LAN of the Dead

LAN of the Dead

LAN of the Dead

by Steve Napierski to Comics

Unlike the PS3 Slim’s lack of Playstation 2 backwards compatibility, StarCraft II‘s lack of LAN does nothing to ruffle my feathers [source]. Do people who don’t have laptops still drag their computers over to other people’s houses to play games? To the best of my knowledge that’s all handled online now. They play their World of WarCraft, Left 4 Dead and Command & Conquers through the internet and people aren’t complaining. Maybe the huge LAN competitions might warrant being able to host the tournament locally, but that’s only a small fraction of the people who are actually going to play the game. But that’s just my opinion. You guys probably game a hell of a lot more than me. So, what’s your opinion?

Update: A recent article stated that Blizzard is working on a “pseudo-LAN” solution to the StarCraft II LAN-less problem, that would allow play very similar to a LAN party, with Battle.net only being pinged once or periodically for authentication purposes. [source]

Also, Tradewest has “risen” from the grave… theoretically. Now let’s see if I can finally get my Battletoad fix. Possible happy day indeed.

Discussion (30)¬

  1. Erockmahan
    Erockmahan says:
    August 25, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    Actually, the LAN would be most used (abused) by college and high school students playing in the dorms or campus computers. It brings back memories of sleepless nights and limitless resource campaigns…

  2. pall.e
    pall.e says:
    August 25, 2009 at 10:27 am #

    first time poster, long time reader. Love the comic, but I can think of numerous times when I would use LAN play even on a laptop. One great example is when riding on a train across cross country with friends. Set up a mini-wireless network and play there, where there is no internet. Its the equivalent of pick-up games. By not supporting LAN Blizzard says you can only play on our courts and I am often in places with crappy internet.

  3. Numb
    Numb says:
    August 25, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    pall.e, you’re often in 1995??

  4. GenXer
    GenXer says:
    August 25, 2009 at 10:58 am #

    The lack of LAN support is actually a very major drawback for me. Yes, people still “drag their computers over to other people’s houses to play games”. Additionally, you mention people who don’t have laptops – what about people who do have them? I frequently take my gaming laptop over to friends’ places to play LAN RTS games. We enjoy lag-free gaming, camaraderie that can only be experienced in person, and freedom from server outages, outside players, and dependency on external services for our gaming experience.

    Simplicity of configuration is another significant benefit of local network play. No ports need to be forwarded through hard firewalls, and the router doesn’t have to be configured for certain services to be allowed through. The path amongst participating computers is simple, direct, and easily configured.

    Game version mismatch is another longstanding problem in Internet-required gaming. Because clients are often forced to upgrade to the latest released patch before being allowed to connect to a central gaming server, that means someone who hasn’t played in awhile may have a lengthy process to go through before being able to play. Having multiple people on a home network all trying to upgrade to the latest patch can be aggravating and slow, and take unnecessary time away from actually playing the game. With LAN play, my friends and I agree on a patch version that we keep our clients at, and do not change them. This eliminates version issues, setting reconfiguration, and other aggravations.

    All of this says nothing of the LAN parties and other festivals I attend, some of which are closed, non-Internet connected LANs, which obviously precludes playing games such as Starcraft II with no local play option.

  5. Klas
    Klas says:
    August 25, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    For me, LAN play without internet is truly awesome, because then you actually have to make it a social experience.
    As soon as internet enters into it, everyone has all these “Nah, I’ll just play WoW” tantrums.

    LAN-parties are great fun, and not including it is bullshit which removed my interest in buying the game.

  6. Skorpeyon
    Skorpeyon says:
    August 25, 2009 at 11:33 am #

    Nothing, absolutely nothing, compares to being able to get up, walk 10 feet over to a friend, and smack him upside the head for camping out and sniping you 30 times in a row on a CTF map.

    LAN parties are far better than ‘net gaming.

  7. LKmedia
    LKmedia says:
    August 25, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    The No-Lan thing just shocked me and I wonder what they thing was the reason people bought the first StarCraft for? I won’t ever be able to play the second Installment with my friends, who sit right next to me, without the required connection the the internet (and the Blizzard services)?! I don’t understand this behavior… Does it have anything to do with fears of software piracy, the lack of control, or the need to gather information about the players and their experiences with the game?
    This reminds me of Valve’s Steam but that Steam doesn’t flick you the finger when you are in for a good old LAN-session… It’s a disastrous decision and with any hope they will patch a LAN-Mode. Then again, they just need to wait and people will buy it even with a LAN-mode missing… It’s a sad day.

  8. Edem
    Edem says:
    August 25, 2009 at 12:02 pm #

    Where I work, we play CS over lan when the internet goes down for half an hour or more. Now imagine that without LAN capabilities.

    Nuff said.

  9. Josh Miller
    Josh Miller says:
    August 25, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    I can think of a number of reasons LAN is good.

    1) Previously mentioned college kids.
    2) Bypassing Battlenet with Hamachi
    3) Playing against friends and family members if you have laptops or 2 PCs
    4) I know at least one person in my office who DOES lug his PC somewhere with his friends for LAN parties.

    Lack of LAN is kind of lame.

  10. ahac
    ahac says:
    August 25, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    3 days per year at a lanparty might not be much… but it’s those 3 days when I expect to actually play the game (which I wouldn’t be able to because their connection can’t handle 100 people online at the same time).

    And yea… it’s a small fraction of people who go to lanparties…. but those are the core gamers. Those are the people that made Starcraft what it is now.

  11. Izkata
    Izkata says:
    August 25, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    My friends and I also use the LAN capability far more than the internet capabillity – it’s just more fun being there in person, without the lag.

    I’m not buying SC2 if they don’t include LAN capability.

  12. GenXer
    GenXer says:
    August 25, 2009 at 1:11 pm #

    @Skorpeyon: YES. THIS. Precisely.

  13. Steve Napierski
    Steve Napierski says:
    August 25, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    Updated this post with news from a recent article mentioning a possible “pseudo-LAN” solution to the problem.

  14. Caleb
    Caleb says:
    August 25, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    LAN is awesome, we have a place like n internet cafe, where there’s always at least 10-20 people playuing some sort of LAN game be it RTS or Quake, LAN will be missed, fortunately the people will make a hack but jeez it’s annoying to have to fix a game

  15. Steve Napierski
    Steve Napierski says:
    August 25, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    Thinking about the “pseudo-LAN” solution I think Blizzard is giving about as good of an offer as they are willing to with that. You’ll still need some sort of internet connection for validation purposes, but that’s mainly to crack down on pirated copies of the game being passes around. I understand that there are situations where one might not have any sort of internet connection to log on to Battle.net with, but I really do think those scenarios will be few and far between. This should correct almost everything else.

  16. FireDrake
    FireDrake says:
    August 25, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

    Okay, I have to say it: Starcraft II is not “for” us. What I mean by that, is it’s not for Americans. The game is throwing away years of RTS advancement in an attempt to recreate the success of the original in the country of South Korea. Units still cannot fire while moving. Control groups are still limited in size. Queued commands are limited in function and length. All of these things contribute to make the game less about strategy and more about how many commands you can input a minute. Now, why am I mentioning this in a thread about the lack of LAN play? Because in Korea, most players play from internet cafe’s. Starcraft was commonly bought only once per cafe, and then copied for local LAN play. Removing LAN play and routing multiplayer through Battlenet, local or not, will force the hand of internet cafe’s to buy a copy per seat.

    If you really like Starcraft, and still play the original, I am sure you will love Starcraft 2. If you think that the RTS has evolved JUST A BIT since Starcraft came out, and like the caliber of RTS games like Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War, I think you will be disappointed by Starcraft II. This all being said, if you love LAN play, keep bugging Blizzard. There’s a million reasons why you would want to play on LAN without authentication, and piracy is only ONE of them.

  17. Heigen
    Heigen says:
    August 26, 2009 at 12:45 am #

    WHAT THE FUCK, FUCK YOU BLIZZARD BIG TIME. Yes I have friends and we do lans, now my chances buying this piece of shit rapidly decreases. Well be playing SC1…

  18. Tetsamaru
    Tetsamaru says:
    August 26, 2009 at 3:44 am #

    I already know someone is gonna make a hack for true LAN. But the fact that Blizzard just wont do it still baffles me. I’d make a list of reasons why, but its already been said 1000x. I’m still buying SC2. And i will LAN it with my little sister once someone makes a hack for it. But Blizzard has another thing comming if they really think i’m gonna buy 2 copies.

  19. Samo
    Samo says:
    August 26, 2009 at 4:13 am #

    Hiya, Long time reader, first time commenter, but I think this is important;

    I can see why some people will be miffed with not backwards compatibility with the PS3, but long and short of it is that almost everyone who has PS2 games has a PS2 (makes sense, right?). It all comes down to it taking effort to remove cables from PS3 -> PS2.

    I can definitely see why people are miffed that a multiplayer game (but not massively multiplayer) game lacks local multiplayer, like for example myself. The UK (where I reside), the broadband speeds are piss poor, and lag is inevitable when you have to connect to a French server when the only UK server is full, etc. Plus, Skorpeyon’s point is a very good one.

    Fact is, I’m willing to bet that both decisions were made because the costs were too high, and profitability would sink (need to buy a PS2, or FireDrake’s point, respectively).

    My friends and I must be part of a minority, then, as they still lug laptops to my house on weekends to get pwned / pwn me :p

  20. kirby
    kirby says:
    August 26, 2009 at 5:04 am #

    Never herd of a LAN party huh? wel, i view the lack of LAN a major drawback. with virtual lan programs such as hamachi, leaf, and others, LAN was a big thing for me and my friends who no longer live in hte area. Well… all i can say is the online matchmaking better be done well, or i forsee many upset people.

  21. Raige
    Raige says:
    August 26, 2009 at 7:31 am #

    They are doing it because a small group of individuals who had access to the beta were able to create their own patch for LAN play. They brought it to Blizzard at the conference and between that and the overwhelming support for LAN play by gamers (I’m not a small percentage… neither is Korea), I would not be surprised to see Blizzard add it to the game.

    Simple put… LAN play will happen whether they want it to or not. They can either support it or “hackers”, as the modders might be deemed, will make it happen.

  22. pall.e
    pall.e says:
    August 26, 2009 at 9:29 am #

    as been said lan will happen whether Blizzard supports it or not. Heck there have been WOW emulated servers out there since a week after WoW launched, the same thing will happen with Battlenet. The thing the really gets me, that really irks me about this whole situation is: when I was first introduced to Diablo and Starcraft it was through spawned copies. Does anyone remember this? In Diablo you could play the first three levels and in Starcraft it allowed you to play some multiplayer. It was kinda like a demo but better because you could create a lan party legally with just one disc. It made people (me included) want to go buy those games. I suppose its really those days I miss, not the lack of lan by itself.

  23. Dapperdave
    Dapperdave says:
    August 26, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    I use lan to play with my son all the time. It’s a great way to bond and tech him how to play better.

    Occasionally my friends and I get together and have a lan party where we play a lot of different games, but mostly it’s Blizzard products like Warcraft and Starcraft.

    I think it’s crap that I’ll have to buy 2 copies of the game if I want to play with my son in my own home. I understand that there are people who abuse it, but they’re also punishing the people who play the game legit.

  24. cress
    cress says:
    August 26, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    So I disagree completely (but respect your opinon :). Here’s why:

    This is purely an anti-pirating move. But why? Its just gonna get cracked anyway. I know all of my friends plan on buying this just like they will plan on buying D3. Why does it bother me? Because I do LAN with my friends. It is way different and way more entertaining than just playing online with a few friends and a bunch of strangers. Someone else mentioned the fact that when the internet is introduced into the mix of a LAN, everyone gets ADD and starts playing other stuff. That is more than true.

    All of our successful LANs we used the internet ONLY if we needed to get something real quick, but normally everything we needed was shared over a gigabit connection. Point is we don’t want the internet in the mix of things for a LAN event and this proactively prohibits it. Or rather it makes it more of a pain for us to go pirate a copy of something we actually paid for and already installed. That or we’ll just have to suck it up and use a little restraint, but that is not an easy feat for a room of gamers, half of which are wow-heads.

    Anyway, Blizzard will still get my money, but begrudgingly. If their games ever start to lessen in quality you can be sure that this will play into the ‘loyalty’ factor (read: pirating).

  25. anon
    anon says:
    August 26, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    “Do people who don’t have laptops still drag their computers over to other people’s houses to play games?”
    – Yes, yes they do. Friends who have friends living more than 30 minutes away sometimes take a weekend and visit each other. In which case, they bring over their computers for neat LAN play. Radical idea, huh? Playing computer games with your friends…. in the same room! *gasp*

    “Starcraft II is not “for” us. What I mean by that, is it’s not for Americans.”
    – Yes, yes it is. A game is for anyone who wants to play it. Just because it doesn’t do what you think it should doesn’t mean it’s not meant for a entire region. Adjust your playstyle or don’t play it.

  26. RebelsDawn
    RebelsDawn says:
    August 26, 2009 at 10:00 pm #

    Reader for a while, 1st time poster.

    When I first started playing SC1 and BW my and my troop would organize weekly lan parties just to have a blast with the game.

    While the lack of Lan support (atm) isn’t new news, me and my friends are still disappointed by this for a variety of reasons. In several colleges in the States they (schools) are putting up blocks on internet gaming that makes Lan play the only way to play several of the great multiplayer games, be they pc, xbox, etc. Sometimes DRM and other copy protection methods (which the non-lan support, internet required to verify the game counts as) no longer work on these campus networks so those in college can no longer play several games that we once were able to.

    I’m really hoping they add lan before official release of the game as that would be the core reason for me to actually buy the game. As one of the posters said earlier it’s ever so satisfying giving a friend a good slap upside the head for being an ass in any game. XD

    So here’s hoping that SC2 comes with Lan at release, and in 2009 *unless they already announced the release date, and I’m just misinformed…*

  27. Khira
    Khira says:
    August 27, 2009 at 5:17 am #

    Well… I LAN quite a bit with my friends over the summer (Seriously, 20+ people for several days. Tons of fun) and I used to LAn with my dad. I still play Diablo 2 with my little sister over LAN. It would be pretty crappy of Blizz to make a person pay doubt the amount just to play occasionally with their kid or sibling, but to be honest it doesn’t surprise me. I am hoping the LAN they plan to implement is not as fail as it sounds – What’s the point of pinging Bnet for authentication? It’s going to see clone CD keys in use, get pissy and disconnect them.

    Blizz has gotten pretty money-hungry lately.

  28. Deanykong
    Deanykong says:
    August 28, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    People who don’t think LAN is a big deal are gonna be shocked when they get to college.

  29. Wireball
    Wireball says:
    August 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    pall.e makes a good point in the second post.

    I will add: if someone has a low-band cellphone Internet connection, along with ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) Blizzard’s psuedo-LAN connection might be enough to get you all playing.

    Still, I dunno. Having attempted a LAN party out in the whop-whops with no Internet, I see what a pain it can be.

    Having played Starcraft II at Blizzcon, I liked the advances, but the gameplay was very similar to Starcraft I. Perhaps Starcraft I will still be the best solution for no-Internet play. Remember to carry a bunch of CDs.

  30. magallanes
    magallanes says:
    August 31, 2009 at 7:53 pm #

    is it a problem the lack of lan or the lack of starcraft2 ?.

    Starcraft2 was pre announced the 2002 (using the same motor used in warcraft 3), then 2004 with a stunning video, then from 2005 to 2009 (May 19, 2007 was one of the launch dates). Ok, currently it is not a Dukem Nukem Forevar but its close enough to be one.

    Do you remember those gossip saying that Starcraft2 will be a trilogy?. or the demo (fake), or the official webpage (fake too) and so on.