The mere announcement of Diablo III's always on DRM had many players putting down their socketed swords of the bedazzled alligator to pick up their pitchforks and torches, but now the moment of reckoning has arrived. And the verdict? Not so hot. Now, this is still a beta , mind you, so some issues could get ironed out. Most of the issues RPS zeroed-in on , though, stem from the hack 'n' slash genre's inability to cope with a constant connection.
“You can’t pause. In fact, in most ways, the game acts like an MMO. For instance, quit it, and you’re given the optional cooldown to have your player clear the server properly. But it’s not an MMO. It’s not even close to an MMO. So when I’m playing the single-player game, and I’m in the middle of a frenzied mob, and there’s a knock at the front door, there’s nothing I can do... I’d safely left my character in a cleared area, but long between checkpoints. When I came back to the PC, I’d been idle for too long and the game had logged me out,” wrote RPS' John Walker.
“In fact, currently, losing your connection (either by idling or the server going down) resets huge chunks of what you’ve already played, such that the map is blank, and you need to battle through it again. Whether that’s an issue with the beta, or something that will also carry through to the finished game, we obviously don’t know.”
And so, the argument against always on DRM continues. PC gamers hoot and holler, but publishers do their damndest to supply what no one's demanding. Eventually, though, they'll cave, right? We sure hope so, but Blizzard's leading the charge. It could package its games with acid-spitting scorpions and people would still buy them. They say we should vote with our wallets, but we're afraid they final count's going to be a rather lopsided “Yes.”