Diablo 3 Staying Always Online To Force Social Play

Written by Andrew Moynihan on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 4:00 PM
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Diablo 3 is renowned for the Error 37 issues it had on launch day, which stopped many gamers from being able to play the game; solo or group, everyone had to be online.

With the console re-release being offline, old wounds have been re-opened. Defending their decision though, Blizzard said that always online was there for "that connected experience"...

As anyone who has played the Diablo games can attest, social play is a lot of fun. However, in an interview, game director Joshua Mosqueira and lead content designer Kevin Martens said that the social side is part of what forces the game to stay always online.

"We didn’t add co-op in. It’s not a value added feature. It is the ideal. It’s not something we want to force upon people, but the idea it’s always available – the whole drop-in, drop-out thing – has been of value since the very beginning of the project. We tried to make the game with that in mind."

As much as they say they don't want to force it on players, it can certainly feel that way, as you are required to be online even while playing alone - removing the ability to play while travelling or if the internet goes down.

Other features make use of the always online requirement, such as the auction house, which the developers think is more important than it seems:

"Like it or not, there are players out there who actually attribute real world monetary value to their items. So it was really important for us to provide a safe environment in which they could trade items. In the territories where we do not have an Auction House the number of account compromises is completely out of whack with the rest of the world."

The console version of Diablo 3 will not have an auction house, nor the always online requirement - instead, Blizzard hopes you will use the local co-op mode to play multiplayer.

What do you think, are you convinced that Blizzard should have made the game always online? Or should it have been optional, along with the benefits it brought? Tell us your thoughts.

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06:45 Sep-07-2013

worst diablo ever

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02:27 Sep-07-2013

This is bullcrap and everyone that games should know it. It's because they don't want to lose sales to Pirates, DRM can suck it. If I like a game I buy it, if not then I'm happy I didn't waste my money. I wasted money on D3, wish it was like the first one, but that's just wishful thinking.

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22:01 Sep-07-2013

plus, I know we're not supposed to mention piracy, but...Diablo III was cracked a few months after release, so, it didn't stop pirates, just delayed them, and angered a LOT of people.

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22:59 Sep-07-2013

It's not like it never happens, I'd be a liar if I said I didn't do it ;) But exactly, it happened anyway! And so the ones who are really suffering are the ones that bought the damn game. Just like Simcity, except I actually really like Simcity I won't lie.

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23:09 Sep-07-2013

yeah, from what I've seen, the new SimCity is arguably the best one out there....if it wasn't for the stupid DRM implemented by Maxis >.>

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23:12 Sep-07-2013

Totally agree... I bought it while I was in Afghanistan and could only play it for an hour a week if I was lucky, internet was pretty much hit and miss there. So I would've really appreciated them making it an offline game -.- Hopefully one day they decide to give it an offline mode!

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00:45 Sep-07-2013

Blizzard is so full of crap these days. Single Player should have ALWAYS been offline. The fact that consoles are offline is a slap in the face to us PC gamers!

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18:44 Sep-06-2013

hehe, well, Blizzard...they sound just like EA with the whole "Simcity escapade," trying to make up excuses for the always online requirement. I DO give points to Blizzard for actually making valid points instead of saying "it's not possible" like EA did, though.

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17:40 Sep-06-2013

I honestly prefer to have the option of playing Singleplayer or Multiplayer. I do not believe we should be forced to play online if we do not want.

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