Sunday, October 29, 2000

Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty | 10

Starcraft is 12 years old, and it is still one of the most played games. And as far as I can see, it won't go out of fashion anytime soon. I bought it when it first came out. Then through the years, I moved several times and got new computers several times, not to mention all the times I reinstalled windows. This meant that I lost the game and keys more than a few times. But no problem, I simply went out and bought another one because I thought it was worth it. Why? It was simple to install. It gave hours of entertainment by myself and with friends. LAN parties were the best. Not only that, my friends and I even created maps of our own to have god knows how many hours of fun.

Starcraft 2, on the other hand, lacks everything that made Starcraft the most popular game of its time. When I first tried to install it, I had to go online to register. When it asked for all the personal information that made me very uncomfortable to give, I had to pause and asked myself if it was worth it. After considering it for a while, I finally decided to give it a try. Then I figured out that what I had bought wasn't the game at all. The game itself was online. Ok... I thought.

When I actually played the game, I realized very quickly that all the units were glass units. Everything died too easily too fast. The resource gathering is considerably faster than SC, which meant that the economy ain't as important in SC2 as it was in SC. You be the judge of whether this is a bad thing or not. But the glass units really got to me. Since the units die too easily too fast, then what's the point of melee units?

I'm an old school SC player. This means that I know exactly what each unit is good for in an online competitive tournament. In a competitive online match in the old SC, my right hand is constantly moving the mouse and clicking a dozen clicks a second while my left hand would be pressing all the keys for short command codes. In other words, SC economy was slow and in a competitive setting I already have trouble keeping up with the pace of the game. And each unit has its strengths and weaknesses. A group of mutas could devastate your opponent's economy while a single templar's storm could destroy that group of mutas (I'm sure some people here knows exactly what I'm talking about while most of you are clueless). And that's the point. Some units easily die in certain situation while not so easily in others.

But in SC2, resource gathering is fast and units die too easily and quickly to be of any use for strategy. What's the point of strategizing your attack if everything dies just as easily and quickly as everything else in every situation?

So, my question to Blizzard is why the fudge did you guys replace all the good units from SC with glass units for SC2? Do you not like good strategy gamers?

The most important feature about the old SC that made it so popular for so long is the ability by the players to create and refine the maps. The best maps were created and are still being created and refined by fans. And each one of these maps was created for a different purpose. For example, if I'm all pumped up I might want to play something fast pace and intense like 3v3zc or any of the diplo or WW maps. But if after a full day of work and all I want to do is relax a little bit before bed time, I might just sign up for slow pace maps like sunk and overmind defense. All of these maps were created by fans and they are the best maps out there.

In SC2, after spending $60 for the first 1/3 portion of the game, you will have to spend more money to buy premium units and premium maps. And you don't actually possess these maps on your computer. They are all stored online. So, it looks like this is a closed system and us players can't actually create any map. In other words, this is beginning to look more like a totaltarian police state than a free enterprising market. In SC, popular maps remained around while unpopular maps simply die. Anyone can put any idea into maps. But with SC2, people are now stuck with what Bnet2 has and they have to pay for these premium units and premium maps.

But your craptacular multiplayer experience doesn't end there. There's no chat room. I'm still trying to figure out how to add a friend. You can't log onto another server. I know a few people from Europe that I'd like to play with. And if I really want to play with them, I'd have to spend another $60 to buy the European version.

SC is 12 years old and people are still playing it across the globe in record numbers. It is the longest lasting most popular strategy online game of all times. If Blizzard hope for SC2 to even come close to the popularity SC has been enjoying in the last 12 years, they should remove all the BS that I'm sure those greedy corporate scammers came up with.

Let us dedicated customers enjoy the game and worry less about all the BS. Like I said, over the last 12 years I bought and re-bought SC many times because I thought it was worth it. I absolutely don't think SC2 1/3 is worth $60. And I absolutely refuse to buy the other two when they come out unless Blizzard remove all the BS safeguards.

That's my opinion on the matter. Take it for what it's worth. I certainly hope you will make the right decision about whether or not to buy this game. If you have money coming out of your ears, then be my guest and buy SC2. If you want to enjoy a well balanced game that will give you hours of entertainment, I highly suggest SC.

SC1 enjoyed not only short term success but also a long term success. It's been 12 years and people are still paying good money to buy the game. It is still one of the most played games of all times.

So far, we know that SC2 enjoyed a very good short term success because many of us were duped into buying it. Whether it will enjoy longevity is something we need to wait to see. But it does look to me like Blizzard just wanted to make a quick buck on this one with no plan for a long term success.

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