Starcraft II: Footage, Strange Decisions


UPDATE: This story on VG247 suggests that they really mean it: no LAN support of any kind. Bananas.

An abundance of Starcraft II stuff has appeared on the grainy info screens of RPS HQ, including project lead Dustin Browder saying that the beta is set to last “four to six months”. Which means they’ll be right up against it if they’re aiming to get the game out before Christmas. In rather more bizarre news, Blizzardian hyperboss Rob Pardo has said that that the game won’t support a LAN option, and that the decision not to include it “is because of the planned technology to be incorporated into Battle.net.” Which presumably means they are going to support play over a local network, but you’ll still need to be online and logged into Battlenet on individual accounts to play. Maybe. I could be quite, quite wrong.

Seven minutes of footage – watch those tiny dudes eviscerate! – courtesy of Joystiq, below.


171 Comments

  1. Zyrusticae says:

    Innovation is overrated. So is, for that matter, originality. I do not understand this mindset at all.

    If you want something different, there are other developers out there doing something different. Blizzard should never be your go-to guy for something new and intriguing.

  2. EyeMessiah says:

    @Joshua

    I personally know quite a lot of gamers (primarily SP players) who actively dislike the last couple of generations of RTS. DOW2 in particular has proved a hard sell for many of them who adore base building, controlling huge armies and who loathe cover systems, quick games, controlling squads (basically because both mechanics make the little guys do funny things when you tell them to go somewhere i.e. the line themselves up in weird ways and hide behind things instead of going EXACTLY where you clicked). Funnily enough all of them are completely sold on SC2.

  3. Benjamin Ferrari says:

    @Arturo: I agree that popularity does not imply quality, but I disagree that popularity implies bad quality.

    And calling Starcraft’s mutliplayer gameplay bubble gum is a very creative argument, considering that it has a very high learning curve and is not very popular with the average online player.

  4. Arturo says:

    @ EyeMessiah

    Good stuff.

    I guess that’s what I really like about DOW2; I feel much more involved with the units, especially with the animations and ways in which the units interact with the environment/landscape, and especially each other. The melee looks intense, and the units that are fighting look like they are actually interacting/fighting/and dying. It’s also at a speed that I can comprehend and find managable; the fighting is slowed down just enough that people with mortal reflexes can still effect change on the battlefield.

    Watching that last SC2 battle report, I know there’s no way in hell I’m going to be able to micro a whole squad of teleporters based on who is taking damage and then putting down force fields with that level of speed and accuracy.

    I think the battle report was a good example though of these sorts of differences: the zerg player certainly won more of the skirmishes with good tactics, but it was all for naught since the protoss player had built more drones to gather crystals. His resource rate was faster, so it didn’t even matter if he lost a ton of troops, he just out-produced the zerg. The economic game trumped the tactical game, not my cup of tea. The match was decided in the first few minutes and the rest was just window dressing.

    That being said, I do have to admit it IS hard to resist the nostalgia beam directed at my brain by watching those units fighting. I just wish they were doing so in a more involved and interesting to watch way.

  5. Arturo says:

    @ Benjamin Ferrari

    You are right, SC is -extremely- deep with the meta game at higher levels, don’t get me wrong. I meant more Blizzard’s approach to design, appealing to a certain crowd with their choices in graphics and gameplay style, specifically in reference to WOW being very casual-friendly.

  6. JKjoker says:

    @EyeMessiah: im one of those ppl that love long RTS games, carefully planning your defenses while you slowly taking over the whole map watching your foes scream in agony at the lack of expansion points, patiently eroding their resources and then suddenly strike with a MASSIVE force squishing them like little bugs, so i know what you mean, but every single feature ive heard and footage ive watched screams to me that they are aiming for “quick games”, just like they did with warcraft 3, maybe more so

  7. EyeMessiah says:

    @JKjoker

    That said, SC1 was a pretty quick game too if you were playing against ladder players. It was often about breaching the supply cap by timing your first few builds so that you could get the largest possible zergling rush together in the opening couple of minutes of the game. Getting a handful of T2 units, or a single T3 unit out sometimes seemed like a miracle.

    That didn’t stop friends and I setting up custom games against each other or coop against the AI and playing long defence-heavy games that lasted for 4 hours (with max pop composed of nothing except full groups of carriers: bliss!). I expect to be able to play SC2 the same way with friends or against the AI, just not in matchmade games.

  8. EyeMessiah says:

    @Arturo
    I actually find DOW2 a bit too fast moving – at least I expect SC2 to have a variable speed slider. Sometimes I feel like I’m missing out on all the gloriously rendered action because I’m struggling to zip between different battles while also recapping points all the time. It does make for a damn fine replay though.

  9. ShardPhoenix says:

    To some extent I think people just have an unreasonably high standard of innovation when it comes to Blizzard that they don’t apply to any other company. Basically, whining about Blizzard not being innovative is a meme unto itself, regardless of whether it’s justified.

  10. Adam T says:

    It’s all about control… eventually there will be no pure LAN play in any commercial game…

  11. Cade Tylis says:

    Any loss of functionality in games should be opposed. We’ve already seen much decline in split screen gaming on consoles. Theres a first time for everything but let it not happen with blizzard. Sign the pitition! Oppose this change. Rise up and eat salami!
    link to petitiononline.com
    Just incase you weren’t aware.

  12. Hypocee says:

    A lot of people are missing an important point here – Korea’s wired to an extent we can barely imagine over here, far beyond ‘broadband’. It’s like FIOS is the lowest connection speed offered or something like that. The nation, or at least the Starcraft-obsessed portion of the nation, is one big LAN. A couple of local server farms, and the problem doesn’t exist.

    It’s unpleasant that we Westerners get screwed in the process, but I suppose they can just release it as South Corea 2, 3 and 4 instead.

  13. bookwormat says:

    I just realized that I posted half my posts in this thread under the handle bookwormat, and the other half under my real name (Benjamin Ferrari). Very confusing, sorry.

  14. T-B0N3 says:

    actually i think a game like starcraft is way deaper than RTS that game after it. That the game is always the same is ridicilous, only the 1st 30 seconds might be always the same. After that you got many options.
    you have to constantly scout your opponent and adapt, there are many ways you can fool your opponent. things like this are unmatched in any other rts imo.
    SC is also the only rts i like to spectate, so much tensions when someone goes for a build that will completely fail if the other one sees it. Or so exciting when a player like Slayer_Boxer decides to ruh with all his units after 1 minute in the game :)

  15. MacMike says:

    ok if they really go with this i will never buy blizzard games again! how many times do you have a lan party with friends where u dont have internet connection. i am here on a college campus and when we meet in a big room where we can play we dont have internet. so this is not cool at all.
    they will never see my money.

  16. DK says:

    “Ask Relic. They did the same thing with Company of Heroes when addon Oppossing Fronts was released.”
    I really wish people would stop spreading that myth. Company of Heroes requires an internet connection if you want to play without the CD. If you have the CD in the drive, you can play without any internet connection. It’s the perfect balance between a copy protection a publisher will accept and not bothering your customers.

  17. Guido says:

    I’m a big StarCraft fan, but I’ve yet to see anything that convinces me that SC2 will be better than DoW2…

  18. sigma83 says:

    Guido: Two words. Single player.

  19. Mike says:

    So I got a question. I’m at an internet cafe planning to try out SC2. They have the game here, but when I try to play the game, it asked me to log into my battlenet account, which I did, and said I don’t have the game in my account. Does that mean I need to actually buy one to be able to play even if they have the game already here on the compy?

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