Blizzard's decision to add a real-money auction house to Diablo III prompted the developer to force users to have an active Internet connection in order to play, to cut back on possible fraud. This has caused much consternation amongst gamers. Another fraud-protection scheme has generated a new wave of anger as digital Diablo downloaders have found their games nerfed until Blizzard verifies the payment, which takes anywhere from one to three days. To make matters worse, a bug in a recent update dumps downloaders into the "Starter Edition" of the game until verification.
The Starter Edition restricts progression to a level 13 cap and only lets players hack-n-slash up to Act I's Skeleton King. Blizzard reached out to Kotaku to let them know that this is a bug and will be remedied ASAP -- though to be fair, the company only said that after teh Interwebz raised a ruckus
A handful of other limitations, however, were fully intended and designed to cut back on credit card fraud from would-be farmers and exploiters, Blizzard said. These restrictions are:
No public game access for unverified digital purchasers
No auction house access (real-money or gold) for unverified digital purchasers
Unverified digital purchasers cannot trade items or drop items for other players to receive
Unverified digital purchasers are not able to chat in any public or game channels
Unverified digital purchasers cannot attach a custom message to friend requests, but they can send/accept friend requests, and play with their friends
Global Play is not available for unverified digital purchasers
The moves make sense -- if you consider the real money auction house to be absolutely essential to what is, for a large part, a single player-oriented game. How many of you actually use the RMAH? Admittedly, the RMAH only opened its doors a week ago, but do its benefits outweigh the ongoing DRM hassles? Let us know what you think in the comments.