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Salon.com: Battle.net Goes to War

Apr 19, 2002, 19:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Howard Wen)

"Build a better mouse trap, catch more mice. Build a better online gaming server, get yourself sued. That is what's happening to the developers of bnetd, a software program for Web servers that duplicates the functionality of Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment's hugely popular online gaming service.

"Ross Combs and Rob Crittenden, two of the lead developers on bnetd, say all they ever wanted to do was create a place to play best-selling Blizzard games like Starcraft and Diablo in a friendly online atmosphere free of the technical bugs that plague Battle.net.

"Anyone who has ventured on to Battle.net to wage war against aliens or to hack and slash through dungeons is likely to appreciate the sentiment. Battle.net's popularity has been one of its great drawbacks. Frequent crashes and slow response times due to a huge crush of players -- especially right after the release of a new game -- can often make Battle.net an unpleasant experience. The technical problems are exacerbated by social malfunctions: the malicious killing of some gamers by other players and the proliferation of hacks that give some players unfair advantages..."

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