Id Software's Tim Willits on Diablo DRM: “In The End, It's Better for Everybody”

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chop_slap

I WAS gonna buy the game; I now dump on that terrible idea.

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TechLarry

What a load of BS

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Ziggy.Stardirt

Burntham77 is right. It's the future of gaming. Besides, the more money companies make the better it is for everyone. Artists, programmers, super-nerds all should get paid for their hard work. I had my hayday with piracy years ago when I was young and dumb. Now, not so much. I understand the damage and consequences. We're always "on" anyways. Just like having to switch to digital tvs, "But the folks in the boonies won't be able to watch their re-runs of Beverly Hillbillies!" We don't even think about the mandate anymore. Besides, folks with dial-up don't have MaximumPCs. We're a connected society. Do I like it? Do I watch "Big Brother?" Like a vaccination shot, I'll get over it and chances are we'll benefit from it.

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burntham77

Everything is going to be fine. Everybody just relax. This game will sell very well. All the complainers will buy it anyway. The gaming world will endure.

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chop_slap

It goes to show how much people will give up for a good time.

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cmelton14

A league isn't a measure of depth!  It's a distance!  Did we learn nothging from '80s SNL?

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Holly Golightly

Oh goodness gracious. Always On again? Sigh, I see another UbiSoft for sure! I just don't understand why there are doing this. Not everybody is "Always On" for many reasons. I like to be able to game knowing it is not taking away my precious kilobits of data. Those are hard to track. People's opinions about an always on connection will never change... Even if everyone worldwide had a 1Gbps broadband speed, it just wont change. Sigh, Ubisoft, Valve's Steam, OnLive, and now this... Well, I just wont get the game. I refuse to tie myself down in such ways.

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HRO

Fine Blizzard... you win. Don't make it any harder for this gamer, I finally desist from trying to buy play this game.

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Sempai

Well thanks so much for that Timmy, and you're not biased whatsoever are you, ya fuckin tool.

Not all of us are millionaires, but hey thanks for letting us all know we're wrong and you're right.

 

Both You and Blizzard can suck a fat dick ok? Ok then.

 

Have a great day!

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kiaghi7

That is precisely why the community will circumvent Blizzard-Activision's archaic and draconian efforts to control how players play THEIR game.

 

Just as hard as Blizzard-Activision will try to make players "always be on", the community will work exponentially harder to "always be off". They will update as necessary, and then re-apply any necessary measures to control their play as they see fit, and if Blizzard doesn't like it, they can go jump in the river because there is absolutely nothing they can do to stop it.

 

The game is/will-be too popular to even pretend like it won't be the most obvious and desired target of such efforts.

 

I am -NOT- saying piracy mind you, I'm simply saying people will find ways to tell Blizzard to stick their busy-body big-brother nonsense in an orifice of their choice so players can play the game they bought how they want to play it, with or without blizzard's permission.

 

Just look the secondary programs Diablo II resulted in! Countless editors, modifiers, stat crunching programs, and so on down the line. Those will not be possible by accepting Blizzard's nonsense, but they WILL come to fruition for Diablo III, as sure as the sun will rise, but it likely won't be for the "online crowd" I would think...

 

External capabilities would likely be sacrificed in order to give Blizzard the digital-middle-finger for its preposterous DRM, but there are plenty who would gladly give that up for the greater potential benefits of going outside Blizzard's orbit.

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DoctorX

this brings me to a point... I still play my char that is level 50+ (dont remember) with stats maxed.  It has been on dozen or more builds and pcs.  I just copy the save dir over and i am done.  With bn, if you dont log in every few weeks with that char... you lose it.  Will that be the same?

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califrag

It was so many years ago that I first entered Tristram that I have many more grey hairs now. I have played every iteration of Diablo since my very first visit introduced me to what questing and treasure hunting and role-playing really were and I've played all of them repeatedly.

It is a bit depressing that Blizzard has decided that I will not be able to venture into "New Tristram" as I will never be so foolish as to keep my connection "Always On" and especially with a connection that can - and likely would - place programs and snippets on MY computer that I don't want on MY computer as I play the game that I bought with MY money.

With the - incredibly completely ignored by my government (Canada) - new con by service providers of "Severely limited Unlimited but still advertised as Unlimited" now becoming just another accepted (by governments) way to steal from the public, an Always On connection is just too damn expensive.

So it's Good-bye and Good Day Eh! from me, to Blizzard and Tristram and Diablo. Oh well, I've killed Diablo in many modes and many times, so that'll have to do.

Now, what'll I do with the 50 bucks I'm gonna save now that Blizzard has told me they don't want my money?

 

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methuselah

I was looking up the D3 DRM stuff on the internets and I found this quote:

"Bridenbecker noted that characters which were created and used offline would not be able to be used online, forcing Diablo III players to start over from the beginning. “Let’s just keep everything clean,” he added."

Source:

http://www.loopinsight.com/2011/08/08/cheaters-not-drm-are-behind-diablo-iiis-persistent-connection/

That tells me there will still be an offline option just limited to offline use.  This really isn't different than How D2 operated, even though D2 let you play online sans B-Net with your offline character, you always had to be in B-Net to play your "official" online character.

If this is the "limitation" and Blizz is removing ability of characters residing on your hard dirve from online play, then this is only a minor change from D2.  Non-official B-Net was always a haven for cheating and duping anyway.

 

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MaximumMike

Well, that's a different spin. If it works the way you just described, then I'd probably buy it. I agree, it's not very different from the way Diablo II worked. And I might add that anyone who played Daiblo I online welcomed the change to the rules with Diablo II.

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ShellMG

I've been playing Diablo since Diablo I came out.  I've been grinding off-line with the LoD CD since...well...it came out.  When I built my new PC last year, I future-proofed in hopes I would be faced with minimal upgrade requirements to run D3 when it *finally* came out.  But I never considered my lack of broadband would be a factor.

I'm not really rural.  I live less than 3 miles from the interstate between Detroit and Chicago, and just 30 miles outside Ann Arbor. Most of my neighbors work for UofM.  If we want internet it's satellite, dialup, or Verizon Wireless with their odious, expensive caps.

I've never downloaded a torrent file and if I want something, I've purchased it legally and that held true for Diablo 3 and other games.  Now my dollars aren't welcome by Blizzard because I don't have the luxury of unmetered, overcharge-free bandwidth at home. 

So...should I purchase the game and look for a crack, making me a felon in the eyes of Blizzard? Or should I screw them entirely and seek out a torrent for the first time in my life, since Blizzard will make me a crook if I want to play the game anyway?  I hope they have a clue at what they're doing to past good customers, but if they do it's all the worse because they just don't give a damn.

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jonnyohio

It just goes to show how out of touch they are with the customer....for ubisoft how do they calculate piracy went down? Where did they come up with the stats and how did they know it was because of the drm? Sounds to me like its just them avoiding admitting making a bad business decision...but oh well let them keep on putting the drm in...im not buying that game nyway

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US_Ranger

This RUINS the game for three types of people:

 

1) Those who travel and don't have a connection to the internet but still want to play on their laptop, many of which are fully capable of gaming these days due to decent GPU's inside

 

2) People in the military who are cut off from internet access due to deployment, or even if they do have it during deployment, are cut off when a servicemember is killed and the base shuts down internet until the family is contacted. 

 

3) People who live in rural areas and still have dialup. When a country is the size of a shoebox (many places in Europe) it's easier to have an infrastructure that has internet connections 24/7. In the good ol' USA, our country is the size of most continents and a lot of people still don't have decent internet. 

 

It seems those who run Blizzard, as well as this asshat from the article, can't seem to fathom that many people just aren't able to deal with the constant internet requirements. That would require actually thinking outside the box. Maybe in 5-10 years when internet connections are even more common in the most random areas, this will be possible. At the current point in time, these idiots are ruining it for a lot of people. 

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jonnyohio

Yeah but they dont care about that money because they can bank on americans not getting together for a boycott...though everyone will bitch gamers will still buy it so they can do pretty much whatever they want without much financial consequence and then spin it into a positive thing instead of just admitting its bad for business

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jonnyohio

Yeah but they dont care about that money because they can bank on americans not getting together for a boycott...though everyone will bitch gamers will still buy it so they can do pretty much whatever they want without much financial consequence and then spin it into a positive thing instead of just admitting its bad for business

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jaymz668

Any DRM that inconveniences a paying customer but doesn't affect a pirate or cracker, is broken DRM.

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methuselah

I was recently stuck @ the airport with no interent connection.  I sat there and enjoyed my Steam games (in offline mode!)

For a company to assume that there is never a time you're not connected to the internet is flat wrong.

Steam has a good workaround on this, Blizzard should too.

 

All this does is encourage hacker groups to create "fixes" for this type of garbage.  I don't pirate my software but when a company limits my ability to play after I've purchased, then your darn right I go find a "fix" that the developer won't provide.

I may be violating a license agreement, but I'm certainly not violating any ethics.

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warrblade

and!

This decision effectively eliminates all servicemen in the field or at sea from playing Diablo III.  Done! No discussion! The End!  I'm not sure I'me ok with them making that broad of a cut for the sack of triage...

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aarcane

facebook style like.

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MattyMattMatt

Tim Willits, you my be smart enough to work on games, but you're not smart enough to understand this, obviously.

 

Almost everyone will be always on and I think that making the experiences better by adding features when online is great. It is however important that offline play is still possible. Not everyone is always connected. Many people (even in the US) still don't have stable connections, or really slow ones thus relegate to 3G/4G which is faster, but expensive. I would never use the offline play option intentionally, but if my Internet cut out because the ISP is servicing the line, or any other reason, I cannot play the game? That's fucking bullshit and you are an idiot if you think otherwise and that is a fact. You should never punish people for not having this or that, you should instead reward people with additional features. This is elemental design knowledge. How this has gone over everyone's head in the games industry is beyond me.

This is why Steam works. You can play offline, but if you're online you have these other worthwhile options and things. If you shop with them, there are deals here and there and everywhere. It works to the point where the DRM is acceptable only because it doesn't bother you.

 

On Ubisoft: No, their DRM scheme didn't work. Their correlation is bullshit and any half brained idiot can see that. No, what happened was that people stopped pirating their bullshit.

 

Fuck Ubisoft, I don't buy their games anymore. I have no issue adding Blizzard to the list because of this bullshit and their attitude to the hate they've been getting.

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Ashton2091

I have a pretty good feeling that pirates will find a way around this, as they do with every game. Don't get me wrong, Im not saying pirating is good (or bad). Im just pointing out that pirates have and will continue to find ways around this. There are an extreme amount of experienced coders and modders. It may cut down (maybe) but it won't work. In fact, something like this is what could turn a lot of gamers to pirate. Always on. Always? Really? Comcast goes down, No diablo iii. Server issues, no diablo iii. On a budget, can't afford internet, no diablo iii. Live in a remote area where you don't get high speed, no diablo iii. 

While it sounds somewhat reasonable...it is not. I love how tanking sales are consistently blamed on pirates. Not to say that pirates have no effect on the market. But games (music and movies also) have seen amazing sucess due to it being a great product. Not gonna name them all, but think about it. CoD anyone? Mass Effect? Fallout 3? just a few games that have been innovative and successful regardless of pirating. :-) 

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aarcane

Pirates are the people who illegally (and often unethically) redistribte software.  the crackers are the ones who provide the nodisk and offline patches (illegally, but ethically).  As in the US and many other countries it is mandated by copyright law that you be allowed one permanent backup copy of any copyrighted work, game backups are also mandatory, and anything that prevents you from playing from a backup disk violates copyright principals (and is therefore unethical, but not illegal).

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Ashton2091

I was not being politicially correct. But I should have been. Not trying to be a prick...but my point was simply that the patch that crackers (i correct myself) create is what a lot of pirates will use to redistribute the software/games. Thanks for pointing that out. Don't want to mislead anyone.

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wazkatango

"Imagine picking up a game and it's automatically updated. Or there's something new you didn't know about, and you didn't have to click away. It's all automatically there. But it does take juggernauts like [Diablo 3] to make change."

What. Hello? Steam anyone? How is this a brilliant, brand new idea?

Oh and, I'm going to buy and play games I find to be fun and worth the money, just like every other game.

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DoctorX

Blizzard... have you been inflitrated with Activistion finally?  I loved blizzard from diablo 1. I cringed when i saw they were merging with Activision.  Now this only confirms my fears.  Blizzard went from gamers first to suits first.  Fuck you Activision Blizzard

I STILL play starcraft and diablo 1 and 2.  I have had diablo since 1996.  there is major replayability. However, why the always on?  I am sad.  I have been looking forward to this game for 3 years and now i am questioning whether I am going to get this.  Torchlight 2 coming out soon so i guess that will have to do.

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D00dlavy

Game companies are making it easier for discerning people to NOT be gamers.  The unwashed masses spend more than discerning people, so this is quite justifiable from the perspective of capitalism.

No one ever officially talks about what happens when these DRM servers go down for the count.  Can I play Diablo III fifteen years from now?  I have no warranty, so I'll wait until I find Diablo 3 for $10 somewhere.  I won’t reward schemes against consumers.  In the meantime, I'll continue to drink, smoke, get laid, play paintball and do tons of other non-gaming activities.  My life will go on.

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someuid

Well, at least Willits is being straight up honest, rather than that shmuck at Blizzard, their VP of on-line entertainment, who tried to convince us this wasn't for DRM reasons, that it was all for our safety in playing a game.

I'd still like to know why everyone is so intent on us being on-line EVERY SECOND OF GAME PLAY and there ARE NO OTHER POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS.  I mean, seriously, these computers are programmable to do anything.  How else do you think I can go from a spreadsheet to a video game to watching a movie or listening to music to dual booting a completely different operating system?

I'm sure they can find a solution to DRM, metrics, and eliminating cheating while also giving me some freedom in connectivity options.  Heck, even if their was an offline mode lasted just 4-5 days that would be an improvement over their hardline demand of 24/7/365 connections.

I'm done with triple A titles.  The corporate overhead has squeezed the fun out of the games.  They are no longer innovating.  I want innovation and new ideas, not prettied up rehashed ideas and additional layers of controls.  I spend more time managing my game accounts than I do my bank account.  Something is wrong with that.

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MaximumMike

What a crock of deuchbaggery. Diablo is not Warcraft. Blizzard needs to get their heads out of their asses. I know what my own preferences are, and I dont need some jerk in a suit telling me how I should play my games. If they don't want to make games I like, then I won't play them. Diablo III won't be getting any of my money. Tim Willits will soon realize that companies cannot force the market to do what it doesn't want to do. There are a plethora of reasons why people will refuse to be "always connected." 

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Happy

All we can do is hope they lose the proverbial over 9000 dollars so as to force them to rethink their asinine strategy.

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LatiosXT

"You'll always have patches and updates and all that." Yeah, it's called run a check before the game is run. You can't update while you're playing the game. Unless Blizzard developed a new technology that allows games to be updated in real time.

Besides, you only need to do just that, you don't need always on DRM.

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DoctorX

they already do this for starcraft 2

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savagehart

I don't accept the DRM for D3 so I'm not buy the game. End of story.

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demonrock

People like this piss me off. I like how their trying to force this down our throats, afterall who the hell are we, but the simple folks who make them money. We pay for their product and yet we get screwed over. This having to be connected while you enjoy a game you paid for is nothing more than garbage and its people who let them get away with it that are going to gve the all the power to control what we buy in the future if we let them get away with it now. When I travel or camp, I don't have an internet connection, but I still enjoy the time to game. Now this is being take away. I have to always have a connection to play a game I purchased. Somehow I think they should be giving us games for free if their wanting to force this sort of DRM down our throats. Its not fair, and they think we're stupid to fall for it and I'm sure alot of us are. After all, we don't think of where this is leading in years to come. We are paying for things these days, but not actually owning them. We're not actuallyowning the right to anything we have to pay for these days and its beyond stupid.

 

I say say a simple solution to this is DON'T BUY THE GAME and DON't SUPPORT BLIZZARD. they honestly don't deserve us and if they are going to treat us like this, than just forget them. WITHOUT US THEY DON'T MAKE MONEY.

 

THEY DESERVE NOTHING FOR THIS COMPLETE DISRESPECT THEY SHOW ALL OF US.

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routine

Come on, guys.. really, you're that concerned about Blizzard finding out how many swipes it took you to defeat their boss? Really? For what? So they can make it a little more challenging next time?

Anybody that is complaining that Blizzard gathering information has misplaced anger.

Instead, you should be contacting your representatives about passing real privacy laws that stop, for example, the power company from installing eavesdropping devices (smart meters) in every American home.

What about your internet service provider that has access to every bit that travels from your PC over their network?

I can understand this sucks for those people that want to play the game but dont have an always on internet connection. That sucks... I can understand that.

But to complain b/c its always on and they're "watching" you. Guys, you got more to worry about than Blizzard.

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Emmit066

Simple question, what happens in a few years when the game isn't relevant & they turn off the servers?  Will you still be able to play the game in offline mode then?  Just because it's 2011 doesn't mean I don't occationally play Unreal Tournament (1999).  If that game had DRM, I don't think I would still be able to play it now.

I understand the idea behind wanting to keep the game up to date with the newest code out there, but I haven't seen any other game that I am playing do that.  BFBC2 checks for updates when you first start the game then updates itself.  If you aren't aware of a big patch that has come out it can be a little annoying to wait for the download but it keeps everyone up to date with the same code.

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Brad Nimbus

It kills me to say this but I hope to god this game gets torrented big time. I hate when you get some jackass telling us that drm is a good thing. How about they have online activation while the game is being installed? I'm pretty sure Ubisoft had a similar approach to splinter cell and removed it because of the outcry. It pisses me off so much when a company hears our pleads and goes ahead with an unpopular decision, its like a big fuck you.

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CaptainFabulous

Another jackass who thinks he's knows what's best for us. Shove it up your ass. Everytime they pull shit like this it's another nail in the PC gaming coffin. And they're just too damned stupid to realize it.

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Brad Nimbus

I think its funny that we both replied at about the same time and we referred to Tim Willits as a jackass.  Haha

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kixofmyg0t

Consoles FTW!

 

sorry had to say it....

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DoctorX

"boot to the head"

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SirBC

They didn't mention the real reason they want you constantly connected (other than to combat piracy); metrics.

If you are always connected, they will always know what you are doing and when you are doing it. Not just how long you played the game, but even things like, how long it took you to beat the end level boss, how you beat it, if you quit after beating it, etc.

All of this info is invaluable to a gaming company and it is info they previously had to guess at. 

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routine

Credit card companies know a lot more about you than Blizzard ever will.

So does Facebook, Google, Microsoft, etc, etc, etc.

You power company will be installing smart meters at your home (if they haven't already).

What about your internet service provider? -- they know everything about you.

Cell phone company?

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gothliciouz

this is pure bullshit! convinient because you get automatic updates and stuffs?...give me  a brake, it doesn't take more  than a few seconds to manually find patch for your game plus  a lot of games have built-in updater and you don't have to keep a constant connection to update.

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lostcause64

While none of the games that have announced they will be using this kind of DRM have any interest for me at all, the idea that the industry as a whole may be moving to this is disturbing. This kind of DRM is like a guest visiting your home and dictating what kind of living situation they are going to have while in your home.

 

Scenario: Due to the needs of having a family and working, say second shift, a persons gaming is restricted to his or her day off. That day arrives, but you have no internet because of street repairs or service upgrades or maybe money is so tight because of an unexpected expense like a car repair, or something for one of the kids, and you have no internet. Worse yet, after some of the severe weather we've seen this year, maybe you are in a shelter with your laptop because you were forced out of your home and there is no internet available, or the connection is spotty at best. Now that game you saved up for and spent the money on cannot be played because life got in the way?? It may sound far fetched, but with the economy the way it is, and gamers of yesteryear growing up into responsible adults and creating future gamers, it's a very real possibility.

 

Sure, most of us are always connected, until something happens and we're not...

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TerribleToaster

 

By "better for everyone" I'm assuming he meant "better for everyone whom this doesn't inconvenience". Like me, who is constantly mobile.

 

I agree that I like automatic updates and all the other goodies you can get from a constant connection. I also like that if gaming goes on the net, it will also help force ISP's and government bodies into action to improve internet conditions. However, Steam already does all these and I can still play my single player games offline for a maximum period of 30 days before needing to reconnect (which is fine by me seeing as a patch in most games comes out every 2-3 weeks). 

The idea of being always connected only works better when you have a truly ubiquitous internet, so let’s wait until we reach that point before we go there.

Until then I'll stick to playing games like Terraria through Steam and other games that don't require a constant connection.

 

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Exarkun1138

I am a big Diablo fan. I bought both Diablo and Diablo 2, as well as D2's expansion pack. I played these games tirelessly, and D2 was on many of my iterations of computers I built, until Titan Quest came out. TQ and TQ Immortal Throne filled the time gap for me until Diablo 3 was to be released. When I read the requirements to play D3, I have come to the conclusion that I will NOT be purchasing D3 when it is released. I will continue with TQ and TQIT for now, and play Torchlight as well. Diablo 3's DRM is going to HURT sales of the game more than any pirate would. Thanks a lot Blizzard. A game I was really looking forward to is now going to be something I pass on. 

It is a shame that a company like Iron Lore had to go out of business, and yes, due to piracy, but Titan Quest and Immortal Throne are some of the best Action RPG games around, and Torchlight is also a really fun game......I was looking forward to getting back into the world of Diablo with D3, but alas, thanks to Blizzard's need for a heavy handed DRM, this gamer will not be playing it, legally. 

 

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