Yes, if information is being hosted on the PC, it can certainly be modified.
The point is that D2 offered both systems. You could elect for single player + open realm mutliplayer, which presented ample opportunity for people to cheat.
Or you could elect for the closed realm system, in which all information was stored on battle.net, not the PC, and was far more resilient to cheating. Not impenetrable--even MMOs see their fair share of hacking--but leagues beyond what protection is available on the open system.
And that's the point. ALL the D3 system does is remove one massive option from the player. It doesn't give
anything, because all it has done is force people to take one path instead of providing them with multiples. And the reality is that no competitive player ever used the open realms unless they were perfectly fine with cheating. You'd be a fool to.
To put it in terms of your pros and cons:
Safer Online player2 player transactions (If they choose)
Hack resistant design (maybe)
Income from the game years after launch
Online DRM, affects a small portion of players, and bothers certain players. But the vast majority has no issues with it.
Its unplayable with bad connections, again small portions of players.
has downtime from servers: Again only affects a small percentage ( How many ppl bitch about WoW downtime and get told to STFU)
Safer Online play for all players, versus safer online play only for players who choose safer online play.
Hack resistant design, versus hack resistant design for players who desire hack resistant design.
*Income from the game years after launch vs. income for the game years after launch. *If you are going to argue that D3 players desire a safer gaming experience, than you have to grant that, when given the option, D3 players will choose the safer gaming experience. Therefore, the RMT auction house would have been nearly as profitable regardless, as any player seeking protected play would choose a closed realm, and no player seeking an open system is going to stay with Diablo in its new incarnation anyway.
-Always ON DRM pisses off a significant population of players, some of which get over it and manage to continue to enjoy the game anyway. It completely alienates any player without reliable internet access, and plenty of players who do have it. It completely alienates the group of players who would have restricted their use to an Open Realm, which was still potential money on Blizz's side. It doesn't increase security at all, because the closed realm system always existed in addition to the Open Realm system for anyone who wanted an experience without dupers.
-The population of people with unreliable internet connections is far higher than you imagine, particularly because really solid connections (particularly if we're going to talk about something like fiber optics) are only available in urban areas. Granted, this was 2 years ago, but 10% of the US' population couldn't gain access to internet fast enough to view photos. To be fair, I think this is down to 7% or something. That's still a LOT of people. And consider that single player games only become MORE important for any gamers in those areas. And remember that a internet connection sufficient to view photos is far lower than what would be considered playable for D3. My connection is fast enough for streaming. But it isn't reliable. So the reality is that Always On DRM is a potential serious issue for a FAR larger percentage of the population than you are pretending. The reality is that you aren't engaging with those people because they can't play the game
I mean, you DO understand how fundamentally absurd it is to argue that 90% of players
have no problems with Always On DRM, right? That's like me saying that 90% of posters on the TOR forums have no problem with the Free to Play restrictions for the game. That's probably true. It's also true that Free to Play accounts can't post on the forums