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Battle.net 2.0

Before delving into the technicalities, we must state that Battle.net 2.0, the new, improved means of communication in Blizzard games, is considered by many to be a very controversial solution.

On the plus side, BN 2.0 offers a much more expanded and user friendly means of inter-gaming communication compared to the previous version, allowing easy interaction between people playing different games. It also provides a function referred to as ‘REAL ID’; what it does is identify a given player, despite the number of different Battle.net accounts they possess.

Another sensible thing appears to be the requirement that in order to start ‘Diablo 3’, one has to have an internet connection and, similarly to ‘Starcraft 2’, log into Battle.net. This gives Blizzard a means to compile and display player data, be it achievements, ladder statistics or other registered games one plays. The developers also expanded the player friend list, giving us enough space for 105 entries, as opposed to the prior 30. All in all the changes to the profile page seem to be a good answer to player demand, bringing online competition to a whole new level.

BN 2.0 is also a major improvement in account security. Blizzard introduced a token mechanism similar to the one used in online bank transactions, preventing unauthorized access. They also offer a much higher degree of technical support in the event of account theft, than what they did with ‘Diablo 2’, that is a total lack of support whatsoever. Now all you have to do is simply send them a scan of your ID and your account will be returned to you in a matter of days.

There are unfortunately drawbacks to this new Battle.net version, the most noticeable ones, stemming from the redesign of the chat and channel interface. First and foremost, the chat now functions as a separate, small window, making player interaction a real pain for people used to ‘Diablo 2’ style layout, with the communication space being the centre piece of the whole BN page.

The second major issue with BN 2.0 is the lack of ability to moderate private channels, an important element in the functioning of many, if not all, clans and PvP and PvM organizations. It could prove a serious blow to every group around ‘Diablo 3’, be it a small, local clan, or a major association. We can only hope that it is still not the final version and that Blizzard will make adjustments, though we ourselves at D3CL refuse to sit around, idly waiting to see if they will change it. Right now we are planning to further develop our activities outside Battle.net, be it on Team Speak, IRC, Facebook or Twitter, and we strongly suggest you do the same.

RoGH 2012-04-22 18:24