Blizzard Remains Unyielding on Diablo 3’s Always-Online Requirement


Debate over the always-only, MMO-esque requirement of Diablo III continues to simmer (45% dislike or hate, out of over 6000 votes in our poll), though I don’t know if anyone’s really changing their mind with all the arguments each way. Blizzard certainly doesn’t seem to be doing so, and from their comments about the entire game’s programming architecture being predicated on a client-server model for security, it seems like they must have been working towards this solution for a long time. (Casting some doubt on the truthfulness of Bashiok’s past equivocations on the issue.)

Blascid posted a long and heartfelt plea against the always-online requirement, with lots of quotes and citations from other arguments. Bashiok replied… without giving an inch.

In addition to all the other benefits that we believe ultimately come from having everyone online such as an active, centralized community, a popular arena system, accessible character storage, etc. etc. Diablo III is built on a client/server architecture, which means not all the data for the game or mechanics reside on the client (your computer).

This is not too unlike World of Warcraft where the world itself, the art, the sounds, etc. are on your machine, but all of the NPC’s and enemies are controlled by the server. Diablo III doesn’t function in all of the exact same ways, but things like monster randomization, dungeon randomization, item drops, the outcomes of combat, among others, are all handled and verified by the client talking to the server, and vice versa.

We’ve learned a lot from this type of architecture from World of Warcraft, and the added security and oversight it provides. It allows a great deal of control over the game at all times for all players, so if we know there’s an issue or bug we can usually address it right then and there through a live hotfix. Hotfixes can’t be used for everything, we’re still going to have client patches, but we’re definitely looking forward to being able to deliver a consistently high quality experience to all players simultaneously through processes like hotfixes.

In addition there are some pretty intense security concerns. While there’s never a fool proof solution to stopping hack and cheats, we’ve found that a strict client/server architecture is a huge barrier for their development and use.

Ultimately we made the decision to make the game client/server based because of the security and quality it can provide to those playing, and as a bonus it reinforces a lot of our ideals for a thriving online community.

So it seems like this is how it’s going to be. Perhaps if the community had been almost entirely opposed to this scheme, as was the case with the mandatory Real ID on the forums, Blizzard might have reconsidered. But with at least 50% of fans supportive, or at least not opposed to the always-only requirement, it seems like it’s going to be here to stay.

Unless/until some clever hackers find a way to break the code and enable single player offline mode, in what would surely be the most popular Diablo game “mod” of all time.

Comments

You're not logged in. Register or login to post a comment.
  1. I just thought I would mention that there is no single player campaign in this game.  Just because a game can be played or finished with one player does not mean it was designed or intended to be so. Blizzard decided this was going to be a multiplayer only game, and people need to come to grips with it and just play it, or buy another game.  All this nonsense about illegal hacks needs to stop, because it is never okay, despite what you THINK a game should or should not be.

    • Is that why Wyatt Cheng just did an interview saying that he tunes the game for those who want to play alone, as well as those who want to play with other people?

      But what does he know.

      • Maybe it’s because single player has nothing to do with offline-mode?
        P.S. People can’t read probably. It was repeated like 100 times: it’s already late to change that decision.

        • It has been said multiple times that you will be able to play offline yourself.

          Check out this link

          http://diablo.incgamers.com/blog/comments/blue-on-online-single-player-diablo-iii

          so basically there was still an OPTION to play the game offline, although that seems to get them up their nose that players even wants to do that. But at least they are grudgingly offering the option.

          Pffff the more I read about the comments of the blue, the more it makes me want to hurl. It just goes to show that they are having the Apple mentality now – do it our way or no way.

          and more importantly, YOU youself are the one who mentioned that there is NO single player campaign and Risingred was just answering your incomplete question, so who is the one that look silly now?

    • “All this nonsense about illegal hacks needs to stop, because it is never okay, despite what you THINK a game should or should not be.”
       
      It always cracks me up, what people get on their high-horse about.  All the crap we have going on in the world, and yet such a vehement response to someone buying a game and applying a “crack” that, by definition (severing them from online play), won’t effect a single other player (it will just leave Blizzard with a single revenue stream (the game sale), like most every other game ever made).  Blizzard should be so lucky if players chose to buy the game before cracking it, as, with most entertainment these days, the vast majority skip the buying part.

  2. I don’t even care, only thing I have is a badass desktop and its always connected to the internet and maybe once in a blue moon i would get a DC. So bring on the Diablo Goodness!

    • its funny how polarized people are here… people are voting you down just because you said you have an internet connection and you’re excited to play this game =\

      • actually I think he was voted down because he is saying that he basically don’t care about the opinion and plight of others simply because he have his own stable connection …

  3. If you can read this, you don’t have an offline problem. 😀
    (actually in all honesty I think this is one of those things where blizz should probably TRY and meet some of these people half way)

    • really guys -10?
      try reading what I put in parentheses. Geez, no one can take a joke around here anymore.

      • Well, don’t blame them. Because Blizzard is (in a way) destroying the Diablo tradition, they are really pissed and touchy, that’s why even a joke will not go unpunished. Thank Blizzard for treating us only like money making crap.

        • It’s so easy to hate the big bad company when they do something different, isn’t it? But let’s not forget about Blizz’s foresight to see into the future. D2 is still relevant 10 years later, but the scene is pretty different. Where are we going to be in 10 years? Just a guess, but interwebz is probably going to be accessible almost anywhere. I know that the single player community is being touchy, but they don’t have to be irrational .

          • Well, i’ve been through many topics here lately and to my mind the SP-affiliated faction of community (myself included) proposed quite rational arguments pro SP, while also refuting many contrarguments of Blizzard. What is left is Blizzard’s lame line of excusing itself for lying to us, employing another lie while ‘happy pr-making’. Nobody likes to be treated like an idiot, that’s why people have the right to feel offended and have the right to feel rage.

          • Thing is, here is why I still play Diablo II-

            It was a well designed game with great mechanics, that is fun to play from almost the minute you pick it up.  We HOPE Diablo III delivers on that.

            Using things such as ATMA, I have been able to maintain the accomplishments I had from that game, even when coming back to it on new PCs, new installations, with gaps of a year or more in-between.  This is the advantage they claim the always online gives, only even easier and without 3rd party software. And it will, as long as they choose for it to do so.  Just like online backups, it’s theoretically the ‘best option’, except in reality it is taking ALL of the control out of your hands.  Your data/ character stops becoming available for your use the moment they choose for it to do so, or go out of business.  You may think this a moot point because you ‘trust’ blizzard and don’t expect either of those things to happen, but I didn’t think Blizzard would merge with the devil that is Activision, and certainly would have never imagined them making the decisions they are making 6 years ago.  Forgive me if my trust is lacking.

            Cheats and Mods.  Cheats to test the viability of high end builds, then if they’re viable seeing if I can do it- get through the whole game with that build and get to my desired uber combination. Diablo 3’s freespecs mean I just get my new build, instantly, and remove any reason to replay the game with my new concept.  Meanwhile, the 10 char limit means even if I wanted to for some crazy reason, I have a severe limit on my ability to replay.  I get my maxed out char of each class, and only 5 more slots to mess with.  Mods stretch out the value of the game.  They make even a decade old game a new experience.  In many cases, they are responsible for people still playing the game YEARS after it otherwise would have been old hat (DOTA, Median), and for others they provide a welcome change of pace before returning to the game they love, stretching out the dedicated playtime of those hardcore fans of the game. They are specifically being prevented with this setup.  We’re not being ALLOWED to experience anything that might be possible with this engine, because if anything else is going to be done that’s fun with this engine, darn it, Blizzard wants to be able to charge us for it.

            There’s always one more crazy thing to try.  Whether it’s that one piece of gear to make possible some off the wall build (the concept of allowing another class’s powers to be available through use of items has been, AFAIK, determined to NOT be included), some sub-optimal Stat combo to try (a pure DEX Bowazon, a base stat guardian, etc, none of which will exist with autostats), a new synergy build (no skill points), or some off the wall concept (sorc hammerer, etc, severely limited by class specific weaponry), there was always something that you HAD to see if it will work.  Blizzard claims they value this, but every decision made by them move in the opposite direction, and I don’t see what will be left to try, or to be different, once you’ve experienced the core gameplay as intended, which is obviously what Blizzard is all about.

            The reasons I still play it after all this time, basically, is because it’s MY game, to do with what I want and to play around with and in, even all these years later.  With everything Blizzard has done, they have made it very clear that Diablo 3 will be THEIR game, not ours.  We will have the Privilege of playing it.  Even if I do choose to do so, I just can’t see why I would still be playing it years later.  The respect I have for Blizzard COMES from their games still being worth playing, years later.  With WOW they merely punished you for coming back to their game years later with a constant vertical expansion system.  With Diablo 3, I am not seeing any reason you would do so.  Previous decisions had given the SP, LAN, and Mod support for the game community (by far the most active portions of Diablo 2) the finger.  The recent decisions make it all to clear it’s more than that- it’s a bullying kid, saying “no, this is my sandbox, and you can only play in it if I let you and in the way I let you”.  That leaves a lot of people not wanting to play at all.

          • Mmm yes, but only as long as the server is up. What will happen to your beloved game when the server is shut down? And with Kotick in charge of activision and having so much influence on the corporate culture, do you think that they will even bother  to do the right thing as steam and promise to release the game code for the games and allow everyone to play it offline if they even goes belly up?

            Hardly likely. And don’t forget, the way the code it is going to make it very difficult to recode it for offline play only, especially if the company is on the verge of collapse. So basically  you are out of luck of the company goes bankrupt. 

            It is not because big company is easy to hate that Blizzard garner so much hate. It is because they have made a series of really questionable decisions which seems to be gears towards forcing people to play in a certain way AND towards profit maximisation only. Please do not insult the intelligence of the posters here.

  4. It sucks for me cos of my location and work-related travel etc, but it looks like I don’t really have a choice. Its either no D3, or D3 when I can, and i’ll be taking the second option.

    • I really don’t understand what is work got to do with playing D3. If you have to travel alot then D3 is not an option…just like Wow and Starcraft. There are some games that are all online oriented so…what can one do.
      But one has to put in balance all issues – because if they make from D3 what they did with SC 2 or WOW concerning safety, speed of addressing issues, and quality of gaming in general without all bot spam we have in D2 atm etc…then I will go for only online for sure.
      On the other hand I am sure there will be an offline version as well just like it is for SC2 atm…that is talking off record 😉

      • I travel for weeks at a time, I can take my laptop to whittle away hours in boring rural motel rooms but I don’t have internet access for online gaming. Oh well, i guess i can just continue my affair with mrs palmer and her 5 daughters 😉

        • And I don’t have a laptop good enought to play D3. So what? Everything is just a matter of money. If you travel a lot I believe you can find a way to get to free or cheap Wi-Fi.

          • honestly, can you please stop being such a fanboy and try to see someone else’s point of view. 

            this is a guy who obviously wants to play the game, but because of how his life is at the moment won’t be able to play as much as he would like. Yet he will still buy the game. His point his valid, stop attacking him just because you feel this urge to defend everything blizzard does.

            i swear, all these people screaming “just get broadband you noob” have a complete lack of empathy. Look outside your little box, a lot of people don’t have access to broadband internet.

          • yep cheers iba – I live in New Zealand where there are vast swathes of land where there is no connection possible.

            But yeah I see this is the way it is, and I will buy it and enjoy it… and I am actually saving to buy a laptop capable of running it in time for the release 😛

      • I don’t play WoW, I don’t play Starcraft II. Right now, I play Torchlight and Diablo/Diablo II. I wanna play Diablo 3, but it looks like, as the gentleman above me stated, I’ll have to play when I can. Which sucks.

    • Time to learn about the wonderful world of cracks Rumpelstilzchen.
       
       

  5. This is a very good response from Bashiok. They have clearly opted for “online only” early in the development, so it would take alot of work to go back and rewrite the single player game code. So, even if some people do not like it, it won’t change for the initial release, at least. Personally, I think they’ve made the right decision.

    • It wasnt that early, cause he said last year that there would be an offline sp option for those who need it.

      • Maybe they started with the online-only code, and then less than a year ago they determined that it would be better if they would stick with online-only so they would not have to code the single player only portion of the game, and in addition they would benefit from all the security features of that architecture.

        • And please tell us, which part of having an offline single player feature will impact the security of the online BNet player community?

          • My understanding is that Bnet hackers/cheaters/dupers/scum were/are able to use portions of the single player code to cheat/hack/dupe Bnet. By not having a singer player mode it makes it somewhat more difficult to cheat/hack/dupe Bnet.
            I also read somewhere that a portion of the listing/sell fees from the RMAH will go to fund a team to specifically combat botting/farming.

    • I seriously doubt that there is no save on your computer at all… and even if there isn’t all they’d have to do is make one and switch some address stuff around so the game finds it… it’s not really that much effort that it would require months of work, and they haven;t even announced a beta date yet…

      • Sorry no. This game will act like WoW. Your save is on the server, not on your pc.

        • @Random

          At least this is how it is being planned. Data was saved on the local client for D2 in case the internet went down, so that they can recover the data from the client side. Yes, this was even for the BNet character. So this led to duping. So now they are proposing that all character info, all interaction, all AI be controlled from the server side and actions from the client side have to be authenticated every time.

          Other than leading to higher amount of traffic requirement through your local wifi/network, this also means that if you drop from internet for whatever reason, you can easily die unless blizzard cut off the game immediately at that point. And being on server side means that it will not retrieve a save from your local client and it might need to wait till your local client loses all connection and wait for a second or two before it starts the count down to disconnect you from the server.

          Now all these are conjecture on my part as I am not part of the team, but it seems to be the most logical and safest way of going about it. But this also means that your actions on the client side during these periods of bad connection will not be recorded and it might easily lead to periods of 10, 20 seconds of inactivity as far as the server is concerned, which will almost certainly lead to your character’s death, unless you are a high level character playing at a low level area at that time.

  6. Too many changes, personally.  I don’t think I will give them my 60$.  I have access to an internet connection, but I like to play games on my own terms.  There are other games coming that I can use to pull me away from reality. 

    And I still have a cabinet full of booze which helps  :aie:

  7. The problem is half arrogance, half disconnect with the community. He failed to respond to my post which was a bit more…cutting, but still civil.

    I like the Blizzard response of “What about those who will be left unable to play?” basically saying “gfy”.

    Two things:

    1. I’ve noticed that many people who don’t mind the change feel they won’t be affected by it, so they just don’t care. They don’t care if other people will be affected, so they’re fine with it. If it were something they cared about, then you’d sure be hearing about it, though.

    2. The argument for it is incredibly weak due to Blizzard’s complete lack of ability to curb the problems that plague their online games.

    They made D3 an MMO to curtail hacking, botting, scamming, spamming, etc. But all of these things are present in WoW. Do you know what they’ve done about it? Jack. They haven’t even done anything about RMT. They are completely powerless to stop it, either due to lack of talent, ambition, motivation, or all of the above. And WoW is what Blizzard is basing their security on for D3. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so depressing.

    Blizzard on buying gold.

    Bots in WoW.

    Hacks in WoW. (Okay, linked removed on that one because it actually shows you a forum for hacks in WoW)

    Accounts hacked. Now with more RMT-info stored in your bnet account!

    I think I’ve made my point, but regrettably, nobody will care or listen. This is what we’re paying the price for: delayed mediocrity.

    • Oh, and “Unless/until some clever hackers find a way to break the code and enable single player offline mode, in what would surely be the most popular Diablo game “mod” of all time.”

      They will, and it won’t take long. It’s called a private server.

      • Too true, Reloaded or Razor1911 will smash single player open like a ripe watermelon on Gallagher’s stage.

        • Nah, it won’t be them. It’ll be the same people who make private servers for every other online game.
          Note that I do not condone using these. I am buying the game, regardless of how much the development team seems intent on making me not want to do so.

          • I agree with most things you’ve said about all these recent changes Red, but that just made me laugh.  😉

            I would be less upset about this no-offline crap if they actually stopped the PR bullshit and gave us straight answers.  But hey, this is 2011 Blizzard, not 1999 Blizzard.

          • Even worse, this is 2011 “Activision Blizzard”…

        • Perhaps, but perhaps not. It took almost a full year after SC2 came out for a viable battle.net alternative found the light of day, and many fans were sure it would only be a matter of weeks.

      • It will take a while i rate. It took the hackers nearly a year to emulate SC2. And most of the data for that is client side.
        To emulate D3, someone will need to more or less code the system that makes randomize in the dungeons. Also code the system that makes the items. Even if someone DOES end up doing all of this. Do you think they code as well as blizzards team that get paid $$$$ to do the job right ?
         
        Even emulated WoW is weaker than its real counterpart. And nothing about wow is random etc, much easier to emulate.

  8. This ultimately comes down to security. Everything else is simply a justification or “nice side-effect” of their decision.

    Diablo 2 runs in a client/server model. When you play offline, both the client and server are running on your PC. This server code is probably 95% the same as what runs on Battle.net. This means hackers and others who are interested in how b.net works to create cracks, can host the game on their own computer and slowly tease apart how it works. Then they can craft new attacks to use against battle.net, exploiting bugs and loopholes in the functionality.

    In Diablo 3, the server code runs only on battle.net, never on your local computer. This makes it much more difficult to hack.

    Hellgate also ran in a client/server mode, however it was evident from the way they released patches for multiplayer only and not single player, that there were some significant differences between the code bases (or maybe they just had limited testing resources and couldn’t verify a single player version).

    Could Blizzard have implemented Diablo 3 differently, so that they could have an offline version that worked significantly differently from the online one? Sure, but that would effectively be creating the game twice, and would take far far longer to create, not to mention nightmares of fixing different sets of bugs, or the same bug caused by slightly different behaviour in the different platforms.

    All this means there is unlikely to be a cracked version that allows offline play – it will essentially be the same as writing the private battle.net servers that exist for WoW. I don’t play WoW, but I understand that these servers are very restricted on the amount of the game that they support, and haven’t kept up with the expansions at all. It was also several years until they first started coming out, and that’s for a game that has millions of players so there was demand for it. Playing on the 3rd party servers let you play without paying the subscription – but as there is no subscription required for Diablo 3, it seems unlikely anyone is going to go to the effort of making an offline version.

    • Nice side-effect?

      You know who isn’t affected at all by bots, scammers, hackers, cheaters, item buyers, and the like?
      People who play offline.

      • Right. But like it or not this game is built to be a better multi-player experience than Diablo 2. And to do that, they have to increase security. And to do that, to be able to provide instantaneous hotfixes, offline mode has to be excluded.

        The root poster, Lanthanide, is entirely correct. For you to get your online play means we become plagued with hacks, and we lose the ability to have these things hotfixed before they become a problem.

        • All of this is going to happen regardless. It’s just a matter of time.
          There must have been a better compromise.

          • It’s so funny how “veterans” complain about offline mode. I highly doubt you could play D2 everywhere when it came out (or even D1). Cheap and stable connection is just a matter of time.

        • well, it is not that hard to provide an OFFLINE single character that do not access the BNet, a bit like what they did in D2. Isn’t it?

          And more importantly, all the hack, bot and what not in D2 close BNet server have little to do with the creation of  single character. It has more to do with how blizzard program the files to accommodate the uncertainty of the net and kept a set of data on the client side. 

          What they should do is write a tighter code and  come up with a way to handle the data for the BNet ONLINE character, and not to just kill off the offline single player character. Do not confuse the issue here.

      • By ‘nice side effect’, I meant their justifications such as “this way people don’t get confused when they make offline characters and can’t play them online”. Even hotfix patches are a nice side effect of this system.

        As Flux notes below, such justifications makes it seem like Blizzard are either idiots themselves, or treating us like idiots.

        I’ll also point out that the RMT auction house is another reason why they have to take hacks very seriously this time – any cracked or hacked items entering the economy are going to really make people furious. Now the RMT auction house in itself is in response to customer demand – players in D2 and WoW demanded ways to trade items for real money, so they used whatever means available to do this such as ebay and other websites. Blizzard have noted the demand (and that such behaviour is going to happen regardless of what they do) and so are catering for it themselves. This gets them a revenue stream, as well as providing a service to the customer that is superior to the ad-hoc methods used in D2/WoW, but at the same time because it is now supported by Blizzard, they have additional responsibilities that they wouldn’t have had.

        I’d suggest that when Bashiok said we could play offline, they probably hadn’t formally decided on the RMT auction house. But once that decision is made, you really have to insure as top-notch security as possible. This means sacrificing offline mode. This decision is easy to make when you weigh up the positives (RMT auction house – good for (some) players, good for revenue) vs the negatives (lack of offline play will only lose them a small porportion of sales, people may complain and play the game less but they’ll still buy it).

        Will there be hacks and cracks? Almost certainly. But hopefully they will take a lot longer to get off the ground, proliferate, won’t be as severe and if Blizzard is pro-active hopefully they can hotfix them within days of them being detected. Having the game being online-only means punishment for hacking leaves you with a game you can’t play at all.

        • [quote]But once that decision is made, you really have to insure as top-notch security as possible. This means sacrificing offline mode.[/quote]
          Why so? You really can’t get a SP char or items on BNet in D2, why not the same model in D3? Auction would be a BNet only thing.

          • Read my original comment. I explain why they are using a different model in D3 to D2.

            The fact is, they MUST use a different model in D3 than they did in D2 if they want to have a chance to stop hacks. The specific model they have chosen (no offline at all) is a very robust way to do this, but it’s possible there are other methods. I’m sure Blizzard weighed up all the options and made the decision they felt was best (note that they exist to make money, so what is best for them in terms of money may not be best for players).

        • Lets face it – They pay Bashiok to make us look like idiots. All part of a corporate rat’s day at work.

      • Yeah, lets ruin the game for 80% of the playerbase who don’t mind playing online.

    • If bliz made replies like Lanth’s, I think there would less controversy and argument. We might not like it, and we might debate the technical issues, but at least there’s a concrete, factual reason given. Security. Hacks. Etc.

      For me at least, a lot of my urge to argue about it is their PR happy talk about enhanced player experience, and allegorical stories about people too clueless to notice the “single Player” and “multi player” buttons upon character creation.

      Just be honest. “We’re taking away a feature that a lot of you wanted, for security reasons. If you don’t like it don’t buy the game.”  Not, “you didn’t really want that feature,  you’ll like it more without it anyway, and most of you are too dumb to use it properly anyhow.”

      • Thats a good point.  They could have sounded a little less like typical PR and been a little more transparent.  They’re making, in their mind, a small sacrifice for their greater good.

      • But they aren’t going to stop anything that they claimed they’re going to by making it online-only. Which is the insanity around this entire thing.
        All they’re doing is delaying the inevitable, so when the game is out and fresh it looks real good to the public. It won’t take long for the bots, and after the bots the hacks, and the entire time there’ll be the spammers and scammers there exploiting every possible little exploit. In and out of game.

      • Yeah, I’m in lock step with Flux here.  Personally, it’s not a big deal for me.  However, Blizzard hasn’t been honest about this and for some time now apparently.  They kept saying “player experience…blah…blah…blah” and when it all boiled down, just in the past couple days, guess what it’s a client / server game that by design cannot be played offline (at least unless they choose to build and support a local server!).  This was brand new information that had never been brought into the conversation until everyone expressed disappointment in their “decision”.

        We are going to play and love Diablo 3, no question there, but Blizzard has lost some of my respect over this.  I know companies guard the information they release, in order to keep people from creating mountains out of every little issue, but in this case they have been flat-out “lying” to their fan-base on this very important issue for who knows how long!  Had they just been up front about this, it would have been an easier pill to swallow and I’m sure it would have passed much more quickly than this will.

      • Not, “you didn’t really want that feature,  you’ll like it more without it anyway, and most of you are too dumb to use it properly anyhow.”
        Yes.  This is the part that pissed me off as well.  I can live with the changes (though, contrary to popular opinion, there will be other options, community provided, and they won’t take years), but don’t tell me that you’re doing it for me, and laugh at the thought that some players may not agree.  I don’t know if it’s the arrogance, desperation of cluelessness of those arguments that bothered me most.

      • I would have to disagree with Flux. The messages that are going out from Blizzard are intended to communicate their stance to the entire potential playerbase of D3 and the press (official and unofficial). As such there is a need to keep the content as simple as possible, while still providing a possitive sound (this is PR after all). It wouldn’t look very well if Blizzard said something like: ‘Such and such is needed because we expect D3 to become the biggest target of hackers since the Chinese found the Pentagon website’.

        Not only wouldn’t it help one bit to create understanding for the measure with the majority of their potential playerbase, it would also generate a whole slew of articles with the wrong negative content a few months before release, which is a potential PR nightmare. Of course there still are negative articles, but those Blizzard can counter with messages like the one in the article above.

        And as such I am quite disappointed in the D3 community and some of its ‘leading’ figures. It wasn’t that difficult to deduce the reasons for the ‘always online’ requirement. Yet a lot of the community acted like they couldn’t quite grasp the reason, or acted just plain irrational.

        Does that make the decision a good one? Personally I understand their reasoning and am glad that Blizzard will take D3’s security most serious. Unfortunately it is a reality that such a measure is necessary to guarantee the integrity of a game (and please, anyone saying that this isn’t true hasn’t been keeping up with technology). On the other hand I can also understand why some people (but only those with patchy Internet connections) will not like this measure. And I do sympathize with them and hope that there may be found an acceptable solution in the future.

        • You’ve got a point, and it relates to the perpetual issue of Bliz making and marketing D3 largely for a casual audience. Not that we hardcore fans won’t enjoy it, but there’s never yet been a feature introduced as “this is kind of complicated and tricky, but it’ll really improve the game.”  Everything is simplified, clarified, noob-friendly, etc. And the same with their PR; with the facebook and twitter and explanations that are meant to appeal to casuals and people who aren’t really watching D3 that closely yet.

          But at the same time, there’s the sort of explanation Rob Pardo gives to the WSJ, or Jay Wilson gives to Wired, or they put in an “exclusive” interview on Blizzard.com… and then there’s what Bashiok tells us via the B.net D3 forum. I think it would be nice if they could kind of level with us via the more private medium of their CM talking right to fans. Instead of Bashiok just rephrasing the same PR-approved happy talk.

      • That’s because like 70% people here can’t even see difference between SP and offline-mode.
        There was no “you didn’t really want that feature”, they just tell they find online-only the best way to keep player experience “up to date”. To be honest it’s much easier for them.
        So I see no point for Blizz to write every message that way “Barb’s high tier skills got 2 mins cooldowns. SO SHUT THE F*CK UP. If you don’t like it – don’t buy the game”. It’s just obvious and it’s how the market everywhere works: vote with your wallet.

        • Great conversation skills: your arguments are infantile, trite, and dull as hell. once you’re out of arguments you just go offending people. Great job Mr. #1 Fan

  9. “Always only” – did spellcheck get the best of you?  😛

    • It’s kind of appropriate though. 😉

    • It’s funny; I posted this in about 3 minutes right before recording the Auction House podcast, just so there would be something fresh on the site all afternoon. And I glanced back 2 hours later after the podcast, and skimmed the comments before heading out to the gym and then to dinner. Not until many hours later (now) did I actually load the main page up and look at it, and at that point I was like, “Always-only?”

      So then I had to look down the comments to see if anyone had noticed.

      One of the past podcast news posts I had “thorugh” instead of “through” or something like that, and didn’t notice it until a day later, since FF doesn’t spellcheck words in the subject field of wordpress. That wouldn’t have helped on this one anyway, since nothing was misspelled. Likely I thought “online-only” and “always-online” and somehow merged them.

      And if that’s the worst typo you see today on the Interwebs…

  10. I’ll educate again. This is about keeping everyone online to push the RMAH fees when you put up items. They will no way change this because it is going to be a big money maker for them in Asia. Money > fans.

    • don’t you think its a little more complicated than just RMAH?  Clearly, there are many facets to this issue.

      • Not really.  All other issues are tangent, collateral “benefits”.  Do you really think that, after announcing to their investors that they came up with a way for two revenue streams, it was ever again going to be any other way?  “Sorry, folks, but the microtransactions were just compromising game play too much, so we had to ditch it.”  Never going to happen. Someday the numbers on the RMAH will be released/leak, and will settle this on the spot.  All the negative votes in the world won’t change economics, I’m sorry to say.

      • I think people read too much into it. I think this is all about the money.

        Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBS0OWGUidc

  11. Well… here’s to torchlight 2 doing well!
    I’ll be buying both for sure.

    • Yeah same here, but Torchlight 2 will never be nothing else then a gap filler for me. Why? Because Runic still does not see it as necessary to give us a cheat-proof online environment for multiplayer. No dedicated servers, no server-side saved characters, no nothing. On the other side, they will have offline single-player. But honestly, i would rather like an online multiplayer on a bnet like structure.
       
      Don’t get me wrong, i am sure i will get my money’s worth out of TL2, but still, for me at least, D3 will push it aside as soon as it gets released.

      • But in Blizzard’s own words- since Diablo 3 is not a “competitive environment”, why would it matter to you if someone else is gaining an unfair advantage (cheating)?  If anything, it will be great for you, because you can kill stuff quicker, your party will be stronger, you’ll be able to do more!
         
        Blizzard isn’t against cheating.  In fact, they give those who wish to gain unfair advantages the market to do so.  They’re just against cheating that interferes with their revenue streams.  TL2 has no pretenses on that level.  They don’t pretend to care about cheating. They let people do what they’re going to do, and essentially say- “it’s your game to mess up as you wish.  If you want to cheat I won’t stop you”.
         
        If you think that playing in an online environment where people have as much character power as they have purchase power and everyone around you is gaining unfair advantages as much as they can afford to do so is playing in a “Cheat-proof online environment” or even that such an environment is advantageous to you, the individual, or that it will change the way people operate in MP (Find people they like playing with, then play with them) or that it will somehow make the average internet citizen less of a douschbag when playing the game, feel free to support it with your wallet.  For me, TL2 seems like the safer bet.

  12. I’m typically against such actions, but if someone is able to mod this game to allow offline play, I will be a happy camper. 

    This game shouldnt be allowed to carry the name of it’s beloved parents.  Maybe, Fankill. ‘the dramatic diversion’

  13. A single-player mode (server emulation) will eventually happen (just like for WoW). But it will never be the same experience, because the hackers basically have to imitate the server code and can only guess how monster AI, drops, randomness etc. work on the server side.

  14. I saw this blue post a couple of days ago hidden very deep (like page 12) in that official forum thread and felt that it was great that Blizzard finally explained what to me always seemed the obvious reason for their “always online” design. 

    I really do feel for the handful of people that have terrible service in their area or who travel a lot and want access to D3 on the plane, train, etc.  While I am not one of them, I wish this that Blizzard could do something for this demographic with an offline version.  I am not including in that the very vocal forum posters who clearly have no issues playing online, but for whatever reason desire not to have to. 

    As we all know, duping and botting, etc. were rampant in Diablo II, and while there were several reasons for this, one of them was that the perpetrators of such problems had local access to all of Diablo II’s files.  By keeping a larger number of these files server side, it seemed to me that Blizzard makes it much much harder for D3 hackers to create the kinds of rampant problems that D2 had.  I could not support Blizzard when their purported reason for online-only was “the community wants it”, but that never seemed like the real reason and I was confused as all heck why no one official had come right out and said “this is to stop bots and duping.”  Now they have and I for one am very grateful that Blizzard is taking major steps to head these problems off before they destroy the game.  For those people that prefer to play single player, you are completely unhindered from putting a password on your games and going solo through b.net (again with my apologies to the subset that has legitimate connection issues).

    For this reason, I do think an “invisible” tag is something Blizzard should consider in b.net in the event you log in but do not want to deal with chatting.  I think that would allay at least some of the concerns people have about being online to play, although some of the arguments I’m seeing seem simply to fuel that person’s desire to be a contrarian or their joy of arguing for its own sake.

    The bottom line for me (and thankfully Blizzard is finally acknowledging this) is that if I’m choosing between having offline mode, but having duping and botting once again becoming a fundamental problem in D3, versus not having an offline mode and avoiding these serious problems, I choose the solution that will hinder hackers and save my game experience as much as possible.  If 2 months into release, Blizzard realizes that their online-only scheme did not hinder the hackers at all, well then they should consider adding offline mode, but given what I’ve seen in the success of WoW, I do not think that will be the case.

    As an aside, the poll shows, in sum, 56% in favor of online-only, 41% against it, and 3% don’t care.  I would love to know more about why people are voting the way that they are, and I also wonder to what degree this is really representative the the millions of players who will buy Diablo III.  It seems to me this community is great, but for several reasons does really represent the entire Diablo purchasing demographics.

    • Yes it’s true that it will slow hacks down, but it will not stop them. Though this is not the key point that should be made. 

      The true key point is that it both slows them down AND enables Blizzard to VERY QUICKLY AND TRANSPARENTLY fix these exploits and hacking issues that appear, BEFORE they do so much damage to the server that the game becomes pointless. With much of the code on the server side, that allows that nifty technology called hotfixes that can stop all sorts of nasty things.

      Oh, and Blizzard doesn’t post a list of all of the hotfixes they actually make. Things like exploits are never openly posted about. You (the people reading this) have no clue the amount of things they fix, nor do you know how quickly they do so.

      • Yes, this is an excellent point too.  I was going to add something to this effect above, but my post was already too long and you worded it better and more acurately than I would have anyway.

    • Personally I don’t think the poll here is all that reliable.  Its a nice snapshot of what a small internet community feels, but often times on the internet the voices that are heard loudest are the ones that are angry, while the content and satisfied audience doesn’t have a reason to get involved.

  15. Personally, I like the Dragon Age way – offline if you want, but it doesn’t count unless you’re online (for achievements, etc.).
     
    And, I’m OK with online, but I hate buying a product, and then experiencing downtime when I (the consumer) want to play.  I work in the service industry.  Imagine the HORROR if you had to wait because we had to do “maintenance” on something.  And then a delay. Again.  And again. And again.
     
    Online, sure, but don’t limit my ability to choose when I want to play.

    edit: typo…

  16. Some highly accurate, profound words come to mind when I think of this tabackle of them trying to control something like “online only” for a game that was never meant to be so. In addition to the Fanbase’s intent to want it back the way it was.

    “If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territory, and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously.

    ..Life will find a way” – Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park.

    Long story short…Blizzard will lose. It’s inevitable.

  17. dear blizzard, please go play frisbee with a landmine, loooove dami

  18. It’s the nature of modern PC gaming for the consumers to have to reverse engineer the product to put in features that should’ve been there in the first place.

  19. really disappointed with some of your attitudes about this whole situation.

    Presumably any one passionate about this issue is a big Diablo fan- If thats the case, and you really enjoyed the previous games Blizzard has made for you, maybe take a moment to stop and think about that before rejoicing at the thought of their product being illegally pirated and cracked. Countless blizzard employees have poured their heart and souls into this game for years, and a lot of you are quick to turn your back on them to say “F*ck you, I’m stealing a cracked version of your game” because one small aspect of it, which you’ve never even experienced, isn’t the way you want it.

    • I don’t see what a “crack” has to do with any of this whatsoever.
      I’m not quite sure you even know what a crack is, or why that would not apply to Diablo III even if it were offline.
      All the features are still natively built-in and would require emulation either way, depending on how they did it.

      However, if they make a superdeedooper great game, and you can’t play it not matter how badly you want to, and you paid for it…well…who’s the one saying “f*ck you” here?

      • “However, if they make a superdeedooper great game, and you can’t play it not matter how badly you want to, and you paid for it…well…who’s the one saying “f*ck you” here?”

        You’d have to be pretty stupid to buy a product that you know you can’t play.  So stop acting so entitled; You haven’t paid Blizz your $60 yet.  When and if you decide to buy it, you’ll have had plenty of advance warning that you need to be online to play it. When you hand your cash over to the cashier, you’re making an informed decision that you’re buying an online-only game.  Its not blizz thats screwing you over, its yourself.

    • I’m not advocating hacking the game, though Blizzard seems to be doing so by making a non-MMORPG that tons of their fans won’t be able to play due to the online-only requirement. Besides, look at the quote from Bashiok; he says “hacks and cheats” right there. Who brought it up first?

      Besides, be serious… like anyone needed his words, or my echo of them, to think of it?

      • Do you need cheats to win or something lol

      • I think you’re making a bit of a false dichotomy there; That there are only 2 types of games, MMOs and everything else- and a poor assumption that anything that isn’t an MMO must have offline play.  If Blizzard wants to categorize their own game in some new 3rd category which does require an internet connection, they can.

  20. Still sucks for military personnel with no internet connection while deployed, but I guess there are always other games to play.

    • This is what gets me though, as accessible as Blizzard have always strived to make their titles, they alienate an entire, ENTIRE community of gamers. Security reasons, enjoyable experience, blahblahblah. They’ve explained the pro’s and cons very clearly, and I’ve still yet to see a good reason to not have some sort of dumbed-down offline mode.
       
      They ship the client with offline mode – ZOMGS, people will be able to reverse-engineer the game! COOL, GOOD LUCK REVERSE ENGINEERING THE BATTLE.NET SERVERS/SYSTEM. Not happening. No threat to RMAH.
       
      Luckily, I don’t play SP very often, so I’ll be fine and dandy either way. But it’s still just, mind blowing.

  21. It’s obvious to me, keeping the game online only allows Blizz more profit from auction house sales.  They can control the droprate and their own income basically by adjusting the ‘back-end’ variables to their advantage. 

    You may not be paying a monthly subscription, but you will certainly be doing the equivalent, perhaps without the knowledge of doing so… 

    • I know I’m spamming this news post, but I don’t agree with this argument. I’m fairly anti-RMAH, and I’m (very) anti-online only, but I just don’t see it.

      If they wanted to profit from it, they would have done two things differently:

      1. Not offer an option to cash out, exit fee or not.
      2. Have the auctions be a fixed percentage other than a flat listing/sale rate. 

      And probably some other things I’m not half as clever enough to think of.

      • Don’t you see?  Offering an option to cash out brings in TON of people into that market that otherwise would not have been in there.  Specifically, people who are using their game as an engine to make money themselves.  This is a potentially HUGE profit for them.  Especially because such people, using the game to make money, will go in FAR excess of the number of “free” auctions available, because doing so is profitable to them.  It’s a win-win between Blizzard and item farmers.
         
        Also, having free auctions before you have to start paying is classic marketing strategy to draw in people who would otherwise never be in the market.  People who wouldn’t DREAM of being part of that market will try it because it’s free, and the idea is that, like any free trial, they’ll be hooked and want to keep going regardless of any cost associated with it.  Hopefully, they’ll have made enough money to keep going indefinitely, because when it’s a flat listing, it doesn’t matter how much money they as individuals spend- it’s the number of transactions.  The same item could be traded 12 times between 12 different people and blizzard makes money on every one of those transactions.
         
        Every single decision possible in the design of the RMAH that I currently have access to is designed to maximize their profits from it, and online only CERTAINLY fits the bill of doing so.  Mind you, I’m not faulting them for that.  Everyone needs to make a buck, and I have no issue whatsoever with people maximizing their profits.  I simply am no longer sure I wish it to be me they are profiting from, as I’m not sure they are any longer the type of people I wish to vote for with my wallet.

    • I’m going to agree with Risingred here; how does online only make Blizzard more money from the RMAH?
       
      If they believed that they would make a significant amount of money for the game, they would have included a financial plan for the RMAH as part of their Q3 conference call.
       
      The truth is they don’t know how much money – if any – they’ll get from the RMAH.  It’s one thing to build a proforma based on monthly subscriptions.  It’s another thing alltogether when you have an AH with vendors who react to (or set the) supply, and 100% customer-driven prices.  And that is assuming that everyone even uses the RMAH.  What happens when, while still online, everyone chooses to use the gold AH?
       
      No, this is one area where the RMAH is not to blame.

  22. People that only played single player and never online to b.net, are mostly using pirated version and abusing cheats/dupes/cracks. (Some may not but it is unfortunately the minority) Release a full playable single player version may attrack lots of people to play but not buying from Blizzard. It opens the hole to let hacker attack or let them crack the security down and harm b.net eventually. In the old day(around 90′), most of computer game companies couldn’t earn money as 99% of their games were cracked/pirated except online games like UO or EQ, so more and more companies either chose to develop online games or console games. No matter you accept it or not, it is the trend to go as always online proves a successful way to prevent pirated version and maintain company revenue. And pretty sure that always online will be the requirement of all future Blizzard games.

    • “People that only played single player and never online to b.net, are mostly using pirated version and abusing cheats/dupes/cracks.”

      I dare you to find an even mildly relevant link to substantiate a small fraction of that lie.

    • Have you played D2 on b.net in the last oh… 6 years? You might find some evidence for hacks/bots/dupes/etc.  Also, why would someone cheat playing SP mode, other than just to experiment? God mode, in any game, gets boring really quickly.

      People who play SP games, D2 or anything else, are doing it for fun and to have a challenge. Cheating would defeat the whole purpose. There have been a lot of D1 and D2 mods, and I’ve never heard of one that was made to be EASIER than the regulation game.

      • Indeed!
        Currently there is a lot more challenge in playing Single Player than playing over battle net!
        And like i said on the official forums, i don’t want history to repeat itself. I bought Assassin’s Creed 2, bu for some reason i couldn’t connect to the servers… after trying for several days i finally gave up, went to the local torrent site and downloaded pirate version and played it just fine, even though the game was supposedly online only with superduper security…
         
        All the lame justifications for removing the Single Player option are just that — lame attempts for justifications, nothing more. The removal of Single Player wont address the issue with pirates and hacks in any way, the game will be pirated and there will be hacks shorty after release. I am sure that everyone with brains can figure out the true reason for online only…

  23. how about the latency problems in single player mode?
    do we have to still suffer from lags when playing alone?
    from what I read, “outcomes of combat, among others, are all handled and verified by the client talking to the server”
    so isnt that means, we will experience lag even though we play alone?
    someone also make a thread about this in here http://asia.gamespot.com/forums/topic/28800939/diablo-3-to-have-latency-issues-in-singleplayer
     
    please, someone post this question to the battle.net forum.. I dont have diablo 2 account.. so I cant post in there

    • They won’t answer. Not honestly, at any rate. But you can check out Lone Wolf’s thread on the forums, here, for more opinions and to test your ping.

      During the SC2 beta, Blizzard was trying to decide whether to put the Australian players in the SE Asia region, or the US region, after a massive outcry. So they made a sticky in the forums with two test IPs, so the players could run a tracert to test their ping.

      Almost unanimously, the Australian players got great pings on the US servers, horrible pings on the SEA servers.
      And today? You guessed it, they’re on the SEA region. I feel really bad for our Australian friends. They easily have it the worst, with Brazil leading a likely second.

    • Since you have to be online all the time, so yes you have to deal with it all – lag, dropped packets, inexplicable slow down, rubber banding, death from LOC and many much more. O Joy!

  24. I always played d2 online. ALWAYS.

    So I can’t say this topic really concerns or affects me.

    To be fair, I have played offline..casually out of boredom, but I think it made less than 1% of my total play time.

  25. If they provide servers in Australia, this will work well. Since they are likely *not* going to provide servers with playable latency, this will probably turn out to be a bad system. In Diablo 2 online, there are always huge delays between an action and the action taking place on the screen. :oups:

  26. Their security-through-obscurity reasoning is the only excuse they have. But if they didn’t have that RMT auction house, they wouldn’t “care” that much as apparently they didn’t care with Starcraft II. Maybe they think some people won’t have the urge to splurge $$ in on the online mode if they can stomp things with hAxed items in singleplayer mode; who knows what’s going on through their diseased minds to sell this.

    It’s astounding they can afford to slough off 30% of their sales like this. No other company could do this. If you don’t think the RMT house was THE deciding factor on this, you’re naive. They hope to more than make up for the lost sales through that.

    And no, Diablo is not remotely playable online for 40% of the population. Actions have a resolution fidelity of about 1/4th a second, so anything above 250ms is completely unplayable.

    It’s really REALLY nice for you if you yourself are a game developer and are about to finish a diablo clone though. A wide open chasm of a niche. With the added pressure that Diablo II sales so much a good deal because it can be ran on a toaster… the box sales of Diablo III’s expansions are going to fall rather short of where they might have.

  27. I remember when people had a fit with Flagship Studios imposed a monthly fee for Hellgate. Fans went ballistic. How is this any different from what has been tried before with a rpg ?

    • Even HG:L had an offline mode…

      • It is sad that it won’t be strictly better than HGL. Aside from the lack of eels and possibly bee swords. The Witchdoctor’s bitey snake just isn’t the same.

        Hellgate London: At least we have singleplayer, eels, and bee swords bitches!

  28. One of the reason why we have so much bs going on in the world is because of people like you. A little cheating here and there doesn’t hurt. Let me warez this game, no one will care. Let me steal from this company. let me cheat on my wife, let me bash this police officer’s face in with a pipe…where does it end? The problems in the world is not here because of the ten commandments…They are here because people have no morals or character and it has nothing to do with a high horse. How about…high standards? Oo

    • Mmm and how does Modding EQUATE to Cheating? And more importantly, EQUATE to cheating on your wife, bashing in police officer and so on and so forth.

      Single player cheats, if the player wants to do it, is no worse than cheating by flipping to the back of the book to sneak a peek at the end. The only enjoyment he spoils, if not done at the right time and in the appropriate small doses, is his own and no one else. 

      So fake and irrelevant metaphor. Fail.

  29. Best of all, this means they can reuse all of those WoW servers getting emptier every day, which will really start to become ghost towns when D3 ships.  Win-win-win!

  30. I was just wondering if someone could ask Blizzard how much data per hour Diablo 3 is expected to generate. A lot of people over here in the UK use the mobile network which charges by the megabyte of data. Seems like one more cost to figure in. And they say there are no monthly subscriptions?

    • Jay Wilson claimed that it could run on a 56k modem, which I just don’t believe. All these friend things, voice chat?

      I’ve seen some quotes about SC2’s bnet overhead being about 50kb/s (single player online), but that seems awfully high to me.

      • I don’t believe it either. On a 56 K modem? Did they even get one to try it on?

        and 50 kb/s is not surprising, considering the amount of data (every click, every action, every hit/miss calculation, every movement) that have to be sync between server and client.

        in fact 30 to 100 kbps is my guess. Not too bad for people with Land based broadband, but difficult for people with charge by usage plan.

        But more importantly, all these wifi/3G network do not provide very stable connection with low latency and if you play with your friends, all of you are going to get mighty frustrated.

  31. I don’t see the big fuzz over this. The only reason you want an offline version is to cheat.
     
    Blizzards business model is to make money of our actions so that requires you to be online or it will fall flat.
    It also helps alot against spammers, cheaters and 3rd party sellers. It’s a very natural decision.

    • There is no reason to lie. I don’t cheat. I’ve played Diablo since the first game came out. On Cattlenet as well as single player. In single player mode you have to actually know how to play the game. On Cattlenet you can have a poor build and be clueless about the game and just leech off others, often causing them to die because of your poor play.
      There were more single player Diablo 2 players than Cattlenet players. If you would notice the boards the single player board has always been the most active D2 board.
      Unfortunately some single players are not active on forums and so will not be aware of Blizzard nixing single player. When they buy the game they will be sorely disappointed but hey, Blizzard will have their money.

    • I find Direfire’s comment really inexplicable. Same as one made above. Who wants a SP game to cheat on? All the cheaters in D2 are on B.net, where cheating is rewarded by tactical advantage. People who cheated on the open realms in D2 did so to screw over other people who weren’t cheating, or who weren’t cheating as badly/effectively as they were. They weren’t sitting home doing Pindleskin runs with a hacked sword that granted them 5000% ED, since what would be the point? To find legit items that were 1/10th as good as the hacked ones they were using?

      People who play SP D2 want a HARDER game. Look at any mod for D1 or D2. All of them, without exception, add great difficulty to the basic game. That’s one of their major selling points.

    • Lol, thanks for telling me how I play a game.

      There are actually a couple reasons I want offline sp.

      Numero uno is that I like to play by myself.  I like playing at my own (slow) pace, not the pace of some random jackass I don’t know.

      Reason 2 is that I play college baseball, and have to endure 6+ hour bus rides on weekends.  I would like to get some d3 in during that time, but apparantly that’s asking waaaay too much.

      So please stop assuming that because you have no self control and cheat when allowed, that I do too.

  32. Blizzard’s post shows their claim to be responsive to fan feedback is 100% Bull.

  33. I love it! Anything that helps keep the game secure is a plus in my book. I also believe this is the future for many games and it’s something we will have to get used to.

    The argument that “hacks” and dupes will come regardless” is just bad. By having more control over their game Blizzard will make it harder for hackers to actually produce something and easier for them to fight whatever get’s through, how can this be a bad thing?

    • Because I like to play by myself with no lag.

      • Oh I can definitely understand why singleplayer people with bad connections do not like this, but for me who only ever enjoy diablo games in multiplayer dupes and hacks are what ruined much of the fun and that’s why I am fine with this trade-off as long as it minimizes these.

        • So you don’t care as long as it doesn’t effect you.  Fair enough

          • Not quite what I said. Ppl are expressing their personal opinions regarding this here. If the choice stands between poor protection and more bots/hacks/dupes but with a Singleplayer component . vs. a more protected game but only online my vote would be on the latter. That does however not mean that I don’t care about the poor ppl without internet.

        • You have been fooled by their PR speak. There is not one iota of reason for not having BOTH offline single player mode and a online Multi player mode. These do not impact each other and what a player do in the offline game mode have no influence on the gameplay and economy of the online game mode. This will satisfy everyone, at least in this aspect of the game and it is a puzzle why they do not want to

          ….. at least it is a puzzle until you think about Kotick’s emphasis on online gaming as he sees that as the next big cash cow to run to the ground … and the online auction house thing … which of course they will want everyone to experience and to tempt them to part with their cash.

          PS. if you think that just by making everything online, there will be no hack or bots or other exploit … think again. Have you seen the WOW and other online game forum and the complaints about Bots are always present.

  34. And the hilarity is everyone making assumptions. “The only reason you want an offline mode is to cheat.” “You played offline and friends invited you to play only to find out you had to make a new character.”
     
    When I played Diablo 2, I read the manual and what each thing was about. I could play offline for fun, or I could play my offline character on Open Battle.net – Open or OPen, where all the hacks and such were rampent.
     
    Then we had Closed Battle.net, which is essentially what Diablo 3 is going to be. I don’t really give a damn about Closed B.net, I just want to enjoy the story of Diablo 3 at my own leisure. Not at the mercy of my ISP, weather or Blizzard’s desire saying “we’re not working at this time”.
     
    Pardo said “There are other games to play” in those cases, like being on a plane (where you have to pay a hefty amount usually to get online). Well, that’s just $60 I could spend on another game I -could- play on a plane.
     
    I -want- to support Diablo 3 and buy it, but not until I can play it offline, and if it takes a crack/hack to do so, I’ll wait. I’ve enjoyed SC1, SC2, Diablo, Diablo 2, and even some WoW. But with all cases except WoW, I could play on my own terms without the internet.
     
    If Blizz wants to enforce this “Online Only” thing to make money with their RMT (seriously, that’s 95% of the reason they are doing it, to make more money off us after buying the game), I don’t feel like buying the game. I’m not a complete moron like they say I am, which is a very cruel thing to call your customers, and understood the concept of “I made this character offline, I won’t be able to take it to official battle.net servers or have it’s item/money allowed”, so let me play offline and go online to play with my friends when I feel like it.

  35. Yeah, ok. Always in internet thing has it’s pluses. But what about me? I live sometimes on Maldive islands or in Siberia, and turn my internet on only on holydays. What should I do? And I droll for this game for past 3 years.

  36. I have no big problem with it to be honest,
    Recall the ammounts of hacks and cheats in D2?
    Well with a online-only architecture this problem should be really reduced a lot.
    (For comparison: Because League of legends is online only, developing hacks for it is way more complicated in comparison to DotA, yes i know its also newer etc, still I want hackfree experience in D3 tbh)

  37. I sympathise with those who in one way or another doesn’t have any options for online play, but regardless of this i recon “always online” is for the greater good.

    The vast majority of D2 players do play multiplayer, either in open b.net or in closed. In addition to that, I recon it’s fair to assume that the majority of offline players do in fact have an internet connection available most of the time. This is ofcourse just speculation, but if Blizzard now can somehow find a permanent fix to, or substancially limit the amount of spambots then i’d say it’s totally worth it. This problem has for me destroyed the casuality aspect of D2 as I no longer can join an open game and play, chat and have fun with other players withough constantly hitting the N button and effectively hide the spam plus the chat with the other players. I don’t know how bad this problem is on other realms, but in Europe it’s so bad that it’s almost useless to play unless you’re in a private game. And even if you do play private with your friends those f*s whisper you with their god damn offers. The lobby chat channel is also completely destroyed as you can’t even post two lines in a row without getting two or more spams in between.

    To say it as it is. I’m willing to say “too f*ing bad” to those without internet if I can be able to play D3 spam-free. Nothing we say or do, nor what Blizzard sais or does, can give any indication whether this problem wil remain in D3, but if it doesn’t then “always online” will justificate any other negative sides it might have for me personally. By far.

    And to comment on another thing. Whether or not Blizzard is thruthful to us about their intentions with “always online” or RMAH, there is absolutely NOTHING that sais we’re entitled to that information anyway. And whatever it might be, i’m more than sure that Blizzard will do their utmost to make the experience as good as it possibly can get. And if it doesn’t work as intended, i’m pretty sure they will make the necessary changes if an uproar occur. I’m by no means any Blizzard fanboy or anything, but some people need to stop acting like stupid idiots and realize that Blizzard is in no way obliged to share every single detail about the game. In fact, i’ve never seen a single developer been so open about what they do and why they do it so praise yourself lucky and hope they’ll keep that close communication with the community instead of shutting you off!

    • You do realize that with a RMAH you’ll be getting CONSTANT whispers and spams from people because they have a financial incentive to do so, and that instead of botters 80% of people on there will be item farmers, right?  How is this better for you or for anyone, other than blizzard??

  38. If you are gonna have polls…. then you either should:

    ->Have them run for a period, and then refer to them in news posts.

    ->Or not refer to them.

    Recent one is quoted to as 45% hate or dislike always online. Checking the poll its clearly 41% now.

  39. Do you guys think they will drop the bomb shell of having to pay a monthly fee to play online at the last second???  Once everyone plays online only, Blizzard can do what they want….

    • No, they won’t.  But the important thing is that if the amount of players drops over time, they can eventually add in a monthly fee to “support the server architecture”.  An important point for those who choose to buy the game is that though I can almost guarantee they will be able to play the game at “no cost” for the first year or two, there is NO such guarantee that the same will be true after 6 years, and CERTAINLY not after 10+.

      • I agree. And that is even assuming that they keep the server support up for the game for 5 years, not to mention 10 years.

        And definitely not with Kotick at the helm of Activision. He is probably losing sleep and tearing his hair out over the fact that people can OWN and PLAY diablo 2 for 10 years and enjoy all the MODs and keeping the game alive, without paying him one single cent .. for 10 YEARS.

        😛

  40. i think this discussion is lacking one very important point: 

    being able to customize your game as in using mods, switching between versions etc.

    this is what we are not able to do with D3 at all. which is sad, since all this customization is the only thing that kept D2 alive for me for such a long time. (mainly switching between patches)

    so essentially blizzard is locking us to one dictated version of the game..

    so far i dont have a clue as how D3 is going to be supported patch-wise, or if there will be so hugely game changing patches, creating the wish to switch between various versions – maybe even using mods.

    this all of course only applies to the “offline” part of the game. ahem.

  41. even if just 40% of their player base hates online only and RMAH, that’s HUGE!

    why would they just not care?  that’s the crappiest thing ive ever seen a company do. and i was born during upton sinclair’s the jungle!!!!

    even crappier is the fact that now i have to deal with lag and disconnects and creating a game TO PLAY WITH MYSELF.

    lol if they actually made an offline version it’d take them 23 years to finish the game.

  42. “I don’t see the big fuzz over this. The only reason you want an offline version is to cheat.”

    How about this scenario? I have a GOOD, stable internet connection. (3mbps) But part of what made D1 and D2 great was LAN parties. I’ve run a monthly LAN party for over a decade, and one of the things we discovered was that despite having a solid internet connection, when you get 16, or 12, or even 8 people playing the same game, through the same connection, you start to have very bad or very weird lag issues. 

    More and more these days, with everyone having good broadband internet connections, (and not just that one friend who hosted the LAN parties) people are just staying home and connecting with their friends remotely. But you lose something not being face to face.

    I know it’s a sign of the times, but it just makes me kind of sad, because LAN gaming is what MADE Blizzard the company it is, and was the primary play mode of half of their games until around WoW.

    • Ya and blizzard arnt going to design the netcode of the game perfect so that you dont have these kind of problems *trollface*

  43. “We’ve learned a lot from this type of architecture from World of Warcraft, and the added security and oversight it provides. It allows a great deal of control over the game at all times for all players, so if we know there’s an issue or bug we can usually address it right then and there through a live hotfix.”
     
    This is a biggest BS what ive come across so far. To control people, to get them pay per month and make em lambs to slaughter is a simple choice for a corporate like they are these days. Hotfix doesnt really work that well from what ive heard… Just brings a question in mind, are they really thinking that people are that dumb not to see it through what theyve trying to do in here o_O

    The direction that Blizz is going right now just makes TL2 alot more and more viable option :choler:

  44. heh so it sounds like most of the game element is on their server….. with a minimum of 400 ms, i dont think ill get anywhere…… guess ill havta reconsider my pre-order 🙁
    unless they build a new server in Perth.

    • You will be fine. The gameplay takes place on your PC. But the randomize of dungeons,items,creeps comes from the server. The game will still ‘seem’ like an offline game, unlike WoW with lag.
       
      Assassins creed Kinda did this on PC. You were missing pieces of the game and it was uploaded to you at checkpoints in the game. Hence why you had to be online to play it. D3 will not work like this, but its the same idea.

      • im gonna cling onto whatever hope i can get, and u just gave me a spark. After 3 yrs of waiting, i really dont wanna end up not able to play it. I gonna hope really hard you are right.

      • I don’t think that it is so simple. It seems that every single interaction and changes made on the client side, every click, movement, effect, hit/miss calculation, monster movement etc etc have to be sycn between your PC and the server and then authenticated. This is going to be a continuous stream of data through your local network. And to make matter worse, these continuous stream of data CANNOT be interrupted for extended (meaning in milli seconds) period of time else you might be dropped from the server. And if it is interrupted for even a split second and result in dropped packets, changes are you will need to resync, thus resulting in lag.

        So while this is not the same as downloading a massive update or viewing youtube, it would actually requires a more stable and reliable connection with low latency. After all a split second or ten waiting for you tube to download won’t kill you, but a split second lag or two can result in your character been killed, especially if you are in a big fight or a boss fight.

        And nowadays, while it is relatively easy to get fast (or so they claim) broadband connection in big cities, a stable, reliable connection with low latency is however still the elusive holy grail not attainable by everyone.

        • Untrue. Read the qoute in the topic.
           
          “Diablo III is built on a client/server architecture, which means not all the data for the game or mechanics reside on the client (your computer).
          This is not too unlike World of Warcraft where the world itself, the art, the sounds, etc. are on your machine, but all of the NPC’s and enemies are controlled by the server. Diablo III doesn’t function in all of the exact same ways, but things like monster randomization, dungeon randomization, item drops, the outcomes of combat, among others, are all handled and verified by the client talking to the server, and vice versa. ”

          What you are talking about is how WoW works, and as you can see from the quote, he says its like that, but not the same.
           

  45. I can’t believe Blizzard isn’t willing to reach some compromise on the “always on” issue.  It’s a ridiculous requirement, impractical for many fans, and roughly 50% of the community are outraged by it.  How many companies out there can afford to tell their customers that what they think isn’t important, and still stay in business?

    I realize at the core this is Blizzard’s product, but when you design software for customers, it ought to be what they want, and not what you want to jam down their throat…see Windows.  Although, at least they permit 3rd party add-ons to fix its flaws.

    At the end of the day, maybe there are bigger issues, but do they really have to be so arrogant about it.  All we’re asking for us some alternative…maybe like the way SC2 works.

    • Actually not surprising, considering it is Activision/Blizzard now.

      Have you look at the recent http://news.yahoo.com/activision-blizzard-2q-earnings-rise-53-percent-230616137.html

      And how kotick proudly proclaims that “CEO Bobby Kotick called the quarter “phenomenal” and said Activision’s focus continues to be investing in online services and its games’ online capabilities. ”

      Sound familiar? Certainly make sense if you look at the removal of LAN, forcing all players to play through BNet and now removal of offline single player element.

      And some people still say Kotick have no influence in Blizzard. Come on, wake up, a company cannot run with two HEADS and Kotick is no someone who will take challenge to his authority lightly.

  46. As snotty as this post may sound, its not.
    “In addition to all the other benefits that we believe ultimately come from having everyone online such as an active, centralized community, a popular arena system, accessible character storage, etc. etc”
    A active, centralized community? Right now they are actively arguing, if that counts. Half of the community is in arms right now based on various bad changes to the game. Whether it’s the RMAH, the removal of skill & stat points, to being only able to play with an online connection, a lot of diablo fans are very upset.
    The arena system is only going to be popular because it’s our only choice of pvp. I do not expect it to be too popular since it will be absolutely unbalanced. I wonder what kind of games we can make with the arena? In d2, there was always tons of zon vs zon games, but with no way to keep other players out, it would become a mess a lot of the time. Will there be a customization to the arena game making itself? The reason I ask this, is because unbalanced class vs class pvp isnt going to be as much fun as a balanced class vs class session. So if we can make arena games with only xx class and xx level requirements, then I could see it working out since it would be balanced.

  47. I would pay $80 to play D3 offline. Bash me all you want, I have been waiting since my mid twenties for D3, I am going on 31 here and its still not out……

    There blizzard..if its really all about money take that…..

  48. Does anyone know what kind of connection will be required for the online play? I live in a place where i average about a 40kbps speed and doubt that’ll be enough.

    • you can try your luck with the demo/trial version (in whatever form it is) when it is out, if you want to. I won’t dissuade you. But it seems to be rather slow. And more important, is your connection stable and have low latency?

  49. Bash, how does needing an Internet connection make my characters more accessible? Yes it means they can be anywhere if they’re on the server, but it can also serve as a barrier. I liked the idea where I could just copy my saves and put them on another PC for back-up/lan parties, I don’t mind being online though. Just their is so little benefit for me.
    Also this limits the amount of characters per account, the 10 character slot limit on the server per account. is far too limiting for the 7million+ builds to be tried out. I don’t want to have to re-spec every time, overwriting my previous characters to try a new build out.

    • Just another update … there is no more respec. It was taken out and the skill system dumb down so that it is easy to swap skills on the go now. Good or bad, you have to decide for yourself.

  50. On vacation, just heard the news, and I really, really hate this. The poll option says it all: I’m buying the game, not renting it. TBH, I’m sick with Blizzard’s \do it MY  way\ stance – no LAN, no mods, and now this…  a sanbox bully indeed.
    Never expected I’d be saying this after three years of waiting, but unless they change their mind (or some offline crack shows up) I’m not buying the game. As someone not interested in any form of MP or any online features, clearly I’m no longer Blizzard’s target customer. Sad.

  51. MMM this Bashiok is actually a Blizzard employee? He certainly is making himself look like a [email protected]# without needing to try to hard. And if he is the main PR guy on the forum, then it is a sad thing for blizzard.

    And looking at his short tempered answers and the way people are banned, it would seems that blizzard is getting more and more high handed.

    And to make things worse, it seems that blizzard forum is closed to those who do not want to register on the BNet at all. mmmm and also that you can’t even post in some of the forum unless you actually own the game. I wonder why.

  52. I have beeen reading the statements have to admit that the base argument against Diablo being changed to an OOG (Online ONLY game) is completely opposite to the design that the current Blizzard organization has been positioning themselves. Just look at Starcraft while you can argue that there is a MINOR offline component of SC2 it is something the developers have been WAILING against over on battle.net for about a year now. The redesign to be a OOG is what Blizzard wants for ALL of its game. As that is what their DEDICATED blizz-CON attendees AND battle.net crackheads have been screaming for a LONG time now. For those 100,000 to 200,000 dedicated fans OFFLINE character usage is a dirty four letter word. Those blizz-cons WANT Blizzard to constantly monitor every point gained and every aspect done so they can have an so called equal ONLINE experience and that is what Blizzard is designing this game for — ONLINE BATTLE.NET gaming NOT signle player offline And yes more than likely if those 100,000 to 200,000 dedicated Battle.net gamers do as Blizzard expects they will convert into World of Diablecraft where they will be PAYING a monthly fee to get their Diablo fix. Hey it works for WoW and we reluctantly know how much money that makes every month!

  53. I don’t get how the integrity of the security of b.net online play is affected by creating an offline sp character.   I don’t even see how it’s affected by playing multiplayer on a LAN. It’s not as if these characters can ever affect the RM or Gold AH as they can never go on b.net.
     
    The always online is a way to keep you online and in the b.net environment.  Just like casinos – once you’re in there, you’re locked in and only ever one step away from spending more cash or at least generating more cash through selling your items or buying items.  If you have x % of players quite happy to play SP or MP LAN, never venturing onto B.net, you only have one chance to tap them for cash.

    It’s all about the battle.net experience and keeping you locked into it and the longer you are, the more of you you invest by earning account achievements, establishing cross-game friend’s lists and using their messaging services, filling up your account with Blizzard credits to spend on subs, digitial downloads and merc. and whatever else they end up building into battle.net.  Battle.net is the back bone, underpinning all of  Blizzard’s franchises and is integral to their future business model.

    • Your points are true as that bascailly goes back to the whole “botting and character editing argument ruining D2” which I am NOT going to redo despite the MINIMAL amount of offline “god level” characcter being hacked into the public games.<P>

      And as far as I am concerned, the idea of “fair online gaming experience being better dealt with by eliminating the offline character generation” is at best a trival matter that could be easily countered by a reset of all characters downgraded to a near entry level.  But of course that goes right back to their counter-argument of having all of their offline achievements (which they can NOT prove to begin with) rendered null and void which ruins their gaming experience.<P>

      Again for the SPECIFIC offline single player who is never going to join battle.net and has never done so in the decade it has been hosting Diablo 2, this is a dead argument and defeats this argument’s foundation.<P>

      But again all of this is moot as the argument is not really “transferring offline characters stats into battle.net”.  As you said so correctly this argument’s basis is Blizzard’s positioning of the 100,000 plus blizz-con attendees and battle.net reliable users into a potential Wow PAYING audience for Diablo and NOT believing the single player OFFLINE EXCLUSIVE consumer is worth the time and effort to continue creating games for that offline consmer base.  And right now Blizzard does not believe that is Blizzard’s future revvnue audience and thus not Blizzard’s focus.

  54. honestly, i can’t see this change going through in full. with the amount of outcry that is occurring, i’m not concerned about the lack of offline play. it would be a catastrophic blunder to just not offer an offline mode.

  55. WTF blizzard your GARBAGE  if you make this online only i have been playing the diablo series for years i even built my new pc just to run Diablo 3 and now this shit
     
     
    BLIZZARD CAN EAT A DICK

  56. The reason that I, and I feel I am not alone on this, oppose an online-only architecture is that I play mods and LAN games with my friends who don’t have internet at their homes. I have purchased three copies of the Diablo battle chest but spend most of my time playing mods. Hackers/spammers etc. have never really affected me personally since I stopped using BNET extremely soon after I started. I feel that since my use of mods has not hindered Blizzard’s ability to make money (as I bought* the game), I don’t see a valid reason for them to deny me this one simple pleasure. When I heard of Diablo 3’s development my heart surged with the thought of hours playing Diablo 3 mods with my friends.

  57. The way some people talk about always-online requirements, you’d think fundamental human rights are being trampled, or that the internet was a forum-driven democracy.

    Blizzard invests their money and time into making games, they decide exactly what they want to develop and when. Since none of us gave Blizzard significant amounts of money to develop Diablo 3, we have the right to say exactly jack about it. Get this into your fat heads. The players don’t own Diablo. Blizzard does. They can do whatever they see fit with it. If you hate what they’ve done, buy TL2 and don’t play D3. Forum posts serve absolutely no purpose.

    Even better, start a new game developer and design a game that exactly fits your divinely inspired vision of what modern games should look like, and outsell blizzard. Or shut up.

  58. I haven’t even looked to see if they are gonna have Hardcore mode or not yet, but there was a lot of things I didn’t like so far and not having a single player mode might top it off. That’s okay Blizzard, I wanted single player but I woulda played Multiplayer too, but now I’m gonna take my money for your game and go buy Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. If I gotta choose between the single player company of Bethesda or the now only multiplayer company of Blizzard I’m gonna go with Bethesda cause single player is more satisfying and the npc’s don’t say the type of dumb stuff I’ll hear in a forced multiplayer world. Watch your trailer for Diablo 3 Blizz, and then watch the one for skyrim and tell me which game looks like they want to satisfy gamers and not just secure finances and accounts. Scratching singleplayer shows its business only.

  59. Honestly I don’t really mind it except for one thing.  I’m paying my hard earned money in order to be able to play this game.  Once I buy the disk I should be able to play it as much as I want. It’s not an MMO with a subscription fee. This is limiting me now……there are times when my connection goes down.  So suddenly I can’t play the game I spent my hard earned money on and believe it or not there are still some people who play computer games that don’t have an online connection…….So blizzard is basically saying screw you to all those people.

  60. Personnaly, my internet crashes continually for various reason (rush hour in the provider traffic, employee protests from the provider, storms, other unknown reasons…) and having to play online all the time will be a pain. For that reason, I will NOT create a HC char. I would have liked to be able to play offline with the follower available at all difficulties, and create an online character only for when I play with my friends, which is hard to coordinate and will not happen all that often (which means that I’ll need a separate char for that anyway).  Also, as Blizzard/Activision acknowledges mainly the comments they see online, I don’t see HOW they could get the opinion from all the offline fans. I mean, I get all the D3 news from the office because I can’t view a whole video at home without my connection crashing, so how will I get to play?

  61. 2011 gamescon answer == Diablo 3 is DEFINITELY no offline. It is impossible! REALLY. Well any hope of an offline version of Diablo 3 being delivered by Blizzard was dashed today as at the Blizzard display LOTS of people lined up for the trial builds [ I do not know how much of this will be in the \gold beta\ to be released \soon\ according to the promoters.] But the big news was the design of the game was this is a client-server game and they MEAN really client server. As in all of the dungeons are ONLY on the server. All you get in the retail box disk is the character, character’s customization features and client interface and online communications for battle.net. That’s it. NOTHING of the world is in your box. So that is that for offline as far as Diablo 3 is concerned. An offline game would require a completely SEPERATE game whereby the bulk of the game would have to be downloaded and given to the players. And that is not happening. So as far as the offline consumers are concerned, we will have to wait for Diablo 4 which if Diablo 3 is successful will be an impossibility as this OOG (online ONLY game) will be successful so no need to change the success. And if Diablo 3 fails by which I mean \battle net – Diablo\ loses say 25,000 to 50,000 of the current reliable Blizzcon and battle.net crackheads, Blizzard will more than likely NOT be inspired to spend the money to continue a game line that did NOT sell well. Then again we can hope for the best. I mean it worked on getting MS to say \Hey PC games do sell well! Get Fable 3 back on the PC!\ Hopefully this will change Blizzard to say \Hey OFFLNE consumers DO spend money on games! Get Diablo back into a single OFFLINE game and then a multi-player online component. But until at time, if you want Diablo we are going to be online or not at all. I am not at all despite the EXCELLENT content I saw. Shame. real shame. But this is NOT what I want from Diablo and will NOT support it. Thankfully Elder Scrolls 5 and Mass Effect 3 will distract me.

Comments are closed.