It's up to you whether or not you want to drop real money into Diablo III for rare items, but one thing no one will have a say in thus far is the mandatory online requirement in order the play the game, even if you're not doing online multiplayer in the first place. As you may have guessed, the persistent internet connection requirement has riled some feathers in the community, and that's left folks like Robert Bridenbecker, VP of Online Technologies at Blizzard, scratching their own heads in turn.
Speaking to MTV Multiplayer, Bridenbecker expressed surprise over how anyone should be surprised that Diablo III would be online-only (even for singleplayer) these days. Bridenbecker further insisted that the measure wasn't implemented as a clever means to toss in some form of online DRM:
"Internally I don't think [DRM] ever actually came up when we talked about how we want connections to operate. Things that came up were always around the feature-set, the sanctity of the actual game systems like your characters. You're guaranteeing that there are no hacks, no dupes. All of these things were points of discussion, but the whole copy protection, piracy thing, that's not really entering into why we want to do it."
Bridenbecker reassures that the constant internet connection requirement doesn't mean you'll be forced to be part of some Diablo III social network. He explains that Blizzard wants to make it more convenient for offline players to join online multiplayer if they choose. Looking at this another way though, it seems Blizzard wasn't so keen in seeing a portion of the potential Diablo III userbase not bother with connecting to their servers out of choice.