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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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  • by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:08PM (#28963243) Journal

    I'm just sayin'.

    • Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

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

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        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).
        • by peragrin (659227) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:50PM (#28963907)

          You say that until at 6pm one evening your ISP suddenly starts throttling your net connection to "imrpove" customer service. And you either lag out of a game, or get your arse kicked because you can no longer defend your self.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            I know people this has happened too.

            Was already skipping Starcraft 2 due to the multiple releases they're planning to gouge the consumer. I would not be at all surprised to find Battlenet is mandatory. The sad thing is there ARE still people out there with no constant access to the internet. Where my mother-in-law lives, your option is dialup. LIMITED dialup. You get 100 hours a month. Over that you're charged something like $3 an hour!

            I wonder what the situation would be for servicemen overseas?

            But of cour

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Chmcginn (201645)

              I wonder what the situation would be for servicemen overseas?

              I'm no longer in uniform, but I can tell you what the situation will be - keep playing Diablo 2, Warcraft 3, or get other games that don't require internet access. I got out a few months back, shortly after the announcement that neither SC2 nor D2 would have LAN support. Coming along with the various console games that disallow direct-link or LAN play, it had generated a lot of ill will for various software companies.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Xaositecte (897197)

              I wonder what the situation would be for servicemen overseas?

              Depends where you're stationed.

              I was in Germany, and they had one (shitty) ISP that was allowed to operate on base, broadband was ~$100 a month. Once you got to move off it was as good as anyone living in Germany. Generally inferior to the places I've lived in the states, but acceptable.

              Off in the desert, the bigger bases have things like cyber-cafes that work for this sort of thing. People will play WoW on their off-hours quite frequently, so

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

        by PotatoFarmer (1250696) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:39PM (#28963747)
        Don't forget that Blizzard is notorious for delaying games until they feel they're done. Who knows, maybe the extra time will give them a chance to rethink the idiotic exclusion of LAN play (though I'm not holding my breath on that one).
        • by ae1294 (1547521) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:32PM (#28964515) Journal

          Who knows, maybe the extra time will give them a chance to rethink the idiotic exclusion of LAN play (though I'm not holding my breath on that one).

          Probably not going by the following from TFA.

          The Spin -

          "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."

          Should Be Read As -

          The upgraded Battle.net is a required anti-consumer aspect of the StarCraft II experience and will be an essential part of our plan to build control of obsolescence into all of our games moving forward.

          Please Note: We have always been at war with eurasia...

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ae1294 (1547521)

            Quote of a future A.C.

            If you don't like it don't by it blah blah blah.

            I'm not going to buy it. Please direct your attention here, thanks...

            http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1301629&cid=28690039&art_pos=1 [slashdot.org]

          • by s73v3r (963317) <`s73v3r' `at' `gmail.com'> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @08:04PM (#28965711)
            Given their history, I'd think Blizzard is one of the last companies you have to worry about "Planned Obsolescence" from. They still support online play for their earlier titles, and for most of their games, remove CD-Key checking after a while. There may be plenty of reasons to hate the decision on LAN play, but worry over planned obsolescence isn't really one of them.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Flipao (903929)
        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..
      • Re:Not really (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:43PM (#28963819)
        This is also a good opportunity for a competitor. Starcraft massively dominates competitive gaming in the RTS genre. Nothing else comes close. I suspect Blizzard's ridiculous stripping out of the LAN play feature is partly to ensure no large Starcraft 2 event can happen without Blizzard's active participation and/or approval.

        Blizzard right now reminds me of Sony three years ago. Drunk with success, and making every wrong decision.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jellomizer (103300)

          OR... The simple fact LAN Parties of Out of date. Sorry. Why don't you bitch about the lack of Null Modem features that has been around for years.
          Back in dem days, Of StarCraft I most people had dial up, so Lan Parties were a good idea.... Now it is not. It is not evil, It is just removing a features that only a small portion of people will use.

      • Don't forget they've been bought out, so they're not the Blizzard they used to be.

        How the hell do you know that Blizzard has changed from the merger? Can we not make assumptions about Blizzard until they actually release a new game, please?

        nor will it be difficult to set up a pirate server that out-competes the "wonderful experience" battle.net might have in store.

        You mean like bnetd? Yeah I'm sure a kid running a server out of his mom's basement will out-compete a billion dollar company. Not to mention Blizzard has the legal power to shut down anything remotely competitive in a heartbeat.

    • Duke Nukem has been in the works for 12 years now. SC2 was announced not even a year ago.
  • LAN play (Score:5, Insightful)

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

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

    • Re:LAN play (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Rand310 (264407) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:32PM (#28963631)

      Battle.net will be an integral part of the StarCraft II experience and will be an essential part of all of our games moving forward

      Well Blizzard, I think you just died. It's amazing. As a kid on a Mac there was a heyday when in a few short years Blizzard put out Warcraft, Warcraft II, Starcraft, Diablo, Diablo II. When Bungie put out the Marathon series, the Myth series, and then Oni. When Sid Meyer put out SimCity, SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000. And then they all shuttered up, sold-out, and then died of money-poisoning.

      Bungie's awesome demo of Halo got it swallowed up by MS, and a decade later there are no more Mac games of any repute. Blizzard had rumors of another Starcraft and everyone looked forward to a new Warcraft and Diablo - but the money-leech WoW came out and stopped those promising ideas cold. Sid, who's always had interesting ideas got caught up in that The Sims, that other massive money making scheme, and put out nothing of interest again until, like salt on a wound, a castrated Spore.

      WTF. I think the only exception to these innovative Mac gaming companies going corporate at the expense of their initial fans is Ambrosia Software of Escape Velocity fame. Oh the days...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        When Sid Meyer put out SimCity, SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000. ... Sid, who's always had interesting ideas got caught up in that The Sims, that other massive money making scheme, and put out nothing of interest again until, like salt on a wound, a castrated Spore.

        Who the hell is this Sid Meyer person, and what does he have to do with Will Wright's Sim series?

        • by Rand310 (264407)

          Typing fast with from memory. Bad to do on Slashdot... SidMeier did Civilization (the other 'sim' series). I meant Wil Wright.

        • Re:LAN play (Score:5, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:55PM (#28963981)
          Little known fact: In the late 1980s, Will Wright secretly wrote a program called SimGameDesignGuru which accurately simulated a visionary computer games designer. Will Wright created a character named Sid Meyer, named in honor of visionary Civilization designer Sid Meier, and the artificial intelligence "Sid Meyer" went on to create a number of popular and critically acclaimed game franchises, for all of which Will Wright has taken credit.
      • by am 2k (217885)

        Well, Ambrosia Software hasn't seen much activity lately... I think the last real noteworthy thing from them happened ten years ago, which is like two lifetimes ago in the computing world.

        I think the real problem is that developing games is much more labor-intensive nowadays. You can't just whip up four programmers and a visual designer and deliver a AAA-game in half a year any more. You need 200+ employees working on it fulltime (3D modellers, animation artists, programmers, script writers, producers, game

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Toonol (1057698)
        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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:11PM (#28963297)
    Perhaps if they had tasked more drones with mining minerals in the first place, this whole fiasco could have been avoided.
  • *sniff* (Score:4, Insightful)

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

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

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

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

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) *

      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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by St.Creed (853824)

      Since when have Blizzard releases been full of bugs? The *one* reason my friends and I buy everything they ship is because they release only decent, near bugfree games. Okay, you can dislike the content. But it is solid content, even if not your cup of tea.

      Remember, releasing games that need several patches before you can play without crashing was common use before Blizzard demonstrated that releasing good games (even with internet patching available) is a sound business policy. The same with MMO's. Every b

      • Re:In other words... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dave562 (969951) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:19PM (#28964325) Journal

        Are you talking about the same WoW beta that other people played? I avoided the beta but I had a lot of friends who played it. I'm a casual WoW player (down to about 8 hours a week) and I still come across unresolved bugs in it. The most common one involves getting attacked by monsters that you can't attack and they are invisible (odds are they're stuck in some piece of terrain nearby). The only way to deal with it is to flee. Another common bug involves coming across monsters that are evasion bugged. They are standing there, you can target and attack them, but every strike results in an Evaded message.

        I'm not saying that the bugs are major bugs because they aren't. They aren't system crashing bugs, or even game wrecking bugs. On the other hand, they are persistent. I've been playing WoW since a few months before Burning Crusade came out, and the same two bugs that I mentioned above were present back then.

        If anything, games have been getting more and more buggy as time goes on. I remember as a kid, I only ever once played a game that required me to contact the manufacture to obtain new disks with a more recent version of the game. 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.

        • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Thursday August 06, 2009 @01:14AM (#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.

    • You say that like you're of the opinion of that Blizzard releases buggy, unpolished games. I'm pretty sure that's exactly the opposite of what they're known for.

      And no, I don't play WoW.
  • by chrylis (262281) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:14PM (#28963341)

    by unremoving LAN play?

    • I came on here to post the same thing. In addition, had they included it at the onset, they could have released on time, and people could have actually played multiplayer while waiting for the next installment of battlecrap.

  • by davemarchevsky (1600015) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:16PM (#28963379)
    But seriously, who didn't see this one coming?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:16PM (#28963391)

    South Korea just exploded with rage. This just might push them over the edge and they will finally take out North Korea.

  • GIVE US LAN BACK (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jpedlow (1154099) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:19PM (#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.
    • FYI: Blizzard's revenue model doesn't give a shit about your bandwidth availability.

      • It should. No LAN play means I can only play the campaigns and against AI. I don't especially like either.
      • If Battle.net is sucking up all of his bandwidth, someone can't be playing WoW after they died two minutes into an hour long match.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by EvanED (569694)

      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 s

    • by Temujin_12 (832986) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:19PM (#28964323)

      One of the best Starcraft LAN-play memories I have:

      Myself and a small group of friends started doing LAN parties back before they became popular. I can remember spending half the time setting up the network with Windows 95 PCs, making sure everyone had the right TCP stack on their computers, and double checking coaxial terminators for the token ring network we were setting up. All this just to network Doom.

      Fast forward a few years and we were playing Starcraft into the wee hours of the night/morning. One time we were doing a "big game hunters" round which went particularly long. I fell asleep and woke to see half of my base destroyed with enemy units just sitting there. I looked up and noticed that the player who attacked me had fallen asleep before finishing the attack. I retaliated but fell asleep before I was able to finish off all of his bases.

      Put LAN-play back in Blizzard.

    • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @07:17PM (#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]

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NeutronCowboy (896098)

        You seem to be under the mistaken assumption that Blizzard will give up what could be the closest thing that will ever exist to uncrackable DRM because some people on the Internet are unhappy about Blizzard's approach to getting that DRM.

        Newsflash: Blizzard will change their approach if and only if SC2 becomes a miserable failure, and it can unquestionably be traced to their requirement for LAN.

  • I really hope SCII doesn't go the way of Starcraft Ghost... I also wonder how much of the problem is Blizzard simply putting every game but WOW on the back burner until they exhaust the franchise...

  • Heh. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:20PM (#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.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:21PM (#28963457)

    The suit-speak translation is: "Hey. We actually talked to the network guys about two days before we were going to push this out the door and told them what they requirements were and they downed a 2 liter of Dew, gave us some funny looks, then laughed maniacally and twisted in their office chairs, chanting 'More power, more power, more power...' Also, the legal department said the brain implants into the engineers were rejected and they refused to further refine our new hideous DRM. In light of these developments, we're going to release some screenshots and do a hand wave."

  • WoW (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @05:29PM (#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.
  • I for one am glad Blizzard is delaying the game to ensure their Battlenet system maintains the same quality as their games. Way too many RTSs release with shoddy or non-existent online support; I'm looking at you, EA (C&C3)!
  • Doesn't seam to effect me, as I wont buy the game with out LAN.

    I hope other people vote with their wallets so when they come out with Diablo 3, Blizzard will include LAN.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by YodaToad (164273)

      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.

    • by immakiku (777365)
      I don't know if what you are envisioning works as well as you envisioned. Just because Blizzard has bad sales on one game doesn't necessarily change their business decision to remove LAN functionality on other games. They have no indication that you didn't buy the game because of the lack of functionality. What you should do is actually complain about it directly to Blizzard, and see if they'll respond.
  • Maybe they can spend some of their spare time polishing the web site. With javascript off (via noscript) http://www.starcraft2.com/ [starcraft2.com] is a blank page.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Psst... join the rest of us in the 21st century and turn Javascript on.

      Or are you saying you're willing to run gigabytes of Blizzard's C++ DirectX code on your computer but not a few kB of their Javascript?

  • LAN (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:30PM (#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.

  • closer..... (Score:5, Funny)

    by chillax137 (612431) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @06:38PM (#28964627) Homepage
    This puts me at least one year closer to my PhD. Hopefully blizzard will delay another couple years so I can finish.
  • No LAN? OMG!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrysrobyn (106763) on Wednesday August 05, 2009 @08:09PM (#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.

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