Technology

World of Warcraft Creator Finds Itself on Wrong End of a Raid Over Diablo III Troubles

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Every time a major game company screws up, 1,000 memes are born.

Korean gamer culture is serious business. How serious? Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) raided the Seoul office of Diablo III makers Blizzard Entertainment Monday investigating complaints from players. The players complained that the company refused to provide refunds to those unhappy about poor access to the game since its launch two weeks ago.

Via The Korea Times:

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said the firm is suspected of having violated the country's law on electronic commerce and commercial contracts. The FTC said Tuesday that it raided the firm's Seoul office Monday and secured related documents and other evidence with which it will determine whether Blizzard broke the law.

The investigation comes only two weeks after the release of the game, which has sold more than 6.3 million copies worldwide.

Larger-than-expected traffic to the online game's severs made it extremely difficult for its users to access the game, particularly on weekday nights and weekends, according to Blizzard Korea.

Some buyers of the game vented frustration over server shutdowns and asked for refunds, but the company refused to do so, citing sales contract terms, which the FTC says is disadvantageous to consumers.

Diablo III is the latest (and the largest) representation of relatively new trend in computer gaming, requiring constant Internet connection and access to a company's servers in order to play, even if the game does not have multiplayer components. In Diablo III, up to four players can run around slaying demons together and ignoring its tragicomically awful storyline, but it can also be played completely solo. Even alone, though, players must have a working internet connection at all times.

The connection requirement exists for several reasons, most of which are connected to fighting piracy and cheating. If you're a non-gamer wondering why Blizzard would care if people cheat in the games they bought, the game has an online auction house that will eventually allow people to buy items in the game from each other for real-world money. In Diablo II (which did not have such an auction house and did not require constant Internet connection), the game's "economy" suffered from hackers figuring out ways to duplicate items in the game and selling them to other players in a virtual black market. In Diablo III, parts of the game are on the players' computers, but some assets are on Blizzard's servers to make it much harder for hackers to engage in virtual counterfeiting and manipulating the market. The issue is complicated and controversial and no doubt it will be a focus of discussion with Hit and Run commenters below for anybody who wants to drill down deeper into the subject.

What has happened here is that Blizzard's servers are currently unable to accommodate the number of people who want to play their game. So even those who have Internet access might not be able to play their copy of the game because of problems on Blizzard's end. The complainants are demanding refunds because they can't play their games when they want to, even though the games themselves are not broken, a complicated consumer issue that is bound to get more complex as games and information become less and less tied to personal pieces of equipment (like a PC).

Complicating matters further, Diablo III isn't a subscription-based game like World of Warcraft, which has a monthly fee. Blizzard has credited World of Warcraft accounts in the past when unexpected server problems rendered the game unplayable for long lengths of time. Consumers pay for Diablo III entirely up front. There's no mechanism for determining the value of being unable to play for two days in a month, for example. Thus, frustrated players are demanding a full refund:

FTC officials said the probe is aimed at confirming whether the firm has sold the game based on what they describe as an "unfair" contract so that people cannot receive refunds even if they discover problems with the game. They said they are studying whether the company should be held liable for "ill-preparation" for unexpected traffic.

It's too early to see any results of the probe but some investigators expect the regulator to issue an order mandating Blizzard to provide a full refund to all unhappy customers.

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  1. The issue is complicated and controversial and no doubt it will be a focus of discussion with Hit and Run commenters below for anybody who wants to drill down deeper into the subject.

    Thanks for acknowledging our collective expertise on the subject.

    It seems like there should be a way to allow people to play offline but still control the auction house. Why not allow people to play offline but only let items acquired while connected to be sold in the auction house? That’s just the most basic option, too. There are plenty of even more nuanced ways to protect your virtual market and give gamers the freedom they deserve.

    1. That, or don’t fucking be down. I think they can do what they want and gamers have the choice of buying or not buying if they don’t like it, but shit, man, if they are going to make this a requirement, buy enough servers and make sure they are up. Have many locations. Whatever you need to do. It’s not like Blizzard doesn’t have money.

      I haven’t had any attempt to play denied yet (and I knew I wasn’t buying the game on release day because I knew there were going to be problems), but if I do, my opinion of Blizzard and my willingness to buy from them in the future will start plummeting.

      1. A nice sentiment, but the fact is, you can’t guarantee having enough functional server capacity at all times. It’s just not possible. And there’s always the chance that at some time in the future, the servers used to verify whether you are connected will be taken offline.

        1. To add to the point, hackers took down some Ubisoft servers a year or two ago, making Assassin’s Creed 2 unplayable for awhile.

        2. Well, it’s impossible for them to predict how many people will be trying to play at a given moment, but technically, they could set up enough to handle it if every copy of the game was played simultaneously, though obviously that would probably be hideously expensive (I don’t know what the server load per game played is). But even so, if they just strongly overdesign for the expected load, and have multiple locations, they can pretty much ensure being up all the time excepting some kind of natural disaster or an internet backbone going down. Not doing that is stupid. And it’s not like they don’t have experience doing this with WoW.

          1. Dude, WoW went down a LOT when I was playing it. I remember a couple weeks where the authentication servers were bugged to hell, and it was like playing a roulette wheel to get in. By that standard, the mess on day 1 for D3 was minor.

            They simply should have never required that you be logged into their server to play a single player game.

        3. I think there’s a distinction between a short term outage, and a something that has been an ongoing problem for several weeks now.

          1. Same as if I bought a car and a days later the engine stopped starting. I could not immediately demand a full refund, but if the dealer was, after several weeks of working on the car, unable to get the engine running properly, then it would be reasonable to demand a refund.

            1. If you bought a car and that day up to weeks later you couldn’t start it because the engine stopped functioning due to the actions of the dealer/manufacturer you would be in your rights to at least demand a refund and if they refused litigate them on selling you faulty product

        4. Yes you can – its a game people have wanted for a decade, have been salivating over every bit of info since it was announced 3 years ago, pre-ordered in droves.

          To fail to predict that every single person who pre-ordered would be online the instant the servers opened is crazy.

          I think what Blizzard did is get enough servers to handle the predicted stable load a few days after launch and said “screw it – we’ll just weather the initial storm and after a few days everyone will forget about the launch.”

      2. How effin hard is it to keep a server up? It’s not like they are serving up graphics or complex player interactions on a grand scale. They just need simple byte sized authentications. Seriously piss poor.

        1. It’s more complicated than that, but in this day and age of cloud based, virtual servers (no one’s putting physical servers in racks anymore– except the hosting uber server itself) it seems odd that when Blizzard found themselves pressed to the limit on capacity, they didn’t just bring more VMs up.

          But I’m guessing there were other related complications. They may have not had the hosting space available, or perhaps it was purely a bandwidth issue.

          Or maybe it had nothing to do with capacity in and of itself, but the processes in place to handle the traffic were simply faulty and started crashing due to processing issues.

          1. I have a feeling that it was just a bug that revealed itself under full stress that they had never simulated well enough when load testing (I mean, how could they?). They fixed it, and the problem is now over. That’s why you wait a few days before buying a game like this. As a software developer, I know that there will be bugs. It’s unavoidable.

            1. As a software developer, I know that there will be bugs

              As a software developer, you always blame those bugs on the hardware.

              1. Can’t do that in my business, Paul. I have no such luxury. We are heavy users of the “Blame” option in Subversion.

                “Let’s go see who fucked up!”

                1. Can’t do that in my business, Paul. I have no such luxury

                  Y’see, I don’t get this. During my brief, 20 year tenure as a software engineer, everything…fucking everything rolled to us. We were the developers, first, second and third tier support. If your shit ran on electricity, the first thing those beatches said was, “I dunno, ask a programmer”.

                  When I got out of the game and head-faked my way into networking, I thought to myself, “Motherfucker, now something squeaks or makes a funny noise, kick it to the software vendor.”

                  I can’t get a vendor to cop to anything. their shit is crashing with app-specific errors and I’m pointing to it going… look you asshat, you tell me what “error 0x0084fb9a in module” is.

                  Their response, “I dunno, it’s your network”.

                  Personally, I think there’s a sign on my back.

                  1. Where I work, tech support will forward us developers problems with the fucking Windows OS. “Why isn’t Windows fax working???”

                    1. Where I work, tech support will forward us developers problems with the fucking Windows OS. “Why isn’t Windows fax working???”

                      That was my experience as a developer.

                    2. What Joe said. People will have trouble hitting a web site, and before they even try to hit a different one, they will come to the devs and go “is the internet down?” I shit you not.

                      Plus we are a startup so we do all the IT chores, from network administration to hardware to, well, everything.

                  2. Its not an app problem its an OS problem; its not an OS problem its a network problem; its not a network problem its an app problem.

                    print this in a circle and you’ve got the blame chain of command.

            2. I mean, how could they?

              With an open beta. I was just in a Guild Wars 2 open beta for precisely this purpose about a week ago, and there’s another one coming up in two weeks.

              1. They did have a stress test open beta. And the fucking thing was down half the time then too. They apparently didn’t learn anything, or just gave up.

            3. That’s why you wait a few days before buying a game like this.

              How many poeple who bought this SINGLE PLAYER game seriously knew it was an online affair?

              People play games like this because they are not MMOs without the MMO issues.

              I knew it could be a problem but I read G4’s newsfeed everyday….I do not think most video game buyers do.

              1. How many poeple who bought this SINGLE PLAYER game seriously knew it was an online affair?

                Anyone who checked the system requirements should know, as a broadband connection is listed in the minimum specs. And if you game on PC without even checking that, you’re going to have problems.

          2. There’s *something* wrong with the way they handle traffic. Has to be. On a good day, the Diablo 3 servers have ping times triple or quadruple what you get playing World of Warcraft, which is using the same company’s bandwidth. If they could shift an allocation from one to the other and balance things out, you have to assume they’d have done that by now.

            1. Most game servers, other than this, just relay info from one multiplayer user to another. In Diablo, you are actually playing part of the game on the server. I am assuming this accounts for the slower reactions, as they are generating loot/keeping track of your shit/etc. on their end, whereas with other games, pretty much all the processing is going on on your end.

              1. Would that show up in the ping, though? And if so, is server-side processing really enough to delay things from 50-ish ms to 200-400 on average?

                That’s an honest question. You’re the engineer here.

                1. I’m not a network/internet engineer.

                  One would think that a ping wouldn’t be affected by server side processing, so I really have no explanation for such extra latency other than massive amount of traffic or some sort of routing scheme/firewall/load splitter. I think the latter is most likely it. I imagine they are very, very wary of getting hacked.

                  1. One would think that a ping wouldn’t be affected by server side processing, so I

                    Shouldn’t be. Except it’s hard to say what you’re pinging. If it’s a gateway device that’s designed to be a load-balancer, it’s coneivable that the problem is in the load-balancing itself. Hard to say how Blizzard structures their stuff.

          3. I didn’t realize they had completely offloaded all the loot functions to the server. That is going to give you a whole shitload of little hits plus some decent db issues. I’ll downgrade my criticism to simply piss poor.

      3. Or how about Blizzard making it explicit that the consumer needs a working connection to the Blizzard servers at all times during play, and that if Blizzard’s server goes down it’s still the consumer on the line of the price of the game.

        I am little sympathy here. I bought Skyrim, shrink-wrapped in a DVD case in a store, not realizing it required online access to both install and play. It is possible to play offline, but you must first go online in order to enable offline mode.

        1. It’s listed in the system requirements that a broadband internet connection is required.

    2. You’ve got to understand the problem from Blizzard’s end.
      If you play offline and get some fat loot you can’t sell it for real money in the AH. If you can’t sell it for real money in the AH then Blizzard can’t take a cut.

      So its really in your best interest to play online at all times so that Blizzard North and EA can continue to churn out mediocre sequals to beloved franchises and roll around in piles of hundred dollar bills so that the execs walk around smelling like money.

  2. Oh shit. I’m outta here. Have fun.

  3. The complainants are demanding refunds because they can’t play their games when they want to, even though the games themselves are not broken

    In what way is a game you can’t play when you want not broken?

    1. If your power goes out, does that mean your television is broken?

      1. If electricity generation was one of the features that was advertised when I purchased it, then yes, it would be broken.

        1. That is to say: when I purchase a TV, one of the requirements listed is that I must provide a 120V 60Hz AC power source to plug it into. So if the power goes out, nothing is broken with the TV, I’m just not full filling my requirements as a user.

          Likewise, Dibalo III requires the user to supply various things, such as a high speed internet connection. So if my DSL went out, it would not make it broken.

          Among the things I’m required to provide, however, is not a Diablo III backend blade server. And indeed, if I attempted to provide one of my own, I could be sued by Blizzard to do so. So if I am providing all my requirements and the game fails to work, then yes it is broken, even if the broken part is the servers at Blizzard rather than something on the PC in my house.

      2. Playing devils advocate… if your television was sold by and tied to the company providing your electricity, you would see the tv and the service bundled in a package.

        It seems reasonable that you’d have a complaint if the electric company couldn’t keep its service up.

        Or more accurately, if you bought your tv from the cable company, but the cable company’s service was perpetually down, you’d be pissed at the cable company.

        1. A better analogy that actually exists would be Netflix. You can download movies or have the DVDs mailed to your house, but it would be ridiculous to make you have to connect to a Netflix server to watch a DVD you already have in your house.

          1. Sure, that analogy works too. Either way, you’re pissed at Netflix when it doesn’t work, which is perfectly analogous to what’s happening here. A single company sold the client (Diablo III) and the service (Diablo III).

            The TV analogy doesn’t work. Samsung has no relation to my cable company, so no, I don’t get pissed at Samsung when my cable service takes a dump.

            1. I kind of wrote that description for the benefit of non-gamer readers to make it clear that the problem isn’t on the user’s end.

          2. Eh, this is more like Netflix simply discontinuing the DVD mailing service like they threatened to a while ago, and saying subscribers can only watch movies by streaming them from the website. They’re not tying the self-contained version of the experience to the Internet so much as they’re eliminating the self-contained version as much as they can.

            1. Not quite, because in this case, people already have the physical game, or movie in the analogy, and still can’t watch/play it.

              It’s okay to have a streaming only service, but to sell a physical item and then not let you use it is screwed up.

    2. When the game software itself works but a different set of programs it wants to access isn’t. You can say the design is broken, but the software people purchased is working as intended.

      Otherwise, every MMO ever made is ‘broken’ from time to time, as is every internet browser.

      1. Focussing on the word ‘broken’ is not correct. The software and the service are sold as a package. One needs the other to function. If they’re sold as a package, it’s reasonable to conclude that the package is broken if the connectivity side doesn’t work.

  4. The crazy part of this is that American customers CAN get a refund. You call Blizzard, and after they put you on hold for a while, you talk to a rep, prove that you actually control the account in question ? boom, your permission to log into the game is removed and sixty bucks is refunded to your credit card. I have no idea why they’re pulling this with Korea.

    (Also, the reason the game is online-only, supposedly, is because the hacks and duplications that plagued Diablo II were created through close inspection of the game’s code. By holding back some of the code, they make it much harder to find vulnerabilities.)

    1. I believe the “loot” is now all generated on Blizzard’s end to avoid duping, but that was some of the detail I didn’t want to clutter up the piece with.

    2. That’s part of it, but the DRM part is probably the bigger reason. Now, if pirates want to create a bootleg version of D3, they are going to have to recreate item tables, drop tables, even the animations seem to be server-side. It is even possible that the monster AI is server side, which would be a bitch and a half to duplicate. And so far, they seem to be quite successful, judging by the quality of the private servers:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2WbDsYTsAQ

      1. Actually Blizzard has come out and said (in pre-release interviews) that the RMAH is the primary reason for the always online requirement.

        The other two, in order of importance were
        1. People playing D2 got confused about why they couldn’t bring their SP character into MP games
        2. DRM

        1. Well, I’m sure that that’s what Blizzard SAID about it, but what they say in an interview and their internal goals might not match up.

          They aren’t exactly going to shout from the rooftops about how awesomely unpiratable their game is, as that doesn’t really confer any benefit average consumer. The big thing they would want to get across in those interviews is that the RMAH is safe and secure (and I’m sure that is a big reason for them going online-only), so that’s what they are going to say.

          And I doubt the “people getting confused about single and multiplayer” thing was even on the radar in their meetings. There’s no way they internally ranked that as more important than the DRM.

  5. I am really liking the Reason writers newfound complete disregard for the 4th wall when it comes to the HR commentariat.

    1. I think the 4th wall only goes up when the writer thinks it might be used in the magazine or a feature piece for the main website.

      I think Scott knew full well this one would only be on hit and run.

      Tim always threatens to break the wall as well…it is pretty obvious with some of his late night stuff that he meant it for the hit and run commentariot.

      1. I also knew it would foster a lot of discussion, and I didn’t want my surface treatment of the subject matter to cause the comments to be focused on why I didn’t get into more detail.

  6. Blizzard has always said “it will be released when it is done”.

    The problem with this is that on release day their games more often then not need to be fixed. My experience comes from playing wow a few years ago and everytime a major update occured the next day was a huge bugfest nightmare.

    Anyone get the new starcraft on release day?

    Was it buggy? Did it have server problems?

    I am only basing my opinion of Blizzards crappy record on WoW and the Diablo 3 news.

    1. I stopped playing Wow after it started crashing due to my computer being on the edge when they released it… plus life just got too busy.

      I was still a Spec 4. when all the kids (and yes, most were kids) I ran with were Majors and Colonels. Kinda hard to do instances when you aggro’d everything in the joint.

      1. Spec 4, Majors and Colonels

        huh?

        Are we talking about the same game?

        1. You have a very literal sense of humor.

          They were level 60+ and I was still questing to get my level 40 mount.

          1. OK that was funny.

            Still it is the internet…you could be making a joke or just a crazy person. Sarcasm can be hard to detect.

            Also i played wow for too long and in all honesty it made me a worse person…and i am still recovering.

            1. When I heard about WoW’s coming back in 2002, I swore I would never buy it, because I wanted to have a wife and children someday. And I’m totally serious.

              1. When I heard about WoW’s coming back in 2002, I swore I would never buy it, because I wanted to have a wife

                Stick to WOW.

                1. I still game plenty, but I also did stuff like exercise and date back in the 00s.

      2. Paul,

        your other comment about Dragon’s Dogma was kind of fishy as well.

        Are you fucking with me?

        1. No, I was dead serious about that.

          Skyrim looks cool, but I kept hearing about all the bugs. Then I saw a trailer for DD and thought it looked cool.

          I always like to get direct opinions instead of reading reviews.

          You seem to be kind of a knowledgable gamer, so I’m always curious to know your opinion.

          Aside: You mentioned Demon’s Souls above which i picked up way late in the game, and am now totally bummed that they shut off their servers. I can still play one-player, but that had one of the most unique multi-player experiences ever.

          1. Sorry, you mentioned Dark Souls below. Demon’s souls was its predecessor. I haven’t yet bought Dark Souls because I want to finish Demon’s souls. But life, stuff…

  7. even though the games themselves are not broken, a complicated consumer issue that is bound to get more complex as games and information become less and less tied to personal pieces of equipment (like a PC).

    Dark Souls, Dragon’s Dogma, and Journey are all single player games that use internet resources….they solve the problem pretty easily…you can play the game without internet but don’t get the internet part of the game.

    How fucking hard would it be to let Diablo players play the game but any loot they get while playing offline would be tagged so they cannot be traded on the auction house?

    Seriously a no-brainier.

    1. Seriously a no-brainier.

      Because Activision (they may call that particular division Blizzard, but it’s become sadly obvious it’s not really Blizzard anymore) is really concerned about protecting their ability to monetize the accounts. If people start routinely playing offline, there goes their RMAH cash stream. So even though they could, as you note, easily fix the problem, they won’t because protecting their business model is more important than making their customers happy.

      1. If people start routinely playing offline, there goes their RMAH cash stream.

        God forbid that they make online content that people might actually want to use. The three games i mentioned above seem to be able to do it.

        1. Oh, it would be great if they would. But that takes more effort. It’s way easier to take the easy way and just force people online necessarily (standard libertarian disclaimer that they, as a company are legally free to do so, I just think it makes them lazy assholes).

          1. They’re free to do it; I and others who object to the requirement can keep our money and stop buying Blizzard. I stopped playing WoW years ago, when it became clear they were only releasing expansions for the dollars. Now I play an MMO where all expansion content is free with a sub.

            1. Oh cmon, at least tell us which mmo.

    2. They don’t want that data on the client’s computers at all. Partly because if it was there the items could be duplicated (setting a “flag” on a client machine isn’t really going to do anything about hackers, who could simply change the flag), but mostly because not having that code on the client side means that anyone trying to pirate the game will have to duplicate that content.

      This will possibly be the first non-MMO game in history that is reasonably successful against pirates because most content is kept server side.

      1. Except it has to eventually be sent to the user’s machine so they can see it. There’s a number of ways to intercept it when that happens. So the pirates will eventually have all the server side content, it just will take them longer.

        Which is the real problem with most of these DRM systems. It never lasts, and usually goes down far faster then the company expects. And in the end result, you end up doing stuff that makes the game less pleasant for your actual paying customers (who have to deal with the DRM headaches) and has no impact on the pirates (who get the DRMless version a few months later).

        And even MMO’s aren’t immune as much as you think. There are, for example, people who have managed to reverse engineer the World of Warcraft servers and managed to set up personal ones completely outside Blizzards control (it’s usually not a perfect recreation, but it’s close enough to be viable).

        1. Except it has to eventually be sent to the user’s machine so they can see it.

          Not necessarily. The user can of course see the Sword Of +5 To Bullshit that just dropped, but that doesn’t mean they know the rate at which it will drop for that monster. Those item tables that show what item can get what stats and the drop tables that show what monster can drop what item never have to end up on the user’s machine.

          The AI routines could be even worse, if Blizzard has those on server side. Instead of the client determining where the monsters spawn and how they behave once they spawn on the client, the servers can determine where they spawn and tell the monsters what to do once they have spawned(move to location XYZ, attack the player when in range, etc), and then simply feed that information to the client. The pirates would have to recreate that logic. Certainly not impossible to do, but its much more work than they usually have to do when pirating a game.

          And even MMO’s aren’t immune as much as you think. There are, for example, people who have managed to reverse engineer the World of Warcraft servers and managed to set up personal ones completely outside Blizzards control

          Never said that MMOs were perfect, I said that they were reasonably effective against pirates. What is the total population of private WOW servers vs the population of Blizzard WOW servers? Is it 1:10? 1:100? For your average PC game you can flip those piracy numbers around.

          1. The user can of course see the Sword Of +5 To Bullshit that just dropped, but that doesn’t mean they know the rate at which it will drop for that monster

            Yes, but they also probably wouldn’t care if the pirated version had somewhat different drop tables than the official one either.

            1. Well, consider the fact that those drop tables have been calibrated by extensive gameplay testing by a resource-rich gaming house for multiple levels of play.

              There’s no way hackers will be able to reconstruct them with any kind of accuracy, and that’s going to effect play, probably pretty badly.

              1. In a large economy, the effect would be tremendous. Private ‘bootleg’ servers with their microscopic player base and economy are more resistant to, say, a market over-saturated with high-end loot. Private servers also tend to be more generous in raw lot in light of their smaller economies.

                1. Sure, it might not matter so much to some people that the item/drop tables are messed up. But as I said, that’s not even half the problem. If the monster AI is server side that means any monsters you spawn (by the way monster spawn tables are also going to be on the server side and are also required for a decent gaming experience) will stand around like idiots unless the pirates re-create the AI for them. This is a bit more involved for your average pirate than circumventing Ubisoft’s “call the server and ask if I can please play my game” type DRM.

  8. The issue is complicated and controversial and no doubt it will be a focus of discussion…

    amongst those bound and determined to prove the veracity and depth of the study on Internet timewasting.

    1. Look, man, if you had to do the thing I’m currently supposed to be doing you’d want to procrastinate too.

      1. Warty is not a patient man. I would recommend just getting it over and done with, collecting the money he leaves on the nightstand, and showering upon returning home.

        1. I feel so dirty, but he’s looking so clean; all he gives is a spin in his washing machine*.

          * obscure song reference; let’s see if anyone knows it

  9. What has happened here is that Blizzard’s servers are currently unable to accommodate the number of people who want to play their game. So even those who have Internet access might not be able to play their copy of the game because of problems on Blizzard’s end.

    This is why I do not buy games that require me to get online to play. I refuse to pay more than once for video game.

  10. Better get used to this. Cloud gaming is going to kill consoles, and put a serious hurting on PCs.

    1. Playstation Home already allows you to play games on “the cloud”.

  11. Here’s a hint for players: don’t preorder and don’t buy the game on release date. Give it a few weeks and then make your decision. Gamers have been fooled collectively how many times now? It’s time for people to start withholding their purchases until the game is proved out. Of course this kind of mass action is difficult to impossible to coordinate, but it’s hard to have too much sympathy here. I agree that always on requirements for DRM to play single player games are a horrible solution to a minot problem that causes more problems.

    But just like many people refuse to buy a car in its first model year, or see a movie on opening weekend before all the reviews are in, people need to read a little further than the advertising hype for new games before buying.

  12. Y’know, I’m not a gamer, I don’t intend to ever be a gamer, and I never gave half a rat’s ass about the mechanics, philosophy, cost or culture of gaming. Then I started reading Neal Stephenson’s latest, Reamde, and I’ve add to learn something about gaming. Still seems a prodigious waste of time and effort (and yes, you’d say the same about my hobbies, and you’d be right), but I found the technology of it more interesting than I’d imagined. Really great book, BTW. I resent having to stop in order to do things like go to work or feed my family.

    I’m Stubby Librarian, BTW. Back under a new name but still adding useless comments.

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