Actually, there is now. In one of the many undocumented features added in Beta Patch 13, a pause feature was implemented into Diablo III. It only functions when you are playing solo, and it kicks in automatically any time you hit the Escape key (which you have to do during every new play session, since the D3 beta continues to drink from a brimming cup of Lethe and thus can not remember that you turned on monster hit bars, the Elective Mode, etc, last time).
If anyone dislikes this feature, I have yet to see their complaints in the forums, though I’m sure some will appear, like malevolent genies from angry bottles, in response to this post. It’s not an exploit, unless you consider pausing the action to be cheating. You still get the same (unpaused) ten second delay (if you’re not in town) before you leave the game; the timer just starts running once you select exit and the options menus close.
I bring this up now since I was using our Battle.net category tag to search for past posts about the Chat Channels, and tripped over this news item from last October, in which one of the B.net EU CMs replied to a query about a pause button with the following words:
As always in the lengthy development process of a Blizzard title, yesterday’s “no way” may become today’s shiny new feature. (And tomorrow’s de-iterated memory?)
While reading that news post from the ancient history of late 2011, I skimmed the comments and was surprised at how many of the 100+ replies were from players strongly advocating against the inclusion of a pause button in Diablo 3. I’m not going to quote a bunch since you can read them if you’re interested, but here are my two favorite from the first page.
In fairness, if I genuinely think my child had a serious accident, pausing a video game would be the last thing on my mind. –Starrise
In fairness, if I’m playing Diablo Hardcore, my child’s serious accident would be the last thing on my mind. –Darthnixa
So, now that there is (unexpectedly) a pause button, what do you guys think? It only works in solo games, it’s not (obviously) exploitable, and thus it seems a convenience without any big drawbacks. Do some of you still think it’s a bad thing and not properly in the hardcore (as well as Hardcore) mode of Diablo gameplay? Do any of you voting that way have clumsy children?