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Gaming StarCraft 2 Beta First Impressions

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 9 Mar 2010.

  1. oMonarca

    oMonarca Elitist Brick

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    AFAIK, the beta isn't covering that, but general game balance. The noob welcoming features, like special challenges (win by rushing, win by bunker creep, get expansion up under 4 minutes, etc), don't need to go through public beta testing.

    However, you can play in "Novice" maps anytime, where there's barriers that seriously delay a rush, and allow you to understand the tech trees and unit abilities better.

    I think Blizzard should made perfectly clear that what's being tested is the end-game, the stuff that will keep SC2 alive for many years: balance. And of course, system stability.

    I agree with who said that the author isn't a serious RTS gamer. While you don't have to play SC1 to give an opinion about SC2, I think having played some sort of RTS consistently and competitively is mandatory. No, having finished SP campaigns doesn't count, neither does a "few games with my buddies". Or if that's all that you did, then you're only equipped to give an opinion about those aspects.

    I'm in the beta, and I've felt underwhelmed with SC2, especially after having played so much DoW2 online. (HUD, 1/3 of the screen, rly needed?). But I've given it a serious try, and while I keep getting my ass handed back to me in tiny pieces, I'm discovering a whole new game. Once you get past the sameyness, you understand why so much has changed and remained the same - because it has so much depth already.
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2010
  2. pendragon

    pendragon I pickle they

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    you sir, win at the internet! :D
     
  3. Skiddywinks

    Skiddywinks Member

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    Honestly, I think the reason there is no tutorial is that there really is no need of one. You start off with one type of unit, and a building. Clicking the building shows it does nothing except build new units (at least not yet), so what else is going to do it? The unit collecting crystals? Boy, those sure do look important. Honestly, I don't see how anyone could spend more than a minute figuring out how you do things. Doing them fast or well is a different matter, but tutorials are never exactly that in-depth anyway.

    I never played SC competitively, and I managed fine. Granted, I had a bit of an advantage at least knowing how building things worked, but anyone who has played any strategy game is going to have a rough idea, and anyone that has played a traditional RTS is going to know exactly what to do. I mean, the thought that you would sit there with no idea is a little bizarre to me.

    The rest of it comes from trial and error, getting your ass kicked, and experimenting, which is what any good game should encompass. All of this falling under the general heading of "practice". I appreciate that this is a first impression, so it makes me wonder how many games you have actually played of it? Did you finish the placement matches? I find it hard to believe that you could get further than that and still come away with such silly mistakes. Likewise, I can't imagine you to have played much if you think all the units are cosmetically the same.

    Frankly, I don't want to sound like I am having a go, because genuinely I do agree with your reviews, and I love your blogs, but there is really little "misunderstanding" over what you have written, and it is more the fact what you have written is often incorrect. Now, I can appreciate you may not have spent a lot of time on the game, but you should still at least check the validity of some of your statements if you are unsure yourself. I don't know how you could come to think the view is so close to the units, it boggles the mind. Did you try the mousewheel? Did you check the controls? I would really like to know what happened there!

    Finally, I don't know what exactly you mean by standing by what you have written, when the biggest issue people have is that what you have written is largely incorrect.

    P.S.
    <3 RPGs.
     
  4. Hardware150

    Hardware150 Member

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    And so you should stand by what you wrote. As you have said many many times, this is not a review, this was your article, and you wrote your honest opinions of the BETA of the game, and even watched while others played to see what they thought of the game. Unlike what all the blizzard/starcraft 1 lovers are saying, i think this is a well researched, well thought out article. This is an advanced preview, not a review, and even if it was a review, you shouldn't have to go into detail about every single unit in the game, and you shouldn't have to be able to be an UBER L33T starcraft player in order to be able to write about starcraft. Nostalgia strikes again, its a game, not your religion (althought for some im sure its aproaching that level of fanatisism.)


    Ive played starcraft, my most recent game was probably only a couple of months ago, im not an amazing player who owns everyone with his mighty army of space aliens, but at the same time im not a noob and ive won a few online games in my time. It shouldn't matter either way though wether ive played or not, this level of flaming just because someone didn't write glowing praise of a game you like (in a lot of cases, i bet, without even playing the beta of starcraft 2 for yourself) in an advanced preview, go back to the blizzard forums and nuzzle on every little peice of information about the game that blizzard sends to you like its peices of your soul, and let people write what they want.

    The preview wasn't overly negative, he expressed both good points and bad points, the game is about micro, and yes, when he learns more (if he ever wants to play again after all this abuse) he might enjoy the game more, but for the first time player it is a steep learning curve, and you can't just learn the perfect build order and how to get your econemy running quickly from a tutorial, it takes practice (which i think he was trying to get across too, from a first time players prospective, this doesn't make the game fun). Yes if you have two evenly matched players, then scouting and tactics do come into it, but if your economy is better than your opponents within the first 2 mins of the game, you've probably won.

    Stop with the critisism, if you don't like it go and write your own preview, if i was joe i wouldn't be so diplomatic, id either have just ignored your whining, or would have banhammered the lot of you.

    p.s. supcom and CoH pwns you nubs
     
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  5. DarkLord7854

    DarkLord7854 New Member

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    I just want the new Map Editor which can let you build RPG, RTS, and/or FPS maps. Plus you can create your own custom units with it.. it's going to be epic.

     
  6. knyghtryda

    knyghtryda New Member

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    wow... some of the hardcore SC fans here really do have their heads up their asses. I actually really like this article because it gives a perspective from someone who DIDN'T play SC back in the day. Yes... amazingly enough, those people exist, and more and more of them are joining the gaming ranks. Its a sad but true state that those of us who grew up with Red Alert/Starcraft/Total Annihilation are now hitting the upper middle age of gaming years (mid/late 20s...) and have developed those nice rose colored glasses of our gaming youth. Looking at starcraft from an outside perspective and yeah... it is a very basic RTS that forces players to manually do some pretty menial tasks. But think of it as driving a manual transmission car. It may be annoying to have to manage your harvesters AND your economy AND your units AND issue every single special attack, but that just means a good player, just like a good driver, is gonna be able to pull off some pretty amazing stuff that you just couldn't do had you had everything set to "automatic" (watch some pro SC games to see what this looks like... its pretty amazing stuff). Blizzard is making this game because they know they have an established base of people :):cough:: South Korea...) who will buy it, and any new people they can attract to this decidedly old school game is a bonus. So to wrap up this comment... buy it if you want a challenge and/or some much needed nostalgia, but be prepared for the absolute deepest end of the pool when you get it. I for one am looking forward to diving in again.
     
  7. Skiddywinks

    Skiddywinks Member

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    Honest opinions of a game he doesn't like is fine. In fact, I would be on Joe's side when it comes to someone giving him **** for simply not liking the game.

    Annnnd here is where you are wrong. It is not well researched. Just look at all the incorrect statements. And for the people that are interested in SC2, this preview tellsthem nothing. Especially those who played the first. Ok, so you get rushed, and the game uses the same resource and building mechanics as the first. Great preview.

    That's one hell of a straw man you made there. No one wants to know about every single units, and no one cares if Joe sucks (apologies for the bluntness) at a genre he isn't a fan of. And likewise, it has nothing to do with nostalgia. The preview did nothing that a preview should do. It mainly consisted of the "I don't like traditional RTS's", and while that is a fair opinion, it isn't really helpful for a preview.

    The reason people think only someone who has played the first should be doing this preview is because he or she would know what the people reading it (or at least most of them) want to know. Likewise, being an RTS player, they would be able to get a better hold of the game, how it plays, what's new, what's the same etc. Even if the previewer hated SC2 thus far, it wouldn't matter. I don't read preview (nor reviews for that matter) to hear the person's opinion; I read them to better understand changes to games I enjoy and to spot glaring problems before I buy a full game. Unfortunately for Joe, he was really not the best person to preview this. Might as well get me playing Street Fighter or something. I'm not going to be able to pick up on the nuances of the game, I don't know what fans of SF care about, mainly because I am not one.


    This whole paragraph is a waste. You know why? Because no one cares if Joe doesn't like SC2. People care about SC2 and what's new etc. Instead, we learn nothing, hear Joe's opinions on old school RTS's, and read some blatently incorrect information. It is a bad preview. No one gives a **** who likes what games, or who loves what hardware manufactrer; people come to this site for information, and this preview really had little, and what was there was mostly wrong.

    So before you start bad mouthing fans of a game for criticising a bad preview (granted, some could have gone about it much better) in such a stereotypical and exxagerated manner, just STFU and get your facts straight.


    Good thing Joe is open for discussion and not prone to overreacting then. In fact, I bet Joe has actually picked up on what people's issues with the preview are, rather than just assuming people don't like it because he doesn't like the game.
     
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  8. Damouse

    Damouse Thats no moon!

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    Oh boy. Where to begin.

    First of all, i agree that there is something fundamentally wrong with this article. I'm a SC fan, and obviously i don't like it, but its not simply a case of game-bashing. The article is shallow and not well thought out. It doesn't seem like Joe understands the fundamentals of these two games.

    Starcraft has been compared non-stop throughout its lifetime to chess, and that is a VERY ample comparison. Lets work with that metaphor, shall we?

    In this article, Joe picked up chess for the first time. He took a while to learn how pieces moved, but he complained when he didn't learn it fast enough. He also didn't understand how to sit at the board to get a good angle at the action, and he blamed that failing on chess. After playing ten or so games against people who may have been playing for years, he became upset that he lost almost right away every time. Joe closed his thoughts by saying that even though this is his first time playing chess, he has seen enough to wonder why people have played chess all these years.

    In the above scenario, Joe is very, very wrong. Chess has SO MUCH to offer players who understand the full breath and width of the game. These players play for days on end, non-stop, chasing down ridiculously intricate strategies and nuances of the game. A new player takes days simply to learn and understand the basics, and then months to unlock the potential of the game, and then years to master it.

    Starcraft is a deep strategy game; it is the most successful (digital) one of all time. Anyone who expects to understand it fully after an afternoon's worth of play is wrong, like chess. Anyone who would pass excessively harsh judgment on it without understanding the strategy that goes into it is being rash, again like chess.

    Its very simple. If strategy games don't appeal to you, then don't play SC2. Don't, however, make extremely overarching claims about it's success or worth if you don't bother to get your feet well and wet. This means playing for a while, learning the basics, watching some pro replays, understanding exactly where the strategy comes from. Back to the chess metaphor, most people who aren't idiots can still appreciate the thought and complexity that goes into chess, even if they don't like it.
     
  9. Pliqu3011

    Pliqu3011 all flowers in time bend towards the sun

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    Wow, I'm just amazed by all the ranting, over and over and over.
    Actually I think it is pretty good that Joe played it instead of a SC veteran, and even though he said some pretty newbie things, it was a good preview.
    I really don't understand that some people here get incredibly angry just because someone did't like the game!
    Even if that someone is a game reviewer, he's still a person.

    Still, of all the rant here, this one makes me tired, really tired...
    I don't know what the point is you want to get to with this stupid metaphor, are you saying that SC is like brain surgery? First of all: brain surgery is intended ONLY for a small group of specialists, SC is made for ALL PEOPLE to enjoy. Second; your fourth word: OPINION, even if you say all kinds of crap, it's still an OPINION, not a study ("impressions" <-> "review"?). I could go on for ages, but I think it's clear that idontwannaknow was blinded by his love for SC and his fanboyism, and didn't let his brain work. If he did, he'd see that (nearly) all of his statements are completely subjective and/or untrue. Just because Joe doesn't play RTSes that often it doesn't make him some idiot who doesn't have the right to express his opinion.
    BTW, why don't you give your complaints about the review without the personal attack on Joe?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 9 Mar 2010
  10. Stewb

    Stewb New Member

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    While I understand where you are coming from you have to remember this is a Beta, a test bed for balance/performance/etc (as I'm sure you know :p). Its not there as a standalone game for anyone to pick up and play. If this were the full game hower, with no tutorial, then yes I would agree with your concerns.

    EDIT: Gah, always forget to say stuff. I do agree though with all coments about the graphics and the camera. Really feels like it as old RTS with no free camera etc. This may be just to preserve the original SC feel, but I'm sure more could have been done....
     
  11. lewchenko

    lewchenko Member

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    Thanks for the preview guys...

    I love RTS games, and have been impressed how the genre has been pushed forward by innovative games like COH / SupCom / World in Conflict and have been impressed by the way they have made RTS much more involved / in depth.

    StarCraft 2 is a step backwards. Back to Rock/Paper/Scissors with a zoomed in view so bad its eye straining... They say its what the fans want... well so be it. Judging by some of the idiotic responses by some SC hard core fans to this preview, they can take their game and play it till they die (which Im sure they will be happy to do).

    For the rest of us that want advancement and innovation, well where do we go from here ?

    RUSE looks quite interesting, and hell, even C&C 4 is bringing some new ideas to the table. SupCom2, whilst dumbed down in many ways is leagues ahead of what Starcraft 2 will offer. What else is coming out ? Enough for a feature article maybe ?

    Blizzard may have remade (yes remade) Starcraft 1 for the hardcore fans, but for everyone else who expected a next gen RTS game with true innovation - they let us down.
     
  12. Byron C

    Byron C And now a word from our sponsor

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    Agree wholeheartedly about the camera. It is way better than the original, but I would rather be able to zoom out further, rather than zoom in. I suspect that some of the singleplayer in-game cutscenes may make use of this zoomed in camera view, but it has little purpose in multiplayer other than showing off the eye candy. Eye candy compared to the original SC, that is... First time I summoned an Archon I was stunned :O
     
  13. bigkingfun

    bigkingfun Tinkering addict

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    The original SC is always a blast at LAN partys. I really enjoyed the singleplayer as well, due to the great storyline.

    I hope SC2 will tell more of that same story, but still have the races well balanced with some differences.
     
  14. s3v3n

    s3v3n MMO Cold Turkey -fail

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    I understand where Joe is coming from, but this isn't a C&C type of game. What I mean is this isn't a casual game. You don't pick this game up, have some fun, and then go on to the next iteration. You are expected to fail for a fairly long duration, especially in the battle.net multiplayer. But you keep at it.
    When I started games like StarCraft/Counter-Strike (maybe even Ninja Gaiden, the original) I got owned, bad. These games are targeted at a different group of people. The type of people that lament when they are beat (time and time again) and brood in their hatred for loosing, while contemplating on how to exact their revenge, yet thank Blizzard for it. It’s a competitive game.
     
  15. CardJoe

    CardJoe Freelance Journalist

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    You're right about that. I'm always interested in fair and honest criticisms, so although I do still disagree about some of the points raised in these discussions (I.e. the worth of my opinion and history with RTS', which I feel are important for the sakes of transparency and context regardless of whether or not that history is informative) I do take your general point that this preview may not have all that it could have. It's something I'll be mindful of in the future and attempt to correct.

    Insightful, fair and well-intentioned comments like yours are the backbone of bit-tech, Skiddywinks. +rep.
     
  16. Avalain

    Avalain New Member

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    Well, I'm a hardcore Starcraft fan who has been reading tons of SC2 first impressions (since unfortunately I don't have a beta invite). Because of that I'm actually quite happy that you did this first impression, because it's nice to see how the game is viewed by someone other than a hardcore SC player. Plus, I've never been very good at multiplayer and one of the biggest draws of SC2 for me is the game matching of the new Battle.Net.

    My question is this. How many games did you play? As you should know, the first 10 games are placement matches and you are going to be thrown in with everyone and anyone. If you're new, you're going to lose most of your first 10 games. After that you should be placed into the bronze or copper leagues and face people who are also new at this game.

    The point you made about Starcraft not having any battle strategy simply doesn't make any sense and it's no wonder people have criticized you for it. Well, perhaps considering that you aren't able to survive the first rush it does make sense. However, I fail to understand how just because you are losing every game in the first few minutes means that all SC2 matches are like that. I realize that this is about your impression and you got a bad impression, but comments like this are stated as fact and are wrong.

    As was already mentioned, the different races aren't anything alike at all. That is one of the biggest draws of SC; three races that work completely differently but are still balanced.

    Now I admit I haven't played every game known to man, but what multiplayer game is there that lets a new player who doesn't even know the basic controls stand a chance against someone with 10 years experience?

    I'd really like to see what your impression is after you've played, say, 20-30 matches, just because I'd like to see how well new players are matched and see if you can come up with some sort of strategy to allow yourself to survive for more than a few minutes.
     
  17. _Metal_Guitar_

    _Metal_Guitar_ New Member

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    This preview served its perpose. It told all the die hard SC fans that their game is safe, pretty much the same game with current graphics (obviously can't comment on the story as of yet). Surely if you like SC1 that much, thats all you need to know.

    This preview took care of a larger audience and told them what the gameplay was like and some of the anoyancies that newcomers will most likely experience.

    Somewhere in here someone was complaining about the commanders bit in the preview, then they continued to individually list units/structures that, from what I understood of their post ammounted to commander units. All you can do is laugh really.
     
  18. Mennethitus

    Mennethitus New Member

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    Okay, I am tired of hearing from two groups of people: Those who bash Joe personally and those who cry fanboy! at anyone disagreeing with the article.

    I have played starcraft on and off for years, I am nowhere near being a pro and occasionally I win a game. One of the main reasons I keep playing starcraft is for the Use Map Settings maps.

    When i do play normal games I am often frustrated by people using the same build orders over and over and over again. After a certain point I have enough of it and stop playing, yet I keep coming back because I do like the challenge.

    With regards to the belief that sc2 is essentially sc 1 with better graphics... well thats wrong. Many things are the same true but that is because they worked. However A few key differences that while may appear to be small have a huge impact on gameplay (consider that after ten years people are still comnig up with new viable strategies for sc 2). The ifrst change that coems to mind is the queen/chronoboost/command center upgrades.

    The queen's larvae ability, chronoboost and the command center's abilities all have the potential to drastically change the way you play.

    Does the zerg stay with one base for longer or expand normally? Does the protoss go for a larger army faster or get upgrades sooner, does the terran mine faster, spy on his enemies or get free supply 9free 100 mienrals essentially)

    And thats just the start.

    Second, we now have units like reapers and colossi which can move up cliffs thus by passing static defenses and requiring better scouting. We have infestors and roaches which can move underground (and for roaches heal ridiculously fast).

    Also we have the nydus worm which you build anywhere, the medivac, and the warp prism allowing warp in of protoss units to its location.

    All these changes introduce countless strategies.

    You shouldn't change something just for the sake of changing it, I think Blizzard has introduced a number of well-thought out changes (which i believe is what Joe stated as well) that not only broaden the strategic scope of the game beyond the original they also change it while still keeping it fundamentally the same. And that is what i wanted: A game with an amazing storyline, a game that is balanced, a game that looks decent, a game that allows for users to make their own maps, a game that plays similar to starcraft yet introduces enough to make it familiar but new all the same.

    I know im being vague but that is probably the most accurate way i can put it.

    I played supreme commander and did not like it, I don't enjoy huge battles of units where I really dont care about each one for i have a thousand more. I played command and conquer and hated that as well 9except when playing with friends for fun) all it was was massing units (my opinion not necessarily truth).

    So while the camera angle seems very zoomed in for people (and for people still complaining about joe's comment about it being zoomed in he did scroll out to the maximum if you look at the image he attached in the comments section) I do like it. I feel it makes it the units more individual, they count for something.


    On a different note, there will be tutorials in the final game. The campaign itself will most likely include a learning curve which will introduce units every mission. In addition, Blizzard has stated that there will be tutorials where you learn some build orders/strategy.

    What I would recommend (in my infinite knowledge gained by writing countless articles (note:sarcasm)) is comment first on how the game feels in terms of movement of units? (e.g. does it feel smooth or does the game feel clunky) then continue on: is the game relatively easy to figure out? (which joe did, granted I dont understand his trouble with the terran interface but hey if he did, then he did). Then go on about your experience :damn i got rushed and died(@$#$@) but also after that do a quick search and follow someones advice for dealing with a quick rush.

    Since you are also writing to everyone including those who have not played sc1 comment on the fact that the three races are completely different, obviously balance is still up in the air but the way the races function is still clearly unique. When Im playing a game I hate when all races are the same (cough: warcraft 2:cough).


    So yes I don't agree with the article but most of my discord with it stems from either differences between how Joe and i think RTS's should function (really vague statement I know) and from the fact that (from what I know) he didn't get far enough into the matches to see how they developed and where the strategy part really shines.

    It's not like the man has incredible amounts of time to play one game and see all of its nuances.
    Honestly the article is pretty useless to me (and I feel to most people) but I understand why it is liek that and I understand perfectly. i get raped so many times in sc1 by people doing the exact same thing that I jsut stop playing the game. But there are other sides to it that take time to see and get used to. That is why it is a first impression it isnt meant to be a well researched article its meant to be what the writer thought of it, and in that it succeeds. Joe told us what he thought of it. Yes we might disagree but since when do impressions = truth.

    So instead of flaming each other (both the for and against) focus instead on discussion which a first impression is meant to provoke (imo). There are a number of threads before mine that make valid points about starcraft without provoking. So focus on those...
     
  19. dark_avenger

    dark_avenger Well-Known Member

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    TL;DR

    not quite sure what everyone is getting there knickers in a knot about. It's a preview of the BETA.

    game is still months away ffs.
     
  20. Jewels

    Jewels Member

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    My problem with the article is its use of seemingly factual statements used to incorrectly summarise and oversimplify SCII in its entirety. I can't imagine what research was undertaken or what was said in these supposed discussions with experienced players for such erroneous conclusions to have been reached. While it may be from a newcomer's perspective, such a viewpoint is unsuitable given the article's potential influence and the gravity it possesses when published on a site of bit-tech's nature.

    To preview a sequel in BETA status, which should not be used to introduce newcomers in the first place for numerous reasons, by a newcomer to the series is frankly irresponsible.

    I am hardly a hardcore SC fan as I've only played the original game at a very casual level, and never on multiplayer, but I understand enough of the complexities behind the gameplay and its mechanics to dismiss commonly deduced (and factually incorrect) conclusions. I've watched plenty of replay matches where the underdog has fought back to grandiose victory, and the matches themselves were replete with variegated battle strategies.
     
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