Blizard Entertainment Vice President of Online Technologies Robert Bridenbecker responded to MTV his impression after reading fan feedback at Reddit and other social networks in reference to Online-only gameplay. He’s literally surprised, but brings forth his point of view and the purpose behind this feature — and it’s not DRM and piracy.
Bridenbecker provides some details on how online-only requirement works to pacify solo players.
Bridenbecker: “There seem to be folks that believe that because you have to be connected, it’s like you’re on Facebook or out there with the rest of the world. That’s really not the case. Yes, you’re going to have a connection, yes, your character will be stored on a server, but it doesn’t mean you have to socialize with people. It doesn’t mean you have to do anything but play the game by yourself. You’ll still be able to have a private game. You’ll still be able to go off and play the game solo and adventure solo. You can opt to bring other people to your world if you want, but that’s up to you.” — Source
CGDC – As Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.‘s vice president of online technologies, Robert Bridenbecker oversees all of the company‘s global online development initiatives, as well as the continued development of corporate tools. This includes coordinating the efforts of several teams working on areas such as Battle.net® (Blizzard Entertainment®‘s popular online gaming network), web and mobile applications, and software tools used in customer service, billing, and accounting.
Bridenbecker started his career at Blizzard Entertainment in 1995 as a technical support representative. Since then, he steadily took on additional responsibilities, including managing the company‘s facilities, security, and support services; helping to create Battle.net; and developing critical tools such as the global billing system for World of Warcraft®, before moving into his current role.
Bridenbecker is an avid gamer and enjoys fantasy and science fiction books and movies. His other interests include programming, astronomy, politics, and travel.
Bashiok also posted his take on how the online-only requirement works and its benefits.
In addition to all the other benefits that we believe ultimately come from having everyone online such as an active, centralized community, a popular arena system, accessible character storage, etc. etc. Diablo III is built on a client/server architecture, which means not all the data for the game or mechanics reside on the client (your computer).
This is not too unlike World of Warcraft where the world itself, the art, the sounds, etc. are on your machine, but all of the NPC’s and enemies are controlled by the server. Diablo III doesn’t function in all of the exact same ways, but things like monster randomization, dungeon randomization, item drops, the outcomes of combat, among others, are all handled and verified by the client talking to the server, and vice versa.
We’ve learned a lot from this type of architecture from World of Warcraft, and the added security and oversight it provides. It allows a great deal of control over the game at all times for all players, so if we know there’s an issue or bug we can usually address it right then and there through a live hotfix. Hotfixes can’t be used for everything, we’re still going to have client patches, but we’re definitely looking forward to being able to deliver a consistently high quality experience to all players simultaneously through processes like hotfixes.
In addition there are some pretty intense security concerns. While there’s never a fool proof solution to stopping hack and cheats, we’ve found that a strict client/server architecture is a huge barrier for their development and use.
Ultimately we made the decision to make the game client/server based because of the security and quality it can provide to those playing, and as a bonus it reinforces a lot of our ideals for a thriving online community. — >Source