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Blizzard Eases Up On Diablo 3 Digital Restrictions

With the release of patch 1.0.3 for Diablo 3, Blizzard set in place a list of restrictions for those who purchase the digital copy of the PC game. These would last for approximately 72 hours while Blizzard goes through the motions of verifying payment. Obviously this is an attempt to deter credit card fraud and keep crooks from making the Real Money Auction House financially stable, but annoying nonetheless.

For those who purchase the digital copy, they're essentially locked to the Starter Edition until payment clears. This includes no public game access, no auction house access (real-money or gold), no trading or dropping items for others to receive, no public or game channel chat, no global play, and no custom messages with friend requests. The restriction also capped characters at level 13 and prevented them from moving past the Skeleton King in Act I.

"We want to be perfectly clear that these are temporary restrictions (often lifted within a day and at most 72 hours) associated with digital purchases for the protection of players," Blizzard said last week. "We appreciate player feedback and will continue to evaluate the best methods for ensuring a positive game experience for everyone."

Since then, Blizzard has released patch 1.0.3a which addressed a few issues including the amount of wear-and-tear done to armor in regular combat, Zombie Bear fears of players on slopes (shrug), gold and service exploits, and more. However on Tuesday Blizzard said the patch also addresses two anoying issues surrounding the restrictions placed on the digital copy.

"Leveling and Act I content restrictions for unverified digital purchasers have been removed with patch 1.0.3a. Please note that this change will not take effect until your game client has been updated to the most recent patch," the company said.

Originally Blizzard said these two factors were "unintended" and that the team was "working to correct this as soon as possible." Now gamers can have marathons without level caps and progress restriction while their credit card clears. As for the other restrictions, they're all still in place for up to 72 hours, and that's just the way it is -- like it or leave it.

"While most payments are approved and restrictions are lifted within a day, in some cases it can take up to 72 hours to complete this process," Blizzard said. "Similar to World of Warcraft, these restrictions were put in place to deter credit card fraud, which in turn helps reduce gold spam and other harmful activities that can have a negative impact on the game experience for everyone."

  • sharpiedpanda
    Always buy the box for games that matter?
    Reply
  • geof2001
    And why would blizzard object to this if that were really the intention of the crooks?

    "keep crooks from making the Real Money Auction House financially stable"

    *sigh*
    Reply
  • bak0n
    How about removing a cash shop altogether? Problem solved.
    Reply
  • oraygungor
    Diablo 3 is dead game already, please stop advertising Diablo...
    Reply
  • velocityg4
    Now they just need to remove the always online to restriction in the next patch. For single player or LAN parties they need to allow completely offline gaming. Then I'll buy a copy. Just make it so you can't use your players from single/LAN gaming in the online environment or auction house.
    Reply
  • DroKing
    velocityg4Now they just need to remove the always online to restriction in the next patch. For single player or LAN parties they need to allow completely offline gaming. Then I'll buy a copy. Just make it so you can't use your players from single/LAN gaming in the online environment or auction house.
    Diablo 2 had this. So Diablo 2 is a much much more future proof game (if you ignore the graphics and focus on features aspect) than Diablo 3 is. Its absurd i tell you!
    Reply
  • lpedraja2002
    velocityg4Now they just need to remove the always online to restriction in the next patch. For single player or LAN parties they need to allow completely offline gaming. Then I'll buy a copy. Just make it so you can't use your players from single/LAN gaming in the online environment or auction house.
    I too would buy the game if they made these changes.
    Reply
  • NuclearShadow
    sharpiedpandaAlways buy the box for games that matter?
    Given the always online restriction to play I'm not sure having the physical copy matters too much after this change in policy. Don't get me wrong though I have no support for them restricting and effecting people who go with the digital format. They are the one's who made the real money auction house and reasons for people to try to commit fraud for quick profits, so they are the ones who should deal with the issue not the gamers.

    velocityg4Now they just need to remove the always online to restriction in the next patch. For single player or LAN parties they need to allow completely offline gaming. Then I'll buy a copy. Just make it so you can't use your players from single/LAN gaming in the online environment or auction house.
    It will never happen though. Because people bought it in such mass it goes to show you that most gamers will cave in and buy the games despite it's limits and restrictions regardless. If Diablo 3 flopped in sales you could have expected this to be patched in within a matter of a month in a desperate attempt for people to buy it. Now we can expect this to happen with other games too and do expect the real money auction house to start appearing in many future titles as well.
    Reply
  • cscott_it
    And all it took was a lawsuit from France and Germany, South Korea demanding that they refund customers, etc.
    Reply
  • sweetleader
    Can we stop with the useless Diablo news. If people want news on a crappy video game, or any video game then they need to go to a video game website. This is a tech website.
    Reply