Specifics on Diablo III’s online-only DRM problems

RockPaperShotgun has detailed the ways in which Diablo III‘s online-only system will affect players, including being logged out in the middle of a game due to server problems or connections, a cooldown period, and no ability to pause the game.

According to John Walker:

You can’t pause. In fact, in most ways, the game acts like an MMO. For instance, quit it, and you’re given the optional cooldown to have your player clear the server properly. But it’s not an MMO. It’s not even close to an MMO. So when I’m playing the single-player game, and I’m in the middle of a frenzied mob, and there’s a knock at the front door, there’s nothing I can do. As happened to me yesterday. Twice. On another occasion I was surprised by a phone call that led to my having to do some other things. I’d safely left my character in a cleared area, but long between checkpoints. When I came back to the PC, I’d been idle for too long and the game had logged me out.

Being idle logs you out?  No pausing the game?  Dropped connections?  This is Diablo, not World of Warcraft.  No matter what the justifications for including an online-only Digital Rights Management system, or how many great “features” come with this connectivity, this is disappointing and unnecessary.  This wouldn’t bother me so much if Blizzard wasn’t a leader in the PC gaming field, being copied by dozens of other companies; they set the standard for what games should be doing.

Of course, the real blame still goes to Activision.

I suggest you read the full post, as it explains even more annoyances with the system.

Blizzard is now soulless: confirmed

Listen.  I’ll admit when I’m wrong.  Why, I can remember a day when I was positive that StarCraft 2 would be a legendary example of great game design, and even tried to follow the online Korean tournament scene, GomTV’s “GSL”, you may remember.  I wrote an article about the design principles I believed were behind the choices for the three races’ units and features, then watched as Blizzard fumbled patching and balance until it was clear: they’re clueless.

Well the days have gotten darker for ActivisionBlizzard, as they’ve revealed their greedy little plans to control and monetize everything.  Surely this is Activision’s part in milking Blizzard dry, but that doesn’t pardon anything.  What’s the big sin?  There’s actually 3, as reported by PC Gamer, and summed up by RockPaperShotgun…

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