Diablo 3 is one of the most hotly anticipated games in the last several years, and for good reason. Many of today’s PC gamers have fond memories of getting together a group of friends and slogging through dungeon after dungeon in search of rare and powerful artifacts. In an attempt to stave off piracy, however, Blizzard has taken some unwelcome steps with the series’ latest entry.
As piracy becomes an increasingly uncomfortable thorn in the side of game publishers, companies are having to engineer more and more complex ways to defeat it. In the case of Diablo 3, Blizzard has decided that you’ll need to be online the entire time you want to play. Many, perhaps all, major new PC titles require at least one online activation, though few go so far as to require the Internet connection to be maintained the entire time the software is running.
Blizzard does offer a number of features in return for forcing gamers to be shackled to their servers the entire time, however, including the saving of all Diablo 3 characters straight to the cloud. If you play on multiple computers, that could be extremely handy to have. Other features include game aspects you might see on Steam or World of Warcraft, like PVP and public game matchmaking, friends lists, cross-game chat sessions and more.
Another major feature of the new game is the Auction House, which will let players sell off gold and items to other gamers for real world money. You’ll even be able to sell off characters at some point down the line. Hardcore characters, however, can only be sold for in-game gold and not real world cash. Hardcore is a special mode that kills characters permanently once they die – there’s no going back.
If you’ve got a problem with the terms of the new setup, well, tough. Blizzard EVP Rob Pardo told 1UP, “I want to play Diablo 3 on my laptop in a plane, but, well, there are other games to play for times like that.”