Blizzard Offers An Updated Look At The New Battle.net

Illustration for article titled Blizzard Offers An Updated Look At The New Battle.net

Big changes are coming to Blizzard's multiplayer service Battle.net, as the StarCraft II beta test and release date edge ever closer. While you wait for Activision Blizzard to bring good news, get caught up to speed on Battle.net's massive overhaul.

Blizzard's official preview covers much of what we already knew about the revamped Battle.net, including cross-game chat, the Real ID service, updated matchmaking and the StarCraft II user mod marketplace. But it looks so pretty in pictures, so nearly tangible that the preview is worth reading, if only to work on your Battle.net actions per minute improvements.

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There's a new interview with Greg Canessa, project director for Battle.net, which will give you the high level pitch. Otherwise, be sure to check out our preview from BlizzCon and get more eyes-on time with Battle.net's interface all over StarCraft II in our gallery.

Battle.net Preview [StarCraft2.com]

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DISCUSSION

Is it just me, or does anyone find it kind of creepy that whenever Blizzard chooses to talk about SC2, they never acknowledge the elephant in the room that the game is long overdue by now?

It was announced in May 2007. Let's get some perspective on that date. For a little bit of historical comparison, that was before Obama was president or anyone outside Alaska knew who Sarah Palin was, before the Beijing Olympics, before Windows 7 or OS X Leopard were released, and even before the iPhone was announced.

We heard about it before we were playing Smash Bros Brawl, Team Fortress 2 or Portal, Street Fighter 4, Mario Galaxy or Braid, before Metal Gear Solid 4 or LittleBigPlanet.

And we heard about it before we were playing many games we're playing the sequels to now, like the original Bioshock, the original Assassin's Creed, the original Modern Warfare, the original Uncharted, and the original Mass Effect. We heard about it before Rock Band was even released and before there were more than 2 games in the Guitar Hero franchise.

In short - making players wait for a game this long should be unbelievably embarrassing to Blizzard. I honestly don't know why a studio that is printing money as quickly as Blizzard is can't be bothered to get their games done within a year or so of announcing them.

At this rate, it is highly likely we won't be playing Diablo III until at least 2012.