BNETDocs
Battle.net History Timeline

Future placeholder document for the page at: https://davnit.net/islanti/timeline.html

Leave a comment for suggestions and an editor will review.

A Brief History of Battle.net [version 1.00]

GREETBOT README.TXT
This is the source for a sample Battle.net bot which uses the experimental
text mode gateway. This new gateway to Battle.net is designed to allow
web servers, bots, and other automata to access Battle.net without
using a game client such as StarCraft.

NOTE: IF THIS EXPERIMENTAL GATEWAY IS ABUSED, IT WILL BE REMOVED!

The bot, called GreetBot, is extremely rudimentary. It does nothing but
hang out in a channel and greet people by name as they enter. It's based
on a "Bot Framework" class, BnBot, which is similar in concept to the MFC
classes generated by VC++'s App Wizard. The BnBot class contains the basic
functionality to connect to Battle.net, reconnect if its connection is lost,
join a "home" channel, and dispatch events such as users joining or leaving
the current channel. To create your own bot, you can derive a new class from
the BnBot base class, and override the event handlers that you need.

The code was developed using Visual C++ v5.0; the Dev Studio project file
is included. It should compile with other compilers, including UNIX, with
only minimal changes.

This code is provided as-is with no express or implied warranties of any kind.
Have fun with it, but don't even dream of bugging us for support. ;-)

1998

On March 1998, the experimental text mode gateway, along with GreetBot (by Scott Coleman, co-creator of Kali) were launched. This gave rise to many Battle.net bots and kick-started the bot development community. Anonymous logins were allowed at this time.

Adron reverses Diablo version check and logon sequence, creates NBBot (New Battle.net Bot). Adron shares the application/source with a Blizzard employee. It is accidently left on the Blizzard public FTP listing, where it was originally leaked. This further complicates the issue of channel warring and hacking on Battle.net.

According to Adron, this NBBOT was created to answer the need for a chat interface for people who wanted to converse in languages requiring the use of high ASCII characters. Blizzard was unwilling or unresponsible to their needs, so Adron and [RIP] accepted the challenge.

1999

On June 1999, Robocop (creator of Winters Bot) launches the original Battle.net bot development forum, hosted by Gamers.com message boards, which attracts many of the well-known bot authors and programmers.

In order to aid the development of better and more useful Battle.net bots, I have created a message board for discussion of bot development issues. All current and aspiring bot authors and users are encouraged to post opinions, hints, tips, feature requests, source code, etc. My hope is that the forum will be of some value to the bot authoring community. Kp629 publishes Bot FAQs, which covers the text protocol, product/flags, channel descriptions, and common questions.

October 1999, Stryfe launches Bots "R" Us, which began as a host for Battle.net bots, which later served as an aggregate resource of bot development material, including Bot FAQs, maintained by :MAD:MAX: and Spht.

Valhalla Legends was founded in December when Grok (formerly WoLF`GRoK~{RC}), Raven, and Wizzbert decided on the name "Valhalla Legends", the tag ^vL^, and the Battle.net channel "Asgård". Several well-known and unknown programmers and hackers make up the initial members.

Valhalla Legends is a Battle.Net clan created to honor individuals who have achieved beyond the ordinary Battle.Netizen. Those receiving the honor have demonstrated to the vL leadership the required qualities. [...] Valhalla Legends is for people on Battle.Net who are exceptional for one reason or another, as judged and determined entrirely by the leadership of vL.

2000

Jan-06 - "Clan" channels are introduced.

Valhalla Legends moves to Clan [vL] and is now lead by Adron (formerly WoLF`Adron[RIP]), Grok, and Skywing.

Due to the concentration of technical skills amongst [vL] members, everybody was invited to participate in the Diablo II beta in May.

With pressure from Blizzard Entertainment lawyers, Gamers.com shuts down the bot development and vL boards. Grok installs forums on Valhalla Legends servers, hosting the bot development board and the new "BotDev" website.

2001

2001 June - Chat gateway is restricted to public channels (when was it disabled entirely?)

There's a ton of stuff that could be talked about here. I hardly know where to begin...

2002

Feb 25 2002

Blizzard patched their chat servers today in an effort to further limit the ability of people to channel war. With the exception of clan channels, private channels no longer give operator status to a regular user. While the gaming world cheered the move, the channel warring folks felt they were wronged. In retaliation, they loaded over 1300 of their bots into Blizzard Tech Support channel on USWest. Blizzard just grinned and banned the CD-Keys of all those bots, thanking the owners for bringing them all to one channel to make the CD-KEY banning simpler.

March 7 - Single-character usernames are no longer permitted and all existing accounts were disabled. The abusers were taking advantage of the problem to force themselves upon clan channels where they could not be easily banned, if at all.

June 5 - Battle.net binary friends list is enabled.

July 21 - Winner[vL], which had no stats on June 11, reaches 1 million Brood War wins.

Production of BNLS (Battle.net Logon Server) begins with support for Warcraft III beta, in April. EternalChat launches as the first bot to support BNLS and Warcraft III logon (besides BinaryChat).

Skywing's WebChannel ISAPI is launched in October, along with Spht's WebBot.

2003

June 2003

With the introduction of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, Battle.net chat channels with the prefix "Clan" are reserved for Warcraft III clans. Users of the "classic" clan channels (supported by Diablo II and Starcraft) can get the old functionality of clan channels by using "/join op " instead of "/join clan ".

December - After several successful attempts to gain access to Blizzard accounts, a new namespace is introduced specifically for employees.

On January 26, as a much needed replacement to the old BotDev website, Arta's BNETDocs is launched, taking collaborated efforts from the old site and forums to create a nicely organized and comprehensive guide to Battle.net and it's various protocols

2004 and onwards...

todo: lots of details to be filled in. more dates for significant events. maybe some screen shots. lockdown, warden, etc.

Present day

The Valhalla Legends website and bot development forum have been offline for several years. However, BNETDocs is still live and is now hosted and maintained by Jailout2000. Some new and old community members can be found on the official Discord channel.

References

[vL] - Valhalla Legends (Adron, Arta, Grok, Kp, Skywing, Spht, Yoni [will expand this list as the timeline expands])

Adron - Creator of NBBot.

Arta - Creator of BNETDocs and TestBNCS.

BNLS (Battle.net Logon Server) - Created by Skywing and co-developed by Yoni.

FSGS (Free Standard Game Server) - Originally part of the BNETD project (formerly called Starhack).

Kp629 - Creator of FSGS. Author of the original Bot FAQs. Co-developer of the BotNet server.

Robocop - Creator of Winters Bot. Started the original bot development forum.

Skywing - Creator of BNLS, BinaryChat, BotNet, SCEnhancements, WebChannel ISAPI, ZeroBot, and more...

Spht - Creator of ClanGnome, EternalChat, SphtBot, and WebBot.

Other interesting reads: Inside Blizzard: Battle.net and An Objective Analysis of the Lockdown Protection System for Battle.net.

| Edited: Caaaaarrrrlll
Comments
Sixen

Just adding events with dates, more details can be added.

?/?/????: Shareware users can no longer join channels that are not public or client-specific. Sometime in 2005: Telnet usage is restricted. 2/25/2010: Battle.net 2.0 unofficially goes public, prior to the SC2 release. 2/5/2017: Accounts with previously illegal characters can now be created. Sometime around November 2017: Gateway denotation changed from "@" to "#"

Caaaaarrrrlll

init6 probably deserves a mention. https://github.com/fjaros/init6

Caaaaarrrrlll

Chat gateway protocol was disabled in 2005.