Diablo 3 launched today to the excitement of many. I mentioned over the weekend that I wasn’t interested in it but was expecting to feel left out. Well, I’d forgotten about the always online DRM that Blizzard was building into the game. Despite the fact that you can play Diablo 3 completely single-player, you can’t actually play it offline. In effect Blizzard launched a single-player MMO today (an SPO?) and had the usually MMO launch issues, namely overwhelmed servers.
So instead of there being a deafening silence on Twitter as everyone was engrossed in playing, or having to read tons of messages about how amazing the game is, instead I was reading complaints about lag, server timeouts, and error numbers. It really reminded me of the original launch of WoW more than seven years ago, and made me wonder why Blizzard wasn’t able to prepare better. After all, surely if any game developer has the experience and resources to handle a massive launch it should be Blizzard. Right?
Personally, even were I interested in the game, I still wouldn’t be playing it as I really dislike the trend DRM is taking at the moment. At least Valve has built Steam to allow for offline play, surely Blizzard could manage something similar if they cared to. Or maybe it’s Activision that doesn’t care?
Either way, I hope that things calm down soon for those of you who want to play, so you can get in and get some quality time in-game.