DRM Is NOTHING Compared To StarCraft II

By John Walker on May 28th, 2010 at 10:00 am.

They should refer to suits like this as combat DRM.

Blizzard supremo Frank Pearce has told VideoGamer.com, “We need our development teams focused on content and cool features, not anti-piracy technology.”

It accompanies the announcement that StarCraft II’s single-player mode will not require constant online connection to Blizzard’s Battle.net. Describing DRM as “a losing battle”, Pearce states that their company is far more interested in creating an online community that will endorse and support paying customers.

To play SCII’s single player game will require a registered Battle.net account, and a one-off online activation. But after that it can be played without needing to be connected. However, Blizzard hope that players will find that being online and connected to the Battle.net servers, while not essential for playing the game, will be attractive enough that would-be pirates will feel they are missing out.

“If we’ve done our job right and implemented Battle.net in a great way people will want to be connected while they’re playing the single player campaign so they can stay connected to their friends on Battle.net and earn the achievements on Battle.net.”

You can read the rest of his comments on the matter in VideoGamer’s article.

It’s refreshing to see this approach – one where those who pay are celebrated, rather than punished. With other publishers like Ubisoft going to extraordinary lengths to make their single player games as poor an experience as possible for legitimate customers, it’s a relief to see Blizzard (normally somewhat protected by the always-online nature of WoW) not becoming paranoid as they step outside of that for the first time in years. It’s not all completely sensible, however, with the news that the game will not support LAN gaming, because, er, of fears of piracy. Um.

StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty (which still sounds like a sanitary product advertising slogan to me) is out on 27th July.

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121 Comments »

  1. Chris Evans says:

    Ignoring the lack of LAN this is the attitude I wish more developers would take, allow anyone and everyone to play the basic game without interfering DRM, but if players want something more (Battle.net) then they have access to it. I hope it pays off for them, I really do.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      I dont know if i would call this a game without interfering DRM.
      I remember when Bioshock came out, and you had to connect to the internet to play a single player game, just to install.
      There was a huge fuss (Though there was a bit extra going on there, wasnt there?), but now its taken for granted.
      Maybe its becuase weve seen how shitty DRM can get, but still.
      Give me a cd key for the SP, and connections for multi.

    • Ravenholme says:

      @ Chris Evans

      Completely agree with you. The fact that they are taking this attitude assuages some of my fears about the game and also makes it certain that I will pre-order SCII, maybe even the CE – It’s the sort of attitude I want to encourage in a developer.

      That, and I’m a sucker for the story, not really interested in MP

  2. ChaK_ says:

    yeah right

    battle.net IS DRM whatever you say. Sure it’s not like securom, but it’s required to play online, and you removed the most important feature (LAN game) because of that kind of behavior.

    I’m almost sure they’ll soon announce single player will need a connection to Bnet

    • ChaK_ says:

      edit : I misread about the connection for SP

    • drewski says:

      Ahh….they just announced it won’t. Just then. Right there. In the story. That you commented on.

    • Mathemazilla says:

      Yeah, don’t get this reply either.

    • ChaK_ says:

      yeah my bad, english isn’t my native language and I misread. I still don’t like SC II, or any RTS in fact, but that’s an other story…

    • Rich says:

      Ah… so you’re clearly the kind of person this game is aimed at.

  3. subedii says:

    You don’t need an online connection for Singleplayer dude. That’s the point.

    • subedii says:

      Response to Chak, who apparently responded to himself in the meantime.

    • Ragnar says:

      Actually, you do need an internet connection. To do a “one-off activation”.

  4. Brumisator says:

    There is hope yet for others to follow in this giant’s path.

  5. The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

    The difference is that B’s business model depends on MP. I dont think its particularly constructive to compare this to purely SP games.

    • mrmud says:

      SC2 will be a big singleplayer game as well.
      I would not be suprised if there are a few million people who buy this game that never play online.

    • Rob Lang says:

      I tend not to play RTS online because I’m rubbish at them. I enjoy playing but I’m just not very good and it’s not much fun having your bottom handed to you on a regular basis. Not as much fun as playing against the computer.

    • mrmud says:

      The matchmaking in SC2 is actually really, really good so you are quite likely to find good games on the ladder.

    • Premium User Badge Morph says:

      Yeah I’m planning on buying it for SP only, can’t be bothered to have my ass handed to me online.

    • user@example.com says:

      Same here. I really don’t enjoy excessive micro and carefully planned build orders. In single-player, it’s a lot easier to slow down a bit and handle things in your own way without getting flattened and kekeke’d at.

      The original StarCraft was pretty damn popular for its campaigns, and it’s good the Blizzard haven’t forgotten that.

    • The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

      Granted : but i was referring directly to johns article. This works for blizzard because of their particular economic strategy. Bizzard is unique -they can generate profit no matter what. Their model is by no means the answear or the solution to piracy as they are the proverbial exception to the rule.

    • Sagan says:

      Re: Mostly a multi player game:

      I am willing to bet that this will have more sales to people who will only play it in single player than any of the Ubisoft games did. I mean what do Ubisoft’s games typically sell on PC? A million? Starcraft 2 will easily sell five times that much and most of those aren’t even going to try playing online.

      So what I’m saying is, that even if Starcraft 2 were mostly a multiplayer game, it could still be used as an example for single player only games, because this is still a single player only game for a lot of people.

    • Howl says:

      Completely agree. It annoys me when I see sound bites like this. There are lots of triple A games now that rely on connection to a master account whilst playing multiplayer and the developers have become so sanctimonious about DRM.

      You can bet that if SCII was single player only, Blizzard would be ramming DRM up your ass faster than you could blink.

  6. Magic H8 Ball says:

    I still remember the outrage about SP games requiring online activation. Now it’s, eh, “approach where those who pay are celebrated, rather than punished”.

    Abort, Retry, Fail? _

    • Bob says:

      I have a lot of Blizzard games (apart from WoW), I actually really like the Battle.net system even just for single player use. All the games that I have currently registered on it I can download and install. Therefore if I lose break the install CD I can still play the game, and I have.

      I am now playing Diablo 2 with expansion even thou I lost the CD.

      As for LAN support don’t care no use to me, but I know other people do, so you make you choice and you live with it.

      My guess is that such a successfully company knows what its doing, and I’ll give the benefit of the doubt.

    • drewski says:

      There might not be as much publicised outrage, but it still pisses me off. I will buy titles which require online activation, but only at a heavily discounted price.

      Only games where I get full re-sale and independant use rights are worth paying full value for, hence the last title I’ve paid full price for being Fallout 3.

    • squirrel says:

      Fortunately, Blizzards’s gaming business focuses on PC, otherwise, who knows if they would do something crazy like UBI? If PC gaming is dead, they have nowhere to go as it has been years they exited the game console market.

  7. Brumisator says:

    BTW, how come the commenters on VideoGamer.com are basically covering their ears and going LALALALALALALA at this?
    Apparently nothing can convince these people that developers are not evil buttholes…did they even read the article?
    Sure there still is DRM, but really, who doesn’t have an internet connection in this day and age, a one time activation should be the norm, I say.

    • Premium User Badge James G says:

      Meh, still not keen on online-activations, even if they have no activation limits. Problem as I see it is that you are still reliant on the activation service being up and running should you come to install the game a few years down the line. Of course, by then there will almost certainly be a hack of some kind, so its unlikely to be an impregnable barrier, but I’d prefer not to have to deal with it.

      Of course, I still end up buying games on Steam etc. so I probably lose any right to complain too much. But then again, my complains are on the same level as grumbling about the weather, which equally I’m unlikely to be able to do anything about.

    • Skurmedel says:

      We exist, the people without a constant reliable internet connection. This argument is quite tired.

    • F4T C4T says:

      @Brumisator: I feel the pain for the unconnected souls out there. I haven’t had to worry about online activation for about 6 years now but the past 2 weeks my internet has been completely out at home (BT suck), and I can totally empathise with anyone who has to deal with all these things asking for internet activation.

      It’s interesting that without the internet I’ve gone back to the 360 a bit more, at least I can play my single player titles without any hitches there. PC gaming should take note in that respect (yes that’s aimed at you Ubisoft).

      I know the entire world will inevitably be online all the time in the future but until we have the kind of infrastructure to support the majority reliably (and certainly in the UK we don’t yet, even with my connection ‘working’ it regularly drops), I think developers/publishers still need to consider ways for people to enjoy games without having to connect at all if it’s single player.

    • Brumisator says:

      I dind’t say a constant internet connection.
      a ONE TIME activation.

    • Nesetalis says:

      I’ve said it before on this site… the no lan feature annoys me to no end. one summer where we could barely aford rent let alone internet.. and not a job for a hundred miles.. we spent most of our time playing Warcraft 3 over lan.. designing our own games with the editor.. fighting each other.. without lan, we would not have enjoyed ourselves.. and without internet, we could not get some crack to allow us to use a fake local ‘battlenet’.

      I dont like the turn blizzard is taking, but its good to see they are not as evil as ubisoft. :p still cant say much for the parent, activision.

    • Damien Stark says:

      The one time Relic Online activation when I installed Company of Heroes remains one of my angriest anti-DRM moments.

      I purchased a legit physical box at retail, installed the game, tried to start it (and play only single player, as I am wont to do) and was told that I needed to register it with Relic Online, which didn’t like my CD Key. My Internet connection was working just fine.

      Sure it beats the new Ubisoft monstrosity, but it hardly constitutes no big deal DRM.

  8. Dawngreeter says:

    I am truly blown away. Not exactly being a huge RTS fan I was on the fence about getting into SC2. This really gives me a strong incentive to actually buy it. Good job, Blizzard.

    • Pemptus says:

      So now being able to play single player games without having to be constantly connected to the internet deserves praise? I weep silently, in the corner.

    • Dawngreeter says:

      It’s a sign of extremely low expectations to be sure. But seriously, who wasn’t expecting Blizzard to continue the always-online trend? I thought it was pretty much a certainty. Especially taking into account the fact that SC2 is first and foremost a competitive multiplayer game.

      Given the current climate, I believe this move by Blizzard will have some non-trivial impact on Ubi-like practices. That’s a good thing. Especially since it was highly unexpected, at least by me.

  9. Jacques says:

    Look at his suit of Terminator armour.

    Oh. Wait…

  10. Magic H8 Ball says:

    Jacques said:
    Look at his suit of Terminator armour.

    Oh. Wait…

    ALL HANDS ABANDON SHIP
    I REPEAT, ALL HANDS ABANDON SHIP

  11. bobince says:

    Yeah, the attitude sounds really spot-on. But,

    To play SCII’s single player game will require a registered Battle.net account, and a one-off online activation.

    That’s what passes for permissive these days? To get a version of the game that’s immune to the publisher’s off-switch you have to install, activate, then image your hard disc to be sure you can restore it in the future? Weak.

    • Sagan says:

      @bobince:
      You are exaggerating.

      If you say it that way, then in the old days, you had to make copies of all your CDs and had to photocopy and file away all your CD keys so that you wouldn’t lose them.
      Man was that draconian DRM.

      What Blizzard does with StarCraft 2 seems much better to me.

      I had to buy StarCraft twice, because I lost my first CD. You bet, that if I had to buy StarCraft 2 twice because Blizzard shut my first key off, I would just have to write a blog post and there would be a huge public outcry.

    • Reapy says:

      I’m glad someone said this here, otherwise I was going to write the same thing. A few weeks ago we had a major power outage, that when power came back left our internet down for a few days. I went out to buy a new game to play, dawn of war 2 + chaos rising. Well, I get home and look at that, even though I’m sitting with the cds in front of me, I can’t install the fucking game because it requires steam activation and the game can’t be installed in offline mode.

      What a kick in the fucking gonands. Sounds to me like blizz is running the same bullshit, and it is just as unacceptable as ubisofts bullshit always on DRM.

      But really, UBI had to get that bad for us to be all like , omg this is so refreshing. Really people, do you forget that easily? I’d rather have a god damn code wheel than this.

  12. the wiseass says:

    Yeah, what about LAN support? They simply removed one of the most important features of PC gaming. If that’s not draconian DRM, then what is?
    And how is announcing that single-player won’t need a constant internet connection a good thing? That should be frikken self-evident! You know a couple ‘a years ago most games could be played offline AND had LAN support, so how is this a step in the right direction? Way to kill LAN gaming Blizzard.
    The positive reaction by most people here clearly shows that we have taken so many steps back that even a small step forward is considered progressive. This makes me really really sad :-(

    • Collic says:

      Not having the LAN option is a little crappy, but we all know if it did many, many people would just pirate it and play over hamaichi.

      You won’t have a completely offline LAN, but that’s not essential for most of us these days. Providing the system supports local LAN’s while signed into battlenet, or something as good as that, it shouldn’t be that much of an issue.

    • the wiseass says:

      It’s not only “a little” crappy, it’s the reason why I won’t buy this game and why many other people will sadly pirate it to play the singleplayer campaign and then forget about it.

      Also you would be surprised how hard it can be to find a decent location where you can bring together over fifty computers, enough electricity to handle it and with a decent internet connection that won’t crumble with more than 10 computers connected to it. Considering that most locations where all these conditions are met are very expensive to lease, you usually opt for the location with the crappy internet connection because that’s simply the least important feature.

    • Lacunaa says:

      I understand their decision of not including LAN. Starcraft and warcraft III are really huge on services where you could just play online using the lan button. It was started as a way to get rid of bnet lag but it also meant you could play online with a cracked version of course.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      and why many other people will sadly pirate it to play the singleplayer campaign and then forget about it.

      That makes no sense – if you only want to play the single-player, then buy it for the single player. I don’t get how that justifies pirating a copy?

    • the wiseass says:

      How does that not make sense? Most games are pirated because of their singleplayer, simply because you can’t play online with an illegal copy. MW2 was pirated to hell because of the singleplayer since many pirates didn’t care at all about multiplayer. SC2 will probably suffer the same fate.
      By the way, I don’t pirate games nor did I justify pirating SC2. I merely said that it will be pirated no matter what Blizzard does and that many people who feel let down because of the lack of a LAN modus will join these pirates. Never did I say that this is a good thing or that pirating games for the lack of features is an OK thing to do. I’m grown up enough to simply not buy and play the game, there are many other nice games to play anyway.

  13. Premium User Badge Chaz says:

    Do people still go to LAN parties, are they still relevant in this age of broadband internet? It must be about 12 years since I last lugged a PC round to a LAN party at a friends house, but that was in the days of dialup and dedicated servers were often hosted on peoples office networks because they had ISDN connections.

    • the wiseass says:

      I still go to at least two LAN parties every year. One of them is private and between friends only and it’s the one event of the year that is able to bring everybody together. So it’s not only about gaming, but also about socializing, drinking beer together, talking, chillin’ out, basically all the stuff you can’t do over broadband…

    • Adrian says:

      @Chaz just because you dont go to LAN parties doesnt mean everybody else prefers gaming alone at home to a good night with friends. How can you say modern broadband internet has made lan play useless? So i can assume you also think once the internet connections get a little faster again consoles will only feature single player support too and multiplayer only over the internet?
      Consoles are only fun if you can physically sit next to a friend and play with them together. So is computer gaming so much more fun if you are in the same room with your team! Lan play is what multiplayer gaming should always be about.
      How many games could deliver a working online multiplayer on day of release in the last two years? None? Borderlands died because of it and so many other soo. All this internet crap is just a pain if you want to play multiplayer with lan play you never have connection problems!

    • Premium User Badge Chaz says:

      I wasn’t sugesting my habits were a model for everyone else, nor did I straight out say that broadband has killed off LAN play. From my perspective everyone I game with, localy to me and from elsewhere, stopped attending LAN gatherings years ago. Fast cheap internet has meant that a lot of the barriers present in the days of 56k have gone. We can now rent private servers and chat over VOIP etc and on the whole not have to worry about lag. As for the social aspect, well I still meet my friends down the pub for beers. I understand that there are those few who still enjoy getting together in the same space for games which is why I posed my query as a question, “Do people still go to LAN parties, are they still relevant in this age of broadband internet?” I ask this because I’m pretty sure there are many like me who have now forgone LAN parties for the convenience of internet gaming.

    • Adrian says:

      @Chaz I think the reason why so many people stopped going to lan parties in the last few years is that only few modern games support lan play anymore (i cant think of any title right now).

    • the wiseass says:

      > As for the social aspect, well I still meet my friends down the pub for beers.

      That’s not the same tough. Of course we go to pubs every now and then but our LAN is a special occasion where everybody shows up. Why is it so hard to grasp that despite broadband many people simply want to connect their favourite past-time with their socializing too?

      Simply because you can play FPS shooters over the internet doesn’t mean that paintball has become redundant . Simply because we can play racing games on the computer doesn’t mean that car-clubs have become unnecessary. Simply because you can play Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, or Ski Simulations or other Sports games doesn’t mean that aviation clubs, skiing holidays and soccer clubs became superfluous.

      LAN gaming is not the same as internet gaming.

    • Kualtek says:

      I can’t speak for others, but my LAN group LANMinds is still going, a few of us started a new venture CryoLAN for 50+ people with tournaments and prizes from sponsors, and there is the largest event in our area (western part of new york state) called MassiveLAN which is a 100+ person event that has been running for 9 years now.

      Decisions like blizzards to remove LAN play really bother us. The kind of connection required to have 20+ people authenticating and playing over battle.net is not something we can secure for a 2 or 3 day event, not to mention the cost.

    • Sonic Goo says:

      I know a bunch of people who just go to an internet cafe together. Saves having to drag that big box around.

  14. Adrian says:

    i can’t believe some people actually think its ok that they ,as so many otheres, took LAN play away from this! This totally makes battle.net a DRM for me!

    “If we’ve done our job right and implemented Battle.net in a great way people will want to be connected while they’re playing the single player campaign so they can stay connected to their friends on Battle.net and earn the achievements on Battle.net.”

    If they really thought they could get people to buy the game because of what they offer with battle.net is so great they would have never disabled LAN play!
    That LAN play is slowly dying is just the worst thing all this DRM craziness has done the way i see it.

  15. TheApologist says:

    I will get it for the single player. I can’t envisage taking the game online, though I might be persuaded if the matchmaking is what it is hyped to be.

    I think there are quite a few people like me. It seems to me that getting a Battle.net account and having to activate once is no big deal. And having got an account, I might be more willing to try the online at least once to see what happens which is what Blizzard wants. This seems like a totally sensible approach that suits Blizzard and me as a player.

    More of this sensible-ness please!

  16. bill says:

    Can’t you still do LAN parties, as long as you have an internet connection?

    • Hidden_7 says:

      More of a “lets all put our computers close together” party then, isn’t it?

      Also, securing internet connections for every computer used to be, back when I would do LAN parties, a bit of a chore. Probably easier now, but still.

      Also, securing copies for everyone who wants to play. Yeah, OBVIOUSLY this is exactly the sort of thing they are wanting to avoid, people without legitimate copies playing with their friends, but honestly playing a few bouts of a game together with your friends in the same room in a party environment is a great advert for said game. It definitely sold me on a few games. IN FACT! Didn’t Blizzard themselves have a feature specifically designed for this? Spawning, it was called, where it installed a barebones copy of a game that let you play multiplayer on LAN, and I think, but I’m not sure, online against the guy you spawned off of, but I might be imagining that one. It was basically the “LAN party” install option. Quite a reversal then.

  17. Cooper says:

    I’m not sure this approach can really be described as ‘refreshing’.

    It’s relieveing, sure, that it’s not gonna come bogged down with stupid single-player only online-ness. But what they suggest is simply what has been de-facto for some years now, and which caused problems back then.

    When we’re relieved that we get the same form of DRM that cocked up Bioshock’s release, things have just got silly.

    Refreshing would be a new or novel approach.

    Refreshing would be giving the single player game away for free (likely the only part of the game to be seriously cracked very quickly) and only charging for the multiplayer, in the hopes that those that play single player would want to move on.

  18. Magic H8 Ball says:

    It has over thirty missions, many of which are branching and mutually exclusive, global resource system, global research and upgrade system, over ten minutes of CGI cutscenes and over thirty minutes of in-engine cutscenes.

    “Mostly multi game” really doesn’t work as an argument here.

  19. Structure says:

    Regardless of whether having LAN is good or bad (I am neutral), Pearces statement was that they are essentially leveraging the Battle.net experience as their anti-piracy tool… with that in mind it makes complete sense to me that they would use the “fear of piracy” *excuse* for not supporting LAN games.

    The fact is probably closer to either 1) that the company cannot perceive the monetary value of including LAN support, 2) they can and did, and decided it wasn’t worth it or 3) either 1 and 2 plus the fact that they cannot monetize LAN support nearly as easily as they can monetize Battle.net.

    • Delusibeta says:

      Or 4) Pirates used Hamatchi + the LAN option to play their cracked copies of StarCraft 1 online.

  20. Azazel says:

    Starcraft space-dudes look awful like 40k space-dudes. Dudes in space.

  21. pkt-zer0 says:

    “It’s not all completely sensible, however, with the news that the game will not support LAN gaming, because, er, of fears of piracy.”

    There’s a difference between the “stopping dudes from torrenting your game” and the “at least giving you a chance to sue the likes of Haofang (or potentially KeSPA) for copyright infringement” type of anti-piracy. I don’t think ignoring that difference is a good idea.

  22. Scilantius says:

    Did anyone else misread that as “superemo”? I know I did,…

  23. rocketman71 says:

    Battle.Net is DRM however much they try to sugar coat it. And no LAN support is still a deal breaker.

    So no sale. Gently caress Blizzard.

    And I’m mightily tired of the people that say “hey, I have such a great connection and I haven’t gone to a LAN party in years, who needs LAN anymore?”. A lot of people still need LAN, so gently caress you too.

  24. daypitoum says:

    Good PR as usual…

  25. Colthor says:

    Online activation suddenly became a good thing?

    “If we dial it up to 11, people will bitch like crazy – but! Then we dial it back down to 9 and everybody will love us. Hurrah!”

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      It’s the ‘Door in Face Technique’:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Door-in-the-face_technique

      “The door-in-the-face (DITF) technique is a persuasion method. Compliance with the request of concern is enhanced by first making an extremely large request that the respondent will obviously turn down, with a metaphorical slamming of a door in the persuader’s face. The respondent is then more likely to accede to a second, more reasonable request than if this second request were made without the first, extreme request. “

    • Duoae says:

      Completely with all the people saying that it’s crazy that devs/pubs are getting praised for activation because they have previously made it worse!

      Next week at parliament:

      “MP1″ – We’re thinking of chipping every person in the UK with an RFID tag like we do with dogs and cats.

      *Mass outrage*

      “MP1″ – Okay, you win…. we’ll change the system so that you only have to carry the chip around with you in a card.

      *Praise over the level-headedness of the governmental party*

      ……

      Frankly, it’s ridiculous. I hope this sort of stuff, combined with all the copyright/patent crap going through the works in several countries at the moment effectively kills off the entertainment industries. They deserve all the sh*t that hits their fans (pun marginally intended).

  26. LionsPhil says:

    You say “being a good little DRM-watched consumer gives you benefits”, I say “not submitting to the DRM cripples the game features”.

    Although admittedly if people care about online achievements they’re going to have to be online. Either way, the point was made almost instantly in this thread that a start-off DRM activation is exactly the same thing that was apparently (hint: still is) offensive a year or two ago. Colthor is bang-on.

  27. Starky says:

    Online Activation is totally fine when it comes to a company like Valve or Blizzard who will support their old games basically forever – you know they won’t shut down the servers, and if they do they’ll patch the requirement out of the game.

    Not so much for the likes of EA who shut their servers down 2-3 years after launch if the game isn’t mega successful, and sometimes even then.

  28. Rick says:

    Sounds even less stressful than using Steam for a single-player game. I’m absolutely fine with that. Honestly, people bitching that “its still some kind of DRM, I’m not getting it!” need to wake up and step into the 21st century, and just enjoy the game.

  29. ToxicDeepeyes says:

    Its nice they have gone this way, reminds me of the DRM for Sins of a solar empire, anyone can install and play the vanilla game, but to get updates, expansions packs or play online you needed to register it with impulse, that i think is the way to go, it makes sense ,i buy a game its awsome i lend it to a friend and he thinks its great also so he decides yeah i will purchase the license to get the updates and stuff and be able to play it online with all my buddies.

  30. Kast says:

    Can’t really make out what’s happening in that image but my gut reaction is Starcraft Marine is armwrestling Shamus?

  31. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Excellent news. With this move confirmed, Starcraft finally moves to my wish list.

    Will still wait a few months before buying though. Will want to see how the single-player is going to be treated by Blizzard’s new content patches and DLCs. But with the above news I have no reason to follow through with my boycott to Activision on this particular title.

  32. Styrium says:

    I think the main reason for disabling LAN isn’t so much to annoy pirates (if there was much demand for it, pirate copies would have it enabled in about a week) but to allow Blizzard to exert more control over the competive scene. Clearly Blizzard appear to not like the fact that the Korean e-Sports Player Association (KeSPA) currently have more control over (and profit from) the Brood War scene than Blizzard themselves do, given the fact that after all these years they’re now trying to kill it of, as KeSPA are going to continue to promote and facilitate it over SC2.

    Without LAN, this wouldn’t be possible – connecting all multiplayer games through Battle.net keeps the control firmly in Blizzard’s hands.

  33. Hazelnut says:

    Can anyone figure out if the removal of LAN will mean to play a game against my son will require 2 copies of the game? We just started playing SC1 together and having a laugh, but I don’t want to have to buy two copies of SC2 to upgrade to that.

    • mrmud says:

      Unless you want to pirate the game and play on some emulated battle net server, then the answer is undoubtedly yes.

  34. Zogtee says:

    I’m surprised at the number of silly geese who complain about online activation when you install. No matter how you choose to look at things, PC piracy *is* a big factor and yeah, I think we should be happy when devs take this approach, because it could just as easily have gone the other way (ie doing a Ubisoft). Blizzard could have shoved a ton of intrusive DRM into StarCraft 2 and still sell a shitload of copies, but they chose not to and that’s a good thing.

    So there.

    • THEAlmightyRadish, uh , RADOK says:

      So what you’re saying is “if they just break our legs” it’s fine ’cause they “could’ve murdered us”?

      And no, piracy is not nearly as harming as the industry is trying to make us believe. But of course you’re free to believe the crap they’re telling you. If you like to be brainwashed, that is…
      Anyone here still remembering how Compact Cassettes destroyed LPs and Video Cassettes destroyed the film industry (oh, and the “radio star” of course :D). I hear the same dumb arguments for over 25 years now – none of them has ever been true.

      Online activation is and will always be crap and I’ll never support shit like that. I’m playing video games for over 30 years now (I still remember the first Pong machine at my father’s favourite pub) but I’d rather give up on this hobby than supporting the shit the industry likes to give to their paying customers.
      No other branch (well, except for the music and film mafia) has ever treated their customers as bad as the video games industry does. And the bad thing about it is – a lot of customers not only seem to not care about it . … they even support it. Leaves me speechless sometimes…

  35. Sic says:

    First of all, nobody likes the new Battle.net. There’s no LAN, the lag is horrible (it was horrible before, with TCP, now using UDP we got major instability issues in addition to the lag), the focus is on inane nonsense such as Facebook integration and achievements instead of the important things (chat rooms, for instance). They’ve got their iron grip on user-created content, and even outspokenly have gone against their own e-sports apparatus (head on against KESPA, for instance), simply because they want to have full control and make money off every aspect of the community. Nothing is to be left to develop on it’s own.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg, Blizzard has utterly failed with the new Battle.net, and they will be playing catch-up after the release this summer. Yes, all the brainwashed facebook/console kids will probably like it (achievements, whoooo!), but the important bits, the functionality SC players need (for tournaments and competitive play, simply aren’t there yet.

    Being able to play single player without connecting to the Internet is not much to be joyous about, in my opinion. Although I am surprised they’re going this route, as Battle.net 2.0 and all the multi player content is almost entirely online (you need to download stuff all the time), I don’t think the new Battle.net should be celebrated just because Blizzard gives us a surprise cookie.

  36. Frank says:

    Boo Activision. I hope they don’t meddle with Blizzard’s choice.

  37. heheman3000 says:

    I heard that SC2 won’t let you play with players in other regions either (see Wikipedia.) So it seems that it’s not going to be possible to play with some friends from across the country (or even better, start up a vent server and join their team in a melee)

  38. Vinraith says:

    For a AAA game of this magnitude that’s remarkably light, actually. Not great by any stretch, of course, but I was anticipating much worse. It certainly wouldn’t prevent me from buying the game, which is a relief.

  39. dragon_hunter21 says:

    Could this finally be a return to the olden days of copy protection- those heady days when all you needed was a CD key on install? Man, I hope so. Either that, or perhaps everything should just go digital. Say what you will about Steam, DRM though it is, it works, and it doesn’t try to eat off your kneecaps every time you activate it.

  40. Urthman says:

    Pearce states that their company is far more interested in creating an online community that will endorse and support paying customers.

    “Also,” Pearce continued, “We make so much damn money from WoW that Diablo and Starcraft are basically just hobbies for us.”

  41. Alaric says:

    Two and a half cheers for Blizzard!

  42. Premium User Badge Arathain says:

    I’ll take a one off activation over a stupid CD-key that I will inevitably lose any day. No intrusive 3rd party software? No activation limits? Just one single activation per install? If you insist on some sort of DRM then this seems like the way to go.

  43. yns88 says:

    Oh, come on. Is it really that big of a deal that they’re not using (much) DRM on the single-player aspect of a game that almost everyone is interested in just for multiplayer?

    To me it’s like if they removed the ability to play TF2 in LAN, but then made up for it by not requiring steam to play (just as long as you’re not playing online).

    • yns88 says:

      An addendum:

      What I mean to say is that there really isn’t much risk in this. All of Blizzard’s games are designed for online play, so pirates are getting the short end of the stick regardless. Developers who create a solely single-player game are not able to make such a decision without risking sales.

    • pkt-zer0 says:

      You say that “almost everyone is interested in just the multiplayer”, but didn’t Blizzard say that 90% of people were content with playing SC1 only in single-player?

      Well, I’ll suppose we’ll find out the exact ratio on release anyway.

  44. TenjouUtena says:

    I really want to track all these sorts claiming that no LAN support means they will not purchase the game.

    You know, kind or like the last time a bunch of butthurt gamers set out to boycott(bluffcott?) a product:
    http://www.shrani.si/f/1Y/ca/9M7tbLc/1258048783080.jpg

  45. Karthik says:

    Dammit. I just don’t understand this fascination of being connected to your friends through Battle.net/Steam/whatever while playing a Singleplayer game. Why would I want a mood breaking interruption in the middle of the SC2 campaign?

  46. Wulf says:

    And that’s how you do it. Toss in an offline mode, make the online mode attractive (features people may want), and everyone wins! Are you listening, Ubisoft?

  47. Starky says:

    I’m still gonna hedge my bet on Starcraft 2 having Pseudo-LAN – In that Bnet will have an option for local network/low latency play inside of Bnet.

    That is you log online, authenticate and then Bnet hands off all the grunt work to the router, just sending minor data to Bnet and back.

    It will be LAN by another name incompatible with Hamatchi and the like (because Blizz wanna control the competitive scene, not that they give a stuff about pirates).
    They know pirates will crack it, but if professional Korean gaming groups do, Blizz can sue their asses.

  48. LionsPhil says:

    “Shut up and get over it” is shorthand for “stop it, I don’t want to think about this because I might be forced to reassess my opinion and realise it is predicated upon irrational gut feelings, stop it stop it stop it”.

  49. bleeters says:

    Remind me, what are the benefits of being connected to Battle.net constantly, again? Achievements and in-game chat with other Battle.net players, or was there more to it than that?

    As far as weighing in on the whole online activation thing, meh. Only having to activate it online the once shouldn’t be so much of a hassle that I turn my nose up in disgust, but any hassle is still a hassle I’d rather not have to endure. But I suspect I’m just being picky.

  50. neolith says:

    If I don’t have to be online to play then why the chickens do I need the stupid Bnet account to play?