People all over are weighing in on what they think of the ability to download Cataclysm in advance after buying a digital copy. I, for one, am so, so happy about the digital download! After hearing about it, I tried to buy it as soon as I got home. Fortunately, since it`s done through battle.net and not the Blizzard store, I was able to without having to:
1) Skype my mother
2) Have her log in to my account from the US
3) buy stuff with my credit card
Obviously I trust my mother, but I`m pretty sure that`s the exact opposite type of internet security practice Blizz tries to promote.
Some are lamenting the future of actual game stores - a physical location that you can hop, skip, and jump over to in order to buy a real game disk, resplendent in its sturdy cardboard box with embossed letters and gold foil. From the box comes treasures even more glorious - a game guide smelling of new paper that no one bothers to read and loses ASAP, several sheets of adverts for other products or games that you will likely throw away, and the CD itself, labeled lovingly with some sweet art for the game. I`m poking fun at this, but actually I do get pretty excited about new games and the opening of said packages. However, when you live in the middle of nowhere, or worse, in a country where trying to go to battle.net opens the Korean-language website, priorities change. (As an aside, it`s criminal that the battle.net websites have options to change the language, but the options are not written in the target language. I can`t read Korean! Therefore, I cannot read the Korean that helpfully states "Click here for English version!")
Without the digital download, options were bleak. I`d have to find someone willing to buy the game for me. Maybe a friend placing her own preorder, or Mom on her next trip to Walmart. To pay them back, I`d likely have to get them to make paypal accounts so I could transfer money from my US account to them. Then, assuming they could acquire a game for me, they`d have to ship it (something I`d also want to pay for). I`d have to wait for shipping, probably even get a ride to the post office to collect my package. Then, likely a week or two after release, I would bring Cata home and start up the installation.
That sucks! Granted, it doesn`t suck nearly as much as not being able to afford the game, or not having time to play, or any other reason why you want to but cannot play. Still, without this option I would be a very blue cow! It`s true that I will miss the semi-excitement of standing in line shooting the shit with my BFF (we chose the lesser used Gamestop during Wrath for a shorter line, but I`m told the one in the big shopping center had a way better atmosphere), but the benefit of having Cata available at 5PM Tuesday - right as I get home! - is too good to beat!