Despite recent talk that Diablo 3's required Internet connection was all about the player's character and Battle.net's feature set, game director Jay Wilson made it clear that the requirement is also to prevent the same amount of hacking as seen with Diablo 2. The revelation was made while explaining why it's a bad idea to have an offline mode for the upcoming action-RPG game.
"If we allow an Offline mode, it changes the structure of the data that we have to put on the user’s system," he told PC Gamer during Gamescom. "Essentially we would have to put our server architecture onto the client so that it can run its own personal server. Doing that essentially is one of the reasons why Diablo 2 was a much easier game to hack than obviously any other game you’d mention and so it’s what led to extensive cheating and item dupes and things like that."
"I would never guarantee that we’re never going to have those things in Diablo 3, but it’s one of the things that our community has been the most vocal about, wanting this fixed, and if we essentially are putting the server out there…we’re not really going to be able to better than Diablo 2," he added.
But with the piracy issue aside, Diablo 3 was designed from the ground up to be an online, multiplayer game. "The game’s not really being played right if it’s not online," he said. He indicated that it wasn't designed for players to opt out of the cooperative experience, to opt out of the trading experience. And at this point in time, essentially everyone is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi networks or a local broadband connection, so there was no reason why they couldn't create an online-only game.
Still, what about those people who have faulty, unreliable connections? "Erm… upgrade the wiring in [the] house?" Wilson said. "I mean, in this day and age the notion that there’s this a whole vast majority of players out there that don’t have online connectivity – this doesn’t really fly any more." He then pointed out that he could access nine networks just from his hotel room alone.
"You’ve got to make choices about what you want to do, and sometimes those choices are going to make some people unhappy, but if you feel like it’s what is the right thing to do to making a better product then you have to do it," he said.
To read the full interview, head here.