I want Diablo III, but I don’t want Diablo III

The first videos of Diablo III are now pouring through YouTube and now we can have a somewhat better idea of how the game is going to work:

Now, from someone that played Diablo I and II, Torchlight, is curious about that huge Skill tree on Path of the Exile and checked most of every other ARPG around, Diablo III looks pretty boring. Just looking at the video, it seems like a larger, darker version of Torchlight — but, then again, the ARPG format was explored a lot already, so there isn’t much difference between ARPGs these days.

And then you have the very simplified skill system. Good, bad? Don’t know, but seems… meh. Character personalization seems to fall all around runes, and there are only 4 options to each of those. Poisonmancer, Golemancer, Minion master, Bonemancer… All those are “builds” of Diablo II Necromancer class; all other classes had a lot more builds. So even with 7 classes, the number of builds made it possible to expand your gameplay a lot more. Now… not so much.

So skill system doesn’t provide enough uniqueness, visual is not impressive, gameplay is almost the same… what is left? Story. That’s the only thing that could drive me to Diablo III now: A meteor? What was that? Is there any references to the Wanderer? Is Tyrael doing something after he destroyed the World Stone? Yes, I’m curious about it. On the other hand, that’s the only thing I’m interested right now.

But then we fall back to everybody (and they mums) complain about the game: Always online requirement. Sure, sure, Blizzard can say whatever they want about the “proper experience” and “secure place for the Real Money Auction House” (as if World of Warcraft are hacked by the thousands every day and those are Battle.Net accounts now, so you can imagine the problem when you go in vacation and half way through it you can’t use your credit card anymore ’cause your limit was maxed when someone got your Battle.net account and bought half of the auction house with your credit card attached) but there are lots of problems with it already. Rock Paper Shotgun had a experience with the servers and, although they are still in beta, they shown a small experience what happens when your connection, your router, your modem, your ISP, Blizzard’s connect or their servers go haywire.

Also, by the report above, it seems a hacked version of Diablo III is very very unlikely to happen: They adopted a Guild Wars mode where the server comes with everything and you play in instantiated zones and you can bring your friends with you, sharing the instance. The only way a hacked version would work would be implementing the whole map generation, item generation and AI mobs in a server, so you can scratch any possibility of getting a version that doesn’t require to be online.

I mentioned before my problem with Always Online requirement (the number of things you need to check to be sure you can play is too much and Blizzard gave me a bad taste of their “maintenance time” while living in Australia) and now it seems Diablo is region locked — which probably means I can now only play with other Brazilians and their continuous trolling in online games — makes a complete turn off about the game.

Boring + Stupid Requirements > Good Story. Good thinking Blizzard, you basically killed your game.

This is Why Diablo 3 Must Flunk

This is Why Diablo 3 Must Flunk

Tim Willits, from id, have high hopes that Diablo 3 proves successful with its “always online” DRM. And, as much as Blizzard, he doesn’t address the point directly, citing “always updated” games as a nice thing.

Obviously, he ignores that Steam provides nice updates and doesn’t require the user to be always online.

It’s obvious that what Tim expects is that Diablo 3 proves to be a huge success, so other companies can use the “always online” excuse over and over again to put more and more DRM around. And we, customers, will be locked in this, under the hopes that our free time will never coincide with the company maintenance time or our ISP maintenance time or that, someday long in the future, when we decide to play that old game again and find that the company decided it wasn’t profitable to keep servers running with a low population and, thus, we can’t play anymore ‘cause the game can’t connect in the server anymore, or suddenly Anonymous/LulzSec decide to attack the server, leaving us with no option to play the game (Anonymous did attack World of Warcraft login servers with a small part of its force and brought the service down for a couple of hours).

And the sad fact is that, in the end, for more that some people understand that there are too many variables to make this a long time, fool proof system, a lot of people will buy the game and give people like Tim Willits the perfect excuse to add more and more lockdowns.

I just wish, deep down, that Anonymous and/or LulzSec go full force into Battle.net servers once this game is launched. But I pretty much doubt anything like that would happen.

PS: I know how much I sound like I sound a lot like “DOWN WITH DRM! THEY MAKE MY GAMES HARDER TO PIRATE!”, I’m actually not against DRM. I understand that they exist for a reason and it’s valid: companies spend piles of money to bring games to life and they deserve to get their rewards in the end. What I am against is this kind of DRM, which prevents customers enjoying the game ‘cause it requires something completely alien to the experience (in this case, the single player game which requires an online connection when you don’t use anything that really requires online play). Besides, as I pointed over and over again, “always online” DRM have too many variables and its prone to several failure points.