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Battle.net Accounts Becoming Mandatory For WoW 234

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-know-what-this-means dept.
An anonymous reader tips news that Blizzard will be requiring all World of Warcraft players to use Battle.net accounts to log into the game starting on November 11th. After that time, players who don't switch will be unable to play the game. Some time after the transition is complete, players will be able to "participate in cross-realm chat in World of Warcraft, create real-life friends lists, and communicate across different games." More details on the new Battle.net and what it will do are available in our Blizzcon wrap-up and interviews from August. Naturally, the idea that the new Battle.net is getting closer to deployment has sparked speculation that the StarCraft II beta might come along soon.
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Battle.net Accounts Becoming Mandatory For WoW

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  • But what will it change? I mean, other than having to open an account at Battle.net, what is the news exactly?

    • by tangent3 (449222) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @03:41AM (#29729311)

      It means your WoW guild leader can see that you are online playing Starcraft II instead of being in WoW during raid time. And that is 50 dkp minus.

      • by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @03:52AM (#29729349)

        And if one account is banned, you lose online on all your games. So smart people will make separate accounts.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          or just abide by the rules like really smart people

          • by AuMatar (183847) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @04:10AM (#29729455)

            Yes, because there will be no false positives whatsoever. And because all the rules are fair and deserve to be followed. And because with LAN play you can always choose to use an alternate way of networking for SC2.

            Nope, I'll just be making a new SC2 only account.

            • Yes, because there will be no false positives whatsoever. And because all the rules are fair and deserve to be followed. And because with LAN play you can always choose to use an alternate way of networking for SC2.

              Nope, I'll just be making a new SC2 only account.

              Their game, their servers, so yes, by definition the rules are fair since they define fair. Also, false positives are very very rare-- false negatives are far more common. Remember, each false positive costs blizzard $180 a year.

              • by MBGMorden (803437)

                Remember, each false positive costs blizzard $180 a year.

                Well, not really. Usually a false positive can be cleared up easily enough, and that's the point. Even on the (quite) rare chance of a false positive, a phone call and an explanation is usually all it takes to resolve the issue. Compared with the alternative (ie, Blizzard just letting bots, hackers, etc run rampant in their games without any care), I don't particularly mind the policies they have in place.

              • by AuMatar (183847)

                No, they don't define fair. They define allowed. Fair is an ethical concern and can't be decided by a single party. They do get to define "allowed" and punish you if caught, but that doesn't make it fair.

                As for false positives being fairly rare- they still happen. I know people they happen to. In fact they happen frequently when people complain to GMs, since GMs tend to throw in their own personal opinion on things like world PvP- you can talk to 3 GMs and get 3 different answers on what's legit and

            • by DarthVain (724186)

              Sorry to burst your bubble, but Blizzard (Activision) announced that there would be no LAN plan included with Starcraft 2. They be sayin' it be because of them scurvy pirates, yarr! They be thinkin' of the children, yo ho ho!

              • by AuMatar (183847)

                I suggest you reread my entire comment one or two more times.

          • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

            or just abide by the rules like really smart people

            The AC presents an interesting philosophical issue here. "Do the "really" smart people "really" do better by "abiding by the rules""?

            I think some recent science in the areas of biology and sociology would suggest "maybe not".

            Have all of you always done better by "abiding by the rules"?

            • by Admiral Ag (829695) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @09:01AM (#29730751)

              It depends what you mean by "the rules". If you want to be a really successful criminal, it almost always means joining or founding some form of organized crime (and before people start, I'm including being elected to political office). Organized crime is simply a replacement trust network for society at large, and while they break society's rules, they don't break their own very often, since the penalty for doing so is usually far worse than anything society metes out.

              In order to live almost any kind of life that could be called a "success" you have to form and sustain trust networks with others. It's just unavoidable.

              Sometimes you can get away with breaking the rules, but this is quite uncommon. The only reason we don't think this is so is that we are so used to following the rules that we don't tend to notice when we're doing it.

              There's also an unexamined assumption here (yet another example of Christianity's baleful influence on our culture) that people can actually choose to be good or bad. I'm not sure that this is the case for most people. Good people tend to be pained, shamed and distressed if they do bad things, so for such people there really isn't much of a sense in which they'd be "better off" breaking moral rules. Bad folks don't seem to care, so that's not a problem for them. Given that by the time most of us are old enough to ponder it, our moral characters are already formed, the idea of a "choice" is somewhat senseless. Ask yourself how many people you know who have radically altered their moral character. All such cases I know have involved some traumatic event, like going to jail, being the victim of a terrible crime, or some sort of head injury.

            • by dissy (172727)

              The AC presents an interesting philosophical issue here. "Do the "really" smart people "really" do better by "abiding by the rules""?

              I think some recent science in the areas of biology and sociology would suggest "maybe not".

              Have all of you always done better by "abiding by the rules"?

              Not to sound like I am making a Clinton joke, but define "better".

              For certain goals, cheating might be the best way to reach them.
              For other goals however, avoiding cheating might be advantageous, and in some cases the only method for reaching your goals.

              It depends what you are trying to do.

              Want a high score or lots of gold? Next to impossible to track such a thing in game as cheating? Don't care about game balance? In that case, I would say cheating would be the best option for those goals.

              Doing somethi

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Svartalf (2997)

            Heh... Considering that Linux users using WINE were tagged as breaking the rules, even though they weren't, I'd say that creating an account for each style of game accordingly might not be a bad idea.

            • by RobDude (1123541)

              Arguably, they did break the rules.

              At least at the time of purchase, the box clearly said the game *required* Windows XYZ to play the game. I don't remember what version of Windows they printed on the box.

              You certainly could make the claim that, while WINE didn't give the players an 'edge'; they were breaking the rules. It's a bit of a stretch though....

        • by MWojcik (859959) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @08:03AM (#29730371)
          That's not true:

          The way Battle.net accounts are currently set up, if you receive a suspension on a World of Warcraft account attached to that Battle.net account, it has no affect on any other World of Warcraft accounts that may also be attached.

          Source: http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topicId=20464488049&pageNo=2&sid=1#39 [worldofwarcraft.com]

          • by Ash-Fox (726320)

            Note: I am not the grand father poster, nor do I play WoW.

            Is suspension considered to be a ban? This sounds very carefully worded to me.

            • Blizzard never uses the word "banned", they say things like "Permanent Suspension" or "Account Closure".

              And yeah, I know people who have had 1 of their 2 WoW accounts banned on a battle.net account, but the other account is completely unaffected.

        • by DrVomact (726065)

          Lucky me...I just canceled my WoW account last night, so I don't have to care about this. I'm playing Aion now. I have yet to see whether the end-game content (flying with angelic wings to engage in PvPvE in the space between two half-worlds) is truly as amazing as they are promising, but so far I find the game to be mostly a refreshing change from WoW, which had just gotten to be a ridiculous habit. Well, it could be more refreshing—I was just killing bandits at some farm...which could have been righ

      • by guywcole (984149) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @10:52AM (#29731943) Homepage Journal

        The ability to track a person across different characters/games is a serious problem Blizz is going to have to look at. A lot of people have non-guild alts so they can play the game in a non-social way when they want (to escape guild infighting, to unwind after a stressful day at work, to avoid stalker-ish people). Take that out, and the game loses value.

        Remember, as penny arcade put it:

        Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad

        Without anonymity, responsibility exists, and a game where you have to act responsibly all the time is far less fun (it's real life by a different set of rules). Sometimes we just want to be fuckwads.

    • by Hadlock (143607) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @04:10AM (#29729457) Homepage Journal

      Basically, Blizzard is creating their own Steam-like competitor. You need a AAAAA level game that people are willing to register a new account for (like Valve did with Half-Life 2). Some people might bitch about it, but if you drink the Steam-Kool-Aid (like I do) it creates a better community atmosphere for those who play particular video games 10, 20 or even 80 hours a week. But enough about the community aspect, this is really a push to create Blizzard's own digital distribution network, similar to Valve's Steam. Valve pioneered the idea of building a D.Distribution network on a AAAAA title, and Blizzard is following their buisness plan step for step, by requiring people to register a battle.net account for Starcraft 2 (and WoW). Between the two, they'll have how many tens of millions of registered customers ready and waiting to buy games through their digital distribution channel? On day 1 no less. Pretty cool, and damn smart. Whoever the executive was that pioneered this (at the cost of delaying SC2) is getting a phat performance bonus next year
       
      One can only hope (dream?) that battle.net and steam will have some sort of interoperability down the road. Fenced gardens are great, but people aren't going to want to juggle Battle.Net, Steam and Games for Windows Live buddy lists.

      • by cjfs (1253208) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @04:32AM (#29729519) Homepage Journal

        this is really a push to create Blizzard's own digital distribution network, similar to Valve's Steam.

        It'll be nice to see some competition. Having one company control the distribution channel will cause issues over the long term when they get too comfortable. Blizzard's one of the few publishers that has the weight to compete.

        I doubt they'd be quick with the friends list integration though. Third party tools will probably pop up long before.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

          Except when Blizzard and Steam inevitably merge it'll suck.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by soupforare (542403)

          I'm not sure Valve is immune to the heat generated from some of the other DD services. Direct2Drive's recent per-week sales are now over. The buzz generated on slickdeals and the gamer forums I frequent was pretty high. I log in to steam last night and lo, they've got an extremely similar per-week deal going. It's even THQ games, which were what most people, again in my circles, were excited about on D2D. Titan Quest/SupCom/CoH/foo.
          I can't believe that's coincidence. If hope blizz does get into it, I

          • by Chyeld (713439)

            For the most part, deals in Steam are through the publisher, not Valve. So it's likely that THQ is just having a marketing blitz.

            • For the most part, deals in Steam are through the publisher, not Valve. So it's likely that THQ is just having a marketing blitz.

              While that explains the mid-week and week-long sales, it doesn't really explain why Steam usually has one product/set of products on sale every weekend.

              • by Chyeld (713439)

                Because their marketing department works hard to sell the idea to the people selling games on their platform and for the past year they've been lucky enough to be able to pull in a bunch of 'big name' publishers in a manner spaced widely enough that they can coordinate them.

                Plus, it's rarely one. If you have Steam installed and go to the store page, you should see in the mid section of the page a 'list of games' box with four tabs: New Releases, Top Sellers, Coming Soon, and Specials.

                I've yet to log into St

      • by Thanshin (1188877) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @05:05AM (#29729611)

        Whoever the executive was that pioneered this (at the cost of delaying SC2) is getting a phat performance bonus next year

        Dear Mr. Hadlock

        In the future, please refrain from requesting performance bonuses on public forums.

        M.Morhaime.

        P.S.: Your bonus will be based on your Arena ranking, as every other director's.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by BobMcD (601576)

          P.S.: Your bonus will be based on your Arena ranking, as every other director's.

          Finally the mystery PvP nerfs have a motive...

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        please. community is not an excuse for DRM. DRM doesn't create community, either.

        This is all about their lockdown attempts. *LOTS* of people can and are bitching about it, and rightly so.

      • And if Blizzard goes to digital distribution only, I will stop being a customer. I have every Blizzard game, but I'm considering not buying Starcraft 2 because you have to activate it online (meaning that Blizzard can take away your right to install the game at any time they choose).

        DRM, online activation, and digital distribution will eventually be prevalent enough that I stop gaming. Explain how that's supposed to make companies money?

        • by toolie (22684)

          And if Blizzard goes to digital distribution only, I will stop being a customer. I have every Blizzard game, but I'm considering not buying Starcraft 2 because you have to activate it online (meaning that Blizzard can take away your right to install the game at any time they choose).

          I'd be way more leery of them selling three separate single player campaigns instead of one like SC was. That right there made me lose any interest I had in SC2 at all.

          • Well, each campaign is supposed to be as long as all three campagins combined from SC, so while it's not a new "game", it definitely qualifies as long enough for an expansion / sequel. I just hope that they charge at least a little less for the second two - say $40 instead of $50-60.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ildon (413912)

        The difference is Blizzard currently has no delusions of destroying the game publishing companies like Valve did. Battle.net 2.0 is more like their own version of Facebook for their own games only.

        I wouldn't expect to ever be able to buy a non-Blizzard game on Battle.net, and I wouldn't expect any more interoperability than Facebook and Myspace currently have (i.e. none). I could always be wrong, though!

    • by Jugalator (259273)

      Of course, I didn't RTFA

      RTFASummary.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      it means your right to resell the game is completely trumped since you can't sell WOW without selling your other blizzard games if they are linked.

      • by cabjf (710106)
        Or you just create a new account for your WoW account. But I think selling existing WoW accounts is against their terms anyhow. It isn't about restricting the reselling so much as trying to create a fair environment in-game for everyone that worked for their levels and gear.
        • by poetmatt (793785)

          no, it's very much about the reselling: it's against their EULA, and they basically aren't allowing it. This is grossly unconstitutional as per first sale and other things.

          The game is "licensed" to you, per blizzard, and this is why the wowglider lawsuit is a big deal as well.

  • by Fo0dNippl3 (923930) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @04:05AM (#29729411) Homepage
    WoW players the world over cried out in anger over yet another small change.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but it's still annoying. It's just another way for Blizzard to mine customer data and spamvertise more. In the end, it's really just five minutes of my time wasted filling out a form so they can try and sell me more crap. Anybody who plays WoW only gets exactly zero benefit from this.

      That said, you'd think WoW players would be a bit more concerned about, oh, I don't know, the constant server crashes, rolling restarts, major patch bugs (how the HELL do you break an entire MMO by putting a typo in the cr

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @09:27AM (#29730977)
        When a guy is selling you crack, you don't complain that his apartment is dirty. He can pretty much slap you in the face and you'll still come back for more.
        • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          When a guy is selling you crack, you don't complain that his apartment is dirty. He can pretty much slap you in the face and you'll still come back for more.

          You might complain, but you probably won't say it to his face. And you'll still go and buy the crack.

          • by Chris Burke (6130)

            You might complain, but you probably won't say it to his face. And you'll still go and buy the crack.

            Ah, but if the dealer set up an online forum that he didn't really read...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by brkello (642429)
        Uh, have you never played any other MMO on the face of the planet? I know the WoW hate is strong on this forum...but WoW is pretty much the gold standard on how to run an MMO at this point. Then you have to insult people who play the game as not having common sense? Hmm, probably just a troll. But if you actually believe what you write, you are living in a fantasy world.
  • This is great news (Score:2, Informative)

    by malkir (1031750)
    This means that the SC2 beta will be released November...December at the latest. The multiplayer game is polished and ready to be played, from my personal discussed with my Blizzard friends they are simply waiting on BNet to roll out. The fact that they chose to pilot it for WoW instead of testing internally with SC2 just shows that they're confident it's in a solid state.

    Fuck yes, finally my beta key will be active :D
  • There's word of cross-server instances [ign.com]. I expect the functionality to support these features is baked into the newer authentication system.
    • I'm curious why they can't just move people over themselves anyway, don't they manage both the old and new system?
  • The legality of this requirement with less than 30 days notice is questionable. It might be a positive thing, and it might be beneficial to all, but changes in terms are, in fact, required by law to have a "reasonable" lead time. And I don't know of any case that has been appealed, for which the courts have decided that less than 30 days was "reasonable".
    • Dont forget there are requirements that such changes are 'legal' not just in the USA, but subject to laws in Australia, New Zealand, as well, at least for the US version... then there is the can of worms that is the EU (not being judgemental, but alot of the laws the EU have tend to look down upon a company changing the rules on their customers). As to anyone who says 'oh but your EULA/TOS is binding in the USA, even if youre from country X, ill say this: Im an ex WoW player, and im glad ive given up WoWCra
    • Re:Legal? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Zironic (1112127) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @06:59AM (#29730067)

      The change was announced about half a year ago and the deadline was announced 31 days ahead so I have no idea what you're on about.

      • For what it's worth, if you played WoW everyone was already told this day was coming. Way back when Wrath of the Lich King came out, people were told that we would eventually be forced to move to Battle.net logins. If you hadn't moved over by now, that's your dumb fault.
    • by Snaller (147050)

      It is in the TOS you "agreed" to when you installed Lich King (that one day a battlenet account would be required to play) - so there is presumably not much which can be done about it legally.

  • Misconceptions.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by cigawoot (1242378) on Tuesday October 13, 2009 @08:30AM (#29730543)
    There are a few myths stated in the comments I wish to clear up:

    1) Battle.net accounts are actually more convenient, a single login for all your Blizzard titles will make things easier.
    2) As far as I know, unless your guild leader is on your battle.net friends, they won't be able to see you play Starcraft 2.
    3) If you get banned from World of Warcraft, it will NOT ban your from other games, including other WoW accounts on your battle.net account.
    4) Don't bot, cheat, scam people, stay stupid shit in /2 and you won't get banned.
    5) You can add multiple World of Warcraft accounts to a single Battle.net account. You'll get to choose which account you want to use when you login. If you goto another computer (multiboxing, letting your GF play, w/e) and use your battle.net login, you can choose the other account and be online at the same time (you've still gotta pay 15 bucks a month for the subscription, per account).
    6) Alarmists ARE indeed funny to read.
    • by Domini (103836)

      7) The free iPhone public/private key dongle app is cool too.

      I run my D2, WoW and SC games off Battle.net. Works well... the authentication server has also less downtime than the vanilla WoW one...touch wood.

    • by Snaller (147050)

      "Battle.net accounts are actually more convenient, a single login for all your Blizzard titles will make things easier."

      For people hacking your accounts.

      "As far as I know, unless your guild leader is on your battle.net friends, they won't be able to see you play Starcraft 2."

      And if you don't put him on he'll kick you from the guild.

      "If you get banned from World of Warcraft, it will NOT ban your from other games, including other WoW accounts on your battle.net account."

      Which is a lie, they already do that on

    • by PhilHibbs (4537)

      5) You can add multiple World of Warcraft accounts to a single Battle.net account. You'll get to choose which account you want to use when you login. If you goto another computer (multiboxing, letting your GF play, w/e) and use your battle.net login, you can choose the other account and be online at the same time (you've still gotta pay 15 bucks a month for the subscription, per account).

      Confirmed, this is what I do.

    • by BobMcD (601576)

      4) Don't bot, cheat, scam people, stay stupid shit in /2 and you won't get banned.

      On the one hand, this oversimplifies the situation. On the other, it hasn't really changed. So the point is moot, even if you're technically incorrect. More below...

      5) You can add multiple World of Warcraft accounts to a single Battle.net account.

      But since the cost of a new battlenet account is an email address, why the hell would you dream of doing that?

      In fact, none of my household's battlenet accounts (we have three) have actual email accounts behind them. They all point to false addresses at my google domain which all trickle down to my actual email address. This is going to be

  • So, am I still supposed to believe that Blizzard won't charge a monthly fee to play Starcraft II online? On the same exact network, with basically the same set of services as millions of monthly-fee WoW-ers?
    • by PhilHibbs (4537)

      So, am I still supposed to believe that Blizzard won't charge a monthly fee to play Starcraft II online? On the same exact network, with basically the same set of services as millions of monthly-fee WoW-ers?

      Starcraft II isn't a persistent world that requires the active involvement of GMs, so they don't have that overhead. It's much more like the matchmaking service that Battle.net was originally, with the hard work being done on your client PC, not a huge server farm.

    • Are you kidding? The server requirements for running a persistent online world are far greater than the server requirements for running a match making system - which is essentially what SC2 online play is.

  • I remember the addition of the inter-mud libs that players could to inter-mud tells and inter-mud mail to one another. Never really got used much tho as far as I recall.

HELP!!!! I'm being held prisoner in /usr/games/lib!

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