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Reaction To Diablo 3's Always-Online Requirement

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the sour-grapes dept.

DRM 591

Last week we discussed news that Diablo 3 will include a real-money auction house for items and require a permanent connection to the internet even for single-player games. Fan reaction has been loud and varied, with many decrying the restrictive DRM. Blizzard exec Robert Bridenbecker said he was surprised by the outrage at the online requirement, saying, "it really is just the nature of how things are going, the nature of the industry. When you look at everything you get by having that persistent connection on the servers, you cannot ignore the power and the draw of that." Some other developers came out in support of the scheme; id Software's Tim Willits said always-on would be "better for everybody" in the end. Max Schaefer, one of the makers of Diablo 3 competitor Torchlight 2, said he understands why they did it, even though Torchlight 2 is not doing the same: "... it seems that most of what they are doing is related to trying to keep a truly secure, cheat-free economy in Diablo III. Whatever you do, you have to make sacrifices. We sacrifice a cheat-free environment to give players the most options, they are sacrificing options and flexibility for security of the economy like you would in an MMO. I understand their approach and sympathize with the technical difficulties of what they are trying to do."

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591 comments

It seems good (0, Troll)

zget (2395308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053800)

I think it's good. Sure, there are some situations where you cannot connect to internet, but it's really in minority. For the small trade-off you get cheat-free economy and you can play both single-player and multiplayer with the same characters. It's not like Blizzard will be closing down the servers anytime soon, battle.net is still running perfectly for Diablo 2. Besides, this can be mostly blamed on pirates. The 90% piracy rate on PC really means that game companies are starting increasingly to look into implementing as much of the game online as possible. While you can't play the game in an airplane, the overall return for that trade-off is much better.

Re:It seems good (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053810)

Sure, there are some situations where you cannot connect to internet, but it's really in minority.

You probably wouldn't say that if you loved in a remote location. For some people connecting to the internet means driving to a wifi-enabled cafe or buying a satellite connection, i.e. the majority of situations they can't connect.

Re:It seems good (0)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053820)

You probably wouldn't say that if you loved in a remote location. For some people connecting to the internet means driving to a wifi-enabled cafe or buying a satellite connection, i.e. the majority of situations they can't connect.

Perhaps those people are not the target market for this game, then?

Re:It seems good (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053870)

You probably wouldn't say that if you loved in a remote location. For some people connecting to the internet means driving to a wifi-enabled cafe or buying a satellite connection, i.e. the majority of situations they can't connect.

Perhaps those people are not the target market for this game, then?

Well - obviously not. But should they be denied the ability to play the game? How much further would you take it - if the next generation of Windows required to be on line would it be fair to remove their computers?

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37053920)

How much further would you take it - if the next generation of Windows required to be on line would it be fair to remove their computers?

Even Microsoft can't just come around and remove your computer. If they wanted to forego sales to people who don't have internet though then there would be nothing wrong with that; you'd just have to use a different OS.

Re:It seems good (2)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053926)

Duh, obviously anyone that is not constantly connected to the Internet is a dirty pirate and deserves to have their house raided at 3am by SWAT for stealing bits.

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054000)

Well - obviously not. But should they be denied the ability to play the game? How much further would you take it - if the next generation of Windows required to be on line would it be fair to remove their computers?

The structure of this game is more like an MMO than anything else. Do you also complain about how people without internet are ignored for the sake of the MMO crowd?

Because of the things blizzard is doing this move is needed to help stave of some serious issue that can arise with RMT. I think they are bold for doing this and it makes sense why they would. In this iteration of the series SP has taken a backseat, especially given the popularity of MP in D2. If you don't like it, don't buy it. It is not aimed at those who have trouble with the internet. Your troubles with the internet does not supersede the design and direction of the game.

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054066)

That seems like a bit of a strawman to me. Analogously Windows is to Diablo as air is to oil.

Re:It seems good (0)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054112)

Well - obviously not. But should they be denied the ability to play the game? How much further would you take it - if the next generation of Windows required to be on line would it be fair to remove their computers?

How is this significantly different from requiring a certain generation of graphics card? Or a minimum amount of RAM? Or having a PC instead of a Mac?

In order to provide the game experience they want to provide (which is what you're paying for) the developers have decided to place certain requirements on the equipment required to play. If you don't have the required equipment, you will be unable to play.

I really don't understand all the hoo-ha - maybe the people who don't have a reliable net connection should buy one of the MYRIAD of competing products which don't have that requirement?

Re:It seems good (5, Insightful)

BeShaMo (996745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053882)

You probably wouldn't say that if you loved in a remote location. For some people connecting to the internet means driving to a wifi-enabled cafe or buying a satellite connection, i.e. the majority of situations they can't connect.

Perhaps those people are not the target market for this game, then?

Yeah fuck them! How dare they play games when they don't even have internet.

Re:It seems good (0)

zget (2395308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054010)

No, but why should other people get less fun gaming experience just because some people play in weird locations or they just don't like DRM? There are plenty of other games for you. Instead of bitching about Blizzards decision to provide a cheat-free, good economy for the game why don't you go buy games from other developers and, you know, actually support those companies that don't do stuff that you don't like?

Re:It seems good (2)

Targon (17348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054080)

Good economy only applies to multi-player. If you don't care about multi-player and just want to play single-player, then there shouldn't be the restriction for being online. It wouldn't be difficult to make it so multi-player is always online while single-player can be offline.

Re:It seems good (2)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054086)

less fun? what separate offline single player has to do with fun people have on bnet? oh, that's right - nothing.

Re:It seems good (1)

zget (2395308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054140)

It motivates people to get online and play within the economy and the world. You don't play MMO's as single player either, Blizzard has obviously designed the game more like an MMO than a traditional game. You don't complain about lack of single player in MMO games either, do you?

Re:It seems good (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054232)

You don't complain about lack of single player in MMO games either, do you?

No, but Diablo III isn't an MMO. If they wanted to make it an MMO, they should have just done that. Instead it seems like they want to make a half-assed Single-Player/MMO-ish hybrid.

I can't wait until the Chinese gold farmers descend upon Diablo 3, though. That's definitely gonna make for an awesome online experience for the rest of us

Re:It seems good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054238)

No, I just refuse to play them, and in fact look down upon people who set up play dates to go on raids.

Re:It seems good (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054116)

This is nothing to do with preventing cheating (online multiplayer always requires an internet connection - how's that worked out for preventing cheating so far? I'd say hit and miss at best) and everything to do with protecting their in game economy. They don't want people modding their own uber weapons and bypassing the market (or flooding the market with cheap uber weapons and destroying the value). This measure is everything to do with the Blizzard making money without ever having to sell more copies and virtually zero to do with cheating, piracy or whatever other fud they'll come out with next.

Re:It seems good (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054148)

No, but why should other people get less fun gaming experience just because some people...

Whoa there. Now you've made the jump to always online DRM making the game a more fun gaming experience? I have played Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 and I can't think of a single reason that turning it into yet another shitty MMO is going to make it a "more fun gaming experience". We have a long history showing that whenever a major change is made to a game just so that a more-restrictive DRM scheme could be implemented it has never, ever made the game better. Do you really believe that the online and "MMO-like" elements of Diablo 3 were added first or do you think they added them strictly because they're looking for a way to add DRM? What are the odds that an element added for that reason is going to actually make a game better?

No BS, friend, who do you work for?

Re:It seems good (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054076)

What about Linux support? Blizzard ports all their games to the Mac, but they've expressed absolutely no interest in porting to Linux. Are they fucking over the Linux users? Or are the Linux users just not in the demographic that they're shooting for?

Re:It seems good (5, Insightful)

EllF (205050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053902)

Phew. Guess I'm not either -- late 20s "core" gamer, having played previous games in the series, with disposable income. Can't play it when I am traveling for work? Whatever, Blizzard. I'll just get Torchlight 2.

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054172)

yeah cause all the "core" games I know play offline... nobody in the world begged for WoW offline or a single player edition of Counter-Strike, get real, gaming is done with humans not computers (insert any noob comment)

Re:It seems good (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053932)

Obviously not, but many of them were the target market for Diablo II. I played it a lot and I never played it online. I either played on a LAN, with friends, or in single player. Cheating was never a problem. For people who wanted the online experience, there was battle.net, which stored everything server-side to prevent cheating. I played it a lot on the train and so on, where there was no Internet (or, expensive Internet that vanishes as soon as you go through a tunnel). I won't be buying Diablo II.

Re:It seems good (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054154)

Same story here - I had many hours of fun playing both solo and multi D II. Multi for me was all about co-op, not PVP. I can understand measures to prevent cheating in PVP but co-operatively who are you cheating? The computer? I've already canceled my pre-order. If someone who has been a fan of the series since day one, has had a pre-order on the game for the last two years and actually bought a £2k gaming laptop to be able to play this on the move isn't their target audience then screw 'em. It wouldn't be the first time the fans of a series were sold down the river to make a quick buck, maybe some sanity will return around the time we're talking about D IV.

Re:It seems good (3, Funny)

ch0rlt0n (1515291) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053928)

You probably wouldn't say that if you loved in a remote location...

I've loved in what I thought was a remote location, but apparently behind the sand bunker on the 17th isn't remote enough.

I'm before the judge on Tuesday :o(

Re:It seems good (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37053818)

In 80 years I'll still be able to play a lot of games, but no game with online drm will be playable then. So it's a time limited rental. And if that is the case, the price should reflect that.

Re:It seems good (1)

Dayze!Confused (717774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053880)

Blizzard seems to be good at removing DRM with patches when they begin to stop support for it. Looking at Diablo 2 which used to required the CD to be loaded had that removed some time ago. I would like to believe that if the day comes that they stop supporting Diablo 3 that they may release a set of patches that would remove the DRM and allow for offline single player (and hopefully LAN multiplayer).

Re:It seems good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37053910)

Haha, oh you! You probably even believe Valve will provide patches for all its games once they go out of business :D

Re:It seems good (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054158)

So the time we get to play the game DRM free is around about the time everyone else loses interest and the community has pretty much moved on? I'll pass.

Re:It seems good (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054088)

If I'm still playing video games in fifty years, I'll be so fucking happy to be alive that I won't care about DRM.

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054168)

Except that someone disables the BR-player in your PS3 with a firmware update in the meantime ...

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054246)

If I'm still playing video games in fifty years, I'll be so fucking happy to be alive that I won't care about DRM.

Isn't that Snow White's job?

Re:It seems good (1)

schn (1795404) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053824)

I can simulate playing single and multi player with the same characters, all I have to do is make a multiplayer game and play by myself. There's no advantage. Having to be constantly online is a restriction not a trade off.

Re:It seems good (5, Insightful)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053836)

Sure, there are some situations where you cannot connect to internet, but it's really in minority.

Not really. Every heard of that concept of moving out of your basement?

Whenever you're on the move, you don't have a connection.

Besides, this can be mostly blamed on pirates.

The pirate copy will likely not require Internet at all, so only legitimate users will hurt from this.

Re:It seems good (5, Insightful)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053940)

Besides, this can be mostly blamed on pirates.

The pirate copy will likely not require Internet at all, so only legitimate users will hurt from this.

exactly. some time ago I started to play Morrowind again (still fun, though the graphics are not competitive anymore) - and it sucks without the no-cd patch/crack; I don't want to plug in the external DVD drive.

the user experience with cracked software is often better than with the original shipment, so it is arguable a sane consumer choice to start with pirating.

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37053984)

One nice thing about Morrowind is one of the first patches removed the DRM scheme that was in the game, replacing it with a simple CD check, because the DRM was causing problems. Props to Bethesda for that.

Re:It seems good (1)

zget (2395308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053966)

Sure, there are some situations where you cannot connect to internet, but it's really in minority.

Not really. Every heard of that concept of moving out of your basement?

I actually travel quite a lot. I lived whole last year traveling in Asia. Other than while in airplanes or on road, there really isn't that many spots where you cannot get onto internet, especially while actually staying somewhere. Even the cheapest places offered wi-fi. Besides, I would want to get online anyway.

Whenever you're on the move, you don't have a connection.

Besides, this can be mostly blamed on pirates.

The pirate copy will likely not require Internet at all, so only legitimate users will hurt from this.

Yes, and those players are also missing the multiplayer and all the extra gameplay elements to single player that online connection brings, including economy and market for items. Like I said, there's a small trade-off, but for that you get a lot more in exchange.

Re:It seems good (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054100)

And, if you want to play single-player, you shouldn't need that online connection. What do you get for being online in a single-player game?

Re:It seems good (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054136)

i am curious: do you consider lag to belong to that 'a lot more in exchange' thing?
What if someone couldn't care less about achievements and prefers to play alone with no unnecessary lag? I know i do, i played SP 99% of the time, i had quite a few hardcore chars solo and i wouldn't do that if the network lag could kill my char while i am unable to prevent it in any way.

please, stop with the false dichotomy. Offline and secure online are not mutually exclusive.

Re:It seems good (1)

Holammer (1217422) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054208)

The pirate copy will likely not require Internet at all, so only legitimate users will hurt from this.

It is quite possible that loot distribution is handled by Blizzard servers, rendering any off-line pirate copy useless anyway. This is of course baseless speculation, but I suspect this because they emphasise the player driven economy with in-game auctions/store and such. They can't just let people receive valuable loot without some control. Especially when there is real money involved.

Re:It seems good (1)

tero (39203) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054262)

Whenever you're on the move, you don't have a connection.

Really?!?!
What kind of dark age do you live that don't have 3G mobile USB sticks?

Re:It seems good (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37053888)

While you can't play the game in an airplane, the overall return for that trade-off is much better.

Is it? You're assuming that people are interested in using the online economy. From what I gather you can't get anything in the market that you can't get through playing the game anyway. I know from my perspective that I'd never be interested in paying hard cash for something that I can get in a game which I've already paid for, so are there any estimates on how many people actually would pay for it? I know gold farming etc. are common in many games, but what proportion of the players actually pay for this stuff? Providing a legitimate baked-in way to do this sounds great, but how many non-payers are being inconvenienced for the benefit of how many payers?

It makes me think of the space-sim X games. OK, they're single player, but a lof of people got into comparing stats, and there was a need for a way to identify legitimate games where people had actually worked for their battlefleets and plethora of space stations and separate them from people who had used mods or cheats. Instead of using some always-online system, the developers brought in a "modified" tag: if you messed with the game files in any way, any how, a small "modified" tag would come up on any of the screens showing anything interesting. This let people who wanted to play "legit" to play legit and be sure they weren't getting compared to people who had cheated, while people who had fun with mods and cheats weren't inconvenienced either.

Why can't they have some sort of system where if you want to be able to use a character online, you say so when you create the character, and from that point any time you use that character you *must* be online, but if you want to mess around and have fun you can hit "no" and then the software doesn't care, but won't let you use the online features they're concerned about? If nothing else it'd let you mess around with tactics and strategies using a non-certified account without worrying that your certified character is sliding down the rankings.

Re:It seems good (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053890)

I agree that the trade-off has value. I haven't bought a game in a long time, and see no reason to start now, so I've saved a LOT of money compared to what I used to spend.

You do realize, don't you, that in the case of either a temporary or permanent outage, while the servers are down, you have NOTHING for the money that you spent on the game. Additionally, if/when your ISP starts counting the bytes, you will be paying THEM to play a game that you "bought" in the store or on-line.

I've got a 2K box that still plays the Windows games I bought back then, and I'm going to virtualize it for continued play of those games, plus I can run whatever runs under WINE or native on Linux.

And no, it has very little to do with piracy, regardless of the BS spewed by the game companies. Pirates fall into a very few camps: try-before-buy, since a lot of games are stinkers; never would have paid for it, regardless of how much the game is enjoyed; want a really usable version and the DRM breaks that; "yeah, I coulda bought it, but why bother if I can download a crack". I know a lot of gamers, and none of them fall into the last category, but several fall into the first and third, and those people have enough alternatives for their time and money to just skip games that don't work as well as they want, and the second category, which may be quite large, is not lost sales/revenue, unlike the last.

Re:It seems good (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053946)

So, why do I have to suffer so your game can be cheat free?

What if I don't ever connect to anyone but my friends? I can reasonably assume my friends have not cheated so I don't need Blizzard guaranteeing that. All this is doing is adding a level of complexity that isn't needed.

Also, talk about a one sided article.

Re:It seems good (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053956)

Besides, this can be mostly blamed on pirates

Damn straight! Curse those pirates for breaking into Blizzard and adding stupid things into the middle of the design document! Something must be done!

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054300)

I agree with this post - and besides, this is just another annoying feature that people who pirate the game won't have to deal with. Also, the 90% piracy rate is largely irrelevant. Here's another perspective. [wolfire.com]

Re:It seems good (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053960)

For the small trade-off you get cheat-free economy

Any developer that manages to create a truly cheat free economy in a game of any significant scale should probably take as their next project the development of a bug free completely secure web browser. Blizzard's move will certainly make it more difficult to cheat by modifying characters and items offline, but if you believe Diablo III will be cheat free then I have a bridge you may be interested in purchasing.

While you can't play the game in an airplane, the overall return for that trade-off is much better.

Bullshit marketing speak - this is highly subjective. I've played the Diablo series from the start and have always preferred it as an offline game. The overall return may be worth it for someone with a solid Internet connection available to them whenever they wish to play, and a hankering for online play, but the reverse is true for people who prefer offline play and don't always have access to an Internet connection.

They could fix this quite easily by giving us the choice to create characters that can specifically not be played online.

Perhaps they're genuine in trying for reduce cheating. A happy side-effect of this is that requiring a persistent connection is consistent with Blizzard's attempts to turn Battlenet in to a kind of social network for owners of Blizzard titles.

Re:It seems good (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054212)

but if you believe Diablo III will be cheat free

Where exactly is the line drawn on cheat-free exactly? I'd say they can probably stop item duping and hacked items with ridiculous stats. My guess is the majority of "cheating" in D3 is going to trend towards farming bots. With official approved real money auctions, the motivation for highly advanced bots is going to be that much higher.

Re:It seems good (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053994)

Yeah, I can understand why they're doing it (given the insane piracy and cheating rates in Diablo I and II), but it's still something that I'd rather they didn't do. Personally, I played almost exclusively on battle.net (hardcore, then hardcore ladder), but there were some single player characters that also played, when my internet connection went down, battle.net was unreachable, or I needed the ability to pause the game. I played a few LAN games, too, but the vast majority of my time was spent on battle.net. A few years later, I started dating a fellow gamer and introduced her to Diablo 2. She became a huge fan, but was always too shy to play on battle.net (I guess all the teenage boys intimidated her). As a result, we played LAN games exclusively. I think she missed out on a major part of the appeal of the Diablo franchise (playing MP games on battle.net), but she never really expressed any interest at all in doing so. When I first started playing D1 and D2, I would have scoffed at the idea of anyone ever playing those games single-player or on LANs, but it eventually become clear to me that there are people who play like that and don't want to change. Speaking as someone who fits fairly well into the "MP is where the real game is" mold, it sucks that these people are being tossed aside today, with their concerns ignored. It also sucks that traditional styles of gaming are being phased out, in favor of stronger DRM and bigger profits. At least Diablo 3 still has a single player mode. It seems as though almost everyone but Bethesda has abandoned that.

I'm a pretty big fan of the original Diablo, partially because it was so bleak, dark, and intense. Diablo 2 was a really fun game, as well, but it was significantly less thematically dark. Diablo 3 seems to be continuing the trend, with it transitioning to a more standard, high fantasy theme, which a bad thing, just not the thematic direction that I personally would have taken. More so than draconian DRM, monetization of the game's economy, and the loss of LAN play, this is what worries me most of all. I'm a pretty big fan of Leonard Boyarsky [wikipedia.org] , so I'm trusting that he'll do a good job. It's just a bit frustrating to hear that him talk about how the Diablo franchise is "too dark". Ugh. Oh well. Even if it's got unicorns shitting rainbows and candy, it'll probably still be fun.

Sucks that I'm going to be thinking about that ex-girlfriend every time I play Diablo 3, but, man, she was even more fucked up than me (and that's saying something). Last I heard, she was considering sex reassignment surgery.

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054118)

It's just a bit frustrating to hear that him talk about how the Diablo franchise is "too dark".

And this alone is probably why i WONT buy D3 it is meant to be dark and foreboding game. a game where demons from hell are upon earth. Hell isnt full of pixies that will spray you with flowers its about demons that will rip your guts out and use your eyeballs as grapes. I used to love walking through dungeons and looking at all the torture devices and and the random groups of bodies just lying on the floor, and from what ive seen its gone too much like WOW.

Re:It seems good (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054150)

And this is why The Witcher 1 and 2 are better games, because they appeal to those who want that darker game world. I am also sick of the "let's make all games for teenagers, and ignore that there are more adults out there playing games" attitude out there right now.

Re:It seems good (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053996)

You myopic, apologetic fool.

People like you are the cause such DRM schemes go forward, you disgust me.

Re:It seems good (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054016)

For the small trade-off you get cheat-free economy

Cheat-free is only applicable in online multiplayer games. You have to be online for that anyways so it doesn't have to be a problem. However playing a single player offline game shouldn't require a connection.

and you can play both single-player and multiplayer with the same characters

How is having the ability to use the same character for single and multiplayer games affected by this "always on" DRM?

Remember if you limit the game by DRM only the pirates will have the games without limits!

Re:It seems good (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054034)

I was going to buy Diablo III. I really enjoyed D1 and D2 and I had no problem whatsoever with the idea of giving them my money for D3. But now, I will pirate it. Guaranteed. Because I don't have a connection it can use? Because it's inconvenient? Nope. To shove it right in their fucking faces. Maybe I'll mail them a copy of my receipt for whatever game I choose to buy instead just for funsies.

How's that "anti-piracy measures that only hurt legitimate customers" thing working out for ya so far, Blizz?

Re:It seems good (2)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054106)

Instead of pirating it, and thereby giving them your mind-share and potential future purchases, you could just not play it at all. Which hurts them even more and gives you something to do with that other game you bought for its receipt.

Re:It seems good (0)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054128)

....or you could not be a douchebag with an entitlement complex and boycott the game, without pirating it.

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054186)

Maybe I'll mail them a copy of my receipt for whatever game I choose to buy instead just for funsies.

Here's a better idea - don't pirate it, don't play it at all, and mail them your receipt for Torchlight 2.

Re:It seems good (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054042)

For the small trade-off you get cheat-free economy

Unfortunately that's a pipe-dream: you lose the ability to play without Internet-connection AND you'll still have to suffer cheaters in multiplayer-games. Just take a look at WoW: you can find hundreds of bots, cheats that allow you to fly/run faster than other players, go underground so you're unattackable, wall-climb and so on and so forth. Diablo III will not be any different.

Besides, if you get your account stolen you won't even be able to play SINGLE-PLAYER until you get it back. IF you get it back at all.

Doesn't sound like a fair trade-off to me.

Re:It seems good (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054068)

Bastardization of one of Raph's laws: Never trust the client or the middlemen, and look askance at your own servers. As important as items are in the Diablo world, this is the way to go.

HEX

Re:It seems good (1)

BRSloth (578824) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054120)

Sure, there are some situations where you cannot connect to internet, but it's really in minority.

The problem with "always online" DRM is not that "there are situations that you can't connect to the internet". The problem is that you rely heavily on the other site and the medium for it to work flawlessly.

Let me give you an example (there is a problem with it and I reckon right from the start): It's a matter of only 2 or 3 years that Blizzard changed the maintenance cycle of their oceanic servers in WoW to coincide with the Oceanic timezone. Before that, any WoW player in Australia (for example) would get home on Tuesday and find that the maintenance cycle had just started. And that it was later extended another another for whatever reason.

Reports of Blizzard losing connecting to whole networks (like AT&T) happened even recently.

Now imagine that you finally got a day off. It's a rainy day, there is nothing going on, so you decide to play Diablo 3. And then you get the news that the servers are down or that there is a problem with the connection of Blizzard and your provider or Anonymous got ripped off in some Real Money AH and decided to bomb Battle.net login servers. Now what?

There are too many variables to give you an 100% fun experience with it.

I have no problems if they required a Battle.net account with a registered Diablo 3 key in it to play multiplayer (i.e., the lack of LAN play). My problem is that I may want to have a quick fix and I have to go to a check list to make sure I'll have fun.

Re:It seems good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054166)

Yeah, you say that now, but you can never predict all possible scenarios of the future.
What happens if their buildings burn down? Oh, bye all that progress, bye game.

Little extreme, but it is to make you see a point.
Anything could happen in the next 5 years, the company could disastrously fall apart and fail, leaving you with no more game(s) to play.

Then who will you turn to?

They are starting hitting the wall! (1)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053838)

While nowadays it makes sense to think about "always on" connections, having this as a requirement for games DRM is too much.
Of course they want to be able to shut your game down at any time (in case of illegal copies or expired subscriptions) and that's the only way to do it.
But probably, a few changes in the sales model would achieve the same results.

Single Player? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37053906)

it seems that most of what they are doing is related to trying to keep a truly secure, cheat-free economy in Diablo III

Could someone explain how a SINGLE player game would affect the economy of the ONLINE game?

The only possible reason for this is that they intend to let you buy items for your single player game from the Auction House.

As shown with Ubisoft games, it probably won't take long for the hackers to break the DRM and post the "clean" version on torrent sites. Which means that for those who have no interest playing online, once again the pirated version would be superior to the paid version as you could play anywhere.

Ironic.

Re:Single Player? (1)

Vaphell (1489021) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054222)

Could someone explain how a SINGLE player game would affect the economy of the ONLINE game?

no, because it's impossible. Bullshit excuse is just that, a bullshit excuse.

Re:Single Player? (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054248)

The only possible reason for this is that they intend to let you buy items for your single player game from the Auction House.

You answered your own question.

No doubt the connection isn't just going to be a persistent online check. They're likely going to tie in drops, character, and inventory to the server instead of the client, so the concept of a patched offline version seems more like a pipe dream. If they control the generation and storage of items, they don't need to worry as much about people hacking in items and then trying to sell them.

Single Player Cheating (4, Insightful)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053908)

When it comes to a single player game, who cares if I cheat? If the game gets hard in a place, I have nothing against cheating. I can't stand endless grinding in single player RPGs so I cheat. If anything, I would rather have games that make it so I do not need to cheat. Batman: Arkham Asylum was, for me, the perfect game. There was no grinding, no real difficulty spikes, and never did I feel that any boss or puzzle was impossible.

For multiplayer, fine. put cheat detection, require Battle.NET, whatever. If I am playing with other people I want to feel that the games are fair. But don't restrict what I can do on single player. If what I do in single player impacts multiplayer so much that it requires these kind of measures, then that is just plain bad game design. Also, until I have broadband internet access everywhere I take my laptop, constant internet requirements are going to guarantee I will not buy the game.

Re:Single Player Cheating (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053988)

Sometimes, cheating in multiplayer is fine too. We had one LAN game of Diablo II where most of us had characters that had completed the game once so could play on the second difficulty level. One player had never played the game before. Someone found a character editor online and we put together a character for him that was at approximately the same level as the rest of us. With something like battle.net, that would have been impossible.

Re:Single Player Cheating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054008)

You can use the same characters in both single- and multiplayer.

Re:Single Player Cheating (2)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054122)

I believe that it is a bad design choice. However, as someone posted above, a compromise to that would be to give an option when you create a character to have it be an online or offline character. Choose offline, and you can play the game without the anti-cheat constant connection requirement but without all the advantages that come with it. That way, those who want the online stuff can have it, those who want to play the game offline still can.

not about the economy (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37053924)

This is not about the economy. If it was, they would do the same thing they did for diablo ii. Local games were not part of the economy. Battle.net games were. There's no reason they couldn't do the same thing for Diablo III. Unless their real purpose is preventing piracy.

I'm having a LAN party in September. Starcraft II is not on the game list. Starcraft: Brood War is. I own Starcraft II, but not everyone coming does. They would all buy it if it allowed LAN play. As it is, we will be content playing Starcraft, Unreal Tournament Classic, and Terraria.

Re:not about the economy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054162)

Whats that a LAN party for netbooks?

Thats ok fatty. I think Blizzard will survive somehow. Keep playing your old or terrible games. The rest of us have moved on.

Re:not about the economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054256)

Yeah it is about the economy. If it was they would do the same thing they did for Diablo 2? Which is what exactly? Just let folks buy and sell items on third party websites because they had no way of stopping it? Have a periodic Ruststorm sweep where online players with dupes lose them? That was *real* effective let me tell you. *snort*

They're addressing a couple of things with the "always connected" bit, namely duping and inventory hacking, and people unable to use the same character being offline and online. Sure you can use a single player character on open battle.net but there is zero, and I mean zero, policing of hacks there. So if you want a good, clean game your odds of having that are reduced.

Another thing it addresses is DRM. I know we love to hate DRM but it has become a necessary evil. Now if the only purpose "always online" served in Diablo 3 was DRM (as it does in AC2 and AC:B) then I'd say to hell with that. But "always online" as DRM is NOT the only thing it is intended for, it allows a character to serve in "single player" and online play while also keeping the economy more fair and making Blizzard a bit of income from the inevitable sale of items.

Diablo piracy?? (1)

mvar (1386987) | more than 2 years ago | (#37053944)

Really? The Diablo series is most fun when played over battle.net, do they REALLY worry about the "90% PC game piracy" ?? That's bullsh*t . The only people who are screwed over this inexcusable decision are the legitimate players. There WILL be a pirated version of the game sooner or later. Maybe those game companies-execs should start thinking of better ways to counter piracy - what about lower prices? Ok now i'm being irrational..

Re:Diablo piracy?? (2)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054198)

The thinking is that pirates have a very short attention span. Most pirates are (theoretically) uninterested in playing games that are months old; if you can keep the game secure for a month or two, then the DRM has justified itself. The people who were sitting on the fence will purchase the game, rather than pirating it, and the people who would have been freeloading are kept off your servers, reducing your operating costs.

Does it really work out that way, in real life? Who knows. But the MBAs really aren't as stupid as you're making them out to be. They know that the DRM will be broken. They're not under some illusion that their DRM is unbreakable and that every pirate will be completely stymied forever, give up, and go buy their game. What they're trying to accomplish is to maximize the amount of sales that they get in the initial rush of interest, when the game is first released. Some companies will even release a patch that disables the DRM (partially or completely), once the game has been out for a while. Granted, in some cases, it takes years for this to happen, but maybe this will become more common and happen sooner, in the future, as it becomes adopted by more companies.

MMO style economy in a single player game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37053980)

TFA: We sacrifice a cheat-free environment to give players the most options, they are sacrificing options and flexibility for security of the economy like you would in an MMO. I understand their approach and sympathize with the technical difficulties of what they are trying to do.

You know what would work out amazingly well for everyone involved?
If when you started up the game, there were this screen; and it would have (among others) the options "Online Play" and "Offline Play".
If you choose "Online Play" then you get all of the benefits and drawbacks of the always-connected system.
If you choose "Offline Play" then you don't need the internet connection, but you also have NO ACCESS whatsoever to anything that you may have which depends on the always-connected system.

If you want to do both, you'd actually have two unrelated characters/worlds/inventories etc.
A character who is started in Offline mode can never go Online (because you can't confirm it is legit) and a character who is started as Online cannot be used Offline because it is fully integrated with their servers (like an MMO character).

Or are they saying that unless you use the features of the always-connected system the game is totally unplayable because the balance is so poor that you have to use the RMT (Real Money Trading) auction house in order to succeed?

Re:MMO style economy in a single player game? (2)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054252)

But... but... if they gave you the ability to play offline, they wouldn't be able to profit from people selling you better equipment through the in-game market! On that note, I expect this now means awesome drops will be one in a million, otherwise the market will be flooded with cheap junk nobody wants. Wow, if I hadn't already canceled my pre-order I'd be really psyched about the prospect of grinding hundreds of hours for no reward...

Surprised? (0)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054022)

Why is it that the only people who are surprised about this kind of backlash are the executives who never seem to notice that it happens every single time a game tries this type of thing?

Maybe their seven figure salary isn't high enough to pay attention to minor details like having a bloody clue what's going on in their own industry?

Being tracked (2)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054030)

Another point would be - I just don't want to be tracked by yet another company. All my time spent, all the clicks I make. The usage habits within a UI, that I'm not aware of, that [could / can / will ] be used with other data sets at some point in time to identity me from the next guy. 15 mouse moves makes it me is a worry to think about. Also, it's another username/password account to deal with, to be hacked, to be used in wonderful ways you can't think of.

If I could sound sincere, I think I may almost have a decent point with this one. - Think of the planet [i don't]. How many extra tons of CO2 does this extra level of DRM cost our world? Every cpu in use and telephony item between here the there - needlessly used. Scale that up to millions of people worldwide ... It's EVIL! [needs more sincere]

Evolution in action (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054048)

Diablo 3 would be one of the most pirated games in history, if they didn't have the always-online requirement. People will claim that "it's hurting honest players", or "it won't stop piracy", but let me, in all seriousness, ask you this: if people didn't pirate games, would there have to be DRM? Do you think the developers WANT to spend extra money and introduce extra headaches into their products? They do this because PEOPLE STEAM THEIR GAMES, plain and simple. This is evolution, plain and simple. Pirates started the trend, game companies are just trying to keep one leg up on the virus, just like any other life form that wants to survive. People will point to this game or that game that doesn't have DRM, but let's get serious; their not Blizzard. They don't make some of the most popular games in history. If BLIZZARD decided to forego DRM, what small amount of goodwill they got (from people buying the game anyway) would be SWAMPED by the rampant amount of piracy that would occur. In a Bizarro universe way, I wish they WOULD forego DRM, get hugely pirated, lose tons of money, and fold up shop, just to prove once and for all that it's not THEIR fault, it's the PIRATE'S fault.

Obviously, chalk me up as someone fully in Blizzard's court on this one. Hell, I'd be fine with a hardware dongle.

Re:Evolution in action (3, Funny)

captjc (453680) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054214)

They do this because PEOPLE STEAM THEIR GAMES, plain and simple.

When they outlaw steaming of games, only outlaws will steam games. I for one enjoy placing my game discs in my Veggie steamer. It gives my broccoli a nice tangy flavor. A copy of StarCraft is the only way to make good Sushi rice.

It's keeping me from buying it (2)

g051051 (71145) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054050)

I just won't get it or play it. I recently got a refund on a Ubisoft game because of their "always on" DRM. I haven't bought StarCraft either, since I heard it has a similar requirement. I really don't care if Diablo III has a multiplayer component at all, since I'd never play it online in the first place. Developers are free to design their games as they wish, and consumers are free to vote with their wallets. I played all the previous Diablo games and expansion packs, and was really looking forward to Diablo III, but no game is so important that I'd put up with those restrictions. That's $120 that blizzard won't ever see from me.

I'm not always online (4, Interesting)

stiggle (649614) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054058)

My PC isn't always connected to the net - its a little hard to get a decent connection when you're out at sea. So I don't buy "always connected" games. Which is a shame, because there are some great single player games out there which have been crippled by needing a permanent net connection.

It was on my list of games to get - as I loved the previous Diablo games, but if they're going to cripple single player with online DRM then I'm out.

Re:I'm not always online (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054264)

What about a satellite connection? Could that work? Since all you need is a network connection, the latency shouldn't really be a problem.

Yeah, it sucks that they're using this online DRM, but there'll probably be some sort of crack, eventually. No DRM scheme is totally unbreakable. Anyway, there's always classic Diablo, plus the Diablo clones: Sacred and Sacred 2 were both pretty decent, though they both have pretty strong DRM, as well.

If they are going to treat it like an MMO... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054062)

...so will I, and wait to try it out whenever it goes to the "Free to play" model. No point in buying a game disk dependent on their servers being up.

Solution: (1)

emagery (914122) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054074)

Just make an always-online and a never-online version, so you don't lose customers while not compromising the security of the online market.

This is non-sense.Ever heard of closed battle.net? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054092)

This is pure non-sense. With diablo 2 you had basically 3 modes : local, open battle.net (in which you could play your local characters) and then closed battle.net (in which you had to start dedicated characters that were NOT stored on your computer)

  Now I have 2 questions for blizzard ?

  A] Why didn't you stick with this system which was BRILLIANT and part of the success of D2.

  B] How is your new system going to be anymore secure than a closed B.net ? I fail to see the difference. Cheaters in closed B.net D2 didn't use their local characters to cheat, they use dupp hacks and bugs in the game.

  On the other hand anytime my internet connection is down I won't be able to play d3 ? well Fuck you blizzard! I guess it's a total no go for. I'll just wait till someone hacks D3.

  I basically convince my parent to send me to the US for the vacation just to BUY D2 before it was out in France, did the same for War3, I've been a fan since the firsts days of Diablo and spent countless night on Starcraft (ty AOL btw...) but this is too much. It's just stupid, It won't solve the cheating problems, it's just to make hacking the game harder, but by doing so you're also making your potential customers more likely to want to hack the game.

  You're making the same mistake as the music industry has. Making CD more and more expensive and more and more protected, forgettting that it takes only ONE successfull hack to f*ck you up, when it takes millions of satisfied customer to BUY your game.

I *want* to be able to cheat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054094)

I am only playing single player game. I don't care about achievement, i don't care about auction. once I finished the game on normal difficulty, I don't do it on hard "normally" I just cheat to short cut the time needed to level. All those anti cheat scheme : well they are saying "sorry pal, we will cut the enjoyment you get of the game by half". Fine. by me. that also means the value is cut by half, and i will *NOT* buy the game until it is in the bin at half price. *shrug*.

damn shame... (1)

Kaitiff (167826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054096)

Diablo was the game I introduced my son to computer games, and he's a huge fan of the series. He's 20 now, but he and I still like to get together and play games once in a while. He's 20 now but still living at home so he can finish his degree and I was looking forward to playing this OFFLINE with him, together. Neither of us ever really got into the online BS. Sure, there are some games we play online but invariably we both find the part we dislike the most is having to deal with the e-p33n jackasses online. I really don't feel the need to stroke someones ego because they completed the game 27 times before it hit retail and can do most of the levels while pulling their pud and watching kiddie pr0n. My son might very well buy it, but if I have to be connected to play, I may very well pass until it's cracked/hacked etc. the game devs have every right to screw up their product any way they see fit.. and I have every right to not buy their crap if I don't like it.

If there is single-player at all, NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054102)

It makes sense to avoid cheating if you are playing multiplayer, and there are plenty of games that require a connection to servers in order to ensure that everything is okay (e.g., in Valve's Steam). However, they can have an "offline" mode to handle both situations where you specifically don't want or can not connect due to where the player is, and to deal with situations where *inevitably* servers go down or connection is lost for some technical reason. What you do in that situation if you are worried about the integrity of a trade system is revert to the default or the latest weapons/gear loadout for the player and/or prevent whatever activity requires the connection to be there. In other words, degrade the stuff dependent on the connection, but leave everything else in the game intact.

Maybe the trade system is vital for what they have planned, but people aren't there exclusively to trade stuff. They are there to play the game. Saying "you can't do X unless you are connected". People understand that as a technical requirement. Saying you can't play at all, especially single-player, is stupid.

Wave of the Future (1)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054132)

Those who cannot have a continuous internet connection lose out big, no doubt of it. Only solution for them is to play older games. More and more games will use the client / server model. This is the model that has been in use in MMO for many years. It works, it has many benefits; it will thus become the standard for many game publishers. Ubisoft's new Conflux model is a compromise example. For instance, it will be possible to play Heroes of Might and Magic VI without and an internet connection. But there are so many advantages to Conflux that everyone will want to use it. I approve of the Diablo III always online model. If you play WoW you already know the drill. Again, sympathy for those who do not have a constant internet connection, but older games will be the solution. Heck, half my gaming time is on older games, Good Old Games (GoG), and being forced to play those can turn out to be a very happy outcome!

Time to say goodbye to Diablo (2)

dokc (1562391) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054146)

I enjoyed Diablo I, bought 2 LoD to play in the LAN, played it last year again from beginning, but I decided not to buy D3. First of all because they didn't created a Linux client (piece of cake for a OpenGL game wit already existing Mac client, but I suppose it will be playable under Wine) and now especially because of this always online crap. I never play MMO, I don't have time for it, and I don't want to be bullied by people actually living in BattleNet. I just want to play Single player sometimes and local LAN with friends.
Sorry Blizzard, but you will not get money from me this time.

MMO confusion (1)

InspectorGadget (149784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054156)

I think Blizzard seem to be undecided about whether Diablo 3 is a single player game with multiplayer elements or an MMO that you can play single player. If they made the decision one way or the other, or released two versions, the outrage would never have come up.

bye bye, then... (4)

polle404 (727386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054182)

No singleplayer offline?
no money from me, then...
I don't really have a lack of connection options, I work for an ISP, I have broadband, I have 3G dongle I can use in my laptop, I even have a 'Droid phone i can get data through, should i have forgotten my 3G dongle...
Heck, in about a 1/3 of the commuter trains there's free wifi!

Don't change a thing.
Blizzard's bad gamedesign/need to snoop on my gaming sessions/me finding myself in an area without coverage is going to ensure that i will 'vote with my dollar' so to speak, and my vote goes to the company that makes a game playable for me, where ever I am.

If I choose to do a 'Kaczynski' and do my singleplayer gaming from a remote cabin in Wisconsin, it's my choice, not Blizzards.

Not a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054216)

I store all my characters on B.NET in Diablo 2, so i can play with other people, trade gear between my chars and access my account from anywhere i want.
If i want to play singleplayer, i can just create a passworded game.

Who plays Diablo 2 offline???

I think most of the coming Diablo 3 players feel the same, and the "backlash" against always-connected in this case is very small.

Screw Actiblizzard, I'll pirate it! (1)

blackdew (1161277) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054226)

I'm sure there will be an offline-playable version within days, just like SC2, and i'll play it offline without stupid DRM, just like i did SC2. D3 was one of the games i expected to buy the moment it comes out, but this limitation (and RMT crap too) is a total deal breaker for me.

Won't someone think about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054236)

The Soldiers. When deployed internet access can be hard to come by (and is crappy when available). Always on might not fly well with them and plenty of folks in the military are rpg lovers!

Could you play it on a train? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054254)

You could not, would not on a train.

Not buying it (1)

UbuntuniX (1126607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054268)

Anyone played Command & Conquer 4? Disaster that ruined a great series. Requiring a constant connection for single player is idiotic.

Common, offline was for whining babies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37054304)

Diablo 2 was meant to be played HC (I'm not considering toys without permadeath, like the lame WoW, as "games") and online.

Half of the fun in D2 was trading high-level hardcore items with other high-level hardcore characters.

Stop being cry-babies and come play the game the way it is actually fun and enjoyable. And, yes, losing a high-level hardcore char stuffed with amazing equipment/charms/etc. sucked but that's what made that game really stand above all the others.

WoW is a PoS compared to D2 HC. Never played that sh!t.

Selling the milk instead of the cow. (1)

jenningsthecat (1525947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37054306)

Power companies don't sell you generators, wind turbines, solar panels, etc., they sell you power. After all, why make a handful of sales to you when they can keep selling you power every day, ad infinitum?

The Web is evolving, (or devolving), into the same model, with games such as Diablo 3, other cloud services, OS's that need to 'phone home' to function, etc. Sure, ISP's have always enjoyed the benefits of this way of doing business, but now other businesses are finding similar ways to cash in.

I don't like it, (Get off my lawn, dammit!), but I foresee a time in the not-too-distant future when most computing devices will be not much more than expensive paperweights unless they have full-time 'net connectivity. Those of us who insist on our 'data autonomy' will be the survivalists of the Internet age, living in remote areas of the dataverse and not being full members of mainstream society. But, we'll also be the only ones with viable computing power when the intertubes fail...

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