It isn't exactly news that a lot of the Diablo fanbase was disappointed with the release of Diablo III. Blame it on the lengthy development period, or the daunting task of creating a sequel to Diablo II. But aside from that there were two major issues that upset Diablo players, the auction house and the lack of an "offline" game mode.
One of those problems will soon be a thing of the past come March 2014 as Blizzard is finally set to close an auction house that has seen almost nothing but ire since it released with the title back in May 2012. The ability to "buy" the best possible armor and weapon combinations with real money upset a lot of hardworking players, not to mention it hurt the title's in-game gold-based economy.
But what of the other glaring issue? Blizzard developers have remained vigilant in enforcing their "always online" policy in Diablo III and it doesn't seem likely that they will be doing away with it anytime soon. In fact, according to one Blizzard team member, it was a mistake to even offer an offline mode in Diablo II.
In an in interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, lead designer Kevin Martens addressed the offline/online predicament with the Diablo series and made his stance very clear too:
"I don’t think people necessarily remember how mad they were that they had an offline mode and online mode in Diablo II. People will be like, 'I wasn’t mad!' But I was there at the time, and then I studied this for a living. It sucks when your friend or brother is online and he wants to join this game, but you realize you’re an offline character and he’s an online character, and there’s no way to transfer over because offline characters can be hacked and hex-edited to hell and back, right?"
That small rant displays how Blizzard feels about possibly implementing an offline mode into Diablo III. Keep in mind that there is already an offline mode available for the console versions of the game, which may offer a slight hint at the differences in development between PC and console, since it appears to be much easier to include an offline play option for stand alone gaming units.
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