PC Gamer got a chance to ask Diablo 3‘s director, Jay Wilson, about the controversial need for an always-on internet connection in order to play the game. His remarks are likely to make sense to people for whom this was not an issue and are likely to anger those who are being locked out.
On including an offline mode:
“There’s two basic problems with us doing that,” said Wilson. “One is players default immediately to that. So, they basically unintentionally opt out of all the cooperative experience, all the trading experience, and the core of Diablo is a circle-trading game. So for us we’ve always viewed it as an online game – the game’s not really being played right if it’s not online, so when we have that specific question of why are we allowing it? Because that’s the best experience, why would you want it any other way?”
The second problem? You guessed it, it’s a issue of piracy.
“If we allow an Offline mode, it changes the structure of the data that we have to put on the user’s system. Essentially we would have to put our server architecture onto the client so that it can run its own personal server. Doing that essentially is one of the reasons why Diablo 2 was a much easier game to hack than obviously any other game you’d mention and so it’s what led to extensive cheating and item dupes and things like that.”
But what do you do if you don’t have an always-on connection?
“…In this day and age the notion that there’s this a whole vast majority of players out there that don’t have online connectivity – this doesn’t really fly any more.
“I mean, at our hotel, there’s nine wi-fi networks that I can access. Just from the hotel! And they’re all public – they’re all paid – but they’re pretty cheap, and they’re all publicly available. So the notion that there’s just tons and tons of people out there that aren’t connected – isn’t… I don’t think is really accurate.”
I strongly suggest you click over to PC Gamer via the link above and read over the entire article, because it’s a fascinating interview. You really get a sense of the attitude that the Diablo 3 team are trying to put across on this issue. It’s not an attitude that is likely to impress anybody.
There’s always the console version, folks!