Development Post Monday, Info on Hacking, Diminishing Returns on Armor, Blue Posts, and Farming Spot

Big Development Post Coming Monday
While responding, once again, to a question about the difficulty of Inferno, Bashiok mentioned that they are planning on releasing an article on Monday that will include some fun stats, and explain things they are currently working on with some time frames.

[blizzquote author='Blizzard' blue='' battle='']The amount of people who have even unlocked Inferno is so infinitesimally small, and the number of people who are attempting content beyond what their gear/skill allows, means we don't really have a ton of data to look at yet. Plus the item economy at the higher levels is extremely limited just because the number of people able to progress is even smaller. People tend to underestimate gear value, or want difficulty progression to be a linear curve. Not everyone enjoys the steep difficulty incline and need to take a step back on improving their characters, builds, technique, etc. But it certainly is a case of overcoming difficulty through skills and gear as there are cases of all classes continuing to clear Inferno post-nerfs.

Anyway, we'll have an article up on the front page on Monday that gives a couple fun stats, and goes into explaining a few of the things we're working on and maybe some rough time frames.

I think we're about to see the busiest weekend for the game yet, with the most amount of people online and enjoying the game together. We're looking forward to a bright future for the game for years to come. We're in it for the long haul.

(Pro tip! See the blue BLIZZ icon to the right of this post? Clicking it will take you to any subsequent blue posts in the thread. Check it out!)

Do you think that one area of concern that may get looked at is that people aren't able to gear up for Infernon Act 1, even, without going to the AH and spending a lot of gold.
The auction house obviously provides an incredible service to allow for very easy trades between characters, and essentially blows out the wide range of items you could have available to you at any one time. So, in fact, the AH has to be a factor in how we drop items. On one hand you have a huge benefit because you can buy and sell items very easily, as opposed to having to post up WTS threads in the old USEast trading forums, but on the other end it does impact the item pool economy with the inherent ease at which you can trade items. If the AH existed but wasn't a factor at all into how items dropped/rolled, the economy would be completely tanked within a matter of weeks.

If it's so small it's odd how many people I've met that are actually in Inferno, myself included. You can't mean to say we're the 1%.
No, no, no... far, far less than 1%. :)

Would this include explaining the latest patch that toggled my firewall warning?
No... there was a tools update, which would likely need to be re-allowed by some firewall software as the executable has changed. Game design updates aren't going to include individual technical support questions, though. You should hit up the tech support forum.

Once again like i said early say that to the hard core players face!soft core had 30k people on ,hardcore had 300 .Out of those 300 guess how many are in hell farming?
Very, very few. It's Hardcore!

I appreciate there are still a lot of questions, but the post on Monday has quite a bit of info and is coordinated to be posted in about a dozen languages. I really can't get into too many specifics without ruining the efforts that have gone into ensuring a simultaneous release. I do hope you find it informative, though.

Have a good weekend!

Info on Hacking
Blizzard helped share some information on why hacking occurs and how players can help prevent it.

[blizzquote author='Blizzard' battle='']The "hacking" ("compromising" is probably a better word, since no real "hacking" is going on) being seen in D3 is no different than what World of Warcraft players have been seeing for five years or so. The sad thing is, if no one bought game currency (gold, credits, whatever) from these third-party companies, then essentially no account compromises would be occurring. Compromises not done by gold selling companies are very rare indeed. They strip one player to sell to another, because it's much more efficient than "farming" gold. They still farm some of course, but they do it purely with compromised accounts.

Unfortunately, these compromisers make a lot of money off of the practice (because players buy gold) and so they have a lot of resources to use to try to get your password from you directly, or through your computer. Some of their poorly translated phishing e-mails may be laughable, but their trojans, infected websites, etc. are not funny at all.

If you have the physical or mobile authenticator (both of which major banks use and charge $30+ for) the chances of you being compromised are very, very small. I've personally examined the MSInfo files of nearly all of the handful of WoW players who have actually been compromised through an authenticator, and the sheer number of backdoor programs and other malware on their systems has been mind boggling. Probably not coincidentally, these same people were also running a disturbing number of file-sharing and download programs, including ones which are commonly known to not be safe.

Again, compromising game accounts is a big business in some countries. They have people on their payroll who spread false rumors of "hacked through my authenticator" just to try to discourage people from using them. We charge $6.50 for the physical authenticator, because that's exactly what it costs us to make them. The mobile one is free because we don't have to pay a factory to build them. Use them, and enjoy your gaming without someone mucking with your stuff.

The post on the main page said that NONE of the hacking victims had authenticators. Are you saying that there were hacked accounts with an authenticator?
Sorry for not being more specific on that. The hacks I was referring to were from the last five years of WoW compromises, not the current D3 compromises. None of the D3 compromises that we've checked have actually had authenticators, despite their claims.

I got hacked 2 days ago. How'd that happen, bliz?
I just checked your account, and it has never had either the physical or mobile authenticator attached to it. You did have the dial-in authenticator attached, but it's level of security is far below the physical and mobile. It's meant to be used in addition to the main authenticator, not in place of.


I'll bring up the idea of renaming the dial-in authenticator to my management. At the very least, maybe remove "authenticator" from its name so that people do not get it confused with the main authenticator (physical or mobile).

The authenticators my bank hands out are completely f.r.e.e.
That's definitely cool. You should commend your bank then as some of them charge waaaaaaay too much in my opinion.

What is the concrete cause of the hackings?
Well, the cause is people desiring a shortcut in their games by buying gold. If you mean the technical cause, as I mentioned previously the gold selling companies use a vast array of methods. A good friend of mine is a long time network admin (and a very good one at that), who had decided to not use an authenticator because he'd never had any security issues with his computer over the years. Well, an Adobe Flash vulnerability popped up a couple years ago, and he procrastinated applying the update by a whole week. As you can probably guess by the fact that I'm relating this anecdote, his WoW account was compromised and stripped because of that one week window.

There's absolutely nothing shameful about getting compromised, these companies are good at what they do. Heck, the former head of Blizzard Customer Service had his account compromised. It's because of how devious and high-tech the gold-selling companies have gotten that we implemented the physical and mobile authenticators. We can't physically go to everyone's computer and make it safe, so we've provided a tool that does it for you.

I've been a computer tech for a long time, and I've never had a single malicious security breach on any of my computers that I'm aware of, but I attached one of the very first batches of physical authenticators to my account. Why? Because no matter how good I am, sooner or later they were going to get me. But now, they can't.

Are you claiming that I did not have both the dial in auth and the SMS auth?
No, you had those. But neither of those are the physical or mobile authenticator, the main line of protection that is being referred to. The Dial-In and SMS are just nice additional layers of security to add to the physical or mobile.

It's becoming pretty apparent that our naming scheme might be causing some confusion, and I apologize for that. I'll bring the subject up with my management, so can we review both how the devices are named and how they are presented. If you have only one authenticator on your account, you want it to be the physical or mobile, not the dial-in or SMS.

You might want to reconsider implying that people with compromised accounts are buying gold with real money.
That's definitely not what I'm saying, and I apologize if it came across that way. I meant that gold selling companies exist and compromise accounts because some players buy gold. If there was no market, there would be no companies dedicated to the market. Most people who are compromised have never bought gold.

I asked the same question earlier, however with it being a holiday weekend, and so many account compromises occurring I wouldn't count on a quick turnaround.
We're a 365/7 support center, so thankfully the holiday weekend shouldn't add much of a delay.

What I don't know is if you can play a character while a restoration is occurring. May I have a response regarding the playability of the account during the process of character restoration?
You don't want to play your characters on the same realm (US, EU, ASIA) that will be rolled back, as the whole set gets rolled back at this time. However, to the best of my knowledge your characters on the other two realms are unaffected unless those realms needed to be rolled back as well.

So, let's say you've been playing on the US realms only and you were compromised. You definitely shouldn't touch the US characters until the process is complete on our end. However, since you've never played on the EU realm you should be completely safe in creating a character on that realm without the fear of it getting rolled back. The downside of course is that you can only play the EU character on the EU realm. Still, I wanted to point out the option. : )

I THINK it's a java exploit
There definitely could be some Java exploits. That's the thing though, they use everything they can, and in tandem. I wasn't aware of even half of the keylogging methods that are in use until I started working this job. We've been monitoring WoW compromises for years now, and while a particularly nasty vulnerability (like the Adobe Flash one I mentioned earlier) might result in a surge of compromises, the truth is that there's never just "one thing" that's resulting in compromises. It's compromise by a thousand cuts, if you get my paraphrasing.

This is why we made the physical and mobile authenticators. After awhile, we realized that passwords weren't just being stolen because of bad computer habits or poorly thought out passwords (although that happens as well). They were being stolen because of the sheer quantity of methods that the gold-selling companies were flooding the Internet with. No matter how careful you are, they may still get your password eventually, and that's why we have the authenticator. It's why I have one on my account right now. We even priced the physical model at cost ($6.50) so that no one could rightfully claim that we were making any money off of them.

Bottom line: We hate seeing people compromised, and having to deal with compromises also costs us a lot of money in support costs. We need either everyone to use an authenticator (physical or mobile), or no one to buy gold. Should that day come, we won't have to worry about this anymore.

But I'm still a little confused, how come some players were initially told that their accounts hadn't been compromised when they obviously had been? Was there a problem with your customer service department?
I'm not completely sure, to be honest. One of our systems probably just needed to be tuned a little better.

Diminishing Returns on Armor
TBD over on the forums has posted quite an informative post about the balance of armor and vitality. For any Barbarian or any character trying to take a little more damage, he has included everything from stats, facts, graphs, and most of all, a tool to help players calculate which stats to take for their character. You can check out his entire post here.

Blue Posts
[blizzquote]Switching Languages
Yes, you can. Simply go into the options menu then to account and change the language setting to German. You will receive a pop-up asking if you want to restart your game. Once you acknowledge that, the game will be restarted in German. You will need to wait just a little bit for the download of the German files to initialize and then a couple of minutes for the download to complete to the point that the game is playable. You can start playing before the whole download is complete as the streaming technology will finish getting the needed files while you play (depending on your internet connection you can start playing during the download or you can wait for it all to finish).
As a side-note, personally I love the German localisation - they really have done an excellent job with translations and especially all the voice actors. ;) (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

No AH In-Game
No, you can't. Contrary to MMOs like World of Warcraft Diablo III is not a game where the auction house meta-game is part of the in-game story. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

CM's Job
We do much more than post here and we've explained that in many locations over the years. Not answering a particular post doesn't mean we aren't paying attention. It just means we aren't answering that one at this time.

For more on what we do you can read the following sources:


Or you can read Wowpedia's information they've compiled:

http://www.wowpedia....mmunity_Manager (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

FaceBook Posting
This feature does not exist at the moment. :( So you will have to go with the old-school screenshot and uploading unfortunately.

just no....
Aww.. I can see the fun in that. Since the game released I've seen a lot of friends uploading pictures of their heroes and their achievements (or deaths) and we have had a blast commenting and laughing together at the cool moments.

It is fun to share with friends things we are passionate about and congratulate each other for achievements. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

AH Timer During Server Down Time
I can't confirm 100% but I believe it does not pause. As for the real money auction house, as mentioned in the Diablo III Post-Launch Update forum thread, we want to ensure that the servers are as stable as possible before we launch this service. This means that ideally, other than for exceptional circumstances, any downtime will be announced in advance, so you will have the time to decide if you want to put up your item even with a scheduled downtime coming up. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

AH Market Prices
It is better to let the market decide what the price will be. It will start stabilizing after a few more weeks I assume. When everyone starts understanding the value of the items better. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Weekly Maintenance
We won't necessarily have one every week or even every other week. It is similar to StarCraft II when we want to do updates (which during the first few weeks to months we will most likely have rather regularly to make sure we address issues) we will schedule these to coincide with the weekly maintenance as much as possible. (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)

Farming Spot
x_gr1m_x has shared a video showing a great spot to farm a rare mob to help build up your item inventory. You can view his original thread here.


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