Blizzard: LAN Isn’t Part of Our Starcraft 2 Philosophy

Blizzard isn’t putting LAN support into Starcraft 2 anytime soon, because LAN support is not a part of the company’s “philosophy” for the game — online multiplayer is.

Speaking to PC Gamer at Gamescom 2012 in Cologne, Germany, last week, Starcraft 2 Designer David Kim said that LAN support wouldn’t be making its way into Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm as the company prepares to release a beta for the game ahead of its launch.

“We’re building Starcraft 2 as an online game and so from very early on our focus was making a game that people were connected to,” he said. “We’re building things around the ladder, we’re building achievement systems, so our system is about making an online game.

“It’s really just about our philosophy of how we’re trying to make the game,” Kim continued. “Like you said, we do have an offline mode where you can play the campaign mode, where you can play the AI without having to be connected to the Internet.

“I think moving forward we’ll be looking at things like ways where people who are nearer each other can find each other more easily. But that’s not necessarily LAN it’s just a way of finding people nearer to you.”

Blizzard hasn’t exactly been endearing itself to customers lately in terms of Internet connectivity required to play. Diablo 3 is a great example — the game requires an Internet connection even to play alone. Starcraft 2 obviously doesn’t have that same issue, but as PC Gamer points out, an online requirement was a big issue earlier this year at the IPL 4 Vegas tournament. There, connectivity issues held up the event, showing the cracks in having no LAN support.

Kim also said that Heart of the Swarm is “99.5 percent done” and that a beta would be available for players “very soon.”

What do you guys think? Is a lack of LAN support a big deal to you?

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7 Comments on Blizzard: LAN Isn’t Part of Our Starcraft 2 Philosophy

Matt Sewell

On August 22, 2012 at 9:14 am

It is a big deal because it is a basic feature that helped to actually propel Starcraft to its current heights. Many players (including me) spent dozens of hours playing friends in LAN games. It avoids many of the hassles and connectivity issues (as you pointed out in your article).

It’s absurd that a large-scale tournament, where every player is in the same room and sometimes staring right in the face of their opponent, should have to connect to a Blizzard server instead of just playing one another directly. It’s an additional middleman that need not exist.

Worst of all is that it’s not difficult at all to add LAN support to a game, especially for a company like Blizzard. It’s the exact same as having Diablo 3 have an “offline single player mode”. Utterly easy to implement yet they refuse to do it, and quite frankly, it’s disgusting and shows nothing but contempt for their customer base.

T Wal

On August 22, 2012 at 9:43 am

Is it just me, or is Blizzard becoming more and more disconnected from reality as time goes on? I thought that was something that only happened to their players, not the company itself…

DJS

On August 22, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Blizzard is going down an extremely dangerous road. I bought Diablo 3 and stopped playing it a month after and have no plans of going back, even with the patch.
This is just absurd. They are having problems surface that could have been prevented by just making the game more accessible to everyone and not restricting it to people who have internet access…
However, as sad as it is to see this great company go down this road, I think this is only the beginning of bad things to come in the industry. A lot of companies are going to try and impose the same restrictions on their players, eventually attempting to force them to stream the game instead of own it. The only way stuff like this will stop is if we as gamers stand up and say YOU to the corporate gaming giants and go back to playing the old games that we love and own…

Joshua

On August 22, 2012 at 2:58 pm

I think I’m done with Blizzard.

pooleboy87

On August 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I’m not really sure that this is analogous to the Diablo 3 situation. That was just annoying and irritating, because they installed a feature (persistent-connection) that made no sense whatsoever in solo play, in order to facilitate another feature that I absolutely loathe (RMAH). That situation seems to have backfired on them.

But as far as Starcraft 2…LAN seems to becoming less and less a feature that’s frequently used in MP games. It’s a feature that I guess would be nice…but I know I probably wouldn’t use it as anything other than a last resort. If I want to play something MP, I’m probably going to do so online, anyways, even if the people I wanted to play with were at the same location as me. It’s just much easier.

That said, it’s still a feature that would probably have had some benefit. It’s probably something that they should consider. Just not quite in the realm of BS that D3 was, in my opinion.

Berwyn Powell

On August 23, 2012 at 3:28 am

When you’re in a rural area like me, with slow internet connection speeds, LAN is definitely the order of the day for gaming with friends who happen to be on the premises.

Having to connect several of you to a Blizzard server so you can play, not only eats up bandwidth (that others in the house could be using, or might cost extra), but also means your reliant on a stable internet connection, something that is lacking in many areas.

While internet gaming is great for playing with your mates when they’re not around, LAN is by far the more reliable option when your all in the same place, not to the mention the fact that the connection is way faster than having 3 of you sharing an internet connection.

James

On August 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

While it might not be theirs, it is certainly mine… so Customer -1