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Blizzard Previews Revamped Battle.net 188

Posted by Soulskill
from the find-out-precisely-how-bad-you-are dept.
Blizzard updated the official StarCraft II site today with a preview of how the revamped Battle.net will function. They emphasize the social features, competitive matchmaking system, and the ease of sharing mods and maps. Quoting: "When the legacy Battle.net service introduced support for user-created mods such as DotA, Tower Defense, and many others, these user-created game types became immensely popular. But while Battle.net supported mods at a basic level, integration with tools and the mod community wasn't where it needed to be for a game releasing in 2010. The new Battle.net service will see some major improvements in this area. StarCraft II will include a full-featured content-creation toolkit — the same tools used by the StarCraft II design team to create the single-player campaign. To fully harness the community's mapmaking prowess, Battle.net will introduce a feature called Map Publishing. Map Publishing will let users upload their maps to the service and share them with the rest of the community immediately on the service. This also ties in with the goal of making Battle.net an always-connected experience — you can publish, browse, and download maps directly via the Battle.net client. Finding games based on specific mods will also be much easier with our all-new custom game system, placing the full breadth of the modding community's efforts at your fingertips."
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Blizzard Previews Revamped Battle.net

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  • Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @05:50AM (#31083514)

    Just say no to DRM, lack of LAN support, and splitting the game into multiple parts.

    Boycott Starcraft II!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @05:51AM (#31083520)

    Isn't adding a monetary incentive for mods going to overshadow the inherent incentive of creating something fun?

  • Facebattle.net (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tuxedobob (582913) <tuxedobob@macSLACKWARE.com minus distro> on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @05:57AM (#31083546)

    Great, more of this "social networking" garbage? Can't a game just be a game anymore?

  • by xlsior (524145) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @06:46AM (#31083760) Homepage
    From their site: In the past, Battle.net was presented as a multiplayer option off to the side, off of the main menu of Blizzard Entertainment titles. That is all changing. With the new Battle.net experience, the service and the game are now interwoven into one experience. Whether you are in single-player or multiplayer StarCraft II, you are always connected, and enjoy a bevy of new and enhanced functionality.

    Just... Great.

    Yet another game that you can't play without being tethered to the internet. No biggie for multiplayer, but it really shouldn't have any business in single-player campaign mode...
  • Re:Facebattle.net (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @07:29AM (#31083988)

    Gaming has become a very social activity over the past few years, in case you haven't noticed.

    He has. That's the nature of his complaint. I'm equally annoyed by this movement, and miss the day when multiplayer gaming just meant playing against an opponent smarter than the single-player AI, not someone that would want to talk and otherwise have to be thought of as a human being.

    Most importantly, what I miss the most are games where the single-player experience is placed above the multiplayer aspects. Sure, every once in a while we get games like Mass Effect, but those are the exception, not the rule.

  • Re:Facebattle.net (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JorDan Clock (664877) <jordanclock@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @07:32AM (#31084006)
    You might miss those days, but the vast majority of gamers don't seem to miss it. Hell, some probably don't remember it. You're not the market. They are.
  • by Schadrach (1042952) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @07:38AM (#31084042)

    Other than assuming the worst, there's no reason to assume the game cannot function in single player without being connected to battle.net.

    After all (and ignoring that GFWL is crap for a second), I could make the same statements about Fallout 3, Dawn of War, or Resident Evil 5 and GFWL. Being able to be "always connected" for "enhanced functionality". None of them require you to log into GFWL to function in single player though. Or any Steam game for that matter (you can go to offline mode, but then you lose the "enhanced functionality" of steam achievements and friends.

    I'd expect something similar to the Steam overlay for the new battle.net.

  • Re:Facebattle.net (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sgtrock (191182) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @10:14AM (#31085100)

    It's garbage to include these kinds of tools in a game that is primarily played as multiplayer? Gaming has become a very social activity over the past few years, in case you haven't noticed.

    You youngsters don't know what you missed during id software's heyday. Gaming "has become" a very social activity??? You never played a player mod for Doom ][ or Quake, then, I take it. You never got to play with Homer Simpson as your avatar. Never played Quess, or Weapons Factory, or the original Team Fortress, or QRally, or Loki's Minions, or the original Threewave CTF, or any number of other lesser known player created mods. You never played the original Counter-Strike betas on the HL engine, either.

    You never played on team ladders like those hosted by OGL [worldogl.com]. You never listened in on Tapper's live netcasts on Radio Evil.

    You never found a handful of servers that you played on regularly. Never got to know the regulars as friends. Never participated on a hosting clan's forums.

    Going even further back, you never played Empire on PLATO [daleske.com].

    Online gaming has always been a very social activity. The only real change is that many gaming companies, Valve among them, are making it tougher and tougher to create player created and managed communities. I see this as a HUGE step in the wrong direction. :-(

  • Here is a Problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kenp2002 (545495) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @10:36AM (#31085396) Homepage Journal

    Here is a problem that has risen from social networking and what not and I can point the finger at Blizzard.

    In WoW they came up with all this great new data mining and achievements. We end up with gear scores and Wow Heroes etc.

    Now I have a friend that just decided to start playing back in October. He signs up and starts playing on Elune for instance. In 3 months he never was invited into a single group. Ever. Why? "He didn't have any heirloom gear" and "His gear score is too low." etc... The digital equivalent of "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer."

    At far as what I've seen most of this social networking crap is only going to frustrate new players and build walls to keep new players out. Most game related social networking results in Clique building and tribal nonsense. I survived the ACiD, TRiBE, iCE ANSI wars in the BBS era. I witnessed the grand flame wars of Usenet. I saw the clan wars in the MMO days, I saw the Guild fights in the early days of the MMOs culminating in the rise of the Uber guilds. The one thing I can say with certainty is "The more 'social' networking tools the more 'anti-social' people behave." or another way to say it is "Social networking is the fertilizer on the asshole crop". I am also fond of "Shit floats in the waters of user content" but that is a bit off topic.

    I fear that, from what I've seen, Bnet's new social networking tools is going to be more about shutting people out rather then bringing people together.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Draek (916851) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @10:52AM (#31085660)

    Just say no to a company that likes suing their own [wikipedia.org] fans [wikipedia.org] to the ground and directly expanded [wikipedia.org] the reach of EULAs in the United States.

    DRM, LAN, they're all just the nip in the proverbial bud of Blizzard's evil, reasons to boycott them we've had for years now.

  • Re:Selling mods... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mrxak (727974) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @11:42AM (#31086280)

    Probably nothing will prevent somebody from doing that, other than edit protections built into the maps themselves. Such things tend to get hacked, though. The real thing will be simply folks making a very similar map for free. My guess is, the folks trying to actually charge for maps will be laughed/scorned so much that nobody really bothers, though maybe we'll get some commercial-grade full campaign mods that cost a bit of money (and actually be worth it).

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brkello (642429) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @01:08PM (#31087462)
    Ridiculous. What other company still supports servers for a 10+ year old game? What other company ignores release pressures and won't release a game until it is done? Evil my ass.

    But let's talk about bnetd. Bnetd was where people went to play pirated copies of Starcraft. You can argue some minority of people owned the game and preferred playing. But the reality is, that is where people who didn't pay for the game played. If you owned a company, I am sure you would shut down anyone who did the same to you. This is where some people argue "But the bnetd people said they would do key checks if Blizzard would give them their key gen algorithm". And this is where I look at them funny for being so stupid. Do you really think a company would hand that over to some random people. Give me a break.

    Never even heard of Freecraft. Sounds like Blizzard didn't like the name association and its copying of Warcraft's idea. So they changed the name and actually tried to make a unique game instead of copying. Sounds find to me.

    As far as Glider is concerned...are you serious? Bots ruin MMOs. People running Glider were getting banned since you had to dig around on the site to even know that it was something that violated the ToS. It was an application made EXPLICITLY to do something that would get you banned. There was absolutely no other application of Glider but to cheat. It deserved to be shut down and was something that benefited people who actually played the game.

    You can not like them for doing these things, but you have to realize from a business perspective it is all completely logical. Companies have to protect their IP. If you counter balance this with the fact that they still support and update really really old games and that they make some of the best games ever, you can't really hate them without looking like some sort of hyper-polarized buffoon.

    I am not trying to convince you to buy their games. I am just saying, you aren't going to change my mind with those examples since they are all justified by any reasonable person.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Draek (916851) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @02:05PM (#31088286)

    Ridiculous. What other company still supports servers for a 10+ year old game? What other company ignores release pressures and won't release a game until it is done? Evil my ass.

    So that's all it takes for you to deem a company 'non-evil'? Windows still supports 10-years-old OSes and ignores release pressures to release software before it's done, are they a good company too?

    But let's talk about bnetd. Bnetd was where people went to play pirated copies of Starcraft. You can argue some minority of people owned the game and preferred playing. But the reality is, that is where people who didn't pay for the game played. If you owned a company, I am sure you would shut down anyone who did the same to you. This is where some people argue "But the bnetd people said they would do key checks if Blizzard would give them their key gen algorithm". And this is where I look at them funny for being so stupid. Do you really think a company would hand that over to some random people. Give me a break.

    BitTorrent is where 'people go to get pirated copies of MPAA movies', yet is that sufficient reason to shut them down? no, because BitTorrent is not, by itself, illegal. And neither was bnetd, regardless of what your RIAA-like red herrings may suggest.

    Never even heard of Freecraft. Sounds like Blizzard didn't like the name association and its copying of Warcraft's idea. So they changed the name and actually tried to make a unique game instead of copying. Sounds find to me.

    Yeah, except the part where they also had to remove compatibility with Warcraft II's files to avoid getting sued. That's how the whole freaking project *started*, btw, as a way to play an improved version of Warcraft II. Somebody does that to ID's games and they give it their kudos. Somebody does that to Valve's games and they freaking advertise it on their website. Somebody does that to *Blizzard*, however, and here comes the lawyers.

    As far as Glider is concerned...are you serious? Bots ruin MMOs. People running Glider were getting banned since you had to dig around on the site to even know that it was something that violated the ToS. It was an application made EXPLICITLY to do something that would get you banned. There was absolutely no other application of Glider but to cheat. It deserved to be shut down and was something that benefited people who actually played the game.

    Did it deserve to be shut down? perhaps. Did it deserve to be shut down by the bullshit copyright and EULA claims Blizzard used? hardly. Did we, people who had nothing to do with the whole thing, deserve to gain such an incredibly dangerous legal precedent over it? hell fucking no. Yet that's what happened.

    You can not like them for doing these things, but you have to realize from a business perspective it is all completely logical. Companies have to protect their IP. If you counter balance this with the fact that they still support and update really really old games and that they make some of the best games ever, you can't really hate them without looking like some sort of hyper-polarized buffoon.

    "Business perspective" has a way of making otherwise evil acts seem completely logical. Hell, nothing Microsoft has ever done has been illogical from a strictly business perspective, specially given their current size and power, yet we're perfectly fine with calling them a bunch of evil motherfuckers. Also, the 'best games ever' thing is purely subjective and, therefore, fails at being a decent enough argument.

    I am not trying to convince you to buy their games. I am just saying, you aren't going to change my mind with those examples since they are all justified by any reasonable person.

    Not really, they aren't.

  • Re:WINE (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @03:35PM (#31089678)

    Honestly I just hope it will work in WINE.

    Why use Linux if you need to use Wine for everything?

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by brkello (642429) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @03:58PM (#31089950)
    *sigh* Ok, let's get in to it again. It's always an uphill battle since being pro-piracy/anti-DRM is just part of the Slashdot groupthink these days.

    So that's all it takes for you to deem a company 'non-evil'? Windows still supports 10-years-old OSes and ignores release pressures to release software before it's done, are they a good company too?

    No, it isn't. I responded to all the points the parent poster listed as making them evil and why I didn't think it was evil. But nothing like starting out your argument with a strawman, right?

    BitTorrent is where 'people go to get pirated copies of MPAA movies', yet is that sufficient reason to shut them down? no, because BitTorrent is not, by itself, illegal. And neither was bnetd, regardless of what your RIAA-like red herrings may suggest.

    BitTorrent is a horrible analogy. BitTorrent simply is a fast way to transfer files among peers. The tool is inherently neutral even if many uses are illegal. bnetd was designed to bypass protection on proprietary code so that people could play online without paying for the game. Even if you want to say that it was designed only to give people better online performance (weak at best considered how it was used), the fact that it was doing it for proprietary code is the difference between bnetd and BitTorrent. If BitTorrent only transferred files based off of someone else's code, then maybe you would have a point. But it doesn't, so you don't.

    Yeah, except the part where they also had to remove compatibility with Warcraft II's files to avoid getting sued. That's how the whole freaking project *started*, btw, as a way to play an improved version of Warcraft II. Somebody does that to ID's games and they give it their kudos. Somebody does that to Valve's games and they freaking advertise it on their website. Somebody does that to *Blizzard*, however, and here comes the lawyers.

    That's great for Valve (another company that is awesome). But if Blizzard doesn't want other people using their assets, IT IS THEIR RIGHT TO DO SO. Why can't people write their own code and make their own art? Slashdot props up originality but then defends people who want to steal the ideas, art, and code from other games to make a game exactly like the original (except that it is usually worse) instead of coming up with their own ideas. In any case, you may not like it. But companies have the right to defend their property. It doesn't make them evil.

    Did it deserve to be shut down? perhaps. Did it deserve to be shut down by the bullshit copyright and EULA claims Blizzard used? hardly. Did we, people who had nothing to do with the whole thing, deserve to gain such an incredibly dangerous legal precedent over it? hell fucking no. Yet that's what happened.

    Tin foil hattery. Call me when this is used in all the BS ways Slashdotter say it COULD be used. They will be shot down. Also, this is a problem with the legal system. If there was a simple way for Blizzard to say "Hey, Glider needs to be shut down because it is doing this..." and it was reasonable (which it was) then it could have just been shut down. Our legal system is so screwed up that they had to jump through hoops to get Glider to shut down. Also, no one blames Glider. If it wasn't created in the first place, then this wouldn't have happened. I understand why you don't like Blizzard because of it, but it doesn't make them evil.

    ell, nothing Microsoft has ever done has been illogical from a strictly business perspective, specially given their current size and power, yet we're perfectly fine with calling them a bunch of evil motherfuckers.

    Uh, no. MS does break monopolistic laws all the time. That is why they are evil. Their actions are not reasonable.

    This game is going to sell in the millions. Talking about this stuff is not going to stop anyone from buying it. I'd like to get on games.slashdot.org and talk about games. But you guys politicize everything.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cornflake917 (515940) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @04:12PM (#31090088) Homepage

    I'm assuming the $180 is implying that Starcraft II is going to be released in 3 iterations each priced at $60. You're most likely wrong. The devs said that the 2nd and 3rd campaigns will be more like expansions packs, and will be priced accordingly. Besides it's not like you're forced to buy all three games.

    What makes you think you will be constantly pestered to buy maps? Wouldn't you want to see what kind of cool mods/maps the community made without having to jump through hoops to search them? You post is devoid of logic and common sense.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @06:35PM (#31092064)
    *sigh* Ok, let's get in to it again. It's always an uphill battle since being pro-piracy/anti-DRM is just part of the Slashdot groupthink these days.

    Don't conflate "pro-piracy" with "anti-DRM". Two different issues, and one doesn't imply the other.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Draek (916851) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @06:44PM (#31092178)

    No, it isn't. I responded to all the points the parent poster listed as making them evil and why I didn't think it was evil. But nothing like starting out your argument with a strawman, right?

    So why mention it, if it has no bearing on whether they're evil or not?

    BitTorrent is a horrible analogy. BitTorrent simply is a fast way to transfer files among peers. The tool is inherently neutral even if many uses are illegal. bnetd was designed to bypass protection on proprietary code so that people could play online without paying for the game. Even if you want to say that it was designed only to give people better online performance (weak at best considered how it was used), the fact that it was doing it for proprietary code is the difference between bnetd and BitTorrent. If BitTorrent only transferred files based off of someone else's code, then maybe you would have a point. But it doesn't, so you don't.

    Wrong. You could already play online with a pirated copy of Starcraft and Diablo 2 thanks to the wonders of LAN and direct TCP/IP play (why did you think they took it out for SC2?). All bnetd did was to allow people to run their own Battle.net-like servers for running a private league or such, something that had a lot of interest not just from the 'pirate' crowd but from legit owners as well.

    That's great for Valve (another company that is awesome). But if Blizzard doesn't want other people using their assets, IT IS THEIR RIGHT TO DO SO. Why can't people write their own code and make their own art? Slashdot props up originality but then defends people who want to steal the ideas, art, and code from other games to make a game exactly like the original (except that it is usually worse) instead of coming up with their own ideas. In any case, you may not like it. But companies have the right to defend their property. It doesn't make them evil.

    Yes, it does. That a company has the legal right to do something doesn't mean the act itself is automatically "non-evil", legality is independant of morality. And suing your own fans because they tried to port their favorite (and quite ancient) game to Linux and make a couple improvements on the way *is* evil by almost any definition of the word.

    Tin foil hattery. Call me when this is used in all the BS ways Slashdotter say it COULD be used. They will be shot down. Also, this is a problem with the legal system. If there was a simple way for Blizzard to say "Hey, Glider needs to be shut down because it is doing this..." and it was reasonable (which it was) then it could have just been shut down. Our legal system is so screwed up that they had to jump through hoops to get Glider to shut down. Also, no one blames Glider. If it wasn't created in the first place, then this wouldn't have happened. I understand why you don't like Blizzard because of it, but it doesn't make them evil.

    And you know it'll be shot down for a fact... why, exactly? And yes, expanding the reaches of EULAs and copyright law beyond the limits that came before it is pretty much "evil" as well.

    Uh, no. MS does break monopolistic laws all the time. That is why they are evil. Their actions are not reasonable.

    This game is going to sell in the millions. Talking about this stuff is not going to stop anyone from buying it. I'd like to get on games.slashdot.org and talk about games. But you guys politicize everything. I feel like Slashdot becomes a bunch of Fox News watchers when it comes to Blizzard. There is this positive feedback loop that mods up people that hate Blizzard but then ignore the millions of times more evil companies like Apple and Nintendo. Can't you guys just be excited for a new good game? No, I guess not.

    Apple and Nintendo can't be evil, they made the iPod and the Wii respectively and they're great. Seriously, you may try to get away from politics, but politics certainly won't leave you alone, and if you don't actively protest companies that behave unethically, that's exactly how they'll continue to behave.

    Bread and circuses indeed.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rockNme2349 (1414329) on Wednesday February 10, 2010 @06:49PM (#31092248)

    http://www.gamespot.com/news/6199172.html [gamespot.com]

    Pardo also said that the second two releases could be considered expansion packs, but that "we really want them to feel like stand-alone products."

    i.e., they will charge full price.

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

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