DC protection - a theory needs answering

Hardcore
Let me first say that I belong to the europe-community, but the developers dont mingle over there, so I cross the atlantic for some publicity.

Since the game launched the hardcore community have had a single request that overshadowed everything else (yes, even loot) - protection from out-of-game events.

First and foremost it seems odd not to have this feature included when the game supports hardcore _and_ forces us to be on the internet. None can claim Blizzard is responsible for faulty internett, powerouts and whatnot, but forcing us to play in a context where these things are to be expected places certain responsibilities on the content provider.

Now if we all agree on that premise we can look at a solution. By chance Blizzard also runs another franchise called Starcraft, and right there you have your solution. In Starcraft, if you ping-out the game pauses for a while, enough to recoup from most lagg-spikes and other short term inconveniences. Pausing the game is cheating-proof, since removing your powercord etc. wont take you to a safe place, just prolong the current state for a given amount of time (say between 1-3 minutes).

Since people have different needs it makes sense to let people turn this feature of, so for instance I can choose that my multiplayergame doesn't slow down because some random person has a horrible connection. Choice is no problem, the problem now is that we have no such choice - we are forced into angst over the next out-of-game obstacle and gear for out-of-game events.

now we have both a premise and a solution, so why havent this been done? This is where I get sad.

Since no official have said anything (almost) about the issue we must assume this is done on purpose. Companies are quite good at answering when they feel comfortable about it. So why isn't this fix high enough on the to-do-list that they want to talk about it?

I will have to make some professional assumptions as an economist to answer that. 1) The owners of the company want to make money, 2) The HC community is small (no wonder given the circumstances...) thus not very important to the overall cashflow, 3) This problem forces people to redo the game numerous times vitalizing the economy.

Now all this makes sense to me except for one key point - public relations. Blizzard have earlier been notoriously famed for their polish, making sure that each game will strengthen the companys already good reputation for making quality games. This definitely breaks with that tradition as the mix of hardcore and disconnects is a rather obvious and very serious deisgnfault in a game that is virtually built around the importance of survival through content.

How can you choose to not address the biggest flaw in one of your major franchises?

Blizzard, please address this. Not necessarily the issue (thought you should), but the reasoning in this post. it boggles the EU community to the point where people leave in droves.
good post
agree. a friend of mine DC died last night. paragon 95. 225k dps WD. played a ton of high monster power with this guy, he is highly aggressive but ive never seen him in danger.

after speaking to him, i feel his pain. it literally hurt my heart seeing that his WD was dead, and hearing him speak about it, i can only imagine how he feels.

part of me wishes someone high up at blizzard could experience this, the rest of me knows no one ever should. at least perhaps they will read this, and know that when it happens to you, it is far worse than any story could describe.
it hurts reading it about others, and its devastating when it happens to you
This is going down a BAD road and will open up the game to cheating. You dont want to drop the legitimacy of HC mode with DC protect abuse

The issue that should be looked at is the time it takes to recognize a DC and start the clock. Remember, NO DC protection and the 10 second timer prevent garbage like chicken hack from D2. Remeber all the rollback revive cheaters? Any means to cheat death will be exploited ad naseum.

You dont want to open up the game to another path to abuse.
This is going down a BAD road and will open up the game to cheating. You dont want to drop the legitimacy of HC mode with DC protect abuse

The issue that should be looked at is the time it takes to recognize a DC and start the clock. Remember, NO DC protection and the 10 second timer prevent garbage like chicken hack from D2. Remeber all the rollback revive cheaters? Any means to cheat death will be exploited ad naseum.

You dont want to open up the game to another path to abuse.


How is is possible to cheat a system that basically freezes your current state?

Let say you get yourself into a creepy situation, you pull out your powercord and the clock starts running. After 50 seconds you get online again and enter the game and press "resume game", at that point you are tossed right back into the same spot you were in (possibly iwth a 10 sec loading time to load textures etc preventing laggspikes). It would be exactly as if you just continued playing all along, and there is no way to cheat it.

In multiplayer it would pause the game for your entire group (which is why I suggest making this an option for the group-leader), so everyone is forced to wait (if they just quit they cannot play that char til the original timer is out, at which they are in the game for an aditional 10seconds as usual).

Bulletproof untill proved overwise.
i think the rollback dupers was over-hyped in its day. i really dont think it was widespread and definitely did nothing in terms of crippling our economy (in fact its worse now, and this was fixed months ago iirc). just a few high end babies who found an exploit (and i believe asura got scammed, losing nearly everything).

right now lots of people are outgearing DC events, to me thats just the same as cord pullers. theyve found a way to prevent death. part of me thinks its one of the main points of hardcore, part of me feels its really wimpy.

i think "pulling the cord" really isnt going to be something you see everyone pulling off with any sort of success. sure on mp0-2 it could be done, but on mp5+, deaths typically happen quickly, and in my experience, the person would just die faster if they had to reach for the cord or stop attacking to Alt + f4 (especially if there is a few moments between when they disconnect, and are removed from game, 1-2 seconds on high mp can spell death if theres no one around geared to save you).

EDIT: its interesting what this argument (along with ladder, and self found threads) bring in terms of players. players always seem to push for better gameplay mechanics, and a richer experience in game, while the others interest lies in keeping their precious money maker going, a "richer" experience, but ultimately a hollow one.
Yea, even _if_ this was somehow possible to exploit (would be as easy as breaking into a bank I believe) the odd chance that some hacker gets an advantage is no problem compared to the problems at hand right now - players dying all over the place for no reason whatsoever.

Outgearing DCs is only possible for certain classes (pigeonholing us), and it makes people play on lower mp than they otherwise should, reducing the in-game risk they take due to out-of-game risk. It makes no sense and is terrible for the gameplay experience. Back in february I lost my 78 monk who had been alive since right after launch, I lost him to some weird event where half my screen turned gray and i rubberbanded like crazy. I wouldn't blame anyone for bugs, I blame the game for not taking bugs into account when designing the metagame. Same happened last time when my overgeared p 45 monk died, it was due to an unfortunate 8 sec laggspike (for whatever reason). I was totally outgearing the mp level, but I didnt outgear that mp level combined with a virtual disconnect.

I am sure you see what I mean Twister.
Great post!!

If they have it in starcraft, no reason it cant be done for d3. I truely believe they dont implement this solution so ppl will die and have to buy new gear. goldsink for hc.

Its cheesy as hell to die because of a dc. Lost 2 chars because of dc, was killing monsters in 1-2 hits. Wouldn't complain at all if the monster was actually strong enough to kill me before i killed them.
I'm from the EU as well. The EU hardcore forum feels like a ghost town compared to the US so sometimes I jump across to the US forums.

The 10 second timer is a game play mechanic designed specifically for HC players to address the issue of cheating death. Unfortunately, in reality we are faced with several issues :
- firstly, it has been widely reported that DC detection is flawed and we in actual fact become rooted in game for upwards of 50 seconds.
- the first point above exacerbates the issue of game play where players feel the need to outgear DC death thus negatively impacting the general game play experience of most HC players.

Now in theory 10 secs might sound reasonable during random DC as it takes some time for mobs to target you and get your health down but in reality we generally don't stand a chance if we stay in game for any longer as is the case in the current form.

I understand that Blizzard as a business needs to prioritise work that promote profits in terms of sales or the RMAH. Unfortunately, HC doesn't generate revenue so that leaves publicity as the only avenue that may yield action. Take for example all the PK deaths recently, it took a certain level of annoyance by the gaming community before something was done to fix it.

Ideally, the solution outlined by Rasmus is what we want but imo it would take much vocal support/complaints before Blizzard can justify the go ahead with such development work. There have been many threads in the past advocating DC protection yet still preventing cheating from taking place but it is my opinion that while Blizzard is aware of the problem, the cost of development is better redirected towards consoles where gamers are more likely to buy another copy to experience offline mode, thus more potential sales are generated (just a pragmatic viewpoint)

It is more likely that we see bugs fixed instead and I would like Blizzard to at least investigate and patch the servers so that we see only 10 secs downtime upon DCs and not 50 secs
The never ending story...

I tried to reason and invited people to discuss this so we can meet in the middle and find a solution where both sides are happy. See http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9341334040
Unfortunately it seems pointless...

What's even more a slap in the face and a blatant lie is that they pretend to care. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5575476209

Jay Wilson

  • Percentage of characters playing Hardcore
  • /
    The data I have on hand is from yesterday, at which time 4.1% of the characters are made in Hardcore. Hardcore is a super exciting way to play so it's very important to us.
    We take into account Hardcore for every design decision. I'll take this opportunity to mention I feel particularly bad about a few hotfixes that went in shortly after release that put the lives of some Hardcore characters at risk. You'll have noticed that after the initial handful of hotfix changes to skills in the first week there were many less skill changes - hardcore was part of the reason for the general stop/slow on skill changes. In hindsight, changes such as the Wizard Armor Force Armor hotfix should have been communicated in advance, and philosophically I absolutely want to see future changes that could put a Hardcore character at risk communicated well in advance through patch notes, patch previews, or the hotfix blog that has since been put in place.



    Where was the communication that my hardcore characters could die due to a 30 - 60 seconds disconnect instead of ten seconds? That's somehow not unnecessarily putting our characters at risk? The ten second timer was introduced to prevent cheating death. Why is this not important to share beforehand with the community? Did you do any testing at all with disconnects on hardcore?

    How does the current disconnect handling server side show that you care? How is it possible that you seem to have no problems with characters dying due to unreasonable disconnect times? Where's the caring part?
    This is going down a BAD road and will open up the game to cheating. You dont want to drop the legitimacy of HC mode with DC protect abuse

    The issue that should be looked at is the time it takes to recognize a DC and start the clock. Remember, NO DC protection and the 10 second timer prevent garbage like chicken hack from D2. Remeber all the rollback revive cheaters? Any means to cheat death will be exploited ad naseum.

    You dont want to open up the game to another path to abuse.


    I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I don't care if other players want to cheapen the experience for themselves by pulling the plug at the last second. Through all the years I played d2 hardcore, that never affected me at all. What I do care about is losing my own character due to a DC.

    The 'legitimacy' of HC in d3 is utterly meaningless. There is no ladder.

    I'd much rather Blizzard fix an issue which affects every HC player that exists, as opposed to leave the system as it is, which only prevents a small number of losers from cheapening their own experience by plug pulling.

    As it so happens, at any rate, the suggested solution here, which is probably the best one suggested so far, would not allow anybody to exploit the system anyway. Surrounded by 15 Mallet lords on 5% HP, ready to take the last hit and pull the plug? No worries - the game pauses and starts a 2 minute timer. If you're not back in the game at the end of 2 minutes, it unpauses, you die immediately. If you do get back into the game, nothing has changed - your plug pulling was utterly pointless. However, in a similar but slightly less fatal situation, if it was a disconnect instead of a plug pull, your character has survived (as they should), where currently they would be a guaranteed death.
    some really well worded and excellent arguments here. i agree completely, what others do, i really dont care about. ive been playing van helsing, and i could just pull the plug, but i never have (and ive been playing on the hardest difficulty, and died 4 times). in fact ive never even considered it.

    because what happens when you die? you start taking damage and your mind races. ok how can i heal myself, where can i go? so you switch gear to something better, and then in a flash you realized youve made a horrible mistake, your health drops and youre dead. all this tends to happen so fast i dont consider pausing it and thinking my way out haha.

    ill say it again and again, others attempting to cheat is lame, i wont play with those people, but i really dont care. theres no ladder, no competition. there have been events in the past that lead to cheating, but none of them have hurt the HC community more than the fact this game is now so easy that people can bot it.

    lets keep threads like this bumped because the above posters are right. things get changed because we are vocal enough about how flaws in game design ruin our experience. there are tons of good posters here who want to find a solution. this shouldnt be us against them it should be blizzard and us brainstorming solutions and communicating them at times.

    if anyone at blizzard reads things like this, have a look at my hardcore witch doctor. i have geared her in an effective way that also has provided me with an excessive amount of defense for the content im playing (its about a slot of res and 10k health too high). at 164k dps i can do mp7+ for fun, i consider mp5 to be a little boring, ive survived 350 hours (more than many players have on their accounts).
    think about how you would feel dying on mp0 to disconnect at this level. because thats what happened to my last doc. mp0 disconnect. i have to go into mp4 just to avoid one shotting everything.
    Bump for a great post. Hopefully blizzard will listen to reason.
    Great post, OP, very well said.

    This is not a novel idea and Blizzard is for sure very well aware of it (as far back as over 10 years ago, in Warcraft 3, the game would pause and wait for 60 seconds when a player disconnected)

    I personally find the lack of an official response to be encouraging. Blizzard knows they made a mistake by not implementing the auto pause feature from the start. Them not saying anything implies that they are working on it; otherwise they'd admit to the design flaw and say they are not addressing it at the moment but it's on their list of thing to fix in the future (which is what they said about the black damage bug that's been in existence for about a year now, a fascinating subject on its own). Don't lose hope, my guess is sometime between the console launch (September) and the itemization patch (December-ish?) we'll get an official response and implementation timeline.
    Generally I could agree with you Fury, but given that Blizzard have been open about some of the smaller issues in the game (that they have later fixed) I am still not confident this is in the works. Even more disheartening due to the fact that it have not been implementet yet, and have been known since launch. The chance of this suddenly getting attention at the end of its primetime seems unlikely to me at least.
    And as usual Blizzard remains silent. WP AGAIN Blizzard, ignoring questions that deserve answers. Man the !@#$ up Blizzard and take responsibility for your game. The always online is one thing, but disconnects over 30 %^-*ing seconds is simply unacceptable.
    Pr1m3v1l: I wouldn't focus on the time it time of the disconnects, since the actual disconnects are generally out of their control. What Blizzard can do is implement a response to the inevitable connectionissues.
    i agree with fury actually. weve seen this before. remember when blizz gave no word on in town player killing? then one day its fixed. remember all the complaints with invulnerable minions? no resposne and then it was fixed. remember the vote kick exploit? no word, then its fixed.

    sometimes no news is good news, perhaps im being optimistic; but i think blizz might be trying to work out a solution that works for us and them (ideally), but dont want to communicate anything until its ready. i actually understand this way of dealing with things, can you imagine they anncounce "no more disconenct timer" then a week later theyre like "but you might still have to wait 40 seconds for it to realize you dc'd". wed all be just as mad XD

    fyi the black damage bug has been fixed (where if it rolled high enough min damage or something it could count it twice)
    they should just reduce the disconnect time when game/pc crash or ISP fails, etc from 40-50 secs to 10-12 secs

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