It was less than a year ago that Blizzard unveiled the new Battle.net interface for many to dive into and get ready for the StarCraft II beta. Now that the beta has been confirmed for sometime this month, Blizzard has taken the time to explain what the final overhaul of the game service will entail. Expanding on their preview of the service at BlizzCon 2009, understanding the new Battle.net means getting familiar with the four pillars that make up the service– the persistent always-connected experience, competitive play, the social community and mod support.
Blizzard wants the player to be connected to the service at all times. Though there are undoubtedly some out there that would prefer not to be connected at all times, it does come with some outstanding benefits. Aside from creating a persistent character on the service that brings the more familiar perks of a game service such as friends lists, achievements and stats, Battle.net will also sync the player’s save data to their account, allowing them to play a single-player campaign from wherever they left off despite reinstalling or playing from a different computer.
Competitive play will have improved matchmaking so that new players will be matched against players of a similar skill level instead of having to play veterans and learning a game the hard way. As explained at BlizzCon, mod support will get a spotlight as modders will be able to upload their work with the Map Publishing tool, allowing players to download the maps directly from the client. Creators will even have the opportunity of selling their work on the StarCraft II Marketplace which will hit the service after the launch of the RTS title.
The service is explained in its entirety by Project Director Greg Canessa at the StarCraft II website.