The Royal Circle and the Hacker

    Sometimes, it’s enough to make me wonder why people are playing.

    Perhaps I should explain. I was on Battle.net venturing through a Diablo I dungeon, when a player (who shall remain nameless) entered the game. He came down to the caves to join me, there was a moment of lag, and then he killed some monsters. He then tried to draw my attention to several magical items that just didn’t appear on my screen, and when I said I couldn’t see them, picked them up and town portaled away.

    When I returned to that wonderfully rustic village of Tristram, I found myself facing a menagerie of unique and magical items literally carpeting the center of town. Enough to fill an inventory three times over. “They’re all legit,” he said. “I found them in the caves.”

    Rather skeptical, I picked a Royal Circlet off the ground and examined it. It had a fancy graphic, and for all I knew, it looked like a real Royal Circlet. For a moment, I considered that perhaps this strange warrior was telling the truth, and due to a bug in the game, he really had found these things in the middle of the caves.

    As I rolled the crown around in my hands, wondering if there was some bizarre quirk in the game that would make this possible, I received one last message from the mystery warrior. “I have a Bnet cheat code that lets me get the good items,” he declared proudly, and left the game.

    I dropped the Royal Circlet in the dust and sighed.

    Somehow, it doesn’t surprise me that he didn’t stay to kill any more monsters. Wandering through the caves in Hell difficulty, I might not be about to find that ultimate armor or weapon, but I am coming close to pumping my character up another level. It’s a goal that is fun and time-consuming, and at the end there is a fair bit of reward. And, if I should come across an item that is an absolute keeper, at least I have the satisfaction of having found it myself. For me, it is worthwhile to stick around and keep playing.

    But for somebody like the mystery warrior, who has found a hacker’s code that gives him all the things he would actually have to work at finding, there is no challenge. Where is the joy in discovering that the unique greatsword you’ve just found is actually one of the best items in the game, when you can simply type in a code and have it appear?

    Is it any surprise that he was in the game for less than twenty minutes?

    It is really rather sad. The hackers and cheaters keep appearing, so proud of what they can do with the software they’ve downloaded from the internet, and log on to Battle.net. They create that ultimate item, start their god mode and kill some monsters, and then retire. In the process, they miss the point entirely. The reason I am so proud of my level 34 warrior is that I built him from scratch; he didn’t even venture onto Battle.net until he could adventure at Hell difficulty. These new players with their fancy cheat codes will never know the simple pleasure I get out of loading up Garwulf and taking him for romp in the dungeon, hoping to get that next level.

    Unfortunately, it seems they don’t even try to play the game properly. And, since they are cheating, they figure that everybody else is to. And thus, in what should be a straightforward kill-the-monsters game, the town square becomes littered with hacked magical items. Not only do they litter the ground, making it difficult to walk without accidentally picking them up, but any legitimate player who comes into the game is immediately given cause to leave.

    In the end, I pity the poor warrior with his cheat code. I really do. It was obvious that there was no longer a challenge for him, and that he had managed to ruin the game for himself. Perhaps, if he hadn’t activated the hack, he would have stayed longer, and actually had some fun. Maybe he will begin playing without cheating, and discover just how wonderful the Diablo games are; I can only hope.

    Disclaimer: Garwulf’s Corner was written by Robert B. Marks and hosted by Diii.net. The views expressed in this column are those of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of Diii.net.

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