The New WANT!

Blizzard released a preview of the new today and all I can say is: GIMME!   When they delayed SC2 until 2010 it was because they were being held up by the Bnet overhaul.  Well, Bnet looks pretty dang polished and ready to me.  In the video there are 60 games of SC2 being played… C’mon, let’s make it a million shall we?

The goofy words being thrown around like “always connected” and “persistent characters” are a bit much.   It’s an account that you log in to; you’ve always been connected when you’re connected.  Persistent characters or features… mhmm that’s called an account.  We have them already.  They’re wonderful.  Competitive ladders… yep we’ve had those.   Lots of social goodies like achievements and neat pictures that we can earn, yada yada yada.   To be honest, all you have to say is “it’s better” and leave it at that.  I’d rather not think about how long it’s taken to turn Bnet blue and add achievements.  I’d rather focus on how wonderfully polished and Blizzardesque it’s all going to be.

Okay, so the match making system sounds neat.  The mod support has me absolutely horrified and excited at the same time.  And since it’s all connected and we can talk to the people playing WoW, I can’t wait to get my first gold spam while zerg rushing a fool.

So yeah, GIMME!

PS. This means SC2 is coming soon I hope?

  • A little behind the times IMHO. Had they announced this five years ago, maybe I’d bite, but every damn game is coming out now with its own developer attached “service” and its getting annoying.

  • I have absolutely no doubt that Blizzard will blow them all away, making them all look like archaic stoneage attempts are putting together an online matchmaking service. Heck, the original Bnet still does that. But at this point I know it’s going to be awesome as is and they’re just stringing us along with silly words. Less talk and more zerg, imo.

  • Just a note Keen, the only way you will get gold spam while playing SC2 is if you accept the friend requests of the gold spammers.

  • I gotta agree with heartlessgamer on this one, I just don’t see the big deal. You could argue that this will be new(ish) ground on the PC, but compare this to Xbox LIVE and it’s kind of a big yawn. Granted I say that based largely on the scope of each service. will have Blizzard games, XBL has EVERY game for that platform. Friends lists and messaging, yeah that’s cool, as long as my friends are playing a Blizzard game. With the games we play, I could track them on Steam, Impulse, GFWL, several EA systems… It’s just weak sauce compared to XBL.

    The matchmaking is cool and I expect Blizzard will have some great, possibly groundbreaking, algorithms behind it. But what else is there to get excited about here?

  • Yawn is right, maybe it is just me but Blizzard is just trying to hard.

    So you have a system that is like Steam with match making and achievements like Xbox Live and an algorithm to figure out skill.

    There is nothing new nor really original in the new Bnet that looks exciting at all. Just let me play SC2 in a LA-…oh thats right, we still can not LAN in SC2.

    Since a LAN is not a LAN if I have to connect to the Internet to play.

  • It’s kind of funny all this talk over Blizzard’s service being nothing big compared to other services but…come on guys, do you really have THAT short of a memory? was the prototype for every game service that was worth it’s salt EVER. It absolutely pioneered free online competitive services.

    I trust that blizzard can put out something great because they wrote the book on great. Yeah, has it’s share of problems and is extremely dated now, but considering it came out 1997…that’s 12 years.

  • When he says “all Blizzard games from this point forward” I wonder if the new MMO is going to use on some level.

  • I pretty much ddin’t understand a word of that. If I hadn’t had to create a BattleNet account last year when they did the login change for WoW, the only time I’d even have seen the word “BattleNet” would have been in the pejorative term “Battlenet kiddies” that used to get thrown around in various MMOs I’ve played. I never really knew what that meant and I have only the vaguest idea now, except it was supposed to be something bad.

    SoE have been fiddling around with some version of this for years now (thankfully still not compulsory to use) and FFXI has its intensely annoying set of hoops to jump through before you can even get to see your character – all this meta-gaming quasi-identity stuff is just a barrier to entry as far as I’m concerned.

  • It is Twitter/ICQ/Steam and basically one more social network. Especially the “sell games/addons/etc.” part of Steam is behind all that.

    Plus activating the game online, as copy protection for games that could potentially be played offline / without an account.

    But yeah, you want it? 😛
    Soon every developer will have his own social network for his own games and slowly bypass retailers and digital distribution platforms.

  • Not only are they behind the curve when it comes to first-party social networks, there are also several third-party sites like XFire, GamerDNA and Raptr that pull data from everything but the Wii.

  • I’m curious to see what happens. Will the Armory and Battlenet changes cause Blizzard to take over the world?

  • Setting the stage for Blizzard’s version of XBOX LIVE. 😉

    Membership levels and such. Graev and I have been predicting it for the past five years.

    What people here are failing to grasp is that it isn’t about the stupid social networking nonsense. It’s about the reigning king of online gaming services. Bnet was the first to do it right and is still one of the few to work extraordinarily well. In this video they glossed over that aspect of their service and slobbered all over achievements and stickers and bubblegum pop social networking. What -I- WANT is a service that still trumps STEAM and any other RTS/ARPG multiplayer platform. It’s in there somewhere. I think I could see it running in the background as someone talked about unlocks.

  • I don’t know why everyone thinks Blizzard is so behind the times. As Keen has said they pioneered reliable online gaming with Bnet. Everything Blizzard has ever taken from someone else and redone has always been better than the original. That is one of Blizzard’s greatest talents, taking existing ideas and improving.

    I fully believe Bnet will blow everything out of the water. Like many though my only concern is the lack of LAN play for SC2 and I would assume D3 would not have it either. That just seems like a lazy way of trying to prevent cheats.

  • Jesus dude, why do you always have to insult your readers? There’s plenty of people here that are “grasping” the situation. Just because we don’t agree with you doesn’t mean we’re retarded (topical!).

    You’re still not commenting on the fact that this affects like a handful of games. Blizzard games make up a very small percentage of my gaming interests. I can understand that the situation is different for competitive Starcraft players but it’s still pretty boring for the rest of us.

    Why are you hammering on “the stupid social networking nonsense”? Aren’t you always talking about the social aspects of MMOs? Didn’t you even make that a requirement in your MMO(RPG) definition? That stuff is important and a major drawback to PC gaming right now is the lack of a single unified community system like XBL.

    And please explain how is the “reigning king online gaming services”. What are they doing that others aren’t?

  • Oversensitive much? How is saying that people are failing to grasp something insulting them?

    I don’t even know how to begin addressing your comments…

    Crap, did I just insult you?

    Edit: I’m in a typing mood this morning. Let me at least try and set you on the right path.

    – This is for Blizzard games only. Duh. What I’m saying is that Blizzard supports their own multiplayer better than anyone else can provide and support for their own. Not even STEAM can provide an experience on par with Bnet.

    – MMO-huh? Achievements, IM, Xbox Live, and social stuff like this does not a MMO make. Do not cross those wires please.

    – They’re not trying to compete with Xbox Live, Facebook, or even Steam. They’re doing their own thing. I think the social stuff is all a bit silly since Bnet has always been about giving people the best multiplayer -gaming- experience.

    – Anyone thinking that I’m supporting or hyping anything but the core of what Bnet is (an unrivaled service for playing RTS and Action-RPG games online) needs to reread my post. I could not care less about achievements or any of the junk added in.

    What I’m saying is that I want this to come out already. None of the stuff their promoting is anything new. Achievements, Pictures, Chat across other games… nothing there is all that new or exciting. Will it be great? Inevitably. I want it to come out because it is standing in the way of SC2.

    What this Bnet will do is facilitate a better experience for what are unquestionably some of the best games ever made. Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft are pioneers in their respective genres. If this new Bnet makes them better, then bring it on. That’s all the people who care about the games want to hear.

  • It seems to me that everyone is just jumping on the negative bandwagon today and nit-picking little details to prove an obsolete point. Sure, Bnet is nothing new when you look at its service, but it IS new when you take in the consideration that Blizzard is behind it all. We are talking about the company that made the un-rivaled Starcraft, the un-rivaled Warcraft, the un-rivaled Diablo, and not to mention the huge hit that is World of Warcraft. From a perspective of someone who loves what Blizzard has done, it seems to me that Bnet will be something even the haters will love, just like WoW, but will deny the case to hide their nerdiness.

  • If this allows me to be online playing SC2 or Diablo 3 while talking to friends in WoW or Warcraft 3 then i can definitely see this as an amazing service.

    I know i can do that by Xfire and other services but neither me nor any of my friends use it.

    I think improving this so much is a great indicator of things to come in Blizzard. They now have the potential to release all their games as persistent online games and balance them accordingly. Their non-MMO games will come much closer to MMO games.

    It is also very interesting and if they increased the number of IPs being launched they could some great stuff. Maybe release a f2p game (i can see a free to play done by Blizzard being hugely successful) or two or 3 more MMOs.

    I just hope they don’t remove LAN support.

  • Except for finding people to play SC or Warcraft way back when I played them. I never found a reason to use Battlenet. Even with the past changes (which I don’t know when were implemented) the site is more of a destination with content, and looks much different than I remember, cleaner, easier to navigate and find things, etc.

    Now I am really excited about the new changes and how I will use them in my future Blizzard gaming.

  • Wanna play HL2? Sure! forced Steam install!
    Wanna play GalCiv2? Sure! Forced Impulse install!
    Wanna play SC2? Sure! Forced Bnet install!
    Wanna play Telltale games on release day? Sure! Forced Greenhouse install!
    Wanna buy something from the EA Store? Sure! Forced EADM install!
    Wanna buy something from Direct2Drive? Sure! Forced D2D Installer!

    On it’s own, would be fantastic, were it not for the fact that everyone else seems to have had the same idea.

    I’m surprised so many people are stoked about Bnet, it’s just another mandatory install and access gate to get into games you’ve already bought. I have as much love for Bnet as any other SC/WC3 player, but they’ve already established that it’s going to take away a lot of the elements that made it great.

    It’s almost certain Bnet will come with tiered service options, meaning if you want full functionality, you pay. Combine that with Blizzard’s shameless attempt to monetise the free mods/maps created by players, and you’re pretty much eliminating what made Bnet stand out so much in the first place.

    Hell, you can already do all of what they’re advertising, and for free, it’s called Steam. Not only can I talk to someone playing WoW while I’m playing SC, I can also talk to ANYONE IN ANY GAME AT ANY TIME. I’m sure Blizzard will make sure they invest development time into blocking the overlay of course.


  • Oh boy yes, I’m looking forward to SC2. It’s been so long in the coming. My only hope is that the lack of Protoss and Zerg single player campaigns don’t damage the game. It was a very odd choice to exclude them and bundle them into separate games – hope it pays off.

    And yes, second the LAN support!

  • @notbad: But unlike everything else on your list Bnet is great. My opinion, yes, but that opinion is based off of multiplayer game performance, functionality, integration, and more.

    @We Fly Spitfires: We should play together when it comes out. 🙂

  • Here is my huge pet peeve, and it applies to all companies.

    You should not force me to have an internet connection to play your games. I am in the military and I travel alot to places that do not have the internet. I can play single player games and we set up LANs. When you prevent me from doing this I stop buying your games… or hack them.

    I love Bnet and I think once it comes out everyone will say that Steam and the other applications like it are all outdated. I however don’t want to be forced to launch all my games via Bnet.

  • It’s the new DRM. That and including content for new copies of games only.

    I’m sure they’ll have single player that won’t require an active internet connection. That would be horrible if you must be connected to the internet. I can see their whole “always connected even in singleplayer” being a nice feature for those who want it (I do) but not something forced.

    No LAN blows. We grew up on LAN.

  • “It’s almost certain Bnet will come with tiered service options, meaning if you want full functionality, you pay. Combine that with Blizzard’s shameless attempt to monetise the free mods/maps created by players, and you’re pretty much eliminating what made Bnet stand out so much in the first place.”

    Says it all right there.

  • “I’m sure they’ll have single player that won’t require an active internet connection. That would be horrible if you must be connected to the internet.”
    If they are going to use it as effective DRM they MUST have it force authentication on game start up, doesn’t mean your connection needs to stay active throughout your whole gaming session but just like Steam the only way they can be assured you aren’t stealing the games is by doing a validity check at bnet startup.

    Unless of course they have found some brand new amazing way of handling it that Valve hasn’t discovered.

  • Keen I don’t really understand what it is that attracts you to Bnet other than it’s legacy, especially if you aren’t interested in any of the social networking aspects of it.

    LAN is gone, it’s not backwards compatible so it will only affect WoW and SC2, it’s going to require you to pay a recurring subscription to get full functionality… All it has left is a matchmaking system, I can think of plenty of games that have perfectly good matchmaking.

    I was baffled when he started to describe the matchmaking like it was some revolutionary breakthrough in online gaming, “You want to play a 3v3? Just invite 2 other people and hit Quick Match!”, uh… every competitor to this platform has had that for the best part of a decade.

    What I’m trying to say is that, putting aside that it’s Blizzard and the sun shines out of every orifice they possess, how is this functionality any different to Steam or Impulse? Both of which are free and have thousands of games as opposed to two.

  • notbad… where does it say it will only work with WoW and SC2?

    Also I think you are being rather pessimistic. Blizzard can take anything and turn it into gold. When they say they have designed a better match making system I fully believe it will be 10X better than any other system out there.

    This isn’t about being a Blizzard fanboy. Blizzard’s quality is beyond reproach. They make great games with great features. To dismiss anything they are claiming to be new and innovative seems rather close minded on your part. The people at Blizzard aren’t stupid. They know if they release a half ass product it wont fly in the gaming community.

    I was honestly impartial to this entire thing at first. The only reason I’m coming to Bnet’s defense is it feels like people aren’t giving Blizzard a fair chance… which amazes me considering their track record.

  • Ugh, I just had to turn off the clip after 1 minute because his record was stuck on “experience”.

    You heard it here first, someday soon someone will say “Great experience experience”.

  • @notbad: It’s Blizzard. *Shrug* not much else to say there. When they release something it is always better than their competition. They’re in the business of making great stuff and they’ve proven it. That is simply how they work.

    If they claim they’re improving Bnet then I’ll believe them. They’ve earned that trust. If Bnet2.0 can improve upon the Bnet and raise the bar even higher … how that can not be awesome?

    They have not said anything about a subscription yet (Although I’m predicting it) and they’ve already said this will connect ALL Blizzard games which includes WoW, SC, Diablo, WC, and probably their new IP.

    I guess all we can do now is wait and see. I think it’ll blow away anything we’ve seen including Steam.

  • @Epiny: Perfect.

    The people here with the negative posts need to reconsider their opinions and realize they nothing of the end-product that will be Bnet. We have all seen the forums postings, previews, and such, and I do not believe anyone here has had first-hand BETA experience or they would have said so. Knowing that, how can anyone force the opinion that “i’ll pass because its nothing new,” with no facts to back it up?

    On the flipside, all the people being optimistic of Blizzard’s attempt at a Steam-like interface, have actually evidence to support their claim! Blizzard has created some of the most memorable games we all know, and continue to improve and wow us whenever they get the chance. Why the hell would Bnet be any different?

    It just reminds me of all my friends I use to have that after I watched a movie and asked them if they’ve watched it, they respond “No, that movies is a piece of shit.”

    ….How do you know?

  • Are you sure they’ve announced that Bnet will work with Blizzard games older than WoW? From what I’ve heard/read the only confirmed games are WoW & SC2 at launch, then D3 when it releases.

    I have to admit, I can’t deny that Blizzard are pretty much 10/10 on new releases, but where you see an amazing gaming platform that will trump Steam, I see an incredibly closed propriety platform that:

    Only has 2 games. (If I’m wrong and it works with WC2/WC3/SC then fair enough, but still.)
    Removes LAN support for the sequels of the biggest LAN games in the world.
    Makes you pay for all the bells and whistles.
    Is going to turn the fantastic modding community into cash cows, where we’re all paying $20 for Dota or TD maps.

    Blizzard are great, but as much as their reputation is that of making incredible games, they will never miss the chance to charge you for the privilege.

    I dunno, maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but I don’t really have room for 9999999999 propriety platforms for every developer/publisher in my life.

  • No doubt, it’s closed to Blizzard only games. However, it will support those Blizzard games and their community better than anyone has supported their games. That’s all we’re saying.

  • I agree that Bnet being closed to Blizzard only games is a downside, and probably the only one. I could really foresee Blizzard and Activision getting deeper in bed together with Bnet. Imagine if Activision pulled all their games off Steam and moved them to Bnet, unlikely but possible. Just think about MW2 on Bnet.

    I don’t see how Blizzard can revamp Bnet without adding in the games that already run in it. To me it just makes sense to assume that the games that already require Bnet will continue to use it in it’s new form.

  • @Keen

    A little late for a reply, but I DON’T CARE if Blizzard can amaze me with I want the practice to die, because for every there will be a dozen shittier ones and its going to stop me from buying games. I’m already on the verge of swearing off any game that dares to insult me by using Gamespy.

  • @heartlessgamer: I’m right there with you. Gamespy sucks. So does whatever EA uses for their games, Ubisoft, etc. They’re all garbage. That’s what makes me love Bnet so much.

    Help walk me through your reasoning.

    You don’t want because shittier wanna-be’s will pop up.

    That’s a defeatist attitude isn’t it? Could you not hold everyone else up to the standard instead of doing away with something altogether?

    Bottom line: Multiplayer games require a service to bring people together. Those server lists you see built into games? Integrated gamespy. Team Fortress 2 uses Steam. Warcraft 3 uses The worst ones (like in the days of oldschool) require the extraneous programs like Gamespy and they’re heinous.

    I like the most.