Diablo III will, similarly to Ubisoft’s disliked way of doing DRM, require constant internet connectivity, Blizzard has revealed. It won’t matter if it’s co-op, player-versus-player or single-player, being online will be a must. As executive producer Rob Pardo explains however, this isn’t done to combat pirates but instead cheaters.
According to Pardo, players’ characters will be stored on Blizzard’s servers where the game constantly accesses and updates them.
“In both Diablo and especially in Diablo II, I think the intuition for a lot of people when they’re playing the game is ‘I want to make my character offline away from that scary battle net environment. And then once I have this powerful character, I’ll jump online.’ But the problem with that concept is we can’t really detect if they’re cheating. They might have the capability to hack their character, things like that, so at that point we can’t really allow that character to be in the battle net environment. Then they’re going to have to restart their character, which is exactly what happened in Diablo II, which was really unfortunate.”
“Your character will be online on battle net the moment you start playing,” he added. “You can play a solo experience like you would in Diablo II, it’s just your character is on Blizzard’s servers and authenticated.”
Blizzard still hopes to ship Diablo III this year, but there are no concrete dates to be had yet.