The unfortunate truth is that sometimes I just don't know the best way to write about a game. How can anyone write a review of Diablo III without discussing the debacle that has been trying to actually play the game on launch day? Yet, that's not really the game itself, is it? And, presumably as the days, weeks, and months pass Blizzard will work out the issues and it will be smooth sailing
(or questing) for all. But, with the servers being down (or inaccessible or inadequate or whatever you want to say, the upshot of any of which is that the game can't be played) for so much of launch day, something must be said.
A week before launch I, I think wisely, downloaded the seven-plus gigabytes of game software for Diablo III from Blizzard – I didn't want to hit a crush on the first day and be unable to download. Of course, the sad truth of Diablo III is that the way the world is constructed, you have to be online to play… yes, even though you have more than seven gigabytes of game on your hard drive (in point of fact, it appears as though after install I have nearly eight-and-a-half gigs of Diablo III on my computer). The flipside to the player needing to be online is sometimes not considered but certainly true – the servers need to be running as well. This isn't like a Steam-downloaded game that suggests that it would be awfully nice for you to be online to play (so you can save your game to the cloud), if you're not connected to the Battle.net servers for Diablo III (no matter whose fault it is), you're not playing.
I have never been a big fan of MMORPG that require a large outlay of cash for the title and then a monthly expense for exactly this reason – if I'm buying the game, then I should be able to play the game. I should not be forced to shell out additional cash every month to play something I've already bought. In my mind, the model where the game is free but one still has to pay monthly works, the double-pay model doesn't.
Happily, folks aren't being forced to pay twice for Diablo III – there is no monthly access fee, but, if eight gigabytes of game reside on everyone's computer, connecting to an online server to play ought to be optional. Even if that means that the game is somehow limited as opposed to the online version, it should be playable in some format. Eight gigabytes and $60 and you can't play on an airplane, on the train on the way to/from work, in a diner, anywhere you please… it's ludicrous and there isn't an excuse (be it DRM or the wondrousness of saving your game to the cloud) that makes it acceptable for a single-player title.