My December column defending Diablo III’s always-on DRM generated as much hostility as anything I wrote since I called Doom III a hollow, clichéd piece of garbage. The responses were a mixture of insults and reasonable commentary (mostly insults), with complaints falling into three categories.
First, I totally exaggerated piracy losses, and it’s really no big deal. Of course! Companies always spend millions of dollars and risk consumer anger on irritating and expensive loss-prevention schemes so they can prevent imaginary theft.
Second, I didn’t mention mods. The argument here is that Blizzard is doing the DRM this way because it wants to hose the mod community. I actually didn’t mention mods because I truly don’t care. Mods are a nice bonus, but if Blizzard doesn’t want it modded, that’s its privilege. If Blizzard wants to lock down its products so all downloadable content must be purchased through it, that’s probably because it’ll make more money that way, which is what a business does.
Third, I totally was bought off by Blizzard. (I wish.)
Yes, I know I am fortunate, and that some people have bad (or no) Internet connections. They’re already missing out on all kinds of great things like cute puppy videos and Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter feed, so they must be accustomed to the poignant sting of disappointment by now.
Since first writing about Diablo III, I’ve put several hours into the beta, and my main complaint about the new system is the lack of local saves for single-player games. If that makes it to the final release, it will definitely lower my opinion of the product.
The odd thing about defending Diablo III is that I never really liked the games that much. As an old-school RPG fan, I find them too simplistic for my tastes. Naturally, if Bobby Kotick wants to send me a big check, then I’m sure I will suddenly love them.