Starcraft 2 ditches LAN

I promise I won’t turn Indigo Static into a news blog, but with that said, I just have to comment on this story:

It turns out that Starcraft 2 won’t have LAN support and will replace this feature with Battle.net. Blizzard is currently trying to excuse this by talking about how awesome Battle.net is while avoiding the actual reason behind this move: filthy, dirty pirates. Well, yes, now they admit it, but it took them long enough.

Several Battle.net features like advanced communication options, achievements, stat-tracking, and more, require players to be connected to the service, so we’re encouraging everyone to use Battle.net as much as possible to get the most out of StarCraft II.

Bullshit. You can do all those things without any internet connection. And more!

Ooohh, so pretty! I think I'll give it a chance *5 minutes later* Hey! Where my wallet?
Ooooooohh, so pretty! I think I'll give it a chance ... *5 minutes later* Hey! Where's my wallet?

Yes, yes, I know, I’m talking about piracy again, but please indulge me for a second:

You see, I call this types of decisions “Screwing the consumer over, in the name of piracy”. Most DRM is such the case, but this time around the scheme chosen actually works against piracy, so it stings a little less than usual.

They are basically shoving a DRM scheme down our throats without sweetening the pill. Which is not how you are supposed to do DRM. You see, what Blizzard is actually doing is removing a feature altogether and then pretending that it can be replaced by this other, wholly different feature that, oh, by the way, requires internet connection. And it’s not a simple copyright check either, everything has to go through the internet first, like any other online match. Except everyone is right next to each other… why can’t we just use LAN cables again? Oh, right, those filthy, filthy pirates are ruining it all for everyone.

Except they are not. This is Starcraft 2 for crying out loud! They already divided the game into 3 different campaigns sold separately, which was a clear money grab, especially if they plan to price each one at 60 dollars (although to be fair, it really depends on how much content is packed in each campaign).

Anyways, the point is: It’s an uber-recognized franchise with 3 installments planned and even then they thought they needed more money? Because that’s what it is: money talk.

… oh, I get it. It’s Activision isn’t it? Their whole strategy revolves around maximizing profits, and that’s exactly what they are doing here. Even when they are clearly screwing the paying costumer to squeeze out a few more dollars.

————————-

Alright, I’m sounding a little bit too bitter about this whole subject, so let me explain: There hasn’t been one LAN party I’ve been to that had internet access. Not one. And you know why? Because it’s already a pain to set up all the connections: Cables are laying around everywhere even when 90% of us use Wi-fi. The only router on the house has to be brought to the middle of it all so it can reach to all the PCs that don’t have Wi-fi. That leaves us with no possible connection to the internet! And even then, if we could connect to the mighty series of tubes, how are we supposed to play? Where I live, a 3Mbit connection is a freaking luxury, and the common folk have 1Mbit at best. Let’s say we are 12 dudes in the same room trying to use the same internet connection at the same time… how much bandwidth do we all need in total? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s going to be a lag fest if the connection doesn’t go over the Megabit/sec.

Not to mention that all internet providers here tend to disconnect every once in a while. Just for fun I guess.

Needless to say, I won’t be buying Starcraft 2.

PS: I wouldn’t be surprised if the game required an internet connection every time it’s launched, effectively screwing the consumer even further for no logical reason whatsoever.

Update: Aaaand there’s already a petition. I really wonder if Blizzard will listen.

Update 2: Waaaaaiiiiit a minute. Didn’t Blizzard mention that they *might* monetize battle.net? They surely wouldn’t monetize LAN play, would they? I mean, screwing the consumers over by requiring an internet connection is one thing, but making them pay for an unnecessary service? Wow, that would be low.

Oh, and what happened to the spawn mode? You know, that feature on old Blizzard games that let’s the user “spawn” as many copies of the game as she wants, as long as it’s for local multiplayer? What happened to that philosophy? Because as I recall, it was the best word of mouth tool ever to be created.

[/rant]

Yeah, sorry about that, I’ll be returning to my happy, sarcastic self in the next post. Promise!

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4 thoughts on “Starcraft 2 ditches LAN

  1. Vix

    It is sad. I haven’t been as ticked off for quite some time and the more I tell myself “it’ll be okay, they’ll give in to the cries of thousands” I realise that I’m probably just dreaming of something that will never change.

    I guess there will be cracked copies anway together with the emulators/private servers that will come but it saddens me to have to resort to these instead of using something created by the Blizz dev team.

    I just don’t like the way we (the innocent purchasers) are being treated by an announcment like this. Valve first screwed us over with Steam and now Blizz wants to do the same with Battle.net. For this reason I also vow to not buy Starcraft 2 (or any other game created by Blizzard). I have already cancelled my WoW account…there are sufficient private servers available if I feel I need a fix but at this point I just don’t feel enthusiastic about Starcraft II anymore. With luck though I’ll still get to play it (and Diablo III) but Blizzard won’t be getting money from me for that privelage.

  2. Diego Doumecq

    Vix, I think you got a little bit too carried away there, especially with the Steam part, but hey, everybody’s entitled to their own opinions, right?

    Oh, and if Blizzard doesn’t provide it, the crackers will. Especially with something as important as LAN play.

    (To be clear, I wasn’t looking forward to Starcraft 2 that much, so it didn’t take that much to push this one from “buy” to “not buy”. Yeah, I don’t like RTSs very much (outside of LAN play, because, you know, everything is awesome through LAN, not because of the games but because of the people you are playing with), and I think I’ll be posting about why that is in a few days.)

  3. Vix

    Hey Diego

    I guess Steam just came at the wrong time for me. Forcing me to spend around 6 hours to get the game “authenticated” over dial-up (after installation from the original Disc I got in my box).

    Some time has passed and I think I’ve calmed down a bit more now…but it’s really sad whenever I see anything about Starcraft II now…it’s like they’ve pulled that “spirit” out of me. Initially I tried to find any and all information on this so that I could add my two cents worth…in hopes that it would sway their decision. Frustration and anger levels increasing by the minute! The more information I read and found the more irritated I got:
    – Now all of the original voice actors will return (if any)
    – To play the Zerg campaign (the last one scheduled for release in the trilogy) you’ll need to at least own the first one (as the last two are said to be expansions).

    This coupled with the very long times that it takes for Blizzard to release anything made me realize that I should rather just look away and focus on other things…in time I’ll get to play the Zerg campaign and I’ll probably get to play in a LAN environment without battle.net…but if I don’t then so be it – I think the “I’m angry Blizzard – change it now” attitude has changed into “ok fine whatever…I don’t care anymore – time to move on”. My promise stands though…I refuse to give them any of my money ever again.

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