Battle.net is a gaming network run by Blizzard Entertainment. Its current version has basic chat functionality which mimics IRC in some respects. The protocol is partially or completely implemented by many third party chat clients, such as StealthBot.
Battle.net is meant as a staging area for its major games, including: Diablo, WarCraft II: Battle.net Edition, StarCraft, Diablo II, and WarCraft III and their respective expansion packs. For all games except Diablo II, the games actually connect to each other on their own, using Battle.net as a match-making service.
Battle.net supports chatting in public or private channels. Unlike IRC, one Battle.net account can only be in one channel at a time.
Any Battle.net channel exists as soon as a user joins it and stops existing when all users leave. Channel names are not case-sensitive. If a channel exists, the name casing stays the same as what the first user typed.
Public channels are listed by Battle.net in several types:
- Product-specific channels. These channels have names that begin with "StarCraft", "Brood War", "Diablo", "Diablo II", "Lord of Destruction", "WarCraft II", "WarCraft III", and "Frozen Throne". The official clients join channel names formatted "CLIENT XXX-#", where "CLIENT" is the product specific prefix, "XXX" is their three-character country code, and "#" is an available (not full) channel (Example: "Brood War USA-5"). For Diablo II closed characters, the format is "Diablo II REALM-XXX-#" where "REALM" is the realm name.
- Support channels. Joining the channel "Blizzard Tech Support" on the USWest gateway allows you to get support from Blizzard Representatives during business hours (Pacific Standard Time). Joining the channel "Open Tech Support" is meant to allow users to give other users support on any gateway whenever users feel like it.
- Public chat channels. Channels beginning with "Blizzard Chat" or "Public Chat" are meant for public chatting.
- Product-specific themed channels. For each product, there are several channels with names specific to themes of the game (many of these are not highly trafficked).
- WarCraft III channels:
- "Peon Hall" - General WarCraft III strategy
- "Human Castle" - Human strategy
- "Orc Stronghold" - Orc strategy
- "Undead Necropolis" - Undead strategy
- "Night Elf Tree of Life" - Night Elf strategy
- "Dragon Roost" - Tournament strategy?
- StarCraft channels:
- "StarCraft Games", "Brood War Games" - General strategy, help
- "StarCraft Ladder", "Brood War Ladder" - Ladder strategy, help
- "Terran Strategy"
- "Zerg Strategy"
- "Protoss Strategy"
- "Custom Maps" - Map help
- Diablo II channels (these are the only channels restricted to Diablo II players only; where "REALM" still means the ):
- Original (open Battle.net):
- "Barbarian Village"
- "Amazon Camp"
- "Necromancer Crypt"
- "Paladin Temple"
- "Sorceress Tower"
- Expansion (open Battle.net):
- "LoD Barbarian Village"
- "LoD Amazon Camp"
- "LoD Necromancer Crypt"
- "LoD Paladin Temple"
- "LoD Sorceress Tower"
- "LoD Assassin Den"
- "LoD Druid Grove"
- "LoD PvP"
- "LoD Ladder"
- "LoD Hardcore"
- "LoD Trading"
- "LoD Barbarian Village Trading"
- "LoD Amazon Camp Trading"
- "LoD Necromancer Crypt Trading"
- "LoD Paladin Temple Trading"
- "LoD Sorceress Tower Trading"
- "LoD Assassin Den Trading"
- "LoD Druid Grove Trading"
- "LoD PvP Trading"
- "LoD Ladder Trading"
- "LoD Hardcore Trading"
- On a realm, all of those appear as "CHANNEL REALM" where "CHANNEL" is that name, and "REALM" is the name of the realm.
- Original (open Battle.net):
- WarCraft III channels:
- Clan Recruitment channel. The "Clan Recruitment" channel is for users to advertise their clans.
- The Void. "The Void" is where you go when you are removed from a channel.
Joining any channel beginning with a prefix for a product-specific channel or a public chat channel with up to one word after the prefix, is considered public (such as "Diablo X" or "StarCraft anything"). When joining public chat channels or product-specific channels from the list, the client adds a number to the end of the channel name. The first channel ("CHANNEL 1" where "CHANNEL" is the prefix) is joined if some or no people are in the channel. If channel 1 is full, it uses "2" and so on.
Any other channel you join is considered private. Blizzard officially states they will not intervene in private channel affairs, although there are a few circumstances in which they have been known to.
In private channels, channel operators can kick or ban users in order to keep order, or for whatever reason they feel like.
In the past, channel operator was given to the first user to join a private channel. With operator status, you may "designate" a heir. When you leave the channel, the given person will gain operator status. When you return, you will not have operator status, though. People competitively would try to acquire operator control of channels.
Battle.net has changed it so that operator is only given in "Op" channels to the user whose name is featured in the channel name, and in a special manner for Battle.net clans.
There are two special private channel types:
- Op channels. Any channel beginning with "Op" is an Op channel. If your account name is "YOURNAME", then you will acquire ops when joining an Op channel called "Op YOURNAME". Designation rules still apply, except that every time you join "Op YOURNAME", you will re-gain operator status. Op channels can have a maximum of two operators. A WarCraft III product user cannot gain ops by joining "Op YOURNAME" unless they are designated.
- Clan channels. For WarCraft III Battle.net users, a Battle.net clan can be created. When a clan is created, a channel called "Clan TAG" (where "TAG" is their clan tag) is designated for their use. When any clan chieftain or shamans join the clan channel, they automatically gain operator status. Designation rules still apply, except that all shamans and chieftain must leave before the user designated by the last leaving shaman or chieftain will be given operator. Clan channels can have a maximum of seven operators: one chieftain, five shamans, and one designated. Only the designated user can be on a product other than WarCraft III.
In chat, users get the following Battle.net commands beginning with "/":
- "/help" or "/?" - help text
- "/away" - set away status, or return from away
- "/dnd" - set do-not-disturb (ignore all whispers) status, or return from do-not-disturb
- "/channel" or "/join" or "/j" - join a channel
- "/emote" or "/me" - send an emote
- "/friends" or "/f" - do a friend list action
- "/options" or "/o" - view or change chat options (for account)
- "/squelch" or "/ignore" - ignore all messages from a user (by IP address)
- "/unsquelch" or "/unignore" - stop ignoring messages from a user
- "/whisper" or "/w" or "/msg" or "/m" - private whisper a user
- "/who" - view users in a channel
- "/whoami" - view location of self
- "/whois" - view location of other user
- "/ban" - if operator, ban the specified user
- "/beep" - enable BEEP characters (not available anymore)
- "/clan" or "/c" - do a Battle.net clan action
- "/designate" - if operator, designate the specified user
- "/kick" - if operator, kick the specified user
- "/mail" - if receiver allows, send an e-mail message to a user
- "/nobeep" - disable BEEP characters (not available anymore)
- "/rejoin" or "/resign" - if operator, rejoins the channel; if you were designated to gain operator status, you lose it
- "/stats" or "/astat" - view game statistics of user
- "/time" - view current time and Battle.net time
- "/unban" - if operator, lift ban on user
- "/users" - list user count on Battle.net
Blizzard states they do not tolerate bots, but don't stop them in private chat channels where they are not disruptive as auto-moderation or other automation users use them for.