Diablo III Beta Reveals Potential DRM Problems



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I can go idle in EQ2 and stay logged in for as long as the serve is up. It wont kick me until the weekly global server restart. Why does this game kick you for being idle?





All the DRM will do is lead to someone writing a stay alive program so it moves your guy around or does something to keep the connection to the server.


And yes Blizzard was a respected company.  Now that they are with Activision they are losing there customer focus and going the way of facebook corporate policy.  What you feed the customers is what they will eat, instead of listening to the gamers.


Hackers will still find ways around the DRM.  Why?  because thats what they do.  Thats what there mission is, to hack past a limitation.


DRM is just another hurdle that hinders the customer. 





So much for enjoying Diablo 3 if i'm deployed. I'll pass on this unless their is a PS3 version.



The lack of information on this subject is probably a failing of Blizzard's, but still, there's a ton of misinformation.

For one, Diablo 3 uses a strict client/server model.  That means content is streamed from the server.  Blizzard has created a unique level generation engine that exists in the cloud.  They precompute random dungeons and then stream them to the client.  Doing this on the client would result in either excessive disk usage (to store all the random level variations) or excessive load times (to generate the complex random levels).

Furthermore, even if including the random level generation engine on the client wasn't performance prohibitive, it would open the gates to hackers looking to exploit the Auction House and potentially ruin the game for everyone who plays online.

In a sense, Diablo 3 is a hybrid MMO in that the game world exists on a server rather than the client.  As such, all of these comments about "the pirated version will have offline" are fundamentally wrong.  The client simply does not have the levels or the ability to generate them.  Therefore, this will be a monumental task for the pirate community.  They will not only need to spoof battle.net, but also need to duplicate Blizzard's cloud-based random level generator.  Good luck with that.

Starcraft 2 was crackable because it had an offline mode.  All the content was already on the client machine.  Diablo 3 doesn't have that in the same way that WoW doesn't have that.

As far as these quirks explained in the article, isn't this what a beta is for?  Blizzard wants the players to play the game as they would and report any issues they've encountered.  The issues outlined here are just such issues and they'll likely be addressed in the final product or even a beta update.

Personally, I like what Blizzard is doing with this game.  I like that it's online where friends can pop in and out of my game on a whim.  I like that they've sanctioned the auction house.  I like that their DRM scheme also prevents cheaters and tamperers.  This game is easily worth my $50.




Im sorry but you have no idea what your talking about. There are already several games with the procedural generation of levels your talking about and no its not resource intensive at all and NO they do not store all the variants possible on disk. If they WERE on disk I can GUARANTEE you that my SSD would load them MUCH faster than my Comcast could download them.

And btw, the game will cost SIXTY not the usual 50 PC gamers are familiar with.

Nice try any way.




It doesn't matter if Blizzard's level generation procedure is too resource intensive.  Putting the level generation code on the clients opens the door to cheating.  Online only is the only way to prevent that.

And $50 / $60, who cares?  Compared to $50 games 20 years ago, when adjusted for inflation, games today are actually cheaper.

Also, please learn the difference between "your" and "you're".  You're not helping your case.  Your is possessive.  You're is a contraction of you and are.  Simple really.



Wow, a comment that is well thought out and not hysterical.

Thank you for the information. This is what Blizzard is missing. Blizzard should be telling everyone this.

Yes, it's always on DRM, but that's b/c the game is always on. It's not always on DRM for DRM's sake.


h e x e n

The hell it isn't. This is part of their game design. They actively worked an "always on connection" into the developement of the game. I can see it now, all of them sitting at a table... "how do we tie in always on DRM as part of the gaming experience?"

This 'the game is always on" nonsense, is exactly that: nonsense. It's a poor attempt at redirecting peoples frustrations in a different direction.

Sorry Activision. Good try though.



This has epic fail written all over it unless they can fix it.

How many people like checkpoint saves? No one. Even in all the Final Fantasy games they were a PITA. The only reason they worked was because Square knew (most times) where to put the checkpoints so you didn't lose too much progress.

I've never been a hardcore Diablo fan, more the old school RPG type. But I did play both games. And I was thinking about getting it when all the hype had died down a bit. Plus when Bliz lower the price or started to sell the battle chest version. Now maybe not.

The only way this will work is Diablo 3 will need to cache the game locally as you play. Then if you get disconnected for what ever reason you wouldn't be able to play any more, but the next time you start the game it'll sync it's local cache with the server and you won't lose too much progress. How much overhead this would add to the game would be hard to say. Plus if hackers might be able to use the cache as a local save game then they'd just need to defeat the always connected to break the game.



Blizzard is by far the least greedy company, they make superior games, and if they feel that DRM is the only way to protect their property, so be it.



Maybe before Activision they were, now...... 



There's a simple rule when it comes to DRM:


Does it make the game less fun to play and ruin the playing experience for your customers who purchased the game?


If the answer is YES, then you are doing the DRM wrong.



The smart thing to do would be to tp back to town and wait there. I am sure its just a beta bug and they will fix that.





That's the thing.  He explained that even in a "safe haven" location if you let the system sit idle for too long it will log you out thereby removing sections of the game already accomplished. 


Holly Golightly

Oh no! What a shame. This "always on" DRM is proof of just greedy companies are. They don't give a damn about their fans, or sustaining decent revenue. Oh well... The good 'ol days of Diablo II... How I will miss thee.



Companies care about making money. That's what a company is. Their first interest will always be profit, no matter what kind of special relationship you think you have with them, and that is in no way a bad thing. If Blizzard, or any other game company for that matter, truly believed that no DRM would mean more money for them it would be gone in a heartbeat. They may be making a poor decision, but don't blame greed. Greed is not inherently bad.



I'm sorry but greed is inherently bad.

Greed means that all you care about is what's in it for you.

Greed means that any and all decisions are based on what's in it for you.

Greed means you'll throw your own Grandmother under a bus to get what you think you should get.

Greed means if getting more for every faimly member you throw under the same bus works, under they go.

Greed means that any law or concept of ethics is simply an obstacle to getting what you want.

Greed means you can justify any action because after all your just getting what you want.

Many of the worse economic disasters were caused by greed. Remember Enron? A company creating false wealth because of a few greedy men at the top.. and the middle. Remember the mortgage mess? A few companies selling sub prime mortgages till they had a large amount of debtors then selling the company to a real bank out of greed and leaving thier customers homeless with out a pot to p@ss in when the bank tried to charge them the normal rate.

To quote the bible: "Want of money is the root of all evil" That's the actually quote not the one you normally hear. What's another term for want of money? Greed.


On the other hand Profit is not inherehtly bad.

It's merely the reward for doing something well and there is no shame in working for a profit.

Without profit there would be no reason to do anything. Lack of profit is the major reason that U.S.S.R failed and why China won't. In the U.S.S.R. no one except those high in the party gained any profit. In China anyone can make a buck, they just can't do or say the wrong thing as they do it is all.


Holly Golightly

Very well said Gezzer. I could not have said it better myself. Greed is the root of all evil. This also proves that capitalism is self-destructive. All those American jobs being sent to China so that the CEOs can save a few bucks and undercut middle-class America. This is why the economy looks so bad. Everything is one sided, where the rich get richer, and the poor get poor. So now poor Americans have to spend more money on a constant internet connection just to be able to play a game. What a shame. It is no wonder why consoles are outselling PCs. Nothing wrong with profit... But profit can also be extended to greed. Can you imagine if we had to pay $50 for a gallon of milk? That is more than $45 profit to the middle man. So back to the game, if I am going to spend $60 on a game, I expect the game to be of high quality. Adding this "always-on" DRM takes away that quality. Making the gaming companies greedier than ever.



I agree with you that greed is inherintly bad.. that being said, I believe the previous poster was trying to say that the desire to make money is not.  And given hwo much time and money goes into the development of games, especially blizzard games, I believe they have every right to protect their work.  


I believe if Holly had spent thousands and thousands of hours on something, maybe in the hundreds of thousands, and was potentially losing money because people were constantly stealing her work, she would do something to protect that work.  


I have great respect for blizzard as a compoany, and I think they will try and do whatever they can to make the game fun to play and as least inconvenient as possible for the people who shell out 50 or 60 dollars to support their product.  



The thing is this will just increase Piracy because the only way your going to be able to play an offline version is by downloading a pirated/hacked DRM version.. So really the paying customers are the ones that get screwed in the end because people will find away around it.. Won't have bnet access but not everyone has a stable connection.



My initial thought, is that people who play a game like this, that will require a very nice piece of hardware to play enjoyably, will also possess a decent internet connection.  The single player mode won't need a ton of bandwidth, just enough to send a signal to blizzard that they are connected... probably quite minimal. 

That being said, I'm sure blizzard will come up with something to solve the issue of people not being able to play without a connection.




"The single player mode won't need a ton of bandwidth, just enough to send a signal to blizzard that they are connected... probably quite minimal. "

Ton of bandwidth? No.  But you will need a fast enough connection to stream the data from the server.  It's not simply transferring authentication tokens to battle.net.  The D3 client doesn't generate levels.  The levels are generated on battle.net servers and streamed to the client.  It's not simply an easily crackable DRM scheme.  It's a entire client/server model.

"That being said, I'm sure blizzard will come up with something to solve the issue of people not being able to play without a connection."

Can you play WoW without a connection?  Diablo 3 is every bit as "online" as WoW.  You won't have random strangers walking around in your world like a true MMO, but the game world still exists online only.

In other words, if you don't like this new model for Diablo 3, don't buy it.  But don't pretend like this is the same DRM scheme that Ubisoft uses.

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