t understand the RMT one bit, almost makes me want to not play the game at all. Really hoping for a separate ladder that doesn’t allow it like Iera suggested.

          • I do not see how there can really be a respectable ladder at all with Blizzard supporting RMT.  If there is a ladder then the players who did RMT better be marked on the ladder that they did RMT.  It is far worse than using steroids in baseball in terms of fairness.

            • The point I was making is that, we hope there is a way to separate the RMT from the non RMT players. If you’re in the non RMT ‘ladder’ (call it what you want), you can’t purchase items from the RMT auction house, and can only play or trade with people who are in the same boat. At least, that’s what I am thinking. It’s not a ladder in a true sense, just a way to play without real world money influencing your experience.

            • I’m pretty sure this won’t have much effect on the top ranks of the ladder. The best gear is unlikely to be up for sale, since the guys that find it are likely to want to use it to improve their own ladder rank.

          • Answer is simple really.

            People love trading -> Some people did purchase stuff (items, characters) for RM -> Blizz will take his share (listing+sale fees) this time around

            It’s sad. Next step with this would be Blizz starting to develop and sell cracks to its own games.

    9. New skill system is great IMHO. You don’t need respec any more, you can try any skill you want. Pure joy. Skill points become obsolete from now on.

      • The new skill system sounds kind of like Guild Wars where you swap the skills.  Yet, there are still SEVERAL builds per character in Guild Wars.  The 10 character limit plus this system makes this work.  The shared stash better be HUGE though and yes the Guild Wars shared stash was very big.  You will need several sets of gear per character when you want to change builds.

    10. I can see how people are annoyed by the RMT thing, but i’ve always played diablo with friends or solo anyways so that auction house thing doesnt bother me personally. That said, it’s still a admission of deafeat towards 3d party item sellers and way worse than other games which sells cosmetic items. It doesnt matter if the seller is the blizzard ord SirGrindalot, playing the game the old way, ie killing and getting drops, will probably feel kinda pointless when SirSpendalot runs past you with his inventory full of imba items bought with his allowance. And that pisses me off even if i’ll probably just play with friends. And removing skill points is a great way to speed up the process of finding \optimal\ builds that everyone will demand that you use, \Yo Elbjornbjorn, use skill x with rune y instead so we get to boss z faster you noob!\

    11. It’s a sad day for planet Earth. The hobby “Gaming” as we knew it is dead.
      I will cry myself to sleep.. so much hope and engagement and with every new system they reveal about the game we all have eagerly anticipated it gets worse and worse.
      /sad panda

    12. I could live with RMT AH. It’s not like players never bought/sold items with RL cash. Although this being now officially supported is going to amplify the practice to never seen before heights. We already knew Blizz is much more greedy than it was back in the days (Activision or not).

      But seriously Blizz, being online to play? This is BS.

      D3 will win one more prize when it comes out: most cracked game in history. You’ll deserve this Blizz, I’m sorry about that.

      SC2’s way of handling this was barely okey. You have to be online to activate your copy, you can’t play lan but you can play the campaign offline, you won’t be able to earn achievements though.

      But having to be on to play solo too? Ahah. Smart move.

      This has to probably be the worst day in my life since D3 was announced back in Paris. Thanks for ruining may day.

        • I’d like to know how many milliseconds you took to think about what you where going to say before you typed your replay.

          No, internet is not everywhere at all. In some cities, within some countries, it might be. But still, given I’m paying 60$ or more to buy the frigging game, excuse me sir if I’d like to play the game whenever/wherever I like.

          I might not have an internet connection.
          My connection could be down for any reason.
          I might want to play the game from a spot where no connection is available.
          I might be on the move, no connection being available.
          I might be from a country where connections are not available everywhere.

          Those are only a few reasons which come to my mind.

          Maybe being online every moment of your life is not a problem for you. Well, it is not the case for me dude, and for a huge crowd of people out there too.

          • My video card could be burned, I threw my PC out of the window, I want to play Diablo 3 in jungle without any technical equipment required only using my lovely coconut. WTF I payed 60$ where’s my damn coconut version?!
            Don’t accept rules – don’t buy. No bullshit whining. Don’t try to be a wise monkey.

          • Well unless you alternatively play a single player character or you’re mainly playing Single player, I can understand, but otherwise…if will be like D2 with the open and closed Battle.net thingy, if you play an online character, you have to be online to play it, otherwise it would be too easy to hex edit your characters.

            • Yeah, that’s egsactly what I want, being able to alternatively play a offline-only character whenever I can’t or don’t want to be connected to the internet.

              Say I have a a internet plan which is charging me depending on the time I’ve been connected. Is Blizz going to pay for my bills and let me have my solo experience (if I need to) just because they want me connected to their oh-so-techy net 24h?

              Guys, this is so lame. I can’t believe anyone is even willing to back this up.

              I can have my SC2 campaign while playing offline, and jump online whenever I feel like kicking some asses (or rather, be kicked), so why on earth can’t I do the same with D3?

              This isn’t about preventing hacks, dupes or anything like that. This is simply about a company taking rights away from their paying customers and forcing them to use their services, so that they’ll be more likely to buy into more stuff and handing even more money to them. This is called abuse on my dictionary.

    13. Looong time lurker here, since D2 days.

      I’m mainly upset about people blowing this way out of proportion.

      While I think Blizzard should add offline/open characters, personally I don’t mind much as my PC is online practically all the time.

      The auctioning for real money is fine ok. If you want to be a purist you can still do that. People sold D2 items via ebay a long time ago. I didn’t use it and don’t think I will for D3.

      Being a 30+ working man, and see less of a problem with micro transactions for virtual items. I don’t have the time to play games that I did when I was in my 20’ies, and if some people rather pay a little here and there i’m fine with it. D2+3 isn’t aimed to be a tournament game, though D3 hardcore arena tournament could be interesting. Selling a +2% HP bonus item to SC2, now that would be bad.

      The mod thing i’m a bit 50/50 on. I understand that people like to tinker, and admire the effort. When I played D2 alot modding D2 was mainly boosting xp and tweaking drop rates. I just recently heard of stuff like Median XL.

      If Blizzard are gonna allow people to sell items, then we can’t have mods altering drop rates. PERIOD. And people WILL sell items with or without Blizzard supported auctions.

      Best of both worlds would be to have offline/open characters in D3. Allowing mods on multiplayer battle.net is a no go, for cheat reason.

      What has surprised me the most about the new beta info is that its only part of act 1. Part of me thing this ties well with one of the cryptic forum blue posts some weeks ago. I guess and hope that the beta is more of a wide scale systems test, and therefor the game is likely to get released in 2011.

    14. I don’t mind the RMT AH at all.
      No single player (mandatory online) is my biggest annoyance, tho even that isn’t the end of the world.  The loss of single player sux more, i like to have that option when the net is down.

    15. I understand what those guys did…They don’t give you major choices.So you can’t go wrong with a character.So you won’t button mash your way through enemies..So you’d use a better more tactical approach as people tend to make a very strong character and make the game very easy and basically use just one or two skills maxed out …It kind of proves that the diablo team wasn’t able to balance the game with that many choices so they left less important ones, so they would be able to control the difficulty of the game better. About the auction house,I can’t see how the auction house would work…I mean all the good items would be sold for real money and the not so good items would be sold for gold…Most of the guys that get good items would sell them for real money…So the gold based auction house would be kinda useless(used more by those new to the game).I think it would have been better if they tried to stop item selling.

    16. Flux, maybe they didnt invite you to this PR event because they were too ashamed to look you in the eye and tell you about this stuff.

    17. I don’t like the always online DRM but it won’t really effect my play style at all.  I don’t buy items for cash but I know there is a huge market that still buys d2 items.  I don’t blame Blizzard for trying to wrestle control away from third parties in that regard. The wired article is way off base.  Diablo mods are popular but they in no way increased the longevity of d2 the way that mods did for something like Quake.  I played the stock d2+lod game for 6 years.  I played medianxl for a couple of weeks.  New patches brought x10 more replay than mods. No skill points is a major change and a bummer.  But IMHO it will just put that much more emphasis on gear and runes and the journey to find better gear/runes.  I think they would have been better off granting ~3 respecs per difficulty as quest rewards but this isn’t zomg fire! I think the outcry could have been reduced if they hadn’t developed all of this without a peep and then projectile vomitted it out seemingly so close to beta and release.

    18. real money auction house – don’t care – never bought items, never will 
      people bought items from 3rd parties in D2, so we’ve always played with “cheaters”  

      this doesn’t really change anything (well, it makes buying items easier, but players have been doing it for 10 years, so its nothing new)

      skill system changes – don’t know – have to play it first

      have to be connected –  don’t like, but doesn’t affect me at this moment – apple recently decided to stop putting dvd readers in their laptops – their reasoning is that anything you want you can get or store online – stupid, yes, but they are “staying ahead of the pack” regarding getting rid of old technology – this is what blizzard is doing – they don’t care if you have a crappy connection – they don’t care if they lose customers – they feel they will make up for it with an increase in security

    19. The whole real life money aspect is just Blizzard embracing what has been going on for…..ever?! I personally like the challenge of having to build my guy up and find all of my stuff. Think, it’ll be satisfying to beat people in PvP, but it will be SO MUCH MORE satisfying when you pwn someone who just went and bought all their stuff. Maybe they can make an accolade for it?! “Money can’t buy everything…..pwnd”

      • Yeah? But how will you tell if someone bought an item? Unless you see someone’s bid and write his name to remember I doubt we will know who is buying items. That brings another problem: if I found all the stuff I wear in my char and beat someone in arena they will most likely QQ saying I bought the items to become ubber.

    20. What bothers me is the skill thing.  Though I guess I can’t tell whether it will work or not until I try it.

    21. i’m not disappointed at all by any of the choices… i mean, i WAS disappointed with the no-lan in starcraft 2, so i expected something similar in diablo, so therefore, i was prepared and not disappointed by the always online thingy, also, i planned to play this online 100% of the time, so….
      regarding the no-modding tools, they mentioned this some time ago, and i also expected it, none of the diablo games had mod support, so no disappointment there…
      and the RMT, i think it’s actually quite good, it’s 100% player trades and optional, and i personally am looking forward to make some extra cash with that, at least recover my investment in buying the game…

    22. lets talk about markets and cultures. I am an american, grew up in philadelphia, but i live in China now and I feel that there is something that you guys havent broached yet: 1) NO ITEM BINDING + 2) ARTIFICIALLY WEAK RENMINBI VALUE. Based on the monetary policy of the PRC, its extremely obvious that there will be tens of thousands of chinese kids farming gear and gold in this game, as even in an illegal form, it will still pay them better than working in a restaurant kitchen or as a security guard.

      ACTIVISIONblizzard has gone ahead and made sure that they get their piece of what will likely be a massive economic trend. This is actually endlessly fascinating if you think about the economic ramifications of it. A chinese waiter, even in beijing, can only hope to make like $150 a month. this drops off as you get into smaller and smaller towns. If you are a kid in a small town with no education, no real plan, and you can make many times more money playing diablo with your friends than you could standing around idly at a security post, what are you gonna do?

      The fascinating part is that by legitimizing it and taxing it, blizzard has made it MUCH MUCH easier to get into. this will drive prices down as supply goes through the roof, but it will also create a more naturally responding economy by increasing and simplifying the transactions. this brings in a pandora’s box of philosophical questions: if i get an item that lots of people want, but i dont need, and I know i can sell it for $20 USD at the auction house, and it just so happens that there is an item that I myself want desperately that costs $20, If i sell my item and buy their item, I have not spent any money, but I have engaged in an equal trade in game based on the SPECULATIVE VALUE of the items involved. Have I “Cheated”?

      Next problem: is this not a great way to launder money? especially between countries? say I run a chinese gang, couldnt I just buy a ton of diablo gear at the auction house, set up another character, set up another bank account, and sell the items right back? couldnt I violate tariffs and financial rules using this auction house and move tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars in any way I wanted to around the world? should the FBI be more pissed about this RMT auction house stuff than we are?

      • This was one of my concerns as well. I’m sure there will be loads of Diablo farming sweatshops. Only this time it’s Blizzard themselves who are providing the tools to do this, which I find somewhat disturbing.

    23. Real money AH affets us all, even if you never traded an item there. What if you want to duel in arena with your self found items and you face another player that spent 300 bucks with items? Do not underestimate people that buy items, they don’t buy a single occasionally item, they easily spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars with their items to become ubber.
      I live in Brazil, and people here (on average) are way poorer than the rest of the world. That didnt stop a lot of people to spend R$700+ (~US$350) on a crappy Ragnarok private server “premium accounts”. Imagine what REAL RICH people from US/Europe will buy with their money.
      I hope someone can crack D3 so i’m able to play it in single player. No way i’m giving my R$120,00 to Blizzard.
      PS: You know whats funny? Blizzard will most likely have that “special” plan charging montly fees for those who choose to. Those faggots will pay fees and play a game that sells items. Ridiculous.

      • PS2: This fansite is the only one with BALLS to tell the truth. All the other “oficial” fansites just briefly told their disappointment with D3 because they dont have BALLS to complain against them.

        • “just briefly told their disappointment with D3 “

          I read some this morning that didn’t even do that. 😉

          Also, we’re not a hate site or something wacky like that. I don’t actually dislike any of these features that badly, though I think the must-play-online thing is stupid, and I feel like I’m being kicked in the brain whenever Bliz pretends it’s about anything other than stopping piracy.

          We’re not here to act as unpaid (Actually, wouldn’t a trip to Irvine count as pay?) PR for Bliz, though. When there’s a lot of controversy about an issue, we’re going to talk about it and quote people with opinions on it. That’s the whole point in being a D3 info/news site and not a fawnsite.

          • I have to admit – thank you, Tyrone for giving me a different viewpoint on the skills issue. ecause I was /really/ upset about the points going at first. But you kind of have a point. DII Skill system had, in the end, turned into pretty much a one-way-street if you wanted to matter in the late-game. You could still make fun-chars but those woud have become unusable after, say, first half of nightmare. So, in a way, skill runes are the new skill points? I guess I really can’t form an intelligent opinion on this until I try it…. Dang XD

    24. The always online DRM won’t really affect me. I’m always online anyway. I suppose having the option is nice, but in the end it makes no difference to me. A lot of this news did shock me but after I had a chance to think it all over, it all sounds pretty good, even the real money AH. Sure, this will affect Arenas, but Blizzard never made any claims about it being balanced or an e-sport for that matter. I think just having the option to make a few bucks off the hundreds of hours I spend on this game is very exciting.  

      As for the other changes, the hardest for me to swallow was the removal of skill points. That was a huge turn off that has taken me some time to accept. However, what made me changed my mind was thinking about all the complaints from Brother Laz (creator of Median XL) about how horrible skill trees are, and in a way he really is right. Trees do nothing but pigeon hole characters or offer a way for you to screw up your character, which would be negated by respecs anyway, so why even bother with the illusion of customization in the first place? So people who don’t like their build have to go back to town and respec? Plus all the design pitfalls (10 points in Lazors! I WIN!), rigidity of character creation (people following mindless skill trees), etc. I think the skill runes and such will still offer experimentation and customization, just not in the classic way where if you didn’t allocation your skill points JUST LIKE THIS, you had a broken character. Archaic system, glad to see it go.

    25. From everything I’ve been able to read on the internet the last couple hours, I get the feeling that Beta won’t be coming out in the two weeks that many are expecting. Having read how poor a lot of the spell animations and functions were, I would not be suprised to see Beta released in September.

    26. i’m not very happy with the rmt auction house. with enough (real) money every noob could buy even the rarest items. i’d like to see items obtained from auction houses stigmatized the first time they are sold/bought – would be a good way to expose players that are just buying their uber-equipment

    27. The point is exactly that: there will be \chinese loot-farmers\ either way, but now Blizzard is taking it’s share on it. But by making the trade official the appeal is bigger, especially in cases like chiro brought up. – You find a ring which you already have, so you would trade it with a friend for a sword. Now you can sell it for $5 and buy a sword for $5, from anyone, maybe quicker, maybe a better sword, with no shady websites. – Also, a bigger demand may reduce prices, so many will give up grinding for a week to get ‘Enigma’ and will simply buy it for $2,50. As I see it there must some differentiation, or at least gradation, between buyers, ‘very-buyers’, and non-buyers. If not, then players will have little incentive to play the game well, since it will not bring any good, not even the \e-peen\ appeal.

    28. I don´t care about Singleplayer at all, but for all you out there who do care, I guarantee you there WILL be a way to play it offline, trust me. Or better, trust the Release Groups.
      Anyway, the real fun in Diablo happens in Multiplayer, so no big loss here.

    29. To be honest, I’m shocked at all the major changes and additions… but I’m not completely sold on joining the hate bandwagon just yet. The removal of the skillpoints and traits I couldn’t care less about mainly because I’ve never even played the game yet so I can’t form an opinion about it.

      No modding… we’ve known about that for years, even before they officially said there’d be no modding. Also, who the hell played Diablo 1 and 2 for the mods? Its not what made them great.

      Constant internet connection to play… this isn’t very different from StarCraft 2 and World of WarCraft. The only difference being that with StarCraft 2, they aren’t forcing it on you (you can still play offline) and with World of WarCraft its a “multiplayer” game only so the constant internet connection is justified. This doesn’t bother or affect me one bit because I’m one of the lucky few who has a constant, reliable, and fast internet connection. I do sympathise with those that don’t though, it was merely years ago that I was in the same position as you.

      Real world trading… oh boy. This would of been the second time I’d have raged (first of course being the RealID scandal), but after hearing Blizzard out, I’m willing to at least see where this goes before I grab my pitchfork. As bad as this is, the reasoning for it is there and actually makes sense this time. I just hope that this turns out alright.
      Also, lets be clear here. The only difference between someone playing the game long enough to get the drop and someone buying it with real money is that one is investing time into the game to get it and the other is investing time doing a job in real life to earn the money to buy the item. Both are putting an equal amount of effort in different ways to reach the same goal. The person buying the item is not in the wrong just because he decided to be guaranteed the item after working 8 hours irl instead of hoping to be lucky after just as long grinding in the game.

    30. I really don’t understand why everybody is whining about the RMT. This is really a great thing. I can do lots of MF and make money doing the thing I like the most (well, not the most but it’s way up there ;)).
      Honestly, what is so bad about people that buy whole characters with RMT. They just miss out on all the fun of leveling a character and go straight to end game. If Blizzard wouldn’t accommodate that it would still happen but it would be more of a dirty secret. Take a look at this: http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=diablo+2+items&_frs=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m359. Now honestly tell me you didn’t know that you could buy whole characters and you really thought that all high lvl chars in D2 got their items through finding and honest trading.
      Seriously all Blizzard is doing is taking RMT out of the shadows and saying: ‘It will happen anyway so we might as well facilitate it and make a little money out of it.’ Stop complaining.

      • Blizzard is making billions, a few dollars here and there from these transactions is not the motivation behind allowing them to go on – if anything these fees with cover the overhead needed to facilitate the transactions. I think you are on the right track though, I believe people will be able to do the same (dirty secret) trading with no threat of total loss through scamming third party sites. This is a good thing.

    31. At least chinese sweatshop workers now can play the likely most addicting game ever invented to support their families.  Does playing d3 20hrs a day sound that bad come on now? Give the (asian) people what they want (D3). :bloody:

    32. Long time lurker here. I’m actually quite happy with all three things.

      Online only – WOW and SC2 for the most part are already there. Most people nowadays have an internet connection and while there is the occasional one who doesn’t, I think Blizzard is taking a logical step in the right direction and simply going with the times. Taking steps to prevent cheating and piracy are good things in my book when dealing with a game like Diablo.

      No modding – Can’t really see an issue with this one as I never thought it needed it in the first place. I feel it’s Blizzard’s responsibility to keep up the content for the players.

      RMT – As many have said, it’s not exactly a new thing. I like that Blizzard is taking initiative and accepting the fact it’s next to impossible to completely get rid of this side of the game. Instead, they are actually embracing it as a properly functioning safe-to-use feature, which again is completely optional. Tbh I think it’s a good mechanic for the players who put in a lot of time playing the game and a lot more convenient than going through trading forums and whatnot. I feel like a lot of people seem to be blowing this so much out of proportion. It’s not like Blizzard is giving you a complete brochure of items with prices to pick from, which in many ways is how Diablo 2 turned out with the 3rd party sites years ago.

      Someone still has to find the item(s) first and in a lot of cases the most active players are the ones finding the best loot. Whether they use it themselves or sell it to someone else, what does it matter. I like how Stark put it earlier on page1:

      How does that even remotely affect your game? They won’t be in your games. They can get matched with you in PvP, but in that case you’re about the same strength. The buyer might not know how to play effectively, and you win. He might have an awesome overpowered build, and you lose. Or you might have an awesome fight because you’re equal. How does it matter?

      Bring on D3. Can’t wait to play the crap out of it and perhaps make some money while doing so 🙂

    33. None of these things affect me.
      I can make real money from this game.
      I ONLY play on bnet, 11 years on D2 never have I played single player..
      Who needs to mod in a Diablo game? Like WoW mods? You only need 6 skills, what do you need mods for? lol
      Lot of crying over nothing.

      • Troll? Fanboi? Or just myopic and self-centered?
        Just because none of these announcements affect you, does that automatically mean they don’t affect any of the other millions of people that will be playing the game?

    34. Sh1tty AH system; sh1tty removal of skill points (as explained), sh1tty (SH1TTY) new rune idea, and the god-damned removal of traits….  I will likely play the game, hell, I might even still buy it, but I am no longer excited about it.  Checking for news has been a daily ritual for years now.  I suspect the next time I do a search on D3 will be to see actual reviews of the game.  Pathetic.  My loyalty began to erode with WoW, I think that this just killed it.  The only welcome news in all of this was the expanded stat info screen- not nearly enough to mitigate the other damage, however.

    35. Blizzard making RMT is like the cool parents that give you condoms. They know you’re gonna do it, might as well be safe about it.

    36. All of the changes are ridiculous, unnecessary, and detract from the “game” of the game.

      But the change to SKILLS completely changes and utterly ruins what it meant to be “Diablo” or an ARPG in general.

      I’m no longer going to buy Diablo 3

      To hell with this steaming pile of New-Age Gamerdom/dumb.

      If I wanted to play with mouth-breathers and retards, I’d play 360 FPSs and Madden.

    37. People are getting way too carried away with the whole RMT AH thing, and I think the reason why is that they’re misinformed or ignorant about certain key points.

      1) The critical point that you have to realize is: RMT would have occurred anyways! There are hundreds of $ for gold sites for WoW, there were hundreds of $ for item sites for D2, and there would have been hundreds for D3… had it not been for Blizzard stepping in with their RMT AH. All that’s changing now is that RMT will be handled officially and provide players with a legit way to sell their hard work. This will also most likely cause the death of every gold site out there for D3 (still won’t stop the farmers, but at least it’ll put an end to the middle-men).

      2) “But D3 was supposed to be about EARNING loot!”. It still is, NOTHING is different than before. All you have to do is not pull out your wallet, and play like you’ve always had. It’s actually the same exact decision process that had always been present since when you played WoW or D2. Only the players who are willing to spend money on games in the first place will buy gear from the RMT AH, but these are the same folks who had bought WoW gold or D2 HR’s/SOJ’s and would have bought gold for D3 anyways, regardless of who’s offering the service. It might as well be Blizzard since they’ll do a better job mediating and making sure no one gets ripped off. Plus, the market for buying/selling your items will be huge (even bigger than when ebay allowed virtual items to be sold on its marketplace), guaranteeing a good market for you to sell quickly.

      3) “I’m going to sell my items for cash, whoo! But, I ONLY want to buy items with gold. There’s no way I’d PAY for an item” This statement doesn’t really make much sense. The fact that the RMT AH will be established means that gold and cash will have a direct observable correlation with each other. One is the other as much as the other is it.

      Imagine that the hypothetical exchange rate for cash to gold in D3 is $1 = 100g at the time. Let’s say you had 100g to start with, sold an item for $5, then bought an item for 100g. You now have your new item, $5, and 0g.

      Now let’s say you had the same to start with as the above situation, sold an item for $5, then bought an item for $1. You now have your new item, $4, and 100g. Different results than before? Just sell your 100g for $1. Same end results.

      Gold and $ will be essentially the same for the purposes of buying items. Having some weird ethical stance against buying with RMT, but not when it comes to selling with RMT doesn’t make any sense. If you’re still against RMT at least don’t be a hypocrite and use the system to sell your items, just don’t use it at all.

      4) I think a lot of what people are getting confused with is what the RMT AH is, and what it isn’t. To clarify, it’s not a Blizzard store by any means – it’s simply a tool for us, the players, to use. Blizzard is NOT selling uber high-end gear through the RMT AH, nor ANY items for that matter. It’s strictly a marketplace, one that would have existed anyways, just in another form and off of the battle.net interface.

    38. RMT seems like it will be most irritating when dueling or when joining up with random people for a game.  Blizzard always talks about wanting people to play “the right way” in terms of exploring all the maps, doing all the quests, etc. and not just grinding key bosses/drop zones.  RMT is going to push in the other direction though.  Buyers skipping most of the game to smash the exciting parts with their elite gear.  Sellers grinding the bosses/zones that will inevitably found that yield the best drops per minute.  I can understand the arguments for it, though, in terms of trying to eliminate a black market and provide options for adults with more money than time.

      Needing to be online to play single player really bites.  I live in a decent-sized city in the US, but sometimes the Internet is still down.  I’d say it happens for at least brief periods once per week and longer periods once per month.  To be unable to play a single player game is pretty unacceptable IMO.  There is no technical reason for this.

      Being able to swap skill investments whenever you want is similar to Guild Wars, as someone mentioned in an earlier post.  At first I found this fun, as I was able to try lots of skills and use the ones I liked.  However, it greatly reduced my long-term interest in the game (e.g. replayability).  Once I had a high-level character in one class, I had no desire to build up a second one in the same class.  Just seemed like too much work, since I could just re-configure my existing char.  I ended up making less than half-dozen characters across all the classes.  By contrast, I would guess I have made over 150 different D2 characters since it was released.  You have to plan the character out almost from the start, and there are lots of different plans to try.  Each one seems like an individual with weighty choices made early on.

      I understand many people like mods, but I can live without them personally.  Some create an uneven playing field (like maphack – no everyone does not use it), some destabilize your game, some open you up to viruses, password theft, etc.  From Blizzard’s perspective, it makes it harder to provide customer service since some of the reported issues are being caused by mods and not the game itself.

      If I could get one concession from Blizzard, it would be to remove the online requirement.  This is a major take-away for single player fans.  Blizzard seems like they have always treated the single player folks as an unimportant niche group composed mostly of newbs.  I have been mostly single player since D2 was released and know the game quite well.  I just enjoy that mode of play more.

    39. I played Diablo I for hundreds of hours. Diablo II for I don’t know how many hours. Grinding to get to the next level and making a different type of build like a tank barb or druid. Doing Andy runs and Baal runs to get better items. The cow level! Is there one in Diablo III?? I beat both games several times though. Packing up the lap top and a couple of computers to take to a friend’s house for a cook out and some D1 or D2 on their Lan to play with a bunch of friends and family. Lots of Fun! For most of the time we had 2 games going at once. With one game running with 8 players. A lot of work, but the trip was worth it. I’m sure there are several stories out there like this. Maybe I am trying to hang on to old school ways. But what happened to Diablo III?
      My thinking… DRM? No big deal, but seriously restrictive. No single player, but you can play by yourself by being always online. This is confusing. What about people who have download restrictions or slow internet or other issues!!! I never played online any way due to the fact that I don’t want to play with people I don’t know. I would rather play with friend I do know.
      RTM which has always been there in some form. AKA “wimp’s way out”. Example. You need a sword just a little bit better so you go and spend real money to get one instead of the tedious hours of grinding. Where’s the fun in that? Grinding was one of the things that made the game so interesting. Not that you have to do that of course but people will. Because, the market will be flooded with garbage items any way. Just take a look at World OF Warcraft.
      Removal of skills to the point it is on or off, Very Boring. Makes the game play change to just another boing RPG instead of the Diablo style play we all know and love. BOO!!! To Blizzard!!! Traits not put in the game. Let’s see, can you say cookie cutter. A wizard is a wizard nothing more a demon hunter is a demon hunter nothing more. Skill Runes Look Freaking AWESOME!! Crafting is awesome. But you can go play WOW for free now. Followers? Meh. Customizations of them are cool though. Do you see a visual trend here?
      I still think the single player game that Blizzard is creating will be just as awesome as the others. Just not as deep and dark as I expected or wanted. I do believe that a lot of aspects of multi-player are not very pleasing. It looks to me that it just comes with too many overwhelming restrictions that Activision/Blizzard has implemented in which they think most gamers will get over or don’t know any better.
      I wonder what other restrictions Activision, OOPs I mean Blizzard will have in this game.
      On that subject of RTM. I will not give my personal bank account info to a company that is a major hack target. There are still bank robbers out there you know.
      I played StarCraft 2 through to end. Short, but awesome story line. But I went to play it again and had to reinstall the program and go through the download process again. What really annoyed me the most? Having to login every time I want to play single player. Even though they said It only checks every once in a while. They are full of it. It was very annoying. Especially, when I mistyped my password and had to wait to retype it in. I could never click play off line. I never have tried since then. I lost interest and played other games like Oblivian, Torchlight, and Minecraft a very nonrestrictive game, and very cool! I know Minecraft is not really an RPG. Torchlight was just fun. Oblivion = open world plus an rpg.
      I hope that most of the info is hype and not true and it is nothing more than to build advertisement .Which is what Blizzard does best. J But then, the reality of Activision/Blizzard is in a business to make money takes hold.
      Just my meaningless rant and rave.

    40. When I first heard of Real Money, I didn’t think it would be real cash (the thing in your wallet).

      Turns out it really is what the title says… Real Money.

      This really goes against Blizzard’s stance against account trading, buying, selling under WoW regulations.

      I really can’t believe Blizzard is trying to convince gamers that this thing is legit. It really isn’t. It’s sickening.

      So now, people with lots of $$$ to burn can completely deck themselves out. Where has competition gone?

    41. I’ve been playing the Diablo series since ’96, and have RARELY bothered posting online anywhere, mostly because I wasn’t concerned with the rivial issues of the fan-base.  Well, hearing that offline play was not going to be supported…  AT ALL was enough to push me into action.  If Mr. Wilson wants to include real money trading to prevent the fans from dangerous unreputable sites, why not include supported offline play to prevent the fans from dangerous 3rd party software that we all know will exist?

    42. The DRM stinks since I’m primarily a solo player.  Being forced to connect to b.net is a triviality and unnecessary since, if I played offline, I couldn’t affect the online community with my isolated characters.
      What I dislike most is the theoretical change to runes.  “Blanking” them and making them completely random is the worst part, but I also feel that assigning a skill to a rune will ultimately result in much less experimentation in skills.  For those who care, this is my quick overall take on the proposed system change:

      ” The system was never poorly implemented, just the GUI. TheWorldStoneKeep podcast had a brilliant idea of putting all the rune effects and possibly a short visual example into your character journal. It puts the text clutter in an appropriate place. Dragging a rune over a specific skill to see its effects is perfectly acceptable to show ultra specific information, too.

      Overall thoughts:

      35 runes with 3,500 different effects may be hard to wrap your head around initially; turning that into 3,500 individual runes makes a detailed system a massive cluster-shuck when it has the exact same purpose.

      The more serious players will often/eventually design a character & skill build well in advance, and that build will invariably include specific rune types. Since four of five rune colors are undesired, that makes 80% of socketing results complete failures.

      Since it’s expected that high runes will have low drop rates, this is a system that will frustrate players rather than reward them. It’s like giving out unidentifiable runes in D2; you have a specific two-rune runeword you want to make, but since you can’t see what they are your only option is to socket them blindly and hope that they’re the two runes you needed. Rarely you’ll get lucky, but more often you’ve just wasted the hours you’ve spent on a crappy result.

      If rune “wipes” aren’t available from an artisan, the upside is that there will almost always be a need to be constantly searching for new runes. Game longevity is increased as a result. On the flip side, if wipes are included, it’s another form of a gold sink AND gets players to do something other than item hunt (which has been addressed as something both players and developers have wanted to decrease to a degree, correct?)

      Lastly, although skill points have been removed to promote skill experimentation, any time you assign a skill to a rune, ultimately skill experimentation is reduced greatly. If you have a mere handful of high runes that can be used in case-specific skills, you’ll use ONLY those skills. Skills without runes are known to be less powerful/effective/more costly than the few you’ve chosen to rune, so why would anyone experiment with their non-runed skills if they’re not as useful? Assigned skill runes will “lock” a player into a certain build, and without another good handful of runes to test out other skills it negates the essence of skill experimentation that was provided with freely swappable skills. Assigned skill runes will completely overwhelm one of the few major purposes of removing skill points, maybe entirely.

      DL:DR? I think this is a terrible system, and if the only reason the old system was bad was because there was too much text clutter… well, fix the clutter. Don’t cut off your hand to give your aching D3 index finger a rest from constant mouse clicking.”

      • They said they would try the new system, but if it doesn’t work they will just go back to the old way… I personally hope they keep the random affixes and don’t do the random rune effects thing… that way you have a reason to try to get new runes even after spending a while in the later game…

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