Lured by the promise of potential Starcraft II beta keys, I went ahead and created a new Battle.Net account.
And I discovered something interesting that I hadn’t seen people mention much. You can add Starcraft, Diablo II, and Warcraft III to your account just by typing in your (valid) CD key for each product.
At which point Blizzard will store the key and allow you to download and install the games onto any computer.
Which means that, for the first time since its release ten years ago, you can finally play Starcraft without needing a disc in the drive. Same thing for Diablo II. (To Blizzard’s credit, they did remove the CD check from Warcraft III a few updates back.) Indeed, you don’t need the discs OR the cd keys ever again, as long as you’ve got an internet connection.
This is progress of the highest order. The only thing lacking is the ability to buy the games online (Blizzard will still ship you a physical box if you order a game from them). Once that happens, Battle.Net will effectively be Blizzard’s version of Steam or Impulse.
Of course, you can’t add Diablo I or Warcraft I or II…which is kind of disappointing. Maybe that’ll get fixed later. Maybe Blizzard could offer those games as freebies to people who have purchased enough Blizzard products (which, goshwow, I think I have.)
This is really cool! Let’s hope they will actually roll out their older games, especially Diablo 1.
Went to register all my games just for the helluvit and – wouldn’t you know it? – I lost my Warcraft 3 CD :(.
Oh, by the bye, the Battle.net store does offer some digitally distributed games. I know because I checked to get my Warcraft 3 back. So now the only thing that sets Battle.net apart from Steam is that Steam actually has reasonable prices, where Battle.net wants me to shell out 20 bucks for a digital copy of a 7 year old game.
Oh, and all the nifty Steam features like the steam community and such.
But seriously, 20 bucks for Frozen Throne… What is the world coming to?
Steam has reasonable prices? In what part of the world?
Let’s take an obvious pick – orange box. They made it, they sell it. In steam, 29,99 eur. If I order it online from play.com, 19,49 eur.
Some time back the prices were all in dollars, but there was a sales tax on top of that if you bought from europe. Back then the prices were tolerable. Then they did a currency conversion of 1=1, after which the only sane prices have been the weekend deals.
Well I guess I didn’t know about the different prices in different parts of the world thing, but for instance: When I bought Orange Box on pre-order it had (I think) a 20% off deal for $40 which was beautiful. When I bought L4D about 3 weeks out from release it had an I-don’t-even-know-the-%-off deal and I paid $37 for it, equally beautiful. I got UT3 for a measley 20 smackers when it wasn’t too old yet. And, of course, I have to mention Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines which I picked up for $20 a couple years ago on a special Halloween deal and it turned out to be the best RPG I’ve ever played.
So yeah, Steam definitely has the deals. In the USA at least, you can fairly reliably find brand spanking new games at 10% off. Battlenet, on the other hand, wants me to pay 20 clams for a 7 year old game that I was never really in love with. If you ask me a game that old is better suited for the $5-$10 range.
But then I am just bitter that I lost my old disc. Now I am going to go back to playing Wolfenstein 3D which I picked up for 5 bucks on Steam.
Oh, by the bye: They just had a $10 weekend for Orange Box. TEN DOLLARS for Episode 1 (meh), Episode 2 (slightly less meh), Portal (neat), and TF2 (wowwy).