Jeremy Cheong's Blog
Jeremy Cheong male Senior Tech Writer
Self-professed poster child of Toys R' Us. Loves collecting Star Wars and Transformers action figures and DC Superheroes figurines. Other than gawking over the latest gadgets, gizmos and hardware, he also loves spending long hours playing video games. When not gaming or testing new products, you can find him reading comics, headbanging to ol' school and nu school Rock and Metal music or drooling over American muscle cars.
Although no confirmed release date has been announced for Diablo III, fans of the critically-acclaimed action RPG series are generally jumping in their seats as 2012 draws closer, which means the much-anticipated sequel will be unleashed soon. The whole premise of Diablo III is cool, as once again, you get to create a character and head off into a beautiful fantasy world to slay demons and ultimately defeat the Big Evil – Diablo.
However, things have turned south for me, following the recent announcement by Blizzard, which involves a silly implementation that requires gamers to be constantly online to play the game. From what I remembered, yes, Diablo I and Diablo II were fun when played online, but it was still great fun when taking on demons on your own in the single player campaign, as it made you feel like a mighty barbarian or destructive necromancer. Despite the fact that you will be able to take on the game single-handedly, I have a feeling most gamers will get a friend or two along, so they can go questing together.
Rob Pardo, the executive producer of Diablo III, has commented that this is due to the fact that they don’t want players to cheat offline and have an overpowered character, which they can use to terrorize other players on Battle.net. But when it comes down to it, I’m pretty sure some gamers out there are cheating just because they want to enjoy the storyline without the grinding. I know it may sound stupid but some of us aren’t lucky enough to sit in front of our computers all day just to grind to gain experience and awesome loot.
Blizzard also mentioned that, unlike what they did for StarCraft II (which required an initial online activitation), Diablo III will be more akin to an MMO. So should the player’s connection be interrupted during a game, they'll drop back out to the login screen. All I have to say is, “Are you kidding me?” With ‘superb’ Internet connections like ours here in Malaysia, no one will ever be able to finish the game. Imagine you're just about to kill a boss demon and all of a sudden, you get kicked back into the login screen. If I were you, I'd just stop playing and play another game like, say, Torchlight instead.
Even worst still is how some ‘pirates’ and hackers will eventually find a way to hack the game, so gamers can just download or buy a pirated copy to finally enjoy the game. We’ve already seen this happen with Ubisoft’s Assassin's Creed II. Not only did this affect the sales of the game, but it also turned a lot of fans away. Another game that will feature this Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme is the soon-to-be-released Driver: San Francisco. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it doesn’t bomb.
Oh, and let’s not forget the fact about the constant hacking attempts on gaming services that have been happening lately. I’m pretty sure most gamers wouldn’t want their personal details being leaked online for the world to see.
Blizzard also made a second announcement recently and this was on how gamers can sell their loot to other players for real cash. So yes, this may be fun, as not only will be able to make a little money out of the game, but this makes it seem more like your typical MMO, where players who have tons of pocket money can buy overpowered items and also terrorize other low ranking players, or players who would rather earn their own items.
At the end of the day, I’m sitting here wondering, is this still Diablo or are Blizzard planning to take over the world with another ‘MMO’ in the guise of Diablo? From where I’m standing, it seems to me that this is a newer version of World of Warcraft.