The (In)Convenient Truth Of Diablo III’s Global Play

By Nathan Grayson on May 2nd, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

I have bathed in the blood of thousands of The Devil's minions, but a pleasant vacation to the English countryside? That's beyond even the scope of my powers.

On paper, Diablo III’s newly announced Global Play Internet voodoo sounds like a heavenly buff to my wanderings through Blizzard’s hell-born hack ‘n’ slash. In a nutshell, it allows players to hop into a game with anyone in any region (though, admittedly, with some soon-to-be-discussed caveats). I am, after all, on the other side of the pond from the RPS stratospheric sky mansion’s continent-shaped docking bay, so having full access to every region’s servers lets me bond with everyone else through mutual dislike/punching of The Devil. That said, you can only interact with your home region’s real money auction house, which may come as a disappointment to the rather sizeable portion of our readerbase composed of multi-national gold-farming tycoons. So those are the upsides. Now for the rather head-scratching bits.

Here’s the problem: ”characters, items, and friends lists” are incapable of making the jump between regions. So, if you have friends in more than one of the three regions (the Americas, Europe, and Asia), you’ll have to essentially bounce back-and-forth between separate accounts. If each real money auction house was open to all unwashed masses regardless of where their dirt came from, that’d make sense, but Blizzard’s already got a system in place to curb the massive amounts of overcrowding and inflation that’d result from that. And hey, just as a fun refresher, remember this part from Blizzard’s vehement justification of the always online requirement?

“One of the things that we felt was really important was that if you did play offline, if we allowed for that experience, you’d start a character, you’d get him all the way to level 20 or level 30 or level 40 or what have you, and then at that point you might decide to want to venture onto Battle.net. But you’d have to start a character from scratch, because there’d be no way for us to guarantee no cheats were involved, if we let you play on the client and then take that character online.”

So now we just have to start from scratch slightly less often than before. Ultimately, it all strikes me as inconvenience without an immediately apparent rhyme or reason. I mean, don’t get me wrong: it’s still a rocket-powered leap over StarCraft II, whose region-locking – while improved since launch – has been a constantly baffling cause of player headaches. Even so, I’ve asked Blizzard for whys and wherefores.

Meanwhile, Blizzard’s also posted a lengthy guide for the auction house, which reveals a variable transaction fee for every real-money-based piece of equipment sold in addition to a 15 percent fee any time you want to “cash out” with a service like PayPal. So that’s all wonderfully complicated. Me, I plan on click-click-clicking on monsters – not menus. Hopefully the meat of my experience remains untainted, even if the fat seems to be festering a bit.

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221 Comments »

  1. Belsameth says:

    They also act like playing with other regions is somehow new and, as an idea, on par with the invention of sliced bread and sex with random strangers…
    While *not* being able to is arguably rather new…

    • Subatomic says:

      Yeah, it’s funny and kind of sad at the same time they announce something that was standard in their pre-WoW games waaaay back to the original Diablo in 1996 as an exciting new feature. The internet doesn’t have arbitary barriers between continents? Thanks for the revelation Blizzard!

    • woodsey says:

      As someone who has very little (well, zero) interest in Diablo, that struck me as odd too.

      The ‘feature’ is that standard components aren’t missing?

  2. RedViv says:

    Click-click-clicking on monsters and not menus is my way.
    Not planning to use the auction house, and I frankly have not seen any reason to use one in any Diablo-likey hack and slash game. Hunting items is part of the fun, journeys being their own reward, and such. So why should I spend money on having less fun? What drives people to do so?

    • noodlecake says:

      I thought that at first but now I’m considering selling the odd weapon that doesn’t suit my class, make a few extra bob. I would never buy any weapons from an auction house because that kinda ruins the fun for me.

      • jonfitt says:

        I predict a hyper-deflation situation where Asian gold farmers flood the market with absolute top tier equipment selling for moderate amounts of cash. Any quite good drops you want to sell will be overshadowed by people grinding the game for money.

        • tumbleworld says:

          Yeah. Totally.

        • Calneon says:

          That works in games like WoW because farming gold is easy if you don’t mind it taking a long time. You can have somebody just sit there and mindlessly kill mob after mob for drops. In Diablo III, the best items are likely take a lot of skill to obtain which I doubt Asian farmers would possess.

          • jonfitt says:

            If it takes skill not time and luck to get the best loot in Diablo, it’s not the Diablo I remember!
            But I kid, the point is I think you underestimate your skills in something compared to anybody who does it professionally for 12 hours a day. Their learning curve might not be as fast as you, but they’ll have no problem grinding the most efficient map to get the good drops.

          • NotNyet says:

            Spot on. Asians spending 12+ hours a day doing one thing will not be good at this.

          • FunkyBadger3 says:

            I’ve finished both previous Diabalod games on their hardest difficulty, so it clearly doesn’t take any appreciable skill.

            Click-clickity-click.

        • Terragot says:

          arn’t the gold economies locked to specific regions? Meaning, no Chinese gold farms.

          Not that this stops westerners from setting up gold farms.

          either way due to the gold rush, the value of the rarest of rare items will be so low that the transaction is going to be essentially ‘worthless’. A market with such low requirement for entry is going to be hit from competition from people with no idea about value. Where as the TF2 store has fixed prices aimed at the wealthy, this is going to be an anything goes market on a level even more open than ebay.

          The people to gain a living from this? Well that would be the folks selling the picks and helmets to the potential gold diggers; Blizzard.

          • HothMonster says:

            The regions are separate according to the post but, if the beta is an indicator, I do not believe anything will keep the chinese from starting their characters on US servers and therefore allow them to sell in the US AH.

            The only change between this and diablo2 and wow gold/item buying is there will be less scams and of course, blizzard gets a cut. A rather significant one from the sound of it.

        • zarfius says:

          This is really just a supply and demand issue. Truely rare items will sell for more than less rare items but the reality is more likely that even on supposedly rare items are not in as much demand as supply.

          In other words.. the motivation to buy items needs to outway the motivation to sell them to drive the price up.

      • PearlChoco says:

        I only hear people say they’re gonna use the RMAH for selling items, no one talks about buying items.
        Hmm…

        • geoffreyk says:

          Mightn’t that be due to the generally negative stigma associated with paying money for stats? I don’t think there’s really a valid question as to whether or not there is a market for make believe items.

          Alternatively, perhaps the same demographic that values their time highly enough that they would rather pay for a Great Axe of Beastliness than grind boss instances, is somewhat overlapping with the demographic that doesn’t comment on gaming websites…

        • Baka says:

          There’s already a huge market for MMO gold. The consumers just aren’t very vocal about their habit.

    • Leandro says:

      This baffles me as well. Getting better gear is almost *the point* of the game. How much of a loser do you have to be to pay for others to have fun hunting gear so you don’t have to? At this rate Diablo 4 will be indistinguishable from Farmville.

      • Trillby says:

        It’s got nothing to do with being a “loser”. Some people play games differently to you. They might decide that for pvp, they want the best that money can buy…why is this an issue?

        • Vorphalack says:

          Because no one wants to fight the loser who payed to win.

          • Trillby says:

            Actually, many do – getting your gear legitimately usually means you out-skill the buyer in a massive way. The people to be scared of are the ones who have taken their time to get the gear and are quick with their trigger fingers, not those who are quick with their credit cards.

          • Vorphalack says:

            People don’t buy gear to fight people who legitimately earned that same gear, they buy gear to stomp on people with worse gear than them. Considering how rare the drop rates for good items are in Diablo games, the loser with the credit card is always going to have the advantage.

          • Syra says:

            Time = Money

            You invest one or the other in the game. Someone has a fulltime job and kids and they get a couple hours a week to play, do they deserve to experience less of the game than the actual *loser* who spends 40 hours a week grinding for that loot. And that loser can even make some cash doing it by selling it to the guy who appreciates that his time is worth more than $5 for a piece of loot.

            P.S. You can’t ‘win’ at diablo.

          • Vorphalack says:

            @Syra

            Butt out you moron, you aren’t even on topic with that rant.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Vorphalack – you may want him to butt out because he’s put the opposing point of view to yours across in an entirely reasonable manner which makes your entire argument look immature and closed minded (Which it is), but he has basically just won the argument.

            Time for you to butt out.

          • Vorphalack says:

            @Sheng-ji

            Hi Syra.

          • GT3000 says:

            You spend time or money. I work full-time and go to school full time, if spending 20 bucks makes me competitive then screw it I will spend it. I haven’t the time to do a Baal run 16 times for my piece of loot.

          • Syra says:

            I lol’d. Once again vorphalack your comments are inane and you can’t accept a valid counterpoint to your position.

            Carry on being rude on the internet buddy.

          • Vorphalack says:

            ”you can’t accept a valid counterpoint to your position.”

            You still haven’t realised your mad rant has nothing to do with our discussion on buying items and its effect on pvp?

            Angry idiots get blinded by dumb rage i guess.

          • HothMonster says:

            Its is perfectly legitimate to the argument. You are saying that unless you can afford the time to grind an item you do not get to be competitive at pvp. Time and money are both forms of currency, why is one more valid to you than the other?

            If someone spends 100 hours getting the perfect gear and I spend 100 dollars because I can only play the game for 3 hours once a week why am I somehow cheating? Paying to get gear is only cheap if you can not acquire the same gear through time. Spend the currency you have more of Vor… don’t worry about which one other people can afford to contribute to the game.

          • jrodman says:

            Dear Vorphalack,

            Your argument has been dismantled. But you either can’t understand that or you don’t want to admit it in public. So you fight on by denying reality.

            A noble spirit.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Syra and HothMonster are right, but that just reveals the deeper question–if the options are “pay to win” or “grind to win”, how could anyone lack so much self-respect that they would even want a victory in such a game?

            I think that’s what really upsets Vorphalack so much. Letting people buy loot damages the illusion that acquiring the loot is an accomplishment. Or not just an accomplishment, but such a heroic accomplishment that townspeople will praise you for it. If he can go to the auction house and see the real world cash value of that shiny new sword he just got, the illusion Vorphalack was enjoying is dispelled.

            EDIT: Actually, I totally see why someone would want to buy loot so that they could play co-op with their friend who had the game longer.

            Also, I think it’s totally sensible to buy powerups in a game like EVE, where less wealthy players can team up to fight a single powerful target. There you aren’t buying victory (with time or money), you’re buying significance, or a different game experience. But a one-on-one competition to see who spends the most time or money? Pointless.

          • Syra says:

            Hi vorphalack, all of these guys must be me right?

            Are you angry (or shall we say ‘blinded by dumb rage’ like an idiot) about RMAH because mommy and daddy won’t let you buy pretend things? Don’t be little buddy, the game is just as good if you work hard and earn your own items!

          • Vorphalack says:

            ”People don’t buy gear to fight people who legitimately earned that same gear, they buy gear to stomp on people with worse gear than them. Considering how rare the drop rates for good items are in Diablo games, the loser with the credit card is always going to have the advantage.”

            I hate re-quoting myself, but this has gotten to the point of necessity. My point was that one guy with a credit card, benefiting from the farming time of tens of thousands of other players, will be able to acquire much better gear than someone who only uses what he finds. You will struggle to find people who would willingly PvP against an RMAH geared player using only their own drops because it wouldn’t be close to a fair fight.

            I did not say, at any point, anything about time vs money.

            That was my point. Go re-read it if you need to check, then come back and argue it instead of following that moron Syra and his crazy off topic rant post.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            If you’d spent more time making yoru point clear in the first place and less time being an obnoxious cock then maybe people would have understood you first time.

            Manners maketh man.

          • Vorphalack says:

            I quoted exactly what I wrote the first time. If you didn’t get it then, but somehow got it now, it is your own damn fault for either not reading it or being too fucking stupid to understand it. In neither case am I required to encourage that base level of thinking by being nice to anyone.

        • Kandon Arc says:

          I think what he’s getting at is the main draw of Diablo type games is loot collecting – if you’re not interested in that, then you might as well go with another game.

          • Amun says:

            Exactly! It’s like playing a Harvest Moon game where you just buy the girl you want to marry, or a racing game where you just pay for a pro to do the race for you and put your name on the winning time.

      • Belmondo says:

        Buying gear has always been part of Diablo, buying gear from vendors with gold I mean, or from that guy in D2 who sold unidentified items. I think the gold auction house is going to be more active than the real money one, because it looks like lots of gold is needed to train crafters, expand your stash, and who knows what else. What’s the difference between spending gold at a vendor and spending gold at the auction house? And if you take that step, then what’s the difference between spending gold and spending real money? I used my own time and leet skills to earn both….

      • stretchpuppy says:

        A loser with other responsibilities in life besides gaming. You know, a beautiful wife, kids, pets, vehicles, hobbies, and a career.

        A loser who can afford to spend a couple dollars on an item here and there to further enjoy the single player game through the more difficult levels.

        A loser who doesn’t post online about other losers.

        • subedii says:

          A loser who doesn’t post online about other losers.

          I… I’m not sure if I’m reading this right, but did you just include yourself in your own castigation of the person you were responding to?

      • Baines says:

        It certainly isn’t a new occurrence. Just look at any online game where people can exchange items, and you’ll see people buying and selling advantages. You likely have the twin purposes of leveling and getting equipment, but people buy and trade equipment and you even find people selling “leveling” in one form or another.

        People reverse engineered the servers for Phantasy Star Online, and continued running the PC version long after Sega abandoned it. I understand that not too long ago, those player servers had a big scandal where one of the guys running it was making thousands of dollars secretly selling rare items to players. The main point of the game is to level up and grind to get said items, but people were quite willing to pay a premium to skip the game and go straight to the items. (The scandal wasn’t even really that the practice was revealed. Rather, it was the scale of it. That, and that the guy doing the selling, amused by the response of “upset” players, decided to release a list of transactions, which included sales to his public vocal detractors.) Mind, the same thing happened with hackers back when Sega was running the game… Glitch/exploit/whatever to get the best items, then just crush the enemies in seconds for the sake of crushing them.

        Games really are a lot like Farmville when you think about it anyway. Sure, you can play for fun at first. But after a while, you get caught up in the grind to advance. And then one day you realize you are playing from sheer inertia. Or realize how silly it is that you are mainly playing to get the next level item, so you can play the next level area to get the next next level item. Or maybe you don’t realize it at all, but it is still true.

    • Kryhavok says:

      Buy items? Pff! I want to SELL!

  3. pakoito says:

    Milk ALL the cows!

  4. Syra says:

    This whole announcement was stupid imo. PR disaster. They should have just said regions are not locked, with an FAQ for people who care that said but you can’t carry over characters or make real money transactions and stuff.

    It’s not a new concept really – how many persistent world game servers can you transfer all your stuff between servers without any penalty? Why draw attention to it? The beta had the change server button – hell we had to use it to get onto American servers to play it.

    • DarkFenix says:

      When did Diablo 3 become a persistent world? Its world is about as persistent as Counterstrike maps.

      • Kdansky says:

        Because MMOs are so totally persistent with their 3-minute respawns of everything outdoor, and their instanced indoor areas? WoW is just as “persistent of a world” as D3 will be: Not at all.

        • Syra says:

          My point being MMOlikes
          Your characters and progress are persistent perhaps?

          • Kdansky says:

            The only game I can name which really offers a persistent world is EVE. Anything else just pretends more or less well. Example: How many titans exist in EVE? We know, or at least we can guess. Are there at least five Hulks mining in the Jita system? We know, or at least we can check, and then answer this question with total confidence.

            Is Nefarian alive in WoW? Where is the Warsong flag right now? What time is it in Stormwind? Is Asharon currently invaded by the Charr? How many people are currently in Moonglow? Well… depends on the time of day, and how you count the hundreds of instances that are open.

            Persistent characters: EVE, WoW and D3 all are identical in this regard too, but it’s a really low standard: Even my MW3-”character” is persistent.

          • Torn says:

            There’s a lot of confusion about this, so I’ll try to set the record straight.

            The ‘persistent’ bit in d3 is the world changing based on where you are along in the main quest, each time you load the game. i.e. NPC’s being alive / dead / in certain places, certain areas being locked / unlocked, etc. will persist through play sessions.

            You can, of course, change the quest you’re on to ones you’ve already completed to re-do the content, which will appropriately change the world you load into.

          • Azradesh says:

            One of the things game needs and persistent world in order to be an MMO. ALL that means is that the world exsists whether you are logged and and playing or not. It does not mean persistent NPC death or any of those other things.

            Like a in single player game, Diablo 3′s world ceises to be when you are not playing on it and is loaded up again when you continue.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistent_world

          • HothMonster says:

            ^ persistent world means it persists (continues to exist) whether you are there or not. Eve offers a single persistent server. But the ore respawns and the rats respawn and the npc cops respawn just the same. But they do it whether or not you are there to see it, just like in wow. Your D3 game disappears when you exit to the title screen.

        • kaffis says:

          I agree with your argument about MMO’s not being all that persistent anymore with their heavy instancing and short respawn timers. The argument could be made a little more strongly back in the day with EQ bosses on week-long timers, etc.

          However, your mention of EVE as the only really persistent game overlooks a few. Pirates of the Burning Sea and Perpetuum are the two that spring to mind.

          The common thread there seems to be that all three games are centered around living player economies that provide the vast majority of all in-game items coupled with a strong focus on PvP content that carries item loss risk to provide the market to drive that economy.

          This makes sense, as it throws the game into more of a sandbox territory instead of centering around and highlighting PvE interactions as the raison d’etre.

  5. Freud says:

    Considering all the whinging about lag from beta testers, I think having regions and server clusters in each continent is more about providing a good playing experience than anything.

    While it is inconvenient for players in one region wanting to play in multiple regions, I’d imagine it’s a problem for a very small portion of the player base.

    • pakoito says:

      I can plan with less than 150 lag in whatevergame’s US servers, which is pretty much what I get from playing with Sweden or Russia.

      • Freud says:

        I had no problem either, despite playing from Europe, since combat seems more client based than server based.

        That didn’t stop a lot of people from complaining about lag. So having servers on each continent should reduce lag problems and complaints.

    • Kdansky says:

      The stress-test was quite laggy at times, but I suppose that was because they actually tested how much a single machine can handle, because that is the point of a stress-test. I had a single death to lag, and I got all five classes to about level 12 (about ten hours play in total). It’s not quite as slick as offline play, but wasn’t much of an issue. Way better than D2, and I never played D2 offline much.

    • Lemming says:

      That betrays the real problem here, with just how ‘online’ Diablo 3 really is. Lag shouldn’t be a concern for a predominately single-player experience. How much stuff is it using a server for?

      This whole thing has stunk since they announced the ‘always-online’ part of the game. My interest in this was cautious at that point, and has only got less with each announcement.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      Servers required for a single-player game. In this day and age.

  6. Nim says:

    Like you said… to prevent gold-farming.

    Or rather, large scale money-farming.

    • jonfitt says:

      Right, isn’t the inability to carry weapons across regions obviously done for exactly the same reason as locking the auction house to a region?
      Otherwise your team of Chinese farmers could grind for phat loot, join a US player, give all the equipment/gold to him, wherein he sells it for real money.
      .
      However as it is they’ll probably just use a proxy to appear to be in Europe/US and farm locally.

      • bglamb says:

        Use a proxy? The whole point is that you can log on to whatever server you want.

        So they can just farm on a US or EU server from the start.

        That’s why this makes no sense!

        • jonfitt says:

          ORLY? Ha! Ok, this makes no sense.

          • tumbleworld says:

            You were right to begin with, Jonfitt. You can only use the auction house in your home region, no matter which region you are playing in.

          • bglamb says:

            Right, but because anyone can play on any region, then they can trade with an EU person who either joins their regions server, or just farm on an EU server and trade with an EU guy there.

            The EU guy can then sell for Euros.

            If I’m missing something here, please tell me, because I feel like I must be with how much sense Blizzard are making!

            Edit: Ok, this is what I was missing: “That means that, for characters outside of your home region, items cannot be bought or sold in any real-money auction house.”

          • HothMonster says:

            Right lamb but as you said the chinese could farm in a US server and then transfer all the gear to an actual US player, or a chinese player on a proxy and that player could then sell in the US auction house. So there appear to be some pretty easy ways around the system.

            If these methods/restrictions do not actually stop what tehy are meant to stop they might as well remove them.

    • mouton says:

      I can easily see Chinese gold farms tunneling to the target region and having intermediaries/fronts there.

  7. Rei Onryou says:

    Hang on – the original line given for 15% fee was to cover transaction costs. Blizzard did not expect to make any profit from it. This is what they originally said.

    Charging a variable fee based on the cost of auction item? That’s just profiteering!

    The real money auction-house is clearly no longer (and probably never was) intended to benefit the player.

    • Nim says:

      Dear Sir or Madam,

      It never ever were.

      Best wishes.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      The “variable auction fee” is 15% for commodities, a flat 1$ deduction for equipment. Unless I’m missing something.

      • f1x says:

        and 15% transfer fee, so its 30% in total for commodities and 15% + 1$ for equipment

        • pkt-zer0 says:

          I thought the transfer fee only applied when you took gold out of the system (i.e. cashed in). Otherwise that’s a bit weird and confusing, yeah.

        • Belsameth says:

          Which is logical, since paypal requires a fee to be used. Which Blizzard isn’t going to pay for you, obviously. (and I am sure they also make a bit of cash depen ding on the use… Which is logical. They’re a business after all…)

          • Buckermann says:

            PayPal fees will be on top of it all.
            15% or 1€ (or your local equivalent) + 15% + PayPal fee.

            “Note that additional fees apply for players who choose to receive the proceeds of their successful auction via PayPal™ (in regions where this option is available). “

        • f1x says:

          Yes transfer fee is only if you want to cash it, sorry for not clarifying

          • bglamb says:

            Which is why they force you into cashing out after every sale, or not at all. To make you think it’s not worth cashing something so small out with all the fees.

            Money goes in. No money goes out.

          • f1x says:

            Yes Delusibeta you are right,

            Also if you dont cash it, there is a limitation of 250$ that you can acumulate on your Battle.net wallet, not that it matters much tho

            aye this comment should be below

        • Delusibeta says:

          Fairly sure compound percentage charges do not work that way. It’s 15% selling fee for commodities, then 15% on the remaining money to transfer it to PayPal (total charge: 27.75%) and then PayPal and/or bank fees on the remaining 72.25% of the money to transfer it to your bank account.

          • Syra says:

            Quite certain they specified all fees are on *listed* sale amount not compounded.

            Also no cash out fee afaik for putting it on your battle.net balance, which means if you are smart and don’t take many risks you could probably fund a WoW sub, buy SC2 expansions, and D3 expansions. I’d probably just play the AH like a market to make enough cash to never have to *buy* from blizz again.

            I find that slightly amusing.

          • bglamb says:

            Am I correct in thinking that once you allocate funds to your Battlenet wallet that you can never extract them as real money?

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            Yes Biglamb you are correct. Once the money goes into your “Battle.net” balance, which is what they’re calling their version of funbux, you cannot ever turn it back into real money. You can use your battle.net balance to buy items in the RMAH and buy other things from the Blizzard store.

            Also the same FAQ I read about that states that your battle.net funbux will eventually expire though gives no dates just stating it will vary across regions. So then you’ll have to put even more real money into the system to be converted into funbux.

            FAQ is here: http://us.battle.net/support/article/previous/balancefaq

            It seems they’re keeping very quiet about how little real money is actual involved on the client side of the RMAH.

    • Durkonkell says:

      Why would they incorporate real-money anything into the game if they didn’t expect to make more profit from it?

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        exactly, Durk

      • Belsameth says:

        My guess would be not only that, but also the nightmare it is for customer support with stolen accounts and such which these shady companies always bring with them. Implementing it yourself can at least aliviate that pressure a bit, and thus generate money purely because of the fact you can reduce customer support.

      • diamondmx says:

        The point is that the obvious lie is now a proven lie.

      • Syra says:

        d2 servers cost them a lot to host for 12 years too, they will undoubtedly make a healthy profit (probably hundreds of thousands of dollars a day for the first few months of release before markets settle) but they will use *a lot* to continue to fund international data centers and customer support of diablo. Games as a service eh?

        • FunkyBadger3 says:

          That’s cyclical – the auction house is required to pay for the servers which are required to host the auction house which is required for what exactly?

          Obviously for cash, and that’s hardly evil. Well, unless Zynga are doing it…

      • Kandon Arc says:

        Well if someone’s going to profit of sweatshop labour, that person should clearly be an American!

    • Kdansky says:

      Of course they will add a fee! It’s only sensible to do so from a business perspective, and will not harm the AH itself (but rather keep the spam at bay).

    • Trillby says:

      Vaguely in the same way that chewing gum isn’t meant to be of any benefit to it’s consumer – it’s been created to make money for Wrigley’s. The fact that the people choosing to pay for and subsequently using that product do get some benefit from it is good times all around, and everyone is happy.

      Don’t use the AH if you don’t want to pay the fees. Do use it if you decide the fees are worth the benefit to you. Argument over?

    • Eversor says:

      Blizzard wants to print money with Diablo 3 RMAH, news at eleven. That’s why it’s online-only, always on DRM, serverside mechanics et cetera. They want to print money with randomly generated virtual goods people put up in their auction house. It’s the simplest and easiest way to make money, they don’t have to do jack but maintain servers, and millions of dollars pour in from all over the world.

    • Fincher says:

      Never give Activision/Blizzard the benefit of the doubt. As soon as they announced RMAH, I knew that they were rubbing their hands together behind the scenes.

  8. f1x says:

    Guys, after all my defense posts, I think you are starting to convince me to not buy Diablo 3

    • Ajh says:

      I look at it this way, there was no auction house in diablo 1 and 2 and those are great games. Therefore, I don’t need this worthless auction house in Diablo 3.

      Gameplay wise diablo 3 is fun, graphically it’s very engaging, and I love the wizards wicked bravado. She’s already my favorite. There are quests, but they’re a lot like Diablo 2′s quests. Having the option to have whatever bit of lore I picked up read to me while I go on exploding stuff is really nice too. Your gold stash works for all your characters (Dear blizzard: Get this in WoW please? Mailing gold back and forth to myself is annoying) and you have a shared bank.

      This is only my experience with the bit of the beta that has been offered thus far. I get it free as I still actively play WoW (I’m an RP guild GM, so at least we can’t get tired of killing deathwing.) and have an annual pass. I’d probably sit here thinking about it otherwise.

      • rawrty says:

        “I look at it this way, there was no auction house in diablo 1 and 2″

        Tell that to the many,many people who used d2jsp or similar…An auction house was something that a great many players wanted so badly that quite a few third-party sites made lots of money by fulfilling that demand.

        I really don’t understand why people are so worked up over the auction house…It was a major part of Diablo 2, only now people don’t have to worry about getting scammed as easily.

        • HothMonster says:

          For some reason people have no problem when a third party does this stuff but if the dev wants to do it directly god forbid. I mean they are right blizzard wants to make money off it, but its only because they saw all the money other people were making off a service they could easily offer. As a bonus its no longer a game of throw the item at the same time I throw the gold.

          I fully admit that these terms seems pretty stingy though.

          • FunkyBadger3 says:

            The difference is – people choosing to auction their magic D2 hats to each other had zero impact on me as a player of D2.

            That isn’t the case for D3.

          • HothMonster says:

            Thankfully it has no effect on me. But I understand that some people are greatly effected by online only play. I do sympathize just not enough to make me not want to buy the game. But I support your right to protest and hope there are enough of you that we can both be happy for d4. Because let’s be honest the only reason there is no offline play is to prevent piracy, maybe they think blaming it on the ah or players regretting picking single play will rile people up less than saying we <3 drm.

          • Azradesh says:

            How will it affect you in Diablo 3?

    • Syra says:

      I see all the extra stuff as being peripheral to the experience. You can choose to use it, and hence choose to let it affect your experience of the game. The only thing you have no choice in is always online, in which case you do have the choice to not buy. Lag is very forgiving (I’m always on a rubbish wireless router sharing multiple connections and noticed nothing) so unless you have a terrible ISP that’s not a great problem imo.

      I’m in for the gameplay. Never seen anything else as a problem. And the core game is fantastic.

      • Brun says:

        This.

        I’m going to buy Diablo 3 because its core gameplay experience is Diablo, and I want Diablo (I don’t want Torchlight or some other clone). I’m going to buy it to play with friends who will also be playing it.

        Yes, it offends my sensibilities as to what is the correct and proper way for games to be made and managed. But it being a fun game is more important than that – I swore a long time ago that I would never let my beliefs about how the gaming industry should be deny me from playing a fun game.

        The other big part of it is that I trust Blizzard not to screw it up too badly. I said it. I trust a big developer. And I’m no fanboy – I’ve just never really been terribly disappointed by Blizzard’s games. I can’t say the same about EA, Ubisoft, or non-Blizzard Activision, or even Valve.

    • f1x says:

      Yes, I’m of those who claims that always-online and RMAH ain’t gonna affect my experience but seems that they are making efforts to find other ways to ruin it

    • Milky1985 says:

      “I see all the extra stuff as being peripheral to the experience. ”

      The problem is that the game has to be balanced for the auction house, so expect a lot mroe useless loot to be dropped not for your class.

      They have also already addmitted that they DON’T want you puicking up eveyrhting and will lower the cost of white items if peopel sell them, only reason for tha ti can see is to lower the ammount of godl you have, and only reason for that is…….

      yes you got it, to direct you towards the real money auction house using some basicaly psycology.

      Yes you don;t have to use it, and it is peripheral but it being there has influence the design.

      • Consumatopia says:

        You’re right, in general, that the presence of features you don’t plan to use is still a problem because it alters the design motivation for the rest of the game.

        On the other hand, people have played Diablo 3 and liked it. I’m not sure it makes sense for those people to avoid the game that they enjoyed the actual experience of because of the mere possibility of a business model having malign influence on design–if the end product is still good, then the influence must have had limited evil in this instance.

  9. JackShandy says:

    Isn’t Diablo just a skinner box? I understood it was the first game to use the power of skinner boxes, and the sequels tightened that psychological vice more and more.

    I must be wrong, because a lot of clever men have acted gleeful about Diablo 3 – including people who crusade against farmville and the like.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      You could also consider it an isometric semi-tactical monster-herding simulator with level-ups, like Crimsonland. I might be weird, but the loot thing mostly just bogs things down as far as I’m concerned.

    • pakoito says:

      It had a certain player skill required in the sense of builds and button mashing, but not anymore. Everyone can change builds on the spot and spell potence is directly proportional to equiment stats. No equip, no advance, Farmville.

    • Salt says:

      The majority of games are skinner boxes on some level. Until very recently (and still in many places) a common way of saying a game is good was to expound upon how addictive it is. Most game design courses are lessons in how to design an effective skinner box.

      If Farmville didn’t feature microtransactions there wouldn’t have been any backlash against it. It would have just been a simplistic management game with cute graphics. What makes people find it distasteful is that it exploits the minority of players who become “addicted” and milks them of their cash.

      On the subject of Diablo 3, at least in theory it becomes a skill-based game at the higher difficulty levels rather than a “kill 100 monsters and hope to get a nice sword” game. Why you have to grind through the game’s complete story at least once and possibly twice to unlock the interesting difficulty settings is rather more questionable to me.

      • Snidesworth says:

        The difficulty levels are something that really put me off it. From what I saw in the open beta weekend the game is incredibly easy on Normal difficulty. In any other game you could just select a higher difficulty level, but in Diablo the higher difficulties are more like New Game+ than anything else.

        As for the Skinner Box thing, these games are definitely a guilty pleasure for me. The whole kill/loot/upgrade/repeat cycle is straight up addictive but cover it with enough pretty graphics and stuff exploding and it become enjoyable. At least until I burn out and see through the illusion, anyway. Increased difficulty/complexity would be nice and would probably go a long way to making them more engaging. Stat optimisation is all well and good, but having entertaining moment-to-moment gameplay would be better.

      • JackShandy says:

        It’s painful knowing how right you are, Salt.

        I couldn’t believe Todd Howard spent his Dice speech praising external reward systems. One of the tiny amount of Game Designers with enough fame to influence students everywhere, and he’s teaching them that the most important thing about a game is how big a blowjob you give the player after every action.

        Haven’t you ever heard of intrinsic motivation, you dense motherfucker?

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Clearly you are a much more talented game designer than Todd Howard and thus know better than him how to design a good game.

          Oh no, sorry, you’re a nobody loudmouthing on the internet. My mistake

          • Fincher says:

            Todd Howard thinks Todd Howard is a bad designer, when he isn’t skimming over his lies.

          • Consumatopia says:

            I missed the part of JackShandy’s comment where he said he was better than Todd Howard at building external reward systems.

            Smoking causes cancer. Retort: “Clearly you are a much more talented cigarette manufacturer than Philip Morris.”

          • JackShandy says:

            “I’d like to see you do better!” isn’t a valid argument, Otherwise I’d be forced to make a company before I criticized Enron. Come back in a few years and I’ll have some games to show you, though.

  10. Hypernetic says:

    Meh? Everyone is always looking for something to hate on. It’s not a huge deal, how many people swap between playing with people in America, Europe, and/or Asia on that regular of a basis?

    I’m sure you know which friends you will play with the most, start in the region and be done with it. This really isn’t a huge deal. At least it’s not completely region locked.

    Besides, a lot of this probably has to do with the RMAH and various international commerce laws and taxes.

    • pakoito says:

      I remember when games were just games, not something you could make a living off and required international commerce laws’ aproval.

      • HothMonster says:

        I remember when games where stored in boxes in a closet at the end of the hall and you only had one set of dice between the lot of them because your little brother was always sticking them in his mouth and then dropping them under the couch and nobody wants to reach under the couch for a slobbery dust covered filth die.

        Times change. But you can still buy games that are stored in boxes and games that don’t meddle with cash money. No reason to be upset about the new ones.

    • Milky1985 says:

      I don’t think people care about the lack of real world acution house, yes that is cause of the laws and poeple understadn that.

      People care about the not beign able to take the character across/share friends list, because its (another) retarded design choice (and as pointed out by rps, kinda counter to the whole reason why your forced online in the first sodding place)

      Its entries in a sodding database, its not hard to read them from another area.

      • kenshiri says:

        Tell that to a lot of MMO’s and other games with persistent characters that do the exact same thing.

      • Hypernetic says:

        It’s a bit more complicated than info on a database when you have servers all around the world.

        As for the RMAH? Plenty of people want that. The same millions of people who spend billions of dollars on gold in MMOs and the same people who spend real money on Diablo 2 items. The only difference here is that Blizzard has control over it and won’t get thousands of “help I got scammed” emails every day.

        Real money / virtual good transactions will always happen, this way they are at least safe for people.

        Besides all that, people act like it will be some kind of huge chore to level another character in a different region. If it’s anything like Diablo 2 you can have a high level friend run you through very quickly.

      • Azradesh says:

        I can’t think of any RPG type game were you can carry over your character from server to server. You couldn’t do it in Diablo 2. Why is this a surprise? I’m more surprised that you can switch region at all as Blizzard seemed to forget about that since WoW.

    • Malk_Content says:

      All I got from your comment was, “This is not a big deal, pick one of your group of friends and just play with them.” I’m sorry I don’t see why a player should be punished for wanting to play with more people.

      • Azradesh says:

        How about you talk with all your friends and agree on a region to play together? Honestly, when the US servers weren’t been hammered more than usual by the stress test, the game felt lag free to me (it wasn’t but the lag wasn’t big enough to cause me any issues).

      • HothMonster says:

        Having more than one character isn’t really a punishment in Diablo. Which would upset people more the current system or saying you could only have one character total?

        I have one friend overseas. I will level a character with him everyone else I would play with is on my continent I will level a character(s) with them. Maybe my other buddy will join us sometimes. Is it really that much of a punishment? Really? making you play a game, what jerks.

  11. kenshiri says:

    I’m not sure if anybody has bothered to catch this, but Diablo 2 worked the exact same way. So…why should this be surprising?

    • Salt says:

      Maybe not surprising, but disappointing?
      Diablo II was released 12 years ago. One would be forgiven for thinking that networking technology, especially at the company running one of the largest MMOs in the world, might have improved in that time.

      Make a character on the EU servers. Play on the EU servers. Click a button and instantly copy it to the US servers where you play with American friends. Click a button and copy it back to EU servers. The character only progressed while on official Blizzard servers, so there’s no chance of cheating.
      I know it would take some effort to implement that, but it’s far from impossible.

      • Grygus says:

        I think that copying characters from region to region is not only possible, but inevitable… as a paid service.

        • Joof says:

          Battle.net is pretty much built upon the server architecture they set up for WoW. You can’t transfer characters cross-region there either, even though they have paid server transfers. They aren’t set up to do that, at least currently.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Diablo 2 also allowed offline singleplay and multiplay…. if they insist on online-only, then you’d expect a certain amount of, er, re-jigging. Even MMOs which do this get the same gripes.

      Some separate the login/character-server from the play-server, so all this malarkey about “new character per region” is completely bypassed.

      • kenshiri says:

        Then almost every MMO in existence must get these gripes that I…don’t see, ever.

        Edit: Unless a server is losing population, And usually server transfers will pop-up if server populations drop too much. but that’s going to be a non-issue for D3 as it has 3 servers, with each one covering quite a few countries. I just fail to understand the issue here, play on the region you know you’ll have a lot of friends on and go from there. Or make a character on each server and just play them when you feel like it. It’s just like using multiple servers on any other game.

        • Consumatopia says:

          If WoW, from the beginning, allowed you to create your own “instance” of the entire game, and the game were designed to accommodate exclusively single-player players, but still didn’t allow offline play, then it probably would have gotten exactly as much flack as D3 is getting.

          There’s a norm that if a game is “naturally” a multiplayer game, it makes sense to be online-only, but if it’s natural to play it single-player, it should allow offline play. Network requirements should only be present when the design of the game requires them, not merely to deter piracy. (Otherwise, you’re punishing the innocent for somebody else’s crime.) Thus both Blizzard and Maxis are jumping through a lot of rhetorical hoops to find reasons other that deterring piracy to make their games online-only, even for single-player.

          It’s similar to the outcry when DLC is already included on the disk with the original game–in theory, it should make no difference to the player. But to the way many players feel, there’s a difference between making an addition to a game after it’s released and selling it, which is perfectly fine, and holding back on something that you already made that would improve a game so that you can sell it later. What offends (some) people is the notion of crippling your own product so that you can sell a pair of crutches later.

  12. Hoaxfish says:

    Somewhere at Blizzard is an old bearded mad-man scratching out a map of the world, and in one corner is “here be LAN multiplay”

  13. Bosscelot says:

    This is the exact same system Diablo 2 used. It’s such a non-issue.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      I seriously wonder about the literacy rate in the comments section.

      Yes, it is the system Diablo 2 used. But we’re not talking about Diablo 2. We’re talking about Diablo 3. Why are we talking about Diablo 3? Because this topic ONLY CONCERNS DIABLO 3. Blizzard didn’t make any of these claims about Diablo 2. Blizzard didn’t have the auction house in Diablo 2. Blizzard didn’t have an always-on requirement for Diablo 2.

      • ankh says:

        Progress is overrated, man. D2 was fine.

        • HothMonster says:

          If you change anything from Diablo 2, that is bad e.g. skill system.
          If you don’t change something from Diablo 2, that is bad as well.
          If you make a game people will complain.

          /snark, even snarkier than normal for me

  14. pakoito says:

    Is at least equipment locked by levels? Because lvl1 with HEPIC GEARR can be the bane of any PvP game.

  15. frightlever says:

    A year ago I’d have assumed a new Diablo game would be a day one purchase, but every new announcement just drives it further away from my wallet. I’m sure it’ll still be a massive success. Starcraft 2 still did well with all the nickel and dimeing and online play, didn’t it? But it’s not for me.

    • Salt says:

      Unless I’ve missed something significant, there’s no “nickel and diming” in Starcraft 2. No microtransactions at all in fact.
      There’s going to be an expansion pack probably later this year, but that has all indications of being a “proper” expansion as Brood War was to the original, and certainly not a microtransaction.

    • Lemming says:

      With SC2 they couldn’t nickle and dime it (as much as I’m sure they wanted to), without alienating the massive Korean playerbase. The fact it has online-authentication seems like heaven now compared to what they are unleashing on the world with D3.

  16. Reddin says:

    Actually pretty bummed about this since I am planning on playing with people from all 3 of the server regions they have.
    I would be fine with it if just the auction house was limited to my ‘home’ region, but region-locking my characters is going to be very annoying.
    Not to mention that I cannot really see why they would do it like that, since being always online was supposed to ensure that everything was legit at all times.
    Some investigative journalism seems to be in order guys.

  17. DickSocrates says:

    If you pay real money for an in game weapon/item, there’s no need for me to criticise you or call you names. The problem with your brain that made you do it in the first place is punishment enough.

    • mouton says:

      Ultimately, I try not to judge such a person. If someone deems his money excess, he can blow it on anything, be it cocaine, whores or Diablo items.

  18. rocketman71 says:

    More Blizzard idiocy. As much as a surprise as the yearly Call of Duty.

  19. jonfitt says:

    I am completely turned off by D3 right now. I just don’t understand what kind of game it’s going to be.
    I just want to click on things to make numbers appear until my mouse breaks. All of this auction house, region locking, always on DRM, nonsense has completely clouded the game for me. Why is such a simple game surrounded by such complexities?
    .
    I’m going to wait until a couple of months in to see how it shakes out.

    • mouton says:

      I don’t like Diablo games too much, but I admit Diablo 3 is a really, really good Diablo. You can ignore the additions and just enjoy the core game, if you are into this sort of things.

      • bglamb says:

        Unless you don’t have a permenantly-on largely lag-free connection present at all times you want to play.

        Or something.

        • HothMonster says:

          Its hugely detrimental to some and hugely irrelevant to others. I feel bad for some :( I really do. Someone make a nice powerpoint explaining to acti-bliz that they will make more money if they invest heavily in broadband and maybe we can do some good with these transaction fees.

  20. Freud says:

    I would assume that this is to prevent Chinese farmers from grinding on their servers, log on to US/European servers and trade the items to seller accounts.

    Instead they will grind on European/US servers, trade their items to seller accounts.

    I don’t think Blizzard is all that bothered either way. They get a piece of the pie. The people who buy stuff from the RMAH won’t be bothered since more farming should drive down prices. The only real losers in this are the US/European players who planned to make some extra money selling stuff on the RMAH.

    Personally, I’ll stay far away from it all.

  21. uberphat says:

    This will be a problem for me. Currently living in France but heading to Australia in 6 months, guess I will have to start a new character to use with my AUS/NZ friends.

  22. Crimsoneer says:

    I love Blizzard’s games, but damn they suck as a publisher times. They restrict their games to one e-store to make sure prices stay up, you have to buy 6 WoW expansion to stay up to date, and they have no idea of how to deal with a global playerbase.

  23. dysphemism says:

    The question, then, is who will attain Most Favored Region status among RPS staff and readers.
    In the spirit of global imperialism, I demand you all create characters in “The Americas.” Then we can play together! You with your lvl 4 nakedbody and me with my lvl 47 home-field-advantage dreadnaught. O, the fun we will have!
    (Note: Feel free to read this as an allegory for global politics generally.)

    • warthog2k says:

      Surely you should create a whole load of chars on the “Middle East / North Africa” servers and try to convert them all over to US Dollars while buying up all their resources for half the market value and shipping them all back home ;)

  24. Arglebargle says:

    Sadly, not surprised. Blizzard could make a game about juggling turds, and it would sell like hotcakes. Even if it required being always on line, was region locked, and had a RMT house for especially impressive fewmets

    Personally, whatever magic they’ve got for the gaming public does not reveal itself to me.

    • Grygus says:

      I might agree that Blizzard is somewhat overrated as a game developer, but I will let you in on the secret: despite any and all philosophical objections I may have about the infrastructure, the open beta revealed to me that Diablo III is fun to play.

      That’s it.

    • HothMonster says:

      They have yet to make a game I don’t like (even their Silicon and Synapse games, I mean come on who doesn’t love battle chess) so I will put up with little annoyances. But like any developer if I ever buy a flaming turd from them it will be the last thing they sell me. So far they have not got any shit on my boots. But hey I said the same thing about ubisoft back in the day.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Grygus: My experiance in the beta was so-so. Certainly didn’t convince me to buy it. I liked Titan Quest more, as well Path of Exile. Though the grind through the same areas at higher-levels-of-difficulty hamster ball is an irritating feature of the genre.

      Hoth: Reasonable stance, but my experiance is almost completely the opposite. Going back over their list of games, there was not one that I really cared for. Probably makes me a dismissable outlier for their purposes.

  25. Strutter says:

    What’s stopping 3rd party trading sites from allowing people to trade with each other?

  26. Sian says:

    Since we’re told that starting new characters in different regions isn’t a problem, can I now please have my offline singleplayer mode with characters that aren’t allowed to go online? That would allow me to actually buy and play the game.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Yes.

      Why everything has to be a _MUST_ as opposed to an OPTION is beyond me.

      We have toggles for mouse inversion, different executeables for DirectX interfaces, developer consoles, modding..

      Haven’t people realized by now that the major advantage of a PC is being able to give people a choice and thus NOT necessitate always pissing off large chunks of people in the first place? (Yes, still always SOME, but you can seriously ease the burden if you just allow it)

      If their worry is that they can’t verify whether someone cheated(which imo is just something they pulled out of their butt to justify the DRM), then don’t allow the SP online conversion for offline games and make it a character creation checkbox with online “play” right off the bat.

      • Brun says:

        Would FarmVille make any money if playing without the microtransactions were an option?

        • warthog2k says:

          Would Blizzard make a massive profit from Diablo3 without the RMAH? Yes.
          Would they make MORE money by ‘encouraging’ you to rub up against the RMAH? Probably.

          • Brun says:

            You’re right that Diablo 3 is not a F2P game, and they would still make plenty of money from it without the RMAH. However, I think the true purpose of the RMAH is to test the concept, implementation, and profitability of microtransactions so that the lessons learned can be utilized in Project Titan, which will doubtlessly be F2P.

          • jrodman says:

            I’ll buy that.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Brun makes a nice three bank shot on Acti-Blizzards very possible rationale. It certainly makes more sense to me than any of the excuses I’ve seen coming from the developers.

  27. Urthman says:

    at that point you might decide to want to venture onto Battle.net. But you’d have to start a character from scratch

    BLIZZARD: “Unlike Diablo 1 and 2, Diablo 3 has very little replay value. Starting a new character just to play multiplayer is so tedious we’ve removed that option completely.”

  28. Kandon Arc says:

    So, I guess the argument that people can’t handle the complicated choice of offline vs online characters therefore everyone has to have online characters is firmly put to bed?

    Can Blizzard actually be honest now and say that the online only requirement is purely for RMAH or DRM?

  29. wodin says:

    I was going to comment. However after the last time I said something on a Diablo thread I think I will keep it shut in case I upset the natives.

    Then again…..I do have some reservations about this game. So much expectation and hype. Infact it’s sky high I feel, which means it has a long way to fall.

    Fingers crossed my doubts are unfounded though and turn out to be mere cynical mutterings.

  30. Hug_dealer says:

    Its like Blizzard is doing everything they can to convince me not to buy D3. And now they have succeeded. I have always been on the border, but ill just skip this and buy T2 alone, I was gonna buy both.

    I am completely against a real money auction hall in any game. Not because it upsets game balance, but because the company is getting rich for doing nothing, and are not providing any additional benefit to the customer. The millions of dollars earned from this will not be reinvested in making the game better or adding content. This is blizzard afterall.

    To the rest of you, enjoy your game. My hatred doesnt blind me.

    • subedii says:

      Pretty similar in my case I’m afraid. Once the RMAH was announced, I couldn’t believe that people were somehow taking them at face value when they said “we’re not going to be making any money off of this, really, we may even LOSE money!”. And yet true to form, that’s what I saw repeated.

      In my case it was sooner than you though. Call me cynical, but personally as soon as they announced the new RMAH, I pretty much had a sinking feeling right then and there that whatever balance for things like weapon drops, loot, and the necessity thereof… whatever it would have been would be completely out the window to ensure that the marketplace is viable and profitable. If that means squeezing the better stuff behind a tonne more grinding than you would have otherwise, hey, at least you’re not TELLING people to buy it right?

      I mean there’s certainly something to be said for scarcity of items in a game, it makes them special and sought after. I understand that, it’s what these games basically run off of. But it’s always going to be a matter of degrees. And once an ancillary factor like the auction house is thrown in, it’s hard to trust that they would would negate it in the gameplay itself. I mean they’ve removed stats, and your character can pretty much be re-specced at will, so the key thing keeping you attached to that character isn’t those anymore, it’s only one thing, the items they have.

      I don’t want to bring Torchlight 2 too much into this because people will just accuse me of being a fanboy or a hater (maybe they’re right, I couldn’t really say), but it was interesting listening to a podcast by one of the Runic devs months ago where he goes in-depth about things like skills and stats, how they’ve tried to design the four stats to be useful to all classes, and why it’s important to allow the player the possibility of making less than optimal decisions. He also talked about how it was rare to be able to get whole sets in SP in Torchlight, which is something they were tweaking to make it a lot more likely in Torchlight 2. Things like that. I mean people are always down on TL2 as the cheap knock-off, but more and more it’s becoming harder for me to see it that way. It’s becoming clearer over time that the two are going in some pretty different directions if you look at the design philosophies at work.

    • UncleLou says:

      It’s not quite true that they’re doing nothing. If history is anything to go by, they will keep the servers running for 10 years or even a lot more. I think you’ll be hardpressed to find another non-subscription based game where that is the case. Rather, EA and the like usually switch off servers after two years.

      Personally, I find a real-money AH the least intrusive, best integrated system to earn money for the developer/publisher I can think of. I’ll take that over games nagging me for microtransactions and/or DLC where I always think I don’t play the complete game any day of the week. Especially, as it has been pointed out, as real-money transactions are a reality anyhow.

      • Brun says:

        Indeed. I’m pretty sure I can fire up a game of Warcraft II over Battle.net even today, nearly 15 years after the game’s release.

      • Hug_dealer says:

        that has nothing to do with the auction hall. Thanks for playing.

      • FunkyBadger3 says:

        Why do you need a server to run a single-player game?

        • chackosan says:

          D3 has a single-player mode, but it’s pretty clear that it’s not strictly a single-player game. If they’re still selling the game 10 years down the line, they’ll still need to support multiplayer for those who want it. Hence the need for the servers.

  31. macks says:

    Yet another reason not to buy this game. By adding an auction house like this, forcing always-online and not allowing single player or mods, they’re ruining Diablo.

    Seems like Farmville with dungeons.

  32. Greggh says:

    “Janitor, there is a butthurt leakage in aisle three, Diablo three.”

    Jests aside, if you don’t like the game (and the developers’ intentions), don’t buy it – stand your principles or stop whining.
    (or you could complain to Blizzard and the game producers, which, quite frankly, seem to disregard mass butthurt for like a decade or so…)

    Not having offline is VERY bad IMHO, but may not be a dealbreaker overall, I’m still deciding whether I’ll support this kind of game.

    • Hug_dealer says:

      people can state their opinions whether positive or negative. Threads arent just here for us to drop praise over everything.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      You can be sure I won’t buy an always-on SP game, but we moan about it to perhaps make more people realize how stupid it is to do so.
      Against all odds. That’s what hope is!

  33. Arnulf says:

    What is so hard to understand? Region-locking the money auction house without region-locking the characters or items would defeat the purpose of region-locking the auction house altogether.

  34. Ultra-Humanite says:

    Luckily I had no intention of getting this anyway.

  35. Icyicy9999 says:

    I was in the Guild Wars 2 beta and not only could I transfer from a European to a US server at will, but I kept my character, progress and everything as if nothing changed.
    Furthermore my friend list remained fully usable.
    The best part is that I actually remained groupped with my friends, we were in the same party despite me playing on a server halfway across the world, and could chat in it.

    Surely, Blizzard can do better.

    • subedii says:

      Surely, Blizzard can do better.

      No kidding. This is something that’s been cropping up a lot more since the Dota 2 beta started opening up. Comparing the Dota 2 interface to Starcraft 2′s BNet is nutty in terms of design and the things they allow you to do.

      Husky (very well known SC2 caster) even went as far as to make a youtube video about it, and he doesn’t even play Dota. Which is just sad, because this is actually Valve’s first attempt at a competitve RTS of any sort and they’ve already outdone Blizzard in what the community wants in terms of a functional UI. Largely because they were willing to listen to what the fans were asking for. I mean the ability to literally watch any game as it’s happening alone is pretty freaking awesome. Alright, yes, 2 minute delay, but that’s deliberate to prevent stream-sniping.

      • Hug_dealer says:

        its all about money.

        Blizzard knows they can take a dump in a box, and sell it. And make millions(granted, they havent done that yet, but they are working towards it). With activision as the boss, why would any expect blizzard to actually push gaming forward, or innovate? Activision knows that money isnt there. The money is in the milking of solid franchises, and firing anyone that is needed.

  36. Smashbox says:

    My plans for exporting American swords to Britain FOILED! No!

    • Lamb Chop says:

      American swords are wielded by an invisible hand and honed on the whetstone of market efficiency. British swords are honed on scones and fired in the warmth of a tea kettle.

      Hmm…Can I trade mine for a British one? The peripherals are too delicious to ignore.

    • Consumatopia says:

      I am a little bit curious how they decided to create the regions that they did.

      http://us.battle.net/support/en/article/diablo-iii-realmoney-auction-house-regional-access

      “Europe” extends all the way to South Africa, Pakistan and Mongolia. “Americas” extends all the way to Australia, India, Japan and Thailand.

      China is conspicuous by absence, the “Asia” region lists “South Korea and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau” (also noting “the real-money auction house will not be available in this game regiona t launch.” That doesn’t seem like very much of Asia.

      It’s almost like they just want to lock out Koreans and Chinese, but they can’t just say “Region 1 is Korea and China, Region 2 is everyone else”, so they have to divide “everyone else” into two sub-regions , cutting a line down the middle of the Atlantic.

  37. pipman3000 says:

    is there going to any effort to balance PvP between people who get all their loot from playing the game vs those who spend real cash to-

    lol of course there won’t be what’s be the point of spending real money for imaginary swords if you can’t dominate everyone with less money then you. capitalism is death

    • UncleLou says:

      Does not really matter that much because the game is not and will not be balanced for PvP *at all* anyhow. Classes are purely balanced to make for a fun and diverse PvE game. There won’t be PvP ladders, or leagues, or anything like that at all. It will be a pure “have fun for the moment” mode.

    • Azradesh says:

      Firstly it’s all the same loot. Someone, somewhere had to loot it. It’s not special. Would you want them to “balance” traders and gold AH users as well?

      Secondly the PvP is going to use match making. If some buys lots of awesome items and start winning a lot then guess what? They get matched against other people with similar performance! Shock! :O

      Thirdly NONE of the game is balanced for PvP because it’s not a PvP game and they don’t want to do a WoW and bork the PvE for the sake of PvP.

  38. Joof says:

    Well duh. Battle.net is build on WoW’s servers, and WoW can’t do anything useful cross-region, even if you’re willing to pay.

  39. Iskariot says:

    Always online is a definite no sale for me.
    There has to be an off-line mode.

    • Azradesh says:

      This isn’t new info, why are people still commenting on it? Yes it’s online only. Yes that sucks, but we’ve known about it for more than a year so why are people still saying how they aren’t going to play it?

      • Pointless Puppies says:

        As a way of driving home the point, perhaps?

        People generally express their dissatisfaction in a way that reflects their degree of dissatisfaction. One small thing that bothers them and they go “yeah, not cool”. Something that REALLY pisses them off? Expect complaints lodged for quite some time.

        The fact that people are still complaining about this only reflects how much of a fuckup that decision was. It’s that simple. You can wish these complaints all you want, they’re still a reflection of that.

  40. MythArcana says:

    I already solved this $60 conflict within my mind weeks ago.

  41. HaVoK308 says:

    Customer inconvenience. Imagine that.

    Torchlight 2? Customer satisfaction.

  42. Pointless Puppies says:

    I’m sorry, but where in this past decade did it become kosher for developer spokespeople to act like your average scumbag politician? As in, providing clearly false, hypocritical statements that overlook so many obvious contradictions that the fact that they’re even saying this is insulting to the intelligence of the people they’re saying it to. And having absolutely no qualms about it because they know they’ll get away with it.

    I think back and I say this shit wouldn’t have been accepted in the 90′s. Maybe it was because press releases were a lot rarer back in that era, but I really don’t recall people saying crap like “we want the permanency of having only one character, so therefore, always-on internet connections!” then turning around and saying “characters are region locked, so make more than one character!”

  43. Emeraude says:

    The thing that kills me about the AH is how it hasn’t been ripped a new one by gambling yet laws personally…

  44. dmoe says:

    This sort of always-online DRM PR talk seems to always have that tinge of the patented ‘Merican “think of the children!” security bill flavoring. No modding either huh? It’s unfortunate how a lot of modern gaming is turning down options for the sake of staving off hacking. If it isn’t hackers it’s pro-poopsockers and if it’s isn’t poopsockers it’s gold farmers, right fellas?

    I’ll wait for the Steam 5 dollar sale. (I know, I lol’d too)

  45. manveruppd says:

    The region-locked auctions seem fair: income disparities between different regions of the world would have made items unaffordable to casual players in developing countries at best, and created a sweatshop economy of dungeoncrawlers grinding for items to sell to rich Westerners at worst.

    Blizzard taking a cut out of every auction makes less sense though. I mean, I understand them taking a cut when you want to cash out, or for the real-money auction house, but why take a cut from the in-game gold auction house? It’s made-up currency. That they make up! Sure, it will have a conversion rate to real money if/when you decide to cash out, but that’s just the thing: if they take a cut out of every gold-based transaction, then there’ll be less gold at the end to convert to real-life moolah for them to take their 15% from! It feels they’re kinda cheating themselves! :D

    • Phranx says:

      The cut from the gold action house is primarily a way to remove gold from circulation. Basically another gold sink, which without them gold would become worthless.

      Unrelated, I think a lot of people are missing the point that the AH and the RMAH are both entirely optional. You don’t ever have to look at either of them to play the game. One of the biggest “features” still around for Diablo 2 is buying items off 3rd party websites for real money. There is obviously a market for it so why shouldn’t Blizzard kill ALL the birds with one stone?

      Mainly, give people a safe and secure way to buy items if they wish and make some sort of income from a game that history shows us will probably be supported till the end of time.

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