Stropp's World

Games And Gamery

What’s Up With Part Two of Starcraft 2?

Posted by Stropp on October 5, 2012

Back when Blizzard announced that Starcraft 2 was to be made into three separate games because there was too much story for one game, they made the promise that each ‘part’ would be released one year apart.

Since Starcraft 2 was released in July 2010, doesn’t that mean we should be seeing the third and final installment about now?

Even with Blizzards penchant with the when it’s done philosophy we should have part two by now, and be eagerly awaiting the Protoss game, perhaps even have a date for it.

Is Starcraft 2 taking the path of Duke Nukem Forever?

Side Effects

Posted by Stropp on October 8, 2011

If you read Tobold’s blog you would have seen a post a few days ago where he lamented the loss of his Facebook account. It’s in Facebook’s terms of service that the name you use must be ‘real.’ And by real, I guess that means the one on your birth certificate.

(I wonder when Stephen King will have his account banned.)

Today, Tobold posts about one of the consequences of that banning. He used Facebook Connect to add some social functionality to Castle Empires Online (aka The Settlers Online.) This linked the game to his Facebook account via an app, and now he cannot access that game until he removes the app. Of course he cannot remove the app because he can’t log in to that Facebook account.

No Castle Empires Online for you. Catch 22. That’s some catch, that Catch 22. It’s the best there is.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently noticed a number of blogs sporting a comment section that is basically a Facebook widget that requires a guest to login to their Facebook account in order to comment.

Aside from the questionable practice of forcing someone who may not want to have a FB account to have one to comment, or to have every comment they make replicated in their FB feed, the bigger issue to me is the loss of control the blog owner is giving to Facebook. No longer does the blog own the comments, they are now Facebook property. And if Facebook decides for one reason or another to ban that blog, well, what happens to all those comments?

This Tobold Facebook banning has brought another issue to mind.

Blizzard now has a policy of linking their various games together in the same account. Your World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, and soon Diablo 3 games will all be linked together, if you use the same Battlenet account.

Now what happens if in one of those games you do something against the terms of service and get yourself an account ban. Do you lose access to every Blizzard game linked to that account?

And hey, it might not even be you doing the dirty deed. Account hacks are not unknown, and folks have been banned temporarily on that basis. So your WoW account is hacked, and Blizzard shuts you down for two weeks while it investigates. And during this time you don’t have access to SG2, or D3 to fill the gaming gap. Nice.

That’s why it’s been my policy for some time to not do things like use Facebook Connect. If a game offers an update service such as tweeting achievements, fine. You can turn those off in game. But a game should never be disabled by the failure of an optional third party service. That is unacceptable.

This is also why I create a separate Battlenet account for each of my Blizzard games. I have used different emails for both WoW and SC2, and I’ll be creating a new email address for Diablo 3 when I buy that.

The world is rushing headlong towards a completely connected state where everything is linked. Don’t get me wrong, this can be very useful and save time by simplifying online life, but the problem here is if one link fails, does it bring down the rest?

Is anyone considering the side effects, or building in redundancy?

Battlenet WoW Account Merges – Bad For Everyone?

Posted by Stropp on October 30, 2009

[adsense_id="1"]MMOCrunch has a post about the time having come to merge my World of Warcraft account into Blizzard’s new Battlenet service. There’s still a bit of time though, since WoW won’t become unplayable without a Battlenet account until the 11th of November.

And since I unsubscribed from World of Warcraft some months ago, I have even more time. At least until I decide to resubscribe for Cataclysm, or buy Starcraft 2, or have some other reason.

But being the curious sort that I am, I decided to check out Blizzard’s FAQ on Battlenet. And quite honestly some of it disturbs me a little.

For one thing, it seems that Blizzard is recommending that players merge all their World of Warcraft  (as well as other game) accounts into one Battlenet account. They do say that players will still be able to play multiple WoW accounts simultaneously, but it’s what they don’t say that has me concerned.

There’s no mention of the permanence of the Battlenet account to game linkages. If I created a new BNet for a loved one or a friend account can I transfer one of my games to that?

If I create an account for Starcraft 2, and five years down the track having forgotten the account details, can I create a new account for that game? (I know this doesn’t happen for MMORPG games, but SC2 is a single player game and has a different audience for the most part.)

What happens if I get an account ban on one of my games. Does that ban extend to all the games on that Battlenet account, or even just all the same type of games? Does a ban on one WoW account shut down all my WoW games?

Another question: What are the criteria for a Battlenet account ban that closes everything down?

We’ve all heard the stories from players complaining that Blizzard has unfairly banned them, and how difficult (or impossible) it was to reinstate the account. While these stories often have to be taken with a teaspoon of salt, I’m certain that there have been a lot of wrongly terminated accounts that have not been reinstated.

Not only that, now all my games will be on a single logon which is also something I’m not comfortable with. While once, if you had multiple WoW accounts, it was hard for a hacker to break into more than one account, if a player gets hacked all their WoW, Starcraft, and Diablo 3 data is ripe for the picking.

This is one of the reasons I’ve always resisted those OpenID or Passport schemes. It reduces the fail point of your security to just one spot. I’d prefer to have multiple signons and keep track of them in a non-digital-non-online way.

While it will be a when-I-get-around-to-it event, I’ll definitely be transfering my WoW account at some point. But I won’t be putting all my games on the same Battlenet account. I’ll be creating a new account for each. It’s just a more secure option.

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