It has come to an understanding that Blizzard is doing this to ensure the integrity of the game. Yet we believe as Blizzard is an innovator in the gaming market they should be capable of innovating a system capable of ensuring all their fans can be satisfied. We had over 40 people on these forums alone comment about how no offline play is a bummer, votes on Diablofans showed that 30% of fans want an offline mode. There are quite a few of us out there and I am attempting to just keep our voices heard through this second thread...
Original Thread which was maxed out at 26 pages...
From Jjrowe6918 that explains the dilemma expressed in the 22 pages of this thread...
This is my first time posting about any issue regarding D3, mostly because I haven't seen anything I've taken issue with that at least hasn't had some legitimate form of justification for. I wasn't able to (see: didn't care to) read through all 20+ pages of the thread, but I did try and read most of what was said and the arguments that have been put forth.
I understand that most games nowadays do require active internet connection, and that it's reasonable from a business standpoint for Blizzard to assume that their clientele will likewise have an available connection. The vast majority (the keyword being majority here, not all) of gamers today do have such a connection. And really, anyone who is as attentive to D3 news this far in advance probably isn't going to let this issue stop them from getting the game, I know I won't.
But my real question is, why is it even necessary to eliminate the possibility of offline play?
The first potential justification that comes to mind, obviously, is preventing piracy. If you have to connect to their servers, then you can't have an illegal copy of the game, right? Well, in many other games cracks have been able to get around those issues, and something will probably arise for D3 as well. So there's that.
But even further, the people who would've pirated the game for single-player only will likely just not buy the game. The difference between digital and physical goods is that when a physical item is stolen, not only did someone get a free (whatever), but the store also can't sell the (whatever) that was stolen to the next customer. With a digital item like D3, it's not like you're losing a copy of the game that could've earned you money, you're just losing a "sale" you likely never would've gotten in the first place.
Now, I am not trying to justify piracy here by any means. It's theft, no doubt about it, and it's people who do that that cause issues like this in the first place. All I'm trying to say is that by requiring the online connection, Blizzard is punishing their own loyal consumers just as much as they are the thieves. And they're not really getting any financial gain out of it anyway. Sure, there are some cheapskates who would play only single player for free but would buy the full online if they had to. It would seem from public response to the online-only policy, though, that the sales gained from the few pirates willing to shell out the money on the game would be negatively balanced by the sales lost from fans without regular internet.
The second (and main argument I seem to be seeing from Blizzard) is the prevention of duping, hacked items and characters, etc, entering the BNET servers. And I agree, it would ruin the game if players could make an offline character, fill it with godly hacked items, and send it on to BNET. But why do offline and online characters have to be interchangeable? In D2, when I made a single-player character, I knew he was never setting foot in a BNET server. That's why he was single-player.
If I wanted a character on BNET but wanted to play alone, I would just make an online character, and play on private servers with my own passwords. And, voila! I had a character I could play alone with, yet could integrate with the online community whenever I wanted. That's what I'm seeing on the table right now, a "feature" that's absolutely nothing new. And truth be told, that's how I spent most of my time in D2. I would trade for better items when I got the chance, but it was only to improve my solo experience. So obviously I'm not against that kind of system.
But what I don't understand is the mentality that removing the option of offline play, and forcing all solo players into that already-present system, is considered an upgrade. When it comes to options, the saying 'less is more' rarely applies. A huge thing I loved about D2 was that, when my internet was out or when I was traveling, I could mess around on single player without needing the internet. As I said I preferred online single-player, but I still had the *option* of not needing a connection. I had a couple offline characters that I liked to play with too, and it was really convenient during those times.
So it seems to me that Blizzard is either
Going the uber-DRM route of many other companies, in the process punishing their fans for the crimes of others, and not really gaining anything for themselves, or
Removing a huge feature of the game under the pretense of upgrading the system. Anyone who wants an online single-player character can do so if they choose, just as anyone could do in D2 with ease (myself included). But now, anyone who wants an offline single-player character is out of luck in D3.
If there's something I'm not seeing I'm sure nobody will hesitate to correct me. But if not, then please remind me how any of that is supposed to be an improvement? Because I have a hard time seeing it.
I found this post recently from the WoW Forums;
What about those of us that travel? It's not like I can connect to WIFI on a train or plane. D2 made traveling about when I was younger manageable. I'd really hate to lose that because of some sort of need to authenticate the game.
And Bashiok replies
It's going to be a part of what the game requires. You'll have games you need an internet connection to play, and those that don't. If you're in a situation where you won't have internet access, Diablo III won't be a game you play at that time. Being on the World of Warcraft forums it's a distinction that we all have to plan around. I have my offline games, and I have my online games. Which ones I can play and when is just a part of what each game is and its requirements.
Here are my new questions;
This is such a shame for a game with such a strong single player base. I myself enjoy the coop aspect yet I love being able to play this game through myself without the need for an internet connection. This is and has always been one of the funnest single player series, the stories are intricate the gameplay is exciting alone and even being able to build up your character alone is exciting.
I hope yet understand this won't change now this late in development but please allow me to play without an internet connection...not everyone all the time is connected, now I can't even play D3 (the game I have been very patiently waiting for) when im at work in Africa (90% of my life)...?
"Q: Will I need to be connected to the Internet to play Diablo III?
A: Yes, players must be online in order to play Diablo III. Diablo III was built from the ground up to take full advantage of the new version of Blizzard's powerful Battle.net platform. Players will have access to several features through Battle.net, including an advanced achievement system as well as the Diablo III banner system; a powerful co-op and PvP matchmaking system; comprehensive stat-tracking; persistent characters that will not expire and are accessible from any computer that has Diablo III installed;
a persistent Real ID friends list across multiple Blizzard games, along with cross-game chat; a shared stash accessible by all Diablo III characters on the Battle.net account; and the ability to have friends seamlessly jump in and join you at any time during your quest against the Burning Hells. Together with the security-related benefits that Battle.net provides, these Battle.net-based features are integral to the Diablo III game experience."
As stated by Jay Wilson as well in an interview with Diablo Fans
So yes, you could accelerate through the story, but all that is..?..ruining the story for you. On the other hand, we also felt really strongly felt that if that’s how you want to play...if it’s more important to you that you play with your friend than the integrity of the story, OK. That’s what’s important to you. You’re the player, your $50, you get to decide.
Basically Im the player, I paid the $50, with a game that has the ability to be played single player why do I NEED to have an internet connection, I want to play the game in single player as that is important to me...this system of only online play in a way contradicts what the Diablo franchise is primarily about an ARPG.
A letter from a user on this forum.
Dear Mr. Pardo/Bashiok,
This is my first post here. (And believe me when I say it took a lot to get here today: from downloading Diablo 2 from Blizzard for three hours, to two fairly-long customer service calls to get the game working so I could make a US West account, so I could log into the forums and post this open letter.) Hence, I have not previously spoken-up regarding any game system/plan in the past for Diablo 3: the color controversy, heath globes, no LAN play, no attribute points, various issues on the appearance of the heroes, followers, no skill points, or RMT Auction House (for on the contrary, I have often stuck-up for many of these concerns on other forums)--because I am simply ecstatic that Diablo 3 is being made. But the new plan to not support offline Single Player could not go unchallenged.
When Diablo 3 was first revealed, diabloii.com (yes, still "ii" at the time :D) asked the community for their number one Diablo 3 wish. Amid character class hopes, an aggressive stance against hacks, and the yearning for a shared stash, one poster simply wrote two words: "Single player"--by that, I assume he meant "offline Single Player" as he was an active member in the Diabloii Single Player forum. Since then, I have been in company with him--and others--who fall in line with--now, "our" primary wish--Diablo 3 supported offline Single Player play. My ears perked up every time an interviewer asked Jay Wilson about Single Player (though, then, he did not make any assessment save for "we are pushing players to use battle.net"). I even spoke to Jay Wilson last BlizzCon about the importance of implementing a "/Players X" command, like in Diablo 2, for all us "offline soloists."
"But all for what?" One may ask. "If you're worried about savoring the story line, not being rushed through gameplay due to others, or simply enjoy playing alone, you can always create your own game and password protect it. And when you want to PVP or Auction House (or whatever it will be called [this is in the past :)]) you can just join a game and exclusively enjoy those benefits then. That's what I do." And that is all great, and I'm sure many players will choose to go that route, but for me--such interest is not. My reasoning is twofold: lack of interest in battle.net and unreliable to no internet connection.
First, battle.net. I hold no interest for such amenities. I care not for PVP, The Auction House, or any of the other assets Mr. Pardo wrote about (friends list, RealID, Party system, drop-in/out, achievements, or the banner system), and, as such, the bullets above do not even come close to satisfying my (and surely others, as seen in this thread and on other fourm posts and video game news websites) non-offline Single Player conserns. Also, I absolutely adore the pause feature of offline games. If I suddenly need to pause the game because my phone is ringing, because someone is knocking on my door, or if because my little sister comes running into my room because she had just cut her finger (as she just did), I can do so because of the lovely "Esc" key.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, internet connection issues. I currently reside in Los Angeles County, and even in a place as bustling as this, my city's internet connection is still sub-par (do note: I just purchased a bomb new router and wireless card so the fault can not be their's). Along with my television service, my internet connection (through Time Warner--only one other provider here, which is equally as "shotty") takes "dives" from time to time. And not "time to time" as in monthly or even weekly, but as in daily. "Unfortunately, that is just how it is out here" the customer service reps tells me. And "unfortunate" it is. Moreover, when my sister is on her computer doing anything besides glaring over tumblr (kids these days, am I right? :)) my internet connection rapidly slows; And most of her processes are very simple: loading a Netflix movie, downloading songs from itunes ... watching youtube videos! Unfortunately still, I have not experienced these problem in Los Angeles County alone. I've had similar, if not worse, internet connection problems in Austin, TX and Atlanta, GA--and those are the capitals of their respected states! And don't even get me started on internet service in the Caribbean (where I lived for a year)--horrendous! Furthermore, many people just do not have internet connections. And it is not because they are "dirt-poor" to the point where they can not buy a $60 game (or a $100 Collector's Edition ;)) that they have been looking forward to for three years, but is because they can not handle that constant $40-60 monthly bill. Or, as another poster stated, because they do not normally game in an area that has access to the internet.
I do understand the need for DRM, as what, 3.2 million people illegally downloaded StarCraft 2? But to take it as far as not offering offline Single Player play is neither fair to the concerns mentioned above or to paying customers as a whole: "only the people who buy movies see the FBI warning."
Please, with respect to Blizzard's business model, rethink this very dramatic stance on not offering offline Single Player play.