'Diablo Plays Best With Other People'
Despite Diablo III's console version lacking an always-on requirement, Blizzard are adamant that their controversial online framework (or DRM, depending on your stance) is absolutely essential for the PC version. In terms of the spirit of the game, not just keeping the Real Money Auction House secure.
"Something [lead content designer Kevin Martens] says all the time is: Diablo plays best when you're playing with other people," Diablo 3: Reaper Of Souls director Josh Mosqueira told Eurogamer during a Gamescom interview. "Because not a lot of people connect their consoles to the internet, that's where the whole idea of having to get four people on the same couch playing together. That's how we get that social aspect.
"But on PC, we really want players to feel they're part of the bigger Blizzard and Diablo community. It's a choice of platform and opportunity for our players to benefit from. There's a more secure item trading environment, but also a more social environment."
"We developed this as a co-op game from day one," Martens chimed in. "We didn't add co-op in. It's not a value added feature. It is the ideal.
"It's not something we want to force upon people, but the idea it's always available - the whole drop-in, drop-out thing - has been of value since the very beginning of the project. We tried to make the game with that in mind. As we add new things, as we look to the future, we're still trying to enrich that. We still are doing a lot to make online matter. Improved matchmaking, new social systems and extra rewards for playing together."
There's no doubt that cooperative play has always been the most enjoyable way to play Diablo II and III, but as someone who also loved grinding Diablo II solo, a little choice in the matter would have been nice. It's clear that the RMAH is still a deciding factor in the decision to not provide offline play. [via PCGamesN]
We've received an Xbox 360 review copy of Diablo 3's new console version, and I'll endeavour to provide you with a full review soon.