GAMING BLEND

Diablo 3 Flooded With 0/10 Metacritic Scores Over Always-On DRM

By William Usher 2012-05-16 20:19:45 discussion comments
Forget the Real-Money Auction House...Blizzard hasn't even gotten that far into rage-worthy territory yet, right now they have a much bigger/smaller/medium sized problem on their hands and it's all the negative consumer reactions to the game's always-on DRM.

Initially many core gamers were concerned about this feature and weren't fond of it, especially the fellows at Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Wired because the entirety of Diablo III's gameplay experience is rock-tied to being online...always. Even GB's own Pete Haas brings up the DRM issue as a potential negative amongst many of the game's positives. It's an anti-piracy, anti-hacking, anti-black market measure by Blizzard to safe guard the game's most prized possession, the Real-Money Auction House.

Now, I'm not going to get into the nitty-gritty of the RMAH, we have a complete rundown of how the entire RMAH works in this lengthy guide right here. The real story is that the game is being absolutely panned on user-review sites such as MetaCritic and Amazon (where 1 out of 5 star reviews double the amount of 5 out of 5 review scores). On MetaCritic the game is sitting at 3.6 out of 10 (as of the publishing of this article), but that's because there's a flood of 9s and 10s and then a whole, whole, whole bunch of 0 out of 10 review scores. Why? Because of DRM.

EGM and Digitally Downloaded have already started with the "whiny" "gamer entitlement" nonsense. Completely missing the point altogether because they're blinded by their own hubris and fanboyism. Really, that's what it boils down to because realistically this isn't an issue of gamer entitlement, but as Forbes' Erik Kain points out it's a matter of principle and the 0/10 doesn't represent the quality of the game but a vote of no confidence in defense of consumer rights. Ultimately, consumers have to get the point across since most gaming media websites will not and do not, as proven by EGM, Digitally Downloaded and IGN. And let's face it, in any other medium consumers would not tolerate paying full priced for a product that didn't work when it was heavily advertised that it would.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun further reports that the recent emergency maintenance was to fix many of the glaring day-one bugs and the now infamous Error 3006 and 3003 issues. This very issue was also attributed by our readers to the reason there were no day-one reviews, although Gaming Blend's Pete Haas explains the real reason why no day-one launch reviews have surfaced for the game yet.

It does beg the question if the review scores will adequately address this issue? By and far, no matter what you paid for the game you will never own Diablo 3 unless Blizzard finds it in their heart to release a version of the game that operates without the always-on DRM. Forbe's Erik Kain also points out another very bludgeoning fact about the game's always-on feature: if Blizzard's servers are taken down for good you will never be able to play the game again. It's definitely a pressing issue and an issue that Diablo and Diablo II gamers never had to deal with or think about. Opposite of its predecessors, Diablo III is more of a risk-laced investment than the previous two outings.
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