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DRM Games

Reaction To Diablo 3's Always-Online Requirement 591

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:10AM (#37053924)

    This is not about the economy. If it was, they would do the same thing they did for diablo ii. Local games were not part of the economy. games were. There's no reason they couldn't do the same thing for Diablo III. Unless their real purpose is preventing piracy.

    I'm having a LAN party in September. Starcraft II is not on the game list. Starcraft: Brood War is. I own Starcraft II, but not everyone coming does. They would all buy it if it allowed LAN play. As it is, we will be content playing Starcraft, Unreal Tournament Classic, and Terraria.

  • Re:It seems good (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:37AM (#37054116)
    This is nothing to do with preventing cheating (online multiplayer always requires an internet connection - how's that worked out for preventing cheating so far? I'd say hit and miss at best) and everything to do with protecting their in game economy. They don't want people modding their own uber weapons and bypassing the market (or flooding the market with cheap uber weapons and destroying the value). This measure is everything to do with the Blizzard making money without ever having to sell more copies and virtually zero to do with cheating, piracy or whatever other fud they'll come out with next.
  • Re:It seems good (Score:4, Informative)

    by twocows ( 1216842 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @08:16AM (#37054464)
    That's asinine. System requirements exist to give people an idea of what hardware is necessary to play the game. You can still try to play the game on lower hardware requirements, but it might not run very well. It's a physical barrier and they're giving you an idea of what the lowest configuration is. Always-online is just nonsense by Blizzard; it has nothing to do with physical barriers. There's nothing about single player that requires an internet connection EVER. LAN is arguable, I think it's extremely important but obviously Blizzard would rather shaft the customer as usual. Always-on is not a physical barrier, it is a virtual barrier. There could easily be an option on the main screen that says "offline mode" (hell, even Steam and Starcraft II have offline modes, though the former needs to be started in the absence of an internet connection to get to it). The game could easily run without an internet connection if Blizzard just flipped a bit somewhere. But no, they want to give people like me who are often on the move the shaft because they think it will make them a few more dollars. Fuck that. I've already canceled my pre-order. I'll be doing exactly what you said: taking my business elsewhere.
  • Re:It seems good (Score:3, Informative)

    by djnforce9 ( 1481137 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @08:32AM (#37054612)

    The significant difference is that it is a system requirement that does not need to be there. Having a particular video card is essential for computer to actually run the game whereas an internet connection active on a single player campaign is not (especially if its only purpose is increased DRM). Now if Blizzard decided to stream content to the game and have unique quests (or other elements) popping up in-game during different days, THEN such a connection would be justified as you would otherwise lose access to that extra content. Hopefully Blizzard does something else with this "always online" requirement outside of keeping tabs on who actually paid money for the game. It would certainly be a good motivator to buy because you would get more out of the game than someone whom pirated and was left with a fixed amount of content. Re-playability would be much higher too because there would always be more to do.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury