The Diablo III auction house has been condemned to death. Suddenly, everything’s changed. Oh no, hang on - it’s still always-online. Nothing’s changed. Or perhaps the world isn’t made up of dramatic binaries after all, but rather lots and lots of little points on a scale, all rubbing up against each other and getting friction burns? Gosh. Doesn’t bear thinking about.
So: still online, still always. Reason being, say Blizzard, it was never all about the auction house.
“We do not have plans to implement an offline mode,” the developers told RPS. “While the always-online requirement made the auction house possible, the auction house was never the driving factor in our decision to make the PC version of Diablo III require an Internet connection.
“The game was built from the ground up to take full advantage of Battle.net, which provides a number of important benefits, including persistent server-side character saves, a seamless PC multiplayer experience, cheat prevention, and Real ID and BattleTag social features.”
“Like it or not our players, or some of our players, attribute real world value to the items,” said new game director Josh Mosqueira at the time. “So [if you don’t have an] item auction house, you’re going to see a lot of account compromises.
“In fact in the territories where we do not have an auction house, the ratio of account compromises is [higher] than the rest of the world. So the primary [idea] of the auction house is definitely making sure that players can trade without worrying that [their accounts] will get compromised.”
That’s a bit alarming, then. Back to the marginally less perturbing matter at hand: how important is an offline mode to you? In what creative, wi-fi unfriendly locations would you play Diablo if you could?