Recently we have had two very good games release that have resulted in a huge uproar. Both are basically single player games with co-op modes. Mass Effect had a huge fallout for the ending, that most if not nearly all people found lacking, to put it politely. Diablo III is having a huge fallout for players not being able to get into the game.
I posted a bit about both games earlier The Mass Effect Effect and What is Wrong With Gamers. I have seen multiple posts about both games and about gaming in general that seen to say this is leading to the downfall of gaming or throwing around things like gamer entitlement. What many people seem to forget is that games are written to make companies money. Companies stay in business by making products that people purchase or subscribe to. I can’t see Blizzard or Bioware folding anytime soon, unlike 38 Studios.
Bioware is producing a DLC to better clarify the ending of Mass Effect 3 and Blizzard Customer service is all over teh forums and Twitter trying to help with players getting into Diablo II. Blizzard has pulled down the servers several time to apply patches and do restarts to fix login issues. I saw one person complaining about them pulling down the servers in primetime instead of accepting it as a way to allow other to ejoy the game by applying fixes. Any support such as this is a huge cost to companies and does not make them money.
The problem with Mass Effect 3 seems to be mis-communication or lack of communication between the writers of the game and the players. Parts of the story are missing or hidden. This lead to an ending where many questions are unanswered or new questions created. Hopefully this will be addressed in the DLC.
The problems with Diablo III seem to stem from a fact that most people are ignoring. Everyone complains about the need for a persistent internet connection to play which is causing many of the login/connection issues. This is need for one simple fact, Real Money Auctions. If the game was offline, hackers could theroetically, hacking to item data base and start generating items to sell on the auction house. By having a persistent connection, Blizzard are able to control item generation and not allow people to start printing their own money so to speak.
Bioware’s DLC does nothing other than add to player satisfaction which promote customer loyalty. Blizzard fixes allow people into the game to enjoy the product. Again this leads to customer satisfaction. Both will lead to customers purchasing further product in the future.
Another little tidbit is comping to light about Diablo III. There is a large number of accounts being hacked. Anyone with an authenticator is safe but anyone without one is sort of asking for trouble. Remember your account is worth more now as it is not just virtual currency being stole but your real world cash as well. Blizzard has a good post up on the Diablo forums with tips to secure your account. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5149619846
I have seen too many people hacked in WoW and although the accounts can be restored and item restored this will not happen in Diablo III. Sure accounts can be restored but cash will most likely not be restore (too tempting to try to scam the system). I am sorry but if people have a few problem logging into the game due to extra security, I am OK with that.
This week saw the launch of Diablo III. As with any launch, there were a few hiccups. May people had issues downloading or installing the digital version. Many more people were getting errors trying to sign in to the game. Blizzard has already had to take down the severs a few times, only 2 days into the game. They are post information on the bugs found and possible solutions on the website and linking to social media.
I signed up for the Annual Pass and got my game for free. I was in the Beta for several months. I downloaded the installer weeks ago and was able to actually install the game the day before it went live. As I live in the Atlantic Time Zone, it went live as 4AM. I decided to wait and play in the morning instead of staying up all night. When I got up, I logged into the game and proceeded through Chapter One. The only issue I had was when they took down the servers.
It seems like I was the exception to the rule as everyone is online, screaming and yelling, posting video about how bad Blizzard is and that the game is ruined. There are pages and pages of complaints in the forums and on websites. Twitter seems to be nothing but complaints about people who cant play the game.
Recently Blizzard released their earning and there are a few items that bear on this issue. They stated that Diablo had set a new record for pre-orders. With many people, such as myself, signing up for the Annual Pass, either for the mount or guaranteed Mists Beta access, there were approximately a million people with free copies of the game, going from the Beta invite numbers. I don’t know the actual numbers but I and guess that there were anywhere from 1-2 million people trying to access the game when it launched.
With that many people try to get in, of course there are going to be issues. It seems all the problems are on the North American servers, the ones with the most players. I don’t really care about all the ranting from may people about the game, I am just enjoying the game itself. Blizzard have done their usual good job and I am enjoying the look and feel of the game.
Addendum: The issues with Diablo are being blamed on the DRM requiring a persistent connect. With looted item being able to be sold for real world currency, I don’t blame Blizzard for tight control. If the item database was part of an offline game, hackers would soon be generating items on demand and it would be a licence to print money.
For anyone on Twitter and not following @BlizzardCS or @Diablo, please do as they are pushing out updates about theses issues as quickly as they can.
Here is a great forum link they posted for anyone having issue, downloading, installing or connecting to the game. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/4904620655