Blizzard Surprised by Reaction to Online-Only Diablo 3

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Blizzard Surprised by Reaction to Online-Only Diablo 3

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Blizzard's Robert Bridenbecker says he's surprised at the negative reaction to the news that Diablo 3 will require an always-on internet connection to play.

In my mind, the reaction to Diablo 3's always-on internet requirement was entirely predictable. Whether as a point of principle or practicality, a lot of gamers just don't like the idea of being forced to connect to the internet to play a single-player game. But Bridenbecker, Blizzard's vice president of online technology, apparently didn't see it coming.

"I'm actually kind of surprised in terms of there even being a question in today's age around online play and the requirement around that," Bridenbecker told MTV Games. "We've been doing online gameplay for 15 years now... and with World of WarCraft and our roots in Battle.net and now with Diablo 3, 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."

He also claimed that the always-on requirement has absolutely nothing to do with DRM. "I don't think [DRM] ever came up when we talked about how we want connections to operate," he said. So why not just make an offline mode for people who want to play that way? "You're introducing a separate user flow, a separate path that players are going to go down," he explained. "And, at the end of the day, how many people are going to want to do that?"

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How didn't he? Didn't D1 and D2 both have offline?

Wait,how the hell was he surprised,sometimes people just want to play by themselves and on the go (if you have a laptop like mine),Hell I would be pissed too if I was planning on getting that game

If it's not DRM then it's flat out stupid. Sure I want to play Diablo 3 online, assuming the RMAH doesn't fundamentally destroy it, but a lot of other people don't and taking that opportunity away for any reason other than you can make significantly more money by making it fundamentally harder to copy makes no sense at all.

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."

Yeah, but when you look at everything you don't get when you're offline, you see why it's a bad idea :-/

Huh? How can he be surprised? Not everybody has a top of the line internet connection.

Sometimes you just want to play by yourself.

Quite frankly if he was genuinely surprised by the negative reactions then he is possibly one of the dumbest people I've ever heard of. The fact that people reacted this way was inevitable the moment the 'always online' part was mentioned, especially after Ubisoft got so much flack for the exact same crap.

Yes, most people are going to choose to play online, but what about for the people that don't have a choice? If you're on the road, or your internet dies, or you just flat out don't have internet but want to play an awesome game?

I think they are just surprised all their loving cash cows are actually saying something negative about D3

"And, at the end of the day, how many people are going to want to do that?"

Idk, thousands of people?

I understand the negativeaty completely I should be able to play on my laptop without wifi bunny hopping or renting wifi. Hopefully (I doubt it) they will give you the option to still play the game whilst you have no access to the interent.

It's still working or Ubisoft so unless people just don't buy Diablo 3 I can't see them caring or revising the idea for whatever comes next.

Halyah:
Quite frankly if he was genuinely surprised by the negative reactions then he is possibly one of the dumbest people I've ever heard of. The fact that people reacted this way was inevitable the moment the 'always online' part was mentioned, especially after Ubisoft got so much flack for the exact same crap.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/111951-Ubisoft-Says-Always-On-DRM-A-Success

Does anyone know exactly what these benefits of have an always on connection are? I can really think of any.

Alphakirby:
Wait,how the hell was he surprised,sometimes people just want to play by themselves and on the go (if you have a laptop like mine),Hell I would be pissed too if I was planning on getting that game

Totally agreed. Either he's lying or (assuming positive intent) seriously failed to do market research.

Crimsane:
"And, at the end of the day, how many people are going to want to do that?"

Idk, thousands of people?

my thoughts exactly...

cant believe that they want to make this shit the norm...

I think the problem with allowing people to play offline with the same char as the one you use online is that characters would have to be saved on the computer, and then they could be easily edited to give you all the good items and an infinite amount of gold.

"You're introducing a separate user flow, a separate path that players are going to go down," he explained. "And, at the end of the day, how many people are going to want to do that?"

People who don't want to be shut out of their game when the internet goes down? Like, I dunno, EVERYONE?

manythings:
It's still working or Ubisoft so unless people just don't buy Diablo 3 I can't see them caring or revising the idea for whatever comes next.

Halyah:
Quite frankly if he was genuinely surprised by the negative reactions then he is possibly one of the dumbest people I've ever heard of. The fact that people reacted this way was inevitable the moment the 'always online' part was mentioned, especially after Ubisoft got so much flack for the exact same crap.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/111951-Ubisoft-Says-Always-On-DRM-A-Success

Yes, 100% of the people playing online have bought the game. That makes it a complete success.

Andy Chalk:

He also claimed that the always-on requirement has absolutely nothing to do with DRM. "I don't think [DRM] ever came up when we talked about how we want connections to operate," he said.

http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/08/01/diablo-3-cannot-be-played-offline/

PC Gamer:
If you're finding this reasoning weak, you're not alone. The more believable reason to deny players any kind of offline mode would be to prevent piracy. I asked Alex if that was the reason.

"One of them, yes."

Ask PC gamer about D3 DRM and piracy.

Also, you didn't see this coming?? Maybe its not his job to pay attention to community reactions to things and just program the damn network, but seriously? There was a pretty shitstorm kicked up over AC2's ridiculous plan, though apparently according to Ubisoft, the DRM worked anyway.

Clearly a lot of gamers don't have the same priorities I do.

I'm not much a fan of mods, but I'm shocked that their refusal to allow those wasn't more of a sticking point for gamers

Regardless, I've no interest in this series. Like, at all. Nor do I have a PC that can run this game. So I guess they won't be getting mah money.

Nothing to do with DRM?

Being asked to believe that is just insulting. Fuck you too, buddy.

Jason Santora:

manythings:
It's still working or Ubisoft so unless people just don't buy Diablo 3 I can't see them caring or revising the idea for whatever comes next.

Halyah:
Quite frankly if he was genuinely surprised by the negative reactions then he is possibly one of the dumbest people I've ever heard of. The fact that people reacted this way was inevitable the moment the 'always online' part was mentioned, especially after Ubisoft got so much flack for the exact same crap.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/111951-Ubisoft-Says-Always-On-DRM-A-Success

Yes, 100% of the people playing online have bought the game. That makes it a complete success.

And like I said, unless people just don't buy the game (considering the foaming at the mouth seizures people have been having at the first hint of it) which seems incredibly unlikely, then Acti/Blizz will do whatever they want and thumb their nose while they do it.

I'm surprised whenever I see "Game CEO is shocked at negative response from gamers". It's like, HELLO, have you been on the internet, like, EVER!?

When you look at everything you get by having that persistent connection on the servers

Huh? Like what?

I mean, look at games like Demon's Souls. Yeah, having a persistent connection to the internet brings with it its own perks. Like the invasions, the hints, the ghosts and the phantoms. But you can play offline too.

And, at the end of the day, how many people are going to want to do that?

*raises hand*

Sometimes my connection is unstable. Sometimes I want to take my game somewhere where there's no internet. Sometimes I want to play a game while downloading something else.

Seriously dude...take a look around.

I'm kind of upset about this, because I'm a big fan of the Diablo series, I was really looking forward to Diablo 3, but I can't support any game that requires an always-on connection. For one thing, my connection is too unreliable to make it practical (one of the reasons I loathe Steam) and two, I'm not willing to financially support a system that so openly disregards me as a gamer.

But god dammit, I want that game so bad.

Sometimes sticking to your principles really blows goats.

It's not about DRM, it'd be about cheating the Auction House system they're going to be using, what would be the point of the AH being flooded with duplicated items from a single player file, this would also be the same reason for mods I assume.

y are the ones making all the crazy money retarded when it comes to consumer reactions?

I pretty much refuse to buy this game now. I loved D2 but with this and the RMAH its a immediate no buy... If my internet or cable go out that means I am locked out of a SP game that I have bought....that should never happen... Fuck blizzard....

He's surprised? Seriously? I see only a few possibilities here. Either he's too stupid to put his pants on in the morning, he has no contact with the outside world and hasn't for about 20 years, or he's lying through his teeth. Take your pick. I'm going with option 3, he's lying in an attempt to belittle and make light of the concerns of the upset fans.

Hey, dude! I want to play offline. I don't give a damn about your online game. I don't care about multiplayer. I just want to put the disc in the PC and play without having to worry about anybody else's issues. I'm not the only one, believe me. Not everyone has multiplayer on the brain.

ok either he is lying or needs to be fired for being bad at his job...

is it really that difficult a concept to grasp? we are probably still a decade or so from "the cloud" and there are probably a very large amount of people in more rural areas who either don't have internet or have a fluctuating, unreliable connection which means those people cannot even PLAY the game that they legally paid for. And lets not even begin LAN.

it was BS in SC2 but at least they HAD an offline mode and the fact that multi-player was highly competitive and an Esport justified the battle.net requirement a little bit. BUT a single player game? come on.

well i guess now that they are aware of it they MIGHT consider adding an off-line mode, so long as they keep it separate from the battle.net stuff i don't see any issues with cheaters screwing with the AH stuff (which out of the 3 things announced about D3 i was actually pretty ok with)

let the [civil] Emails begin to flood Blizzard's IN-box

Way to keep an ear on the industry. *clap*
Its the same issues we saw with the removal of Lan and in the end I doubt it will affect the games sales in a negative way.

Who would want to do that?

He is aware that people dont always stay connected to the internet? While I think most cases of this are because of illigitmate acts (I'm looking at you people who steal their neighbors Wifi connection), theres plenty of legitimate reasons for a person to not be connected to the internet.

Ever been on a plane or boat? Ever been stuck in a car for an 8 hour ride? Ever been to Afghanistan, Iraq, or the Middle East for war (their connection isn't the greatest over there...). Have you ever had a really bad storm that has knocked out your internet? Have you ever been down on your luck and haven't been able to pay your internet bill? Is there no internet service provider in your area (Yes, that is STILL a problem).

You get my point. Although there a bit on the rare side of things, there are a handful of legitimate excuses for why you might not be hooked up to the internet.

Personally, I wasn't bothered by this decision. When they said you could buy power is when I decided I would stay clear and wait for Torchlight 2.

steeple:

Crimsane:
"And, at the end of the day, how many people are going to want to do that?"

Idk, thousands of people?

my thoughts exactly...

cant believe that they want to make this shit the norm...

Actually, I think the number would be equal to those who hated SC2 and its online because Blizzard flat out spat on anyone who even thought of considering some form of LAN play, of course multiplied by some degree that I have yet to determine though I'm certain its rather high.

This smacks of the same rotten scent about the whole "REAL ID" fiasco a while back. What do you expect though? Activision took over Blizzard, the same numbnuts running that company are now controlling Blizzard as well.

Lets just dump this in favor of Torchlight 2. Its obvious anyone with half a brain is working on Titan, in some air-tight vacuum chamber so the outside world can't affect them. And by that, I mean they are dead, because these guys were surprised you need an oxygen environment to survive.

1. Internet connections can be unstable, they can be turned off without you knowing (like when someone unplugs the router because they didn't check what they were doing... I hate when this happens), people can move house and go weeks without a connection. That happened to me last month and I know what I did - I played games.
2. Being online all the time costs money. Sometimes people have to budget, and monitor their data usage really carefully.
3. Laptops are portable, maybe people want to take their game with them? Not everywhere has free wi-fi.

There are plenty of reasons why people might want to go offline, and not having the option in a single player game is just ridiculous.

Vaccine:
It's not about DRM, it'd be about cheating the Auction House system they're going to be using, what would be the point of the AH being flooded with duplicated items from a single player file, this would also be the same reason for mods I assume.

That explains how single player characters made their way into Closed Battle.Net in Diablo 2!!!

explanation - no, they didn't.

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