Diablo Real Money Auction House

Taken from Gamasutra~

Blizzard Reveals Real Money-Powered Diablo III Auction House

At a Gamasutra-attended Diablo III event held at Blizzard's Irvine, California HQ, game design EVP Rob Pardo discussed the game's Battle.net integration -- including a player-driven, real money transaction-powered economy -- and discussed its release date.

While Pardo shared no concrete details on Diablo III's launch, including pricing tiers or release date, he did say, "We're working hard to get to this year, but it's going to be tough. So it either makes this year, or it falls into next year."

What he did discuss in depth is the developer's blueprint regarding integration of its Battle.net service with the game, and also plans to implement an online auction system similar to that in place for World of Warcraft.

Toward the end of a two hour presentation -- most of which was spent detailing franchise lore and demonstrating character classes -- Pardo dove into details regarding the next evolution of Blizzard's online service.

Diablo III will continue some of the Battle.net features incorporated into StarCraft II, including Real ID integration, which offers a persistent friends list and cross-game chat for players to communicate across other Blizzard titles.

He also revealed that as with StarCraft II, a persistent internet connection will be required to play -- in both single player and multiplayer modes. All character data will be stored server-side with Blizzard. When asked about the publisher's stance on online-only play, Pardo responded, "We understand, and we know that there's a group out there -- there are times when I don't have internet either, like when I'm traveling on a flight -- but we believe the positives outweigh the negatives."

Then for the big news. Pardo began by discussing the importance of trading items in Diablo, how it had been done online in Diablo II: via manual exchanges, forum posts, or IRC, and "shady third party sites full of gray market stuff." He said, "We can make it better."

With the Diablo III Auction House, players will have a fully-integrated marketplace that allows them to buy and sell items, gold, and components with real-world currency (tentatively divided into U.S. dollars and euros, among others) in their respective territories. According to him, it's based on the World of Warcraft Auction House, but with refinements. Diablo III's iteration allows for auto-bidding and instant buyouts, smart searches based on class, a shared stash, and secure item transfers.

Pardo was swift to mention that it's not an official "Blizzard Store," but a clearinghouse for players to have an open market to facilitate the trading of in-game items with each other. Players will be anonymous during trades, and there will be restrictions on the buying and selling of goods with real-world currency for those who choose to play in Hardcore mode.

He then outlined initial details of transactions. There will be a fee for both item listings and sales. Should players accept in-game currency, their payment will go toward their Battle.net e-balance, which covers auction items, WoW subscriptions, and pets. Should players decide to cash out their items, a currently-unannounced third-party payment provider will handle the transaction and take a percentage of the sale. There won't be any limits on item trading, but there will be a 24-hour cooling period before players can resell a purchased item.

Pardo intimated that if Blizzard didn't take the steps to bring e-commerce in-house, someone else would step in and profit from it. "Players want this... We could take a harder stance, but with Diablo, we think [the Auction House] will end up being a good thing," he said. The fact that in-game bartering and selling had "become a metagame of its own," in his words, was another motivator for launching the new feature.

When asked if he had any concerns about Diablo III's auctions turning into widespread item speculation, he hinted that the regional breakup of currency would play a factor. "In WoW auctions, you're looking at a few thousand people cornering the market, whereas Diablo's regionalization makes it tougher to speculate. But we'll monitor it closely." He also compared his idea of user-driven item pricing to the iPhone App Store, in which inflated app prices self-corrected as buyers dictated what they would pay for applications.

When asked about the regional breakdown of the shop, Pardo said, "The primary reason why we're doing the Auction House per [real world] currency is for usability, and in some cases, with legality -- it's the easiest way to do it... There are going to be so many items in each auction house in every currency that there shouldn't even be need to shopping around in different currency houses."

He also fielded an inquiry as to how much the implementation of the Diablo III Auction House influenced the design of the game.

"Did we design the game with auctions in mind? That's an emphatic no. It's all just going in the direction of what we want to do with Diablo. What we set out to do is make awesome items. If you were making Diablo III without the auction house, that's exactly the same goal, it's what you'd want to do as a designer, right? That's what we want to do. This just incentivizes what we already set out to do," Pardo said.

One of Pardo's final responses involved the question of how Blizzard would gauge the game's success, be it in higher numbers of auctions or in hours logged playing the game.

"I would find it to be successful if they're having fun doing [either]," he said. "That's always the trick when it comes to the Auction House -- or I could talk about any of the major game systems in WoW.

"What we want is that people can spend their time having the most fun doing whatever it is that they want in the game. What would be bad is if people wanted to play the game with their friends, but instead felt compelled to spend all of their time competing in the Auction House, and that's something that we want to avoid."

Source: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/...eal_MoneyPowered_Diablo_III_Auction_House.php
 
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This doesn't bother me at all.

What does bother me is that I need to be constantly connected to the internet to play. This isn't going to reduce piracy, people without a stable internet connection will HAVE to pirate the game now.

Fuck you, Blizzard.
 

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Frankly playing alone is like only playing 1/5 of the game. You would be better off buying a game targeted specifically at single player than buying D3 in that case.

It seems that blizzard has aimed this itteration of Diablo more towards Coop play. Unlike Diablo II where it was everyone for himself, I would not be suprized if support builds are actually nescescary at higher difficulties with more than a few players.

The reason for the continious connection is because there are no "single player" characters. All your characters get stored on their servers and probably even played through their servers (to prevent cheating). I believe this is Blizzard basically saying "Diablo III is multiplayer only".
 
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The reason for the continious connection is because there are no "single player" characters. All your characters get stored on their servers and probably even played through their servers (to prevent cheating). I believe this is Blizzard basically saying "Diablo III is multiplayer only".

When a company makes a connection required for single player, it's some sort of DRM. They can sugar coat it all they want, but one of the main intentions is punishing consumers and limiting their freedoms further in response to pirates. But that isn't fair, Blizzard's real motive is most likely what you said, to keep it multiplayer focused and prevent cheating.

It's just the principle that bothers me. It isn't just D3, we've been seeing this with a lot of different companies and video games, Ubisoft comes to mind as a recent (and terribly executed) example. I'm not for this internet-connectivity, DRM nonsense trend that video games are heading towards. All this pseudo-anti piracy crap simply limits the freedoms of legitimate consumers, while doing very little to thwart pirates because they manage to crack the game anyway.

Doesn't this bother anyone else? Us legitimate consumers get screwed up the ass while pirates, the actual targets, are as merry as ever? Pains me to see a titan and beloved developer to me like Blizzard fall to this trend.

This fucking wreaks of Bobby Kotick, I just know it.
 

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Doesn't this bother anyone else? Us legitimate consumers get screwed up the ass while pirates, the actual targets, are as merry as ever? Pains me to see a titan and beloved developer to me like Blizzard fall to this trend.
This does not really bother me. Most of the time I played Diablo II was online, and the only reason I played single player at all was because I could not get the game in English at the time. It is almost garunteed that I will jump straight into multiplayer with D3 and will probably avoid playing alone as much as possible.

I think you should direct that anger at your ISP and not the game manufacturers. If you have access to a computer passing the requirements for D3 you should have access to reliable continious internet. If your ISP refuses to offer such a service, they are the ones that diserve the bad mouth. A continious internet connection is a key foundation to modern developed society.
 
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Truth be told, now-a-days when your internet is down... it's time to play some Heroes 3 or any other old school game or a clear single player defined game like Assassins Creed or Tomb Raider. Otherwise, any other game like Wc3, SC2 are fun only when online in multiplayer games. I don't think you can acces your single player campaign in SC2 if you saved while online on Bnet. Right ?
 
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Blizz has a really good idea about putting in the auction house. People will buy and sell for real money anyway. Might as well integrate it into the game and earn some money as well.

That is to say, people will probably sell "illegally" anyway.
 
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Doesn't this bother anyone else? Us legitimate consumers get screwed up the ass while pirates, the actual targets, are as merry as ever? Pains me to see a titan and beloved developer to me like Blizzard fall to this trend.

This fucking wreaks of Bobby Kotick, I just know it.
Bothers me for sure. I won't be affected by it, but it still bugs me.

I think Blizzard's gone downhill ever since the merger. Activision is almost as bad as EA.
 

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I think people are forgeting 1 major thing when they say they will pirate it...
Where are you going to get a Diablo III server from? I am sure Blizzard would not be stupid enough to include the code for one with a game which never lets you use it.

End result is you will be forced to play on crappy third party Diablo III servers which might be buggy and have broken mechanics.

Diablo II included a server engine with the game, thus how singleplayer and LAN games were made. As Diablo III has neithor, it means bundling the game server engine along with it is unnescescary (bloat).
 
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I personally like this idea about a Real World Currency it deletes people trying to sell stuff and spamming games on D2 I cannot play one Public D2 Game without bots saying stuff like "I just bought from Text.com They have amazingly low prices and have Blank runes! Here is the link again Text.com Go there and buy now"*Leaves game*
*Another one joins saying same crap* So that is why I like this idea it elminates that stuff.
 
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I think people are forgeting 1 major thing when they say they will pirate it...
Where are you going to get a Diablo III server from? I am sure Blizzard would not be stupid enough to include the code for one with a game which never lets you use it.

End result is you will be forced to play on crappy third party Diablo III servers which might be buggy and have broken mechanics.

Diablo II included a server engine with the game, thus how singleplayer and LAN games were made. As Diablo III has neithor, it means bundling the game server engine along with it is unnescescary (bloat).
Exactly. Blizzard screwed them over.
 

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I also forgot to mention that as the game will not come with the server engine code, it will be harder to hack. Instead of hackers having access to both white and black box testing like they did in D2, they will only have access to black box testing. Worse yet (for them) is that the only black box testing source they have is the genuine D3 servers instead of private servers.

Performing a Black box test on BattleNet is extreemly risky. It not only violates the ToU of the servers (as your not interacting with them using the game client) but it also requires you log in to the server (so you have to give valid BattleNet account information). This makes it almost garunteed to be a trip to banvile if done noticably. Obviously there are some robustness procedures taken for arbitry input (I am sure it will discard stupid orders like "magic missle" when you do not have that ability).
 

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This is interesting. However, I'm slightly concerned that someone will be able to take advantage of this and exploit it. I seriously hope Blizzard know what they are getting themselves and the players into with this new Auction House.
It could seem like Blizzard are taken rashed decisions and just implement anything cool which comes to mind. But I have faith in the team behind Diablo III.

Other than that, I do think it's a shame about internet connection.
You just know that someone out there will be struck by this in one way or the other.

"but we believe the positives outweigh the negatives" - Just seems like a bad excuse. Making players dependant on the internetz seems wrong. There should be an option that allows players to play without, although most players are likely to be online.
 

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There should be an option that allows players to play without, although most players are likely to be online.
You do that and you then have to include game server code with the game client. This then allows hackers to easilly white and black box test the server code to find exploits. These exploits will eventually result in damages to the game economy. Especially with a real money AH it is important to keep the servers secure.

An example of an exploit could be a dupe. Once some people find how to do it they would immediatly start duping endgame stuff with high RMAH value. They could potentially do this for years (and make thousands) until Blizzard eithor notices that their sales pattern makes no sense or the exploit becomes public and patched.

With no server code with the client, hackers will have to rely on white box testing the game server to find exploits. In the process of doing this they are more than likly to get banned hundreds of times (and with delay as Banning instantly gives immediate feedback).

The RMAH is not a problem as Diablo II had that unoffically anyway. The big difference is in D3 you now can cut out the middle man and risks accociated with it.
 

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It is better to be safe rather than sorry. So I can see why Blizzard have brought up this surprising change to the game.
This RMAH provides players with a safe environment to purchase the items they want and the internet connect prevents cheating etc.

Like Blizzard Executive Vice President Rob Pardo said, "This is something that players want, we're answering a demand."
 

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I doubt It'll take more than a week for any hacker to break any protection blizzard puts on the game, like with Spore which was actually released prior to the official release with an crack. Of cause this will only work for single player.
You seem to be forgeting that they will have to reverse engineere a whole server.

Even StarCraft II included a game server with the client so you could test maps in the editor (and play offline). It would be extreemly stupid for Blizzard to include the Diablo III game server code with the client when there is no need for it (as there is no way to play without their servers). As such it could take months if not years before an accurate server is made for Diablo III. This server will also never truely be accurate as it would prety much have to be reverse engineered from scratch. Data like item drop chances might not even be supplied with the client so even those would have to be guessed. This is not forgeting how illegal reverse engineering projects of this scale are (many get shut down).

For people who still do not understand. Think of the game Final Fantasy 11. That was a MMORPG which also did not provide the game server with the client. The result was eventually custom servers but with only a fraction of the functionality of the orignal ones (poor spawning algorthims, bad mechancis etc).

Spore was a singleplayer game so had no server to crack. The only thing that had to be cracked was the code that authorizes it to run. Games which obscure mechanics like Settlers 7 were still cracked because of how the game downloaded that data to the client at some period in time. Diablo III on the other hand never downloads the server code and data as those are used by the server (which runs them for you).
 
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By their own admission, Diablo isn't not really focused around a PVP experience; if you're playing with someone who has duped items or whatever, all it means is that you will be more likely to defeat Satan. Without a means to gain advantage over another, "cheating" as a concept becomes substantially more opaque. Who is the cheated party, precisely? Satan the Devil? Fuck him, who cares.

Who is being cheated? This is the part of the movie where, in a series of retrospective realizations cut with you looking at your own face in the rearview mirror, you come bit by bit to the heart of it. The person you are cheating is Blizzard, Blizzard in the aggregate, with your attempts to interfere with their digital marketplace. You mustn't play offline or goof around with your files or any other naughty business because they are endeavoring to transform your putative ownership into a revenue stream.

There, now don't you feel better?

Interesting little tid bit there by Penny Arcade.



You seem to be forgeting that they will have to reverse engineere a whole server.


They did it to Ubisoft, they'll do it to Blizzard. You underestimate hackers. There's not a DRM in existence that'll hold them off. Day one crack, guaranteed. And you can quote me on that when it's released.
 

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They did it to Ubisoft, they'll do it to Blizzard. You underestimate hackers. There's not a DRM in existence that'll hold them off. Day one crack, guaranteed. And you can quote me on that when it's released.
Its basically like making a WoW unoffical server. They will need to develop the server program inorder to break the DRM. This is doable, but not very well. The servers will always never be as good as offical ones and on top of that they will take a long time to create. Thus in a year or 2 after release you can expect good cracked servers, but even many months after release you may find any cracked servers being of low quality.

Them not including the server code with the client is the only explination for no offline singleplayer.
 
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Its basically like making a WoW unoffical server. They will need to develop the server program inorder to break the DRM. This is doable, but not very well. The servers will always never be as good as offical ones and on top of that they will take a long time to create. Thus in a year or 2 after release you can expect good cracked servers, but even many months after release you may find any cracked servers being of low quality.

Them not including the server code with the client is the only explination for no offline singleplayer.

Ubisoft's Assassins Creed 2 also used a server authentication method. They didn't make any unofficial servers, there was just a simple cracking method detailed in torrents.

I'm not very hack/network savvy so I don't know the specifics, but it's very doable, because its already been done to a theoretically identical system.
 

Dr Super Good

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Ubisoft's Assassins Creed 2 also used a server authentication method.
No it does not use the same system as Diablo III. Yes AC2 uses a server to authenticate but Diablo III does not.

Diablo III uses a server to play on. All your damage, attacks etc are calculated by the BattleNet server like with WoW. This is to stop cheating (as your computer can run anything you tell it to but their servers run only what they want them to run).

AC2 was a single player game. As such it eithor did not use a client server architecture (as those are only really needed for multiplayer engines) or it had an intrigrated server with the client (so it could host a server and socket the client into it).

Diablo III will come with only the game client. As such, you will need to join a Diablo III server inorder to play. This is done by starting the client and logging into BattleNet 2.0 where you will be able to join one of Blizzard's Diablo III servers. Inorder to play the game without purchasing it, you will need to hack the client to socket into illegal servers and also write and host an illegal custom server for it to socket into. As no server code or data is included with the game, it is likly any one you do write will behave differently or not as well as the offical ones.

StarCraft II is very different from D3. Unlike Diablo III it included an intigrated game server into the StarCraft II client. This is used to play the campaign offline and to test maps in the editor. Inorder to hack StarCraft II, all that was needed was to just fake an authentication of the client. This is not possible in Diablo III as the design of game means that the client will not come with an intigrated game server so there is no facility to play.

End result is that Diablo III will be cracked with custom servers eventually. However, that might take years before they reach approximate quality levels to the real ones. Especially as the real hackers will be focusing on hacking the genuine servers to make money rather than pirating the game.
 
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I can't see it being too hard, they did it to Heroes of Newerth (Which is also game client only, connect to a server...) during closed beta. Made LAN networks and custom servers and such.

Diablo 3 has a huuuggee potential following, and anything with such a following will get some free versions prepped really quickly since hackers respond to demand.

But then I guess it'll become too much of a hassle.
 

Dr Super Good

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Steel_Stallion, it comes down to how complex the server engine is they have to reverse engineere. If the client does not come with certain server only files (like random dungeon algorthims or drop rates) then it becomes almost near impossible as you can only guess the correct values for those.

If the client comes with nearly all server data and some server code (like a disabled server for a removed singleplayer function) then it would be stupidly easy. Games like Final Fantasy 11 had huge popular following but a fully functional free server did not exist even after years of the game being out.
 
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Steel_Stallion is talking on experience. Every game that has any sort of popularity has been hacked and had servers out. Odds are Diablo III will have private servers before it's been out for a year. I don't understand any of the technical jargon you're throwing out there, and I have my doubts that you know as much as you would have us believe, but the fact is that every online game I know of has private servers.
 
I don't think its good to compare hacking HoN with hacking D3, since their server structures are probably a lot different (I think D3's will be more close to those of MMOs)... It will be easy if someone gets to buy a legit copy of the server from Blizzard, but I doubt Blizzard would sell that (at least not on the early years)... But I believe that the probability of an online private server is higher than a hacked version which will be usable offline (since its already online, I guess hackers will find it more appealing to create their own private online server in which they can sell more powerful items via donations...)
 
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I don't think its good to compare hacking HoN with hacking D3, since their server structures are probably a lot different (I think D3's will be more close to those of MMOs)... It will be easy if someone gets to buy a legit copy of the server from Blizzard, but I doubt Blizzard would sell that (at least not on the early years)... But I believe that the probability of an online private server is higher than a hacked version which will be usable offline (since its already online, I guess hackers will find it more appealing to create their own private online server in which they can sell more powerful items via donations...)


You're getting too specific here. HoN was just an example off the bat because its the only online game I've been playing recently so it just came to mind, lol. What I was trying to say is that a wide variety of different online games, that use different methods of online authentication, whether it be HoN's game client or Ubisofts DRM authentication, have all been hacked successfully even when the respective companies were all like

"no way its not possible we're beating piracy etc etc etc."

I just really don't see a massive game like D3 which currently has a lot of angry fans over the issue, NOT being hacked and Blizzard just happens to become the first company to beat piracy.

It's all really hard to swallow. Recent news have shown us the ingenuity and technical skill of some hackers, and we know these hackers are usually avid gamers.
 
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Steel_Stallion is talking on experience. Every game that has any sort of popularity has been hacked and had servers out. Odds are Diablo III will have private servers before it's been out for a year. I don't understand any of the technical jargon you're throwing out there, and I have my doubts that you know as much as you would have us believe, but the fact is that every online game I know of has private servers.

What DSG actually reffers to.... is making private servers for D3 just like WoW has. I can honestly tell you... that at the moment... in 2011... I know only ONE scripted TBC server which works anywhere close to retail standards. By this I mean accurate boss fights, accurate trash, accurate drops, accurate items, accurate spells, accurate talents, accurate heroic mode system, accurate BGs system, accurate Arena system, accurate questing. They started this server like two years ago, and now they are working on the last content piece of 2.4 patch. That means Isle of QD, MGT, Sunwell.

Do not confuse a game crack for a private server. A gamecrack is just a workaround for you to be able to start the game and bypassing all the authenticating needed. Like DSG said, a game like AC2 already gives you an emulator so you can emulate the game on your own computer.

A game like WoW does not give you an emulator for your own computer, it just gives you the data you need such as models, skins, music, movies... but it doesn't provide an emulator for you to actually play the game on your PC.

As far as I understood, what Blizzard wants to do, is NOT give you an emulator with Diablo3. You will download a game client similar with the one from WoW.

Since D3 doesn't come with an emulator, the only way for you to access gameplay, is by connecting via internet to a D3 emulator. In this case either Blizzard serevers, or private servers.

Thus, someone will need to create an emulator for D3, thus creating private servers. NOW ! Since your copy of D3 will not come with database reguarding spawn points, item drop chance and such... then those who are creating the emulator for private servers need to estimate/research based on actuall gameplay on D3 blizz servers, or other external sources such as "wowhead".

Now, let's say there is the spell frostbolt which deals damage and slows target. The guy who creates the emulator for D3 private server now needs make this spell work on his emulator. First of all he will need to find the spell in his database, and than through scripting made from scratch, he needs to make it work. This entire process needs to be applied to every single spell a playable character / boss has. Ok, our pirate man has scripted his very first spell, frostbolt a success ! But now, he needs to make alternate versions of it, in reaction with how you rune/gem your character. And he needs to script these alternations from scratch on every single spell a character has.

And to remind everyone... Why does our pirate friend need to script every spell from scratch ?
Answer: Because you do not receive how spells work in your D3 copy.

Thus we can conclude, that depending on how complex the game is, and on how much content it has, the development time of any accurate D3 private server will take 1 year, 2 years, or even never.

And a big spoiler alert for those who didn't knew... the guys who create emulators for WoW are not paid to do this. People are not payed to script, they do this in their extra time, they do this as a hobby, or maybe some actually do this as their main activity.... but no one does this for a living. And I am not talking about some programmer who works for molten-wow private server.... he just adjusts some scripts. Fixes them. I am talking about the boys who develop trinity core(<the emulator), which without it, you couldn't play WoW on a private server.

--------------

Now why is D3 online only ?

Because if they made it singleplayer, they needed to give you an emulator for the game in your copy of D3. This ment that a private server would easily be constructed. That means people could play D3 for free, and the private servers would have their own values in the RMHA. What that means.... is that Blizzard has a competitor. That will force Blizzard to make changes to their pricing.

For example if private server sells items for 1$ a piece and Blizzard sells them for 10$ a piece.... the customer will just say "I will go play on the private server because it doesn't cost me money to play the game, and items are 10 times cheaper than on the Blizzard market".

And like this, Blizzard can loose their control over their own market. They do not want that, they want to keep their control over their own market.

But if D3 is online only ,than some volunteers need to program everything from scratch, which can take years before they achieve any fidelity compared to the Blizzard servers.

Furthermore, and this is just a guess of mine, I think Blizzard will keep releasing expansions and content patches for D3, so there keeps appearing content so the private servers always need to catch up and are never to date. Like it's in WoW now... WotLK is not finished scripted for private servers... Cataclysm is out.

---------------------

I didn't read the entire thread piece by piece, but I hope things are easier for everyone to understand.
 
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I do hope that this'll become a really good success.
It just sounds so sweet, Blizzard really knows how to improve the quality of their games:)
 
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Yes we can already see how huge sucess starcraft 2 was where they removed the clann system and forced you to be online to play offline and now people think it's a good idea to have real cash AH. What will happen is that players will buy a gearset for 10$ and 2 hours later they will kill a boss and find beter gear try to sell their old gear and never have it soled for real money. I cant say that I support this idea.
 

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What will happen is that players will buy a gearset for 10$ and 2 hours later they will kill a boss and find beter gear try to sell their old gear and never have it soled for real money. I cant say that I support this idea.
You obviously have not played Diablo II... Tons of end game gear is being sold for real money, except there the distributers often hacked your account to steal it back a few days afterwards. This should hopefully end such low down and unoffical ways to play the game.

There are 2 currencies, real money and gold. Unlike Diablo II where gold was valueless, in D3 gold will have a real life value. Depending on the rarity, that could be high or low. As gold is a realitivly common drop, its value will generally be quite low but due to it dropping it can be considered work (where its value comes from). I suspect venders will sell only very cheap and not very powerful items (thus keeping gold value up). Additionally, recycling items to gold will yield minimal gold (probably even the best items will be worth little if scrapped to gold) thus keeping its value up. Gold is also not limited (which really killed its value in D2) meaning that huge transactions of millions of gold are possible.

The end result is that gold will allow you to buy even the best items late game. Why should people selling lots of good items bother paying auction fees (as you are limited per week to free real money transactions) when they can receive gold with no fee? At a later time (like next week) they could then actualize these assets by selling the gold for real money. Yes there will always be people paying for items directly, but remember that the fees cause you to lose ingame value in doing so (meaning that you gain far more value selling for gold than selling for real money).

The problem arisies with infinite generation of gold (as money does not grow on trees, instead it comes from genericly spawned creatues) that you end up with inflation during periods of growth (where there is less good gear than players needing it). However the opposite occurs once everyone starts to be kitted out (how much is a good piece of gear worth when you got 4 already?).

I hope that gambling will be present, this would be the ultimate and much required method of destruction of wealth that will help keep inflation under control. Infact, you might find that golds value gets tied to something like gambling and odds associated with it.

Now comes the really extreem part. If D3's virtual economy takes off, you will get REAL investors taking part of the action. We all know how unstable currencies can be, and if you have euroes to invest, you could invest them into gold which might have a better value trend than other currencies like the GBP or USD meaning people might start buying millions and millions of D3 gold as a way of storing real assets in a stable currency.
 
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Although, if the game goes high (Like WoW), many players would be quite happy with the system, making a way to earn big bucks lol.
 
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I wonder how many new players will get into D3 just because it might seem that they can get some money out of it ?
 

Dr Super Good

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Trust me people will get this as a job and quit their real jobs ;)
Very well possible if the economy is large enough and Blizzard adds events into the game (that effect all players) which can cause prices to fluctuate.

Ladder for example, every reset it causes people to start new which means a different market period etc. Economists can all take advantage of this.
 
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That, is an understatement.

Blizzard might even be smart enough to use Starcraft II as a means to earn more money (As interest based on WoW Related Achievements/Starcraft II scores) from certain players, such as those with a high Starcraft II melee score (= More benefits in terms of cash), making players buy both WoW and Starcraft II games as well.
 
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PvP might also become competitive in Diablo III after patching and expansions. Remember we are schedualed 2 expansions onto Diablo III which can improve the economy and ballence PvP.

Ah yeah deffinetly.

Basicly every PC company wants to promote e-sports through games, because they are promoting their own hardware in the end. "Go Play Diablo3 on the new Nvidia GeForce 10800 and play SC2 and D3 on Super Ultra settings !"

Speaking of expansions, I am really curios to what kind of changes Blizzard will bring through HotS for SC2 to the competitive play. And how it will change the metagame.
 
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PvP might also become competitive in Diablo III after patching and expansions. Remember we are schedualed 2 expansions onto Diablo III which can improve the economy and ballence PvP.
They've specifically said D3 is not intended to be a competitive game in terms of PvP.
 
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Yes, I do personally believe that Diablo III would top off many other of their games and once again be another epic Blizzard creation.
 
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And a big spoiler alert for those who didn't knew... the guys who create emulators for WoW are not paid to do this. People are not payed to script, they do this in their extra time, they do this as a hobby, or maybe some actually do this as their main activity.... but no one does this for a living. And I am not talking about some programmer who works for molten-wow private server.... he just adjusts some scripts. Fixes them. I am talking about the boys who develop trinity core(<the emulator), which without it, you couldn't play WoW on a private server.

people were asking on trinity forums when cata will be released on private servers .
one of the developers answered ..
*wall of text but worth reading on how "WoW cata" and the new battle.net works which will make D3 impossible to hack
Well, I'm almost done discussing this topic. After this post, I think I will be done.

I have spent the last few weeks trying, very hard, to do as much as I can reverse-engineering the 4.x client and thus gleaning some new knowledge from it. In that pursuit I believe I have overcome the problem that we once thought was our primary roadblock - "random" opcodes.

Let's have a talk about those first.

Random opcodes, if they were truly random, would be a bitch to figure out. If Blizzard were to, say, just pipe /dev/random into a text file and remove duplicates, they could have a set of true random numbers to use in order to create a set of opcodes in the client. Afterwards, simply randomizing order of initialization in functions - and doing direct assignment, as they're doing, rather than indirect assignment - would make a huge difference in terms of the complexity of finding new opcodes based on the old.

As it is, Blizzard hasn't done so well. They have left many opcodes hardcoded into the client - such as, for example, many movement opcodes, miscellaneous ones that contribute very little data, and SMSG_COMPRESSED_UPDATE_OBJECT - and those that are not hardcoded are on average still registered in the same order as they were in the 3.3.5a client.

The problem that we have there, however, is that the exact opcodes for those packets are nowhere in the client. The handlers are assigned to a giant array inside of the clientside CNetClient class. That giant array consists, really, of a ton of function pointers - where the index of the pointer is a function of the opcode that leads to that particular packet. Suffice to say, Blizzard did a good job there. The function(s) (as there is a new one with each "major" client update) have thus far all been non-inverseable. What that means is - given an index, it is not possible to hunt down a single opcode for that packet.

However, while this may be true, it is also true that the function, being non-inverseable, is a lossy function. By preventing us from going backwards, that means that they have to lose information - and in this case, simply having any individual opcode that resolves to the same handler in all cases is just as good for the purposes of an "emulator" server as having the exact opcode that Blizzard uses on their servers.

Very simply, we can just brute-force each opcode based on its index.

The relevant formula in 4.0.3.13329 is as follows:

index = opcode & 3 | ((opcode & 8 | ((opcode & 0x20 | ((opcode & 0x300 | (opcode >> 1) & 0x7C00) >> 2)) >> 1)) >> 1);

In order to get a list of opcodes that should, in theory, resolve to that handler, I just run the following Java function with the index as input:

private static void printOpcodesForOffset(long offset) { for (long opcode = 0; opcode < 0x10000; opcode++) { if (((opcode & 0x5BFF) == 0x1000) || ((opcode & 0xCF07) == 0x800)) continue; if ((opcode & 3 | ((opcode & 8 | ((opcode & 0x20 | ((opcode & 0x300 | (opcode >> 1) & 0x7C00) >> 2)) >> 1)) >> 1)) == offset) { System.out.println("\t0x" + Long.toHexString(opcode).toUpperCase()); } } }

And we'll get a list of all possible opcodes for that index. To track it down to a single opcode, we can just compare against a sniff from blizzard - or, in some cases, the functions themselves contain hardcoded numbers that we can then use as the confirmed opcodes.

That in and of itself solves the problem for most Server -> Client opcodes. For Client -> Server opcodes, the struggle is slightly more difficult. From there, we can just track when integers get added into a packet object, and figure out when those functions get called. Once we know that, we can figure out which packet is being sent, and so we have the new Client -> Server opcodes. This process, as you can imagine, is a pain in the ass. Modern reverse-engineering tools such as binary differs and pattern creators make this easier, but it is still substantially more annoying than I am really willing to deal with for hours on end.

So that's the random opcodes business.

Next up, is authentication. For a long time, Blizzard used a system called Grunt for all authentication purposes when it came to WoW. Grunt was mostly cracked relatively early, and in fact all modern WoW "emulators" use Grunt as their authentication protocol. As a sloppy implementation of SRP6 with a handful of extra things added on on top, Grunt is relatively easy to implement and track down in any new client.

However, midway through Wrath of the Lich King, Blizzard switched to their Battle.net 2 authentication scheme. This is something that is not currently well-understood; and due to extremely heavy obfuscation in the Battle.net DLL and the even heavier obfuscation in all client methods related to Battle.net authentication, it is difficult to make meaningful progress. In addition, since Battle.net relies on different communication protocols and a new form of password hashing (as well as a seemingly correct implementation of SRP6a), it is substantially harder to fake a Battle.net authentication server.

The danger of Blizzard simply removing Grunt from the client is very real. While there may be ways around the problem, we have not found any as of yet.

So that's the authentication trouble.

Next up is the issue of SMSG_REDIRECT_CLIENT.

Let's start with a quick runthrough of RSA encryption.

Wouldn't it be nice to have an encryption scheme where you could publish an encryption key in a public forum - such as a newspaper - thus allowing anyone to write you messages, but yet not be able to read them? In other words, wouldn't it be nice to have an asymmetric encryption scheme, whereby there are two different keys - one encryptor, usually, and one decryptor - and where you cannot go from the encryptor key to the decryptor key (or vice-versa)?

In addition, wouldn't it be nice to be able to append a block of encrypted data to a plaintext message, ensuring that the message has not been tampered with (this is known as signing)?

These kinds of encryption do exist. RSA is one of them.

The security of RSA relies on its method of key generation: the fact that the entire key is based on a product of two extremely large prime numbers, in addition to several modular exponentiation functions (which are thought to not be reversable). The problem is simple: given a large number, is it possible to quickly and efficiently factor it into two (or more, for that matter) large (or small, for that matter) primes? So far, it appears as though the answer to that question is "No." Or at least, not in polynomial time (it is possible to bruteforce a key, however - doing so for a key of reasonable length requires more time than the current age of the universe).

Now, you might ask, alright. So, how does this matter?

It's very simple. The client, upon connecting to the server, asks for a very simple thing. "Where do I send my packets now?"

SMSG_REDIRECT_CLIENT is the server's response, signed through Blizzard's private key. The client contains the public key - but Blizzard's private exponent isn't known, and thus it is impossible to create an encrypted message for this particular public key, so far as we know.

If the client does not receive this packet, it by default just doesn't send a ton of the packets that we need to be sent to us - things like movement data, spell messages, and a ton of other information. Sure, it'll work as a "sandbox" - the player will be able to move around - but it won't work serverside, or for more than one client.

There are two ways around this problem that do not involve bruteforcing Blizzard's private key - an impossible task.

1. Edit the client. Trinity will not condone this.
2. Make a launcher that "patches" the client's memory at runtime. Trinity is not likely to condone this.

Now, streamed data.

There is an absurd amount of new data in the Cataclysm world. Each new zone map, each new creature, each new quest - all of these have data attached to them. Cataclysm offers the client a new way to download this data - a way that we, no matter how hard we try, are unlikely to be able to replicate. Thus, in order to effectively play on a private server, one would need to have a client that already has all of this data - all of the gigabytes upon gigabytes of data that means.

In addition, the existence of streamed data means that Blizzard could potentially change anything at any time, throwing back our efforts substantially while players are ingame. This by itself is a large roadblock - if they can distribute patches more easily, they have no reason not to do it more often. And each of those patches could change communication protocols, leaving us to re-reverse-engineer their information.

However, there is doubtless a way around it - even if that way around it is just more reverse-engineering time and an end to the drive to being at the latest version of the game.

Now the last problem: the new content and the new mechanics.

This is the most important problem code-wise. The other three are primarily reverse-engineering problems; once solved, these problems are easy to code away at. However, the new mechanics, and the new content, is quite simply not possible to patch onto the current version of Trinity without a significant rewrite of the majority of the core. Talents alone would need a full rewrite, as would nearly all spells and auras (as they scale now, recall!); even things as recent as the Dungeon Finder or the calendar system changed drastically with the arrival of Cataclysm. Recoding that much of the core would be a massive chore - equivalent, even, to just starting from scratch.

So.

Cataclysm: it's possible. There are ways around just about everything. However, Trinity will not support it as it is. Why, you ask? Because we refuse to take that step of modifying the client. Because many of the devs do not have the energy, the time or the desire to rewrite the vast majority of the core in order to add support for a new client version. Because it is not in the style of a learning project to just update to a new version of WoW every time Blizzard pushes it out.

So let's stop discussing. The reasons have been stated. The logic is there. There may be an emulator project for Cataclysm; suffice to say, it will not be Trinity. Brian has made that clear, and I hope this post has put all of the complaining about lack of reasoning to rest.

~ Silinoron

Note: All reverse-engineering-specific information here is directly from my work, Zor's, ralek's, or TOM_RUS's.
 
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