StarCraft II is not region-locked in Australia/NZ

Despite rumours, StarCraft II will not be region-locked in Australia / New Zealand / Southeast Asia. Oh, Blizzard, you do know how to keep ’em happy.

The news comes just days before the launch of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (July 27th, for those playing at home), and I’m surprised you haven’t heard the cheers from your place.
[img_big]center,2,2010-05-29/ss12-hires.jpg,Mmm, pretty![/img_big]

They explain that while they encourage gamers to play on the local servers (for lower latency, more action during peak hours, that sort of thing), they understand that many players have “longstanding friendships and rivalries” with North American players and they might actually want to play with/against them. So – rather than making their decisions for them, Blizzard are giving gamers the choice: pick a server, any server… as long as it’s based in either North America or Southeast Asia, and as long as it’s a little while after launch.

A new FAQ has been released, creatively titled “North American Server Access for Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zealand StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Players FAQ” – and it pretty neatly debunks most of what we’d heard about cross-server play a few months ago.

The FAQ explains that everyone who purchases the English Southeast Asia / Australia / New Zealand version of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (Standard or Collector’s Edition) will have the option of playing on either the Southeast Asia / Australia / New Zealand Battle.net servers or the North American ones, depending on personal game-by-game preference. The feature will not be available at launch, but will kick in within a couple of months.

Wanna read the whole thing? Here you go!

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

StarCraft - Concept art for Sarah Kerrigan

Sarah Kerrigan concept art

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.

[img_big]center,2,2010-05-29/ss6-hires.jpg,Me wantee![/img_big]

…only a few days to go now – why not spend the time brushing up on your StarCraft lingo? In the Vernacular presents the first part of a series designed to help you learn the language of StarCraft. With just a quick read, you’ll be chatting with the best of them, even if you’ve never constructed a pylon.

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