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Blizzard Confirms No LAN Support For Starcraft 2 737

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-no-telegraph-compatibility-mode dept.
Kemeno writes "Blizzard has announced that they will be dropping LAN support for Starcraft II, citing piracy and quality concerns. Instead, all multiplayer games will be hosted through their new Battle.net service. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this move, but wasn't LAN play how the original Starcraft became popular? Blizzard said, 'More people on Battle.net means ... even more resources devoted to evolving this online platform to cater to further community building and new ways to enjoy the game online. World of Warcraft is a great example of a game that has evolved beyond anyone's imagination since their Day 1 and will continue to do so to better the player experience for as long as players support the title. ... We would not take out LAN if we did not feel we could offer players something better.'"
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Blizzard Confirms No LAN Support For Starcraft 2

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:05PM (#28544905) Journal

    World of Warcraft is a great example of a game that has evolved beyond anyone's imagination since their Day 1 and will continue to do so to better the player experience for as long as players support the title.

    I find it odd that a comparison is being drawn between a stateful monthly payment role playing game and a stateless (allegedly subscription-less) real time strategy game. I definitely see how World of Warcraft is enriched by the spider webbed interaction of thousands of players on a server. However, I fail to see how Starcraft II would benefit from this if you've got a single digit cap on number of players in any given instance of the game.

    And can we give up on the piracy concerns? It's just getting embarrassing [gamesites200.com].

    Also, if you're going to force everyone to use Battle.net, I hope you have improved its quality since I was last one it several years ago.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by IflyRC (956454)
      WoW is a residual cash cow. They hope to do the same thing with StarCraft 2 by increasing ad revenue with Battle.net I don't think the comparisons mean much except that they are internally projecting how one game is going to do in comparison to their already established MMORPG.
      • by PotatoFarmer (1250696) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:40PM (#28545609)
        I wonder if all that extra ad revenue will make up for the fact that a bunch of their core demographic are using university network connections that block access to Battle.net.

        Somehow I think not...
        • by JorDan Clock (664877) <jordanclock@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:57PM (#28545945)
          Everyone I know that went away to college (7 different schools, actually) still has access to Battle.net, WoW, etc.. Where are you getting this information that Battle.net is blocked from universities?
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Where are you getting this information that Battle.net is blocked from universities?

            I told him. And I'm a very reliable source.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by shoemilk (1008173)
          Worse than that, how will they expect SC2 to take over for SC1 in South Korean gaming competitions? Those things are a world of their own. Televised, groupies, real live gaming clans for training. When a 20 year old is considered "over the hill" because reaction time gets too slowed, forcing the games to go through Battlenet would kill the competitions.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by COMON$ (806135)
        Considering that the original starcraft is one of the best selling games of all time AND is on most of the top 10 lists for games of all time. I would say their projections of comparison are gonna be accurate. Being a starcraft fanboy myself I will buy the game even though they have crippled it with this 'feature'
        • by Bobartig (61456) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @03:37PM (#28547875) Homepage

          Well, think of it this way. I'm a fanboy and I'll buy this game.

          I own eleven fucking copies of Starcraft and Broodwars. I can have my own 8 man LAN party and then some. That's how big of a SC nut I was. Will I buy multiple copies of SCII? Fuck no. No LAN party, no reason to.

          Blizzard is going to make "fuck-you money" with this game one way or another, but I'm telling you now, that's 7 copies unbought because you're greedy and removing LAN support.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LandDolphin (1202876)
            While you purcahsed 8 copies for your 8 computers, someone else purchased one and placed it on all 8 of theirs. The goal with the system the way it is, is that everyone will have to purcahse thier own copy to play through battle net.

            You can still have 8 computers set up in your house to play through battle net if you so desire everyone playing in the same room. Realistically, your style of game play is not effected (Out side of being required to have an internet connection, that you probably already
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Endo13 (1000782)

              While you purcahsed 8 copies for your 8 computers, someone else purchased one and placed it on all 8 of theirs.

              And now instead of buying one copy, they won't buy any at all.

              You can still have 8 computers set up in your house to play through battle net if you so desire everyone playing in the same room.

              Sure, if you have a fat enough pipe. Of course, then you still have to deal with lag issues, and you won't be able to play at all when the internet connection goes down. Oh yeah, and then there's the fact that it's way more convenient to just set up a LAN.

              But hey, if blizzard doesn't want to sell to several million of their potential customers, that's their problem. If they don't want my money bad enough to make a good product, that's their loss

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by LandDolphin (1202876)
                I am willing to bet that this budget analysis guys rand the lost sales versus the gained revenue and it came out ahead to do drop the LAN.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Vermifax (3687)

                Sure, if you have a fat enough pipe. Of course, then you still have to deal with lag issues,

                I keep seeing people say things like this. This is not true. The majority of the packets will be peer to peer and never leave your Local area network. Only the talking to the battle.net servers would go out to the internet, and this will not be happening hardly at all during game play. Having to maintain a connection to battle.net will not lag your game for the people who are connected all on one router,

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by im_thatoneguy (819432)

              Two problems with that though:

              1) You could play starcraft for free on a LAN legally. They had a LAN copy on the disk which had no single player and could only join.

              2) I can't count how many LANs I've been to or hosted that had no internet because of problematic DHCP servers.

              3) This thing better not lag like a mother with 8 people sharing a cable modem.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Blizzard has announced that they will be dropping LAN support for Starcraft II, citing piracy and quality concerns. Instead, all multiplayer games will be hosted through their new Battle.net service. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this move, but wasn't LAN play how the original Starcraft became popular?

      It's the typical "I got mine" ploy. Games, piracy, music, immigration, whatever. Immigrants should be free to come and go, unless my wage will be lowered. Foreign goods should be free to come and go,

    • by BlackSnake112 (912158) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:14PM (#28545099)

      There are other MMOs that are like that. For example, guild wars has many people in towns, but where you do most things the number is 8 (or 16 for certain missions). It is not as big as WOW but it has a good number of people. Guild wars has no monthly fee and totally online. No LAN based play.

      As for batttle.net, if it is like the diablo II days, they are in trouble. It sucked back then.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        It's a lot better than it used to be - the latency is good, communicating with people is easy, stability isn't half bad and it can handle more people.

        Still, sudden spikes of latency are a daily problem and the accounts are deleted after 90 days of inactivity. It's better, but it's still not perfect.

    • by Kavorkian_scarf (1272422) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:21PM (#28545217)
      I can honestly say that this is a huge disappointment to me. I was really looking forward to having an old school LAN party with my friends like we used to back in Junior High and high school. Somehow, having 4 friends in the same house/room connect to battlenet just to play with each other is a tad disappointing.
      • by Xaoswolf (524554) <Xaoswolf@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @02:13PM (#28546303) Homepage Journal
        Especially since the shared connection to battlenet for multiple people will never be as good as a connection on a LAN
        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968.gmail@com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @03:09PM (#28547329) Journal

          Yet another game whose bombing will be put down to "piracy" when in actuality it will be their own asshattery. Starcraft was great for LAN parties, but as other posters have pointed out with the upload speed on the average cable connection that is now deader than Dixie. You watch, when it doesn't sell the kinda numbers they expected because they burnt the LANers they will STILL blame piracy!

          It makes me think of the interview not long ago with the head of THQ over the closing of Iron Lore (here is the link [kotaku.com]), where all he did was bitch and moan about how it was everyone's fault but theirs that the company went under. It was piracy and PC having some many different combinations and it isn't our fault..bla bla bla. I tried the demo and it spent more time crashing to desktop than playing, and when it did play it was obviously a lame Diablo ripoff with very little to make it different from it or Dungeon Siege.

          I for one am sick of this "it's always piracy" bullshit. Because that is EXACTLY what it is. yes, there are some who pirate games, just as there are those that pirate movies or books or music. i don't see those guys going out of business, do you? How about making a product that doesn't suck with fancy epeen graphics and physics with bad guys dumb as Forest Gump, how about that? All your anti piracy bullshit doesn't hurt the pirates, they get it cracked before the game hits the shelves. It hurts guys like me that won't even buy your games at release anymore because I have to crack them due to the fact your ^%$#%^# DRM doesn't run on my 64bit OS but the games do. WTF?

          So to conclude this rant, quit playing the bullshit piracy card Blizzard. We know as well as you it is because you are now Blizzardvision and think every fricking thing should have a WoW constant revenue stream or be able to be rehashed year after year like CoD. You are screwing over the fans that actually bought your fricking product just to try to squeeze them for more cash and probably hit them with ads while you are at it. Well fuck you too buddy. I will not be buying Starcraft II even though I was really looking forward to it. Anyway this guy [metacafe.com] is able to rant about the anti piracy BS better than I can. QUIT SCREWING YOUR CUSTOMERS!!!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I'm surprised it took this long for the news to hit Slashdot's main page, it's already a few days old yet it's the kind of thing that we nerds definitely consider "news." Sites BluesNews reported on the initial Lan issue on the 29th and has been feeding details since then.

      Personally I don't mind that much, I haven't attended a LAN party is years. However I can definitely see how this will anger SCORES of people.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scorp1us (235526)

      No, LAN, then I won't buy it.

      It is bad enough being the recipient of a Protos carrier storm, or a Zerg rush even on 100Mbut switched LAN. Now you want me to send all of my LAN party's packets over a 2MBline? No F-ing way.

      Sorry Blizzard, but you're now out of touch with the people who made you great. Bye.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by melikamp (631205)

      It would be better for everyone if Blizzard licensed out battle.net software for a price that a small fan community could afford, between $100 and $500, may be? Beats implementing LAN code which almost no one is going to use.

      I wish they didn't bring up piracy though. Is anyone really buying this bullshit anymore? Hacking units will rush this title like a swarm of Zerg, they will.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        There was an OSS/FS implementation of Battle.net -- Bnetd. Problem is, Blizzard didn't like the idea of that (OH NOES THEY'LL USE IT TO PIRATE OUR GAMEZ! O WOE IZ US!) and sued the Bnetd developers.

        There's PvPGN as well, but I haven't had a chance to play with that. Looks like it's still being updated, though.

  • luckily! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tero (39203) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:07PM (#28544935)

    luckily we have bnetd!
    oh wait...

  • by ThinkWeak (958195) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:09PM (#28544965)
    So now, aside from locating a place where you and your friends can setup your computers and play - you now get to find someplace with an internet connection that can handle all of them at the same time.

    Way to go Blizzard.
    • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:38PM (#28545591) Homepage Journal

      So now, aside from locating a place where you and your friends can setup your computers and play - you now get to find someplace with an internet connection that can handle all of them at the same time.

      Or you can just pay $60 per computer per month with a 24-month minimum commitment for mobile broadband, like a lot of proponents of cloud computing on Slashdot have been recommending.

    • by Radhruin (875377)
      Not exactly true AFAIK. Starcraft is still peer-to-peer once the game starts, so you'll still be interfacing with your lan buddies over your LAN. I'd imagine if everyone in the game is local, the WAN will see very little, if any, traffic.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Not exactly true AFAIK. Starcraft is still peer-to-peer once the game starts, so you'll still be interfacing with your lan buddies over your LAN. I'd imagine if everyone in the game is local, the WAN will see very little, if any, traffic

        That won't increase the "quality control" as they're suggesting. That only increases the amount of things that can go wrong. Besides, that's a bloody insult to everyone who bought the game. "Let nanny look in on you and decide whether you've been good enough to play the game you paid for!" and btw, nanny has a 5% downtime for scheduled maintenance, and may be discontinued in 7-10 years.

    • by slodan (1134883) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:57PM (#28545965)
      The Warcraft 3 networking implementation for internet play via Battlenet just requires that the players start the game in Battlenet. Once the game starts, the client computers talk directly to the host. If all the players were on a LAN, the routing would be done at the LAN level as soon as the game started.
  • by Hadlock (143607) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:10PM (#28544971) Homepage Journal

    Are they at least going to release a battle.net server clone source/ dedicated servers for private hosting? Similar to how Valve has a source dedicated server they release for all their major games? A lot of large LAN events only allow limited net access, if any.
     
    For the record I think this is really,really dumb idea.

  • Disappointing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZinnHelden (1549931) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:10PM (#28544977)
    Quite disappointing, considering some friends and I still get together and play an 8 man LAN every month or so of Starcraft 1. Feels like an internet connection would be saturated if we were all trying to send data back and forth to BNet, especially the uplink. Maybe if BNet is just used for a quick auth and lobby, then a LAN game is started, that might not be so bad, but it's not looking that way.

    Shame the official reason is to combat piracy as well, since it seems this will cause more players to find BNet emulators and won't solve the piracy problem.
    • Until I read about this. HOLY crap am I pissed. I used to work somewhere with a 5$/hr gaming machine rental on a lan of about 10-15 machines. Starcraft, Q2, CS, TF were HUGELY popular lan games we allways had people doing group play 2v2 etc. We did tons of tournaments too that were often won w/ a zerg rush or an a carrier warp.

      Those were the good ol days!

      We're all going to have to wait for Total Annihilation 3?

      Effin A.

      • by ZinnHelden (1549931) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:32PM (#28545447)
        The official forums are filled at this point with people either deriding the exclusion of LAN play or people popping up to defend this as a good move... Though I can't say I like the implicit assumption that all the people that want LAN play back are pirates, as in this Blizzard response from Karune: Source [battle.net]

        As mentioned by Rob Pardo in interviews, piracy is a serious problem and often times tie in closely with LAN. At the end of the day, we want the best for the community and fans that support our games, and having chunk of the community pirate the game actually hurts the community.

        1) Pirated servers splinter the community instead of consolidating all players who love to play the game. Battle.net will bring players together in skirmishes, ladder play, custom games, and allow everyone the opportunity to share a common experience.

        2) More people on Battle.net means more even more resources devoted to evolving this online platform to cater to further community building and new ways to enjoy the game online. World of Warcraft is a great example of a game that has evolved beyond anyone's imagination since their Day 1 and will continue to do so to better the player experience for as long as players support the title. The original StarCraft is an even better example of how 11 years later, players still love and play this title, and we will continue to support and evolve it with patches.

        We would not take out LAN if we did not feel we could offer players something better.

        If I were to buy StarCraft II or any other title, I know the money I spent would be going to supporting that title. Personally, I would be upset that others were freeloading while others are legitimately supporting a title that has great potential and goals of making this title have 'long legs.'

        If you like a song a lot, buy it, and that artist will only come out with more awesome songs for you. If you like a game, buy it, and we will promise to constantly work to make the player experience better at every corner we can.

        Support the causes you believe in (This is applicable to all things, not just gaming).

        Don't be a leech to society, innovation, and further awesome creations.

        Bolding is his.

        • by Zaphod The 42nd (1205578) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:53PM (#28545869)
          They keep saying that they are offering something better. No amount of fancy battle.net matchmaking features is going to get over the technical limitation of requiring every machine on a LAN to constantly communicate back and forth across the same shared pipe to blizzard's servers. This is what they do not seem to understand. That, or more likely, they understand it just fine and don't care, and are more driven by sales and fighting piracy than making their customers happy. When will gaming companies learn? Do not worry about your non-customers, worry about the people who fund your paycheck!
        • by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @02:27PM (#28546585)
          In other words "We want Starcraft 2 to become a glorified chatroom just like WoW has become, and that can't happen if people are having LAN parties with legitimate copies of the game as they have for 10 years with Starcraft... which we now refer to as... 'PIRATED SERVERS!'" and the rest is "The entertainment industry and its programmers deserve to live wealthily while you struggle to find a job to support the nation and its economy. If you disagree with that, you must hate video games!"

          I like hamburgers, but that doesn't mean I need to go spend $60 on a burger to "support" the beef industry. I spend $3 on a burger because I want to eat the damn burger.
        • by DRJlaw (946416) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @03:12PM (#28547387)

          I think that it's odd that none of the linked articles or well-moderated comments have raised the most salient and powerful issue against this measure: that you can play the game only as long as Blizzard desires to support it or, more pertinently, for so long as Blizzard continues to exist. Blizzard is doing well, but recent events have demonstrated that that can change.

          As recent shutdowns or attempted shutdowns of DRM servers have shown (Major League Baseball, MSN Music, Yahoo Music, Wal-Mart Music, Adobe ad-supported PDFs), once a revenue stream dries up, your continued enjoyment of multi-player will be subject to a simple calculation: is the PR cost of cutting off support greater or less than the expense of maintaining the servers and support. The MSN, Yahoo, Wal-Mart servers were only used sporadically in order to shift DRM authorizations from one computer to another. The MLB servers were used every time someone attempted to play a purchased video. The Battle.net servers will be used by far larger numbers of people virtually every time that they want to play (once players exhaust the single player potential). World of Warcraft is the only Battle.net game that generates a continuing revenue stream to justify the expense. Even if there is support for 15-20 years, at some point discontinuation is inevitable -- and there are surprising numbers of people who still play legally purchased 15-20 year old games.

          Considering the importance of multi-player in Starcraft 2, players are justified in planning for reality and demanding some form of LAN functionality. Blizzard has legitimate concerns about piracy, but purchasers have legitimate concerns about being able to play the game long after Blizzard has lost interest in it. Blizzard should be willing to develop LAN functionality as a patch, place the code in escrow, and include a contractual provision on the box which automatically authorizes release of patch by the escrow agent if online service is terminated. If it is not, then players should browbeat them with every DRM failure that they can think of, because ultimately they are the only ones who are likely to care.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mr_mischief (456295)

          Who the fuck wants to be consolidated into a community experience? I want to play my game with my friends. Fuck the rest of you. I don't know you, and you're not invited over for whiskey, cigars, poker, and RTS gaming. It's my game when I buy it, and I'll play it how the hell I want or I won't buy it.

    • Re:Disappointing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dyingtolive (1393037) <brad...arnett@@@notforhire...org> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:28PM (#28545389)
      I was all about the Starcraft 2 until hearing this. I wish them all the success that Hellgate: London had.

      Blizzard stopped needing to care about gamers after they got popular with WoW. Fuck 'em.
    • I think that Bnet's protocol works almost like that....the actual communication between clients doesn't really pass through their central server. It's built more on a peer to peer data model. That just makes it more annoying, since it means you've already got most of the networking code in the client anyhow.
    • Re:Disappointing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NotRangerJoe (856719) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:43PM (#28545673)

      Maybe if BNet is just used for a quick auth and lobby, then a LAN game is started, that might not be so bad, but it's not looking that way.

      Blizzard will obviously be doing it this way, they're just being unnecessarily cryptic. Not doing so is a surefire way for Blizzard to piss off everyone involved in E-Sports/competitive gaming.

      Also, the piracy issue isn't small scale piracy at private LANs, but large scale piracy in China:
      http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=96603 [teamliquid.net]

      A few thing about Haofang: It is biggest gaming site in China, it has millions of users for many games including SC and WC3. It is free and using LAN(TCP/IP protocol) to allow players to play.
      How Haofang works: You download a small program for Haofang, run it, tell it where your SC folder is. You join a room(max 255 players because TCP/IP can handle max to 255)then hit RUN, the little program will load your SC up and instead of log on to Bnet you go to LAN, and can find many games their to play since 255 players in the same room is a lot.
      Why it is bad: Cos millions of players in China were/are/going to using pirated SC/WC3 to play without any limitation.
      Why Blizzard cares: Of course they care, if even SC2 is going to last only half the life of SC the next big market is definitely China(cos Korea is given). If things going on like SC/WC3 Blizzard is going to lose tons of money.
      Did Blizzard do anything about it: Yes they did but failed. A few year back Blizzard sued Haofang but lost and Haofang is continue to grow and now become the most recognize site in China(among gamers of course).
      Why is Haofang able to sneak pass Blizzard: Haofang told that they only allow players play via LAN(TCP/IP) they do not do anything to mess with Blizzard Battle.net and thus can not be judged. I know it is bullshit since it allows players with pirated copies play multi play which is the life SC, but it holds true in the EULA and Blizzard can do nothing about it.

    • Re:Disappointing (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JorDan Clock (664877) <jordanclock@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @02:06PM (#28546147)
      If you've ever seen the connections made by an online game of Starcraft, you'd quickly realize that beyond the lobby, the game itself is connected to each player. And why is everyone thinking there is somehow a ton of data to move between the players? Has anyone forgot about games like Supreme Commander with gawd-awful huge maps and thousands of units at once? It plays just fine over the internet with even the government definition of broadband. I seriously doubt that Blizzard would have trouble optimizing the data flow between players.
  • There was some thought that Blizz isnt completely stupid and will have client to server authentication over the net, and then P2P the clients on the LAN. At least with this method you could have as many LAN stations as your power will permit.

  • Somehow I think its more to do with stopping the pirates, no valid key, no multiplayer ever. Diablo II is fun to play on battlenet, but when theres 4+ of us all on lan, we notice the difference with Lag when we all go on battlenet (Do they even run servers in the europe for anything but WOW). Not only that, means if ever the net goes down at a LAN meetup (or is otherwise unavailable) we can't play your game at all.
  • by DRBivens (148931) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:11PM (#28545003) Journal

    No, Blizzard, you wouldn't take out LAN support (which is obviously popular) unless you thought you could make money by forcing everyone to use battle.net.

    Or maybe requiring battle.net allows you to check everyone's serial number without generating a bunch of bad publicity by using SecuROM.

    Now I'm gonna have to let all the LAN-party machines access the public Internet. Oh, goody!

    Sheesh...

  • Bonus! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kevmatic (1133523) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:11PM (#28545013)

    As a purely coincidental side effect, I'm sure, this will make sure that everyone on the LAN has their own copy, as battle.net will only allow one CD key on at a time.

    Quite a reversal of the "Ghost Copy" feature or whatever of StarCraft 1 that allows many people to use one copy over the LAN.

  • I'll buy it...but... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by greymond (539980) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:13PM (#28545069) Homepage Journal

    but it definitely won't keep it's longevity without LAN support, I mean the best thing about games like Starcraft or even FPS like BF1942 was the LAN aspect of getting your friends together ordering a pizza, talking shit and zerging each other. Sure, I can throw on a headset and play with friends, but what if battle.net is down? What if I'm getting a lot of lag...fast paced game players don't have the tolerance of players who are into mmo's exclusively. I think Blizz is making a poor decision.

    • by TitusC3v5 (608284)
      ...fast paced game players don't have the tolerance of players who are into mmo's exclusively.

      This. You can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been, and I think Blizzard has forgotten that. I don't think they realize they're not making an infinitely upgradable game for people with no lives. They're making a RTS that will have a few patches and maps added for people who just want to pick up and play the game without wading through bullshit.

      GG, Blizz.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by scubamage (727538)
        I don't think they realize they're not making an infinitely upgradable game for people with no lives.

        You've never been to Korea, have you.

  • by CorporateSuit (1319461) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:13PM (#28545077)

    We would not take out LAN if we did not feel we could offer players something better.

    How is connecting all the computers in the room to a server across the state going to ever be better than connecting all the computers in the room to each other? This man just told everyone that his bullshit is going to start tasting better than icecream. He just needs a neon sign over his head that says "Do not trust this man or anything he says."

  • Hmmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khellendros1984 (792761) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:14PM (#28545091) Journal
    I dunno about this. What if my ISP is acting up, and I need to get in a bit of Starcrafty goodness with a couple friends I have over or something? No matter what Blizzard does, there's going to be piracy of their game; it's inescapable, no matter what they do. I'm sure bnetd (or at least something similar) is going to pop up.

    The most jarring thing to me is the worry that they won't at least let you meet up with specific people on bnet and form a closed game to at least simulate a LAN game (fat chance, with the lag back to Blizzard's servers =/ )
  • by mgrivich (1015787) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:15PM (#28545103)
    This is all about the only form of DRM that works: centrally controlled and account based. Regardless of how many reasons that Blizzard gives, this is all about controlling the product.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by barzok (26681)

      In 11 years (present age of SC), will Blizzard still be running SC2 servers so you can play against your friend next door? I can do that with SC today - pop in the disc & play a few rounds head to head, no trouble.

      Look at what happened to people who'd bought music from MS or Yahoo when they shut down the DRM servers. This sort of DRM only harms the customer - if the server goes away, the software you've purchased (yeah, I know it's only a license, blah blah) becomes crippled or completely non-functional

  • by gailrob (937536) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:15PM (#28545105)
    Blizzard used to make games because they were fun to play? Given that Blizzard has basically dominated the market why do they continue to stray from their roots... Remember KALI? Warcraft 2 owed ALL of its success to KALI and that would have never existed if LAN play wasn't an option. But battle.net takes in HUGE profits all by itself so I guess its better to force players to use it then make it optional. Control is the name of the game these days. Oh yah.. I forgot, DRM and other Piracy measures work sooooo well don't they?
  • This is just a blatant money grab to monetize Battle.net. They realize the first Starcraft is still being played a decade later, but they aren't making any more money. Throw some ads on Battle.net and you have a continuous revenue stream for years to come.
    • by kevmatic (1133523)

      You induce an interesting point... Maybe they're thinking of starting to charge for Bnet and are worried that VPN will eat their lunch...

      Nah....

      Then again...

  • Maps (Score:2, Insightful)

    by StickansT (1585125)
    So how will people edit maps and then test them? I mean i know there will be 3rd party ways to lan this but is Blizzard trying to prevent me from taking a map, editing it, then having a few friends over to test it out before putting it online? or will all this be done through bnet?
  • "While this was a difficult decision for us, we felt that moving away from LAN play and directing players to our upgraded Battle.net service was the best option to ensure a quality multiplayer experience with Starcraft II and safeguard against piracy."

    THis is the result of a great gaming house bought by a corporate whore. Good job Blizz, not only are you selling the integrity right out from under WoW, you are going to let them fuck up your other franchises too. I still dont understand why Starcraft II has t

  • Not only did Blizzard's RTS games gain popularity as LAN games, but they capitalized on casual LAN gaming (in offices, etc.) by allowing multiple players players on a single purchased copy of the game. That feature became standard for other RTS games for awhile, but at first it certainly helped Blizzard propel over the crowds (and it certainly was a crowded genre).

    So I'm contrasting the old "free" partial copies of the games to gain popularity, to the server = copy-protection methods now that they have the

  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:18PM (#28545173) Homepage
    LAN support is what makes StarCraft (classic) the best game ever. You can get a bunch of people together in a computer lab and play 4vs4 or in my case 7vs1. BNET access will be blocked from most schools so the multiuser experience will be eliminated since schools and libraries are some of the only places you can find rooms full of 25 PCs. Also, the LAN doesn't LAG like battle net.

    So how is this going to play out? If SCII is any good, the community will just produce a local battle net server e.g. (bnetd) for playing games on the LAN. Blizzard is making very a bad, short-sighted move. As for piracy, everyone I know owns at least one copy of the Blizzard Battle Chest, which costs $20 or less for SC and BW. It is the best entertainment one can buy for under $20. The mega mineral maps require internet access though :)

    If anyone from Blizzard reads Slashdot, please go up and smack your management in the head and tell them to make SCII LAN playable. If they don't build it, someone else will and writing a small server to emulate BNET isn't going to be that hard. Even with encrypted session, it will be reverse engineered, just ask Sony about ShowEQ and their futile attempt the encrypt Everquest Traffic. Everyone on planet earth is going to buy the game the day it hits the shelf. Please go smack them in the back of the head now.
  • This sounds like it might make playing as a group from behind a household NAT router much more difficult, no? There at least will be a speed penalty.

    That takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.

  • The human factor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nausea_malvarma (1544887) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:21PM (#28545223)
    Lan parties are different than online play, because everyone is in the same room. You know everyone who's there, and you can see them from across the room. Nothing is a substitute for human contact, and playing on battle.net won't be the same.
  • Yeah, it's too bad they decided to do this. If they wanted to reduce piracy they could put code in the game that checks other LAN client's CD key...I think this is more about forcing people to buy a subscription AND controlling the lifespan of the game. We all know what happens when activation and proprietary hosting servers go dark...

    At least it'll have local campaign play, right? You can still play that forever and ever.

  • by autocracy (192714) <slashdot2007 AT storyinmemo DOT com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:23PM (#28545267) Homepage

    I continue to play Warcraft III fairly regularly, mostly in the form of the custom map DotA [wikipedia.org]. My thoughts:

    Battle.net has failed to evolve and I feel is discouraging to communities rather than promoting it. I've seen nothing really appreciable since War-III came out with the sad "clan" system. Bots are officially disallowed, but required to develop any sort of reasonable group. The new Warden service makes running a bot far more of a challenge.

    The necessity of the bots is this: you can't functionally setup an organized game any other way. There's no mechanism for taking a private game public once you get your friends in it. Game names can't be changed. Custom (non-ladder) games without an external mod have no disincentive to them to deal with the burgeoning population of juvenile tools who like to bail on their first loss in a team game, or worse find a way to actively ruin the game. Blizzards clan system itself is lacking and hasn't been improved upon at all. It's nearly useless outside of ladder games. Players end up creating new accounts with clan tags in the name to "fly their colors." Simply being more prominent in displaying the affiliated clan would have gone a long way.

    And come on... the game came out 7 years ago. Fix the damn pathing issues! Blizzard makes amazing games, but their handling of B.net lately has been horribly disappointing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by andytrevino (943397)

      I couldn't agree more. I'm a bot author (the chat and channel-management type, not the game hosting type), so I have a front row view of how Blizzard has created a market for these third-party programs by keeping Battle.net outdated and stagnant. Chat bots allow you to perform really basic tasks, like keeping someone you don't like permanently OUT of your channel, or disseminating more than one line of information to your guildmates; Battle.net does not support any of this.

      In the world of custom game hostin

  • More and more companies are dropping co-op games (except for strategy games), pushing off PC onto consoles (or at least developing on consoles so the control schema sucks), and now droping LAN games?

    It seems like the industry is trying desperately to get me to stop playing games.

    Oh, and it won't really do much to damp piracy, just shift it from stolen images to stolen keys, thus increasing the harm to legit gamers. Not having a whole "way to go" moment here.

    Recently got UT3, BTW, which is so buggy as to be

  • by Belisarivs (526071) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:40PM (#28545603)

    Whenever a company does something that hurts the consumer in the name of "fighting piracy", it seems to me to be taken by the community as an open invitation to pirate their game. Given the choice between pirating and buying the game, frequently the reason the individual consumer chooses to pay money for the game is the impression one has of the company. Sure, no one is going to pay for a crappy game, but look at the difference between Spore and Starcraft. Spore was seen as a slap in the face of the consumer and consequently was one of the most pirated games in history. The original Starcraft, despite the fact it is easily pirated, is still profitable enough to be sold for $20 in stores.

    You want to insure piracy? Piss off your users. Removing LAN and telling LAN users they're nothing but pirates seems to be going down that road pretty nicely.

  • I don't think piracy is their main concern here. I believe this may be a (somewhat misguided) idea to get a subscription of SCII players, like they got used with WoW. Sure, they said they would allow all bought copies to play on bnet, but they haven't precluded some options (like e.g. a subscription allows you to have pre-made groups, or bigger battles, or something like that). If people buy the game and don't log on bnet, some carrots and sticks will be missing on their options.
  • by DrVomact (726065) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:49PM (#28545779) Journal

    We would not take out LAN if we did not feel we could offer players something better.

    If Blizzard were offering something better, they would not have to remove the game's LAN capability. Customers would just use the "better" thing, right?

    Oh wait. Better for Blizzard. Ah, now it makes sense.

  • Stationed in Iraq (Score:5, Interesting)

    by daspring (1589413) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @01:53PM (#28545871)
    For those of you that aren't aware, LAN gaming is very much alive with our soldiers stationed in Iraq. Starcraft, Warcraft 3, and Dawn of War were all extremely popular for those with laptops. Even attempting to validate a cdkey through the tiny pipe that is the on-base internet connection would prevent most people from being able to play. This is a disgusting money grab. Nothing more.
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @02:10PM (#28546243)

    I was a big fan of RTS from the early days with Dune 2 up to Total Annihilation. But Starcraft was where I finally started to ask "Is there nothing else?" Sure, it was an incredibly polished game and I would have been astounded by it five years before. But the thing is, it really was little more than Orcs in Space. Snazzy voice acting, high production values, but the gameplay was little more advanced. Now I'm sure that there are a million South Koreans who are ready to flame me on this so fine, let's say it's the pinnacle of RTS gaming, we'll run with that for a second. Has anyone done better since then? No.

    No matter how advanced the graphics have become, no matter how much more bling has been shoved onto the disc, at the end of the day the AI's still suck and the controls are maddeningly primitive. Here, five units I want to move! Select, click move, watch them run into each other and eventually form a ragged column and then approach a target one at a time, allowing themselves to be crushed in detail.

    I've been away from PC gaming for a few years and am catching up on demos of games that have come out in the meantime. So far there's little evidence of any advancement in all these years. The videos for Starcraft 2 look like 3D representations of exactly what went on in Starcraft 1. I suppose if Starcraft was the pinnacle of RTS design for you then a graphics buff is all you need.

  • by melikamp (631205) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @02:28PM (#28546611) Homepage Journal

    From battle.net forums; Karune is a Blizzard Poster.

    Q u o t e:

    I think the reasons starcraft has lasted so long as a game and community are because:

    1) Well designed and fun to play game.

    2) Free battle.net - Having a place where gamers can come together and play the game 24/7 helps to foster a bolster and lively community.

    3) Continued support for the game even after 11 years, they still patch it when it needs a patch.

    4) Pro-Starcraft gaming. This is a big deal to serious starcraft players or to anyone that enjoys competition. These games are fun to watch and makes casual players want to play the game.

    5) Lan support. - Lan parties are fun.

    If you take away LAN support you will still have the 4 other pillars for a strong starcraft community. Plus if LAN support helps rid battle.net of hackers, cheaters and piracy because the network traffic is harder to decipher then all the better. That only strengthens the spirit of fair competition on battle.net.

    The first 4 pillars are ALL being made better.

    1) Development time for StarCraft II have far exceeded the original StarCraft in both the standard of quality and duration, to ensure the highest in quality RTS experience we can possibly create.

    2) Not only is it free to play online for people who purchase the game, Battle.net 2.0 is designed with the new generation of online community and eSports in mind.

    3) As long as there are people playing our games, we will continue to support them, and we have continued with this tradition with our legacy titles like the original StarCraft.

    4) StarCraft II was created with eSports as a cornerstone in design philosophy. StarCraft evolved into an eSport. Preview Options Submit Continue Editing Preview Cancel Get More Comments Reply Prefs Search Everything will be just tickety-boo today.

    5) Map Editor will be better than any we have ever released.

    and:

    6) ??? - will have to wait and see :)

    For me personally- I loved LAN parties, but the direction in which Battle.net is headed, I would always choose to play on Battle.net > 99% of the time and even if for whatever reason I did decide to lug my computer to a friend's house in this day of age (<1%), I would still be playing with them on Battle.net against others at their place.

    [ Post edited by Karune ]

  • by G00F (241765) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @03:33PM (#28547765) Homepage

    No Lan support for Stacraft 2 (or Diablo 3) then I wont be buying it.

    I advise you all to do the same, and I don't even have to tell my friends not to as we all only play LAN.

    Blizzard games I own.
    1 Warcraft 1
    1 Warcraft 2
    1 Diablo 1
    1 Warcraft 2 Bnet
    2 Starcraft
    2 Broodwar
    2 Diablo 2
    2 Diablo 2 LoD
    2 Warcraft 3
    2 Warcraft 3 frozen thrones.

    Oh, and try playing with a few people behind 1 router/firewall. It doesn't work so well on most game patch levels and on most routers/firewalls.

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