A hotfix was quickly and stealthily implemented, but it wasn’t in time. Videos were posted and the word was spread – players had successfully managed to duplicate items in Diablo III. So much for the implementation of controversial DRM protecting cheats from ever getting through security – or is it?
Over this past weekend, not one, but two videos were posted showing players exactly how to duplicate rare pieces of crafted gear. Sadly enough the process isn’t even very intricate. From what we gathered from the video, one player gives another resources in which to craft items. The supplier then leaves the game, but still retains the original materials. The other player keeps the crafted pieces of gear. Rinse and repeat. There’s a bit more to the process than that, but for all intensive purposes, it’s that simple. Granted, crafting fees are still rather high, but are expected to come down drastically with the advent of patch 1.0.3.
But is this really a failure of the DRM? From what it seems, it’s more of an exploit – some small loophole found by a few resolute gamers. It didn’t require the use of any third-party software or hacking programs, just a combination of random luck and stubbornness. Granted, Blizzard let this one slip through the cracks, but once they caught wind of it, the problem was quickly eradicated. Still, there’s an ominous wind blowing through the virtual world of Sanctuary, making it feel like this problem is quickly going to domino out of control.
Accounts are being compromised on a daily basis, we are fairly certain of this. And forcing players to be online all the time is what is allowing said accounts to be violated. Instead of addressing the problem, Blizzard would threaten those who wrote them on the matter with restrictions to their account. What? Miraculously, all claims of violated accounts one day disappeared from the forums – leading many to believe that “hacked” posts were being promptly deleted by the staff. DRM, a measure used to supposedly protect gamers from malicious activity, is seemingly making their lives worse. Ironic.
As evidenced by the speed in which the duping problem was done away with, Blizzard is at least committed to protecting their wavering reputation. But it was simple programming, not DRM that helped eradicate the problem. DRM can certainly cause issues, and it definitely pisses players off, but will it one day at least do some good? Will it save Diablo III from the same faith as its much maligned predecessor?
It’s too early to tell, but the safe bet would be not really. Sure, it allows Blizzard to recognize security intrusions more quickly, but given that gold farmers, hackers and dupers are becoming more aggressive than ever, forcing players to be online all the time hardly seems the answer. Something will slip through the cracks long enough to do destructive damage to the game’s economy – an economy players are forced to rely on far more than they should be. Hell, the RMAH hasn’t even launched yet, and players have had to deal with a myriad of problems in their quest to acquire epic loot, thus further encouraging cheaters to make the game more accessible to those endlessly farming Act I of Inferno.
Diablo III has its share of issues, and while at first I didn’t really mind being online all the time in so long as it would prevent hackers, my faith has been shaken. Patch 1.0.3 will likely amend some issues and bring in new ones, namely in the way we perceive the overall difficulty of the game. For now, I had better go online and check if my account has been compromised.