UPDATE: Blizzard are a-fixin' it, claiming the deactivation thing is an 'issue' rather than a decision, and will be sorted in an upcoming patch.
ORIGINAL: While we all knew Battle.net's careful weaving into StarCraft 2's fabric meant Blizzard's latest wasn't something to be played in an entirely offline vacuum, it allowed the less bewebbed players amongst us to have some singleplayer fun without being chastised. A quick nod to the Blizzardian mothership every 30 days was required, but other than that, carry on Zerging. That may have changed, with the game apparently now losing its activation every time you turn your PC off.
Quoth the customer service guy, following a bunch of players mailing to find out why the 30-day offline mode wasn't working anymore:
At this time, StarCraft II requires an active internet connection to play. This is stated in the System Requirements on the retail box, as well as our online System Requirements. Without an active internet connection, you will not be able to log in to Battle.net to authenticate your copy of StarCraft II.
The 'offline mode' currently only lasts until the computer is turned off, and then requires a fresh authentication. There are plans to review this, but there is no ETA on that.
The solution is simple: never turn your PC off. Who cares about that environment thing anyway? Or stick to sleep mode. Or abandon your right to play your favourite game whilst travelling. Sigh.
"StarCraft II requires an active internet connection to play. This is stated in the System Requirements on the retail box" covers their backs a bit, but perhaps not enough to justify the sudden change to a new system which leaves a lot of people in the cold. Let's see how those "plans to review this" pan out, anyway - at least the whole real-names mess proved Blizzard do pay heed to protest.
(Here's a Blizzard guy talking about the 30 day thing back in July, by way of context).
And again, that official update from Blizzard, which cropped up last night between us noting the issue and waking up to finish writing about it. The 30 day thing is apparently supposed to stand, but something may have gone awry. Which doesn't really explain the "fresh authentication" comment from the admin, but who knows the ways of the internet?
In far happier news, the first official bonus map is out.