Diablo 3

18 May 2012

Jay Barnson:

But do you want to know the best form of anti-piracy?

Being pro-customer.

Just my opinion.

But then, they sell a million copies at launch, and I … uh, don’t. So maybe I’m the idiot here.

It has been a long time since I considered myself a gamer. Yes, I poke my head out of my shell for some of the high-profile releases — Skyrim being the most recent — but I have given up my focus on midnight releases and teaser trailers. The amount of work required to keep up on every “must have” game has become more effort than I am willing to put into the hobby, but I still find myself drawn to long-awaited sequels.

I fondly recall my first two forays into Hell1 and the eleven years that it has taken for Diablo III to arrive is long enough for those memories to build into a kind of mythology. Like any remembrances given sufficient time to establish deep roots, the game has been replaced by the idea of the game. I do not know whether I could return to those versions of Tristram and Sanctuary — at least, not without experiencing a disconnect between the reality and the memory.

So it is with no small amount of trepidation that I gaze on at Diablo III; it is not likely that I will have the same experiences that I once did. Things change. The past colours the present and not often favourably. Demon hunters and monks, auction houses, auto-levelling. Differences stand starkly in opposition to our memories. Games are different than they used to be. The mass multiplayer style of online authentication has changed the relationship that gamers have with publishers, with developers. The moment of purchase begins a relationship, but constant Internet connections ensures that relationship continues long after money is spent.

I have not yet begun my tryst with Diablo III. Eventually, I will. Which may be proof enough that Blizzard knows what they are doing with this game: they are still getting my money. Despite my concerns, despite memories, despite “Always On” DRM. Blizzard is still getting paid.

Maybe they do know what they are doing…

  1. Just let it slide.