Diablo II & Privacy

There's a post on PlanetDiablo from Blizzard Entertainment, describing plans for a patch that includes a feature that "is likely become quite controversial despite the company's efforts to explain exactly why it is being implemented." Here's the word:
This week, Blizzard will be releasing Diablo II patch 1.09c. The patch adds a new feature to the program that is important, but also has the potential to be misunderstood [...].

Included in the patch is a .dll file that will relay non-personal, non-identifying information about a user's computer to Blizzard. Specifically: CPU, RAM, operating system, video card and sound card information.

Historically, the best customers for Blizzard games are players of previous Blizzard games, and while it's tempting to go for high-end specifications with our upcoming Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos to get the maximum amount of bells and whistles out of it, we also want it to be playable by as many of our current customers as we can, and so we're going to compile this information for that purpose.

Two important things to note [...]: 1) this is only taking place in North America, and 2) users can opt out of participating in this hardware specification survey when they download the patch.

We understand that user privacy is an important matter to our customers, and are attempting to balance privacy needs with the best means possible of accurately ascertaining current users' hardware information.
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37 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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37.
 
How many .....
Nov 14, 2001, 09:29
anon@194.128
37.
How many ..... Nov 14, 2001, 09:29
Nov 14, 2001, 09:29
anon@194.128
 
..... lamers does it take to change a lightbulb ??

Answer: God knows! They are all too busy claiming to be l33t hax0r instead...

FFS, taking anon' hardware data isn't exactly new or that threatening is it ? besides you can opt out if you are afraid...

Is it just me or are these forums filling up with lame twats or what ?
36.
 
Re: No biggie
Nov 14, 2001, 08:52
anon@24.69
36.
Re: No biggie Nov 14, 2001, 08:52
Nov 14, 2001, 08:52
anon@24.69
 
So what if they can change the game after you purchase it? Adjusting imbalance problems or making minor tweaks that totally change the way a game works keeps them from having 95% of people choosing one option and playing one way. If they didn't make adjustments things would stay broken and the game would get boring mighty fast.

I don't see what the problem some of you people have with sending system specs to a company. Hell, I bet a large number of you are running WindowsXP - which means Microsoft has access to everything from your email address up to your credit cards through things like their Passport services and more likely than not some code they aren't telling you about. And please don't tell me you think there isn't a backdoor into that new remote computing feature that will not only allow them to see your stuff but CONTROL your computer.

Personally, I think that there SHOULD be safeguards like sending registry information to Blizzard if you are using a stolen CD. The only way you would have a problem with something like that would be if
a) You stole the program in which case Blizzard might get some money if you decided to go out and buy the game or
b) You are stupid enough to give someone your CD-KEY
and just learned a lesson in how to keep your personal information safe while in cyberspace - and it only cost you $40.

Silver
35.
 
No biggie
Nov 14, 2001, 07:48
35.
No biggie Nov 14, 2001, 07:48
Nov 14, 2001, 07:48
 
If it's really going to be that simple to opt out of the survey, this shouldn't be too controversial. I've never been put out as a result of anything Blizzard's done, so I'm going to be a naive, ignorant soul.

Hey Blizzard! I have a Duron 750, 256 RAM, running winxp with a geforce 2 gts and a soundblaster live.

How, exactly, is letting Blizzard know this a problem?

Announcing this is probably just a CYA routine. On the Battle.net forums, Bill Roper can't take a piss without someone complaining about it.

34.
 
Whiners are generally dishonest
Nov 14, 2001, 07:15
anon@164.58
34.
Whiners are generally dishonest Nov 14, 2001, 07:15
Nov 14, 2001, 07:15
anon@164.58
 
They are gathering your hardware data. BFD. You think Microsoft hasn't been doing this all the while? What are you going to do, boycott that OS as well? I thought not...

I find that the people who yell the loudest are those who, despite assurances to the contrary, are afraid someone might find out just how much stolen software and/or kiddie porn resides on their computer.

Privacy is important, but to act like this is the first step toward Orwellian (1894) society or Communism is just blowing it out of proportion in order to protect yourselves.

Flame away. I'm right.
33.
 
Re: Blizzard: Help us keep our games simple
Nov 14, 2001, 03:10
33.
Re: Blizzard: Help us keep our games simple Nov 14, 2001, 03:10
Nov 14, 2001, 03:10
 
I agree with number 12. It seems very late in the game to be collecting data for feature set in Warcraft 3 (WoW would seem to be a better candidate.) While games are never done till they're done, you'd think that after all this time the feature set would be reasonably set. Any radical changes would push the project back even further. And this project has already had its share of radical changes.
It is a good thing, however, that they announced the info collecting this time. I was highly offended when they went snooping through my registry settings the last time. Kudos for being upfront, lets hope for Blizzard's sake that they are being honest about the extent of the info being sent.
Bottom line: Honesty = Good!

~Andy "GusBot" Gustafson


32.
 
This is a test
Nov 14, 2001, 01:56
anon@213.59
32.
This is a test Nov 14, 2001, 01:56
Nov 14, 2001, 01:56
anon@213.59
 
testing, testing...
31.
 
Test
Nov 14, 2001, 01:52
anon@24.67
31.
Test Nov 14, 2001, 01:52
Nov 14, 2001, 01:52
anon@24.67
 
Please note, this is just a test.
30.
 
Re: Good Choice
Nov 13, 2001, 18:12
anon@130.18
30.
Re: Good Choice Nov 13, 2001, 18:12
Nov 13, 2001, 18:12
anon@130.18
 
Uhm, 27, I don't think he meant this patch. He meant when they changed their TOS (which they can, in turn, make modifications to any time now that no one will notice). That was around 1.06 or whatever. I don't remember. If you're going to act like a "hard ass motherfucker" (I know how popular that is here) at least try to get your facts straight.

#26's comment's clarity (Or lack thereof) isn't my problem. Given the context of the discussion at hand, it's apparent to me (And others, given #28's comment) that he's talking about v1.09. So my comment is factually correct within this context...and I believe the majority of us are operating within this context. I'll keep my facts straight if you keep your eye on the ball, okay?
29.
 
Re: Good Choice
Nov 13, 2001, 14:25
anon@209.179
29.
Re: Good Choice Nov 13, 2001, 14:25
Nov 13, 2001, 14:25
anon@209.179
 
Uhm, 27, I don't think he meant this patch. He meant when they changed their TOS (which they can, in turn, make modifications to any time now that no one will notice). That was around 1.06 or whatever. I don't remember. If you're going to act like a "hard ass motherfucker" (I know how popular that is here) at least try to get your facts straight.

And 28... that's funny what you said about illiterate people not being able to play D2. I don't know what version of the game you play but I've had experiences to the contrary (any of the trade channels should get you good results).
28.
 
Re: Good Choice
Nov 13, 2001, 00:20
anon@137.229
28.
Re: Good Choice Nov 13, 2001, 00:20
Nov 13, 2001, 00:20
anon@137.229
 
I have just one question for you: Did you read the message from blizzard even once? Because, if you did, you would see that you have the ability to disable the hardware survey option. I figure you have the ability to read, or you wouldn't be able to play D2.

I always have, and always will trust blizzard, they've never let me down yet.
27.
 
Re: Good Choice
Nov 12, 2001, 16:51
anon@130.18
27.
Re: Good Choice Nov 12, 2001, 16:51
Nov 12, 2001, 16:51
anon@130.18
 
There was nothing in the TOS/License when I bought BOTH copies of D2 about interrogating my system as a requirement to keep playing the game. And yes, it is a requirement to keep playing the game, if you've been using BNET. No patchee, no playee.

You, sir, are misinformed and contributing to the problem. This patch *is* required to play on Battle.net, yes, but the hardware survey is *NOT* required to patch. You can decline to take the survey and still install the patch.

Ignorance/apathy on the behalf of consumers: it seems Blizzard is counting on that.

And you are an excellent example.
26.
 
Re: Good Choice
Nov 12, 2001, 14:31
anon@216.231
26.
Re: Good Choice Nov 12, 2001, 14:31
Nov 12, 2001, 14:31
anon@216.231
 
My problem is, has been, and will continue to be that Blizzard changed/changes the rules AFTER I've bought the game.

There was nothing in the TOS/License when I bought BOTH copies of D2 about interrogating my system as a requirement to keep playing the game. And yes, it is a requirement to keep playing the game, if you've been using BNET. No patchee, no playee.

Hence the reason I quit playing the game and will not buy another product from Blizzard. As far as iD is concerned, you have the capability to control what it does and does not send or connect to via slight mod's to your config file. You can still play the game online, and patches work just fine.

Blizzard's approaches (yes, plural... see the Diablo I debacle... they pulled the same shit) DEVALUE their games. Change the rules after I've bought it and the company itself removes any replay value it could have had for that game. I will freely admit that D2 was fun... I was addicted. Until the change in the ToS for BNET.

Blizzard has reserved the right to change the rules as it sees fit.

I have reserved the right to avoid anything they or their parent publish(es).

Ignorance/apathy on the behalf of consumers: it seems Blizzard is counting on that.
25.
 
I think you poeple are missing....
Nov 12, 2001, 01:04
anon@64.166
25.
I think you poeple are missing.... Nov 12, 2001, 01:04
Nov 12, 2001, 01:04
anon@64.166
 
I bet blizzard is asking this so if they find most people have below target specs they will let you turn down some parts of the graphics NOT LOWER IT ALL.. the game will look like it does in the screen shots but if you have some shitty 200mhz system you will beable to turn lots of stuff off.. so if blizzard find lots of people running 1ghz comps they wont even bother letting people tuning the graphics very much..
24.
 
I guess they decided to ask this time.
Nov 8, 2001, 10:43
anon@207.51
24.
I guess they decided to ask this time. Nov 8, 2001, 10:43
Nov 8, 2001, 10:43
anon@207.51
 
Last time Blizzard did something of this nature they got their ass handed to them. Back when StarCraft came out, they included some code to send a copy of your registry to Blizzard should you try to use a CD-key that was in use. Needless to say, this didn't go over too well.
23.
 
Re: Valve already does this with HL
Nov 8, 2001, 09:35
anon@206.246
23.
Re: Valve already does this with HL Nov 8, 2001, 09:35
Nov 8, 2001, 09:35
anon@206.246
 
one of the few things i like about blizzard is they don't seem to hold to the 'no problem, upgrade your computer just to play our game' ethos that is so rife in the PC market. fifty bucks a pop for a game is enough without me also having to fork out for a H4RDK0R3 gaming rig... it's a matter of principle.

well yes, but they are basicly saying "we have alot of cool stuff but since people refuse to upgrade we have to hurt everyone and cut out some cool shit"...
and you do have a good reason for saying that, BUT, i like the fact that i dont have to play brown quake for the rest of my life- i like the world to run better, i like it to have more, i dont want to "drive a modelT forever- there is a BIG difference between even just an AMD 400, and a pentium 233- you know it, i know it, everyone knows it- so when they say you need just like a 400mhz system, that sint asking for jack shit! i mean damn, you can buy a faster chip DIRT CHEAP!!!!! it doesnt cost a million bucks unless you shop at frikin compUSA, which is your own damn fault anyways-
also remember that when they cut system specs, the graphics arent the only thing to go- were talking about theAI, the systems card involvement, developers being able to make the game they really believe it should be, gameplay in every sense is less and what is isnt what it could be- playing DOOM was the greatest game probably ever, but even that game is dated ok! wake up people! bellbottoms are out levis are IN, we dont need to rub two sticks together to make fire anymore! damn
22.
 
Re: Valve already does this with HL
Nov 8, 2001, 09:34
anon@206.246
22.
Re: Valve already does this with HL Nov 8, 2001, 09:34
Nov 8, 2001, 09:34
anon@206.246
 
one of the few things i like about blizzard is they don't seem to hold to the 'no problem, upgrade your computer just to play our game' ethos that is so rife in the PC market. fifty bucks a pop for a game is enough without me also having to fork out for a H4RDK0R3 gaming rig... it's a matter of principle.

well yes, but they are basicly saying "we have alot of cool stuff but since people refuse to upgrade we have to hurt everyone and cut out some cool shit"...
and you do have a good reason for saying that, BUT, i like the fact that i dont have to play brown quake for the rest of my life- i like the world to run better, i like it to have more, i dont want to "drive a modelT forever- there is a BIG difference between even just an AMD 400, and a pentium 233- you know it, i know it, everyone knows it- so when they say you need just like a 400mhz system, that sint asking for jack shit! i mean damn, you can buy a faster chip DIRT CHEAP!!!!! it doesnt cost a million bucks unless you shop at frikin compUSA, which is your own damn fault anyways-
also remember that when they cut system specs, the graphics arent the only thing to go- were talking about theAI, the systems card involvement, developers being able to make the game they really believe it should be, gameplay in every sense is less and what is isnt what it could be- playing DOOM was the greatest game probably ever, but even that game is dated ok! wake up people! bellbottoms are out levis are IN, we dont need to rub two sticks together to make fire anymore! damn-
21.
 
Valve already does this with HL
Nov 7, 2001, 20:21
anon@24.12
21.
Valve already does this with HL Nov 7, 2001, 20:21
Nov 7, 2001, 20:21
anon@24.12
 
i don't get why this is such a bad thing Valve already does this with there new HL patch. and it has caused no issues at all i do not get why this will
20.
 
Wrong Demographic
Nov 7, 2001, 20:07
anon@132.156
20.
Wrong Demographic Nov 7, 2001, 20:07
Nov 7, 2001, 20:07
anon@132.156
 
The assumption here is that current Diablo II players will be the future players of Warcraft III. I'll bet many Diablo fans don't play Blizzard RTS games. I like Blizzard RTS games, but don't really care for the RPG-lite gendre. Blizzard is collecting information from the wrong audience. If they want more accurate information about the hardware of gamers who will likely purchase Warcraft III, they should gather it from people who will download the Starcraft 1.09 patch that has been "coming soon" since May 22, 2001.
19.
 
Make It a Separate App
Nov 7, 2001, 19:50
19.
Make It a Separate App Nov 7, 2001, 19:50
Nov 7, 2001, 19:50
 
There is no reason why this has to be part of the game patch proper. They could cobble together a separate app that interrogates your system, displays exactly the information about to be relayed to Blizzard, says [OK] [Cancel], then exits.

By making it a separate app, you isolate the "window of vulnerability" for transmitting information about your system. It also makes it easier to uninstall once you're through telling them what they want to know.

Schwab


18.
 
Re: Blizzard: Help us keep our games simple
Nov 7, 2001, 16:46
18.
Re: Blizzard: Help us keep our games simple Nov 7, 2001, 16:46
Nov 7, 2001, 16:46
 
#13, it's funny how you can read it either way. I guess if I drop out of cynical gamer mode, maybe Blizzard really is doing this to try to create a better game.

We'll see.

37 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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