Early beta version of Diablo III shows the worst aspects of the "always-on" DRM Blizzard decided to use for the upcoming game, with no ability to pause the game, and the high probability of losing unsaved progress due to Blizzard's own flaky servers
Blizzard may have face even more hostile reaction to the DRM employed in their upcoming Diablo III game, with the latest beta revealing an almost unplayable level of DRM annoyance.
Blizzard announced back in August that Diablo III, to be released in 2012, would feature the dreaded "always-on" DRM, forcing gamers of even the single player, offline game, to be online for every second of game play, or face getting booted off the game. Blizzard responded by saying that this wasn't an anti-piracy measure, but an anti-cheating measure.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun recently played a beta version of Diablo III, and a few quirks of the DRM was revealed. While this is still the beta version, and so the final version may solve a few of these problems, the one that will trouble gamers the most may very well be the lack of a pause function. If the game's character idles for too long, the gamer will be logged off the system, losing all unsaved progress (which can only be saved at in-game checkpoints).
And the lack of an offline mode meant that, during the testing when Blizzard's server would momentarily fail, the game would be crippled and eventually stop, forcing users back to the main menu.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun's John Walker was annoyed enough to request Blizzard to add in an offline mode, that would at least allow gamers to play a character that won't be able to interact with any of the online features. Walker described the experience as playing an MMO with only the disadvantage, and none of the advantages
Let's hope Blizzard takes Walker's suggestion into account, and the full version will not be as crippled.