Diablo 3 is online only

by: John -
More On: Diablo III
Here's a decision that I don't really agree with. Blizzard held a press event and PC Gamer asked about playing Diablo 3 offline. Let's say you just want to play by yourself and don't want to connect or your Internet connection goes out while just playing solo.

Looks like you're out of luck as Senior producer Alex Mayberry said there is no offline option, period. That's not a very good idea, I think. I'm sure those always online DRM schemes worked out well for other companies, didn't it?

Blizzard's introducing an auction house that will let you trade with real money. Now, I know Blizzard would want every security measure possible so that you can't cheat and game this since you can use real money, but not everyone wants to be tethered to an Internet connection to play a single player game. When playing Diablo 3, yes I can understand as Internet connection is a necessity, but not if you just want to play on your own.

Piracy is another reason they are doing this and Blizzard games are highly pirated and hacked to work on different servers other than official ones. Alex did say that's one factor in making the decision to go online only for Diablo 3.

Alex's reasoning for not including an offline mode where you have a separate character that's not eligible for using the auction house or Battle.net stats is a little weak. I mean, Diablo 2 lets you use characters that were separate when playing offline or on Battle.net. Neverwinter Nights was another game that had separate server and single player characters. I don't think gamers are going to complain about having to do it this way because it's been done this way many times before.

Blizzard's really made some decisions lately that have turned me off some. First, their omission of LAN from StarCraft 2. Now, they are requiring that you be connected to play Diablo 3 at all. I don't have any doubt that Diablo 3 is going to be a great game, it's just that decisions like these are what start to turn folks from popular companies and look elsewhere. It's not like Diablo 3 is the only game in town as games such as Torchlight have really come on to become popular with that type of crowd.

Blizzard's most likely not going to change their mind, but I hope they do so. These decisions can come back to bite them and no one's too big to fall from the top.