Battle.net 2.0 Article Series >> Definite Battle.net 2.0 Features >> (Page 1) | (Page 2)


    Update, the third and final part is now available: Rumoured Battle.net 2.0 Additions

    As mentioned in the previous article about Blizzard’s game network, most of Battle.net 2.0 is still tightly under wraps, and while the Diablo III forum spam we have seen for the past month has been most annoying, a complete solution to that problem will wait until StarCraft II’s release, sources tell us. This is of course unfortunate, but if the situation slips out of control completely, Blizzard will do something drastic, like software upgrades, or closing down the forums and reserve it for ‘blue’ posts. Regardless, the next version of Battle.net should be upon us soon and this is what we have been able to squeeze out of Blizzard reps that WILL be in the gaming network:

    Definite Battle.net 2.0 Features

    DiabloWikiWilson: We’re working on a new version of Battle.net, and there is a major revision in how it works. The goal is to simply provide the best online experience that you can find in any game. If you’re playing a Blizzard game, we want you to be part of the Blizzard community. We want people to find their friends quickly, to communicate with them, and to play together.

    Improved Battle.net In-Game Functionality
    Any quote from Blizzard clearly states that while they won’t talk much about Battle.net 2.0, we will be blown away or be very impressed. It’s a given that all current features for Battle.net will be included – and improved! Blizzard has said they have learned a lot from WoW on infrastructure, and features from WoW will definitely also be seen. So Battlenet 2.0 WILL feature:

    • Excellent Ping
    • Channels and Chat in-game
    • Ladders and Rankings, secured against cheating.
    • Extended stats, with possibility to see who D/C etc (source)
    • AMM-type Matchmaking
    • Avatars, Images and Icons to represent yourself
    • Diablo III Hardcore mode
    • Friends/Ignore Lists with advanced management (see accounts below)
    • Clan Support
    • Automated Tournaments

    As an example, we just found out that Diablo III players will possibly deal with all their trading directly by whispers in the new network. With this in mind, we can expect many simple and useful features directly in the system.

    Just like in WoW, Achievements will be added to Diablo III and StarCraft II. Achievements such as “Win 100 StarCraft II games”, or “Level your character to 100” are the new way of playing online and will be recorded on Account basis. Blizzard have explained that all games’ Achievements will give a score that stacks to give you a “Blizzard level”. Whether these features will be available only for new games, or all Blizzard’s Battle.net games is unknown but it seems likely they will only be available in new releases. A preview of this system can be found in World of WarCraft, where testing is now commencing in the Wrath of the Lich King Beta.

    Besides being entertaining, the purpose is also to bring people in to the multiplayer game, as the Achievements will only be available online where they can be checked against cheating. It should be more fun online, even solo. Trading and co-op is just a bonus, and Jay Wilson has even said that Diablo III won’t even contain any other networking functionality besides Battle.net.

    In-Game Voice Chat
    Especially mentioned for StarCraft II, but also a very likely feature in other games is VoIP (Voice over IP) or “Voice Chat”. The technology is already implemented in WoW, and has been promised as an example of what will come with Battle.net. It probably won’t replace Ventrilo/TeamSpeak for the active gamers, but a great new way to chat for those who don’t wish to use a third party program.

    As Blizzard is learning from WoW when it comes to server infrastructure where they are battling hackers and exploiters, the new Battle.net will be built on programming that prevent any form of hacking or cheating. Taking several lessons from WoW in that regard, “duping” in Diablo III will be come impossible. Chris Sigaty promised me that they will ensure security as best we can, to keep it fair for all players. The Blizzard Accounts will also encourage people to be more responsible online.

    “eSport Support”
    We don’t have the details on what this means exactly; there will be support for eSports and those features will probably be available for custom tournaments or ladders as well. IPTV and broadcasted matches are likely features, but only StarCraft II is currently confirmed to have eSport support, with new and advanced replay mode, tournaments, leagues and spectator mode. Diablo III eSports are not unlikely, but we’ll see more when PvP combat is revealed. Either way, the eSports team would be in charge of it.

    Starcraft Source
    Frank Pearce: One of the features we are definitely working on improving and in integrating much better is the replay-functionality which is naturally important for the e-sports-community. We are working at better support for tournaments and leagues on battle.net so that there is a lot more facility in that regard. We are talking about things like cameraman-functionality which we already have in World of Warcraft as well.

    We are also talking about potential spectator’s functionality and things like that. We have an e-sports-team internally whose responsibility is to host the events that we run and also work for parties so that e-sports-team will be responsible for e-sport with StarCraft 2 as well.

    For the second page, we’ll describe the Blizzard Accounts, Profiles, Achievements, Online Responsibility and Battle.net 2.0 Launch Date.

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