No Modding in Diablo III. None. At all. So there.

We’ve known that for years, but a fan wanted some more detail about DarkD3, the mod that adjusts the game visuals to look darker and more gothic. As it only affects the visuals without otherwise changing the game experience in any way, there’s no reason Bliz would have a problem with that, is there? (Aside from some of the artists shedding silent tears that not all fans love their creative vision.)

is DarkD3 allowed?

I don’t like the colour in Diablo 3… I liked how dark Diablo 1/2 were and would like to make them like that. I found DarkD3 and a lot of people recommend it and it looks great. Wondering if I can use it without getting in trouble?
Omrakos: We can not give blanket approval on any mods for Diablo III. None are allowed per the Terms of Use but that does not mean we’d detect any used and do anything about them. If we were to approve one, who’s to say it wouldn’t be modified by the creator or another user to cheat or offer other advantages over other players? We couldn’t possibly keep up with iterations or mods to the mods. I know it’s a vague answer if you want a simple yes or no but that’s the best we can do.

If you use ANY mods, you do so at your own risk to the account being closed.

Though Jay Wilson said that DarkD3 was okay to use, this reply isn’t surprising, since Blizzard doesn’t want fans thinking mods are okay to use, even ones (like DarkD3) that Blizzard can’t detect anyway since they aren’t cheats and do nothing to alter the data sent/received. And I realize the tech support guy who posted this is just citing company policy and it’s not his decision to make, and he’s no doubt much smarter than the rules he’s forced to enforce, At the same time… this is such a lazy, corporate, PR-BS, dick move of a reply that it angers me.

God forbid the developers and publishers of the biggest selling PC game of all time have one of their hundreds of CMs and tech people spend 5 minutes to check a very popular mod to see if it’s okay. Or act like humans and make exceptions where they need to be made. This sort of “one rule applies inflexibly to everyone” mindset is to be expected from junior high gym teachers, but it’s insulting and disappointing coming from a company as mighty as Blizzard. I realize that investigating features and mods that are very useful to a large block of their players would take valuable seconds they could otherwise spend not banning chat spammers, but that’s a sacrifice I’m willing for them to make.

(Note that I do not use DarkD3 myself, and that I think anyone who is still complaining about D3 not being dark/gothic/gory enough has visual amnesia in regards to what Diablo 2 actually looked like. It’s purely the principle of this corporate, ass-covering, “we have inflexible rules since thinking is hard,” bullcrap to which I object.)

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34 thoughts on “No Modding in Diablo III. None. At all. So there.

  1. Sorry but this post is stupid. Please take off your naive-hat and think it through.

    Diablo 3 Is not made to support mods, thus modding the game will be equivalent of hacks – As it was with D2.

    This means that a mod can contain basically anything: contain a virus, steal your password, send porn to your mom.

    It’d be close to impossible for blizzard to actually verify that a mod doesn’t do anything bad. The 5 minute comment seems almost to me as you’re trolling – are you really that naive?

    For that reason games that _do_ support mods, have specific well-restricted sandboxes that the modders can use(IE sc2’s map system)

    • “It’d be close to impossible for blizzard to actually verify that a mod doesn’t do anything bad. The 5 minute comment seems almost to me as you’re trolling – are you really that naive?”

      Not really and neither are Blizzard who offer mods downloadable through their site for Starcraft.

      • …which has the infrastructure to handle inspection of mods to ensure they aren’t malicious in nature.

        Diablo 3 was not designed with mods in mind (not that I am condoning this decision), so they cannot possibly inspect every possible mod to ensure they aren’t adverse in their effects.

        If they ACTUALLY approved this one mod, it would open flood gates of people demanding Blizzard approve their mod idea, or ask for this mod to be enabled, or that mod to work. Way more work and manpower to have to approve or deny every darn request from then on.

        Honestly, I liked this response. It was not at ALL a “PR-BS” reply as the author indicated. As a customer service rep, you are not allowed to come out and tell people “oh, that is ok” if they want to keep their job, as they are (like it or not) an official mouth-piece for the company as a whole. They want to tell people that something that enhances the feel (right or wrongly) and isn’t detectable or adverse is fine, without actually coming out and SAYING it’s fine.

        I feel for the techie that wrote this. If I had to write it, I’d probably say the same thing (massive hints that this particular mod is both undetectable AND basically approved by Blizz).

        As boneheaded Blizzard has become these last 5ish years in game decisions (becoming way too much of a corporation for our tastes), they are still made up of real people, and we shouldn’t approach every move they make as EVIL THEY WANT TO MAKE US MAD. A LARGE amount of skepticism, sure, but don’t get mad at everything. JAY SNEEZED IN AN INTERVIEW! HE SECRETLY HATES US AND HIS SNEEZE WAS HIS BODY REJECTING HIS FAKE SMILE is not a good mindframe to have in any kind of discussion.

        • Exactly and I think D3 can have that infrastructure for mods that don’t interact with the game such as Dark – by infrastructure I mean a bloke to check the mod. Keep the dev team working on the game, no need for them to step away from that.

  2. @Flux… off topic… all news items with more than one page of comments…. the links are currently not working. Next, Page 2, Page 5, whatever… we get taken to the very first page.

  3. Well that not “a lazy, corporate, PR-BS, dick move of a reply” it a proper reply to the question asked, how else is he meant to say it? He cant say its safe to use it even if it is because then anyone who gets banned will then start flinging but I was only using mod X that you said is safe to use at them.
    As for checking out the mod the fact is that the mod could be changed after it was checked and said change could cause a hack/cheat detected ban ^ leading to mud flinging about it meant to be safe but I got banned Blizzard sucks.
    Lastly what to stop a cheater who got banned from turning round and saying I was only using approved mod X.

    TBH the only one that falls under “a lazy, corporate, PR-BS, dick move of a reply” is you Flux in that its a dickish lazy thing to say.

  4. I don’t see anything unusual about the reply. I’d rather have them focus on other features than determining whether certain mods are ok to use. They don’t want to start down that path.

  5. Same, I don’t think it was all that bad of an answer. This is kind of a give a finger they’ll take a hand type situation. D3 doesn’t have the official infrastrcture for modding like Sc2 and WoW do, until it does, they should blanket everything.

  6. Their PR and general interaction with the community often falls short and a stock answer such as this is to be expected.

  7. This is what you get upset about over D3? :p

    I have to agree with his answer. It is a dickish PR move, but from a technical standpoint, it makes the most sense for the main reason he provided: keeping up on updates to the mods.

    This is also to help out Blizzard’s ailing CS department, because you can never really quite tell what is inside of one of these mods, injectors, texture filters, whatever it is. That’s the best way to scam someone out of an account, and from their perspective, modding=manhours retrieving account information for angry players.

    I would have to agree with their policy on this for D3. Unless you have a mod that you can compile yourself with the source code, then I dunno that would be fine by me but I understand their point of view.

    • There is one way you can.

      Blizzard offer the files for download like they do with SC. If the ‘mods’ are things that don’t interact with the game (this particular one they’ve determined doesn’t) they seem okay with their use. The stumbling block is they don’t want to sanction something that could change in nature and/or have something embedded. The solution to they employed in SC would apply here.

      It’s a surmountable problem.

      • SC2 has the galaxy editor, an incredibly versatile and robust modding system. You can do total conversions with it if you were so inclined.

        But modding a game like D3 (and brother laz can attest to this) is no simple matter, and the knowledge required is much, much higher than for something like the galaxy editor. You’d basically be hacking the game.

        Torchlight uses ogre so it’s different, but I think that with the structure of the game, and the online architecture, it’s pretty much impossible for them to actually support mods in the game that have impact on gameplay (not stuff like DarkD3 but I don’t know why they would host that).

        • I put mod in inverted commas and said ‘don’t interact with the game’ I was hoping that clarified I was talking about ‘mods’ not in the true sense, as in interacting with the game (i.e specifically Dark).

  8. Considering how popular and far more fun the various mods such as Middle Earth or MedianXL were compared to D2x, I’d welcome with open arms any mods D3 could have had. Laz > Blizzard.

  9. ‘None are allowed per the Terms of Use but that does not mean we’d detect any used and do anything about them.’

    Translation : They don’t support them, but they aren’t going to put resources towards ones that don’t give you an advantage over the next person (namely ban).

    That’s how I read the response any ways.

  10. QUOTE: “…I think anyone who is still complaining about D3 not being dark/gothic/gory enough has visual amnesia in regards to what Diablo 2 actually looked like…”

    Genious. 😉

  11. Using DarkD3 since Open Beta Weekend, only to get the “Sharpening Effect”. There is literally NO way to detect this, because it doesn’t alter the game, it acts like those DirectX Injectors for Skyrim, for example (where you can also “post-process” sharpening and colour alterations). So actually the graphics are changed by changing Direct3D parametres. It is like the complex version of changing brightness / contrast / saturation.

    • Not sure how you can say it is undetectable ? It uses a DirectX hook on the D3 process, how is there “literally NO way to detect this” ? Similar methods are used in FPS such as Modern Warfare for wall hacks. The exact same thing can be used in D3 to see monsters through wall or get an “infra vision”. Now we can argue these are not big advantages but that’s beyond the point, the point is these are hacks (yes even if the original intention isn’t malicious). I think the PR reply was perfectly appropriate, they do not want to start saying, yes this MOD is ok, because otherwise they will have tons of MODs to verify, not to mention the future updates, some of them could be malicious due to the nature of the hack. MODs have not been supported from the ground up for this game, this is very different than Starcraft II, which has been programmed to let people use the engine to create custom maps / mods. Their team has decided they wanted to manage all this stuff, the D3 team didn’t.

  12. It’s not just this mod, though. It’s every future mod. They have no grounds for saying, “We’ll check out this mod and see if it’s OK, but it’s the only one we’ll ever check out, we’ll never check out another one ever again.” So offering to check/approve this mod opens Pandora’s box as far as investigating/approving mods is concerned.

    I for one would rather have the D3 team spending time on the game then investigating mods.

    Note that a few years ago when I was playing D2 I asked if a change-appearance-only mod would be OK here for Single-Player-Forum purposes and was quite reasonable told “no” for very much the same reasons. Letting in more than the two mods already approved would just make things too much of a pain logistically.

    Also, agreed: D1 was dark and gothic. D2 — no. Comparing D3 Acts 1 and 3 to the similar-in-setting D2 Acts 1 and 5, I think D3 is significantly darker. (As the Scoundrel remarks, you can tell New Tristram is under the influence of evil because it’s always dark out.)

  13. While I tend to agree with the original article. You have to remember that if they say one mod is ok, there will be 30billion posts about this mod, that mod and every other tom dick and harry that makes a mod askign for it to be “ok’d”.

    From a business standpoint, its easier to say, “Use them at your discretion, but we reserve the right to ban for them for any reason, at any time, and will not endorse any”.

    Not to mention if you let one mod be “ok’d” people will take that inherently that mods are ok, and then you get johnny the botter starting a war that he was banned for “a color mod”.

    Its just a dark windy road of horror for the devs, that in this day where nobody is responsible for thier own actions, its easier to just say no, than to deal with the idiocy.

  14. This is exactly the response I would give if I was Blizzard (or any other company). It’s the only answer that makes sense both technically and policy wise. Stop being such a baby in these news posts.

  15. “who’s to say it wouldn’t be modified by the creator or another user to cheat or offer other advantages over other players?”

    What, like the RMAH?

  16. Instead of advising that they couldn’t support modding, it might be nice if they just implemented the good ones as a new feature in an upcoming patch.

    I’m sure there are plenty of arguments for the “let’s just stay focused on the game itself”, but how hard would it really be to add the DarkD3 code into an upcoming patch.

    They might only give a nod to 1 in 100 mods, but at least then they could control it, insure it didn’t morph, and just continue banning all the rest.

  17. I think this article goes overboard. Blizzard’s no-to-all policy is quite professional, reasonable, and frankly expected. The moment you become subjective and start bending rules is the moment you get bent over yourself.

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