back to article Blizzard faces court battle for 'misleading Diablo III fans'

Blizzard faces a court showdown unless it agrees to change its Diablo III packaging to better reflect the role-playing game's online requirements. Fans of Diablo III were already peeved that a constant network connection is mandatory to run the title, but while the most of the world sits and moans, the first legal salvo has …


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  1. Alfred 2

    Seems like a good game, but I won't go near it with thislimitation. If I'd bought it then found out I needed a constant internet connection I would have demanded my money back. Doubt if I'd been successful though.

  2. Mark C Casey

    Was interested in this..

    Then I discovered the constant internet connection requirement, this is a game that suffered from lag.. in a single player game...

    Constant internet requirements are just plain nasty, not everyone has a speedy net connection or one which can afford large data use.

    1. Ian Yates

      Re: Was interested in this..

      I made this mistake with StarCraft ][ and find it almost unplayable with the current level of DRM. The Blizzard servers just seem so slow to authenticate me, and I lost connection mid-game (and thus progress) enough times for me to just give up.

      I should have just pirated it.

  3. iCode86


    It surprises me that with all the uproar that surrounds Blizzard, nobody seems to mention the fact that account passwords are case insensitive.

    The words Wouldn't, Touch, and Bargepole spring to mind.

    1. Panzerbjorn
      Thumb Down

      Re: Blizzard

      Because if you have a account, then you should also have an authenticator.

      If you don't, then the biggest problem isn't the lack of case-sensitivity.

    2. pete23

      Pedant's Corner

      Oh come on, case insensitivity reduces the number of distinct symbols you have by 26. Assuming you're picking passwords from the 96 character printable ASCII set, you just need a password that is 37% longer. No biggie.

  4. The Nameless Mist

    Its a MMORPG !

    So what are the users saying "we bought this online dungeon game and we're complaining because its not playable offline" ?

    If people are not capable of reading the SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS or checking on the requirements before purchase OR asking the retailler, then its their fault.

    Of course in the modern "oh I don't like it .. lets lawyer-up and sue" is fairly typical now.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Its a MMORPG !

      Fanboy much? Perhaps you'd like to explain how Diablo is an MMORPG?

      Also, it has a single-player mode. Still MMO?

      1. The Nameless Mist

        Re: Its a MMORPG !

        Actually no - I don't have or play Diablo.

        - its a (in one mode) Multiplayer game.

        - that means it needs to be online.

        Do you expect blizzard to manufacture TWO ENTIRE VERSIONS of the game, one to go on your SINGLE PLAYER LOCAL INSTALL and one to run CLIENT/SERVER ?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Zombie Womble

          Re: Its a MMORPG !

          "Do you expect blizzard to manufacture TWO ENTIRE VERSIONS of the game, one to go on your SINGLE PLAYER LOCAL INSTALL and one to run CLIENT/SERVER ?"

          That's right, name me one game that has both offline single-player and online multi-player

          It just doesn't happen.

          1. Sysprog Steve

            Re: Its a MMORPG !

            Diablo II, Neverwinter Nights.

          2. Mad Chaz

            Re: Its a MMORPG !

            Diablo 1, Diablo 2, Starcraft 1, Warcraft 1, 2 and 3. And that's just blizzard titles.

        3. Jedit Silver badge

          "Do you expect blizzard to manufacture TWO ENTIRE VERSIONS of the game"

          Nope. I just expect to be able to play by myself offline, or online with other players. You know, like in Diablo II. And Diablo. And Starcraft. And virtually every game with online multiplayer that has ever been published.

          1. Winters
            Thumb Down

            Re: "Do you expect blizzard to manufacture TWO ENTIRE VERSIONS of the game"

            You mean like pretty much every other non-MMO game that has existed ever? Yes. Yes, I did.

        4. Falmari Silver badge

          Re: Its a MMORPG !

          It is not a MMORPG it is the same old single player game it was in 1 and 2 with multiplayer added.

          Also they did not need to make 2 versions of the game they could have done like the previous games that could be played online through battle net or not, offline and even over a lan.

          The game was poorly documented no where did it say at release time on the box or on the offical web site that continual internet connection was required to play the game. All it stated was that an internet connection was required. Most PC games released in the last few years say an internet connection is required because they need it for registration but not to play.

        5. Juillen 1

          Re: Its a MMORPG !

          You're really not a programmer are you?

          If you can't abstract away the file storage, you've got no business going near commercial coding that uses data storage.

          It's a political decision to force people to use the real money marketplace, no more and no less.

          Bad move, marketers.

        6. EddieD

          Re: Its a MMORPG !

          "Do you expect blizzard to manufacture TWO ENTIRE VERSIONS of the game, one to go on your SINGLE PLAYER LOCAL INSTALL and one to run CLIENT/SERVER ?"

          They already make different versions for different countries (e.g. Korea doesn't have the RMAH), so why not?

          I was thinking of getting this, but I'm glad I held out till the hype wore off...

        7. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. NumptyScrub

        Re: Its a MMORPG !

        quote: "Also, it has a single-player mode. Still MMO?"

        Actually, I'd argue it does not have a single player mode. You are playing Multiplayer mode but with one player; since the game supports drop-in, drop-out multiplayer then anyone on your friends list can jump in to your solo session at any time. I have this happen to me a lot, and as a social gamer I actually encourage this kind of thinking from developers; I don't want to have a seperate set of characters for solo play vs multiplayer, or to have to save and quit then start up multiplayer when a friend comes online. It was one of my biggest gripes with Diablo 2, and one I resolved by deliberately only playing Battlenet games (which, funnily enough, required a working internet connection even when there's only 1 player) :)

        Also, the game does not include the server component in the purchased product. The maps, monsters, drops etc. are all done on Blizzards servers, you only get the client application in the box. It is impossible, with the game as supplied, to run it standalone; I suspect this decision was partly due to it being an effective DRM measure, but mostly because of the intent to create a Real Money Auction House and the attendant issues with duping and custom servers (with altered drop rates) that would turn the RMAH into a fiscal clusterfuck if they already included the server code to enable a standalone single player or local LAN game to be played.

        Well, more of a fiscal clusterfuck, since I've seen people list Unique loot at up to £200 buyout in the RMAH and I'm struggling to picture someone who would pay >5x the price of the game for one piece of loot (correction: for a license to use one piece of loot as Blizz retain all rights to the loot in question). Sometimes I despair for the species :(

        Anyway, given that there is only multiplayer, and it does not include the server component, does that sound more like a "single player" game or an MMO? From my side of the debate it sounds identical to any MMO I've played, as they all only supply a client, require you to login with a managed server account and support drop-in, drop-out play :)

        Of course, people buy products with their own expectations, and those will not always align with the capabilities of the actual product. That's where reading the box and looking on websites for a list of requirements or a FAQ comes in. Whilst I would ascribe at least some of the blame to people not actually bothering to read the specs prior to purchase, Blizzard making things abundantly clear on the box will go a long way to ensuring people know what they are actually purchasing.

        1. schubb

          Re: Its a MMORPG !

          Funny, Blizzard seems to know it is NOT an MMO.

  5. tanj666

    No such thing as constant connection is there?

    I bought this game. Eventually I couldn't stop myself. I'd loved 1 and 2.

    But the internet connection requirement is worse than just a pain. It's plain awful and stupid. The game jitters and jerks about a lot, constantly jumping back to previous places. It's very, very annoying.

    Why the heck did blizzard spoil the game by making the single player need an internet connection anyway?

    It's also very short lived. For me, it lasted just over a month of occasional playing. I expected more.

    It's also very very repetitive, the map outlines are the same each time, the locations of dungeons are in the same few places each time.

    Can I get my money back now?

  6. adam payne

    I don't like the idea of needing a permanent net connection for a single player game. Sounds to me like DRM by the back door.

    However much I want to play this game I will not support this kind of DRM.

  7. Pointer2null

    Waste of money

    The game is a waste of money anyhow - basically comprises of a very short lackluster game which you then have to complete 3 times on different difficulties. Bored shitless after the first pass.

  8. Panzerbjorn

    What exactly does it say?

    So I'm wondering, what exactly does the system requirements say.

    It seems to me that most games will say something along the lines of 'Internet connection required to play'...

    A bit fail not to report that as well...

  9. Neil B

    It says plain and simple on the front of the box that you need a permanent connection.

    Guess now the Germans are going to start arguing over font sizes.

    If I was Blizzard, I wouldn't be asking, "When will it end?", I'd be asking, "Why the fuck do we bother?".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "It says plain and simple on the front of the box that you need a permanent connection."

      Did it say that at release? Or did they recently correct it? On Blizzard's site, it just says that it requires a broadband internet connection (no mention of the permanence).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My release copy says:


        Minimum System Requirements*:...Broadband Internet conection...

        The block caps is theirs. And while the minimum requirement of a broadbad internet connection could (and probably should) be construed as requiring a high speed, stable connection, it could have been more clearly worded. And of course that's all written in the fine print that's always used for system requirements and other stuff they'd rather you not read.

    2. Greg J Preece

      >If I was Blizzard, I wouldn't be asking, "When will it end?", I'd be asking, "Why the fuck do we bother?".

      I've been asking Blizzard that for years!

  10. Crisp

    Can you not get a 3rd party patch to fix it?

    I'm sure that some enterprising programmer out there has made one.

    1. That Steve Guy

      Re: Can you not get a 3rd party patch to fix it?

      Not that I am aware of.

      A critical chunck of the D3 Data appears to be actually located on servers given the lag that you can experience while playing a game.

  11. JP19

    Blizzard sux

    I played 1000's of hours of Diablo II it was a great game slowly made worse by Blizzards patching and lack of care and competence running BattleNet.

    While others got excited, tried to get into beta testing, and pre-ordered I just couldn't get enthusiastic and didn't buy because I just knew they would screw it up - and they did. The reliance on BattleNet to be able to play at all is just one example.

  12. Thorfkin
    Thumb Up

    Wow. Someone forgot to take his happy-pills this morning. The game isn't that bad. Not what I would call a Great like Diablo 2 was but it's still fun.

    I do agree that Blizzard screwed up on an epic scale in regards to pretty much everything concerning the game's launch and management but the game itself is decent enough. The fact that a fan died while playing is testament.

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