I enjoy playing Starcraft 2, even though I didn't play the original a whole lot (was much more of a Command and Conquer person back then) I have enjoyed playing Starcraft 2 over the last week alot.
However there are some 'issues' that make me think that Blizzard really have shot themselves in the foot with the release of Starcraft 2.
I don't care much about playing competitively online in tournaments and leagues and what not, I mostly just enjoy playing for fun with friends, playing through the campaign and playing fun custom games.
I read up beforehand on some of the issues with Starcraft 2 such as the fact that battle.net 2 does not allow LAN and thought that it doesn't really affect me as I don't really play in LAN much anyways and I can still play online. However over the last week there have been alot of niggling problems with the whole Battle.net2 experience that has left a sour taste in my mouth.
1. Cannot play campaign whilst not connected to the internet.
This is simply unforgivable, last week I had a pretty dodgy internet line due to my ISP making changes to my local exchange and the internet sometimes did not connect. I was thinking why not play some SC2 campaign whilst I wait for the internet to come back on? no luck. I couldn't connect to Battle.Net so I can't continue my SP campaign game. I could play in guest mode but my progress is lost and I don't earn acheivements.
This issue was made worst today, Battle.Net has been having trouble over the last week due to loads of people playing. Today I couldn't even connect to Bnet even though my internet was fine. It angers me that the people that pirated the game can play whenever they want and we are restricted to playing under a strict set of conditions.
2. Only 1 account per person per copy of the game
The first thing the game asks you to do is to create a profile. After that it cannot be altered and you cannot create a new account for the game. Want to change your online name? sucks to be you. Want to reset the campaign and start again? sucks to be you. You have to buy another copy to get another account.
3. B.Net region restrictions
This one really annoys me, I have a friend overseas that I want to play with. He is living in the US, however due to region restrictions I cannot play with him. I cannot even add him as a friend on Bnet due to this. Even on Xbox live I can add people overseas and play with them. Once you buy SC2 you register it with one region only and can only play with that region. These restrictions are throughout, you can't even post on the US forums with a EU account. Blizzard say that it is due to lag and 'user experience' that you can't play people in a different region but in Bnet1 you could and that was 10 years ago. Its not like its going to affect anyone else if I play a game or two with my friend overseas. To play on the US servers I have to buy another copy and register it in the US.
4. Custom games
For some reason Blizzard has made it aggravating to create and join custom games, you can't search for the custom map you want to play and the game browser simply fails in giving you any detail about the game you are joining. In Warcraft 3 it was easy to find and join the game you wanted. In Sc2 the system hinders your ability to find the game you want. Also whats up with the censorship? you can't play any old custom map anymore, you have to get it published and reviewed, in WC3 you could simply choose any map on you HDD and host it. In SC2 you can only play the ones that Blizzard deem appropriate. At the moment the EU custom games scene is simply non-existent due to these flaws.
I touched on this earlier with the region restrictions but there is more to it. The system is simply confusing. You have your REALID freinds and you online friends in BNet. Your REALID friends have their real names whilst your online friends have there user names. It is confusing to say the least to make sure you are adding the right friend to the right category. Why can't all my friends just show there user names. If they are my irl friends I should know who they are anyway. Saves the confusion and hassle of adding friends.
The core game within is very good but these problems are very worrying, I hope Blizzard really makes some changes to the system and allow the players to get what they want in the end, its really bad that the people that pay for the game get a worse experience than those who pirated. The restrictions that Bnet has at the moment are truly draconian and definitely hinder the gaming experience.