UBC Wargamers Society

Other Games => Console and Computer Games => Topic started by: Zeiris on June 01, 2010, 06:17:12 pm

Title: Battle.net 2.0 shenanigans + Activision tinfoil
Post by: Zeiris on June 01, 2010, 06:17:12 pm
My computer is on the low end of SC2's requirements, but I've been following its progress with curiosity.

There seems to be a fair bit of hubub about the current direction Bnet is headed. Naturally, it's a beta, software take time to develop and polish, etc etc... But there's rumors that many decisions are driven by new policy rather than beta testing priorities?

I ignored it as whine until I saw Husky/people from Team Liquid voicing opinions. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-r_uCaFxg8 What the heck's going on?

I guess Blizzard hardly has a spotless track record with their online services, and "everybody loses" style DRM is an unfortunate but expected consequence of piracy... But SC2+Bnet 2.0 might end up as big a paradigm change as WoW was for the MMO niche. There's a good chance that it'll become the template everyone copies, and if it does the accusations being thrown around are downright scary.

Could anyone paying closer attention share their opinion?
Title: Re: Battle.net 2.0 shenanigans + Activision tinfoil
Post by: v3ck on June 01, 2010, 07:17:41 pm
Most of the major problems with Battle.net 2.0 have nothing to do with DRM or piracy or whatever.

Problem - Your account only works on one realm: North America, Europe, or Asia.
Justification 1 - Blizzard removed cross-realm play because they do not want people smurfing on the other two ladders.
Reality 1 - They could easily allow you to only join custom games on the other two realms.
Justification 2 - They don't want people playing in custom leagues instead of the Battle.net ladder.
Reality 2 - People can and will play in custom leagues within their realm anyways.

Problem - You cannot play via LAN.
Justification - LAN support allows people to use third-party software to play online without keys.
Reality - People use third-party software to play online without lag, because apparently freelancers are better than Blizzard's professional programmers.

Problem - Blizzard doesn't listen to what the community wants.
Justification - People want the things with which they are familiar and they should embrace change.
Reality - ArenaNet listens to the community, while still managing to create what appears to be a drastically different online experience in Guild Wars 2 compared to the original Guild Wars. Their team just happens to be loaded with former Blizzard employees who worked on the RTS games that grew Blizzard's fanbase.
Title: Re: Battle.net 2.0 shenanigans + Activision tinfoil
Post by: Espie on June 14, 2010, 12:58:17 pm
Your last reality check is slightly off topic there in my opinion. Allow me to throw in something as a supplement of sorts, heh.

Reality - A publicly company's primary duty is to serve its shareholders, not its customers. Activision-Blizzard is no different. That's just how the business world works. They do not actually need to listen to the community if they can maintain steady quarterly gains. You may think that not listening to the community is counter intuitive but the fact of the matter is that this so-called "community" represents a minority of the demographic, especially with the rise of the casuals. As long as the marketing division is able to ring in enough plebs to hit corporate goals, your voice is meaningless.

Privately held companies like ArenaNet should ideally listen to their community because the community is their lifeline. Their existence is possible because of their community base. Comparing the two types of companies despite earlier affiliations is somewhat unfair and distorts the fact that from a business perspective, they are both doing what is expected of them. Should ArenaNet grow enough to become publicly traded in a similar way I suspect their mannerisms will radically change as well because otherwise their shareholders will run them into the dirt.
Title: Re: Battle.net 2.0 shenanigans + Activision tinfoil
Post by: v3ck on June 14, 2010, 04:32:29 pm
Considering that the game is so boring for casual play that the masses will not buy either of the expansions, is it really worth it to turn their backs on the community? Also, they have to sell games in the future. Ensemble Studios screwed up Age of Mythology, especially when they added the worst expansion I have ever seen, and they lost their place that Age of Empires 2 had carved out in the e-sports scene. I suppose they made titans to appeal to casual gamers who like seeing big awesome things. And of course casual gamers don't like to macro, so perhaps that's why they added auto-queue. But they lost their core players and their following game was a bust. How many people do you know who played Age of Empires 3? Yeah, not many, if any at all. Thus, they turned to making Halo Wars because their homegrown products were failing. Now, how many people do you know who have even heard of Halo Wars?
Title: Re: Battle.net 2.0 shenanigans + Activision tinfoil
Post by: Espie on June 15, 2010, 08:49:36 pm
I am assuming you're referring to SC2. Yeah, Blizzie will have to pull the wool over the pleb's eyes and they no doubt will much to our chagrin, heh. Halo Wars? I'd say I've encountered at least 500 people who have heard of it from just mingling. Yeah Age of Empires 3 was pretty meh. I don't think the power of hearsay is necessarily a good measure here. Granted, not everyone enjoys keeping their eye on the indie scene or playing stuff from the smaller Eastern European publishers like I do I suppose.
Title: Re: Battle.net 2.0 shenanigans + Activision tinfoil
Post by: Zeiris on June 26, 2010, 10:13:55 pm
Auto queue and friends, are actually a good example of listening to the community being dumb. Sucks to be Blizzard, having to choose between advancing the RTS genre, or appeasing a fanbase that -enjoys- having to work around a user interface made in 1998.
Title: Re: Battle.net 2.0 shenanigans + Activision tinfoil
Post by: v3ck on June 27, 2010, 11:23:05 pm
I do agree that people are whining too much about Battle.net 2.0 being different. However, removing LAN support and international play neither advances the RTS genre nor gives the community what they want. LAN can be exploited by programs like Garena, so it can't exist as it did before. That's fine, as long as they actually do something after saying "our current 250 ms expected latency may be too high." Also, they said of cross-realm play, "there are a multitude of challenges we have to overcome due to the unique regional account and billing options that didnít exist in the past." I find it hard to believe that a company of their calibre would have trouble with such challenges, but at least they are now saying they will have a solution within a few months of release.