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Quoteworthy - id's Tim Willits on Always-on Gaming

"Diablo 3 will make everyone else accept the fact you have to be connected. If you have a juggernaut, you can make change. I'm all for that. If we could force people to always be connected when you play the game, and then have that be acceptable, awesome," id Software Creative Director Tim Willits tells Eurogamer. "In the end, it's better for everybody. Imagine picking up a game and it's automatically updated. Or there's something new you didn't know about, and you didn't have to click away. It's all automatically there. But it does take juggernauts like [Diablo 3] to make change. I'm a big proponent of always connected. I'm always connected. Our fans are always connected. There will be a few people who will resent the fact you have to be online to play a single-player game. But it'll change."

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86. Re: Quoteworthy - id's Tim Willits on Always-on Gaming Aug 10, 2011, 14:31 jsmith
 
Seen on Zenimax / Bethesda's Rage forums. I smiled at the last part.

Confused Fan wrote on Aug 10, 2011, 14:13:
Why Mr. Willits would you condone 'always on' internet connections for PC games? Do you really feel it necessary even for games with single player components? How about single player only games with zero multiplayer interaction?

I personally am surprised to see a man from a company who primarily makes games with a decent amount of emphasis on single player suggest 'always on' necessity. Ubisoft was demonized for attempting this policy, especially with single player games. Whether it was the fact those without constant access to the internet (laptops, traveling, various locations around the world, et cetera) or the fact that the Ubisoft servers had authentication issues from time to time and prevented people playing the game for extended amounts of time, the general consensious was extremely negative. So much so that while Ubisoft tried to claim it was successful against piracy, they changed their policy for a number of game releases. Could it be to a lack of PC sales?

As for Diablo 3, did Mr. Willits not see the 'surprised reaction' by Robert Bridenbecker towards the negative backlash the 'always on' announcement garnered? Even with a game such as Diablo 3 where the real emphasis is on multiplayer (and now flat rate fees from the real cash auction house), people still want the option to play solo. They could be traveling, out at a cafe without wifi support, at home with the internet out of commission, in a dorm room with essential ports blocked by the network, or just anti social, people want the option to be able to play single player games or single player portions of games without the need of an internet connection. And in Diablo 3's case, all data would be stored server side (characters, items, ingame currency, et cetera) and with no way to introduce single player items into the online portion of the game, there doesn't seem to be any reason not to allow offline access. It worked just fine in Diablo 2. Could the 'always on' connection just be an attempt to 1) stop piracy with this intrusive DRM and 2) attempt to get even a small fraction of the normally offline players to take a look at the real money auction house? After all, money is money and profitability seems to be the number one goal for today's businesses.

And for always being up-to-date, PC games are not updated like top end antivirus software. They do not get updated 10+ times a day, week after week, month after month. Steam seems to do a great job at keeping software current, and it also allows players to play offline. At the very least, why not just have an optional phone home feature to look for updates, which players can choose to use if they have access to an internet connection. This style of updating is all that is really needed for keeping games up-to-date with the latest patches.

Please do not go down that road Mr. Willits, or try to bring Id Software down that road. Activision, EA and Ubisoft have already won the awards for screwing with the PC playerbase with numerous actions over the years. Why not stand in the corner of the PC gamers and become a champion of the people? I think Valve is getting awfully lonely over there.
 
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