Online-only Diablo 3 for consoles considered, but dropped

Blizzard considered making the Diablo 3 online-only, but dropped the idea when its research showed many console players didn't have a reliable connection.

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Unlike the PC version, the upcoming console version of Diablo 3 doesn't require an internet connection. The reason? Large portions of the console audience still don't connect their system online, Blizzard discovered.

At a recent fan event (via The Escapist), Blizzard explained that it had planned to make the console game online-only, just like the PC version. However, because it couldn't count on a connection on console, it dropped the requirement, along with connected features like the Auction House.

Being able to play offline does introduce the ability to play couch co-op on a single screen with up to three players, a nice perk.

Diablo 3 is hitting PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 3, with a PS4 version to follow.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 2, 2013 1:00 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Online-only Diablo 3 for consoles considered, but dropped.

    Blizzard considered making the Diablo 3 online-only, but dropped the idea when its research showed many console players didn't have a reliable connection.

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      July 2, 2013 1:02 PM

      Rofl

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      July 2, 2013 1:03 PM

      Sounds like Microsoft and the xbone could have benefited from research like that.

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        July 2, 2013 1:29 PM

        They may have dropped it due to the xbone backlash.

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          July 2, 2013 1:29 PM

          that would have required a time machine

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      July 2, 2013 1:12 PM

      strange that they think/found there's a huge difference between console and PC gamers in this regard

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        July 2, 2013 1:14 PM

        If I had to guess, I'd speculate that PC gamers tend to be more tech savvy, resulting in them having better/more reliable Internet connections (on average).

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          July 2, 2013 1:19 PM

          I would believe some difference but not necessarily such a large one as to change the core product design that 10s of millions of PC gamers were ok with (especially since Blizzard reaches a more casual crowd on PC than some others)

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        July 2, 2013 1:20 PM

        World of Warcraft probably played a big role on the PC front.

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      July 2, 2013 1:17 PM

      The reason? Large portions of the console audience still don't connect their system online, Blizzard discovered.

      I believe that statement but I don't believe any nonsense about not having a reliable connection unless that "research" is available to me.

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      July 2, 2013 1:20 PM

      Lol

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      July 2, 2013 1:24 PM

      So is the PC going to get patched? It's only fair right, if not those who love D3 and want to play it for ever like D2 better get a new console and D3.

      Bets the PC will not get a patch because PC gamers always get the best treatment?

      Heck I would pay money to have a offline mode in D3 and that is just wrong, it should not have to be this way.

      Huh.

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        July 2, 2013 1:26 PM

        Jesus christ no. No no no no no no no.

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          July 2, 2013 1:28 PM

          You don't want a offline mode as an option on the PC version?

          I don't mean remove the online that would be stupid but an option for a offline would be freaking rad.

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            July 2, 2013 1:32 PM

            You can't balance the game for both and rebalancing it for offline support would be awful for online and if they didn't rebalance anything then there would be no point to adding an offline mode at all.

            I still don't even see the fucking point to an offline mode anyhow. Just play online and ignore other people.

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              July 2, 2013 1:39 PM

              "You can't balance the game for both and rebalancing it for offline support" what? Dude it has randomly generated spawned mobs if it dynamical scales content and difficulty to number of players it make no diff in SP offline mode it be exactly like I play now in SP online.

              What do you think they would have to balance or change?

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                July 2, 2013 1:42 PM

                The only real difference would be item progression. Although you don't need the AH most people use it. Of course you wouldn't have access to that so your play time would be much longer than someone online. However it's not like it can't be done. Saying it is an "entirely different game" is completely silly.

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                July 2, 2013 1:43 PM

                Having offline item / character code would make duping it online trivially easy, ruining the online economy, like what happened with D2. They're not just designing this game in a vacuum, there's lessons that have been learned from previous attempts.

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                  July 2, 2013 1:52 PM

                  2B's 2B's 2B's!!!

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                  July 2, 2013 2:16 PM

                  I have 2.5m gp, with 2 Inferno chars and 3 Hell chars. They are selling stuff for 500m gp. I think that bird has flown.

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                    July 2, 2013 2:17 PM

                    I currently have 2.5b gold with easily 4 times that invested into gear. What is your point?

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                      July 2, 2013 4:35 PM

                      I dunno, just mad, I guess. I did craft some of those Exalted (+200-ish Vit) Bracers. That was a nice boost.

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                July 2, 2013 1:44 PM

                If you're fine with exactly the way playing solo works online then who cares about an offline mode at all?

                Everything about "offline mode" as it has been discussed in regards to Diablo 3 has included pretty dramtic loot table, drop rate, and progression overhauls that would completely destroy the existing game.

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                  July 2, 2013 2:47 PM

                  "If you're fine with exactly the way playing solo works online then who cares about an offline mode at all? " very key because one day the servers will turn off and you will not be able to play D3 and all your loot chars will be gone. If I ever have kids they won't be able to play D3. Say ten years down the road if I want to re live the throw back to D3 it won't be there I will not be able to roll a new char.

                  This goes the same for my beloved Path to Exile both of these games will eventually be gone forever that is my key beef with any online game that I like. A piece of gaming history will be gone forever and no one can enjoy or admire it ever again.

                  It breaks my freaking heart, that is what is so cool about D2 I can still play it today.

                  I hope you can see my point, sure you may go well D4 will be out by then who cares, well shit look how many have been playing old games they mean a lot to a lot of gamers that is why some of us care.

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                    July 2, 2013 2:49 PM

                    You can still play Diablo 2 online today as well.

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              July 2, 2013 2:56 PM

              wat? They clearly have a working balanced offline version on consoles.

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                July 2, 2013 2:58 PM

                In fact I bet that version is better since it doesn't assume an AH and won't have lag :(

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                July 2, 2013 2:59 PM

                And?

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                  July 2, 2013 2:59 PM

                  And...how does having an offline version with different balancing affect the online version?

          • reply
            July 2, 2013 1:45 PM

            They have a product for people who want offline, it's called the Xbox 360 version.

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          July 2, 2013 1:30 PM

          What are you saying No to? Online-only helped make D3 a no-buy for me. Can't imagine the thoughtlessness that would cause a person to actually want fewer options and less freedom, lol.

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            July 2, 2013 1:34 PM

            [eyes wide open staring at screen and a confused blank face] no kidding I am as confused as you are more options are always good. I hate any PC game that has no offline mode it is a total heart break.

            I really hope they add it to D3 as a option.

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              July 2, 2013 1:35 PM

              It would ruin the existing game.

              What you're asking for is an entirely different game.

              I really expected more from you.

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                July 2, 2013 1:41 PM

                I really expected more from you.

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                  July 2, 2013 1:47 PM

                  I like valcan_s and generally respect his opinions so I'm kind of floored at how this conversation has gone. I genuinely meant that statement.

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                July 2, 2013 2:09 PM

                NO IT ISN'T! It's almost exactly the game I played only no lag.

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            July 2, 2013 1:38 PM

            we already talked this to death years ago, there are real benefits to this design. Blizzard sold plenty of copies of D3, they're not missing you.

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            July 3, 2013 3:44 AM

            I've got in to countless arguments on this website, where I'd l really like an option in a program which is often REMOVED and I'd just like it back, keep the new system but let me do X or Y the old way etc and people have hounded me how they don't like options :/

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        July 2, 2013 1:39 PM

        the reason PC is always online is because of the real-money AH and the ability to hack on a PC (thereby ruining the AH). This is not possible on console, so it's a non-issue.

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          July 2, 2013 1:43 PM

          Easy ditch the AH for offline mode, done deal, or hell make a fake AH with random items and prices to simulate it either of these are totally doable.

          They could do it, personally I played D3 SP and never even used the AH, I really liked it and it played grat that way.

          All well what ever I am sure they would never do this for the PC for they could give two shits about PC now.

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            July 2, 2013 1:45 PM

            That's not the issue at all. You really don't understand this.

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            July 2, 2013 1:45 PM

            they could give two shits about PC now

            I would imagine they make more annually off the RMAH than they will in the lifetime of Diablo for Consoles.

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              July 2, 2013 1:51 PM

              probably incorrect, iirc the RMAH fell off quickly and has been less successful than expected and isn't huge (pretty sure they stopped even mentioning it in earnings reports really quickly)

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                July 2, 2013 1:53 PM

                I've never seen anything official one way or another but my experience in-game has the RMAH still going quite strong.

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                  July 2, 2013 1:57 PM

                  yeah, they don't make official statements about it - I saw an analysis somewhere at some point but I'm having trouble finding it now (which doesn't really matter since it wasn't based on official info), but reading between the lines, if it was a money driver they would almost definitely at least mention it in ATVI shareholder calls (even if they didn't give hard data), and as far as I can remember they haven't done that since immediately following its release

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          July 2, 2013 4:39 PM

          Since everything is stored server side though there is no risk of a client being able to use hacked items in multiplayer. If they left the multiplayer exactly as it is now and added a single player mode, the online economy would not be affected.

          Hacking items is only possible where your PC determines loot drops, or stores character info etc. Sure you'll be able to hack them in on single player, but if they stop you from using single player characters online, and have all online characters stored server side there is no issue.

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        July 2, 2013 1:45 PM

        Unlikely, a large part of the game is kept server side for anti-hacking reasons - putting out an offline capable version for PC would expose that stuff and make the online only version more vulnerable.

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      July 2, 2013 1:36 PM

      they should have shared their findings with Microsoft and the xbox team

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        July 2, 2013 1:39 PM

        D3's online requirements and the original XB1 requirements are just slightly different...

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      July 2, 2013 1:44 PM

      Fuck Blizzard. Thank god for Torchlight 2.

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        July 2, 2013 2:00 PM

        Yep word. Diablo I quit after one play through, TL2 I beat new game+++.

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          July 2, 2013 2:17 PM

          I couldn't force myself to finish Act 3 in TL2. I have 3 chars in Act 3 though!

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          July 2, 2013 4:22 PM

          Is new game+ worth it? I've just been doing those end game dungeon things over and over.

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            July 2, 2013 4:41 PM

            I enjoyed it. You don't get to explore the random overworlds just running the end game mapworks dungeons. You might as well start a new game plus, you can still port to the mapworks at any time if you decide you'd rather keep doing that.

            There are a lot of mods on the steam workshop too that you might want to try out in your NG+

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              July 2, 2013 4:43 PM

              Oh I didn't know you could port to the mapworks afterwards.
              Alright I'll give it a shot then (and the mods too), thanks.

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                July 2, 2013 4:49 PM

                First you should backup your saves. You have to copy them to the /modsave folder if you plan on using mods anyway.

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        July 2, 2013 11:16 PM

        Sure, but Torchlight 2 was kind of crappy as an alternative.

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        July 3, 2013 3:45 AM

        It didn't do it for me :( I loved T1 but T2 was so stupidly huge

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      July 2, 2013 2:03 PM

      ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh hahahahaahaha

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      July 2, 2013 2:06 PM

      So PC users somehow have better internet connectivity?

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        July 2, 2013 4:31 PM

        Yes, you see consoles have their own internet, which is completely separate from the other internets and tubes and trucks etc.

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          July 2, 2013 4:39 PM

          Console gamers have less education on average than PC gamers and as such tend to cluster together in low income neighborhoods in which reliable internet connectivity isn't as high of a priority for broadband companies.

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      July 2, 2013 4:07 PM

      I'm impressed with the PS3 port of D3 so far. It'll be a fun game to play.

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      July 2, 2013 4:34 PM

      No auction house, no online requirement?

      I'm shocked. I think this is the first time the console version of the game is flat out better than it's PC variant.

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        July 2, 2013 5:35 PM

        Yeah, maybe they can balance it against a normal person playing the game this time.

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        July 2, 2013 6:47 PM

        They're boosting the drops to make up for it, too. I really wish I could get the no auction house version on PC. Would rather play it with a mouse than on a console, but I'd also like to fiddle with gamepad support.

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          July 3, 2013 3:40 AM

          Yeah... I've been back playing D3 a lot lately but the AH still kind of bums me out and kills the best of my enthusiasm. Basically every upgrade I get is off the AH. It's such a bloody shame when the rest of the game is in such a glorious condition now after all the patching.

          I don't think the upcoming itemization patches will help much, either. More good drops translates directly into more good drops on AH, and then translates to lowered prices. It just means everyone will improve their equipment faster for a while and then things will just settle down just like they are now, only at an higher average item quality.

          They really, really need to add a different league/ladder for softcore characters who can't access AH. Just make it about drops and social trading again, and a good portion of the playerbase will be happier. Those who still wish to use the AH, can.

          But I guess they are still making some money from RMAH, or they probably would have done this already.

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          July 3, 2013 4:34 AM

          Yeah, as long as D3 has an economy forged to encourage online trading, I have no interest in the game.

    • reply
      July 2, 2013 4:38 PM

      But, but, Blizzard! You said online-only was an integral part of the game experience! Why did you lie to us loyal PC gamers!!??!?

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        July 2, 2013 6:50 PM

        Because $$$$. I wonder what DLC Blizz has brewing.

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        July 2, 2013 6:59 PM

        Well, you know Chrome, that's what we call pillow talk . . .

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      July 3, 2013 3:34 AM

      nice, i really wanted to buy this game on PC but chose not to due to the
      idiotic online requirement, now that can count me out of ever buying because
      all this tells me is that it was and is entirely possible to make the game that
      way they simply refuse to do so because of some marketing ploy or DRM,
      Diablo was probably in my top 3 games ever but now its a flat out no go, the
      only way they could win my money back is to make an offline PC version i
      can actually play, while i get that everyone seems to think the internet is
      great everywhere there are still some 110+ million Americans without access
      to high speed internet, that's a pretty darn big market.

    • reply
      July 9, 2013 8:41 AM

      I thought the PC was a beta test for consoles, pariticularly the AH. Amazed they're dropping the AH.

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