Did you see that Battle.net preview the other day? Well, there’s more to it than just that. This new network, that has delayed StarCraft II for at least seven months, should now be nothing short of spectacular. However, the information released is slightly vague and mostly consists of PR-based mumbo-jumbo to build up the current StarCraft II hype.
It sure looks cool, but can we find more details we can learn from reading between the lines?
The network offers its services to about 12 million players (500k more than WoW), and with the new version of Battle.net that will be available with StarCraft II Blizzard naturally hopes they can serve even more fans. Perhaps a LOT more, considering a lot of traffic on Battle.net now comes from pretty outdated games, like WarCraft III, Diablo II and StarCraft. Not saying they are not great, I love all three (well, WC3 is ok), but StarCraft II and Diablo III will likely open up this gaming network to a whole new generation of gamers. And I mean that literary Blizzard takes its sweet time to make games…
Since Blizzard have only released information about the StarCraft II-specific features for Battle.net so far, most of this article so far reflects that. However, much of this can easily be reflected to Diablo III or one of the unannounced games Blizzard has in the making.
The main feature in the PR-esentation is the four pillars of Battle.net:
- Always Connected
- Finding Games
- Mod Support
At least the first three of those seems very easy to apply to Diablo III as well, but perhaps not number four. Blizzard have said they are not supporting custom UIs, or will go out of their way to help the D3 modding community. It might be relatively easy (as games go), but no official support like StarCraft II will have.
As points go, the second thing to point out is the “Always Connected” feature. Is it really a feature? It has been a debate in the Diablo III community about LAN, but not as violent as the StarCraft 2 fans. Last summer, a petition was started by fans wanting LAN in StarCraft II, and unlike the Diablo III art controversy, it did not die out but has to date received 245,800 signatures. The idea behind “Always Connected” is perhaps good, but does make a few fans uneasy as it builds the feeling they are not owning a real game, just using “the service”, Battle.net. Other than that, it seems like a brilliant idea to have a lot of features for people being connected.
The big thing is of course the connectivity with friends, the “social” aspect. This and many more details, including the Real_ID and Battle.net characters are all handled in the new and massive Battle.net article!
- Continue to the DiabloWiki.Net Battle.net article.