Why I don't care about Starcraft II

Bubble Bobble flyer

Image via Wikipedia

So College Humor has a cute video involving Starcraft II creatures dancing.  By all accounts, I should have gotten into Starcraft.  It fits all my criteria, it takes place in the future, has a compelling story line, it is a PC game, and a strategy game.  Sounds perfect, but while watching the “Zerg Lord of the Dance” video yesterday, I had an epiphany as to why I never got into Starcraft, or RTS games generally.

First, the units are too few. If I am going to wage war, I want massive amounts of soldiers.  This is my rule in life, as it is in video games.

Second, when waging a battle you should be able to utilize the terrain around you. If you are attacking, or defending, you would use hills or buildings differently. I never saw this in any Starcraft videos, yet in any strategy game back to the hex-based days, you know that when you are defending you want to be on higher terrain so your artillery/archers/space marines/whatever have better line of sight.

As far as strategy games go, Starcraft just isn’t that great any more. It was great, back before computers were able to handle the complex task of thousands of units and a 3D battlefield, but looking at it now, Starcraft 2 looks like Bubble Bobble compared to a real-time tactical game like Total War.  For those unfamiliar with Starcraft, it is about efficient use of resources more than the tactical use of troops. In rock-paper-scissors-Starcraft, if your enemy comes at you with rocks (siege tanks) you want to counter with masses of paper (zerglings).   Real Time Strategy games are to Real Time Tactical games what Skate or Die is to Tony Hawk – an abstraction, for processor’s sake.

Despite its faults, at least Blizzard will make sure Starcraft II is done before they release it, unlike the last Total War game.

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4 Comments on “Why I don't care about Starcraft II”

  1. wait, seriously? you’ve never seen terrian used in starcraft 2 videos?

    Like putting siege tanks up on hills?
    Or using hills to escape with the units that can jump up walls?

    Putting up a wall of buildings, and having ranged units behind them.

    And not enough units? how so? One protoss collosus can kill 20 marines on it’s own, but it can’t fight off 3 tanks. 3 tanks costing a lot less.

    It hits muliple units with a large beam that moves left to right. making it useless to use on large units but great on small units.

    or the protoss anti armor unit, immortal. it can only take tops 10 damage. And it does 30m damage a shot, +30 to armored units.

    meaning it can kill about 5 tanks on it’s own. but it can’t handle 10 marines.

    10 marines cost 500 minerals
    5 tanks cost over 750 minerals plus 250 gas.

    the imortal cost 200 minerals or so, and 50 gas I want to say.

    The whole game is based around scouting and building units that counter thier army.

    Almost every unit in the game does double damage to one kind of unit.

    Build order is most likely the least important part of starcraft 2.

    each race has over 14 units to build.

    you can build up to 200 units.

    units pass over terrain differently.

    it’s just funny how all of your complaints are exactly what star crafts strengths are.

    • Fruzsina Eordogh says:

      First off, comparing a real-time-strategy game and a real-time-tactical game is like comparing apples and oranges.

      I don’t like the battle game play in RTSs. There is no “real” micro-managment.

      You can’t get a unit to sneak in the woods, and flank an enemy, can you? It’s a completely different way of playing at “warfare” and frankly, the RTS way of fighting with infantry and vehicles is a dumbed down version of how it would really be. Where are the veterans? When do troops route? Can you get troops to unroute by having your commander pull up beside them and play his trumpet? Would fleeing troops get slowed down because they had to jump over a fence in Starcraft? Let say if I was to invade Turkish territory, or Arabic territory… in an RTT you recruit mercenaries if you are wealthy enough, which means you can use your previous enemies troops. Is there any of this in Starcraft?

      Each battle in on different terrain. You have bridges, hills, forests, mountains, plains, etc.

      As for build order? What about the people that learn long lines of binds and just do that in a game. How is that strategy? How would any real war, waged on real terrain, ever be like that?

      If I were Ender in Ender’s Game and I needed to learn how to be a good general and command troops, I would NOT play an RTS.

  2. also in total war you can only bring tops 20-25 units to a battle.

    just because graphically it shows up as 100s doesn’t mean anything. it’s just art fluff.

    I mean I love the new king arthur RS game, but each group of 40 archers, is only 1 single unit. And I don’t like the seperation of battles with map. I want a total war game where the huge battles happen on the same screen as the world map. that would be awesome.

    right now it’s just a simple 20 on 20 match they make look like 1000s of little guys fighting.

    • Fruzsina Eordogh says:

      Apologies for the late response, when this post got moved to the second page I admittedly forgot about this comment. : /

      Each unit is an individual…. When a single unit of say, an archer gets separated from the rest of his unit, he will whip out his dagger and fight while the rest of his unit runs away. One member of a unit can route, while the others are fine. Different individuals pick up veteran stats. (Archers in the first line of fire, if they kill more, than archers in the second row).

      As for the battle map, the battle map is just a more zoomed in version of the world map. When troops attack from one direction, on the zoomed in map they show up in the same direction.

      It’s just that in RTT games the map is so much bigger (as it spans continents), you need to be able to zoom out to the extent that the game does. If not, then you’ll just be scrolling west or north, or east for minutes at a time to get between cities, forts and watch towers.

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