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DRM Games

Reaction To Diablo 3's Always-Online Requirement 591

Posted by Soulskill
from the sour-grapes dept.
Last week we discussed news that Diablo 3 will include a real-money auction house for items and require a permanent connection to the internet even for single-player games. Fan reaction has been loud and varied, with many decrying the restrictive DRM. Blizzard exec Robert Bridenbecker said he was surprised by the outrage at the online requirement, saying, "it really is just the nature of how things are going, the nature of the industry. When you look at everything you get by having that persistent connection on the servers, you cannot ignore the power and the draw of that." Some other developers came out in support of the scheme; id Software's Tim Willits said always-on would be "better for everybody" in the end. Max Schaefer, one of the makers of Diablo 3 competitor Torchlight 2, said he understands why they did it, even though Torchlight 2 is not doing the same: "... it seems that most of what they are doing is related to trying to keep a truly secure, cheat-free economy in Diablo III. Whatever you do, you have to make sacrifices. We sacrifice a cheat-free environment to give players the most options, they are sacrificing options and flexibility for security of the economy like you would in an MMO. I understand their approach and sympathize with the technical difficulties of what they are trying to do."
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Reaction To Diablo 3's Always-Online Requirement

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  • Re:It seems good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:46AM (#37053810)

    Sure, there are some situations where you cannot connect to internet, but it's really in minority.

    You probably wouldn't say that if you loved in a remote location. For some people connecting to the internet means driving to a wifi-enabled cafe or buying a satellite connection, i.e. the majority of situations they can't connect.

  • Re:It seems good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:48AM (#37053818)

    In 80 years I'll still be able to play a lot of games, but no game with online drm will be playable then. So it's a time limited rental. And if that is the case, the price should reflect that.

  • Re:It seems good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by loufoque (1400831) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:50AM (#37053836)

    Sure, there are some situations where you cannot connect to internet, but it's really in minority.

    Not really. Every heard of that concept of moving out of your basement?

    Whenever you're on the move, you don't have a connection.

    Besides, this can be mostly blamed on pirates.

    The pirate copy will likely not require Internet at all, so only legitimate users will hurt from this.

  • Re:It seems good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:57AM (#37053870)

    You probably wouldn't say that if you loved in a remote location. For some people connecting to the internet means driving to a wifi-enabled cafe or buying a satellite connection, i.e. the majority of situations they can't connect.

    Perhaps those people are not the target market for this game, then?

    Well - obviously not. But should they be denied the ability to play the game? How much further would you take it - if the next generation of Windows required to be on line would it be fair to remove their computers?

  • Re:It seems good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BeShaMo (996745) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @06:58AM (#37053882)

    You probably wouldn't say that if you loved in a remote location. For some people connecting to the internet means driving to a wifi-enabled cafe or buying a satellite connection, i.e. the majority of situations they can't connect.

    Perhaps those people are not the target market for this game, then?

    Yeah fuck them! How dare they play games when they don't even have internet.

  • Re:It seems good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EllF (205050) <kevin@@@thehipgamer...com> on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:05AM (#37053902) Homepage
    Phew. Guess I'm not either -- late 20s "core" gamer, having played previous games in the series, with disposable income. Can't play it when I am traveling for work? Whatever, Blizzard. I'll just get Torchlight 2.
  • by captjc (453680) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:07AM (#37053908)

    When it comes to a single player game, who cares if I cheat? If the game gets hard in a place, I have nothing against cheating. I can't stand endless grinding in single player RPGs so I cheat. If anything, I would rather have games that make it so I do not need to cheat. Batman: Arkham Asylum was, for me, the perfect game. There was no grinding, no real difficulty spikes, and never did I feel that any boss or puzzle was impossible.

    For multiplayer, fine. put cheat detection, require Battle.NET, whatever. If I am playing with other people I want to feel that the games are fair. But don't restrict what I can do on single player. If what I do in single player impacts multiplayer so much that it requires these kind of measures, then that is just plain bad game design. Also, until I have broadband internet access everywhere I take my laptop, constant internet requirements are going to guarantee I will not buy the game.

  • Re:It seems good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rbrausse (1319883) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:13AM (#37053940)

    Besides, this can be mostly blamed on pirates.

    The pirate copy will likely not require Internet at all, so only legitimate users will hurt from this.

    exactly. some time ago I started to play Morrowind again (still fun, though the graphics are not competitive anymore) - and it sucks without the no-cd patch/crack; I don't want to plug in the external DVD drive.

    the user experience with cracked software is often better than with the original shipment, so it is arguable a sane consumer choice to start with pirating.

  • Re:It seems good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:41AM (#37054148) Homepage Journal

    No, but why should other people get less fun gaming experience just because some people...

    Whoa there. Now you've made the jump to always online DRM making the game a more fun gaming experience? I have played Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 and I can't think of a single reason that turning it into yet another shitty MMO is going to make it a "more fun gaming experience". We have a long history showing that whenever a major change is made to a game just so that a more-restrictive DRM scheme could be implemented it has never, ever made the game better. Do you really believe that the online and "MMO-like" elements of Diablo 3 were added first or do you think they added them strictly because they're looking for a way to add DRM? What are the odds that an element added for that reason is going to actually make a game better?

    No BS, friend, who do you work for?

  • Re:It seems good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by peragrin (659227) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:58AM (#37054310)

    I live in a mid sized city in new york state. My time warner cable connection drops randomly, several times a week, forcing me to reload and reenter things like forms(slashdot posts). It is saturatedand Time warner is cheap. I dont have an always on connection so now i cant play diablo III except for early in the morning.

    Cable connectioms across the country arent stable enough leaving 100 million potentioal users in the dirt.

    How about servicemen in afgahnistan? Or on deployment on ships? They cant play it either. They cant even play Starcraft againist each other in their down time.

    Assuming an always on connection is always wrong.

  • Re:It seems good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by snowgirl (978879) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @08:43AM (#37054762) Journal

    No, but why should other people get less fun gaming experience just because some people...

    Whoa there. Now you've made the jump to always online DRM making the game a more fun gaming experience? I have played Diablo 1 and Diablo 2 and I can't think of a single reason that turning it into yet another shitty MMO is going to make it a "more fun gaming experience". We have a long history showing that whenever a major change is made to a game just so that a more-restrictive DRM scheme could be implemented it has never, ever made the game better. Do you really believe that the online and "MMO-like" elements of Diablo 3 were added first or do you think they added them strictly because they're looking for a way to add DRM? What are the odds that an element added for that reason is going to actually make a game better?

    No BS, friend, who do you work for?

    I'm on the verge of thinking that you're falling the other way in the argument, in automatically assuming a malicious motive for adding this stuff.

    It can entirely be that there is a synergy. They want to enhance the game (which I will grant, always-online can add some really cool enhancements to the regular gameplace) but that's the point, these are enhancements and should thusly not be mandatory. Sure, my X-Box 360 does some really cool things when it's online... but when it's offline, at least I can still play my games.

    The problem is that they want to add this always-on draconian DRM, and using "enhancements as mandatory" to justify it. YES, provide cool online enhancements, and sure, require always-on DRM to use those online enhancements, but there is not a single enhancement in that group that justifies making it mandatory for playing it single player.

    Not even "preventing cheating" is a good enough reason to remove all ability at single player offline play. I'm not playing with anyone else after all.

  • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @09:01AM (#37054978) Journal

    They're not really surprised. They fake surprise because the alternative is worse. They just don't fucking care.

  • Re:It seems good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by B'Trey (111263) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @09:49AM (#37055566)

    Because of the things blizzard is doing this move is needed to help stave of some serious issue that can arise with RMT. I think they are bold for doing this and it makes sense why they would. In this iteration of the series SP has taken a backseat, especially given the popularity of MP in D2.

    No, it doesn't make sense. I can respect the desire to avoid cheating and to emphasize solid MP gameplay. But from a technical perspective, how hard would it be to give you a choice of local or server storage for your character at the beginning of a single player game? If you choose server storage, you need an Internet connection and you can use that character in online games. If you choose local storage, no connection required but that character can only be used for single-player games.

    If you don't like it, don't buy it. It is not aimed at those who have trouble with the internet. Your troubles with the internet does not supersede the design and direction of the game.

    Of course I have the option of not buying it. I also have the option of bitching about a stupid requirement to play a game. My bitching is not aimed at players who see no problem with the requirement. It's aimed at Blizzard, to let them know why I won't be a customer for this game. Your irritation with my bitching doesn't supersede my right to bitch or to let Blizzard know that they have potential customers who are not actual customers because of this decision. If you don't like my bitching, don't read/listen to it.

    For what it's worth, my perspective is influenced by serving twenty years in the US Navy. When you're stuck for six months on a ship at sea with no personal Internet connection possible, games become a great way to pass the time. As more and more games make an Internet connection a requirement for playing even single player games, it'll soon get to the point where you aren't choosing to not purchase a particular game but are being forced to give up gaming entirely.

  • HAHAHAHAHA! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chas (5144) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @10:31AM (#37056230) Homepage Journal

    Blizzard exec Robert Bridenbecker said he was surprised by the outrage at the online requirement

    Then he's lying or he's had his head shoved up his ass for the last 5-10 years. The response to "always on" DRM has been almost universally negative. It indicates just how out of touch these guys are with the market and their potential customers.

    "it really is just the nature of how things are going, the nature of the industry. When you look at everything you get by having that persistent connection on the servers, you cannot ignore the power and the draw of that."

    Yup. You get a game who's very playability depends on a fragile authentication system that may not always be there. If either side has any connectivity or stability problems *POOF* no game! You have a customer that is completely unable to play the game they paid for. Bravo! Bravo! Monetizing downtime!

    Some other developers came out in support of the scheme; id Software's Tim Willits said always-on would be "better for everybody" in the end.

    HOW? Because it kills the secondary market? How is being absolutely dependent on an auth server EVEN FOR SINGLE PLAYER MODE good for the consumer? How is being unable to resell old games good for the consumer? What Timmy is saying here is it's "better for everybody who's a game publisher".

  • by digitac (24581) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @10:33AM (#37056250) Homepage
    Don't worry, that won't be an issue in any future Blizzard games. There is no more LAN play.
  • by Alphanos (596595) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @11:34AM (#37057224)

    Who cares if you cheat in a single player game? Blizzard does. They care because they want to sell you those cheats for real money in their new auction house, and if you can cheat for free then you're not paying them to do it.

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