Sunday, August 30, 2009

Starcraft II Impressions

Now I suck at Starcraft Brood War and have never got to play Starcraft II in its current form, so I’ll abstain from discussing balance issues or any other issue that I think you will have to play the game in order to get a true feel for.

What I will do is write something about the features that I am really looking forward to, and those that have me concerned. I’ll also comment on some of the debate raging on teamliquid and iccup. Not that any of the gosus there care one iota about my take on the whole thing.


sc2impSingle Player: I’ll probably play it a bit, but I am not extremely enthusiastic about it. It looks insanely cool, like what you’d expect from Blizzard. I’m not sure what is up with all those achievements, but apparently people like them, so I guess that they won’t hurt.

Racial distinctions: In Brood War each of the three races have their one distinct feel and signature units and strategies. While I don’t mind the individual units being changed, I feel that Starcraft II should stick to what made the races of the first game so different.

For Terran the distinct feel was centered on the ability to hold positions and fight positional battles. Some may think that made Terran vs. Terran games boring, but I think they have a beauty all of its own. The Siege Tank/Vulture/Turrets everywhere combination is what defined Terrans.

Zerg is in Brood War defined by speed. Both how fast their units are and how fast they can switch technology. Mutalisks, Zerglings and their relative flat and independent technology tree is key here.

Protoss are high tech harrasment, the clear choices between three advanced technology branches: Robotics Facilty to Reavers/Observers, Citadel to Dark Templars/Templars og Stargate to Cosairs/Carriers. What ever you chose first in bw, defined your Protoss mid-game.

For Starcraft II Protoss seems to be pretty close to its original vision. The reaver has been replaced by the awsome looking Collosus, but other than that it is fine. Zerg seems to be completely messed up right now, but as Blizzards seems to acknowledge that, I guess we have to wait and see. Terrans on the other hand have lost their Siege Tank and become a mobile race. I really, really don’t like that. My only reason to be optimistic is that there are so many positive reports from people who have played the game. 2.0: I’m in love with everything I know about this beast.

There will be no LAN. I don’t care ‘cause I have internet, and I find it reasonable that Blizzards wants to limit piracy.

The “ReadID” has caused a lot of grief on various forums and I think that is bullshit. So now you are only allowed one master account for each copy of the game you own and you can no longer reset your hidden “real level”. Yeah, I realize that 1337 players can no longer create smurf accounts to sandbag n00bs and it is great! Not only is it great for me personally, but those accomplished players ought to realize that it is great for eSport as well. The community really should seek out new players and help them along in order to widen the community and eSport and not beat them up in order to scare them away.

There have been some real concerns about naming, clan-tags and privacy. I think it is retarded to think that all those concerns will never be addressed.

When it comes to the new bracket/leagues and automated matchmaking I am cautiously optimistic. I think everything described sounds great (video), but is a bit nervous as well ‘cause I don’t think the Warcraft III is the best track record. In my opinion the Warcraft III ladder and automated matchmaking is deeply broken.

Starcraft 2 as a Spectator Sport: I love the new overlays, but am deeply concerned about have the new beautiful graphics will make it harder to see what is going on. Especially in 2v2 games like this one from Blizzcon 2009 (part 2). I know that it probably will be easier to differentiate in game (although in Warcraft III it was already very difficult), but most spectators will watch those games on Youtube and it will probably take 5 years for Youtube to catch up with regard to video quality.

Time: I played Warcraft II on Kali and Vanilla Starcraft a ton when it came out. I’m not getting younger and I have less and less time to play. This is annoying and I personally want Blizzard to release the damn game before I retire and die. So please get on it!


  1. I agree with you on most points, especially the RealID part. I think automatic matchmaking is probably better than a complete lack of it, though. In SC, for example, you get stomped by most everybody online until you get better, not exactly good for morale. WC3 was at least a little better.

    I think you'll find it easier to see what's going on once you've gotten used to the 3-D-ness. I had trouble seeing stuff happen in WC3 until I got used to it.

    As for time, it's Blizzard. It'll be done when it's done. :)

    What's your APM? You've never listed it here to my knowledge.

  2. Sure, their suggested ladder mechanics and automated matchmaking _will_ be better than what we currently have on No doubt. I'm just concerned that it will not eliminate the griefing currently going on.

    Wrt. 3d-ness: I still have trouble seeing what is going on in War3 and I have played the game a lot ;-)