While the big announcements of this year’s BlizzCon 2019 came at the opening ceremony on Friday, important details on upcoming projects like Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 are still trickling out in panels and interviews that followed. At one of these panels, it was confirmed Diablo 4 will not function without an online connection, which is standard practice for the series on some platforms. However, it’s still a new thing to consider for others.
The news came from the Diablo 4 lead designer Angela Del Priore, who revealed it in response to an audience question about whether or not Diablo 4 would support offline play. It turns out it will not, even if you’re planning on running through all by yourself. (Thanks GameSpot!)
“We are not going to support an offline mode,” she said. “But as I said before, nothing in Diablo 4 is going to require partying up. You can play solo and dungeons are private. Campaign quest areas will [also] remain private.”
More Diablo 4 & BlizzCon:
- Sylvanas Sends Everyone to Hell in World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
- Overwatch 2 Is Officially Official, Won’t Segment the PvP Player-Base
- Diablo 4 Bursts from an Ancient Forbidden Temple at the Heart of BlizzCon
In a follow-up statement sent to GameSpot, Blizzard did confirm that this will apply to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. This is a shift from the Diablo 3 approach. That game allowed consoles to play online and offline, which makes a lot more sense when you consider the Nintendo Switch version (which many players would like to take on the go). So where once there was a relatively accessible version of the game to people with no or unreliable internet connection, people who have internet troubles may want to keep the requirement in mind before they take the leap and throw down money for it.
As for the potential of Switch Diablo 4? It still doesn’t seem impossible. Overwatch made it to the platform and that, too, requires you to be online. Neither Blizzard nor Nintendo seem opposed to the idea of those kinds of games appearing on Switch. Instead, it will likely come down to whether or not the larger, prettier Diablo 4 will get up and running on the handheld at all.
According to what Blizzard has revealed so far, Diablo 4 is also more focused on online functionality than previous entries in the series. The company basically called it more along the lines of a live service game — in the vein of Destiny or Warframe — than ever before. On top of that, Diablo 4 is meant to be more larger and open. Blizzard called it an “expansive open world” that groups can explore together.
This is obviously a popular trend in games right now. However, as these games become more reliant on being always online, they leaving some folks behind. Those who live in rural areas and don’t have access to the quality of service this kind of stuff can require. Meanwhile, those in larger cities are often subject to harsh data caps under regional ISP monopolies.
Along with Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, Blizzard also revealed a new expansion for World of Warcraft titled “Shadowlands.“