Since last week, it's all about Diablo 3. Well, for me that is. All my free time has been heavily invested in this addicting Action RPG and I'm enjoying every minute of it. But every time I run Diablo 3, I'm always reminded how this game would have been better appreciated if we had the option to play without internet connection. This is definitely Diablo 3's biggest flaw and every time lag occurs reminds me of this fact.
I bought Diablo 3 a few weeks before May 15. Where I live, day one releases for video games are pretty unpredictable. You can't really trust that they will have a specific game on a specific date. So to avoid calling and bugging store clerks if Diablo 3 copies have arrived, I just decided to buy the digital copy of the game. An online option if your just that lazy to the point you can't even take a 15 minute drive to pick your copy up. Was I that lazy? A bit, but the real incentive to purchase Diablo 3 was the opportunity to pre-install the game to be able to play at midnight on May 15. That and I was a bit worried of being more expensive in stores. But with me living in South East Asia and planning to play the game on the Americas servers(SEA servers), I had to wait until 3pm of May 15 for the servers go up. .
I was all set up. Chips on the side, game fully installed, friends on Skype also waiting to do our first playthrough as group. We just wanted 3PM to hit so badly. When 3PM came though, in just 15 minutes, excitement turned to frustration. It took us an hour and 30 minutes after 3pm to get in and create our first character. Error 37 -That was the error I was experiencing every time I tried to enter the servers. There were just that many people trying to enter the game. It felt like a bottle neck traffic jam, everybody trying to get inside this tiny door all at once. Blizzard said they prepared for it, obviously they weren't.
When everybody finally got a chance to enter the game. Problems did not stop there. Constant reports of horrible lag, connection issues, achievements disappearing(I experience this one), and many more left Diablo 3's launch a complete nightmare for most players. Thanks to all those issues, emergency maintenance were happening, leaving players unable to play. Servers tend to crash every once in a while. Problem after problem, in short - first few days wasn't pretty.
In all online games, issues like this occur, but this one was just bad. The whole game was actually being overshadowed on how bad Blizzard prepared for this launch. The last thing you want is to have fans that have been waiting for this release for years to finally battle server issues rather than butchering countless demons for loot.
Some people prefer playing Diablo 3 solo, and it is just bizarre to experience lag spikes as if your playing an MMORPG. So why is there no offline feature? Blizzard claims that Diablo 3 is better played online, thus creating Diablo 3 as an online-only video game. It is also online only to fight piracy which is a load of bull since Starcraft 2 has an offline mode.
Some people say that it's because of the game's Auction House that will soon give the players the option to sell/buy gear with real money. Which by the way, will go crazy when it goes live. Players will definitely abuse it. But I still think it's doable since offline characters was separated from online characters in Diablo 2. It's possible that the lack of an offline mode is mostly because of the real money Auction house, since Blizzard is actually going to get a cut from every successful transaction. Crazy. Instant profit for Blizzard right there and is pretty much a win-win for both the player and Blizzard.
Diablo 3 having no offline feature is really the biggest issue right now. We are forced to go through all that lag and server maintenance whether you like it or not. The chances of doing well with a Hardcore character(Character with one life) is pretty slim at the moment thanks to the current lag in servers. Definitely will give Harcore a try but I won't last long that's for sure.
Aside from this game's online service being a pain, the game itself is worth the wait. Maybe not for some hardcore D2 fans, But I'm definitely feeling that addiction way back when Diablo 2 was released. Will work on my full review of Diablo 3 soon But for now, must reach level 60.