A founder of Blizzard North, David Brevik talked about Diablo at GDC today. In which he talked about how Battle.net for Diablo was originally hosted on just a single PC. Interesting Stuff
“I think that it was because we had people directly hook up with each other, the bandwidth… we weren’t handling much of the bandwidth. They would come into the Battle.net, we would store the IP information and things like that, then send it off to other people. So all it really needed to do was get this connection, send it off to other people, and then run it like a chat room. Which is really not much, even back then it was not much processing that was needed. So it was able to run very, very quickly.”
He also talks about how they never anticipated how much cheaters would effect the game.
“We didn’t realize, it just didn’t dawn on us, like… we knew people were going to be able to hack because it was peer-to-peer,” admits Brevik, who says that Blizzard’s attitude was that “If you want to cheat, go ahead and ruin your little game for yourself, that’s fine, we don’t really care. And then it came out and like, instantly, we were like, ‘Oh my god, they can just upload the cheats and then everybody can cheat!’ Oh my god, we didn’t even think about that. So, obviously, the number one thing that we wanted to fix with Diablo is the cheating that happened. Going client-server for Diablo II was definitely necessary.”
Diablo did come out in 1996 so you can’t really blame them for making this mistake. Otherwise a great classic with an even better sequel. Keep it up Blizzard!