Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Privacy in online games or don't tell people how badly I behaved

Recently League of Legends, an online MMO game, announced that it will be taking a very innovative new step to policing player behaviour.  LoL will be setting up a system where players are asked to adjudicate disputes and reports of bad behaviour by other players and decide whether or not to punish them.  The players will get to view chat logs and player statistics and then decide to either punish or pardon the offender - and will be rewarded if they vote with the majority.  I honestly don't know whether or not this will be a great or terrible solution longterm as predicting the results of such innovations is not simple.  However, in the short term, it provides much food for thought.  Predictably lots of people dislike the idea and many of those are citing privacy as a concern.  They feel that their chat logs should be private and others should not be allowed to view them.

It is certainly true that privacy is a major concern online.  We have seen many examples of this but most recently Sony screwed up seriously and ended up letting some hackers collect a huge amount of personal and credit card data from their servers.  This sort of thing is very problematic and people certainly have a right to assume that their financial information is being well protected.  The right to have online conversations be protected though is one I don't buy into.  Here is the thing:  As soon as you say something in a chat window anyone there can screenshot it and post it anyplace they like.  Nothing you say in that venue can possibly be considered private.  This is the same as recording conversations in the real world - if one person in the conversation wants to record it and play it later they are welcome to and they do not have to tell you they are doing so.  If you don't want something you say to be splashed across the internet for all to see then there is only one thing to do ... don't say it.

My concern is not so much with privacy but rather with the game theory problem of people deciding what to do about those accused of bad behaviour.  Thing is, the plan is to reward people with online currency when they vote with the majority so LoL is motivating people to try to figure out what others will do.  Initially at least I expect people to try to figure out who is right and who is wrong and vote that way but I am certain it will soon be obvious roughly what proportion of the cases end up with guilty verdicts.  This could have two possible outcomes:

1.  The proportions are close to even.  Let's assume it is a 60/40 split.  In this case the players generally know that it is in their best interests to figure out what the proper decision is and go with that if they want their reward.  Although some lazy people might just go with the 60 without thought I expect they would be in the minority and the system should continue on merrily.

2.  The proportions are wildly skewed.  Let's assume that 90% of the verdicts are guilty.  This means that players know that if they want their reward they should vote guilty, so many edge cases slide over to guilty, which raises the percentage, etc.  The positive feedback loop ends up meaning that every case ends up being deemed guilty because many players just vote that way hoping for their loot and assuming that it doesn't matter what they do because it is going to be guilty anyhow.

It should be noted that these are guesses because I don't really know how many people will take the job seriously and vote as correctly as they can regardless of reward.  I also don't know how how many people would take advantage of situation 2.  and just report people for anything at all knowing that they might well get a guilty verdict just from jurors who aren't even paying attention.  I think forcing the jurors to take a significant amount of time reviewing the case would really help with preventing people from spamming guilty verdicts for points but that might really annoy anyone trying to do a proper job too.  I don't know how it will end up going in the end but I will certainly be watching to see.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The nerfbat swings at midnight

This week Blizzard announced a series of extremely serious nerfs to all of the current WOW Cataclysm normal mode raids; they are due to arrive in 4.2 just as Firelands launches.  In the past they have often tweaked individual encounters over time by removing troublesome mechanics or just making the numbers lower but this time it was an across the board 20% reduction in mob health and damage output as well as a bunch of miscellaneous nerfs for all the hardest encounters to make them simpler and less stringent.  No kidding around with this patch - in 4.2 every current normal mode will be a complete joke.  The reaction on the forums is mixed of course with a few people being very bitter that their accomplishments will be rendered moot and others bitter that the challenges they had hoped to surmount would be removed but the majority seem positive.

I like it.  The trouble with the early WotLK raids was that they dropped loot that was completely obsolete by the time Ulduar was released and there were 2 more tiers of content after that!  The idea that anyone would be interested in loot that had literally half the stats of gear that could be obtained by running 5 mans is obviously silly so even though they were easy they were ignored.  Ulduar's loot was much more relevant but you still needed to know and pay attention to the mechanics involved so it was almost totally ignored also.  I think Blizzard is trying to avoid that situation this time by making sure that gear doesn't inflate as much in this expansion and that the zones are fairly easy.  The first goal is already met because they aren't running 10 and 25 man raids this time so the gear progression will be much flatter.  The second goal requires exactly what they announced - all the early raids will be very, very easy now even in blues.  If their goal is to keep the entry level raids relevant they are taking the correct steps to achieve this.

I also think this will be a great things for people who like to PUG raids.  Right now there are PUGs doing some content but they rarely beat the harder bosses and have to be run pretty tight.  Once these nerfs go through we can expect lots of groups assembled from trade chat to be successful in clearing raid dungeons out as long as they have even slightly competent leadership.  The benchmarks for dps and healing that are required are going to be ludicrously low given that everyone can go in with some Firelands level gear and lots of 359 epics so it will be entirely possible for groups with little coordination to power through the mechanics and win.  I think this is key for the community - there are a lot of people who like raiding and want to do it but either aren't very good or have very little time to invest.  Those people have trouble getting into real raiding guilds but many of them enjoy PUGging raids presuming there are raids of appropriate difficulty for them.  It will also be a much better environment for new players to get involved in the endgame too as they can see groups forming up in public channels and can likely get into some of them and see some content.  Right now there is a level of competence and knowledge required that is out of reach for a lot of new players and having just one boss to raid each week is really not enough for a new player to get a sense of what goes on in a raid.

One thing I find very amusing is the idea of players going from these new nerfed normal modes to the corresponding heroic modes.  The step up right now is extremely steep but the step up once 4.2 hits will be monumental indeed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RPG systems: Level based or no?

InTheHat was over a short while ago and we were talking about establishing a new roleplaying group.  I was looking primarily at D&D 4th ed. or some hacked up rewrite of it when he asked a critical question - Why use a level based system at all?

Good question!

I thought about it awhile and came up with the idea that the reason you would want to use a level based system is for heroic combat.  There are obviously all kinds of systems out there from the extremely freeform (Vampire) to the to the brutally regimented (D&D).  These two that jump out at me for comparison because they have such entirely different takes on character power progression and style.  Let's say you decide to make a Vampire character and build a tremendous combat twink.  You take 2 in Potence, 2 in Celerity and a bunch of points in Melee, Str, Dex and get a big sword.  When you fight the guy who built a social character the fight goes roughly like this:


And that's all she wrote.  It isn't much of a fight... but if the social guy decides to take you out first then just as you walk out of your apartment you get shot by half a dozen mindcontrolled SWAT police and set on fire.  In no case is there anything resembling a fair fight going on.  This is obviously pretty realistic in the sense that fights between people where one is very influential and one is a combat specialist are incredible onesided and lethal but has the tricky problem that none of the encounters feel very heroic.

If you want to have the sort of game where players get in many fights and the fights are meant to be obstacles to be overcome rather than life and death lotteries then you need two major things:  First, you need tight control over player power levels.  Players must be very restricted in how powerful they are in a fight both in terms of minimums and maximums.  Everyone has to be useful and effective but nobody can be a one man army.  Second you need both players and villains to be tough as hell.  Nobody can be allowed to die from a single swipe of a sword and players need the ability to heal themselves very rapidly.  Neither of those things is remotely realistic and both require a system highly focused on regulating combat prowess.

The trouble with a level based system is that you give up a lot to get that control over combat prowess.  Things like Blacksmithing get linked to character level and you end up in a world where the best blacksmith has to be a person who spends most of their time killing monsters and saving the world instead of the person who spends most of their time blacksmithing!  You also end up with social abilities being either ignored or marginalized because so much of the system is focused around maintaining a balance of combat abilities that it can't reasonably represent a range of social connections and skills too.

I was initially looking at working in a large number of additional things into SkyRPG, my D&D rewrite.  I was looking at adding in professions and more social rules but I ended up deciding that this was entirely the wrong way to go.  I don't want to write a system of professions that rewards heroes over tradespeople.  I don't want characters rolling their success when doing every social task or challenge.  What I want out of the system is a fun, flexible system that regulates combat prowess.  All the rest can be handled by roleplaying and some simple decision making by the GM.  If a player's history says that they spent their first 20 years in a blacksmith's shop then they can be a great blacksmith but they can't have connections at the king's court.  If a player has a noble background they simply aren't going to be the best fisherman around.  A few notes and well written backstories will handle nearly everything that needs handling and the actual system is really there to decide who wins a fight.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What can a power do?

I have been continuing to write up powers for my D&D 4th edition rewrite - SkyRPG.  (I am a genius with names, seriously)  The basic mechanics rewrites are done and now I am hacking away at writing new powers for all the classes.  The link to the basic document is *here*, and there are sublinks to the documents for the classes I have written powers for so far.  It is an interesting task, coming up with so many powers, because I want to actually make powers that are reasonably balanced against one another and also make sure the list is extremely varied and interesting.  As anyone with game design experience can tell you it is fairly easy to be interesting, easy to be balanced, hard to be both.

One of the things I most want to avoid is the mistake that 4th edition made when assigning secondary effects to powers.  For example, 4th seemed to be written with the idea in mind that knocking people down and pushing them around was extremely powerful.  Many powers do exactly that and yet when I played the game I found those effects quite weak in most cases because the enemies would just spend their next turn standing up and charging again and my battlefield manipulation would be entirely ineffective.  Most powers that pushed people around were very underpowered because so many of the enemies were so amazingly mobile that it hardly mattered.  On the other hand effects that did unavoidable damage were hilariously overpowered - to the point that it seemed like they simply didn't weight an attack that automatically hit any more than an attack that hit half the time.  This is doubly problematic because of minions.  Minions were a new concept where a lot of enemies that were moderately powerful would be given only one hit point.  This way they could be killed easily but still presented a threat... except that players had such huge access to AOE spells that hit everything automatically that minions were a complete joke.

I love the idea of minions.  Back in the old days when I was running games that involved huge battles it was always a ridiculous chore to keep track of all the hitpoints of the random chumps running around.  Having a simple "dead or not dead" switch instead means that tracking the battle is very simple and you can easily have a swarm of enemies that have reasonable attack and defense numbers but which die easily enough.  To manage this I have decided to completely remove the idea of automatic damage from powers - if you want to damage something you have to roll.  I kept in a good number of AOE attacks but they all require rolls and I eliminated all the ridiculous spells that hit the entire battlefield and damage only enemies but not allies.  AOE attacks should be there but there should be at least *some* positioning requirement to hit many enemies at once.  I also figured I should get rid of a lot of the 'wall' spells because they were so incredibly brutal.  On wide open maps they were often pretty fair but any time the terrain got restricted a wall spell would regularly remove half of the enemies from the battle on its own.  I like the idea of terrain mattering but I don't like the idea of players trivializing encounters by dividing them in half!

So far I have 1 class done and 1 half done of the 6 classes I built.  I wonder if it will get easier towards the end as I have more ideas and templates to draw on or if it will get harder as I exhaust the reservoir of ideas I have that meet the balance criteria I have in mind.  I guess the only way to find out is to write another 100 powers and see if the creative well runs dry or not!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Randomness at game end

This weekend I played a card game called "You're Bluffing."  It is a game where the players take turns auctioning off cards and trying to buy cards from each other with secret bids.  The goal is to end up with full sets of cards from a deck with 10 different sets of 4.  The game is a lot of fun and has some real strategy to it - it is clear that better players will win the vast majority of the time but there is definitely some luck involved.  The strange part about the game design is that it is very predictable in the early game and there is a lot of strategy but the endgame almost always comes down to one person putting a stack of cards facedown on the table and one other person having to guess the value of the hidden cards in the stack; the result of this single guess will determine who wins the game.  The trouble is that by the time the endgame arrives it is very likely that there is no useful information anyone can bring to the table in terms of making the guess and both players are basically picking numbers randomly to determine the winner of the game.  Of course if you play very badly throughout the game you can be in a position where no amount of luck will give you victory at the end but it is abundantly clear that most games are decided in the closing moments and not before.

Argument 1:

This is a good thing.  There is nothing worse than being in a game for the long haul where you know who is going to win but much time yet needs to be spent confirming that fact.  If you are a competitive gamer who thrives on pushing the envelope of skill and strategy to claim victory it is terrible to play a game where you know you have lost in the early going.  Maintaining that ray of hope for every player involved (even if for some the ray is faint indeed) keeps the game enjoyable because everyone is intent on playing well and angling for victory.

Argument 2:

This is a terrible thing.  During the game you will make dozens of tiny, tricky decisions and there is nothing worse than getting to the end of a game where you feel you played spectacularly and then are forced to make a completely uninformed guess to determine the winner of the game.  Even if you are in an excellent position having outplayed your opponents for the whole game you still stand to lose it all based on a roll of the dice.  This leads to people hardly caring about most of their interim decisions because they know that someone will be crowned at the end and it might well be the person who screwed up all game.

So which argument is more compelling?  Of course it isn't as if everyone will agree either way but I wonder what most game players prefer.  Do they like having all the decisions in the game slowly add up to inexorable success for the person playing well or do they like to keep the game wide open even to the end?  Obviously most people dislike both of the extreme examples - playing a 6 player game for hours and then simply rolling a die to see who wins would feel entirely unsatisfying and playing out a game where the winner is determined halfway through and then much busywork must be completed before the game is 'done' is boring as hell.  Some games (Puerto Rico, for example) solve this by keeping the scores private so even though the game is completely decided the players don't yet know it.  This allows people to be involved right to the end even if they have no chance... though as playskill increases it becomes harder to obfuscate the scores like this.

What do you think?  Is it better for a game to remain an open question right to the end or is it better for it to be more deterministic from actions that took place well before the denouement?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Diasters in several places

Blogger died on thursday and was not up on friday before I had to leave.  As such I am behind on posting.  Generally the blame for me missing posts can be attributed to laziness, foolishness or addiction but this time I can legitimately blame technical difficulties.  I have discovered that doing so doesn't actually help anything.

In other news WOW is down 600,000 subscribers from late last year prior to the launch of Cataclysm.    This is roughly a 5% loss and represents somewhere between 70 million and 100 million dollars of revenue yearly.  Ouch.  Activision also lost a billion dollars of value on the stock market over the last while so it is clear that things are not all peachy in the World of World of Warcraft.  Of course WOW is still more than 10 times as large as its nearest competitor and would be considered the greatest MMO success of all time even if every single subscriber cancelled today so nobody should be feeling *too* sorry for them.  I was doing some thinking about what exactly is causing this loss of momentum and what Blizzard could do to reverse it and I came to the conclusion that there are many small things that would help a little but nothing that would help enough.

WOW is old.  It is good enough and big enough that it will continue to be a profitable game to run for a decade at the very least, maybe much more.  Even if Blizzard lost 80% of the current playerbase they would still have the biggest MMO by far and definitely would have the cash to maintain the servers and keep things going.  There are plenty of MMOs that were labeled as utter rubbish right after launch that lost a ton of money that are still running so WOW won't actually go away for a really long time but I think it is likely on course for an unstoppable slide.  Most people who quit WOW and post about it end up whining about how the game is too hard, or too easy, or Blizzard doesn't care anymore, or other such nonsense.  Newsflash:  The game isn't that much harder or easier than it was whenever it was that the person in question enjoyed it.  Blizzard isn't substantially different and the other people playing it aren't much different either.  By any reasonable measure Blizzard has made innumerable improvements to WOW and continue to do so; the normal raft of complaints are certainly unfounded.

I am confident the reason for the decline is simply that the game is old.  Many people have simply played all the classes, collected up all the gear and made all the talent choices and they are ready for something new and different.  Blizzard simply cannot remake the game sufficiently to get these players interested again because they need to maintain continuity for those who are currently playing.  If they completely removed the current talent and spell system and added in a new one it might get a lot of people playing again but it would cause even more to quit because the game they liked was changing too fast and too much.  If the Rogue class was removed and instead there were the options of Ninja, Troubadour and Scout then many people would be upset at the loss and would quit over it; most likely more than would be lured back.  Any great new change that really reinvents the game is going to bring some people back and send some away so it is not clear that it would actually change the trend but it is certain it would cost a lot of money to accomplish.  Right now the greatest problem Blizzard faces in reinventing WOW is the success of WOW!  They have so much invested in maintaining their current players they simply cannot afford to innovate their way into creating more demand.

Of course the answer to this is clear:  Blizzard needs to maintain WOW and continue polishing, iterating and adding to it to maintain their income from their current fan base while developing something entirely new and massively better.  They are already doing this, creating a next generation MMO codenamed Titan.  It won't be out soon of course but I bet the project just got a ton of new funding, people and a more aggressive timeline since the numbers came in over the past few months.  WOW will be a cash cow for years to come but it is past middle age and starting on a slow, irreversible decline.  Something entirely new that makes use of all the lessons that WOW taught us all about MMO design will soon come to take its place at the top of the heap; the smart money is on Titan being that new thing but someone else might well surprise us.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

El Diablo the second

I played Diablo 2 for a long, long time.  Back in undergrad we had a houseful of people playing constantly and I remember clearly when we discovered a technique of rapidly farming up SoJs.  By rapidly I mean about 2/hour, but given that they were selling briskly for $20 each that looked like pretty great money!  Of course eventually the hackers and botters figured out ways to duplicate items and set up enormous shops online to sell their ill gotten gains and any prospect of a student in Canada farming up gear to make real profits evaporated in a cloud of 'get real'.  Back then there were plenty of people trying to sell things but the play experience wasn't much touched by their exploits unless you were stupid enough to give your password to an anonymous dude on Battle.net with a name of OfficialBlizzardBot1.  Recently I reacquired my D2 keys from one Iolo Longstaff and I set out to see what has changed in the world of Sanctuary.

Turns out Blizzard has continued their trend of continuing to support old games and the hackers have continued their trend of making everybody's life worse.  In the last patch notes I found a few gems:  First, each character now gets a few chances to reset their skills and talent points.  In a mod I used awhile ago every character had unlimited resets but that actually had some negative ramifications while giving a few limited chances to reset seems awesome.  Now I can just play without worrying about perfection at low levels and test things out and if I don't like what I get I have a chance to change it without starting again from the beginning.  I also don't have to stare at a point misspent accidentally and know that it will be there forever.  Second, Blizzard is still tweaking game mechanics here and there to improve things.  They made small but positive changes to lots of skills and mechanics in ways I approved of.  This is pretty encouraging for a game that is ~12 years old.

The downside to the new D2 is that hacking is completely out of control.  I started a new game and for the first 15 minutes of the game the screen was utterly flooded with characters entering the game, spamming advertisements for sites selling gear and then leaving again.  Unfortunately the prevalence of gear selling sites is not limited to mere annoyance in chat because they still have found ways to duplicate and bot up unlimited gear so if I actually wanted to duel people competitively I would either have to play for 100,000 hours or pay 30 bucks to the hackers to get me kitted out.  Obviously I can just play my own game and ignore everyone else but it feels somehow silly to start playing a multiplayer game where the only way to be remotely competitive with anyone else is to hand a bunch of crooks a pile of money.  The whole community is utterly warped by the presence of these sites and I suspect irretrievably so... Blizzard just isn't going to spend the time and effort required to clean house in D2 when D3 is likely to come out later this year.

On the other hand the game is as much fun as it ever was.  I love blowing up monsters and finding treasure and slowly working my way towards a perfect gearset.  I love poring over websites hunting for the perfect item for my needs and going out and making it.  As Sthenno so aptly put it, I love watching numbers get bigger.  Somehow that most silly of pursuits continues to draw me in year after year, game after game.  Not just that of course but the game is just a boatload of *fun*.  Figuring out angles of attack, evaluating monster tactics and those blind moments of panic when everything goes absolutely wrong never get old.  This time of course D2 doesn't have to keep me occupied for years... just long enough for the newest, shiniest, most addictive installment to arrive.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gaming achievements

I have read a few posts recently in the gaming blogosphere about achievements in games.  They aren't necessarily referring explicitly to Achievements like WOW or many other games have implemented but rather the broader category of general accomplishments.  One example from the extreme edge is Gevlon who collects gold, raids barely competently and spends the rest of his life savagely insulting everyone who does things any other way.  There are also somewhat thoughtful people like Pete Michaud in the link above who spend a long time telling people that the things they do in video games are not accomplishments and are not worth doing but do so with much less vitriol than Gevlon and his ilk.  The trick is that in nearly all the cases these people simply define whatever they are doing as worthwhile and talk about how what everyone else is into is worthless.

Gevlon is the easier one to mock for sure.  He is convinced that he is spending his time well by making gold and raiding and he has no use for people who collect things, try to get Achievements that don't require the specific skills he cultivates or like to socialize in game.  He views socializing as utterly worthless and indicative of moral and intellectual failure.  Obviously from a perspective of monetary success in the real world nearly all activities in games are useless but Gevlon doesn't even make that distinction - he just insists that it is either his way or you are a moron.  Pete is decidedly different.  He mocks *all* achievements in games as being utterly worthless.  This is a more defensible position but only slightly because Pete has the issue that he basically assumes that things done inside games are not worth doing without any justification for this view.  He encourages people to get off the treadmill and have authentic experiences rather than simply hunting for achievement porn within a game.

The trouble with categorizing things that other people do as worthless is you need to establish what is worthwhile.  For many people nothing in a game can be deemed a worthwhile achievement because they don't view games as challenging.  They might concede that climbing Mt. Everest is an achievement but deny that beating Lich King Hardmode at 0% in WOW is an achievement, for example.  The thing is both of those tasks are extremely difficult, can only be accomplished by a small percentage of the population under any conditions and require tremendous focus, skill and practice to complete.  Neither task is making the world a better place for others to live in and neither is going to improve one's life except in that they are a benchmark of talent and dedication and in that they are enjoyable to do.  Given these things, is there really any argument to be made that one is a worthy achievement and the other is not?

I have opinions about how to rank the worthiness of particular tasks.  I do think that there are lots of things we do in our lives that legitimately do make the world better for everyone and those things are really worth doing.  That said, we spend nearly all of our time doing things that are just for our own benefit whether they be trivial necessities like urinating or paying the phone bill or enjoyable pastimes like sex or video games.  Setting out to declare that someone else's pastimes are worthless compared to your own is dead common and the justifications for that derision pretty much always boil down to "You aren't doing it my way."  I think we could all do with a lot more "Well, that wouldn't be any fun for me, but I hope you enjoy yourself." and a lot less of "Why would anyone do that?  What a waste of time."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A strange challenge in SC2

Sthenno told me awhile ago about an interesting challenge he went after in Starcraft 2.  The idea was to play through the campaign building *only* the special units that appear only in the campaign on Hard difficulty.  This is really tricky because the units that only appear in the campaign are pretty much all completely trash.  It isn't winnable on Brutal I think but Hard is doable.  The roughest part so far has been getting started since I am restricted to using only Firebats.  Firebats have this problem that they do very little damage, have low range, can't hit flyers and are big so they have tremendous trouble concentrating fire.  Most missions have the problem that although Firebats can kill off much of the enemy force eventually a flyer shows up and then I have to beat them with the two Marines I start with.  It is possible to aggro flyers with my Firebats and drag them across the map to a well placed Missile Turret but it isn't feasible when the mission is actually challenging otherwise.

I ended up doing a really complicated dance trying to figure out which missions I could actually beat by spamming Firebats, the most useless unit known to Terrankind.  Though I have already beaten all the missions several times trying this bizarre little twist really got me back into playing the game and made it fresh and new again.  I had a blast trying to figure out how I was going to beat Xil in particular because normally you beat this mission by stacking up a billion Siege Tanks and ruining the enemies.  Not having access to Siege Tanks makes it really quite tricky though, especially since the only units I was allowed to build at this point were Firebats and the execrable Diamondback.  I ended up building a full 10 Planetary Fortresses and plastering the world with my base from wall to wall.  This is exactly the sort of gaming experience that I love, experiencing that desperation, that rush of hunting for solutions and stretching to find a new, creative solution to a problem.  Most of these missions have really obvious solutions that either include Medic/Marine or 'Spam the new unit for the mission' but when you aren't allowed to build the new unit you have to search for some other way.

I think this illustrates very well how important it is that bad decisions exist within a game.  I have said it before and I will say it again - it is critical for a game to have many ways to play well and even more ways to play badly.    It is of course not true that randomly penalizing yourself makes a game good but sometimes one can find a strange way to play badly that otherwise makes the game really tough and interesting.  It could have been that the arbitrary restriction I chose ended up being either impossible or utterly trivial and neither would have been much fun but I got lucky and there ended up being a tremendous number of challenging maps and difficult decisions.  Somehow I got in the sweet spot where there were both a bunch of tricky strategic decisions and a bunch of great moment to moment gameplay.

Much of the replayability of single player games comes from this source.  People seek out strange ways to play their games and go through them multiple times under their bizarre restrictions.  Some of them are good, like this one, and some are bloody brutal, like when Ziggyny decided to beat FF1 with just one Thief.  Not that the Thief challenge isn't challenging, it was, but 20 hours of mindless grinding in the middle really kicks the fun factor in the junk...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Diablo 2, once again

I have decided it is time once again to play some Diablo 2.  Diablo 3 is on its way but no ship date is yet announced so I am sure I have a good half a year before I can get my newest, best Diablo fix.  The trouble is that I don't have Diablo 2 anymore!  I know, I know, shame on me for giving it away.  I lent it to someone and now I can't figure out who that is.  What I need to do to begin my newest saga is acquire a new copy.  Apparently all you need these days is a CD key and after registering it with Blizzard you can download the game directly.  So here is my request:  Somebody email me a CD key  (orangecape@gmail.com)   for D2 and the LoD xpac that you aren't using.  Of course once I register it you won't be able to use it yourself after that.

This isn't much of a post you say?  You are right, it isn't.  But never fear, I will post properly on Tuesday and Thursday as usual, this is just me trying to abuse my *cough* massive internet celebrity *cough* to score a copy of Diablo 2.