Diablo 3 Only Playable Online
According to executive vice president of game design Rob Pardo, Diablo 3 will require users to be online while playing.
Pardo's reasoning for the online requirement is that it allows additional elements to be incorporated into the game, such as a friends list, cross-game chat, persistent characters stored server-side, PvP and game matching, drop-in/drop-out co-op, larger item stash, an auction house, an achievement system, and a banner system which allows you to display your successes in the game.
Diablo 3 isn't the first game to require it's users to be online at all times while playing. Ubisoft has forced gamers to be online to play with Assassin's Creed 2 and Splinter Cell: Conviction. Although, Ubisoft moved away from this model with Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. It should also be noted that it's bringing back this requirement in Driver: San Francisco. A Namco Bandai executive approved of the decision last year, calling it "a good strategy." Capcom's Bionic Commando: Rearmed and Final Fight: Double Impact on PlayStation 3 both have the same sort of DRM, which led to some issues during the extended PlayStation Network downtime earlier this year, as owners of either game were unable to play for weeks.
Regardless of the reasoning, it is annoying to be forced to be connected to the internet to enjoy a game that's been paid for. Not to mention the risk players face if their Internet connection drops out, causing them to lose their progress. I just wish Rob Pardo would come out with the real reasoning behind this strategy, which is to ensure players are using a purchased copy of the game. Do you remember how easy it was to "dupe" items and play a torrented Diablo 2?
How do you feel about having to be online to play a game? Is it fair to ask of a user who has purchased the game?