Let’s face facts: Diablo 3 did not get off to a great start. Last week’s Tuesday launch was marred by busy servers and crashes, leaving gamers frustrated and upset. The problem: maker Blizzard’s decision to force people to connect to the web in order to play, even in single player mode.
The (supposed) payoff: Blizzard can better monitor the activity of players, getting rid of hackers, pirates, and other malicious goons.
So, is the gamble paying off? Not yet, if recent reports are to be believed. Blizzard recently admitted that it’s facing a barrage of complaints about hackers ruining the in-game experience for many players, indicating that the absence of an offline mode is only going to frustrate and confuse Diablo fans in the months to come.
In a recent statement, Blizzard admitted that it’s received many complaints about hacking during Diablo’s first week of availability. In many cases, this involves someone breaking into an account and stealing in-game equipment or — more alarmingly — personal information.
Blizzard says it’s not surprised by the problem. “Historically, the release of a new game — such as a World of Warcraft expansion — will result in an increase in reports of individual account compromises, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing now with Diablo 3,” the company said in a recent statement.
“We know how frustrating it can be to become the victim of account theft, and as always, we’re dedicated to doing everything we can to help our players keep their Battle.net accounts safe — and we appreciate everyone who’s doing their part to help protect their accounts as well.”
As it deals with a rising number of angry complaints, Blizzard says it’s treating the issue “extremely seriously” and doing “everything possible to verify how and in what circumstances these compromises are occurring.”
Unfortunately, these issues will only reinforce gamers’ insistence that Blizzard create an “offline mode” for the game, permitting play without connecting to the web. Beyond preventing hacks, such an option would also allow players with poor Internet connections — or no access to the web at all — to enjoy a fantastic new PC game.