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The Real Reason For No Offline Single Player in Diablo 3

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Benderbrau

Twenty-Something

Postby Benderbrau » Wed May 16, 2012 12:13 pm

The Real Reason For No Offline Single Player in Diablo 3
By Paul Tassi, Forbes

I’ve spent the past day playing Diablo 3, and when I took to the internet to see what others were saying about the game, I found it rather hard to sort through all the anger. No one wants to talk about the content of the title itself, everyone is too busy lamenting the various error messages they’ve been subjected to during launch instead.

It’s hard to blame them really. Always-on DRM has been an annoyance for some time now, but Diablo is one of the larger titles released to ever use the system. It’s united both PC gamers and usual console players in their hatred for the requirement of an internet connection to play what is often times a single player game.

The reasoning behind always-on DRM, which requires a constant internet connection to play, has always been piracy based. There’s an idea that if the game always has to be authenticated through the publisher’s servers, pirates won’t be able to play.

Obviously, such an unrealistic idea has been proven false many times over. On games like Assassin’s Creed 2, pirates cracked the DRM in under a day, and now when the Ubisoft servers go down (again, for a single player game), the pirates are the only ones still playing. It’s further evidence that piracy is a service problem, and always-on DRM treats paying customers like the criminals, and limits their access to the game.

So is that what’s happening with Diablo 3? Does Blizzard really think always-on DRM is keeping them secure from piracy? No, that’s not the real reason the system is in place.

Blizzard risks cannibalizing itself with Diablo 3. Many World of Warcraft players will likely leave that game to make the switch to Diablo, a title without a $15 a month fee attached. That’s why Blizzard is banking hard on their new Auction House in D3 that’s supposed to be a big source of revenue for them. With it, Blizzard has essentially legalized item farming and selling for real world money, but now it’s an official system that goes through them instead of eBay. Blizzard takes a cut of each transaction, and by doing nothing at all, they have a steady source of revenue from those buying virtual items on the (no longer black) market.

But in order for this to work, there can’t be ANY chance of item duping or fake gear or any of the issues that plagued Diablo 2. In order to ensure this doesn’t happen, EVERYTHING in the game has to take place on Blizzard’s servers, as no amount of hacking should be able to produce faux items to sell in the store if everything is stored off-site. Always-on DRM is not in place for piracy’s sake, it’s for the good of the auction house.

This revelation is meant to quiet those who think that Blizzard can simply patch the game to have an offline mode if enough people complain. Those who are requesting such a thing don’t have a grasp on why Blizzard is going all-online, or how hard it would be to actually craft an “offline mode.” It’s not as simple as cutting the ethernet cord. To make a stand alone single player game that wasn’t based on the servers would practically take as much work as making an entirely new title.

This isn’t to say this is a good thing. Always-on DRM is an annoyance and should be protested. I’m not sure if Metacritic bombing or incoherent forum raging is the right means of expression, but consumers have the right to protest practices that make their gameplay experience worse. Once again, if you think this is all a naive attempt to fight piracy you’re wrong, it’s the Auction House that’s to blame. Only time will tell if Blizzard’s preventative measures will actually prevent scamming there.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/ ... n-diablo-3

TL;DR? The reason is that Blizzard needs the constant online connection to work Diablo 3's auction houses that trade in real world money. Severing the online connection would mean losing out on scamming millions of ignorant nerds out of their hard earned money. And we can't have that now can we? :roll:

I disagree however with the author's assertion that it would be difficult to undo. It would actually be very simple. Simply remove the auction houses all together.
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bkthomson

Rain Partier

Postby bkthomson » Wed May 16, 2012 1:37 pm

Interesting article. Thanks for sharing. (serious not being a jerk here.)
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habitual

Silly French Man

Postby habitual » Wed May 16, 2012 1:49 pm

Benderbrau wrote:TL;DR? The reason is that Blizzard needs the constant online connection to work Diablo 3's auction houses that trade in real world money. Severing the online connection would mean losing out on scamming millions of ignorant nerds out of their hard earned money. And we can't have that now can we? :roll:

I disagree however with the author's assertion that it would be difficult to undo. It would actually be very simple. Simply remove the auction houses all together.


I think that Blizzard is working on a business model where the auction houses generate profit in addition to the game sales.

The secondary market for Everquest was huge.

Hab
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S.F. Jude Terror

OMCTO

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Wed May 16, 2012 3:00 pm

Ugh.
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covalesky

Expert Post Whore

Postby covalesky » Wed May 16, 2012 3:20 pm

Expected better from Blizzard
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Regulator

Motherfucker from Hell

Postby Regulator » Wed May 16, 2012 3:26 pm

It's a brave new world.

PDH

penile prisoner

Postby PDH » Wed May 16, 2012 3:38 pm

You guys are putting me off this game now. Starting to not look forward to playing it.
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Benderbrau

Twenty-Something

Postby Benderbrau » Wed May 16, 2012 3:40 pm

PDH wrote:You guys are putting me off this game now. Starting to not look forward to playing it.

I've waited years for this game and now I'm not buying. I won't support this type of behavior.
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Benderbrau

Twenty-Something

Postby Benderbrau » Wed May 16, 2012 4:35 pm

"When asked to justify Blizzard's decision [to require a constant internet connection], Diablo III producer Jay Wilson said that...while a player could die in-game if their connection drops out, the penalties for this would not be "harsh" (specifically a 10 percent decrease in durability for equipped weapons and items) unless the player is on hardcore mode, in which case he or she would lose the character permanently. "

Fuck you Blizzard. :smt011
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dairydead

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa

Postby dairydead » Wed May 16, 2012 11:46 pm

I've never liked Blizzard. They've always had a sort of arrogance that has bothered me, and now their arrogance and short sightedness is biting them in the ass. Oh well, its not like the world will be a lesser place with a few less generic games.
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Miracloman

Great Scott!!!

Postby Miracloman » Thu May 17, 2012 12:11 am

I seem to recall they intended to put this same real world currency auction house model in World of Warcraft too.
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Benderbrau

Twenty-Something

Postby Benderbrau » Thu May 17, 2012 12:27 am

Miracloman wrote:I seem to recall they intended to put this same real world currency auction house model in World of Warcraft too.

Which is crazy because I also recall them working very hard to discourage people who were buying and selling WoW items with real money via eBay. They made this big plea to get people to stop because the g"ame was supposed to just for fun "and "using real money was taking it too seriously", blah, blah, blah. I guess they changed their tune,
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Benderbrau

Twenty-Something

Postby Benderbrau » Thu May 17, 2012 10:43 am

Benderbrau wrote:I disagree however with the author's assertion that it would be difficult to undo. It would actually be very simple. Simply remove the auction houses all together.

Told you they could turn it off if they wanted to
Blizzard apologizes for Diablo III errors, delays launch of real-money auction house

Blizzard has issued an apology to Diablo III players affected by the game's technical issues, including the discovery of a game-breaking bug.

Posting on the Diablo III forums, Blizzard said that their preparations for the launch of the game "did not go far enough."

"As many of you are aware, technical issues occurring within hours after the game's launch led to players experiencing error messages and difficulty logging in. These issues cropped up again last night for the Americas and Europe servers. Despite very aggressive projections, our preparations for the launch of the game did not go far enough.

"To that end, we'd also like to say that we've been humbled by your enthusiasm--and we sincerely regret that your crusade to bring down the Lord of Terror was thwarted not by mobs of demons, but by mortal infrastructure."

Blizzard announced that it has been monitoring the game around the clock, and said it has applied several optimizations to help the servers deal with the global rush. According to the publisher, all systems are now back online, and "running relatively smoothly." The company said that it is also investigating a fix for a service issue linked to the achievement system, which saw achievements not being earned properly or not being saved between multiple log-ins.

As a result of the technical difficulties, Blizzard has decided to push back the target launch for Diablo III's real-money auction house, originally estimated for May 22. The company said it will post further information about this in the near future.

The publisher stated that it would continue to monitor global performance of the servers, and will be taking further measures as needed, including maintenance to improve each region.

http://www.gamespot.com/news/blizzard-a ... se-6377234

PDH

penile prisoner

Postby PDH » Sat May 19, 2012 10:11 am

Played this for about an hour today. It's really good. I was a bit unsure about the decision to make the skills and stats automatic but it works well so far. You still have lots of choices to make about how you play but you don't have to worry about permanently fucking your character up by putting too many points into the wrong skill. It's hard to explain how it works but basically you have a number of slots and you have to decide which skills you're actually going to be using in each one.

Thought this was funny, though:

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