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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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280 Replies. 14 pages. Viewing page 5.
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200. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 11:50 Undocumented Alien
 
It's not unreasonable to envision people wanting a lot of things.

Yes, it's mind-boggling that loyal fans of the Diablo franchise would expect a feature such as SP offline mode when it was included in both Diablo and Diablo 2. Oh, the humanity!

For every person you make happy, you'll make another miserable because they chose the wrong option on creation and find they can't drop their established character into a friend's game, or sell that fantastic Barbarian loot their Monk picked up on the AH.

Right, because this was a huge issue with Diablo and Diablo 2?

Sorry "Peeling", still waiting for a legit reason for this legacy feature to be dropped.

All I see is Bill Roper like answers here.
 
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199. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 11:33  Peeling 
 
Verno wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 10:23:
Peeling wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 10:13:
But it's not single player, any more than wandering off into a deserted part of WoW makes it 'single player'.

I'd call that a bit disingenuous. Most people think of story advancement as single player content and historically the series has offered that functionality. The expectation isn't without reasonable foundation.

Oh, I understand the expectation - but the foundation is IMO an outdated mental model of black-and-white 'single' and 'multi' player.

Ok, let's add such a token. Now all your progress while that token is set has to be lost when you go back online, because Blizzard can't possibly trust it. You end up with some ugly online/offline separation where you end up having to play the game twice if you make the wrong choice to begin with.

I think there's a reasonable solution in the middle other than dropping you to the lobby and losing progress.

Like what? How is Blizzard supposed to know whether what happened offline is legitimate or not?

If I'm going to have all of the potential pitfalls of an MMO title then I'd expect a more advanced feature set. To use your example, I don't lose progress in most MMOs when the connection is dropped. It might interrupt my gameplay but at least I can pick up where I left off.

With a corpse to recover

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for such things, this take it or leave it approach isn't really conducive to discussion.

The reality is take it or leave it. What we're discussing are the justifications given for 'leaving it' and whether they hold water.

Laptops now outnumber desktops and mobile computer usage is on a vast upswing. I don't think it's totally unreasonable to envision someone wanting to play Diablo 3 without an internet connection.

No, nor do I. It's not unreasonable to envision people wanting a lot of things. But we need to be absolutely precise about what it is they want, whether that is something they can actually have, and whether what they're getting is a good approximation.

We can take our unknown but presumably large number of people who would like to be able to play the game offline and subdivide them. Most of them will be people who also want to enjoy the connected aspects of the game with the same character they play offline. They cannot have what they want, thanks to the efforts of another subset who want to hack the game and sell fraudulent items. The remainder are people who only want the single-player aspect of the game, don't want to use the AH, don't want to play with friends. They can in principle have what they want without spoiling anyone else's fun. So the question is whether Blizzard should expend effort supporting them, not the much larger superset.

Personally, I don't think it makes sense for them to do so. For every person you make happy, you'll make another miserable because they chose the wrong option on creation and find they can't drop their established character into a friend's game, or sell that fantastic Barbarian loot their Monk picked up on the AH.

No, I think that under the circumstances Blizzard are giving people the best available approximation of what they want: the ability to play the game solo (no explicitly multiplayer story content) but in such a way as to preserve the integrity of the connected experience.
 
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198. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 11:30 Undocumented Alien
 
This is not a new phenomenon. If I want to play a game on the XBox, I have to use a controller, even though playing a FPS with one feels like driving a forklift after a bottle of tequila. I'm not allowed to use a mouse and keyboard.

Thanks for this, it actually proves our point. Consoles have ALWAYS used a controller regardless of the type of game being played on that console. They haven't made console folks move to the keyboard and mouse layout because controllers are an INHERENT part of consoles. LIKEWISE, the Diablo franchise has always provided a true offline SP mode.

Because people have been playing SP mode games now for decades they generally understand that the character can't be transferred to the online experience. You know what, THEY DON'T CARE, that's WHY they went the SP route to begin with! For some reason D2 thrived with this idealogy, amazing.

Neither is requiring a connection

Still waiting for a VALID reason for requiring this connection for a game that has always provided a pure offline SP mode.
 
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197. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 10:23 Verno
 
Peeling wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 10:13:
But it's not single player, any more than wandering off into a deserted part of WoW makes it 'single player'.

I'd call that a bit disingenuous. Most people think of story advancement as single player content and historically the series has offered that functionality. The expectation isn't without reasonable foundation.

Ok, let's add such a token. Now all your progress while that token is set has to be lost when you go back online, because Blizzard can't possibly trust it. You end up with some ugly online/offline separation where you end up having to play the game twice if you make the wrong choice to begin with.

I think there's a reasonable solution in the middle other than dropping you to the lobby and losing progress. If I'm going to have all of the potential pitfalls of an MMO title then I'd expect a more advanced feature set. To use your example, I don't lose progress in most MMOs when the connection is dropped. It might interrupt my gameplay but at least I can pick up where I left off.

Laptops now outnumber desktops and mobile computer usage is on a vast upswing. I don't think it's totally unreasonable to envision someone wanting to play Diablo 3 without an internet connection. Making even minor considerations for legitimate customers goes a long way in my opinion, I'm not saying they have to necessarily restructure the game around it (though they did that already).

It will be interesting to see where the connectivity requirement lands for the now confirmed console version of Diablo 3. I believe it was something like 40% of the Xbox 360's and 30% of PS3s never go online at all.

This comment was edited on Jan 10, 2012, 10:34.
 
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196. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 10:21 nin
 
You end up with some ugly online/offline separation where you end up having to play the game twice if you make the wrong choice to begin with.

Yeah, and no one played Diablo 2!!!!!

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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195. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 10:13  Peeling 
 
Verno wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 09:58:
I think some people are getting hung up on the generic 'single player therefore should be offline' angle. Diablo 3 isn't a 'single player game'. It's a game you can play single player, AND take the character you build and jump into games with your friends AND trade the items you find, and to have THAT kind of game you need to be continuously connected.

I don't understand how your example applies, the mouse and keyboard are not standard input peripherals for that platform. That's also hardware functionality and a whole different ballgame IMO. The consumer does have an expectation of separated functionality based on both history of this series and others. You present bringing a character online as some sort of new feature but that sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

As for "single player should be offline", I don't think most people are necessarily hung up on that as they are that going offline should not harm the singleplayer experience. Even if they are, maybe they're hung up on "single player should have the option of going offline" which isn't exactly an unreasonable expectation.

But it's not single player, any more than wandering off into a deserted part of WoW makes it 'single player'.

Why not offer functionality that would let people set an offline token in case they need to travel or get temporarily disconnected? That's certainly more helpful than "you can bring your toon online and talk to friends". There are other considerations like security but again these are issues Blizzard has previously dealt with already. I see what they're getting from a design perspective but it seems to me that consumers potentially eat a lot of crap with this and don't get much in return.

Ok, let's add such a token. Now all your progress while that token is set has to be lost when you go back online, because Blizzard can't possibly trust it. You end up with some ugly online/offline separation where you end up having to play the game twice if you make the wrong choice to begin with.

Of course, you'll still be able to make that wrong choice. There'll be an offline hack for it sooner or later, so you'll get to juggle online and offline characters. But why on earth should Blizzard sanction that choice and spend time developing in that direction?
 
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194. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 10:13 Verno
 
Those are certainly your opinions anyway, I agree with only a few of those conclusions (It is not solely a multiplayer game) and as mentioned several times by others I have yet to hear compelling reasons for requiring a continuous connection that doesn't even provide basic state preservation or offline token functionality. I think it's asking some of their customers to swallow a lot without meeting them in the middle and I don't think it's unreasonable for people to note that.  
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193. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 10:06  Peeling 
 
nin wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 09:45:
I think some people are getting hung up on the generic 'single player therefore should be offline' angle.

Wow, imagine that.


^ case in point.

Taken as a whole, Diablo 3 is not a single player game. You can if you wish play it on your own, never visit the AH, never group with friends. You can do the same in WoW if you like.

Is D3 the same as WoW? No. Is it as inherently multiplayer? No. But it is, as a whole, a connected experience. There is no dedicated single-player content. Most players will play with friends at least some of the time. Most players will use the auction houses. And for that to work, everyone needs to have continuous connection.
 
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192. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 09:58 Verno
 
I think some people are getting hung up on the generic 'single player therefore should be offline' angle. Diablo 3 isn't a 'single player game'. It's a game you can play single player, AND take the character you build and jump into games with your friends AND trade the items you find, and to have THAT kind of game you need to be continuously connected.

I don't understand how your example applies, the mouse and keyboard are not standard input peripherals for that platform. That's also hardware functionality and a whole different ballgame IMO. The consumer does have an expectation of separated functionality based on both history of this series and others. You present bringing a character online as some sort of new feature but that sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

As for "single player should be offline", I don't think most people are necessarily hung up on that as they are that going offline should not harm the singleplayer experience. Even if they are, maybe they're hung up on "single player should have the option of going offline" which isn't exactly an unreasonable expectation.

Why not offer functionality that would let people set an offline token in case they need to travel or get temporarily disconnected? That's certainly more helpful than "you can bring your toon online and talk to friends". There are other considerations like security but again these are issues Blizzard has previously dealt with already. I see what they're getting from a design perspective but it seems to me that consumers potentially eat a lot of crap with this and don't get much in return.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: South Park, Dark Souls 2
Watching: Enemy, Network, Wer
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191. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 09:45 nin
 
I think some people are getting hung up on the generic 'single player therefore should be offline' angle.

Wow, imagine that.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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190. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 09:43  Peeling 
 
Verno wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 09:22:
Peeling wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 09:10:
Undocumented Alien wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 22:01:
It is a pretty sad day in PC gaming when people need to defend their right to play a singleplayer game offline.

This.

No, this.

Yeah no, snobbyinsidejoke.jpg, sorry.

Every industry member thinks of the consumer as PA sees them and every consumer thinks of the industry as Yahtzee sees them. Neither is right. Starcraft 2 sold well but it wasn't exactly a Call of Duty success story. It's an industry filled to the brim with other games to purchase, no one is special anymore.

Neither is requiring a connection.

This is not a new phenomenon. If I want to play a game on the XBox, I have to use a controller, even though playing a FPS with one feels like driving a forklift after a bottle of tequila. I'm not allowed to use a mouse and keyboard. The only reason is so that I won't have an 'unfair' advantage when playing online - even if I never plan to.

I think some people are getting hung up on the generic 'single player therefore should be offline' angle. Diablo 3 isn't a 'single player game'. It's a game you can play single player, AND take the character you build and jump into games with your friends AND trade the items you find, and to have THAT kind of game you need to be continuously connected.
 
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189. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 09:37 Prez
 
Yay, another developer who scorns his potential customers. Yep, you'll go far in the industry. That obnoxious little comic wasn't funny or clever the first time I saw it months ago.  
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188. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 09:22 Verno
 
Peeling wrote on Jan 10, 2012, 09:10:
Undocumented Alien wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 22:01:
It is a pretty sad day in PC gaming when people need to defend their right to play a singleplayer game offline.

This.

No, this.

Yeah no, snobbyinsidejoke.jpg, sorry.

Every industry member thinks of the consumer as PA sees them and every consumer thinks of the industry as Yahtzee sees them. Neither is right. Starcraft 2 sold well but it wasn't exactly a Call of Duty success story. It's an industry filled to the brim with other games to purchase, no one is special anymore.
 
Avatar 51617
 
Playing: South Park, Dark Souls 2
Watching: Enemy, Network, Wer
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187. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 09:10  Peeling 
 
Undocumented Alien wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 22:01:
It is a pretty sad day in PC gaming when people need to defend their right to play a singleplayer game offline.

This.

No, this.
 
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186. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 08:35 Undocumented Alien
 
Could it have been that I wanted to discuss something on this discussion forum? I can't remember...

It's hard to have a good debate when the two of the main protagonists against a pure offline SP mode think that A) Diablo is a MP game similar to GW, and B) Diablo is a 3rd Person Perspective game.

Obviously not subject matter experts. Maybe they mistook this discussion for another game?

 
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185. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 07:15 Dades
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 22:23:
....wow, this got out of hand quickly....

One corporate stooge defending Blizzard posted 20 times by himself, I think we all know who that is.
 
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184. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 10, 2012, 06:24 Ventura
 
There have been people openly admitting they will pirate the game over this.

Rather amusingly, if pirates are able to negate the need to have that online connection, then I may actually buy it and use their crack. I couldn't care if my characters are stored on Blizzard's online server, nor do I care for using their auction house, but if my rather unreliable ISP cuts out right in the middle of the evening during a session and the game won't let me play any more, then that's something you better believe I'm going to give a damn about.

Just out of curiosity, is it setup where they're going to have server maintenance (like Wow), during which time everyone's going to be unable to play? For your average Yank, that's never been a problem, but out here in Australia that maintenance drops right in the middle of the evening.

Do your shit, pirates, some of us are counting on yas with this one.
 
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183. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 23:21 Prez
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 9, 2012, 22:23:
....wow, this got out of hand quickly....

You think this is out of hand? I dunno... I was kind of thinking that, all things considered, things have been reasonably tame. Anyway, I'm done allowing myself to be forced into defending my own personal values. Like 'em, don't like 'em, whatever. They're mine. I'm pretty sure my not buying Diablo3 isn't going to cause Blizzard to go under (nor would I wish them to - one stupid decision won't cause me to hate them), so I am at a loss as to why anyone would give a shit what I do.

Of course, with that line of thinking, I am equally at a loss for why I chimed in at all. Could it have been that I wanted to discuss something on this discussion forum? I can't remember...
 
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182. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 22:38 Mr. Tact
 
No problem, Bats. We have it under control!  
Truth is brutal. Prepare for pain.
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181. Re: Diablo III in February? Jan 9, 2012, 22:23 xXBatmanXx
 
....wow, this got out of hand quickly....  
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