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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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  • Single Player? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:06AM (#37053906)

    it seems that most of what they are doing is related to trying to keep a truly secure, cheat-free economy in Diablo III

    Could someone explain how a SINGLE player game would affect the economy of the ONLINE game?

    The only possible reason for this is that they intend to let you buy items for your single player game from the Auction House.

    As shown with Ubisoft games, it probably won't take long for the hackers to break the DRM and post the "clean" version on torrent sites. Which means that for those who have no interest playing online, once again the pirated version would be superior to the paid version as you could play anywhere.


  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:20AM (#37053988) Journal
    Sometimes, cheating in multiplayer is fine too. We had one LAN game of Diablo II where most of us had characters that had completed the game once so could play on the second difficulty level. One player had never played the game before. Someone found a character editor online and we put together a character for him that was at approximately the same level as the rest of us. With something like, that would have been impossible.
  • by stiggle ( 649614 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @07:31AM (#37054058)

    My PC isn't always connected to the net - its a little hard to get a decent connection when you're out at sea. So I don't buy "always connected" games. Which is a shame, because there are some great single player games out there which have been crippled by needing a permanent net connection.

    It was on my list of games to get - as I loved the previous Diablo games, but if they're going to cripple single player with online DRM then I'm out.

  • by H0ek ( 86256 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @08:17AM (#37054480) Homepage Journal


    Now the developer for Torchlight 2 has given a clear and measured response that I can literally buy in to. Blizzard simply believes they are protecting the customer. For most customers this may work just fine, but I apparently am not like "most customers." Regularly I make trips to the in-laws up in the most remote part of Idaho. My father-in-law still uses dialup for his infrequent E-bay purchases and cattle futures report. When I travel to my in-laws, this is precisely the environment where I need a long single-player campaign that does not need a constant on-line connection. The original Torchlight kept me sane and entertained for hours while I avoided conflict with "the other side" of the family. It seems this will also be true for Torchlight 2, thus I will very likely buy the game - simply to preserve what's left of my sanity.

    Diablo 3, not so much. I'm not one to spend money on a second game when the first still needs to be thoroughly played.

    Now, I'm pretty certain Blizzard does not care about my lonely little circumstance. That's fine by me, I don't care much about their game if it appears to be unusable to me. I just hope developers like Torchlight continue to provide an awesome alternative, otherwise my money will go unspent - at least until I am committed to the asylum. Then it will be spent for white coats and medication. O_o


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

    by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @08:36AM (#37054666)

    I know graphics cards can be a bit pricey, however, a new graphics card rarely requires that you change jobs and move to a part of the country with better Internet access.

    I wouldn't be affected by the problem of an Inadequate Internet connection, mine was good enough to play WoW (and go on 40 man raids), but I won't be buying Diablo 3 (I own a copy of both Diablo and Diablo 2). Frankly, I probably wouldn't have bought it anyway, but this always on restriction validates my decision. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned the Blizzard that produced the games that I used to love is dead. It died shortly after it sold out to Vivendi.

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

    by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @08:46AM (#37054804)

    No, it died when those shitheaded SOB's at Activision bought Vivendi and created "Activision/Blizzard."

    The "Always-On Requirement" is the kind of shit that comes out of the heads of the PHB-style suits who've been running franchise after franchise into the ground over at Activision.

    As for "Who would want to play single player"? ME. I don't really care too much about the "multiplayer experience." I'll play the game on my own and that's fine.

    Moving on up, you have people with ridiculously throttled connections. You have people who are living in remote locations who don't have consistent connections (a friend of mine is an oilfield services engineer, trust me, you don't get shit for a connection when you are out on a rig). You have people who are traveling on a laptop and don't have a free wi-fi connection nearby. You have servicemen and women in the armed forces. You have people who may have an "always-on" service but are in one of those fringe areas where TW, Cox, Comcast, etc don't give a crap about service and take weeks to repair any problems.

    There are too many reasons NOT to do what Blizzard did and I hope they get a rude awakening at the sales counter. Every copy of Diablo 3 should have a 5-inch fucking sticker added to the front labeled with "NO SINGLE PLAYER. FUCK YOU. SIGNED BLIZZARD."

  • all about the $$ (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SpinningCone ( 1278698 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @09:07AM (#37055038)

    It's really about the greed. the DRM is really *NOT* for piracy. honestly i dont think blizzard gives a flip about piracy, a major component of the game is online multiplayer. games like that have been hard to pirate back in the D2 days if your key wasn't legit bnet would kick you out. sure you could use a keygen for single player but online wouldn't accept the key.

    this really stems from the micro trans shop. blizzard knows a lot of people like to start with single player to get a feel for a game before jumping in. they want you to be able to transition your SP character to a MP character and buy crap from their store to support that character.

    personally i knew it was going to be like this last year when i didn't buy starcraft 2 because of their DRM bullshit. now i won't be buying D3. the saddest part is how completely unnecessary it is. they could easily secure a healthy online economy with old school cd keys and leave the single player alone and even offer lan or open bnet.

    and offline SP isn't just about gaming in the middle of nowhere, i like to cheat in SP sometimes. i downloaded hacked lvl99 D2 characters just for shits in giggles an had a few hours fun obliterating the game and testing various builds to see which one i wanted to shoot for online.

  • by Jonathan_S ( 25407 ) on Thursday August 11, 2011 @09:21AM (#37055192)

    Diablo 3 will have PVP. You can take your 'single player' character and pit it against your friends. Your single player character is your multiplayer character. There is no difference.

    That's a design change that Blizzard choose to make.

    Diablo II had PVP but there was still a difference between the online multiplayer character ( and the local character (single player/lan play). If you wanted cheat protections you played on, you're character was hosted on their servers and you had to have an active internet connection to play. If you wanted to play locally or just lan play with your friends you could use a character but you'd lose cheat protection.

    You could never mix and characters so the only people affected by character or equipment edits were you and friends on your lan.

    So Blizzard removes all that functionality in diablo III and tries to sell it as an improvement. And they wonder why there's a backlash...

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.