07/19/2012 05:00 AMPosted by NethaeraOne other common topic we’ve seen in the forums is the always-connected experience, and the perception that the online requirement is nothing but an ineffective form of copy protection that has already been cracked. While we’ve never said that this requirement guarantees that there will be no cheating or game cracks, it does help us battle those problems (we have not found any fully functional cracks). More important to us is that the online requirement is critical for the long-term integrity of the game experience. I fully understand the desire to play Diablo III offline; however, Diablo III was designed from the beginning to be an online game that can be enjoyed with friends, and the always-online requirement is the best way for us to support that design. The effectiveness of the online elements -- including the friends list and cross-game communication; co-op matchmaking; persistent characters that you can use by yourself, with others, and in PvP; and some of our customer support, service, and security components -- is tied directly to the online nature of the game. These and other online-enabled features are essential to our design for Diablo III. That said, there are still improvements we believe we can make to expand the online experience and make co-op play even more rewarding, and this will remain one of our priorities moving forward. Overall, while there are some downsides to the online-only approach, I still believe this was the best long-term decision for the game
The mandatory on-line feature is the worst long-term decision you've made for the game. It is because of this feature that the game was unplayable at launch and is unplayable every time you perform server maintenance. You should either (1) refund your customers a percentage of the license fee they paid for Diablo 3 each time there is server downtime and the product is unplayable, or (2) integrate an offline feature so that your customers can play the game when the servers are unavailable; otherwise you're cheating your customers with a defective product. Ask your attorneys to again help you craft another vapid non-response to your customers' complaints about how your copy protection strategy is hurting customer experience.