Offline Play Suggestion

  • #1
    I read an blue post on the official forums a while back that said offline play would be difficult to implement on the PC version with the way the game is currently designed. It got me thinking about how this could be implemented without breaking the multi-player experience or the economy. Here are my recommendations:

    1. Add silver as the single-player currency.
    One of the issues that has been expressed is that players in offline mode could bot farm gold and bring it into the AH, which would cause massive amounts of inflation. In single-player mode, mobs would drop silver instead of gold. Silver could be used to purchase items from in-game vendors, repair, and craft items. Silver would not be allowed to be used to buy items on the auction house or be sold on RMAH. Gold will still be a currency within the game, but gold will only drop from mobs when using online play.
    This solution would give the player the ability to increase power through crafting and enjoy the playing experience without destroying the economy. Gear crafted in offline mode could be worn in online play as well.

    2. Meta-tagging items.
    Items and crafting items dropped/created in offline play would receive a meta tag from the client that would not allow them to be posted on the auction house or traded between two different players. Basically, they would become account-bound. This would prevent people from farming offline for gear to sell and give incentive to online play.

    3. Bot Prevention
    Offline play could potentially increase the ability for people to bot their gear to perfect levels and paragon level incredibly quickly. While this wouldn't affect the offline experience, it would allow for unfair advantages when joining online games. The "botted" players have the benefits of the increased paragon levels, in which they did not really earn. The solution would be to institute client-level controls that would report botting and/or kill the client if the botting software is detected. WoW (I know...I know...) has this system in-place on their client (WARDEN) and, while not perfect, does allow for Blizzard to collect evidence in cases where bans are necessary.

    Okay, now that I've posted my opinion...fire away. /duck
  • #2
    So what's preventing a player from modifying his savefile to have perfectly rolled gear with maxed paragon levels?
  • #3
    Sorry dude. We know lots of people wanted this. I was really really hoping they wouldn't go online only (back when they even announced the game), but following SC2's footsteps, they went with online only.

    There's almost no chance that they will change that now.

    Despite all the hassle that it creates (with mantaining servers) and having hardcore players being killed due to latency and disconnects, having to fix certain skills because they cause more rubberbanding than others. Despite all that, I doubt they'll give us offline mode. It just won't happen.

    Probably because "online only" succeded in the one thing they were probably trying to prevent. Having their game being hacked and freely distributed/downloaded by a lot of people.
  • #4
    Quote from Phredreeke

    So what's preventing a player from modifying his savefile to have perfectly rolled gear with maxed paragon levels?


    That would be another thing that the developers would have to address. There might be a way to encrypt the savefile to prevent applications other than the client from performing modifications. They could be evil and place a command in the file that runs a shutdown command when opened. :)

    They get paid the big bucks to think of fixes for all the details on that stuff though. I just have the overall suggestion.
  • #5
    Quote from Zero(pS)

    Sorry dude. We know lots of people wanted this. I was really really hoping they wouldn't go online only (back when they even announced the game), but following SC2's footsteps, they went with online only.

    There's almost no chance that they will change that now.

    Despite all the hassle that it creates (with mantaining servers) and having hardcore players being killed due to latency and disconnects, having to fix certain skills because they cause more rubberbanding than others. Despite all that, I doubt they'll give us offline mode. It just won't happen.

    Probably because "online only" succeded in the one thing they were probably trying to prevent. Having their game being hacked and freely distributed/downloaded by a lot of people.



    What if it still required Internet access as part of the installation process? Validation against a server could reduce the chances of hacked copies being activated.
  • #6
    Quote from Thornagol

    Quote from Phredreeke

    So what's preventing a player from modifying his savefile to have perfectly rolled gear with maxed paragon levels?


    That would be another thing that the developers would have to address. There might be a way to encrypt the savefile to prevent applications other than the client from performing modifications. They could be evil and place a command in the file that runs a shutdown command when opened. :)


    To address your last point, that's impossible unless the savegame hacking utility itself have some sort of exploit in it.

    As for encrypting the savefiles, the encryption has to be done locally, in which case it can be reverse engineered. You would resort to security by obscurity (which is what Diablo 1 did to multiplayer prior to 1.08)
  • #7
    Offline play is not possible without re-programming huge parts of the game. It's difficult (if not almost impossible) to explain the technical details, but OP's ideas don't even scratch the surface of the real problems that would need to be solved in an offline mode.

    It's almost for certain that we will not see offline mode anytime soon, and I wouldn't be surprised if we won't see it ever. The only reason why they might introduce an offline mode is when D4 comes out, in 5-10 years, and they want to take the D3 servers down.
  • #8
    If any company ever came up with a way to prevent modification of save-files, they wouldn't be wasting all that cash on online servers in the first place. Hell at that point they ought to be able to stop piracy too, which would make all those server farms expensive and redundant. Because companies exist in the real world though, they pay the big bucks to host servers to do these things, because they know that anything on a local computer is hackable.
  • #9
    Quote from Thornagol

    3. Bot Prevention
    Offline play could potentially increase the ability for people to bot their gear to perfect levels and paragon level incredibly quickly. While this wouldn't affect the offline experience, it would allow for unfair advantages when joining online games. The "botted" players have the benefits of the increased paragon levels, in which they did not really earn. The solution would be to institute client-level controls that would report botting and/or kill the client if the botting software is detected. WoW (I know...I know...) has this system in-place on their client (WARDEN) and, while not perfect, does allow for Blizzard to collect evidence in cases where bans are necessary.


    Though I'm by no means an expert when it comes to stuff like this, I wouldn't be surprised if something like this wouldn't make the game more vulnerable to botting in the long run to begin with, since you're effectively handing the coders the entire framework on how the game goes about to find these exploits.

    As far as I know, this was one of the big pitfalls D2 had when it came to hackers. They had access to the everything on their own machine and could handily make their own programs. On the other hand, if you split these systems between a client-server setup, you'd ironically end up where we are now: even playing alone requires a basic level of internet connection, at which point it makes no sense to have the ability to create characters that can't play with other characters.

    Lets not forget that always-online serves two purposes for Blizzard:

    1. Always-ON DRM
    2. Better tools against Hacking and Botting

    For all intents and purposes, they managed to get two birds with one stone, and although even this system is far from perfect, it gave Blizzard the ability to at least improve in these areas compared to D2.
    Of all things important in Online Gaming, there is one thing no game developer can "fix" - it's community.
  • #10
    Quote from Thornagol

    What if it still required Internet access as part of the installation process? Validation against a server could reduce the chances of hacked copies being activated.

    I would love that.

    But I still think it isn't going to happen. We have asked and talked about this for years before D3 was released (even before we knew it would be online only) and they still went that path, so I doubt they'll backtrack on such a huge decision.
  • #11
    Well, playing with characters stored on the local drive is simply bad for the online experience. But an option for a separate offline mode, whose chars couldn't be played on the bnet servers would be a nice idea.
  • #12
    Quote from Bagstone

    Offline play is not possible without re-programming huge parts of the game. It's difficult (if not almost impossible) to explain the technical details, but OP's ideas don't even scratch the surface of the real problems that would need to be solved in an offline mode.


    OP's ideas aren't actually even relevant. It'd be trivial to completely segregate the offline and online economies. Obviously, though, any kind of AH for the offline part would be utterly compromised in short order, which would lead to God knows how much trade spam for the inevitable offline black market infecting the online part... bleh...

    Having said that, I'd like to think that Blizzard re-used a lot of the PC code for their PS4 version, and that back-porting the PS4's backend and 'local server' code to PC would be a large developer effort, but by no means insurmountable... and while I'm indulging in wishful thinking, I'd also like to think that they'll just do the right thing and add an offline mode in the expansion, where the business case and dev-cost would be optimal.

    Quote from Bagstone

    It's almost for certain that we will not see offline mode anytime soon, and I wouldn't be surprised if we won't see it ever. The only reason why they might introduce an offline mode is when D4 comes out, in 5-10 years, and they want to take the D3 servers down.


    I just don't think that'll happen. Adding an offline mode will only get more expensive as the number of devs actively involved with the D3 codebase drops over time... the case for doing it when the game is near EOL just wouldn't stack up. OTOH, (IMO, of course) it's the ethically correct thing to do. They'd earn vast amounts of good will if they did... it'd also be a world first, wouldn't it? Plan B is to just keep the servers chugging away year after year, as they have for D2. Unlike certain other publishers, I have enough faith in Blizzard to believe they'll at least do that much for us.

    I just wish there was one major triple-A publisher out there with the balls to revert a online-only title instead of just pulling the plug... I hate the idea that the New Normal is that we just expect (unnecessarily online-only) games to simply stop working a few years after release because the publishers cbf supporting them anymore.
  • #13
    No_bots_on_first_page_feed =]
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