Blizzard Thinks Always Online Diablo 3 Shouldn't Surprise You

Blizzard really thinks you should get with the times. There's really no reason why an always-online Diablo III should shock you, Blizzard VP of Online Technologies Robert Bridenbecker says in an interview with MTV Multiplayer

"I'm actually kind of surprised in terms of there even being a question in today's age around online play and the requirement around that," said Bridenbecker. "We've been doing online gameplay for 15 years now…and with 'World of WarCraft' and our roots in Battle.net and now with 'Diablo 3,' 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."

According to Bridenbecker, the decision has nothing to do with DRM and everything to do with how the game functions, which I suppose is the best possible reason to implement something like this — although what's essentially happening here is that Blizzard is billing a primarily singleplayer game as an MMO-esque experience in the tradition of World of WarCraft to win players over to the idea of Diablo III being always-online.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. Let us know what you think

[Blizzard VP 'Surprised' Over Fan Reaction To 'Diablo 3' Online Requirements via MTV Multiplayer]


Comments

    Why would it NOT be surprising? Starcraft II allows you to play offline if you've logged in at least once online. Why wouldn't Diablo do the same thing? There was absolutely no need to store characters and loot online. Everything that they're doing there could be done by storing the data on your PC. I mean, sure, for Online play they'd need to make a copy of that data, but 100% control and storage is unnecessary.

      They want online play because of the Auction House implemented into Diablo 3 - if you allow offline play people can item hack and then sell the items.

      Hell Diablo 2 showed just how imaginative people got with item hacking - now add real world money into that equation - surprised not one media outlet had put 1 and 1 together coupled with their AH announcement.

      Also everything happening with Diablo 3 - Starcraft 2 and WOW is basically a Giant Beta now for Titan - they are testing what people will and will not approve of so that when titan is announced it will have a shorter beta period because they have already tested some of their ideas.

        Stopping item hacking (and, presumably, other sorts of cheating too) is certainly a worthy purpose and something that's good for players. And personally this isn't going to bother me, for the most part I had no problems with the way it worked in Starcraft II.

        But that objective doesn't seem to justify the exclusion of the possibility of creating a purely single player character (which would be permanently prevented from being taken online, or at least prevented from trading).

          Yes but I have no problem with item hacking, as long as it stays in the single-player. You should be able to select whether you want your character to be usable in multiplayer in which case blizz can force persistancy.

          However they are forcing you to play multiplayer whether you ever use the multiplayer features or not. That is a serious issue, and blizzard should stop with their idiot justifications.

    No its not suprising that you would do this after joining Activision.
    Finding ways to screw over the customer so you can have complete and asolute control in all your games.

    Was it really needed for a game like Dialo as well? You might as well call it an MMO at this point and slap a suscription fee on it while your at it, just to see how much you can nickel and dime people for less content

    What if I'm on the road and want to play? On an Airplane? Or have a shitty australian ISP and stuck on a RIM exchange and have frequent drop outs?

    Maybe *you* bastards shouldn't be suprised that unlike in your glorious offices with blazingly fast internet that's up 100% of the time, most of your *comsumes* don't have that same luxury.

      *consumers, I was blinded by rage I couldn't see straight at my keyboard.

      You wouldn't happen to be a netspace customer who's just been trasferred to the telstra infrastructure would you? Sounds like you're describing my network

    i hope someone pirates the hell out of this game.

      If only for the awesome mods, similar to what you can get on D2.

        What kind of mods?

    No it does not surprise me. In the same way I am not surprised when a monkey at the zoo flings its own poo at passers by.

      Never seen a monkey do that before, except Madagascar.

      But even then they are only conspiring to do so

    Am I really the only person in the world that wasn't surprised by this?

    I still don't think it's acceptable. A single player game should always be playable in isolation.

    Look at something like Demon's Souls. For the most part it's a single player game, yet it's still always online. But if you take that internet connection away, it still carries on just fine without it. The experience isn't quite as rich, but you can still play the game.

    God damn it. I hate to say it but there are less and less reasons for me to buy Diablo III. Pretty much the only game I am really looking forward too.
    What if I want to play on my laptop when travelling? What if I want to play and my internet goes down? What if I want to play and their servers go down? Because that hasn't happened before.
    Once again there are more reasons to pirate a game then there are to buy it. Even a game I would happily spend money on.
    This is beyond ridiculous.

      I'm in the same boat, and it disgusts me to say it, but I'll be pirating this until such time Blizzard wakes up to itself.

        People who pirate games are just as scummy as a common criminal.

        People need to learn that they have no right or obligation to a product if they do not agree to the terms. If you don't like it, you don't get it.

        If you pirate you are just another social misfit.

          Wrong, when you buy a product it is yours to use as you see fit, this is the highest level of bullshit and i hope they get slammed for it

      Torchlight 2 and Grim Dawn will nicely fill the time that otherwise may have gone to D3.

    Oh for science sake.

    If Blizzard's damage control spin off this crap news is first, 'well, just play other games' and then 'lol I'm surprised your surprised', then they seriously need to rethink they're media strategy. Bobby Bridenbacker needs to differ to someone a bit more media savvy methinks.

    With enough bad will this could be changed though, they're not adverse to rolling back major plans in the face of overwhelming negative feedback. Real ID anyone?

    Am I the only one that doesn't really care if its online only. The amount of times that I am travelling and would want to play a game are such a rarity that I seriously do not see this as an issue.
    As for that rare time that I would, meh, i'll read a book instead.

      No, you aren't...

      I really don't care, as to be honest, I find the number of people who play Diablo solo to be rather surprising. I always play it with friends, either LAN or over Battle.net, so I really don't give a flying fuck if it is always online.

      I am hoping for something like DarkSpore's ability to easily drop in and out of group play...

      And if my internet goes down, I'll go have a w...

        You know that there's no mods cause of this as well right. You know, the thing that helped make Diablo 2 almost infinitely playable?

      In general, no I wouldn't care, except when I get capped (doesn't happen very often, mainly during Steam Sales and what not), it means the internet is fairly useless, and becomes very crappy, hence I wouldn't be able to play it. There's that, and the question of how much of my internets it will eat up to play through the campaign.

        So basically people are whinging about the rare case they won't be able to play the game. Do people only have one game? do they not play other games?

        I'm still failing to see the heart wrenchingly disastrous, end of the world, killer bunny, swallow bearing coconuts issue that its being made out to be.

          but why should we not be allowed to play a game we have bought when ever we want to. what happens when there server crashes, internet drops out during game play, ect ect.

          it is total bullshit that they are restricting a game they are selling to you with a single player mode.

    Well it sounds like WAH WAH WAH WAH.
    Goddamn it get over it.

    So what if it's online, how long could you play it for on a flight anyway?

    I love this idea since it stop all those idiots that cheated in the first 2 online, having to be online for single player is a small price. Suck it up and stop being little kids about it. If you're not going to buy it because it doesn't work offline then your not a fan of the game.

    Stop crying and shutup.

      Firstly, the offensive tone is really unnecessary. Secondly online didn't stop people from cheating. The most rampant cheating I have ever seen was Diablo's duping bug. There isn't much point in playing an MMO when people can just duplicate the best items and practically give them away.

      This won't stop cheating in any way, it will be very frustrating for consumers though.

      I'm not a fan of the game because I didn't play Diablo 1 or 2. I was intending on buying Diablo 3. Now i'm not buying it on principal. Any game with a single player component should at all times be playable offline.

    We feared the worst for Blizzard when they merged with Activision. And now we are beginning to see it.

      Hate forced to be online. Bad enough diablo 2 didn't allow different save games, but online all the time? Why? What's the point? Why inconvenience your customers like that?

      Game looks great otherwise, but Blizzard just earned 10/10 rage points from me. Rage!!! RAAAGGGEEEE!!!!! And even more RAAAAAAAGGGGGEEEE!!!!! No online requirements please, just no.

    Lil off topic but has there been any more rumours about when this game is looking roughly to be released? is it next year?

      I've had that discussion with a mate for a while now. I believe the beta has only just started, or will be starting soon so I can't see it coming out for at least a few months after that. I don't think it will be out this year.

      As reported by Eurogamer, [quote]

      Blizzard is "working hard" to get Diablo 3 out this year.

      But it's not ready to commit to a 2011 release date.

      [end quote]
      http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-08-04-blizzard-aiming-for-2011-diablo-3-launch

        cheers guys. Well Fingers crossed i guess...

    I don't really mind this idea, assuming the connection always worked. The catch is it won't.

    I don't like the idea of relying on my connection to Blizzard's servers to play a game I've bought. I hope they at least have consistent saving so that *when* my connection drops out I haven't just lost an hour of grinding.

    I, for one, embrace our new DRM overlords.

    I would also like to remind them that, as an internet personality, I could be of use to them in many ways - For example, urging people to work in their copyright mines.

    It mostly seems like an unnecessary step. If it really is for the benefit of the player base, why aren't we given a choice about how this works?

    This does bug me enough to contemplate not buying this, but only in principle. Logistically, it probably won't affect me too much.

    Still crappy though.

    I am not sure if Blizzard is in touch with its fans anymore. This is the worst decision by far for any Australian. Why would I want to play with more lag. There is no way they will change their mind though. It's not about what the consumer wants or what's best for the consumer. They now tell the consumer what they want and it's that or nothing. As long as people accept it, it will only get worse. Soon enough you will be running the games on their servers, won't even have anything stored locally. Enjoy the lag!!!!

    Always online eh?
    Well, too bad then. It's more effort than I can be bothered with.

    -limited speeds
    -housemates downloading
    -can't play anywhere else but at home

    not buying.

    I think the large number of people who end up pirating the game in protest shouldn't surprise Blizzard.

    There's a big difference between being surprised, and generally pissed off that they actually did it. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of my life went into Diablo 1 and 2, without a single regret.

    Sorry Blizzard, I won't be putting a minute into Diablo 3.

    Pirating games is disgusting and any who do it should be ashamed of themselves. If your not going to buy what is looking to be a fantastic game because of the internetz the boycott and miss out. Thats your prerogative. If a game is good it should he bought. It's that simple

      Disgusting?

      They're not abusing animals or beating their kids.

    Wouldn't this have something to do with the fact there is going to be real money involved in the auction system. always online will ensure there is "less" hacking of charaters and items for real world profit.

    I'm definitely still buying this game. My gaming PC is my desktop at home anyway and that's always on the internet. I'm disappointed they've gone down this road though, I don't like to have to rely on their servers, etc.

    I expected something like this when they announced they would be taking out LAN support. And I'm wondering how bad the game will lag when playing with other people because Australian internet isn't that crash hot.

    Question... will we actually get the whole actual game? Or Chapters. Like Starcraft 2. seems to be how Blizzard operates now.

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