FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » StarCraft II Beta available via pre-order (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: StarCraft II Beta available via pre-order
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Haven't seen this mentioned here yet. If you pre-order from Amazon or GameStop you get into the Beta (Gamestop seems to deliver in 24 hours as opposed to Amazon taking about a week). I just got mine a day ago. Pretty fun so far. I'm not very good at it though.

Other things of note:

Beta now comes with the map editor
Mac Beta is coming out soon, supposedly
You CAN create a custom game with AI opponents, and if it is your first time playing, you probably should, so you can learn what the hell you're doing.
Reapers are FUN!

I used to hate people who rush. Nowadays I've found that I actually prefer the early game to the late game and enjoy both rushing and being rushed. I think this is because the late game has a lot more decisions to make and I make a lot more mistakes.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alcon
Member
Member # 6645

 - posted      Profile for Alcon   Email Alcon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been in the beta for a month and a half now at this point. Sitting between 40 and 50 in the gold league. I have no idea how, but those &#*(&$ at Blizzard did it. They created a game that - in my humble opinion - is better than the original Starcraft. Or at least its equal. Mind you, that game isn't finish yet. But when they finally get it balanced I believe it really will be.

There are a number of ways it needs some balance right now though. The zerg lack early air, which is a huge issue. Many of the units aren't all that handy right now. The Zerg only have 9 units to choose from, as opposed to the Terran and Protoss's 10 or 11, which makes them a little boring to play. Also, I have trouble still with their production rate. But that might just be me and not a game flaw.

The Terran's factory units kind of suck. Especially given the Marauder they're down right superfluous.

Near as I can tell, the most balanced race so far seems to be Protoss are the most balanced race right now. They have a solid ground army, but their air does have a rather huge hole in it. They took out the arbiter and replaced it with the mother ship. But this leaves them really vulnerable. And they don't have much of an answer to massed mutalisks. (Phoenix's are decent, stalkers w/a mothership do okay, high templar are the best bet.)

It doesn't have the depth of Starcraft w/Brood War yet. But then it's a beta and not a well balanced game with an expansion. I love the changes they've made to the game that make it more of a macro game and less a micro game. It's now more important to manage your base(s) well, expand well and build a solid army than it is to have split second reaction time control of your army. Mind you there are still situations where good micro comes in handy - but it rarely is the deciding factor in games. Starcraft is now more about strategy than tactics. I love that [Smile]

Anyway, my Starcraft II bnet id is TheBare.wholikeshare if anyone wants to friend me and play some games.

Posts: 3295 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I did see this a week or so ago and I very nearly pre-ordered on the spot. But that is explicitly why Tiffany and I have an agreement that purchases over about $7 require spousal consent beforehand.

But it's also a function of I'm not sure I'm going to be in the country when the game actually comes out and I'm not going to be a schmuck and have Tiffany go and pick it up at a store for me with a baby. I think Blizzard is also setting up an online store where SC2 would be available, I wish they had it in place so that I could just pre-order it there.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have no idea how
I do. They took the original StarCraft and added better unit control, the "cliff-walk/jump" mechanic and better graphics. For starters.
Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geraine
Member
Member # 9913

 - posted      Profile for Geraine   Email Geraine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was lucky enough to get into the beta in the first round of invites. (I've gone to Blizzcon the past two years)

I have been playing it quite a bit and have gotten some extra keys to invite friends. I've already given them all out save one, so if you want it BlackBlade, just let me know and I'll email you the beta key. That way you can try it out without having to pre-order.

As a whole I think the game is amazing. The two single player missions I was able to play at Blizzcon were great and what has me really excited. There are some multiplayer balancing issues, but as a whole I think they are heading in the right direction. (The Thor unit dying so quickly comes to mind)

The map editor really has me excited. I am hoping for a DOTA like map or a resurrection of the old Starship Troopers maps from the original Starcraft.

If noone ever played the Starship Troopers maps, they were so fun. You had 10 minutes to build up your defenses on the edge of the map (Usually 2 people for each side) and then after that you had to survive 30 minutes, with wave after wave of hundreds of zerg rushing into your base trying to destroy it.

Posts: 1937 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I certainly do! You just made my birthday! [Big Grin]


edit: Well, to be accurate, my parents made my birthday, but you are making my 28th one way awesome.

double edit: I certainly do remember the Starship Trooper maps in SC, I loved played them.

triple edit (obviously I'm excited): I sent you an email but in case you don't get it you can message me through the forums or write to

taylor dot bradford at gmail dot com.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hmm. Mac Beta is available now, but it isn't downloading properly. Grr.
Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Alcon:
Near as I can tell, the most balanced race so far seems to be Protoss are the most balanced race right now.

Protoss, right now, is the best race. Terran is the worst. Zerg is doing okay (especially in Korea) but has a problem with unit homogeneity still.

The lead programmers are monitoring the beta information and noting that Protoss has a 5%+ win advantage over the other races. Protoss v. Terran is currently the worst matchup.

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
From what I am reading the Protoss are the most put together so far, which coincidentally kinda fits within the story of the game.
Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Force Field is fantastically ridiculous right now. I love it and abuse the crap out of it.

I lure people's armies back into their bases and then forcefield off the ramp so I can delete their expansion with impunity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_TIDLHzAkM

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Force Field is fantastically ridiculous right now. I love it and abuse the crap out of it.

I lure people's armies back into their bases and then forcefield off the ramp so I can delete their expansion with impunity.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_TIDLHzAkM

You can also shove them up the ramp leading into their base and then sever their forces into two chunks with force fields and then destroy both pieces one at a time instead of together.

But even barring that, forcing zealots to run around a big group of forcefields and entrapping a few within can completely change the outcome of a skirmish.

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alcon
Member
Member # 6645

 - posted      Profile for Alcon   Email Alcon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, force field is pretty awesome. But I was actually under the impression that the Terran were generally the strongest so far. Marauders are ridiculously over powered early to mid game. And late game are still an extremely cheap attack force that can do a ton of damage. Add reapers for hit and run, banshees for harassment+air back up. I dunno MMM balls (Marines, Marauders, Medvacs) are deadly. I would say the Protoss are the most balanced and fun to play, but the Terran are the strongest.
Posts: 3295 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geraine
Member
Member # 9913

 - posted      Profile for Geraine   Email Geraine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Check your email BB. I sent you the beta key. Enjoy!
Posts: 1937 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Alcon:
Yeah, force field is pretty awesome. But I was actually under the impression that the Terran were generally the strongest so far.

Nope. They are the weakest right now, certifiably.

StarCraft 2 Lead Designer Dustin Browder literally said "The Protoss are winning" when asked about game balance. TvP is the worst matchup, with protoss over by five percentage points in all leagues.

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
Check your email BB. I sent you the beta key. Enjoy!

Downloading, 50% done! I was actually kinda sad I was done with work by noon today, now I'm freaking stoked.
Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
SoaPiNuReYe
Member
Member # 9144

 - posted      Profile for SoaPiNuReYe           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have a key already but it doesn't work for mac [Frown] .

They need to fix terran reliance on marauders right now, I think that is the race's biggest weakness. Maybe buff tanks a little bit.

Posts: 1158 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geraine
Member
Member # 9913

 - posted      Profile for Geraine   Email Geraine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
Check your email BB. I sent you the beta key. Enjoy!

Downloading, 50% done! I was actually kinda sad I was done with work by noon today, now I'm freaking stoked.
Glad I could brighten your day a little.

My battle.net id is vanielmage, add me whenever you get a chance.

I'm usually playing World of Warcraft and League of Legends, but I hop on there sometimes. Though we are down to a two day raiding schedule now. We finally killed the Lich King in 25 man mode last night, so I have Thursday night free for whatever I want! I'll probably end up on League of Legends, or (gasp!) spending some time with the wife.

Posts: 1937 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SoaPiNuReYe:
They need to fix terran reliance on marauders right now, I think that is the race's biggest weakness. Maybe buff tanks a little bit.

Yeah, they sorta gave terran a taste of the unit monoculture with that one. The sucky part is that when the unit invariably gets a nerf, the rest of the race is a bit weak afterwards during the compensatory buff period.
Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have a key already but it doesn't work for mac
Mac beta is up, although it was doing some weird things trying to install today.

On a somewhat related note... what exactly is necessary to post in the Blizzard forums? I entered my battle.net ID and my beta key but it didn't seem to like that. I'll try fishing out my WoW CD key but it seems to me that if you're in the beta you should be able to post in the Beta forums.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alcon
Member
Member # 6645

 - posted      Profile for Alcon   Email Alcon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You can, it's your account email and password. Not your blizzard id. Its the email and password you use to log into bnet.
Posts: 3295 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Finally got the Mac version to download properly (it was trying to download to my windows partition, and it wouldn't let me change the target destination until I created a separate account).

I'm kinda confused why Void Rays don't require an upgrade to build. I'm not experienced enough to know what their overall power levels compared to other things, but their primary purpose is to end games, and that seems like the sort of thing that should be more than a "beginning of the second tier" unit.

[ April 30, 2010, 09:02 AM: Message edited by: Raymond Arnold ]

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm 2-1 so far in Starcraft. I haven't touched zerg or protoss yet, and currently I favor pushing hard towards vikings, and then finding openings in their defenses where I can knock out a bunch of scvs. It actually works out pretty well. My first game I got off to a very slow start as I just didn't know exactly which buildings were required for what, but I finally got a group of 7 vikings out and flew them across the map. I ran into a mothership that was on her way to my base all by itself and I pummeled it. I then proceeded behind his base, landed my vikings and started blowing up scvs.

I really like working with another player who goes banshees and we coordinate our attacks. Between the two of us we've got most things covered. I had a group of 10 vikings run into a group of like 15 hydralisks, and I had no response for that.

I take it as a good sign that I finally got the game working 3 hours after installing, and I still had the self control to get the crap off and go have fun with Mrs. BB. [Smile]

Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alcon
Member
Member # 6645

 - posted      Profile for Alcon   Email Alcon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Void Rays aren't actually all that powerful. I don't know where you got that whole "Primary Purpose is to end games" bit - but it doesn't apply in my experience. They have to maintain fire on a target for quite some time until they get deadly. They take a while to build and they are pretty expensive. But they also die fairly quickly. The few times I've won games using them have been when I got lucky micros off and was able to force my opponents anti-air defense into places where he had to come at me one at a time. If the zerg get hydras or mutalisks, then void rays are useless. If protoss get a decent number of stalkers then they have to be controlled very precisely to be much good.

I almost never go for Vikings. They're twigs once they hit the ground. They're useful as an anti-banshee defense or an anti-void ray defense. Against mutalisks they are paper. They win a one on one against mutalisks. But usually you'll find yourself going against mutalisks with more like a 3 mutas to 1 viking ratio. The clump and disappear like a pile of pine needles that has touched a lit match... And they're too expensive to really be worth it for the hit and run. In the time it takes you to get a decent force of them, the enemy will have an army at your gates.

That's not to say both units are useful in certain situations or if used well. But I definitely wouldn't build a strategy around either.

Posts: 3295 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
I'm not experienced enough to know what their overall power levels compared to other things, but their primary purpose is to end games, and that seems like the sort of thing that should be more than a "beginning of the second tier" unit.

i don't know what 'primary purpose is to end games' really means. void rays are really way too fragile and counterable to be an overwhelming late-game force unit. they're counterstrat units and building/base harassers.
Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I don't know where you got that whole "Primary Purpose is to end games" bit.
quote:
They have to maintain fire on a target for quite some time until they get deadly.
This is exactly what I mean. Their primary purpose is to rapidly destroy bases, as opposed to dealing with the actual units occupying those bases (of course they can also deal effectively with huge, armored units, but those units don't show up towards the end of the game either). It's not really a matter of them being too powerful, just feeling like a weird unit to have accessible from the moment you get your Starport.

I confess I don't know how skilled players use Void Rays (if at all) but in terms of visceral feel, they feel like they should be a closer parallel to a Battlecruiser than a Mutalisk/Viking.

Second edit: I also didn't mean "build an army of nothing but Void Rays," rather, in my final attack force, it'll be the Void Rays actually destroying the base, whereas other units will be dealing with the opponent's anti-air support.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Their primary purpose is to rapidly destroy bases...
I suspect, the higher up the ladder you, the less often you stick around to actually watch your base get destroyed.
Posts: 37419 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh people normally quit before I get a chance to destroy them right now, all the way down in the copper league (I stay to watch them, partly because I LIKE seeing bases get demolished, and if I don't get to watch my opponents I might as well watch my own, but also because I don't have a good working knowledge of how a lot of higher tier units work and staying online helps me get a sense of how much damage they deal how fast, what abilities they have, etc).

But one of the reasons both I and other people HAVE quit is because the Void Rays were there to guarantee the base wouldn't exist long enough to churn out new units to defend it. Or because they were able to annihilate an expansion and flee before the army was able to reach it, denying them the resources to win. There's a lot of other units that CAN do that, but the Void Ray feels to me like a unit that is specifically supposed to.

And again, I'm not complaining about power level, I'm talking about how the unit feels when you play it, and I think that is just as important a part of game design as balance is. But this is also subjective, so if everyone else just thinks "nope, doesn't feel that way to me," well, okay then.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geraine
Member
Member # 9913

 - posted      Profile for Geraine   Email Geraine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know if anyone here likes DOTA, but it looks like there will be a Starcraft 2 version. A group is supposedly already working on it in hopes of having it ready shortly after the release of the game.

That is of course if League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth never caught your fancy.

Posts: 1937 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jenos
Member
Member # 12168

 - posted      Profile for Jenos           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
I don't know if anyone here likes DOTA, but it looks like there will be a Starcraft 2 version. A group is supposedly already working on it in hopes of having it ready shortly after the release of the game.

That is of course if League of Legends or Heroes of Newerth never caught your fancy.

A lot of DotA players will likely not shift over to SC2, and instead wait for Icefrog to do whatever he does with Valve.

For those who don't know, Icefrog is the only developer Dota has had for several years now, and Valve recently extended a job offer to him which he accepted. The details are still unknown, but we're all waiting.

Posts: 76 | Registered: Aug 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
DotA players won't buy StarCraft II in the meantime just becomes it's A) awesome, and B) about to be released, whereas presumably whatever job he just got at Valve isn't going to come to fruition for several months at the least and (guess randomly) more likely over a year?
Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The people who are with DotA presently are going to stick with the present developer. In effect, if Icefrog migrates, they do too.
Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:

I confess I don't know how skilled players use Void Rays (if at all)

- Specific counterstrat to massive units
- Base harassment - they're a threat to unguarded structures and can draw a lot of cognitive attention and map control off of a centralized push

In skilled play they are rarely in the position to 'seal the deal,' they're there to ff larger units and units with specific on-hit damage protections (immortals, etc)

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can understand that, but in skilled play, my understanding is you generally don't see Battlecruisers and Carriers at all, or at least rarely, and certainly not as the massive finishers that Timmies like to play them as. But I'd still consider putting them at the beginning of the second tier a mistake (even though I doubt that'd really change anything) since part of the impact (from a Timmy standpoint) comes from them being a huge endgame unit that you have to build up to. Void Ray has a similar feel to it.

(Timmy/Johnny/Spike are psychographics used in Magic: The Gathering development, not sure if every(any?)one here is familiar with them. Timmy plays the game to experience visceral thrills, Johnny plays to demonstrate creativity, and Spike plays to prove win/prove he is the best. Ideally you want to cater to all of them, although StarCraft doesn't do a particularly good job of catering to Johnny).

While I'm interested in learning more about high end game balance, it really has nothing to do with the argument I'm making.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
nerfing void rays by hacking them to the back of the tier/resource investment would only circumstantially overpower units like colossi. They're already way too frail to be relied on significantly in any match where your opponent is half decent at intelligence gathering.
Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My original point wasn't that they needed to be nerfed all the way to tier three, but looking at the buildings available I confess I don't have any thoughts on how you'd restrict them only a "baby step." (I was thinking something like Siege Tanks requiring the add-on, but the next available building is the Fleet Beacon, which is pretty much third tier by definition.)

At my skill level (and it looks like it only gets worse from here), Void Rays are the only unit with which I get to experience the thrill of a huge victory fleet. That has to do with their cost, not their place in the tech tree (stopping to build a Fleet Beacon wouldn't make much of a difference). While this really isn't the hugest of deals to me, I think I'd rather them require the Beacon but be (marginally) more sturdy.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd like to quote a recent Magic the Gathering article to provide some context to my point. (This is in regards to the design of a recent card game set, which features large Godzilla-meets-Cthulhu type creatures. Absurdly large creatures in Magic are usually not a particularly good strategy).

quote:
Wait a minute. What if they were actually huge creatures? What if you could play them despite their size? And what if the inhabitants of Zendikar could get just as big and powerful to match them? Could we engineer incredible, memorable battles between fatties? Could we solve the equation to maximize drama? How far would we have to warp the environment for this to work? It was truly a radical suggestion.


The idea came into focus after a discussion with fellow designer Ken Nagle. He had been watching some YouTube games of world-class real-time strategy players and noticed that their games looked nothing like the games he played. High-level players optimize every movement, micromanage their resources, and know in less than 10 minutes who's going to win or lose. When Ken played the same game, he and his friends would turtle up, ignore each other, and start working on battlecruisers—the biggest, most awesome units in the game. Then they would all send their battlecruisers to the center and watch the epic spectacle. Look at those high-level games again and you'll see close to zero battlecruisers. So if high-level players never use them, why are they in the game? Who are they for? They're for people who care more about having fun than being the best.

It got us thinking about the difference between casual and competitive Magic play. What if we did a set that was about outrageous, epic clashes between huge creatures? One where the optimal play is to turtle up, build your mana to unprecedented levels, and have a clash of the titans?

The idea became known as "battlecruiser Magic." Magic has a few themes that we call tentpoles. They are themes that players are almost always excited to see come back. They include themes like multicolor, artifacts, and sometimes tribal. Could "battlecruiser Magic" be a new tentpole? We decided to take a risk and find out.

Magic has the advantage of thousands of cards, and 150+ new ones of which come out every 3 months. So the game can afford to spread different types of appeal out among different types of cards, and serious tournament players can play cards that showcase player skill, casual players who like to "turtle" can play the cards designed for them, etc. There are plenty of cards that appeal to multiple player demographics, but you don't have to squeeze your entire player base into 11 units.

StarCraft doesn't have that luxury. 9-11 units per race need to be enough to satisfy platinum tournament players, casual "smash things" players, players striving to showcase creativity, among other things. Yes, there are custom maps, but the core game should offer as much as possible to as many different players as possible. My argument is not about strategic balance, it is about "fun" balance.

When I'm playing Protoss, I can tech halfway up the tree, stop, build a bajillion Void Rays and swing in for the win (in a casual game, obviously). Why is this a bad thing? Because there's little incentive to try the OTHER big "epic" flyer, the carrier, when the Void Ray accomplishes the same thing at half the price, cheaper down the tech tree.

If you're used to dealing with strategic game balance this may be hard to wrap your head around, but I think it is a real issue, just as valid as whether Void Rays are a legitimate counter to Colossi or whatever.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
pps i'm glad they upped the ante on Protoss artistic/concept development.

http://www.gr8land.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/ss45.jpeg

http://api.ning.com/files/VhXaQLV53rE0OtM-bgMjEu4WIgsBpcKv9MUMF1i12ILgRQLvpZ3hwVFn2ADuSIIRY1rPMs56mAvB5e6Pe3Z2DktHEIhNrcSC/Highcouncil.jpg

http://api.ning.com/files/wFUaNEvApY9CnBVABvdw3CCxzAxh73H4-KlaBm5FQHGep*e*YQZ1ZdnvAJNG70m5*Bigcq70TFoosOX29s2f6x5J49P85vbv/ProtossPurifier.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3042/2647881242_8326626376_m.jpg

http://www.videogamesblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/starcraft-2-new-protoss-art-big.jpg

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
If you're used to dealing with strategic game balance this may be hard to wrap your head around, but I think it is a real issue, just as valid as whether Void Rays are a legitimate counter to Colossi or whatever.

What you were talking about were balancing issues. Like, should they be made harder to make, defining their primary purpose, etc. If you want to move back to just talking about how fun they are, that's still not a different issue by much. The overall intent of the game's designers is to make the game fun. They have to do that by ensuring a diverse, dynamic, and creative gameplay experience on all levels. That's what creates the fun. This means, for multiplayer, excellent balance. Without it, you just get 'the correct build' and a lot of unit/strategic monoculture. All of my points relate to your points, since without balance you don't have fun, you have frustration.

As for the fun itself, you can talk about it all you want and I won't comment to it since it's mostly subjective relative to the player involved. I will comment about game balance where it's related to what you've said about void rays (or whatever) such as when you define their role, use, placement on tech tree, frustrations they generate, etc.

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BlackBlade
Member
Member # 8376

 - posted      Profile for BlackBlade   Email BlackBlade         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I find I have alot of difficulty defending against rushes as Terrans. I have even more trouble pulling off a rush. I just can't quite figure out the sequences.
Posts: 14316 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I have even more trouble pulling off a rush.
I'm not sure whether this is an effective strategy at higher levels, but when rushing on the smallest maps (larger maps you either get lucky or waste too much time for it to work), I immediately send an SCV into the enemy base, before they have a ramp block. Build my barracks in the back of the base as soon as possible, then immediately build a bunker, then build progressive bunkers closer to their base as I'm churning out marines. Against bad players you just win. Against good players you'll need to make sure you're not sacrificing your own base development in case they either repel the bunker-rush or are rushing you themselves.

Question for Good™ players: While I'm sure one exists, I'm not really sure how you'd effectively counter this and am curious if there's an "official" way to deal with it. There were times when I screwed up the attack, and gave the opponent enough time to build siege tanks, but since then it seems like the attack works fast enough that that wouldn't really be feasible.

quote:
What you were talking about were balancing issues.
What I initially said ("Void Ray's" primary purpose is to end games") was based on my experiences thus far, and I realize were inaccurate in the larger picture. But I think I pretty quickly realized my error and continuously tried to clarify what my argument really was.

Fun IS subjective, but you can analyze large groups of players and look at how certain units make them feel and how they use them and make intelligent decisions about how to maximize fun for all players at all levels. If that's something you simply don't have interest in, that's fine. But it's a perfectly legitimate form of game balance and I think you're missing out if you don't consider it.

I haven't asked around extensively about how players "feel" about Void Rays, so it is entirely possible my assumptions about their mass appeal in certain player demographics is wrong. But I do know that at copper and bronze level, Void Ray's primary use IS to end games (it's all I ever see them do, or at least attempt to do). I also know that at the Beta forum, there are a bajillion threads about them being overpowered. Those threads are probably frustrated low to mid level players as opposed to high level players who know what they're doing, but they still demonstrate that a significant chunk of players are either using them or responding to them "incorrectly."

On top of that, I'm pretty sure when Void Rays were first announced they were described as a "capital ship" kind of unit, and were tier 3, so I'm crazy thinking that

Balance at the highest levels is definitely the most important consideration, as it represents the long term health of the game. But balance/fun at the lower levels is also important and if it can be increased WITHOUT messing with overall balance, I think they should try. You mentioned earlier that the only "result" (ignoring "fun") of bumping Void Rays up a tier would be circumstantially overpowering Colossi (and presumably other similar units). That sounds like the sort of thing that can be addressed just by giving Void Rays a slight buff to counteract the longer investment.

At this point I do think it's probably too late for that, since then you only have a single unit at tier 2 flying and addressing that in the month or two before release is impractical. But I think that is a failing (however slight) on the game's part.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In other news:

quote:
pps i'm glad they upped the ante on Protoss artistic/concept development.
I agree those pictures are all awesome, but honestly I thought the art in StarCraft 1 was pretty good too.
Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Help if I'm missing something obvious. A lot of times after a match I'll want to talk to someone I just played with (or against), but I have no idea how to do that. Friending them requires the identifier, and for some reason my match history only includes their first names. I can't believe they missed something this obvious. What am I overlooking?
Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geraine
Member
Member # 9913

 - posted      Profile for Geraine   Email Geraine         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I played a pretty epic game last night. I was Zerg, my enemy was Terran.

Right off the bat he build a bunch of reapers(?) and send them to my base. I had rushed Hydralisks and was able to fend them off. Meanwhile I had an overlord heading over to his base. He was obviously rushing instead of expanding his base, so I started creating creep right outside of his sight at the bottom of his base.

I spawned about 30 Zerglings, turned half of them into Banelings, then spawned a Nydus Canal. I put the Nydus worm on the creep I had created near his base, then started sending them all through the tunnel and had them burrow. I kept building zerglings, hydralisks, and banelings and kept having them burrow. He built some more units and sent them to my base. I waited about 30 seconds, then unburrowed and took out his entire base.

Needless to say he was pretty mad. When 20 Banelings all roll in and explode on your Command Center and it dies almost instantaneously, its hard not to get a little angry [Smile]

Posts: 1937 | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ray: one of the bigger issues that void rays have (whether we're measuring balance or the nebulous 'fun factor') is circumstantial to the race's unit interbalance as a whole. Too few air & ground attacks in general, AND carriers suck right now.
Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
a) Reminder that I am still looking for help with the "how to chat with people thing, as noted too posts above" (I've posted that on three forums and haven't gotten a response yet)

re: Void Rays -

I generally agree with that last point. If tier three units were actually good enough to be used competitively, it'd automatically address the "fun factor" issues. I'm not sure what you mean specifically by "two few air and ground attacks." Air and ground attacks pretty much covers.... every kind of attack there is? Do you mean units that can attack both air and ground units?

The issue that keeps getting brought up on the Blizzard forums is that because Void Rays stay charged up for a while, their theoretical focus (high damage to big units) is lost, and they become decent enough at damaging smaller units that while you certainly benefit from having a more versatile army, it's not obvious in the low-to-mid levels of play.

Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
too few air & ground attacks = protoss have little in the way of robust units that attack both air and ground
Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah, gotcha. I agree with that, although that seems like something they've deliberately done throughout most of StarCraft 2, splitting up units that honestly should be able to attack both air and ground into one or the other in what I assume is an effort to require more strategic planning.
Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Raymond Arnold
Member
Member # 11712

 - posted      Profile for Raymond Arnold   Email Raymond Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
tee hee. Fun (fun =/= good) strategy. Playing as terran, immediately load all your SCVs into your command center and fly away to some island. You eventually lose because you're so behind on resources, but the "WTF dude where the hell are you!??" is worth it. And in copper league there's a good chance you can set up a few bases while they're looking for you and get a million starports.
Posts: 4136 | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Latest 'protoss are imba and I'm loving it' news.

1. The changes to void rays have left them even more imbalanced, especially against poor, poor terran.

2. The changes to the Phoenix make them ridiculous kiters [Razz]

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Anyone have a spare beta key? Is the pre-order the best way to get one still?
Posts: 15081 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2