Diablo 3 will have always-online DRM, player-to-player microtransactions

Written by Joe Martin

August 1, 2011 // 10:57 a.m.

Tags: #activision #activision-blizzard #blizzard #diablo-3 #diablo-3-auction-house #diablo-3-download #diablo-3-drm #diablo-3-mods #drm #game-mods #microtransactions #piracy

In a trilogy of dramatic reveals, Blizzard has revealed that upcoming RPG Diablo 3 will feature player-to-player microtransactions for real-world money, will have always-online DRM and will not support game mods at all.

The news comes from PC Gamer, who quizzed Blizzard on the whys of each point. See what Blizzard had to say on each point below.

Regarding Always-Online DRM
Blizzard has confirmed that, like Starcraft 2, Diablo 3 will be

'It’s the trend that we’ve been moving towards,' said Senior Producer Alex Mayberry. 'Obviously StarCraft 2 did it, WoW authenticates also. It’s kind of the way things are, these days. The world of gaming is not the same as it was when Diablo 2 came out.'

Mayberry also admitted that preventing piracy was a factor in the decision. Executive Producer Rob Pardo said that it was to provide a better experience for players and to tie them to Battle.net earlier on, because if players levelled up offline characters and tried to move those online then Blizzard would not be able to confirm that no cheats were used.

Players will still be able to play solo, confirmed Pardo, but will have to do so while connected to Battle.net.

Regarding Lack of Mod Support
Blizzard has only commented on the lack of mod support - which actually goes as far as expressly forbidding mods in the Terms and Conditions - in an official statement.

'For a variety of gameplay and security reasons, we will not be supporting bots or mods in Diablo III, and they’ll be expressly prohibited by our terms of use for the game,' says the official line.

Regarding Microtransactions
Blizzard has confirmed that Diablo 3 will feature an auction house where players can buy and sell in-game items for real-world money. Blizzard itself will not sell any items, though it will take a flat-rate fees for listing items in the auction house, plus another for successful sales. Players will be allotted a number of 'free sales' each week.

Blizzard's lead designer, Jay Wilson, said that Blizzard was staying away from a percentage-based cut to avoid the temptation to meddle with the system. Wilson also said that Blizzard doesn't expect the auction house to make a profit, rather that it might 'break even'.

'We think it’s really going to add a lot of depth to the game,' said Rob Pardo. 'If I have more money than time I can purchase items, or if I’m leet in the game I can get benefits out of it.'

'The players really want it. This is something that we know people are going to do either way. We can provide them a really safe, awesome, fun experience, or they’ll find ways of doing it elsewhere.'

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