StarCraft II Will Not Be Region-Locked In Australia

Blizzard has announced today that Australian StarCraft II players will not be locked into playing solely on South East Asian servers. Aussies will now have the option to also access the real-time strategy game's North American servers.

That means if you purchase the Australian, New Zealand or South East Asian edition of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, you will have the choice of playing on either South East Asian or North American Battle.net servers.

You will not be locked into choosing one server; you will be able to switch between the servers whenever and how often you like. However, your match stats will be kept separate on each server.

Access to the North American servers will not arrive immediately on July 27. Blizzard is promising the option will become available within 60 days of launch.

The change in server policy is, according to Blizzard, intended to accommodate Australian, New Zealand and South East Asian players who "have social relationships with North American players from previous Blizzard Entertainment titles." Blizzard does not cite potential lag issues as the reason for the change.

Blizzard has supplied us with the below FAQ covering the announcement. Let us know in the comments below if you have any further questions and we'll endeavour to get them answered by Blizzard.

North American Server Access for Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Players FAQ

Q: Who is eligible to play on the North American servers? A: All players, including those in the regions of Hong Kong and Macau, who purchase the English Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand Standard or Collector’s Edition of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will have the option of playing on the North American Battle.net® servers in addition to the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand servers if they prefer.

Q: How much will this cost? A: The option of playing on North American Battle.net servers will come at no additional cost to all players who have purchased the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version of StarCraft II.

Q: How will access to the North American servers be granted? A: Our intention is to ensure that within 60 days after the launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, all players with a copy of the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version will automatically gain the ability to also access the North American servers — this will be handled through Battle.net account management.

Q: How will I know when I can access the North American servers? A: We will have additional information on how and when to access the North American servers on our StarCraft II community site.

Q: What will happen with my Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand Battle.net account? A: Once you get access to the North American Battle.net servers, you will have access to both regions for online play. You can choose which one to play on at any given time, and can switch back and forth at will.

Q: How will my friends list and rankings be handled? A: All account-specific data, including friends lists, rankings, achievements, statistics, titles, and unlockable rewards, will be tracked separately for each region's Battle.net servers, and will not carry over between them.

Q: If I have already purchased the North American version, can I also play on the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand servers? A: No. To have the option to play on both servers, you must purchase the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. This solution is specifically targeted to address gamers in Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand who have social relationships with North American players from previous Blizzard Entertainment titles.

Q: Will I be able to play on any of the other StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty regional servers? A: No. Players who purchase the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand version of StarCraft II will have access to the Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand and the North American Battle.net servers. No other multi-region play will be available at this time.


Comments

    OH YEAH! Phew, one of the things i was worried about

    How pissed is the rest of the world going to be that we get region choice, even if only limited and they don't?

      Ohh yah.
      But it's a nice change from the shafting we often get.

      Yeah i mean choice of picking several seperate servers from other regions that may or may not lag depending on your connection..

      Or a dedicated server in your own region ensuring minimal lag

      Personally i'd go for the latter =P

    Thank you Blizzard. I was hesitant to buy it off the bat before but it looks like I'll be doing so now.

    While it's good that us Aussie's can now play on the American servers, it's still piss poor of activision to lock down the regions in the first place.

    What if I buy a European copy?

      You'll be region-locked to European servers.

        Does this mean it will lag like a mother trucker if I play it in Australia?

          Depends who you play most games should be around 400-500 ping and if your unlucky you'll get a ruskie and have a 800-1000 ping turn based game.

            Assuming the architecture is like that of warcraft 3, ladder games would be played on blizzard's servers (so ping will be the same regardless of where your opponent lives) whereas custom games are p2p.

            Wait what! has the internet gotten slower over the last 12 years or are you still on dial up cause most games i play even on a us or euro server have 200ms lag if not less

        But can I still PLAY the game? Because for whatever reason it isn't working (I bought the EU version from England because I believed it would work and it was around 1/2 the price).

        The only reason I could think would be that since I played an AU trial version, it's synced to that region, therefore it won't work.

        Please reply, because as my name suggests, I AM CLUELESS!

    Pardon my ignorance but what is the reason for the region locking?

      That is a very good question. The most obvious reason would be to prevent lag, but Blizzard have never been particularly clear on why they locked the regions in the first place.

        It almost seems like they're punishing customers who bought overseas versions of the game. Why punish customers?

        Extended Region Access $10 service fee.
        -love Activision.

          and they'll probably charge a bit more for the inevitable "LAN stimulus DLC".

      It helps to enforce regional pricing. That's why if you buy the AU version at AU prices, you can play on US servers, but not if you buy it cheaper from the US.

      That's my theory anyway, because I can't think of any other logical reason for it.

        I expect you're 100% correct there.

    Now all we need is LAN play back and we're set.

    Should stop the Koreans from making mince meat of us.

    I love you too Blizzard!

    A lot of people I know will be stoked to hear this!

    Not me, however. I plan on getting into serious SCII play, and at that level I can't afford to play games with 300ms of ping! I'll stick to playing other Aussies/New Zealanders/SE Asians on our own regional servers thanks!

    lol, so can't play with my friends for up till 60 days after launch? Shove it.

      You have NO friends in Australia who are also getting the game?

      Also, they had no obligation to put this feature in at all, so telling them to shove it because it might take up to 60 days is a bit of a dick move man.

        but they had no right to instigate it in the first place

        if lag is there issue then allow for settings to combat that(like have regions and let players decide which ones to stay out of if it causes them lag or they want people who speak english

          They're making the game, they have every right to do whatever they want with it. It's amazing how many gamers these days think it's their God given right to everything just how they want it.

      Pretty much. :P

      No LAN + no North American play for 2 months + crappy segmented game with only one race per game..

      I can see this one being low on my buy list.

    So I can't important the UK version and play on US servers? Laaaaaame.

    Wow, that really is fantastic news! I was considering downloading the US client, but that would've made it impossible to play with my Aussie friends.

    Now who can honestly say that Blizzard don't look after their fans. Without a doubt they are one of the best gaming companies around, this really is just the cherry on top of the already awesome Blizzard cake :)

    ... wasn't this always the case with the original starcraft? whats so special?

    if you planned on really getting into sc2 play then sticking to the SEA server was never going to help you o_O

    OMG for once we actually get something better then the us or europe.
    i think i came a little

    Am I understanding this correctly?

    When they finally unlock the NA servers to us Aussies, we are going to have to make a new profile from scratch on the NA servers?

    So basically all the unlocks, name reservation, achievements and ladder progression we have worked hard on at launch will be for naught?

    If that is the case, then good game Blizzard. Good game...

      Why is it a big deal? 5 Placement matches and maybe 1-2 days of games will still get you into Diamond League (if you win all of them).

      And they imply that all your trophies, etc will be carried over. It's only your ladder position which is different.

        The did not "imply" this anywhere. In fact, it is the complete opposite:

        " All account-specific data, including friends lists, rankings, achievements, statistics, titles, and unlockable rewards, will be tracked separately for each region’s Battle.net servers, and will not carry over between them."

        It is a big deal because it is 3 months. That is not simply 5 placements matches. That is all unlockable rewards such avatars that require 1000+ games to unlock.

        So basically you either stick with laggy asian servers to start from scratch, 3 months down the track.

        I'm pretty sure Aussies got screwed over again.

          If you're with an ISP like Optus then I feel your pain. If you with Telstra or Internode then the ping is about 30-60 ms better to SEA than the US. Also, none of the unlocks effect that actual gameplay, so it's not a huge deal. And you won't lose the progress. Also, the regions were segregated like this in the previous version of Battle.net anyways.

            The point I am trying to make is that you WILL lose the progress. Everything is bound to that account and is not transferable between server clusters. This includes and is not limited to, achievements, unlocks, single player progress, multiplayer statistics, ladder progress.

            It clearly states this in the Q&A (see the quote in my previous comment). That you will lose all progression should you make a new account on NA servers when they unlock the regions 60 days after launch.

            This is a big deal for those that don't want to play on asian servers.

            Sure it was separated like this in the original Starcraft. But then, total game progression and save files were note exclusively tied to your online battle net account. And Australians were not locked from making accounts on USWest.

    Blizz locked Aussies to SE Asian servers (does not include Korea) for lag purposes. Aussies have been whining since WoW how we have to use North American servers and we get 300-500ms across the Pacific. And because of the small WoW population, it's unfeasible to have purely Aussie servers. This is the next best solution and people are still whining.

    We should be happy the North American servers are opened to us. From what I've seen, they're the least competitive out of Asia, EU and US. Ie even more ladder progression.

      no the problem is the fact that the servers are based in singapore and if you are with optus of other ISP, you will get worse lag connecting to the singapore servers then the american servers because the the hops go to the us then back to singapore.

    Thank you blizzard, i bought this game loving it so far, i have no problem playing on lower latency SEA servers. but i do have a problem with real-id, I also play WoW, this means my friends on WoW cannot talk to me while i play WoW, EU and US versions of the game do not have this issue.

    All in all, thanks blizzard :)

    Why starcraft is sold at $89.95AUD but a lot cheaper overseas (if converted to AUD). I guess thats why this region locking is happening and it is also why aussie can access US server, BECAUSE WE PAID MORE!

    i have a eu version but im now living in australia how do i change it over so i can play??

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