Blizzard: StarCraft II and Diablo III Are Getting LAN-Like “Solutions”

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Gailim

when blizzard annouced they were dropping LAN I decided I wasn't going to buy the game. not because I felt my "rights" were being violated by some shadowy corporation. but because the only time I play mulitplayer RTS's is when I'm LANning with my friends. so an RTS that wouldnt let me LAN had no value to me. if this new psuedo-LAN is pain-free and doesnt require you to jump through 4 flamming hoops then Starcraft may make it back on to my list. however I would like to see them demonstrate this feature in one of thier video in the future.

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chris.peplin

Err, if you have a halfway decent router you don't need anything for "LAN mode" - the destination IP will be resolved to a local network address and the packet will take the shortest route possible. That is, unless Blizzard was routing every game packet through their servers, but that's just absurd.

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1337Goose

I see where you're coming from on this one, and I can see why that would seem logical. But I've experimented with this (and maybe I've only tried this on poor quality network equipment, or maybe my ISP is causing issues). What I found was that packets still tend to leave my router, go out to the cloud, and come back to my home address.

I believe this is because of NAT in IPv4. The Blizzard servers will have access to your external IP address but they won't have access to the one your switch or router dishes out to all of the connected devices. So Blizzard will see a 92.75.113.54 type address rather than the 192.168.1.3 type address that is critical for LANs.

I assume that this Blizzard "LAN mode" will attempt to detect if multiple connections are coming from the same external IP address, and use that information to configure a connection within your LAN. 

~Goose

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chris.peplin

If Blizzard sets the game so that your outbound packets point to their IP, then the case is as you've described it. There's no way around that, but as I mentioned I don't think it's feasible for them to route all game traffic through their servers.

What would probably happen is that after handshaking with Blizzard, your packets would be sent directly to the IP of whoever you are playing with. If that's on the same LAN, it will be pointing to your same external IP. Once that packet hits your router, it should turn right back around and never leave your LAN.

I'm sure it does depend on networking equipment, but my 5 year old Linksys router sends a ping to from my computer to my external IP back in 2 hops (me -> router, router -> me).

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1337Goose

You're right. Blizzard isn't going to be routing all packets through their servers. They've only done that with WoW I think. Rather, Battle.Net servers usually just facilitate connections between two nodes. I think the effects of attempting to create a connection within your LAN will vary from router to router. It's likely that Blizzard will attempt to produce some type of solution that works across all router and network equipment configurations.

~Goose

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yourfriendlane

And when you're on a LAN with no internet connection, you're SOL.

 

Last LAN party I went to, we all played cracked versions of TF2 and CS:S despite the fact that (almost) everyone there had retail copies, because we couldn't authenticate out to Steam and therefore couldn't play the damn games.

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Sonickid101

I should be able to buy one copy of the game and LAN with it on all 7 of my home computers this is rediculous and I will stick with my origional copy of starcraft thank you very much.

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nekollx

 you know if they were smart they just create a Spawn Time Bomb.

Say 7 days at full capacity, then when you reboot (wich you would have to thanks to windows update at some point) it would uninstall most of the files leaving a demo. Next time you LAN up it "patches" the demo (either spawn or from the net) to the full game.

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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yourfriendlane

That sort of mechanism would last all of five minutes before it got cracked.

Then you have a huge mess of multiple installs sharing the same license with no way of knowing who the original license holder was, short of making them produce a receipt.

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nekollx

 and your point?

Games will ALWAYS be cracked, ALWAYS

ALWAYS

in case i wasn't clear

ALWAYS

 

As for the serial issue givem them some kind of Spawn ID (Serial XXXXXX Spawn YY)

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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yourfriendlane

I agree. However, allowing that sort of copying would be the equivalent of leaving the car unlocked with the keys in the ignition. If they want to implement DRM (which I'm not necessarily defending), they'd be foolish to allow that sort of scheme.

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1337Goose

 I see your point, software is always being cracked. But I think Blizzard wants to use this authentication to prevent cracked copies from having any multiplayer capabilities whatsoever. Starcraft without multiplayer is like a horse without legs, so their plan does make sense in terms of curbing piracy. 

There isn't really an easy fix to this problem. On the one hand, Blizzard developers have worked (and are working) incredibly hard on Starcraft II, to make sure that the game lives up to it's name (and legacy, for that matter). On the other hand however, Starcraft's legacy is deeply entrenched in LAN, so essentially we have reached an impasse.

My final thoughts? If I open my shiny new copy of SCII, and I'm hypothetically able to dial in using 56K, and still play over a LAN in my house without lag or ping issues, I will be a happy man.

~Goose

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nekollx

 ok here's anothr way

You need to have a LAN network in place to make spawn copies. Once LAN is broken (and it has to be the same LAN not another LAN) the files uninstall.

 

This would mean the entire LAN party would have to be willing to crack the file as you couln't break the lan without invoking the uninstaller.

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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1337Goose

Cracking is a matter of decompiling an executable and using an assembler to remove bits of code that prevent the software from working under certain conditions. So theoretically, you could add conditions that only made the software work in certain ways, but it'd only be a matter of time before somebody circumvented those conditions. See what I'm getting at? 

Somebody could easy drop the condition that said "Destroy this copy of Spawn when the LAN is broken".

I doubt that Spawn will be incorporated in any way, WC3 didn't have it therefore SCII will probably skip it as well.  

~Goose

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nekollx

 but that's just the nature of the beast. 'd bet good mone yiff (yes yiff ;-) ) i made a game so good you HAD TO BUY ITand saddeled it with such hard DRM it basicly ran in it's own OS it would still be cracked and pirated before the first quarter sales totals were in.

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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1337Goose

 So this is basically Blizzard's game plan. You can hack, crack, pirate and steal all you want, but if you don't have a valid CD key, your game won't run online. 

You can hack your client all you like, but the server that's authenticating your gaming sessions will ultimately deny online access to your game.

Of course, for the sake of argument, you could say that "unofficial" servers will be released, and then I would say something like Blizzard will patch copies and release content only available to official cd-key holders (a la Sims), and then you would say that all content will eventually become available on the internet....

And we would go back and forth like this for a while. 

I don't think there's anything conclusive that can be said here. Suffice to say, we'll just have to wait and see. 

~Goose

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nekollx

 so then the question becomes which is the lesser of two evils (potental) free copies floting on the internet cracked and fully functional or pissing off the rabid fan bois

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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samduhman

I attended a LAN party recently and it was a hell of a lot more fun than gaming online. You just can't beat face to face. These days you can take a small form factor or aluminum PC and a LCD instead of a crt. LAN parties "should" be more popular than ever unfortunately people think online gaming is the best there is.

These companies are so worried about pirates that they (especially Blizzard) forget they used to allow gamers to spawn off a copy of LAN play from one copy of the game. Don't they realize this is a great way to promote interested in the game. Look at how many people bought Starcraft, Warcraft games. I attended LAN parties back in the day where people did this. They enjoyed the LAN play so much they went out and bought there own copies of the game.

 

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To0nces

Yeah they USED to. But how many years ago was that? I'm not saying piracy didn't exist in the 90's, but now it's so easy, an 8 year old could do it without much difficulty.

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1337Goose

The pile of comments on every SC related article just shows how popular this game is.

Theoretically, this sounds like a good idea. I'm all for curbing piracy, if this can provide LAN (like?) connections with some authentication, I think that's a good thing. I also think that Belboz99 (below) has a point. Sometimes the only reason you want to play LAN is because you absolutely cannot get an internet connection.

However, I think the firewall issue can be overcome by authenticating over port 80. 

~Goose

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Belboz99

Unfortunately, while this resolves the bandwith problem (something tells me this is something Blizzard will actually benifet more from than the players), this method does not help those located behind firewalls.

 

There's many instances where a player would be behind a firewall, a few that I can think of of the top of my head:

 

1.  College Dorms.

2.  Military Baracks.

3.  Shared connection w/ appartment complex or similar.

 

Dan O.

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mclovin

Sounds like a good way to do it...for 99% of the population. Unfortunately, somebody like myself is still shit out of luck. I used to play Sins of a Solar Empire games with my buddy while we were deployed to Iraq, with zero internet connectivity...so this is still kind of a bummer. We have the pirates to blame!

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Spider-Mom

Youve never played an unfinished game before? Theres no such thing as polish out side of marketing? You mean to tell me that its not a corner stone of development after all? Wow, amazing.

 

Why dont you try playing a fking game for once in your life before saying such stupid things

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ShinRenNu

Well thats all about it. In terms on milking peoples pockets, Blizzard can't amaze me more than ever. They're the best in getting the "hype" and "polished" in every marketing strategy they feed to their fan based. Just to trick them then after a while its all business as usual. But the fact that Blizzard is always hyping about their rediculous IP's. Where for that matter they're just waiting for some great idea and copy pasting it into their brand label. That's what I observed for their products as far as I can remember. Blizzard is used to milking peoples pockets even though the word "Polished" is just a marketing strategy they always used just for their fan based to think that they're not being fooled into another round of business success for their company

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mesiah

In before the million comments about how everyone hates DRM and that this will do nothing to prevent piracy and especially before the people claiming that forcing them to authenticate before playing is the exact reason why they are going to steal the game instead of pay for it.

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Spider-Mom

Sounds like a good solution. I can see how this would work to serve both parties. If they are going to take their sweet time making the game then they might as well add this to it also.

 As of rite now theres no way to see how this will pan out. Lan is not dead and it wasnt a very good idea for them to think so.

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