17 May, 2012


This isn't a gaming blog, so I won't get too deep into this, but: Diablo III came out, and I am playing it. It's fun... when I can actually play it.

And I totally understand all the reasons Blizzard gives for making it a client-server game that requires an always-on Internet connection. The reasons make sense.

The only problem is that those reasons are all predicated on the client-server model working properly. If players can't log in to the servers, if the servers get overloaded beyond capacity, if the servers randomly disconnect you every few minutes (this has been happening to me for the entire last day), then all the reasons they gave for making it online-only (reduces piracy, centralizes community, enables real-money auctions) are utterly irrelevant, because you can't play the game.

"But Blizzard are experts! They'll be able to handle it!" Yeah, turns out, it hasn't been so great so far. I realize it's only the first couple of days, but should we really give game companies a pass on that? Do we really want them to take to the bank the idea that they can give players a crappy release day experience, and patch it up later? I guess we already have, to a degree.

What I've learned from this experience is that even a game like Diablo III, which I have been looking forward to for years, turns out not to really have been worth the aggravation. Which means that future Blizzard games that are ostensibly single-player, but require a constant net connection to play single player? I won't be buying or playing them. At all. I do love the properties, but I can do without. There's plenty of other, less aggravating ways to entertain myself.

I'm just one guy; I'm not going to affect Blizzard's bottom line with this. But this kind of choice is the only one that a customer can really make.

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