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New Details For Battle.net 2.0 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the upgrades dept.
The folks over at DIII.net combed through information from Blizzard employees about the revamped Battle.net that is slated to debut with Starcraft II. New features will include Achievements for various old and new Blizzard games, improved communication and community features, and better replay and spectating functionality.
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New Details For Battle.net 2.0

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  • So, GPG Online? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mr_mischief (456295) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @09:23PM (#24853461) Journal

    Seriously, isn't this what Microsoft and Sony have done for consoles and other game companies have already done for the PC? I wouldn't expect it to be big news that Starcraft 2 will be expected to keep up with features Battlefield 2, Team Fortress 2, and Supreme Commander have.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Starayo (989319)
      I don't see what the Gauteng Provincial Government have to do with TFA at all.
    • Considering Blizzard was one of the pioneers for online gaming (Battle.net for diablo 1) I would say that it's fine that they're doing these things. Since the last battle.net game they released was 6ish years ago, they obviously have to play catch-up.

      Ye Olde Battle.net does not suffice.

  • It's like a dance! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bieeanda (961632) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @09:25PM (#24853479)

    ...Jay Wilson has even said that Diablo III won't even contain any other networking functionality besides Battle.net.

    One step forward, two steps back! Cha cha cha! Thanks guys, but some of us do, you know, LAN?

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by mr_mischief (456295)

      They need to have your personal information and to have you logged in to their server before the game will work. Otherwise, the freetards win. Pay no attention to the piles of cash behind the curtain. These people are starving without you paying customers bowing to their authentication requirements.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I didn't realize being rich precluded you from being compensated for your work. With an attitude like that, perhaps you'd prefer they didn't bother developing Starcraft 2 at all, seeing as you don't feel like they should be paid for their effort.
        • by mr_mischief (456295) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @11:32PM (#24854575) Journal

          Being rich doesn't preclude you from being compensated, but that's either a nice little straw man or an entirely mistaken reading of my post.

          What being rich from selling games should preclude is the attitude that the paying customers must jump through hoops because the rich development studios are going broke from people freeloading copies of the game. You can't be a big, profitable game company and be going broke from piracy at the same time. It's not possible.

          • They're not going broke from piracy. They just don't wanna lost any revenue to it.

            While I myself do not purchase products that make me jump through hoops just to use them. They need a better model if they want my money.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            If you consider entering a 10-20 character key "jumping through hoops", you have serious typing deficiencies, and probably aren't the target audience for a PC game.

            But of course, on the other hand, if you think "not buying out of protest" and "illegally downloading for your own enjoyment" are the same thing, you have serious mental deficiencies, and not only aren't the target audience for the game, but probably would be better off in a padded cell without computer access at all.

            I mean, it's not like ban
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by billcopc (196330)

              Entering a 20-character key once, that's fine.

              Having to authenticate to a remote server every time you want to play, and being locked out of your game if either your connection or the servers' goes down, is a wholly different beast.

              And as others have mentioned, LAN gaming should not involve remote authentication. In fact, a lot of LAN parties don't even have net access, especially if they're renting the venue, or sometimes you just don't feel like dicking with your iptables for a bunch of greasy IRC buddie

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by devman (1163205)
            I think your argument of hoops is really a stretch considering the fact that Battle.net has always been free, you just need a valid key, and it's not like you need to sign on to Battle.net to play single player. There are a bunch of reasons why LAN play might have been excluded piracy could just be a side effect, not having to bother coding or testing it is probably a bigger cost savings.
    • by mcbridematt (544099) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @10:02PM (#24853817) Homepage Journal
      I look forward to the PvPGN folks setting Diablo III free.
      • by Kingrames (858416)
        ...and subsequently getting the everliving crap sued out of them?
        "*Achievement unlocked!* prepare to be boarded!"
    • Agreed. I don't like Diablo II online because it's too laggy (even though I'm on 15Mbps fiber). If I want to play with my friends I start a LAN game and we play over Hamachi. I'm quite saddened that Diablo III won't be able to do that.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by stickytar (96286)
      Not necessarily backwards as they are overcome some of the slowness of the old LAN days. Doesn't anyone else remember having to install IPX to get Starcraft to work? :) We frequently have LAN parties with World of Warcraft with a single cable modem connection and can all play easily without a hitch. The downside is having to have an internet connection, but the fact is internet is so ubiquitous these days it shouldn't make a difference.
      • by AlphaGremlin (878335) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @12:21AM (#24854925)

        Not necessarily backwards as they are overcome some of the slowness of the old LAN days. Doesn't anyone else remember having to install IPX to get Starcraft to work? :)

        Having to install IPX hasn't been a problem for years, so that argument doesn't even make sense any more.

        We frequently have LAN parties with World of Warcraft with a single cable modem connection and can all play easily without a hitch.

        Not everybody has a decent connection like that. Plenty of people are stuck on ADSL, where you're lucky if you have 256kbps upload. I'm sure I'll be thanking Blizzard for dropping LAN play when I've saturated my connection and suffer horrible lag, not to mention the lag we already get here in AU when playing on US servers.

        The downside is having to have an internet connection, but the fact is internet is so ubiquitous these days it shouldn't make a difference.

        Not every situation where you'd want to play games includes an internet connection. I've been to many LAN games held in halls and schools with 200+ people where there's not an internet connection in sight, and that's exactly the sort of situation where you'd want to load up a game and have 8 or more people roll over the legions of hell. No LAN play makes it impossible.

        And this completely ignores the other benefit of LAN games, and that is hackable characters.

        If someone else wants to join a LAN game that is already in progress, you can simply copy your existing character, rename it and free up the skill points so they're all ready to drop in and start playing in minutes with all the quests and waypoints set. Or to make the game quicker we'd create an amulet with the maximum number of bonuses you could place on an item.

        Being able to edit the characters was one of the things that made it fun. We had competitions on who could hack up the best level 1 Hell-Difficulty character! Or we'd amp up the useless skills until you had level 200 Teeth and could one-shot bosses. It was stupid, silly fun, and that's part of what made the game last long after it should have gotten boring.

        Granted, allowing local characters online was foolish, and they should have never had open Battle.Net. But dropping LAN play will mean that I, and a lot of my friends, won't be buying it. It'll be just like Hellgate:London.

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          I was going to buy Diablo III, until I heard that it did not contain LAN play. Thankyou Blizzard, I will just pirate it instead now.
          • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Wednesday September 03, 2008 @02:58AM (#24855725)

            Pirating it will make it work on a LAN?

            Wow, these clever pirates!

            • no, but it's the multiplayer I would have bought it for, not the singleplayer. But now that you mention it, such hacks do exist for diablo 2 to facilitate playing online without using battlenet, so I wouldn't be surprised if such a thing were created for diablo 3.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Idiomatick (976696)

              Yes, yes they will. You can even setup WOW/WC3 to work on LAN if you pirate it and its an mmo not remotely setup to work that way. Obviously not much is known about the guts of d3s net setup but i'm sure it will be similar. You'll likely need to download a fairly light ap along with d2 to run the server on one machine and have everyone connect to it. Essentially battlenet will be hosted on your lan.

        • by lukas84 (912874)

          Plenty of people are stuck on ADSL, where you're lucky if you have 256kbps upload.

          Hm? My old (consumer) connection at home was 6m/0.5m (ADSL). Currently at 20m/2m (VDSL). At my company, most of the branch offices have 20m/2m ADSL2+ connections.

          If you only have 256kbps upload, you either live somewhere in the montains, or don't pay enough.

          • Hm? My old (consumer) connection at home was 6m/0.5m (ADSL).

            Who were you with that offer such an odd plan, let alone 512k upload? The best ADSL plan I've ever seen other than 512/512 is 8000/384.

            Currently at 20m/2m (VDSL). At my company, most of the branch offices have 20m/2m ADSL2+ connections.

            ADSL2+ simply isn't available at a good proportion of exchanges, so there are a lot of people stuck with either slow ADSL or getting ripped off with Cable.

            If you only have 256kbps upload, you either live somewhere in the montains, or don't pay enough.

            We're on the edge of Melbourne, right about where it starts to become a rural area. We pay quite a bit for a decent download limit (95gb), but we're over 5km from the exchange so the best we can sync at is 1500/256.

            And I k

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      I take two steps forward
      I take two steps back
      We come together cuz opposites attract
      And you know: It ain't fiction
      Just a natural fact
      We come together cuz opposites attract

      Sorry. Had to do it.

    • by jasenmh (125829)

      Lol, LAN. How 1990s. =)

  • by kcbanner (929309) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @09:26PM (#24853493) Homepage Journal
    Sounds alot like some software named after vaporized H2O!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Congratulations! You have unlocked the OCD Compulsive Tidiness Achievement for Diablo 2.

    You picked up every single pile of gold, potion, ring, scroll, armor and weapon from the Blood Moor all the way to the Throne of Baal.

  • Resolution greater than 600 x 800? Really?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I hope you mean 800x600. Or do you play with your monitor sideways?

      Seriously though, I've always been confused why they don't issue a quick patch to Diablo II to let us play it at a higher resolution. I can't think it would take very many changes...

      • by nmb3000 (741169)

        Seriously though, I've always been confused why they don't issue a quick patch to Diablo II to let us play it at a higher resolution.

        In all fairness, they did increase the resolution from 640x480 to 800x600 with the Diablo II LoD Expansion pack. This was a huge benefit to play (and re-play) motivation.

        What I'm surprised about is that they haven't done anything for Starcraft's resolution. The only thing I can figure is that at some point the game reached an "untouchable" status where they didn't feel it was

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Moridineas (213502)

          What I'm surprised about is that they haven't done anything for Starcraft's resolution. The only thing I can figure is that at some point the game reached an "untouchable" status where they didn't feel it was right or fair to make such a sweeping change.

          I don't think they wanted to change the viewport size--can make a big difference.

          • That doesn't make sense though, because in Warcraft III when you change resolution the viewport stays the same. If you edit the registry to use a nonstandard (widescreen most likely) resolution, you get a stretched picture but no increased viewport. I think it's more that recoding the graphics engine would have been a pain and maybe some of the people who did it originally had left by the time 640x480 became woefully small.
            • That's one of the big advantages of having a 3D game engine--when you change the resolution you can effectively "zoom" in and out.

              Starcraft was all sprites and 2d. This means that every graphic in the game is actually the size you see on screen. If they had wanted to keep the aspect the same, and the viewport the same, but allow multiple resolutions, they would have had to make more graphics.

              If a stretched picture is all you want, most LCDs give you the option--you can stretch 640x480 to 1680x1050 if you wa

              • Well, the thing is, you can do that, but you can also not, and just scale the rendering code by a constant to keep the viewport the same. Blizzard does this for Warcraft III, and so they would have done it for Starcraft too had it been using a 3D engine. And for the widescreen thing, there is a difference between having the monitor do the stretching and the graphics engine doing the scaling - it looks remarkably less crappy when the engine does it. It's still stretched, but at the native resolution of your
                • Well, the thing is, you can do that, but you can also not, and just scale the rendering code by a constant to keep the viewport the same.

                  Ok, so then you have low-res graphics magnified at 2x or 3x or whatever. Which is the same as what LCDs do.

                  Again, the difference between War3 and SC is that War3 was built from the ground up to support multiple resolutions, and to use OpenGL to be able to scale 3D. SC is all low res bitmaps. The only thing they could do that would make SC work at higher resolutions is to create new graphics!

                  • Ok, so then you have low-res graphics magnified at 2x or 3x or whatever. Which is the same as what LCDs do.

                    No, it's not the same because when the 3D engine is doing the scaling it outputs at the native resolution. LCD scaling is crap, except for the very few (for example, Gateway has a 30" I think called XHD3000) that have dedicated scaling chips.

                    Again, the difference between War3 and SC is that War3 was built from the ground up to support multiple resolutions, and to use OpenGL to be able to scale 3D. SC

                    • No, it's not the same because when the 3D engine is doing the scaling it outputs at the native resolution. LCD scaling is crap, except for the very few (for example, Gateway has a 30" I think called XHD3000) that have dedicated scaling chips.

                      I'm not sure you're understanding how this works? The native resolution is completely unrelated to what resolution a game or OS runs in. The "native resolution" means--for an LCD--the actual number of pixels. A game or OS CAN run at the native resolution, or it can run at another resolution taking up the actual pixels, or it can be stretched by the LCD, or it can upscaled via software. But this is all kind of irrelevant to the issue at hand, because Starcraft...cannot...do...scaling.

                      Actually, if you're inte

                    • I'm not sure you're understanding how this works? The native resolution is completely unrelated to what resolution a game or OS runs in. The "native resolution" means--for an LCD--the actual number of pixels. A game or OS CAN run at the native resolution, or it can run at another resolution taking up the actual pixels, or it can be stretched by the LCD, or it can upscaled via software. But this is all kind of irrelevant to the issue at hand, because Starcraft...cannot...do...scaling.

                      Grr... I know all that,

                    • I think I've played over 600 hours of Warcraft III lol.

                      Unfortunately, playing video games doesn't have too much correlation with programming knowledge etc. Unfortunate because if it did, wed have a shitload of awesome programmers out there :)

                      In any case, I think this discussion has gone on far longer than it needed to.

                      Hear hear.

                    • OK, well I've also programmed games using DirectX and Java2D, albeit as an amateur, and I know what goes into that kind of stuff. But whatever.
        • People actually like the difficulties in controlling things in SC. It makes it challenging, competitive. For better or worse SC is just as much about skill in micromanagement and multitasking as it is strategy.

          Blizzard is really trying to appeal to SC's hardcore crowd with SC2. They're purposefully doing things to force you to micromanage - like making you "refill" the Vespene Geysers.

          They will not let you "zoom out" as you could in Supreme Commander. It would cause far, far to much of a change in
        • by ildon (413912)

          800x600 has been available in Diablo 2 since 1.0. Long before the expansion. Hell, I was playing in 800x600 in the barbarian stress test demo before the game even came out.

      • by 3p1ph4ny (835701)

        A guy wrote a 3dfx glide wrapper that I've been using successfully with Wine for ages, it's available here: http://www.svenswrapper.de/english/index.html [svenswrapper.de]

        There's lots of nifty features, including being able to resize to an arbitrary resolution (note: it just makes everything bigger, since there are still only textures for 800x600). However, you can't play with it and mods at the same time (mods require you to force Direct3D rendering). That's not a downside for legit Battle.net players, though.

        • IIRC you can play Starcraft on battle.net and Diablo II using a direct IP connection using mods as long as all the players in the game have the mod, so it could potentially be a downside.

      • It would require essentially no changes... in fact there is a hack that changes the window size available already (some of the textures become strange)

        http://www.edgeofnowhere.cc/viewtopic.php?t=348984 [edgeofnowhere.cc]
  • by felipekk (1007591) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @09:38PM (#24853613) Journal

    Currently, Warcraft III requires your password to be 3 characters long and is case insensitive (clod). Hopefully the newer version will include some revamped security...

    (I've only tested this with Warcraft III, not sure about other games).

  • Congrats You just Lurker rushed a noob! ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED!
  • by nobodyman (90587) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @09:56PM (#24853761) Homepage
    From the article (emphasis mine):

    As Blizzard is learning from WoW when it comes to server infrastructure where they are battling hackers and exploiters, the new Battle.net will be built on programming that prevent any form of hacking or cheating.

    I hope this is zealotry on behalf of the fansite rather than Blizzard developers actually claiming (with a straight face) that Diablo III will be unhackable. Diablo III will be hacked, in the same way that every Blizzard game has been hacked, in the same way that virtually every retail game on the market has been hacked. The true test will be how vigilant Blizzard is in policing this sort of thing, how quickly they can patch compromised releases, their ability to prevent cheaters from poisoning the community at-large.

    • Maybe. Sort of. It could be something as simple as encrypting your character save with the CRC of the binary that crated it (or something similar). Even if you connect to battle.net, using the legit binary, the save won't decrypt and you are stuck. Sure, this isn't fool proof, but it puts a LOT of worker on the crackers.
      • by Slow Smurf (839532) on Tuesday September 02, 2008 @10:36PM (#24854127)

        Characters were stored on the realms(battle.net) even in diablo 2. This was the "Closed Realm" option. "Open Realms" let you play your character in single player etc, and were trivial to hack, by design.(the file was entirely plain hex values for hp and so forth)

        For the most part, the only "hack" on the closed realms was duplicated items.(though to quite an absurd degree at times) There were not many hacks other than a map hack, which wasn't THAT good.

        • I've been playing Diablo 2 again recently (singleplayer, offline) and have wondered how duplicating items worked on closed realms. If you assume that the server knows what items each character starts with and what items are subsequently dropped, which seems like a reasonable assumption, surely it's fairly straightforward to do a periodic check and determine the legitimacy of each item?

          I suppose it must be harder than that since the developers aren't stupid, but for the life of me I can't see how such rampan

        • Mod parent down.

          This is coming from someone who helped run a successful business on selling Diablo 2 items. Trust me, duplicated items were small-time. We sold thousands upon thousands of duplicated Soj (stone of jordan) rings at a HUGE profit of over $30,000.

          But the real interesting stuff was the IST hacked items and the rarely generated bugged items that you could get the game to produce under certain circumstances. Like a cloth cap that reduces physical damage by 103%. Yep, you were invulnerable to p

        • by srvivn21 (410280)

          For the most part, the only "hack" on the closed realms was duplicated items.(though to quite an absurd degree at times) There were not many hacks other than a map hack, which wasn't THAT good.

          But what hacks existed were quite... Powerful. The white gloves [newd2event.net] for instance. There were white rings too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kesuki (321456)

        your solution although it sounds simple, is also simple to break. CRCs are very short, are easily tampered with (through hacked system drivers etc) and so on...

        but have you ever tried to connect to battle net with a no cd crack for a bliz title? sadly the b.net connection is refused, because to do no CD you need to remove software from the exe, that is easily checked for on connection to blizzard controlled servers.

        various cheats are often easily detected, although network sniffing based attacks on battle.

    • by Jack9 (11421)

      Diablo III will be hacked, in the same way that every Blizzard game has been hacked

      I'm not sure if you're trolling or just ignorant. I think you meant to say that every game is hacked to whatever extent it can be. That's not the same thing as Blizzard hacks have often been elaborations on spoofs (D2/SC Mapping, Duping, Bnet spoofing, etc) and it's unlikely that this will continue into D3. //pedantic

      • by nobodyman (90587)

        I think you meant to say that every game is hacked to whatever extent it can be.

        I meant it in the context that the article meant it. And no, I'm not trolling (can't say whether I'm ignorant or not... if I was I doubt I'd know it).

        and it's unlikely that this will continue into D3

        Ultimately, we won't know until it comes out. I'm basing my opinion on of history, trends, human nature. You're basing yours off of... hope?

  • Does this work with BnetD?
    What features are not supported by this update?
    What backward compatibility is supported?
    When will BnetD be updated to work with Battle.net 2.0?
  • There may just be a bnetd [greenend.org.uk] 2.0 in the near future... I have yet to see every hacker fail at breaking the piracy wall that Blizzard keeps rebuilding. (not hacking into battle.net; think private servers) Perhaps running private battle.net servers will be the answer to playing LAN games - who knows.
  • My favorite feature from the bullet list, -Excellent ping. What's the meme? You're doing it wrong?

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"

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