@bowlisimo Uh… I never actually got around to StarCraft II. Still stuck on “The Big Push” in SC1.
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@beige Get your bearings here: http://blip.tv/day9tv/dreamhack-summer-2011-finals-preshow-5296183
Match 1 of 5 starts here: http://blip.tv/day9tv/dreamhack-summer-2011-grand-finals-game-1-5296262
@beige A Canadian just won a huge multinational SC2 tournament. He faced a Korean in the grand final and took him in a nail biting 3-2, a huge upset. It’s crazy, but that’s actually a historical moment. The kid went to South Korea for months and trained like Jean Claude Van Damme, where they made him play Starcraft blindfolded and dropped coconuts on his abs.
Haven’t gotten to the Squadcast or any podcasts because I was watching the Starcraft 2 MLG tourney almost all weekend. Which was awesome, by the way, even though you didn’t ask. Part of me still hates to admit it. I couldn’t tell you who’s playing for the NY Giants anymore, but I could tell you who EGIdra is, and how he basically had a Johnny vs Daniel-san matchup against a Korean that he failed to crane kick in.
Anyway, everyone ready for the E3 show to begin? I’ve got some serious “look like I’m working” to do this afternoon.
My friend said that the easiest way to get that achievement (destroy 50 Protoss buildings) is to scan with the Orbital Command and then laser everything. Unfortunately, I didn’t have Orbital Command when I did that mission. I can’t remember if I had Vikings though. I’ll try that.
I finished the campaign last night. Without spoiling, I think the “non-linear” structure is its biggest problem. Three of the four storylines just dead end. It’s like, why did I waste all this time helping colonists or doing Tosh’s missions if there’s no payoff at the end?
Mass Effect 2 handled this better. It felt like all the time spent collecting teammates was worth it, because they all have different roles to play in the final mission. (I would’ve liked it if there were a few more choices to make in that department, but that’s a whole other discussion.)
I’m still playing the challenges. They’re great fun. I managed to get perfect on the first Protoss one too. It took many, many tries. Tip: You can save during challenges, so you don’t need to reload the whole round if you screw up the end.
So…the good about Starcraft 2…pretty much everything. I love the production values. I love the cut scenes. I love the not so subtle Firefly vibe. I love everything about the Starcraft universe. I love that my heart breaks a little bit every time I see a picture of Kerrigan because I think the only person that loved her more than I did was Jim Raynor.
Maybe it’s because I’m playing on Hard difficulty but the whole time I’m playing the game, I KNOW I’m not playing as efficiently or effectively as I could be and that’s against the computer. I haven’t even tried a multiplayer game yet.
I’m just not good at, nor do I particularly enjoy RTS games. Even spectacular ones like Starcraft II. I get too invested in my units and I find myself wanting to pause the game and give specific instructions to my guys which involves taking cover, dropping prone and micro-managing ammunition.
I’d even take the Dawn of War II RTS style over Starcraft II because it allows me to be a little more tactical and gives me a chance to be more invested in the units I’m using.
Great game. Just not a great game for me.
I just had the most insane 3v3 game. We should not have won. My friends and I were laughing for a solid minute afterward.
I can’t even describe it. It was like two separate games. One, where my friends were utterly crushed by mass marines and stalkers while I ignored them and banshee rushed. The other, where we’re all lifting off and hiding our new bases, and then my friend builds six BattleCruisers and wins.
(That’s an SC2 replay file, so you need the game to watch it. Put it into your SC2 replay folder in My Documents after you download it.) I’m gonna try to get it on YouTube somehow.
Squadron of shame, the week Starcraft 2 is released, talking about….NCAA vs Madden? Am I at the right site? 😀
I can totally understand the lack of enthusiasm for RTS games though. I think there’s a lot of reasons why they can be harder to enjoy. In a shooter, you can lose a match[, but still feel like you played a solid game, and every time you respawn, you kind of get a ‘fresh start’ to do better than before. RTS games on the other hand take a lot longer, and all of your eggs are in one big basket for the entire game. You never get a clean slate, and every mistake you make echoes through the rest of the match. Plus, losing an RTS game always feels like a complete and total defeat, when the enemy has slaughtered all of your units and is setting fire to your town.
RTS is just one of those genres that you have to play with friends I think, because sharing the experience is what really makes them feel worthwhile. Shooters and racers can be fun with strangers, but I honestly don’t think I’d be nearly as psyched about Starcraft if there weren’t a dozen other guys at my office getting hyped up for it around me.
I’d be interested in listening to that Starcraft 2 soundtrack. Did anyone get it? I still listen to the Diablo 2 one. Blizzard has as much of a knack for music as they do for art design.
@scribl I listened to Idle Thumbs during their first run and really enjoyed it. Then they stopped doing episodes due to some of the crew landing jobs elsewhere. When they returned, I still dug it but wasn’t sure how regular they’d be so I unsubscribed (case in point to the importance of regularity).
Now I’m catching up with the new season and getting that Brodeo vibe from a podcast all over again. I’m even stoked about trying S.T.A.L.K.E.R after hearing the game play stories in episode 2 (I think).
@RedSwirl Your mileage may vary with the first game. It’s a bit of a mess when played on console, but it’s a unique experience. Bowley and I seem to agree it loses its inertia when it ‘goes offroad’ after Cuba, the really impressive setpieces being within urban environments during the first two thirds of the game. The story keeps up, but the engine itself works better within jungles of concrete, rather than foliage.
@beige You playing primarily for campaign or the ol’ multi, Beige?
@unmanneddrone Hah, no, that’s not me. He’s a well-known commentator named Sean Plott (“Day9”). In addition to casting games, he does daily one-hour(ish) episodes about StarCraft 2. He’s quite a character.
His brother is Nick Plott (“Tasteless”). He’s the premier English commentator in Korea.
I’ve told this story before, but for those of you that have recently joined us:
One day at work, I realized that all day I move people around from place to place, giving them a task to complete and then they report back to me. More often than not, they also spend a large amount of time walking in circles and bumping into things, forcing me to go back and repeat what I asked them to do in the first place. My days were often driven by slow periods where nothing happened, followed by mad rushes of activity.
I stopped playing RTS games that very day.
That said, my copy of Starcraft 2 is on it’s way. We’ll see if the intervening years have made a difference to me.
@scribl The vid is true. But I was thinking more along the lines of it being such a rehearsed and honed set of gameplay manoeuvres…things like builds and that, where people jump out of the gate and start slapping down installations for econ, boom, all that jazz. Starcraft, to me, seems to have a lot in common with fighting games in multiplayer. The counters, the offensive capabilities, even movement down to a fine art. I’m not attacking the APM or even targeting it as something wrong…more that, outside of Multiwinia…the pace of Starcraft – even on an hobby level – is kinda overbearing for this geezer.
Hence why I’m hanging out for RUSE. Very much looking forward to a slower, grander scope in my RTS, and the operational level “sector by sector” gameplay hits some sort of majestic chord with me. I’m with Jeff and wish I could be part of the SC2 buzz, but factors both hardware and heart prevent such an occurrence for the time being.
Great vid, by the by. Was that you?
I don’t know if it is my ADD or what, but I can’t really do RTS. I want to be a part of the SC2 hype-machine, but I’m just sitting on my couch playing turn-based games that are more my speed. Delicious Advance Wars and Civ.
I gotta say, I appreciate the skill and APM of high-level RTS competitive matches…but games so set within a mechanic of machine-gun clicks and snap-to’s kinda burn me out. Nice to watch, though.
Tell you what, though…Ground Control 2 back in the day was awesome. I’m not much of a base-building type of guy, and the arcade-style nature of the Massive Entertainment games really make for a rollicking game. 4v4 matches in that game was excellent. One of the few games that’ll run on my stone-age craptop, too.
Dear lord, that was long. Here’s a short follow-up.
That’s TheLittleOne, who’s known for his creativity. Not every match is like these, but they just show you a little of the game’s potential.
Of course, you don’t go into StarCraft expecting to pull off pro-level feats, but the beauty of the game is that even a match between average players can be incredibly exciting and dynamic. For instance, watch this replay where the commentator Day9 (same awesome guy who cast the first two vids) casts a 2v2 match between a few of his (non-pro) friends.
@iscariot83 Oh, you’re playing Neptune’s Pride? I’d love to check it out. I just never thought I’d get enough friends together who’d want to participate.
Put me in the 1) camp for SC2. But you guys already knew that.
If you’re intimidated by the multiplayer, maybe I can offer a few things to soothe your fear of being repeatedly battered by an army of tiny StarCraft experts.
a) Region locking means you’ll never play against Koreans. Ever. (Unless they import a North American copy.)
b) The matchmaking is very effective. It’ll probably be even better when the game is live, since beta participants probably tend to be more hardcore. Live will have a broader pool of players with more average schmos.
c) Blizzard has said that there’ll be a challenge mode, which eases you into the habits and style of play that are more conducive to multiplayer. For example, one might challenge you to complete certain tasks by only using hotkeys.
d) Well, you can always do comp stomps or mess around with the custom community maps. My friends and I found quite a few that were really fun during the beta.
Anyway, I wouldn’t say that the multiplayer is impenetrable. You just need to be willing to invest some time to get to a basic level of competence. For me, that involved playing one ten-minute 1v1 match, where I got clobbered by a guy using a very simple strategy (attack with squads of 3 marines and 2 marauders ad infinitum). His plan was so straightforward and automatic, he may as well have been a CPU set to Easy.
I watched the replay afterward (another ten minutes), which showed me a ton of basic things that I’d been doing wrong—things that would never have occurred to me otherwise. Stuff like constantly building workers, building more than one unit-producing facility…. After that, I think I actually won my next game. I lost a whole lot, but won a few, and kept playing and watching replays and learning and getting better.
When I really started getting into the game, I started watching games with commentary, which was like a positive feedback loop.
If you’re interested at all in SC2 multiplayer, here’s my advice:
Play 1v1 matchmaking until you lose (this won’t take long). Do your best, but don’t get discouraged when you’re defeated. When you lose, watch the replay from the opponent’s perspective. Pick up whatever you can from him.
Keep playing 1v1 if you like, but really, I’d suggest that you find a friend and play lots of 2v2 matchmaking with them. 2v2 takes the sting out of losing, because you can laugh it off with someone else. It takes the pressure off, since if you screw up, you’ve got a buddy to fall back on. Also, it makes the victories even sweeter, because you’ve got someone to celebrate with. (Your 1v1 opponents probably won’t want to stick around after the match to chat about how great your victory was.)
(This is all coming from a guy who only used his SC2 beta code because eBay took down his auction when he tried to sell it. I had zero interest in SC2 beforehand. Before the SC2 beta, I’d never played an RTS online.)
I’ve pretty much sworn off special editions at this point – hell, I avoid boxed copies of games when possible. I’ve been doing heavy duty cleaning and clearing in my apartment in preparation for a move, and It’s made me really rethink the value of having stuff. I’ve got a new metric in fact – “Will I still want this in 7 years.” When it comes to figurines, toys, and special boxes, the answer is a pretty definitive no. Even art books are iffy, when you’ve got google image search and sites like conceptart.org.
So, there are two universal things I’m hearing about Starcraft 2:
1) I’m very excited to play this awesome game
2) But the multiplayer is impenetrably difficult and isn’t even enjoyable.
I’m playing a browser based RTS game these days called Neptune’s Pride, where every movement and command takes about 12 hours to complete. It’s great, because the game is entirely about actual strategy and not on reflexes or clicking skillss. If you hop onto battlenet though, you’ll invariably find that every game of Starcraft is played at the maximum game speed setting. It makes sense for professional and high level players to make the game as unforgiving as possible, but i’d like to propose that we all try playing a competitive game at the slowest possible speed some time. Instead of a twitch-based test of micromanagement, we might all discover that we have time to actually enjoy the S in RTS games a llittle more 🙂
@Roc But… XBLA games go on sale so rarely you might as well say you’re not buying it.
The SC2 pre-load site is back up, by the way. I downloaded the 7 GBs while I was sleeping. Now I have to decide if I want to run to FutureShop at 8am to get a retail code early (you can plug it into the pre-load), or wait until 1pm when I can activate my digital copy online.
What’s with the giant permalinks that randomly pop up in people’s posts?
@Red All you need is your CD key to register a game on B.net. I’ve got all my old Blizzard games on my account.
@bowlisimo Are you sure you can do that? I don’t see anywhere on B.net or on the Blizzard store where I can pre-purchase SC2. I’d heard that it’ll be released online a week after retail. (Fuck GameStop.)
Okay so lemme get this straight: If I buy a boxed copy of any Blizzard game, like say the first StarCraft and StarCraft II when that comes out, I can register it on Battle.net?
Even though I’m getting both games I will probably stick with the standard edition of StarCraft II. I don’t need to pay $100 and I’m not really interested in the art book or behind-the-scenes DVD. Right now I just want the games.
Wait it’s gonna be $59.99?! God damnit. If Activision didn’t successfully pull the trend with their Modern Warfare 2 price hike then they know they’ll do it with StarCraft II.
I’m Kroan.836 if any of you are in the SC2 beta. Phase 2 just went up a couple days ago.