Blizzard’s Battle.Net Beta Platform – First Impressions

Blizzard recently released their Battle.Net Platform into open beta. You can grab it from their blog here.

battlenet

I’ve taken a preliminary look at it and the things I like about it:

  • When losing connection, I am not kicked out. I can still browse around and I just get a little notification on the bottom to reconnect which pops up the login screen again.
  • Animations. They make the product feel alive and not stagnant. I think this is pretty key. When I click “Settings” it pops up a window with a little extra animation. Navigating between games has the content slide in. Little things like that.
  • Integrated patching.
  • Ability to add games (only Blizzard games).
  • Progressive download.
  • Purchasing products pops open an overlay that lives on top of the client so that whatever you were doing is not interrupted and you’re not taken away from the page.

Here are a list of issues though that I feel hold back the product:

  • Not built on a responsive framework. However, resizing it so that the content doesn’t all fit in the view produces a left and right arrow, on hover, for navigation.
  • Extremely slow. Any pages that have to live outside of the client takes a VERY long time to pull up the User’s default web browser.
  • No support for Blizzard games that are not WoW, DIII or SCII, it seems. For example, I can’t add Original SC or Warcraft III or expansions.
  • Cannot comment on News items directly from client. Requires the User to launch a web page.
  • No integrated chat. I think this is key for creating a rich social experience.

Overall, I really like the UI, and I think it helps to tie the pieces of Blizzard’s products together. I really want to see chat in the platform and a way to see items in your marketplace, but other than that, this is a great first go for their beta.

Download it and let me know what you think!

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