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Real Time Strategy (Games) Entertainment Games

StarCraft II Delayed Until 2010 453

Posted by Soulskill
from the nobody-likes-a-rush dept.
Blizzard has just announced that StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty won't be released this year. From their announcement: "Over the past couple of weeks, it has become clear that it will take longer than expected to prepare the new Battle.net for the launch of the game. The upgraded Battle.net is an integral part of the StarCraft II experience and will be an essential part of all of our games moving forward. This extra development time will be critical to help us realize our vision for the service. ... As we work to make Battle.net the premier online gaming destination, we'll also continue to polish and refine StarCraft II, and we look forward to delivering a real-time strategy gaming experience worthy of the series' legacy in the first half of 2010."
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StarCraft II Delayed Until 2010

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  • LAN play (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:11PM (#28963295)

    So not only are they removing the ability to play LAN games, it's actually delayed the release of the game.

  • *sniff* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by grumpygrodyguy (603716) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:12PM (#28963303)

    This is bad news...for Diablo fans =(

  • In other words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kokuyo (549451) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:12PM (#28963307) Journal

    External factors delay the release of the game, not the game's state itself. Furthermore, they will continue to develop the game until those external requirements are met.

    Dare we hope for the first truly polished, and moderately bug-free game release in a decade?

  • by santax (1541065) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:12PM (#28963323)
    We really don't need battlenet. I've seen how that works with DRM on music. And games are bit to expensive to throw away when blizz decides to go bankrubt or that holding battlenet online becomes to expensive.
  • GIVE US LAN BACK (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jpedlow (1154099) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:19PM (#28963425)
    LAN PLAY is one of the things that helped make SC1 awesome, either 12 carriers coming down on an in-room opponent's settlement with "...what the...WHAT THE HELL...OH GOD" to early game 'ling rush with "..YOU CHEEP BASTARD THATS NOT FUNNY"....LAN play was amazing. Now if I'm going to have an 8 man LAN in my garage, it's all gotta go through battlenet, sucking up my bandwidth? Screw you blizzard. You've got another 2 quarters now, give us LAN play.
  • Heh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@MOSCOWgmail.com minus city> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:20PM (#28963455) Journal

    I wish I could say it was a surprise. Blizzard never releases games on time. I try not to look forward to them.

    Of course, this could all just be a marketing scam. They announce the game, wait 18 months, give a delivery date 9 months in the future, and then push it back 3 months at a time until people are frothing with the need for the game, and then release it.

    I mean hell, they announced Diablo 3 more than a year ago, and they haven't even bothered to put up the first, tentative, never-to-be-kept release date yet.

  • Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hojima (1228978) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:24PM (#28963511)

    Don't forget they've been bought out, so they're not the Blizzard they used to be. It could be that "Blizzard" is working on some DRM which has really been disguised as Battle.net (i.e. you have to connect to it to verify your installation). Watch your step "Blizzard", because it wont be hard for hackers to offer the LAN support you were so quick to deny your fans, nor will it be difficult to set up a pirate server that out-competes the "wonderful experience" battle.net might have in store.

  • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@MOSCOWgmail.com minus city> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:25PM (#28963531) Journal

    Nah, it's only been like 7 years since they released Warcraft III.

    Seriously. This is Blizzard; they annoy me sometimes, but they're noted for their relatively bug-free releases...The "buggiest" game they ever released was WoW, and the "bug" there was that a zillion people wanted to play, and repeatedly crashed all the servers.

  • WoW (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:29PM (#28963599)
    They don't want to release SC2 or D3 (which will net them $60 per copy with no additional fees) as long as their cash cow (WoW) is reaping profits.

    As long as the WoW content patches and expansion packs keep the millions of players paying $12/month they're going to do what they can to keep those player playing.
  • Re:Not really (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oenone.ablaze (1133385) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:38PM (#28963715)
    I wouldn't call myself pro-DRM, but I'm just glad that battle.net has remained free--you know they could charge a nominal fee and people would still be all over it. As a paying customer with a broadband connection, I'm willing to live without LAN play so that Blizzard makes the money I'm sure they deserve. Modern broadband ensures that there's essentially no bandwidth impediment to everyone using battle.net in the same location anymore (as others have pointed out).
  • Re:More minerals? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oenone.ablaze (1133385) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:39PM (#28963753)
    It's no use, they require more vespene gas.
  • Re:Not really (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Flipao (903929) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:41PM (#28963785)
    Blizzard have always said they would never compromise the quality of their games, I can't think of a single one of their titles that has not been delayed, going back as far as WoW, Warcraft III, Diablo II, Starcraft, etc..
  • by EvanED (569694) <evaned@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:45PM (#28963843)

    Now if I'm going to have an 8 man LAN in my garage, it's all gotta go through battlenet, sucking up my bandwidth?

    That's not a necessary conclusion. Blizzard already uses P2P stuff for, e.g., the Blizzard downloader; it's very possible that Battle.Net will only mediate such connections at the beginning, then drop out.

    From my chair, Blizzard would be utterly stupid to require that LAN play go through their servers. Starcraft 1, a decade-plus-old-game, was the 10th best-selling PC game in June [vgchartz.com] in the US. I'm sure that the SC2 announcements have helped over the past months, but one of the main reasons it has such holding power is that it's such a popular competition game. Look at South Korea's pro gamers.

    You think that Jaedong or Flash or Boxer are going to be happy if their competitions have any chance of being disrupted by a little excess lag (remember, these are players that have 300 to 400 actions per minute sustained for a 20 minute game and peaking higher), or Blizzard's servers going down, or anything like that? Hell no. I suspect there are few things that Blizzard could do that would be more likely to cripple SC2 on the pro gaming scene than what you suggest. And that means that (1) Blizzard has a bunch of stupid people making decisions and will require all traffic to be external, (2) Blizzard will be releasing a special version of the game or server for these high-profile competitions (but then what will they practice on, how will they figure out who gets the special version, etc.), or (3) Battle.Net will only mediate.

    Which is it going to be? I don't have a crystal ball. It could be any of the three. But I think that assuming that it will be #1 is a big assumption.

  • by cthulu_mt (1124113) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:50PM (#28963909)
    At that point you're just refusing to use Battlenet out of stubborness.
  • by YodaToad (164273) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:51PM (#28963923)

    More than likely they'll vote that this whole LAN thing is being way overblown and they'll laugh at everyone who decided to not buy the game.

    Either that or they'll laugh at you for buying the game anyway.

  • Re:LAN play (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @04:57PM (#28964003)
    You mean Wil Wright, but point taken. I'll also reinforce that with "Spore", the craptitude and suckiness of which made the 'a Wil Wright Game!' banner on any future EA product completely worthless. Corporate types need to understand that the value of a creative person is lost if they attempt to explicitly control what that person creates. It doesn't take much crap to ruin the good value of a reputation.
  • LAN (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:30PM (#28964499) Journal

    Everyone complaining about LAN play seems to be slightly misunderstanding the situation. Yes, by what they've said you will need a connection to play the official way but once you're in game you are only using the LAN connection. They essentially are forcing you to use battlenet as a matchmaking service, even for local games. If everyone is playing from the same room then the connection doesn't go over the internet at all.

    And I'm sure some inventive hacker will create a battlenet emulator that will provide true LAN play without an internet connection.

  • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cowmonaut (989226) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:40PM (#28964649)

    No, its not a valid point. LAN Parties were not and are not just so people without good 'Net connections can play an unlaggy game. The entire point to a LAN party is the *social* experience it entails. Talking to people over Ventrilo is one thing. Getting drunk while Evil Dead is playing on a projector and you and your friends do something ridiculous in-game makes it all more entertaining.

    Shit, I don't even remember most of what happened in the GAMES during a LAN party. I remember more interesting stuff, such as a pair of friends arguing over whether or not pants are facist or hooking up with the girl all of your friends wanted to date but always got shut down because of that ridiculous friend zone that you mysteriously were immune to. Or the commentary we decided to add MST3K style to some B movies while we wind down for the night.

    I don't know, maybe I'm weird and had parties that happened to have video games in them rather than "LAN parties" but to my friends and I, they were LAN parties and they were awesome and if it wasn't StarCraft or Command & Conquerer it was a cheap FPS everyone had. Blizzard flat out has made a *stupid* call that serves *no* purpose. It costs them *nothing* to implement LAN play and in fact this very well could *increase* the chances their game gets pirated, because the pirated game will eventually have LAN play. Blizzard issued a challenge and the crackers of the world are going to take it up.

  • Re:Worth the wait. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSambassador (1134253) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:49PM (#28964765)
    Current Battle.net games are ALL peer-to-peer. If you play Starcraft 1 with a friend over Battle.net but are on a LAN it works fine without lag.

    Why would Blizzard need to receive packets other than those sent in logging onto Battle.net, creating a game, joining it, starting it, and then transmitting the endgame results back to it? There aren't any games out there that make the player host that would need to contact the master server with as much data as it needs to send the actual server (you). I'm sure that 50-100ms latency to Battle.net's server is going to be a dealbreaker when joining a game takes 1/10th of a second longer (even when the game itself is fine)

    Regardless, this is all speculation. People need to stop freaking out and wait until the game comes out until you complain. I know you people love to assume that "requiring an online server" is akin to "they want to force you to name your firstborn child Raynor," but nobody actually KNOWS anything except Blizzard. We'll also know soon enough... the Beta will start at least a few months before the game is released.
  • Re:Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:06PM (#28964999)

    Wait a sec - your family is _STILL_ playing over the LAN. Do you think that your packets are all going to Blizzard somehow and not just staying on the internal network? The only thing that you need to do is dial back home to Battle.NET for the matchmaking (and yes, probably the DRM, but you were going to buy copies for everyone anyways, right?). Unless you were planning on setting up a LAN party in the middle of the woods without any internet I see this as a moot point.

  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:17PM (#28965131)

    There are a lot of people who seem to think that posting on Slashdot, and modding the posts, is the way to get Blizzard to make changes. The venue you're looking for is here:

    http://forums.battle.net/board.html?forumId=12009&sid=3000 [battle.net]

  • No LAN? OMG!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrysrobyn (106763) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @07:09PM (#28965763)

    I've been a Blizzard fan since 1995. Blizzard has had hit after hit, and they've always clearly had their pulse on the community, always designed the games that gamers want. Aside from the bnetd thing, they've done a great job catering to their target audience (one could argue that the bnetd "hackers" / digital rights advocates are not part of their audience).

    What has Blizzard said about "no LAN play"?

    "we don't have any plans to support LAN," he said and clarified "we will not support it." The only multiplayer available will be on Battle.net.

    I see this as requiring an internet connection and valid licenses for each seat. Each person at a LAN party will need to log in and authenticate their license. When the game begins, each computer will start sending traffic to the IPs each computer self-reports -- which will be on the same LAN. Each seat will see sub-millisecond pings, so no increased lag will be introduced to level the field.

    I expect the next generation of battle.net will support uPNP, and be more NAT friendly than the current one. I expect VOIP. I hope to see better competition selection, including finding games that are low latency, and blacklist / whitelist (or at least plugin) support. I don't expect to see any kind of LAN support, but if their ladder can see all the players of a LAN competing with each other and provide scoring to make subsequent battle.net public games more interesting, I think that's a really big win.

    I expect such network authentication means that piracy will be much more difficult and that any cracks that work will have little value. I also expect this to royally blow up in their faces if they fuck it up. I'll tolerate logging in, I won't tolerate anything short of a perfect authentication scheme. They have had a great reputation for battle.net reliability for the last 10 years.

  • Re:More minerals? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @07:55PM (#28966151)

    The solution is simple then. Spawn more overlords.

  • Re:Not really (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ukyoCE (106879) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @08:07PM (#28966263) Journal

    No, it IS a valid point, but you're also correct. LAN parties in person are still fun whether you have bad internet or not. I still have LAN parties with friends.

    You CAN still have LAN parties with Starcraft 2 though, so it's NOT a (entirely) valid point. The only difference is people have to own the game to play it. In the highly-networked world of today with roommates and entire dorm rooms being networked together on a LAN, not allowing for free LAN play is understandable.

    I always thought the benefit to Blizzard of allowing LAN play was that it got people playing their game with their friends in restricted circumstances. Then they went and bought it to play at home. I'm sure Blizzard is still going to have some sort of demo for Starcraft 2, even if they don't open up their full game for "free play" on LANs.

  • Re:LAN play (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc,paradise&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @08:16PM (#28966349) Homepage Journal
    Every time a big game company makes a decision like this, or to go with some draconian DRM, etc - there are always doomsayers coming out of the woodwork saying that they're done, out of business, etc. Funny thing is - those companies are still here. And people still buy the products in droves.

    I daresay that the number of people who want to play the latest games - no matter the outrages - vastly outweighs the number of people who a) care and b) care enough to deprive themselves.

  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @12:14AM (#28968079)

    If anything, games have been getting more and more buggy as time goes on.

    Well, that's true. But it's mostly because game complexity has exploded (some publishers/devs pushing games out the doors too early haven't helped either). A modern game (including engine and support library) can now clock in at over a million lines of code. That's a million chances for programmers to get something wrong. And don't forget that plenty of bugs are asset-related - meaning caused by artists perhaps doing something they shouldn't.

    In the world of PC gaming, you also have to take into consideration the fact that there are nearly unlimited configuration options for computers. Many people will also blame games when their own systems are malfunctioning (you have no idea how many driver-specific workaround our graphics programmer creates). In crash reports that we get sent to us, we flag users systems that have failed an internal mathematical stress-test, and tend to ignore those. When a computer figures that 1 + 1 = 3, it's pretty hard for a program NOT to crash horribly at some point.

    I'm not trying to make excuses for developers who don't properly test and fix their code before release. I know there's plenty of that too, and there's no excuse for shipping a game in that state. But honestly, with the massive scope of modern games, it's unbelievably hard to test the coverage of a feature change you may have worked on across the entire game world.

    Back in the day, you installed a game and it worked. The graphics sucked, the game play was horrible, but it worked. How many bugs were there in Wing Commander, or Mech Warrior, or the original Civilization, or Sim City? There weren't any because there wasn't any way to fix them if there were, so the publishers made sure that they were bug free.

    Do you seriously believe there were no bugs in those products? Take off the rose-colored classes, my friend. Just because you didn't see any bugs didn't mean they weren't there. We didn't have the great coalescer of information called the Internet back then, so it probably seems that way to you. I absolutely guarantee you that there were plenty of bugs in those products.

    Anyone who has spent countless hours creating boot disks and configuring autoexec.bat and config.sys for specific games will remember this well from the DOS / early Windows days. And god help you trying to get audio to work if you didn't have a SoundBlaster card (or one of the popular alternatives). Remember the pain of early networked games, anyone? It was a challenge just getting some of those games to run at all.

  • Good post, up until the last sentence.

    You can play all three races with the very first release. The campaign will be Terran only, but it will be three times as long, no lack of material. Besides, if you're honestly buying the game for its campaign, I really don't know what to say except that you are very, very odd. Don't get me wrong, the campaigns can be fun, but the heart of a game like SC is the multiplayer. I'll probably finish the Brood War campaign some time before SC2 comes out, but it's been a decade so far and I've never really bothered - and a lot of people didn't even bother to start it.

    As for getting all the game content, that's just trolling. What do you expect, that they'll release the expansion packs for free? That's all they are; expansions just like Brood War or The Frozen Throne for WC3. You get new units, new maps, and new campaigns. You probably pay about $10-$20 less that the cost for the core of the game, but you must already have that core. Blizzard has been doing this since WarCraft 2 and your "compaint" is simply idiotic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 06, 2009 @05:24AM (#28969749)

    Unless you were playing Doom over a DOS IPX, you were not LAN'ing before it was popular.

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