I've always played the Diablo games for both single and multiplayer. I usually like to play through at least once with singleplayer before going to any sort of multiplayer mode, and then later I still find myself coming back to single player now and again, either at home or especially on trips. Diablo is a great game to play through single player, and that's what I've mostly been doing so far.
Here's the troubles I've run into so far:
- Random Server Disconnects - I have a pretty fast and stable broadband internet connection with AT&T U-Verse. I've never experienced issues before, but about 2-3 times so far I've been playing Diablo 3, walked away from my computer for a rather short time, and come back to discover that I've lost connection to the server. This is extremely frustrating as it resets my progress in whatever area I'm in. This seems to be Blizzard server related?
- Local Internet Connection Issues - Similar to the issue above but a real world scenario, the other day our power blipped in and out. I have a battery backup on my PC so I just kept on playing thankful I had invested the money in the backup... only to have that advantage thwarted a few seconds later when I realized my router (which is at a different area without battery backup) was reset. So while my computer kept on trucking, my game did not.
- Random Lag Issues - I wouldn't say it happens a lot, but when it does I might as well just stop playing. The lag behavior in Diablo 3, where it "jumps you back" a few yards or makes the game "stutter", makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to play when it strikes.
I'm sure everyone has experienced similar issues to varying degrees. I admit, it's not like these same sorts of issues don't affect a gamer when they, say, play a game of TF2. So I find myself asking the question: why am I so frickin frustrated by the Diablo 3 issues more so than other games?
Other than the increased frequency the issues arise in this particular title, I think it comes down to 2 things.
One that is still inescapable is that I'm playing a single player game right now, and it just feels downright unfair. I've gone over all the pros in my head, but so far they haven't outweighed the real world cons for me personally. The issues above have frustrated me a crazy amount of times, and it's not something I've ever experienced before in ANY single player experience (other than 1 or 2 issues with game save corruption). It just feels like a strange step backwards in gameplay experience rather than forwards. And I'm also coming to the realization that I won't be able to hop in and play my favorite RPG to pass the time on any more roadtrips in the car, or other times when I'm somewhere with no connection.
The other is that unlike an FPS game you get dropped out of and reconnect once the connection issues are gone just to jump back into the fray, the Diablo 3 game mechanics ensure you almost always lose "progress" when you have these unfortunate issues. Diablo 3, whether playing single player or coop, means you're progressing through a type of "level" or "map" system. I know many of us like to uncover ALL the portions of the map so that we're seeing all the events and such (many RPG players have minor OCD). Knowing that a server/connection issue means you're starting back a ways, even if it's just 10 minutes of your time, is frustrating for some reason. It's even more annoying when you're in the middle of a random event/level that won't be there the next time - then we're not just talking about lost progression, but lost gameplay/story/experience that you can't get back (unless you're lucky enough to uncover it some time in the future, which usually only happens if you're the type of gamer to play areas over and over and over again).
I'm sure I'm beating a dead horse, as I know other people have the same frustrations and I find it hard to believe Blizzard is ever going to invest the sort of time it would take to remedy this issue while keeping their current anti-cheat and other systems in place. I'm glad Blizzard is tackling some of these issues, but I have to admit to myself that I'm having more frustrations right now with Diablo 3 than I ever remember having with the cheating infested Diablo 2/1.