I remember back in the days where you could go out, buy a shiny new computer game, go home and play it until your mother unplugged your computer and kicked you outside. Those days are seeming like a distant memory now. When Diablo 3 was first announced, the rabid fans that had been locked up in their rooms with their level 99 Necromancer on Diablo 2 ran out screaming with joy into the streets. They promptly returned to their caves, half blind and their skin bubbling from the sun.
Those fans, like me, have been waiting for this game for 12 years now. After it was announced, they continued to wait. Blizzard even threw them a bone and allowed them to buy the game digitally and download it in the safety of their own homes so they wouldn't have to risk getting moon burn on their skin waiting outside of a store until midnight.
A lot of Diablo 2 players played on Battle.net with other players, but a large majority of the players (mostly the ones with internet too slow to used battle.net) played the single player. That is why I bought the game, the single player.
I love the Diablo story, I even collect Diablo lore books like a secret nerdy hermit. So I was excited to continue the story. The first thing I was greeted with after installing the game was a log in screen. It's no huge deal, I had played World of Warcraft so thus I had a Battle.net account already. Though I wondered, why do I need to login when I am just playing single player? In Diablo 2, you had two options, to play a single player campaign or to log in and play on Battle.net. I liked that, I was familiar with that.
My thoughtfulness lay all but forgotten when I actually got to play the game, it didn't disappoint. There were skeptics that thought Diablo 3 would be like Duke Nukem Forever. Which in case you aren't familiar, had about a 12 year wait too and was a very poorly made game. Diablo 3 though is seriously one of the most amazing games I have ever played, and though it has problems it's worth suffering through them.
Since you are in fact connected to battle.net automatically, friends on your battle.net account can see you, and can join your game without permission. I like some of the people on my battle.net friends list, but Diablo has always been a sacred single player experience for me. I don't want to play with others, I don't want others talking to me while I'm playing. I wish I could just play offline...
While wishing my guild friend from World of Warcraft would stop talking to me, I got my wish. The game went to the starting screen as if it heard my inner woe and was trying to fix it somehow. I logged back in, or at least tried to.
Apparently, Blizzard did not buy enough servers to house the huge amount of players that would want to play it on their release. So thus, players got kicked off battle.net and could not play their game. That's infuriating and everything, until you realized you just wanted to play a nice single player game and there was no reason for it to be hosted on a server.
Why is all gaming trying to be a multiplayer experience these days? I like my space.
Now I know why they made a single player game have to run on a remote server, it's because Diablo 2 was a hugely pirated game. People who didn't play on Battle.net could just pirate the game no problem. Thus why now if Battle.net breaks, your single player game breaks. It's because Blizzard will not tolerate losing one cent of their money to us filthy theives!