The lights are on
Not sure if it's bad mojo to post something I found on another site but I hadn't seen a thread for it yet so I thought I'd share. Basically in a video interview with Greg Canessa who is the project manager of the new battle.net, he shared some info on some of the upgrades taking place.
1. Always Connected
The new Battle.net will require a constant connection, even in the
single player campaign. It will allow players to make use of one
persistent character account that tracks the various achievements and
unlockables, including the portraits and decals that will be offered in
Starcraft 2. Players can log onto their Battle.net account to see which
achievements they or their friends have obtained, and even see the
criteria for unlocking the achievements they haven't yet earned.
Battle.net will also allow players to synch their campaign progress
on the server, which should be a big help to people when reformatting
hard drives, reinstalling the game, or merely playing from another
computer. It's not yet clear whether those saves will still exist on
the client side, but it sounds like the online synching is merely an
option and not a requirement.
The constant connection also means that Blizzard can now use
Battle.net to deliver content updates, game news and service alerts to
everyone who owns their games.
2. Competitive Arena for Everyone
With the current Battle.net setup, it's sometimes been hard for
newcomers to fight their way through the initial matches against
veteran players to become truly competitive. The new service offers a
much smoother entry to the games by including casual modes, practice
matches and cooperative play against AI opponents. The system, Canessa
says is "one of the most sophisticated in the industry," will learn
your skill level as you play to better rank you when you move to the
Players in the competitive arena will now be automatically matched
to opponents of the appropriate skill level. The new system will even
allow groups of players of varying skill levels to be matched against
an equivalent group where possible.
3. Connecting Community
The whole point of connection would be lost without a significant
social networking component, so the new Battle.net will feature all the
regular features of other popular gaming services. Players will have
the option to create friends lists and use text and voice chat both
inside and outside of the games. More significantly, the new service
allows for communication across different games, so you can chat with
your friends in World of Warcraft even while you're playing Starcraft 2.
I hear fears of this becoming a pay service but I believe that'd be a bad move on Blizzard's part considering it's been free as long as I remember...the features sound promising, though. What you guys think?