Wednesday, July 01, 2009

No LAN? No StarCraft 2 a.ka. StarCrap!

OK, I've been playing StarCraft since it came out back in 1998. Some guys at the office were talking about it and said I needed to get on and play. So I went out, paid my $30 and got the game. I wasn't that great at first, but I played and got better. Then when BroodWars came out, I got that as well and played and always had a blast! It was a staple at LAN parties I hosted and everyone of us that played, loved every game. Even today, 11 years later, myself and many of my friends still play it.

But back in the day, we had problems with Battle.net. The free service Blizzard offers to allow StarCraft players, as well as other Blizzard games, to connect and find games, online. Battle.net was laggy. Some times painfully so. So must of us stuck to LAN play till it got to the point where we couldn't always drag our machines to each other's houses, so we looked for solutions. One being a 3rd party server call BNetD. This server was reversed engineered LEGALLY, yet Blizzard saw it as a threat to their business and pushed the idea that it encouraged piracy because BNetD didn't check CD keys to see if they were valid or not. The coders of BNetD even offered to code in a way for the server to check with Battle.net to see if the CD Keys were valid. And Blizzard didn't even have to reveal any of their own code for Battle.net. But Blizzard wouldn't have any of it and shut them down using the DCMA, which has been and is still used to punish a company's competition. It's a widely held belief on the net that Blizzard's motives were out of profit. NOT the users wishes to be able to play in a lag free environment. Because of this, I boycotted Blizzard all of Blizzard's new products. WarCraft 3 and World of WarCraft.

With the announcement of StarCraft 2, I was thrilled and hopeful that Blizzard would not pull another knuckle head move like it did many years before. And then seeing some of the videos of game play of StarCraft 2, pretty much sealed the deal for me until....

Blizzard Entertainment has just announced that StarCraft 2 will not offer LAN play. That all multi player games will go through Battle.net. They say they will offer new features and stats and the like, and it would make for a better experience for players. I have no doubt it would. But what about those people that don't have Internet? Yes, even in the 21st century, there are places where Internet connectivity is to cost prohibitive. Plus, what if you want a simple LAN game with your friends? Bandwidth caps?

They also say it'll help stop piracy. Seriously? Are you shitting me? You really think that connecting through Battle.net and checking a CD Key is going to STOP it? Has it stopped Starcraft 1 from being pirated? No. Yet after 11 years, it's still available in stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Why is that? Because it's an awesome game, has NO copy protection to stop people from playing or installing and is FUN! Dudes, I want to know what you are drinking so I can get some of this magic drink that makes you think this is going to work for you. Really, that is the most stupid, lame ass reason in the world. It WON'T make a dent. If you make a great game, and make it easy for people to install and play, they will continue to play it and buy new copies. Hell, I bought 2 copies of StarCraft Warchest to replace CDs and have extra for people at LAN parties!

Now you want to kill all this? Sometimes a LAN party is more fun then doing it all online. Like chipping in for pizza and soda. Talking smack with out having to type it in because the guy is behind you playing too. And best of all, troubleshoot any problems you or some one else may have because they are RIGHT THERE! And the best of all... NO FUCKING LAG!!

So Blizzard, I know my lone opinion makes zero difference in the scheme of things, but I signed this petition, and the other 25, 000+ people before me that signed and the ones that sign after me all think this is bullshit. Don't get all full of yourselves because of the popularity of WoW. Because, as of right now, you just lost a sale.

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