Friday, 4 May 2012

The Diablo III Dilemma

Diablo III comes out in less than two weeks. A lot of my friends have been following the release date of this game very closely, personally I haven't, for some reason I have not had that much interest in Blizzard's games since the first World of Warcraft expansion. I enjoyed the Warcraft RTS series, I played through the first third of Starcraft at a friend's place, I remember playing a ridiculous amount of the Diablo 1 demo and effectively racing my younger brother through Diablo II. All of these are games I played as singleplayer games.

The key problem I have with Diablo III is that they have implemented a system which is effectively always online DRM. While technically the game still offers single player, you are still required to be online and the game is hosted on servers. I do not support these game which are using this form of DRM.

This is not a new stance I have taken, I refused to pay money for Assassin's Creed 2 and only played it after Ubisoft were briefly selling it for free. This was despite being very interested in that franchise and reviews indicating that it is a genuinely great game. Singleplayer games that require a permanent internet connection are something I do not accept and I do not believe should exist. I do not want to implicitly support this by purchasing and using those products.

This made my plans regarding Diablo III straight forward, don't purchase it and largely ignore it unless they provide an offline option. I can simply wait and play Torchlight 2. It is a game in the same genre, I enjoyed Torchlight 1, and Torchlight 2 has offline singleplayer along with multiplayer, it even has LAN multi player.

What has made me reconsider purchasing Diablo III is my family. My younger brother has been really excited by it and has even bought a new desktop specifically for this purpose. My oldest brother has also been planning on grabbing it though he won't be able to play on launch day.

Whilst I talk to my brothers about games a lot I don't actually play many games with them. Typically they are playing on platforms I am not (i.e. consoles) or they are simply not playing games I am very interested in. The last game we played together was a few sessions of Titan Quest, which was a bit complicated to get working and we didn't end up playing together much.

Most of the multiplayer gaming I've done with my siblings has been split-screen on consoles and given that we have almost all moved out now, I don't really see us returning to that any time soon.

I am also I must admit, pretty bad at keeping up with communication, it is fairly easy for me to forget to reply to an email, especially if I see it on my phone but don't want to respond to it immediately. This is why I try to get to my parents place at least every couple of weeks to try to make sure I am keeping in touch with them. This does not work quite so well for keeping in touch with my brothers. Whilst I guess there is always Facebook, gaming with them would help. This is actually an idea my older brother has suggested a few times, but since he primarily plays Call of Duty on the PS3, it has never really happened.

So that is where I am at at the moment, trying to decide whether or not to get Diablo III. Basically it depends whether or not I expect that I can get my siblings to play Torchlight 2 with me later on in the year which is possible but uncertain. If I can do that, then it probably isn't worth compromising my values regarding always online games. If that isn't going to happen, I would rather get Diablo III and play with my brothers and friends.

What do you think?


  1. I share your sentiments in regards to requiring a constant internet connection in order to play single player games. Although for me, this is more born from the fact that I do not have a good connection at home (I'm on unwired).
    Personally, I think that if I buy a single player game, I should not need to be online in order to play it.

    However, in the case of Diablo III - it's one of the few games that I am desperate to play. I figure that I'm likely to play it with someone (the bf) for most of the game, so I can justify buying it in order to do so. In fairness to Blizzard, most people have a decent internet connection these days. I'd be less annoyed if they had made the multiplayer aspect online only, but I want to play the game enough that I'll buy it anyway.

    1. Yeah, I totally get that. For some reason though I personally am just not that excited by Diablo 3. I had the same thing happen with Starcraft 2, watching most of my friends getting really excited as it came closer to coming out and then seeing the various posts and comments by them playing through it and trying to get the various achievements and mostly thinking that I might grab it when it becomes cheap.

      That said, at this point I will probably grab Diablo 3, it was pretty clear at breakfast yesterday that my brothers are now assuming that I will =P