No LAN Play in StarCraft II?!?!?!

New details were released about StarCraft II and Ars Technica has a round up.

The good stuff sounds… good.  Epic single player battles sound great.  And some of the negatives, like no port to consoles don’t really bother me.  I cannot picture myself playing an RTS in front of the TV.  But there there was this bit about support for LAN play in SC2:

Rob Pardo is the VP of Game Design, and he had strong words for LAN play when he spoke with IncGamers. “We don’t have any plans to support LAN,” he told the site, also saying, “We will not support it.”

Um… but Rob… LAN play at the office, where access to Battle.net was iffy at best, represents probably 80% of my multi-player time with the original StarCraft.

Okay, let me breath into a brown paper bag and calm down.

The game hasn’t shipped yet.  Things could change.  I remember back when Diablo II was announced Blizzard said they were only going to support advanced graphics via the 3dfx video cards, then changed their mind.

But then 3dfx tanked right about that time as well.

Meanwhile they are also talking about monetizing Battle.net with microtransactions, so who knows what we’ll end up with, though if I am going to pay anything for Battle.net it better include reduced lag.  That was the main reason we stuck to the LAN.

17 thoughts on “No LAN Play in StarCraft II?!?!?!

  1. Suicidal Zebra

    “Roll-up, Roll-up. Now accepting bets on a LAN support feature shipping with the first Starcraft II expansion. Roll-up roll-up.”

    LAN Starcraft was also the majority of my multiplayer experience, though in University Halls rather than work. Even though I’m well out of Uni these days it’s a shame that others won’t have a similar experience with the new game.

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  2. Dorgol

    I never played SC on a LAN.

    In fact, I’ve never played ANY game on a LAN.

    But I’ll be sad if they completely remove the option. I know the internet is not going anywhere, but I’m not sure we’re ready to remove that option completely.

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  3. Facepalm

    I have to agree completely. My SC multi-player was almost mostly (90%) over LAN at school/work.

    It would seem to me that a solution to this would almost “come out in the wash” while developing at Blizzard’s scope. I could understand if they don’t want to optimize for a LAN environment, but support for one should be simple at best.

    But who am I to theorize. Let’s hope they change their mind again…or perhaps offer a MT for LAN play…no thanks.

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  4. Anjin

    Here’s my random take: Blizzard wants to quash piracy by forcing everyone onto Battle.Net.

    Um, I thought I would have more to say, but that’s it.

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  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Anjin – Certainly a possibility. Combine that with the RMT angle and you create a disincentive for making LAN play possible. We certainly know that Blizz has had piracy problems before. Of course, they seemed to be pretty prevalent on battle.net. I recall not being able to log in at one point because my key was already in use.

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  6. Centuri

    Part of me wants to cry foul given that I too remember running cables down the exterior of college dorms to link up with players on various floors. Then the other part of me remembers that the four or five other players that I played with on the LAN were all playing off of the same hacked copy of SC…

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  7. warcraft gold

    What they do actually lose if they include LAN? Actually, How can we play SC2 if we have slow internet connection? Still, LAN is best option. Let customers choose their multiplayer experience and not forcing us to use battle.net. What a great pain for us gamers if this would really happen.

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  8. We Fly Spitfires

    I don’t think the lack of LAN support is a big deal. Do people even still play over LAN now?

    Anyway, looks like SC2 was launch until next year so plenty of time for them to add it.

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  9. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    If somebody came back and said, “Game X, which was also an RTS, didn’t offer LAN play and it was no big deal” I would buy that as a legitimate argument.

    Any takers?

    Any RTS games w/o simple LAN play?

    I can’t think of any.

    How about the FPS genre? Battlefield Heroes maybe, but it is trying for a persistent character thing. Any others?

    In my mind, RTS is glued to LAN play with some really good epoxy based adhesive. Not the stuff you find in the check out line at Home Despot either, but the stuff that comes in a can with huge warning about not gluing yourself to things.

    But as I and WFS have said, there is still time and Blizz might just be testing the water, sticking a finger in the air, sending up a trial balloon, or some other metaphor to see how much people complain.

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  10. theerivs

    Blizzard is forgetting their roots. I fell in love playing Starcraft, Warcraft, etc,etc over a LAN. They will not support it is I think a big mistake.

    Me and my friends still boot up the old Starcraft over the LAN and try to zerg rush each other.

    Blizz saddens me sometimes.

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  11. Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior"

    I must agree wiht @Theerivs, Blizzard is forgetting their roots.

    Keep the good stuff in guys, learn from the failed lessons of RMT.

    Battle.net is a good idea and is a good way of doing things, but please don’t include stuff that downplays the game for average gamers.

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  12. Suicidal Zebra

    @ We Fly Spitfires

    Judging from the comments on forums, blogs and news articles, LAN gatherings with no outside internet connection are still a big part of the multiplayer landscape, specifically in Sports Halls, Churches and the like. I’d wager that it’s one of the reasons that the original was so popular, because it certainly wasn’t that lagfest that was Battle.net.

    The most obvious compromise would be the sale of a ‘Server Edition’ specifically for LANs that may or may not require a connection to the internet but at least wouldn’t cause a 60-PC LAN to have latency up the wazooli. Of course, this would no doubt cost more, but eh.

    I’m struggling to see the value of the proposed policy beyond the ‘fewer pirated copies’ theory, and it could really hammer the games popularity.

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  13. Keystone

    I was actually planning on purchasing a copy for myself, brother, & two nephews so we could play on LAN, so this is a deal breaker for me too.

    I understand preventing some pirates from playing hacked copies, but if the policy in place results in the loss of sales- mine for example- then it’s not worth it to implement, or in this case, not include.

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  14. profesr7

    RTS’s Suck over the internet. Evertime I tried playing SC on Battle.net, someone would drop, or lag and the game always sucked. I’ve played dozens of RTS’s and 99% of the time I played them over a LAN.

    If SC2 does not support LAN it is worthless and I will not buy it.

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  15. CrankyDad

    Yeah. Some of us are older (<30) and have introduced our kids to SC. I’m NOT letting my kids play on the internet via BattleNet…and we typically like going against AI enemies.

    Well, I guess that’s some $$ that Blizzard won’t be getting from me.

    Like

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