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Diablo 3 No Pausing
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Diablo 3 No Pausing

Current beta testers and potential Diablo 3 players have a bone to pick with Blizzard. First came the announcement that you would only be able to play Diablo 3 online. Now, beta testers have discovered that there is no current way to pause the game.

To Pause or Not To Pause

In Diablo 2 single player, you can pause just by pressing the esc key. Even in multiplayer, as a hardcore character you could hit esc and select “Save and Quit” to get out of hairy situations your character wouldn’t survive. In Diablo 3 this won’t be the case. If someone knocks at the door, or the phone rings, or you get an IM, there won’t be an easy way out of the game.

Many players, understandably, are in an uproar over this lack. After all, pausing has been a basic feature of single player games for decades. However, once again players have fallen victim to an assumption about Diablo 3: that it is single player at all. If you labor under this misapprehension, then this may be a problem to you. If you can see that an assumption is all this really is, this decision makes sense.

StarCraft 2 and Precedent

Diablo 3 is a multiplayer only game. There is no single player to be paused. Once you see that this is the case, then not having a pause function makes sense. Very few multiplayer games provide pausing functionality. The one that do are usually turn-based in nature, where pausing is easier to accomplish. In fact, one of the only real-time games that allows multiplayer pausing is StarCraft 2, another Blizzard title.

So, technically there is a precedent for pausing in online games. But let’s examine the feature in SC2. First, if you choose to pause the game, any other player may un-pause it at will. If you have other people in the game at the time, you risk getting un-paused. Next, SC2 only gives you a certain number of pauses. If you need more, you’d have to restart the game, making pause useless.

An Argument For Pausing

But, you might argue, Diablo 3 and SC2 are fundamentally different games. After all, multiplayer matches in SC2 always take place against or with other people. In Diablo 3, you can start a private game that is effectively a single-player game because you’ve given it a password. Many people use this method to play Diablo 2.

In that case, then a pause feature may actually be feasible. However, as you can see, Diablo 3, like other multiplayer games, is following rather than breaking the rule by not having a pause feature.

As Diablo 3 comes closer to release, people have found more and more issues to talk about with regard to the game. You should remember that Diablo 3 is currently in beta testing, meaning that Blizzard may choose to make radical changes to the game and how it works still. That includes things like a pause function.


Street Talk

Rolando  

Dark Souls also has no way to pause the game. The heightened sense of suspense and awareness is welcomed, but real-world duties should be taken into account as well. I don't want to miss out on some orange loot because I had an emergency and the game said "No! You pick up this loot or I'll make sure your character gets killed by common enemies that randomly respawned next to your character when you come back!" Your entire user-base is not composed of kids who have all day to grind for loot Blizzard! Anyway, Great article Steven!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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