Diablo III server debacle demonstrates the problem with ‘always-online’ games

By Julio Franco · 66 replies
May 15, 2012
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  1. Twixtea

    Twixtea TS Rookie Posts: 86

    That's exactly why I didn't buy the game.
  2. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    @ amstech

    Im a former world of warcraft player who has sat in queues for several hours, Only to connect and find the server laggy and unplayable.

    I have been in ( 20 man) raids for several hours only for the server to crash before the last boss the day before a server reset.

    When I first played wow several years ago any server crashes or offline days were compensated by a free day of play. This stopped after about 6 months. ( I played for 5 years )

    This is time I had PAID to play in. I will never get the money or my time back.

    You must be either a game dev or someone with more money than sense.
  3. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    @ Fimbles
    I am a current player of WoW, have played for 4 years.
    Everyone deals with issues once in awhile, but overall its been great for years.
    As far as ques, the new raid finder/dungeon finder is great. That being said I never had trouble getting into good Raids as a skilled Mage.

    Some games need to be online 24/7 for critical updates and surveillence.
    Diablo III is one of those games.

    Do I agree that it needs to be "always online"? No.
    But I understand it.
  4. I'm really sad about all this, I have been a Diablo fan for years. I haven't even got my copy through the post yet (although I preordered it from Amazon months ago! why dispatch it the day before it goes live! grr) and already it has lost some of the shiny newness factor. I'm not interested in co-op apart from over a local lan (Which I would have brought more copies for!) and that looks to be off the cards. I didn't realise the always on internet connection would be as bad as everyone is making out. Tempted just to send it straight back when it arrives and get a pirated version. Blizzard needs to wake up. I know people who have specifically brought a new PC for this game!After 12 years this bitterly, bitterly disappointing.
  5. Thas why I hate STEAM and Origin

    if I want to play the SP on my laptop while I dont have internet I CANT Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    PLus one of the first comments is so true.. It hurts them more than helps them. Since most of the game these days have a emphasis on online multi player, I may download the game for the Single Player and if I like it ill get retail version so I can play online WHEN I have a connection!! this is the studio own fault has most of the game dont offer a Demo and im not paying 70+$ anymore for a game without trying it first

    Ouf that felt good


  6. benken2202001

    benken2202001 TS Booster Posts: 115   +17

    First of all, I'm glad I slept that night, worked all morning and got in right when the servers came up. Everyone knows (or should know) that a game won't perfectly on hour 1. I actually didn't expect it to be working when I got home, but I applaud Blizzard for their swift recovery. I was able to play several hours and thoroughly enjoy the first few quests. In fact, I was able to play more than my friends who went to midnight openings and brought it home only to wait for the servers to get fixed. I ain't complaining, the game is just wonderful, and the seamless transitions between playing coop with friends and playing alone is amazing. 9.9 from me so far.
  7. It is very sad that a single player game has to be online constantly. Not even Star Craft 2 need a constant internet connection. I know his because I beat the game at work with the internet turned off. Maybe it is something it can fix but for now I guess I will play when I can play and wont be playing at work. That Sucks.
  8. Diablo III server debacle demonstrates the problem with ‘always-online’ games

    Diablo III does? Hardly. Try again.
  9. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    I was also upset last night when I couldn't play. I didn't make any colorful worded messages about it tho. It's just a fact of demand out-stripping supply. It is unfortunate that the single player portion of the game was unusable product, which is what upset me. I checked the support feed for some enlightening news, maybe I need to unblock a port on my router? But it wasn't meant to be. I do hope a lesson was learned at Blizzard.
  10. Piracy can be a problem but generally speaking great games sell well.

    Let's take a look at Blizzard's Starcraft I:

    StarCraft was released internationally on 31 March 1998 and became the best-selling PC game for that year, selling over 1.5 million copies worldwide. In the next decade, StarCraft sold over 9.5 million copies across the globe, with 4.5 million of these being sold in South Korea.

    There is no argument for why any single-player game should ever require a constant Internet connection to play. I am perfectly fine with logging in once to activate the game key online but after that please let me play the campaign without having an Internet connection.
  11. The logic of people is, if it works for me, everyone is a whiner and I don't care.
    Such great society we have, right?

    Everyone knows (or should know) that a game won't perfectly on hour 1.

    Single player games are supposed to work on hour 1.
  12. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,890   +1,224

    You guys really do sound like a bunch of whiners if you can't play on day 1. According to the story above 'The servers were mostly stable as of the morning' So they were busted at midnight, but fine by morning and you're still upset?!

    If playing on hour 1 is that important to you, consider yourself lucky that you don't have any real problems in your life.
  13. It would be no problem if the game was free. But I paid some good cash that could've went to something that actually works wherever and whenever I want it to work, for a piece of HD space that does nothing right now.

    That's a huge problem for me, but who cares, right?
  14. in a year from now when Diablo III player numbers begin to plummet and the number of players drops to just the fan based members say just a million or two worldwide. technically they have the wright to shut down all the servers (lack of $$$.$$ to the company to run the servers)
    at that point there is no more game anymore

    doing a protection scheme to an online game to prevent cheaters (hell yes ban the stupid ones)
    doing an constant online protection scheme for an off line game to prevent cheaters (W.T.F.) (who cares if you cheat in an off line game the only person you are cheating is yourself)

    NO one gives a rats A%@ if you cheat in an off line game
  15. "Thas why I hate STEAM and Origin
    if I want to play the SP on my laptop while I dont have internet I CANT Whiskey Tango Foxtrot"
    I played BF3 (Origin) offline... I custom built a ~1500 PC for the game and the game turned into a buggy nightmare when I would play online. Haven't touched it in months.
    Diablo 3 is a different story. But I can bare it. I'm actually pleased the servers had issues at 15 May 2012 @ ~1130PM EST, else I would have played with my friend until 1-2AM (knowing I have work early the next day). So, I was able to get a good nights rest :)
  16. @ MilwaukeeMike

    No, it's not about not being able to play in the first hour or day or even week. It's about any single player campaign requiring a constant internet connection to play it. If this sets a precedent for the entire PC or console gaming industry, good luck with that. I find it amusing that in the last 5 years PC gaming developers started to cry non-stop about PC gaming piracy. Yet when PC gaming was booming from 1997-2005, hardly anyone complained. That's what happens when most of them start making games with 5-10 hour single player campaigns. $60 for any game with a campaign 5-10 hours long is a joke. Such game would have failed miserably in 1998. Nowadays, the new generation of gamers have smartphone addiction, ADD and they don't want any challenging games (health regeneration, lack of in-game bosses). What you get is generally more dumbed down games and Diablo 3 was just the next one on the list to make it more appealing to the mainstream crowd. It's understandable from a business perspective and frankly everyone should have expected it.
  17. lalaman

    lalaman TS Member Posts: 25

    Ever feel like Diablo 3 is not eerie enough? I mean, it's so damn bright everywhere, it doesn't even have that scary feel to it anymore. Looks more like a happy game to me than a dark and evil one. Diablo 2 had the dark and eerie feel. Caves and tombs were actually dark as **** and you couldn't see some enemies until they start attacking you. Too "hello-kitty-adventure-island" for my taste..
  18. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    I'm always highly amused by the misguided STEAM hate comments like this. STEAM has an offline mode, I have it running on my laptop for gaming on the road... And I am on the road a LOT. It runs in offline mode virtually 24/7, with the only exceptions being when I want to install something new or refresh an update cycle. With STEAM, I actually have a CHOICE on whether I want to be connected to play my single player games.

    Rather than just deciding to blindly hate something because of what you think it does, maybe you should take a moment to learn about it first? Just a thought...
  19. That "always online" crap is the reason I'm not buying Diablo 3. I will not support that kind of marketing. For everyone who whines about it, 9.9 out of 10 people still buy the game. Hell of statement we're making here, boys.
  20. One of those ignorant bible thumpers who blames everything on God or the lack thereof.

    He should have just clarified to begin with, being sly about how you view ignorance is deceitful and damaging to the cause of sanity.

    Does this help?

    BTW, the original article fails to mention that the game was being happily played by those who just downloaded the cracked version while the paid customers ran into the engineered BS Blizzard created for them.(it was up VERY shortly after release)

    So all that time, all that money, all those angry customers....and still failed to prevent the piracy. But then, that wasn't the goal was it? It was to try to cash in on the private transactions of their users, it had nothing at all to do with piracy. As someone mentioned earlier, the only thing you can't do with the cracked one, is use the built in trading features, as they harken home to Blizzard for their slice of the pie.

    I honestly hope this isometric hype wagon falls from the news so fast it makes Ke$ha look like the Mona Lisa.
  21. The other half of the story that Blizzard and Activision haven't exactly addressed is they have 3 popular games using its Battle.net service. You have Starcraft2 that yields at least 100,000 users a night, perhaps more when it is being played during the prime time of the week. Next, you have to consider World of Warcraft services millions upon millions of users. The last time I checked, World of Warcraft had a population of 9 million gamers. Therefore, you have that many people using the Battle.net service. Finally, you have Diablo3... case in point, there are millions of users on the Battle.net servers. At World of Warcraft's prime, its population of gamers ballooned to 12 million. Blizzard's games are some of the most popular games to be played. Instead of looking at population by game, Blizzard needs to look at the number of Battle.net accounts because this is the potential how much the service is going to be used. My suggestion is to make the Battle.net servers to be strong enough to service at least 15 million users.

    Only a week ago, the @NBA on Twitter reached 5 million followers. Battle.net services at least 10 million users a day. Across a week, Blizzard/Activision need to address its population and how much it is capable of booming. World of Warcraft may be ancient history to some people, but it is still being played.
  22. When they say jump, you say how high? Your brain dead.. fn bullet in your head. - RATM
  23. Blizzard made a grievous error by not allowing offline sp. And you know what ? I will hack my own legit copy to play offline SP at one point, and keep a non hacked version to play with my friends online.

    As it ****ing should be.

    Anyway, thanks Blizzard.

    PS: Oh and nice try, you won't stop piracy. Sowwy.
  24. That's why I pirate and continue to pirate these games..If I hear of any issues like this with a game they lost any chance of me paying...I will take the pirated stable offline version any day! I feel bad for the developers but if they haven't learned yet maybe if enough people decide not to give them their money they will reconsider.
  25. The problem here isn't that some people had to wait a bit to play the game. The problem here is that Blizzard and Activision made a futile attempt to stop piracy and the people who bought the game suffered because of it. Because people were expecting the release and looking forward to it so much they thought that they could put in a measure like that and it wouldn't hurt the sales. Once again. This isn't a problem because some people had to wait to play the game. This is about how blizzard gets to treat the customer badly and get away with it. They will do this again. And again. Because people will forget about it, and just buy the next game. They are forgetting that we are the people supporting them. They shouldn't be able to treat the consumer like this to get a mild increase in profits. I would have bought the game, but because of this issue I will pirate it. I support game developers when I can, but when they do something like this they deserve what's coming to them. I sincerely hope as many people as possible pirate this game, to tell them that they can't treat their customers like ****.

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