Blizzard's decision to axe LAN play in StarCraft
disappointed more than just a few fans of the franchise. Many scrambled to sign an online petition in an effort to change the developer's mind, and they were successful - sort of. Blizzard is now looking into incorporating a LAN-like experience
, a pseudo-LAN if you will.
The almost-LAN feature will provide users with a low-ping peer-to-peer connection, but will keep Battle.net in the loop. According to Blizzard developer Greg Canessa's explanation at BlizzCon, the company is working toward a solution where users will "maintain connectivity to Battle.net in some way." Whether or not users will require a single or periodical authentication from Battle.net has yet to be defined.
While this inclusion is better than nothing, I have to question the usefulness. It's positive news for LAN parties with an Internet connection readily available, but I think the outburst was mostly regarding those who want to play multiplayer, but lack online connectivity. Nevertheless, I'm sure it will only be a matter of time before the pseudo-LAN is cracked; gamers will have their cake and eat it too.