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The Courts Games

Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators 252

Posted by Soulskill
from the zerging-with-lawyers dept.
qubezz writes: "TorrentFreak reports that on Monday, Blizzard filed a lawsuit in US District court in California against the programmers behind the popular Starcraft II cheat 'ValiantChaos MapHack.' The complaint seeks relief from 'direct copyright infringement,' 'contributory copyright infringement,' 'vicarious copyright infringement,' 'trafficking in circumvention devices,' etc. The suit seeks the identity of the cheat's programmers, as it fishes for names of John Does 1-10, in addition to an injunction against the software (which remains on sale) and punitive damages. Blizzard claims losses from diminished user experiences, and also that 'when users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they directly infringe Blizzard's copyright in StarCraft II, including by creating unauthorized derivative works"."
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Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators

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  • Blizzard Shizzard (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @05:58PM (#47060769)

    Suing programmers for their creation is a very bad practice. As code is a form of speech, denying someone a freedom of it is against a democratic constitution.

    I'd like to see Blizzy sued to bankruptcy for this stupidity. But alas, pigs don't fly now do they?

  • Re:Blizzard Shizzard (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Adriax (746043) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @06:27PM (#47061149)

    Last I checked WoW had a system that effectively merged servers by adding automatic cross-server gameplay to low pop servers. So your character from low pop server #1 would actually be playing on low pop server #2 in some or all zones so you would have other people to play with.
    They decided on this because the idea of them actually merging servers to reduce host footprint would spark a massive panic as The One True MMO all others aspire to replace would be in perceived death spiral.

    Personally I expect there is a little more to the cross server feature than they're letting on, and eventually the part that differentiated players by their server ( in chat) will be set to fake that info and many servers will actually be fully merged at that point.
    All it would take is an extra field in the server database to denote which fake server their character is a member of and adding a check to the "server first" achievements to respect those groups.
    Not only would that let them avoid the whole "OMG WoW is dying!!!" panic from the fanboys while actually cutting underused hardware, but paid server moves become even more of a cash grab as in many cases it would be a quick field switch in a single server's database.

  • Re:Blizzard Shizzard (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @06:28PM (#47061161)

    Too expensive to transmit the entire state of the game at every time step. Here's an interesting MSc thesis on the exact problem where he tries to use movement prediction and compression in RTS network play:

    https://skatgame.net/mburo/ps/thesis_orsten_2011.pdf

  • Re:Blizzard Shizzard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @06:31PM (#47061187)

    It's about latency and responsiveness, and client side prediction, and the fact that both clients have to be in perfect sync. It has nothing to do with computational complexity. Consider the Terran ability to scan any part of the map to reveal units. That information has to be almost instantly available to the scanning player regardless of the number of units revealed. If the other player had their entire army in that location along with some buildings, it would take a long time to transmit all of that data to the other player. If you've watch professional SC1/SC2 players play, you'd realize that any responsiveness delay longer than something like 50ms would be considered glacially slow. Sending the position and full state of over 200 units and a dozen buildings would just not be possible in time.

    Also, to minimize network latency and bandwidth usage, the game currently never sends a full state to either player. It always only sends state changes/updates. It was designed *specifically* to avoid having to do something like a full state dump that would be required if clients only had the information regarding revealed or visible units from the opponent. This also helps minimize or reduce desyncs because it's easier to do rollbacks.

    They could design a totally different game from the ground up. One where it's assumed both sides have perfect information, like chess, or one where a reveal of hidden information would not be subject to lag or bandwidth (e.g. a game with very limited numbers of units, or a set of known possible unit configurations, again like chess with a fog of war added), but at that point you've designed a completely different game, and that game is not StarCraft.

  • Re:Blizzard Shizzard (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jonwil (467024) on Wednesday May 21, 2014 @08:20PM (#47062031)

    I used to be an avid Diablo 2 player and LOVED that game.

    The problem with Diablo 3 (in addition to the always-on DRM and various general bad things Activision Blizzard have done) was that they took too many of the good things out and kept too many of the bad things in (e.g. the way they changed how potions and healing and such worked so that you couldn't just go into town and buy 50 healing potions before tackling the next big monster)

    I ended up switching to The Elder Scrolls and have found Oblivion to be a better game than anything Blizzard ever made.
    Plus, Bethesda (even counting the Occulus Rift lawsuit) has a long way to go before they are as evil and bad as Activision Blizzard.

  • Re:Blizzard Shizzard (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 22, 2014 @03:26AM (#47063635)

    The only thing of concern is your ping. Pros will be on a LAN anyway and the rest of us don't even notice the ping.

    You missed the shitstorm when the pros realized that Blizzard didn't add LAN support to SC2 because they wanted to lock in people to Battlenet.

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