Blizzard Planning Pseudo-LAN Support for StarCraft 2, Diablo 3 to Follow Suit

By Nick Breckon, Aug 22, 2009 3:39pm PDT Battle.net developer Greg Canessa says that Blizzard is actively working on a LAN-like solution to include for Battle.net play in StarCraft II.

"We are working on solutions with regard to things we can do to maintain connectivity to Battle.net in some way, but also provide a great quality connection between players," said Canessa.

Blizzard recently announced that traditional LAN play would not be included in the game, with offline play only being allowed in the singleplayer campaign.

I asked Canessa whether the solution his team is working on might include a pseudo-LAN connection, where the game would only check in with Battle.net to authenticate before reverting to typical LAN behavior.

"Something like that," he replied. "Maintaining a connection with Battle.net, I don't know if it's once or periodically, but then also having a peer-to-peer connection between players to facilitate a very low-ping, high-bandwidth connection.. those are the things that we're working on."

Diablo III lead designer Jay Wilson also confirmed that Diablo III will treat LAN in the same way that StarCraft II does, meaning that while traditional offline LAN will not be included in that game, it should support any Battle.net solution developed for the RTS.

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  • Let me get one thing straight: I'll be purchasing StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3 on day one. I will purchase all the subsequent expansions to each on day one. I won't purchase anything WoW related anymore, because I can't stand the game. But I did, however, purchase the original WoW. I purchased every single Blizzard product starting from Warcraft 2, including the re-released Battle.Net version.

    Now, while I'm a supporter of the company, as well as a supporter of PC gaming, I can EASILY see why this issue of no LAN is a valid one, and how it's quite literally an issue that's black and white. I'm not going to make empty threats about not purchasing the game, because I know I'll have it day one.

    It's an issue because, as so many have seen and heard already, it does nothing to prevent piracy, and literally only hurts the paying customer in the end. Bitch and argue that fact all you want, but it's not hard to see that this issue is entirely black and white. Games like StarCraft 2 leak weeks before the official product even ships, so you bet your asses the game will be fully pirated before a lot of the major distributors even get the copies of the game to sell.

    Now how does it do nothing but hurt the legitimate customer? Because there WILL be instances when someone loses an internet connection when trying to do something as simple as play with their roommate. Their WILL be instances where Blizzard's central authentication servers are down for X amount of time. And their WILL be instances where folks, despite it being almost 2010, will be in areas of no internet connections, preventing them from playing. The proof will be in the pudding, and I'm sure if any of you will take the time to follow up on the issue, and log on to Blizzard's forum a month or so after the game is released, you'll see this to be true. It always is.

    So, yes, while this issue is minuscule in the grand scheme of things, what is it doing to help the customer? Nothing at all.

    With that said, I'll see you all on day one.







  • The issue here is that you are guilty before proven innocent. I pay for my games, but it turns out that pirates have a better copy than I do.

    It's like gated access at an apartment complex. I had a motorcycle and couldn't activate the pressure sensors for my own friggin complex. Yet you could just follow anyone in you wanted. Real secure.

    The bottom line is that there will always be pirates. Anything that can be engineered can be reverse engineered. The only people that get screwed here are the legitamate users. Remember the EA/Bioshock/Spore fiasco?

    What happens when you want to play one night and your internet is on the fritz. Or what about when THEIR servers are having an issue and you can't play the game loaded on your PC that you legally paid for. What if they decide to kill those particular servers in a few years and that creates a paperweight out of your game.

    I don't like being treated like a criminal, and I'm not giving money to a company that can't appreciate that. I'm not giving money to a company that wouldn't even BE where they are today without all the people who LAN'ed their original games...who have a lot of their popularity from both legal users and pirates alike. They are forgetting their core audience.

    Keep in mind, because of the passive nature that a lot of you are taking towards this very real, very important issue, you are ENABLING companies like this to pursue even more draconian methods in the future. If this doesn't stop 100% of the pirates (and it won't), they will keep coming up with systems like this until games will fail to run more than they succeed, or PC gaming will just die off completely.

    Take a stand now, or our beloved past time will be...well...a thing of the past.