When Blizzard announced that the Auction House was to close the online-only detractors began to stir, encouraged by this surprising news, hoping it heralded a radical shift if attitude by Blizzard. Could it mean they will reconsider Online-only too? Erm, no. Not gonna happen. Blizzard recently had this to say when questioned:

    “We do not have plans to implement an offline mode. While the always-online requirement made the auction house possible, the auction house was never the driving factor in our decision to make the PC version of Diablo III require an Internet connection. The game was built from the ground up to take full advantage of Battle.net, which provides a number of important benefits, including persistent server-side character saves, a seamless PC multiplayer experience, cheat prevention, and Real ID and BattleTag social features.

    I don’t place much value on the BattleTag, Real ID or multiplayer experience because the first two mean nothing to me and the third I can (and did with D2) experience without the always online requirement.  However, from a dupes and piracy point of view I can see how keeping everything server side can offer some degree of control. I just wish they’d lead with that as I think they are more understandable reasons.

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