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Blizzard Responds to Diablo 3 "Online" Complaints

By - Source: MTV | B 291 comments

After fans began to complain about Diablo 3's "always connected" requirement, Blizzard responded with a lengthy answer to their concerns.

Previews of Diablo 3 released earlier this week revealed that the upcoming action-RPG PC game will require a constant Internet connection even when playing the single-player campaign. While the news isn't unexpected, it means that gamers won't be able to hack their way through dungeons on their laptops while the home network is down or if they're on the road where connections aren't available.

According to prior reports, this Internet requirement possibly serves as a means to curb piracy. But it also prevents the user from having to generate a separate character -- a separate "path" --in order to play multiplayer games on Battle.net.

"We thought about this quite a bit," said executive producer Rob Pardo earlier this week. "One of the things that we felt was really import was that if you did play offline, if we allowed for that experience, you’d start a character, you’d get him all the way to level 20 or level 30 or level 40 or what have you, and then at that point you might decide to want to venture onto Battle.net. But you’d have to start a character from scratch, because there’d be no way for us to guarantee no cheats were involved, if we let you play on the client and then take that character online."

Senior producer Alex Mayberry told MTV that gamers can play by themselves, but the characters are stored on Blizzard's Battle.net servers. "You have to authenticate through our servers to be able to play the game," he said. "I think it's not just 'Diablo 3' but with our games as a whole we're tying everything into Battle.net these days...We can provide a much a much more stable, connected, safer experience than we could if we let people play off-line."

In addition to the player character aspect, the single-player mode will have Battle.net elements including a persistent friends list, cross-game chat via the RealID system, player versus player and more. These require a constant Internet connection obviously.

But despite the reasons behind the always-connected requirements, fans are not happy with the decision. MTV uses this posting on Reddit as an example which has more than 2,700 comments, most of which express their distaste for the always-connected requirement.

"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 Blizzard's vice president of online technologies Robert 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."

He went on to add that piracy and DRM really weren't a topic of conversation when discussing how the team wanted the connection to operate. Instead, they focused on the feature-set and storing the player character in the cloud.

"You're guaranteeing that there are no hacks, no dupes," he said. "All of these things were points of discussion, but the whole copy protection, piracy thing, that's not really entering into why we want to do it. I'm a huge purveyor of online sites and from my standpoint, I don't look at DRM solutions and go, 'Wow, those are awesome.' I look at those and say, 'Wow, those kind of suck.' But if there's a compelling reason for you to have that online connectivity that enhances the gameplay, that doesn't suck. That's awesome."

He also offered other explanations such as eliminating the need to have a separate offline and online path. To find out more, head here.

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Top Comments
  • 33 Hide
    hoofhearted , August 6, 2011 12:48 PM
    The success of WOW3 is the demise of their other games. They see so much money from from WOW3, that there is no denying that it has to serve as the model for success for their other games. Personally, I have never done an MMORPG and never plan to. I am against paying a monthly subscription fee for a game. I want to be able to puchase it, then it is mine, then I can play it when and where I please. I don't want to have to be connected to enjoy a single player experience. I am glad and hoping that Bethesda still continues this. I bleive that there are many others that feel as I do and this is really two different markets. Blizzard seems ok with losing one of them.
  • 29 Hide
    ahnilated , August 6, 2011 1:03 PM
    The point is, I shouldn't have to have a internet connection to play single player. If I want to cheat through single player that is MY decision and some company shouldn't tell me what I can do with MY purchased game. The easy way to stop them from requiring a constant connection is to not buy the game. I don't plan on buying it just because they require a constant connection. I am using my lack of purchasing to cast my vote on this issue.
  • 29 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 6, 2011 12:55 PM
    Quote:
    Who the f**** uses a computer with no internet connection nowdays? I'm from a 3rd world country, but even here if someone has a PC, he has internet also.


    It's not about having the Internet or not, it's about not wanting to use it for single-player, because why should we?
Other Comments
    Display all 291 comments.
  • 20 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 6, 2011 12:32 PM
    Sounds like they just copied the online supporters from the previous Diablo thread.. same lame excuses.
  • 33 Hide
    hoofhearted , August 6, 2011 12:48 PM
    The success of WOW3 is the demise of their other games. They see so much money from from WOW3, that there is no denying that it has to serve as the model for success for their other games. Personally, I have never done an MMORPG and never plan to. I am against paying a monthly subscription fee for a game. I want to be able to puchase it, then it is mine, then I can play it when and where I please. I don't want to have to be connected to enjoy a single player experience. I am glad and hoping that Bethesda still continues this. I bleive that there are many others that feel as I do and this is really two different markets. Blizzard seems ok with losing one of them.
  • 18 Hide
    Anonymous , August 6, 2011 12:51 PM
    no hacks no dupes right... how about kids who will buy godslayer with dads credit card
  • 29 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , August 6, 2011 12:55 PM
    Quote:
    Who the f**** uses a computer with no internet connection nowdays? I'm from a 3rd world country, but even here if someone has a PC, he has internet also.


    It's not about having the Internet or not, it's about not wanting to use it for single-player, because why should we?
  • 27 Hide
    cewhidx , August 6, 2011 12:58 PM
    smuggl3rWho the f**** uses a computer with no internet connection nowdays? I'm from a 3rd world country, but even here if someone has a PC, he has internet also.


    The real question is: Is this going to require a high-speed connection? There are a surprising number of rural & less developed areas here in the US that do not have any affordable high speed solutions available....yup some folks are still on dial-up.
  • 29 Hide
    ahnilated , August 6, 2011 1:03 PM
    The point is, I shouldn't have to have a internet connection to play single player. If I want to cheat through single player that is MY decision and some company shouldn't tell me what I can do with MY purchased game. The easy way to stop them from requiring a constant connection is to not buy the game. I don't plan on buying it just because they require a constant connection. I am using my lack of purchasing to cast my vote on this issue.
  • 26 Hide
    BluntObjection , August 6, 2011 1:08 PM
    smuggl3rWho the f**** uses a computer with no internet connection nowdays? I'm from a 3rd world country, but even here if someone has a PC, he has internet also.


    Dunno, but maybe someone would want to play a SINGLE player game without running up their monthly bandwidth limits.

    -Of course this only applies to people with an ISP that has such limits.-
  • 19 Hide
    skaz , August 6, 2011 1:14 PM
    They obviously didn't think hard enough.
  • -6 Hide
    whysobluepandabear , August 6, 2011 1:15 PM
    hoofheartedThe success of WOW3 is the demise of their other games. They see so much money from from WOW3, that there is no denying that it has to serve as the model for success for their other games. Personally, I have never done an MMORPG and never plan to. I am against paying a monthly subscription fee for a game. I want to be able to puchase it, then it is mine, then I can play it when and where I please. I don't want to have to be connected to enjoy a single player experience. I am glad and hoping that Bethesda still continues this. I bleive that there are many others that feel as I do and this is really two different markets. Blizzard seems ok with losing one of them.

    Did you decide after 1996 passed, that you were going to completely stop progressing?


    WoW definitely is not meant to be single player - and honestly the subscription rate isn't even bad - considering the fact that WoW is by FAR the longest investment of hours I've ever put into a game. When you look at value, and price paid, WoW actually comes out pretty cheap.
  • 27 Hide
    reggieray , August 6, 2011 1:17 PM
    will require a constant Internet connection even when playing the single-player campaign
    That stops any sale to me.
  • 24 Hide
    ahnilated , August 6, 2011 1:26 PM
    Quote:
    You're like the people who don't believe in birth control, so obviously don't choose to use it. Problem with that is, you're like 1%, while the other 99% goes on with their everyday life and have no problem with it.


    You're going to have to raise a lot more of people with your mindset.


    Sure, they might have lost 1 person's business - but they picked up 5 more that would've otherwise been pirated. Plus they get to track you and your habits that also translate to more money for them.


    As you can clearly see, the benefits outweigh the risks (of losing you).


    And this is exactly why I won't bother with it. I don't want to have my every online thing tracked. Have you ever heard of a funny little thing called Privacy? just because others choose to throw it away doesn't mean I am going too.
  • 21 Hide
    techguy911 , August 6, 2011 1:33 PM
    Quote:
    According to prior reports, this Internet requirement possibly serves as a means to curb piracy.


    There is already a patch to fix offline play on single player ready before it hits the shelf so much for the online protection.

  • 24 Hide
    Onus , August 6, 2011 1:36 PM
    "...We can provide a much a much more stable, connected, safer experience than we could if we let people play off-line."

    I call bullshit. Simple as that. "Connected" may apply, but absolutely not the others. I'm irritated, as long as I waited for this, but insofar as I anticipated playing it specifically when I did NOT have an Internet connection (e.g. while traveling), I will have to pass. Blizzard, you need to allow offline play. Some guy being unable to move a character onto Battlenet is on him; don't put it on me too.
  • 17 Hide
    Anonymous , August 6, 2011 1:58 PM
    what a laugh, you guys do realize that pirates will be able to play off-line from day one and all the loyal paying customers will need to be constantly online? until now not even a single DRM scheme ever worked (even if they say its not DRM). once again: pirates get all benefits without paying (well, not multiplayer, of course).
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