Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All Modes

August 1, 2011 -

Blizzard announced today that its hotly anticipated (no hyperbole - everybody wants to play it) action RPG Diablo III will require players to be connected to a server at all times in order to play. When we say "at all times" we mean even when you are playing the single-player game. Blizzard also announced that players will be able to create up to 10 characters, which will be stored on Blizzard's servers. This is the main reason why you will need to have a constant connection to a server. This "always connected" scheme applies to all game modes including cooperative play, single player and multiplayer.

Rob Pardo, Blizzard's executive producer for Diablo III, claims that this was done to fight against the kind of hacking that previous Diablo games fell victim to:

"In both Diablo and especially in Diablo II, I think the intuition for a lot of people when they're playing the game is 'I want to make my character offline away from that scary battle net environment," said Pardo. "And then once I have this powerful character, I'll jump online.' But the problem with that concept is we can't really detect if they're cheating. They might have the capability to hack their character, things like that, so at that point we can't really allow that character to be in the battle net environment. Then they're going to have to restart their character, which is exactly what happened in Diablo II, which was really unfortunate."

"Your character will be online on battle net the moment you start playing," he continued "You can play a solo experience like you would in Diablo II, it's just your character is on Blizzard's servers and authenticated." This character can then hop into multiplayer games and trade items with others through battle net.

Chances are players will not be happy with this constant connection business, which is similar to what Ubisoft has been doing with select game titles to facilitate its horrible DRM scheme. We'll continue to follow this story and bring you reaction to it as it rolls in.

Source: IGN

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Comments

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

That just put me off. Oh well, $60 I'll spend else where.

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

Not surprising since they've done this with StarCraft II.

I have to agree with MechaCrash on this matter, however. Very few people seemed to blink an eye when they did this to StarCraft. Those that made a noise made nothing more than a whimper before being beaten back to their caves, never to be heard from again.

Frankly, I'm getting pretty sick of this kinda crap. Online activation, that is.

Alongside having to install third-party software, now we have to actually have an active "always-on" internet connection just to play even singleplayer. Multiplayer mode? Okay, that makes sense. But singleplayer mode requiring the internet now? Why bother playing singleplayer at all (frankly, you're not missing much in regards to storylines now, anyway).

To me, it's about the sheer inaccessibility of online activation. Only about 30% of the world have internet access (including dial-up users). This means the rest of the world is a wasted audience. Naturally, not all of them will actually play these types of video games (if any at all) but publishers are still losing potential sales due to their inclusion of online activation and "always on" modes of DRM in video games.

All I see from this is an increase in piracy; People simply refusing to buy these games because of further difficulties with the publishers choice of DRM. Hell, if I could I'd probably just pay for a game but play a pirated copy.

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

I think they were never heard from again because people who were not interested in multiplayer ended up just giving up on the game.  I know I did.  I was really excited about StarCraft but it quickly showed that it was built for the multiplayer community thus I lost interest pretty quickly.

I think more and more we are going to see 'well, our developers like multiplayer, and the people on our forums like multiplayer, so multiplayer is a mandatory component because everyone wants it!', which will result in single player stuff getting shifted more and more to the side.

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

Absolutely.  I think this is the first time I've ever posted on a forum about SC2's online requirements - I just quietly never bothered buying the game, despite playing SC1 to DEATH and back again.

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

While online activation is a stupid and terrible idea that maybe provides a speed bump for pirates for a day or two while inconveniencing legitimate customers forever, I don't think "only 30% of the world has internet access" is really a good argument against online activation. How much of the remaining 70% have ready access to computers?

I don't know if this will increase piracy, but that's not the number the suits should be looking at. The way I see it, any DRM scheme, in order to be a financially sound idea, has to make enough people say "I can't pirate this, therefore I will buy it" to offset the costs of implementing or licensing it, supporting the servers, dealing with the customer service problems it will cause, and making up for the customers who say "this DRM is bullshit, I will not buy this."

I do not think this or any scheme will accomplish that.

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

So basically Blizzard took StarCraft which became famous and loved for its LAN and thus stripped LAN out of StarCraft II.  Now they are taking Diablo which was great for offline single player along with multiplayer and terrific mods which are played to this day...thus making you play online and banning mods outright.  

Blizzard is taking a steaming pile on the people that loved these games.  Simple as that.

I may be in the minority in regards to the LAN issue, but we still host LAN parties here at my house for everything from assorted fighting games, Halo, Gears, and even Starcraft from time to time.  

Now if we want to get people together for Diablo (which the group I play with has pretty much said hell no after the news) we would all have to be online via my home internet at the same time and could not play through any mods that we found online or made ourselves.  If I want a similar game I can play when I want and how I want, there are many other choices out there now.

I don't get how developers think that doing things to limit the playability of their titles for the legitimate users (honestly we all know those who steal it will be playing it just fine asap after release) will help them in the long run. I;m looking at you Spore when day one my PC was crashing from their DRM and had to be reformatted thus I cant play my collectors edition for fear of what it will do while an old coworker was playing it day one stollen and never had a single problem.

Blizzard was built on good will and great games. Both are needed and you can't sacrifice one then expect everyone to follow along. I'm sure the game will play great, but I can think of many times I would be unable to play this game for the simple reason that I was willing to pay for it. So just like with Starcraft, I am sadly going to have to fold on this game as well.

I apologize for the long rant, but this kind of stuff is driving me nuts.  I WANT to play these games.  I collect and write about them.  I try and get people to learn about gaming as a community and a meaningful part of our lives. But I just can NOT defend these types of decisions.  Et Tu, Blizzard? 

Jeremy Powers
Host and Editor of the Zenspath Podcast

Zen aka Jeremy Powers
Editor and Host of the Zenspath Podcast (now on iTunes)
www.ZensPath.com
XBL: "PsychoticZen" PSN: "Zenspath"
Nintendo Network: "Psychoticzen", 3DS: "3024-7965-4819

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

I'm so conflicted. Growing up in a family of Mac users Blizzard's games were pretty much all I had for a long time, and consequently the company enjoys my unconditional love. But this...this is one hell of a betrayal. Please, Blizzard, don't force me to make this choice.

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

You know, I won't be mad at blizzard for this.

However....

FUCK YOU ACTIVISION!!!

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

It's funny.  Because you're yelling at Activision, presumably in the belief that because the company is called Activision-Blizzard, Activision calls the shots, when it's actually the other way around.  

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

I thought that was the point of Activision acquiring Blizzard.

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

NO. No no no no no no no NO!!!!!!!!!!! This is the kind of Shit i will not put up with. That is a @#$% Move on their part if they choose to go through with it. I should not have to be online to play that game or any game when it comes to single player. Multi player fine i will put up with the No Lan play thing but not this. Even now not everyone has a solid internet connection which means a lot of people will not be able to play it simply because they cant get on line.

Just keep our online characters separate from our offline characters.

Part of me wouldn't be surprised if this was them testing the waters for the idea to see how much of a wave it makes. If the wave is small enough they will go through with it. Never the less, #@$% move Blizzard, #@$% move.

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Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

Actually, I have every doubt Blizzard wanted to get near this and zero doubt that this is all Activision's idea.

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

Wont stop me from playing it cracked and offline, silly Activivsion you fail!


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Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

Agreed. I haven't played on Battle.Net in more than 10 years. I have no intention of playing these games online. And so I'll find myself turning to some form of 'piracy' just to play a game without Blizzard being a nanny.

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

Here's a thought: Allow gamers the option to play single player offline with the caveat that their character cannot be used online.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

That would be a nice compromise.  

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

Didn't they do just that in Diablo II? I seem to remember that normal B.Net and Ladder characters couldn't be used offline.  

Re: Diablo III Requires Constant Internet Connection in All ...

Pardo is shoveling a mountain of pure, grade-A bullshit. And nobody is ever going to call him on it.

 
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