2.0 Updates for Starcraft II

The newest rendition of the online gaming network announced back in March of 2009, deemed " 2.0" by many, had many of its newest features outlined today at Prospects are high: " is about to undergo the greatest update in its long and storied history as one of the world's most successful online gaming services."

What exactly are all the fancy new bells and whistles with 2.0, and how close is the call between Diablo III and Starcraft II as far as it is concerned?

The webpage boasts many clean and modern upgrades to the archaic system, including a focus on continual connection for news, communication, and content updates through profiles. Intuitive matchmaking technology, previously low-key, arose to prominence in 2.0 for Starcraft II:

Official Blizzard Quote:

[...]we are introducing an all-new Leagues and Ladders System to the service. After using the auto-matchmaking system a few times, will automatically slot you into a league and division that best suits your skill level.

This includes tiering based on a hundred-player margin to ensure players are gauged in competitive fields that their experience fits in, providing ideal challenge levels and more localized ranking on the ladders. Game modes will include the old and a mix of new options, including:

Official Blizzard Quote:

Custom games will of course make their return, but there will also be a slew of new, casual-friendly game modes such as the Practice League, Co-op Versus AI (players versus the computer), Challenges, and more.

Communication has seen a positive overhaul, using more advanced features that have been seen in popular communication mediums like xFire. Playerswill be able to talk to one another with friends lists and other popular social features, as well as use these features to get to know one another before playing a game together. Beyond a particular game, 2.0 will allow chatting across many of Blizzard's online games using a new future named Real ID:

Official Blizzard Quote:

With the Real ID feature, you are able to send invites and form friendships on with your real-life friends and family. Real ID friends are mutual, which means that both sides need to agree to the friend request. Forming Real ID friends comes with its benefits. You will see your Real ID friends by their real name, along with any character they are logged in as. You will also be able to get rich presence information about what they are doing, send broadcast messages, and communicate cross-game between StarCraft II,, and World of Warcraft.

And of course, Real ID is totally optional. By enabling this, you can set up your Blizzard Entertainment social network, communicate and play games, and best of all, carry your network forward to future Blizzard Entertainment titles.

Is your friend mistakenly playing World of Warcraft instead of Diablo III? No problem! Assail your friend in the new instant-messaging-like interface until he or she switches games in the blink of an eye.

Player-made content, like mods, is supported by new interfaces. Unfortunately, this will not likely carry over to Diablo III, with Blizzard's official statement of non-support for modding in Diablo III.

It appears that achievements will also play a major role with 2.0, hinted at in earlier Blizzard statements even for Diablo III, a great way of getting players to continue playing well after beating the game. Along with the achievements are rewards through As of now, they seem to be something smaller such as profile pictures but they could also be used for other services Diablo fans want, like renaming characters.

There was no official word on microtransactions in the update, however, which will likely vary, or be entirely gone, depending on the game title. You can see an interview with Greg Canessa, Project Director for, and more at the official page here!

Thanks goes to zhuge and shadow123 for some quick PMing skills and eyes, and ScyberDragon for his help nailing this info down!


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