Diablo 3 will not receive an offline mode, in part because of lessons Blizzard Entertainment learned from Diablo 2, lead designer Kevin Martens told Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Martens said that he "studied" player reaction to Diablo 2 "for a living" and wanted to prevent situations that stopped people from playing with each other in the sequel. Requiring everyone to be online in Diablo 3 solved that problem and gave players incentive to team up.
"The game is most fun when you can play with other people," he said. "To be ghettoed off to the side and not part of the real game, we didn't want that to happen. This is an online game. We want people to play together. All of that predates the auction house.
"That was the wrong choice to allow people to play offline, and we still stand by that. And we think Internet access is widespread. If someone has no Internet access, then yeah, Diablo 3 is not the game for them."
When asked why Blizzard couldn't just remove the online requirement, perhaps alongside the soon-to-be disbanded auction houses, he said it's because that would fundamentally change the game Blizzard set out to make.
"We didn't make that game. That's the straight-up answer. We did not make that game, and we're not going to turn this game into that game. We have the online mode because we learned a lot over the many, many years that Diablo 2 was in development."