August 6, 2011

Blizzard Responds to Communities “Online Only” Complaints


Bliz­zards recent announce­ment that their newest release would be fol­low­ing the “Online Only” mod­el has gen­eart­ed a large num­ber of com­plaints.  Bliz­zard recent­ly took the time to address those com­ments.  Here is what they had to say:
“We thought about this quite a bit,” said exec­u­tive pro­duc­er Rob Par­do ear­li­er this week. “One of the things that we felt was real­ly import was that if you did play offline, if we allowed for that expe­ri­ence, you’d start a char­ac­ter, you’d get him all the way to lev­el 20 or lev­el 30 or lev­el 40 or what have you, and then at that point you might decide to want to ven­ture onto Battle.net. But you’d have to start a char­ac­ter from scratch, because there’d be no way for us to guar­an­tee no cheats were involved, if we let you play on the client and then take that char­ac­ter online.”
Senior pro­duc­er Alex May­ber­ry told MTV that gamers can play by them­selves, but the char­ac­ters are stored on Bliz­zard’s Battle.net servers. “You have to authen­ti­cate through our servers to be able to play the game,” he said. “I think it’s not just ‘Dia­blo 3’ but with our games as a whole we’re tying every­thing into Battle.net these days…We can pro­vide a much a much more sta­ble, con­nect­ed, safer expe­ri­ence than we could if we let peo­ple play off-line.”
In addi­tion to the play­er char­ac­ter aspect, the sin­gle-play­er mode will have Battle.net ele­ments includ­ing a per­sis­tent friends list, cross-game chat via the RealID sys­tem, play­er ver­sus play­er and more. These require a con­stant Inter­net con­nec­tion obvi­ous­ly.
But despite the rea­sons behind the always-con­nect­ed require­ments, fans are not hap­py with the deci­sion. MTV uses this post­ing on Red­dit as an exam­ple which has more than 2,700 com­ments, most of which express their dis­taste for the always-con­nect­ed require­ment.
“I’m actu­al­ly kind of sur­prised in terms of there even being a ques­tion in today’s age around online play and the require­ment around that,” said Bliz­zard’s vice pres­i­dent of online tech­nolo­gies Robert Briden­beck­er. “We’ve been doing online game­play for 15 years now…and with ‘World of War­Craft’ and our roots in Battle.net and now with ‘Dia­blo 3,’ it real­ly is just the nature of how things are going, the nature of the indus­try. When you look at every­thing you get by hav­ing that per­sis­tent con­nec­tion on the servers, you can­not ignore the pow­er and the draw of that.”
“You’re guar­an­tee­ing that there are no hacks, no dupes,” he said. “All of these things were points of dis­cus­sion, but the whole copy pro­tec­tion, pira­cy thing, that’s not real­ly enter­ing into why we want to do it. I’m a huge pur­vey­or of online sites and from my stand­point, I don’t look at DRM solu­tions and go, ‘Wow, those are awe­some.’ I look at those and say, ‘Wow, those kind of suck.’ But if there’s a com­pelling rea­son for you to have that online con­nec­tiv­i­ty that enhances the game­play, that does­n’t suck. That’s awe­some.
While it is appre­ci­at­ed that they are try­ing to pro­vide a “safer” expe­ri­ence many peo­ple pre­fer not to have their con­tent con­trolled.  Their state­ment that it was­n’t about pira­cy is a half truth.  Pira­cy is a big deal on the PC plat­form but not as big as it used to be.  This is anoth­er prime exam­ple of block­ing user made con­tent.  If users can’t cre­ate their own con­tent then they will be forced to pur­chase it from Bliz­zard.  This is 95% like­ly a move to dri­ve more rev­enues. 
Source: Toms Hard­ware

1 comment

  1. CharcoalCoyote - August 7, 2011 12:10 pm

    This post has only cement­ed my deci­sion to not get Dia­blo 3.

    Reply

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