Diablo 3 DRM Shows How Greedy Blizzard Has Become
Ever since Diablo 3 released it has been the source for a lot of frustration. From server down time to ridiculous DRM, Blizzard has managed to create an amazing game that people want to play, but are having trouble doing just that. There are few design choices that go deeper than Blizzard simply “protecting the players,” and when I put the dots together I see an awfully greedy Blizzard.
Diablo 3 DRM doesn’t do anything for the player.
Diablo 3 is by no means a bad game. In fact, in my review for Diablo 3, I gave it a high score, but the DRM design choices is really what kept the game from a perfect score. In case you aren’t aware, let me tell you how Blizzard’s Diablo 3 DRM works.
If you want to play Diablo 3 at all, you have to connect to Blizzard’s servers. Even if you wish to enjoy the game by yourself, and have no intention of ever playing with anybody else, you have to connect to their servers. It is a choice that affected and upset many people who purchased the game on launch day. The Diablo 3 servers experienced many hours of down time during its launch, and players that simply wanted to play the game by themselves were forced to sit and wait instead.
Diablo 3’s DRM choice is a peculiar one indeed. Blizzard claims the DRM policy is so piracy will not affect them, and hackers cannot access people’s inventory and steal all of their stuff. The issue with that theory is that both of those outcomes have already been fulfilled. There are various reports about Diablo 3 players getting their inventory stolen, and Blizzard can’t do much except try to roll back players characters. Some players are saying even after the rollback they are missing items. Diablo 3 is also already being pirated, and has been cracked to be played offline. It only took a few days before Diablo 3’s DRM was completely made irrelevant.
One feature of Diablo 3 has never sat right with me, and it consists of players spending real money to purchase in game items. The real money auction house is why Diablo 3 had insane DRM, and it shows that Blizzard has become insanely greedy.
Diablo 3 DRM is a way for Blizzard to nickel and dime its players.
Blizzard apologized for their server issues, and even delayed the auction house that will use real money until their issues are fixed. What I don’t quite understand is why the server issues would have any effect on the real money auction house being delayed The auction house that deals with online currency is still active, so why wouldn’t Blizzard pull both auction houses together? You know what would cause major problems for Blizzard? People buying items with their credit cards, then a hacker comes in and steals your shiny new item. Blizzard should also care about people who purchase items from the auction house with in game currency, and since reports of people being hacked have been confirmed, why hasn’t Blizzard pulled the auction house all together? Delaying the auction house also goes against Blizzard’s excuse for delaying the game for so long. Blizzard, like a few other developers, have the “when it’s done” mentality, but if that is the case, then why did the servers crash? Better yet, why has the PVP game mode been delayed? It just doesn’t add up.
The fact is that Diablo 3 doesn’t feature a way for Blizzard to keep getting players’ money besides the real money auction house. WoW has their $15 monthly fee, and Blizzard announced that Star Craft 2 would have 3 separate releases for each of the 3 major races, essentially forcing players to spend much more than $60 for Star Craft 2.
The way I see it, Diablo 3’s DRM wasn’t created to protect the players and to stop people from hacking players, it was created so Blizzard could have complete control over the player. Even if you do not want to play online, you are going to have to, and there is a chance you could stumble into the real money auction house and make a purchase.
The irony is that Blizzard essentially asked to be hacked. When you make a game that has insane DRM, especially when a game is not centered on online play (like Ubisoft with Assassins Creed 2), you are essentially telling hackers to try and crack the game. Hackers like a challenge, and Blizzard welcomed them with open arms.
Like I stated before, Blizzard’s Diablo 3 DRM madness has already proved to be worthless since the game has been hacked. I’m sure Blizzard will implement patches and updates to combat these hackers, but that will not stop hackers from making their way back in and screwing with players. You know what would stop hackers from getting to my characters and inventory? Playing offline.
Piracy sucks and it really does hurt the gaming industry, but just like other forms of media, developers and publishers alike just have to deal with it. Diablo 3 was going to sell millions regardless, but Blizzard decided that wasn’t good enough. I understand that video games are a business, and at the end of the day you have to make a profit to stay in business. Diablo 3 would have turned a profit without a doubt, but ironically Blizzard might have hurt their sales because of Diablo 3’s DRM policies.
Look at a company like Rockstar. They are a company that releases only a few titles a year, and they don’t ever incorporate insane DRM, or the latest fad, Online Passes. That is because they stand by their product, and that is how any developer should operate. If you make good content that people want, consumers will buy it. Yes, there will always be that group of people that will steal content, but it is just something you have to deal with as developers.
The crazy part is that Blizzard makes content that people want to play, but they make you jump through hoops to get it. Blizzard announced 2 expansions to Star Craft 2 before the game was even released. A decision that made myself and others I know skip Star Craft 2 altogether. Now you have Diablo 3, a game that many people want to play offline, like in Diablo 2, yet you take offline mode away from them. It is hard to play your games when you take away ways to fully enjoy them.
I am by no means saying Blizzard makes bad games. I will play Diablo 3 for hundreds of hours and will enjoy every single minute of it, but I am already feeling the effects of the Diablo 3 DRM. I am currently at an area that only allows for spotty satellite internet. The connection is not very strong, and is dropped constantly. I have absolutely no way to play Diablo 3, and I don’t quite understand why that is the case. I’m not trying to promote another game, but Torchlight II will offer offline, and online play all in one package. I guess their secret is that Runic wont have an auction house that deals with real money.
I just hope Blizzard hears the outcry for players who just want to play Diablo 3 offline, and eventually implements a patch that will allow for that very thing. Why can’t Blizzard implement a system that allows separate offline and online characters? They did that very thing with Diablo 2, but I guess since they couldn’t nickel and dime transactions they decided offline play was ok. Blizzard, please doesn’t let me lose any more respect than I already have, and listen to your fans.Remove the Diablo 3 DRM so we can enjoy the game wherever we are.