To say that Diablo 3 has caused its share of controversy is an understatement to say the least. While receiving mostly positive reviews from the critics, including Game Rant’s 4-star review, it hasn’t stopped the tidal wave of negative publicity aimed directly at Blizzard and its incredibly popular demon-whacking franchise.

The decision to require a constant internet connection to play the game (even in single-player) frustrated many players as the game launched a month ago, leading to Blizzard to issue an apology to said players as servers were continuously down for hours upon hours. And while Diablo 3 became the fastest selling game in PC history, that many users requiring a connection was bound to lead to something ill, with reports of numerous player accounts being hacked.

While the in-game-gold-only auction house was available at launch, the real-money auction house, which has been met with its share of skepticism (including my own), was repeatedly delayed time and time again by Blizzard. In light of the number of hacked accounts that have already been reported, Blizzard is tightening security as this auction house goes live in an attempt to protect players’ hard-earned cash.

Players will be required to have a Authenticator or Mobile Authenticator to add funds to their accounts. These are designed to provide an additional layer of security, requiring players to enter a unique, one-time password in addition to their normal password. Blizzard issued an official statement on Authenticator issue:

Starting today, in order to add to your Balance, players will be required to have a Authenticator or Mobile Authenticator attached to their account. For clarity, this means you’ll need to have an Authenticator to add to your balance via Account Management or to send the proceeds of your real-money auction house sales to your Balance.

Please note that players who previously added Balance to their account prior to this change will be able to use it to make eligible purchases on and in the auction house without attaching an Authenticator. However, an Authenticator will be required to add to your balance in the future, as explained above.

While we understand that this creates an extra step for players during the login process, we believe this added layer of account protection will help foster a safer auction house environment for all of our players.

A full list of Auction House FAQs can be found here.

With security always an issue, a post on the forums from Blizzard reminded all the players that cheating and hacking could lead to permanent bans. Blizzard stated that they “strongly recommend” players avoid “hacks, cheats, bots, or exploits,” indicating that “suspensions and bans of players that have used or start using cheats and hacks will begin in the near future.”

In a slightly connected but somewhat different piece of Diablo 3 news, we revisit the fallout from the FTC raiding Blizzard’s Korean offices because of potential violations of Korean laws surrounding electronic commerce and commercial contracts. A class-action lawsuit is now being mulled over by Korea’s Internet PC Culture Association (IPCA) to assist consumers who feel that Blizzard’s negligence is causing irreparable harm to Korea’s PC bang (net cafe) owners.

Korea Blizzard claims that they must wait for the go-ahead from the United States head Blizzard office before maintenance can be ended and servers brought back online, which in some instances can go on much longer than anticipated. In the meantime, this delay is leaving Korean PC bang owners and players completely frustrated and in the dark. IPCA head Kim Chan-kuen voiced the issue to The Korea Times.

“We are planning a class action lawsuit against Blizzard Korea, as users and PC room owners are suffering from constant server malfunctions and server check-ups for Diablo III while the company avoids responsibility.”

I don’t know, maybe much of this could be solved with an offline single player mode? What a shocking thought.

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Diablo 3 is now available for the PC and Mac.

Follow me on Twitter @mattrowland1.

Sources: Blizzard, Kotaku

tags: Blizzard, Diablo 3, Mac, PC