We do not have plans to implement an offline mode. While the always-online requirement made the auction house possible, the auction house was never the driving factor in our decision to make the PC version of Diablo III require an Internet connection. The game was built from the ground up to take full advantage of Battle.net, which provides a number of important benefits, including persistent server-side character saves, a seamless PC multiplayer experience, cheat prevention, and Real ID and BattleTag social features.
I usually try to stay away from using overly strong language when voicing my dislike of something, but this...I'm sorry...this is some of the biggest loads of bull**** I have heard from Blizzard, though sadly that seems to be par for the course. The AH WAS the driving factor because they HAD to keep people from finding ways to hack and abuse it with an offline mode that gave them access to so much more than what we have now. Even more so with the fact that there was a RMAH involved and you can bet that if someone had found a way to screw around with that through unscrupulous means and stole items/money that Blizzard would've really been up the ****creek without a paddle or life jacket when it came to people suing them for lost goods/money or credit card numbers or whatever. It just boggles my mind that they honestly believe that this statement will (and sadly it will) convince people that it's the other things they mention as the driving forces as to why they wanted the game to be online only and DRM put in...bull-*******-****.
Big deal on server-side character saves, and Battle Net 2.0 is a terrible abomination compared to the original Battle Net and that's saying nothing about the horrendous GUI for chat channels and communications in general. So bare bones minimum and it's going to get even worse with the removal of the AHs and trading needing other avenues, and that's saying nothing about just wanting to make games for public or for friends. So far the Real ID and 'social features' have been sorely lacking and the only real thing that has had any real use is the 'cheat prevention', and even then that seems sketchy now and then, which just makes me shake my head even further. Add to that you have the console versions which clearly have an offline mode and no AHs to be seen...so WHY can't the PC version get the same thing now that the AHs will be gone?
It just reeks of poorly thought out and pathetic PR spin that's rivaling some of the stupid stuff that Microsoft spouted out with their whole XBox One E3 conference and the whole "Buy an XBox 360 if you can't get stable/good Internet". I can't say I 'fail to understand' why Blizzard is keeping the game online only...I see why...I see it and it just makes me shake my head at how ******* stupid it is.