Opinion: Why The Problem With Diablo Isn’t Diablo

By Nathan Grayson on May 17th, 2012 at 3:00 pm.

The devil is real, and he's a menu screen.
A videogame came out recently. If you consider yourself part of the unruly mass that is Everyone On Earth, you’re probably playing it, thinking about it, dreaming about it, or stroking it in a none-too-subtly suggestive fashion right now. (Stop that, by the way. It’s really weird.) Or, you know, you’re not. Because – given Blizzard’s track record so far – there’s a very good chance the servers are down, or lag has hurled you into a minefield of hungry, hungry Diablos, or the unnatural reaction that is Templar-meets-shield has broken reality again. I imagine you’re angry. It’s only natural, after all. You’ve waited more than a decade, and you just want to dive headfirst into hell while the hype fires are still at their brightest. Really, though, it’s probably only a matter of time before PC gaming’s most massively successful giant steamrolls the kinks and turns this nightmarish launch into an ugly, short-lived (in the grand scheme of things) memory.

That perspective in mind, it’s easy to watch the pitchfork-and-torch-wielding hordes storming Blizzard’s walls and think “Yuck, these people sure are blowing things out of proportion – just like they always do.” So a major game launch came down with a fairly violent case of the hiccups. Don’t they all? And now Blizzard’s apologized, so what more could these people possibly want? At this point, you’re just waiting for whiners to swallow this bitter pill and eat their words so they can inevitably start singing Diablo’s praises again. That mentality, however, is precisely why I’m begging you: please stay angry.

Always online, never offline, DRM, a service – call it whatever you want. The fact is, Blizzard’s going all-in with this system, and other developers and publishers are watching. Unlike, say, Ubisoft, whose Internet umbilical cord was vestigial at best and a ball-and-chain that offered no real benefits to legitimate customers at worst, Blizzard’s keeping much of Diablo’s very essence server-side. Crucial data, the auction house, and – of course – single-player aren’t just tethered to a connection; they’re tied intrinsically to it. No mods, option to take the game on the road, or even a pause button? No problem, says Blizzard. The benefits outweigh the costs.

Or at least, that’s the hope in the long run. Really, though, I’m pretty optimistic about Blizzard’s chances of eventually executing its vision in full – even if that doesn’t necessarily make everyone say, “Mods? Pfft, they were never that great. That’s why Day Z never caught on.” After all, you’ll notice that the likes of Diablo, Diablo II, and StarCraft continue to have servers of their own and receive updates to this day.

World of Warcraft’s launch, too, was rockier than an army of Sylvester Stallones, but Blizzard did smooth things over with time. As a result, slowly but surely, people stopped caring about initial missteps. Love it or hate it, WoW was – for its time – an incredibly tightly designed experience that changed the way everyone looked at MMOs. It was, for lack of a more elaborate term, really, really good. That, of course, is how people remember WoW now. And why shouldn’t they?

But, while that’s comforting in the short term, it could also eventually evolve into a ten-mouthed, hundred-eyed monster of a problem. There are, after all, numerous benefits to this type of service (potentially seamless service for players and built-in anti-piracy measures for developers – among many others), but – less encouragingly – not everyone is Blizzard. So it’s far from surprising that plenty of prominent figures in the game development community wouldn’t mind seeing Blizzard pave this system’s way to widespread acceptance. This particular quote from id Software’s Tim Willits, especially, sticks out:

“Diablo III will make everyone else accept the fact you have to be connected. If you have a juggernaut, you can make change. I’m all for that. If we could force people to always be connected when you play the game, and then have that be acceptable, awesome. In the end, it’s better for everybody. Imagine picking up a game and it’s automatically updated. Or there’s something new you didn’t know about, and you didn’t have to click away. It’s all automatically there. But it does take juggernauts like [Diablo III] to make change.”

And in an ideal world, I’d have far less of a problem with what Willits said. Servers and services willing, it could be impressively convenient. But – even when/if Diablo flushes out the hive of bugs currently infesting its infrastructure – we’ll still be left with a swarm of extremely frightening questions. Foremost, if these Always On 2.0 services really catch on, what happens when a publisher or developer without Blizzard’s dedication and resources finds itself with heavy upkeep costs and dwindling player counts?

On that note, it’s very worrying that EA’s sighted gold in these here hills with SimCity. The less-than-loved publisher, after all, has a pretty horrible reputation for cutting a swathe through crowds of multiplayer servers in one fell swoop – sometimes incredibly prematurely. Yes, many of these online features sound very fascinating, but will they have a shelf life? And if not, how badly does that hurt the solo experience allegedly built with online features in mind?

We have to demand a standard of quality and dedication from these things. If we try to paint complaints about Diablo III’s loudly reverberating server-side-down bellyflop as entirely immature, wrong, and entitled, we’re basically saying, “Look, everyone else! We’re totally OK with this.” I mean, Diablo III’s almost assuredly sold millions of units by this point. If widespread rage then proves relatively short-lived, I have to imagine that looks like pretty much all upside to, say, Tim Willits or even devs/pubs whose intentions aren’t quite so benevolent or design-focused. Piggy banks are happy, and customers are happy. What more do you need?

At the very least, I still contend that a dedicated, server-free single-player option is a no-brainer in this case and others like it. Yes, some of Diablo III’s online features are great, but give us options – not suffocating requirements. Even so, in the long run, Diablo probably won’t be the big problem here. It’s the next wave of “always connected” games that we need to worry about – the one’s that attempt to follow its lead. So stay angry. Keep demanding an offline option, if nothing else. People may tell you to clam up because this system – while flawed – works more often than not. But I think $60/£45 is a pretty extravagant price to pay for something that “just works.”

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537 Comments »

  1. Tyrmot says:

    Couldn’t agree more. What I’ve actually found most astonishing about this whole debacle is not so much that it happened (although I had really hoped this time..) but the number of customers (that is – paying customers) who actually appear to be defending Blizzard in this; who are saying that we should *expect* this to happen and that complaining about it is some kind of over-privileged whining… Truly amazing.

      • sebmojo says:

        Steam is a useful parallel. Steam makes a solid case for DRM that works – it’s convenient, makes it easy to discover and buy cheap awesome games, keeps track of friends etc, makes it easy to fire up a new computer and fill it with your game collection with a login and a few mouse clicks. Against that it controls access to your collection and has a dicky (but basically functional) offline mode. It’s a decent bargain, and if you don’t like it there are options (gog, greenman, etc). Crucially it does what it’s supposed to do very well.

        Diablo 3 has tried to strike a similar bargain. Easy cheat free multiplayer, always updated, MMO style Auction House. However you are beholden to your web connection for a game that traditionally did not require one. To (effectively, I’m guessing) hamstring piracy. That’s a bridge too far for me, because I can taste the choking rage I’d have if I dropped out and lost an hour (or hell, even a munute) of play as a result.

        So, Torchlight 2 for me.

        • RegisteredUser says:

          Steam also does everything Willits wants _without_ always requiring the actual _game_ to be online.
          The “other” side (publishers, devs, etc) seem to “conveniently” forget that there are ways and means to get all the comfort of service, support etc without actually having to impact the actual gameplay.
          But if you were to think those two apart, why, well, you would end up without DRM and copy protection and only comfort!

          We can’t have that!!!

        • BluElement says:

          There are plenty of reasons to hate the always-on DRM, but losing gametime and items is not one of them (or it’s not supposed to be). Blizzard has already made a statement that if you lose your connection, your character, items, etc. are all saved and you’ll be able to start at the most recent checkpoint. And checkpoints are pretty numerous. So supposedly, you don’t have to worry about dying and losing everything if you lose your connection.

          • Ragnar says:

            Unfortunately, that’s just not true, or at least not working as intended. My friend lost 1.5 hours of progress last night when he disconnected while back in town. The dungeon he cleared, the items he received, the stuff he crafted was all gone. Diablo 3 doesn’t seem to save the data at regular checkpoints as it should. He was understandably angry, and I would be too in his position.

            The fact that Blizzard is having issues with people logging on, latency and lag, getting disconnected, losing progress, etc, is a very bad sign for always-on single-player games. If after WoW, Starcraft 2, and the extensive beta test for Diablo 3, with all of their resources, Blizzard still wasn’t able to deliver a solid and stable play experience almost a week after release, what chance does a smaller developer have?

      • Kinth says:

        Steam isn’t DRM that works though. It gets cracked within a matter of hours with 90% of game releases. DRM is meant to stop piracy so as DRM steam does not work. Blizzards method does though because it is near impossible to crack a game like Diablo 3, you would need to somehow download all the date off a blizzard server then work out how to emulate it then host a server that can emulate it for people all for free. It’s not just a verify check, half the game is stored on the servers.

        Also torchlight 2 isn’t that great, I was really looking forward to it till I played the beta. While it adds multi player it does little else to fix some of the problems with the first game. The classes still feel boring, the story is too bland to get interested in, I was hoping they would make some real improvements with the second game but in the end it’s just torchlight 1 with an overworld and MP plus for some reason you can run at the speed of light :S It will be fun for a bit but it will get boring fairly quick like torchlight 1 did.

    • Mungrul says:

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it’s the gamer’s strain of Stockholm Syndrome.

      • lith says:

        I think the triumph of modern marketing is that it managed to convince us to feel sorry for corporations with billions of dollars, like it’s a privilege to fork over money and if they decide to give us something in return, it’s simply because they’re nice, not like there’s two sides to a transaction.

      • Strangerator says:

        +1

        It’s a bit like the battered woman who stays with her abusive husband, due to an inability to let go of the “good times” that happened a long time ago. They also don’t think there is anything better out there.

        • kimadactyl says:

          I don’t think reasons for accepting domestic violence have anything whatsoever to do with having to wait 3 days to get on a video game. This kind of hyperbole is pretty inappropriate.

          • syndrome says:

            It’s not a hyperbole, it’s a classic example of Stockholm syndrome.

            And no it’s not inappropriate. People behave like that all the time, and not every situation is violent or apparent to the others.

            In psychology, there is a term called enabler. Please pay attention to this:

            “[...] enabling is also used in the context of problematic behavior, to signify dysfunctional approaches that are intended to help but in fact may perpetuate a problem. A common theme of enabling in this latter sense is that third parties take responsibility, blame, or make accommodations for a person’s harmful conduct (often with the best of intentions, or from fear or insecurity which inhibits action). The practical effect is that the person himself or herself does not have to do so, and is shielded from awareness of the harm it may do, and the need or pressure to change. It is a major environmental cause of addiction.

            A common example of enabling can be observed in the relationship between the alcoholic/addict and a codependent spouse. The spouse believes incorrectly that he or she is helping the alcoholic by calling into work for them, making excuses that prevent others from holding them accountable, and generally cleaning up the mess that occurs in the wake of their impaired judgment. In reality what the spouse is doing is hurting, not helping. Enabling prevents psychological growth in the person being enabled and can contribute to negative symptoms in the enabler.”

            edit:
            My mother is an alcoholic, perhaps that’s why I understand the underlying need to “enable” more clearly.

            If you don’t enable such behavior you suffer someone else’s affliction, which not only gradually corrupts your own concepts of self-conservation, mental stability, and healthy confidence, but also triggers deep depression inside you. All of that can take a heavy toll on what is perceived normal in our society, our relationships, and our daily routine.

            You can’t handle it sometimes, so you just opt to enable that behavior, hoping for the moments of peaceful silence, when you can recuperate and make decisions, and feel like a person again (even if the feeling is artificial). This is usually a weakness, but it may save your sanity from time to time. There is no permanent cure. Only balance.

            Therefore, stay sharp, the fight is never truly over.

          • Phantoon says:

            I’m going to end up not making too much sense, but I hope the point comes across.

            Anyways, I wouldn’t exactly call it that. See, people like Biodrones (fuck you I’m using that term, stop defending their bullshit) think that if any criticism is leveled at their “favorite game”, they may have to actually think about it. It’s easier to think “people hate my things, therefore they hate me” rather than refrain from curling up into a defensive ball and actually consider the criticism. People always do this, especially when things are worded aggressively. This happens even more when people aren’t sure they’re happy/enjoying whatever it is (again, see SWTOR).

            So what you have is people rushing out to buy this game, finding there’s aspects of it that suck (error 37, anyone?) then switching around to ravenously defend it so they don’t feel like an idiot for falling for it again. As a wi- uh. As a man once said, fool me one, shame on, shame on you. Fool me twice… you can’t get fooled again!

            And I didn’t buy it, because I have a laundry list of complaints about the design of the game, not even mentioning the Real Money Auction House, lack of offline, complete departure from the original feel of the setting, the nostalgia thrown in (nostalgia didn’t help Other M!), or the incredibly generic, Bioware “quality” plot with the old Blizzard mainstay of “oh no corruption plot”, and the retcons! The friggin retcons. Just friggin damn. And Diablo looking female (he sure didn’t look like a child in Diablo 1, and I don’t think any greater daemon in ANY setting adopts the looks of the host…

            Honestly, at this point, Bioware and Blizzard are a lot alike. They both had a decent fanbase with decent games, they both got bought up, they both began producing rehash after rehash when some of their better people left, their games are highly overvalued (you deserved the ME3 ending. Shame on you), they remove features in the sequel rather than improving them, they only care about the bottom line and making money rather than making games, they love their DLC (sparkle ponies for Blizzard), and the endings never resolve ANYTHING.

            Wow, this turned into a rant. Anyways, tl;dr, people don’t like listening to complaints because then they might think on if they’re having fun or not.

          • jwoozy says:

            It is incredibly, mouth-foamingly hyperbolic, and I don’t know how to explain to you why the comparison is completely tasteless because tasteless is just the sort of thing that gamers do really well.

          • RandomGameR says:

            Sorry, but it is completely inappropriate to compare video gamers who like a game even though it has features that they’re not fond of to women who are beaten by their husbands.

            You should be ashamed of yourselves.

          • psyk says:

            @RandomGameR

            Internet commentators have a twisted view of the world, the rise of internet culture don’t you love it :|

          • Phantoon says:

            It’s very hyperbolic- and the fact you cannot parse it as such means you’re new to the internet.

            There is no other explanation, though I have no idea why syndrome would say it is, in fact, not hyperbolic. An analogy isn’t good if it’s not accessible hyperbole. It has to be ridiculous in a way that makes sense- that’s the entire point.

          • atworkforu says:

            Probably the battered woman thing hits near and dear to your heart, so you can’t see the bigger picture, but people compare things to things they are not all the time. “It’s a battle” “It’s a war” “That person is like a cancer to the team”.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            Lets break it down, we have two situations. One is where a person continues to support someone who has done them serious harm because of past feelings of trust and respect and the hope they might return. The other is where a group of people continue to support another group that has done them minor harm due to past feelings of trust and respect and the hope they might return.

            One is life changing and the other is an annoyance, but the root cause is the same psychological mechanism, so it’s a valid and useful comparison. Still, it’s a good job he said “it’s a bit like” not, “it’s exactly the same as” eh? Or people might go misrepresenting his point entirely!

            Besides, if you’re actually concerned about helping domestic abuse victims rather than appearing superficially superior, I’d implore people not to be such uptight, judgemental, asses. Because, as much as you might think you’re championing the cause of domestic abuse victims by telling people not to take it lightly, you’re making things worse by making the subject even more taboo with your overzealous attempts at censoring and shaming people. When the most difficult part of tackling domestic abuse is getting the victims to talk candidly about it, it doesn’t help if all around them they see people saying “don’t talk about domestic abuse, shut up!”

          • RandomGameR says:

            When did the comments section in RPS sink to this?

            Can we go back to the pun threads, please?

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            I wouldn’t call not being reactionary and closeminded a dropping of standards. But if you need to frame it like that to avoid justifying yourself, by all means, go ahead.

            I sure did lower the tone compared to puns here folks.

          • MadTinkerer says:

            Oh man, I am so disappointed in Runic Games. You would think that if they were continuing to insist on a broken solution they would have given up and let their customers be in charge of what they paid for-

            Sorry, what?

            We’re not talking about Torchlight II, but some technically inferior and more expensive game with somewhat similar gameplay? And Torchlight II won’t have any of these problems because I can install as many mods as I want and have a completely customizable co-op experience with my buddies online? Well never mind, then.

            EDIT: and that comment went in completely the wrong place.

          • RandomGameR says:

            I was just told that I was new to the internet because I don’t appreciate intentionally offensive hyperbole. I think that constitutes a lowering of standards.

            I think that the number of people here who are going to great lengths to justify one persons’ use of an intentionally offensive hyperbole constitutes a lowering of standards.

            I think that being intentionally offensive, even in hyperbole, constitutes a lowering of standards.

            I also don’t think that the analogy holds, but that is beside the point of fact which is that I see people all the time commenting on RPS about how elevated the comments section tends to be. People say they come here for the comments as much as the articles. I think that’s because you can often find people willing to have reasoned and rational discourse even when they disagree on a subject.

            I don’t think that hyperbole helps to foster reasoned and rational discourse on most subjects, and in this case I only think the analogy served to make a bunch of people who already agree with one another look down on another group of people because they disagree. That constitutes a lowering of standards in my book.

          • Grape says:

            God, I love how hilariously butthurt Kimadactyl and RandomGameR sounds.

            Complete, little shits.

          • Callan says:

            How is it in any way offensive to isolate a psychological condition (which may or may not accurately describe the situation) and then give a well known example to clarify your point? He is not saying the employees of Blizzard beat their partners or making any other unwarranted claims. Merely isolating a particularly vivid and better understood situation which has analogues with those ardently defending the rather insidious actions of a company that treats them with disdain much of the time.

            [Incidentally the use of hyperbole as a blanket dismissal is a rather ugly use of language].

          • Lemming says:

            It’s 2012 and the internet still doesn’t understand the difference between a comparison and an analogy it seems. The only thing that is hyperbolic here is your reaction his analogy.

          • transientmind says:

            How dare someone compare the vile and destructive hydrogen bomb to our precious life-giving sun when =discussing nuclear fusion=?

            Seriously? Yes, there is a difference in intensity and impact between the cited examples, but the underlying principles are similar.

            Gamer stockholm syndrome (or the less catchy ‘Escalation of Commitment’) is much more similar to domestic abuse than, say, tacos. Or watering the garden. When someone clearly isn’t understanding an underlying principle, you use similar, more-recognizable examples that utilize the same principle.

            It’s not rocket science and it’s NOT (no matter how much it might trigger a knee-jerk response) an actual comparison in terms of moral value or emotional impact. I can’t find anything to say that it was.

        • methylene blue says:

          I think the issue here is we know what it feels like not to be able to log into a videogame for a few hours, but few RPS readers, despite their book and Internet knowledge, have the lived experience of being a woman in an abusive relationship. So I agree that the comparison is inappropriate.

        • Phantoon says:

          There we go. Thank you. That’s what I was trying to say, but couldn’t find the words.

          • jaheira says:

            Nope. ME3 was fantastic, I’m loving Diablo 3 and I’m quite certain I can tell when I’m having fun, thanks.

        • Stromko says:

          That’s a good find, very relevant to a lot of gaming discussion. Every time I hear about an awful, soul-grinding MMO that I couldn’t play past the first day due to the overall crap of it, I see the overwhelming response is that I should just give it a week or a month or whatever and I’ll start to like it.

          I have a friend who was still playing Everquest until recently, and last I heard is still playing Star Wars the Old Republic which he got into at launch. I’ve yet to receive an adequate explanation as to why.

          I’m not immune, either. I still have a subscription to SecondLife after all these years, and I’ve lacked any real interest in it for years. If I cancel, I lose the 50,000+ items in my inventory. They’re mostly useless garbage, and have absolutely no use if I just swore off the game entirely, but damn.

    • Symitri says:

      Some people will defend anything. I’m sure there’s somebody out there who even believes Superman 64 was a brilliant masterpiece – forums just tend to attract the worst lot of people and their beliefs.

      • rohsiph says:

        Superman 64 was an iconoclastic opus. It epitomizes the beauty of bad design. There are few experiences like it, and none that delve so low on so many levels.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      It is whining, sometimes things don’t work. It happens. Grow up.

      • mouton says:

        We should never complain about the faults of the products we buy, yes.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          Complaining makes sense.

          “I am disappointed with my inability to play Diablo 3 smoothly at launch” makes sense.
          “I wish Blizzard would have been more prepared for the launch” makes sense.

          “Blizzard has disrespected their customers”, “See this is why I didn’t buy Diablo 3 I knew Blizzard was just going to screw everyone over”, “Diablo 3 shows why computer games are going to hell” makes no sense.

          You see the difference. One is complaining about a state of affairs. One is attacking an organization for making a great product that is having some minor issues due to its popularity on ethical and other grounds which make no sense.

          • InternetBatman says:

            That’s a strawman. You present three arguments, and then say the most extreme one represents the entire reaction on the internet, and that’s why it should be dismissed.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            I didn’t say it represented the reaction of the internet, but it certainly represents the reaction of the people in this discussion if you read their posts.

            It is not a straw man. Read the posts.

          • undu says:

            yes, not being able to log in and getting the message “there was an error: 3007″, getting kicked out of a single player and get shown the same message is very minor.

            It appears that not being able to play a game you paid for because of Blizzard server issues is minor.

            For Blizzard fanboys maybe, for consumers is not.

          • bwion says:

            One might suggest that a game with a critical design flaw that actively prevents people from playing it due to circumstances completely beyond their control is not, in fact, a ‘great product’.

            I mean, I agree, there’s some pretty wild complaints out there, because, well, it’s the internet and that’s what happens any time something goes the least bit wrong now. But people do also have a legitimate grievance here, and it’s not a grievance that’s going to cease to exist n a week or two when the server loads are a bit more reasonable.

          • elderman says:

            It certainly looks like a strawman, Joshua Northey. Your characterisation doesn’t reflect the opinions of the people you’re replying to. It’s not a what Tyrmot wrote and doesn’t resemble Nathan’s reasoned position in his post.

            Argue in good faith: take on the best of the people you disagree with. Contradict Nathan’s idea, for example, that ‘always connected’ is an industry trend that inconveniences gamers, has a short horizon, and impovrishes the ecosystem by discouraging mods.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            1) I would contend it is fairly close to what Tyrmot wrote.

            2) Of course it inconveniences gamers. That is the point. It is there to help companies monetize their products.

            3) It does not have a short horizon at all, it will become the standard for big budget titles because it is the simplest and most effect form of DRM.

            4) it doesn’t impoverish the ecosystem. People are still free to make mods for whatever other games they like. If I start selling a car that no parts shops sell pieces for and make sure you need to take it into the dealer if you want servicing I haven’t “impoverished” the car market. I have added one more option to it.

            Sure it would be better if this was some perfect world where we could have mods AND offline mode AND a functioning RMAH AND low piracy AND Blizzard could adequately monetize their product AND 15 other things. But that isn’t the world we live in. Blizzard chose this particular path, and they frankly chose it long ago. I am confused what there is to be upset about. There are plenty of non-DRM options out their for gaming if it is soooo important to people. But that is not why they are mad, they are mad because they want to have their cake and eat it to.

            They want the budget and resource of Diablo 3, or Anno 2070, or SimCity Redux, and none of the strings that come with making such a product profitable.

          • jalf says:

            “Blizzard has disrespected their customers”, “See this is why I didn’t buy Diablo 3 I knew Blizzard was just going to screw everyone over”, “Diablo 3 shows why computer games are going to hell” makes no sense.

            Why, exactly, do such complaints not make sense?
            Why, exactly, does it not make sense to complain that, apparently, in 2012, video games can only be sold if they are *more limited* than they were in 1992?

            You see the difference. One is complaining about a state of affairs. One is attacking an organization for making a great product that is having some minor issues due to its popularity on ethical and other grounds which make no sense.

            “being unable to play a game I bought” is hardly a minor issue, is it?
            And why does it not make sense to criticize a corporation for business decisions you agree with? Were the complaints against BP during their big oil spill unfair? After all, wasn’t that just “attacking an organization for making a great product (we like oil, after all), that is having some minor issues”? Wasn’t it being attacked on those “ethical grounds”, which you say make no sense?
            Google has been attacked on ethical grounds too. So have banks. Why, exactly, does this not make sense?

            Why doesn’t it make sense to attack Blizzard for intentionally crippling a product that, 15 years ago, was hugely profitable in an uncrippled state?

            Why doesn’t it make sense to criticize Blizzard for intentionally changing their product so that it can break in new ways that weren’t possible before, and aren’t necessary?

            It’s lucky we don’t need your permission to complain, eh?

            As for me, I didn’t buy D3. I wasn’t initially too hyped up about it. Then open beta rolled around, and I figured I might as well give it a quick shot.

            Played for a couple of hours, had a blast, and thought “hey, this is good. I should buy it”.

            Then I got disconnected. From my singleplayer game. Booted out to the title screen.

            Then I decided not to buy it after all.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Joshua said

            “If I start selling a car that no parts shops sell pieces for and make sure you need to take it into the dealer if you want servicing I haven’t “impoverished” the car market. I have added one more option to it.”

            Diablo is not a brand new franchise is it? If you took the latest Mondeo and made it so the parts were only sold through your dealers, you have inconvenienced all Mondeo drivers who have been driving around able to get their car serviced where they want.

            You have effectively removed your car from the market it was competing in, i.e in the case of the estate mondeo, against the Skoda Estate and the Mazda Estate and left only 2 cars coving that sector. 1 less choice.

            Think about it.

            Oh and if you are, as you asserted earlier a part of the industry: You are the problem because of your inability to respect or listen to your customers. listen and learn and stop assuming you are somehow better than us. That attitude will lead you deep into trouble. Blizzard, if they continue down this path has only 10 years left in it. I doubt the company you work for has that longeity as Blizzard is somewhat unique in that respect. If your company goes down that path, I estimate you will be job hunting in less than 5 years. Much less if you are not management.

            Incidentally, I co-founded a company called Climax, so I know something about the industry.

          • elderman says:

            1) I would contend it is fairly close to what Tyrmot wrote.

            I disagree. Instead, I think your response answers Tyrmot’s post only by exemplifying what he’s complaining about. I think he’s saying two things: that he’s surprised people are defending Blizzard and that he feels many criticisms of Blizzard around the Diablo III launch attack the critic and the very idea of criticising instead of engaging with the critical idea. But I guess he can account for himself if he feels like it.

            2) Of course it inconveniences gamers. That is the point. It is there to help companies monetize their products.

            I don’t think this is a coherent idea, Joshua. Surely making money doesn’t by itself require inconveniencing your customers? The mistreatment of one party of a game purchase isn’t a necessary externality of the transaction.

            That’s exactly the point for me, and I think others who share the views Nathan articulated in his article. We’d like not to be inconvenienced by the company making a game that we want to buy. Always-online doesn’t seem to benefit us, and perhaps we even think it’s not a good way to solve other problems like piracy and gold farming.

            I see your perspective on Blizzard as a money-making enterprise further down the page. I’d like to think that you’ve reduced a multi-faceted company to single dimension and then mischaracterised it (the key figure isn’t revenue, it’s profit — nitpicking, I know — therefore Zynga has a better business model). Making a AAA computer game is no one’s fastest, easiest, or surest way to profit, not even Blizzard’s. However, your point’s well taken that the things people object to look like business decisions, not entertainment-driven ones, and that’s how we should be expecting Blizzard to behave by now.

            3) It does not have a short horizon at all, it will become the standard for big budget titles because it is the simplest and most effect form of DRM.

            That’s my abiguity at fault there, and also, is that really what you thought I was saying? The article we’re all responding to shares the view that this is a possible future for big-budget games. By inviting you to respond to Nathan, I didn’t mean to ask you to contradict something he didn’t say. I meant that it gives the game a short horizon if the company doesn’t maintain the servers. There have already been several examples of how this happens.

            4) it doesn’t impoverish the ecosystem. People are still free to make mods for whatever other games they like. If I start selling a car that no parts shops sell pieces for and make sure you need to take it into the dealer if you want servicing I haven’t “impoverished” the car market. I have added one more option to it.

            It will empoverish the ecosystem for this game. In your previous paragraph you just referred to the idea that other companies will look to Blizzard’s always-connected single player as a possible model. If many big budget games make modding harder, that will empoverish the industry as a whole. AAA titles make an inviting foundation on which to build. For example, a whole subgenre of DOTA-like games has emerged from WCIII modding.

            Also, as I think we agree, this is a business innovation, not an entertainment innovation. So any enrichment it brings is to the marketplace for games. My interest, and I can only imagine the interests of most gamers, is in their entertainment value and capabilities as a medium for expression. That’s the dimension in which always-online schemes like Blizzard’s harm gaming in general.

            By the way, I’m not impressed that you put my spelling mistake in quotes to show me up.
            Edit: Or maybe you were just questioning my choice of words.

            Sure it would be better if this was some perfect world where [...] Blizzard could adequately monetize their product… But that isn’t the world we live in.

            I think this is exactly the world we live in. It would surprise me if Blizzard had suffered budget problems for quite some time. As for the endless other features the game could have, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about core design that might become standard for the industry, and many of us oppose the trend.

            There are plenty of non-DRM options out their for gaming if it is soooo important to people. But that is not why they are mad, they are mad because they want to have their cake and eat it to.

            Keep in mind Joshua, that many of the people buying the game, playing the game, and complaining about the always-online DRM scheme are children and young adults. It certainly possible that some young people have an un-justified sense of entitlement. However, well or badly those of us who don’t like this always connected single player scheme articulate our beefs, surely it’s worth debating.

            By the way, this is my second post to RPS and I’m not totally up to speed on the comment system yet. I’ve included a lot of html in this post. If it goes wrong (if somehow I forgot a closing tag or something), can I edit?

            Edit: Ah, had to enable Google APIs in NoScript.

          • Droniac says:

            “They want the budget and resource of Diablo 3, or Anno 2070, or SimCity Redux, and none of the strings that come with making such a product profitable.”

            Actually, one of those games has a fully functional offline mode and doesn’t require you to be connected if you don’t want to. That’s also the game with the least market appeal so profitability is more important for that game than it is for the other two. (Anno 2070, obviously)

        • Vinraith says:

          More than that, we should shell out money for them even knowing that they’re defective and liable to break in just this way. It’s terribly important that we not only fail to voice our complaints about a defective product, but continue to give the offending institution our patronage, because “otherwise no one will make games anymore.”

          Someone above said “Stockholm Syndrome” and I think that’s a fair way to characterize it. Fortunately I think the defenders are an extreme minority, unfortunately the people that mutely accept this crap and continue to fund it are a majority, so it’s not going away any time soon.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I bought it, really to give the concept of online single player a fair chance. It was convinient for me because I like the Diablo series very much as a single player game and am prepared to put up with a lot in order to play it.

            However, once it has had it’s fair chance – maybe a month from now, I’ll decide whether I’ll ever buy a game with this server side single player ever again. Right now, it’s a great big no, but 2 days in is not a fair chance. For me, and my lifestyle it’s a massive inconvenience and even though I have not had significant problems logging on yet, lag in games and intrusive “multiplayer” elements like chat windows and friend buttons are immersion breakers.

            As I said, I will put up with a lot to play Diablo but I wouldn’t put up with that to play many more games in single player! And even this has ruined Diablo 4′s automatic purchase for me, as I don’t see the lag issue going away any time soon and the multiplayer elements are only going to get more intrusive in future patches, I don’t doubt.

            So maybe my wanting to play the franchise is sending the wrong message to publishers, maybe we will have a couple of years of many online only single player titles, but in the end, this will drive consumers to games which work the way we want them to work. The juggernaught probably won’t change the industry, just cause other publishers to tag on and hopefully make an expensive mistake.

          • Thermal Ions says:

            I gave it a go during the demo, and that quite quickly reinforced my decision not to buy the game. I was effectively playing a single player game but experiencing lag of between 300 and 2000 ms which got me killed more than once.

            I’ve since been playing the Torchlight 2 beta and enjoying it far more both alone and in co-op.

      • Milky1985 says:

        I tried using that excuse to my girlfriend last night, but apparently it didn’t stick, she won’t let me hear the end of it!

        Erm .. i mean .. ..

        Anyway more seriously, you should stand up and say its a bad thing. You have a right as a consumer to have a product that is fit for purpose, if the game doesn’t work and is unplayble its not fit for purpose.

        You shuodln’t be saying “its just a game, grow up”, if this sort of thing happen with any other product people would be annoyed. Just because its a game doesn’t mean we as consumers should accept a lower standard of service (no pun intended). The ability to play a game on launch is a very basic level of service that should be expected.

      • djbriandamage says:

        If there was a problem with handing your payment to Blizzard do you think they would show the same leniency?

      • alundra says:

        Your entire argument amounts to

        1) I’m more mature than you

        2) Defending your rights as a customer is whining.

        3) I’m the only one who is right on this room.

        4) Start from point 1 again pls.

        Now, since you are failing in your attempt at shilling for blizzvision in a more epic fashion than how blizzvission is failing in the launch of this monstrosity that can’t even be called a videogame, could you please stop wasting thread space with your senseless bullshit?? Thanks.

      • Quarex says:

        Your entitlement issues mean that you only believe those in wealthy parts of the world with reliable Internet connections should be able to play single-player games. Grow up.

      • Stevostin says:

        As a grown up you may be interested to know that we grown up actually have laws about selling stuff that doesn’t work. Apparently a lot of grown up think that those questions are indeed pretty sensible ones.

        Seriously, the “grow up” is out of place and pretty outrageous. You’re real grief if against those people is that they’re, in your mind, slowing down progress because of outdated conservative view. Well, that is an old story in the society and BTW the conservative are generally the older one. If you can’t see how people who have known for decades off line games that worked (or were at least supposed to work) right out of the box being pissed of when the new features of the day actually is a drawback, then quite possibly you need to grow up, or at least get older, depending on how you want to put it.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          Don’t forget the more general adult responsibility to hold people accountable to their actions rather than taking the lazier route of doing nothing. Since an adult realises that in not holding people accountable for their actions you’re proving to them it’s ok to do anything they want to others in the future, and would be in a small part responsible for any repeat/escalating offenses they perpertrate thereafter.

      • BobsLawnService says:

        “sometimes things don’t work. It happens.”

        I agree fully. My main complaint is that in this case things didn’t have to go wrong. If there was no always-on requirement for single player mode this would never have happened or at worst only the multi-player component would have been broken.

        It was an unnecessary inconvenience.

      • Emeraude says:

        One of the things that irks me most I guess, is that given how controversial the change Blizzard is trying to impose has been, I would have believed they’d have tried to run a spotless launch to prevent the whole controversy. If anything, it sends me the image (valid or not) of a rather smug company that care very little for its customers.

        They want big splashy budget and top notch professionalism something like Blizzard provides, without the top notch monetization/piracy/cheating plan that comes with it.

        My, on top of being mature and 31, and blessed with a job – A job ! can I touch you ? – you are a Telepath. Thank you for telling us what it is we want. We were so unable to define it on our own.
        Did you stop to think that, maybe, just maybe, we want neither. That IF – and that’s a terribly debatable if – the price of Blizzard’s production value happens to be the complete transition of game as product to game as service, and the becoming codependent of a another party’s goodwill to access our games, then we don’t find the exchange worth it ?
        That it is not so much Blizzard we fear, but the influence its success will no doubt have. Some of us still rememer being mocked for our Steam predictions – 10 years later they all came to pass.

        you anti-DRM zealots (who frankly the industry doesn’t care about anyway).

        Well they should. Many of us anti-drm zaelots dont preach, but just leave the whole video game market altogether in disgust. My personal intuition – from personal experience – was that those 30-someting with jobs, disposable income and a desire to play games, but none to deal with the current evolution of the market, was relativelly important, but the lastest reports of French consumer organizations on the state of the video gae market make is seems even bigger than I ahd anticipated.

        The big actors of the video game worlds keep pushing people out the market – minority by minority ( majority even given the current “casual” – damn I hate this term – bubble contractions) – and then wonder why they can’t turn a profit. Look at Blizzard, who’s no more trying to expand the market, but to get total control of a limited, specialized part of it, the better to maximize profit per capita.
        Given how it went for the US Comic Books giants, I can’t wait to see where we’re headed.

      • ffordesoon says:

        That you would defend this idiocy as “the price of doing business” is bizarre and sad.

      • Stromko says:

        It’s more like you buy a really sweet mouse but it only works when the servers are up. You didn’t ask for a server-enabled mouse, but it’s the only way to get those 47 buttons and the 5-dimensional scroll wheel, so what can you do?

        They took a huge, massively hyped game that people have been rabidly awaiting for a decade, and made it utterly reliant on a system that most users do not need or want. Is it whining? Yes. Is it justified? Yes.

    • mouton says:

      Fanboy apologists are hardly a surprise. Every thing ever that was at least mildly popular has those. That’s some basic human psychology at work, justifying your purchase, justifying your decision, being loyal to your cult or somesuch.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        You don’t have to be a fanboy apologist. Just an adult. There is frankly nothing to apologize for. Sometimes things don’t work. Particularly in situations like this. You mean you really weren’t anticipating server issues in the first few weeks? Have you even played any videogames before?

        If you think I am just a fanboy you should look back at my posts about Kerberso after Sword of the Stars 2. I loved their first game and was a huge fan of that studio, and I absolutely savaged them when that incomplete mess was released. That is what “taking advantage of customers” looks like. Not Diablo 3. Diablo 3 looks like a first class videogame in every sense of the word.

        • jezcentral says:

          Diablo 3 uses a very expensive MMO subscription model though.

          You pay Blizzard upfront for the game, and then have to pay your ISP a monthly fee to get online.

          • Reefpirate says:

            Unless the only thing you use your internet connection for is Diablo 3 connectivity, then you are only partially right. You could allot a fraction of your ISP bill to Diablo monthly expenses, but you should also consider the fact you would most likely have an internet connection with or without Diablo.

          • Phantoon says:

            I’m interested to see how Diablo 3 fares in the microtransactions versus Team Fortress 2.

            I expect it’ll ramp up quickly, slow down, spike several times, then peter out.

        • fish99 says:

          What does that prove? When a fanboy eventually snaps and can’t defend something anymore they usually become the harshest critics, I’ve seen it happen before.

          The point *isn’t* that the game has issues, no, it’s that those issues only matter because Blizz took a decision not to give people offline play or a LAN mode.

        • mouton says:

          You are touching an old and interesting subject – the correlation of getting older and conformism.

          Now, I accept that people get more conformist over time. But I do not agree it is necessarily a good thing.

        • AmateurScience says:

          I think the key issue isn’t whether or not we should have expected issues or not, but whether we should *accept* them. You’re right, it’s ‘yes’ for the former, but it’s definitely a no for the latter.

          If there is going to be an always online requirement, it is absolutely correct to demand, as a consumer, that you can access that service at any time you so choose outside of forewarned server maintenance downtime (even that’s a bit ropey tbh). At the end of the day, we’ve paid them to provide a service ‘on demand’ and they ought to (and we should expect and demand of them to) do everything in their power to provide that service.

          In fact (sorry to go on) with the online requirement, they have an even greater compulsion (and expectation) to do so, because the game truly becomes a service rather than a product. Buying a boxed game (assuming no bugs) and my relationship with the developer/publisher ends at the point of sale, fire and forget, thank you and good night, I have a product and they have my money. This is different, now I pay money to access the game and effectively enter into a long term relationship with the developer/publisher, which changes tthings fundamentally.

          • nanowired says:

            And for certain, back when many were predicting this type of thing many of the people who were saying “Oh none of those problems will happen.” are here today saying, “Well you should of expected it!”

          • Phantoon says:

            I said it would happen, and I said you should’ve expected it.

            My camp is very small. There’s only a few people here. You’re welcome to join us!

          • Screamer says:

            I’m with Phantoon, way back in the beginning I said they better have the best launch in history to pull this off. Seems like it might be the worst.

          • Stromko says:

            I didn’t give D3 much thought until the open beta weekend. When I experienced long server lags, sometimes making it unplayable for minutes at a time, two things were evident. 1) Blizzard dun goofed. 2) I wasn’t buying this crap.

        • Nick says:

          You don’t understand the word adult and you aren’t acting like one. I’m guessing you aren’t one.

          • alundra says:

            Do you remember at which age kids come up with the “look daddy I’m a big boy now”, or the “I’m more mature than you” line when getting into an argument with their friends??

            No matter how hard I try, I can’t, it was eons ago.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            I am 31 and unlike the vast majority of you actually have a real job, and on top of that worked on video game development in the past (albeit free ones). Almost no one here is treating this with the kind of perspective and maturity something like this deserves, nope it is the apocalypse.

            Because their little game they paid $60 of daddy’s money for isn’t working the way they want it every second they want it to.

          • Apples says:

            Look out guys, he has a REAL JOB! Not one of those fake ones.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Josh

            I am 32 and co-founded a successful studio, and it was successful enough that I no longer have to work, I just choose to. Therefore according to your rules, my opinion trumps yours.

            My opinion is that you are wrong.

            Still want to play by those rules.

          • Nithy says:

            @Josh

            I guess I should quit my job as a lead software engineer in order to validate your assumption.

          • Kaira- says:

            I have one of these so-called “real jobs” and if I’d paid 60$ for a game that is outright unplayable at launch, I’d damn right be furious. If you don’t value your money, that’s your problem of being stupid.

          • DiamondDog says:

            “Oh God, I thought I was standing on concrete! This shit is quicksand!”

            Would you like us to throw you a rope, Joshua?

          • Joshua Northey says:

            I don’t need a rope, I don’t think any of you are representative, on top of that calling the game “unplayable on launch” is just ridiculous. I played it for several hours on the day of launch, and several hours yesterday.

            Honestly, I think if you matched up the people who are claiming they have jobs with the comments you would quickly find the people who have jobs are the ones being reasonable.

            Of say the 10 total hours I wanted ot play it those two days it was offline for maybe 2 or 3 of them. OMG the apocalypse! In 3 months no one will even remember this happened except you anti-DRM zealots (who frankly the industry doesn’t care about anyway).

          • Phantoon says:

            Taking bets now! I think this guy works for Blizzard. Gimme 1 to 4 odds on it. Who is up for a wager?

          • Hematite says:

            @phantoon: the account’s been around for a while and seems to have actual opinions (judgements on their quality aside), so I don’t think he’s an astroturfer in the classic sense. The guy badpathing who was here in the other thread totally was though.

            Edit: of course if you meant that he’s a regular employee of Blizzard you might be onto something. Hi Joshey!

          • Brun says:

            I am 31 and unlike the vast majority of you actually have a real job

            Just because we don’t pay constant lip-service to the industry doesn’t mean we don’t have jobs, or are irresponsible children. It means that we don’t like the direction the industry is taking.

            Way to condescend to all of us little criminals though. You sound like that Righthaven guy that said that copyright thieves should have their hands cut off and nailed to city hall. Would that teach me a lesson and make me a responsible adult?

          • Lowbrow says:

            I remember in highschool noticing that the people who claimed to be more mature than everyone else were the ones getting pregnant.

          • Phantoon says:

            Oddly enough, Lowbrow, it’s the same principle at work. People need others to justify their choices, because they’re unsure about them, so they get defensive about them. See Facebook for more information.

            Hematite, I was implying he was a PR monkey, but the overlap between PR and “works for the company” has been blurred in the wake of the Helper Twitter debacle at Bioware.

            People are afraid of their convictions being wrong, but this guy really doesn’t come across as “worried that he’s in escalation of commitment” (thanks to Iailoken for that). He doesn’t come across as trolling, either, because trolls will give up ground to mess with people. This guy isn’t budging on how he thinks we should give Blizzard all of our money, ever, for anything they do.

          • Stromko says:

            Hey, I DON’T work, and neither do 60% of the adults in the U.S. Back when I could get a job, they were all minimum wage anyway. The official unemployment rate isn’t anywhere near 60% because most of us have been out of work too long to get any benefits.

            We’re the veritable canary in the coal mine when it comes to games that deliver poor entertainment quality per dollar spent, and I wouldn’t pay 15$ for Diablo 3 let alone what they’re asking in its present state.

            Honestly I wouldn’t trust a painter to tell me what painting I would enjoy, or a writer to tell me what I should read. Taste is subjective, and someone with similar experience to myself would give much better advice as to what I would enjoy.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Well maybe not every sense of the word – you said yourself – it’s undeniably broken.

          What do you normally do if you buy something that is broken when you buy it? Do you not ask for a refund?

          As pointed out in this article and across a multitude of threads all over the internet. There is clear evidence that the success of Diablo 3 is likely to lead to the continued use of this system by other devs.

          To take Tim Willits as an example, his attitude shows either apathy for his customers or ignorance. To say that this system would benefit everyone is a gross exaggeration. It’s well known that stable internet connectivity is nowhere near as pervasive as Blizzard and Willits says. In fact a huge proportion of broadband customers in the UK use SKY broadband which uses ADSL Broadband. They just aren’t connected to “superfast” cable internet at all. They don’t have the option.

          It’s not a conspiracy – the Man isn’t out to get us but there is a clear will to take these games we all love and want to enjoy, and force us into a position where we must be connected to the internet to enjoy them. Likely this is so that not only can they combat piracy but they can cement the idea that games are a service (rather than a product). This is not a good thing for us as consumers. I will be one of those who is isolated by the move, no longer able top enjoy those games.

          No, this is a big problem, in the context of gaming, and you telling everyone to grow up and shut up is not only insulting but also potentially damaging to us as consumers. If we do grow up and shut up, who will say no? How could the industry possibly hear our concerns if we do not voice them? And why would they listen if we do not voice them loudly?

          You may not like these whiners but they are at least trying to affect change for all our benefits.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            It is no such thing. They are just trying to eat their cake and have it too. They want big splashy budget and top notch professionalism something like Blizzard provides, without the top notch monetization/piracy/cheating plan that comes with it.

            If you don’t like this model go play torchlight 2 or whatever, but most of you just seem bitter because you cannot have torchlight 2s business model with Blizzards production values. Fun-fact: Not possible.

          • nanowired says:

            @Joshua

            No, what people want is something that Blizzard had already provided with the previous game. No one is asking for something impossible.

          • Highstorm says:

            Seriously, how is it “not possible” when they already did it with the previous game in the series? Not to mention the hundreds of other AAA games with huge budgets that succeed despite no always-on requirement? Call of Duty ring any bells to you?

          • SanguineAngel says:

            I am not entirely sure which point in my post you are referring to. However, to answer your point directly. Yes, people would like to have their cake and eat it too. That’s not entitlement, that’s consumer rights. As a consumer buying a cake that you cannot eat is to buy a product that is not fit for service.

            This game, you have admitted yourself, is broken. This effects us as consumers in a variety of ways – we can’t play it on our laptops on the move, we suffer lags and disconnects and we don’t have the option of disabling the broken aspect (going offline). Ultimately it means that we are unable to enjoy the game as we would like.

            This game, and others using the “always-on” “services” are demonstrably providing a lower quality product or service (however we are defining games these days) in some areas (such as when and where we can play, the frequent lag issues, drop outs and server outages disabling our access). When we see a trend in the industry towards this, it is our right to voice our opinions. They may not listen to us but we should just give up on the hope of a better product or service.

          • Thermal Ions says:

            @ Joshua

            I have made the choice to go any play Torchlight 2 beta after trying the Diablo 3 beta and guess what, the production values are just as good as Blizzard’s, and I’m not going to be saddled with this online requirement and lag of D3.

            As a gamer though and a fan of Diablo 2 I’m still going to voice my opinion that I disagree with their approach, not that I think Blizzard will change their mind, but I don’t want other developers to think they can go this way without risking sales.

            Oh and at 31, you’ve still got quite a bit more growing up to do yourself to reach the maturity of a number of people here.

          • Brun says:

            If you don’t like this model go play torchlight 2 or whatever, but most of you just seem bitter because you cannot have torchlight 2s business model with Blizzards production values. Fun-fact: Not possible.

            The only reason it isn’t possible is because no one has tried to do it.

          • Lowbrow says:

            That idiom really works better as “to eat one’s cake, and have it too.”

          • alundra says:

            –>That idiom really works better as “to eat one’s cake, and have it too.<—

            That was greatness incarnate.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            @Brun

            Witcher 2 comes pretty close actually, and it did rather well last I heard.

            Don’t bother trying to convince Mr. Northey any of his flimsily thought out world views aren’t automatically correct though, he’s older and has a real job and knows better.

        • nanowired says:

          Adults know when the product they have purchased is horribly flawed.

          Children worship and protect their childhood hero regardless of what damage they have done.

        • DiamondDog says:

          I’d say growing up and being an adult should involve strengthening your convictions and having the knowledge to back them up. Sitting there saying “well stuff just doesn’t work sometimes” is lazy and defeatist. We shouldn’t just accept server problems. I’ve seen a few people on this site shout down others for expressing concern over a few hours server trouble. It’s pretty sad to see.

          Being an adult doesn’t have to mean world weary, blind cynicism. We’re not futilely trying to solve world peace here, we’re people that are interested in an industry that relies on the participation of it’s fans.

          Would you slurp up a pubic hair in your soup starter in the belief that the rest of the meal might be delicious?

          • SanguineAngel says:

            It’s a good analogy because with Diablo 3 you simply don’t have the option of taking the hair out of the soup. it’s all or nothing

        • Jad says:

          You mean you really weren’t anticipating server issues in the first few weeks? Have you even played any videogames before?

          Sure, I’ve played Diablo II, where the singleplayer mode did not require any servers that could have issues.

          Of course I did anticipate this, which is why I haven’t bought Diablo 3 and never will — unless they add an offline mode, which they won’t — and will be waiting for Torchlight II, which is looking a hell of a lot more of a sequel to the Diablo 2 I played than this pseudo-MMO masquerading as Diablo “3″.

      • Kablooie says:

        I like the game and am having lots of fun.

        *Home Alone Face* Horrors! What justification!

    • Manco says:

      It’s funny how you say you couldn’t agree more, yet have apparently missed the point of the entire article and instead began harping on about the same tired old arguments.
      Grayson is saying that the connectivity problems and even the always online DRM in this specific case aren’t THE problem.
      It’s the effect it will happen on the rest of the industry, especially on those less affluent, and long-term client-side user-friendliness.

      • IAmUnaware says:

        It’s funny how you accuse someone of missing the point while missing the point. The article is entirely about how always-on DRM is exactly the problem, and how accepting it in Diablo 3 will cause others in the industry to follow along and implement it in their own games.

        There’s only one solution: Don’t buy products that contain this kind of DRM. If you paid Blizzard for Diablo 3, you’ve hurt the industry, but it’s not too late yet. Developers need to know that we’re not willing to accept games that are fundamentally broken, that don’t work when the company turns off the servers or goes out of business, that don’t work when our ISP is doing maintenance, that don’t work when we’re on the road.

        Tim Willits left an important phrase out of his sentiment in the article. Always-on DRM really IS better for everyone… except for the people playing the games.

        • Manco says:

          Except of course I literally said that it was the industry’s dealing with DRM that’s the focus of the article, while the post I replied to was the usual diatribe focusing on the rocky start and casually insulting a playerbase to reinforce his point.

    • doggod says:

      One would have to wonder sometimes if those defending devs in the manner that is happening on the Diablo forums are actually employed by the company directly or indirectly. Why defend a company against consumers if you have nothing to gain from the experience.
      There is no benefit to customers to having a single player game needing to be permanently connected on-line, only to the publishers and game devs. It will be interesting to see how the console release will be handled in terms of the permanent connection.
      Imagine how quickly those defending would change their tune if the servers were taken off-line by an outside party like we have seen happen to other companies.

      • Wisq says:

        It’s cognitive dissonance, plain and simple. People want to believe that they weren’t ripped off, so they make up all kinds of arguments when told that they were.

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

        It’s a documented phenomenon, well beyond the gaming world. The canonical example is, you buy a dishwasher you think is pretty good value for the dollar. You see another dishwasher with a few more features and an even lower price tag. You automatically assume the other dishwasher has some intrinsic flaw that makes it worth less overall, because you just finished telling yourself you were getting a good deal, and you don’t want to rescind that judgement.

        In fact, you’re likely to start trying to convince other people that yours was the better deal, despite evidence to the contrary. You want to restore agreement between conflicting ideas, and given that you don’t want to change idea #1 (you already bought it), the best way is to loudly dismiss idea #2 (it obviously can’t be better value).

        This is, essentially, the very core of fanboyism. At least, in the cases where the fanboys truly believe, and aren’t just being trolls.

        • Reefpirate says:

          That all sounds clever, but you’re basically trying to clinically diagnose those you disagree with rather than engaging in argument.

          • Wisq says:

            Hardly. I’m not diagnosing those I disagree with, I’m diagnosing everyone, myself included. I’ve done the whole “my choice is better than your choice” thing more times than I would care to admit.

            This is a well-documented explanation of why we are naturally inclined to make those sorts of silly arguments, and why we generally always try to convince ourselves (and often, everyone else) that we made the right choice.

          • rohsiph says:

            The most reasonable approach to fallacious arguments is to point out the fallacy/fallacies as succinctly as possible and move on, hoping the person on the other side has the capacity to understand the basic concept of logical fallacy.

            Arguments based on cognitive dissonance generally work as straw men or slippery slopes. No need to do more than point out the fallacy in such circumstances.

            The interesting arguments here are about how scared we should be about future titles requiring similar online connectivity for non-multiplayer components, not about whether Diablo 3 itself is a good / bad / evil game or whatever. Wait a second, wasn’t that exactly what the article was about?

          • Phantoon says:

            Did we forget this is exactly what Ubisoft was doing? This isn’t a new thing, it’s just on a title that most people (casuals) will get, like Skyrim or the newest Call of Manshoot: Invisible Line edition.

            I can’t get mad at the masses for playing video games and coming out with a reaction of “Wow! Video games are fun!” because they generally are. But like a pompous movie critic, I hate to see the values of the medium drop because of this appeal to the lowest common denominator.

          • kud13 says:

            Ubisoft tried this with AssCreed, but they earn a lot more respect points for simply coming out and saying “we think all PC gamers are pirates and need to be treated like 3-class citizens with DRM so draconian so as to drive them all onto our playboxes”. At least they were honest about it, and the issue was clear-cut–they hurt legitimate buyers to fight piracy.

            Blizzard, on the other hand, keeps insisting that it’s looking out for US, the consumers. Whereas Ubisoft insisted that it’s trying to make more money by “fighting piracy” (the soundness of the argument is a separate topic), Blizzard refuses to admit that it’s denying us offline single-player and LAN because it wants more profits from RMAH and to fight pirates. Instead, it tries to make us think that giving them control over a game we paid for (since it’s now a “service”, not a “product”) is GOOD for the consumer, because “we don’t want people to start playing offline, and then realize they can’t take their character online and use it with their friends, oh the horror!”

            By obtusely sticking to this PR speak, Blizz is the one who wants to eat their cake and have it too–get away with always on-DRM, there to inconvenience legitimate users and at the same time not be reviled the way UBI is for being a heartless, money-hungry publisher, which is what most conscientious consumers think of when they think of “always online”. And to try to get this, Blizz is using some of the worst PR-speak i’ve ever heard–and this grates me more than anything Valve, EA, or Ubisoft may do with their own attempts to monopolize the gaming market, because at least those guys are honest about their DRM.

        • Antsy says:

          I’ve had one disconnect since the game went live and only had a problem logging in during the first 30 mins. Obviously having not suffered the problems many others seem to have I’m having a hard time feeling ripped off. I’m sure you probably just think I’m suffering some form of post stress memory disorder though.

          Just to be clear, I don’t think Diablo 3 should require an online connection to play single player and I think the RMAH is an abomination, but I’m still enjoying it.

          • Wisq says:

            No, I just think you’re lucky. And you have no reason to feel ripped off since you haven’t been.

          • Antsy says:

            Hmm, a reasonable response. The last thing I expected in a RPS Diablo 3 thread this week.

            Well played, Sir!

          • rohsiph says:

            Yep, per Wisq: you’re simply lucky. Most of the time I’ve had similar luck with these things, but unfortunately in this case I’ve suffered some headache–

            Installed my collector’s edition after work Tuesday evening. Server was down until 15 minutes before I went to bed. Disappointing, but I found other things to do after I finished the installation.

            Last night was more annoying: I was able to start a character when I got home from work, but 10 minutes in I got booted and stupidly persisted in trying to get a stable connection for close to 2 hours. My online connection wasn’t the problem–I could connect to anything else just fine. But the two times in those subsequent 2 hours I got back in the game, I had 2-3 second delays on every action–and I don’t even want to play multiplayer the first time through.

            Hoping it’ll be smooth when I start it up in a few minutes, but I’m going to be much more careful about giving Blizzard any money for a pre-order in the future. I’m weak for bonus goodies, so I probably won’t be able to resist the next SCII collector’s edition, but I won’t be happy if there aren’t signs they’ve learned from their mistakes this time.

          • Phantoon says:

            Do understand that your experience is atypical- most people that suffer the trials of error 37 just didn’t run to Facebook to post about it.

            Everyone can be plenty reasonable in these comments as long as they’re not zealots of for or against.

      • psyk says:

        Maybe just maybe they don’t give a shit, the same way most people don’t give a shit about people all over the world dying each day.

    • AMonkey says:

      You sound ENTITLED!

      • jwoozy says:

        I don’t know what UK politics are like, but here in the States “entitlement” is a cheap political smear used to convince people to put aside their own best interests and give up services that they have a legitimate right to have, which is why people who complain that others are “entitled” are usually seen as inveterate, out-of-touch assholes with no sense of fair play. That the word has spilled into popular vernacular about gamers is truly disheartening considering the truckload upon truckload of bullshit we deal with just for having the nerve to legitimately obtain a piece of software.

        This game just screams “pirate me!”.

        • Reefpirate says:

          I’ve seen a few people just dismissing the word ‘entitlement’ as some sort of Fox News right-wing insult… You’re really just overcomplicating the word with your own ideology. It has a simple definition, and isn’t necessarily insulting.

          entitled: Give (someone) a legal right or a just claim to receive or do something.

          When or if people use it as an insult, they usually mean that someone feels entitled to something that they actually are not entitled to. In this case, some people feel like they were entitled to an offline single player experience when in fact there hasn’t been a claim to anything like that for a while. Blizzard has been open about their plans for a long time now.

          Now, you can say that Blizzard made a mistake. You can say that Blizzard shouldn’t have done what they did, but no one is ENTITLED to a specific playing experience when the vendor (Blizzard) has been pretty open about their intentions and hasn’t deceived anyone.

          • Phantoon says:

            Except there was the bit where Blizzard also implied that the always-online single player wouldn’t screw with your game because of lag.

            Except it does that. There is no such thing as a single player Diablo 3, even when you’re solo. And leading up to this, they never once said “YEP IF YOUR CONNECTION LAGS YOUR GAME WILL TOO WHEN SOLO!” because that’s a terrible selling point.

        • Kablooie says:

          To pirates, sure.

    • Mattressi says:

      Yep, I agree too. I voted with my wallet by not buying this game (because they wouldn’t include LAN and because, in the end, SP required an internet connection), so I’m not affected by this crap. It just further reinforces in my mind that I never want to buy a game which requires and internet connection to play. Maybe if there was an MMO that was actually good (yet to see one), I’d consider it, but no other game has an excuse for requiring a constant internet connection.

      • Phantoon says:

        It IS going to affect you, though. Once other companies see that Blizzard can get away with this, they’ll do it too.

        • Brun says:

          You may be right, but the extent to which this DRM system catches on is up for debate. Yes, other companies will see that Blizzard was successful and try to emulate them. However, they may not reach the same level of success.

          We’ve seen this same pattern before – with WoW and its imitators in the years after its release. No one could ever reach WoW’s level of success with another MMO, and now companies are (finally) beginning to realize that trying to emulate WoW won’t work for them.

          We may need to endure a few years of bad always-on implementations, but I don’t think this has irrevocably doomed the industry – yet.

          • Phantoon says:

            I don’t know about that. Ubisoft already experimented with this once before.

            The foundations are laid.
            The stress tests have been done.
            Now they’re just waiting to see if it pays off when they put the sign out front that reads:
            Real Money Auction House

          • Hematite says:

            I’m sure it will turn out fine. I ran into a Blizzard employee the other day and he said to me:

            “In his house at RMAH, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming!”

            I’m not sure what he meant, but he sounded very positive about it!

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Always online is pretty much the entire reason I didn’t buy Diablo 3. I was really excited about it. I remember the disappointment when Diablo 2 came out and my system didn’t meet the requirements. I was gutted. That still lingers and when I KNEW I’d have a system that could run Diablo 3 easily (since it could run everything else) I was really looking forward to it. Then Blizz went and basically pissed over everyone’s heads and told us it was raining. Remember the “it’s not DRM” comment from them? I posted the entire thing on my blog and I’m glad I did as I could easily go back and look at it now without hunting for it.

      I think this is entirely about control of the marketplace. If the game is tied to online, publishers can FORCE you to buy their new game. Seriously, it will come to this, mark my words. EA are already doing this. As someone who bought their MMA game brand new I now can’t access online. Never liked to fight online (because I suck) but downloading custom fighters was a great feature. So I guess I’m stuck with what I have now.

      While I don’t think Blizzard would leverage their position by killing Diablo 3 when Diablo 4 comes out, you know damn well EA are eying the ability to do all this AND kill your game, looking at their bank account and fucking salivating.

      I’m curious to see how long it is until Diablo 3 is cracked. Despite not engaging in piracy for well over a decade now I still hang around the community as I enjoy the technical stuff about copy protections and how they work etc… So I’m keen to see just how long it is until there is a cracked Diablo 3. Not fully cracked, but enough that you can fuck about without Blizzard’s involvement. Like for one of the Ass Creed games, there was a partial crack which worked to level 13 I think it was. Regardless, I’m excited to see where it goes, because ultimately it’ll be down to pirates that you’ll still be able to play these games in the future.

      If there are custom WOW servers you can download, then no amount of “Online only” is going to be insurmountable, and I will enjoy watching those folk take up the challenge to ensure you can still play your games long after the likes of Blizz, EA etc… have killed your ability to do so legitimately.

    • Rankith says:

      Yes you should expect this to happen… You should always know the details of something before you spend money on it. If someone buys Diablo 3, and then whines/complains about server down time, they obviously spent their money before they should have.

      I’d say its similar to buying something that runs on batteries and then being pissed you have to buy new batteries. If you buy something that runs on batteries, you do so knowing you will have to replace the batteries. If you buy a game that requires you to be online, you SHOULD do so knowing servers are not perfect and their may well be problems. If you don’t like those problems, don’t buy it… It is in no way Blizzard’s fault that your expectations of the servers being perfect right away were completely dumb based upon how those things typically go…

      Buyer beware. Don’t spend money if you don’t know what your getting into.

      Also, entitlement. I seriously hate the amount of entitlement people feel nowadays. You are thinking “I bought this and I want it to do this thing but it doesn’t, now im upset. I’m entitled to what I WANTED, not what I BOUGHT”. If you don’t want the always online, don’t buy the game, because that is part of it. Also don’t demand the people that sold it to you do it differently, its THEIR product.

      It really boils down to people wanting to play D3, but wanting to play it how THEY want it, and wanting acces to it how THEY want. Thats entitlement again. People think they are entitled to exactly what they want. YOU AREN’T! You are entitled to what you bought, and that is it. You bought a game that is always online and obviously will have some server problems. Don’t complain when you got exactly what you bought.

      • Phantoon says:

        Blizzard isn’t entitled to your money, but you seem to be thinking they are.

      • Droopy The Dog says:

        You’re applying the sales agreement very strictly to the customer but not at all the blizzard there and coming out with a completely backwards conclusion.

        The player bought a game with an online requirement, and blizzard sold the provision of servers to play that game. Since none of the sales agreements explicitly said the servers totally won’t work at some points, the customers are entitled to moan as much as they bloody well want to, since Blizzard didn’t provide what they agreed to on purchase.

        Telling people to use common sense and predict that the servers won’t work when the sales agreement explicitly says they will, in between screaming paragraphs saying “You are entitled to what you bought, and that is it.” “You should always know the details of something before you spend money on it.” (or in Blizzard’s case, take money for it) is blatant hypocrisy and/or tragically stupid.

        Also, to correct your awful battery analogy, a closer analogy would be being unable to read a book you bought that arbitrarily requires batteries and the advertised “batteries included!” didn’t work.

        Well, at least Nathan needn’t worry about staying angry, I didn’t even buy the bloody game and faulty logic and mindless rhetoric like this is winding me up about it.

    • ichigo2862 says:

      In this scenario I’d say that even Ubisoft did it better than Blizzard did. (Hear me out, I’ll explain.) When Blizzard did this DRM thing of theirs, they actually went one step further than Ubisoft when they decided to run the whole game server side. Ubisoft’s DRM, AFAIK, is just a constant verification server, but the game itself is run locally. The difference between the two is if eventually server costs increase past what they’re receiving in revenue, the servers will most likely go down. When that happens, Ubisoft can (possibly) patch their games so that people who used to played through their DRM can still play their games offline. They’ve done it before, or so I’ve heard. In Diablo III’s case, that’s not likely to happen. It might be more likely that they end up having to code up an entirely separate offline client of the game that runs locally on your computer instead, than make a giant patch for the existing version to run offline. (I’m not a programmer, but I think I understand enough that I think this is a reasonable prediction. Programmers, please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong) Either way, this means that the effort to enable an offline mode in Diablo III could be far more difficult than patching a game to no longer require a verification server. Possibly even more effort than they deem necessary once they finally realize the need for it is there? A troubling prospect. So yeah, that’s why I actually prefer Ubisoft’s DRM to Blizzard’s, despite all the talk about features,etc, none of which I give a rat’s ass about, as I have always played the Diablo series solo. I still prefer Steam’s DRM over either of them though, since it actually lets me play my games offline (maybe it requires a bit of foresight on my part, but since all of the games I’ve bought there were on sale for ridiculous amounts, I’m happy to meet them halfway)

    • Horsewhisperer says:

      The problem with these companies is a fundamental misunderstanding of what made their classic releases popular in the first place. Almost all of the games that made them big, had some level of user content creation available. ie. The ability to make new player maps. Ability to make mods. Ability to change some aspect of the game in a unique, personal way. In other words, the games allowed the gaming community to take the basic concept of the game and expand it.
      Blizzard may have made billions on WOW. But they would never have got even that far if it wasn’t for the phenomenal success of Warcraft and Starcraft. These games were popular over many years, largely because of user content available on the net from basic multiplayer maps right up to complete scenarios and even some mods. Starcraft was also quite probably the first game with truly stable netcode to be released. Battlenet, the basis of most of their games since, was built on the strength of this one title alone. The longevity of these games have lead directly to Blizzards subsequent success. Blizzard fans would wait years for the next installment because Blizzard just seemed to know what their fans really wanted. Some would question wether this is still really the case anymore, with the latest spate of titles, and their methodology in marketing them.

      This concept of allowing the gamer / user to have full creativity doesn’t just apply to Games. It applies in other software categories and even hardware.

      One of the primary reasons Microsoft Office is the premier business application suite on the PC today is because of it’s extreme flexibility in the programming environment it offers. Office is extremely reprogrammable, and it is for the most part open and well documented. Microsoft Word eclipsed Wordperfect back in the early nineties, arguably a better word processing program, largely because of this one feature.
      The audio compact disc, came out in the mid eighties, but it failed to outsell tapes even into the mid nineties, until burnable CDs became cheap and relatively common.

      Buyers want CHOICE, and they want ownership of that choice !!

      It is the reason that we have consumer protection departments in government. It’s why we have Anti-trust, and corporations law. They are fundamentally based on consumer choice. And the gaming public outnumbers the professional gaming developers employed in the gaming industry at least a million to one, so our voice must eventually be heard.

      By forcing users into an online DRM Content with only the chance for expansion by purchasing the developers next release, players feel they have a certain disconnect from ownership of the game they paid for. Also, every small issue the game throws up as a result of DRM and “Always Online” faults or crashes or disconnects, puts a small nail in the coffin of that game, and my opinion of DRM as a whole. I’ve had consistent problems with Diablo 3 for instance, after a recent Battle.net update that trashes my home network completely every time I try to run the game. In the end, I just stopped playing it. There’s no offline mode before Reaper of Souls (Which still checks online everytime you run the game anyway), and I’m not inclined to upgrade. So Diablo 3 is essentially dead to me, and I might not ever buy into the series again. It’s a beautiful game, but it misses the things that made Diablo 2 more than mearly good. The things that kept me coming back for more (The ridiculous numbers of mods available gave it a life far beyond the original release, a feature that is a practical impossibility in Diablo 3).

      What I’m trying to say is, companies may make loads of cash on great game titles, but these games only last as long as the developers can keep on coming up with creative ideas. When the companies release a little bit of control and pass some of the developing over to the gaming community, they release the true potential of their titles, and the community buy in becomes a truly long term prospect. Just look at the ARMA series by Bohemia Interactive for a genuine example of what is possible.

  2. Coriolis says:

    Well the hope would be that one day we’ll have another gaming company that could pull off this sort of thing off even better then blizzard. Give them some actual competition.

    Ah who am I kidding.

    • JackShandy says:

      Well, Valve. No diablo-like from them yet, of course, but they’re going head-to-head over Dota. I’ve seen a Starcraft pro praising Dota 2′s UI.

      • JarinArenos says:

        Maybe I dare hope that Diablo’s rocky launch might make things the tiniest bit easier for Torchlight 2? >.>

        • Runty McTall says:

          Heh, when I was watching the post-count soar on the Blizzard forums I did think “gee, I wonder if some of their Devs were secretly rooting for Torchlight and wanted to give it a leg up?”

          Also, I had no intention of buying Torchlight 2 before but I probably will now – co-op play is fun and I want to be able to come back to it at a time of my choosing in the future, regardless of server status etc. So torchlight gets a sale for being like D3 but probably not bullshit.

    • Jimbo says:

      That’s the key really: competition. Or lack thereof. As long as a half-assed attempt from Blizzard is still better than what everybody else can manage then most people aren’t going to stay mad at them for very long, no matter how badly they fuck up. Without a decent alternative, people will accept what they’re given.

      Blizzard would need to step their game up if they had somebody significant nipping at their heels in a position to take their disgruntled customers from them, but they don’t really.

      • Highstorm says:

        What I’ve seen of Torchlight II really looks fantastic (and I’m not generally a fan of their chosen graphic style). Sadly I think it lacks the widespread awareness and appeal of a household name like Diablo so while I think it will end up selling well, the numbers won’t be anywhere close to D3. Marketing is a huge part of being a competitor and these smaller studios that don’t have an endless stream of WoW revenue just can’t compete, even if they’re offering a conceivably better product.

        • Auldreekie says:

          Couldn’t agree more.
          I never got into the first torchlight game because I like to click my way through these games with my brother at my side but will definitely be checking out the sequel.
          The style of Diablo 3 didn’t impress me from the beginning, also living in the countryside during my major holiday periods (when most gaming takes place!) means the always online was never going to be an option.
          I am pretty excited for Path of Exile, which is amazing from what I have experienced in the beta. Looks more like I thought Diablo 3 would look like.

  3. LimEJET says:

    I have never seen the appeal of this genre of games, and with the multitude of problems surrounding this one, I think nothing’s about to change.

  4. Ashen says:

    No amount of grumbling or complaining will amount to anything. The game has already sold a metric shit-ton of copies and will continue to do so – what this shows to the suits is that people might throw a tantrum but won’t vote with their wallets regardless of DRM.

    This battle has already been lost.

    • Baboonanza says:

      I completely agree. Sadly what exercises like this will demonstrate is that the number of people that are willing to stand by their convictions and not play a game (oh! the sacrifice!) because of ridiculous DRM is smaller than the number of sales the publisher thinks they will lose through piracy without it.

      I’m not a fanatic about DRM, I had no problem with Starforce and the like or even online activation and as I work in the industry myself I’m sympathetic with the problems of piracy. But always on can fuck right off, if you put that on your game I won’t play it simple as that, and if more people were willing to do the same instead of buying the game and then bitching about it we wouldn’t have this problem.

    • Sensai says:

      Agreed. And really, that’s the part that really confuses me.

      We all knew about this DRM going in. They were never shy about it, never tried to lie to us about it being there (unlike Ubisoft). When it was initially announced, people were unhappy about it…but then decided to purchase it anyways? Do gamers really not have any sense of self control?

      Then, for some stupid reason, people complain when Blizzard delivers on exactly what they promised. Look, I understand it sucks, but they did tell you about it a LONG time ago. This isn’t a surprise to anyone and, well, you purchased it. I hate to say it, but that solidifies you as part of the problem. (Or, at absolute least, not part of the solution.)

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Most people are very selfish when it comes to the entertainment they enjoy. I am, I certainly wasn’t going to pass on this game because of these issues. For me, the game is worth the hassle, mainly because of the nostalgia this game brings.

        The message that the industry needs to hear, is that your game probably won’t have as much appeal as Diablo, so you will not be able to get away with this. This applies to the team who will be making Diablo 4. D3 traded in ALL the loyalty, you’ve got no credit left!

    • Alexrd says:

      Sad, but true. Are people stupid? Why would they want their game tied to the lifespan of an online server?

      • cosmicolor says:

        I think it is more apathy than stupidity. That or people being willing to forgive a lot and give no shits, if the game is good, as this game has turned out to be.

  5. Fumarole says:

    I won’t be playing D3 for the foreseeable future. I’m not angry, just disappointed as I enjoyed the previous games.

    • mispelledyouth says:

      Fumarole: I’m playing it right now. My fists of fury have righteously obliterated many minions of hell already and I’m having a grand ole time. By all means be ( absolutely justifiably ) disappointed with it not being everything you want it to be, but once you’re in and playing it’ll be….well, everything you want it to be.

      I’d suggest lessening aforementioned chagrin by just buying it anyway and slaughtering everything in sight. Much more fun than self denial.

      • Sian says:

        I can only speak for myself, but I know that lots of people are having a grand old time with D3 – and yet I won’t buy it. I know that my fun would stop the first time my internet connection goes down and cost me progress in my singleplayer game. I know I would be frustrated when I can’t log on and play my singleplayer game due to issues with Blizzard’s servers or my ISP. And I know that I don’t want singleplayer games to ever confront me with this problem.

        That’s why I won’t buy this game, and I wouldn’t even if it were the greatest to ever grace my PC. It’s no use telling us how good it is. Some of us have principles they’re willing to fight for. Besides: Plenty of other fun games out there and most of them aren’t even as overly expensive as D3.

        • Fumarole says:

          Agreed. I have plenty of games to play, so missing out on D3 is not a big thing for me. Maybe one day I’ll play it, but not in its current state and not at a $60 price point.

      • Thermal Ions says:

        The problem here is that even if the servers stay up, and have minimal downtime, the usual network latency is a killer – literally. The lowest latency I’m likely to get to the closest servers (Asia) is going to be a minimum 200ms which when combined with the inevitable lag spikes is definitely not fun.

        • nrvsNRG says:

          looks like 200-250ms is around the average at the moment (going by whats been said in general chat).
          mine did go as low as 150ms today w00t!….but its still in the green at this range so i dont really understand.

        • Hematite says:

          I’ll be interested to see how the lag issue plays out. I’ve been playing Path of Exile (plug) and the couple of times I’ve had noticeable lag* the game was very forgiving. There was a bit of rubber banding, and some attacks (mine and monsters) seemed to get discarded rather than retconned into play, so I wasn’t in any particular danger of dieing. The one time I actually got disconnected I just logged back in and returned to the same dungeon instance which was approximately as I’d left it.

          It’ll be interesting to see if D3 continues to be so strict about taking your goodies away for connection problems, and if PoE continues to be so lax. Obviously the laxity makes it easier to scam PvP and hardcore modes, but like many others I just want to have fun playing the game. What do I care if some other guy is cheating death by yanking out his network cable?

          *downloading Warlock while I was playing may or may not have had something to do with it

  6. Kablooie says:

    Read any scifi, and you’d see the harbringers of change, particularly in this regard – an always on, always active connection and virtual products/services being available to the consumer. What will we put up with? How much DLC – how many times will they want to dip into our accounts? The line drawn in the sand gets hazy. Still, it’ll boil down to cost, and convenience. The days of owning (or feeling we own) games, playing a completely standalone product, are really over, like it or not. Future generations will enjoy increased the increased interactivity and flexibilty the system will offer, and probably wonder why many of us even raised a fuss.

    • IAmUnaware says:

      There won’t be any wondering. They’ll find out pretty quickly when they hear one of us talking about an old game and say “Hey, that sounds pretty fun. Where can I download it?” and we have to respond “Oh, that company’s not around to host auth servers anymore, so the game can’t be played.”

    • Baboonanza says:

      Or they’ll be peons slaved to the whims of corporations, working forever to pay for things that they never actually own, their privacy gone, every action trackable, mineable, marketable. Consuming endless entertainment on their iPads that are completely locked down so as to prevent any action besides purchase and consumption.

      Technological advance doens’t automatically lead to a better outcome, nothing is inevitable. People need to fight for the things they believe are important or one day we’ll look around and realise those things are gone.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      If people didn’t complain, there would be no United States.

  7. deadly.by.design says:

    Grayson has joined the game. Diablo’s minions make sure he’s connected to the internet.

  8. Squirrelfanatic says:

    I agree entirely. While it is easy to stay away from Diablo III (at least for me, it’s just not my cup of tea), there might be games released in the future that I am actually interested in but wouldn’t want to buy because of always-online “features”.

    Hopefully other developers/publishers will realise that while Blizzard might get away with this – because of their reputation, fanbase, quality of polish – others might not. Hopefully this thought crosses their mind and hopefully they will realise that choosing the always-online path is not the best idea. Neither for their business, nor for the potential players.

  9. BULArmy says:

    We are going a bad way and I don’t see something changing in the future. Companies slap DRM, we complain, but in the end if 1000 ppl said they will not buy the game, at least 50% don’t do that. In D3 case is maybe even more.

    I really didn’t have much problems with D3, because I can play when others work(good student’s live where you study at night even though the whole day is free). Yes I don’t like the whole, always on thing, but I want the experience that D3 gives and sacrificed my ideals(I have not bought a single Ubi game after their DRM fiasco), just because the thing that is behind this horrible monstrosity that Blizz made is a great product, with great value and if nothing else, Blizz is the company who knows how to do the things right in the end.

    And then we come again to the problem, even more companies can follow Blizzard’s path, but their products can’t compete and then there will be a lot of blaming.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Going a bad way eh? Well sorry to say but it’s people like you who are making it happen. Don’t buy games that treat you like shit.

  10. povu says:

    That’s the problem I have with Diablo 3 exactly: The precedent it sets. If it proves succesful for Blizzard, other devs/publishers are going to copy it.

    Remember when people were outraged over having to do a one time activation over the internet for games? Now years later it’s considered normal. While online activation was never a big issue to me since it’s not that hard to find an internet connection these days, the next step of always-online IS an issue, and I don’t want that to be some standard thing we’ll just have to live with 5 years from now.

    • Lagwolf says:

      Exactly the point I have been making. It is not just about Diablo III & Blizzard. It is about the future of AAA PC/Mac gaming.

      • byteCrunch says:

        I am with you there, it was a point I tried to make on the forums but people do not listen. Too busy rushing to defend this incredibly consumer unfriendly system, rather than taking the time to think about it’s impact, in both the short and long term.

        Always-online was purely motivated by money, no matter how much Blizzard pretend it isn’t, it is to push the RMAH, that is all, because Blizzard wants to milk Diablo 3 for years to come with minimal investment in.

        “Look they are trading randomized items for real money, and we get a cut each time without doing anything.”

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Dudes, that ship has sailed. Get with the program.

      • mentor07825 says:

        I absolutely agree

  11. The Sombrero Kid says:

    It’s a great game but it’s also the last blizzard game i’ll buy until they start respecting their customers, I genuinely feel abused by blizzard and I don’t forgive lightly. I got a long blacklist of publishers/developers I patently refuse to fund and blizzard, on the edge of that list for a long time now, have finally crossed that line, I’m still going to play this great game I paid for but in the modern market it takes a lot more than a great game to get my money, you need to pay me the due amount of respect too.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      How exactly are they disrespecting their customers? They offer a product, people buy it or they don’t. End of story. And in Blizzards case many many many people buy it, so clearly they are doing something right.

      As much disdain as I have for things like words with friends or Farmville or Mafia Wars, I would never suggest the companies were “disrespecting their customers”. They are just offering a product that abuses reward circuits and appeals to a certain kind of person. Case closed.

      • Strangerator says:

        “They are just offering a product that abuses reward circuits and appeals to a certain kind of person.”

        How is this NOT disrespectful? You are appealing to base reward instinct, the same way I train my dog to fetch a newspaper. My dog is a lower life-form, and I still feel guilty for manipulating him. One human being using this sort of “conditioning” on another is AT LEAST disrespectful.

        Case reopened and re-closed.

        • LintMan says:

          Strangerator: How is this NOT disrespectful?

          From his assorted posts, Joshua seems to believe that game companies are justified doing whatever it takes to increase profits and everyone should just stop complaining about those decisions and suck it up.

          • nanowired says:

            He is that NPC from Shadowrun who wanders around the Corporate archology and is willfully ignorant about the outside world.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            No they should either buy the games or not. Complaining about the “quality” of games which are selling like hotcakes it just absurd.

          • The Sombrero Kid says:

            But WHY should they “either buy the game or not”, what’s wrong with complaining, do you think it’s a waste of time and that companies don’t listen to your complaints, do you think there’s something inherently wrong with communicating your ideas? I don’t understand why some people think complaining is a bad thing, I personally welcome complaints about my games, it helps me make them better.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Josh So it’s OK to complain about the quality of a game if it’s not selling well, but it’s not OK to complain if it’s sold very well?

            Surely it’s the other way round. If a company has produced crap and loads of people bought it, surely more people are affected so the complaints should be taken more seriously. Also the company that sold less has less revenue and so cannot be expected to spend as much money fixing the issues.

            Anyhow, next time you buy a product which doesn’t work, I hope you check how well it’s selling before deciding whether to get a replacement.

      • The Sombrero Kid says:

        I for one am eternally grateful to every single person who buys my games and lets me keep doing what I think is the greatest job in the world, without those people who give me money to do what I do, i wouldn’t have that privilege, I don’t think people at blizzard feel that way for countless reasons chief among them being the artificial punishment for not wanting to or being able to buy a physical copy of a game so heavily dependant on the internet.

    • LintMan says:

      The Sombrero Kid: It’s a great game but it’s also the last blizzard game i’ll buy until they start respecting their customers

      I’m curious as to why you bought the game in the first place? Did you not know before buying about the no-offline SP and always-on DRM? Or were you OK with that and are mainly upset about the downtime issues?

      • The Sombrero Kid says:

        Like I said i’ve had a growing sense that Blizzard don’t respect their customers for quite a while now, a combination of an unacceptably painful launch from a company that has the resources to avoid this kind of thing and a remarkable lack of empathy in Blizzards response to the criticism are what pushed them over the line for me.

  12. ItalianPodge says:

    I’ve played for about two hours, I have had a lot of problems signing in and lost a hero when for some reason the region switched to “Americas”. So that’s the downside, on the upside the game seems quite fun.

    I would have said that it’s an ideal candidate for laptop gaming while on the move. Not much brain power required and low spec requirements, unfortunately I won’t be able to play it on the move as, while I’m happy to fire up a 3G connection to logon to steam and put it in offline mode I’m certainly not happy to have it constantly on.

    I still haven’t understood what the benefits to the player are?

    • Joshua Northey says:

      The benefits for the players are that the game had a much higher budget because it is going to be easily monetized. You don’t understand that?

      Remove the ability to monetize it and the budget falls substantially. Every-time someone steals a game rather than paying for it that drives up the cost for future customers of video games (a tiny tiny fraction of a cent, but there is a lot of stealing so it adds up).

      • Gasmask Hero says:

        So piracy drives down budgets now, does it?

        That’s a new one.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          Take an economics class sometime. Learn something. I absolutely drives down budgets. Have you ever worked int he industry?

          • IAmUnaware says:

            If you actually believed that piracy was why your game got underfunded, I have a bridge to sell you.

            Piracy doesn’t affect budgets. Nobody has any idea the magnitude of piracy’s effect on sales, so how would they have any idea of the amount to reduce budgets by? The thing that affects budgets is GREED (incidentally, the same motivator behind always-on DRM!).

          • Grygus says:

            Given that game budgets have spiraled upwards as piracy increases, your assertion is dubious. Since fighting piracy costs money unrelated to actual game development, it most likely increases the budget; you’re just spending that extra money on stupid things that do not work.

            Judging from your posts over the last few days, if you work in the industry, as you clumsily imply, then you are woefully uninformed on customer relations. You do realize that the people you’re arguing with here are your customers, yes? Here is a free tip: when your customers are angry, you should shut up and listen. There is a reason for it, and you need to understand it. Most of the time, it’s a reason you can address. Doesn’t mean you have to! Sometimes they’re unreasonable, sometimes the economic reality means you don’t want to help, occasionally they’re just wrong; but there is a reason, and trying to convince them that their reason is wrong or stupid is misguided and isn’t helping anyone. It is costing you future sales, though. I guarantee that if a game releases and you are involved, you have created a group of people here who are less likely to care. That is the opposite of what you should be doing.

            I played Diablo III for a few hours last night, and it is clear that Blizzard is doing more listening than arguing; I experienced very few problems myself. Ask yourself why you need to have these arguments when the actual target is taking the criticism to heart.

            I doubt you are actually in the industry, but just in case, some food for thought.

          • wengart says:

            Do you honestly think Blizzard wouldn’t have made this game without the DRM? Blizzard who is rolling in money from a decade of WOW success… With or without this DRM Diablo 3 was going to get a gigantic fucking budget.

          • Brun says:

            Haha, wow. I had actually hope that you’d make the “piracy drives up budgets” argument in a reply to one of my comments, Joshua. But it looks like someone beat me to the punch.

            Piracy, if anything, will reduce budget on future games. On the game in question, it will reduce (possibly) sales revenue.

            That’s not economics. That’s common sense.

      • InternetBatman says:

        That’s assuming an awful lot. Perhaps most importantly, you assume that a high development budget leads to a better game. Your post also assumes that the game needs a high budget. It’s a largely 2D game made in a style that’s existed for over a decade.

        You’re also assuming that the increased monetization will go back into development at the same percentage as before. You’re also assuming that piracy is the same as theft, and that pirates can afford and would buy most of the games they download. The data on this is murky at best.

      • Nick says:

        Hmm, all I see when I look at Joshua’s posts is ‘meep meep meep fanboy apologist meep meep’

      • Matchstick says:

        So maybe the problem lies with AAA game developers being unrealistically overambitious rather than with evil consumers not paying enough.

      • P34nk says:

        The monetization affects the budget? Really? And you said you are 31? Taking economics classes?? Really???

        Wow, I’m proud to say that I’m 30 and never worked in the gaming industry and that I have taken 2 classes in economics and I can already see the flaw in your reasoning. I think you are the one who needs some economics classes, friend.

        Since when budget was set AFTER the game was made? This ‘monetization’ you were talking about was in the design (nobody except the developers know when) to begin with (BEFORE the game was released) and definitely not affecting the budget in anyway. What if nobody wants to use the RMAH? The budget goes down? Budget for what? The game is already done…Wow..

        If you have a project and you set the budget after you finish the project, man…Just wow…Whatever real job you have right now, I certainly hope it does not require common sense or ‘economics’.

  13. mckertis says:

    “That’s why Day Z never caught on.”

    Well, thats right, it didnt. Does anyone think its massively popular, with such extreme system specs ?

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Does it? I play it on my 4 year old laptop. Lowest settings but it runs at over 30fps most of the time.

      • Jimbo says:

        What does that prove? How many sales do you think it takes to drive Arma 2′s sales up by 500% at this point?

        • JackShandy says:

          It’s the number one top seller on steam right now. That’s fucking huge.

          • Jimbo says:

            Is it really ‘fucking huge’? How many is ‘fucking huge’?

            If the 55k Unique Players figure on the DayZ site is anything to go by (and I honestly have no idea whether it is or not) -many of whom would have owned the game already- then it’s a rounding error compared to the numbers Blizzard will be dealing in this week.

          • Grygus says:

            @Jimbo: not being the biggest game in the world does not preclude being wildly successful. For example, if a game makes you millions then it is “huge” even if there is another game making tens of millions. Even if a game is only the 100th best-selling game, it is bigger than 99.9% of all games for sale; is that not good enough to be “huge”?

          • JackShandy says:

            Diablo has had millions of dollars of marketing put behind it over a period of years, Day Z was announced in a forum post a few weeks ago. For an indie mod, made by a single man, for a niche game that’s 2 years old, 55k is fucking huge.(Where “Fucking huge” is defined as “Well beyond any reasonable estimate”)

          • wengart says:

            Right now Arma 2 Combined Operations is the highest selling game on steam (by profit not units) it has been like that for some time. Furthermore it is outselling: COD:MW3 Collection 1, Torchlight 2, Sniper Elite V2, Skyrim, Max Payne 3, COD: MW3 and many more.

            This is for a niche game that was released in 2009. Furthermore the expansion (Operation Arrowhead) is currently #15 on Steam.

            For this series it is huge.

          • Jimbo says:

            Yes, *for that series* it is huge. That doesn’t make it relevant when discussing why Blizzard should or shouldn’t decide to do something. It’s not even in the same ballpark. My cock is fucking huge but I’m not gonna bring it up when talking about the highest peaks in the world.

            If the hypothetical person in the article were to bring up DayZ as evidence of why Diablo 3 should support mods then they would hypothetically have a very shitty argument.

        • Palindrome says:

          How many sales does it take to make a game consistently within the top 3 steam games for the past week? Its currently on the top spot by the way.

    • Moraven says:

      I thought the comparison was that both have their servers crashed half of the day.

      You praise DayZ…when you can actually play.
      People praise Diablo…when you can actually play.

      (Like and enjoy both, just not when bother servers are down :( )

  14. Milky1985 says:

    Very well written.

    I agree with this, and its good to see someone in the press stand up and say what many gamers have been saying for a while.That its good to stand up and say “We don’t like this” if we can see that its going to head in a direction we don’t like.Lets be honest many of us have “called” the direction of the industry, mainly based on cynicism yes but thats beside the point :P

    No idea what the origional poem/speach is but its been quoted a few times, and it ends

    “And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.”

    Possibly Appropriate in this case again!

    [EDIT] Reason i say no idea is that there seems to be two versions of it, without digging around when I should be working (instead of posting here when i should be working) i can’t find out which one is the origonal!

    • Ateius says:

      “First they came for the communists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

      Then they came for me
      and there was no one left to speak out for me.”

      Replace the first three groups with whatever is applicable to your particular grievance and away you go! Bonus points if it’s for something utterly frivolous like a speeding ticket or being asked to register your assault rifle with the local police.

      • Milky1985 says:

        There was another version of that to do with relegion so i wasn’t sure which one was the first use of it.

        I think its linked to a guy from germany in teh wartime or post war years so iguess your version but not 100%

  15. nasenbluten says:

    I’m not going to buy it, didn’t liked the beta one bit.

    Torchlight 2 and Path of Exile all the way.

  16. Gundato says:

    On the one hand, I’ll admit that I fall under the category of people who aren’t too morally outraged by the concept behind this. Especially because it is (to my knowledge, I haven’t taken a look at how the cracked version works. I know that most cracked ubidrm games actually still phone home for content), tied to Battle.net. That is the same reason that I don’t get too angry at Steam’s DRM: The odds of an individual server going down are high. The odds of the service going down (permanently) are low.

    On the other hand, I fully agree that a dedicated singleplayer mode should be available. But I also fully understand the very good reason not to: it discourages the community aspects. If you never need to go online, a lot of us won’t (I sure as hell know I wouldn’t). A lot of us are the kind of people who actively turn off the multiplayer aspects of Dead Island, even though that is a game that REALLY benefits from even having some random idiot hanging out with you.

    And I understand the reason they don’t want you to take your multiplayer character offline (or vice versa). Look at games like Borderlands where pubbing is nigh impossible because of all the hacked characters (or, at least, gear). I remember way back when I used to play Evil Islands (fun game). Multiplayer was pretty much crap because it took away all the fun of finding loot because your teammates will decide “Hey, I want to have some fun, let’s just give the n00b some spare gear. I can get more any time I want”, and odds are the “get more” involves save game hacking. Keeping the characters online solves that.

    And if you can never go from offline->online (I think the first two Diablos were like that?), that cuts into your playerbase. Although, I doubt that will matter for THIS game because this is as much an experiment as it is a game. It is the same reason that Valve tested Steam with Counterstrike and Half-Life 2 and UbiDRM was tested with AssCreed and Splinter Cell and Activation Model Securom was tested with Mass Effect and Spore. You pick games that people are going to be willing to put up with the crap for.

    So yeah, I’ll be honest: I have no idea how to feel about this. The execution is garbage, no arguments there. But the concept doesn’t seem all that bad to me, if given time to be developed more thoroughly. So long as these continue to be tied to major services (Battle.net, Steam, probably not Origin), the biggest fear of EA or Atari killing the master server fades.

    • dsch says:

      1. There is nothing inherently and essentially good about community aspects.

      2. Actually, most of the points here (re: cheating, etc.) have been addressed already.

      3. I don’t imagine Steam is set up for the kind of DRM going on here.

  17. Joshua Northey says:

    Blizzard doesn’t make games to make the best possible gaming experience. They make games to make money. You realize that don’t you? That the gaming “industry” is mostly about making money and people finding a way to do what they want and put food on their tables?

    It is not about what is “best” or what would be ideal, or what would be the most enjoyable. It is about separating people from their dollars. That is what the always online “DRM” is about, and that is why this type of whining is just silly.

    Blizzard made a product, you can take it or leave it. Whining about the particular way they chose to help monetize their product and discourage theft of it is just silly. Trust me if there was a better more lucrative model they and EA would probably be using it. But frankly most legitimate gamers (you know the ones who actually spend money on games and thus the ones the companies care about) don’t really care about the DRM.

    Mostly it is the hardcore and the thieves who care, and the hard core are not numerous enough to matter except in niche genre’s and the thieves are irrelevant since pleasing them generates no money.

    • JackShandy says:

      “Blizzard doesn’t make games to make the best possible gaming experience. They make games to make money.”

      Those goals are usually aligned.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Not as closely as you might think, but generally yes. Things like DRM are exactly where they are unaligned though.

        • Gundato says:

          Maybe. The argument to that being: Piracy impacts sales (to what degree is a point of contention), and fewer sales means less incentive to make patches and what nots.
          And most of the modern DRM models have the additional feature of improving the player’s (online) experience through DLC (more content is nice) and anti-cheating measures.

          If those outweigh the cons of DRM are up for debate. But the point is: they are intended to increase the value of the game to the customer, making it a “better game”.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Problem with the “thieves and hardcore” argument is that:

      - Pirates will pirate (sooner or later. There ain’t nothing such as unbreakable DRM, as hard they try to convince the consumers base) and therefore won’t be affected.

      - Hardcore who want to play won’t mind, past a simple question of principle, because they’re mostly buying in full knowledge of the issues and most likely have no problem being always online. Also, they will manage their time to play when it works (ie. not during peak hours).

      So, in the end, the only screwed are the legitimate lambda casual player that you designate as being inane enough to be fed complete crap and still ask for more. That’s just not the truth. The guys that are defending blizzard teeth and nails are a minority, as much as the hardcore critics.

      I can assure you that, atm, there are a lot more people disappointed because of the issues and having bought a broken game than you think. I know a handful around me, and they can’t be the exception.

    • Arvind says:

      Blizzard makes games to make money, and I buy games so I can enjoy them. If I don’t like something about their product, I’m perfectly within my rights to say what I don’t like about the product, and point out the reason I’m not buying it. All negative opinion is not “whining” or “entitlement”.

      In your words, it isn’t whining, sometimes people don’t agree with your point of view. It happens. Grow up.

      • Josh W says:

        In addition, games companies talk about their games, try to set expectations and norms via advertising.

        So can we.

        It’s not just the people who want to buy the game that they advertise to, or argue for their business model to, and so that opens a space of argument where advertising faces anti-advertising.

        They want us to accept their terms, not just now, but in the future, we want to set out our terms, not just for this transaction, but for the future.

        Even if we don’t buy the game, we can talk about whether it is a good deal, or a low blow not worthy of being seen as the norm.

    • Didero says:

      As a company I would want to hear why people aren’t buying my product. If it’s something that can be solved or changed, you can sell your product to more people, meaning higher revenues.
      If anything, a company should encourage (would-be) consumers to complain about things they don’t like.

  18. lomaxgnome says:

    Personally I wonder why they didn’t just call this a Diablo MMO from the start, it would have completely avoided any pr backlash on the online only requirement. And to that I can only assume that they’d think people who grab it off the shelf in Walmart would put it back if it said MMO, but won’t notice that it requires a constant connection. I played the beta for a while, the game was surprisingly fun, but as soon as I had lag and a disconnect, it just reminded me that I quit playing WoW a while back and I completely lost interest. There’s a reason they give it away free to people who would commit to another year of WoW, they know that people who get into Diablo III will get their MMO fill just fine and will drop the subscription if they just bought it. And one $60 purchase isn’t nearly as profitable to them as 12 months of subscription fees.

    • Greggh says:

      MMO means MASSIVELY Multiplayer Online.
      Diablo III is far from being massively in the sense that you will not play with 32-ish players AT THE SAME TIME.

      • lomaxgnome says:

        It’s little different from Guild Wars, and anyone who played WoW or any other MMORPG will tell you that end game it turns into a chat room attached to assorted instances/raids. Though perhaps calling it Diablo MMO would have been a misnomer, however, calling it “Diablo Online” would have been the truth.

        • Hematite says:

          I think this argument about what a MMOWhatever has to be to earn the MMO is going to come up increasingly often. A lot of MMORPGs seem to be effectively 6-player co-op with a global chat channel, which isn’t actually very interesting. DayZ for example is much more MMO because the world is full of other players acting in the same sandbox, competing for the same resources, and Fight/Ignore/Make friends is a meaningful choice.

  19. Lobotomist says:

    I agree completely.

    I was really on edge not to buy Diablo 3 because of this. But its the damn Diablo 3 !
    Any other game would simply be denied from my side.

    Blizzard are dicks, because they can be. But they are paying the price (the hype is very strong against the game)

    Maybe the right thing to do (if you have the funds) to buy Torchlight 2 , and show that we do want player friendly games.

    Alas. D3 is simply to good of a game to miss. Despite all the crap. And Online play is a blast…

    • MooseMuffin says:

      But they are paying the price (the hype is very strong against the game)

      That’s short sighted. WoW’s launch went far worse than this one (they actually had to stop selling it for a while until they got their server situation under control) and there were zero negative repercussions for Blizzard. This will be no different. People will (rightfully) rage for a while now, but Blizzard will have their act together within a week and all people will be left with for the weeks and months ahead is a fun game.

  20. SiHy_ says:

    You may want to remove the ‘lack of a pause feature’ lest the accuracy brigade descend on it and rend it from your otherwise brilliantly written and thought-provoking article. Good brain thoughts, thank you for sharing them.

    • Themadcow says:

      Thank gawd. When I saw that ‘no single player pause bit’ I kinda resigned myself to not bothering to buy it… the Mrs doesn’t do games with no pause buttons since, well, I stopped talking to her for hours/days on end during the WoW years.

  21. InternetBatman says:

    I’m not trying to be bitchy, but did the author of this post buy the game? That’s really the only metric they care about.

    Personally I skipped it. Some of my friends have skipped it. I’m don’t doubt that it’s a good game, but I’m tired of the endless skirmishes between customers and publishers. I’m tired of monetization and cheap cash ins. I don’t want to buy a service, I want to buy a discrete product. I don’t want to have to sign a ten page legal document every time I want some entertainment. I’m tired of an industry that feels it has to force customers into technology.

  22. Vagrant says:

    I’m definitely still upset, for many reasons. I’d have never bought the game if not for the ‘Facebook Dilemma,’ as I like to call it. By that I mean, I hate it but every friend of mine is playing it, thus I am socially obliged to play it.

    Incredibly frustrating server issues aside, though, I miss having options in my character development, such as the lack of a skill tree. I can see the benefits of removing the skill tree, but they took that approach to everything. As usual, the Cynical Brit worded it much better than I could if you watch his recent update.

    • RaveTurned says:

      “I hate it but every friend of mine is playing it, thus I am socially obliged to play it.”

      Eh? I don’t follow this logic at all. :s

    • InternetBatman says:

      The facebook dilemma is easy to solve. First say that the game is unethical. Then, say that there are better indie games out there, regardless of whether or not there are. Finally, call it a mundane and repetitive game, and excoriate it for its lack of experimentation. It’s been working for music fans for generations.

      Seriously, this is like consumption of an entertainment product 101. If all of this takes too long, or you’re not sure if you can keep it up, try the risky strategy of “I liked their earlier work better.”

      • Vagrant says:

        It’s called peer pressure! I guess I value hanging out with friends over any moral high ground. I could unethicalize Diablo 3 over several points that irk me.

        Also, the preferred indie alternative was delayed beyond D3′s release date. If Torchlight 2 was already out, then maybe I could have gotten out of Diablo 3.

  23. cptgone says:

    i still haven’t played Diablo 2 – i still haven’t played Diablo 1, cause i still haven’t found a cheap copy.
    my Steam backlog has some reportedly similar games though, e.g. Torchlight.

    maybe one day Blizzard will come to it’s senses. then i’ll get to play the polished, bugfixed game for a few euro’s \o/
    meanwhile, thanks for beta testing, all you full price payers you ;)

    on the DRM thing: yikes that’s one scary implementation. boo!

  24. Wild_Marker says:

    Another problem that nobody talks about is the fact that with everything being server side, you will always have lag depending on your region. In Americas especially, because it encompases Australia and South America too, but the servers themselves are on the US, therefore both AU and SA get a minimum of 200 ms. MINIMUM.

    PS: It DOES have pause though, it was added in the beta, but only if you play alone. Co-Op does not have it (not sure why, if Dead Island could do it…)

    • Milky1985 says:

      So can starcraft 2! Maybe they should have a word with the developer of that game if they want to know how to implement it.

  25. Bloodoflamb says:

    First major Blizzard PC release that I haven’t bought, and I will never buy it no matter how “great” everyone says it is. Not just this game, either – I will no longer purchase Blizzard games at all.

  26. SpartanERK says:

    One thought I had with this: I started a character when I first played the game, with whom I didn’t intend to play online. Then, while I was playing, an old friend of mine from my Starcraft 2 days hopped into my game, and we had fun ripping through Act 1 as a Barbarian/Wizard duo. If not for Blizzard’s always-on system, I would have enjoyed my evening with the game a lot less.

    Does that justify the no single player system? No, but it does make me more sympathetic to the idea. Not implementing the system smoothly and properly is definitely a problem, but that doesn’t mean the system in itself was a bad idea. I’m not defending bad server management, but I do think the problem was in implementation, not necessarily conception.

    • Hematite says:

      The feature you’re looking for is ‘unranked’ multiplayer. I think D2 had it, where you can have single player characters and play multiplayer with them whenever you want, but they’re not allowed to interact with the official online economy in case you’ve been item duping or something naughty like that.

      In a sensible system you would have to opt-in at character creation time to be ‘ranked’, and with that character you’d only be able to play in official instances on the official servers to make sure you weren’t cheating. D3 forces everyone into this mode unfortunately, in the name of increasing exposure to the real money auctionhouse.

  27. Donkeyfumbler says:

    I originally pre-ordered Diablo 3 back in January 2011 from Amazon for £24 (it was never that cheap again, which is why I went for it at the time). I kept looking at it on my orders page from time to time, but thought no more of it really until the open beta.

    I’d obviously read about the always online thing, but I could kind of see that, a bit like Steam, they were hiding the DRM with real benefits (being able to move from single player to multiplayer without worring about cheats is a real benefit after all) so while I didn’t like it or agree with it, at least it wasn’t Ubisoft (who I haven’t bought a game from in over two years, and I have over 200 installed games).

    It was the beta though, and the problems I had logging in and being kicked then, that made me realise that it wasn’t worth it. That Blizzard having control over when and where (or whether) I played a game I would play probably 90% of on my own (like I did Diablo 2) was for their convenience – not mine.

    So I voted with my wallet and cancelled the pre-order two weeks before launch and 15 months after I had originally placed it. A drop in the ocean sure, and I can’t see anyone at Blizzard crying but it’s £24 I can now spend on someone else who might just appreciate it a bit more.

  28. Duffin says:

    You can pause the game. If you want people to “stay angry” you need to be accurate or people will just say you don’t know what your talking about.

  29. lith says:

    The whole “Hey, let’s take it all server-side! Free patches and updates!” is a pretty piss-poor carrot tied to a rather shitty stick.

    I never had a problem patching games on my own, and generally despise auto-updating because there’s a good chance the patch fucks up something else entirely.

    For me, it’s a strange paradox in gaming: games are getting more casual, yet we’re meant to be more serious about them than ever. While the gameplay might be pick up and play, we must properly plan and allot time under this “always-on” ideology. Want to have a quick game before you go out? Can’t. Servers are full. Have a quick blast before dinner? Sorry: it’s downloading a patch. Pick up where you left off last night? Can’t; the new auto-patch means your game now won’t launch. Kill some time on Wednesday, 8:30 your time? Servers are down for maintenance. Some guy hack your account? Say goodbye to it. Net connection down? Maybe you could play some games while you wait- oh. Never mind.

    It’s a worse-case scenario, yes, but I like having control of what goes on in my PC.

  30. Om says:

    Don’t talk to me about “benefits” Nathan. I travel for work and so typically lack internet access 3-4 nights a week. When I’m at home the reception/connection is patchy at best. I could not play this game even if I wanted to, even if Blizzard’s online service was great, even if it all came with bells and whistles

    So I don’t really care about benefits or server shelf-life. What matters to me is that I do not have the infrastructure for an always-online game… which is why I buy single-players games. Now apparently everyone is waiting for that to go out of fashion. That (ie, me) is what people should be getting pissed about, not how well other companies do it

  31. pakoito says:

    People voted with their wallets and we lost by a huuuuuuuuuge gap :( There will be more online only single player games in the long run, and fewer people playing them.

    • Palindrome says:

      This sort of thing will even out. There will probably be more AAA titles with an always on internet requirement but ‘indy’ games will take up the slack from gamers morally or techniologically unabled to play those games. Given how few AAA games I actually play it shoudn’t have any noticable effect on my gaming habits.

      The backlash that Blizzard are suffering will hopefully scare of most AAA publishers (except for the likes of EA who are used to unhappy custormers).

      • Joshua Northey says:

        A) Your first paragraph is right on. There is more than enough room for both models.

        B) If you think Blizzard is worried about “backlash” you are a fool. This project is a huge success for them, despite these minor hiccups (and yes they are minor).

        • Palindrome says:

          If Blizzard isn’t worried about a backlash then they are certainly fools. They have undoubtably lost sales over specific aspects such as the always on requirement and people will also have been scared away by the catastrophic launch.

          I have no idea how many sales that Blizzard have lost, in all likelyhood neither do Blizzard. None the less though they really need to take stock of where they stand. Its possible that they feel that the lost sales don’t justify changing anything or they could feel the need to rememdy some of their least popular decisions.

          Any company that chooses to ignore negative customer feedback deserves to go bankrupt.

          • Sergius64 says:

            Well… Blizzard might not care about a lot of lost sales because they’ll probably recuperate it though their Auction House tax. So for them this whole fiasco is probably a good financial decision. I don’t think other companies will be able to get away with stuff like this. I still giggle when I think of all the failed WoW clones.

    • briktal says:

      The problem is that the community isn’t united in considering Diablo 3 to be a single-player game

    • Ajh says:

      Almost everyone I know playing Diablo 3 got it from their annual wow subscription thing. I know two people who bought it out of the 20 on my realid list.

      • pakoito says:

        That should be giving a hint that the money is not in the game itself but in the micropayment system. I work in a mobile dev company and the model is pretty clear in their market. It is not that I do not agree on them getting money, but not at the expense of everything else.

    • The Great Wayne says:

      Big companies with big franchises will bullshit people until they can’t anymore. All companies aren’t Blizzard, all games aren’t Diablo 3. Sad as it is, Blizzard can bullshit people, it’s in their power but that can only work up to a point.

      The depression among the anti-blizz resistance is an illusion. You have not failed. The majority of the sales aren’t from people that actively fought the fight, looked at every piece of game journalism and doomed themselves to the will of actiblizzard in full knowledge. It’s not the vocal critics or the vocal fanboys that will change anything, they just exist to nullify each other.

      It’s the silent mass that counts, men, women and kids that don’t have the time or the habit to roam online before buying the last big hit from a legendary franchise. They are being hit full speed by the crap release and the unexpected limitations. At least among the people I know. And they don’t like that.

      Myself I ain’t so negative about the situation. Blizzard might try some stuff, but the past years have seen the rise of the indies and the utter failure of many big firms DRM. Pirates will pirate anyway, what has been done by devs can be undone by devs, no doubt. And access to massive CPU power via the cloud isn’t gonna help the companies as much as it’s gonna help the hackers in this regard.

      Soooo it’ll all boil down to the user experience. DRM are always more hassle than they’re worth so it’ll not become the norm anytime soon.

  32. Dan Lowe says:

    I’ll be most interested to see how 0x10c does always-online as the standard way to play, but with offline as the alternative. Because I imagine that had that option been available with Diablo 3 it would have taken away the spite of the launch, and I and many others would have gotten online when we could and probably played online from then on anyway.

    Also, I played with a bot last night for about 45 minutes. It just path-found very slowly and did nothing else, so it was probably leeching EXP, but it also made for better drops for me, but it also made me realize that while Diablo 3 may not be an MMORPG, it is an MORPG, of a kind, with all of the culture and expectations that go along with that.

  33. nullward says:

    Thank you for a very thoughtful and well-reasoned expose on the D3 outrage. I think both “sides” can read this and learn something important without being thrown into an impotent rage.

    Personally I was already prepared to give Blizzard ten miles of slack for whatever issues came about on Day 1. But they are setting an example, as you state, and our reaction to that is important to consider…

  34. Malibu Stacey says:

    Foremost, if these Always On 2.0 services really catch on, what happens when a publisher or developer without Blizzard’s dedication and resources finds itself with heavy upkeep costs and dwindling player counts?

    Guessing no one’s played Dungeon Defenders for any length of time then? Because of Trendy’s horrendously bad implementation of the Steam API which even VALVe have volunteered to help them fix, any time your connection to Steam drops, even for a microsecond, it boots you from your own locally hosted game
    Yes that’s a game you are hosting on your own PC and you get kicked back to the title screen because they can’t be bothered doing things how VALVe tell them to.

    • UnravThreads says:

      Trendy are a terrible dev, though. Massively exploited the DLC model (£10 game with ~£40+ DLC with more to come, I guess), and on top of that they frequently drop numerous 300MB+ patches a *week*.

  35. Hodge says:

    This is bang on the money.

    It’s all eerily reminiscent of the similarly botched launch of Half Life 2, with the then-nascent Steam. A friend of mine bought it at retail and it took him 14 hours to get to the main menu. His experience wasn’t atypical, but many of the people who were (rightly) crying for Valve’s blood at the time are now the same people who’ll demand a Steam release or no sale.

    The reason Blizzard are pulling this shit in the first place is precisely because they know it will eventually be retconned into cookies and sunshine.

    • ankh says:

      I bought HL2 when it came out and I never got to play it. It just wasn’t economically feasible at the time to download that much data where I’m from. So i just got the cracked version at a LAN…

  36. briktal says:

    The big problem with this whole debate is that a lot of people would never play an offline mode for Diablo 3 if it existed. It is difficult to discuss the impact of “always online DRM” when a significant portion of the playerbase considers it to be an online game anyway.

  37. mehteh says:

    Blizzard has the most mindless fanbase ever. You can screw them over as much as you want and they still keep coming back and defending you. I personally wont ever be playing D3 because its casual/shallow compared to D2 and other action RPGs. Path of Exile, Torchlight 2, and Grim Dawn will and are better aRPGs or diablo-likes than the actual D3 is.

    • rockjama84 says:

      I will agree with you Blizzard has some mindless fans, but have you ever seen Valve, Rockstar, Apple, or Christopher Nolan fans? They rank right next to Blizzard fans. As for the other games you mentioned, I dont know how you can say they are better. I doubt you have played Grim Dawn or Torchlight 2, so right now thats just your opinion, not fact.

  38. Vinraith says:

    Thanks Nathan. I’m not sure anything can be done, at this point, to stop the roaring tide of gamer-hostile DRM that D3′s financial success will unleash on the industry, but I appreciate the attempt.

    • Hematite says:

      There’s also the chance that D3 will be the first high-profile example of an otherwise fun game being horribly marred by DRM and general player-hostility. The restrictiveness of D3 is all designed to preserve the sanctity of the real money auctionhouse, and there’s a very interesting and real possibility that even if Blizzard personally make a killing off taking a rake from the RMAH transactions they’ll poison the business model for everyone else the same way the early free-to-play-with-microtransactions games did.

      For example, I can’t see how D3 PvP will avoid being pay to win given that the only differentiator between characters of the same class will be gear, which you can pay to get the best version of. <conspiracy theory>That’s why they didn’t include PvP at launch – they need to get the playerbase invested in the game before revealing that it’s purely money-driven</conspiracy theory>

  39. pilouuuu says:

    DRM is good for making pirates have a better experience than those who bought the game. I’m really afraid of all this always-on nonsense catches on.

  40. pullthewires says:

    I worry about this because I’m a couple of years behind gaming trends, because I have two jobs and not enough time to play everything I want, I lay older games, because they are cheaper, have all expansions and DLC available, have patches, and most importantly, a strong base of opinion for me to decide what I want on. I know I’m not the prime target for games publishers, but I would like to give them some of my money to play older games, instead of servers being shut down before I get a chance to play a game…

  41. djbriandamage says:

    I can understand the community’s frustration against Blizzard but I cannot fathom why the community is angry with itself. The comments on every games journalism site have been so scathing, immature, and hurtful this past couple of weeks.

    This is a contentious issue, people. It’s likely you will engage in conversation with someone whose opinion you don’t agree with. That’s no reason to call them names or be rude. Ask questions, empathize, and embrace this opportunity to learn. There is no greater opportunity in life than disagreement.

    In other words, stop being cunty assholes. Don’t take it personally. We’re discussing our beloved hobby, not capital punishment of war orphans.

  42. Sidewinder says:

    At first glance, I have to argue with one of your points- if Diablo 3 really is good enough to “make everyone else accept the fact you have to be connected” while doing just that, then yes, it IS the problem, since it made what came later possible. But after a moment’s thought, I realize that no, you’re right, Diablo isn’t the problem. The problem is people seeing it and saying “Yes, this DRM sucks and is an abuse of consumer rights, but hey, it’s Diablo.” It doesn’t matter how good the game is, if ANY part of it violates your gamer or consumer ideals (and can’t be gotten around- say, by buying it from a different seller) and you buy it anyway, then YOU are the problem. Your actions affect not only you, but every member of the gaming community. Think long and hard about the future you want before you buy.

  43. sinister agent says:

    I honestly don’t see any significant advantage to this “always online” stuff. I don’t care if a game is always updated. If I’m playing a game and it works, I will often not bother to update it at all, and if I want to update it, well fine, I’ll take the minute or two once or twice a year to update it. There are games that were actually made worse by being updated in my view (eg: Rainbow Six Vegas 2 on the funsquare, which added a mandatory grenade indicator in an update, making the game less fun for me), and in any case, the downsides of single player games being forcibly tied to the internet far, far outweigh that microscopic benefit.

    I honestly can’t see a good argument for this from the player’s point of view. The way that some people are defending a shoddy, deliberately broken game not for its game, but for its brokenness, is utterly mental.

  44. AmateurScience says:

    I think the key issue isn’t whether or not we should have expected issues or not, but whether we should *accept* them. You’re right, it’s ‘yes’ for the former, but it’s definitely a no for the latter.

    If there is going to be an always online requirement, it is absolutely correct to demand, as a consumer, that you can access that service at any time you so choose outside of forewarned server maintenance downtime (even that’s a bit ropey tbh). At the end of the day, we’ve paid them to provide a service ‘on demand’ and they ought to (and we should expect and demand of them to) do everything in their power to provide that service.

    In fact (sorry to go on) with the online requirement, they have an even greater compulsion (and expectation) to do so, because the game truly becomes a service rather than a product. Buying a boxed game (assuming no bugs) and my relationship with the developer/publisher ends at the point of sale, fire and forget, thank you and good night, I have a product and they have my money. This is different, now I pay money to access the game and effectively enter into a long term relationship with the developer/publisher, which changes tthings fundamentally.

  45. djim says:

    I am one of the few poeple that had no interest in Diablo (did not like the previous ones), but with some friends in LAN these type of games are a lot of fun (Sacred and Titan Quest). I agree about the precedent but aren’t we a bit late? Didn’t they already prove they can sell online only games with Starcraft2, a much more single player game?

    We have already lost this war, i am very disappointed about the amount of games i will not play because of this.

  46. AlwaysRight says:

    Ha, first world problems.
    People acting like they just got denied a donor kidney because a game wont work for a day.

    Edit: Im not trying to trivialise the healthy discussion of the DRM debate, or say that Im above it all. I was aiming for a fun poke at the abundance of people getting far too upset by not being able to play a game for a day. This appears to have backfired and people seem to think I am the second coming of Hitler now.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Shouldn’t you be out solving third world problems rather than posting about first world problems on a first world problem site?

    • sneetch says:

      Isn’t posting this taking time away from your crusade against injustice? Go, Hero, the city needs you!

    • Toberoth says:

      I’m just going to copy and paste a chunk of text from the latest Penny Arcade news post addressing your concern about this being a “first world problem,” because Tycho phrases his ripostes much better than I’m able to:

      “Reading around, it’s clear that one needs to phrase their dissatisfaction in these matters in a very specific way. This is one of the stranger new Universals, by which I mean things All Right-Thinking People Believe; things like China Miéville Is An Enjoyable Read. Before you can say that you’re unhappy about something you bought not working, you have to make the parenthetical case that you’re above the whole fray, and it can work or not work, it’s all so droll; you can’t imply that any of it matters because that would mean you weren’t concerned with matters of global import.

      I should take care not attend the same potlucks as these people. The kind of family I have would eat them; I think that they would actually cook them and eat them, because these people have not done enough to distinguish themselves from food.

      We need to think for a second about the extent to which this supposedly carefree fucking dialectic enables these precise abuses. No, actually; it is not okay that the definitive Game Developer can’t make their shit work. Is it as bad as the Foreclosure Crisis? I don’t know, probably not; but nobody is talking about that. There isn’t a list of things that we have to worry about in order. We can decide on a case by case basis whether or not something is bullshit, and then we can feel some way about it, and we don’t need to wait for a transmission from central command to know if we’ve paid in enough psychic penance to enjoy something.”

    • AlwaysRight says:

      Whoa!

      Why am I the bad guy? I’m just pointing out people are going way over the top about this issue (which they clearly are). Why does that instantly make me Captain super-hippy the scourge of world hunger?

      Nathan even states that in the long run this is just a short term ugly event, people going on about feeling personally outraged, or even ‘abused’ because of the experience are entering into hypebole of gargantuan epic proportions.

      Meat is murder! save the whales! Free Tibet etc.

  47. derbefrier says:

    this article is stupid. the game is awesome. the reason people are lenient in regards to blizzard is because they make awesome games so people are willing to put up with the problems that can arise from the launch of one of the most anticipated games in the last few years. Blizz has the record of quickly fixing mistakes and generally tend to treat their customers pretty good. you guys seem so locked into the anti-always online crap you seem to be forgetting all the other awesome things blizz does. This is why your cry’s will be ignored and why the more i see crap,whiny articles like this I start to think to gaming community has just started to believe its own bullshit and is so focused on one minor thing that in the big picture is at best a minor inconvenience.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Bam! the problem right here. People who will eat shit, smile and ask for seconds. Then probably criticise others for looking, pointing and saying “eww that guy’s eating shit”.

    • Eddy9000 says:

      Look up above you, strain your eyes, you see that speck in the sky? That’s the point of the article flying way over your head. Now look down, past the pavement and into the gutter. That’s where your abusive, rude and insubstantial argument is wallowing. The two miles of space between them? That’s where the debate is happening, come and join us if you want to be taken seriously okay?

  48. skorpeyon says:

    I agree that there should be an offline-only option. Create an offline-only player, play solo with that player all you want, don’t require any kind of connection, but don’t ALLOW a connection to be made, either. That way hacks won’t matter and you’d only be spoiling the game for yourself if you tried to modify anything.

    That being said, I did buy the game, I do enjoy it, and I personally haven’t had any issues playing it thus far. The fact isn’t so much that people are defending Blizzard with statements that you should expect launch day to be hell, but rather that those people know the reality of launching something this huge. The only way Blizzard could have “prepared” for this kind of onslaught of connections would have been to have more servers than they’ll ever need 3 months from now. Meaning that 3 months from now they’ll have TOO MUCH servers since people will have fallen into their regular playing patters and not as many people will be playing for 7 or 10 or 12 hours straight bogging them down.

    I’m not saying what they did is right, but I AM saying that with the product they made the only way to make their servers handle it better would have been to do some kind of mediated rollout of the game, only allowing people in certain regions to play starting on certain dates so as not to overload their limited servers, and that would have made everyone angry as well.

    My situation is that Blizzard has made a good product and is a wonderful company. They made a bad decision requiring the game to always be connected. I personally have faith that they can keep it going for many years and think it was therefore worth my investment. If EA, id, THQ, etc. try this kind of setup? I will not buy their game. Ubi already tried and failed. I don’t have the faith that any other game company could pull this sort of thing off right now. Therefore, rather than setting a precedent, for me personally this game is the exception. It’s like taking a bullet for someone. You wouldn’t do that for the creepy guy who sneaks up behind women and sniffs their hair, but you would for the woman you just proposed to and intend to spend the rest of your life with. I’ll take the hit for Blizz. I won’t for anyone else.

  49. Zanchito says:

    I’m SO not okay with the “renting our gaming service” model I can’t even find words. 60€ is 10% of my monthly pay, no bloody way I’m accepting anyone to just “rent me the service”. I buy books, I buy movies and I want to bloody buy games. That’s me, I’m the market. If you don’t satisfy the market, alternate solutions will arise.

    • trjp says:

      You’ve never, ever owned a game – stop deluding yourself…

      Old PC games won’t work anymore – your SNES/MD/Dreamcast all died (or will do) – and as games become more dependant on multiplayer and online (even if it’s just for achievements or highscore tables), those services will disappear and the games with them.

      You HAVE to view games as a thing you buy and play – hopefully get your money out of – and move on. Attempting to view them as collectables or museum pieces is making work for yourself (it’s not impossible but it’s also not necessary for 99.9% of people).

      I always reckon on 1hr=£1 – if I get 10 hours out a £10 game I’m happy, it can disappear and I’d not really have lost anything.

      Of course some games way exceed that £1.99 for Fairway Solitaire in iPad has positively stamped that to death – as did my WoW time, despite it’s not inconsiderable cost) – and some fall short.

      Don’t get into this “I WANT TO OWN IT” nonsense tho – it’s childish and it’s futile and and whilst it always has been, DD and Online means it’s ever more so now.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Exactly.

      • Toberoth says:

        Emulators exist.

      • Matchstick says:

        Old PC games do work.

        I have a box of them including classics like System Shock and Tie Fighter that, with a little work I can play on my Win7 PC (and probably Macbook) using DOSBox.

        Just wish I knew where I’d put my copy of Terra Nova

      • Sergius64 says:

        Old games work just fine if they were designed right or were so good that people found a way to make them work again.

      • shizamon says:

        As people above have stated old games work fine, either through emulation or otherwise. This game will be no different. In fifty years when this game is on display / able to be played, at some gaming museum, guess who we’ll have to thank for it? Not any of the larger companies in the industry, that’s for sure. Their greed for absolute profit and control is an attempt to destroy the preservation of great things that they have created. Quite ironic really.

  50. Nameless1 says:

    That’s on the customers. I’ll never buy a game with this always online drm on the singleplayer part of it, but maybe I’m in the minority.

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