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Role Playing (Games) The Almighty Buck Games

Diablo 3 Banhammer Dropped Just Before RMAH Goes Live 540

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-do-not-envy-their-customer-service-reps dept.
eldavojohn writes "One thing Diablo 3 has that many other games do not is a 'Real Money Auction House' (RMAH), which went live today for players with two factor authentication. Of course, mere hours before that, Blizzard publicly announced they would follow through on their promises. Accounts they have identified as cheaters and botters have been banned 'by the thousands.' No official number is out, but the news is indicating that as people get off of work and return home to their bot-wives and bot-kids they may find themselves without a valid Battle.net account (possibly tied to other games like SCII and WoW). Blizzard has also included many fixes to remove/dissuade many other exploits but if their past arcane attitude toward the 'gamers of the game' is any indication, thousands will be unhappy."
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Diablo 3 Banhammer Dropped Just Before RMAH Goes Live

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:13PM (#40300963)

    Many a scorned Blizzard fan will wail away on the message boards over this, I'm sure. But hearing a Blizzard fan say "I've had it with them this time!" is like listening to a crack whore bitch about her dealer. She'll rant all day, but you just know by that night she'll be crawling back, offering to suck dick for more.

    • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:15PM (#40300987)

      I have not yet bought diablo 3 and probably never will. Single player games do not need online access. Nor do I want to support that model.

      • by spire3661 (1038968) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:19PM (#40301063) Journal
        Its not a single player game. The loot is expressly designed with the idea that you will trade other people.
        • by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:22PM (#40301099)

          It has a single player mode.

          If it was only multiplayer that would be even less reason for me to play it.

          • Not in the tradition sense, it doesn't.

            Even when playing solo, it's built for you to use the auction house.
            So while you are playing, you are still online with everyone else.

            Should they have created a stand alone single player mode? Yes. But they didn't.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:30PM (#40301245)

            It does not have single player "mode". That is a misconception. The game is explicitly multiplayer with the option to play alone if desired. At any time in a solo adventure you can invite others to join you. Claiming diablo3 is a single player game is like claiming world of warcraft is a single player game.

            Yes, you can play solo, but that is not the intention of how the game is supposed to be played.

            • by cheekyjohnson (1873388) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:40PM (#40301383)

              Yes, you can play solo, but that is not the intention of how the game is supposed to be played.

              It does not matter how they intended the game to be played. What matters is how the player (the one who actually owns the game) wishes to play it, and there happens to be a single player made (playing alone, single player mode, whatever you wish to call it).

            • by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @12:03AM (#40304987)

              Whoever modded parent insightful, hit yourself. Hard.

              Diablo 3 is a carbon copy of all previous diablo games in terms of gameplay. It has both single- and multiplayer modes. Blizzard put in a very brutal DRM scheme into single player, and to defend it fanboys like parent try to pretend that there is no single player mode in the game.

              In comparison: you cannot avoid other players and their impact on your gameplay in WoW. You can easily avoid this in diablo 3.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I've been thinking about this, and it occurred to me that Diablo 3 doesn't have a singleplayer mode. Every game is like Battle.net play was for Diablo II. Why they didn't just let you play offline and not let local characters access the auction houses is beyond me, but there you have it: they dropped single-player, LAN, and open Bnet from the prior game in the series and called it good.

            • by Brian Feldman (350) <(gro.DSBeerF) (ta) (neerg)> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @09:01PM (#40303553)

              Shipping the real game engine (the one that runs on their servers) with the game would give hackers a strong chance at finding vulnerabilities in the server. Security through obscurity has a benefit here for the multi-player experience.

              Incidentally, I was looking forward to D3 but I truly agree with the viewpoint that you shouldn't have to be on-line to play a game solo and so I haven't been keen on actually picking it up... maybe I am still annoyed about WoW as well, but I just don't feel like giving Blizzard my money.

          • by HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:04PM (#40301693)
            Well.... having the game, I can tell you that there's really not a "single player mode". Any of your battle.net friends can log into your game at anytime, or send you party invites. The best you can do is set yourself to "busy" and tell your friends to leave you alone. All characters also have access to the on-line D3 features, such as the auction house, achievement system, chat, and "public game" options, at all times. The "single player" game experience is identical to "multi-player" with a party of one; even if you don't have battle.net friends to play D3 with. The fact that they didn't include a truly single player mode in the first place is what is annoying people who just want to experience the latest Diablo chapter (if the online requirement is that bothersome, and I do understand why it would be to some people, I suggest Wikipedia and Youtube for this. The whole story is there.).

            Regardless, Blizzard chose to force people online for a reason: The items or gold you get playing in a party of one are just as valid for trading with friends or on the auction house as those gained from groups. Had Blizzard designed a single player mode that didn't have access to the auction house, achievements, chat, battle.net, or classic co-op multi-player, it could have been done without a connection, but a) it would have been a very short single-player campaign, indeed, and b) simply put, they didn't. It's obvious they want people utilizing the Auction House (a clever take on pay to play, when you think about it), but they also have an interest in having people play their games online for as long as possible, just like Starcraft 1 & 2 and Diablo 1 & 2.

            Incidentally, D3 is actually pretty fun, but like WoW (or Star Wars, or Tera, etc), a lot of the fun comes from the people I play with, and we all live too far apart to have a LAN party. It's very much like going to the bar with my local buddies and playing pool or darts while we chat, or watching the superbowl or playing poker in my living room. I could do all those things alone, but it's more fun with friends. Specific to the game, it's a riot to watch the loot explosions and wonder what dropped for everybody else, laugh at your friend for being a dumbass monk and standing in green fire, or helping your barbarian buddy (or maybe just some random AH buyer) out with a sweet new pair of boots that your wizard would just trash in a truly single player mode. I'd have finished the whole thing on a lazy Saturday afternoon without these social features; a truly single player mode would have been a waste of cash.
        • by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @07:04PM (#40302455)

          Close. The loot is expressly designed to force you towards paying money for it via Blizzards RMAH; actually playing with other people is entirely optional.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:20PM (#40301073)

        Check out Torchlight and, soon, Torchlight 2. The latter has an online multiplayer but you can play the singleplayer mode offline. And it's a fun game.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          Second. Well worth the 20 bucks. If you buy on stream, you get Torch light 1 for free.

    • by cpu6502 (1960974)

      I don't get it. You WANT there to be cheaters in the game?

      • by FunPika (1551249)
        I imagine he is expecting that immature brats will go on the forums and be like "OMFG I CAN'T CHEAT ANYMORE BLIZZARD U SUCK IM UNSUBBING (from WoW)" on the forums.
      • by geekoid (135745)

        Blizzards banning in notoriously inaccurate.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          In my experience, it is not. The keys/accounts they ban are an underapproximation of people actually cheating. That is, I've never had a key banned that wasn't cheating, and I've been a D2 hacker for a long time. I've probably had over 1k D2/LOD cdkeys banned, and I've had countless temporary (IP-based) bans for sending invalid packets experimenting with the game protocols.

          One thing Blizzard doesn't do is ban people who don't deserve it. Anyone saying otherwise is simply lying.

          • by cc_pirate (82470) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:21PM (#40301915)

            You are full of excrement. Allow me to rebut.

            My case. Last year I decided I had finally played enough WoW. I had 2 characters at level 85 and 2 others at level 80. After thousands of hours of WoWing, the fun just wasn't there any more. So, I cancelled my account.

            I cancelled my account on April 26th, 2011. As of May 1st, my account was supposedly no longer 'active'. On May 15th, 2011, I got an email from Blizzard indicating that my account had been banned for 'gold selling'. How in the f*** is that possible, I asked myself? I don't even have an active account any more! So of course I contacted Blizzard and told them the circumstances (as well as me being absolutely positive that my PC had no root kit and no viruses - and believe me I checked, long and well) and got a useless 'Your Account Has Been Hacked' form letter from them and them telling me to reset my password and follow this 'process'. So I did that and my ACCOUNT REMAINED BANNED for at least several weeks, which (very conveniently for Blizzard) kept me from posting this issue into their forums. Apparently Blizzard has some folks 'inside' who sell cancelled account details to gold farmers. I know this because this same exact thing happened to another guildy of mine. You'd think Blizzard would want to know that. You'd think they would take action. But they don't and they didn't.

            So, Blizzard can and DOES ban people that do not deserve to be banned. Even customers who paid them monthly for over 4 years.

            So they can burn in hell forever as far as I am concerned. I am DONE with Blizzard. Will never buy another game from them again. Heck, not even sure if I CAN buy it since I never bothered to continue to try past the 2nd or third time to get my account unbanned and you can't even BUY and download this idiot game without a Battlenet account.

            • by Mortimer82 (746766) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:55PM (#40302355)

              You are spreading misinformation and creating uncertainty and doubt.

              As someone who until recently worked in Blizzard customer support, I can tell you there is absolutely no chance that your account details were leaked from within the company.

              Gold sellers are in the business of selling gold for real money, they have a vested interest in compromising accounts in any way they possibly can. Most commonly, people are the victims of phishing scams, but gold sellers try exploit every weakness they can, including: use of malware, zero day software vulnerabilities, trying email passwords they got from hacked websites and forums, use of common passwords between, account sharing, etc. They are *very* determined since they get a paycheck from it at the end of the day.

              At this point you are no doubt already thinking of your response in which you will endeavour to explain that it's impossible *you* were compromised in some way and that it *must* be through a fault of Blizzard. I am sorry, but even though you may be too ashamed or proud to admit it, you need to swallow your pride and accept that your account was *in fact* compromised due to a failure on your part with account security and you should carefully evaluate your account security practices or you will be compromised again in a similar way in the future, if not in WoW, then for some other service.

              If you choose to believe it couldn't have been your fault, then you are simply in denial and although it may make you may sleep better at night, you are still as insecure as when your account got compromised in the first place.

              Blizzard also expends a significant amount of resources addressing compromised accounts and even worse, it's bad PR for them when people are victims, Blizzard has *every* interest in cutting down the number of compromised accounts. This is also demonstrated by them making the mobile authenticator a free download, or the physical token which is available for a nominal fee (less than $10 *including* shipping).

              In regards to your account still having not been unbanned after 4 months, there are few explanations. They may have asked you to do a virus scan first and never heard back from you. Sometimes the account management page doesn't get updated until you try log into the game. Or, possibly, but sadly, the agent you dealt with slipped up, they're only human, but it's still exceedingly poor service if that is what happened.

              Finally, in regards to your unsubscribed account having game time on it, gold sellers often use free game time promotions or fraudulent means to add game time to inactive accounts.

              • by bertok (226922)

                As someone who until recently worked in Blizzard customer support...

                That must have been a frustrating job.

                Just recently, I submitted a problem with the new Launcher (also shared with the Mists of Pandaria beta), which basically doesn't work on Windows 7 64-bit. It has deadlocks in it that are timing sensitive. For some people, retrying over and over eventually works, but for me it never works. I can only install the game by installing it on my work laptop, and copying the files across to my PC. It doesn't even work on the laptop every time, I usually have to retry three or

            • by PIBM (588930)

              There are millions of tries for login into wow accounts. Are you positive you never used your password on any PC you weren't taking care of yourself ? Ever used the same password (even for a different login) onto another website which could have been hacked and their password brute-reversed ? Password dictionnaries are growing very fast and sadly if you are inactive for a few months that leaves a lot of time for someone to try and take back that account. Most importantly, were you using the authenticator ?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        There are no cheaters. The worthless DRM stops them from existing!

    • by slifty (1104117)
      Huh. Well that quickly turned crude and misogynistic!
    • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:26PM (#40301179) Journal

      Meanwhile, I'll be playing Pool of Radiance on my Amiga 500. The only thing I have to worry about is losing my code wheel.

  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:18PM (#40301041)

    "Blizzard has also included many fixes to remove/dissuade many other exploits but if their past arcane attitude toward the 'gamers of the game' is any indication, thousands will be unhappy"

    So they should keep thousands of cheating douchebags happy at the expense of hundreds of thousands/millions of good paying customers who are trying to have a good time?

    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wmbetts (1306001) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:43PM (#40301433)

      It's one thing to use a bot / external program to cheat. I agree ban those people, but Blizzard does ban people for stuff that isn't really a cheat IMO. Like the other poster mentioned buying item for Y from a NPC then selling it for Z (that's higher than Y). A recent example is when they added LFR. There was a "hack" were you could run it more than once and still get loot. If I remember correctly what you'd do is run it once roll on everything you can normally. Then you'd run it with a friend and they'd roll on what dropped. If they won it they weren't suppose to be able to trade it to you, because you weren't eligible. It didn't work that way though, because it did let you trade it. When they did patch it they banned a bunch of people for doing that even though they were playing within the parameters of the game. It's not their fault the developers overlooked such a simple thing to check.

      • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Mortimer82 (746766) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:11PM (#40301789)

        You conveniently failed to mention that it wasn't as simple as "you could accidentally get more loot than you should", people who exploited this went out their way to do so.

        The steps required was something like *all 25 players* had to manually choose to pass on the loot, then having the member who wanted the loot leave and then re-enter the instance.

        On top of this, the once per week per boss rule was highly publicised prior to the patch going live and the UI clearly explains this limitation, *everyone* knew it shouldn't be possible, but when the bug was found which allowed them bypass this limitation, some players exploited it for all the could.

        Interestingly, no one had their account closed permanently for this, however anyone found involved had their account suspended for a full raid lockout (one week), and had all Raid Finder items removed.

        One of the reasons I am a Blizzard fan is their stance on cheating, and I feel they dealt with this very fairly.

  • Awesome! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Papa Legba (192550) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:20PM (#40301065)

    A game now so immersive they included a hardcore mode for botters!

    • Re:Awesome! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:37PM (#40301347) Homepage

      It would be fun if they didn't simply ban the bots, but put them all on a separate server with eachother.

      Similarly, grievers should all be moved to a server where they are treated to a never-ending stream of NPC noobies that curse them.

      I have no issue with assholes, I have issues with assholes being near normal people.

  • by bobetov (448774) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:28PM (#40301213) Homepage

    I bought Diablo 3, but have had 3 separate occasions where my "single player" game was unavailable for multiple hour long "maintenance" windows. Not being able to blow off steam in a dungeon crawler so Blizzard can get more value out of its players is leaving a SERIOUSLY bad taste in my mouth.

    Who the hell is going to pay real money for gear in a single player game?

    • by Jeng (926980) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:42PM (#40301407)

      Who the hell is going to pay real money for gear in a single player game?

      Lots and lots and lots of morons, more morons than Blizzard could ever piss off.

    • by Jahava (946858)

      I bought Diablo 3, but have had 3 separate occasions where my "single player" game was unavailable for multiple hour long "maintenance" windows. Not being able to blow off steam in a dungeon crawler so Blizzard can get more value out of its players is leaving a SERIOUSLY bad taste in my mouth.

      Who the hell is going to pay real money for gear in a single player game?

      The point, as I see it, is less to make a huge profit and more to preempt those who would otherwise operate their own third-party real-money markets.

    • Did you ever play WoW when it first came out? Same thing with long stretches of down time until they got the bugs worked out. Back then, an outage for a few hours seemed like an eternity due to my withdrawal symptoms.

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:30PM (#40301231)
    the more I hear about it the more I am glad I didn't. Sounds boring and a constant money grab / drm crap fest.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mortimer82 (746766)

      If you dislike Diablo III because of the controversial lack of single player, then that is your opinion.

      However, this article refers to Blizzard banning cheaters and if you aren't playing the game because you can't cheat, then myself and many other Blizzard fans are quite happy to see you stay away from Blizzard games.

      • by Rennt (582550)

        It's not that I'm not buying the game because I can't cheat. I'm not buying the game because it has been built from the ground up to support a business model that has all the drawbacks of free2play without being free2play.

        Cheating in single player games used to be considered a gamer's right before these abusive hand-in-your-pocket monetization schemes were thought up.

    • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @09:46PM (#40303925)

      ...because what Blizzard is "selling" is something considerably inferior to ownership!

  • Good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kommakazi (610098) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:45PM (#40301447)
    of the cheaters, modders, and botters...hopefully there's some sort of appeal process if you are mistakenly banned from the game however. I'm tired of people bitching about the internet connection requirement...do you really disconnect your computer from the internet often when gaming? It's not like you have to pay a monthly fee. It makes sense seeing how the single player game is still tied into the auction house and now the real money auction house. It keeps a level of legitimacy to the items in these places. Don't like it?, I don't care. It's a good game and I'm all for keeping out the cheaters, modders and botters as much as possible.
    • by Jeng (926980)

      of the cheaters, modders, and botters

      Is there a new definition of modder? I thought modders tended to be those who used the game editors to create mods of existing games. So one of those things is not like the others, cheaters suck, botters are lame, but modders create new content and usually for free.

    • Re:Good riddance (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:45PM (#40302255)

      do you really disconnect your computer from the internet often when gaming?

      No, but apparently Blizzard didn't get the memo, seeing as how they frequently disconnect their servers from the internet while I'm gaming.

  • by mykos (1627575) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:53PM (#40301557)
    Between the hacks, single player lag, gold and material replication, and lack of content, I've just had it, which is why I got a refund.
  • Diablo 3 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:54PM (#40301565)

    Diablo 3 is inherently set to fail. This is coming from someone with 180+ hours into the game. The basic mechanics of this game prevent any long-term success. I mean for fucks sake just last night hyper-inflation ensued on the gold auction house because a bug got out about buying an item from the auction house, then changing your COMPUTER's date back two days, thus getting the gold back and still keeping the item. Really Blizzard? This game is and was a complete pile of shit. Unfortunately.

    • Re:Diablo 3 (Score:5, Informative)

      by ildon (413912) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:44PM (#40302231)

      That "bug" was just a rumor started by some streamers and people who photoshopped images of them having a ton of gold. They were trying to get people afraid of using the auction house so they could get some low bids on items that would expire during Tuesday's downtime. It was a scam. Yes you can cancel your auction when you shouldn't be able to (because they stupidly made the check for when it could be canceled client side only), but upon canceling the auction the bidders always get their gold back and the person canceling the auction just gets the item, no gold. You know, exactly how one would expect it to work.

  • Be careful Blizzard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fa2k (881632) <pmbjornstad AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @05:55PM (#40301583)

    This makes the requirement to be online to play D3 much worse. Blizzard better be 100 % sure there are no false positives. They probably have all kinds of CYA stuff in their EULA, but now that there's real money involved, some victims of wrongful banning may actually try to sue.

  • by HockeyPuck (141947) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:04PM (#40301691)

    Playing on a public server in D2 was downright treacherous. You could enter the game only to be instantly killed by some cheater. I'm glad they have the ban hammer. Also, there's not many times when i'm playing D3 and my computer is not connected to the internet given that I don't often shut off my home router nor does my internet connection go down.

    Internet is becoming a new "always on" utility, just like power, water and phone.

  • by Beerdood (1451859) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:12PM (#40301793)
    We also know why - you hate DRM, you don't like how "single player" should require internet, blah blah blah.. And you're giddy with Schadenfreude that some people aren't quite satisfied with the game

    But this is story is about the real money auction house, the banning of accounts, the bots being banned, perhaps false positives etc... Can we please try to keep this discussion relevant? Personally my account's not banned, and I'm seeing a lot less spam in the general forums.
  • by AdamTrace (255409) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @06:39PM (#40302167)

    I liked Diablo 3 before it was cool to hate it.

    Seriously, you all go ahead and not play. Make your protest and stand up and shout about how lame it is that you need to be online. The rest of us (or maybe it's just me and my friends) are having a TON of fun playing.

    If you don't like it, that's fine. But don't tell me that *I* don't like it. 'Cause I do.

  • Millions of legitimate gamers will rejoice.

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