I’m not sure Blizzard knows what they’re doing anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love Diablo III and I’ve lost more hours to it than I care to admit, but with each update I’m getting a stronger feeling that someone is seeing what they can get away with. I mean, there’s no way someone could come up with an idea like this and think it’s a good one. They couldn’t possibly be this stupid, right?
With the latest update to Diablo III, Blizzard has announced that all new copies of the game purchased through Blizzard’s store will be initially restricted to the game’s Starter Edition. For those of you not furious yet, Starter Edition players are limited to:
- Act I up to the Skeleton King (an unskilled player can defeat the Skeleton King within 5 hours)
- Level 13 cap
- Matchmaking limited to other Starter Edition players
- No Auction House access (Real Money or Gold)
- No Global Play
- Players attempting to connect to Diablo III Starter Edition in a region other than their Battle.net account’s home region will receive Error 12
A Blizzard staff member defended the decision on the Diablo III forums stating that “Digital purchases do require a review period before they kick over from Starter to Full editions. We apologise for the inconvenience, but it is a necessary step to combat fraud and other malicious activities that can weaken everyone’s play experience. The delay is no longer than three days, and is often much quicker than that. Hang tight. :)”
This is unacceptable. This is the demo. I’m going to repeat that since it bares repeating. Buying the full game directly from Blizzard limits players to the demo for 72 hours. There’s an achievement for players who beat the entire first act in under an hour, and Blizzard has decreed that new customers are to be limited to less than half of the first act for three days.
While the intention is to slow down the influx of gold farmers, but Blizzard is cutting off their nose to spite their face. Gold farmers will simply allow an account to cook for three days while honest consumers will be stuck with an expensive demo. I’m usually able to see both sides of any issue, but I’m failing to see any way how this is ok. If someone pays full price, their entitled to the full product. Locking them out from the core elements of the title is borderline fraud. In no other business is it acceptable to take a customers’ money and withhold the product.
Whoever came up with this idea is either a brilliant troll seeing what they can get away with before someone notices, or is outright pants-on-head retarded.