Speaking Of Devils: Diablo III Interview

By Adam Smith on May 16th, 2012 at 3:00 pm.

Diablo III is now a thing that you’re capable of owning and (hopefully) playing. Just before the launch, when those network problems were yet to freeze Hell over, I sat down with senior world designer Leonard Boyarsky and lead technical artist Julian Love to keep them company as queues formed in the streets outside. Along the way, I discovered that having an ex-Troika chap on your game means that ‘lore’ is a very important word indeed, that the distant roguelike heritage hasn’t been forgotten and that technological progression doesn’t necessarily alter design principles.

RPS: Is it a relief to be on the verge of launch after all this time in development? It must be good to be here.

Boyarsky: It’s awesome to be here.

RPS: Not London, obviously, with the rain and the gray. But at launch.

Love: It’s great. And we love London too!

RPS: It’s not too bad, I guess. You should check out Manchester though. Is there a sense of relief to be finished, or does this just feel like the start of a new phase of work?

Boyarsky: Well, the work never ends but we’re taking some time to enjoy the fact that we’re finally putting it out there and people can get their hands on it and be able to play it.

RPS: And do you have a break now? Or is it straight back to the grindstone?

Love: This is our break right now! Talking to you. (laughs)

RPS: I wanted to talk a little about how technology has changed since the first Diablo. I used to play with my sister and I would lug my PC around to her flat, come rain or shine, and connect it to her’s so that we could play together. Things are a little different now. How does that change the approach to design, the shift in the social aspect of technology?

Love: I don’t know if it really changes that much in terms of how we made this game. The core aspects haven’t really changed. You’re still bashing the heads off of monsters, you’re still picking up loot. Diablo has always been a multiplayer-focused, or capable, game.

If anything has shifted at all, it’s just that the multiplayer aspect is much more approachable and accessible, and commonplace. People are much more aware of it, especially on the heels of a success like WOW. There’s much more of an expectation for that sort of thing. It allowed us to maybe put a little more emphasis on how smooth the multiplayer experience was. But it didn’t really change too much of the core ways that we went about it.

RPS: Over the previous seven years, would you say that the shift toward connectedness has been more important than any advances in visual capability?

Love: I think Diablo just plugs into that stuff really really well. It’s always had that multiplayer aspect going on, even in its earliest version. So it’s really just about extending both of those things.

Visual technologies have changed, allowing us to do more and take advantage of that in ways that are appropriate, and the online technology is more enabling for the kind of game that I think Diablo always wanted to be. So it’s allowed us to be slicker about it.

Boyarsky: It also, I think, allows us to gain interest from people who might not have known that this is a game you can play online with your friends. Everyone knows about playing online now…

RPS: I think there are quite a few of us out there who know people that we played Diablo II multiplayer with and haven’t really had a similar co-op experience since. Hopefully we get to see them again now, but do you think there’s something specific about Diablo’s world that brings them back, or do they just like clicking on monsters?

Boyarsky: I think that Diablo I and II, while we would have changed some stuff about the story delivery systems that were in place at the time, they did deliver a very rich world, and a rich world that had a very interesting history. That was something that we wanted to pay off.

Obviously you don’t need to play the first two games to understand this one or to enjoy it, but there are a lot of hooks in there, and stuff we talk about that people who played the previous games are going to pick up on and think, ‘oh, that’s definitely the world I love’. I think it is important for those things to be in there for people who are fans of the game and want to revisit a specific world.

RPS: The way that lore is delivered this time around does seem to place an emphasis on it that wasn’t necessarily there before. It’s like having a talking bestiary and history book rolled into one. Do you hope to engage people with that aspect a little bit more?

Boyarsky: I hope so! I think so. One of the anecdotes I’ve been telling today is that there are obviously people out there who just want the action elements of it and they could care less about the story. In fact, they’ve told me to my face, ‘I don’t care about your story! Don’t let it get in the way of my Diablo experience!’

We had a couple of those people after we had refined and iterated on the story systems that we’re using in Diablo III, to a certain degree they came back and said ‘you know what, you guys were successful on that.’ It’s delivered in a way that’s making those people interested in experiencing the story now, which is the greatest gratification.

RPS: I’m a lore guy.

Boyarsky: Awesome. I love players like you.

RPS: I’m very much on board with the style of delivery. Beyond the books and bestiary type monologues, I wonder about the loot system and how all that ties back into the world. Is there ever a sense of that for you guys, that all this stuff that exists to collect actually has meaning beyond its numbers?

Boyarsky: Wherever we can throw those things in, for people like me or you that’s added value. But the gameplay is the most important thing above all. So we can’t try to connect everything back if it interrupts the action.

RPS: It has to serve the mechanics before story?

Boyarsky: Exactly. But as long as it can do that, we try to get those little nuggets in wherever we can.

RPS: That word ‘action’ you used a moment ago, which is part of the naming convention now, with ARPG. Diablo somewhat altered the meaning of that term, or at least made its own subgenre?

Boyarsky: I believe so.

RPS: I’ve read about your attempts to make action more active this time around.

Love: It starts with ensuring that you’re not adding anything that’s inappropriate. You have to look at what expectations exist and how people want to play and make sure that you don’t impede them. The other aspec t is to look at the way the game plays and explore ways to enhance that.

One way we did that is to make it much more visceral. How can we get monsters to respond to players’ impacts more. How can we telegraph the strength of the barbarian or the magic nature of the wizard, and then even personalise those things, to get into a little more depth. So the wizard is the only character in the game who can actually disintegrate monsters, so when you see a monster disintegrated there’s no question about who did it. It’s a very personal sort of event that happens.

All this stuff just tends to make combat more in your face and more intimate.

RPS: In terms of the way that differentiation of the classes works, have you seen anything that surprises you in the way that people use the classes in the beta?

Love: Not yet. After we ship the game tonight and it goes live, I’m sure some thing will start to emerge. There’s so much to be explored in terms of customisation, choices of skills and loot, that for sure people are going to discover things that we didn’t expect. But so far in the beta we haven’t seen too much of that.

RPS: In terms of the classes – and this is sort of weirdly phrased but hell, why not? – does a person’s choice of class tell you anything about them as a person? Personally, I tend to pick the one I like the idea of most from a fictional perspective, but I suspect many more people make their choice based on how powerful they perceive it to be, or how it fits their playstyle. Are there any patterns to those choices?

Love: As I recall there is some thinking that goes into that. We sat down and had discussions along the lines of, ‘what will make the barbarian really cool?’ I think there’s a tendency to not make him too technical. He has to have enough depth for long-term players to find something and to have something to do later on in the game.

Looking back at Diablo II, that barbarian didn’t have that. He still fulfilled the meat and potatoes role but never really graduated from that level of depth for the hardcore player to have real attachments to him. I think you can have attachments to him but they’re not really in gameplay depth.

So there’s definitely an effort being made in Diablo III to provide that depth for all the classes, but at the same time we’re making sure that people who really want to play a rogue class and have a character that loves to fire bows, and has that whole fantasy fulfilment. And people who want a meat and potatoes bash ‘em type class can have that wish fulfilled by the barbarian.

RPS: Just to go back to the world briefly, there was a shift from the first Diablo, which was very claustrophobic, a dungeon full of horrors, and then Diablo II planted a world on top of that. In the third game did you want to continue that progression?

Boyarsky: Well, we tried to open up the world because we want it to feel like a place you’re inhabiting. But we did want to go back to…well, it’s very hard in an action game to get that horror feeling, but we wanted to try and invoke that and get back some of the Diablo I stuff. That’s one of the reasons we have you start in Tristram, besides the story itself. We thought it would be really cool to revisit that area and revisit the cathedral that you were in back then. We really wanted to touch on that and make it part of the experience.

RPS: And in terms of expanding the world and bringing people into a wider space, there’s a possible tension between difficulty and discovery. You can challenge players but you also want them to experience and explore. Does that involve altering the pacing, or do you rely more on allowing people to ramp up the difficulty by working up to ‘inferno’?

Love: (laughs) Inferno is nightmarish. Are you talking about the possibility of people wandering into areas that they shouldn’t be in, where they’re going to get shredded?

RPS: Yeah, that’s part of it.

Love: The way that we lay out our areas and the way that our dungeons are set up, it’s a progression. There’s really not a lot of places that I can wander off that I shouldn’t. I can run ahead, skip past monsters, and end up with a bunch of zombies behind me and then run into stuff that I’m not prepared for, with all these monsters behind me as well. So you can do it that way.

But our exploration comes from showing you these cultures and their histories, through the lore books and stuff like that, ‘cause if you’re in an area, that’s pretty much the area that’s good for your level. But it should feel kind of seamless, it shouldn’t feel that we’re restraining you to an area.

RPS: And how does that work in terms of threat? Do you want players to feel that they’re constantly in danger, or do you want them to feel empowered?

Boyarsky: It’s both. One of our standards, or one of our core beliefs for the Diablo series, is that you should feel like you’re a badass. To put it frankly you should feel like a really powerful guy. But you always want these moments where it’s like…

RPS: Oh shit.

Boyarsky: (laughs) I didn’t want to say that! But it’s exactly right. You realise you have to stand back and rethink your strategy.

RPS: And how do you get that across? Do you overwhelm people, or do you suddenly switch things up and throw something at them that they don’t expect?

Boyarsky: Sometimes you’ll have a series of monsters that aren’t too big of a threat and then you can go one of two ways. You can throw a ton of them at the player and then they realise that five may have been fine, but seven is a little hard, and fifteen? It’s time to back up!

And then we have champions and rares, for instance, and these guys just come around and, especially on the higher difficulty levels, you see them coming around and you realise you better have no other monsters on the screen.

RPS: So then it becomes a case of trying to control and herd?

Boyarsky: Exactly. It’s kind of a mix of the two styles.

Love: The randomness can actually create an atmosphere where the player provides their own threat in a way. They can be lured into false sense of security because they’ve seen these monsters before, in groups, but then they come to another group and there’s one thing different about them, just because the random roll is different, and suddenly they’re in trouble.

RPS: That randomness is a huge part of the series and the genre. There are more and more ARPGs coming this year. Do you look at the competition – Torchlight 2, Path of Exile. Grim Dawn’s looking really interesting.

Boyarsky: We play those games. We’re game fans just as much as we’re game developers, but the funny thing is that we take more inspiration from other games in other genres.

Love: Yeah.

RPS: I’ve seen you guys mention God of War.

Boyarksy: Exactly! The monk is very much based around a fighting game, with that vibe to him. At least subconsciously you take a little from every game you’ve ever played. It just becomes part of you.

RPS: My question was actually going to take it further back. When I first played Diablo, having grown up on roguelikes, I thought – ‘hey, this is from that place’. How much does that heritage still matter? Is it still in the mindset?

Love: Very much so. That’s the root of the game. The core combat experience is linked to all that stuff. A lot of attention was paid to all that. We spent a lot of time working out how we could max out the effect of randomness on the world, rather than just making everything random, so it becomes mindless, we put it in just the right spots, just the right places.

So, for instance, preserving the feel of the overworld by having a lot of fixed locations but making it possible to plug in random scenarios, right? That’s one of the ways to express randomness that’s new to Diablo III. And then looking at the different ways that dungeons can be randomised, rather than just picking every room randomly, or every encounter randomly, you can take it to different levels.

We played around a lot with trying to find what were the right levels of randomness, the right ways to express it.

RPS: And what difficulties does it raise, in design terms, that the randomness is controlled to a great extent?

Love: The greatest difficulty is in testing it. You create all this content and then randomise it with all these permutations and it’s a testing nightmare. If you’re not too careful and you create too many dimensions of randomness – and it seems impossible that it would be this way – but you can literally create more permutations than the human mind can cope with.

So you have to make sure that you’re only doing the stuff that’s going to be meaningful, right? The stuff that’s going to lead to making the gameplay experience better but not detract from the development process.

Boyarsky: And keep it controlled that’s it’s humanly possible to test it.

RPS: Do you ever worry that balance may go completely out of the window due to some of those permutations, and a player can find themselves in a situation where the odds are completely against them? Or can it be the opposite – balance is so strong that those situations can’t occur?

Boyarsky: You can definitely get into those situations.

Love: Oh yeah.

Boyarsky: On the higher difficulty levels. I think that’s the genius of our system designers; those moments, when they happen, it feels right.

RPS: To me, those are exciting moments.

Boyarsky: Good!

RPS: So often a game offers a world gone to the dogs, but the player never feels the threat of that, never feels outdone. But how do you balance that possibility of defeat with the satisfaction of success?

Boyarsky: I think Julian hit on it. If I’m running through an area then I don’t know what’s going to be around the next corner because it’s randomly generated, in terms of monster distribution. I pretty much know where the bosses are once I’v eplayed through once, but in terms of uniques and rares and stuff like that, you just never know.

And on top of that you get uniques and rares that have randomly rolled affixes and sometimes you get a deadly combination. There’s been many times where it’s taken a couple of efforts to beat those guys.

RPS: So you find yourself in a horrible place and it’s something the world has conjured out of its component parts?

Boyarsky: Exactly. And then I go crying to the systems guys and say, ‘why’d you let this happen’?

RPS: (laughs) What’s the most exciting part of launch? Just having it out there and seeing how people react?

Love: Our fans have waited a long time and we want them to be able to play and enjoy the game, we’re excited to see what they have to say after all this time!

RPS: Thanks for your time.

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178 Comments »

  1. Enzo says:

    Hey guys, it turns out that Diablo 3 is pretty fantastic.

    • Kdansky says:

      Yeah. They really nailed their own formula again, improving where necessary (1), completely overhauling the cruft (2), but leaving intact what should not be changed (3).

      1. Controls.
      2. Skill design.
      3. No fake story-choices.

      One minor nitpick: Can I please bind my 5/6 buttons to left/right mouse, and put “move” onto left mouse? Then I would not get such a cramp in my right hand. I’m old and will suffer from RSI at some point. No need to hasten it.

    • Belsameth says:

      I agree fully. They in deed hit the nail right on the head with thisone. Improving on every aspect of the game, while leaving the core intact.

      I’ll even restract my “Dumbed down” comments because they lack stat allocation. There’s enough to fiddle around with already…

    • ffordesoon says:

      It really is a great game, awful DRM or no. Smartly designed, gorgeous, excellently paced, and totally nails the feedback loop that makes Diablo special (which nobody else has ever gotten quite right, weirdly).

      • Conner_36 says:

        I have to agree three hours+ of game time in and I’m still having WTF thats AWESOME!!! moments. DRM aside this is the best diablo, and now my all time favorite game.

    • djbriandamage says:

      It’s sweet how you can swap out skills and runes and passives on the fly. No more fear of accidentally clicking the wrong box and blemishing your Barbarian with a permanent point of intellect. It’s forgiving, encourages variety, and allows you to best complement whoever you happen to be co-opping with at the moment.

      Blizzard is one of few companies that can make deep, satisfying mechanics accessible to noobs and they get better at this with every product and patch they release. I have a very good feeling that I will be enjoying Diablo 3 for quite some time.

    • Velvetmeds says:

      Hey guys, rain is wet.

      Of course it’s fantastic! :)

    • derbefrier says:

      Yes I was at work and missed the servers exploding. by the time I got home everything was good and I was happily slaying the minions of diablo. This game is excellent.

    • Necroscope says:

      Absolutely fantastic game. Seems as though the glitches and server errors are over with, as today has been smooth and fast and totally enjoyable. 11 hours and 11 minutes played. I think the art style is beautiful such as the beautifully rendered distant backgrounds, responsiveness from the controls feels satisfying too and there is plenty enough tactical game play to keep me enthralled knowing there’s more to come from encounters on higher difficulties.

    • Sardaukar says:

      They basically made the genre. What else could they do, but revolutionize it?

    • aepervius says:

      I dunno. I will admit I will not buy it because they designed it intentionally to be with always on DRM (by intentionally offloading some basic data calculation/map/items onto the server instead of locally), but I still tried it at a friend home (she likes the game BTW), and I did not enjoy it, it missed something, that I can’t qualify. But then again I played it about 1h only so…. I’ll play D2 while waiting for TL2.

    • Grimgrin says:

      I know. I full plain on playing it till I cripple my hands…I hope control support comes out soon.

  2. Cooper says:

    Love: Our fans have waited a long time and we want them to be able to play and enjoy the game, we’re excited to see what they have to say after all this time!

    I laughed so much a bit of wee came out…

    • stahlwerk says:

      I felt more like a sympathetic sulk. Both for those devs who never wanted D3 to have these DRM pains and for those fans that would like to play but can’t, yet own the common courtesy of not being angry assholes about it.

      • mentor07825 says:

        I think that, as consumers who have bought a product, should have every right to be angry about a product that doesn’t meet expectations. €60 is nothing to sneeze at in such an economic climate and a consumer expects bang for buck.

        • stahlwerk says:

          Each of us more or less have these options:
          1. Being angry about DRM and thus not buying Diablo 3 in its current state until the people responsible at Blizzard get their act together, either fixing their servers or getting load that matches their long term projections.
          2. Being angry about DRM, but buying Diablo 3 anyway, knowing full well that you won’t be able to play when the servers can’t be reached. Then complain if DRM works as advertised.
          3. Pick up Diablo 3, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint and wait for all of this to blow over.
          4. not caring at all.
          I commend the people choosing 1, 3, 4 or similar.

          The harsh reality is that people are offered a defective product, and they are informed about the defect beforehand. If they were not, they should think about suing Blizzard for misleading advertisement, or try to get a refund from their retailer (even if the product “works” as advertised).

          • mentor07825 says:

            I’m lucky I live in Ireland, because Irish Consumer Law would be behind the consumer on this one. The product doesn’t work as intended and if I didn’t get my refund from the retailer I would cancel the Paypal transaction and get my refund from them, as I do all my transactions from them for the added security.

            Luckily I didn’t buy Diablo 3, because of the DRM. I’m waiting to see how everything turns out. I’m surprised that this wasn’t expected by most, but I’m also sympathetic enough to recognise how annoyed people would be spending sixty bucks on a product and, fundamentally, not working. Especially when there have been betas and stress tests.

          • Fincher says:

            Of course, Blizzard never “advertised” that it would work when you bought it, so you can’t hold them accountable for it- even after the extensive beta testing and years of development.

            Have you ever considered writing for Which? Magazine?

          • mentor07825 says:

            Also the way they paraded this DRM as a service to further enhance our experience? Okay, lets keep it in their context, as a service. As a service, day one, it’s not working. Further problems for the consumer that takes Blizzard’s word on it.

          • stahlwerk says:

            Yup, they should have made these undesired side-effects more clear upfront. I’m also thinking that this will not fly with most consumer protection groups in the EU. The backlash will be interesting and could finally lead to abolishment (or at least effective regulation) of EULAs and DRM in other software products.

            It’s incredible how blue-eyed everybody, Blizzard included, seem to have approached this launch. Considering the demand and hype for this game, I wonder why they didn’t go with Amazon’s server cloud for this (if that was an option, I don’t really know).

          • mentor07825 says:

            Amazon’s server cloud should be an option as Activision-Blizzard utilizes this service when the load on their CoD servers gets too much. However their sub-company, DemonWare, handles all of the server side things for Activision titles such as Call of Duty and Guitar Hero. And it’s DemonWare that uses Amazon’s server cloud for stress tests and to offset load they cannot handle.

            But in all honesty, I don’t know why they haven’t done this. I suspect they’re doing what Star Wars did and not spend the extra money for it. In all, this has been a very poor launch and first impressions are everything. They cannot even say they didn’t expect the popularity as, when I was participating in the beta, I couldn’t get in for a whole twenty four hours due to server problems.

            I’d like to think that this would bring about some DRM regulation and the things you have mentioned, but I’m too cynical to believe in that. I think that the shit will hit the fan, as it has, everyone will ride it out and then everything will continue on as normal. Business as usual and all that.

          • Crimsoneer says:

            I have a lot, lot more sympathy for the “always-on” internet conncetion now I’ve played it. This isn’t a multiplayer ARPG, it’s a solo focused MMO. It’s more massively multiplayer than Guild Wars ever was

          • miaastyf says:

            Top Tip: If you download the ArmA 2 Launcher here http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=8241

      • Milky1985 says:

        “those fans that would like to play but can’t, yet own the common courtesy of not being angry assholes about it.”

        There is a word for these fans, its brainwashed. No other explaination i can think of for accepting a product that breaks a few UK trading standards regulations (notably must be fit for purpose, it patently wasn’t)

        • HothMonster says:

          If they hadn’t released it in the UK until everything was stable for the rest of the world, and meets your trade practices, people would be bitching that they don’t have the same release date. If we still have problems in a week or a month that is another thing some day one hicups and server maintenance isn’t really a big surprise. Blizzard is also giving out refunds for 30 days so if people are that concerned about spending money on a product that doesn’t work they are free to return it. But they don’t want to return it and they don’t want their money back they just want to play, so obviously the product isn’t that broken it just needs a little time for things to get ironed out.

        • oceanview says:

          Stockholm syndrome. plus most gamers are addicts, which explains publishers acting like dealers to see how far they can push the price/pleasure equation.

        • Nevard says:

          Brainwashed, what?
          It is easily possible to be upset while still remaining courteous and not turning into an “angry asshole” !

        • Consumatopia says:

          You don’t have to be brainwashed to not get upset.

          You DO have to be brainwashed (or an insider) to think that someone is an asshole for getting upset when they don’t get what they paid for. Angry or not, the customer is the victim here (and future customers of future games employing this model) not Blizzard.

          • Nevard says:

            Angry and Asshole are not mutually inclusive
            It is easily (and usually, desirably) possible to be the former without being the latter

        • Edradour says:

          I love idiots like you always shouting “brainwashed” “millions of sheep buying it anyways” etc. ofc they do, how many people will buy torchlight because they liked the first game and the company that made it?

          Its about trust and Blizzard ( minus Activision mind you ) has built alooooot of trust over a very long period of time. They trust them to make amazing games and they do, Starcraft 2 was amazing Diablo 3 also is. The >game< itself is incedibly polished i have yet to experience any kind of bug with it and even though i still dont like the removal of talent points the combat and loot systems gripped me way better than any other ARPG i played lately ( which were POE and Torchlight POE's combat system is really clunky and while i had fun with torchlight that was manly because the last arpg before it was titan quest which was a huge letdown for me )

          The parts that really suck are outside of the game: The online system, the achievements, the auction house were bugging out to a point were it feels like those were made by a different team from activision instead of blizzard themselves ( given that those were planned years ago and shouldnt be affect by the supposedly rushed release )

  3. mentor07825 says:

    “Boyarsky: Well, the work never ends but we’re taking some time to enjoy the fact that we’re finally putting it out there and people can get their hands on it and be able to play it.”

    The work hasn’t ended lads. Get back to work and get those servers running for people to play single player!
    /whip

    • Enzo says:

      There is no singleplayer in D3. I’m amazed that people still don’t understand this simple fact.

      • mentor07825 says:

        Much like there isn’t a single player to Splinter Cell: Conviction, Assassins Creed and Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2? You’re absolutely right. What was I thinking?!

        • Enzo says:

          Shitty comparisons. Diablo 3 is more like Guild Wars, and I haven’t heard anyone complaining that they can’t solo in Guild Wars without an internet connection.

          • mentor07825 says:

            Perhaps because those are two different genres? One is an MMO, Guild Wars you used as an example, and the other is an ARPG. But lets stick to genre then.

            I can’t play Single Player in Torchlight and Titans Quest! You’re absolutely right! What was I thinking?! Games such as these don’t have single player, fact! I immediately rage-quit on Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale when I couldn’t log on to play single player and went on a full day rampage in forums complaining about the atrocity that my twenty bucks got me. For shame!

          • HothMonster says:

            nevermind

          • mentor07825 says:

            They were also saying that it was a service, not intentionally as DRM, to further enhance the gameplay. There is still a single player in that game, one which you cannot play, much like Ubisoft’s DRM. Whom have also been upfront on their DRM.

            I’m not going to be a hypocrite and think that one publisher’s DRM and another publisher’s service should get any sort of differential treatment.

            I also specifically remember there being a single player in the previous games, and a multiplayer component as well.

          • LintMan says:

            You keep saying that there is no single player in D3, but from Amazon’s D3 Product Features list:
            “In single player quests utilize up to three AI followers, from three different classes who can be equipped with basic items and leveled up”

            You also compare D3 to Guild Wars. But Guild Wars was always billed, right from the very start, as an MMO. By contrast, “MMO” appears nowhere on Diablo 3′s own website, and nowhere in the Amazon product description, or the desciption on Newegg, Gamestop, etc.

            Given the previous two versions WERE single player, that would be the default expectations for anyone buying the game that it would be the same unless they did some online digging. While D3 might effectively BE an MMO, they’ve been trying pretty hard not to advertise that fact and even imply there is a single player mode.

            You can hardly blame people for their expectations when Blizzard did so little to set them appropriately.

        • KenTWOu says:

          @mentor07825
          Shitty comparisons. Splinter Cell:Conviction and Assassin’s Creed 2 have offline singleplayer. Ubisoft changed DRM for these games.

          • mentor07825 says:

            Congratulations to Ubisoft and its customer base then!! Now, what about Diablo 3? When is that happening? Will I still be able to play Diablo 3 ten years down the line like I can with Diablo 2?

          • Psychopomp says:

            Honestly, concerns about *Blizzard* shutting down servers for good strike a little hollow. You can still play Diablo 1 and Warcraft 2 on battle.net. It’s because of this that they’re the only developer who I’m okay with doing always online crap. Still /hate/ it, but I know that I won’t lose my game.

      • Cooper says:

        So I can play a game by myself. In a game world only I exist in. Without any kind of connection or interaction with another player. And complete the game in full. And this is not a single player game?

        Many games have optional multiplayer but are still also single player games. Diablo 2 was one such game. The only thing that makes Diablo 3 “not a singleplayer game” is how much you buy Blizzard’s bullshit about the benefits of having so much server-side.

        • dreadpirateryu says:

          “So I can play a game by myself. In a game world only I exist in. Without any kind of connection or interaction with another player. And complete the game in full.”

          So are you talking about Guild Wars (Nightfall expansion with customizable henchies) in the higher districts that have no people in them then? Because it sounds pretty similar. Just saying.

          Also, please try to understand the arguments Blizzard makes for what they keep on the server before calling it BS. Unless you are a security expert, or game developer, or otherwise that intimately understand how these types of things work, you honestly have very little ability to actually call it BS. You can call it DRM if you want, which it technically is, (notice I use the word technically there, on purpose) but they have legitimate reasons for keeping so much on their servers. The DRM is an unfortunate side effect of their reasoning, and how they designed the game, likely from the start.

          • Cooper says:

            Shit. Fuck. There I was thinking Kingdoms of Amalur / [Or any recent ARPG] was just a single player game. I’m such an idiot.

            Now I realise that ARPGs are basically the same as corners of unpopular, unpopulated, ageing, MMOs.

          • mentor07825 says:

            The way their banging on about it though is that it was not intentionally to be DRM, but a service to enhance the player’s experience. In that regard Diablo 3 fails both as a service and a product. The service is what enables the product to work and therefore a lot of people have a fancy €60 piece of plastic if they bought it retail.

          • dreadpirateryu says:

            Yes, KoA was a single player game. However, they originally wanted it to be an MMO, and from what I understand of the gameplay, that mentality shows. (disclaimer: I have not played KoA, only heard/read about it) I have heard it compared to a more action-oriented WoW, which makes me think a little bit. If a game originally designed to be an MMO is now contained inside of a single player game, which is similar to a highly popular MMO, why are we not railing against that MMO to be a single player game? It’s obviously possible, and there are many people who play it largely in “single player mode”. (myself generally being one of them the few times I have picked it up) You can just have the monsters scaled down for raids, and have gear possibly scaled up to help you be more powerful. And/Or add in AI helpers for completing the raid. This has enlightened me! I will now devote large amounts of my time decrying the horrible DRM present in every single MMO ever, preventing me from playing it in single player, the way I like to play it! Obviously there is absolutely no reason that they are keeping the sever architecture separate, and it is purely there for their own nefarious schemes. Down with all “always on” DRM in every game!

          • Cooper says:

            My point was that Diablo 3 is not an MMO. Neither is KoA. Neither is Risen. Neither is Torchlight. Neither is Titan’s Quest. Defending design choices in Diablo 3 by saying it’s “much like an MMO” is just flawed logic.

            For IF Diable 3 IS an MMO. it’s a -shit- MMO. Much like those bits of Guild Wars you compare it to.

          • Bhazor says:

            What in the actual living fuck are their servers protecting?

            Diablo 3 is a single player game.

            Soloing an MMO you still interact with players, for better or worse, and far more people play WoW as a kind of glorified chat room/hang out than as any kind of hardcore dungeon raid game. Persistent cities/hubs are the mark of an mmo and are where solo players chat, barter and cyber with each other.

            Diablo 3 is a single player game.

            Guild Wars is heavily built around competitive PvP, clan play and is very tightily balanced around that fact. In a PvP environment you need to have tight control to prevent hacks or mods giving anyone an unfair advantage. In Diablo 3 the only person who can lose out from players modding their game is in fact Satan. Man, fuck that guy.

            Diablo 3 is a single player game with no competitive multiplayer aspects.

          • mentor07825 says:

            I had a read on articles on Diablo 3 and genres. Designers in their interviews are saying that it’s an action role-playing-game. An ARPG. Not an MMO, which is a Massively Multiplayer Game.

            Designers should know this, because they designed it. It’s not my word you’re up against, it’s Blizzard’s word.

          • dreadpirateryu says:

            “In a PvP environment you need to have tight control to prevent hacks or mods giving anyone an unfair advantage.”

            This is the opposite of how WoW was originally designed. What in the actual living crap were their servers protecting? In WoW the only people who could lose out from players modding their game is in fact evil entities that want to destroy everything. Man, screw those guys.

            “Diablo 3 is a single player game with no competitive multiplayer aspects.”

            Aren’t they going to be adding PvP in an eventual patch? Will it be competitive? If it is, won’t you be defeating your own argument after it gets added?

            “What in the actual living fuck are their servers protecting?”

            An economy, a gameplay experience devoid of massively duped items cheating people of fun, a gameplay experience devoid of hackers who kill you constantly, steal your items, etc., therefore cheating people out of their fun, the auction house, which can help deter gold farmers/spammers, etc. Of course, this argument only stands for the people who actually play online, but those people are often in the majority, and a (good) company always wants to protect their majority, as that is where their bottom line is.

          • Cooper says:

            Those who played Diablo 1&2 online were very, very much in the minority.

            Those who are defending Blizzard’s decision to ‘protect’ a form of gameplay are in the minority but mistakenly think themselves the majority.

            They’re not the majority, they’re just active, vocal fanboys.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Also, please try to understand the arguments Blizzard makes for what they keep on the server before calling it BS. Unless you are a security expert, or game developer, or otherwise that intimately understand how these types of things work, you honestly have very little ability to actually call it BS. You can call it DRM if you want, which it technically is, (notice I use the word technically there, on purpose) but they have legitimate reasons for keeping so much on their servers. The DRM is an unfortunate side effect of their reasoning, and how they designed the game, likely from the start.

            That’s exactly the kind of dishonest argument I’d expect to find in a ninja edit.

            If there is a good (non DRM) reason to design the game the way that they have, which has immediately apparent and huge drawbacks (latency, server overloads, flaky connections) then it would behoove Blizzard to explain it to us. The drawbacks are much more significant than, for example, any benefit offered by the auction house. They, and you, have utterly failed to give any legitimate reason overruling them. (Though if they were simply honest and said “we’re doing it for DRM” I wouldn’t mind so much, I just can’t stand BS.)

            Of course, this argument only stands for the people who actually play online

            BOOM, you just admitted that you’re wrong. Nothing would stop them from making the game online-only for players who want to be online, allowing players to have offline and online characters, with only online characters being able to use the RMAH (just as they now allow you to have region-specific characters). The reality is that your argument only works for players who ONLY play multiplayer–most players (the majority) will play some single player games.

            but those people are often in the majority, and a (good) company always wants to protect their majority, as that is where their bottom line is.

            A (good) customer will avoid companies that openly screw over minorities, because they never know when they will end up in the minority. I avoid companies with poor customer service records, even though I only occasionally call customer support, because I know that I am, occasionally, in the minority (for a given product) that calls customer support.

          • dreadpirateryu says:

            @Consumatopia: My apologies for the “ninja” edit. I did not think of saying those things until after I had originally put the post in place, and I did not see any other posts than mine at that point so I figured I would avoid a double post.

            To answer your arguments, I would like to point out why I originally said those things you first quoted, which were in the “ninja edit”. I said those because of security concerns with including the needed code to run the game in single player mode. Once you include that code, it becomes much, much easier for dishonest players of the game to do dishonest things, such as duplicate items, force people to accept trades (someone wouldn’t trade with me once in Diablo 2 because they were afraid I might do that), kill people in town, etc. due to the fact that the code a server would run is now exposed on the client computer. That is why I say you need to be someone who knows what they are talking about before you can call their arguments “BS”.

            As for you asking for reasons why they need this “always online DRM”, I would like to point you to the section of text that you did not quote from me, and did not address in your arguments:

            An economy, a gameplay experience devoid of massively duped items cheating people of fun, a gameplay experience devoid of hackers who kill you constantly, steal your items, etc., therefore cheating people out of their fun, the auction house, which can help deter gold farmers/spammers, etc.

            Lastly, as for my comment about the majority of people playing online, I can only say that I might have said that in error. I do not know about the statistics of people playing online vs offline, I just assumed that most played online. (and stuck with it, not wanting to lose character progress) I know I did during the days of Diablo 2, because then I could play with friends and whatnot. Having a single player character did not appeal to me whatsoever because I was locked into that, and could not play with other people, except maybe my friends through the server that allowed you to bring single player characters in, but they did not play on it nor want to play on it. This is why I assume most people play online, and also because it’s usually more of a hassle to set up a LAN for situations other than a monthly party of a tournament.

          • Consumatopia says:

            The honest thing to do is to label (substantive) edits after the original post as edits, so that no one thinks later comments are simply ignoring them.

            To answer your arguments, I would like to point out why I originally said those things you first quoted, which were in the “ninja edit”. I said those because of security concerns with including the needed code to run the game in single player mode. Once you include that code, it becomes much, much easier for dishonest players of the game to do dishonest things, such as duplicate items, force people to accept trades (someone wouldn’t trade with me once in Diablo 2 because they were afraid I might do that), kill people in town, etc. due to the fact that the code a server would run is now exposed on the client computer. That is why I say you need to be someone who knows what they are talking about before you can call their arguments “BS”.

            First of all, even if this made sense, it would still be a shitty argument–only a subset of the players will play online, and most likely (judging from patterns from other games) only a minority of those will use either the RMAH or PVP. So crippling the entire game with latency issues for the sake of the authenticity of the auctions and PVP is a terrible bargain (unless you got DRM in the deal).

            But it doesn’t actually make sense. For example, why didn’t they do it that way in Starcraft 2? There, the game can be played (after cracking) offline single player, but multiplayer is online only (and seemingly difficult to crack.)

            Furthermore, has Blizzard themselves made this argument? That they are unable to provide a system that would solve latency and overload problems by running code on the client in single player games because doing so would allow cheating in parts of the game that most likely only a minority of players are interested in? (And in the case of PVP wasn’t even important enough to complete by launch?) Even if true, it wouldn’t really be any better than saying “we did it for DRM.” Again, the burden of proof is on Blizzard to show why an onerous requirement is necessary, not on the rest of us to guess why.

            And technically speaking, it still shouldn’t be that hard to detect cheating. The client would still have to be in constant communication with the server, informing the server of nearly every move the player makes. The cheater may know roughly what the server is doing, but they wouldn’t be able to know what sort of cheating detection and sanity checks the server is employing in addition to what the client is doing. They should be able to find bugs and exploits fairly quickly and punish those who employ them.
            And those cheat detection algorithms can be constantly updated and improved, as Diablo 3 will likely generate revenue for some time to come. Blizzard likely has to do this anyway–potential cheaters still have a great deal of information knowing how the game plays and being able to watch the network traffic.

            As for you asking for reasons why they need this “always online DRM”, I would like to point you to the section of text that you did not quote from me, and did not address in your arguments:

            An economy, a gameplay experience devoid of massively duped items cheating people of fun, a gameplay experience devoid of hackers who kill you constantly, steal your items, etc., therefore cheating people out of their fun, the auction house, which can help deter gold farmers/spammers, etc.

            Addressed here:

            Nothing would stop them from making the game online-only for players who want to be online, allowing players to have offline and online characters, with only online characters being able to use the RMAH (just as they now allow you to have region-specific characters).

          • Shadram says:

            The argument about making code available in single player would make item duping in multiplayer easier is nonsense. If items are generated server-side in multiplayer, the server knows exactly what items it has generated and gives all of them a unique ID. If someone created an item somehow on their machine and tried to upload it onto the server, the server would instantly recognise it wasn’t a valid item that it had created and take the appropriate actions. Sure, item duping would continue with reckless abandon offline, but then, who cares?

          • Consumatopia says:

            @Shadram, his argument was more subtle than that–it was that having the code that runs on the server duplicated in the client means it would be easier to find bugs in the server code. So if you find an exploit in the client code, there’s a chance that the exploit will work on the server as well.

            It’s not a good argument (Blizzard can monitor what’s happening on the server and should be able to notice you duping items), but it makes more sense than anything Blizzard themselves was willing to say.

          • kud13 says:

            Oh, I understand their argument completely: I, (their customer) am apparently too dumb to understand that I can’t use my Single-player character online, so as a service to me, they removed the option to play offline, to spare me the hours of heartache and frustration caused by my imbecility.

            You know, at least Ubisoft had the guts to say “We think all PC gamers are pirates who need to be treated like third-class citizens” and get it over with. Blizzard actually wants me to think that them taking away my power to choose benefits me.

            ^That’s terror. Terror built into the system.

      • Vorphalack says:

        Are you another one of those ”its multi-player that you can play alone!” special cases?

        That phrase is going to be one of the defining moments of gaming in 2012.

        • Cooper says:

          Solo-play on Diablo 3 is NOTHING like soloing an MMO like Guild Wars.

          TF2 is a multiplayer game that I can play alone if I set up an empty server full of bots.

          Diablo 3 is a single player game that has a multiplayer mode.

          Whether D3 or Simcity5, 2012 will be the year when what was once a taken for granted aspect of gaming is replaced by designers and their fanboys who make the ability to ‘connect’ with other people in the most insignificant of ways suddenly make obsolete a decades old form of playing games…

          • Consumatopia says:

            What’s hilarious is that SC5 is supposed to only check online at start-up–so your game keeps working (they said) if the connection drops afterwards. (Maybe it requires the cloud to load and save games–that could deter piracy just about as well as Diablo 3′s system.)

            So we’ll have an urban management simulation that you can play in complete, configurable isolation from all other players (as opposed to incidental isolation in which no else happens to be playing when you are), which even in multiplayer offers only rudimentary interaction with other players (relative to other multiplayer games–it won’t bet like I can move into your city and run for mayor, right?) that doesn’t require a continuous internet connection–that somehow will still have no single player mode.

            This is why I’m never on the side of people complaining about “entitlement”–because it means you’d be on the same side as industry toadies, shills, flacks and trolls willing to say absolutely anything. Obviously, D3 has a single player mode. Someone should make a list of everyone who denies this so we know we never have to pay attention to anything they ever say. But the whole argument is a distraction–the real question is: if it were not for the desire to deter pirates, would you have designed the game this way? And in the case of D3, even more so in SC5, the only honest answer is “no”.

            Bullshit needs to be called more often in gaming.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Also,

            TF2 is a multiplayer game that I can play alone if I set up an empty server full of bots.

            Quake III did exactly that and called it “Single Player” in the menu.

            People think they can find some game that we think of as “multiplayer” show that it resembles a single player game, and that makes the single player game multiplayer. When actually, it should be the other way around–if these MMOs work like single player games, then in fact they do have single player modes.

            The implied point is “if you didn’t complain about WoW you can’t complain about D3″, but that’s doubly bogus. First of all, a consumer complaint doesn’t have to be consistently applied to be valid. If we let some other game get away with it, that was our mistake then, we have no obligation to keep making that mistake. Secondly, as I said before the core issue is whether the game would have been designed this way if it were not for the DRM benefit. Even if you could play WoW single player (you can’t, but even if you could) it wouldn’t have made sense to design it with everyone hosting their own server but players still expecting to be able to interact with thousands of people.

        • wodin says:

          Vorp it has to be the oddest statement I’d ever read about a game. It’s a solo MMO. A solo massively multiplayer….everytime I read someone saying that my jaw hits the floor and my head then smacks into the desk. Bizarre argument to make for a shitty DRM. As far as I know I played D 1 single player, I also played D2 single player a couple of times. D3 is advertised on Amazon as having single player. So it has like many games a single player option or a multi player option. Maybe a multiplayer game is really a single player game where others can join in? The sentence actually makes no sense. It contradicts itself.

          Please people drop that nonsensical argument that it’s not a single player game but has a solo MMO mode.

      • Everyone says:

        Heh, there’s a bunch of people like you banging on about this and it’s a bit sad.

        Yes, there is single player D3 … lots of us will play it. It’s called we’re playing a single player game and we’re not interacting with anyone else in the game, ever. For you it’s a multiplayer game, for us it’s not … and there’s nothing wrong with either choice, there’s just no point in banging on about “there’s no single player game” because for plenty of players there is and the server issues, which shouldn’t affect those players, make it difficult to justify plonking down the £££ for the game … especially when D2 was pretty much perfectly set up with regards to single and multiplayer options.

        • ajsheppard says:

          It’s single player until you check the price of that sweet loot you just found in the auction house. It doesn’t quite fit the character you’re playing and you don’t really love the character that much anyway. You can’t tell me that the majority of “single player” players aren’t going to take advantage of this at some point.

          • Cooper says:

            Fine, so it’s single player apart from the RMAH. So, why no option to play offline without any access to the RMAH?

            Who profits from enforced access to the RMAH?

          • Everyone says:

            I hate to say it, but, yes, it’s not something I’ll ever bother looking at. Firstly because I don’t spend money on things that don’t exist and there are plenty of people out there like me, and secondly even if I did it would feel too much like cheating and that would ruin my game play experience (again, plenty of others in my boat).

            I will say that since we are tied into being on line, if I find some sweet phat l00ts which looks rare I’d check it’s price on the AH to see what I could flog it for; but that’s only because I’m stuck with being stuck on line and I may as well see if I can make some ££ from it.

          • Consumatopia says:

            My understanding is that only a tiny portion of social network game players are willing to pay real money for game loot.

            Of course, those are players that generate a disproprotionate amount of the game’s revenue. D3, on the other hand, is not F2P…

          • wodin says:

            It’s a single player game where you can import items from others. Still doesn’t make it an MMO. I’ve played games where people have modded extra items. I used them. My game was still single player. Or was it now a multiplayer game because someone had given me extra items through a mod?

            Also no I have no interest in an auction house. I believe you can pay real money for items is that true? If it is then people really need to take a step back and have a good hard think about it. More money than sense.

      • Milky1985 says:

        Yes there is,i played it last night.

        Surprised people can’t get this into their heads.

      • djbriandamage says:

        Of course there is single player in Diablo 3. It’s just that Blizzard has crippled it for the benefit of multiplayer.

        • wodin says:

          They should have made it multiplayer only if it’s a multiplayer game. Simple. Instead as you say they give us single player gamers a game that hasn’t really been designed with them in mind at all from the fun element (If they had made two proper separate modes then SP game would feel right and be able to play it offline, wouldn’t have been difficult to programme in that you couldn’t use your single player character in the multiplayer game if they where worried about cheats, and from what I’ve heard it doesn’t, thats because the whole thing from top to bottom was designed with multiplayer in mind. They should have said “it’s a multiplayer only game, no true dedicated single player element though if you wish you can try it single player but it hasn’t been designed with that in mind”. That to me is being honest and upfront. Yet I never saw this mentioned pre release and as others have said it even states single player on Amazon. Really single player gamers have been screwed over here, fobbing us off with a single player mode that probably actually is the multiplayer game where no one joins in, that to me isn’t a single player mode at all. The single player game should be designed to cater for single players just as much as the multi player mode designed to cater for that.

    • mentor07825 says:

      This video, while slightly out of context, will explain the feelings that Blizzard has about the situation I think. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOK6WXb4700

      Specifically the beginning of the video.

  4. Soulstrider says:

    The game seems cool, but still I am not going to buy it, I can’t really support the always online “drm”.

  5. mr.ioes says:

    Interesting interview. And good game. Too bad it 1) isn’t completely finished and 2) servers are unstable.
    Just died to champion teleporting kamikaze monsters… with 300 ms lag, it was hard to counter. How is one able to play hardcore when the servers randomly take a nap?

  6. BULArmy says:

    Guys I have a question for ppl playing with Barbarian. Is dual-wielding viable or one hand/shield is better? I really can’t understand if there is a positive thing when using two weapons and when using shield there is block stats?!

    • AmateurScience says:

      You swing faster dual wielding, but can’t block, plus shields tend to have defensive stats and weapons offensive, so it’s a situational choice, also, some primary attacks (like flurry) play nicer with two weapons than one.

      I would caution against questioning whether something is ‘viable’ or not: play and see how it goes, what’s the worst that can happen?

      • PopeJamal says:

        “I would caution against questioning whether something is ‘viable’ or not: play and see how it goes, what’s the worst that can happen?”

        Nonsense! Everyone knows it’s not a TRUE “online” game if you can’t berate your teammates for “doing it wrong”. And also the whining on the forums “becaz Blizz hates my class!!111!” and “INSERT_OTHER_CLASS is faceroll. Nerf!”

    • mentor07825 says:

      Perhaps change it up as the situation demands it? From my experience of ARPGs I try not to get locked into a particular mindset.

    • djbriandamage says:

      I’m playing co-op with my wife and am speccing my Barbarian as a tank – shield, lots of health, opting for armour over damage. I tried dual wielding for a while and was surprised that I didn’t attack much faster. I often do more damage with a shield. If nothing else that second weapon is a good stat stick to give you more strength.

      I plan to try switching back and forth between dual wielding and shield. Whenever I pick up a good bit of gear I keep it in my bag or chest so that I can swap it to see how it stacks up.

  7. mouton says:

    Decent game, but I don’t feel like paying that much for it. Maybe I will buy it with some friends who haven’t played it in five years, when they drop the price.

  8. Zanchito says:

    Sorry to say I didn’t enjoy the interview very much, felt like reading a powerpoint from Blizzard (more the answers than the questions).

    Just giving feedback.

  9. Tyrmot says:

    It’s a really good game no doubt, and I’m going to play the hell out of it. But this is the last time I ever buy an always-on required game. If developers want to go that way, that’s their business of course, but this shambles of a launch has really put me off this system of game management now and for forever.

    • derbefrier says:

      This is just something I don’t understand. So for the first few hours you couldn’t play, yes its annoying but it was fixed pretty quickly and from my expiriance the game is working just fine now. Mistakes happen what’s important is how they are handled,not wether they happen or not. Blizz did an outstanding job considdering how huge the release was it wasn’t perfect but it could Have been worse, a lot worse. But I don’t see it as a reason to condemn every other online game from now on.

      • mentor07825 says:

        That’s because what if servers go through another load again or craps out in the future? Technology is not perfect. It will happen. Or what if a bunch of people get together and DDOS the servers? Then you’re out playing a game until it’s cleared.

        Or what if, ten years down the road, you wish to continue playing the game? Will the servers still be open for that? What will happen to that game ten years down the road? Does anyone know?

        We’ve been condemning this sort of practice when Ubisoft started it, and it should continue. It’s a practice that should not be encouraged and not condemning another company would just be hypocrasy on our part.

    • Freud says:

      There is no reason to think Battle.net will work worse for D3 than for D2 and people generally seem to be happy with the decade of service they have gotten for that game.

      If there is any lesson you should draw from this is to stay away from launch week of these types of games. Not that you should stay away from these games.

    • Lemming says:

      “But this is the last time I ever buy an always-on required game. “

      It’s too late. You and all the other drones couldn’t imagine not playing Diablo 3 so you’ve taken the always-online on the chin. Publishers are only going to see this as a sign they can get away with it in future, and while you personally may not buy from the ever-growing pile of always-online games, others will, probably saying the exact thing you are now every time they hand over their money.

      I’m not trying to insult or attack you personally, by the way I just saw this comment as a jumping off point.

      “This is the last time I ever buy an always-on required game” will probably be the epitaph on the headstone off offline gaming.

      • Vinraith says:

        Yup, I think the likelihood is that D3′s financial success is the beginning of the end of offline play for mainstream PC titles. Fortunately, the smaller studios will still be there to fill the void.

  10. blind_boy_grunt says:

    hehe, wrong article

  11. djbriandamage says:

    I love the randomized elements of the Diablo series. I fondly remember rolling new toons over and over, hoping to heck I would get a map where The Butcher didn’t spawn because he scared the tenderloins out of me. It’s great being able to run through the whole game knowing there’s a multitude of quests and content still left to discover.

    I tend not to run with NPCs but my wife has been and brought to my attention that different hirelings have unique conversations with other NPCs and escorts from time to time.

    It’s nice to know the game will continue to surprise me with fresh content even after I’ve put significant time into it, and thanks to this interview I know that balance between randomness and polish was the fruit of much labour.

  12. Skeletor68 says:

    Off topic of the interview but does anyone know if the character limit is permanent.

    I plan on 7 different characters for myself and my gf is probably going to play with me too so 9 seems a little restrictive.

  13. Lagwolf says:

    It will be interesting to see how many stand up for their principle and don’t buy it because of the DRM idiocy. Unfortunately I think too many people who claim to be out-raged will suck it up & still buy. Thus they will be contributing to making the DRM more common-place. Another nail in the coffin of “big” solo games methinks.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Regardless of their specific phrasing, people are saying that the always-online requirement is more important to them than however much fun the game would supply them. If they buy the game then either their opinion has changed or they never really believed their own argument.

      It’s an absolutely valid objection. Lag and server outages in a single player game are ridiculous concepts. Blizzard is clearly stating that they will stop at nothing to preserve the fairness of the multiplayer. This creates hurdles for many people who will never reap the benefits granted by those sacrifices.

      If I hadn’t seen first hand the rampant and game-breaking cheating in the first 2 games I would have boycotted this one myself. I enjoy co-op gaming, though, so I’m willing to gamble for $60.

    • MythArcana says:

      That’s why my money is on Runic; all $20 of it. Five developers from the Diablo 2 team can’t be wrong.

    • mentor07825 says:

      I haven’t bought it on the grounds of DRM and waiting to see how Torchlight 2 handles itself. I’m awaiting the reviews. That doesn’t mean I’ve dismissed Diablo 3 out of my radar, much like I have with the CoD franchise.

      I’m just waiting until the fire is out and the dust has settled to see where my money should go. I want to go in as an informed consumer whereby the product and, in the case with Diablo 3, the service, works as inteneded. Alas, as expected, it’s not working as expected in the case of Diablo 3 on day one.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        I recommend trying to get into a Path of Exile beta weekend, as well. While it isn’t perfect, I was really charmed by the game as a whole when I played it last weekend.

        Also their F2P model is poised to be one of the best ones out there, if they follow through on their promises. Altogether a very worthy game to keep in mind, I’d say.

    • HothMonster says:

      ” Unfortunately I think too many people who claim to be out-raged will suck it up & still buy.”

      Agreed, most of the people complaining about their 60$ paperweight would not even consider returning the game. They will be done being outraged as soon as they can play when they want.

      I think they real test is going to be whether or not they can actual keep the RMAH safe. EMU servers will come along eventually so they can’t claim this prevents piracy, if people are selling dups on the RMAH in 6 months there will be no way to defend not allowing single player offline. If the RMAH stays locked up for the next 10 years and any security flaw is quickly or preemptively countered before it effects the economy then any game that wants to have a similar marketplace is going to be doing the same thing and will be able to point at this as a justification.

      Of course in 10 years we will probably all have fiber optic cables jammed straight up our ass so always on might not even be a reasonable issue anymore.

      • mentor07825 says:

        “Of course in 10 years we will probably all have fiber optic cables jammed straight up our ass so always on might not even be a reasonable issue anymore.”

        I hope so, because Ethopia has better internet connections than we do.

    • Machinations says:

      People need to have the courage of their convictions. I had planned to avoid Diablo 3 despite the originals being some of my all-time favorites.

      Based on the latest developments, I just threw 20$ at Torchlight 2, even with no release date.

      Word to blizzard: don’t piss on my head and tell me its raining.

    • Lemming says:

      I wont and am not. I really wanted the game before the DRM was specified. It did get me finally buying Torchlight and looking forward to Torchlight 2, however. I’ve also backed Grim Dawn on KS.

      I wanted to finish the Mass Effect series, but didn’t buy ME3 because I would have been required to install a digital distribution and authentication service I didn’t want, and couldn’t get it on the service I already had which I’d bought the previous series’ through. I did however, feel slightly vindicated when I read about the piss poor ending.

      I’ve not bought a single EA or Ubisoft game on PC since their individual DRM debacles and no I haven’t pirated any either. Although I admit Ubisoft don’t exactly set the world alight enough to be that tempting, but From Dust looked quite nice.

      I don’t think for one minute I’m championing a cause or even a blip on these industry giants’ respective radars but as a principle, to me, it matters.

      And you know what? It’s easy. Once you’ve taken that stance you realise just how many games are out there and worth playing. I’m not starved for entertainment. Apart from Torchlight 2 I’ve got Guild Wars 2 to look forward to, and I’ve been playing through some old favourites (Fallout, Startopia, Baldur’s Gate).

  14. MythArcana says:

    Laying off the original Diablo team was the worst decision Blizzard ever made…that and creating WoW. The money came rolling in by the truck loads, but they lost something along the way; my interest.

  15. mr.ioes says:

    This is why we can’t have nice things: http://img13.imageshack.us/img13/5079/latenzr.jpg (obvious disclaimer: no, it’s not my connection.)

  16. HexagonalBolts says:

    The weather is fairly nice in Manchester today!

  17. RegisteredUser says:

    So you get to talk to the people doing this whole DRM shebang and it never came up as a talking point of controversy?

    Me personally I would have been insanely more interested in how they feel about it as individuals and whether or not they themselves actually as gamers have been hindered by it etc etc rather than the game itself, which we’ve been blogged and posted to death about already..

    I’m actually a little bit amazed RPS skirted around this, even though I am aware you’re a) not supposed to piss off the “big boys” in order to get other interview opportunities in the future and b) there is an actual genuine interest in the actual GAME in all this from “normal” people, too..

    But still. Come on.

    • Skeletor68 says:

      Possible the questions were asked and a PR person interjected, or responses were kept off the record?

    • Vorphalack says:

      RPS lightly broached the subject with this:

      ”RPS: I wanted to talk a little about how technology has changed since the first Diablo. I used to play with my sister and I would lug my PC around to her flat, come rain or shine, and connect it to her’s so that we could play together. Things are a little different now. How does that change the approach to design, the shift in the social aspect of technology?”

      …and Blizzard responded by ignoring the main point and telling us how awesome their game is. Actually that sums up most of the questions, not a good interview.

    • Consumatopia says:

      The DRM sucks, but I’m not sure it makes sense to ask the lead technical artist or senior world designer about it directly. What could they give you but the party line?

      It’s interesting that when asked about the online aspects of D3 they didn’t, to my reading, seem excited about it. “I don’t know if it really changes that much in terms of how we made this game.”

      One might guess that it’s something management is more interested in than players or devs.

    • Almond Milk says:

      The reason RPS don’t bring it up is because they have class. The midnight launch to a game these people have been working on for well over half a decade is not the time or place to bring these issues up. Now that the game is out, there’s nothing but time to ask the questions we’re all waiting for answers to. What you’re asking them to do would only dilute the quality of their journalism.

      Besides, when RPS do ask those questions, I want them to have had enough time to frame them intelligently, and within the context of the game’s own culture (and a game like diablo 3 will absolutely have its own culture), something that will take a few weeks to start developing.

  18. Bluerps says:

    Man, I want to play this! But the german postal service fucked up (it might also have been bad luck, but I want to be angry with someone right now). I even know that my box is already in the city, but at the moment it is lost in some transitional limbo from which it will surface not until friday morning.

    I will now look for a post office, so that I can stare angrily at it.

  19. Joshua Northey says:

    It looks to be a fun game, the 3 hours I put into it last night were pretty great. I wonder if my wife would like it. Sandy I think it a bit to “combat oriented” for her.

  20. Crimsoneer says:

    I have a lot, lot more sympathy for the “always-on” internet conncetion now I’ve played it. This isn’t a multiplayer ARPG, it’s a solo focused MMO. It’s more massively multiplayer than Guild Wars ever was

    • Machinations says:

      I know right?

      I mean 4 players is a really MASSIVE multiplayer experience. Massive.

      And 5 whole, cookie-cutter classes?! That must have taken ages to balance and get right.

      Give me a break – GW1 has ten times the content Diablo 3 does, more character classes, races, more players per server, the list goes on.

      People playing Diablo 3 now will be regretting their purchase within the month, when they run out of content – for some, grinding the same bosses for ‘epic loot’ is fun. For the majority, its repetitive and boring.

      Blizzard probably should not have based their business model for D3 on battlenet spergs.

      • Psychopomp says:

        Except boss runs are intentionally made to be worthless, because Blizzard wants you out there exploring the world?

        Good luck with those hardcore inferno clears with all 5 classes by the way.

    • Vorphalack says:

      The stupid is strong with this one. Solo focused multi-player games indeed……whats next, FPS with over the shoulder camera, or maybe turn based real time strategy?

    • Crimsoneer says:

      You sound awfully angry.

      What I mean is that I’m not playing this like I play the Witcher 2 or Baldur’s Gate, I’m playing this like I play WoW, Guild Wars, or SWTOR. I’ve only played solo about 10% of the time, and unlike most games where I play through once for the story, and then am done, the emphasis here is far more on the combat – I’ve got through act III twice already, and will probably do it again. I’ve bought one item on teh auction once, and sold a couple. It’s fun :)

      I’m really enjoying it. All my friends are on, and it’s kind of mad. It’s like thje vanilla WoW launch all over again.

      • HarrietTubgirl says:

        I don’t really understand the Guild Wars comparison. It doesn’t fit at all, this is an online focused ARPG, Guild Wars is an MMO. You could have more than 4 people in a party, there were towns where 100 people could be in the same instance.

        It was done by a startup company that tried to push the boundaries of MMO technology, and did so very successfully. Not to mention they have recorded some of the most impressive server uptime, supposedly their servers have never been down for more than 24 hours TOTAL since release. I was there for launch and it was nearly flawless in comparison, and all by a new company with a fraction of Blizzard’s funds.

        The only part they truly share is that they are online and RPG’s. If you think the D3 dev team is more innovative than arena.net, well I guess there’s not much I can say anyhow.

        • Lemming says:

          It’s nothing like Guild Wars. But people don’t like to say what it’s really like (Hellgate: London) because that flopped.

  21. StingingVelvet says:

    I have always known I could play with people online, I JUST DON’T WANT TO. It’s feeling more and more like game companies are forcing it on me. Since I will never give in, it just means I buy a lot less games.

    • alundra says:

      Don’t buy that propaganda, it’s just the big three that want to force you to stay online, as much as they hate it there is a reason why MMOs are failing and turning in to Pay 2 Win abominations, people are starting to think for themselves.

      There is plenty of outstanding SP player games out there, all you gotta do is vote with your wallet.

  22. FunkyBadger3 says:

    RPS: home of the tough questions.

    (Edit: that comes out snarkier than it’s meant, RPS is a great site with great writers, but I don’t think they’ve covered themselves in glory with their D3 coverage)

    • Joshua Northey says:

      How have they not covered themselves in glory? The coverage has been pretty muted and rather unimpressive sure, but it is not like there are hard hitting vital quesitons that need answering. Diablo 3 is exactly what people expected and it is having exactly the types of problems people anticipated.

      If you are talking about raking them over the coals over the “DRM”, A) Go back to 1995, and B) They have already done that.

      in the long run non-DRM is going to be the habitat for indies, that is how it is going to be, end of story. Is Diablo made by an indie? Didn’t think so. That ship has sailed and it wasn’t even a battle worth fighting anyway.

      Making sure the people who create content you like get paid for it should be a good thing not a bad thing.

      • Brun says:

        Making sure the people who create content you like get paid for it should be a good thing not a bad thing.

        There are many people who would argue that doing so (at least at the level that industry seems to want) comes at too high a cost to the fabric of gaming.

      • jrodman says:

        DRM costs money to implement. It doesn’t create money.

        • Vorphalack says:

          DRM doesn’t increase sales, it costs companies legitimate customers.

        • Lemming says:

          Pretty sure when you force everyone to expose themselves to an RMAH where the house takes a cut, it does indeed make money. That’s the reason this exists, don’t let them tell you different. They’ve watched D2s longevity all this time kicking themselves they didn’t see it from the start in order to make it a revenue stream. Now they have.

          • jrodman says:

            What percentage of long term players would play online without being forced?

            I’d guess around 95%.

            What percentage of their money will they make long term versus in the initial splash? I’d guess around 80%.

            So I’d say at the cost of broken servers, DRM, alienation, and inability to play it at all, they’ve maybe increased their RMAH take by around 26%. That doesn’t look likely to be a positive trade.

      • Trinnet says:

        Making sure the people who create content you like get paid for it should be a good thing not a bad thing.

        A truly staggering number of people preordered this game. Record setting numbers. The people who created the game are getting paid.

        By contrast, the people who paid for the game are having lag, server outages and server queues imposed on their single player experience.

        So yes, it’s a bad thing, of course it is. The people who pay for games should not be punished for doing so.

      • alundra says:

        What you mean to say when stating that RPS has bee mute is that RPS is not a mainstream gaming coverage site with pre-paid reviews.

        The reality about Diablo 3 is that Blizzvision shagged their customers big time, only blind fanboys like you will argue in favor of all this.

        For a closer to reality view of this apotheosic flop, check the user reviews around the web, the few positive ones are from the fanboys like you, or possibly Blizzvision employees, like you, how have managed to connect to their single player game.

        I mean, the sole statement, managing to connect to their single player game, it’s hard to figure what’s more pathetic, the statement itself, or the few trying comply and conform to it.

      • Shooop says:

        Making sure the people who create content you like get paid for it should be a good thing not a bad thing.

        DRM and lack of wanted features can be considered content then because when a game crippled by these things sells, they continue including it/excluding them. See also the Call of Duty series 6-present.

      • FunkyBadger3 says:

        There are plenty of non-intrusive DRM mechanisms, such as those used in games like the Call of Duty series, or Deus Ex, or Skyrim etc.

        This isn’t about DRM – and creators should absolutely get paid (marvellous straw-man, by the way, I usually ignore them but yours was wonderfully crafted) – its about spoiling the experience for a large proportion of your user-base (if D2 figures can be extraploated ~60-70%) to monetize the rest.

      • enobayram says:

        Making sure that people who pay for games actually get to play them (15 minutes in a row) is also important.

      • kud13 says:

        The Witcher games, available DRM-free on launch from GOG would like a word with you.

    • D3xter says:

      Had the same feeling skimming the questions for anything remotely interesting like: Always-Online DRM, Microtransactions, Pay2Win, Online Gambling, Server outages, dumbing down/casualification etc.
      To my surprise none of that was included at all and this seems like another piece where Blizzard can pat themselves on the back and heap themselves with self-praise.
      When UbiSoft does it we get pictures of crashed cars and facepalms, when Zynga does it we get satire and ridicule. When Blizzard does it, it is apparently all fine.

      Glorious world of Gaming Journalism.
      Guess that’s what happens sometimes when your front page looks like that: http://www.abload.de/img/rps9guxj.png

      • Shooop says:

        That is exactly why I’d never make it as a professional game reviewer.

        It’d be like the GameSpot scandal only with much more cursing and possibly assault charges.

  23. yesterdayisawadeer says:

    “Diablo has always been a multiplayer-focused, or capable, game.”
    No. Just… no.
    On a side note: only 38% of households here in Russia have Internet connection and most of them are connected via dial-up or low-bandwidth adsl. I personally know 4 avid gamers who would love to play Diablo 3, but couldn’t. BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO FREAKING INTERNET!

  24. zagor says:

    i have been playing games for 20 years now and diablo 3 is the most satisfying game i have ever played
    who cares for some error 37(that was avoided with ease if u ctrl+v the login button)THAT LASTED FOR A DAY ONLY.
    a goty without a shadow of a doubt

  25. Rythe says:

    Sigh. Okay, something reeeally needs to be made clear here.

    The world did not contract Blizzard to make Diablo 3 to the world’s specifications. Blizzard could make whatever the hell game they wanted and call it Diablo 3, with whatever requirements they deemed necessary. Not your specifications, theirs.

    This is their creation, sold to you as is. The constant bitching about your concept of what a ‘single player’ experience should entail doesn’t change a damn thing or obligate Blizzard to change their game in the slightest.

    Quit whining like Blizzard owes you something. Server issues (especially on day one) are par the course for always online games. Given the size and scope of this launch, Blizzard has arguably done very well.

    I get it, people feel left out because they don’t have a good internet connection. That doesn’t magically obligate Blizzard to make a game with an offline component. Other companies will provide those games for one, and Blizzard had to keep Diablo 3 profitable for two.

    Triple-A games haven’t been allowed to reflect inflation since forever, and there has to be some sort of revenue stream to justify keeping up the servers and services for D3′s ‘multiplayer’ component. The real money auction house is their solution, and it’s arguably one of the best solutions to paying for the service to have ever been offered to consumers. If they deem that it just makes more sense (from their perspective) to lock ‘single player’ onto their servers too, then that’s their choice and the game they’re selling.

    Live with it and quit acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.

    • jrodman says:

      Oh look. All rant and no insight.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Bravo. I didn’t really appreciate your name-calling and such, but you summarized my thoughts about the situation quite well. People are obviously emotionally invested in this franchise, and it might be tough to accept it… But it is Blizzard’s baby, not our baby. We’re welcome to check it out if we play by the rules.

      So far I think it’s one hell of a game and I’m intrigued by the features they have on offer… However, it also has been unavailable to play for half the time I’ve had available to play it so far which is supremely frustrating. Here’s hoping they get it sorted out by this weekend when I can really sink my teeth in to it.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Forget the world’s specifications. If the product isn’t working, then it isn’t even meeting Blizzard’s specifications. Did they say it wouldn’t work on the first day? Or did they permit pre-orders and pre-downloads encouraging people to try to play it as soon as it was released?

      Funny, once you observe that one point, your entire rant is rendered invalid. The entire thing. You lost. Game over.

      Morally speaking, I would have no problem if Blizzard just said “Pirates are putting us out of business so we’re making the game online-only in order to deter pirates. The problems introduced by online-only are a necessary evil for us to stay in business making the games you love.”

      But they won’t say that. They are disingenuous enough to pretend that online-only is a good thing.

      That’s a lie. Avoiding lies is a categorical imperative. (There we go–I guess Immanuel Kant is greatest sufferer of Entitlement Syndrome of all time.)

      • Reefpirate says:

        Kant also said Duty was a moral imperative… ie. put up and shut up.

        You don’t win your argument that easily… First of all Kant was a bit of a crackpot. Second, the OP here would, I’m sure, be willing to accept the fact that this massively complex, yet amazing it even exists at all, game did not work very well on the first and now second day after release. Blizzard probably isn’t too happy about that either.

        Chill out, and save your energy for when Torchlight 2 comes out where you can gleefully boast about how wonderful the single-player offline DRM-free game is in its comment section.

        • Consumatopia says:

          Kant also said Duty was a moral imperative… ie. put up and shut up.

          No, actually, there’s no “…and shut up” moral imperative.

          You don’t win your argument that easily

          Yes, I do. The position that lying is wrong doesn’t need much of a defense.

          Anyway, as you admitted, Blizzard failed to deliver a product up to their specification. Not the world’s specifications.. Blizzard’s specifications. That makes the OP wrong. Emotionally, you really want Rythe’s post to be right. But logic just won’t cooperate.

          I don’t actually care about this game or Torchlight 2. I just love pointing out when people who think they’re smarter than everyone else are wrong. And you guys were wrong.

          • Lowbrow says:

            I rather enjoyed this exchange. There needs to be a new Godwin’s law for using the word entitlement. It no longer has any real meaning other than something vaguely negative. Way to destroy a word guys, watch less Fox News.

          • Reefpirate says:

            I’m confused about which part of his argument was a lie… I suppose there was an assumption that the game would work on day one, but I never actually see that in writing on the box anywhere. In press interviews and other reporting I’ve heard them say things like ‘we’ll be ready to go and we’re excited’, but that doesn’t guarantee anything.

            I’m a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Their job is to win the Stanley Cup. That’s part of the reason why I watch and support them as a team. Can I sue them, or call them liars when they don’t win it? A game, particularly one that is tied in to all this online complexity is more a process or a service than a product. I’m sure they’ll get it working well soon.

          • Lowbrow says:

            How do hockey fans react when they pay for their ticket, show up at the game, and then find out their team didn’t buy a big enough bus and can’t field a full team?

    • nanowired says:

      Since you’re being willfully ignorant of the state of today’s gaming, I’m going to nitpick at your post for fun and profit.

      First: Blizzard did not create Diablo. Blizzard is a trademark name for a company, of which is made up of X number of employees. Nowhere among those X number of employees will you find anyone who had a major role in thinking up, planning, writing, coding, or doing art for Any game made before World of Warcraft.

      The heart and soul of blizzard is long gone.

      Secondly, there is something if not philosophically wrong than categorically wrong with owing a higher devotion to a name brand than actual people who actually did the work. Your entire argument is, “CORPORATE X CREATED THIS WORK! THEREFOR, THEY ARE GREAT!”

      This is like saying that any number of the Great Composers from the classical period didn’t create their work, the people who commissioned them did.

    • kud13 says:

      Of course they don’t have to make it to their consumers’ specifications.

      However, the consumers, who have previously enjoyed the products made by the developer are perfectly within their right to let the developer know why the developer’s decison makes a previously loyal customer decide to not spend money on a product.

      It baffles me how so many gamers feel that they “owe” something to the publishers/developers, when it’s them, as the consumers, who should be the ones influencing how games should be developed.

      I miss the 90′s when my interaction with the publisher ended the moment i bough the game in a brick-and-mortar store, when I wasn’t bombarded by “social features”, and the developer didn’t try to tell me how to enjoy the product I have given them money for.

      Allowing games to become “a service” rather than a product was the worst thing to ever happen to gaming.

  26. fish99 says:

    So, tonights Dibalo 3 news: 2 disconnections, one which cost us 30 minutes progress, and now the EU servers have gone down for an update *again* in the middle of peak time.

    Awesome.

    You know it would help if they actually told you how long the servers were going down for. 1 minute, an hour, 4 hours, who knows.

  27. Uthred says:

    The most “impressive” thing about the way Blizzard delivers this game is how they went out of their way to insure you only have the frustrations of their chosen mediums rather than any of the benefits i.e. if you are going to insist on an always online game then why the fuck they institute a checkpoint system which guarantees you lose progress when their servers shit themselves? At least in WoW etc. if their servers go tits up I lose nothing, assuming its only for a little while, its only a minor inconvenience. Diablo III on the other hand saves the games state seemingly when it feels like it, twice today I’ve lost around half an hours progress because their servers went down.

  28. Calculon says:

    I think in a number of cases the posts I have read about how people who purchased the game dont have a right to complain, both here and over at the blizzard forums have something in common.

    They are either
    a) Rampant fanbois, and incapable of seeing the cold hard truth – which I personally have no respect for
    or
    b) Do not have a career/other demands in life, and can sped 48 hours attempting to connect to the game to play.

    From the perspective of someone who works for a living, has a mortgage to pay and family/community responsibilities (aka read very little time to actually play) this game has been a very dissapointing and frustrating experience (and Ill get to my ‘emotional investment’ below).

    In literally 5 attempts to play the game, I have been successful only on 2 occassions. Both occassions have been rife with disconnections, bad lag, lost progress and sheer boredom. The fact that I need to complete the game in ‘normal mode’ first – which is about as exciting as watching paint dry because there is no challenge – compounds the frustration when I have to complete 1 area 3-4 times and click the same things over and over and over again. I simply dont have that kind of time to waste. I have been able to play for less than an hour – because thus far whenever I get a couple of hours to squeeze in some fun, the servers go down, or I get disconnected etc – its very frustrating, and Im paying to relax and let off some stress – not get p1ssed off.

    Not only that but its lovely when I get a phone call I need to take, pause the game, then get disconnected for what I can only assume is being idle, and then lose all of the progress – in a single player game no less. If it was an MMO – that comes with certain expectations – THIS IS NOT AN MMO!

    Lastly – my emotional investment. My only real investment is actually the amount of money I paid for this POS, which is seriously regret. $60+ is nothing to sneeze at, and the fact that I dropped that on a game which has functioned for a very little of the time it should be available is what is irritating me enough to make this long post. If it was $20 – I wouldnt care so much, but we’re talking $60 here. I could do a lot with that money.

    Finally (I tricked you by saying lastly above – ha ha!) – Prior to this release I wasnt really against the always online DRM – I figured it wouldnt be a big deal. Im now very very very against it, and would not purchase another product that has it (sorry Sim City – one of my true loves, Blizzard has ruined it), and it is unlikely I would purchase another Blizzard game in the future – that’s how irritating the cost/loss ratio of this ‘game’ has been to me.

    I wish I could sell my game license.

    • enobayram says:

      You should’ve tried the beta; the beta has saved my $60. If you told me a year ago that I wouldn’t buy a copy of Diablo 3 when it comes out, I would ask you “Why? Am I going to buy 5?”. Ahh…

    • Reefpirate says:

      I feel your pain, but I’m also a full-time worker and not a Blizzard fanboi. I was happy to pass this game up until I kind of got wrapped up in the hype-train the last few days. But I guess we’ve just taken different roads in response to the server troubles…

      When I bought the game I understood it would be an always online, pseudo-MMO kind of game and therefore I’m willing to deal with launch day/week hiccups like I have so far. I’m willing to work through that because I really do find the game engaging and I’m very interested to see how this new kind of virtual economy plays out.

      It sounds like you expected an offline ‘real’ single player game, like Titan Quest or Torchlight… What I’m saying is that there’s a lot of issues with expectations, and managing or mismanaging them. I know the $60 is a steep price, and it probably burns right now… I know I probably shouldn’t have spent that money… But down the road I think it will be a worthy investment once these wrinkles are ironed out.

  29. enobayram says:

    I was hoping for a question about the elephant in the room.

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