Gaming – Starcraft 2 says bye bye to LAN networking

imagesA few days ago the NDA’s were lifted on Star Craft 2. One of the most shocking features was that there is NO LAN option for multi player? (i’m ignoring the split into 3 games thing – as i don’t really mind that too much)

Was just a bit worrying to me, since myself and quite a few of my friends still continue with the dying tradition of LAN parties. I can under stand blizzards move from a business perspective, as rumour has it they wish to get a piece of the pie when it comes to large competitive gaming events.

But for me it was sad to see this option removed for a few reasons…

Firstly WAN based multilayer requires a stable internet connection (even in this day and age), i can sometimes get my internet connection dropped. There is nothing worse than playing for 30 mins then someone dropping out mid game.

Secondly, is there any potential bandwidth issues here? – unsure how exactly multiple local connections will take place (i.e. NAT loopback?) but with connections in NZ the upload bandwidth is still quite limited. What type of connection will we need to host 8 players locally?

I cant comment on how well 2 will work with multiple local connections. But typically any additional network setup (i.e. ensuring port forwarding / uPNP etc) adds delays and configuration issues that could potentially drag out the “setup” time during a LANs.

Thirdly i’m concerned with the social aspect. I think PC gaming is aligning its self with console (one person sitting on couch) casual market / business model.

It most probably is a business decision to beat piracy? i.e. connect into a server and everything is managed / controlled (chat / messages / matchmaking). WoW style – control all content and make the user pay per play. It is Blizzard after all.

The WAN type gaming that is used on 360 / ps3 in some ways limits our social contact with others. I absolutely love the screams and laughter i hear during LAN events, even watching people screw up their faces is a joy Wink Yeah, the 360 and ps3 has some great social networking apps, but they are nothing to being there next to the players.