I've been thinking (worrying I know!)... Do you think your opinion, enjoyment and faith in DIII (good or bad) would've been different if it was available offline? I've thought about this, and if it wasn't for a lot of issues that relate to it being online and interaction with others, I probably wouldn't have got so exasperated and annoyed with DIII/Blizzard in general. I really enjoyed what I played of the game, but I found that in being online, and the constant negative (only in my opinion obviously) changes just ruined the game for me. I guess, more how the game was/is handled, rather than the game itself?
I think the game being online influenced alot of the other parts of the game and the gameplay itself. The game's drop rates are balanced with the auction house in mind, for example. That said, there are things that I don't like that could be independent of the online requirement. I find the amount of health bosspacks have to be rather annoying. It turns fights into wars of attrition and cooldown management, rather than skill in controling your character. For me, at least. I dislike the cooldowns themselves, aswell. And the skillsystem doesn't give you much variety, if you don't have top end gear. Sometimes I think it was all made to have a broader appeal.
I most enjoy D3 when playing with friends these days. Also looking forward to Torchlight 2, which is a game that let's you have the unique items as you go through the game.
- I think it would be nice to play whenever I want (I finish my work earlier and... "server is down". Or I'm in some fight with my ISP and can't play for 4 days. It's not that frequent anymore).
- It would be fun to be able to use go mule, FAM, etc. Most of my week-days playtime involves playing with chars to open space and fix the colossal mess I make on my stash/mules every weekend... I'm playing my 2nd DH just to get rid of every single unnequiped bow on my stash/chars.
I would miss:
- I see the GAH (up to act 1 inferno gear) as a mini-game. I don't like the 40kk items and RMAH. It's a funny win-win scenario. A needs gold quick and offers something way underpriced. B buys the 1d12h item and feels blessed by the existence. I thought I was taking advantage over people buying underpriced items, but in fact, maybe the other person know the item is underpriced, but needs to make gold quick and can't afford to occupy a lot of slots for too long. It wouldn't work offline. I could be happy with a better crafting system...
- Also, sometimes I'm rather buying a 2k-5k item instead of looking for it on my stash/mules (it's faster to find 5k gold on inferno and browse on AH than looking for stuff in a bunch of mules). I could be happy with a gomule-like application...
Since I'm fond of achievements (they fell like a grail, in a sense of something to keep track of), my style of play isn't that usual. I have fun reaching lvl 60, beating hell, etc. I'm in no rush to beat inferno. I'm not that worried with "infernal troubles".
With a few changes (go mule, better crafting, having achievements offline) I could pretty much love the offline game. I'm not sure if it would fit my playstyle. since it's an "if" question, not a "when" question, maybe I would play it differently from the beggining. Or maybe I would just play d2 (grailers, go mule, etc.).
I find it cool to do inferno runs, looking for "the weapon" for my barbarian. I just hate to do hell farming, looking for a blue item with all res, + vit, +X; or farm items to get "whatever, as long as I have a decent vit, high X, this mod, that mod, all res". I need to have focus. Not knowing I'm looking for - runes for spirit, occy, 4o monarch, shako, part tals, etc - feels like looking for nothing, in my head.
I use GAH to farm the "essentials" and, right now, I'm looking for a 700-800+ DPS dagger with 100+str, 100+vit, ias, life on hit and a socket. Something pretty specific.
On the rest of gear, I just pack a bunch of mods scattered everywhere and call it a day (i.e. I have a dumb armor (200-ish) with 1 socket and 169 vit. I can just skip vit in other pieces of gear - like my ammy - to have LoH. I have a shield with socket, ok vit, 49 all res, 20 block, 4% life, named "John" by me. I don't know really well what I want to find to replace with something else, not until I have a couple of things from AH up and running - as in my barb, which will look for his self-found dagger (or 40mi gold, whatever comes first - probably sf item, since I just spend too much gold with trash to farm 40mi) and helm/money for helm. That wouldn't work as simple just making the game offline.
@Pijus: interesting point... Sometimes I don't even look for my barbarian, I look for the cooldowns/duration instead. I know the extra health guy will be there, anyway...
That *is*an interesting point, it's true... sometimes when fighting a boss pack with my barb, I'm just watching the bottom of the screen... health bulb, Revenge skill slot, Ignore Pain, etc.
But I would love to have GoMule too. In D2SP I hoarded charms, jewelry and beginner gear. I could always go through the stashes and have a complete wardrobe picked out for a character from level 1 to endgame. In D3 so far, I've hardly stashed anything besides crafting gear and the 3 legendaries I've found. I guess it doesn't matter since you can only have 10 characters per account, and such a restriction would be totally dumb for offline SP.
I was thinking about this topic before. I would've liked some sort of system where maybe u can play offline, and then u can choose to go online and it will update your account information with whatever u had done while offline... if that makes sense. There may be finer details to iron out, like preventing farming from a previous patch and updating it into the online mode... maybe something like u get a particular window to update your loot for that particular patch into online mode before the update happens. I know it sounds messy, but that's just a rough idea... mostly I just want to be able to play whenever I want, without random lag... it really bugs me that the game is mostly designed for single-player or small groups... yet we can't play whenever we want. MMOs I can understand... they have to update more things, especially environmental or whatever... but D3 isn't an MMO.
I would love to have offline play, because I don't like the idea of the AH being almost a necessity. Sure, I read somewhere that drops were balanced without the AH in mind, but I get the feeling, that a lot of balancing issues regarding fights/monsters are fit to people using the AH. I don't want to use it and won't use it, esp. not in HC, so I'm eager to see if I manage to beat Hell in HC single pass untwinked
Another pro regarding offline would be that I could pause the game for as long as I like. It really is annoying to pause the game in order to have dinner with your wife or feed your baby, then run to the PC every 10 mins or so to move the cursor and go back to eating/feeding...
^ I'm not 100% sure what the timeout is, but it's pretty long. I've gone AFK for at least 30, perhaps as long as 45 minutes, come back and still had the same session running.
I've gone to sleep a couple times without ending the session, and yeah... the server won't let you idle in town for 6-8 hours.
Really? I thought I read somewhere that the timeout is after 15 mins...but I may be wrong. In the beginning days, I was logged out after ~20 mins one time IIRC. Have to try that one time. Thanks for the info!
Honestly for me it would make very little difference if the game suddenly opened up a SP option (I have no idea of the design implications of online only re drops rates etc, so i wont speculate). I have had little trouble with the servers post-beta, maybe one or two instances of server downtime or laggy conditions, and i think this is offset by the ease of multiplayer w/o hamachi or similar.
FWIW im playing mainly solo or in a dedicated 2 man team, with no auction house.
I was inclined to say that online-only wouldn't have changed much for me, but I'm not sure if that's true. While I'd have chosen to play online, I think the feedback from offline players would probably be motivating some changes in patches that would be having an impact (specifically? Approachability of Inferno, ability to obtain good gear). D3 really isn't the game for me in its current state, anything motivating change would probably be making me enjoy it a little more.
I'd certainly rather changes be motivated by an offline community than Kripp or Athene (regardless of how much I enjoy or hate their streams and content, I don't want them to be driving game design).