Diablo III: Incredibly Early Impressions

By John Walker on September 21st, 2011 at 2:22 am.

Oh no! Colour!

The Diablo III closed beta has just begun, and we’re fortunate enough to have access to it. (Which is a shame, as I was supposed to be getting married on Saturday.) So I’ve of course put aside that silly plan of going to sleep and blitzed through the first couple of hours to bring you the very earliest of impressions of what’s on offer.

I’m writing this as someone who played Diablo 2 long ago, thoroughly enjoyed it, but never obsessed over it. And certainly only ever played solo. (Which may well describe my life after this weekend if I’m not careful.) Here I’m going to give you my initial reaction to playing the third game of the series, tonight.

Playing as a Demon Hunter, because I always prefer ranged, non-magic when I’m crawling through dungeons, the opening of the game has mostly been about shooting arrows into zombies. (A highlight of that so far? One of the walking dead falling to the ground after I’d re-killed him, then the top half of his torso ripping away from the bottom as it desperately clawed its way along the ground via the accompanying arms.)

It’s a bit more of an RPG than my withered hack-n-slash brain was thinking it would be. That’s not to say it doesn’t get straight into the attacking – it certainly does. But it’s regularly interspersed by chats with the locals, all fully voiced of course, setting you your quests, or giving colour to the world. Things begin in the New Tristram, where after a star fell from the sky, the dead have started rising, and the villagers are understandably concerned. But you, whoever you are, have turned up and prove a surprisingly decent combatant to this attack. You seem the right person for everybody in the world to ask to do everything.

I’m also loving how loot springs from dead bodies like a geyser, gold erupting from a corpse then splashing down next to it. And the journals you find. Rather than a screen of text to awkwardly read in the midst of battle, instead they’re narrated as you play on. Also narrated is lore, appearing as an optional button, and explained to you, again, as you play. What a splendid touch. And you can blow up the pumpkins.

In fact, much of the scenery is destructible, wagons can be pulverised, and even buildings can crumble as you explore them. It’s bizarre to experience, doubled by its being bizarre for destructible environments to feel so unusual in this genre. But this of course means I now feel obliged to demolish every table, cart and chair I encounter. I must smash. Smash all. And it’s worth keeping an eye out of any interesting switches or levers, as giving these a tug might bring down some more ceiling furniture on nearby mobs.

Killing my first Grotesque, a giant, stumbling, bloated zombie, I instinctively knew to run away once it hit the deck. That’s the sort of thing that messily explodes. Although I didn’t predict the Corpse Worms that would come crawling out of it and slither toward me. Ew. In fact, there’s a lot of ew here – it’s impressively creepy from the off. And for those fearful that this was going to be Rainbow Brite meets Crayola, it’s also pretty dingy. Clearly I’m in spookily infected towns, attacked by greying corpses, at night time, so it’s possible it could brighten up. But this is definitely not the Nickelodeon affair many were rather zealously fearing.

Pretty early on you’re rewarded with the Cauldron Of Jordan – this sits neatly in the bottom left of your inventory and acts as a portable shop. It magically melts any object down to gold, you see. But not so melted that you cannot buy the last few back by visiting a merchant. Magical. And neat, too. And that’s helpful, since after the first few areas the locations start to get pretty big. Large, sprawling dungeons, multiple wings, occasional distractions into smaller side-lairs, and nothing but the all important application of your assigned skills to take out the uninvited company.

The skills work pretty traditionally. You have your basic attack, improved as you level, and then can assign two special skills on top. Either mapping one to replace your standard attack on the mouse, or as a number key press. So I’m currently enjoying a standard attack on the left mouse, and Fan Of Knives on the right, that sprays out an insane circle of blades when I’m dangerously surrounded. Bola Shot, that fires an explosive “bola” at enemies is on 1. But I’m promised that at level 6 I’ll get an extra skill slot available, with more at 12, 18 and 24, as well as passive skills at 10, 20 and 30.

A bit later comes the Nephalem Cube – another inventory add-on that lets you break down unwanted items to their constituent parts. Which can then be used for crafting. But that shall wait until we’ve all had a bit longer with the game to tell you all about.

What I’m noticing most of all is just how right everything feels. In my experience, dungeon crawling hackfests (as I believe the genre should be known) tend to frustrate in a few niggly ways. Perhaps they make loot gathering a chore, or forget to let you usefully compare items. Sometimes it’s simply the screen furniture, or the frustration of having to read so much in a game focused on frantic fighting. But Blizzard, perhaps not too surprisingly, really are getting it right here.

The map is zoomed just right. The camera angle and distance from the character is spot on. Loot is instantly accessible, and easily gathered. Combat feels extremely powerful, but there’s still a sense of battling against being overwhelmed. Levels come incredibly fast at first, letting you quickly expand your attacks, making sure it’s very quickly interesting. The inventory has abandoned the tertris in favour of simple rectangles for almost everything. And the item comparison windows have been designed so brilliantly to let you see which is better in a split-second, thanks to absolutely giant damage or armour numbers. Very simple, very clever. Talking of which, and this one’s tiny but so excellent, when equipping inventory items you don’t have to click the replaced item back into your inventory. It just pops there, because – well – what else was going to happen? Streamlining things like this makes the whole experience more fluid, and more fun.

The only frustration for me so far has been not being able to find a way to hold down a button to see everything interactive on the screen. It’s a bit of a shame when there’s an awful lot of irrelevant decoration around, meaning you have to sweep the cursor around a lot if you want to distinguish between someone’s journal and the other papers scattered around the rest of the tables. It’s possible that such a button does exist and I’m just being thick, of course. (There is a key for labelling items on the ground, but it doesn’t seem to cover anything other than already exposed loot.)

It’s already great at making me feel powerful. Finding those traps for taking out mobs is a great treat, perhaps shooting out a beam that holds up the wall, so it collapses on them and I avoid the fight. But on top of that, it then throws up “records”, letting you know that you’ve pulverised more enemies in one go than previously, and giving you some bonus XP. But crucially, they don’t feel like “achievements”, but instead like personal bests.

Oh good grief, it’s half an hour since I wrote anything and it’s 2am and I just want to finish this crypt and I… Oh dear. It’s got me.

We will have lots more to say about Diablo III over the next few days, going into more depth about what the new game offers.

__________________

« | »

, , , , , .

218 Comments »

  1. MythArcana says:

    The most anticipated vaporware never played! Thanks, but I’ll be busy playing Torchlight and (maybe) Skyrim if they don’t screw that up, too. Blizzard waited way too fucking long to release this…besides, the REAL Diablo crew is over at Runic anyway.

    • John Walker says:

      You show them!

    • PodX140 says:

      Wasn’t RPS incredibly anti-always-online? And yet when someone points out a key point they get a snide comment about their values? I’m very disappointed that not a single word even mentioned the draconian system, what, are we to just lie down and take it because an initial push wasn’t enough? Fuck that, I’m sticking with my TL2 $20, lan, mods, and no-need-to-be-always-online-because-we-want-to-make-money-off-your-farming crap.

    • qrter says:

      This article is about the closed beta, why would it talk about the ridiculous DRM? That’s something for the review of the finished product, I think you can be quite sure that that subject will come up again when the game is released properly.

      For now, it’s just about the game itself.

    • aerozol says:

      @pod, they’ve mentioned it, and plenty. It doesn’t have to be the central theme of EVERY write-up.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Exactly – we know about the DRM, it has been the focus of many articles. This article is about the game and how much fun it has been from a very early perspective. The final Wot we Think will bring all the info together into a neat article and I’m sure it will be appropriately balanced.

    • Sardukar says:

      RPS: Snide Comments, No Extra Charge.

    • RandomGameR says:

      Vaporware… I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

      A friend let me try out his account and I played the Witch Doctor. I loved that summoning toads was like a poison explosion version of Charged Bolt. The zombie summon that sends a poison zombie Kamikaze-ing at your enemies was also pretty amazing to play with.

      I had a lot of fun with the game for the half hour I got to play it, and it made me stupidly excited about its release.

      But just to troll the haters I thought I’d share this one bit of information:

      I got disconnected three times in that half an hour!

    • Shuck says:

      @ MythArcana: The Schaefers are at Runic. That’s hardly the “real Diablo crew.” The Diablo 1/2 team are scattered across the game industry at this point, except for those that have left the industry entirely.

    • PodX140 says:

      Very true that the article is about the game, I don’t contest that. But when the DRM is such a core part I’d like to even hear that “The connection was fine, I never had any issues” to know that if I had a stable internet connection then I could enjoy it. Without mentioning the drm at all, the article is failing to address what’s already been proven to be a huge part of the game to some/many people.

    • Demiath says:

      While the always-online and auction house don’t bother me personally, I think there’s something to be said for PodX140′s perspective. Either you’re very clear about DRM etc. being a significant issue, or you’re not. Complaining a lot beforehand and then hyping a beta sounds a bit like signing one of those by now infamous online petitions against game X and then going out and buying the product regardless. If you’re going to make some kind of principled stand (and that would certainly be one interpretation of RPS’ earlier posts about Auctiongate), then be consistent. There’s no eating the cake (lie or not) and keeping it at the same time.

    • Froibo says:

      Have you ever played SC2 or WoW online? I’d imagine its something like that. You are acting like this is the first game ever online, the fact that its always-online won’t change any aspects of actually being online.

    • PodX140 says:

      I’m morely thinking along the lines of something like torchlight, or even From Dust (on the negative side). I just don’t see any benefits to such a system for me, and I see very large disadvantages (I am unable to maintain a consistent internet connection for probably 60-70% of the week (Of my free time)).

      WoW offered significant advantages that came with the always online option. I could see everyone at once in my section, trade on large channels, use auction houses, socialize easily, and drop in and out of solo seamlessly (eg, I see a guy needs help and I run over to help, impossible for such a scenario in DIII).

      And as far as SCII went, I thought that was a single online activation in order to play the singleplayer/skrimishes with bots? I personally did not care for the genre/game so I did not follow it as closely as this, but I was told that was the case.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      PodX140, I think in all fairness, Blizzard run battle.net and are no strangers to running servers which supply stable consistent connections. The issue is surely with your ISP and John can’t be expected to be able to comment on that. I would imagine, if in the time that this short preliminary article covers there were significant connection problems, it would have been mentioned.

      Please don’t start using your issues with DRM to try to spread doubt to Blizzards ability to maintain stable servers, I would suggest you would only devalue your own argument, which is actually a good and relevant one which should be heard by game makers.

      Demiath, you said “Complaining a lot beforehand and then hyping a beta sounds a bit like signing one of those by now infamous online petitions against game X and then going out and buying the product regardless. If you’re going to make some kind of principled stand (and that would certainly be one interpretation of RPS’ earlier posts about Auctiongate), then be consistent. There’s no eating the cake (lie or not) and keeping it at the same time.”

      Could I suggest that RPS is a site with an excellent level of integrity. While they have made their stance known, if they failed to report on all aspects of the game, they would be pushing an agenda. There are people who read this site who want this game. They know all about the always online and auction house yet they still want it. Wouldn’t RPS be guilty of poor journalism if every article they published about D3 was about those things, especially if the rest of the game is very good. Did you complain that the past articles which reported the DRM and auction house didn’t contain any insight about the gameplay – I put it to you that you didn’t. Sometimes it’s OK to have a positive article in gaming.

    • abigbat says:

      I’d rather hear about how the game feels and plays. Quite frankly I don’t give a fuck if you’re upset about having to be online to play; who the hell isn’t these days? If it results in a stable, hack-free experience then I’m all for it.

    • Ian says:

      Personally I think that RPS should write about DRM in every article. Even for games that don’t have it.

      The sooner this site becomes a turgid, repetetive misery-fest the better. Right, men?

    • freeid says:

      Got to admit I am GLAD about the online only, even if it cuts down the hacks and dupes by 1% I would have been for it. They killed the last one for me.

    • oddshrub says:

      Missing out on things because it just so happens to be popular to hate them is silly, it’s not something you will understand till you’re older but it is. And while torchlight was a cute game with a great atmosphere it frankly wasn’t all that. This coming from a guy who spend countless hours on the “cool” original diablo and wasn’t a fan of the sequel.

      But between you and me we both know you’ll be playing diablo 3. You probably wont tell your friends, but you will love it.

    • Trillby says:

      I do not admit too finding it slightly OTT to force players to always be online. When other companies (Ubisoft, I’m smelling you here) enforce DRM that makes us have to connect to the internet each time, people rightly get annoyed. When Blizzard does the same thing, we are less inclined to complain. Is it because Ubisoft makes it clear that they are mainly focussed on piracy protection, whereas Blizzard focusses on the wonderful benefits to us? It is still the same thing. Blizzard does guarantee some safety from hacks etc., but you can bet your bottom Euro that their main reasons are the same as Ubisoft’s.

      And about that auction house – bring it. I am more than happy to make back some of the money I spent on the game by playing it and selling things I don’t need. And when I am playing through it for the 5th time, I’ll enjoy being slightly overpowered by buying some items before I could theoretically use them. I do not see where the fun dies by having it, on the contrary. If more games start doing this, maybe my hobby will finally start paying for itself.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @abigbat: many people have a very unstable connection and will be unable to play this properly (or at all). I’m all for having an online mode, with players stored on the server, and to combat cheating, but that’s no excuse to not allow single player or LAN play storing the players in each computer.

      Congrats on being part of the “I don’t have a problem with it so fuck you if you do” club.

      Me, I’m not buying this. Fuck forced Battle.net.

    • PoulWrist says:

      But , Torchlight sucks compared :(

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “I’m all for having an online mode, with players stored on the server, and to combat cheating, but that’s no excuse to not allow single player or LAN play storing the players in each computer.”

      Why not? Storing sensitive data on the client seems like an obvious security risk. Though you could still argue that the security measures used are disproportionate here. I think they just don’t see much of a cost associated with the online requirement – it doesn’t seem to limit WoW’s reach, after all.
      Also LAN would imply legal BNet alternatives for pirated copies, which is more than a bit awkward.

    • TariqOne says:

      I’ve played waaaay too many MMOs to freak out about always-online games. I’ll only play this coop, so double-true, to quote Lazy Sunday.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      “Wasn’t RPS incredibly anti-always-online? And yet when someone points out a key point they get a snide comment about their values”

      What “key point” is this then? The OP doesn’t make any mention of the DRM, just that the game has taken a long time to come out. Which it has, but doesn’t seem like a particularly good reason to not play it.

    • ColdDeath says:

      @pkt-zer0: it’s pretty simple, why would i need security for SINGLE PLAYER or LAN games? When i am playing ALONE or with FRIENDS what reason is there for me to be worried about hacks? I’d be far more worried about the internet connection staying stable in that case which i should not have to!

      “legal alternatives for pirate copies”… yeah and that concerns me how when i bought a legal copy? I should not have to suffer consequences because of that…

      And I won’t, since i will not be buying this game for a long time, maybe when i get it at a VERY good price, but until then I’ll spend my time with other games

    • BloatedGuppy says:

      I feel bad for the people who don’t have access to broadband, or who have unstable internet connections, and totally understand why they would be disappointed or irritated that they couldn’t really get a game they might otherwise have wanted. But this “online only” thing has been going on for some time now in the industry. This is not a new thing Blizzard invented for Diablo 3. So I’m a little puzzled by the volume of the whining. Just as you are not obligated to buy Blizzard’s products, Blizzard is not obligated to take your lousy internet connections into consideration when designing them. Yes, they’ll lose your sale. Something tells me they’ll keep their head afloat, regardless.

      I mean, I managed to play Everquest and Starcraft on a dial-up connection when there was only one phone in the house and my sister was always militantly booting me off the line. It sucked, but I found ways to get my gaming in. When did it happen that everyone started feeling so goddam entitled?

    • abigbat says:

      @rocketman71 I have a pretty standard internet connection; nothing remarkable and it cuts out every now and then. I appreciate that some people are worse off in this regard, but cable speeds and stability are improving constantly making a required connection less and less of an issue. Why should Blizzard wait around when they can make their gaming experience the best it can be for the vast majority of players?

      In other news, BloatedGuppy summed it up rather nicely.

    • Deano2099 says:

      I’m fairly sure if the article did say “the servers were up constantly and I had no problem with the always-on requirement” the same people would be complaining “but that means nothing as this is a limited beta test with a few thousand people rather than the few million that will buy it on launch”.

      And they’d be right.

      Also if somehow you managed to miss the complaining about this being always-on then you’re looking in the wrong place…no-one is giving Blizzard a free-ride.

    • PodX140 says:

      Deano2099:

      Fair enough I guess, I’d just like that little bit of info on the DRM to at least say that they’re not cheaping out on the quality of any aspect of the game. I remember Blizzard for 3 core values, Game quality, LAN, and Mods. Sadly, 2 of those are gone so I’m hoping that at least something survived.

      @everyone else:

      Thanks for keeping the discussion quite level, I know that my I’ve been a bit blunt with my opinion, I’m just trying to avoid miscommunications :/

    • Starky says:

      Blizzard has a world wide server count so high that the arrival of Diablo 3 probably won’t have any significant impact.

      Blizzard servers going down won’t be an issue (except for scheduled maintenance – which doesn’t happen very often any more as Blizzard do rolling updates). It’s never been an issue for Starcraft 2 (Which I’d wager have greater than 99.95% uptime). They have gone down in the past but it is very, very rare.

      Your local internet however – they cannot control.

    • Starky says:

      RE: Mods and LAN

      Mods has never been a core quality of the diablo series, yes some people managed to hack mods into Diablo 2 – but it never supported mods, or the modding community in any real way.

      LAN is dead in gaming, sure it sucks for the very, very rare times you go to a BYOC LAN without a solid internet connection. Does anyone actually do “house lans” any more?

      Did anyone ever really play D1 or D2 LAN though? I mean I’ve been to many LAN events and D2 was never played, even when it was fairly new.
      Most LANS I’ve been to were dominated by games you could play in 30min sittings or less, with people constantly switching games, and activities. FPS games, Starcraft, Street fighter – classic arcade games and MAME boxes etc.
      Even a really shitty home broadband (say 256 up, 1k down) connection could support 8 player Diablo 3.

    • Emeraude says:

      “Does anyone actually do “house lans” any more?”

      I do. I have a a nice room with 8 computers that was waiting for SC2 and D3 and will in all probability never get to see them.

      As far as DRM is concerned, I have a simple rule: if I can’t lend or sell the game, I won’t buy it.

      I have a feeling that – the same way most of my friends along the years have been mostly thrown out of gaming by a market who does not cater to their preferences anymore – I’ll soon have no choice but to stop video gaming altogether.

  2. ResonanceCascade says:

    Hmm, I might be wooed into this game yet, especially since it’s starting to look a lot more Diabloesque than the early screenshots I’d seen.

    • Duffin says:

      Yeh, I’m pretty sure they did tone it down a bit. Although some guys went over those early screens with a D2 brush and it looked even better still.

    • Maktaka says:

      Please tell me you’re not talking about those idiotic “Necromancer’s Choice” alterations. Those sea-of-gray images were terrible. There are colors in the real world, and a good game uses them to ensure the player has both visual variety and ease of identification in the game world. This is a game to be played, not screenshots to be drooled over: I need to see what I’m doing.

      Diablo II had greens dominating Act I, yellow throughout Act II, VERY green and blue in Act III, and red and blue for Act IV. Things broke down in Act V, which was mostly white and brown. Enemies were bright reds, blues, greens, yellows, and more. Spell effects likewise encompassed every color of the rainbow. It was NOT a dark, grim, grimdark game like people seem to think it was. It had color, and lots of it, everywhere you cared to look.

    • Ushao says:

      @Maktaka Total agreement here. I swear, I feel like I’m the only one who got the Crayola version of Diablo 2 if that’s what everyone else saw. I mean just look at it!

    • DrGonzo says:

      Having been playing it through again recently it is very monotone, they change up the colours a lot. But it’s always very dull looking.

    • Ushao says:

      Monotone I can understand. There were a lot of colors in the game but things did seem monotone. What I don’t understand is how people got the idea into their heads that Diablo 2 was dark mcgrimdark through the entire game.

  3. nutterguy says:

    Congratulations on almost getting married John! ;-)
    I’m in the beta as well and Wizards are incredably overpowerd as far as I can see. Still it is awesome fun with 3 mates. :-D

    Now off to bed with you and best of luck on Saturday!

    • Sardukar says:

      Overpowered Wizards, you say? HOW I have missed my Sorceror of old! It shall be good times again.

      Also, I’ve been married for…forever, John.Hmm, in fact, I addicted most of my guests to Diablo, as it had come out around then.

      ANYWAY, what I’m saying is, love is forever whereas closed Beta of a Diablo game is of much shorter duration. YOU PLAY THAT GAME MAN.

      (Have it running on a laptop at the reception, perhaps.)

    • nutterguy says:

      As soon as the missus gets a beta invite as well she will be playing it as well. Yes she will…

    • MiniMatt says:

      Congratulations on almost getting married John! ;-)
      I’m in the beta as well and Wizards are incredably overpowerd

      Marriage beta would be getting engaged? Struggling to remember any Wizards, though my own marriage beta co-op partner will note I have the attention span of a five year old after a gallon of Sunny D.

      Anyways, congrats indeedy Mr Walker :o)

      (ps “tertris / tetris snafu up above /pedant)

    • coolz says:

      Cheers, John. Getting married myself on Saturday :).

  4. Duffin says:

    “Which is a shame, as I was supposed to be getting married on Saturday.”

    Don’t be silly, you can get atleast 167 Baal Runs done by then!

    • frenz0rz says:

      Only if you utilise the assistance of an obscenely well geared automated bot so that you dont have to lift a finger. “Joining SuperDuperBaal-078 “…

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I’m trying to think of a joke about runes and sockets and marriage… but it just ends up sounding incredibly dirty.

  5. Snakejuice says:

    So I’ve of course put aside that silly plan of going to sleep getting married

  6. Muzman says:

    Marry the game. Problem solved. If the lady doesn’t like the idea, hit her with some ‘If you love me…’ type stuff. You’ll work something out.

  7. Larkington says:

    I opened this story and got knifed through the heart.

    • Askeladd says:

      Your dream beeing happily married to John was utterly smashed?

    • Jamesworkshop says:

      maybe they wrote that RPS slash-fiction

      that might explain it

    • Larkington says:

      I was really hoping for rainbow-wielding unicorns. So, I got horned through the heart, I guess.

    • Carra says:

      That’s an idea for the expansion. Ride unicorns and put enemies on its mighty horn.

  8. Askeladd says:

    Is the RPS community invited? We would bring presents. Just tell your local police station about it in advance, lol.
    Anyway congrats.

  9. G_Man says:

    DRMuch?

    So you CAN play solo?

    • PodX140 says:

      Oh of course you can. But you’ll still need an online connection at all times for no reason whatsoever. Fun!

    • Persona says:

      They’re just protecting your interests. What if someone tries to steal your connection while you’re completely immersed playing Diablo III offline?! Now you’ll never be caught off guard!

      Thanks Blizzard!

    • frymaster says:

      there are reasons; I just personally don’t think they’re overriding enough to justify it. Basically, in Diablo 2, you could solo quest quite happily, but if you ever wanted to use your character to play with others, you had to do it in online mode, presumably because it’s harder/impossible to clone stuff or otherwise cheat with your inventory. Fair enough.

      For Diablo 3, they’ve decided that, to stop people being confused when they sink 40 hours of playtime into a character and then can’t play it with a mate / can’t trade stuff at the auction house, the only option will be online mode. Personally I think people are capable of working this out for themselves rather than having the option taken away.

  10. Skabooga says:

    Could be it’s only for the first chapter of the game, but from the descriptions it seems like it’s returning more to the gothic horror atmosphere of the first game, as opposed to the fantasy potpourri of the second. Or perhaps that’s just a bit of wishful thinking.

    • Askeladd says:

      The sad thing is you won’t get frightened like when we were young.

  11. Freud says:

    You had me at “D”.

  12. Vinraith says:

    Dammit. This thing really needed to be bad. Unplayable bad. There was probably never any real chance of that, I suppose, but the better it is the worse it’ll be for gamers. An always-online game with an in-game real cash shop is basically the summation of everything that’s wrong with AAA gaming these days. A game like that achieving huge financial success is liable to open the floodgates for every other AAA title to do the same.

    I guess we’ll always have indies.

    And on a happier note, congratulations John!

    • PodX140 says:

      Aye, I agree. The masses will flock to it, because somehow blizzard gets an exception from the Ubisoft treatment because “They’re blizzard.” Don’t people even realize that the entire staff of the company is different by this point? That they ARE owned by kotick and that means moneymoneymoneymineminemine! Guess my laptop gaming (which accounts for… 70% now?) is a dying breed. Oh well, gives me no reason to purchase their games and I’ll have a win-win situation.

    • nutterguy says:

      Like Steam at least they are adding Value to their DRM (AH, co-op and friends) which is good thing. Unlike Steam there is no offline mode what so ever, even in single player you are playing on Blizzard servers, which is a bad thing. A very bad thing…

    • Wulf says:

      I’m just counting on Torchlight II being the more interesting game.

      No offence to RPS, but destructible scenery aside? Diablo III sounds boring. Oooh, undead and corruption, it’s not like Blizzard has never used that schtick in their games before, is it? It’s not like zombies aren’t the most overdone thing in any genre, ever. And gee, it’s not like games with zombies in haven’t been exceptionally dull and terrible by and large.

      Diablo I & II both had mildly interesting storylines which had little to do with undead, it was more to do with other factors with involved undead, but it was deeper than the standard Blizzard fare. Diablo III however sounds like the usual fare of corruption and undeath, you know, just like World of Warcraft, and so man other Blizzard games. They couldn’t know what an original plot was if one riverdanced past them in polkadot pants.

      I mean, honestly. A magic star falls from the sky. Poof. Undead.

      (Yes, I did read it.)

      Okay then.

      I’m sure it’ll have lots of words, World of Warcraft had lots of words, but a quantitative amount of words doesn’t necessarily mean that the words are any good. People skip quest dialogues in World of Warcraft because they’re not particularly inspiring. And when considering the literary elements of a game, nothing in WoW has ever had any worth. It’s all very trite.

      I’m sorry.

      Even Torchlight’s miniscule plot was slightly more compelling than that. Torchlight had a dragon encased in crystal, that was reaching out through the veins of it to spread his influence, anyone whom came into contact with it had their personality subtly changed over time. This ember was desirable, but it also changed people. Not a visible corruption, but they did fall prey to that dragon’s influence. And as you progress into mines, as you come into contact with the ember, and as perhaps you may find that you come to need the ember (as my Alchemist did), you’re left wondering at the end just how much the ember changed you.

      So I’m expecting Torchlight II to have a somewhat better plot than Diablo III will. Plot is important to me. It just is. And a magic rock falling from the sky and causing magic undead to appear does nothing for me.

    • Melf_Himself says:

      Dragon encased in crystal > Star falling from sky. This is very important.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      PodX140 said: The masses will flock to it, because somehow blizzard gets an exception from the Ubisoft treatment because “They’re blizzard.”

      I think if Blizzard were churning out titles of the same quality as Ubisoft, then they would get the same treatment as Ubisoft. Blizzard made their reputation by the quality of their games and as long as their games remain such high quality, they will be treated more gently for their sins. If you can call the way they have been treated over this gentle – I think they may have tainted their reputation for a long time to come.

    • bluebomberman says:

      @ wulf:

      You just might be the only person in the world that doesn’t work for Runic to know what Torchlight’s plot is.

      And I’m almost certain you’re the only person in the world who actually cares on a deep, emotional level about Torchlight’s plot.

      @ Sheng-ji:

      Can we stop talking about “the masses” like they’re just a flock of dumb sheep? If Diablo III’s not fun for “the masses”, then all this venom about DRM and online connectivity will matter little and everybody will just find something else to play.

    • malkav11 says:

      No, I’m sorry, they are not adding value to their DRM. Nothing about the game that has been presented so far necessitates the online requirement. Coop and friends were part of the previous two Diablos as well.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @bluebomberman I was quoting PodX140 and then disagreeing with the sentiment (s)he was trying to communicate with that sentence. Edited that post to make it clearer for those not reading the whole thing

    • Mattressi says:

      Yeah, I was/am hoping for the same thing. This is just the initial impressions so far and pretty much amounts to “loot drops nicely, I can read the text, it’s narrated, stuff can be destroyed and I can see the things on the screen well”. Hopefully later on there’ll be flaws in major areas. I’m worried though – I think the game could suck balls and still most people would buy it simply because it’s Diablo 2′s sequel. I mean, even in this first impressions thing, John seems extremely excited, but the only points that I’ve noticed (so far) are those that I mentioned before – loot drops nicely, text is readable, there’s narration, destructible furniture and the camera angle is nice. Yeah, it’s great that it’s in there, but none of that’s new or innovative, except maybe the destructible stuff.

      As was said, this game needs to be horrible. Otherwise, a huge number of people will buy it regardless of the terrible DRM, which will send out an industry-wide message that people love being butt-raped by always-online DRM.

      At least indies exist.

    • wu wei says:

      @Wulf: You’re so right, a dragon encased in and slowly corrupting crystal is a lot more imaginative than demons trapped in and slowly corrupting soulstones…

    • bluebomberman says:

      @ sheng-ji

      Yeah, sorry, I guess we agree more than disagree.

      Bottom line is that people are going to play what they find fun. Personally taking a hard-line stance against DRM and always-on connectivity is fine and all, but people are letting it taint their perceptions of others who care little about it.

      @ Mattressi :

      These comments of people wishing Diablo 3 sucks in order to torpedo the DRM is silly. If Diablo 3 does stink up the room, Blizzard’s not going to go back to the drawing board and say: “You know, the biggest mistake we made is the always-online requirement”. They’re going to go back to the drawing board and say, “Well, the game isn’t fun, we need to fix that”.

      The only way to torpedo the always-online requirement is to prove to Blizzard that the DRM is crippling sales.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Wulf said: It’s not like zombies aren’t the most overdone thing in any genre, ever

      I know – zombies in zombie survival games (All of Em), zombies in fantasy roleplaying games (Lots of em), zombies in space sci-fi’s (Mass effect, Halo, Dead Space), zombies in driving games(Carmageddon), zombies in god games (Can’t think of any but there must be), Zombies in city builders (I’m guessing there was a Zombie Plague disaster in sim city) Zombies in flight sims…. Ohhhh wait, we’ve got a genre with no zombies – There ya go Wulf, enjoy and you’re welcome!

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @bluebomberman – Actually I agree with you completely – If the game is fun, sure the DRM is a pain, but it’s not going to stop me from playing it. Life is too short for me to not play games I will love even if there are elements about it which I don’t like. I’m more worried about the auction house if I’m honest.

    • Chris D says:

      The thing is I suspect the always online thing will have a fairly minimal effect on me personally as my internet connection is pretty stable but it’s not a trend I wish to encourage for all the reasons that have been discussed before.

      If Diablo 3 were to be anything less than outstanding this wouldn’t be a problem, but right now the question I find myself asking is “Can I be bought?” and if so “What’s my price?”

    • Vinraith says:

      The pay-to-win store is so off-putting I’m not even tempted, which is just as well.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @Vinraith – Yes, me too – that’s the thing that will really keep me away from this game – I’m like you, I’ll not even be tempted to use it but if the game has been balanced with that in mind and it is made difficult to get anywhere without using it, then I will not buy the game.

    • Mattressi says:

      @bluebomberman: I’m not hoping for Blizzard to drop always-on DRM from their games in the future (I really don’t give a crap about them) – I’m just hoping that others in the industry don’t use D3′s success as an indicator that always-online DRM is fine. If the game fails for whatever reason, people won’t be able to conclusively say that customers are fine with always-online DRM; but if the game sells well, they can very conclusively say that people are fine with always-online DRM, since everyone bought the game despite its DRM.

      Even if I were actually able to play the game (I do most of my gaming on my laptop while travelling and the rest I do on my PC with a horrible Australian internet connection that drops out for hours and days every single week) I’d still boycott it, simply because I don’t like not owning my games. You can crap on about how we’re just buying the license to play a game, but if I move house and have no internet for a few weeks, I can still play all of my old games which I apparently do not own, yet will not be able to play any new games. I’d hate it if, one day, I move and find that I can no longer play any game that I own until I’ve got my internet connection back on. (That’s an example – as I said, I actually can’t reliably play any game which requires a constant internet connection, but I figured I’d provide an example that everyone can relate to)

    • sinister agent says:

      No, I’m sorry, they are not adding value to their DRM. Nothing about the game that has been presented so far necessitates the online requirement. Coop and friends were part of the previous two Diablos as well.

      Thank you. Even if it wasn’t part of the previous games, it’s still not necessary to tie it to customer-insulting DRM (redundant, I know). Giving you a sandwich when I call you a thieving prick doesn’t make calling you a thieving prick justified or necessary.

    • Toolbox says:

      @Wulf Your attempt to explain the “depth” of Torchlight’s plot was one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the game, but the story was hilariously paper-thin. Agh! Corruption! Go beat it up!

    • bluebomberman says:

      @ Mattressi:

      But we’re already entering a world that demands more online, more of the time. Steam, despite its online-DRM, might have saved PC gaming. Lots of gaming happens on Facebook and in browsers now. MMOs. People texting instead of calling. Movie streaming’s replacing DVDs. Lots of people already either don’t care, or actively search for ways to get better Internet (my neighbors banged down my door trying to get me to help them with their Internet, even though they don’t do much besides Youtube).

      If the DRM’s not overly onerous and provides some benefits, like Steam, then yeah, most people probably don’t care much.

      @ Vinraith:

      “Pay-to-win” is a rather meaningless criticism to nail on Diablo 3 when there’s no need to actually step foot into the auction house. PvP can be ignored entirely, and they’ve explicitly said there will be no attempt to balance it, so they don’t expect people to spend $$$ on gear to stay competitive.

    • RandomGameR says:

      wulf: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqyNG40lYQ8 TORCHLIGHT 2 ZOMBIES. You can now get over yourself.

      People other than Wulf:
      What Blizzard is doing here is not the same as what Ubisoft did. I think the uproar about the game being online only is a bit ridiculous. It would be like people being upset that Guild Wars is “always online.” Or someone getting mad at Team Fortress 2 forcing you to have an internet connection to play it. Blizzard is clearly making a multiplayer game that allows single player, not the other way around.

      That’s completely different than making a singleplayer game require an internet connection.

      The added benefit is that being online-only encourages multiplayer while also allowing you to jump in/out of multiplayer with any character you create. This is definitely better than how Diablo 2 worked.

      Also, those people who are mad about the real cash online store just need to search for “Diablo 2 account for sale” on google. You can still purchase Diablo 2 accounts/gold/items really easily for cash money. Blizzard made the intelligent design decision to bring that all in-house. At the very least it will keep people who want to buy those things from getting ripped off by thieves.

      Anyway, I’m glad that this article was done with a level-head instead from the OMGDRMWTFBBQ crowd. From what I played the game is fun, polished, and has a much more engaging story than I’ve seen in this type of game (infinitely better presented than the lack of a story in Torchlight). It’s going to be a success with the unwashed masses because it deserves it.

    • PodX140 says:

      Sheng-ji

      “I think if Blizzard were churning out titles of the same quality as Ubisoft, then they would get the same treatment as Ubisoft.”

      But completely honestly here, IIRC, what games has blizzard come out with recently that actually show quality? They’re last game (not including starcraft II as it is an exception, and WOW is by now a completely different part of the company I’m sure) came out NINE years ago. NINE! Like holy hell, even valve’s been putting out stuff in that time period.

      I don’t think people realize it’s been so long and still put all the same beliefs/accolades on to blizzard as if they were still active, but damn. Nine years changes companies, I’d be amazed if half of the people who worked there at the time still work there now.

      RandomGameR:

      Honestly, I would still hate the online only requirement as there are weeks at a time where I have no internet connection due to travel and school, but I hate it even more for the fact that I see no advantages of online only being given to those who play singleplayer. Am I able to access the auction house? Am I able to… And that’s all I (and I do mean I, I’m sure other people may come up with more but I’m being honest here) can come up with as POSSIBLE advantages. Not even given ones, but possible advantages! That’s not worth it to me at all.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @RandomGameR – I do like your point of view, it’s fair and balanced, but I do take issue with one tiny little thing – Diablo, the IP was designed from the ground up to be a single player experience. There have been two games in the series in which the game was designed, marketed and sold as a single player game with multi-player added on. Meanwhile, elsewhere in blizzards line up, you could play a fantasy themed MMO if you wanted to raid with your friends. Those other games you mentioned were designed from the very conception of the IP to be multiplayer games, online. So it wasn’t a great comparison. Can you think of any IP which has sucessfully switched from a single player focused game to an MMO style game and that to have been a good decision?

      Now, the third game seems to be designed with multi player at it’s heart, and single player bolted on. This has upset people, as it has made it difficult for a lot of people to enjoy the single player game. The majority of gamers, lets not forget, do not have any interest in playing multiplayer, especially not with strangers.

      Why not make this game a spin-off from WOW and keep the diablo IP as it was created – so this game would be the exact same game but with different names for places and lore to tie it into the WOW universe?

      Finally, no-one is denying the existence of pay to win in many other games from shady websites. Using them has a stigma attached to it though and if you are caught, your account is generally banned. Making it legitimate will not stop forced labour in nightmare conditions to feed the supply. There will be people, right now as we sit and read this website, being forced to play various games from WOW to Rift because they borrowed money from the wrong people. They will be forced to play diablo too, but now, there will be no stigma to buying items from them or any way to tell that your money is funding organised crime. But that aside, even if you think that is somewhat of an overreaction – in which case, I’d get in contact with your local police forces immigration department and find out how many illegal immigrants they deal with who are forced to play WOW. Then imagine how bad the problem is in Nigeria, China, Russia, Brazil – places where the slave trade is very much still alive and kicking – even if you are not concerned about that in the slightest, what if you are basically forced to use the marketplace to be able to get beyond certain points in the game – the balance is too difficult for a character who does not buy items. You pay for the game then you end up trickling money to Blizzard in order to be able to keep playing. That’s my concern, and yes I know there will be an in game currency market place too, but I think it will become a junk pile when there’s a competing real money auction house.

      Don’t get me wrong, if the auction house can easily be ignored and the game is as fun as it seems, I’ll be buying it, but it’s also OK for me to be concerned about these things.

    • Joof says:

      @Wulf: Isn’t that Lord of the Rings, but with a Dragon in a Crystal replacing a Wizard in a Ring?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      PodX140 – I take your point, but a company is a lot more than just the people who work there now. The old employees will have left a lasting impact in the way things are done, and the values of the company. Also the history of the company affects modern times now. If you took 90% of the team who made starcraft and swapped them with 90% of the team which made Age of Empires, Age of empires would have still been a microsoft game and starcraft would have still been a blizzard game. Think about when you change jobs. You don’t continue to do things the way your old company did, you learn the new way of doing things.

      And I guess, the gaming public have long memories. I think that gap could have been damaging though, if starcraft 2 hadn’t been as good as it was,I wonder if the perception of Blizzard would be the same now?

    • PodX140 says:

      Sheng-ji:

      But that’s exactly what I’m saying. The ‘tradition’ of blizzard is dead, think about the insanity that is actually happening. A blizzard game is releasing… Without mod support. Forget even the insane cash shop and online only, just focus on the mods. Could you imagine what it would have been like if blizzard made Warcraft IV 8 years ago and said no mods? It would have been insanity.

      Now? It’s not even the biggest topic! Let alone once you add in the entire blizzard-activision merger and the fact that blizzard is actually being run by activision’s people (Give me a sec to find the source on it, but it basically goes that kotick replaced a few key heads with his guys and that’s all he needed to do). Hell, the guy in charge of blizzard IIRC has a CONTRACT saying that if he doesn’t make a certain PROFIT GROWTH, not even profit(!) He loses out on his bonuses.

      EDIT: Proof of Blizzard being eaten by Activision: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=128252

    • Azradesh says:

      I wouldn’t say Diablo 1 or 2 had mod *support*.

    • Azradesh says:

      @ Wulf

      The story isn’t about zombies/undead, they just happen to be in the game just like the first two.

    • Kleppy says:

      I will buy this game, DRM included, for $60, on release day. Oh yeah.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      I’m not seeing the fuss about the auction house. It doesn’t ruin the fun for anyone except gold farmers trying to circumvent the official system. “Pay-to-win” seems silly when the game is cooperative (yes there’s PvP arenas, but it’s hardly a focus).

      As for the DRM, I think it’s an acceptable tradeoff for better security and illegalizing large-scale for-profit copyright infringement. I used that term because I’m fine with piracy as long as it’s used to mean “a bunch of dudes downloading stuff for free”, and not “large corporations making millions off the IP of others”. I’m all for the creators making money off of their works if they’re good, and I don’t think the former goes against that, while the latter does. Sure, IP law reforms would be a cleaner and more offline-friendly solution, but I doubt that was not a particularly realistic option here.

      “think about the insanity that is actually happening. A blizzard game is releasing… Without mod support.”

      Modding StarCraft 2 was also against the ToS, IIRC. The game DID have a rather flexible map editor, however. Maybe they’ll do something similar here, eventually.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      PodX140: You seem to be saying that since Activision bought out Blizzard, the company went down the pan – You don’t need to check sources about Activision replacing staff, it happens when companies merge, it may be unfair, but capitalism is unfair from it’s very core – that’s the life we, collectively in the western world have chosen for ourselves, that’s just the way it is – as for the CEO of blizzard’s bonus being based on financial targets… are you surprised? If diablo 1 had been a flop, no-one at Blizzard would have got a bonus either – that’s just business and the way companies work in any industry, except perhaps public owned industries and banking!

      But as you pointed out, Blizzard hadn’t got a game through the doors on 9 years – surely a game studio paying staff and producing nothing is a game studio in trouble? Perhaps Activision have done what was necessary to get things moving at blizzard again. I’m playing devils advocate here, I don’t actually hold a personal opinion.

      I think, given the positive reaction to Starcraft 2, we can say that Activision haven’t necessarily destroyed the Blizzard magic. That game was pretty much critically acclaimed worldwide and I think it’s a really great game, a worthy successor.

      As for mods, Diablo as a series has never ever allowed modding. But mods happened anyway, as they will for D3. Once their files are in the hands of the public, it is inevitable, so don’t worry about that. The Magic the Gathering games have gone the furthest to try to prevent mods that I’ve ever seen, with some dirty tricks embedded in the code, yet if you wish, you can import pretty much any deck you want into that game now – mods will happen no matter how good you think you’ve been. In fact, the modding scene I’ve been most disappointed with is Civ V’s and that was a game that actively supported it in every way it could.

      EDIT: That article you linked to is highly biased, but despite that, there is nothing that bad contained within. Don’t take business practices personally, and if you do, be consistant with it. If the things in that article would put you off buying an Activision product, kudos for your principles, but you should be very wary about buying anything from pretty much every major electronics manufacturer, especially mobile phones, computer hardware and flatscreen tv’s. Be wary too of book publishers, they get up to some really dirty tricks as do package holiday providers, the automobile industry, private healthcare, furniture makers, petrochemicals, white goods, supermarkets… I bet there are literally thousands of products you have in your home right now from businesses which have done worse things than anything in that article – just want to give you a heads up!

    • Coins says:

      @Sheng-ji
      I agree with a lot of your post, but there simply won’t be mods for Diablo 3. That’s the whole point of the battle.net integration and always-online system. I’m pretty sure that, if you modify game files, you’ll be branded as a cheater and your Bnet account banned – along with the rest of your Blizzard games. I don’t think it’ll be a good thing if the rest of the industry starts to follow this practice.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @Coins – yeah, true, if you want to continue connecting to battle.net, you will be severely limited in your modding abilities – I dare say, if you want to run a mod, you will be forced to install the “mod” perhaps more accurately described as a crack which removes the need to connect to bnet – if that isn’t already being coded, I will honestly eat a hat, and upload it to youtube for the world to mock me!

    • misterk says:

      @pod…. which game have Blizzard brought out, excluding WoW, one of the biggest hits in gaming ever, and Starcraft 2, one of the biggest hits in gaming ever? I don’t really know how one argues with that?

    • freeid says:

      Sheng-ji

      Sorry mate but at no point did Activision “Buy out Blizzard”

    • kyrieee says:

      I don’t understand how you can say that Diablo III sounds boring and at the same time be super excited for Torchlight 2. Torchlight was okay but it wasn’t nearly as good as Diablo 2. Blizzard have the resources to make a better game and I think it’s a safe bet that they will.

    • Rii says:

      @PodX140: “But completely honestly here, IIRC, what games has blizzard come out with recently that actually show quality? They’re last game (not including starcraft II as it is an exception, and WOW is by now a completely different part of the company I’m sure) came out NINE years ago. NINE! Like holy hell, even valve’s been putting out stuff in that time period.”

      Strong contender for stupidest comment ever.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @freeid

      I accept the correction! My points remain valid though

    • PodX140 says:

      Look, as fantastic as SCII was, there is no way in hell I’m even for a second going to believe that it took over 9 years to develop with (likely) a significant portion of the staff working on it for that time. So yes, I made an exception to one game, are you saying that a single game in 9 years is actually an acceptable benchmark for tradition and values at a company? Seriously?

      Rii:

      I did not mean to compare the quality of SCII to some unknown “quality” factor in blizzard. I simply stated that judging their old traditions on it is a bit extreme, IMO.

      (I read my post again and yes I realize I used the damn word right in the middle of it. So apologies, but I guess I meant to say “what games show longstanding-tradition/quality-values”)

      misterk:

      I may be wrong, but IIRC, WoW is handled by a designated team on blizzard. To me, a single seperated team is not exactly the company. And on the topic of SCII, read my reply to Rii.

      EDIT: Actually, thinking about it more, why discard SCII? It has a good point. The game quality is pristine, I never questioned that, but the traditional-quality compared to blizzards old games? Hell, this is the game that thrived on spawn copies and LAN, and yet the sequel refuses to allow either (unless that was changed in a patch, though I haven’t heard anything of the like). Is that not quite a large tip off that this isn’t the same Blizzard as the one 9 years ago?

    • Starky says:

      1 game in 9 years are you thick or just trolling? WoW may now be mainly a separate team, but for many years it wasn’t – work on SC2 and D3 was postponed/greatly slowed because most of Blizzard were working on WoW leaving very few employees for anything else. Only because WoW was so massively successful could Blizzard expand to the point it is now where it actually does have 3-4 full size teams working on different titles.

      So really Blizzard have released about 6-7 games in the past 9 years, just 5 of those happen to be WoW. hell more like 10 games really, the original WoW is easly worth 3-4 games it was fucking massive.

      -
      Blizzard is not the same company from 9 years ago, it’s not the same (gaming) world as 9 years ago. Gaming has changed, gaming has moved on.

      9 years ago Blizzard didn’t need to worry about pirate bay and Hamatachi. 9 years ago Blizzard could not have foreseen how successful the online aspect of their game would actually be (they might have hoped, but they could not have been sure – same with WoW actually).
      9 years ago hey could not have known how by keeping all the loot/item generation/map generation code client side would result in bots, map hacks, dupes and a fairly massive real world money farming business based on their IP.
      9 Years ago they couldn’t have guessed how much money people would be willing to pay for virtual items, how much black market companies would be willing to do to meet that demand, and how much it would infect their product.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      “what if you are basically forced to use the marketplace to be able to get beyond certain points in the game”
      Given that it’s an auction house that only sells items found by other players, that doesn’t seem logically possible. Doubly so when there’s another aution house (or another “part” to the same auction house) where you can buy items with in-game currency.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      “Hell, this is the game that thrived on spawn copies and LAN, and yet the sequel refuses to allow either. Is that not quite a large tip off that this isn’t the same Blizzard as the one 9 years ago?”

      Given the shenanigans involving Haofang and KeSPA, this seems like a reasonable decision. I’m not sure how it should indicate that Blizzard has turned to the Dark Side.

    • PodX140 says:

      Starky: I would ask that you please keep it civil, I’m not trying to accuse people or demean them, I would ask you do the same to me.

      My point of WoW: Yes, I agree that it is a hell of alot of work, and I agree that it must have taken massive resources. This is not DNF here, they were probably working on something every day, I don’t contest that. But what I mean is that although they developed on WoW, they never had a chance to introduce/reuse any business model in that time. They couldn’t just go: “Hey, here’s LAN in this new expansion!” They were tied to the restrictions of the WoW model and that was that. What I meant was that in nine years, they were unable to demonstrate their new business strategy. Starcraft II was the first of their new model, and I hoped that model was an outlier. DIII shows that it’s not likely.

      Now you see why I point out why WoW doesn’t count in my eyes, and SCII could kinda be ignored? I’m not trying to come across as some self-righteous asshole not wanting to buy this because it’s mainstream or anything, I’m just vocalizing my reasoning of why I will not purchase this game, which is that I don’t agree with the business model. My hope is that maybe if enough people do the same that model could be changed. Because god knows I would love to buy the game, but I literally can’t (without some acquisition) due to the online only.

    • fatal.end says:

      People need to get with the times. Blizzard isn’t some new company trying to gain a playerbase for a brand new IP. This is Diablo 3, a part of one of the most successful game franchises of all time.

      Some of you are going to complain about the lack of a spawn feature? Seriously? Lack of LAN?
      I play World of Warcraft, Everquest, and Guild Wars, all of which require an internet connection and these games have been around for years now.

      Do you also complain that your favorite clothing lines no longer produce the same crap you worse in the 80′s, or do you complain that cars today aren’t made like they used to be?

      It’s time to get with the times here and learn how to adapt.

      And don’t even get me started on Activision-Blizzard comments. The company is still ULTIMATELY owned by Vivendi which it was even in the Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft days. Very few of you know what you’re even talking about, and if this stuff bothers you this bad, it doesn’t even matter because you will all buy Diablo 3, including that Wulf douchebag that blows up Torchlight’s storyline line it’s the second coming of Christ.

      I have been playing games for YEARS and my gaming experience has never been ruined by DRM, lack of offline play, or mergers. Let’s just quit posting altogether if we want to complain about everything. Sound like a bunch of old geezers whining about how everything was better in the 50′s.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @ Ergates_Antius: You said: “Given that it’s an auction house that only sells items found by other players, that doesn’t seem logically possible. Doubly so when there’s another aution house (or another “part” to the same auction house) where you can buy items with in-game currency.”

      Firstly it is two distinct auction houses. You can choose to sell either on one or the other. I doubt many people are going to sell items, especially end game items on the in game gold one, why would you – in game gold is an unlimited resource, want more, go grind.

      Further more, what is to stop Blizzard monitoring the number of drops of the (Insert weapon name here) and number on the auction house and when there are two or three for sale, prevent any more from being dropped? Then have a choke point in the game – a point beyond which the game is frustratingly difficult without that weapon, to force players to have to purchase that weapon from the auction house.

      If I wanted to maximise the profits in this type of auction house, that’s what I would do, repeatedly through the game. If this has been done, I will not buy the game.

    • Antsy says:

      Wulf: a quantitative amount of words doesn’t necessarily mean that the words are any good.

      I giggled.

    • sinister agent says:

      @fatal.end

      Making out that complaints about online requirements for a single player game are invalid because some totally unrelated MMOs have an online requirement is possibly the most irrelevant strawman yet seen in this debate from any commentator.

      I’m not even going to go into your absurd “get with the times” schtick.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      “I doubt many people are going to sell items, especially end game items on the in game gold one, why would you – in game gold is an unlimited resource, want more, go grind.”

      Maybe, but you have to accept that this is entirely speculation on your part – we don’t yet know what people will do, we’ll have to wait and see. I expect it’ll largely depend on how much items actually go for in the cash auction site.

      As to why you’d want in-game gold – to buy in-game items from the gold auction house of course.

      “Further more, what is to stop Blizzard monitoring the number of drops of the (Insert weapon name here) and number on the auction house and when there are two or three for sale, prevent any more from being dropped? Then have a choke point in the game – a point beyond which the game is frustratingly difficult without that weapon, to force players to have to purchase that weapon from the auction house.

      If I wanted to maximise the profits in this type of auction house, that’s what I would do, repeatedly through the game. If this has been done, I will not buy the game.”

      Again, pure speculation, plus there are a couple of problems with your theory.
      1) You’re assuming that the game will have chokepoints that are only passable using a limited selection of items*. This seems extremely unlikely. If the first 2 games are anything to go by, there will be a very wide array of items* in the game, couple this with the different characters, and how customizable their skill sets are, you’re looking at an almost uncountable number of variations. It’d be nigh-on impossible to restrict this to “you need one of these to get past here”.

      2) More importantly – auction house fees are charged at a flat rate. This means Blizzard make the same amount from each sale, no matter how much the item goes for. This, in turn, means they to maximise takings, they need to increase the number of sales, not the prices. Which also means it’ll be in their interest to keep prices low – you’ll sell a hell of a lot more swords costing 50p than ones costing £50.

      *items = armour, weapons, picnic sets, fluffy dice, etc.

    • RandomGameR says:

      Sheng: I think your point about trying to maximize profit on the auction house was already countered by Blizzard choosing to take a non-percentage based cut. I also think that by bringing it in-house they have much more control over the sweatshops than they had, which was almost none at all. Now they can track all business done as a result of their game and cooperate with law enforcement.

      I’m more than willing to dismiss the thought of them making the game too hard to play without buying a specific weapon. They just aren’t going to do that. I’m no psychic, but it’s just not grounded in reality or company history. There is literally no evidence to support that what you’re suggesting might happen.

      I also disagree with the idea that any diablo game was designed as a single player experience. They were designed as cooperative gaming experiences first and foremost. Battle.net was not just “tacked on” as an afterthought to diablo, nor was the completely redone version for diablo 2. Diablo was the first game with an integrated multiplayer service like battle.net. It’s a mild evolutionary step for their game design.

    • Srethron says:

      @fatal.end: Quite recently there was an article on this very Shotgun entitled Actually, It’s Ok To Complain. I recommend it.
      http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/09/09/actually-its-okay-to-complain/

      Happy Wedding Day, John! I hope your sleep deprivation DRM does not lead to a disconnection during your ceremony!

    • Sheng-ji says:

      No choke points in diablo 2? I’d love to see you beat Mephisto with no lightning resistance. Yes it will be possible, but my god will it be frustrating

      So lets expand my limited simple example to imagine Mephisto was in D3. They monitor the number of items featuring lightning resistance on the auction house. When it is at 3000, they stop any more being dropped for players in the act which Mephisto is at the end of. Now, the other couple of million players in that act are virtually forced to use the auction house to progress. Thus forcing a couple of million micro-transactions. They couldn’t care less whether it’s 50p or £50 – as you point out.

      And I know it’s speculation, but to me, it’s a valid concern. All I’ve ever said is that I’m going to hold off and wait to buy the game to make sure that there’s nothing in there which virtually forces use of the auction house. I am happy with the carrot approach, many good free to play games take to encourage microtransactions, I hate the stick approach – punish the player unless they make them.

      I would have pre-ordered already (In fact I cancelled my pre-order) because I just want to wait for the reviews and player feedback. And if there’s no problem, by the looks of the beta footage, I’m going to love the game.

      Oh and btw, never at any point in history has legitimising an illegal industry ever reduced the amount of associated crime. It has, in plenty of cases actually increased the problem.

      RandomGameR said “but it’s just not grounded in reality or company history”

      Reality: Casino Poker Machines

      Company History: “With respect to the franchises that don’t have the potential to be exploited every year across every platform, with clear sequel potential that can meet our objectives of, over time, becoming $100 million-plus franchises, that’s a strategy that has worked very well for us.”

      “It’s definitely an aspiration that we see potential in, particularly as we look at different business models to monetise the online gameplay”

      “I think it’s been mutually beneficial, and you should expect us to test and ultimately launch additional online monetization models of some of some of our biggest franchises like Call Of Duty.”

    • RandomGameR says:

      Sorry Sheng, but your “example” is literally the definition of paranoia. It’s no more valid a concern than the idea that Blizzard employees are going to come to your home and steal your wallet while you’re playing their game. I mean, they would be able to monitor your location based on your internet connection and they’d also know exactly where your attention was being paid. It would maximize their profits way more than what you’re completely making up, so why not?

      Mephisto is the most commonly repeatedly killed boss in Diablo 2. He’s not hard. Yeah, you could redefine the word “boss battle” to be “choke point requiring you to purchase items for real world cash” but you’d just be, again, making things up.

      Blizzard is not going to do what you’re saying and there is no reason to even guestimate that they might. There is no history of Blizzard doing anything like that even though they already have multiple games that could offer that type of (bad) experience to a much larger customer base (WoW and SC2).

      With regards to legitimizing illegal activities, your opinion is exactly the opposite of truth. Look up Portugal’s decriminalizing of drugs, or perhaps the United States attempts to make alcohol illegal for just two concrete examples.

      I’m not saying that everyone has to buy the game, but I do think that concocting potential ways for the company to screw you over is not particularly fair. It’s just not a valid concern.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      How dare you tell me my opinion is paranoid or invalid. I’m not trying to force it onto anyone else and I am always, ALWAYS very accommodating for other peoples opinions, no matter how wrong I believe they are. Opinion is personal and you will notice I haven’t rubbished yours that they would never do this or tried to find evidence to “prove” your opinion “wrong”. I think it’s a very valid concern and I will not be buying until I know it is not in the game. You will never be able to talk me into pre-ordering the game and I’m not sure why you’re so passionate about trying to convince me to do so…

      In fact ,the more you try to convince me, the more you remind me of the years I spent working for Climax, where we were forced to log onto sites like this and defend our game during our lunch break.

      Oh, and why don’t you research your facts properly before you fling examples around. Criminal events attributed to drugs have increased since Portugal decriminalised drugs. As has the average cost of each criminal event. Furthermore, despite the frankly ridiculous stats I found on wikipedia on the subject of Portugal’s drug policy, if you limit your research to reputable sources – peer reviewed journals and the like, you will find that adult drug use has increased in Portugal, as has the quantity of smuggled drugs entering the country, as has the crime attributed to drugs per capita.

      Also, some counties in America report as high as 76% of their crime is directly due to alcohol consumption or an attempt to procure alcohol. As opposed to 19% during the prohibition.

      Furthermore, sunshine, there is a huge difference in the example I gave and the example you gave. The example I gave is completely legal and legitimate and cheap to impliment. The example you gave is organised petty crime which would require massive costs and risks. There is a huge difference, you may as well say that accusing casino games machines of being rigged is as paranoid as the casino coming to your house and stealing your tv. Oh… casino games are rigged….

      And if I took everything on face value and didn’t wonder “What could they be doing to screw me” Especially when it’s about a company which made the comments I quoted earlier, which talks about exploiting it’s customers, which talks about maximising profit from every available avenue, then I would find myself being ripped off left, right and centre. Do you drop your car off at the first garage you come across, accept everything they tell you and pay in advance? Really, you get a second and possibly a third opinion? But surely a garage ripping you off is a bit paranoid, after all they know where you live, they could just burgle your house, because that would be easier for them!

      But I guess, you could just live in ignorance of the ways people will try to part you from your money… poorer than you should be but blissfully ignorant.

      Let’s deconstruct your post sentence by sentence shall we… I’m in labour and have nothing better to do.

      You say that my example is literally the very definition of paranoia.

      Here’s the definition of paranoia.

      A mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically worked into an organized system.

      I am not in any way persecuted by Blizzard, jealous of them, nor do I feel particularly self important.

      So your first statement is false.

      next…

      It’s no more valid a concern than the idea that Blizzard employees are going to come to your home and steal your wallet while you’re playing their game.

      I believe we’ve covered that earlier.

      I mean, they would be able to monitor your location based on your internet connection and they’d also know exactly where your attention was being paid.

      Wrong, they would need data from my ISP to get anything better than my exchange.

      What the hell are you talking about they could know exactly where my attention was being paid…. right so I’m cooking a meal, my attention is being paid to the cooker. How do they know my attention is on the cooker? Do they have magic software that can read my mind? You call me paranoid, yet make a statement like that.

      It would maximize their profits way more than what you’re completely making up, so why not?

      Do you really think that sending a house breaking gang to every home playing their game would be more profitable than their auction house? Let’s assume they pay two criminals who take an average of two days to burgle each house – waiting for the house to be empty etc. So they will be paying these guys a couple of thousand per break, taking into account payments for risk and buying silence. I doubt they could even break even with that type of business model.

      Mephisto is the most commonly repeatedly killed boss in Diablo 2.

      Got a source on that “fact”

      He’s not hard

      Presenting opinion as fact. You have problems with that don’t you.

      Yeah, you could redefine the word “boss battle” to be “choke point requiring you to purchase items for real world cash” but you’d just be, again, making things up.

      The thing about a sentence is it should make sense. So trying to pick my way through your pigeon English, I come to the conclusion that you are trying to say that I’m making things up by describing a boss battle as a choke point. A chokepoint is a section of the game you cannot pass until you have performed the correct action, in the case of a boss battle, it is usually killing the boss. So boss battles are choke points.

      Oh, any comments on my English will result in me responding by telling you that I am in labour, I have an excuse.

      Blizzard is not going to do what you’re saying and there is no reason to even guestimate that they might

      There was no reason to “guestimate” (PS I think people who use that term are a little bit special needs) that Blizzard would make always online a requirement. Until they did.

      There is no history of Blizzard doing anything like that even though they already have multiple games that could offer that type of (bad) experience to a much larger customer base (WoW and SC2)

      The thing about new idea’s is that at one point in time, no-one had actually had the idea, then at a later point in time, someone had had that idea. Those games were all in the past, before the idea. But I have to concede that there’s nothing actually inherently wrong with this statement, it’s just a bit pointless. Oh, by the way, what would they sell in a starcraft auction house?

      With regards to legitimizing illegal activities, your opinion is exactly the opposite of truth.

      I believe I covered this when I looked up the facts in peer reviewed journals and found my instinct was correct. God job really, what with me working in a senior role for the Justice department in the UK.

      Look up Portugal’s decriminalizing of drugs, or perhaps the United States attempts to make alcohol illegal for just two concrete examples.

      See above where I tell you how concrete your examples really aren’t

      I’m not saying that everyone has to buy the game

      Just me then?

      but I do think that concocting potential ways for the company to screw you over is not particularly fair

      Would you have done the same if I had posted 6 months ago that I was concerned there would be an always online requirement? I would agree with you if I was telling people not to buy the game just in case… but I’m not. I’m even saying I want to buy the game. It’s not like I’m on forums every day concocting a new reason not to buy it either, this is my only one. I’ve defended this game from some of the extreme criticism its had over the last few months. But I have a concern and I have voiced it. Deal with it and move on. Sure, it doesn’t click with you but it doesn’t make it any the less valid for me and probably many others.

      It’s just not a valid concern.

      Not to you it’s not. Well it is to me. If they don’t put it in the game, you r opinion would have been correct and mine wrong. If they do put this in the game, my opinion would have been correct and yours would have been wrong. There is no validity or fact until we know – it a bit like schrodingers cat. Until we know either could be the case. You may think mine is very unlikely, but do you say it’s impossible? I actually think my concern is quite unlikely, but the fact that I believe it is possible means I will be holding off until we know.

      I don’t want my example to be true – it it is, I won’t be buying the game and you will be being bled dry – neither of us will be happy. If it’s not true, we will both be happily playing the game. So I want so much for it not to be true.

      Damn I’ve run out of ways to shout at you for being a complete dick to me.

      Better see if I’m dilated enough to go to hospital then.

  13. tgoat says:

    ‘Grats on getting into the beta!
    oh, and that wedding thing is cool too, I guess..

  14. frenz0rz says:

    So who is it you’re marrying, Andariel or Duriel?

  15. Davie says:

    Damn it! Don’t make me excited for this! I want to be mad about the DRM and the anti-mods and all that! Argh!

  16. AdamT says:

    Good luck with that wedding thing! I was fine at mine right up until I was standing in the church waiting for my cue to walk out there. I’m sure a “fan of knives” would have helped immensely. I also vote for the idea of having the beta running on a laptop at the reception. That way all the dudes will be gathered around the laptop and the dance floor will be filled with chicks! And since you’ve already had time with the beta, you’ll be able to go and hit on all the… oh. … Nevermind.

  17. Archonsod says:

    The big maps actually sound like a bad thing. One of the reasons I got into Sacred and Torchlight and not the first two Diablo’s is that they change the scenery quite frequently. When the game mechanics are as repetitive as they inevitably are in these things having a large map to wander just makes it feel tedious after about half an hour – “oh look, yet another skeleton to click on. Yawn”. Not that simply changing the scenery makes it any less repetitive, but at least switching the skeleton for a gnome on a pogo stick can fake it being different enough.

    • realityflaw says:

      From what I’ve seen so far they’re mixing it up way better in the first act than D2, much less exploring really big really similar fields, and much more hopping in and out of varied and smaller caves basements cathedrals etc.

      Which is not to say you won’t find yourself slogging through 4 huge random samey layers of something at the end of the act but the start looks pretty good.

    • nubbuka says:

      Undead pogo sticks! WE NEED UNDEAD POGO STICKS!!

    • Toolbox says:

      Plants vs. Zombies :)

    • mwoody says:

      Having watched a number of Diablo playthroughs – up to the skeletal king, at least – this doesn’t seem to be taken to an un-fun extreme. Now, Titan Quest, there was a game with maps that made me want to slit my throat. Ten hours in and still in the first, un-randomly-generated map? Shoot me!

      There’s also the game’s ability to generate unique dungeon offshoots, complete with their own lore and sidequests/rewards, to consider.

  18. Spider Jerusalem says:

    FUCK THIS

  19. Torgen says:

    Here’s hoping for closed captioning on the lore stuff for us hard of hearing and deaf folks.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      I believe you can go pop up a lore window with recaps when you’re in a safe spot if you need to catch anything you missed. Also it is fully subtitled.

  20. Frank says:

    The story of every classic western RPG: “But you, whoever you are, have turned up and prove a surprisingly decent combatant to this attack. You seem the right person for everybody in the world to ask to do everything.”

  21. zergrush says:

    It’s getting pretty hard to not buy this effing game, my buddies that were planning on boycotting it because of region locking have already agreed on everyone getting the US version =/

    Between this, Grim Dawn and Path of Exile I’ll probably overdose on hackandslashes.

    • Zanchito says:

      WTF region locking?!?! I didn’t know about that one. I’m in Europe, but have several US online pals who I like to play these games with. Also, I like playing all my games in english, just to practice a bit of languages, that bloody royally sucks. Off to Google, I cannot believe this! :(

    • Dominic White says:

      Yeah, the game is region-locked. No playing with international friends, because Blizzard don’t understand the internet anymore.

      And for some reason no site seems to be reporting on this, which is a MUCH bigger issue than any DRM for a lot of people.

      As such, I’m not touching the game until Blizzard do a 180 on that. Most of the people I want to play the game with live in other regions.

    • MrMud says:

      This is actually really wierd.
      I understand why they do it in SC2 because there lag will ruin the other players experience.
      But this is a co-operative game and they are even using a lag free algorithm (the client doesnt wait for the server to verify what its sending) instead the server will disconnect the client if it sees something that is wrong. Meaning that there should be no lag issues at all playing with people from other continents.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      IIRC they said they intend to have cross-region play added to BNet by the time D3 rolls around at one of the BlizzCons.

  22. jaheira says:

    I wish people would stop proposing Torchlight 2 as an alternative to this epic colossus of a game. It’s like comparing my clapped out Ford Ka to an Aston Martin. They’re not remotely in the same league. Stop kidding yourselves.

    • Vinraith says:

      Well, you’ve certainly got their relative price points right.

    • jaheira says:

      @ Vinraith

      Zing! Well played sir.

    • hotcod says:

      You do know that no one who worked on the first games is working on D3 while TL2 is being made by the people who did? Not to say the D3 does not have the talent to make a good game, the beta is proving that but to dismiss TL2 is to dismiss the people who make Diablo great in the first place seemingly just because they, as a smaller studio, they have lower production value.

    • rocketman71 says:

      @jaheira I think you’re right. The excellent looking, moddable, open, LAN supported, single or multiplayer Torchlight 2 is completely out of the league this pretty but crippled Diablo 3 seems to be playing.

    • Jeremy says:

      It’s just too bad that gamers aren’t allowed to play both.

  23. DigitalSignalX says:

    Is this beta still just the tutorial / first mission of rescuing Deckard? AKA about 1/4 of the first chapter?

    • Zanchito says:

      Yes, it is, and if they ever release a demo, it’ll probably be this much too. From the playtrhoughs I’ve watched, it seems like a fair amount of content to decide whether you like it or not.

    • Doesntmeananything says:

      Actually, no, it goes further than that. I’m pretty sure it’s the whole first chapter, as you kill Leoric who seems to be a conclusive boss.

    • freeid says:

      No the Skeleton king is only about 1/4 – 1/3 of the way through, he is not the act boss for act 1.

  24. sinister agent says:

    Anyone who is considering attending the wedding should perhaps consider that Mr. John of Walking will by then be thoroughly conditioned to violently attack any small crowd of humanoid figures in his vicinity.

    • MD says:

      …by clicking on their heads. Awkwardness will ensue, but I think we’re safe enough.

  25. Trelow says:

    WANT.

  26. Cael says:

    Meh, always on DRM, a $60 price tag, and not on steam? I’ll pass.

  27. FataMorganaPseudonym says:

    I didn’t and won’t be reading this. I don’t want to be getting excited for no reason over a game that I won’t be buying. It was never about Diablo III sucking, for me. I knew the game was going to be awesome. For me, and many others, it’s about the DRM. Always the DRM. I don’t care if this game causes spontaneous multiple continuous orgasms, as long as it has the always online requirement, I’ll just have to do without.

    • Toolbox says:

      Shit, I would go online for multiple continuous orgasms.

      Huh…

    • paterah says:

      You don’t need to explain yourself about a game you had zero interest to begin with.

  28. kud13 says:

    my only hope is that this game is out before the Euros next year.

    then, while attending the Euros in my hometown, i’m sure to find a pirated copy suited for offline play.

  29. D3xter says:

    DRM alone makes this game unplayable. Anything else like their “mod support”, RealID and real money auction house makes it hilarious and the people giving in but bitching about say UbiSoft or anyone else inconsistent at best.

  30. Spinks says:

    I remember playing Diablo 2 on my wedding day :) (I was nervous while I waited for everyone to arrive at my place!!)

  31. ahluka says:

    I’m so glad I pre-ordered it back in 2009 with GAME, so I only have to pay £24.99.

    That is all =3

  32. Zanchito says:

    I’m glad to hear the game’s working fine. I’m still very disappointed about their current approach to customers (always online, real money auction house, shitty justifications), and won’t buy the game on release day (I was waiting outside the store before they opened on Diablo 2 release day). Torchlight 2, yeah, I feel they have been more honest with people. I’m not even sure I’ll get it in the future, as much as it pains me.

  33. free keno says:

    I love your remark wu wei: “You’re so right, a dragon encased in and slowly corrupting crystal is a lot more imaginative than demons trapped in and slowly corrupting soulstones…” Gorgeous!

  34. Nim says:

    I hope someone hacks into your computers and read all your emails!

  35. Khemm says:

    Diablo 3, Diablo 3… I remember, THAT game which made levelling up pointless? No skill points, no way to develop your character as you please?

    Yeah… that aspect of it sounds fun. Not.

  36. Flint says:

    No need to put bola in quote marks like it’s some sort of made-up thing, John. They’re a very real weapon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolas

    The game itself sounds great. The DRM doesn’t really bother me (and it’s a bit annoying how waffling about it fills most of the comments thread but that’s RPS for you) and seeing as it seems to stay true to the mechanics that made D2 great, only with tweaks here and there, it sounds like a winner. Hopefully they’ll open the beta a bit more soon so we can start learning about the skill/rune system in practice.

  37. Hawek says:

    The only thing I experienced while reading comments is unspeakable facepain caused by of lots and lots of facepalms.
    Why I facepalming myself, you might ask? It’s simple – people that always dissatified with something SO MUCH, that they coming up with excuses so silly to protect their position.
    And I’m sure that people, who praising Torchlight 2 (in case that it will suck) will be “crying and stinging, but continue to eating cactus” BEACUSE IT’S SO-O-O-O COSTUMER FRIENDLY! NOT LIKE THIS EVIL AND MEAN DIABLO III FROM EVIL AND MEAN AND MONEYGRABBING BLIZZARD BWO-O-O-O-HO-O-O.

    Grhm… Sorry for caps, but this is the only way I can think of to express such, indeed, horrible feelings.

    P.S.
    Predicting lots of “don’t feed troll” comments.

    • mondomau says:

      “Predicting lots of “don’t feed troll” comments.”
      Oh, i wouldn’t worry about that – I can’t work out what on earth you’re talking about :P

    • hotcod says:

      I’ll repeat what I said above… you do know that the team working on D3 has nothing to do with the people who made D2? Because those people are off making the torchlight games. TL1 didn’t suck and all the impressions are that TL2 is going to be awesome.

      I think D3 is looking amazing, the videos and feedback have been showing the beta to be a really good thing. Sadly due to these silly things I call principles I won’t be buying the game, it’s lost focus on providing a good over all experience to the consumer in favour of making money for the company. The only reason they are forcing online play is so they can server control everything to do with loot drops and as such keep an integrity to their cash AH. If you let people play offline then they need to have loot stuff be local and as such they can cheat, and if they cheat they don’t really ever need to buy an item from the AH… the reason that we can’t have segregated play in D3 is purely due to DRM (admitted as a reason by blizzard ) and making as much money as they can from the AH. I can’t and won’t be supporting that.

      At the same time we have a game like TL2 which is being made by a lot of the people who made D2, they have lower production values but are selling at a lower cost and deeply focused on providing the best experience to their consumers. They will let you play online or offline with the same character because they understand that people will dictate their own fun. You want to mod to give your self stupidly powerful weapons? you can because it only effect your experience and those who choice to, or not, play with you online. That is behaviour I like to support and while it would never make me buy or excuse a bad game it will make me more likely to pick it up if it turns out to be ok rather than the amazing game it will promise to be.

      This is the attitude of most people I know who have made a choice not to buy D3 due to anti consumer choices that blizzard are making.

    • Kleppy says:

      You know what I find funny? People going “I won’t be buying this game, instead I will be getting Torchlight 2, suck it.” Like, I’m not sure what the average age of an RPS reader, but I imagine it’s somewhere in the vicinity of 25+, so people with jobs and at least some disposable income. So my point is, why is it that you even have to make that choice? DRM issues aside, why not buy both games? Are you in some way limited to only enjoying one game of the same genre per year?

      So sure one game has more DRM, but I’m pretty sure Diablo 3 is going to be very, very good anyway. I’m not a huge Blizzard fan, but I can tell they make some pretty damn good games. I just find it ridiculous that people are so willing to deprive themselves of playing a good game because of some strange white knighting campaign for the smaller studio.

      How about you buy both of them to support both companies? More options is always, 100% of the time better for the industry.

    • Seb says:

      As an aside, the argument that “the team working on D3 has nothing to do with the people who made D2″, because the D2 guys are off making Torchlight games, is not very strong. Torchlight is a good, enjoyable game, but it’s essentially Diablo 2 with updated graphics and a patch’s worth of interface tweaks. It completely lacks Blizzard’s trademark polish and attention to detail, which Roper & Schaefer must have left behind when they left a decade ago. (That unreadable cartoon typeface all over the Torchlight UI doesn’t exactly provide the best experience for me as a customer, and it wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes at Blizzard.) Anyway, what Kleppy said.

  38. Matt says:

    can we not just all agree the DRM is stupid, and if it means you’re not going to get the game, then thats one position, and if it means you still will, thats another, equally valid one? and really it’s all based on your tolerance for stupid DRM?

    that way we can perhaps talk about the actual game?

    I’m actually looking forward to this, I would like to enjoy looking forward to and reading previews on it, if thats OK with everyone? ;-)

    ps: really jealous cos i’m not in the Beta, but i suspect cancelling my WoW sub knocked my chances on the head, eh?

    • Persona Jet Rev says:

      “ps: really jealous cos i’m not in the Beta, but i suspect cancelling my WoW sub knocked my chances on the head, eh?”

      Or the opposite, now that you actually have the time to play it.

  39. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    Always online single player = no sale.

    Shame, since it would have been a day 1 purchase for me. So it’s going to be a case of either firing up the torrentmobile or just going without.

  40. drewski says:

    Sounds like a “ten years time when it’s half price” buy to me!

    Seriously, if Blizzard discounted their games, like, ever, I would buy way, way more of them.

  41. Tony M says:

    So what happens if you’re in combat in single player and you lose connection? (please test once for a second and then for a minute or two).

  42. Khemm says:

    Isn’t it weird everyone here talks about Torchlight, but Grim Dawn hardly even gets a mention? It’s much closer to Diablo in terms of mood and atmosphere than cartoony Torch.

  43. -Norbert- says:

    Hm… many neat new features, but not really anything innovative, unless you count copying as innovative.
    Skillslots that are unlocked at certain char-levels? Sacred 1 and 2 had that.
    Slots for passive abilities? Sacred 2.
    Selling items directly from the inventory? Sacred 2, though you don’t need a special item to do it there.
    Switching equiped items with items in the inventory? Sacred 1 and 2.
    Comparison Window? By now dozens of other games.

    Now considering that Sacred 1 also took many features from Diablo (though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a clone), I’m not complaining about the copying itself. But I do hope Blizzard will not try to write those new, copied features off as “innovative new ideas” invented by themselfs.

    • Starky says:

      Blizzard games have never been about new or innovative features (though all of them have more than their fair share imo, most gamers don’t give Blizzard enough credit for the innovation they do, and standards they create)…

      Blizzard games have always been about using the best idea’s (new or old) from wherever they came from – and then just doing them better, smoother, and more polished than everyone else.

  44. freeid says:

    I love the fact people think they are going to pirate this to play offline, most of the architecture is on the server not your pc.

    People will hack it and create private servers ( I would asume to add mods as whats the point in creating a PS for somthing that is free 2 play), but your STILL going to have to be online to play it.

    I will see you all in live I’m sure ;)

    • Azradesh says:

      Actually you’re wrong. They already have a partially working server emulator which also offline play. (Because you run the server on your local machine)

  45. Caddrel says:

    I’ve never seen so much fuss kicked up about an online multiplayer game being online.

    Not being able to take your single player characters and use them on Battle.net was one of the things that really sucked about Diablo II.

    • Leonard Hatred says:

      I, too, print every email i receive and refuse to use steam because it requires i connect to the ‘internet’ to even download the games i’ve paid for by hand delivering an envelope full of pound coins to their offices.

      If RPS ever introduces a system where i somehow have to be ‘online’ to read the website i will cancel all fifty of my accounts. that’ll learn ‘em.

      when will you flighty futurists realise the future of videogaming is offline, alone and angry in a darkened room.

    • Plivesey says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. People that want to play Diablo 3 offline – you’re doing it wrong!

    • PodX140 says:

      Who cares about students on campus or travelling individuals! They can play solitaire or something!

      /sarcasm

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      Yes! And all those people with less than reliable broadband connections don’t actually exist!

    • Plivesey says:

      They can play Grim Fandango.

    • Starky says:

      Oh god won’t someone think of those students or people travelling!

      So a few games out of eleventy billion released each year can’t be played on a laptop with spotty internet connection – so fucking what?

      At home I have a solid internet connection, but when I’m at Uni, or travelling I don’t – you know what I do, it is a shocking and horrid solution.

      I play something else.

    • bwion says:

      I for one am shocked, SHOCKED, that people might respond strongly to a thing they don’t approve of on the internet. This is completely unprecedented.

      I agree that the always-online thing isn’t exactly a mortal sin or a crime against humanity, but it certainly has implications for how, when, or even if someone can play the game, and I just don’t see why it’s necessary or valuable. Likewise, the region-locking, which is pretty much indefensible.

      I’m not about to lead a crusade against Blizzard for making some bizarre design choices, but the fact of the matter is, there are so many very strong gaming options out there today, options that cater to every taste, that we gamers can afford to be selective about where we spend our money and our time. They’re not entitled to my sixty bucks just because they made a game.

    • Leonard Hatred says:

      Lets be honest – traveling students, people on campus (don’t universities generally have The Internet now? they did ten years ago) or people with shitty internet connections probably don’t get much enjoyment out of WoW, Eve, LoL, WoT either.

      Actually Eve was a bad example, nobody gets any enjoyment out of that, but the point remains. Some games require an internet connection – Diablo3 is one of them. unlucky.

    • Starky says:

      @bwion
      Yeah but by that same token gamers are not entitled to mods or LAN because past version of the games had those features.

      I know this is the internet and all but I just don’t get the frothing rage from some people – yes blizzards choices might make it so some people don’t want to buy the game (and that is fine, just don’t buy it) – but they also make it so many people will enjoy the game a lot more (like me, who will only ever play it online, so lack of lan, and no mods [which are a causality of bliz locking down the game against bots, hacks and dupes] is great).

      People are welcome not to like the game and welcome not to pay their money for it – there is a really odd, and a little bit warped thing in gaming where many people seem to be of the opinion that every game needs to fulfil every one of their needs and expectations, and get angry at the devs when it may not.
      Or take it like some personal insult or spit in the face.

      I could understand if these were promised features, people had already spent the money and then they were removed/broken.
      But people in this thread are acting like blizzard is forcing them to pay money, and then failing to deliver.

    • bwion says:

      @Starky

      I’m with you, more or less; I don’t really get into the frothing rage thing either. But one of the big problems I have with the frothing rage thing is that it makes it really easy to throw legitimate criticism (and I think there’s absolutely room for that) into the same bucket with Mr. ALWAYS-ONLINE-DRM-IS-WORSE-THAN-TWENTY-HITLERS.

      And, you know, when someone’s expectations are pretty much “I would like to be able to play the game even when my ISP has ceased to operate in honor of St. Cthulhu’s Day (Note: Innsmouth Online may seem cost-effective but there are significant drawbacks)” or “I would like to play the game with my friend who lives on another continent, you know, since I’m connected to a gigantic worldwide network anyway (so long as it’s not St. Cthulhu’s Day)”, I think it is actually quite reasonable to be a little cross when a very expensive game does not meet these fairly reasonable criteria for seemingly-arbtrary reasons. Though as you identify, the rational response is to just take your business elsewhere, as opposed to writing a profanity-laden screed that no one in a position to actually do anything about this sort of thing will ever, ever see.

  46. Plivesey says:

    Dungeon Defenders, Red Orchestra 2, A Valley Without Wind, and Diablo 3 articles all within two days. I love you RPS!

  47. alexheretic says:

    What are the benefits of pre-ordering one’s opinion?

  48. Daniel Klein says:

    Have you tried holding down ALT to see stuff?

  49. Erithtotl says:

    Just looking at the screenshots, I would have guessed this was about Diablo II, not Diablo III.

  50. MadMatty says:

    always online DRM is bothersome, and gets cracked within a day or two like any other DRM on the planet.
    Are they making the pirating of their game more difficult? very slightly, maybe
    Are they beying annoying to paying customers? Definetly.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      I’m fairly sure World of Warcraft took a bit longer to crack than a day or two. Regardless, the point isn’t to stop piracy, but to make it illegal. It also results in increased security, which is good for players.