Blizzard says it was wrong to allow offline play in Diablo II

T.J. Hafer at

While the much-maligned auction house will soon be banished from Diablo 3, Blizzard remains staunchly committed to its ARPG's other controversial feature, the always-online requirement. In a recent interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, lead designer Kevin Martens went as far as to say that it "was the wrong choice to allow people to play offline [in Diablo II]."

"I don’t think people necessarily remember how mad they themselves were that they had an offline mode and online mode in Diablo II," Martens said. "This will probably be controversial for me to say. People will be like, 'I wasn’t mad!' But I was there at the time, and then I studied this for a living. It sucks when your friend or brother is online and he wants to join this game, but you realize you’re an offline character and he’s an online character, and there’s no way to transfer over because offline characters can be hacked and hex-edited to hell and back, right?"

The recent console ports of Diablo III do allow for offline play, and the argument could be made that the double standard is due to the increased difficulty of accessing and modifying character files on those platforms. Either way, the always-online component isn't going anywhere.

Be sure to check out the new trailer and details released about the Reaper of Souls expansion at Blizzcon.