And I hate using the word “ain’t” so you know where this is going! A few days ago, I read over on Gamasutra about Blizzard’s latest plans for a beloved franchise I’ve been with since I was smaller than Wirt. I’m talking about Diablo 3, of course! There are two major points of intrest, and I wasn’t sure I would get around to talking about either because, well, read on and you might see.
The Real-World Money auction House
I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, trading in Diablo 2 was very risky half the time and the other half was just full of scams. Remember drop trades? Good times! Anyway, to put a stop to this sort of foolishness, Blizzard is putting in a more refined WoW-like Auction House that has a few more features, like auto-bidding and smart searching. And then there’s the option to use real-world currency. It’ll cost money to list and sell items and money made in such a way go towards Blizzards own e-store, which can be used for WoW subscriptions, pets and other things. But don’t worry, because there will be a third-party to handle the money and take a cut should you want to cash out.
Okay, I can see where they’re coming from, to a point. Blizzard wants to get the economy in-check within the game rather than let the shady past of D2 trading creep up again. I can even understand the use of real-world money. Blizzard is a business, and this makes sense in the whole natural progression of things. But at the same time, this feels as though it will benefit all the gold farmers and bots that are sure to crop up, and they will crop up. I like the Auction House idea, just not the use of actual money, but that’s fine. I just won’t use real money.
Oh, and then there’s…
HAHA! You want to play offline? Allow me to laugh harder!
This is the kind of thing that’s a deal-breaker for me, and it hits kind of low, Blizzard. Yes, Diablo 3 will require a persistent internet connection to play, in both single and multi-player modes! Persistent internet connection, single-player mode, and multi-player mode. One of these things doesn’t belong. Remember those days when DSL was still blazing-fast but just as unreliable as it is today? Remember how it would cut out in the middle of a Hell Baal run on your level 73 Hammerdin so you would go back to playing with your younger brother through the LAN? Okay, maybe a little specific, but you get the idea. The internet isn’t up to the point where we can always be on it forever and there is always a good chance of ISP issues or you’re on a laptop somewhere without internet, or just without the internet…period.
And then when everyone cried foul, and by everyone I mean mostly everyone on the internet, Blizzard was surprised. Really, Blizzard? Really? Did we learn nothing from when Ubisoft tried this back with Assassin’s Creed II?
To be fair, and I like being fair, Bridenbecker said,
“There seem to be folks that believe that because you have to be connected, it’s like you’re on Facebook or out there with the rest of the world. That’s really not the case. Yes, you’re going to have a connection, yes, your character will be stored on a server, but it doesn’t mean you have to socialize with people. It doesn’t mean you have to do anything but play the game by yourself. You’ll still be able to have a private game. You’ll still be able to go off and play the game solo and adventure solo. You can opt to bring other people to your world if you want, but that’s up to you.”
But that’s not the problem, which is what I said above. Or maybe it’s just the principle behind it. And even though Bridenbecker said DRM never came up when discussing the new system, it seems that requiring a connection all the time would fix that up. It was silly when Ubisoft did it, why wouldn’t it be silly now? I shouldn’t have to play single-player games online. It’s okay though, I’m not even mad about it because it’s all rather silly, Blizzard. I may or may not purchase Diablo 3, but chances are I’ll be too busy playing something else to even notice if it’s released.
What’s that, Torchlight 2? You’re coming out later this year? Oh you devil!
Stay lazy, fresh meat!