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Diablo III and the Future of Single Player Games

One of the most anticipated games of the decade Diablo III is released, almost 10 years after its predecessor but it carried a sort of a restriction, one that requires users to be perpetually connected to the internet if they wanted to explore the hellish dungeons or slay the demon overlords in Diablo III. Many a user has complained about DRM that has been implemented in several PC games. Assassins Creed II had DRM but the hackers got around that with little difficulty. That means that the hackers can get a crack for Diablo III too right? Wrong. Wait maybe Blizzard will patch the game for offline play? Nope, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s not about changing a bit from 0 to 1 so people can play without the internet, it’s much more complicated than that.

Diablo III just doesn’t have DRM that requires you to register their game on their servers by entering the CD-Key. It requires you to play the entire game from their servers. The placing of NPC’s or monsters to the amount of loot you find is all obtained from Blizzard’s servers, so hacking the game is not as easy as you think. Blizzard implemented the DRM primarily because of the auction house but also to stop piracy.

One month after the release of Diablo III and there was still no way for people to play the game without buying it(a.k.a. pirating it). One of the well known pirates, going by the name of Skidrow, had promised people that they would find a work-around to the Blizzards DRM. They posted the collector’s edition of the game for people to download and wait “till the crack was ready”. Finally Skidrow announced, more than a month later, that they had made an emulator for the game and it was still in alpha. Users rejoiced as it meant they could now play Diablo III for free(and offline) but there was a hitch.

As I explained earlier, all of the loot drops were calculated and delivered by Blizzard’s servers and not the game itself that is residing on your hard-drive, which means that the emulator that was released by Skidrow was not a true representation of the game but a mere attempt to stay true to the original game. This means that the location of NPC’s, the amount of loot that you get won’t represent the true game.

What Blizzard has done with Diablo III has almost effectively killed piracy for the game. Yes there are people who will still play the glitchy pirated version rather than spending $60 for the game, but these are probably the kind of people who would never play games if piracy did not exist.

And this brings us to the future of single player games. Will Ubisoft, EA, and other publishers follow the steps of Diablo III? Will offline single player gaming be dead? This would require developers to drastically alter the code of their game to ensure that players can play their games smoothly. This will also increase the costs of maintaining games with regular upkeep of servers for several years. Do you like opening up some of your older consoles like the SNES and playing 8-bit Mario? Maybe 20 years down the line you would like to open up your Xbox 720 to play the single player campaign of Halo 5 but guess what Microsoft pulled down the servers15 years ago.

I don’t see this taking place this gen but come next gen, offline gaming could be dead as we know it.

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INehalemEXI2092d ago (Edited 2092d ago )

Nice blog Dare :D

INehalemEXI2092d ago

They need to stop them gold farmers and bots !

StayStatic2092d ago (Edited 2092d ago )

The DRM doesn't bother me too much as it offers some good advantages, but not to offer a LAN mode aswell seems a little harsh.

My main issue with the game is that certain areas lack polish & there are missing features at launch , such as:

- No PvP at Launch

- Nothing to do but gear grind at a certain point in the game in order to progress placing faith in an unreliable AH , which robbed me of gold for sold items earlier.

- ACT III & IV shorter and feel a little rushed , maybe these can be fleshed out in the future

etc etc

At the moment it feels like Activsion has had a part in pushing the product out the door by putting pressure on Blizzard to please the Stakeholders that have a 52% share, while Blizzard maintain a 48% share and maintain independent development (correct me if I'm wrong) , but it doesn't help the quality Blizzard is known to be poisoned by Bobby Kotick and his business strategies. I have no problems with name changes and stuff like that to make extra money because it's optional , but to sabotage the product is not on.

On the positive side of things , I'm really enjoying the game shortcomings aside and looking forward to the new content that will be coming out in the future , also there has been an official response from Mike Morhaime( , detailing future improvements & acknowledgement of feedback , so Diablo 3 is far from a bad game, just a little rough around the edges due to said issues.

StayStatic2092d ago

I seem to have put a ")" at the end of the url , just remove it or click here: :)

adorie2092d ago

It's not just people on the D3 forums, I have been spending a good deal of the day really exploring the internet and reading what people are saying on pretty much every major gaming site... it's unanimous. The game sucks. It's a cash-grab. They disrespected the fanbase and deleted posts from legitimate complaints and the list goes on...

Also, if you were lucky enough to get drop after drop and didn't have to use GAH or RMAH, then I salute you, you have been carried by the mystic forces that oversee good times and jolly adventures, while the rest of us farmed for hundreds of hours... only to be rewarded with a freakin bow... it's a good bow.. but I have had this bow for over a month now and every other bow I find I can't even sell because the prices on things are all screwed up.

Diablo 2 is a game which has on peak about 23- to 30k users on. I have seen it recently.. thankfully when you buy the collector's edition you get a free copy of D2 and D2:LoD... so I got back into that and it's like night and day, the graphics are set to 1080p after some work arounds and while it's not as good to look at in terms of fidelity of the pixels on the screen as D3, the variation in scenery, the excellently simple and intriguing writing, the atmospheric music, the true customization of characters, runes/runwords, item switching, level cap @99, named games, player run channels, Uniques that are exciting to find, MF working as it always had, nothing complicated no averaging like in D3 which punishes you for playing with other people forcing you all to have the same MF or get kicked,which I have been. I have 230MF and was in a room full of people with top end gear all had an average of 300+ mf,so I was the odd one out... 600 hours or so and I fell for the biggest bullshit in the gaming industry.

Diablo 3, from a fans perspective, from someone who did most of what the game had to offer, who has 2800 achievement points; Diablo 3 is a let down and they will need to invest in a lot of money to fix it.. so I think they will do the next best thing and "Salvage" it. No pun intended. GLORIOUS!

P.S: for the people who enjoy a zombie-grind experience less rewarding that most grinds out there: Here:5$

adorie2090d ago

I applaud your response. It is actually one of the better responses on this site. If you want someone to play with on D3, give me a PM and I will give you my Btag.
I like playing the game, but only to a certain extent...

Working on a monk right now and would be willing to help you if you need it.
I don't play as much as I used to but I do log on every day, it just depends if anyone I know is actually on and if pubs aren't full of scrubs who can't tank or if I end up carrying the entire group DPS wise.

adorie2092d ago

far from a bad game? I am sorry but I cannot respect your opinion, after beating most of the Inferno difficulty before any significant nerfs,(sat at Rakkanoth till after patch) I beat Diablo after they did the changes to monster health and damage, put 500+ hours on my DH and another 30+ hours on amonk that's sitting at level 53.

This game is riddled with exploits, bugs and the AH has already robbed people of their time, a.k.a real money not changing hands, but disappearing into the abyss known as the Blizzard money well of bottomless-ness due to A Real Money Auction House that does not function properly. TOS, EULA or not, people are losing time to this game and I mean that in a non-fun way.

Nerfing drops into the ground, nerfing IAS is what put the first nail in the coffin of this game.
After they nerfed IAS, a bunch of my friends refused to relearn their characters after dying so many times and just quit.

They quit because of the IAS nerf which was more like throwing them a bone, since IAS helped their survivability, dps and such.
The 2nd nail was the repair bills, some of my most grind0faithful friends threw in the towel after that one because dying was part of how they progressed and to a certain extent, it was how I learned how to deal with stupid affixes like Fast, Molten, Teleport, Shielding, etc...

The 3rd nail was the drops... drops are some what better... you can now find ilvl60-63 in a1 through a4, I applauded that, until I found out the items themselves were nerfed into the ground and required the luck of the Irish, the stars and planets to align, Mike Morhaime and Bobby Kotick to do Fu-Si-On-Ha! and fuse into one super greedy bastard so full of money and loot that one piece of godly loots falls from his gut.

The RNG regarding loot stats, the shit stats like frogs or spiders on a damned cross bow or 2h bow, when there could have been LoH or Leech or even chance to freeze for goodness sake... wtf do I want int on my bow? I'd rather vit or dex, something useful for my class.

StayStatic2091d ago (Edited 2091d ago )

Thanks for the input adorie has some meat , unlike most of the posts I have seen around the internet which are whines that carry little weight, I couldn't be bothered to sieve through them all to get to the constructive ones lol, especially when I am currently the game enjoying but then again I have not played as much as you and nice to be made aware of issues further along.

I was just worried some players were the beating the same dead horse of "omg I have have played the game for 3000 hours and now I'm bored" never understood that logic , are they surprised lol ?, I often feel like saying go play another game or leave your room hehe :D

2092d ago
HonestDragon2092d ago

*sigh* I have StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty and I was excited to get to play it. Went to Best Buy, bought it, and installed it on my computer. Shock and surprise follow as I learn that StarCraft II now requires you to have to be online to play the single player campaign (which is amazing by the way). This was a drastic turn from the original StarCraft and it's expansion Brood War, where you got to play the single player campaigns without having to log on.

I know Blizzard is going on this anti-piracy tirade, but it can really bug us legitimate customers. So many times have I wanted to play through the StarCraft II single player campaign only to receive a notification at the log in screen that it was going through maintenance...which would take two to four days to finish. It's a good thing I have a lot of games offline in this instance.

DRM has its strengths and weaknesses. Yes, it is a good tool to use against pirates and hackers. Pirates cannot get what they need to do whatever coding they need to lift the game and copy it. Hackers get in trouble and the activation code they used to install SC2 gets banned so the only way for them to play the game is to buy a new one. In other words, Blizzard's message to pirates and hackers is this, "Suck on that!".

The bad things about it include if my internet modum isn't working, then I have to fix it (thus I can't play the game by itself offline) and if I only want to play the single player portion but maintenance is going on then I can't. So although those are minor gripes, they are still very annoying. And who knows what DRM could lead to ultimately?

Bob Dole2092d ago

SC2 has an offline mode after your initial login onto Dunno if the single player campaign is available as Bob Dole has not played it but the Single player vs. AI is available for play without an internet connection.

adorie2092d ago

How about Lan play? :x

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