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Is Activision Spamming Forums with Diablo 3 Talking Points?

I didn’t buy Diablo 3. I barely made it through a third of Diablo 2 before getting bored (Diablo 1 was awesome though) and an always on connection and no pause button just to play single player for a game whose style is so common there’s an army of clones just seemed stupid. But looking through gaming forums, the same talking points were being repeated.

Players complaining were being “entitled”, “spoiled” or “whiny crybabies”. There’s no such thing as “single player” in Diablo 3, even though there obviously is. “Be an adult”. Take a “Realistic Attitude”.

Basically, “Suck it up and take it.” That seems like the kind of message a corp would put out, not people.

How much of this was just fanboy craziness and how much of it was talking points from corporate stooges? An AAA game has a marketing budget that easily covers hiring a few hundred people to flood forums with the same message. Companies and governments already do it.

How can you tell? Patterns. Organizations do things in patterns. The pattern draws attention to itself.

if people could use some perspective, maybe you’ll stop taking these minor setbacks so bitterly and coming off as awful spoiled children.”

Stop being childish, immature, and a spoiled brat. If you’ve played Blizzard products before, you know that hotfixes, patches, and delays are a natural part of the game experience.”

It’s getting to the point where childish entitled brats are making so much noise that they drown out the more sensible and realistic people.

There is frankly nothing to apologize for Sometimes things don’t work. Particularly in situations like this. You mean you really weren’t anticipating server issues in the first few weeks? Have you even played any videogames before?

There’s about a million more of these and they all sound the same.

1. Diablo 3 is the best game ever and I love it

2. You’re a selfish, immature, crybaby child who makes me embarrassed to be a gamer

3. It’s normal for a game to be broken on launch. It’s normal for a game to have single player tethered to servers. There’s no such thing as single player in Diablo III anyway.

Now if you had the job of dealing with an explosion of customer anger, you would profile your users. How would you respond to that anger? By introducing talking points aimed at them. Are your customers young adult males? Tell them that they’re immature for not being okay with it. Tell them that they’re missing out on the best game ever.

Does that prove anything? No, but patterns are patterns.

No More Unholy Offline Play

That’s the message from Blizzard which is showing every sign of going as evil as Bioware, the other formerly creative company bought up by a mega publisher.

Want to play Diablo III as a game? No thanks. You’d better have an internet connection online all the time. Otherwise it’s not sacred.

During an interview at last week’s press event, Alex Mayberry, senior producer on “Diablo 3,” discussed the required connection. “You can play by yourself but your character is going to be saved on our servers. You have to authenticate through our servers to be able to play the game. I think it’s not just ‘Diablo 3’ but with our games as a whole we’re tying everything into these days…We can provide a much a much more stable, connected, safer experience than we could if we let people play off-line.”

Why would we let people play off-line? Next thing you know, they’ll get the idea they own the game.

Forcing people to have an online connection to play is a more stable experience? How, when you can’t even play your game on a laptop without access.

Safer? From what. Being able to play your own game.

Oh and Alex. I remember when was a good thing. A model for the industry. Now you just turned it into something people curse. Congrats.

“I’m actually kind of surprised in terms of there even being a question in today’s age around online play and the requirement around that,” said Bridenbecker.

Most games can still be played without an internet connection, even in this day and age when PC game companies think in console terms.

When you look at everything you get by having that persistent connection on the servers, you cannot ignore the power and the draw of that.”

What’s the power and the draw of it… I mean for the player, not the company.

Also if the draw is so powerful, why not let end users make the choice?

“Internally I don’t think [DRM] ever actually came up when we talked about how we want connections to operate. Things that came up were always around the feature-set, the sanctity of the actual game systems like your characters. You’re guaranteeing that there are no hacks, no dupes

No hacks and dupes of what? If people want to change their offline play, what’s the problem? Oh right, sanctity. The Church of Activision doesn’t want you to control your own experience.

But if there’s a compelling reason for you to have that online connectivity that enhances the gameplay, that doesn’t suck. That’s awesome.”

He used suck and awesome. So in touch with the youth culture this one is. Know what’s really awesome? Not being able to play your own game! High five?

So basically Blizzard has decided to force people who want to play their game without being forced to be online all the time to download cracks. And then a month from now they’ll complain about it. Awesome!

So if piracy and DRM never came into the decision, why not just offer an offline mode for those that want to use it? “Let’s say we want to create an offline capacity,” he explained. “You’re introducing a separate user flow, a separate path that players are going to go down. And, at the end of the day, how many people are going to want to do that?”

Uh people who don’t work for Activision? People who don’t have online access? People who play on a laptop when they’re not connected? People who don’t have a stable internet connection. People who don’t want to be forced to link up to Blizzard’s servers just to play a damn dungeon crawler.

You know, people. People who are going to buy Torchlight instead.

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