My New Favorite Forum Rant

Friday, June 22, 2012
This little jewel has really made the rounds already, but I couldn't leave well enough alone.

An astute and vigilant Diablo III player noticed a few things out of place after the most recent patch and did the right thing by letting the community know. Let's hope these issues get fixed quickly.

In related news, Blizzard has released a statement regarding their recently implemented 72 hour ban for new players.  My initial reaction to this was the standard whatinthefuck, but after reading this explanation from Blizzard, released to Kotaku, it all makes sense..

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For security reasons and to help ensure the integrity of the game and auction house service, players who purchase the digital version of Diablo III may have to wait until payment verification is complete before they can access certain game features. (See below for a full list of restrictions associated with digital purchases.) While most payments are approved and restrictions are lifted within a day, in some cases it can take up to 72 hours to complete this process. 
Similar to World of Warcraft, these restrictions were put in place to deter credit card fraud, which in turn helps reduce gold spam and other harmful activities that can have a negative impact on the game experience for everyone.However, as an unintended consequence of these security measures, players who purchase the game digitally after patch 1.0.3 are temporarily being capped at level 13 and not able to proceed beyond Act I. We are working to correct this as soon as possible and will provide another update when we have more details to share.Aside from the two unintended restrictions noted above, below are the standard security-related restrictions that will be in place for digital purchases until payment verification is complete: 

  • · No public game access for unverified digital purchasers
  • · No auction house access (real-money or gold) for unverified digital purchasers
  • · Unverified digital purchasers cannot trade items or drop items for other players to receive
  • · Unverified digital purchasers are not able to chat in any public or game channels
  • · Unverified digital purchasers cannot attach a custom message to friend requests, but they can  send/accept friend requests, and play with their friends
  • · Global Play is not available for unverified digital purchasers 
Again, we want to be perfectly clear that these are temporary restrictions (often lifted within a day and at most 72 hours) associated with digital purchases for the protection of players. We appreciate player feedback and will continue to evaluate the best methods for ensuring a positive game experience for everyone.
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Did you catch that bit about the "unintentional consequences?"  If you ask me, it stinks of backpedaling. These were not unintended at all; they are simply the restrictions they can remove and do the least harm to the game's economy. This is all about gold, after all.
Blizzard seems to be running it's PR in reverse. Diablo III is actually becoming less appealing to play as time goes on. Bravo. 

The Act is a Simply Stunning Mobile Game

The Act is a very complex game. My experience with mobile games is admittedly limited, but I can say definitively that I have not seen anything quite like it.

Its beautifully hand-drawn animation is eye-catching enough, but the gameplay is what really grabbed me. This is a game about social interaction, about perceiving non-verbal queues and acting appropriately on them. Observe!

The trailer gives you a sense of the story, but not the way the game is played. For a little more on that, I suggest you check out the article on Kotaku from Tina Amini.

The Act is built around using our own social intuition to navigate Edgar, our hero, through a number of situations. It's well executed, classy, and funny. You can pick it up from iTunes for a measly $2.99. For more info, head over the game's website.

A Brief History of Video Games

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I am a nostalgic sap and this abridged montage, "A Brief History of Video Games" by Reverse Enginears, is a sweet single serving that certainly made me smile.