You can tell a lot about a person by watching what they install on a fresh operating system. It’s the IT Rorschach test. For me it goes Chrome, Steam, drivers, a twitter client, then whatever I need as I go along*. I suspect Blizzard has just added an extra step in that process for a lot of PC owners: they’ve just opened up the beta to a new launcher for all their recent games. Battle.net is now on the desktop.
But not completely. Not yet, anyway. It’s currently mostly a launcher for World Of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and D3, and there’s a lot missing: their classic games are nowhere to be seen, changing account settings will load up a website, and bizarrely there’s no chat for people to arrange in-game fun. That seems like quite the omission given how multiplayer focussed Blizzard’s games tend to be. I also have a problem with space the program takes up when launched: there’s no ‘slim mode’, and the space is mostly background art and news stories for each game. Not what I’d call useful.
But there are a few neat touches: I like being able to select what monitor notification pop-ups will arrive on, and it has download speed toggles. If you already have the games installed, you can just point the launcher to the folder. It could do with plenty of feedback to make it more than just an elaborate launcher for games that already have launchers, though.
*Tell me yours. I want to know.