Blizzard is already cracking down on Diablo II Resurrected modders and hackers

    
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Apparently, Blizzard has decided to crack all the way down on the modding community that’s popped up around Diablo II: Resurrected.

Following the technical alpha – which, I’ll note, we thought was fantastic – modders had come with with ways to do everything from unlocking classes to playing on custom servers. One programmer going by Ferib Hellscream built a tool called D2ROffline, which was initially meant to be a private tool for his friends to help them play offline on the the alpha client without an invite by skipping past Blizzard’s account and login checks. Eventually, though, the tool went open source, and then fellow modder Shalzuth opened D2RModding to facilitate modding on a broader scale.

Complications ensued. According to Hellscream and Shalzuth, Blizzard has served them with cease-and-desist letters, even sending a private investigator to one of their homes in a transparent attempt to intimidate him. Neither modder seems particularly concerned, even though one of the C&Ds demands the “complete termination of all development related to Activision Blizzard games.” (The C&D served to the US modder seemingly demanded only that he stop violating Blizzard’s user agreements.)

“We acknowledge that a big part of Diablo II’s longevity is the modding community and we appreciate their enthusiasm for the game,” the studio told Kotaku. “Classic Diablo II and its mods will continue to exist and we’re going to do our best to continue to support the mods for Diablo II: Resurrected as well. That said, some mods are atypical and pose security threats to our games. Security has always been a top priority for us and programs that could pose major security issues will not be tolerated.”

It’s natural to feel some sympathy for Blizzard here, as cheaters suck up a significant portion of developer and legal time and money, and there’s no question that as written these tools allowed exploits and piracy in the alpha. But of course, Blizzard’s interest here is also to control the flow of new content and prevent legit offline play, and there’s something disturbing about a 75-billion-dollar megacorp dispensing asymmetric legal threats to rando gamers during an alpha test for a 20-year-old game. Still, maybe wait and see how the company handles content creation and legitimate tools post-launch before shining up your pitchforks.

Source: Kotaku
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John D

Bree Royce Editor in Chief you fucking shill. Keep kissing Blizzards ass hopefully they will throw you a bone sell out. No one feels sympathy for that fucking company and don’t try to convince us otherwise with your lame attempt at manipulative psychology along with your garbage writing skills. Fuck Blizzard and every disingenuous gaming journalist who tries to side with those greedy soul sucking gaming companies.

Turing fail
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Turing fail

I feel as much sympathy for Bobby the Hutt here as I did for his cousin Jabba when Princess Leia showed him how much she liked the bikini/slave chain ensemble he made her wear… really chokes me up.

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Franklin Adams

I get not wanting people exploiting and cheating, bans for that I have no issue with if it’s affecting public servers (on a private one you should be able to do what you want) but a blanket ban and an attempt to intimidate modders is not a good look. If Blizzard had straight up and clearly said they’re not tolerating exploiting/cheating/hacking and that alone is what they’re targeting it wouldn’t be an issue, but this makes it sound like they’re declaring war on the modding community in totality which is dumb as bricks.

Especially given that mod authors are usually some of the more enthusiastic members of a game community, it’s cutting one’s nose to spite their face and it’s ultimately self-defeating, Blizzard banks on their communities being as obsessed with their games as to overlook anything fucked up that they’re doing but that level of goodwill can evaporate in a second (e.g. CDPR post-Witcher 3 and pre-CP2077 compared to post CP2077).

Imagine if say Bethesda had gone after Morrowind, Oblivion or FO3 modders what would have happened, those games wouldn’t be anywhere near as still popular and influential as they are to this day because of how malleable they are and how much value mod authors added and continue to add to their games.

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Bruno Brito

Blizzard declared war on the modders the moment they put a new addendum on their ToS that forced all War3 Reforged mapmakers and modders to lose any ownership they had, all because they couldn’t accept being incompetent and missing the moneymaker that was Dota.

Yangers
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Yangers

Imagine not being able to play a single player game offline.

Wonder how long it’ll take Codex, etc to fix that situation.

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Steven Williams

Sympathy? For that company? Yeah right. Blizzard doesn’t deserve anyone’s sympathy. We can only hope that its employees find better work once the company hopefully fries into bits or gets absorbed into the Call of Duty gulag.

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Bryan Correll

It’s natural to feel some sympathy for Blizzard here

Well, it used to be.

unlocking classes

That a mod was needed for that concerns me since the only ‘unlocking classes’ on the original was buying the expansion to get the two added new ones. This makes me wonder if you get the barbarian with the base game, but the rest are micro-transactions. With the warlock costing twice as much.

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Loopy

Am I missing something here? Somebody pretty much cracked the game and made it so that anyone can play it (effectively allowing it to be pirated), and people are somehow shitting on Blizzard for sending a C&D?

What are they supposed to do in this situation? I have a feeling that nobody on this website actually works for a legitimate business.

Put your feelings on Blizzard and their shitty behaviours aside – this is simply an instance of a business protecting their unreleased product.

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Bruno Brito

Am I missing something here?

Yeah.

even sending a private investigator to one of their homes in a transparent attempt to intimidate him.

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Loopy

Actual quote:

Both projects were, perhaps inevitably, hit by cease-and-desist letters over the past two weeks. Shalzuth, who lives in the United States, received his by way of a private investigator Blizzard hired to make the delivery, an obvious intimidation tactic that Shalzuth nevertheless shrugged off during my conversation with him.

Legal letters are often delivered by either a court appointed administrator or by the legal firm hired by a person/company. The “intimidation” is just an editorialized conjecture and nothing more.

This isn’t Godfather where the modder is gonna wake up with a horse’s head in their bed.

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Bruno Brito

Unless i’m gravenly mistaken here, a Private Investigator is not a court-appointed delivery person, nor is it from a law firm. You hire PIs when you need dirt on someone, it’s intimidation.

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Loopy

Well PIs are used to investigate, and they have a very specific mandate on what they’re allowed to do. Which is why i seriously doubt the claims that a PI was sent to deliver an official C&D letter.

Either way, all of us are guessing at this point and getting our information from a few people who got caught by the company that they were stealing assets from. Take their statements with a grain of salt.

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Bruno Brito

I agree with you, on the grounds that it’s not like i need this specific happening to loathe Blizzard any more.

They’re shitty enough without this.

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Bryan Correll

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ChoJun

the only symphathy i feel for blizzard is that they’re still working, hopefully all the top assholes wouldn’t be able to touch anything in any buisness again, but yeah… wish what’s left of blizzard rolled over itself and just died, would be the best outcome.

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SmiteDoctor

This is why you should own a gun, no one deserves to be intimidated like that in their own homes by a hired thug.

HalLundy
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HalLundy

Shaaame! Shaaaaaaaame! Shaaaaaaaaaaaame!

And feel sympathy for Blizzard? Shame!