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Battle.net upgrade

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  • 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 competitive arenas.

    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?

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