Dear Diablo III Development Team,
This is a message on behalf of the portion of the community that engages in the competitive aspects (such as Leaderboards and Conquests) of this game you created - the players who love the game to the point where they dedicate large portions of their free time to playing it; who want to have at least something to show for this dedication; who want to have their names up there on the Leaderboards; and who want to see rewards for the countless hours of gameplay they spend on Diablo III.
You’re making this incredibly difficult for us.
We all know that beating the highest possible Greater Rift tiers requires a large number of attempts in addition to the time investment that is needed to get the appropriate gear. This involves a lot of grinding, be it for Keystones, crafting materials, Infernal Machines, or Ancient Legendaries. Such is the nature of the game and that is not the issue. The actual problem lies in the vast amount of people who try to get around doing this dirty work - the ones that use bots; the ones that can log into the game to hundreds of Greater Rift Keystones, Legendary crafting materials, or Infernal Machines every day, without having lifted a finger for any of those. It should be obvious that this provides these players with a huge advantage over those of us that choose not to bot, but put at least the same amount of effort into the game and advancement of our characters. This feeling is extremely disheartening. We all know that it is incredibly hard to beat the botters and even impossible if they were to step up their gameplay to a higher level of efficiency. They can get a huge lead on you every single night. This knowledge reduces the incentive and desire to participate in the Leaderboard competition until eventually the Diablo III competition becomes a farce altogether. Thus, those of us that love the game and have been dedicated players since the start become increasingly frustrated with it until we simply give up on the entire competition, or create our own, virtual “bot-free” competition by ignoring all known botters.
To prevent that, your very own End User License Agreement, which we all agreed to, states that players may not use bots such as these, even giving “the automated control of a character in a Game” as an example for such a prohibited program (Section 1.C.ii.2. of Battle.net® End User License Agreement, http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/eula.html). Enforcing this agreement is your duty and yours alone. If you don’t, it will only go to show that you don’t care. It has been months since the last major action taken against botters and, consequently, Season 3 was dominated by them. Our friends lists contain more and more people who are online for more than 20 hours a day, despite them having to go to work or school. Even if detecting the actual bots running on people's machines or identifying them by their in-game behavior was impossible, their log-in times should be more than enough to warrant additional investigation. Nobody can play for 23 hours every single day.
Even if that were infeasible, at least let us report botters so that you may investigate their behavior. It has come to a point where it is quite obvious that certain high profile streamers are botting off-stream and some are even admitting so themselves in public chat rooms. These players are viewed as examples by the community, so what kind of message does that send? To us, it sends the message that not only is it apparently legal to bot, but that the game even requires it to be competitive. That is undoubtedly not how you want Diablo III to be seen, especially with how far we’ve come since the issues of the original release.
Of course, we would prefer any action against botters to happen immediately upon them being discovered. However, we are aware that this is likely infeasible. Thus, we would propose any action against botters to take place approximately two weeks before the end of a Season, coinciding with the “Season Ending” announcement, as to not give botters the time to catch up to the legitimate and fair players again. The latter would then still be able to fight for the clean Leaderboards, as they would if botters didn’t exist.
Still, with no action having been taken for so long, sending out a message to the entire community sooner rather than later would be a good idea.
Please, if you have the same love for the game that we do, do something about the botters. It cannot continue like this. We cannot continue like this.
Signatories (in alphabetical order):
Alkaizer, Angzt, Anuiran, Bagstone, DatModz, DameVenusia, Deadset, Destitute, Empyrian, Flux,Ghostwheel, HolyKnight3000, HorstSchlemmer, Jaetch, Leviathan, Lt. Lunatic, MannerCookie,MeatHeadMikhail, Menagese, N3rdwards, Nachten, Natsuma_z, Neinball, Quin69, Thunderclaww,Wudijo, Zero(pS)
The Saga of the O.G.
Chapter 16 - Camp Beed
The next morning, Boozor, Yodatoy, Jaetch, Melkor, and PeterBiz finally arrived at Camp Beed. Essentially a couple of tents surrounded by a fence, Camp Beed was modest in appearence. Melkor stirred and turned to face the entrance to the encampment. Yodatoy, as usual, offered his thoughts freely.
"This place is pretty crappy for a Wizard like BDF."
Indeed, the encampment was more akin to a run-down lot than a home. Sand covered everything, and the fence surrounding the tents was broken in so many places that it defeated its own purpose. Phials and vials and flasks with different colored fluids lay strewn across the area. Blue wiring also seemed to be everywhere. Boozor peered closely at one of the wires and espied some lettering. He turned to the others and curiously asked, "Dafuq is Cat-5?"
PeterBiz motioned as if he was going to answer when suddenly, one of the tents flapped open. BDF scuttled outward, then walked to the fence. He looked at the group with scrutiny, slowly moving from one person to another.
"You gonna invite us in or what?" Boozor asked. "It has been one helluva night. Booz needs a drink."
BDF ignored Boozor entirely and focused his attention on the Old Man. Melkor looked back at BDF, but wasn't sure if he was recognized by his old friend/adversary. A few more moments passed before BDF looked at Peter.
"You'll have to carry the old man into my encampment," he pointed at the fence, "your Bears won't survive this threshold."
Peter nodded and lifted Old Man from the back of his Bear. He then dismissed the mystical beast, and it faded into nothingness.
They all entered the encampent.
"Bring him to my tent," BDF instructed PeterBiz, "As for the rest of you, take shelter in one of the other tents. You've had a busy day. I trust you'll find the accomodations...accomodating." He quickly went into his own tent with Peter and Old Man.
Inside BDF's tent, Melkor was placed into a chair next to a strange object with several flashing lights and more of that "Cat's wire" that Boozor had seen before. Old Man looked at BDF as he fumbled with all kinds of objects that Melkor had never seen before in his life. He coughed and cleared his throat.
"Do you know who I am?" Old Man sputtered. His voice was completely unrecognizable at this point.
BDF didn't look up from what he was doing, but he smiled ever so slightly.
"Funny," he said.
"What's funny?" Old Man asked with a rising agitation in his voice.
"Nothing," BDF quickly responded.
"Then what's with the smile?"
BDF turned and looked at the Old Man. He stared into his eyes for several moments. He then went back to fumbling with his machinery. He cleared his throat.
"How will you ever beat me in Forest Squared looking like that, Melkor?"
Melkor sat up sharply. "I knew you knew it was me! I knew it!"
BDF smiled more fully. "Of course I know it's YOU. Only you could get so screwed up in a curse like this. I've actually known about this for some time now. But that's not important. Let's get down to brass tacks." His smile ran away from his face, and Melkor's dwindling hopes shriveled a little more.
"So? What's going to happen to me?"
"The curse you have can not be cured. As you are, you will probably," he paused and reached over and pulled on Melkor's saggy face. Melkor swatted his hand away, "you will probably die in the next 11 hours."
Melkor sighed. He shook his head and looked down at the ground. A few tears welled up in his eyes. So, he thought, Death? Really? Such a shame. He really thought that BDF would be able to save him. He gathered himself before sitting up in his chair again. When he did, he found BDF biting on one of his knuckles, fighting back a consdierable amount of laughter.
"Something funny, fuckface?" Melkor wiped his eyes.
"Why me, Beed?"
"Because you never learn. And I guess I'll have to finally just...tell you how to do it, even though you REALLY should have learned this yourself. You have to learn to break the rules without breaking them."
Melkor nodded quickly and said, "I'ma kill you son, I want you to know that, if I ever get out of this curse. You are the most annoying Wizard I have eve-," he paused and then quickly continued, "other than Yoda, you are the most annoying Wizard I have ever known."
BDF chuckled, but not in amusement, "I may be annoying, but I'm about to save your life."
"HOW?" Melkor yelled, and then he entered a coughing fit that ended with some blood on his hands.
BDF handed Melkor a hankerchief and sat back. He reached for a nearby glass of Whiskey, and offered PeterBiz and Melkor some. Both declined. He took a sip, and placed it down next to his machine. He then began.
"Once upon a time, the great Makers, which I suppose are the ones who designed the Universe that we live within, realized that the best method for improving Sanctuary was not to make changes and see what happens."
Melkor quickly spoke up, "We know this. That's why they created Heaven and Hell, as testing...grounds...why are you shaking your head like that," he slowed his speech in light of BDF's adament disagreement.
"No Melkor, that's what we were led to believe. The truth is...much darker. The truth is, they cloned this world, and in this other world, they ran all kinds of tests. They ran tests on the enviroment, on the very demons we battle, and also, on us. But it wasn't really, "us". They made sure that the versions of us that they tested on didn't contain our true spirits, our true selves. There can never be more than one true you at any given time, Melkor. But there can be many, many "almost you's", I guess you could call them. The Makers referred to these alternate Universes as Public Test Realms, or as I have come to call them, PTR's."
Melkor cocked an eyebrow at his old friend. He then slowly spoke to BDF, much as someone would speak to a child, "Are you...like...drunk?"
"No, Melkor, well, kinda, but that doesn't matter."
"Have you been smoking anything...like any of my leaf...did you steal some from me?"
"Stop it Melkor."
Melkor started to touch his face in different spots. BDF crunched his eyebrows.
"What are you doing, Melk?"
Melkor shrugged his shoulders and then spoke, "I'm just trying to figure out why you're talking to me....like I'm a complete and utter moron."
"Listen to me, I know it sounds crazy. But somewhere from here, or I should say, some time from here, there is a Melkor who is completely, 100% without a doubt, complete and utterly unaffected by this curse. And believe it or not, I can merge your soul with that body."
Melkor looked over at PeterBiz's purple plumes in his headdress. He remembered the familial feeling that he he felt when he first laid eyes on Biz. He looked back at BDF.
"I'm guessing you've never actually pulled this off correctly, have you Beed?"
BDF sheepishly scratched the back of his head and looked at PeterBiz, "Well...I can't predict everything that will happen. Besides, this is seriously experimental stuff, and it's not like I'm supposed to be tinkering with this. They don't even know I've done it, but Warden is clearly offline as of late, as I'm sure you've noticed.
"I actually did not notice that," Melkor admitted.
"So how is it that you're suffering from a curse that has never occurred anywhere else in the Diablo franchise, hmm?"
Melkor stopped for a moment and thought about it. Come to think of it, in the last year, there had been at least a dozen or so times where he could account something happening in this world that he had never before experienced. From Boozor's house burning to the ground, to the black hand of smoke and more, Sanctuary had become rather...peculiar in recent times. He had simply accounted this craziness to the Death of the OGs, and the coming of the New Blood. But come to think of it, neither action should or could warrant the level of weirdness experienced in recent days. He looked at BDF inquistively.
BDF now pointed at his odd machine.
"This, is a "computer."
"A com-what?" Melkor asked.
"It's a machine that I've built that runs on Beed Special Blend 2014 that allows me to access the PTRs."
"Which PTR? You said there were many."
"There ARE many."
"So? Which one can you access?"
"All of them."
"And what are you proposing we do?"
"Well first, I'd need your permission to do something."
Melkor pursed his lips at Beed. Every time this guy asked Melkor for a favor, something incredibly odd was involved.
"Permission to do what, Beed? What do you want to do?"
BDF stood up and sighed. He walked to the opposite side of the tent from where they had been sitting and faced the wall. He stood there for a few moments and finally turned back to face Melkor. Then, quite flatly, he spoke,
"Melkor, I need to kill you."
To Be Continued...
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The Saga of the O.G.
Chapter 15 - Into the Void
Malakai sat in a knee-down position on the floor of a dark, stone room. His eyes closed, he breathed slowly and methodically as if he were immersed in some form of meditation. The size of the room was unknown. There were no windows in this room. No doors save one. At the rear of this room, a highly alert and obviously shaken Void paced back and forth in front of the small doorway, which was nothing more than a cut-out in the center of the wall. From beyond the doorway, a dim and menacing shade of light, a yellow hue perhaps, spilled into the darkness. Void paced rapidly. He held Slice Device in one hand, and a Chantodo Force in the other.
Malakai leaned forward and rested his right ear on the cold stone floor. Slowly, the grey stone turned white around the area where Malakai's head met the ground. Small slivers of pure white ran off in seemingly random directions.
"Hurry, Malakai," Void pleaded, as the yellow lights from the doorway grew slightly more in intensity.
"Don't rush me," Malakai spoke without moving, frost exhaling from his mouth and nostrils as he dismissed Void, "the Deep Listen takes more than just the proper physical form. I need complete and utter concetr-"Malakai's eyes fluttered open. He sat up. The spider-web of ice tentacles seemed to fade in every direction. He turned around and faced Void.
Void ran over to Malakai and knelt down. He looked back towards the door. Again, the light brightened. He practically spat at Malakai, "What do you mean, the Keywardens? NME has the Keywardens working for him?"
Malakai was perplexed. He spoke very slowly, "Not sure if it's Keywardens or...or..." Malakai's voice dwindled and trailed. Suddenly, a new voice spoke.
"Just Warden, actually, and it's not 'working for me'. It's actually...just....not working at all."
Void helped Malakai to his feet and the two turned to face the glowing open doorway. In its center stood an old and familiar foe.
The long awaited Patch 2.3 is up on the PTR! All hands on deck!
Check out the patch notes (updated 6/30/15).
The Saga of the O.G.
Chapter 14 - PB&J Sand Storm
Boozor stood atop a giant hill of sand, one hand semi-covering his face and eyes as he looked out over the seemingly endless ocean of sand that made up the Kehjistan Desert. Slowly climbing behind him, a severely aged and decrepit Melkor stumbled to reach the top of this mound. He reached the summit and leaned on Boozor, who slumped a little by the sudden weight of Melkor's body. He turned and looked at his friend with great worry. Sand-filled gusts swirled around and between them, menacingly licking and stinging their skin wherever it was exposed.
The situation was certainly grim. They had taken on a considerable amount of risk, attempting to travel to Caldeum in this fashion. Melkor had insisted that the company travel by foot a about a week ago.
"Ziss may be slow... but he's methodical. He will know I am weakened and he will not expect me to travel by foot, making this the safest choice," he had reasoned cheerfully as Yodatoy, Boozor, and himself made their way across the Twin Seas, four days prior. They had hired a private charter, captained by the seldomly-seen Fisherman/Wizard, Ceforium.
"All that guy talks about is fishing and... and... car seats," a rather perplexed Yodatoy offered as the trio departed Ceforium's vessel on the western shores of Kehjistan.
"Silence, Yodatoy!" Melkor hissed, "Ceforium can still hear you!"
And so it was, 3 days later, that Boozor and Melkor found themselves looking out into the desert, in search of... anything other than... more desert. Yodatoy seemed to be traveling even slower than the near-dead Melkor. He finally made his way to the top, huffing and puffing something fierce.
The Saga of the O.G.
Chapter 13 - Calculators and other Insults
Somewhere in the Forest that rested on the outskirts of New Tristram, a young Melkor stood with his back to a tree, his breath bursting forth from his nostrils in the form of Frost, despite it being just after midnight on a late summer evening. He leaned to the left and listened. He heard nothing, but felt a breeze roll in just as he stuck his ear out from behind the tree trunk. As the small gust drew to a closure, a voice seemed to cling to its tail, as if it had hitched a ride.
"You're IMBA, Melkor. That is why frost billows from your nose, despite the hot summer air!"
Melkor quickly stood up straight behind the tree and tried to slow his breathing. He couldn't. Suddenly, the tree burst into flames. Melkor jumped from the tree a few steps before quickly teleporting to a nearby Great Oak, about 22 yards away. He again turned to look back at the tree he had just abandoned. To his astonishment, the Oak was smoking, but not on fire.
Melkor was disoriented, and confused. From his far left, he again heard the fell voice.
The Saga of the O.G.
Chapter 12 - The Canadian and the Jew
11 days, 11 hours, and 11 minutes later, -Dolynick knelt before the Arreat Crater and scooped some of the hot earth into his hand. It was volcanic-glass in composition, warm to the touch, and it glistened when moved. -Dolynick dropped it and hastily wiped it from his hands.
"Why on Sanctuary do people insist on living near places that get this hot?" he complained as he removed his cloak and rolled it up.
"Because not everyone wants to have an address that involves crossing a glacier to get to, dude," JellzRoc quipped. Pensfan laughed and muttered to himself,
They surveyed the area together.
"Where did you and Melkor enter, Jellz?" -Doly asked without taking his eyes off the Mountain of Arreat. JellzRoc pointed to a specific spot about a quarter way up the side of the slope facing them. -Doly covered his eyes with his hands like a pair of binoculars and looked towards the location that JellzRoc had indicated. He thought he could just make out the outline of a stone door, though there was no sign of any recent use.
"Positive," Jellz snapped back.
"Ok then. Pens, I'm going to be utilizing a Vanilla Variant of Meteor called Molten Impact. It burns hotter than most meteors, which means we will have more time in between each cast to regenerate some Arcane Power, but not that much time. The downside of course is that each one of these Meteors has a native cost of 50 Arcane Power. I'm wearing all the correct pieces of gear and..." he reached back and removed a staff from his pack, with half a Sun atop it. It sizzled and smoked as if it was just pulled from a Blacksmith's Forge, "...I do have The Grand Vizier. When I begin, I will be relying on your...mechanics, to fuel my Arcane Power needs."
Pensfan scratched his head and wore a look of doubt. -Dolynick noticed his hesitation.
This entry for the Help Desk will feature one variant of Tal Rasha gameplay for Greater Rifts. As of this article, Patch 2.2 is only a few days old so plenty of players are still trying to gear up and find their way. However, this variant of the Tal Rasha wizard is incredibly strong, and in my opinion, one that provides more consistent results.
This is a melee spec. You will always be right in the middle of action. You'll take your share of hits, but you'll also be locking things down as they hit you. The frantic yet elegant style of play is reminiscent of the CM wizard back in classic D3. If that caught your attention, then read on.
The Saga of the O.G.
Chapter 11 - A History Now Lost
The Moon Clan Warrior's Fire Chain slammed into the side of Boozor's house and began gnawing and chewing away at its siding. Within seconds, the side of the house was on fire. The Moon Clan Warriors stood at either side, pulling as hard as they could. The robed man "encouraged" his warriors to press on.
"Do not stop, you fools! Rip it down! Kill them! Kill them all!"
Inside the house, the OGs lay on the floor, facing each other. The roof and the outer walls of the house were in flames. Old Man looked up in time to see a burning beam break free from the roof and plummet towards where Void was laying. Malakai reached his hand towards the falling beam and fired Ray of Frost, hoping to force the falling wood off its course.
The Saga of the O.G.
Chapter 10 - The Master of Comet and Ray of Frost
"Exc-cuse me, J-J-JellzRoc. I have a q-question," Pensfan looked over at JellzRoc as they waded through thigh-high snow.
JellzRoc was shivering something fierce. He looked in Pens' direction and tried to see through the blizzard-like snowfall that lay between and around them.
"Y-ya, P-penny?" he asked through chattering teeth.
"Um, aren't you a W-W-Wizard?"
"I am. W-why do you a-s-s-k-k-k?"
Pensfan scratched his head and looked down at his Pug, whom he was now carrying. The Pug held Pensfan's Chicken mojo in her jaws. She seemed to be freezing as well, "We-l-l-l," he began, "c-c-an't you d-do something about t-t-this snow? I thought you g-guys contr-tr-tr-olled the wea-th-ther," he asked while gently pulling the chicken from Pugsfan's shivering jaws. He placed it in his satchel.
JellzRoc looked at Pensfan with an expression of sadness, "I can t-try, but I can't p-promise anything. These lands are near the home of the great -dolynick. I'm afraid n-n-not much can undo this frigidness, if he is c-c-causing it." JellzRoc stopped walking. He pushed his hands together and held them there, in the shape of a ball. After a few moments, there seemed to be a bright, reddish-orange light glowing from within his hands. He moved one hand away to reveal what could be described as a glowing miniaturized star. It floated up and sat above JellzRoc's shoulder. A few snowflakes sizzled as they fell near it, but otherwise, there was not much to show for his efforts. Pensfan and his Pug looked at it with disappointment. JellzRoc shrugged.
"What can I say?" he resigned, "I'm just an OG Forum Wizard. I leave these calculations to -doly apo and-" he pointed at the heavens, "-Blizzard."
"You could have at least made the Sparkflint larger, Jellz," a third voice rang out from a few yards away. JellzRoc and Pensfan strained to see through the now blizzard-like conditions. Jellz let out a shaky laugh.