Hey, did you hear that Diablo III is on consoles now? Of course you didn’t. You only read RPS and consider all other information redundant and moot. That’s why we’re friends. But console things do occasionally happen once in a blue moon, and even though nobody cares at all ever, this particular news bit might be pertinent to your continued happiness and merrymaking – or lack thereof. See, the console version of Blizzard’s hack ‘n’ slash stumble does away with one of our necronomicopy’s biggest downsides: an online requirement. So surely, finally, we can have the option to go offline now too, right? Right? Please? Oh gosh, stop making that face. Just… just humor us maybe? Ugh, fine.
Blizzard discussed the Auction House’s many ups and downs in an interview with Eurogamer, and lead content designer Kevin Martens admitted that the team even considered pulling the plug entirely.
“We discussed it at length. All options were on the table and all of them got their share of mind share. But the Auction House went in for reasons, and the problems it solved… if we just turned it off those problems would come back, and we’d either need good solves or ideally even better solves, and those weren’t readily apparent.”
Game director Josh Mosqueira echoed his sentiment, further claiming that online is the optimal way to experience Diablo III. So obviously, offline shouldn’t even be an option for… reasons? Here’s what he said. Good luck making heads or tails of it:
“I got to see it from all angles, especially having worked on console. Diablo plays best when you’re playing with other people. Because not a lot of people connect their consoles to the internet, that’s where the whole idea of having to get four people on the same couch playing together. That’s how we get that social aspect. But on PC, we really want players to feel they’re part of the bigger Blizzard and Diablo community. It’s a choice of platform and opportunity for our players to benefit from. There’s a more secure item trading environment, but also a more social environment.”
“[Always online] is not going anywhere.”
He also pointed out that the console version’s announcement immediately prompted demands for an online-only option to prevent cheating, so Blizzard really can’t win no matter what it does.
EXCEPT THEY ABSOLUTELY CAN. Option is the key word here. If Diablo III is in a state where it can be either always online or completely offline, the solution is as simple as offering both as entirely separate modes. There. Done. Keep all servers and relevant data the same as they are now to slam the stories-tall oaken doors shut on cheaters, and let would-be devil demolishers prance and skip and eviscerate as they please offline. The community won’t necessarily die just because you’ve offered it the freedom to pick its poison.
I mean, I’m not super tech-savvy, so am I missing something about the nuts and bolts of this? Would an offline mode somehow give cheaters and hackers better insight into Blizzard’s online security? Chime in, ye angels of knowledge. Let us party up and smite the demons of ignorance hand-in-hand. Because let’s face it: Blizzard certainly doesn’t want us doing it apart.