Diablo 3 Patch Devalues Items; Players Advocate ‘Chargebacks’

The latest patches to Diablo 3 have had a serious affect on in-game items, causing widespread anger among players who spent money on them in the game‘s real money auction house.

Patch 1.0.3, which dropped last week, has a serious effect on in-game items, knocking down a statistic on many of them known as “increased attack speed,” or “IAS.” Weapons whose IAS was “nerfed” by the patch had the stat cut down by as much as half. According to Blizzard, the change was made to continue to help keep the game balanced so that all characters and character classes get the appropriate gameplay experience and difficulty level out of the game.

It’s a big change to a weapon or item in Diablo 3, where the speed with which players can attack is often key to their survival. Attack speed determines how quickly a crossbow can be fired or a sword can be swung; higher speeds mean more attacks, so a high-IAS weapon is highly valuable and highly useful.

Thinking about the value of these items is where the trouble comes in, because now that Blizzard has launched Diablo 3′s Real Money Auction House, players are able to purchase (from one another) weapons and items that will help them get a leg-up in the game, especially at its higher difficulty modes. Many players had purchased items for real money in the auction house, only to find their value slashed along with their usefulness — after the sale was made.

The situation for many players goes something like this: You purchase a great new crossbow in the auction house that will really help you pummel demons. It runs you quite a bit of money — maybe even close to $250, which is the cap Blizzard has set on such transactions. And a day or two later, Patch 1.0.3 updates Diablo 3. Suddenly, your crossbow is still powerful, but instead of firing four powerful bolts per second, it now only fires two; in a general sense, the effectiveness of your crossbow has been cut in half. And it’s definitely no longer worth the $250 you paid for it. That money is gone, because now you need to purchase a new crossbow or go without.

Blizzard itself doesn’t sell items in the auction house, but it does take a piece of all the sales that go through: 15 percent of the final sales price of each item goes to Blizzard. Many angry fans feel cheated and look to assign blame to Blizzard for their devalued items, demanding refunds or posting angry comments in the official Diablo 3 forums. Refunds aren’t forthcoming, though, and many players in the forums are going so far as to advocate calling their banks or credit card holders and claiming they never authorized their in-game purchases with Blizzard to initiate “chargebacks.”

Consumers have some protections when making purchases online or through catalogs, and chargebacks allow them some recourse should purchased merchandise never arrive or arrive broken, and so forth. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, consumers have the ability to challenge charges through their credit card companies or issuing banks. It’s an involved process that opens up a dispute between the merchant (in this case, Blizzard) and the consumer — but it leaves the final decision on whether the consumer will have to pay for the transaction to the credit companies who investigate the situation. The situation can also end in arbitration between the two parties.

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11 Comments on Diablo 3 Patch Devalues Items; Players Advocate ‘Chargebacks’

Kyle

On June 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm

wow, gaming is going straight down the crapper

D3

On June 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Consumers have some protections when making purchases online or through catalogs, and chargebacks allow them some recourse should purchased merchandise never arrive or arrive broken, and so forth.

wel seeing as they only get half they payed for i would say its pretty broken… chargeback time then

pooleboy87

On June 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

“wel seeing as they only get half they payed for i would say its pretty broken… chargeback time then”

While it can be argued that players didn’t necessarily receive the item they thought they would, Blizzard announced the attack speed reduction a full week ahead of the launch of the Real Money Auction House, and even if they hadn’t…chargebacks aren’t supposed to be a weapon against feeling cheated. They’re supposed to combat unauthorized spending.

If you had the item given to you, used it, and then attempt to say that Blizzard cheated you by not delivering the item, then you are committing fraud. Chargebacks are NOT the solution to this situation. While I’m sure countless players are hoping this would hurt Blizzard…the one’s facing a huge loss of money and heavy fines would probably be the idiots…I mean, players who decide this is an appropriate mechanism to fight back with.

I’m curious if Blizzard is still excited about their RMAH experiment so far. It seems to be to be causing a TON of headaches for Blizzard. Honestly, I don’t even see the damn point in purchasing loot in a game in which the endgame is supposed to be finding the loot. Kinda seems like paying $250 to have the game played for you to me…

R.J.

On June 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm

I didn’t know that Blizzard was getting such a large cut of those sales. I figured they got something for facilitating the transactions, but 15% could make them a lot of money fast.

T Wal

On June 28, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Am I the only one who heard of this “real money auction house” and instantly knew it was a horrible idea?

Critique

On June 28, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I hope this really bites blizzard somewhere where it will hurt them enough not to do it again. Let’s face it, I’m sure blizzard made their money back on the game from the stupid idiots who bought into the hype.

First the story about how Diablo 3 is bleeding players
Now this.

This is why, even though there was tremendous peer pressure, I resisted it and did not purchase the game. Now I have 3-5 that I can log onto and just play, while at the same time laugh at the people who bought this game blindly and without thought.

Worst part is many of my friends, co-workers, etc, who bought this and were warned about it, also bought other regretable purchases, and they don’t seem to learn from their mistake. Good thing though is most of them just hide their anger and avoid conversations about their horrible purchase.

There isn’t another ecosystem with this kind of blind brain activity as in the game industry. No matter how much a movie gets hyped up for example, If it’s crap, it usually won’t make that much. Games on the other hand have a bunch of retards for followers and these people will litterly buy a turd with a blizzard sticker on it.

What happend to buying games AFTER release dates? Now games are pushing for pre-purchase option, it’s not even pre-order, NOPE. Pay for the game 6 months in advance, and we’ll take that 60 dollars and turn it into 120 dollars in the stock markets before you get your hands on our game that has a gaming appeal of about 1 week, Thanks please buy our next installment of Call of Dog$hit

backy

On June 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Blizzard is walking a dangerous path that finally will lead them to a BOSS that will end their game permanently!

J

On June 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

this can be expected to happen time and time again as Blizzard change this and tweak that. It’s what Blizzard does with there patches, for years and years after their games are released. It’s not worth spending even a dollar on a temporary virtual bit of code that’s supposed to help you progress through the same boring and linear game for the 10th time.

It’s such a horrible game. Blizzard screwed up royal.

penco

On June 29, 2012 at 5:28 am

Just FYI “IAS” is “Increased Attack Speed” not “Item Attack Speed.”

Phil Hornshaw

On June 29, 2012 at 7:53 am

@penco

Whoops, noted and fixed.

gasmaskangel

On June 29, 2012 at 7:55 am

It boggles my mind that anyone at Blizzard ever thought the real money auction house would be a good idea, and it astounds me that anyone actually uses it. No entirely digital item is worth $250.