As you may have read in our fine preview of Diablo III, Blizzard's next chapter in the revered dungeon-crawling series will require a persistent connection to Battle.net, even if one wants to play solo. Yep, it's everybody's favorite form of DRM, back in action!
Executive producer Rob Pardo is not calling it DRM, however, instead telling PC Gamer that it's an anti-cheating measure: "One of the things that we felt was really important was that if you did play offline ... you’d start a character, you’d get him all the way to level 20 or level 30 or level 40 or what have you, and then at that point you might decide to want to venture onto Battle.net. But you’d have to start a character from scratch, because there’d be no way for us to guarantee no cheats were involved, if we let you play on the client and then take that character online."
That justification is a little sketchy, but fortunately senior producer Alex Mayberry was at least honest enough to say that piracy was "one" of the reasons for the persistent login.
So, just remember as you play Diablo III ... even when you're alone, Blizzard is watching you. Always.