#2. "Sorry, You Can't Play Your Game Right Now. Somebody Else's Game Is Broken."
She had been booted from her game of World of Warcraft. At her login screen, she got this message:
I looked back at my Diablo III screen and burst into hysterical, borderline-insane laughter.
Their brand new game, totally unrelated in any way to their other established games (WoW and StarCraft II), had destroyed the ability for any of their players to play any of their games. Because they all required a login to play, and that login server was directly connected to their Battle.net system. So when one game crashes the server, even if you don't play it, your other completely separate game is fucked.
I had to see the player backlash for this. It was going to be awesome. So I pulled up the main site for Diablo III, and went into their forums. Or at least that was the intention.
At this point, I was 100 percent certain that if I decided to make a sandwich, my refrigerator would be replaced by floating text that read, "We're sorry for the inconvenience. Diablo III has encountered an error that temporarily removed all electrical appliances from your house. Please check back in a few minutes."
The only place left to find out any information was Twitter. And I couldn't imagine being the poor bastard who had to deal with that shitstorm:
That went on for dozens of posts. Informing people that the situation was being looked into, and that they had no idea when the servers would be back up. Trying to reassure people that they "hope it'll only be down for a few minutes" followed by a time stamp of "53m." Finding new and creative ways to say, "We have no idea, and we're sick of answering your stupid fucking questions," and make it sound professional.
When their site did come back online an hour later, it was a good sign, because it showed that at least some of their servers were now working. I tried to sign in again:
And again ...
And again ...
The whispering voice in my head was growing louder by the second. "Yep, it's got the option to play multiplayer. Option. As in 'You can choose to do this if you please.' Just like virtually every other modern game in existence. It's a single motherfucking player game, John. Give in and just explode. You know you want to explode."
#1. "We Thank You for Your Patience. Also, This Is the Future of Gaming, Fucker."
I went back to their site and looked through what Blizzard fans refer to as "Blue Posts," which are messages left by administrators of the forums. People who are directly connected to Blizzard, and have information before anyone else. Their posts are written in bright blue to separate them out from all the others:
No! Goddammit, that's enough. We as consumers have gotten to the point that we just accept this bullshit as "normal launch-day bugs," when it should have never gotten to this point in the first place. I read through those forums, and you wouldn't believe the number of people defending Blizzard through this whole ordeal. Throwing out arguments like "It's going to happen. You can't expect the servers to handle that many people logging on all at once." And "Every MMO in existence has these problems on launch day."
And nobody is getting the core point: The single-player version of this game should have never been hosted on a remote server to begin with. I and millions of other people bought this game because we love the Diablo franchise, and we have been waiting for 12 years to jump back in and throw fireballs at evil. There is an absolutely enormous amount of us out there who couldn't give two flying fucks about an auction house or a chatroom or even the ability to play the game with our friends. We just want to play the goddamn thing.
We handed Blizzard 64 dollars and said, "I would like to be a monk named Fuckhole, please." And in return, they took our money first and responded second, "No, that name doesn't quite sit with us. Take out the cursing, and you can play. Well, for an hour or so, that is. Maybe. We'll see how it goes."
Sixty-four dollars is as much as some people make in an entire day. For them, handing that over to play a video game is not a minor event. All they want in return is to use the product they just fucking paid for. If any other company in the world sold you a product that didn't work, and then refused to hand over some sort of compensation in return, you wouldn't even need a lawyer. The judge would tell them straight up, "Give them a working product, or give them their money back, or go to fucking jail." But for whatever reason, the video game industry gets away with this now? Every time they have a problem with their servers, I can't play the game I already bought? In an era when people carry their entire music library around with them on their phones, I have less ownership and control of my video games than I had in 1979?
And make no mistake, we have every right to bitch. We don't want to hear condescending assholes telling us, "Calm down. It's just a game. Be patient." It's not just a game. It's the principle: We paid for it. We get to decide when to play it.
But ranting aside, the game came back up three hours later, and I had the time of my life with it. It's seriously one of the best games I've played in years -- not even Skyrim got me excited about gaming the way Diablo III has. It's just too bad that the model we've had to resort to in order to prevent piracy is exactly the model that's killing the genre of PC gaming. Oh, wait, did I say just "PC gaming"? I meant "all video games."
Hahahaha! He's dead!
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