StarCraft II

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Zarel
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Zarel »

Moribund wrote:I like how each mission is tailored to the introduced unit and they perform well in this situation, but you can see clearly why he older units were phased out for the new. Like Firebats are cool but the don't have the range and speed of a Hellion or how Goliaths are good but don't have the mobility or a Viking.
I liked how each mission was tailored to the unit being introduced, at least at first, but then there were a grand total of THREE missions that weren't tailored to a specific unit, so in most missions I didn't really get to use the unit I wanted.

(I mean, in the siege tank and goliath missions, I just spammed diamondbacks and vikings in aircraft mode, and in the Thor mission I spammed battlecruisers, but other than that there were maybe two missions in which I actually felt like I had a choice in what units to use.)
Moribund wrote:@Spoiler Well think about it. Wings is only one third of the campaign (even though there is lots of content). The Terran campaign of Brood War had as much movement.
Well, yeah, but Brood War was an expansion. I think even the Terran campaign of StarCraft 1 had a lot more plot movement than all of SC2:WoL.

I mean, for major plot points in just the Terran campaign:

Raynor saves a planet, so Confederacy now considers him a terrorist. Raynor escapes and joins Sons of Korhal. Mengsk betrays Kerrigan, so Raynor deserts Sons of Korhal. Mengsk destroys Confederacy and crowns himself emperor, and now considers Raynor a terrorist.

Then compare that to SC2. Only considering equally important plot points:
Spoiler:
Counting the sentences, about half as much happened in all of SC2 than in one of SC1's campaigns.

I mean, a lot of it's that in SC2, there are two side quests that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the main plot. I mean, that enables the game to be nonlinear and allows the player to make choices without having to have multiple endings for the game as a whole, but it also makes it feel like a lot of what you're doing doesn't matter at all. Add that to the fact that you do nothing in the main quest except collect artifacts for the first half and kill zerg for the second half (which would be fine if it was two or three scenarios, but it was like 9)... There's just a whole lot of nothing going on.
Spoiler:
Jozrael wrote:@Zarel: Also,
Spoiler:
was significant.
Spoiler:
I mean, the point of a game is to play a story, not just watch it. It's so much less immersive watching something happen in a cutscene than actually playing it out.

Also: I didn't like how I never got to control the Hyperion. I so much wanted to fly around in that heavily modded battlecruiser and shoot stuff. :(
Jozrael wrote:I enjoyed the plot, even if I do agree there wasn't all that much plot movement. The Protoss missions in particular made me think of just a rehashed WC3 vanilla plot :P
I actually liked the Protoss missions. The first one felt so rehashed, though - it was pretty much the first mission of Brood War, except now you have Blink. The last one, on the other hand, was fun until I was done with every objective until "Defend until the last protoss dies". Then I was like "okay, this is getting repetitive, I hope this ends soon". But even with me doing literally nothing, it still took the hybrids like 20 minutes to overrun me, and they only did because of stupid AI causing my units to chase enemy units too far. I'd hate to imagine how boring and repetitive it would be if I actually tried to stay alive.


Overall, I'd give SC2 a 10/10 for graphics and a 10/10 for game mechanics like the plot branches and the upgrades/mercenaries system, but maybe only a 7/10 for gameplay because of how repetitive it got, and how little freedom you usually had in unit choice, and like a 4/10 for storytelling because it was like they didn't even try. The Protoss mini-campaign was a lot better in terms of storytelling, though - I only wish the rest of the game were like that.
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Moribund
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Moribund »

I will certainly agree that the plot isn't as good as the original Starcraft, but I think that some had to be sacrificed for the nonlinearness. You can't really tell a story if the listener picks which parts he wants to hear in which order. And admit it, looking at the different choices and choosing which mission you wanted to do was kinda nice.

I don't mind cutscenes. I thought they were nice.

If you thought the game was too easy, bump up the difficulty, simple as that. I played on hard and the defend the thingy mission was, not the hardest, but adequately difficult.

I don't think you can really judge SC2 based solely on the campaign. Single player campaigns nowadays are mainly a glorified tutorial for multiplayer. SC2 enjoys one of the best competitive fighting game scenes, due to how well the multiplayer has been designed and balanced (which I could go on about for paragraphs.. Judging it on multiplayer is like judging a brand new gaming computer by how well it runs solitaire.
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by cretin »

Cut-scenes were perfect length, and in the right spot for the story imo. If you want ridiculous cut-scenes, Metal Gear Solid. nothing beats a 90 minute cut-scene's in a game eh? And I think one of the installments had about 9 hours worth of it too.
I liked how each mission was tailored to the unit being introduced, at least at first, but then there were a grand total of THREE missions that weren't tailored to a specific unit, so in most missions I didn't really get to use the unit I wanted.

(I mean, in the siege tank and goliath missions, I just spammed diamondbacks and vikings in aircraft mode, and in the Thor mission I spammed battlecruisers, but other than that there were maybe two missions in which I actually felt like I had a choice in what units to use.)
but that was your choice. I played out each mission with a wide variety of units for entertainment.


My only real sadness is I cant use half the units in the campaign for multiplayer. But I understand its for balance reasons. There will be mods that add them back in so its alright in my book.
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Jozrael »

Zarel: I will concede that SC2's plot was subpar compared to the first series. However, I feel that overall singleplayer was a better experience, simply because of all the improvements they added. Also, I enjoy simply the nonlinearity in exchange for a slightly lesser plot.

Also, I agree that multiplayer is the focus of sc2.

@cretin: It wasn't so much that multiplayer is lesser, but that singleplayer is greater. MP is a honed, finished product. SC follows the idea of less is more: 12ish units per race is fine, you don't need to have 25 with tons of role overlap. But yes there are already tons of customs using the extras. There will be a vanilla remake of sc, a hybrid using both, and I'm sure ones that use everything from the campaign plus more.
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Zarel
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Zarel »

Moribund wrote:I will certainly agree that the plot isn't as good as the original Starcraft, but I think that some had to be sacrificed for the nonlinearness. You can't really tell a story if the listener picks which parts he wants to hear in which order. And admit it, looking at the different choices and choosing which mission you wanted to do was kinda nice.
I think a story could be pieced from the nonlinearness. I mean, you have to finish all the branches before you start the final few missions, so you can kind of piece them together at that point.
Moribund wrote:I don't mind cutscenes. I thought they were nice.
They were nice, but practically none of them happened DURING a mission, which I kind of didn't like.
Moribund wrote:If you thought the game was too easy, bump up the difficulty, simple as that. I played on hard and the defend the thingy mission was, not the hardest, but adequately difficult.
I'm not talking about the Terran defend-the-thingy mission, I'm talking about the Protoss defend-until-you-die mission.
Moribund wrote:I don't think you can really judge SC2 based solely on the campaign. Single player campaigns nowadays are mainly a glorified tutorial for multiplayer. SC2 enjoys one of the best competitive fighting game scenes, due to how well the multiplayer has been designed and balanced (which I could go on about for paragraphs.. Judging it on multiplayer is like judging a brand new gaming computer by how well it runs solitaire.
Well, I can judge SC2's campaign based solely on the campaign, can't I?

I think Blizzard said that they predicted like 75% of all SC2 players would only play singleplayer. SC2's campaign is a very important part of the game.
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Jozrael »

If that number is true I'm gonna be a very sad panda. They're missing out on all the fun!

And I think he just meant that even if that level was too easy for you...well, bump it up :D
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Re: StarCraft II

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Jozrael wrote:
And the limit on the size of your army annoyed me ..."but you can have literally hundreds of units..." they told me. Yeeeesh you can if you kill off all your drones and just spawn zerglings...
Tbh, this annoys us custom creators just as much. Simply because the game is so old, they didn't have the tech to have so many units on screen at once. This issue was even WORSE for wc3 melee games (although thankfully alleviated in the customs). You can have up to 200 units, or 160 supply in a normal game (leaving an allowance of 40 workers). If you find yourself maxing out on army...why not just attack o_O? The game isn't really supposed to be who can build up to the army of 10 thousand units first and then have some battles :P
But it should be. What pisses me off about virtually all RTS games, is how few units are in play (and being a guy who writes games, I'm well aware of processing/memory limitations that are the cause of this). When I picture some "epic space battle" in my head, it's got millions of soldiers running around, duking it out under the shadow of collossal, city-sized starships. Not like the typical game of starcraft where you've got maybe a couple dozen units duking it out. I mean, that barely qualifies as a platoon, to say nothing of an army.

This is what current RTSes feel like:
http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=276


I'm not knocking starcraft for this - everything has this problem. The few games that try to do this fail in some other way - for example, Rome Total War had a lot of soldiers ingame, but failed to give decent terrain complexity when zoomed in, such that when you zoomed in far enough to see individual units, the ground underneath them was merely a big, flat, empty poly.

It's just a tough technical problem to solve. Lots of soldiers, Decent Framerate, Lush Visuals. Pick 2. :(

:geek: The upside is our massively parallel future may be able to make this possible.
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Jetrel »

Jozrael wrote:Hahahaha I'm a Toss player generally on MP...because I do best with them. xD.
A bizarre and awesome upside of the new UI improvements is that I can now play all races decently. In SC1, I was terrible at zerg. Why, is quite simple; the mechanics for selecting mass numbers of units were terrible - and zerg have to field mass numbers of units. That's the whole design of their race; so much so that the entire concept of spamming cheap mooks is now named after them.
Zarel wrote:The last one, on the other hand, was fun until I was done with every objective until "Defend until the last protoss dies".
I really hate levels where you're forced to lose. Chrono trigger and several of the early lavos/golem scenes, here's looking at you.
Jozrael wrote:That being said, the pathing of SC2 ground units is LEAPS AND BOUNDS better than in sc1.
A thousand times, yes! :shock:
Zarel wrote:Yeah, the campaign requires so many resources. I have an Nvidia 9400M that runs multiplayer fairly well on Normal graphics, but still lags tremendously on Low graphics in campaign.
I've got a unibody core2duo macbook. IIRC it's a 9400, too. I found that the game performed alright on the low graphics setting, but jesus holy hell were the load times excruciating. I mean... unbelievably bad. There were some levels/cutscenes where it literally took five minutes to load. :shock: It was worth sitting through once, but I doubt I'll play the campaign again until I've got a far, far more powerful computer.

:Awesome: lol @ waiting another 5 years to play SC2 the way it was meant to be played.

Interestingly, the game seemingly does not perform better in windows than in the macos, which is often alleged to happen. Apple must be beefing up it's OpenGL support. (This of course would make sense, since apple is now the second biggest portable game console vendor behind nintendo. I'm glad they're pushing GL ES pretty hard there, because it's breathing a lot of life back into OpenGL as a tech stack. In fact, with both android _and_ nokia doing the same, there's starting to be a lot of weight behind that.)


Edit: The wait is finally over: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkQANezv ... re=related
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Jozrael »

A cheapo laptop nowadays has the -CPU- to load SC, even campaigns, lickety split. It's the lack of any dedicated GPU that just dooms it for anything intensive ingame.
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Zarel »

Jetrel wrote:But it should be. What pisses me off about virtually all RTS games, is how few units are in play (and being a guy who writes games, I'm well aware of processing/memory limitations that are the cause of this). When I picture some "epic space battle" in my head, it's got millions of soldiers running around, duking it out under the shadow of collossal, city-sized starships. Not like the typical game of starcraft where you've got maybe a couple dozen units duking it out. I mean, that barely qualifies as a platoon, to say nothing of an army.

[...]

I'm not knocking starcraft for this - everything has this problem. The few games that try to do this fail in some other way - for example, Rome Total War had a lot of soldiers ingame, but failed to give decent terrain complexity when zoomed in, such that when you zoomed in far enough to see individual units, the ground underneath them was merely a big, flat, empty poly.

It's just a tough technical problem to solve. Lots of soldiers, Decent Framerate, Lush Visuals. Pick 2. :(
Speaking as a game balancer, it's more than that. It's also a balance problem.

Humans aren't designed to handle large numbers. For instance, in real life, if you actually had millions of soldiers in your control, you wouldn't be commanding them all personally. You'd have corps and regiments and platoons, and you'd have lieutenant generals and colonels and platoon leaders to delegate decisions to. In an RTS, you control each unit personally. And so that you're not playing Progress Quest, your units have rather low levels of autonomy, so that you actually have to control each unit personally. This makes huge armies rather... infeasible, from a gameplay perspective, as well as in terms of technical limitations.

So, yeah, a lot of the reason for why most RTSes are "platoons fighting each other" rather than "entire armies fighting each other" is because they're a metaphor that makes gameplay more fun.
Jetrel wrote:I really hate levels where you're forced to lose. Chrono trigger and several of the early lavos/golem scenes, here's looking at you.
I don't mind them that bad, as long as you're forced to lose quickly. The worst kind is when it's hardcoded that you can't win, but you can still stay alive for a pretty long time, so you have to decide between intentionally losing, or tediously staying alive for a really long time, which can get repetitive.
Jetrel wrote:I've got a unibody core2duo macbook. IIRC it's a 9400, too. I found that the game performed alright on the low graphics setting, but jesus holy hell were the load times excruciating. I mean... unbelievably bad. There were some levels/cutscenes where it literally took five minutes to load. :shock: It was worth sitting through once, but I doubt I'll play the campaign again until I've got a far, far more powerful computer.
Yeah, I think that's the exact same computer I tried to play SC2 on - a unibody Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro with a 9400M. It wasn't that bad on Low, but it would freeze for a second or so every once in a while (usually when scripted events happened).

I tried again on my desktop with an 8800 GT (and a Core 2 Quad, and 6 GB of RAM) and it loaded a bit faster - not what I call "fast", but at least not excruciating. Also, it performed fine on High settings.
Jetrel wrote:Interestingly, the game seemingly does not perform better in windows than in the macos, which is often alleged to happen. Apple must be beefing up it's OpenGL support. (This of course would make sense, since apple is now the second biggest portable game console vendor behind nintendo. I'm glad they're pushing GL ES pretty hard there, because it's breathing a lot of life back into OpenGL as a tech stack. In fact, with both android _and_ nokia doing the same, there's starting to be a lot of weight behind that.)
That's weird. SC2 has significantly higher system requirements for Mac OS X than for Windows.
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Jozrael
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Jozrael »

Next huge quibble with this game: what in god's name was Blizzard smoking when they designed the custom games interface.

I'll just link this to explain it for me.
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by MCP »

Jetrel wrote:
Zarel wrote:Yeah, the campaign requires so many resources. I have an Nvidia 9400M that runs multiplayer fairly well on Normal graphics, but still lags tremendously on Low graphics in campaign.
I've got a unibody core2duo macbook. IIRC it's a 9400, too. I found that the game performed alright on the low graphics setting, but jesus holy hell were the load times excruciating. I mean... unbelievably bad. There were some levels/cutscenes where it literally took five minutes to load. :shock: It was worth sitting through once, but I doubt I'll play the campaign again until I've got a far, far more powerful computer.

:Awesome: lol @ waiting another 5 years to play SC2 the way it was meant to be played.

Interestingly, the game seemingly does not perform better in windows than in the macos, which is often alleged to happen. Apple must be beefing up it's OpenGL support. (This of course would make sense, since apple is now the second biggest portable game console vendor behind nintendo. I'm glad they're pushing GL ES pretty hard there, because it's breathing a lot of life back into OpenGL as a tech stack. In fact, with both android _and_ nokia doing the same, there's starting to be a lot of weight behind that.)


Edit: The wait is finally over: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkQANezv ... re=related
Neat, OS X ~= Windows in a new game, I will take that!

I have a mac book pro with ATI 1600x, the MINIMUM required. Well go to that first lava level and it has serious problems, the soon to be dreaded window "Shut down other programs to improve performance" or something was popping up. It has 128 MB of video memory, which is probably where it is suffering because lowering the resolution helped tremendously.

Cannot even use wide screen without it lagging too much in single player, has to use 1024x768 hella old school resolutions.

Next mac book pro I buy will definitely be the maximum available video card.

Jozrael wrote:Next huge quibble with this game: what in god's name was Blizzard smoking when they designed the custom games interface.

I'll just link this to explain it for me.
I agree. I've been frustrated by SC2 because the MAIN reason I bought it was to play custom maps and currently not only is it a hassle to create maps, map size limitations, see Bank limitations, a very important part of just about any RPG style game, but also the most basic functions of custom maps: to even be able to play, host, and share a map to begin with.

I will probably return SC2. I bought WC3+expansion for custom maps. I kept coming back to SC1, a long time ago before Wc3, because of custom scenarios. Now I will probably return SC2 because of this one major flaw.
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Jozrael »

@MCP: I am SURE it will be improved...whether now or an expansion, I'm not sure. The game is worth it to me despite its myriad flaws...I just sincerely hope they fix them, and soon.
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by Moribund »

WOOT!

Just won my first online game. It was on Steppes of War TvT. I was gonna go for a Reaper cheese so I got an early refinery, and I didn't wall off because I knew it would just leave me vulnerable to siege tanks. As it was my first real game, I forgot about scouting. The other guy saw my early refinery with an SCV, prompting me to scout as well. I saw a walloff and decided to Reapers are too risky once he's seen my early gas. I went "fuckit" and got a factory with tech lab, a second refinery, and a second barracks. I used my scouting SCV to place a bunker at the foot of his ramp and pushed out with four or five marines, a marauder, and a siege tank. Using the marauder to spot the high ground, I pounded his wall and his reinforcements fell to my bunker. I blasted his Factory and Barracks so any units coming out would die on the spot. I think he went 1/1/1, as he tried to attack with a couple Vikings. No match for my Siege Tanks. I threw a Hellion into his mineral line because I made it accidentally. He roasted a couple SCVs but it doesn't matter. He ggs and leaves lightning fast. Victory!
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Re: StarCraft II

Post by cretin »

mmm aggressive terran turtling, I like it. I keep getting my a** handed to me by protoss prism rays, i just cant deal with them its driving me insane. i need to build more vikings...
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