There is No Pausing in Diablo!

Actually, there is now. In one of the many undocumented features added in DiabloWikiBeta 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 DiabloWikiElective 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 category tag to search for past posts about the DiabloWikiChat Channels, and tripped over this news item from last October, in which one of the EU CMs replied to a query about a pause button with the following words:

Vaneras: There is no pause function in Diablo III. If you need to take a break from playing, the best idea is probably to go back to town.

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 DiabloWikipause 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 DiabloWikiHardcore) mode of Diablo gameplay? Do any of you voting that way have clumsy children?

Tagged As: | Categories: Blue Posts, Game Features, Interface


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  1. Pausing online when playing alone will promote singleplayer, great. .. .. . 

    • I don’t think it promotes singleplayer, but rather protects the interest of the single player. Besides, you can’t farm gold like a beast when your stinking game is paused! Bwahaha! Multiplayer for teh win!

  2. Only good can come out of this, especially in hardcore.

    • Why? You can’t do anything while it’s paused, and you can’t leave the game without dying because there’s a 10 second window until your character goes offline, even if you quit the game.
      I like the Pause possibility, although I don’t need it – once the game’s out, I am never going to stop playing.

      • When Jehovah’s Witnesses come knocking at your door when you’re killing demons, you can safely pause and go tell them to bugger off.

      • I have two kids, if I need to get up and get something or do something for them, (though it usually isn’t urgent for me to rush out of the room) I don’t want to portal to town and then have to walk back to where I was just to make sure a mob I didn’t see won’t wander over and smack me around as I stand idle. Pausing would completely fix this issue, I don’t understand why it wasn’t there to begin with.

        • I like that they’re going to include the ability to Pause. Now since I don’t plan on getting it on release day just yet (I really don’t want to suffer at the potential chance of latency affecting my gameplay no matter how small that chance is…even if many have said that I won’t notice it while others cry about it during beta – yeah yeah I know it’s beta and blah blah blah)…it just says to me that they are listening to some of the requests (since I’d probably only ever play single player anyway – I really don’t think anyone would want me to play with me if I affected their latency or they’d just move on without me anyway)…and it’s with a change like this that I still have hope for a strictly offline mode someday (even if I have to authenticate via each time I play).

  3. I’m pretty neutral, I do have kids, and most of my play time will be after they are in bed.  With the youngest being just over a year old, if she wakes up I will have to go get her.  But, taking a couple seconds to port back to town doesn’t really bother me, and since most of my game play will end up being with friends it is likely that is what I will have to do anyway.  Though on the rare occasion that I do play solo I will probably take advantage of the pause since its there…

    • That’s the point. All these people “if my child had [x] then I wouldn’t care about pausing!” don’t have kids. If they did, they’d realise that pressing esc before moving to see what has happened takes no time at all and makes no difference.
      Considering most of the time they’d just want a glass of water / ten more minutes with their light on / another excuse to stay up late.

    • A future console version was confirmed long ago, so you don’t have to look for “signs” of one. Not to mention a pause feature is hardly exclusive to consoles…

  4. How does this work if one of your friends joins your game? Or do you have to invite them in private games? 

  5. I really like it. I automatically pressed escape if I left the screen anyways, now it actually does something.
    I don’t think it will promote solo playing all that much. There are much, much better incentives in grouping up. Faster kills means more loot, more loot means more power, more power means more fun.
    One concern though… If you are about to die, press escape. Now, exiting the game normally would probably give you the timer and unpause the game. But what happens if you alt-f4?

  6. Same thing as you ALT+F4 without pressing ESC before it. Server will check if you wont die until timer ends countig.   

  7. Not like you’ll play through hardcore and keep pressing space very 10 seconds to make sure no monsters get the jump on you.

    There are a whole bunch of funny topics online at the forums (diablo 3 and C.E. sections) with people whining and openly hating the game and Blizzard for being online only, the RMAH and no pauzing and such.

    Tried to convince them a while back that online only is needed to stop the bloody maphack and all that stuff and the rest is either being changed, updated, no big deal or can be worked around or such.
    Still no big fan of the RMAH myself though. 

    Ehm yea. 🙂 

    • Again and again, don’t talk about stuff you have no clue about. Maphacks are as possible as they were before. When your client (your computer) connects, it is sent a seed from the server which tells the client how to construct the level. At this moment and afterwards it’s always possible to maphack as the contents is in memory.

      They will do all they can to detect these hacks, but that’s no different than before.

      • I don’t believe that because when I lag out and disconnect from the server I can easily reach the edge of the map.  If it really was seed based generation then why would it not know what to generate when disconnected from the server?

        • People use maphacks in Starcraft 2’s multiplayer, obviously map hacks can be used online. Hell there was a hack for a short time that you could warp in Immortals from warp gates. The difference is Blizzard can perma-ban these people much much easier.
          I think the real “fix” in terms of hacking will probably be preventing item duplication, which is a HUGE problem in Diablo 2, to the point of breaking the economy completely. Though we won’t necessarily know because nobody knows how they structured such a system.

  8. Hunh, I made front page, but not quite the way I expected. I was feeling snarky that day. 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a great addition to the game, and I’m glad they put it in for those that desired it.

  9. It’s probably (and hopefully) only for SP.

  10. This was one of my biggest issues with the game.  I’m glad it’s resolved.

  11. No harm no foul. Single player only.

  12. lol @ de-iteration.  Blizzard’s new development motto?

  13. Hi
    I play hardcore in D2 and I’m going to play hardcore in D3, when the game comes out ofc, if it does one day 🙂
    Here are my feelings :
    – in case of an accident, children hurt, house on fire …, I really don’t mind anymore of the game and I’ll run  immediately where it is needed ;
    – in case of a phone call, or a ring at the door, which happens a lot more often, I’ll appreciate a way to stop immediatly the game to answer and not to have my character die in the same time, so the pause option seems good to me.

  14. How can people be against pause in solo game ? Just… why ? Hating just for haiting, or what ?
    Fans are idiots. Period.

  15. I always like reading the arguments for and against game features.
    They often feature an apocalyptic setting, with melodramatic events far beyond the natural order of today or yesterday.

    “I mean, I should have a chat channel in case a meteor strikes my home and destroys my phone. That way I can ask for help”

    When they could have just said

    “because I like using chat channels in social games.” 

  16. When we were first told there was no pause function, I was quite amazed at how much support there was for that decision in the comments of the related news post.  I understand how cumbersome it might be in a multiplayer game; it was implemented in a decent enough way in StarCraft, but perhaps it didn’t work well enough for everyone.

    Regardless, I’m glad that pausing is now possible.  As someone who played predominantly single player offline, I used it all the time in D2.  There’s a myriad of reasons as to when it can be helpful.  And I plan to use it as often as I need when I play private games in D3. 

    Thank you, Blizzard, for throwing us single players a bone.  …For once. EDIT: Oh yeah, for giving us the followers and taking them away from the MP crowd. Wow, single players getting exclusive content. That’s very much unlike Blizzard’s usual directives.

    • What’s really nice about it is when you’re playing a barb, or when you have a buff on, and you just really have to pee or something. That way there isn’t fury decay and you don’t lose your buff because it’s paused.

      • Yeah, there’s lot of times where it could come in handy.

        One of your battle(dot)net or Steam buddies messages you and you feel like responding.

        You gain a level and can’t tell which of your new skills is better, so you need to Alt+Tab out to look at a wiki or calculator.

        Take a quick swig of a drink, light a cig, you need to sneeze or some other basic need.

        Really, the list can go on and on.  Being so used to having it in D2, it’d always trip me out some if I went into a TCP/IP game and it wasn’t there anymore.

  17. Has anyone else noticed that the Captchas to post a comment are often profoundly pertinent to the subject of the article you’re commenting on?
    This one for example is ‘silver spoon’.
    Is this implying that people who whine for features are fed with silver spoons?

    • Then I hope I see a Captcha with the words “exterminate trolls,” “noone’s entitled,” or “beta key.”

      edit: By the by, was there some massive outcry for weeks at a time that there wasn’t a pause function somewhere that I didn’t see? You’re implying that there were whiners concerning this topic. And if every whiner was assauged, then there’d be a heck of a lot more beta keys being distributed to the public…

  18. I don’t even understand how someone could be against this…

  19. Sign of Diablo 1!!!

    Seriously, people. 

  20. I discovered this feature when I posted to the beta forums about how annoying the templar’s whining  is when I alt-tab for a few minutes — for non beta testers, he starts making snarky remarks if you’ve been inactive for a few minutes (“Evil spreads while we hang around here!”, that kind of thing). Somebody pointed out that ESC now pauses, and I was surprised and delighted.
    I also got flamed here when Blizz first said there would be no pause and I said I thought there should be one; the anti-pause crowd’s main argument seems to be “yes that can cause you problems, and there’s no real reason not to have a pause, but pointless suffering is GOOD FOR YOU!” Anyway, absolutely delighted to see it back. (To whoever said “sign of console”, what? I agree there are signs of console but I can’t see how this could be one; single-player PC games have ALWAYS had a pause.)
    Now if I could get the other feature I would like to see for SP — true world state save, including maps and dead enemies — I would REALLY be delighted 😉 (And yes, I know THAT will get me flamed all over again.)

    • Maps, yes.  I’m on board with that.  Static maps in offline play made for easier magic find runs.
      Saving dead enemies?  You’re alone on that one, sorry.  😉
      Diablo’s all about the item hunt, and if everything’s dead…  well, I’ll be creating and leveling new characters all the time (I embrace build commitment, but I also think it’s fun) but it’d be no fun if you wipe out everything in Inferno and there’s no other source for new gear.

      • ReadMenace… yeah, well the dead enemies save thing would have to be optional, clearly 😉 Personally I like the challenge of trying to play with a single pass through the world, but it IS hard because the game isn’t really balanced for it… at some point it gets too hard if you don’t grind for gear :/ Talking about D2 that is but I would be surprised if D3 wasn’t the same.

        • Coming from a single player’s perspective and having tried some of the tournaments posted in the SPF of these forums, I totally get single pass play.  You’re absolutely correct that it can be a good challenge.  In D2, there were some obvious points in the story line where you could stop, and when you resumed you might see just a handful or even no enemies that respawned from before you quit and reloaded.  We can only hope that the same opportunistic moments will exist in D3, as well.

  21. I’m so used to playing D2 online that if not for that topic from a few months ago and this news post now I wouldn’t even think about a pause button.
    I never felt it necessary in D2 because you could always TP to town or save and exit immediately, but considering both of those things are on a cast timer in D3, a pause button is more necessary. That might also be part of the reason why they decided to add it.
    This seems a lot like a win-win feature.

  22. I love it! That moment when the phone rings or you have to go open the door, or simply want a drink or smoke, will be easier to handle with it. Can’t understand anyone who is against it, if there are any.

  23. This is a good thing. I don’t see any problem with it.

  24. Great addition! No regrets ^^

  25. Sounds good to me. I may venture out to play with some people this time around, but I would imagine my first bit of playing will be all by myself. Mostly so I can just breath in all the D3 awesomeness!

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