As we mentioned in a previous post, StarCraft 2 : Wings of Liberty is one of the most anticipated PC games of this year. According to various reviews floating around the net and from my own experience after playing the game for several hours, it looks like Blizzard had delivered yet another great Real Time Strategy (RTS) title. No matter how great the game was, it did not escape the eyes of pirates – SC2 was leaked on scene topsites and various file sharing sites on the street date itself (the game did ship with anti piracy measures including online activation and authentication over Battle.Net). Single player campaign was working on most cracked versions of the game but offline skirmish mode was broken in all of the early releases. Now, several days later, one of the oldest groups in the gaming scene have stepped up to release a SC2 version that has the single player component including skirmish fully working.
So far, many different leaked versions of SC2 have made their way onto file sharing networks across the world. Initially, a CloneDVD leaked on a well known pirate tracker – this was an untouched image of the original game and did not include any modified files. CloneDVD was probably the source for cracked releases that appeared next –first of which pre’d by group LIBERTY and then another by RELOADED. LIBERTY’s version did not actually circumvent the copy protection in the game. It appeared to use a built in function in the Starcraft 2 patching framework to launch the game, bypassing the authentication screen. This however lead to some issues and in some cases broke the game. RELOADED’s release on the other hand was better. It had the SP campaign working but still, skirmish play was broken. A method to unlock & enable skirmish mode on RELOADED release was posted on a leading warez forum but this included renaming game files and modifying registry entries.
Pirates however did not have to worry about skirmish issues for long – yesterday Razor1911 pre’d yet another version of SC2 which according to the group had skirmish fully working. Quoted below are PROPER notes from NFO:
StarCraft.II.Wings.of.Liberty-RELOADED left single-player 'skirmish' mode completely uncracked and had some wholly uncalled-for patching to the original game files (much like the web 'crack' having been around for some time) thereby modifying in-game menus. We felt this game deserves a proper release, so here's ours which:
- enables you to play all single-player missions including AI ('skirmish') ones
- does NOT alter ANY of the original game files
- will (most likely) work for future game updates
- lets you use your legally bought game key at any time
- contains a nifty 'keytro' (keygen/cracktro mix) for your enjoyment.
The release seemingly works but some people are apparently having problems with the keytro. Due to the method it uses for patching game data, lots of anti virus software are detecting it as a virus (false positive if you got the file from a reliable source). If it keeps crashing you may have to run it in a sandboxed environment such as by using Sandboxie software. Some folks also seem to get the error message “Offline Play Authorization Required – To enable offline play connect to Battle.net …..” when trying to launch a game after patching.
On a side note, no crack out there will allow you to play online multiplayer over Battle.net. It requires an original StarCraft 2 key and you’ll have to buy the game to get one. Speaking of buying, this game is well worth the money – there’s tons of stuff to do in the purchased version (achievements, unlockables, multiplayer features) and if you are an RTS fan, we recommend buying the game over pirating it any day.
P.S. - You may download the StarCraft 2 cracktro from Razor1911 Demo Division homepage located at http://www.razor1911.com/demo
Note: This does not include any cracked/modified StarCraft 2 executable files (and it’s not the keytro). It’s just an animation which introduces the release which in scene language is called a cracktro.