Despite Auction House Removal, Diablo Staying Online

By Nathan Grayson on September 18th, 2013 at 9:00 am.

I will keep your ethereally glowing server bricks in my insidious grip for all of time.

Well, I suppose it can’t all be good news. On one glittering, jewel-encrusted hand, Blizzard announced that Diablo III’s near-unanimously disliked auction house is headed for the great demon-ridden crypt of failed ideas, but this isn’t entirely a win. It’s good to know that Blizzard is filling in that abyssal fissure in Diablo’s foundation, yes, but many players were also aching to get a long-awaited feature out of the deal: an offline option. It seems like a no-brainer now that the auction house is on the way out and Diablo III’s console version doesn’t require an Internet connection in the first place, but Blizzard has told RPS that it’s simply not meant to be.

I got in touch with Blizzard shortly after the auction house news broke, and here’s what a rep told me:

“We do not have plans to implement an offline mode. While the always-online requirement made the auction house possible, the auction house was never the driving factor in our decision to make the PC version of Diablo III require an Internet connection. The game was built from the ground up to take full advantage of Battle.net, which provides a number of important benefits, including persistent server-side character saves, a seamless PC multiplayer experience, cheat prevention, and Real ID and BattleTag social features.”

So basically, same song, 572736528th verse. And while I understand Blizzard’s desire to enable a strong multiplayer environment, I don’t think that precludes them from giving people the option to play as they please – especially when the current requirement makes it downright impossible to play in many situations and environments. The online community won’t suddenly flee to the darkest corners of the Earth, hugging only the shadows of their reclusion, simply because they don’t have to play with other people all the time. Cases in point: a couple little games called Diablo I and II.

But oh well. We can’t get everything we want. And who knows? Maybe if we wait another couple years, Blizzard will see the light on the issue as well. Sigh. We can only hope.

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107 Comments »

  1. razgon says:

    It is completely opposite (Or bizarro, if you are so inclined) world where the PC version has an always-online requirement and the console version can be played offline.

  2. Sandepande says:

    Pride, says I. Foolish pride.

    • povu says:

      Also piracy I imagine.

      • nbringer says:

        Since you imagine pirates, do you also imagine those pirates (who did not yet pay) paying now!? Years after release? They will NEVER pay. But hey! Let’s punish those who paid, because somebody’s got to pay for those pesky pirates and because it doesn’t matter how much money we could make, it only matters how much money we could never make!

        • frightlever says:

          No, but to be rational for a minute – I’m sure tens of thousands of people who would have pirated the game, did pay for it because they had no choice. To be clear, I’m not saying that that justifies an onerous burden upon paying customers but you have to acknowledge that some potential pirates did pay who would not otherwise have done so.

          The real question is, did the on-line requirement deter paying customers from paying for a game that they were otherwise prepared to pay for. Trickier – it WAS the most successful PC game of all time AFAIR so if there WAS an impact it probably wasn’t a major one.

          TL:DR – no idea. I bought it, played it. I’m currently playing Marvel Heroes. I played Path of Exile in the past. All on-line games.

          • ViktorBerg says:

            I am certain of one thing: the always-on requirement deterred many pirates from even wanting to ever pirate the game, had it ever been cracked.

            I did not buy this game, and I wouldn’t even want to play it for free. At least not while the AH is still a thing, with all the balancing decisions it brought.

          • cookieheadjenkins says:

            The online requirement deterred me from buying and playing. As it did for Sim City.

          • Banana_Republic says:

            It deterred me. It also deterred me from buying any other Blizz games because I don’t support companies who don’t support me. I realize that there are few gamers who have the conviction to say no to the blow when their pusher dangles it in front of their face, so Blizz isn’t going to sweat my little insurrection. But I’ve still got my principles intact, not to mention hundreds of other games that are still demanding my attention. D3 turned out to be not all that important in the grand scheme of things.

          • bglamb says:

            I hate it and everything, but I’m a massive pirate. The ‘always online’ was the only reason I paid for D3, and will be the only reason that I pay for the expansions.

            There’s still expansions to come, and if they make it offline, they lose my sale, simple as that.

          • Synesthesia says:

            I dont know about pirates, but i know it certainly made me drift away from it solely from the always online. Same for simcity. Id rather play my single player game without lag, and being kicked out of it for idling, thank you very much.

          • jrodman says:

            I would have bought it if it had offline.

            Since it didn’t, I looked into pirating it. Mostly out of spite, but also curiosity as to what the hackers would do in this scenario.

            So I guess I’m both groups! Or something.

            By now my valuation of what a ARPG or whatever is worth has fallen. Mostly you’re either fine or you’re dead. Engaged and challenged but alive is rare. I doubt Blizzard will ever reduce the price to the 10-15$ I feel such a game is worth.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Pride? No, I suspect it’s because of another sin: greed.

  3. MuscleHorse says:

    Or give it another couple of years (or admittedly more), they’ll shut down the servers and it’ll be impossible to play anywhere.

    • Screamer says:

      I’d lament the money lost when I paid for something that would be unusable, but I’m not sure I’d want to play it by then anyway. Being an utter boring schlep that it is….

    • NathanH says:

      Let’s be fair to Blizzard here: they have a history of providing long support for their games and for patching out DRM eventually.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        They also have a history where they aren’t part of Activision

        • Shadow says:

          You can’t possibly predict Activision will prevent Blizzard from patching out DRMs in the future.

        • GiantPotato says:

          Activision might have a mercenary streak but I think they’re smart enough to avoid trashing Blizzard’s brand like that. Just switching off a major game like D3 would do a lot of damage to battle.net, which they spent a lot of money on. Really the only company I’ve seen that’s been stupid enough to un-license paid content is Microsoft.

    • voidburn says:

      While understand the issue around non offline play, I must admit I never played offline characters in D2, I used them to experiment quickly with builds before committing all my time towards that goal on the “legit” character played over b.net.

      I still have that feeling today, that an offline character (being editable and all) doesn’t carry the same meaning and value of time invested I regard the online ones with.
      Sure, were an offline play mode be introduced I’d go back doing what I just described, but the gaming sessions where I cannot play online on my “real” character would simply feel like band-aid patches, to kill time.

      I still can’t forget that horrid feeling of dropping an amazing item in offline play and wishing it dropped during my online sessions.

      Ultimately: no offline doesn’t bother me all that much

      • GiantPotato says:

        My issue with online play was rubber-banding, which was so bad on release that I couldn’t play at all. I quit playing after I realized I had played most of the last third of Act I staring at the ping bar.

        Did this ever go away? Or did it just get rolled into everyone’s idea of how the game should work?

      • Horg says:

        The whole offline vs online thing is a bit of an over simplification in this case. The biggest problem with D£ always online is that the game pulls a large amount of data from the server that could easily be stored on the local PC instead. This is obviously an anti-piracy ”feature”; the less data stored locally, the harder it is to crack. However, this means that even people with stable internet are still getting input lag and rubber banding even at off peak times. It significantly increases the probability that the game will drop you due to packet loss. If all you want to do is play alone then those really are unacceptable conditions to inflict on your paying customers. I used to play most of my D2 characters on battle.net as well (just for the ladder only items) but I wouldn’t want to play D£ the same way unless they patch all that server data to the local PC.

  4. Bull0 says:

    Well, they’re idiots, it’s official. Enjoy your turkey, Blizzard.

    …I guess this makes the console version the definitive one to own. Ha! Fucking crazy.

  5. Seiniyta says:

    I would just wait for Blizzcon. A few weeks they also said the AH would remain in the game too. I just think if they have plans for creating offline play they won’t simply tell that now. I’d just wait and see. And to be honest. I don’t have much problems with the online only. It’s only a problem when the servers can’t handle it. Which doesn’t happen anymore, I hope the expansion launch will go smoother then the D3 launch in that regard.

  6. Chris says:

    Offline mode: Just pirate the mellonfarmer!

    • Shuck says:

      Since game logic is running on their servers, the copy you buy isn’t the whole game, so there’s no game to pirate, unless you somehow get access to their server code.

  7. sophof says:

    Also removing the always-online requirement would create a shitstorm without any advantage to them; not a big surprise they keep it in. Better to just quietly not implement it in the next game from a PR perspective.

    • Ernesto25 says:

      “Also removing the always-online requirement would create a shitstorm without any advantage to them”

      Its been going so well PR wise so far :P

    • Sian says:

      Why would that create a shitstorm?

      • sophof says:

        I can see only one reaction to that: “So it wasn’t really required and just DRM after all!?”. It doesn’t serve them to again point the attention to the fact that this was just a very anti-consumer bit of DRM.

        I doubt anyone would suddenly love them for removing it, it will just reboot the discussion about how shitty it is/was. The paying customers have paid, the rest has moved on. They took their gamble and now it is better to stick with it. From their perspective they basically only want people to really just forget it even exists or existed.

        • Bull0 says:

          We already know it was just DRM, and they’ve also just re-proven that with the console release.

          Personally it *would* garner them a lot of goodwill with me if they released an offline mode. Mostly because I stopped playing out of frustration with the input lag. I’d probably have another go, and I’d likely buy the expansion set. Not going to happen as it stands.

          • denthor says:

            this!

            Anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see through the PR bs and realize the real reason they want online only. If they truly wanted to deliver the best “Gaming” experience possible they’d allow co op via lan and single player offline mode.

            It’s especially sad for me in australia when i have, at best, 200 ping. Meanwhile grinding gear games, a seemingly tiny developer can provide local servers *sigh*

          • Ninja Foodstuff says:

            I think at this point they are just as concerned with “cheating” in a single player game.

            Personally I am sick to death of developers making these braindead decisions on my behalf. They don’t want me to be able to cheat, they don’t want me to save the game when I want, they don’t want me to reload the game as often as I want. It’s a really nasty trend in modern gaming. You know what, I know my playstyle better than the developers, let me play at my own pace. Let me reload saves to try and get the best loot.
            I know they think they know best, but then they also think they know how to spin compelling drama in cutscenes, and that’s been proved to be the case in numerous instances.
            If I buy a hamburger, no-one’s to say otherwise if I want to cut out the middle man and just flush it down the toilet.

          • sophof says:

            PR is not about knowing, it is about remembering. Many a politician can survive a scandal just by hiding for a while for instance. People haven’t truly forgot, but the most recent story has replaced it in relevancy. I think PR is similar and the always online was a bit of a PR nightmare, regardless of the success of the game or even the DRM itself.

            It is important to remember as well that obvious lies aren’t told to placate those to which they are obvious or clearly not a customer ;-) Buyers’ remorse is a strong thing and all you have to do is give people a ‘line’. It is almost always better than not lying, which is why every company ever does it.

            Goodwill is tough to create and keep, a quick cash grab is much easier/cheaper, as Activision knows very well. They have no interest in the long term, they are publicly traded…

        • Keyrock says:

          They’ve already publicly acknowledged that DRM was a driving force behind always on-line.

          • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

            I’m going to have to call a [citation needed] on this. Everything I have seen out of Blizzard has been the exact opposite of them admitting that the online requirement was merely for DRM. First it was because of the auction house, then it was because of their “vision” of co-op as the ideal way to play or whatever. Where have they openly admitted that it was due to the DRM?

    • Apocalypse says:

      I would buy the game. Sounds like an advantage to me.

  8. Caiman says:

    Well that solves any dilemma about whether to finally buy this game then. Thanks Blizzard!

  9. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    I’ve heard it’s not that great anyway. I mean, I never bought it based on all the tales I’ve head of server-side assets causing lag, online glitches, etc. Which to me is ridiculous for a single player game.

    Torchlight 2 was excellent though. And half the price. :)

    • bstard says:

      It was, but I fear it was pirated much more as D3, so making it a much less profitable project. I can life with a part of a game being online to increase the pressure toward sales. On the one side the pre-order bollocks is bad, but we still need to pay for proper products so we get new stuff later on.

      Darn pirates, where’s Julius Caesar when you need him (long story worth reading. The happy end was the pirates got a job as Torchlight’s on a cross).

      • Harlander says:

        Less profitable doesn’t mean no profit, though, right?

        I mean, necessarily

        • bstard says:

          No ofc not. It’s a (mathematic) complex system where a dancing landscape is making true optimization impossible, but I think we can say one of the rules is ‘always online puts pressure toward sales’.

      • MykulJaxin says:

        I don’t know the number and didn’t bother to do any research before I made this comment, but since Torchlight II was made by a small group of people and sold so many copies, wasn’t it still quite profitable, pirates notwithstanding?

        • subedii says:

          It sold 2 million copies. Probably more by now since there have been sales since. For all the anger I’m meant to hold for how terribly the gaming world has treated them and their lack of ‘online only’, Runic seemed to be pretty overjoyed with the response.

          http://www.joystiq.com/2013/07/25/torchlight-2-two-million-sales/

          “We are overwhelmed by the reception for Torchlight 2,” said Schaefer. “To hit this milestone is a testament not only to our dedicated development team, but also to the greatest, most positive gaming community I’ve ever seen.”

          Is it D3′s 10 million? No, but it’s an indie game with a much smaller team (30 people I think?) and almost no marketing budget. And certainly not the ridiculous hype that D3 had going into it after a decade of anticipation.

          Oh, and it also released 4 months after D3. When it was roundly declared across the internet, at least by those who declared themselves having “a REAL understanding of how the games industry works” (seriously stop being such a fanboy and accept facts) that TL2 was dead, it had already failed simply by dint of D3 releasing first. Why would anyone want to buy it now?

          So yeah. Successful. D3′s numbers skew the debate because people want to make out that piracy “killed” TL2, but frankly, most MAJOR releases struggle to hit the 2 million mark, even console side. And this was an indie release.

  10. Shar_ds says:

    Blizzard, making great games, then making them inaccessible since 2009…

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      D3 was one of the best selling PC games of all time. So even with this inaccessibility it seems to have a large enough “niche”. (…and the game’s not even all that good, if you ask me)

  11. SnowCrash says:

    New Blizzard, still sucking.
    The Suck.. the suck never change.

  12. Danda says:

    OK, then I still won’t buy it.

    This is funny, Activision Blizzard doesn’t want my money.

    • welverin says:

      Whenever I see a comment from Blizzard explaining the always online or that it won’t go away I read it as “Fuck you, I don’t want your money. Don’t play my game.”

      I had all but decided to get the game at launch, the always online requirement squashed that idea. I may pick up the console version at some point, if I do I may buy it used out of spite.

  13. TheTingler says:

    It’s also still £30+ everywhere, which is the main reason I haven’t picked it up.

    • kael13 says:

      Yeah, I can’t get some of my friends to try it out because there’s never been a sale of the bloody game. Still, there’s no point in playing it right now anyway.

      As for offline mode – meh, it doesn’t affect me, but I suppose some might want it for when they’re without the internet. Personally, computers and internet have become synonymous; why go on the computer without the internet?

      • Banana_Republic says:

        Sometimes you don’t have a choice. You ARE familiar with the concept of hardware failures, correct? The last one I had put me offline for 10 days. It was good opportunity to prove that Steam’s offline mode actually DOES work.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        I’m sorry but getting lag in a singleplayer is mind-boggling, whether your connection is stable or not.

      • wyrmsine says:

        The “why aren’t you connected to the ‘net” argument always confuses me. I don’t choose to be disconnected, usually, but when it’s happened in the past, it’s completely out of my control. Hell, every time I’ve moved into a new flat, there’s about three weeks of waiting to get the internet up.

      • subedii says:

        I remember a while ago I was playing Torchlight 2 when my connection completely dropped. Know how much it affected my game? Not at all. I didn’t even realise this had happened until an hour or so later when I quit and Steam told me it had no connection to the servers, and then I tried to go online but Firefox wasn’t taking me anywhere.

        Later on when I started the game and I happened to be online, the game told me that my local saves were newer, and would I like to use those instead of the cloud saves? I said yes, and that was that.

        I can’t honestly say I would’ve had the same experience if TL2 was “online only”.

        I’m not even going to touch the idiocy that is “lag in a singleplayer game”.

    • Stardreamer says:

      I wouldn’t expect that to change any time soon. Blizzard’s games always maintain a high price at retail, even if they’re years old.

  14. Simbosan says:

    Blows my mind that this very average game sold so much. I think the graphics did manage OK at points, story?? PC gamers get what they deserve, buying dreary crap like this, bending over while arrogant companies force always online games on us. We get what you deserve enabling this guys with our cash. I blame the kids!

  15. Talahar says:

    Excellent, then I don’t have to watch the expansion trailer after all.
    Because with the always on DRM there’s no balls chance in hell that I’ll ever get interested in that.
    Grats, Blizzard, after all these years you finally managed to remove me from your “PREORDER EVERYTHING!!!!” crowd.
    *golfclap*

  16. Metalhead9806 says:

    I’ve accepted the fact that certain games will be always online to try to curb piracy… 90% (imo) of all games on PC can be so easily pirated i dont blame Blizzard for using always on DRM.

    Sure the Auction house is gone but RoS will have clan, ladder, seasons, pvp and hot drop in and out multiplayer along with the other social features that come with battle net. Its not like D3 is a completely offline game with a log in just for the hell of it.

    • Stardreamer says:

      But when D1 and D2 were both hugely successful and resolutely offline, forcing an online connection seems less like common sense that it might do otherwise. Why can’t people have what they had before?

      • derbefrier says:

        Because 15 years ago you couldn’t open google type in D2 torrent and be playing it in 15 minutes for free. Most piracy back then consisted of burning your friends cd and download a small nocd crack that may or may not work. The internet is a much biiger place then it was way back then and piracy much more mainstream and prevalent than just a couple friends sharing a cd so they can play a game at a lan party

        • malkav11 says:

          15 years ago people weren’t using torrents, sure, but that doesn’t mean internet piracy didn’t exist or wasn’t a significant factor.

          • The Random One says:

            Back in the day you had to go to a shady store and actually pay for your pirated game! And it would come in a creepy golden translucent disc! And we liked it just fine!

        • Beelzebud says:

          No 15 years ago you just jumped on IRC and did the exact same thing.

        • airmikee99 says:

          Maybe you couldn’t pirate games that easy 15 years ago, but I’d never paid for a video game until I bought Homeworld in 1999, and that was 15 years after I’d started playing video games. /shrug

    • Bull0 says:

      If you don’t give a shit about clans, ladders, seasons, PVP, or social features, why shouldn’t they have a campaign mode where everything’s done in the client? I don’t care if my SP character can’t be used for PVP. It’s like you’re saying “It isn’t like that, so it isn’t like that”. We know, we don’t want it to be like that.

    • GiantPotato says:

      It is indeed true that the online components of D3 are central to its core design. That is a really excellent point, and one that I feel Blizzard could have made when the game was released instead of saying exactly the opposite.

  17. mwoody says:

    They know what RPS’ readership (and I include myself in that) are loathe to admit: piracy numbers are so high that even if the subset of the vocal anti-online minority not buying the game because of online (assuming they’d have bought it in the first place) don’t cash in, their sales numbers are still orders of magnitude better than if a pirated version was available.

    Don’t blame Blizzard; blame the 80+% of gamers that choose to pirate. Torrenters made this shit sandwich; Blizzard is just serving it up for us to choke down.

    • Bull0 says:

      You can’t blame the pirates; they dance away with bleating refrains about how what they’re doing isn’t immoral and people don’t deserve to be paid for their work any time you try to interface with them

    • Jenks says:

      The RPS comments section has a large number of pirate apologists who will attack this line of thinking. They’re all just demoing the game, copying isn’t stealing, a pirated copy isn’t a lost sale, etc.

      Also, I’m glad you added a +, because 80% is much lower than any number I’ve seen.

      • Shuck says:

        As a game developer, I’m pretty sure that piracy leads to some lost sales, but they’re not even remotely the same as the piracy numbers, given the nature of downloading. We know that people really are downloading games they’ll never buy (and often, never even play). So it’s hard to say how significant an impact illegal downloads have on sales. My feeling, and that of other people in the industry that I’ve talked to, is that it’s not a significant percent reduction of sales, ultimately.

        • tormos says:

          for example I’m sure that you’ve read that study that found that the biggest pirates were also likely to be the biggest buyers of games. But don’t listen to all this silly logic stuff, there is something to be MORALLY OUTRAGED about.

    • malkav11 says:

      I will blame people and companies for their own decisions, thanks.

  18. Rubytyr says:

    Oh Blizzard – you silly munchkin.

    on a random side note – wouldent there be maintnance costs involved in keeping up servers for D3? Seems odd with their only cash cow gone they would keep it online-only (becuase I still swear half the “sellers” on the AH was blizzard itself). I would think it would be cheaper to change it to offline. Unless too much of the data is server-side …in which case – whats the purpose of the hardcopies they sold? ~_^

    • jrodman says:

      Yes, there are such costs. However they’re not really that much.

      A larger cost would be say patching the game to remove newly found bugs.

  19. ColonelClaw says:

    Ignoring the obvious bollocks that Blizzard spouts about why D3 needs to be online, with the RMAH gone the reality is that this game now has the most draconian DRM of anything on the market.

  20. mrmalodor says:

    Fuck off, Blizzard. I’m not buying your game until you fix it.

  21. Shadow says:

    Technically this doesn’t mean anything. Any experienced game company will steadfastly stand by their ideas and decisions until the moment they announce they’ll change them. For a recent example, just look at the Auction House deal: a week ago they were trenchantly defending it.

    Besides, if you really analyze what they’ve said, “We do not have plans to…” isn’t really synonymous to “We will never…”. It just means it’s not in their plans at present.

    That said, StarCraft II has had always-on “Battle.net integration” since day 1 and never sported an Auction House. One could argue SC2 has a stronger multiplayer component, but the singleplayer campaigns and skirmishes and the like have always been tied to online servers.

    On the whole, it may take them years to let go of the always-online requirement. Maybe less-than-stellar expansion sales will hasten the process, maybe further backlash after the release of the console version will help, but who knows. I pre-ordered D3 but after my experience with it I won’t be getting the expansion anytime soon. However, who knows how many sheep will lemming to the store the day Reaper of Souls comes out, despite everything?

    In the end, it’s true that companies get away with this because we allow them to…

    • kud13 says:

      not true about SC2. It required you to connect on installation, but after that I was perfectly happy to play offline single-palyer only for about 2 months, everyday since launch day.

      Then I went to school, haven’t touched the game untill early December. When I launched it, I was prompted to update Battle.net clinet. 2 hours later I discovered that I can no longer use my Battle.net account offline “unless I change the settings when setting up my account” which I could no longer do, since this “feature” wasn’t around when I first got the game.

      As such, i was effectively locked out out of playing the game I paid for other than as “guest”, when I was offline. An update reduced my ability to play the game.

      That was the day Blizz forever lost me as a customer.

  22. RProxyOnly says:

    Blizzard can go to Hell.

    After all the bullshit and the fact that the console gets an offline mode, and the PC STILL gets chained with online ONLY.

    Blizzard can fuck right off, I’ll only EVER be pirating Blizzard stuff now. Blizzard will never recieve another penny from me and I’m considering the same with Activision.

    • Freud says:

      So because Blizzard doesn’t want their games to be easily pirated, you will pirate their games in the future. And that somehow proves Blizzards strategy to be wrong?

      • jrodman says:

        It shows their strategy to be counterproductive in some subset of their potential customers, yes.

        • Freud says:

          I think it shows that people with a thieving disposition often look for the flimsiest of excuses to motivate their stealing because it makes them feel better about stealing.

          • Facepalm says:

            It also shows that there are countless people out there willing to apologize for a company treating it’s paying customers poorly because of other people doing something not so great. Kind of pathetic if you ask me. “Look, the enema you’re getting is for the greater good, stop whining” is what your post and others like it read as.

            Piracy is bad. It’s a problem. Nowhere near as big of one as these companies claim, but yeah, it can hurt quite a bit. And you know what? That still is no excuse to treat the legitimate customers like crap. To sacrifice the quality of the product itself in the name of preventing piracy. Piracy is a service problem, it’s not something to be attacked like this.

            I have friends who (fortunately) never got to play D3. Due to shoddy internet in rural areas. They were fortunate this go around, but they miss a LOT of games, a big chunk of the hobby they have passion for, when they don’t have to. And Blizzard has it wrong if those people are less important to them than people who are almost certainly not really going to become their customers anyway. Because no matter the DRM it gets cracked eventually, or there’s another comparable game available that doesn’t have that barrier. Or both. Usually both.

          • jrodman says:

            You’re basically refusing to think about the business implications of generating ill-will among the public by painting it in one particular set of moral colors.

            Sure “I don’t like what they did so I’m going to pirate their stuff” is puerile, but as I already pointed out it does show a reason for taking those customer-hostile actions to be counterproductive.

            Raising the ante on name-calling and moral colorization at this point doesn’t really get your point across clearer, it just muddies your understanding.

  23. rocketman71 says:

    Well, if D3 is STILL Always Online, then my response is STILL “fuck those losers”.

    Funny that the company that boasts of being the best PC developer gave us a POS, and that the console version is far superior.

    Fuck Blizzard. If they don’t change their minds in two weeks, again, that is.

  24. Beelzebud says:

    Until Battle.net 2.0 has at least the same features that BN1.0 had, their line about all the great community benefits is a joke. If BN2.0 is so great for the community why does everyone say they feel like D3 is offline anyway? No lobby to see everyone’s character, etc.

  25. lord_strange says:

    I’m another one who didn’t buy it because of the always online thing. There’s just no excuse, really. Online is great and all for those that want it, but I am mostly an offline single-player gamer and that’s just how I like it.

  26. LeFuretFurtif says:

    At this point, the only thing that could convince me to touch D3 again would be an offline mode, Lan support, and a good total conversion mod (see : MedianXL). And i would probably pirate the expansion because i consider they owe me as much after i paid full price for this garbage game.

  27. ChromeBallz says:

    Always, always be wary of a game developer that has become better at politics than at game development.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      Except that Blizzard isn’t very good at the politics either, given that so many people can easily see right through their BS.

      • drewski says:

        They still seem to sell more copies of their games than there are pictures of puppies and kittens on the internet, though, so it doesn’t seem to be hurting them much.

  28. Facepalm says:

    Well of course they’re not. The experience of a paying customer is far less important than punishing the filthy pirates. :/ At least it makes it easier to explain to people why Blizzard and D3 suck. Not that I’d have bought their expansion anyway after the mediocrity of the original campaign.

    The only thing Blizzard does truly well nowadays is cinematics. And I can get those without paying a dime. So I’ll just go pick another game.

  29. drewski says:

    Aaaaand you can continue to perform unpleasant bodily functions endlessly, Blizzard.

    While you roll in your piles of money. Sigh.

  30. Luciuskaine says:

    This argument about D3 needs to have offline mode is so outdated. I can’t remember the last time I was offline, and I live in freaking Australia, the glorious backwater town of mediocre internet and bullshit crap oxidizing copper connections. We are across the freaking pacific and there’s no Blizzard servers here (yay 300+ms), and D3 is working perfectly fine for me. I personally think this issue has been blown so far out anyone complaining about offline mode just basically painted themselves as a pirate.

    And why is always online bad? Correct me if I am wrong, but D2 has been hacked to hell. Pirated to bits as well. People might cheer TL2 for offline mode, but people conveniently forget this article.

    http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/06/09/e3-2011-torchlight-pirated-over-5-million-times-in-china-runic-ceo-thats-fine-with-us/

    Oh damn, pirated over 5 million times just in China, not counting the world, guess if they put in DRM and secure only even 10% of those as sells they would have gotten another 500 thousand sales, probably enough to encourage runic to make more contents for TL2 instead of a dead game like it is now, bug-ridden, hacked to pieces and unsupported. The only lifeline it is on now is mod community.

    Guess what’s the next game they are making instead? Yup, MMO, always online, Runic CEO can colour it up all they want but you can bet they are disappointed at the lost sells. If it’s up to you, will you say “Fuck the million dollars for my small developing company, free games for everyone!”?

    • Bull0 says:

      To summarise, “I haven’t experienced any problems with the singleplayer being online, therefore nobody can have done”. Well no, totally disagree there, buddy. I got quite far in D3 and all the time I struggled with connection problems, and I’m in merry old England with a rather powerful fibre optic broadband connection. The input lag makes cheap deaths a fact of life. This would not be a problem if not for arbitrarily putting half the game logic on the server to stem piracy.

      I’m happy for you that you didn’t have the problems I did; that doesn’t mean my problems didn’t exist, it doesn’t mean that secretly I just want to pirate the fucking game, etc.

    • airmikee99 says:

      You don’t see a difference between playing a single player game online, and playing an online game online?

      I’m not sure that’s something you should admit in public.

  31. Baines says:

    D3 was always Blizzard’s big push to get gamers to accept “always online” DRM. It just happened to mesh with their big push to get a cut of in-game item sales, the Auction House.

    I do wonder how many people will now say the war is won, despite only half the game’s issue being resolved. (Similar to how people rejoiced when Capcom’s response to complaints about on-disc DLC was “We’ll keep doing everything else the same; we just won’t put it on the disc next time.”)

  32. ProtoMan says:

    Honestly the auction house never bugged me. I even liked the general idea if it, even though the execution was off and it seemed to be an odd game to put it in (shouldn’t they do that with WoW?)
    The always online was always the greater evil by far from my perspective.

  33. servantrider says:

    They did it for WC3: TFT. Originally, this game required the disk to be in the drive to play, and after a certain patch this was no longer required.

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