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Blizzard and this authenticator crap

If you haven’t heard yet, Blizzard is looking at making authenticators mandatory. When I first heard about this from Syp, my first reaction was “wtf?” I mean, really, not only do new players have to buy the game, pay the sub cost, but now they also have to go on the website and buy an extra $6.50 authenticator too?

Now, really, I get that Blizzard spends a lot of money restoring hacked accounts. I understand that authenticators really aren’t that expensive, and do a lot to secure you. But, you know what? Keeping your account secure is the user’s responsibility. If you’re taking risks and being loose with your password, getting hacked might teach you a good lesson about computer security. It’s not up to Blizzard to put their iron hand down and force an extra purchase on anyone. I pay to play the game, not to buy some extra dongle because it’s “for my own good.”

I’ll make the choice what’s good for me and, if I get hacked by not using their paid “extra,” then it’s on me. Any adult should be able to accept that. And, honestly, I’m not down for having to pay extra because someone else had problems with their account. I’ll take care of me and you take care of you.

And, sorry, I don’t feel bad for Blizzard because they have to pay a lot to do account servicing. That’s part of having the most popular game on the internet. Taxing the player to compensate isn’t cool. I get enough of that from the NYS government without my game company hopping on the bandwagon.

Right now, this is all speculative but you know why I’m buying in?  This. Players without authenticators are officially second class citizens. This move says it clearly: if you don’t have an authenticator, prepare to get screwed over. Let’s get something straight, Blizzard is a company out to make money, no different than my cable company. The difference? Blizzard is shilling off their responsibility to their players. If you don’t have an authenticator, you’re not worth as much time as a player that does. Great. If my cable got tapped into, or the heating for my house got messed up in the pipeline, those companies would come out and take care of it, at cost to themselves, because I am their customer and it’s their responsibility to me. I pay Blizzard money for a package of services, including game play and support. Support just got cut in the worst possible circumstance for the player.

And why?  Because isn’t paying an extra $6.50 better? Great customer service guys. Way to love the community the way they love you. Let me help sign Ozzy’s check for you.

How about this guys, make it mandatory for Cataclysm enabled accounts only and ship it with the box. We’re paying $50 anyways, if you’re going to force something on players, the right thing to do is make sure they get it without pickpocketing them in the process. And really, the accounts worth stealing will be the max levels ones anyways. Cut them out of the equation, and you’re all the better.

I’ve given my rant and given my solution. Now, let’s see Blizzard step back from the role of “greedy bastards” please.

10 comments

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  1. We Fly Spitfires

    I don’t think forcing players to buy the authenticator will work and Blizzard may lose subscribers if they try to. I think a far better solution to all of this situation would be for Blizzard to offer to restore the account but for a price – like $10. I’m sure most people would pay to cover Blizzard’s costs or accept the care package if not.

    1. Chris

      I would agree, since this puts the responsibility on the people requiring the service instead of the whole player base. $6.50 isn’t a lot, but basic security practices could prevent the vast majority of account hacks anyways. From that viewpoint, I think most people who get hacked (most, not all) have either put themselves at risk or failed to protect themselves with a firewall, anti-virus, and regular scans. If I ever get hacked, I’ll accept it as something I’ve done and would certainly be willing to pay to cover it.

  2. Blue Kae

    I half wish they would make it required and force players to pay for them, that way even if I am ever tempted again there would be a mandatory waiting period before I would actually play (by which time I would’ve lost interest). Raising the barrier to players resubscribing is not a good idea.

    1. Chris

      This is a great point. If it becomes mandatory and they’re not just handing them out (or providing a web equivalent), I can’t see many people tempted to come back going through the hassle of buying one, waiting it to arrive, attaching it to the account, and hoping it works right the first time. WoW is a fun, polished game, but I’m not for subsidizing their costs by being forced into paying for the unfortunate circumstances of others. Frankly, I don’t think we should have to pay for restorations/investigations since I think that’s part of their business end of things. I don’t have to pay my credit card company to investigate fraud, so why should I have to pay to cover Blizzard? That’s what the subscription cost is for.

  3. JdJdJd

    How about if instead of including it in the box, the authenticator comes with a paid monthly sub. You buy the game and get your 30 days that normally comes with the purchase. When you pay for your first paid month you have to supply an address to Blizzard for shipping (if you don’t already have an authenticator). Blizzard ships it at no additional cost to the player and the player has 30 days from that date to attach the authenticator to the account or the account is locked. Attaching the authenticator will unlock the game if it’s done past the deadline. (If it’s lost in shipping an extension can be granted). This way people have 60 days to play with no authenticator. If they choose to continue playing beyond that time, they are supplied with a FREE authenticator that they must attach to the account.

    This puts no barriers on new players trying to get into the game. There would probably be some complaints from players who actually had to pay for one previously but I don’t really thing that would be too much of an issue.

  4. JdJdJd

    For returning players the same would apply except without the free 30 days. When making a subscrition payment an address has to be given for delivery of the authenticator. 30 days to attach it.

  5. Daria

    While I understand your frustration, once again the gold sellers ruin the day for us all. If people would just stop buying gold and PL services there would be no market for this crap. But, if Blizzard is going to make a big deal about this, I went ahead and ordered an authenticator yesterday to avoid any problems if they do make it mandatory.
    This just goes to show that Blizzard is the 800lb gorilla and they are not afraid to lose a few subscribers over this. I can’t see any other MMO companies doing the same.

  6. Maxivik

    We had three accounts hacked in our guild last week alone. Most of our players (including myself) ordered the authenticator last week just to avoid the hassle. I agree, making it mandatory is not really a good option, but I pay for car insurance, so I might as well pay for wow insurance too!

    1. Maxivik

      On a side note, one of the accounts hacked actually had an authenticator placed on it, so its even harder for us to get it back.

  7. Pauline Papaioannou

    This is a terrific article, I found your blog searching bing for a related content and arrived to this. I couldnt discover to much other details on this blog post, so it was good to discover this one. I will likely be back to check out some other posts that you have another time.

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