We're all really excited about Starcraft II. Like all Blizzard-created games, it will come out when it's ready, but "ready" is getting closer every day. This afternoon, Blizzard revealed the changes it is making to Battle.net, Blizzard's online service.
Battle.net was re-designed with three major principles in mind:
- Always Connected Experience: Like the name says, the concept is of a persistent character, with chat and socializing functions across games. This comes with unlockable achievements and rewards. In Starcraft II, these include "portraits and decals."
- Competitive Arena For Everyone: The idea is to appeal to both the hardcore and casual player. For the casual among us, there are new gameplay modes, a practice league, custom games, co-op vs. AI and more. For the hardcore, there's a new, more accurate auto-matchmaking system that features leagues and ladders. It is a "learning system that will learn your skill as you play through games."
- Connecting the Blizzard Community: Friends lists, text and voice chatting, cross-game communication between World of Warcraft and Starcraft II and more.