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Thursday, August 24, 2000
On Diablo II CD Keys
1:36 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

In addition to the challenges players of Diablo II might face on Battle.net mentioned in our earlier article, there is also the problem of piracy. Specifically, Blizzard's RPG uses a CD-key verification system which is designed to allow only those who have actually purchased the game to play online. However, as is often the case, hackers have already figured out how to generate false CD keys in order to get online with pirated copies of the game, and this can cause serious problems for completely legitimate players.

Usenet participant 'Beheader' did an excellent job of summarizing the issues involved with CD keys and Diablo II. After having trouble connecting to Battle.net, he contacted Blizzard technical support and was informed of several possible reasons for this difficulty. He shared his information in the following Usenet post:

After about 2 hours on hold, I was able to get in touch with a Blizzard support rep named Doug. Doug informed me that they were having problems with the servers on the BattleNet network communicating, and that the net result would be that I might get the message "Your CD key is in use".

Doug did say that there have been cases of CD-Key generators duping "legitimate" CD-Keys. We went through the triage of determining if I had been hacked (or hijacked as it were), and he promised me a phone call or e-mail in a few minutes to resolve the problem. I got a call back in about 5 minutes. Here is some useful information for those of you playing Diablo2:

1. If you get a message that your CD-key is "in use" , note what name is associated with the CD-Key in the dialog box. If it appears as the same name you entered during installation of the game, then most likely your CD-Key is valid and the problem is on BattleNet.

2. If it appears the problem is on BattleNet, you can use the server selector available from the BattleNet web site. By switching servers (for some reason) the problem is fixed.

3. One of the most common reasons for this error is an interrupted connection. In this case the problem resolves itself in about 5 minutes. However, if you are like me and have had the problem last for 8 hours, switching servers will do the trick.

Some additional information:

1. The CD Key is NEVER sent over the internet- therefor there is no way for someone to "snoop your key" and hijack your license.

2. If in fact it is determined that there has been a duplication of your key by a hacker (or by outright theft), Blizzard remedies the situation by giving you a temporary CD-Key, you then have to send them the EMPTY CD jewel case from your legitimately purchased software. They then issue you a permanent key.

Thought maybe some of you might need this information!

Thanks again to Beheader for an excellent summary of the issues involved. Once again, ample proof that piracy and attempts at cheating 'the system' can affect and hurt legitimate users as well as the companies creating the games we play.

Blizzard Entertainment
Diablo II Realms Selector 1.0

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