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Diablo III in February?

Joystiq has an image of a store display in a Rochester, Minnesota Best Buy that seems to show a February 1 launch date for Diablo III, Blizzard's upcoming action/RPG sequel. They have some follow ups that don't completely confirm or deny this, and word that the end-cap was legit, but has since been removed. Meanwhile, the Best Buy Website now shows a February 1 release date for the game.

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140. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:55 Verno
 
Red wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 15:47:
You, the user, start up the game and see your list of heroes that you've played before. You click one and jump into the action.

But behind the scenes, a lot has happened. Your credentials (probably remembered from when you set up your account) are used to log into a server that houses your heroes list. Their data is downloaded and shown to you. When you pick one, the server validates that that hero exists for your account (security measure), and then the server creates a game instance for you and streams you the necessary data.

I'm not saying everything is a simple wave a magic development wand procedure but the flipside to your point is that this is ground they have tread before and know well, even things like the UI elements and how they would be implemented have been done in a previous iteration. It gets more complex when we look at other variables like the AI routines (which are now partially in the cloud) but I don't really need to sympathize with every design complication to illustrate how their approach affects my gameplay.

Again, regardless of actual cost vs perceived, they need to come up with better connection tolerance functionality and from what I've seen they have done nothing with it so far.
 
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139. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:55 Undocumented Alien
 
To support offline mode, the designers have to re-work the UI to show online and offline heroes in a way that makes sense but doesn't detract from the majority of gamers who'll never have offline heroes.

Come on man, this has been supported for over a decade by many games. Absolutely NOTHING new about supporting SP and MP.

Diablo 2 did it 10+ years ago with supporting SP, MP (LAN), AND MP (Battle.NET).
 
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138. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:51 Undocumented Alien
 
Personally I'd be more interested in solving the problem of not having reliable (or mobile) internet access than being so angry about a game that requires online.

Not everyone lives in Mom's basement. Some people who like to play PC Games have to.. you know.. work on the go.

Be great to play D3 while traveling for 4 hours on an airplane, can't do it now because of this awesome "innovation".

Be great to play D3 while in a hotel room, hotel room internet connections can suck complete ass, might not be able to play D3 there because of this awesome "innovation".

Still see no valid reason for handcuffing an SP portion of the game to the internet.

 
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137. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:47 Red
 
Verno wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 15:22:
Even forgetting all of that they could have at least implemented some rudimentary mechanisms to compensate for the minor connection related issues that can occur which is the bigger deal to me personally.
If they work in an environment anything like the corp I work in, it's just not as simple as you like to think it is. I'll give an example.

You, the user, start up the game and see your list of heroes that you've played before. You click one and jump into the action.

But behind the scenes, a lot has happened. Your credentials (probably remembered from when you set up your account) are used to log into a server that houses your heroes list. Their data is downloaded and shown to you. When you pick one, the server validates that that hero exists for your account (security measure), and then the server creates a game instance for you and streams you the necessary data.

To support offline mode, the designers have to re-work the UI to show online and offline heroes in a way that makes sense but doesn't detract from the majority of gamers who'll never have offline heroes. The game has to know how to load hero data from disk and deal with potential disk issues. It has to lock the disk data in case you're doing weird network shares that would corrupt your hero and account for that with additional in-game messaging. When you select a hero, the game has to branch code paths for offline vs. online. To even start your adventure, offline mode might require additional game server code running locally that otherwise wouldn't exist on your disk or in your ram because it normally would run on the web server.

So you have to code that, test it, and support it. All costing more money. The business sees this in the plan initially and decides it isn't going to support offline mode (too small demand to justify it). Developers then cut corners and don't code in such a way that makes it easy to identify and "fix" all the little things that need to differentiate online vs offline so now it's even more expensive to ever consider adding offline mode.
 
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136. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:47 jdreyer
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 14:50:

You mean to tell me after a decade, they only managed to finish one race's campaign? Really? C'mon it's a cash grab, you know it, I know it, Blizzard knows it. Let's be realistic here.

I'd love for Activision to give Blizzard a standard 18-24 month dev cycle that the rest of the industy uses rather than 5-10 years they take each title just to laugh at the results.

Blizzard in my eyes is the most overrated developer in the entire industry, Any other team does not need a decade to put out a standard action rpg click fest, or a standard RTS based on genre tropes.

It's astounding to me that people still defend them for being inept.

You're getting way to caught up on what they called the game, and not what is in the game. The content is superior both in quality and quantity to the original. They announced a trilogy. Each game is standalone, separated by two full years of development. This same model is used by countless developers: Bioshock, Mass Effect, Batman Arkham X, Modern Warfare, etc. How is this any different from those games? It's not. If Heart of the Swarm comes out with no SP game, and only 2 extra units per side for $60 I'll eat my words, but that seems extremely unlikely.

As for it taking 10 years to get SCII out the door, Blizzard is a smaller company that focuses on one or two projects at a time. Their products are uniformly high quality, and tend to be played for years after release. I guess if you don't like SCII, you could play that other RTS that came out 1.5 years ago that is still played by thousands of people. Oh, no you can't because there isn't one.

As for it being a "standard RTS", you can't just pump these out like apple pies: it takes a lot of time and effort to get the gameplay and balance of an RTS correct. The possibilities in chess are greater than all the molecules in the known universe. Given that an RTS orders of magnitude more complex than chess, it stands to reason that takes some time to get right. Look at two recent RTS games that didn't take that time: Stronghold 3 and SotS 2, both of which are total messes.

As for Blizzard being inept, SCII scores 93% on Metacritic, 92% on Game Rankings, and has sold over 5 million copies, most of those at full price. By any objective measure, that reeks of competence and success.
 
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135. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:43 Verno
 
I don't disagree that their "could" be an offline option. I do disagree that people should raise their fists and stand up to the man in defiance of the persistent online required for what I primarily consider a multiplayer/coop game. Because in reality, that is what many here are calling for, and in my eyes they look kind of ridiculous doing it.

I don't see a throng of people calling for a boycott here. I think most people just want their concerns satisfied, even if they get a bit angry at being dismissed out of hand by other posters. I'm very interested in purchasing Diablo 3 but I'd like to see them address a better method of handling disconnection than what I encountered in the beta. I'm sure most other people would be swayed too if the options were not take it or leave it. That's part of the reason people tolerate your Steam example, Steam allows for the very real possibility that you will need offline functionality at some point. Most people are reasonable when a company shows that they will meet you in the middle.

Why is it that when someone disagrees with you, you present them as the unreasonable bad guy?

I don't do that so can't help you with it
 
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134. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:43 Undocumented Alien
 
but they also have to appeal to the current generation of gamers.

You mean like, SP Dragon Age, Civ V, Fallout 3/NV, Skyrim, Torch Light, etc, etc, etc.

Plenty of SP games that this "current" generation of gamers play WITHOUT the need for a persistent online connection.

Sorry, still not a valid reason.

Diablo and Diablo 2 were able to split SP and MP and Battle.NET, if anything they should be BETTER at it.
 
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133. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:41 RollinThundr
 
Krovven wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 15:36:
Verno wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 14:24:
People keep presenting this as if there is this angry crowd of gamers who are threatening to boycott Blizzard products forever and blah blah blah. The reality is that most people are being reasonable and asking for small accommodations to account for the unforeseen problems that still crop up. It's not much to ask, they are getting a lot of benefit out of this and people who buy the game don't get much beyond potential frustration.

I haven't presented as such at all in my posts. Why is it that when someone disagrees with you, you present them as the unreasonable bad guy?

I don't disagree that their "could" be an offline option. I do disagree that people should raise their fists and stand up to the man in defiance of the persistent online required for what I primarily consider a multiplayer/coop game. Because in reality, that is what many here are calling for, and in my eyes they look kind of ridiculous doing it.

There have been people openly admitting they will pirate the game over this. There have been others that just say they won't buy it. These are not rational thinkers. Rational thinkers would buy the game they know they will enjoy and will simply play or do something else in the time they are forced offline. Personally I'd be more interested in solving the problem of not having reliable (or mobile) internet access than being so angry about a game that requires online.

Would it be nice for an offline mode, sure. I hope people get it. I said the same damn thing in a SC2 discussion a year or more ago. And they got it. Diablo 3 is going to be a bit different and some features are tied to it being online. So the likelihood of an offline mode is slim.


So basically anyone who doesn't agree with you is a mouth breather. Good to know. Both previous titles had single player that didn't force me to log into battle net to play solo, which is all I would do in this type of game unless I had friends who were buying it as well and in that case it would be lanned, but oh hey wait Blizzard removed that option as well.

So why is this such a good thing again? They'll still patch the game even if it's through battle.net it's still a patch to the main exe regardless of the download source. Through 133 replies on this post there still isn't one good arguement for a forced online connection. Still waiting.
 
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132. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:36 Krovven
 
Verno wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 14:24:
People keep presenting this as if there is this angry crowd of gamers who are threatening to boycott Blizzard products forever and blah blah blah. The reality is that most people are being reasonable and asking for small accommodations to account for the unforeseen problems that still crop up. It's not much to ask, they are getting a lot of benefit out of this and people who buy the game don't get much beyond potential frustration.

I haven't presented as such at all in my posts. Why is it that when someone disagrees with you, you present them as the unreasonable bad guy?

I don't disagree that their "could" be an offline option. I do disagree that people should raise their fists and stand up to the man in defiance of the persistent online required for what I primarily consider a multiplayer/coop game. Because in reality, that is what many here are calling for, and in my eyes they look kind of ridiculous doing it.

There have been people openly admitting they will pirate the game over this. There have been others that just say they won't buy it. These are not rational thinkers. Rational thinkers would buy the game they know they will enjoy and will simply play or do something else in the time they are forced offline. Personally I'd be more interested in solving the problem of not having reliable (or mobile) internet access than being so angry about a game that requires online.

Would it be nice for an offline mode, sure. I hope people get it. I said the same damn thing in a SC2 discussion a year or more ago. And they got it. Diablo 3 is going to be a bit different and some features are tied to it being online. So the likelihood of an offline mode is slim.

 
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131. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:22 Verno
 
Do you work in the software or gaming industry? Because there are two key holes in your logic that I'm not sure you realize. And the core of both those flaws is your assumption that single-player/offline mode is a simple feature.

D3's designers set out to invent a game that they think is as awesome as they can make it. I'm sure they want to appeal to existing Diablo fans and do so as much as makes sense, but they also have to appeal to the current generation of gamers. Development costs millions of dollars so they have to make a profitable game or there won't be a D3 for anyone. And the expectations of modern gamers have shifted since D2. Focus on online multiplayer, online trade, cloud savegames, achievements, voip, friendlists, server-side/no-download patches, and other online-only features are all expectations, not nice-to-haves.

Very good points. I get what you're saying but this is functionality that not only previously existed but they have built entire infrastructure around already. The online portion and R&D will be far higher than building any offline functionality, most of which existed already in some form. Even forgetting all of that they could have at least implemented some rudimentary mechanisms to compensate for the minor connection related issues that can occur which is the bigger deal to me personally.

See, here is where Verno's argument that most people here have valid arguments fails. Mouth breathers like RollinThundr flap their yaps with drivel when two perfectly valid reasons for the opposing point of view are given.


Being on the opposite end of him isn't any better or more valid IMO. Trolls happen on the internet, the vocal minority and all that.

This comment was edited on Jan 9, 2012, 15:31.
 
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130. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:18 Krovven
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 14:59:
Krovven wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 14:09:
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 13:15:
Except in the case of Diablo 3 there is zero reason to force a player to be online, the first 2 didn't require it, why should the third?

Oh wait easy answer, to try to force people to use their real money transaction rape house.

Right, cus that's why...funny how I've probably put 20+ hours into the beta and have yet to even look at the Auction House. You don't have to use it buying or selling. Has fuck all to do with being a persistent online connection.

I get that people don't like forced online requirement even if playing solo. I even get why, primarily because many look at it as solely a form of DRM. With it being primarily a mutliplayer game, being able to take a solo toon into multiplayer and the fact that fixes and changes can be made on Battle.net end without a patch are two very good reasons why I'm ok with online play even if I play solo.


Oh yeah its wonderful to force people to sign into their bloatware battle.net just to play solo. That's so innovative. Please.

See, here is where Verno's argument that most people here have valid arguments fails. Mouth breathers like RollinThundr flap their yaps with drivel when two perfectly valid reasons for the opposing point of view are given.

 
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129. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 15:17 Red
 
Verno wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 14:15:
Particularly when the reality is that Diablo 3 is primarily a multiplayer/coop game.

That's what people are talking about though, to some people Diablo is not played primarily as a multiplayer or co-op game. ...there have been zero arguments about valid design reasons why this functionality is required. They could have simply had offline characters...
Do you work in the software or gaming industry? Because there are two key holes in your logic that I'm not sure you realize. And the core of both those flaws is your assumption that single-player/offline mode is a simple feature.

D3's designers set out to invent a game that they think is as awesome as they can make it. I'm sure they want to appeal to existing Diablo fans and do so as much as makes sense, but they also have to appeal to the current generation of gamers. Development costs millions of dollars so they have to make a profitable game or there won't be a D3 for anyone. And the expectations of modern gamers have shifted since D2. Focus on online multiplayer, online trade, cloud savegames, achievements, voip, friendlists, server-side/no-download patches, and other online-only features are all expectations, not nice-to-haves.

So the designers invest their time into that. At the end of the day, they don't have the resources to think about how X feature works in offline mode. Single player vs. multiplayer balance. Building LAN multiplayer. Building a disk save system. Etc. The designers don't want to release a half-baked and rushed offline mode either so they focus on what they consider the core, true game to be and try to get that right.

Why don't they implement their vision and then do the extra steps to create a good offline mode experience? Because all that work eats time and funds. The fact is that offline mode isn't a simple switch and voila your game has it. You have to pay for it. You can delay the game another few months to build offline mode for a niche audience, or you can spend those same few months polishing the core game even more. Or release the game sooner. Offline is just never a priority. That feature no longer makes the cut.
 
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128. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 14:59 RollinThundr
 
Krovven wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 14:09:
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 13:15:
Except in the case of Diablo 3 there is zero reason to force a player to be online, the first 2 didn't require it, why should the third?

Oh wait easy answer, to try to force people to use their real money transaction rape house.

Right, cus that's why...funny how I've probably put 20+ hours into the beta and have yet to even look at the Auction House. You don't have to use it buying or selling. Has fuck all to do with being a persistent online connection.

I get that people don't like forced online requirement even if playing solo. I even get why, primarily because many look at it as solely a form of DRM. With it being primarily a mutliplayer game, being able to take a solo toon into multiplayer and the fact that fixes and changes can be made on Battle.net end without a patch are two very good reasons why I'm ok with online play even if I play solo.


Oh yeah its wonderful to force people to sign into their bloatware battle.net just to play solo. That's so innovative. Please.
 
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127. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 14:54 Verno
 
SC2 singleplayer campaign stuffs

Regardless of what they finished or not the SC2 campaign is a fully fleshed out and featured campaign with solid value for the money.
 
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126. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 14:50 RollinThundr
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 14:29:
CythrawL wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 09:29:
jdreyer wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 01:48:
I bought SCII for $30 in November.

Lucky you... My point is/was that it is still $60.00 now there was a very small window to get it at $30.00. I mean its got all its inital sales now, so why the hell it isnt $30-$40 now (and not on sale) is beyond me. And it still doesn't cover the fact that's for a THIRD of a complete game.




Well, for high in demand games, the publisher's don't see the need to drop prices in order to spur sales. It's their game, they can do what they like. Modern Warfare has been following this trend for years. Notice I waited an entire year and a half to pick up SCII for this very reason. Had they dropped the price a year earlier, they'd have had an extra year to invest or make interest on my $30. Their choice.

As for SCII being a "third" of a game, bullshit. There's more single player content in SCII than in the original SC. In multiplayer, each side has more units than in the original game. By any measure, Wings of Liberty is a full game. Imagine if after writing the Hobbit, Tolkien announced his next story would be split into three volumes. Would you complain that The Fellowship of the Ring was only a third of a book? Would you complain about having to pay full book price for The Two Towers? Of course not, and that is not the case with StarCraft II either.

You mean to tell me after a decade, they only managed to finish one race's campaign? Really? C'mon it's a cash grab, you know it, I know it, Blizzard knows it. Let's be realistic here.

I'd love for Activision to give Blizzard a standard 18-24 month dev cycle that the rest of the industy uses rather than 5-10 years they take each title just to laugh at the results.

Blizzard in my eyes is the most overrated developer in the entire industry, Any other team does not need a decade to put out a standard action rpg click fest, or a standard RTS based on genre tropes.

It's astounding to me that people still defend them for being inept.
 
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125. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 14:39 GMann69
 
Prez wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 11:57:
I'm still waiting for someone to give me a reasonable design explanation that the campaign requires a persistent internet connection. That's really the basis for peoples frustrating here, most people reasonably expect internet checks these days but it's the persistent aspect that is bothering people.

I suspect no one can give one because there is no valid reasoning behind the move...

Of course there is no valid reasoning behind the move, your suspicions are correct. The Guild Wars analogy is dead out of the gate but inexplicably people still use it to attempt to invalidate reasonable frustrations at a disastrously stupid move by an otherwise fantastic development studio.

Such a troll response...oh wait!!!
 
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124. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 14:29 jdreyer
 
CythrawL wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 09:29:
jdreyer wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 01:48:
I bought SCII for $30 in November.

Lucky you... My point is/was that it is still $60.00 now there was a very small window to get it at $30.00. I mean its got all its inital sales now, so why the hell it isnt $30-$40 now (and not on sale) is beyond me. And it still doesn't cover the fact that's for a THIRD of a complete game.


Well, for high in demand games, the publisher's don't see the need to drop prices in order to spur sales. It's their game, they can do what they like. Modern Warfare has been following this trend for years. Notice I waited an entire year and a half to pick up SCII for this very reason. Had they dropped the price a year earlier, they'd have had an extra year to invest or make interest on my $30. Their choice.

As for SCII being a "third" of a game, bullshit. There's more single player content in SCII than in the original SC. In multiplayer, each side has more units than in the original game. By any measure, Wings of Liberty is a full game. Imagine if after writing the Hobbit, Tolkien announced his next story would be split into three volumes. Would you complain that The Fellowship of the Ring was only a third of a book? Would you complain about having to pay full book price for The Two Towers? Of course not, and that is not the case with StarCraft II either.
 
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123. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 14:24 Verno
 
Krovven wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 14:15:
Why is it invalid Prez? Because you say so?

Guild Wars and Diablo are both games you can play solo, both games you can play online with friends or random people. Only argument you've given is that Diablo 1 and 2 had offline single player options, so that means Diablo 3 should too. It's been 12 years since Diablo 2 was released, things have changed. Just because it's predecessor did something doesnt automatically mean the sequel should too.

Sure things change but people aren't really asking for much here. Some form of activation hash or method of preserving state in case of disconnection isn't exactly being an entitled gamer or something.

People keep presenting this as if there is this angry crowd of gamers who are threatening to boycott Blizzard products forever and blah blah blah. The reality is that most people are being reasonable and asking for small accommodations to account for the unforeseen problems that still crop up. It's not much to ask, they are getting a lot of benefit out of this and people who buy the game don't get much beyond potential frustration.
 
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122. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 14:15 Verno
 
Particularly when the reality is that Diablo 3 is primarily a multiplayer/coop game.

That's what people are talking about though, to some people Diablo is not played primarily as a multiplayer or co-op game. Just because you experience things one way doesn't mean everyone else shares that. Regardless of expectations (most of which are valid) there have been zero arguments about valid design reasons why this functionality is required. They could have simply had offline characters and online characters like previous iterations which would sidestep most problems while still retaining a walled multiplayer side. Change for changes sake isn't necessarily a good thing, people have listed the many downsides to this approach while there are few (if any) positive ones.

People don't like things that inconvenience them or interrupt a good game session, particularly when it has little to no benefit on their end. The same can be said for bugs and crashes, they might only occur 5% of the time or less but when they happen it's a memorable and frustrating thing for the customer.
 
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121. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 14:15 Krovven
 
Prez wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 11:57:
Of course there is no valid reasoning behind the move, your suspicions are correct. The Guild Wars analogy is dead out of the gate but inexplicably people still use it to attempt to invalidate reasonable frustrations at a disastrously stupid move by an otherwise fantastic development studio.

Why is it invalid Prez? Because you say so?

Guild Wars and Diablo are both games you can play solo, both games you can play online with friends or random people. Only argument you've given is that Diablo 1 and 2 had offline single player options, so that means Diablo 3 should too. It's been 12 years since Diablo 2 was released, things have changed. Just because it's predecessor did something doesnt automatically mean the sequel should too.

 
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