Diablo 3 online requirement to prevent hacks

Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson talks about the hacks that led to an always-on requirement for Diablo 3, and shrugged off concerns that some players may not have an internet connection.

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Blizzard's decision to require a constant connection to play Diablo III understandably upset some pockets of the Internet. However, the company is sticking to its decision, saying that it will prevent the extensive hacking of Diablo 2.

Wilson cites two problems with an offline mode, one of which is the ease of cheating and hacks. "Essentially we would have to put our server architecture onto the client so that it can run its own personal server," director Jay Wilson told PC Gamer at Gamescom. "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." He says the community was vocal about fixing those cheats, and the team is "not really going to be able to do better than Diablo 2" without an online requirement.

The item duplication in Diablo 2 seems to be of particular concern to Blizzard, most likely because of its new real money auction house. Selling in-game items for actual money is only viable if those items are rare through the game systems themselves, so any duplication glitch would completely break the auction house economy.

The other problem is, basically, that Blizzard wants to encourage online play, which they see as the "right" way to play the 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?"

Wilson also responded fairly bluntly to users who may have an unstable internet connection. "I mean, 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." He points out that his hotel alone has nine public wi-fi networks. "So the notion that there's just tons and tons of people out there that aren't connected - I don't think is really accurate.”

Finally, Wilson tops off his response with some light snark. "An online experience is what we want to provide for this game," he said. "Every choice you make is going to omit some part of the audience. Some people don't like fantasy games, so should we have not made Diablo a fantasy game, because some people don't like that? Some people don't like barbarians. Should we not have put a barbarian in the game because some people don't like it?"

Blunt responses aside, his concerns over the item duplication echo what we had previously heard when online technologies VP Robert Bridenbecker expressed surprise at the reaction to the online requirement. Item duplication seems to be one of Blizzard's major concerns, and that's amplified by the new auction house, so it's unlikely this decision will be overturned anytime soon.

Editor-In-Chief

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 22, 2011 2:30 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Diablo 3 online requirement to prevent hacks.

    Diablo 3 game director Jay Wilson talks about the hacks that led to an always-on requirement for Diablo 3, and shrugged off concerns that some players may not have an internet connection.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 2:32 PM

      WE. SHALL. NOT. CARE! cried the mega corp from its tower, as it continued to watch its slaves rake in money hats

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 2:33 PM

      What do hacks have anything to do with offline play?

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 2:47 PM

        i dunno? ask Jay Wilson?

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 2:48 PM

        hacked/duped items essentially ruin the games economy

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 2:56 PM

          How would this effect offline play?

          • spl
            reply
            August 22, 2011 3:18 PM

            You're not understanding...

            The problem is all the code that actually CREATES items has to be on your local machine if you have offline play. If you have access to that code you have access to the same code that sits on the server which makes it dramatically easier to figure out how to exploit it.

            In Diablo 3 noone can see that code because it never touches their machine. It can not be disassembled to figure out the exploits.

            By keeping that part of the code from ever leaving their servers they prevent the spread of the knowledge which LEADS to the creation of those exploits.

            • spl
              reply
              August 22, 2011 3:21 PM

              To answer your question more directly. It doesn't.

              However offline play DOES affect ONLINE play be exposing functional details. Thus they decided not to risk impacting that by simply removing the offline option.

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 3:30 PM

                Good post. Thank you. I just wonder if it will be successful means of prevention.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 3:21 PM

              This is a great point

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 4:43 PM

              someone should +inf this for all the whiners out there

              • Ebu
                reply
                August 22, 2011 6:14 PM

                Why? I don't give a shit about their reasons, quite frankly. Use different item-creation methods for offline and online. This is not an insurmountable problem.

                • reply
                  August 22, 2011 6:48 PM

                  Sure, just generate a completely separate code path. That'll take what, 10, 15 man hours at most? C'mon Blizzard you lazy bastards.

                • reply
                  August 23, 2011 6:07 AM

                  Haha this is so silly.

                • reply
                  August 23, 2011 6:40 AM

                  Stage 1: Denial

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 6:25 PM

                Not really. It seems to use the same dubious logic as "Open source applications aren't secure because hackers can look at their code."

                Diablo II had a dupe problem 'cause of fundamental flaws in trusting the client or something. Not 'cause people had local access to compiled item generation code.

                • reply
                  August 23, 2011 6:09 AM

                  How is this the same at all? This is not obscurity, this is the proper way to make it secure. While I still wish it had an offline mode, I will just end up playing TorchLight2 offline instead.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 8:19 PM

          thisthisthisthis

        • reply
          August 23, 2011 2:26 AM

          In reference to Garnett's point from that WC ep a couple weeks back - Can it ruin the game's economy any more than having an actual real-money auction house where people can just toss a ten-spot at a purple drop item or something? Seems to me they might want to worry more about that and less about hacks.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:08 PM

        If they have the exe that has to have the code to create the items (and how to trade, barter, etc), then they know how the system is going to work and they can deconstruct it fairly easily. If part of it is only on the server, then the server can contain the code and the client won't know about it, hence it will be harder to deconstruct how things work.

        It's security by obscurity, but it's better than nothing. It's not a great solution and if they only use this instead of real safeguards, it'll fail very soon, but it's better than nothing.

        It's still a piss poor reason, but it's a very, very weak, but real reason.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 6:03 PM

          Yeah, there'll be unofficial Diablo servers springing up shortly after launch just like WoW ones.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 2:40 PM

      Nice try, Wilson. Although, if I were in his shoes I would probably say the same thing. It's way better PR to say this schlep than utter any form of the abominable, rage-inducing word, "piracy."

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 2:48 PM

        yeah because piracy is a myth.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 2:50 PM

          It's a myth that you can stop it.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 3:27 PM

            It's a myth that developers/publishers are trying to completely stamp out piracy with these measures, rather than just curb it as much as possible.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 7:33 PM

              It's a myth that DRM is effective in any way. It really isn't.

              • reply
                August 23, 2011 6:18 AM

                It's a myth that just because people start their sentences with "it's a myth" they know what the fuck they are talking about.

                • reply
                  August 23, 2011 6:46 AM

                  it's a myth that what you just said is a myth.

        • reply
          August 23, 2011 2:26 AM

          It's a myth-stake.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 2:41 PM

      Rofl...

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 2:48 PM

      OMG ONLINE DRM BOYCOTT LIKE UBISOFT... Right?? Right??

      Think we are gonna see alot of hypocrites :)

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 4:51 PM

        Ubisoft always online system doesn't give ANY added features and benefits to the game, but battle.net does.

        And this is a multiplayer game, its ok here because you want to be connected anyway. But Ubi uses it on games that only have single player too, and thats one of the points that its wrong in the system.
        Another bad thing its that the DRM doesn't have any kind of Dissconection tolerance, 1 sec without connecting and you are screwed. And im sure Blizz won't make that mistake.

        Anyway, beeing online isn't an issue for me, if it isn't just a way to prevent piracy.

        • Ebu
          reply
          August 22, 2011 6:15 PM

          It's not an online game for everyone. Many people played Diablo 2 quite happily without dealing with the hell that was Battle.net, and had planned on doing so again.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 8:16 PM

          That is wrong. It does too. A cloud service. Friends list. Autopatching.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 2:53 PM

      I never played Diablo II online, and didn´t plan to play Diablo III online either. I just wanted to buy it and play it, old style single-player mode. So, remind me, how is this and advantage for me?

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 2:55 PM

        You now don't have to worry about hacking.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 2:58 PM

          Or forgetting to backup your save-game files.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 2:57 PM

        clearly they should have designed the game with only you (the minority) in mind

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 3:07 PM

          Is there any data suggesting how popular offline diablo 2 is other than anecdotal testimony?

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 3:09 PM

            Yes.

            It's not as popular as online play. How do I know that? Because I do.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 3:20 PM

              Well played, good sir.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 7:21 PM

              Maybe that's not true. I remember epic games saying that Unreal tournament was more popular single player even though it's hard to believe.

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 7:24 PM

                We're also talking completely different eras here.

                Both Diablo 2 and Unreal Tournament were released in a time where high speed internet was largely restricted to universities, and the best that was available at the consumer level was 128kbps ISDN. Most people were sitting on a 28.8 dialup connection. High speed internet was sitting at ~5% market penetration in the US, iirc.

                That.. is not the case now. By a long shot. Now we're looking at 75-80%+ market penetration/share for broadband in the US.

                • reply
                  August 22, 2011 8:54 PM

                  Yes but D2 was not an inherently multiplayer game despite the accessibility of high-speed internet connections. The multiplayer experience is not vastly improved over that of the single player.

                  • reply
                    August 23, 2011 6:14 AM

                    Considering you can barely complete the hardest difficulty solo, and can't see any of the newest content unless you're on BNet, I really have to disagree with you. In any case, Blizzard are the ones making the decisions here, data or not. They want a controlled environment, and that's not possible if they allow offline play.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 3:08 PM

          Lots of people say that only the minority played single player only, but out of all my friends and family who played Diablo II (about 10-15 people so not a huge sample) I was the only person to play online. I would be interested if there was any way to find out real percentages, but I doubt its possible.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 3:23 PM

            my horribly anectodal evidence supports this as well. Out of my group of friends, only one of them played online for any reasonable amount of time, the rest of us just played it in single player. I went online probably twice with a few of my friends, but we never kept it up.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 4:26 PM

          Of course not, I didn't try to imply that. I understand why I am being left behind. But understanding doesn't make me less sad about losing my hobby.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 7:03 PM

          Oh so you can see into the future?

        • reply
          August 23, 2011 2:27 AM

          Clearly they should have designed the game so that anyone could enjoy it - not just the perceived or imagined majority.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:08 PM

        since you posted on a website, i think you have access to the internet, so its alright, you can enjoy diablo 3 !

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 5:03 PM

        How is this going to negatively impact you? I haven't had my PC offline since 1998. I think that we're living in an era where it's okay to assume that your PC is hooked up to the internet, and I can understand why a publisher would want to use online connectivity as a form of DRM.

      • reply
        August 23, 2011 6:12 AM

        It's not an advantage for you. They don't seem to be pitching it as an advantage for you either. Preventing hacks, and save game editing will make the game last longer though. Also, due to the RMT AH, they really can't afford any other option, if they want to ensure everyone has access to it. You may not agree with it, so don't buy it, if it's so terrible.

      • reply
        August 23, 2011 2:11 PM

        You can still play single player, you just have to be connected to the internet to do it.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 2:56 PM

      I AM OUTRAGED AT REQUIRING AN INTERNET CONNECTION FOR THINGS

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 2:59 PM

      I really don't see the problem with the always-on thing. Connectivity just isn't an issue at home / work / on the go anymore, at least not where I live.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 3:00 PM

      Of course! Why didn't I think of this?!?!

      Oh because WoW is completely online and chock full of bots and hackers. How many of you remember the floating gold advertisement marquees?

      Blizzard can jerk off all they want, that's not going to change what they're doing or make it any better.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:43 PM

        If you think WoW is full of hackers you shoulda seen Diablo 2 =P

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 3:55 PM

          I saw D2...

          I remember playing online once (the only time I played) in diablo 1 and getting killed in the town center by a mage I couldn't attack with a level 34 or something fireball.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 3:02 PM

      I'm ok with this. I don't really like it, but it's their product that has to support their bottom line and the are being super-transparent about what they are doing.

      I'd be mad if they tricked me on the DRM into buying something I didn't want Ubisoft but this is honest. Annoying, perhaps, but honest.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 3:04 PM

      The problem I see is that Blizzard (and a large majority of games) is ignoring a part of their user base that wants to cheat in single player portion of the game.

      We can all agree that there should be a cheat-free online zone; but what about the customer base that does want to cheat?

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:07 PM

        yeah, since some stuff was/is almost impossible to find I loved hacking in a single player character and putting the most epic loot on them to have some fun or test out builds.
        Now not only will items almost be impossible to find if you do want to ever play with them you'll have to spend real money to buy them, lame

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:08 PM

        lol, who cares

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:08 PM

        Well, there will always be Torchlight II for that! Dunno about you, but I plan on picking that and Diablo III on their respective release days.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 3:21 PM

          I will most likely buy the game as well, I'm just saying that Blizzard is ignoring a portion of their user base that likes to cheat.

          The game will undoubtedly be fun as is, but sometimes it is also fun to explore the entire depth and breadth of the game by cheating.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 5:18 PM

            Tell that to the poor souls who got banned for cheating in SC2 SP. This is old hat by now. They don't want you cheating in their games.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:22 PM

        Buy Torchlight 2 since you can mod it all to hell

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:48 PM

        There is almost no point to Diablo if you hack items. Just like cheating in every other game the challenge and the drive is completely gone. "What are you doing?" "I Killed Diablo again!" "He drop anything good?" "I already have the best shit in the game. I'm doing it just because I can. Hmmm I'm bored because there is no challenge and the items drops are worthless to me. Maybe I'll ruin a game with people playing cooperatively having fun."

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 8:24 PM

        I don't see how that's blizzards problem nor why they would care.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 3:07 PM

      Was Diablo 2 online-mode heavily hacked?

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:11 PM

        on closed b.net not really, there were map hacks, auto-pickits and some duping but I don't think they'll be able to stop that stuff in D3 either whether it's online forced mode only or not.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 3:24 PM

          There was an incredible amount of duping on closed b.net and even some hacked items.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 3:35 PM

            and it was due to server desyncing, I don't think they will be able to stop it now just because the game is online only.

            • reply
              August 23, 2011 5:51 PM

              That is the problem I have with their reasoning it doesn't guartnee any of these hacks will be prevented. Since the offline characters in D2 weren't connected to Battle net in anyway they obviously weren't the problem.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:12 PM

        Extremely.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:56 PM

        I think WoW is a good example of their closed system hack prevention, which is to say it doesn't prevent a whole lot at all.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 4:12 PM

          What was hacked in WoW other than people's accounts? (Which is always from outside WoW itself)

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 4:13 PM

            or do you just mean the bots?

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 4:25 PM

            Do you need a link to the top 100 private WoW servers?

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 4:28 PM

              I ran my own WoW server for a while, just to check it out. It was interesting. I never had anyone but my self and my room mate log into it though and it only lasted for a couple weekends of screwing around then we were back to the real servers.

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 4:30 PM

                It was fun to spawn the alliance king over and over and kill him with one hit!

                I never figured out how instances worked though, didn't speed too much time on it.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 4:29 PM

              Does hacking effect Blizzard's WoW servers? (serious question, I've never played WoW).

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 4:30 PM

              How does this affect the real WoW servers?

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 4:44 PM

                For the sake of arguement, let's say it doesn't. Let's also say that this, in effect, allows people to have complete access to their codes, hacks, dupes . . . in private mode. So, given this, how does having an off-lin" mode affect the on-line WoW mode? The answer, the core of our assumption, is that it doesn't.

                Now, on the other side, lets say it has some kind of catastrophic effect, and that it leads to the downfall of WoW. How has keeping the clients on-line protected the game? It hasn't, by the definition of our stance.

                So, with these two scenarios in mind, how is keeping single player diablo 3 on-line preventing single-player abuse? Would keeping online characters server side and allowing solo players to play off-line really be catastophic to the on-line experience? Where is the real benefit?

                • reply
                  August 22, 2011 4:49 PM

                  I don't care what anyone does on a private server, I do care if they're duping equipment on the server I'll be playing on.

                  • reply
                    August 22, 2011 4:53 PM

                    Exactly. Having a private server built into the solo game would have no effect on the on-line crowd.

                    • reply
                      August 22, 2011 5:03 PM

                      There's a huge difference in server code being partially reverse engineered and users having access to full server code. I can assure you that there would be *many* more hacks in WoW if users had full server code. Thus the core of your assumption is false.

                      • reply
                        August 22, 2011 5:09 PM

                        If you want to get *really* fancy Blizzard could even make it such that your hard drive never even has CLIENT code.

                        To play single player you naturally have to have the executable on your machine. Because Diablo 3 requires an internet connection it'd be quite possible for that executable to be incomplete. Every time you connect to b.net you'd download a new exe, or a large chunk of a new exe. That exe would exist only in protected memory and be both scrambled and unique per user per game session.

                        Given enough data points it could eventually be deciphered but Blizzard could then just flip a few bits and make it completely and totally different. It's pretty hard to reverse engineer network packets when they are different every time you play.

                        Of course none of that matters if your assertion of "offline server support does not impact online servers", but that's simply not true. =P

                        • reply
                          August 22, 2011 10:55 PM

                          Make it so the client does not calculate loot, or monsters, or anything other than transmitting player actions to server.

                          The server knows what loot it's handing out, thus loot cannot be duped. You could try to transmit multiple pickup actions for the same item, but the server knows it didn't hand out that many, so it fails.

                          Why is it not possible to implement it like that?

                          • reply
                            August 22, 2011 11:01 PM

                            welp you solved hacking

                            • reply
                              August 22, 2011 11:02 PM

                              I'm asking. No need to be a dickhead.

                              • reply
                                August 22, 2011 11:09 PM

                                sorry, I mean, I'm not an MMO architect but it obviously can't be that simple (in my defense multiple people have posted in these D3 threads with solutions like that saying it obviously can be done that way). You're reducing a number of incredibly complex distributed systems to a couple sentences.

                                The most obvious constraint I see there is how much load that puts on the servers and connections between machines. The more stuff you have to transit, compute on the server, then transmit back the more there is to keep in synchronized and the more latency is introduced. In this case Blizzard is obviously acutely aware of both ends of the spectrum for security (D2 vs WoW) and they know which one works and why. There's probably some big blog post somewhere on this subject by someone who's actually worked on this stuff though.

                                • reply
                                  August 22, 2011 11:29 PM

                                  But this is not an MMO. It doesn't need to keep a great big world online at all times for thousands of people. It's an MP game for what, 6-8 people? 6-8 people requesting a bunch of integers for each loot drop, in a situation where the server is already handling the locations and kills of several players... those last bits of information on loot allocation are not going to be what topples the load.

                                  It's just their flat out statement that "duping cannot be avoided unless there is no offline" that irks me. It seems to be obvious bullshit. If they'd come out and say "Because we don't want to put in the work to prevent it", I might be OK with it.

                                  I'm not an MMO architect either, but I do have a bit of experience designing distributed systems (not games). So maybe I'm choking on semantics.

                                  • reply
                                    August 22, 2011 11:55 PM

                                    It's just their flat out statement that "duping cannot be avoided unless there is no offline" that irks me. It seems to be obvious bullshit. If they'd come out and say "Because we don't want to put in the work to prevent it", I might be OK with it.

                                    Why even argue architecture if the proof is in the numbers? Compare the hack quality and frequency of always on games like MMOs to those without.

                                    • reply
                                      August 23, 2011 1:34 AM

                                      As someone else pointed out, there are lots of instance of private/hacked WoW servers in the wild, yet that hasn't led to widespread item duping on official servers (that I'm aware of). So WoW must already have solved this problem.

                                      • reply
                                        August 23, 2011 6:20 AM

                                        You fail to mention that private/hacked WoW servers are NOT running Blizzard code. That's a pretty fucking important detail in this argument. Either way, it's not just the lack of access to code (compiled or not) that is preventing hacks. By having an online only system, they can track everything that happens, and IF someone makes a hack, and they find out, they can undo the damage usually. It's a closed system that gives them the control back.

                                        There's also the problem that I'm sure everyone has ran into where you start an offline character, and your buddy is like "Hey come play with us on BNet!" and you can't bring your character. That's pretty game breaking. This also eliminates that.

                                        • reply
                                          August 23, 2011 6:57 AM

                                          I fail to see why it's important, but maybe that's just me. The entire point is that their server code, as far as I can see, should be able to withstand anny duping attacks by simply controlling item allocation on the server, as opposed to on the client. I'd wager they already do this in WoW, or you'd be seeing the duping in WoW as well.

                                          You second point is somewhat valid, but they could have implemented that so much more elegantly by allowing offline play, but letting online be the default.

                          • reply
                            August 23, 2011 6:17 AM

                            It sounds like that's what they're doing.

                            • reply
                              August 23, 2011 10:40 AM

                              If that's the case, then there's no reason that offline single player should compromise that model.

                • reply
                  August 22, 2011 4:57 PM

                  The problem is that its really hard to make an offline mode and make it so it doesn't affect the online mode in any way, as was proven in diablo 2.

                  Often if a hack can be used in single player, the step to making it work in online is a small one, and sometimes it isn't even necessary to change anything.

                  I can't believe you have forgotten about the Diablo 2 Maphack. It worked in offline and online without modifying anything.

                  • reply
                    August 22, 2011 5:11 PM

                    Crappy 10 year old net code doesn't cut it. I'm guessing that Blizzard has learned to suck less since the release of Diablo 2's online mode.

                • reply
                  August 23, 2011 6:15 AM

                  Private WoW servers aren't running Blizzard code. It's reverse engineered to simulate it. There is a really big difference there.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 4:28 PM

            People have always used speed hacks in wow(see WSG). They exploited quite a bit online, but the only other stuff I know of comes from private servers and bots.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 4:31 PM

              The speed hacks weren't that widespread and dealt with pretty quickly and most of the stuff that's been in WoW has been pretty miniscule compared to something like D2

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 4:38 PM

                Orders of magnitude less than D2. In D2 they will fire an ice blast at you, wait until the projectile is inside your character, and then declare hostility right there as against the game's rules. Boom dead, chicken mod or no.

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 4:43 PM

                Speed hacks were used the last time I played WoW roughly 6 months ago. Not sure if it breaks and they have to hotfix it or what. In fact I have no clue how it's even done.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 4:45 PM

              My understanding is that WoW trusts client position updates by default. This means you can speed hack and teleport hack with ease. However the irregularities will be detected, investigated, and a harsh punishment will be handed out. Thus even though users still *can* speed hack they don't, because who wants to lose a character with hundreds (if not thousands) of hours played.

          • reply
            August 23, 2011 11:29 AM

            Ever see the flying bot marquees?

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 3:09 PM

      Translation of outrage: "This is going to make it harder to pirate / hack / steal the game or things in the game!!!! This makes me mad!".

      I'm happy about this. A more online-based Diablo sounds awesome.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 3:23 PM

      I have NO problem with a game like this requiring online. However, it would be nice if you had the option for an "offline" character that was completely separate and couldn't access certain features on the AH or PVP with said character.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:34 PM

        Exactly. I don't think anybody here is asking for the return of Open Bnet. People just want to play the game alone when their internet connection is crappy or nonexistent.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:42 PM

        It would, but I understand their logic. Once you start getting real money involved in these types of things, you kinda need to start adding in restrictions. You also need to start having companies bully ahead with things like this.
        Also, people will complain about everything. Doesn't matter what it is. So Blizzard is right to just bully ahead with this. If it fails, oh well, they can just shut down the real money auction house and open the game up a bit more. You bet your balls its in one of their contingency plans. :D

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:42 PM

        Yeah, that's how it was in diablo 2

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 4:42 PM

        That means client side characters which makes it easier to hack/dupe/etc because you have easier access to more stuff.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 4:45 PM

        I agree. But if they're betting on people trading items for real money, it has to be absolutely 120% robust and nearly hack-proof, otherwise you could wind up with a bunch of exploiting asshole millionaires.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 5:04 PM

          Yeah, forget the traditional griefers. Making a business out of cheating would cause unbelievable problems.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 3:32 PM

      "I mean, 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."

      Twat.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 3:35 PM

      "I mean, 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."

      Any developer ignorant enough to spout something like this should take a two week vacation to a place with notoriously crappy connectivity (like Australia, where everything's metered, or northern England, where all of the copper wire got ripped out in the World War II days, and the local ISPs don't want to bother re-running copper or fiber), and see what gaming is like.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:38 PM

        Blizzard does not care about Auzzies, Irish or Scotts

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:43 PM

        You realize they run a business, right? They aren't the government who needs to guarantee everyone has the same rights / access. They are a business and they looked at all the factors and chose what they think is best.

        You are not entitled to have Diablo 3 the way you want it.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 3:47 PM

          I know they run a business; I just think it's callous of them to disown a large proportion of their potential buyer population, and then further insult them for choosing where they want to live. If Diablo 3 had been announced as an MMO-esque "always online experience", this would have been less of a problem, but instead there's the precedent of playing Diablo 1 offline, and playing Diablo 2 offline (hacks notwithstanding; there are better answers than requiring online all the time).

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 4:22 PM

            The offline Diablo players represent a very, very small percentage of the player base. Sorry, but them's the breaks!

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 4:26 PM

              *citation needed.

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 7:02 PM

                See: World of motherfucking Warcraft and Starcraft 2 playerbases

                • reply
                  August 22, 2011 9:06 PM

                  I'd argue that the playerbases of SC2 and WOW are not an accurate metric of the Diablo 2 community when all three games appeal to different types of players. There is likely a very large cross-appeal and there are people who have played all three but to say that SC2 community has anything to do with the Diablo 2 community probably does not provide an accurate assessment because they are not actually related by anything other than the developer.

                  See also: Correlation, how does it work.

              • reply
                August 23, 2011 6:14 AM

                It's not enough for the company who makes the game, who would have access to the numbers, saying they aren't concerned they're cutting out very many people?

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 4:29 PM

              After 10 years I wouldn't imagine there are many hard core Diablo 2 players playing solo. The first couple of years, I would imagine that's a different story.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 5:38 PM

            Do you think they would actually disown a large portion of their potential buying population? Don't you think that went into their business decision?

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 3:48 PM

          No one thinks they're entitled to Diablo 3 offline mode. Don't be obtuse. People are expressing their displeasure at the situation in a (probably futile) hope that it'll change. Not to mention some times companies need to be called on their nonsense.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 4:40 PM

            The thing is, if you compare cheating in D2 to cheating in WoW, Blizzard's case has already been made pretty well.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 4:53 PM

              I don't think you can conclusively attribute that to its online-only play.

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 5:02 PM

                WoW's servers may handle more of the action, but D3 doesn't seem to behave entirely unlike WoW in that it triggers spawns server side.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 5:48 PM

            If you read the comment that I replied to, that was the exact tone they were using. That Blizzard should accommodate those that can't play effectively because of their area or don't want to. And who goes calling people obtuse? Did you just watch shawshank or something?

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:47 PM

        He said "vast majority". Northern England and Australia are not a wast majority of players.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:48 PM

        except I wonder what the WoW playerbase is like in those areas, testing those persistent internet connections. or people that are playing CoD on XBL for hours on end.

        the persistent internet connections are there. they work well enough. people just want things their way no matter what.

        people that cry about their internet connections should have a client that shows their online activity, and then speedtest/pingtests to back it up.

        blizzard and ubi are calling people's bluffs. if things are this bad, as you assert, it's time for people to give empirical information to refute it. so far, all we have is this anecdotal bullshit. the empirical information shows that people are increasingly online, all the time, on multiple devices. not world war 2 QQ crap.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 3:54 PM

        you don't deserve to play their game then, obviously. If you don't live where you can get perfect internet the entire time then you must be poor and lower class. only the pretty people can play diablo 3

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 3:49 PM

      will this GUARANTEE a hack free Diablo 3? God, if so I'm so in, I don't care if I can't play D3 while I'm offnet.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 4:42 PM

        It's more or less worked for WoW, at least on blizzard's end of things.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 4:10 PM

      I guess this means theres no "Open Net" this time around. I thought "Open Net" was where they allowed people to dick around with cheats for multiplayer. And also the ability to take your singleplayer characters online and choose what you do with them.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 4:42 PM

      Fuck Blizzard and fuck Wilson.

      Hacking?. Hah. Money, money and money.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 5:28 PM

        Yeah screw that company for trying to make money.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 6:00 PM

          Except they are not just trying to make money but they are attempting to increasingly monetize their players through RMT. It's not about becoming profitable but squeezing their fan-base until they drool out a new revenue stream.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 7:41 PM

            So play Hardcore, no RMAH there (except for the non-legit ones which existed for D2 and will continue to exist, but those are ok because it's chinese people making money instead of Blizzard)

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 6:11 PM

          i know rite, these fucking companies and their desire to take my money. fucking pinko commi bastards the lot of them!

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 4:49 PM

      too bad their online requirement for Starcraft2 wasn't leveraged to prevent hacks, ala HoN

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 4:50 PM

      i can't wait to play this while being connected to the internet

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 4:52 PM

      But I loved maphacking in D2! Pre-order cancelled! Oh wait, its Diablo 3... Pre-order maintained!

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 5:07 PM

        i really hope the new inferno mode eliminates the "need" for a map-hack. it was only really good for baal, meph, countess etc. runs to increase speed of finding the bosses. i hope there's like a static item or monster level for the entire difficulty so you can just MF by running through the whole game without really needing to know where to go as to increase your MF potential.

        this is assuming someone even finds a way to mh in d3

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 5:21 PM

          what you describe is exactly how they implemented inferno actually :)

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 5:38 PM

            where'd you read that at? the only thing i read was they said that the lowest monster level would be 61. meaning later on there could be higher mlevel or ilevel areas that are better for MFing. maybe i didn't read the whole article or something

            • reply
              August 23, 2011 6:53 AM

              That "flattened" difficulty will mean, Blizzard hopes, that players revisit the entire world of Diablo III seeking bigger and bolder challenges, not just go on "Mephisto runs" or fight a specific breed of minion in search of experience points and sweet loot drops.

              "We do expect there to be a certain amount of... runs to get items, but we wanted players to do it over a lot more content," Wilson said. "We're trying to make sure that there's a lot more opportunities for players to see a lot more variety." Wilson added that if player behavior does eventually lead to tightly focused runs in Diablo III, the developer may make adjustments for that by encouraging (and rewarding) players for having more diverse replays.


              http://kotaku.com/5831680/diablo-iii-just-got-harder-than-hell-with-new-inferno-difficulty

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 5:37 PM

      What was that sound? That's right. It's silence because the horse is already dead.

      Don't buy the game. There are other good games out there.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 5:49 PM

        I'm gonna buy the shit out of it

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 6:09 PM

        You're crazy if you think Diablo 3 isn't gonna go gangbusters.

        • Ebu
          reply
          August 22, 2011 6:20 PM

          That's not what he said.

          I have no doubt that Diablo 3 will sell crazy amounts, and that Blizzard will view it as justification of their new bullshit.

          But they'll have at least one fewer sale than they otherwise would have.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 7:00 PM

            Honestly? You hate fun and need to get the FUCK off of my internet.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 7:03 PM

              It's nothing against the gameplay. People just aren't going to buy a game they can't play. Unless things change by release, I need to take a pass as well. I don't want to (nor do the others), which is the source of the frustration over Blizzard's decision.

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 7:09 PM

                No, you guys would be able to play it. That's not it at all.

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 7:39 PM

                Wait a minute ... if you don't have internet, how are you posting RIGHT NOW!? This needs to be looked into immediately

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 9:18 PM

                That's true - a very, very small fraction of people will be unable to play Diablo 3 and won't buy it.

            • Ebu
              reply
              August 23, 2011 8:07 AM

              Guess what.

              That other game you like so much? That one?

              Somewhere out there, someone doesn't give an everloving shit about it.

              Deal with it.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 6:17 PM

        I'm going to buy it because it's online-only.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 7:01 PM

          Yes this! I wouldn't want it any other way.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 7:19 PM

          Me too, so now they have +1 in summation

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 6:59 PM

        I'm going to buy this game harder than I've ever bought a game before. Because while it's true other good games exist, Diablo 3 will be better than all of them. Combined. And riding a shark. WIth lasers.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 7:32 PM

        You have fun not playing a fun game. we'll be online enjoying ourselves.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 8:29 PM

          Some of these comments really make me laugh. As if D3 is the only good game.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 6:58 PM

      I for one hope all you shitty internet people don't buy and play this game, nothing is more annoying than someone on shitty internet fucking it up for those of us in the first world. character all lagging out and breaking immersion. please, stop complaining and don't but it. we wont miss you.

      • DM7
        reply
        August 22, 2011 7:25 PM

        No shit, how are these people even on this website posting with their broke ass 56.6 modems.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 7:48 PM

      This is going to piss off a few tens of thousands of military nerds.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 8:05 PM

      For every person that refuses to play D3 because it's online-only, there is a player that didn't play, or stopped playing D2, because of people exploiting the game. Myself included. This anti-hacking stance that Blizzard is taking will likely draw in many casual players. I really don't think they will lose any sales because of this decision.

      As for people who "just want to cheat," do you really think that the developers put years into a game, tweaking, balancing, and perfecting everything, so that you can tear it apart, break the balance, and not even fully appreciate or experience the game as intended? No, they'd probably prefer that you didn't play their game at all. I know I do. I would think that, from the developers' point-of-view, that might even be worse than piracy.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 8:07 PM

        Yeah all of those casual players who pay attention to how much a game is hacked before purchasing the game...

        • reply
          August 23, 2011 12:11 AM

          I'm not necessarily talking about casual gamers, just casual Diablo players. Given the state of the metagame after a couple years, it was pretty discouraging at times trying to be a casual player, which is probably the reason that I never took it more seriously, and eventually stopped playing it altogether.

          And, I'm here reading about it before I buy it, aren't I? Not that it matters. That's not the point.

          How many casual gamers buy a game like this in the first week? month? year? WoW subscribers rose steadily for several years even though the most hardcore fans bought it at launch.
          If ,after 4 years, the servers were overrun with hackers, duped items, and whatever else, how likely would it have been that casuals kept jumping on the bandwagon?
          They bought it because they finally tried the game at their friend's place, and had a good time, not because their friend can bot 10 MF runs in an hour. Jumping into a metagame, and a community like that is intimidating.

          • reply
            August 23, 2011 5:04 AM

            Comparing WoW is bad as their servers heavily trust the client. Speed hacks, teleport hacks and numerous others exist and have since the beginning. What helps Blizz there is they ban the account boom you have to buy another.

            In D2 you could keep creating battle.net accounts so they couldn't stop it. If D2 had a single b.net account it would be more on par with WoW.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 8:17 PM

      So if D3 is going to be online, does that mean all the instances you play are going to be hosted on a server? and if so why would i want to play diablo with lag?

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 8:27 PM

        Yes. It's probably better than not playing Diablo 3 at all.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 9:15 PM

        I'm not sure if you're aware, but a few of us have successfully played Diablo 2 and other games online before despite this lag you're worried about

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 10:53 PM

          im not sure if you aware, but i live in australia and ill be getting 300ms ping to the blizzard server which is far worse than the 0 ping i usually get with single player diablo 1 and 2. But keep on trollin'.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 8:23 PM

      all these motherfuckers who say they arent going to buy it? BULLSHIT. they are all going to buy it.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 8:50 PM

        I know this thread is lame.

      • Ebu
        reply
        August 22, 2011 9:23 PM

        I'm sure some will recant.

        But not all of us.

      • reply
        August 23, 2011 6:13 AM

        Hmm, weird that they'd allow a direct link. I assume there's a way to prevent that if you have a decent webmaster.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 10:13 PM

      I think there's more people talking about people that saying aren't going to buy it than people who are saying aren't going to buy it posting.
      Yes the drm doesn't effect me and I'm definitely going to be playing it. I've been waiting too long for it not to.
      But should that stop me from voicing my displeasure at news that they're turning away business they traditionally catered to? Should I be happy that they are making their game with less options and more restrictive?

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 10:34 PM

      Well I had some huge rant typed out but I am just waiting for Deus Ex to unlock and I suspect it's going to be a far more original and entertaining game so I don't feel like trying.

      So I have only one question: What was wrong with their previous system where you had a hardcore character online only or just enjoyed the game / cheat / whatever the fuck you wanted to do with your own game offline?

      I mean I am sure it will be a fantastic game and I will probably buy it but don't feed us some line of bullshit; most of us are adults. You want to control the consumer, plain and simple, so if you cant' say that or won't just don't say anything; we'd have a lot more respect for you.

      • reply
        August 22, 2011 10:40 PM

        So I have only one question: What was wrong with their previous system where you had a hardcore character online only or just enjoyed the game / cheat / whatever the fuck you wanted to do with your own game offline?

        The problem was the online economy was completely fucked by hacks and dupes and significantly degraded the overall experience. Compare that to the economy of other always online games (ie MMOs). The need for this is even greater with the presence of the real money auction house.

        • reply
          August 22, 2011 10:48 PM

          Again, they can run that system with your ONLINE character and let you do what you want offline (that would exclude the "Blizzard take a cut of the sales" market place of course).

          So there is no excuse for letting people do what they want with their bought product; modding, hacking, whatever. See online = still the same, offline = do what you want.

          I am fine with what they want to do, just A> Don't call us stupid, and B> Give us some options if we don't want to be online 24/7 or have lives outside our local internet connections.

          • reply
            August 22, 2011 10:52 PM

            That was the cause of a lot of the problems in D2.

            • reply
              August 22, 2011 11:01 PM

              Ugggh... please Deus Ex, unlock soon.

              If your online character can get compromised in D2 then it's the same in D3. There is no difference. How you guys buy this crap is unreal to me. The only thing that's changed is Blizzard got smarter with security. Both options still work only Blizzard doesn't give you that opportunity now.

              • reply
                August 22, 2011 11:22 PM

                Sigh...obviously you have no idea what you're trolling about.

                The item auction in D3 will be similar to the AH in WoW, unhackable. If D3 had an offline mode you'd get some clown creating an app that could duplicate items rendering both of D3's AH's (which are a very cool addition) pointless.

                I agree with Jay Wilson when he said the whole connectivity issue just doesn't fly these days, I'm totally behind that. I actually PREFER D3 to use Battle.net and be online all the time.

          • reply
            August 23, 2011 6:24 AM

            It really cheapens the game when you have the ability to hack offline. It also breaks pretty bad when you have people online who want to play with friends who only have offline characters. This is really unifying those fronts, and attempting to address cheating/hacking with a closed system.

        • reply
          August 23, 2011 5:39 PM

          Hum first of all the offline character was just that offline had no connection to the online servers in anyway therefore didn't result in any hacking that effected online through battle net. This is our problem they gave us the option last time to play the game totally offline and they have now taken it away.

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 10:49 PM

      What about my satellite internet connection?

    • reply
      August 22, 2011 11:39 PM

      Reading this thread is like watching two blind people argue what color purple the sky is.

    • reply
      August 23, 2011 6:40 AM

      WoW/Guildwars2/SW:TOR: Online only. People can't wait to queue up and play for a million hours straight, pausing only to occasionally wipe the dorito dust from their grubby nerd fingers.

      Diablo 3: Online only. BLIZZARD U R MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE!!!!1! WAT ABOUT MY BAD INTERNATS?

      • reply
        August 23, 2011 6:55 AM

        this confuses me as well

      • reply
        August 23, 2011 6:55 AM

        ^^ those people are just fucking retarded

      • reply
        August 23, 2011 7:00 AM

        WoW/Guildwars2/SW:TOR : Online only MMOs since conception

        Diablo3 : Sequel to an SP game (For many people)

        • reply
          August 23, 2011 7:06 AM

          It was 11 years ago. There was no Facebook, Twitter, Apple was shit, MS was still great. 2% had smart phones (made up statistic). Clinton was president.

          Things Change

          • reply
            August 23, 2011 7:07 AM

            oh so the problem is more about peoples' preconceived idea of what the game should be based upon how it's predecessor was over a decade ago, instead of letting the developers do their thing and make the best experience they feel possible. got it.

            fucking gamers.

            • reply
              August 23, 2011 7:14 AM

              Dunno who you're replying to, but guess it's me.

              Developers should not be surprised that there's an internet uproar when they release a much anticipated sequel and then announce that core functionality has been cut. Simple as that. I'm not on any internet rampage, I'm just sad that they've removed something I liked, and for what sounds like the worst of reasons.

            • Ebu
              reply
              August 23, 2011 8:08 AM

              I disagree that requiring an internet connection for a single-player experience is "making it the best...possible"

              • reply
                August 23, 2011 8:23 AM

                You also smell like cheese.

                • Ebu
                  reply
                  August 23, 2011 8:55 AM

                  Not yet, but I will be having pizza for lunch.

              • reply
                August 23, 2011 8:25 AM

                They've made a design decision to unify your "single-player experience" characters with the online experience so that you do not have 2 separate pools of characters you are working on. To protect this from abuse they require authentication. It makes perfect sense.

                • Ebu
                  reply
                  August 23, 2011 8:56 AM

                  Authentication I could grudgingly accept. Checking home when the game was first run, I could deal with.

                  Turning it into an MMO I'm less happy about.

                • reply
                  August 23, 2011 10:37 AM

                  Yes, they've decided to completely drop the "single player experience", an aspect that some of us were really looking forward to. I can't understand how you have a hard time understanding that some of us are disappointed.

                • reply
                  August 23, 2011 5:46 PM

                  That part does make sense I will grant you. That said for a lot of people though they don't care about having an online character they just want to play the game all on their own like they did the original. As long as the game though makes it so when you start a game it doesn't require you to jump trhough a lot of hoops to keep people from joining in on you I will be fine with it.

              • reply
                August 23, 2011 8:32 AM

                you are still incorrectly assuming they are developing this for a strictly single player experience?

                when will the lightbulb go on? the game has evolved - like all the other games you play while online 24/7. dragon age 1 was syncing my profile to the internets as I was killing stuff. totally single player experience, but they know damn well we're all online all the time.

            • reply
              August 23, 2011 4:15 PM

              See also X-com -> XCOM

          • reply
            August 23, 2011 7:15 AM

            Noone had smartphones. And yes, things change. Have you hung around with these 'humans', as I like to call them? They don't like change, as a whole. Therefore, the uproar is not that hard to predict.

      • reply
        August 23, 2011 7:17 AM

        The point is: Diablo 3 didn't HAVE to be like this but bli$$ chose so anyway for several reasons that we rightfully question. Those MMO's are dedicated online games and would not work as intended if made for offline play.

        • reply
          August 23, 2011 7:30 AM

          lol "bli$$" cute

          • reply
            August 23, 2011 7:32 AM

            also, disagreeing with the decision is one thing, but people throwing perpetual temper tantrums about it is the ridiculous aspect.

            • reply
              August 23, 2011 7:43 AM

              Blizzard should have just pulled a Valve.

              Add a "Play Offline" button, but leave it largely broken, unimplemented, or have some asinine requirement like you have to be online to enable offline mode requirement for about five years. Watch as no one notices for except for a few people, who get ridiculed into silence by the internet masses.

          • reply
            August 23, 2011 7:34 AM

            Bliƶƶ?

    • reply
      August 23, 2011 8:21 AM

      I am not deterred by this news. I will play diablo 3 on my PC that has been connected to the internet for at least 12 years continuously in some for or another.

      • reply
        August 23, 2011 12:28 PM

        I don't think a 12 year old computer will be able to run the game. :)

    • reply
      August 23, 2011 7:08 PM

      This is stupid. What's next? Shacknews will follow suit and require online connection to post on their site? >:|