Battle.net is supported for Diablo, StarCraft, Diablo II, Warcraft II Battle.net Edition and Warcraft III, including expansions, except the Hellfire expansion for Diablo I. It is announced to also support StarCraft II and Diablo III when those games are released. The network will get a complete overhaul with the release of StarCraft II, and games media are anticipating a great range of features.
When the service initially launched with Diablo in 1997, Battle.net offered only a few basic services like chatting and game listings. Players could connect to the service, talk with other gamers and join multiplayer games of Diablo. Besides user account data, no game data was stored on the Battle.net servers. When a player connected to a game, they would be connecting directly to the other players in the game. No data was sent through the Battle.net servers. While this made the service quick and easy to use, it quickly led to rampant cheating since players using cheats could modify their game data locally. However, since there was an option to create private games, many players ended up playing with people whom they knew.
The main highlight of Diablo II as it relates to Battle.net was that the game was completely client-server based. The game was no longer simulated on each player's computer but instead was run on Blizzard's server. This also meant that all of the character data for the game was stored on the Battle.net servers. This effectively put an end to cheating. The game also had an open character feature on Battle.net which stored the player's character on the client. This allowed players to play characters locally or on a LAN, and then use those same characters on Battle.net. However, any open games played on Battle.net were not protected from cheating by other players since they could have modified their characters locally. Diablo II also had a unique feature that would show the players in the Battle.net chat room as avatars who looked like their characters did in the game. It also used a different Battle.net interface than previous games, where previously there were mainly only color differences. There was also expanded ladder support including a "Hardcore" ladder which listed players whose characters would be removed permanently if they died in-game.
Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
With the release of the expansion, the usage of Battle.net rose dramatically.
- Battle.net 2.0 - The Next Generation Gaming Network
- Definite Battle.net 2.0 Features
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