Ike and I have been looking for a game we could stream together. I was watching Witwix a couple days ago and he was talking about how he had a 24 hour stream planned for Friday since that was the start of the new season for Diablo III. I haven't played any of the expansion at all yet, so 'new season' didn't mean all that much to me, but it felt like it might be a game Ike and I could play co-op. I suggested it to Ike, he tested to make sure his computer could handle streaming it, and it looks like we're good to go.
As I said, I don't have the expansion, and I wasn't really looking forward to paying Blizzard $40 for it. I did some searching around and found a bunch of different websites that sell keys for games. Initially this feels really sketchy. Have these sites cracked the key generation code and are just manufacturing keys? Did they buy a ton of keys from a country where the game is cheaper? Hack accounts in some way? Are they just scamming entirely?
Then there is the other option, which is that Blizzard is just engaging in variable pricing. Micro economics does say that the seller would ideally like to sell their product for the maximum amount of money to each individual buyer. But they can't well have on their website a button to buy a game for $40 and a button to buy the same game for $20. It's easy to make a more expensive button with a sound track or whatnot, but they'd likely lose more money from $40 people switching to $20 then they would gain from additional $20 sales. What they could do is sell keys to resellers for $20 and then let them mark them up a little bit and sell to the people unwilling to pay $40.
I then noticed that one of the key reseller sites sponsors the pro gaming team Cloud 9, which is my favourite NA LCS team. My favourite Hearthstone streamer, Hafu, is also on Cloud 9, and has an ad on her stream for the key reseller with a small discount code. So they're probably not straight up scammers, I would hope? There's certainly a spectrum of options for how they got their keys and some of them are pretty reasonable to support.
The bottom line is that if I was currently employed I'd just click the button on Blizzard's website and pay whatever they want to charge. But as things currently stand saving $20 is worth the risk of not knowing exactly how G2A gets their keys. So I snapped yesterday and finally picked up the D3 expansion.
I tried playing a bit, but everything is completely changed from the game I used to know. I have no idea what my old level 60 character's build should be, or if the gear she has is useful or not. But that's what a new season is for! Paragon points and stash and crafters and everything is completely wiped out for characters created in the new season.
So tonight Ike and I are going to try streaming from 10pm-midnight atlantic time. I'm going to try out the new class in the expansion, crusader, and I think Ike is going to shoot things from afar with a demon hunter. I don't know anything about what classes might be good or not except that Witwix said every 4 person group 'needs' a '0 DPS' witch doctor for some reason. I've never played any witch doctor at all... If I end up wanting to play without Ike then maybe I'll start one of those and try out public groups if those are a thing?