Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Diablo is in the Details

New column at Maximum PC. Excerpt:
Online communities need an outrageous outrage every once in a while to give the forum jockeys some opportunity to vent. The latest tempest in an A-cup is Blizzard's decision to give Diablo III an "always online" DRM system, meaning you need a live Internet connection to play the game. People were reacting to this with the kind of disbelief, betrayal, and fury usually reserved for something like Neville Chamberlain signing away Czechoslovakia.
You cannot fathom my indifference to this issue. I play everything on Steam, and my connection is always on. Yes, I know I am fortunate and that some people have bad (or no) internet connections. They're already missing out on all kinds of great things like cute puppy videos and an uninterrupted Twitter streams, so they must be used to the poignant sting of disappointment by now. I don't know why "always on" DRM for Diablo III should really wreck their day. It's not like there's really a shortage of ways to waste your time in the modern world.

Complaints against the column seem to come down to 1) the industry totally exaggerates piracy losses, and it's really no big deal (which explains why they spend millions on loss prevention), or 2) I totally don't mention mods (which I totally don't mention not because I forgot or was covering up for Blizzard, but because I really, truly don't care), or 3) I've been bought off by Blizzard (in which case my check is way overdue).

I've got the Diablo III beta all loaded up and ready go, but I haven't been able to spend any time on it thanks to a) the flu (in case I haven't told you, immunosuppressants really suck), and b) Space Marine, which I need to write up this week. (Advance tip: DO NOT play Space Marine on PC. It's a mess.)

So, if you want kvetch, go on over to the Max PC forums. They love that stuff.


Anonymous said...

My problem with DRM was never about piracy. It was about user experience, support, and longevity of the game.

I don't want to come back a year or two from now, and find out that the game is no longer supported because they want to use resources on the next sequel in the series. What about specific features?

I have all but stopped buying EA products because I know in a year, I lose quite a bit of features so EA can push me to buy the next years version. I don't want to see that happen to Diablo.

pantheistic said...

In this age of ISP caps, some of us just want to play games offline. I'd rather save my dollars for the important stuff, not have it being used for applications wanting to 'call home' all the time. Between me and you, it's just a matter of time before the general public rebels. As data prices go up, you'll see less and less of this type of behavior.

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