We are proud to present our new project – StarCraft II Server Emulator. As many of you have heard StarCraft II will not include a standard LAN-play feature. Instead, to start a Pseudo-LAN game, user will be prompted to connect to the Battle.net and initialize a LAN game from that level. The Battle.net server will connect the peers together using the fastest route possible (to keep the ping as low as possible). You might be asking yourself “Why Blizzard is doing that?”. The answer is simple: DRM. In the never-ending fight against pirates, Blizzard (more likely DRM-loving Activision) decided to move one step forward: validate whether the user has a valid Battle.net 2.0 account (which requires CD-Key binding – your SC2 key will be forever bound to your new/existing BN2.0 account). This way pirates will not be able to play on LAN using a single copy aaaand at the same time, legitimate users will not able to play offline-LAN-games at all. Quite a trade, don’t you think Blizzard?
We don’t currently plan to support LAN play with StarCraft II, as we are building Battle.net to be the ideal destination for multiplayer gaming with StarCraft II and future Blizzard Entertainment games. While this was a difficult decision for us, we felt that moving away from LAN play and directing players to our upgraded Battle.net service was the best option to ensure a quality multiplayer experience with StarCraft II and safeguard against piracy.
Several Battle.net features like advanced communication options, achievements, stat-tracking, and more, require players to be connected to the service, so we’re encouraging everyone to use Battle.net as much as possible to get the most out of StarCraft II. We’re looking forward to sharing more details about Battle.net and online functionality for StarCraft II in the near future.”
Anyway, our initial goal is getting the Beta running locally. In this process we hope to learn as much as possible about SC2 network protocols. Finally when the final version goes out and it happens it doesn’t have a LAN option, we will release a server emulator for all of you folks out there.
PS. When the beta stage is finally in progress, we might open our private beta server to all of you. *BUT* don’t get too enthusiastic – at the moment we only got confirmed 1 beta key so reverse-engineering might take a while (if you get a spare one, contact us:))
PPS: Please discuss the topic here: Starcraft 2 Server Emulator
PPS#2: If you think Blizzard gives a s**t about your opinion about LAN-option, you might want to sign a petition here.