Hack Slashes: Three Hours With Diablo III

By John Walker on May 15th, 2012 at 3:55 am.

Ballet has never been so dangerous.

Diablo III is out. (In the UK and Asia, at least, with the US version unlocking in about four hours.) Words that still don’t make sense when you look at them. So after the struggles of server issues all experienced at the start, I finally settled in to spend three very late hours with the game. A game which is, at least so far, action RPG perfection, worryingly troubled by the requirement of its always-on DRM. This is the tale of my first three hours, joyful and infuriating.

There is an itch, on that part of your back you can’t quite reach, and then just too far below the surface. You know it’s there. But there’s a way to scratch it.

Diablo III enters an odd market – one where the genre its predecessors previously defined is now busy with so many similar projects. For years such games were called “Diablo clones”. Now with their being so numerous, they’re known as Action RPGs, the grandfather’s name shaken off. Diablo III has the indignity of being one among many. But it knows that itch so very, very well.

It’s funny, the game almost feels minimalist at this point. Because not only have ARPGs learned so much from Diablo, but so have almost all MMOs. The genre lines are now so blurred that Diablo’s straight-to-the-action approach is at first jarring. “Hang on, aren’t you supposed to have 90 people wibble on at me about the ancient dangers that are destroying the lands and how I’m their only hope?” Instead Diablo III just barks that at you, and then tells you to click on stuff. And it’s this directness, in a smooth, deceptively simple presentation, that makes the game quite so good at scratching.

Everything about Diablo III is a masterclass for other developers. Whichever game you pick up, you think, “Why didn’t they just assume I’d want the inventory to do X?” and so on. Diablo III thought of it. It’s all the tiny things, the little details that annoy when they’re missing, that are all in place. Naming them seems trivial (the inventories close when you walk away from a store, the same shortcut that opens a window closes it, the controls are exactly how they should be, long dungeons have entrance teleports at the end…), but their presence is tangible. It’s a game that wants to be played, played endlessly, and it’s going to make that as easy and streamlined for you as is possible. The only possible criticism is its waiting a couple of hours before giving you your town portal, meaning there are a couple of dungeons where you have to leave stuff behind. No biggie, but it’s telling that such a small thing stands out in the smooth experience.

But there’s a lot of detail too. In those first few hours you’ll unlock access to a blacksmith whom you can level up too, letting you craft weapons and armour. That means there’s a greater incentive to gather loot, other than just to exchange it for coin. Oh, and if you’re me, then you’ll be uncontrollably pleased that almost everything you encounter can be smashed to bits, mostly for no reason.

It’s also much more personable than I was expecting. While the world is mostly serious, lots of people in dire straits, calamities occurring, the dead rising, and everyone losing loved ones all over, there’s also the occasional grin. The presence of Lore means even the solo game is accompanied by frequent chat of cartoonish voices telling the backstory to their and the wider situations. And I’ve only soloed so far, partly because I’m playing it at 2 in the morning while sensible compatriots are abed, and partly because I hate playing games with stupid other people. Which brings me on to the moment where this turns sour.

After a terrible first post-launch hour, with players unable to access the servers at all, then tantalisingly let half way in before being booted, the installed and released game was unplayable. And since, ridiculously, there are frequent server drops, instantly throwing you out of the game and back to the login screen. It is, without question, ludicrous.

Blizzard have argued that Diablo III’s requirement of a connection is not about DRM, but about improving the player’s experience. If people could play offline, there’d be no way to prove they hadn’t used cheats, and thus it would be unfair if they could then transfer those characters online. Oh, and their profit-generating auction houses would be inaccessible to such players. That’s all true, but none of it is a reason to prevent people from playing offline anyway. Sure, you’d not be able to transfer your character into an online game, and perhaps someone might want to change their mind after a long time building a roll, and be frustrated by their being kept out. But with that made clear from the start, it’s a person’s choice. A person who’s paid their £40+ for the game could choose how they want to play it, accepting that caveat. It’s simply disingenuous to suggest that enforcing an always-on connection is necessary for the players’ benefit. And that’s ignoring the vast numbers of people who just can’t play at all because of the lack of a permanent connection.

And the server drops tonight have shown exactly why it’s a bloody stupid thing in the first place. An error message pops up, and then you’re back at login. And worse, progress is actually lost. It only happened to me the once in my first two hours (others have reported more), but a series of small dungeons I’d cleared out in a graveyard were instantly unmapped, as well as a huge stretch of above ground location I’d fully explored. Blank maps aren’t quite the apology you’d be looking for after your game had stopped working for no good reason whatsoever.

And even without those delightful moments, there’s the frequent presence of lag. It’s not the end of the world to have to run the same few steps a second time, but it’s bloody idiotic to be experiencing it when playing solo.

Always-on was a predictably stupid thing to enforce, and no matter how it’s dressed, it’s DRM, and tonight it’s proven itself to be game-breaking DRM. Which when you take into account just how splendid that game is, breaking it is a damned shame. It’s bound to smooth out soon, especially when demand on the servers calms a little as people’s play spreads out. But it isn’t going away.

The chances are, this is the sort of game where people are going to endure the crap either way. It’s certainly good enough, at least in the first few hours, to warrant some determined patience… Oops, went back in to take some screenshots, and it’s 45 minutes later.

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413 Comments »

  1. skittles says:

    Eh, UK and Asia can play? Then why does AU not unlock until 5pm in the afternoon?

    I thought it must unlock globally at that time. But if they are already letting other regions play, then unlocking us at 5pm seems bizarre.

  2. nootron says:

    Oh god stop with the whining about the always-on. We get it. You don’t like it. You think its DRM. And you’re here to show us just how awful it is. yay rps!

    edit.

    Wow, a lot of feedback for my wonderful comment. Thank you all! So many angry people and so much blind rage. When you calm down, read below and I hope you are at least briefly able to see through you own obsession over the always-on feature to see my point.

    My comment was not a statement about Blizzard, or DRM. It was an editorial criticism against RPS. Go ahead and click on those tags and look at the VOLUMES of content RPS has spent angrily protesting this feature.

    My point is that I get it. You can stop now. The point has been made. Any journalistic responsibility to educate us, the readers of RPS, on the harms of always-on and how its clearly DRM and clearly wrong was fulfilled months ago after the last dozen articles about absolutely awful this feature is for gamers, the industry and mankind.

    In short: Your point has been made.

    Move on.

    • nibbling_totoros says:

      RPS doesn’t “think” it is DRM- it IS DRM; anyone who thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves

      You mean to tell me that lagging, getting dropped, and losing progress from a SINGLE player game is cool?

      • Martel says:

        I agree with nibbling, and this point still needs to be made. And yes I am getting a copy, CE in fact, but that doesn’t make it any less DRM nor does it make it any better for those that want to play it without internet (or even stable connections).

        • Phranx says:

          A decade ago they didn’t call it “Always on DRM”. It was called “Closed Servers” and everyone wanted it.

          “A person who’s paid their £40+ for the game could choose how they want to play it,” I paid a lot more than that for my car but I can’t drive it through the sky. Should I jump on the Toyota forums and complain about it? Maybe I’ll blog it on Myspace.

          • malkav11 says:

            Oh, come off it. Offline singleplayer gaming is a core function of computer gaming to date, in your silly car analogy more like expecting the car you purchased to be capable of starting its engine than flying. And closed servers as an option was and is fine. Forcing everyone onto them isn’t. It’s that simple.

          • Jerakal says:

            Yelling utter nonsense will surely prove that this DRM isn’t madness right? Right?

            It’s stupid, and Blizzard knows it’s stupid, but they’ll be damned if anyone tries to cut into their profits.

          • nibbling_totoros says:

            That was the stupidest analogy I have ever heard. You wish to do something with your car that is physically impossible to do at this current juncture as opposed to not having “online always” in a game.

          • Phranx says:

            Don’t get me wrong, I understand that people are going to be forced into the situation where they can’t play the game simply due to not having an offline function and it would anger me if I was in the sme situation.

            This will however fix the disappointment of having to start a whole new character to play with friends and give me the piece of mind know that there isn’t any item duping going on.

            Calling offline single player a “core function of computer gaming to date” is actually your own personal opinion, not a fact.

            My car annalogy is me wanting to use a product in an unintended fashion, which is what people want when demanding Diablo 3 offline play, seems more relevant than your analogy suggestion.

          • malkav11 says:

            My personal opinion. Right. That’s why virtually every game made in the last thirty years has singleplayer, a majority of them skipping multiplayer entirely or relegating it to an afterthought, and even games specifically designed with multiplayer in mind (such as the Unreal Tournament games and the MMO genre) are primarily played solo according to available data.

          • Hidden_7 says:

            The car analogy is both an unintended function, but also an impossible one. Offline single-player may be unintended, but it is very possible and present in previous Diablos, so it is fair to ask WHY its unintended.

            A better analogy would be if a car did not have a radio/stereo/cd player of any sort. It absolutely is not a crucial function of a car, but a lot of (consumer) cars have them in some fashion, as at least an option, and it’s a fair question to ask WHY this particular car cannot be fitted with one.

            In any case, closed servers were not something that ‘everyone’ wanted back in Diablo 2 days. I played hours and hours of D2 and LoD and maybe spent four of those, max, with a closed bnet character. I played mostly single player, very occasionally with friends.

            It’s fine that this sort of player/playstyle is not being catered to in Diablo 3 — it’s a bit of a shame since it was available in the previous games, but I’m certainly not owed it — but at the same time it seems equally fine to lament this state of affairs, and then not buy the game because of it.

          • Phranx says:

            “That’s why virtually every game made in the last thirty years has singleplayer” If you want to have a discussion, you have to be clear what you are talking about, “single player” is a part of many games (including MMOs) but you were originally talking about “offline single player”.

            Offline single player is NOT a feature of Diablo 3, it’s 100% impossible to legitimately play offline single player. Flying is NOT a feature of my car.

            Even if Diablo 1 and 2 had offline single player it is irrelevant, they are an entirely different product. Planes have the ability to fly, should I still blog about my ground bound car on Myspace?

          • PacketOfCrisps says:

            Your car and plane analogy is really poor and you are just making your argument sound even more ridiculous every time you mention it. Diablo II is a game, Diablo III is a game. Stop comparing two completely different things.

          • Kaiji says:

            RPS sounds like a bunch of crusty old granddads whining on and on about the “always connected” requirement.

            It’s a great way to deter piracy, and the downside is that sometimes you get disconnected, but one of the harsh facts of this reality in which we exist is that everything has a downside.

            Please…. Stop the fucking whining guys. It’s gone way beyond pathetic.

          • Phranx says:

            My car is a vehicle, the plane is a vehicle, stop pretending they aren’t.

            Diablo 2 and Diablo 3 are two different things (from different decades as well), YOU stop comparing two different things.

          • PacketOfCrisps says:

            You are telling me that a plane is more similar to a car than Diablo II is to Diablo III? God almighty.

          • mr.ioes says:

            You guys should all go to hell.
            And take that car analogy book with you.

          • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

            “It’s a great way to deter piracy, and the downside is that sometimes you get disconnected, but one of the harsh facts of this reality in which we exist is that everything has a downside.”

            It’s funny you should mention that. I would bet cashmoney that within one week there will be something on the pirate bay or a similar site that allows one to play offline.

          • LintMan says:

            You’re being deliberately obtuse. Blizzard took an established and customary aspect of almost all games with a single player component – including its own series of games, and decided to remove it. Theoretically this benefits some small amount of ignorant players who might have otherwise started playing SP and then wanted to use that same character to MP after having been told they couldn’t. On the other hand, it forces all SP players to always have internet access and subject them to disconnections, lag, and loss of game data. Did Blizzard really screw ALL SP players just for the benefit of a small amount of whiners who don’t pay attention? Or is that just a weak justification for the real reasons – more business for the cash auction house and DRM?

            Players have every right to complain about Blizzard’s self-serving decision that damages the quality of the game for many people.

            In car terms, this is closer to a car manufacturer deciding that this year’s car models will only have manual transmissions. Some people won’t care because they want a manual anyway, but a lot will be upset because they prefer automatic and don’t want to deal with the hassles of a manual transmission.

          • Kaiji says:

            “It’s funny you should mention that. I would bet cashmoney that within one week there will be something on the pirate bay or a similar site that allows one to play offline.”

            If you expect the server emulation that will be required to allow offline single player to be available within a week or to ever be anything close to the quality of the online experience, you are going to be surprised.

          • Archonsod says:

            “This will however fix the disappointment of having to start a whole new character to play with friends and give me the piece of mind know that there isn’t any item duping going on.”

            Right. So because you can’t distinguish between online and offline modes it’s a good thing. And you’re sure it’s ok for you to be near a computer and/or sharp objects?

          • Orazio Zorzotto says:

            Ignoring the stupidity of your car analogy, what you’re saying boils down to “This developer/publisher is doing something stupid that gets in the way of us getting what we paid for because they want to make more money but instead of complaining about it I’m going to lie down and take it because, well, whining is for losers.”
            It doesn’t make any sense to me. And it pisses me off. It’s not like we’re trolling every place on the internet looking for some attention. John is merely saying, look, this is what happened to me personally and that is why always on DRM is stupid.

          • Grargh says:

            I guess it’s not an option to make it a server setting whether or not “unclean” offline characters are allowed? Because I couldn’t care less about possible cheating when playing with some friends. Also, I’d never use that silly auction house anyway as it’s not the thing I want to see in a game.

          • Mabans says:

            I travel a lot, I get not being able to play online for better items, and goodies.. But there is ZERO reason and I mean ZERO FLIPPIN’ REASON for me NOT to be able to play the game on a long Roadtrip, train ride or plane flight in single player without having to log in. I loved the series and the lore and I’m in for that, the fact I have to log into a server like it’s an MMO is silly. I don’t think people are being unreasonable for not wanting to feel obligated to log into a phantom server just to appease Blizzard loss prevention dept.. (No idea if that even exists I know I’m talking out my ass). This is why I didn’t rush out to get the game. This is real silly..

          • Phantoon says:

            I’m sorry, are you implying piracy is a threat to Diablo 3′s sales?

            Really?

          • FhnuZoag says:

            So, whereas I got a plane with Diablo 2, these days I pay more, and only have a car (well, more a plane with the wings sawn off), whose intended fashion of use is to endure lag and randomly boot me to the login screen? And this is sold to me as an upgrade?

          • Fanbuoy says:

            I have an extremely shaky internet connection, at times disconnecting several times per hour. So, while I will probably buy the game, I will put that on hold until someone inevitably cracks it.

            Mandatory car analogy: I’ll buy the car, but due to a gasoline shortage I’ll have to wait until someone invents a solar powered version of it.

          • Alexrd says:

            I can’t believe this… People defending DRM? Are you guys serious? And always-on DRM, no less.

            I truly wish you guys to be hugely affected by it. DRM is bad for the legit consumer. That’s a fact.

          • RaveTurned says:

            “If you expect the server emulation that will be required to allow offline single player to be available within a week or to ever be anything close to the quality of the online experience, you are going to be surprised.”

            You mean the online experience that prevents you from playing the game, kicks you out of games in progress and loses all your data? Yeah, that sounds like a high quality experience. :|

          • Bhazor says:

            Why are you bothering to argue with these people?

            They support always on DRM in a game made for single player/co-op. What can you say to that?

          • Leandro says:

            “I can’t believe this… People defending DRM? Are you guys serious? And always-on DRM, no less. I truly wish you guys to be hugely affected by it. DRM is bad for the legit consumer. That’s a fact.”

            My thoughts exactly. It’s DRM to prevent piracy and enforce their online shop, it makes Ubisoft look good. I can’t believe anybody believes this Blizzard crap about preventing cheating.

            Also, stop the ridiculous car analogy. Smooth offline single-player SHOULD be a feature in Diablo 3, period. This is more akin to your car’s engine stopping from time to time. Because too many other people are driving.

          • Xerian says:

            @Kaiji So yeah… I’ve played 30 minutes of Diablo 3 thusly. Have I paid for it? No. Have I used a certain pirate-y bay? Yes. Do I ever intend to pay for the game? No. Its a disappointment to say the least in my eyes, beyond the always-on, the blurry graphics and the silly colour-spectrum (and brightness) the gameplay just isnt the greatest. Sure, its a good game, but not one I’d spend 50 euro on.

            “It’s a great way to deter piracy, and the downside is that sometimes you get disconnected, but one of the harsh facts of this reality in which we exist is that everything has a downside.” You’re pulling that out of your arse. Studies have shown that players are more likely to pirate a product if the developer doesnt cater to them, or allow them to play offline (or not have a chance of losing progress, and thereby wasting their time)

            “If you expect the server emulation that will be required to allow offline single player to be available within a week or to ever be anything close to the quality of the online experience, you are going to be surprised.”
            Thats our point. We dont want an online experience. We want to be able to play a singleplayer game, whilst offline. When it boils down to being online whilst playing singleplayer, theres no difference whatsoever, except for being able to waste money on items you’d hardly need to go out of your way to get for yourself. *Cough the silly auction house, cough*.
            I for one wont listen to your idiotic, pulled-out-of-the-arse arguements, your arguement is invalid, and so is that other guys car-plane-derpa analogy. Customers want to be respected, and to be catered to. Not be treated like adolescent moronic children. (Which, always-on regarding item duping and such specifically caters to, that and blizzards monetary gain, ofcourse).
            Now; Go away. Just… Go away.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Exactly. Your car dealership doesn’t sell cars that come with an ejection seat? Well I will just steal one then to show you what an immoral person you are!

          • dontnormally says:

            Let me try my hand at fixing this bizarre analogy.

            It’s more like a car that is equipped with a mandatory GPS. The GPS notes your location and only permits driving on public roads.

            (You did read the EULA, didn’t you?)

            It will not start in your driveway; it will not drive in the grass. Attempting either of these things will immediately disable the engine.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            People dupe items *CONSTANTLY* in *MANY* MMOs. How, exactly, is this going to make you “certain” that they aren’t?

          • marvelza says:

            maybe if u didn’t defend your BS car analogy so much i would read the rest of your posts which may or may not have good points in them

        • Wisq says:

          Please, keep this thread going. It’s collecting all the “oh quit whining about important stuff!” and “wow I can make crazy irrelevant analogies!” people in one place so I can save time and energy and block them all at once. :)

          • LionsPhil says:

            There is a silver lining after all!

          • Roshin says:

            I think it’s genuinely amusing to see the apologists try so hard to defend this.

          • brulleks says:

            Quite.

            And as for this:

            ‘Please…. Stop the fucking whining guys. It’s gone way beyond pathetic.’

            What the hell has happened to consumer opinion? Why are so many people happy for large companies to roll them over and prod their stomachs with a shitty stick?

            I could understand it if there was any good reason, any obvious benefit, for having forced online for single player but my last thirty years of games playing (not an exaggeration – it was thirty years ago that I was given my first computer) has proven that offline single-player is the only way to ensure a pain free experience for the player.

            Arguments about piracy do not hold up. Are you telling me that nobody is going to pirate Diablo 3 because of this? Rubbish. There will be just as many illegal players of this game as of any other. It might take them a bit longer to bypass than games that do not implement forced online play, but it will happen and once again the only people to suffer will be the legitimate consumers.

            I do not understand why other consumers would have a problem with people complaining about this. You must realise how disruptive it is, how much time it wastes? In the grand scheme of ethical debates, granted this is not a major issue, but still, if people want to play a game they should not be forced to jump through an obstacle course first.

            If you want an analogy, forget the cars – imagine I’d just bought a book, but on attempting to open it, I find someone has put a lock on the cover. The only time I can read that book is when they remotely unlock it. Would that be something worth complaining about? Why is it only games in which the consumer’s choice to play is so controlled by the creator?

            After all, I could happily sit here and retype the entire works of Dickens, as time consuming as it might be, and mail this round to my friends, but it wouldn’t be worth my while. Adding an online system to a game makes it more worth a pirate’s time to crack – they know there will be a larger audience for a cracked version, who have all refused to buy a legitimate copy.

            Yes, it’s a form of over-entitlement, and that’s a sad indictment of our world, but the developers are creating the temptation by insisting on these systems. I’m sure more people would be happy to buy the game if it had an offline single player, and more people will be prepared to pirate it if it doesn’t.

            I will be neither buying nor pirating the game, but the apathy of certain games consumers has shocked me into writing this regardless.

          • Brammeke says:

            ^
            This

          • Palindrome says:

            Brulleks wins the thread

          • Phantoon says:

            Piracy also isn’t a legitimate thing to be worried about, either.

            There is no way this game won’t be selling a number we have to make up a word for because it’s so huge of copies.

          • NathanH says:

            I think this thread is way too pretentious. Everyone involved is either a hipster or a shill. Also, Diablo 3 doesn’t meet the definition of RPG.

            I think that adds a few more RPS cliches to the mix.

          • Slaadfax says:

            I wouldn’t even say they’re too worried about piracy. I’m sure Blizzard understands at this point that their games will sell like crazy no matter what, but this doesn’t make their always-online any better.

            It’s a clear-cut choice favoring profit over customer service. Forcing everyone online means they can push and promote their auction house to death and beyond. They can utilize hundreds, thousands of player game hours to generate quadrillions of dollars.

            Will I use it? Not to buy. Not a chance, but I might sell some stuff. Make it easy, and even the online single-players will probably do the same thing. Some only sell, some only buy, some might do a little of both.

            And Blizzard bathes in a pool of ambrosia and gold shavings.

          • Xerian says:

            Brulleks… You just won this thread. Nay, the entire comment section… Nay! This article! NAY! You won this discussion in every corner of the world, on any website, everywhere, anywhere, always and forever.
            I salute thee, sir.
            SALUTATIONS!

      • Boozebeard says:

        Your comment is bad and you should feel bad.

    • archimandrite says:

      Agreed. Oh – it’s _not_ a single-player game, any more than Guild Wars 1 is a single-player game. It is a multiplayer game that you can choose to play solo. All of this was the same with b.net in Diablo 2, and that’s the part of the game they focused on. If you want a single-player ARPG with moddability, etc., soon there’ll be Torchlight 2! And for only $20, so there’s that.

      • PacketOfCrisps says:

        Don’t be ridiculous. Diablo II could be played in singleplayer without any problems at all, it was as feature complete as any other game on the market. Just because you are narrow-minded and only focus on the multiplayer does not mean that everyone else has to do so as well. There is nothing wrong with playing Diablo II or Diablo III solo and your claims that it is solely multiplayer focused are quite misplaced. Not to mention the fact that the always-online requirement is absurd and it is clearly a step back for the consumer when we cannot play a singleplayer game when the servers or our internet connections are down.

      • Stromko says:

        I only ever played Diablo II offline. Might have played with a friend once or twice. To me this kind of game really seems better as a kind of thing to zone out and lose myself in for awhile, playing it with other people would utterly defeat the purpose.

      • JiminyJickers says:

        I can install and play both Diablo 1 and 2 without having to login to any stupid battlenet or anything else. So I’m afraid that Diablo 2 wasn’t an online game.

        I would love to play Diablo 3 but since I travel very often, I will not because I won’t be able to play it when I want to.

      • P7uen says:

        You can play Diablo II online?

        • Aaarrrggghhh says:

          Yeah. But I never did that until recently. Offline singleplayer OR LAN play when we decided to meet with friends.

        • Ninja Foodstuff says:

          Actually, no. Something about an error 37.

          I love that when I was complaining about this during the stress test, people were like “oh but it’s a stress test, obviously it will be ok at launch.

          EDIT: Whoops, Diablo III, not II.

      • Stevostin says:

        I played DII 80% single and 20 multi. Single was the best part. Multi motivation was only to reach hardcore mode then compare willies at how far you could get in hardcore (and prove it). Multiplayer in DII really had no special dynamic of no sort : it was just more human and bigger beasts. Tiny group tactics to what the standars are now. And that’s it.

        So to me DIII is of course a Single Player experience, as in “if solo isn’t good, I am not even remotely interested at it ; if multi isn’t thrilling, I am never gonna trade one hour of TF2 to one hour of DIII for multi fun”.

      • Milky1985 says:

        The thing is diablo 3 is a single player game really, was playing last night with 4 mates on vent (after we had all annoyed the servers enough by doing things like “trying to log in” so much it actually let us log in) and then all 4 of us started playing in our own worlds.

        It was only later on when i pointed out that we are all playing the same game at the same time in different areas and we should probably join up (abotu 2 hours in) that we deciceded to do it.

        It is a very sp game, hell theres henchmen that only join you if your not in a party.

      • Asuron says:

        I played the Beta singleplayer only.
        I tried the multiplayer and HATED it. Playing with other people was frustrating as they kept doing their own stuff and didn’t allow me to enjoy the sites, plus it made the whole thing so damn easy I might as well not have wasted my time.
        Speak for yourself when you say its better focused on multiplayer

        • Brise Bonbons says:

          A friend and I played coop during the stress test, and mostly we just ran around doing whatever we felt like and didn’t see much of each other. I certainly didn’t feel like MP offered any unique dynamics or group-related choices to make.

          As always though, that was early going, and apparently nowadays a game can’t be interesting until you’ve beat the whole thing on “normal” mode, and earned the right to have fun/challenge.

          • Ragnar says:

            Beta was the first 8% of the game. It’s the introduction, tutorial, whatever, and aside from one event and the final boss fight, it’s all pretty easy.

            The difficulty ramps up, as you would expect. Towards the middle / end of Act 1, there are mobs that can kill you if you’re solo and careless in a 2-3 player game. In a 4 player game, even the beginning of Act 1 can cause a problem if two people run off by themselves and get greedy. At the beginning of Act 2, we found a group of mobs in a 2-player game that neither one of us was able to tackle solo.

            On the one hand, I love being able to chat with my friends when online, being able to easily see who else is on, and easily and quickly get multiplayer games together. On the other hand, the occasional lag is annoying, and my friend got DCed while back in town and lost the previous 1.5 hours of progress. The game clearly does not save your state nearly often enough.

    • PleasingFungus says:

      In future, I’ll request that RPS’s writers don’t comment on elements of the game that have a major impact on their play experience. (For example, by repeatedly dropping them to the main menu without warning.)

      The next WIT will be much shorter!

      • Shortwave says:

        /me golf claps @ PleasingFungus

      • JackShandy says:

        Exactly. This feature has stopped them from playing the game. That’s shit I want to know about.

      • pkt-zer0 says:

        Well, chances are the first two hours of launch aren’t exactly going to be representative of server load the rest of the time.

        • mmalove says:

          No… but if you’ve any experience with an MMO, this carries all the same cartel of pain. Patches that completely suspend your ability to play, auth and download servers overloaded by said patches, plans set up many nights in advance to play with your chums ruined by a random outage, etc.

          If it weren’t Diablo III, I’d probably pass it up. I’ve forgone Settlers 7, Anno 2070, and a few more simply because on principle, I really don’t like always on DRM. But enough of my friends are playing this I’m overlooking that, because at the end of the day I’ll be more likely to play this multiplayer than the afore mentioned titles.

          • Phantoon says:

            You should pass it up anyways. Diablo 3′s competition doesn’t treat you like a criminal out of the gate, or at all. Check out Torchlight 2, or Path of Exile.

          • frightlever says:

            Path of Exile isn’t the best example to use. But at least it’s a free on-line only game.

            I can’t imagine not getting DIII at some point, but it’s looking less likely I’ll be getting it this year.

        • Stromko says:

          There’s almost certainly going to be maintenance periods where they take down the servers, and random outages. It’s always going to be a potential issue getting inbetween you and your game. Even moreso if your internet just happens to be down. My ISP has bad nights pretty frequently where they at least drop me a few times an hour.

    • alundra says:

      Oh god stop with the whining about any comment that goes against Blizzvision ever crumbling facade. This was expected, and I still remember the stupid comments from the devs, who doesn’t have stable and lighting fast speed connection this days?? “that excuse just does not fly anymore” they said

      I guess Blizzvision was the first to dive into the ground, oh the love of poetic justice.

      • Godsmith says:

        Lol @”diving into the ground”. Like this will have any noticeable impact on sales, at all.

        • alundra says:

          Yeah, and?? People’s stupidity and lack of will power doesn’t change the fact that Blizzvision flopped in the very argument they defended.

        • Palindrome says:

          Its as quantifiable as how much revenue they would have lost from piracy. They have certainly lost a sale from me.

          • Phantoon says:

            You and I are in the minority.

            Informed consumers are an abysmally small fraction of people compared to consumers.

      • SanguineAngel says:

        Just thinking about it, i imagine a VAST number of people use SKY broadband which by and large is pretty rubbish. How many of those households have more than one computer using the net at any one time (or console or what have). I know connection speeds in my house plummet when my flatmate and I both use the net. And guess who I am most likely to want play DIII with?

        The simple fact is, superfast internet isn’t even as common as we would like to think. Then there are all the problems that go with any or most ISP – poor service, throttled usage at peak times, outages. AND THEN obviously people who want to play their single player games on the move. Of course, that would require some sort of portable PC which is surely just science fiction right?

      • RaveTurned says:

        “…who doesn’t have stable and lighting fast speed connection this days??”

        Probably worth remembering what Blizzard’s biggest customer bases are. What are their biggest franchises aside from Diablo? WoW and Starcraft – that is, the biggest MMO on the web and the biggest RTS in e-Sports. Is it at all possible that their view of player connectivity might be the teensiest bit biased by their deep investment in net-centric products?

    • NorfTehBarbarian says:

      Idiot.

      • JiminyJickers says:

        Yeah, its funny how some people get offended by the fact that some of us don’t want to rely on a server to be online before we can play our game.

        • Phantoon says:

          It’s also funny how EA and Activision are known to have people whose entire jobs are to post on gaming sites defending their games.

          Go look it up. I can wait.

          Okay, good. Now that you’ve read up on it, what do you think the chances are that the top poster is one of them? That’s right, 10/10 GOTY.

          Also notice how he has no other posts here in this whole article comments thread thing.

    • Nallen says:

      What the hell kind of comment is that? I’ll tell you this, I was going to buy this at lunchtime today but now I will be holding off for some stability. Why the hell wouldn’t you mention issues that render the game unplayable and actually lose your progress? Game breaker IMO.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Maybe these points need to continue to be made until big publishers/devs actually face the issue and look at options that don’t involve handicapping their paying customers.

      If they never do change then we should continue to make the point anyway in the hope that sense & logic will eventually prevail.

    • Kdansky says:

      RPS is right to complain about getting dropped to the main menu. That’s a real problem. But this is not about piracy, but about the RMAH. You can’t make an RMAH without complete control over the pixels. And if people just cheat in single player, the RMAH completely misses the point. Blizzard doesn’t care about Piracy, hell, they have gifted a copy of D3 to all WoW-players and half of Australia. They want the RMAH, because that is where the money happens.

      Why do you think most countries ban forged brand products? Because if you don’t do that, the brands lose their brand value. That’s the same with D3. Offline mode allows for forged brand values, and you can’t have that without it killing the RMAH. No amount of whining about “just add an incompatible offline mode” will change that, and such comments only show how blatantly oblivious to the actual issue you are.

      Is it “DRM”? Yes, in the true sense of the word: “Digital Rights Management”. Which is not what we use the word for any more. And it’s a shame that the RPS writers still have absolutely no clue. Go and watch Extra Credits on this issue, they got it. But then, they’ve got a good game designer on their team.

      • Emeraude says:

        Why do you think most countries ban forged brand products? Because if you don’t do that, the brands lose their brand value.

        If the brand actually had value, why would it it need to be protected ? As far as I can see, all that protection has amounted to is that brand holders are now selling official cheap copies of their own product themselves – often not different from the cheap copies they had destroyed because it “hurt their image”.

        That’s the same with D3. Offline mode allows for forged brand values, and you can’t have that without it killing the RMAH. No amount of whining about “just add an incompatible offline mode” will change that, and such comments only show how blatantly oblivious to the actual issue you are.

        Either we’re oblivious or we perfectly understand and want neither AH nor the always on DRM, given they’re one and the same ? Personally the AH creeps me from a legal perspective. Hoping it propels a legislative discussion around it that deals with the problems it poses, or at the very least gets tossed with gambling for taxation purpose .

    • rocketman71 says:

      I find that the most important part of the review: confirming our worst fears.

      YOU stop whining about our whining. Our whining is justified, you know? :P

      And it’s costing Blizzard money. Deservedly so. Not that they’ll care, millions will still buy this. And cry.

      • Kdansky says:

        They will cry bitter tears over the seven copies that they could have sold to those people boycotting it, and then drink whisky made before we were even born from solid golden chalices which they could easily afford because of all the money they make with the real money auction house fees.

        Crying will be at a low.

        • rocketman71 says:

          Oh, we’re definitely many more than 7. But yeah, compared to those that will buy it, we’re a minority, sadly.

          And no, crying is not a at a low. We still cry for what Blizzard was before the Activision merger.

          BTW, is there a publisher or some form of DRM that you won’t defend?. Just curious.

    • thegooseking says:

      Trendy Entertainment managed a functional online-only mode in Dungeon Defenders, but it’s optional, so it’s not a requirement to playing the game. It’s only a requirement to playing the game on online-only servers. If an indie dev like that can manage it, I’m pretty sure Blizzard can, and it addresses all the reasons Blizzard said online-only was a good idea, without falling foul of any of the criticisms D3′s online-only has had from the community.

      The only other reason to enforce online-only is DRM. So yes. It is DRM.

    • Vorphalack says:

      @nootron

      In response to your edit, don’t try and act like you weren’t D£ fanboi-ing. RPS bloggers have the right to post as they please on their own site, and this post about the D£ always-on single player actively causing game breaking problems is new material. It’s the sort of thing people who were on the fence about buying would like to know, and you as a reader have no right to interfere with the reporting process.

    • goffi says:

      Surely we are all capable of making a judgement.
      RPS and others publish their opinions about games – its journalism and i read it and balance it with other opinions and my own judgement.
      So RPS are doing their job and Blizzard are doing theirs – Delivering a great game that has to make money in order to keep their business running.
      The only way you’ll play the diablo in your heads is to dust off your copies of original Diablo and pretend Diablo 3 and DRM was never invented.
      Or relax, accept all the failings and play with a smile.

  3. Swanny says:

    “It’s funny, the game almost feels minimalist at this point.”
    You phrased it well, i felt the same way in beta but couldn’t quite describe it.
    I do hope they shake out the server thing soon.

  4. marcusfell says:

    Playing in the current state is hell.

  5. tlarn says:

    While it is sour that the always-on is such a problem, there’s also the people who are pointing and saying “Haha, told you about that always-on.”

    I’m not sure which one’s worse.

    • dsch says:

      The people who created the problem?

    • Screamer says:

      I’m not an I told you so kind of guy…. but I did bloody tell you! :)

      Naaah in all fairness I’m sure it will work out for you guys ;), its Blizzard after all.

      Luckily for me I’m not so big a fan to be willing to pay R500 for a game that won’t let me play when I want to

      • Phantoon says:

        You can play when you want to
        you can leave your friends behind
        cause your friends don’t play
        and if they don’t play
        then they’re ERROR THIRTY SEVEN

  6. nERVEcenter says:

    Torchlight II and Grim Dawn are looking mightily more attractive. The former having the advantage over Diablo III of actually being made by the people who made Diablo.

    Still shocking that people are willing to shell out $60 on a fundamentally flawed product. Speaks very well to the power of Diablo II and 11 years of development hell.

    • elfbarf says:

      I’m willing to shell out $60 because I played the beta and enjoyed it. I also plan to purchase Torchlight 2 at some point and have already backed Grim Dawn on Kickstarter. I’ve been in the Path of Exile beta for months and occasionally play that a bit as well.

      • Icarus says:

        I’ve been playing the Torchlight 2 beta over the last few days, and I’m having a lot more fun than I had with the Diablo beta weekend. TL2 is definitely going to be worth the fifteen quid; not quite as much in the way of smashy-smashy physics but the skill trees feel a lot more involved (trees plural, three talent trees per class). There’s currently no option to respec, but I’m sure there will be a mod right out of the gate, since Runic will be releasing their dev tools. For me, the respect Runic treats their customers with tips the balance for me- allowing mods, offline play and LAN, no always-online nonsense, not treating their customers like cheaters/criminals.

        • Gnoupi says:

          I’ve been playing both betas as well, and Torchlight 2 is really good, especially on the “details” level which pleased John so much about D3 in the article. All these details you find back in Torchlight 2 (like the portal at the end of the dungeons, the inventory handling perfectly and coherently, especially with the shift shortcuts…), and you also have more, with the pet. With the pet, you don’t even need to come back to town, you just send him with your loot, no need to leave something behind.

          As far as comparing goes, I would say that D3 has a stronger ambiance and “mood” in general, and slightly better fighting physics, but it’s a matter of personal taste. T2 tends to be lighter in ambiance (though not as colorful/cheerful as the first). T2′s fighting physics are satisfying, but in a way closer to T1. The enemies will be squished, the screen will bounce, but still it’s not as “tight” as D3, in a way. But it’s still pleasant to spend hours without noticing.

          A point where T2 really takes the lead for me is in the map generation. D3 chose the Titan Quest way for the external maps, and you will play the exact same map, every time (except for the placement of some small dungeons and events). It is good for ambiance, and for sure gives a better feel than the crossword maps from D2, but it can get repetitive. Only dungeons are generated. And on this point, I hope the rest of the game does it better, because during the beta, those dungeons mostly looked like 4-5 loooong corridors pasted together.

          T2 does full map generation, outside and inside. And I have to say that I’m quite amazed by it. Because while you will occasionally recognize some chunks (mostly the ones linked to a quest or a boss), they manage to generate a full, complex map, with depth levels, which feels “real”, and different for each playthrough. And the same goes for dungeons. That was really a plus for me, compared to D3. I played all 4 characters in the beta, without feeling like I’m just going through the exact same thing, once again.

          Oh, and about your particular concern, there is a guy in the middle of the town, with a “recycling” icon over his head, which allows respec.

          • Icarus says:

            Yeah, but he disappears once you get to level 11, so there’s no way to experiment with a higher-level build or fix a misclick later on. And an excellent summary of why TL2 is a great game.

          • nERVEcenter says:

            Really, Icarus? A full twelve years later, and you find NOW a convenient time to use misclicking at the skill screen as an argument?

          • Gnoupi says:

            To be fair, the misclick thing should be patched. I mean, you can currently change your 5 new character points until you close the window, why not doing same for the skills?

          • Icarus says:

            @Nervecenter: Twelve years after what? I’m aware that Diablo 2 was the same with the no-takebacks on skill clicking, but I never played that game much.

    • Nevard says:

      Yeah, considering it’s not Diablo it should be easy to connect to Torchlight II’s servers on day one

      • Icarus says:

        Also even if their servers break you can still play offline. What is this new-fangled madness?

        • Ateius says:

          Witchcraft, surely.

          • Kaiji says:

            Yeah, the kind of witchcraft that will result in their game being pirated to oblivion.

            Clever them.

          • PacketOfCrisps says:

            Pirated to oblivion? The offline characters would be separated from the online characters. Come on, you’re not even trying.

          • cmc5788 says:

            Here’s the thing about piracy — when you release something at a low $15 price point that doesn’t include features that actively seek to make the user experience worse for the sake of “preventing piracy,” piracy actually isn’t such a huge issue. Stats show that people who would not buy the game anyhow are those who pirate the most frequently, and those who would buy the game will buy it anyhow. There’s also this crazy, revolutionary school of thought floating around that treating customers well encourages them to give you money for their things. Might want to look into that.

          • fish99 says:

            Do such stats actually exist? I mean can you ever prove someone who pirated a game wouldn’t have bought it if piracy wasn’t an option? Just asking them surely isn’t sufficient since they’re gonna try to justify their actions so they don’t have to feel guilty about it (i.e. a good number of them are going to lie).

            While not all piracy is lost sales, some of it definitely is. I know this because I used to pirate games myself when I could have afforded them, and I know other people who pirate games they can afford too. And since I stopped doing it, I’ve bought a ton of games.

          • Phantoon says:

            But Fish, what about the games you enjoyed while you pirated? Did you not go back to any of those developers and see if they had new games?

          • subedii says:

            I’m not about to call the developer’s decision stupid (but with my goodness me oh so subtle sarcasm) when they sold about 1 million of the first game, funded a far more expansive sequel, and are pretty likely to sell a whole load more of the second game.

            All this, and they’re still building up to an MMO. But somehow they didn’t find that idea makes it a necessity to make their other games online only.

          • Kestilla says:

            Furthermore, most piracy will occur in Asia and other portions of the world, some of which have difficulty even purchasing the game in the first place. I remember a story a while ago about Iran cracking down on bootlegged copies of Modern Warfare, and a friend I speak with regularly has trouble getting modern games in his corner of Poland because they don’t flat sell them there, and the best places to get games online like Steam have such horrid exchange rates that they’d break the bank.

            The answer? Piracy? Yeah not willing piracy. People treat pirates generally as scum but the vast majority of them are neither from the West nor vindictive in their downloading. Plus Asian governments get kickbacks from the sale of illegal products, and being separate from Western legislation, they have no incentive to quash the ‘industry.’

    • Godsmith says:

      By that logic all MMOs are fundamentally flawed too, because you can’t play them offline, which I find hard to agree with.

      Diablo III was never advertised as an offline game to begin with, so I really don’t find why people are complaining more about the inability to play Diablo III offline than the ability to play Guild Wars 2 offline.

      • JiminyJickers says:

        No, but it was advertised as being able to be played single player. Like the previous games, but unlike the previous games they wont let us play it without having to have to rely on the stability of their servers.

        • Godsmith says:

          Still, you cannot play an MMO single-player without relying on the stability on their servers either.

          The only reason that people are complaining about Diablo III not having an offline mode is that Diablo II had an offline mode. As I said, you never see people complain as much about Guild Wars 2. The rabiant focus on an offline mode for Diablo and only Diablo seems very strange to me.

          • JiminyJickers says:

            Guild wars is an MMO, I though Diablo 3 wasn’t an MMO. Never heard of an MMO with a single player mode.

            All good though, I will wait for them to hopefully one day allow me to play the single player part offline. Probably won’t happen but I can only wish. Maybe Diablo 4 would allow offline again.

          • jrodman says:

            You’re, for some reason, willfully ignoring that they’re quite different style of games, and that diablo would work fine offline, while guild wars 2 offline would be stupid.

          • Godsmith says:

            There is no real single-player mode in Diablo III though. A friend of yours can join at any time (if you haven’t disabled that). There is no real distinction between Diablo and Guild Wars in this respect. And it’s a fact that very many people play MMOs alone and enjoy it, so I don’t agree with you calling that behaviour “stupid”.

            I stand by my point that the only real noticeable difference between Diablo and an instanced MMO is that it was not marketed as a MMO, and thus people find it outrageous that it has most features common with MMOs. That, and of course that Diablo II had offline single-player.

          • Phantoon says:

            Right. Another thing that separates it from MMOs is I can’t see them getting people to pay for it with a monthly subscription. Oh, and the massively part. And with this launch, the online part. Oh, and Diablo 2 had an actual offline mode, so drop multiplayer, too.

            And “friends being able to drop in at any time” is not a new feature. That’s been available since Diablo 1 if you were playing in an online game. Strangely enough, since you’re forced to be online, this feature wasn’t removed.

            HOW WEIRD!

      • Roshin says:

        MMOG = Massive MULTIPLAYER ONLINE Game.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        Dear Godsmith: Kingdoms of Amalur.

        That is all.

        (Trying to argue that a massively online roleplaying game can only be played only is pretty dang silly, you understand that, right? As for Diablo, D1 was to me a SP game, D2 was to me a SP game, and from what we know, D3 has a SP component, too. So basically an offline SP game. Not an MMORPG. I.e. what the others said. Just because you can have a co-op option doesn’t make it an MMORPG..see also Dead Rising 2 for example.)

  7. Brumisator says:

    Well, let’s hope they get their server stuff together. Launch days are always rocky, no matter how well prepared the developer/publisher is.

    • tlarn says:

      Blizzard launch days seem to be especially bad as well, from sheer weight of numbers. Imagine how the Mists of Pandaria launch day will be like. Hell, the entire week!

      • Icarus says:

        Probably nothing like as awful as the Wrath of the Lich King launch day. Eastern Kingdoms died because everyone was in Stormwind trying to get the boat to Northrend. Twenty minutes later Kalimdor ground to a halt as everyone tries to go there, and finally everyone fled to Outland while they could and that overloaded the whole realm. Repeat through the entire evening, and add in a couple of extra restarts for hotfixes. Fun times. Luckily Blizzard learned their lesson and the Cataclysm launch was actually pretty smooth, so even though I don’t play WoW any more I’m sure that the MoP launch will go well.

    • Shadram says:

      Only if you have to be permanently connected to their servers.

  8. Subatomic says:

    I think the willingness to put up with the server troubles and the always online DRM in general largely depends on your perspective on the Diablo games.
    For a lot of people, it’s at its heart a multiplayer, cooperative game. For those, the exclusion of an offline mode is perhaps a bit annoying but not that big of a deal, because that wouldn’t be the game mode where they’d spend the most of their time anyway. For those who played the previous games mainly in single player and have little interest in online play, the DRM is understandably a stupid inconvinience at best and an absolute dealbreaker at worst.

    Me, I’m reuniting with some friends from the good old Diablo 2 Battle.net days, some of whom I haven’t heard from in years. For that alone, I’m willing to forgive the game some launch day hiccups (though I’m probably still gonna curse the servers when things don’t go my way).

  9. pkt-zer0 says:

    Question time: did D2′s closed B.net manage to completely prevent dupes and various cheats? Supposedly the reason for D3′s always-online architecture is that it didn’t.

    • Subatomic says:

      Diablo 2 battle.net characters were stored server-side, and some of the game’s code ran on the servers as well. That still didn’t prevent duping, various hacks (maphack being the most widely-used) and other shenanigans, mostly because Blizzard’s server code and architecture was hardly perfect and the Diablo 2 engine was buggy as hell.

      • Nesetalis says:

        I was one of those lovely cheaters for a time… Diablo II’s cheating system was awesome in extent.
        Injecting data in to the stream, intercepting data, editing memory addresses…
        Tricking the game in to producing uniquely awesome “Rare” items.
        It was fun, it was difficult, and battle.net was completely ineffectual at stoping it.
        Diablo 1 was far far worse though.
        I’m sure its only a matter of time before Diablo III has the same problems.

        • Phantoon says:

          They’ll take a far more active interest in stopping it, though- the real money auction house has real money in it.

          Or they won’t, and it will cripple them like no amount of angry internet men could.

    • Emeraude says:

      Two question: Why is cheating bad ? If you actually think cheating is bad, how can you tolerate the auction house ?

      I mean, the reasons for which one would hate the black market are to the ones for which one hates cheating in the first place: both invalidate the sacred circle, as Huizinga called it – like, say, doping for sport.

      I think that’s the worse thing for me with that always-on DRM/AH combo: one takes from players in the name of fighting against what the other enshrines in the very fabric of the game.

      You people need to get over this persecution complex, just because a company wants to make money doesn’t mean they are automatically out to screw you

      By definition, they are. A company makes money by making consumers pay more for whatever product or service it produces than it’s worth. The whole point of free trade is to screw consumers as much as possible. That’s why we create government regulations to try and prevent/limit the plunder.*

      *: Vinh, if you’re reading this, don’t kill me. You know I love Economy.

      • bonjovi says:

        Why is cheating bad? Cause it destroys the game. Or should I say changes it.

        Let’s assume that Dablo III was developed without any concern for cheats. In pure single player game it won’t matter since you just play on your own and if you decide to cheat is all fine, because you don’t affect the experience of others. In On-line game, where competition between players is part of the design and often a core element of it, by cheating you will suddenly out compete others effortlessly, other competitive players will have to cheat to continue being competitive. The game will drastically change form what designers intended it to be to “who’s got the best cheats” or who uses the cheats most effectively.

        Take a game of monopoly, and mid game change the rules of it. everybody can move as they please, get property for free or steal it form the other players. This will destroy the game instantly. Even if you and your friends find this game entertaining it will cease to be a Monopoly game, anyone who joins you will get confused at least and leave.

        back to Diablo III: They designed a game in a way to allow players to seamlessly move from the single player experience to multi, to make that work they had to protect the game against cheating or there would be none playing multi player. we would all just stick to single player games and moan about how crappy MP is.

        • Emeraude says:

          I fail to see the competitive element in D3 (especially for now with PvP excised). Given the nature of the game, if you don’t enjoy playing with someone who cheats, you can just change partner. His overpowered cheated character won’t change the game for you.
          Never minded the cheating in D2 myself. Why care ?

          Still, you didn’t address the actual point of my post. How can one find the cheating prevention good while at the same time tolerating the AH ? This I really don’t get.

          • bonjovi says:

            competition doesn’t necessarily require PVP. Bragging rights etc.
            As for changing the party if someone cheats, it can get tiresome if you have to change it too often. Also the likelihood of getting a cheater in random play will make you think twice before you even try.

            I didn’t play much of D2 on-line because of the cheats and because of crappy PVP.

            I missed the AH in your post :-) RMAH is just legitimizing and building into the game something that already exists and that people will use. Making the experience of it much better (since it’s impact is considered while developing) while at the same time making additional buck. Win win for everyone. Of course they can still mess up the design and cause AH to unbalance the game and make it awful to play, but at least they are in control, as opposed to “illegal” trading.

            Cheating is breaking the rules of the game, RMAH in D3 is a part of it.

          • Emeraude says:

            You missed the point entirely though.

            My problem isn’t the existence of the AH in itself, but the fact that it *is* legitimizing the marketing of items, which is integral part of the process of devaluing the game for which cheating is banned, and that there’s something really schizophrenic in claiming to ban one while making the other an integral part of the game.

            Being for or against both I find perfectly understandable. You want the “competitive bragging” part of the experience to be pure of any out-of-game element, or you don’t care for such things.

            Being for one, but against the other leaves me perplex.

          • Dammokles says:

            The simple truth is that with the AH, Blizzard wants to CHARGE you for the privilege of cheating. They need their DRM to ensure that they have the monopoly on cheating, or their AH is worthless.

  10. picklesthecat says:

    John, you do not adequately portray their arguments and in fact lose credibility as a journalist because of it.

    The major reason they do don’t have offline play is because a lot of the calculations are done server side to prevent cheating as much as physically possible. Put that code in the single player game and it becomes about 5-6 times more likely people will be able to dupe / hack the system.

    And they have a RMAH for the same reason you can buy credits in EVE, because there is going to be a Black Market otherwise. Its the adult thing to do, end of discussion.

    That not to say that the always online play isn’t a valid criticism, it is. However they do have very reasonable arguments and its far from purely being about DRM. Its a clear design decision they made that they have been honest about .

    • Skabooga says:

      I was under the impression that cheating in online multiplayer games was something most companies have been able to prevent. Sure, in Diablo 1 you had people running around willy-nilly, duplicating items and throwing fireballs at me in town, but I think they sorted that out in Diablo II, and that certainly had a single-player component. Surely the same strategy would work for Diablo III?

      • Subatomic says:

        Nope, Diablo 2′s multiplayer was full of cheaters, dupers and hackers, and that’s on battle.net. Open TCIP games were worse. For battle.net, Blizzard did semi-frequent clean-ups where they’d ban tens of thousands of people, and one of the later patches was used to delete lots of duped items.
        And that still didn’t stop all the cheating going on.

    • Jenks says:

      Yes, having a RMAH “is the adult thing to do, end of discussion.” It has nothing at all to do with an additional revenue stream.

      Please don’t impose your ignorance on others.

      • picklesthecat says:

        It is the adult thing to do, to realize that there will be a black market filled with hackers, phishers, botters and spammers that the black market crowd bring to any game they touch.

        And its exactly like EVE, both companies profit from converting money into currency / items. Yet I don’t hear people bitching and moaning about it when it comes to CCP. I never spent money on them when I played EVE, and I don’t intend to spend a dime on the RMAH either. I will however appreciate the lack of spam that the third party sites filled my chat log with in D2 about 100 times an hour.

      • xGryfter says:

        That revenue stream goes both ways genius, it all keeps the black market sellers from ever becoming a viable option.

        I love how it’s okay for hackers, cheaters and 3rd parties to have a market but God forbid the developers make an official one to make things easier and safer for the players while allowing for an alternative revenue stream. In the big boy world people don’t work for free and if they are offering a product and service people want (based on the black market popularity in Diablo 2 they do) I say more power to them.

        You people need to get over this persecution complex, just because a company wants to make money doesn’t mean they are automatically out to screw you.

        Yes it’s unfortunate that some people won’t be able to enjoy Diablo 3 and some people will have server issues but you can’t always get what you want and if a few people cant play so that millions of others won’t have to worry about rampant cheating I’m okay with that. I’m also looking forward to the RMAH, it’ll be kind of cool to sell my unwanted epic loot for a little extra cash. If you don’t like it don’t use it… Or don’t buy the game, just don’t pretend you’re taking some righteous stand against the evils of corporate America.

    • malkav11 says:

      Ways to avoid cheating in this PvE game:
      Play solo
      Play with friends
      Play with decent people from online communities like RPS and Quarter to Three

      Ways to play Diablo III offline:
      ???

    • Wisq says:

      So in essence, this is your argument for why there can’t be offline gameplay:

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

      (hint: it doesn’t actually work, and anyone relying on it is pretty much universally derided by the security community)

    • ceemko says:

      Why the hell do you people think it’s bad for people to cheat in single player? It’s their experience, they can do what they want with it. Do you want the best armor? Sure, here you go. You will probably not be as happy about it as if it had dropped for you/you made some effort for getting it, but it may in the end be a lot of fun facerolling everything. Your option! And if Blizz is not capable of making the achievement system secure from cheaters (which they are clearly not based on SC2) just turn achievements off in single player! Problem solved! I’m pretty sure people in Blizzard know this. But they just make it always online, because of profits. Your other point – black market? Sorry to break it to you, but by regional auction house they basically guaranteed there will be black market. It will be probably smaller, but it will not disappear.

      • subedii says:

        I cheated in Torchlight 1 to respec, and I fully intend to cheat in TL2 singleplayer whenever it takes my fancy.

        Personal preference is to play through any game the whole way through first before cheating for fun. But I mean, I would never have replayed a lot of games if I couldn’t cheat through the bits I knew were boring, or simply to add a bit more variety.

        I expect there’s going to be a LOT of pet skins for TL2 for example. :)

  11. 2late2die says:

    It boggles my mind that people are willing to put up with this crap. Any other game and everyone would bury it, but because it’s Blizzard they get to get away with it. It’s especially perplexing considering they’ve released a game that’s about 5 years too late to the party. Again, any other company and they’d be accused of rehashing old ideas and doing nothing to advance the genre, but god forbid you say anything against the holy blizzard.

    • Xzi says:

      This would be a great argument if it were true. But the truth of it is that Diablo 3 does a fair amount different than its predecessors and other upcoming ARPGs. The skill system, crafting, RMAH, etc.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been one of ActiBlizzard’s biggest critics since WotLK and their merger, but the Diablo 3 beta convinced me to buy it. Of course I’ll be pissed if I have issues logging into or playing the game without interruption, but that doesn’t change the fact that, when you can play it, it’s a pretty good game. A pretty darn fun game. And people are not going to miss out on a fun game just because its DRM is a bit restrictive.

      • Emeraude says:

        And people are not going to miss out on a fun game just because its DRM is a bit restrictive.

        Many of us are.

        • rocketman71 says:

          Ditto.

          And the DRM is not a bit restrictive. It’s totally unacceptable.

          • malkav11 says:

            Exactly. Don’t get me wrong, I think Diablo III looks amazing, and I’d love to play it. But that’s not going to happen while they insist on a permanent connection between me and their servers. That’s line in the sand territory. And it’s even less acceptable on games I really want, because thus goeth the industry.

          • subedii says:

            Diablo 3 does indeed look exceptionally good. I would thoroughly enjoy playing it, I’m almost certain of this.

            But to be honest, they lost my interest when they started making bad decisions like this. And I’m happier spending my money elsewhere on devs who actually do appear to listen to their community about these kinds of things.

            Yes Torchlight gets a lot of play as the “go to” example, but I mean, Runic didn’t HAVE to make offline play a possibility. They didn’t HAVE to continue with mod support. They didn’t have to do add in all sorts of things. Torchlight 2 would have still sold well regardless. But they went the extra mile, partly to differentiate themselves from D3 so they’d have a bit more of an edge (I’m being honest here), but also partly because they genuinely wanted to cater to their fans on these points. I sincerely doubt most people would have ever touched modding for TL1, but I really liked that aspect, and it’s something that’s coming back in TL2. And I like being able to play SP without connection drops and (crucially), without freaking lag.

      • Phantoon says:

        I can afford to buy this game.

        But I also have dignity, so I won’t be buying or playing this game, ever.

  12. badpathing says:

    Diablo 3 is a great game. For all those responses complaining about DRM, realize this; you sound like an over-entitled child and quite frankly, if I do not bump into you in game, all the better.

    The REASON the servers are having issues is because of how popular the franchise, and Blizzard products are. How can any of you sit there and complain about server issues on a launch day of this proportion? Just silly, plain and simple.

    The reason Blizzard is ‘on top’ is because they take the time (yes, Diablo 3 is long in coming) to produce quality, sustainable products. I am not a Blizzard fanboy, but I sure as shit am a Blizzard fan. I want DRM to maintain the integrity of my playing experience; and so do a lot of other people.

    • skittles says:

      Ummm really? I think people are entitled to question this. This is not a problem just of launch day, throughout the beta people had problems with lag and server problems. You sure sound like a fanboy talking about how great the game is and how silly complainers are, and how much of a perfect product it is before you have even played the final game.

      • badpathing says:

        Of course they do, see prior comment regarding ‘over-entitled’.

        And pardon me if I do not concern myself with any ‘problems’ present in a Beta. You must be new, so let me clarify. A Beta is for ‘testing’. Which means, they do not worry so much about a lot of issues in pursuit of more specific data.

        I have played the Beta, a lot. And I have watched game play etc just like the rest of you. I have read hands on reviews, blah, blah. Yes, I am saying it is a good game.

        You know why I say that?

        Because Blizzard makes good games.

        Know what happens to servers on a big release for very popular games? They have to handle OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY loads over a short time period. You do not build out the infrastructure to support hose loads as they are..hmm..what was it….oh yeah, NOT ORDINARY.

        Calm down, sip a coke and wait it out. You will forget DRM was ever there, but will constantly be reminded of it when people are not cheating in a game you love.

        • RaveTurned says:

          “Know what happens to servers on a big release for very popular games? They have to handle OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY loads over a short time period. You do not build out the infrastructure to support hose loads as they are..hmm..what was it….oh yeah, NOT ORDINARY.”

          You’re right that you don’t build out that infrastrusture, but overcapacity is a common issue for online games around launch day and one that Blizzard could have easily foreseen. It’s not that difficult to rent extra server power on the fly these days – sure there’d be some costs incured around launch but they’d almost certainly be offset by increased game sales and revenue from a greater number of happier players. Perhaps if Blizzard had thought ahead a bit more they wouldn’t be seeing such a backlash against the mandatory online requirement. After all, many of the players being stung by not being able to play the game they’ve bought weren’t convinced of the benefits of the online-only system in the first place. From their perspective all they see is poor decision making.

      • badpathing says:

        Oh, also, you can call me a fanboy, douche, whatever you like. I have been playing games for many decades now and my opinions of Blizzard products are based on what they have delivered. I am actually not a fan of the Blizzard universe, jut the game mechanics and features.

        I believe to qualify as a fanboy I would need some sort of cosplay outfit and/or Ironforge mug sitting on my desk..

        But if I am a fanboy despite all of that, it is because they earned it.

        • twig_reads says:

          I’m not quite sure why you have to be so aggressive towards the notion that it’s not ok for a single-player game to be affected by distant servers. Yes, sure, I would expect launch-day problems for mmo’s, because there are technical limitations on heavy internet traffic but this not an mmo, well, at least it hasn’t been advertized as such. And if you’d read Johns article once agan you’d see he doesn’t only slander Diablo 3 but also tells you of it’s merits. Merits, that seem so good, that such stupid drm is only more problematic. It’s not about being hip and bashing a major release, it’s just that this is not what one expect of a single-player game. And it is a singleplayer game as well as multiplayer one.

    • malkav11 says:

      Because you know what never has launch day server issues? Offline solo play. You know, the thing they took out of Diablo III.

      • Godsmith says:

        More like the feature that they _never advertised would be in the game whatsoever_. I’d like offline single-player too, but some people in the community seems to have gone borderline delusional.

        • Palindrome says:

          People were obviously being overly optomistic when they expect a core function of the previous two games to be present in the third.

        • Grargh says:

          Well, they never advertised the game for running stable at all, either. I guess you are more than lucky you got that unmentioned extra feature nonetheless.

    • JackShandy says:

      Quite simply: There is a problem that is preventing users from playing the game. This problem has a simple, well-known solution. Blizzard has elected not to use this solution. Many find their reasons for doing this suspect, and everyone is aggravated at being unable to play the game they bought.

      No part of that is entitlement.

      • Freud says:

        It is a problem that will be eliminated, if it isn’t already. I got in first attempt this morning. Login servers kneeling the first hour at the launch of the biggest PC game in a decade isn’t a big deal. Blizzard will fix it and everyone will be happy. Not the ones who enjoy ranting at Blizzard of course, but they were always going to find something to get upset about.,

        • jrodman says:

          No, it is a problem that will be *mitigated*.

        • JackShandy says:

          The problem will never be eliminated, because servers need ongoing maintenance – it’s not a bug that blizzard can just patch out. It’s impossible to guarantee that their servers and/or your internet will be up 100% of the time for the rest of time.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Don’t see how that prevented them from allowing an offline only option. And I don’t see how it’s “over-entitled” to ask for the possibility to play offline something which doesn’t require to be online.

    • beekay says:

      Yes, how dare people be mad that they’re prevented from playing the game because of an arbitrary barrier which only exists to squeeze more money out of a consumer base which has already bought the game.

      Those entitled fuckers.

    • aepervius says:

      “entitled” is apparently the new way of dismissing good argument without discussion. “I am right you are wrong” would probably be as valid (not).

    • Phantoon says:

      YES! I was SO hoping someone would call people “entitled” for wanting their game to be playable.

      This is just as dumb as Bioware calling people that complained about the Mass Effect 3 ending being terrible “entitled”.

      Truly, nothing pleases angry old internet men than this.

    • subedii says:

      I would like to play singleplayer without lag. It’s not an outlandish thing to like. And it’s not one that comes under the category of entitlement, a term which frankly, is thrown around far too much. Mostly not to say anything of the opinion itself most of the time, but that you simply dislike that the other person should even deign HAVE it in the first place. And if you feel free to throw that word around, fine, I’m just going to say this is the way you’re using it.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Some people have always played and always wanted to play the Diablo series as a singleplayer experience, making your argument hollow, stupid and void for them.

      Nobody can cheat me because I just wanted to play a game on my own, on my own time and terms.

      Blizzard has closed that option, so they have effectively closed sales to that demographic.

      That’s a very real thing.

  13. Deadly Habit says:

    Hmmm having separate offline and online required characters seems to work fine for Dungeon Defenders, and that came from an indie team, yet Blizzard with all the money behind this couldn’t even manage that as an option…

    • badpathing says:

      Could not and would not are not the same. How presumptuous of you. I do not really even understand why someone would _want_ to play this single player / offline.

      • Subatomic says:

        You not understanding doesn’t invalidate the complaint. Of course Blizzard could have included an offline mode without too many difficulties, but they chose not to. A lot of people miss this option, and it’s their right to complain about it and not buy the game because of it. I’m not personally one of them, but it’s pretty damn arrogant to so easily dismiss these complaints as “entitled”.

        • badpathing says:

          Actually, I did not dismiss it as entitled; I think you are mixing your posts.

          uh-oh, someone looks silly!

          And the comment I DID make about lack of understanding was not hostile in any way, you just chose to interpret it that way.

          Whoops, did it again didn’t you??!!

          • tlarn says:

            How are you not supposed to be a fanboy again?

          • badpathing says:

            Perhaps if you look it up, take a dose of common sense, and a long nap, you can answer that yourself.

            Or maybe I am being to optimistic.

          • equatorian says:

            Possibly because you’ve been using ad hominem attacks a bit often, something that fanboys are wont to do. That, or trolls. Neither are particularly flattering.

            Disclaimer : Diablo 3 is not really my cup of tea and I don’t really care if it’s got DRM or not, it’s not my genre, and will never get to my wallet the way flight sims don’t get to most people’s. I do read all of RPS articles, however.

          • badpathing says:

            I certainly cannot refute the label ‘troll’ completely, as responding in this sort of thread to these sorts of posts seems to breed that sort of content inherently.

            Having said that, I think your post, while pretty, is off base. My comment to him, was simply to say, “you are stupid and the answer to your question is obvious”.

            I suppose the sarcasm would lend to the trollish nature of the post, rather than outright saying what I felt.

          • Deadly Habit says:

            Rather than mix words, or thinly veil an insult in your direction, I shall say this… I hope you have the misfortune of stepping on a lego barefoot!

          • badpathing says:

            What a terrible thing to wish on a person.

            My daughter is still using duplos, so my feet are safe..for now.

          • Zakski says:

            Deadly Habit/badpathing: I do not care about Diablo, but please get your LEGO terms right, its a lego brick/Duplo respectively ….. I have a link explaining why but I’m afraid the spam filter will probably eat it

        • pkt-zer0 says:

          Of course Blizzard could have included an offline mode without too many difficulties

          “Of course” is a dangerous way to phrase things. They didn’t include an offline mode, even though they have plenty of experience making massive, multiplayer games and dealing with the issues that arise there. So maybe things aren’t as simple as you imply.
          This reminds me of the SC2 LAN arguments. “Of course” they could’ve easily added LAN – we wouldn’t have had the GSL then, which is the part people seem to gloss over.

          • Palindrome says:

            Of course we would have had the GSL, in fact it would run much more smoothly with far less disconnected games because Bnet decided drop.

            What a strange argument.

          • Phantoon says:

            They also could’ve put in PvP.

            But then they didn’t.

          • pkt-zer0 says:

            @Palindrome: Instead of an “of course”, feel free to explain how KeSPA would “obviously” do a 180 after 3 years of failed negotiations for no apparent reason. Because I’m not seeing it.

      • Deadly Habit says:

        So I don’t have to deal with loot farmers and a real life auction house which is going to shit up the servers for one. Ok they more than likely could have, but it really is just forced DRM, again Dungeon Defenders, you have an option to play with your offline characters online on a non ranked server, otherwise you have characters on the trendynet servers. Why is something this basic neglected, and why are people trying to justify completely cutting out having an option like this. You may not understand why someone would want to play it solo, but dropping the cash on the title means they can play solo or multiplayer, but being forced to be online to play solo is just ridiculous.

        • badpathing says:

          It sounds like you are expecting a game to be something it was never intended to be; not sure how that is justified.

          To say, “I wish it had abc” is one thing, to say “I cannot believe it does not have abc because it should” is another. Single player, and the general intent behind the game do not jive.

          • Deadly Habit says:

            funny it jived for diablo 1 and 2 just fine…

          • malkav11 says:

            Sure they do. As evidenced by the full offline singleplayer in Diablo, Diablo II, Torchlight, Titan Quest, Depths of Peril, Kivi’s Underworld, Din’s Curse, Borderlands, Fate, Sacred, Sacred 2, Darkstone, Dungeon Siege, Dungeon Siege II, Dungeon Siege III, Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance (and Dark Alliance 2)… need I go on?

          • Moraven says:

            And with no way to keep a lively economy and no hacked characters…

          • badpathing says:

            Thanks Moraven, it sounds like at least one other person understands.

          • jrodman says:

            badpathing: you’re blending bad manners with bad logic. Online logic does not preclude offline logic and vice versa. There have been games that have both. Implying that this is a mutually exclusive issue means you just don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • dreadpirateryu says:

          Funny you bring Dungeon Defenders into the story. I don’t wish to defend one thing or another, but it is very commonly known that there are item hackers prevalent on Trendy’s servers, and mass bannings have to be issued constantly. This is pretty much what Blizzard are saying they wish to negate: those hacked items, duplicated items, etc. by keeping all server logic purely on the server.
          If a client has access to the server-side code, they can break it all that much easier. If you are playing a game in singleplayer mode, then you MUST have some kind of access to the way the server processes things.
          It is important to realize that everything has tradeoffs, and there is never a perfect solution. You can either allow offline mode play and then have to deal with the massive hacked items, duped items, etc. Or you can disallow offline mode and then deal with those in the few cases they manage to slip by, causing much more grief for people who do not have an internet connection, or a shoddy one. In real live examples, we have Dungeon Defenders, with rampant item hacking, versus WoW, which doesn’t. In this day and age, “most” people have the internet capacity to stay connected, and this is what they are gambling for. It’s why an MMO can succeed, which by definition has “always on DRM”.

          • badpathing says:

            Ryu, another sane voice.

            If I was not waiting on the servers to go up, I would not even bother posting responses here; just a way to pass the time.

            But you have hit it on the head and it amazes me how so many miss something so obvious.

          • Deadly Habit says:

            We also have an MMO vs a title that while multiplayer heavy, has a single player option, just like Diablo 3. If you want to justify having always on connection, just market it as strictly a MMO and cut out the single player component completely.

          • dreadpirateryu says:

            @Deadly Habit: Isn’t that sorta what they did? I don’t know a huge amount about how their marketing worked, but I was kind of under the impression they did. As far as I know, the main issue people have is with the fact that Diablo 2 had both single and multi player, while 3 is removing the single player component in favor of keeping things more secure. The main argument being that people are being forced into online, when it’s a feasible single player game. Of course, all multi player games are technically feasible single player games (see: Kingdoms of Amalur, which is basically an MMO that they didn’t finish the multi player connectivity for), so I don’t (personally) see this as a strong argument. I do agree that people who don’t have strong internet connections, or who don’t have any at all (military comes to mind) won’t get to play Diablo 3, but Blizzard is aiming for the bulk of the market, with the tradeoffs that I mentioned in my earlier post.

          • Deadly Habit says:

            The sorta is where I take issue, either market it as multiplayer net only, or include an option with offline capability for single player. Don’t market it as both and half ass the singleplayer mode. As stated there are plenty of times when you just don’t have net, hell I played diablo 1 and 2 while i was stuck in iraq for a year, but don’t expect me to shell out $60 for a game that has a singleplayer option (which was a godsend in the first 2 for the reason i just listed) and not complain about a lack of functionality for a situation i’ve been in quietly.

            Will I get D3? Eventually, but the shame is that if I want to have offline singleplayer compatibility, I’m going to have to use the inevitable crack that will be released to do so. It’s a classic case of the pirates will get a superior product in this regard vs a paying customer, unless they change this.

      • Jerakal says:

        Assuming that everyone would want to play the game the same way you do. How presumptuous of you.

        • badpathing says:

          I assumed no such thing and you, in a poor attempt to be clever, look the fool.

          The presumption I spoke of, is that of the complainer to the developer’s intent. I am quite happy with the game and if I was not, I would not play it.

          I would not insist that the game be changed to my liking. But please, do respond. The whole point to these responses is to pass the time, and nothing passes the time like a mouth-breather trying to use his/her nose.

          • Phantoon says:

            You know who needs single player?

            Soldiers, travelers, people on boats, people in rural areas, people with poor internet connection, people in places far from your servers (my Aussie friends never stop complaining!), people with sporadic internet connection, people that can’t afford fast internet, and people that want to be able to play games completely by themselves.

            The only entitled person here is you, for thinking you have the right to be a dick to everyone here because criticism was levied at some game you value too heavily.

      • nibbling_totoros says:

        Lol, you can’t understand why someone would want to play a single player game offline? Really?

        • Subatomic says:

          He argues Diablo 3 isn’t a single player game, and that’s how Blizzard thinks of it as well. It’s a matter of perspective I guess.

        • Rv says:

          Singleplayer On-line mode, pfft.. It ain’t hard for a Singleplayer Off-line mode. (its basically the game, without being On-line)

          I think Blizzard doesn’t have the technical expertise and hence cannot make a Singleplayer Off-line mode, that is what they are trying to say. Frankly..its quite simple.

      • fish99 says:

        I can think of some good reasons why someone would _want_ to play the game offline – like they want to be able to play the game anytime they want, not just when the servers are up and running smoothly, or they want a lag free experience when playing single player, or their internet isn’t very reliable, or they’re traveling and have no internet, or they don’t want to lose progress through some issue that’s out of their control. See? Plenty of good reasons if you stop and think about it.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        I’ve yet to understand why people are willing to subject themselves to having to coordinate with someone else to enjoy their leisure time game playing, so maybe changing your POV once in a while might be a nice change of pace, yea?

        I want to play what I own when and how I choose to, and that makes me especially love SP games(and anytime-saves).

  14. Moraven says:

    Really, just think of the game as Guild Wars. You could solo in Guild Wars, what I ended up doing for most of what I played of it. You had to be connected. There really is not much difference.

    And like with any mega launch of an online-only game, there will be issues since there is a lot more than typical populations on.

    WoW worked for 3 days at launch, then it was unplayable for 2-3 weeks. I know the frustration.

    • stache says:

      Wouldn’t that be a strong argument against buying the game for 2-3 weeks?

    • PacketOfCrisps says:

      There isn’t much difference? Well, for starters one is a MMO and one is not. An always-online connection is expected in one of those instances, guess which instance I am talking about. The fact is that there is no good reason to limit Diablo III to multiplayer only and the limitation is a step back and a hindrance to the consumer. What about people with unstable internet connections? Not everyone can afford the best internet and not every region has stable or even fast internet available. These people can play Diablo II with no problems, why change it for Diablo III?

      • SirKicksalot says:

        Guild Wars was not a classic MMO. You could see other people in towns, but those were little more than glorified chat channels. The actual game was instanced. Rise of the Immortals, a shitty DOTA clone, also has this feature…

        • Moraven says:

          But no one is crying over Guild Wars always on DRM!

          • PacketOfCrisps says:

            Crying? Really? Besides, just because there wasn’t a backlash in that game does not mean that the backlash for Diablo III isn’t justified.

          • twig_reads says:

            Maybe because one was advertized as MMO and the other was not? Just maybe…

  15. MythArcana says:

    It’s the best $60 I never spent! I’m going to chuckle when this whole thing capsizes and B.net disconnects players every 2 minutes…if you get in at all. It took Blizzard quite a long time to stabilize servers after D2 was released and that haunted them well into the expansion days even. You guys keep supporting this chaos and you will surely deal with it more in the future.

    And me, you ask? Yup, you guessed it…I’ll be paying $20 for ten times the functionality for my ARPG needs this year.

    P.S. “Always-On” is for tards. Please call it Internet Connection Required (ICR) or Connection Persistent (CP). Anything but “Always-On”. Your cable connection is “always-on”, the game is not. Let’s educate, not create more bad grammar.

    • badpathing says:

      Nope.

    • Moraven says:

      I call it “Just Like GuildWars/MMOs”

      And I won’t cry not being able to play a video game for 1 day. Had games broken from bugs that I did not wept over until they got fixed.

    • Phantoon says:

      I refuse to call this CP. It has a negative connotation on the internet. And ICR is the acronym for the Institute of Creation Research. You know, a bunch of bishops running around with Ph.Ds (in theology) from Christian Colleges claiming Science isn’t real because they’re too thick to understand anything they read.

      I say we just call it what it is.

      Stupid.

    • Brun says:

      You’re just a better person than all of us, aren’t you Myth?

  16. djbriandamage says:

    Aren’t today’s commentors a lovely, cheerful bunch? Happy Diablo day, everyone!

    • Kaiji says:

      The negativity of these comments isn’t a huge surprise when RPS decides to use the moment of release of one of the most highly anticipated PC games of the last decade as an opportunity to piss and moan about an opinion they just can’t seem to ever shut the fuck up about.

      • JiminyJickers says:

        What is it about people wanting to play the single player portion of this game offline that upsets you so much?

      • fish99 says:

        You should stop and think about what you just posted there. What you’re saying is that right now, when a lot of people are having trouble logging in to play the game (see the massive thread on the blizzard forums), or getting booted and losing progress, is somehow the wrong time to complain about not being able to play the game offline? (which would fix said problems)

        The game is busy proving RPS’s opinion right and you expect them to be silent?

    • Enikuo says:

      Oh look! You found another happy little commenter!

      • Phantoon says:

        Maybe we can find a way to shove them all off onto Kotaku?

        Hell, they wouldn’t even notice a difference over there.

  17. LockjawNightvision says:

    “Oh, and if you’re me, then you’ll be uncontrollably pleased that almost everything you encounter can be smashed to bits, mostly for no reason.”

    I relate to this in a way I wish I didn’t.

    • Icarus says:

      ‘mostly for no reason’ = ‘the more stuff you smash in quick succession you earn bonus XP’. If you smash up destructible objects you get a small amount (maybe 8-12) extra xp. I will admit to a grin during the beta weekend when this happened.

  18. Darthus says:

    I disagree with the sentiment that Diablo III streamlines everything in the interest of usability. I agree with the term “minimalist”, but I think about it a different way. Starcraft 2 is a good example. Yes, it was a minimalist RTS in that it was pretty straightforward and avoided a lot of unnecessary complexity. But it also ignored “advances” in the RTS genre that had happened since Starcraft 1 came out. And in that way, to me, it didn’t just feel minimalist, it felt simple, and in some ways, tied to the past in ways it didn’t need to be.

    The most glaring example of this in Diablo III is loot. White loot is trash loot. It became so for me very quickly in the beta weekend even. But it’s still not a simple task to avoid white loot. Titan quest had the ability to hit a key and pick up everything. Later games let you set thresholds on what you would vacuum up. Diablo just kinda ignores the problem altogether since Diablo II never seemed to consider it a problem. So here I am still clicking through little items on the ground trying to only pick up non-trash and still doing inventory tetris and having to return to town to sell when I’m not done having fun yet (Torchlight introduced selling remotely). Blizzard does this very often, bases their game only on their previous entry into the genre and pretty much more ignores advances that have occurred outside their own games.

    • badpathing says:

      Considering how important gold is in Diablo 3, I rather like trash loot.

      • badpathing says:

        Also, you are right..they certainly ignored advances.

        If only they had implemented an auction house…or even a real-money auction house. Or how about achievements? Or how about crafting? Crafting would be swell. Those would have been GREAT.

        There are a number of examples and your argument holds no water.

        • Darthus says:

          Jeez, calm down. I didn’t say they ignored all advances, or that they didn’t add anything to the game. I just pointed out that they left in things that as far as I can tell are simply impediments to the flow of gameplay, like inventory tetris and having to manually pick items/avoid white loot. The reason I say white loot gets in the way is because if I picked up all loot I would have to return to town every 3 minutes. That’s not fun, so by the end of the beta I was only picking up magic loot and was angry whenever I noticed white loot was taking up space in my inventory. It became, “I fill up my inventory with magic loot and go sell when I’m full.” White loot was inconsequential (it also sold for about 1/20th the price of the most basic magic loot).

        • rocketman71 says:

          Oh, yeah, the RMAH… such an wonderful new feature. 10 years we were all asking for it.

          And hey, it only costed us offline single player, LAN play, and minutes of waiting to login to play the game!. Hurray Blizzard!

    • Freud says:

      White loot serves no purpose other than to make the loot piñata spit out more stuff. It’s a graphical effect you can pick up and equip, but you really shouldn’t.

      It’s pretty much the same in all these games though. I never bothered with white stuff in Titan Quest, Diablo 2 and Dungeon Siege.

  19. craigdolphin says:

    The game itself sounds like fun. But after the SC2 battlenet requirement for single player, and the number of times an impulse to play led instead to waiting for my painfully slow internet to download yet another f-ing patch, I decided I wouldn’t be buying any more games with that requirement. D3 is even worse in that respect so, sorry Blizzard, no deal. Give me the choice to play offline or my wallet and I will happily move onto other, greener pastures. Actually, nevermind. No point in even suggesting they can win my business back now. I’m too far behind playing other games to give a rip any more and I’m tired of this DRM crap.

  20. HaVoK308 says:

    Akways On DRM is anti-consumer. How does it benefit the player when the player can’t play? How about when they lose 2 hours worth of game-time due to a server crash? This issues are directly on Blizzards side. And the DRM? Diablo III pre-load is already on every torrent site. They are just waiting for the eventual Crack. Those who pirate the game will have a more pleasant experience and will have no server issues to speak of. Tell me, how does that make any fucking sense. Publishers got this ass-backwards and they are only thinking about the “Now”.

    Oh, my copy of Diablo III will be on my doorstep by noon Tuesday. Yeah, I reserve the Right to contradict myself. ;-)

    • badpathing says:

      lol, yeah good luck on those cracks. Just like they cracked wow and cheating runs rampant.

      The whole point, and this is like beating a dead horse, to the DRM in this game is to maintain a playing experience. Every time you make $$ on the RMAH, every time you find an item and feel secure in its value, you can thank DRM.

      What the server was down for an hour or two? Boo Hoo. How about think of things you GET from this feature and not focus on the relatively small things you do not?

      Again, this sense of entitlement is just astounding to me these days.

      • PacketOfCrisps says:

        If only we could have a separate characters that could only be played offline…oh wait, that happened twelve years ago.

      • yourgrandma says:

        holy shit when did being able to play a game offline become “entitlement”. Whining and complaining is necessary for there to be change get over it.

        • bonjovi says:

          I would love to play WOW in single player. Honestly. Most of my time in WOW were spend levelling toons. I didn’t need MMO to do that. I wish I could have run dungeons on my own in single player mode, same with raids, maybe with a lot of NPCs to help me out and to make the experience more epic.

      • Dammokles says:

        “lol, yeah good luck on those cracks. Just like they cracked wow and cheating runs rampant.”

        Please avoid spreading your ignorance, you’re getting some on me. WOW servers were hacked years ago. Private servers anyone? see http://www.wow-private-servers.org/

    • MythArcana says:

      Apparently Diablo 3 is not anti-consumer since you hate the protection scheme and still run out and purchase it anyway. This is exactly why this method will not go away. Stop supporting it then.

      • Phantoon says:

        Reminds me of the “OFFICIAL STEAM MODERN WARFARE 2 BOYCOTT GROUP!” with 9/10ths of those people playing that garbage within the week.

        Really, you don’t deserve the right to contradict yourself if you’re trying to make a statement. In fact, it’s the time when you especially don’t get to do that.

        • Milky1985 says:

          Why does everyone bring up that group (with its very selective screenshot of paret fot eh group that was not taken at all for a very specific reason).

          And why does hte percentage of people from the group playing the game also go up every time its mentioned as well?

          The idea of a boycott is to put pressure on the developer publisher. If you think your pressure isn’t going to do anythign then you can choose buy or don’t buy. Yes it shows a lack of conviction t buy after pressuring but i would rather that than teh person do nothing at all tbh, because sometimes the IDEA of a boycott is enough to seriously worry a publiclly owned company cause it can make the shareholders worry.

          Yes peopel who go back on there convictions are bad, but the people who sit back and think “Well i don’t like it but i ‘m not going to do or say anything” are worse.

  21. Caiman says:

    I’m not sure why they couldn’t have directed some resources to a separate single-player offline executable that dropped the Auction House, co-op, achievements and other online features so that those who wanted a totally encapsulated single-player experience could do so. Given the hubub and negativity this has all generated, it would likely have been money well spent.

    I really want to play Diablo 3, in fact I’d be buying and playing it now, but I’m going to be traveling for the next few months with either no internet or unreliable internet, so it’s a waste of money for me. When I get back Torchlight 2 will have been released, and for sure that’s getting my money first. I’ll probably grab D3 at some point down the line, but it’s a shame such an anticipated game isn’t available for some of us.

    • badpathing says:

      If you are planning on buying it ‘down the line’, how exactly is it a waste of money? There is no sub fee, just the one time cost of purchasing the game.

      • Malk_Content says:

        Games drop in price. Buying it now when you can’t play it is a waste of money as buying it when he is done with T2 (as per his example) should save him money. Though Blizzard games rarely drop to reasonable prices in any appreciable time frame (I would have picked up SC2 by now if it was £20 rather than £30) so you could be right in this instance.

    • MythArcana says:

      You guys just don’t get it. The lack of an offline single player IS the copy protection.

  22. Frantics says:

    man this shits just crazy dope should REALLY play this. better!

    just real cool. ok

    internet thing been fine with me it’s cool seeing friends online getting achievments and stuff. really easy to join in with people good when you do

  23. frosty2oo2 says:

    after an hour of login attempts was in & joined a buddy that was already lvl 6, from then play was smooth was 1 lvl behind him about 30 mins later & laying down frost nova & cosmic blast combo’s,

    got booted once as a fiiend joined us but was able to get straight back in, hopped around a few different games with friends without any issue’s

    after playing the open beta was fully expecting initial login to be a nightmare & i may now have RSI from ctrl-v spammage

    dps now at 99.4 & trhat blacksmith is a proper moneysink

  24. lunarplasma says:

    I just logged in this morning and started playing. I find this immensely odd, BECAUSE I HAVE NOT YET ENTERED MY ACTIVATION CODE.

    Is there a section you can play for free or something?

    • lunarplasma says:

      I see. There’s a Starter Edition… but I wasn’t gifted it by anyone, so I guess that if you were in the open beta a couple of weekends ago, you get it automagically.

      • tehsorrow says:

        And it’s free? That’s weird.

        Also check out that one guy replying to every single even remotely negative comment on this article, haha.

        Does the final game have better graphics than the beta did? I found the beta to be pretty lackluster visually.

  25. Hunchback says:

    I wouldn’t be so worried about server stability and lags in D3. Blizzard have the experience of managing WoW and it’s 12 million(!) users, i am sure they know how to run their servers.

    I agree that forcing always-on is kind of… lame, but then again you gotta admit it has it’s benefits – You will be able to access your characters from any machine with D3 installed, you will never have to worry about backing up your characters, you get (if i got that right) content streamed into your game when they release new random events and shit, you don’t have to worry about versions, patches and being compatible with your friends’ Diablo to play… *shrug*

    • zeekthegeek says:

      I would be concerned, since server outages and lag aren’t just hearsay: they’re actually happening to thousands of people.

      • Hunchback says:

        It’s not even 24h after the official launch… Considering it will be a game we’ll be playing for years, release-day lags shouldn’t really be a game-noting criteria. :P

        • wodin says:

          You play the same games for years!! Wish I was like that, 3 months max most of the time, though some I go back to then rinse repeat. But never one game for years.

    • malkav11 says:

      WoW is down regularly for patches, has lag issues and major server queues any time something (a major patch, say, or an expansion) draws people back into the game, and is segmented across a zillion servers just to cope that well with the load. None of these are things I want from a singleplayer game.

      Also, plenty of games do cloud backup without running off external servers the rest of the time, and there are automatic patching solutions as well.

  26. Shortwave says:

    Reading all of this really made me wanna’ play Diablo 2 LOD again.
    I’m gunna’ do that now. : )

  27. UncleLou says:

    Game is terrific, had trouble for 30 minutes logging on last night, not a problem since.

    Time will tell if always-online was justified or not (to prevent hacking), until that, the discussion leads to nothing.

    • Antsy says:

      First half hour was spent pasting passwords and hitting enter but once in its been flawless. I’m not sold on the always on but since I intend to be playing with friends as much as possible it’s not a real problem. It doesn’t hurt either that the game is fantastic and I forget everything else while glued to it!

  28. cmc5788 says:

    I don’t understand the resentment towards pointing out that Diablo 3′s DRM occasionally degrades the experience. It -is- DRM and it -does- degrade the experience, and it’s never a bad thing to point that out. It’s fair to point out that not all of the motives behind D3 were driven from an entirely pure “let’s make this the best experience we can for our players” perspective. That’s just a fact. It doesn’t make D3 a bad game and isn’t probably even a huge deal for most of us, but that doesn’t mean it is unworthy of discussion.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Indeed. If it were a graphical issue that crashed the game regularly, people would not dismiss it.

      • UncleLou says:

        But many people do not seem to be very lenient in this case. Maybe it’s more a personality question, I tend to not get too annoyed about technical issues as long as the game is good – but then some of my favourite games of all times have been buggy messes (whether it’s Gothic 1/2, Stalker or whatnot).

        I am not saying it should be ignored, but I wish it was a little less one-sided than “DRM is bad”.

        • Phantoon says:

          Well, THIS DRM is bad.

          Besides, when is DRM game-enhancing, outside of the Steam Workshop?

          Also, didn’t RPS have this same argument about bugs and features, but in reverse when Quinns made his poorly received New Vegas review?

        • RaveTurned says:

          I think the amount of leniency is related to the neccessity for the feature causing the problem. If there were game-crashing graphical glitches, sure people would be frustrated but at least partially understanding because graphics are pretty fundamental to the game. Very few people would argue against the game having a visual component. For the online requirement though it’s preventing people from playing and many fans of Diablo/ARPGs people don’t see the point in having it as a mandatory requirement in the first place. It’s an impediment for no tangible benefits – at least until people get to see whether it really does stop cheats/hacks/dupes and the like.

          • malkav11 says:

            Even if it does, that’s no tangible benefit as far as I’m concerned. I never once had an issue with either in Diablo or Diablo II, because I didn’t interact with the kind of people that did that, a solution which should be easy enough to replicate in Diablo III. Being able to actually play the frigging game consistently and no matter what happens to Blizzard’s servers strikes me as a lot more important.

        • Malk_Content says:

          Bugs by the very nature of their description are unintentional. This is a “feature” that is causing a problem and that is the reason people are being harsher with it.

      • JiminyJickers says:

        Well put Jim.

        For me, because of the online requirement, I won’t be getting the game even though I would love to play it. If they ever release a way to play single player offline, I will instantly buy it.

        It seems some people get upset by people like me saying the above, I don’t understand why. If they are happy with the current system, good for them, doesn’t me upset that they are happy with it.

  29. The Godzilla Hunter says:

    Oh my goodness. Reading these comment must be what it sounds like when people have complaints about Valve, but people defend them. I thought I could see it impartially, even though I am a fan of valve. But…maybe…not…I…I need to go reevaluate my life.

  30. Kleppy says:

    So I take it the sensible, non-internet crazy person option, is to wait a couple of days for the server issues to get dealt with, then buy what is obviously a pretty good game?

    Also, if you don’t have a stable internet connection, how about not buying the game? I didn’t buy Battlefield 3 because my computer isn’t up to date enough to handle it. How is this any different? It’s obvious Blizzard made this a multiplayer only game. Did you people also get this upset about Quake 3 not having any single player component?

    • Elicas says:

      Ummm, Quake 3 had deathmatch with bots. That was offline as I recall. That’s singleplayer!

    • Phantoon says:

      DON’T YOU DARE BRING QUAKE III ARENA IN TO THIS DISCUSSION.

      OR IT WILL BE RAILGUNS IN INSTAGIB, SIRRAH.

    • iucounu says:

      Thing is, I played Diablo and D2 as purely offline, single-player experiences. What we get with D3 is essentially the same game as D2, with some pleasant tweaks, but with the sudden requirement to always be connected to the internet to play.

      So a lot of the people who are complaining about this are fans of the series – like me – complaining about the nature of the game suddenly changing. And I think it’s completely justified to complain about having to rely on flaky remote servers in order to play a single-player game! The justification about ‘delivering a better experience’ is so transparently bogus, as John points out above.

      I’m probably still going to buy this, and because my broadband connection is very stable, I shouldn’t have any problems unless Blizzard’s servers fall over; but they will, from time to time, and I will complain bitterly when they do, because I may only have one specific time I can slot in a bit of clicky-clicky that evening.

  31. Elicas says:

    Some of you are obviously unaware that the beta already had server emulation via Mooege about 3 months ago.

    It wasn’t particularly great emulation, but that’s somewhat irrelevant. The full game will be cracked and emulated sooner rather than later. You simply ran the emulated on your own PC, and there was some technical skulduggery that I really didn’t understand, but whatever happened it worked.

    Never tried it myself, as I had no interest in D3, but felt the need to point out to everyone that the games DRM was already bypassed, way before release. As with most games.

    • Hunchback says:

      No one doubts that the DRM will be (is) cracked, and servers will be emulated.
      It will most likely allow the same kind of shit experience as playing on WoW “private” servers – bugs, random bullshit, no patching, lag, instability, tons of missing content…

      I am not one to buy many games (even though i play many, if you know what i mean), but when a game comes that is really worth it, i do buy it to support the devs and in some cases to ensure the best possible experience, playing the game as it is meant to be played.

      In short, i wouldn’t bother with emulators, it will be just a shadow of the real thing,

    • JerrytheB says:

      And? For me, it’s always a question of “do the pirates get a better experience than the legit buyers.” After these wrinkles are ironed out, the pirates advantage is going to be: Don’t have to deal with minor hiccups or the rare disconnect, like you would in any online game. And you can play it on the go (which is admittedly a plus).

      But the legit advantage is… all the social features? Seamless drop-in-drop-out multiplayer? The AH, both RMT and regular gold?

      I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would take the gimpy pirated version over the full thing.

      • wodin says:

        Well all the stuff you mentioned, multiplayer and auction houses and online play I have no interest in at all.

      • Elicas says:

        Everything you mentioned as a plus, I couldn’t give a shit about. The only games I play multiplayer are the games I play over LAN with my wife.

      • Phantoon says:

        I have Steam for social features, drop in and out was in Diablo 1 though clunky, and I actually hate the idea of the real money auction house since it’s going to go to the gold sellers instantly, and it’s pay to win.

        That’s an actual thing. You can buy gear, and you don’t have to suffer through the content like in WoW. You can just go to the auction house, and buy the best weapons/armor for your level and have an advantage over everyone that doesn’t, since now they have to farm gear rather than just play the game.

        Actually, can we just agree that the game should be available on launch, and talk about how the real money auction house is going to be subject to massive price gouging early on, then constant undercutting as the market floods? These ideas of “oh I’ll sell this thing” will not happen. There are going to be millions of people selling things- you will not be able to compete as one person.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      I don’t really care about the anti-piracy part of the online-only requirement, I only care if it works well enough to keep dupes/cheats off the official servers.

    • Jackablade says:

      So when you say “emulated”, you’re still required to be connected to some kind of server?

      I’m not about to get sucked into this argument about whether DRM is bad or good, but as is typical of my backwater country, my internet connection is fairly flakey and I’m reluctant to commit to a game as long as Diablo if I’m going to get dropped back to the menu every time my connection decides to stutter.

      Do people think there’s a possibility of some enterprising hacker knocking together some kind of offline solution or am I going to have to wait for Blizzard to inevitably relent and release one themselves.

      • Phantoon says:

        I’m sorry, what? Blizzard? Relent?

        We’re talking about Blizzard. They only listen to fans when they can claim it was their idea from the start. Then they usually implement the things in such a way that people will get mad about it even when it makes no sense to- I’m mad about the talent changes and I’m not sure I even know why anymore. I don’t even play that game!

        I guess it’s the reverse Valve effect- make people hate you on a base level so they remember you more.

      • Elicas says:

        As I understand it, your computer is the server through the emulation, so no you don’t go online.

        Or something, I don’t really understand how it’s done, I just know it can be done. /Shrug.

      • Lemming says:

        “So when you say “emulated”, you’re still required to be connected to some kind of server?”

        No. Emulation means the server is your computer. The game thinks it’s going online, but it isn’t.

  32. shagen454 says:

    I love Blizzard but I have to admit that it is TOTALLY ridiculous that after years and years of development, a huge beta test and their bank roll that when 12:01 rolls around their servers are busy? That that is COMPLETE negligence. They should be more than prepared by now… two weeks down the road I know it will be smooth but it should be smooth right the fuck now.

  33. Xzi says:

    Welp, I’m starting to wonder if downing this unopened energy drink in front of me will be worth it now, or if I’ll just be twitching for three more hours whilst repeatedly clicking the “create hero” button and getting an error 300008 in return for my efforts.

    Every other region had recorded launch results prior to ours, and they still couldn’t even remotely iron out the kinks in time. The online-only DRM scheme really has turned out to be a disaster with this one. Blizzard should have known better with their previous launch day escapades.

  34. PacketOfCrisps says:

    Error 37, that is all.

  35. valy says:

    A game of this magnitude should have caused a commotion about the quests, or the loot drop , or the gameplay in itself, with a number of players discussing about the game in general. To see that the only thing discussed is the DRM and the lack of “offline mode” shows that Blizzard made a wrong choice. I respect different opinions but the game in itself is overlooked by the lack of offline mode , so in my opinion that is a really bad thing.

  36. Mungrul says:

    Lots of people I don’t recognise in this thread jumping in to defend Blizzard and insulting other users who do their best to respond in a non-confrontational manner.
    I smell marketing plants.
    Or 12 year olds.
    Wait.
    That sounds wrong.

    • Milky1985 says:

      Do the plants in the marketing department smell different to the plants in other areas?

      I know marketing takes the p**s a lot but thought they aimed it outside there own department!

  37. Sidion says:

    So damn glad I pre-ordered. I mean seriously, I was told it would give me instant access! Screw going to a retail store. Sure it was full price, but I’d get to play the second servers opened up!

    Oh wait. No I wouldn’t. I’d be greeted by a message telling me the servers were busy, and then when I finally played I’d lag and get kicked off.

    I thought this DRM was going to be another of those “community is just blowing it out of proportion.” things.

    But an hour later unable to play the game I’ve been waiting for, for no reason other than some jack-offs I wish would die in a fire are all trying to play… I am sitting here typing a response to an article.

    Regardless of this is ironed out later or not, this whole thing leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. What happens 3 years down the line when I crave a run through of this game like I did with the others, and I can’t play because the servers were taken offline?

    Who the hell releases a primarily single player rpg with always on DRM?

    • Icarus says:

      EA/Maxis, and now Blizzard. It was a silly decision for Darkspore and for a game the size of Diablo it’s positively pants-on-head ludicrous.

  38. wodin says:

    I loved D1. However no matter how much I loved it I wouldn’t put up with that always online when I wouldn’t want to play online nor am I interested in auction houses.

    Sadly everyone has let the consumerism take over and instead of making a stand so Blizzard changed the whole set up everyone has rushed out in mindless droves to buy it. Like Zombies.Then proceed to complain about always on and it not working properly. Shouldn’t have give Blizz your hard earned cash then for something new and shiny.

    I’m not normally a DRM moaner, but if the DRM messes the game up and it’s disguised as something I was supposed to want or would make the game better than I have massive issues. D3 can go to hell, so can Blizzard, actually isant that where Diablo belongs anyway? hell.

  39. Stevostin says:

    This will be the first Blizzard game since WCII I won’t buy day one (well, with Diablo I, now that I think of it. God Diablo I was retarded, I still don’t get how people could enjoy play warrior on that one). To be honnest, it’s in good part because I am not as interested in this one as in the other great games released, but the DRM things give me a motivation to push with the non buyers and send a useful message to the industry : turns out always on connection is a draw back, after all. I am humbly resigning from my previous stance as I was quite a supporter of the feature (especially for RTS, that beeing said). Lag and disconnection ARE indeed a serious issue. Even if it’s rarely there, it’s a clear message that acutally the publisher don’t want to do all and every sensible thing for the end user pleasure, and that’s a very wrong slope for any entertainement company. This slope ends up with Disney not selling VOD of their classics so I can buy them to my boy. That’s the slope where the publisher think he’s more important than his products, and that the people wanting his products. Well, he’s not, even remotely. Let’s help Blizzard see the light before they sink entirely in stupid marketing monkeys land.

  40. stahlwerk says:

    Analogy time: Imagine we’re all fishes, and there’s this blog on the aquanet talking about tasty squiggly worms…

    Please don’t downplay DRM and try to be a responsible consumer. “Vote with your wallet” may be a dumb phrase, but I will keep doing it in regards to blizzards games (post D2 and WC3), because they don’t treat me with the respect that warrants me investing 60 € in their optimized itch scratcher game product. I know they couldn’t care less, mine is just one lost sale, when The Rampant PC Piracy causes losses of ALL THE SALES.

  41. wodin says:

    I honestly believe most pirated games would never have been bought by the pirate in the first place. It’s “sales” they’d never have had anyway.

    • stahlwerk says:

      I’d say this is as unprovable as the claims to the contrary. Schroedinger’s Cat of digital economy.

      • wodin says:

        Unprovable true, but how I perceive it. Kickstarter to me shows people are willing to pay and pay big at times for a quality product, maybe everygame should be pay want you want from $10 up. So poor and rich alike can enjoy them. Wonder if we see a drop in piracy then. Great games at a pay what you can afford price. The humble deals do well with this aswell.

        • Phantoon says:

          You can believe what you want, but that doesn’t make it true suddenly, no matter how much you repeat it to yourself.

          And Kickstarter just shows that people like to throw money at things they can make their own assumptions about what it will be.

  42. BaronVonsnakPak says:

    $60 error screen.

    to the people defending blizzard: being able to play the game you paid $60 for on your own schedule is entitled?

    • wodin says:

      Of course your entitled! Pay for a game you should be able to play when you want, these days your not allowed to play where you like, but when you like yes that should be a given.

      By the way I’m agreeing with you just in case you thought I misread where your stance is.

  43. Jackablade says:

    It’s interesting to see the different relationship people have developed with Activision Blizzard as opposed to somewhere like Bioware and EA. If it were anywhere else I dare say there’d be frivolous class action law suits being thrown around by now.

    • Phantoon says:

      Wait.

      There’s a difference between EA’s evil and Activision’s evil?

      Since when?

      • Jackablade says:

        From working on games under Activision, I’d suggest that they’re considerably more evil, but that’s not the point here. It’s all about the perception of the average gamer – Activision Blizzard is a fair maiden who must be defended to the death while Bioware/EA is a hideous crone to be barely tolerated until she puts a foot astray.

        • mazzoli says:

          I find it funny that I remember a time just a couple years ago when Activision was the great evil oppressing the masses and EA was the upstart that needed to be supported against the tyranny of the masters of the Guitar Hero.

          But I guess we’ve always been at war with Eurasia.

  44. Hoaxfish says:

    In related news… the koreans have already beaten the game, and rumours put it anywhere between within 2 hours and 6 hours.

  45. sophof says:

    This ‘review’ made it a little easier not to buy the game, thanks ;)
    I haven’t played DII in such a long time that the itch is gone. However, if I go on mumble tonight and see all my friends playing, I am not sure I can stop myself ;)

    I can for the life of me not understand why DRM still hasn’t died in a fire…

    • Phantoon says:

      Stop yourself from playing Diablo 2?

      Well, why wouldn’t you? It’s probably a far better game, anyways.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        ..in fixed 800×600 resolution.

        Am I the only one who realized that them crapping on us already started with Diablo II?

        • Jackablade says:

          Hey those compressed 256 colour textures are “how it should look like”.

        • Lemming says:

          Diablo 1, actually. You couldn’t change the resolution in that either. Still can’t, AFAIK.

          • RegisteredUser says:

            True. The offense was though that while D1 still was in a time when you were happy a game ran under the new GUI based OS at all, D2 was in a time when 15″ 1024×768 screens were the standard and not having options for your resolution to at least be the trifecta of 640×480 800×600 1024×768 was considered an issue.
            I remember quite a few reviewers going on about it, to then of course finish with a flourish of “But its eeeeepic epic Diablo 2 go buy naaooo”.

  46. mcol says:

    wow so this is quite a decisive issue then :)

    I know I really should care, but I genuinely can’t muster the energy to. I guess because I’m old and have actual real life things to worry about that put ‘not being able to play a game when I want on day 0′ into the shade.
    I deliberately avoided last night for obvious reasons; I don’t think it’s avoidable, there’s always going to be a mass rush. Deploying a a server farm of planet destroying awesomeness just to overcome the initial rush, to avoid some inconvenience for players, does’t make any sense, is it even feasible? I don’t know.

    Only thing I do know is this game will be massively successful regardless of the current issues, and will continue long after everyone here quietly and inevitably divides into those that play, and those that don’t, irrespective of reasons. So writing angry words at the internet is a complete waste of my time and energy.

  47. Bahoxu says:

    I have to say this – I find it amazing that so many of the DRM-appreciaters feel the need to be so rude.

    Protip – Rudeness is one of the more certain troll-signs.

    • Phantoon says:

      See? Optimists! I have no idea where they come from, but their posts about being surprised that fanboys are dicks is adorable.

      Can I keep you? I would like to take you home.

    • DiamondDog says:

      But seriously, people are very touchy about this aren’t they?

      You’re enjoying the game. I just wish there was an offline mode. Next thing you know, people’s mothers are being insulted.

      Reminds me of the guy that was crying on youtube because people said nasty things about Britney Spears. Was it a guy?

  48. Suits says:

    I’ll be looking for a DRM-free version, can’t play otherwise with this net.

  49. RegisteredUser says:

    Cue Blizzard apologists and official sources saying its just a first day hitch and that we will come to love our always on overlords forever and ever in 3..2..1..

    Anyone who helped financed this idiocy should be hung and quartered.
    This is how you want your gaming to be? Single player lag-steps and dropouts?
    WTF people, why are you buying this.

    • Steed says:

      Shouldn’t that be ‘hanged’? Anyway, I’ve fed Blizzard my money on this one despite the DRM for one simple reason – I don’t intend to play SP, so the always on interwebnet DRM means squat diddley. There are thousands (hundreds of thousands, millions?) of other MP focused peeps in the market, hence the success so far.

      D3 should be a squarwbiling loot fest, four people bursting monsters and hooting with joy at the shower of guts and loot, swapping items between each other before the next round of finger athletics.

      (and the initial loading difficulties, which hopefully will only be first day, don’t matter to people with either patience, or a job)

      • malkav11 says:

        It means that whenever Blizzard takes down their servers, as almost certainly must happen one day, you won’t be able to carry on playing Diablo III with friends through LAN, direct IP connection, or other peer-to-peer networking methods. Granted, most people will probably have moved on by then.

  50. tumbleworld says:

    I for one welcome our new Marketronic overlords. DRM is Freedom. War is Peace. Hate is Love.

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