No Offline Mode for Diablo 3

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, 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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36 thoughts on “No Offline Mode for Diablo 3

  1. Oh, that’s a shame really… It also makes sense though, they’d have to rewrite many things to make it have an offline mode I suppose…

    • Technically not really, with their workforce it could be done within hours, but they are lazy…, several times Flux on the podcast were recalling implementing features in Torchlight and Path of Exile which are developed by smaller teams, and in response he heard ‘it will come in next patch’. Current version of Diablo III have a validation system checking if there is connection to the server, so they could implement the solution similar to the client-server Quake games where the game itself is client and server in one patch, which could allow to play over LAN without B.NET, and it, with their experienced workforce, could be implemented in lazy week (remmber there is 8 hours shift, and some of it can take around 4 hours; monday: ‘loopback’ call to the server from game client and from others in network, chat, local hero; tuesday: drops and other itemization, synchronus/asynchronus (I dont know what their using) calls (network packets) from LAN; wensday: fixing, tweaking, polishing; thursday system goes to PTR?; friday: more fixing/tweaking/polishing), for Mac users it will be the copy/paste approach because the Mac network API is the same as in Linux, so they could copy server (which run on Linux machines) features, for windows it will need some parts to rewrite. So the browser can work in offline mode why Diablo III cannot?

      • You’re a gigantic idiot who clearly doesn’t know a thing about coding

        > it could be done within hours

        Are you kidding me? Have you ever programmed a single thing? Well, clearly not.

        People who do not know a rhing about programming SHOULD NOT talk about programming. That seems like it would be common sense and, yet, in the gaming community, there are so many people eager to display their lack of knowledge.

        This is about as stupid as the guy who claimed that they could rework the AH UI to add some addition functionality “in five minutes”.

        Stop talking about stuff you don’t know.

        • Yes I’m a programmer PHP/C/C++ mostly, I talking by experience (just read my comment once again). UI can be rework with 5 minutes (additional features not), because current style of programming is ‘do it in way that some bosy without expirience will use it’ so ui can be done by declarative language like XML and parsed and compile to native binary code. And You stop talking about staff you don’t know non programmer…

        • So all those people who reversed engineered Blizzard game servers must be programming Gods? If Blizzard gives the green light, I bet you will see a (emulated) LAN mode within weeks/months.

          • The time frame those server spoofs is ridiculous. Private WoW servers took a really long time to come out anywhere near playable. Before the console, the only bootleg D3 you could get to work was the old beta bootleg. Imagine that, when the console/offline version came out, the pirates finally put out a competitive product.

          • Like MPQ files decompressed in few days after the StarCraft II open Beta started (Diablo III uses the same compression algorithm so it doesn’t count). Or the 0x10c computer emulator written by single programmer few hours after Notch released specification. Even Steam got hacked in central Europe I mean they created server emulator (there was even one for for wow somewhere on German site to download).

          • Mr. trocadero reverse engineering for challenge during nights and weekend are not equal to full time 8-hour shift jobs.

        • Yeah Mr. Thoolu, to change the such a thing you need MONTHS!!!
          * You need create a totem out of oak, at least 500 old (but not as much as 501; this take most of the time), it should resemble a computer
          * create a stake around the totem
          * burn 3 virgins alive on it (someone spotted that blizzard had to hire new CM for DIII?)
          * during burning read aloud incantations from ‘Holy book of Math’ to the patron of programming and mathematics: MATHael
          * wait a week (praying and dancing (at the same time) on the ashes every day) for a messenger in form of spot of light who will enlighten your vision
          * and than you start programming
          all above work for one person, so for team you need to create this in other place at least 5 meters should be between them.

  2. wow, those benefits are incredible! we all love you blizz!!
    i mean how did you even come up with such cool features and benefits?

  3. Not really suprised. Most people who have bought Diablo 3 have a stable internet connection, so… while it would be nice to have an offline mode, it’s not really such a big deal.

  4. These aren’t benefits from a player perspective.

    -persistent server-side character saves -> why are persistent home computer-side character saves bad or worse?

    -a seamless PC multiplayer experience -> random DCs while ingame, or logout when in menus, rubberbanding… so NO!

    -cheat prevention -> when i play offline i don’t cheat, and even if i did it would be my choice.
    Unless they don’t want to show how they store characters and items on pc so people don’t easily find ways to exploit the online version, wich is again, their problem, not mine while i play offline.

    -Real ID and BattleTag social features -> aka Rubbish that i don’t use while playing offline.
    For online D2 has much better social features, that encourage chat and community feal, through region/language specific chat channels for most of europe countrys… and chat avatars.

    • Sometimes I dont know if in Blizzard they are getting IDIOTIC as the time passes or if they were already…

      • Everybody with a functioning brain realizes these are not their real reasons but DRM has such a bad connotation – with good reason – that they have to make up stuff like this instead. Do you honestly think Blizzard would spend millions on developing and maintaining a huge global server infrastructure just so you could have a battle tag or whatever the fuck that is?

  5. Well, that’s a bummer, but to be honest I’d probably be playing online most of the time anyway. And even more because a lot of my friends are coming back to D3 when the expansion hits.

    A small price to pay… at least the AH is gone.

      • Oh right so we should allow more cheating then just like how the console version has hacked items already

    • No it’s not, it’s a game, not Wall Street. Keep online for ladders and multiplayer to prevent cheats, but don’t force those who want to have fun breaking and overpowering the game offline to your narrow vision of what video games should be.

  6. Got an email from Elly to come here after a lonnnnnnnnng time away.

    Elly asked for my thoughts so here they are

    Already heard about the auction house closing.

    Now No offline mode is confirmed.

    Will this bring me back to the game?


    Now i hear BOE and BOA will be in the game will the EXP pack and Loot 2.0

    This is supposed to be Diablo, BIND ON EQUIP, BIND ON ACCOUNT have no place in the Diablo universe.

    Doesn’t matter to me anyways played this game for 2.5 weeks after release, 99% of the game they got wrong, no reason to come back to this steaming POS.

    They got ONLY two things right

    Any Gender for any class and
    Individual item drops….that’s it only two thing they got right

    No skill trees
    No Skill Points
    not using a 100% resistance figure
    give the player a chance to fail and learn to build characters
    no rune words
    Terrible uniques, sets, rares
    Terrible drop rates
    Terrible art direction wow-ifed cartoon world
    No randomized maps like D2

    and drum Roll

    The worst story line of ANY GAME EVER!

    Blizzard and Metzen even forgot there own lore in Killing Cain and making Tyrael mortal when he promised to always watch over Cain for all his days.

    I have massive respect for Elly and Flux, heck i used to run The Holy Knights of Westmarch, but Activistion/Blizzard just isn’t Blizzard North.

    I am done will all Blizzard products after the abortion that Diablo 3 is, was and will always be with the idiots currently running the show at Activistion/Blizzard.

    • i think blizzard is giving itself a run for its money with the “worst storyline in a game ever” with the bastardisation of starcraft’s storyline and now diablo’s

  7. Also credited to the super amazing “Online Only Mode”:

    -Box/Crates Uber drops nerf, cause of botters
    -Crafting, Gem and Repair Uber high costs, cause of a non working inflation rid economy

    Online Only Mode!

    I <3 it!!!

  8. “to take full advantage of, 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.”

    whoever guy at blizzard wrote this surely was laughing hard in the process

  9. As a long time Diablo gamer starting with 1 through all of 2, played a lot online through guilds. I had the misfortune of getting hacked out of a game on that I lost everything. Character, items, the whole shebang. I don’t miss playing online, D and D2 allowed you to play single offline. It is the one thing I still hope for D3. I may be old fashioned or lame in your opinion(s) but I have my reason to stay offline and no matter what bs guarantees and reason Blizzard gives. The fact is, it is a single player game that you can play online with friends. You aren’t required to have a team of players to storm through a dungeon in order to win the game. The prize was defeating Diablo how you liked to play as an individual or as a team but the choice was yours, not theirs. I still hope that they will remember that the die hard fans will play the game both ways. Hell I still play D2 because it is an awesome game, bar none one of the best ever made.

  10. I think players would understand if they just led with preventing piracy. Everyone knows this is one of the primary reasons and people get annoyed at a company clearly hiding this information. On it’s own, it’s not a big deal, but it definitely breeds distrust when combined with other behavior. Honesty breeds trust. At least D3 has *some* benefit for being online-only in the form of anti-cheating.

    This will only get more attention when Loot 2.0 crashes their server and then RoS crashes their server. I’ll buy RoS on release and I’ll be happily surprised if I can play it on release, but I’m not going to *expect* to playing RoS for 2-3 days.

    EA with Sim City was more egregious in their lack-of-communication, because they didn’t have any excuses to stand on. If they had just said outright it was there to prevent piracy, I think there would have been less outcry for the online-only requirement (though not the horrendous implementation of said online-only).

    I guess there’s an established PR philosophy on never, ever, ever admitting to DRM, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why. Then again, no company ever made money betting on a reasonable and rational customer base.

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