New details emerged this week about one of the more anticipated titles of oh…. maybe the past 11 years or so; Starcraft 2. From Blizzard, the original creators of Stratcraft and it’s expansions, along with other hits such as Diablo and Warcraft comes the next big thing since World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2.
For the most part, Starcraft 2 has been kept under wraps pretty well, with the only leaked details being the occasional press release and game review website Q&A sessions. The game made headlines in 2008 when the developers stated that it would be split into 3 parts, one for every individual campaign (Terran, Protoss & Zerg), with each one having to be purchased separately. Now another announcement has hit the wire, which has many gamers up in arms. Blizzard has stated that Starcraft 2 will NOT support LAN play, arguably one of the features that made the original title so wildly popular and one of the most played titles at LAN Party events.
PR representative, Bob Colayco stated
We don’t currently plan to support LAN play with StarCraft II, as we are building Battle.net to be the ideal destination for multiplayer gaming with StarCraft II and future Blizzard Entertainment games. While this was a difficult decision for us, we felt that moving away from LAN play and directing players to our upgraded Battle.net service was the best option to ensure a quality multiplayer experience with StarCraft II and safeguard against piracy.
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. We’re looking forward to sharing more details about Battle.net and online functionality for StarCraft II in the near future.
While the lack of a LAN connection has obvious benefits in aiding to stop unsupported multi player groups and servers, it leaves a lot of LAN organizers out in the cold. Many LAN events do not allow outside connections for security and organizational purposes, or because they simply do not have the infrastructure/bandwidth to allow their often hundreds of members to have access to the internet. Instead, most opt to just host games within their network.
With Starcraft 2 geared to be one of the top RTS (Real Time Strategy) games in 2009/2010, unfortunately this restriction means it is unlikely to be a feature as most gaming events, or even a viable option for a weekend with a few friends.
Beta signups for the game were announced earlier this year, and the BETA is expected to be released sometime this summer (2009). Be sure to check it out it it’s your thing.