The lights are on
Speaking to Game Informer, Blizzard VP of online technologies Rob Bridenbecker was quick to point out the benefits of requiring players to always play Diablo III online. Unsurprisingly, Bridenbecker downplayed piracy prevention's role in the decision while talking up the ways being online improves a player's experience."One of the problems we ran into back in the day was that we had two different, disjointed worlds that were being created," Bridenbecker told GI. Blizzard always hated the fact that players had to start over with a new character to play online on Diablo II's closed Battle.net (a vastly superior experience to the hack-infested open Battle.net), losing their single-player offline progress. "Even the people that want to play alone eventually will want to play with other players," Bridenbecker said. "We wanted to remove that variable altogether."Bridenbecker also pointed to the integrity of the game economy, especially with the inclusion of territory-wide auction houses for both real money and in-game currency, and how much easier the always-online requirement makes Blizzard's job of creating a hack-free, optimal experience for its players. "There are just way too many benefits to ignore," he said.On the piracy front, Bridenbecker insisted that the game design aspects of the decision were a much larger priority. "You know, piracy is always the one that folks point their fingers at; you know, 'this is the reason that companies are doing that.' And for us, at the end of the day when you look at World of Warcraft, and StarCraft II, and even going back to Diablo II, Diablo, and the original StarCraft, we've always been about online play, so that's the dominant reason for the decision," he said.Personally, as a gamer, this decision doesn't affect me in the slightest – I was always going to play Diablo III online with server-stored characters, and I love the gameplay itself. I agree with Blizzard that that's by far the best way to play a Diablo game. At the same time, I have a hard time buying that preventing people from re-rolling a new character to play online was of such overwhelming importance that Blizzard had to completely disallow offline, locally-stored play.I'm sympathetic to the piracy angle. I don't even necessarily disagree with the design argument, since I do truly believe that playing Diablo online is a strictly superior experience. On the other hand, you don't need an MBA to understand that there are many business reasons that Blizzard wants everyone to connect to their servers using a Blizzard account.On the whole, though, I have to side with the many outraged gamers making their voices (shrilly, in most cases) heard on the Internet. I'm the guy who loves playing online, and I would lose nothing if others were able to play Diablo III offline. Why not make everyone happy?
It won't impact me. Because I now live in a major city with a broadband connection. All my rural kin folk though, many of whom have no internet access other than dial up available to them and either play single player or still get together in the same house for LAN parties, it saddens me that they won't be able to enjoy this game.
i'm sure it has NOTHING to do with the fact that Diablo is now a Subscription based MMO.......
I'm still stoked for Diablo 3, I don't mind one but playing online all the time, the only problem is my internet can get kinda spotty sometimes (for reasons no one seems to know) so I don't want to lose precious loot because of Comcast.
I'm still excited, but it's still a lame move.
Only hackers care about this. Why would it bother anyone who was just playing? Even on consoles, Borderlands on ps3 for example, people would create their own loot, mod their character, then bring that garbage online. I prefer even playing fields, not to mention salvaging the game's economy and gameplay integrity.
Always online SUCKS! You should not need to be online in order to experience the game you buy.
Just another example of a developer who couldn't care less about what gamers want. It's one thing to offer online gamers additional content, but it's another to exclude them from a non-MMO title completely. I'm just glad we have those like Todd Howard, who obviously listen closely to their fans.
I travel often for work and don't have the luxury of an awesome internet connection everywhere I go. I was looking forward to Diablo III...
Now, not so much.
TORCHLIGHT 2 ANYONE? im not paying for this *** game. SCREW YOU BLIZZARD, SCREW YOU. *** OFF
Looks like I wont be trying this game, Its bad enough that Starcraft 2 does not have lan because they are so worried about piracy. If a game requires a constant internet connection just to play it, I pass.
I flip my Wifi off accidentally on my laptop, i'm screwed.
***. I've been looking forward to this game for eleven years. But I won't be buying it. The online thing probably wouldn't effect me that much but I'm tired of this crap. I don't want to be constantly dependent on Blizzard to play a game I own. I'm sure the game will sell like crazy and Blizzard doesn't care what I think, but I think its stupid they are willing to screw over players who have been buying there products for seventeen years like this. They could have easily made it so that you can play offline with a character who can never go online or would be limited to non-battle.net servers.