Blizzard think that Diablo 2 should have been online-only | PCGamesN

Blizzard think that Diablo 2 should have been online-only

Diablo 2

Diablo 3 launched to an absolute storm of outcry over plenty of issues, but the one persistent problem is always-online. Some feel it is enforced DRM punishing the lawful, whilst others point out a less-than-steady broadband infrastructure in their area makes keeping connected all the time an impossibility. 

Imagine this happening circa-2000, when Diablo 2 descended on the world. Discussing that past classic, Blizzard’s lead designer Kevin Martens has claimed that it "was the wrong choice to allow people to play offline [in Diablo II]."

Talking to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Martens said: "I don’t think people necessarily remember how mad they themselves were that they had an offline mode and online mode in Diablo II. This will probably be controversial for me to say. People will be like, 'I wasn’t mad!' But I was there at the time, and then I studied this for a living. It sucks when your friend or brother is online and he wants to join this game, but you realize you’re an offline character and he’s an online character, and there’s no way to transfer over because offline characters can be hacked and hex-edited to hell and back, right?"

There may be an argument somewhere that always-online is a fair demand in the connected world of 2013, but a decade ago we were all on 56kbs dial-up, clogging up the phone lines whilst we attempted to loot like crazy until someone else in the house had to make that very, very important call. Quite how always-online Diablo 2 would have worked back then is anyone’s guess, but I imagine most people would guess “pretty badly”.  

Thanks, PC Gamer


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Aerowix avatarDog Pants avatarMojo Radio avatarFraser Brown avatarOJ Simpson avatar
Dog Pants Avatar
4 Years ago

I don't know why they keep rolling these comments out. They're not helping their situation, only making themselves sound ridiculous. Not only am I 100% confident that 'I wasn't mad' on account of not having an internet connection in 2000, but I'm equally confident that I wouldn't have bought it if it had, for exactly the same reason. In fact even once I did get a broadband connection I had no interest in playing multiplayer Diablo 2.

Aerowix Avatar
4 Years ago

Diablo as a series wouldn't probably exist as of now if D2 would be online-only. You can be all smart and look important 10 years later, but facts don't change. Dial ups were the most common thing back then. Is it possible return idiot(s) back to earth from their high throne? If this would be a normal employee, there would be a huge black hole in their rear right now considering 100% likelihood of being fired.

Mojo Radio Avatar
4 Years ago

I would think that if Runescape could flourish in such an environment, so could Diablo 2.

Fraser Brown Avatar
4 Years ago

Runescape is a free browser-based MMO. Diablo II was a premium boxed product with a meaty single player campaign. Very different games appealing to different audiences. With the option to play offline and online, players with terrible connections weren't left out in the cold, and those few with stable, consistent connections could play online as much as they wanted.

OJ Simpson Avatar
4 Years ago

Good point, mr brown. Not so many of us actually seem to remember the "good old day's" of dreaded dial-up.

Blizzard wishes they could have made D2 online only? On windows 98? BWAHAHAHAHA!!! . . . ahem.

I have some magic beans for sale . . .