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BlizzCon 2009: Battle.net 2.0 features revealed [Update]

It's been a long time in coming but today at BlizzCon 2009, Blizzard finally revealed more about the new features of their upcoming update to their Battle.net multiplayer matchmaking service. Blizzard feels there are still some good features in the current Battle.net including great matchmaking a large mod community and more. However, Blizzard feels that the chat system is disorganized, new players get killed too easily, and it was hard to find a custom game.

For the next version of Battle.net, which will launch around the same time as StarCraft II, the service will also allow friends to connect more easily and get news, info and more about the StarCraft II community.

Even while you are playing StarCraft II, you have access to your friends list. You can keep track of your stats and achievements and let your friends know how well you are doing in the game. Unlocking new achievements will also unlock things you can use like new avatars, decals and more.

Check out more info after the jump. Update: We have added some Battle.net 2.0 screenshots for you to enjoy

In online play Battle.net will allow players to play on either their home or work PCs without having to transfer files by signing onto one account. Blizzard plans to launch several competition leagues for StarCraft II, each with their own level of play. (they have names like practice, copper, bronze, silver ,gold, platinum and at the top the Pro League). Within your league you are ranked against 100 other gamers on your same skill level.Blizzard plans for end of season tournaments for these leagues. The practice league slows down the gameplay a tad to

Blizzard want to keep its players informed on all their games, not just StarCraft II and bring the Blizzard community together; online, offline and across all their games. Chat is more designed as a Internet Messenger style system. Blizzard also announced Battle.net Real ID which will allow people to chat across all of Blizzard games and show their achievements across games as well. Also your friend network will stick around for future Blizzard games. Parental controls will be put in place, and you can choose what info to give to your friends. While it will launch with StarCraft II, Blizzard plans to add support for Battle.net 2.0 to World of Warcraft as well.

The final announcement in the panel was for the custom map community. Thanks in part to the success of Warcraft III's mod Defense of tne Ancients, Blizzard wants to make sure the StarCraft II mod community is supported. You can download new maps without having to join a game under the new system and the map editor is more powerful than in Warcraft III.

After the launch of StarCraft II sometime in 2010, Blizzard is thinking about launching a StarCraft II marketplace where maps can be searched for, rated and the ability to download both free and paid maps. People who create maps designed to be bought by players will get a portion of the revenues. Blizzard feels it will add more to the longevity of the game.

Big Download's BlizzCon 2009 coverage is sponsored by:

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