It's this mix of styles, to the point that the races feel like they're in different genres, that makes SCII such a varied game. And that doesn't even account for different playstyles within the races.
2. Your foot soldiers don't just "die" --- their armor units each have a built-in teleportation gadget that bails them out when they got critically wounded.
3. They then go back to their homeworld, where they get converted to mind-in-a-tank cyborgs (which is responsible for the "hydraulic fluid" you see when a Dragoon dies).
So yeah, no bleeding (or rather gore) in theory.
I can't play Starcraft (or chess, poker) for fear of being sucked into the competition and waking up years later. Gone down that rabbit hole enough to know I'd regret it.
Obligatory Don't be afraid to ask for help! Many counselors are now specifically trained for dealing with video game addiction now! Especially if you are college it's probably free!
This is a fine life for some people, but if you want to do something else with your life, the knowledge that you’d do well in these competitive-play pursuits can feel like a black hole always pulling at you. It’s easy to lose passion for “real work”—doing good in the world, creating stuff, entertaining people; these are all pursuits that have their high points, but aren’t fundamentally structured to match the human reward system. They have moments where you have to struggle through to regain your desire to do them.
Competitive gameplay—probably a lot like competitive athletics—is very “natural” to the human brain. If you’re good at it, it’s hard to resist letting that be your life—and people encourage you to let it!
Imagine being 7’1” and enjoying basketball, but having other passions that are stronger (academic economics, let’s say.) If there’s ever a lull in your love of academia, you’d be tempted to just quit and play basketball, right? That’s not an addiction, per se. But you have to repress it like one all the same.
I'm not sure what it is - certain personalities are just so easily addicted to video games. I'm one of them, so I try to avoid them as much as possible. I find myself so easily addicted that I'm sometimes worried that I'll fall back into a video gaming binge. Every now and then, I'll mentally trick myself into thinking I have enough willpower to play just "one" game and I'll get the craving out. Nope. It's always six hours later and I'm late for whatever I had planned for the rest of the day. More frequently than not, the next day I'll trick myself again into one "last" game. I'll blow through another six-eight hours that'll feel like minutes. Day 2 is normally when I have enough angst to uninstall and purge the game. I'm older now (29) so I'm better at realizing the mental tricks of the "one" game fallacy, but even this weekend I played six-seven hours straight of Starcraft 2. (The mental justification was I was "thinking" about AI/ML strategies to play SC2, sigh.)
I'm averaging about six-seven months between each relapse, so it's not like I have some absurd problem - but back in college, I could easily spend a week of non-stop playing some forgettable RTS, sleep, drink and then repeat. There's some pang of sadness as I wish I had done something a little more useful, but in hindsight a lot of those failures made me realize how bad video games were to my personality.
Video games are perfect, especially for people who like to tinker and are curious, which to me has been every hacker ever. That's what it is. They literally are just really damn good at what they do.
What online video games (and here I am making sure to distinguish between online, competitive type video games, versus offline because in my experience offline video games hardly ever come up in counseling, it's always your CODs, CSes, LoL and WoW's of the world) do psychologically is they provide a structure, a way to advance and progress -- with a tight feedback loop of your progress and a way to socialize with other people. Ultimately these 3 things lead to a huge sense of accomplishment and dopamine rush. Your attention is kept because you have these short spurts of quests, or "you just gotta kill 3 more mobs to get that next level and unlock your new spell tree" or you got to check your auction to get that gold to buy the new gear to do the new raid with your clan next week because you really don't want to let those guys down, etc.
The problem is, outside that virtual reality, you see depression, lack of ability to focus at work, not getting work done on time, lack of interest in tasks considered "boring". The way to success is to create these same structures in your life, but for the goals you want to accomplish. Much easier said than done, but at a high level, that's what it is all about. We escape to our virtual reality to get our virtual high and virtual feeling of belonging and virtual progress because we lack any or all of these areas in our real lives and it pains us too much to be able to face that disappointment. And for some of us, that mountain of unfinished tasks, or incomplete projects because of our thousands of hours racked up on Steam seems insurmountable, so that even when we do have free time and no games, we procrastinate -- "it's too much, I'll never get it done anyways" (Procrastination -- especially habitual procrastination is almost always a defense mechanism, and not a moral/character flaw such as "I am just lazy")
Now why we escape to the video games? Any number of factors, be it depression, ADHD, or simply never having a good role model or someone to teach you structure and discipline in your life (the latter is usually the case), but that's besides the point. The point is to recognize it, realize you will never be happy unless you achieve what you want from your life. (Why every time I have a couple hours free, I can't work on my side project as intently as I play 3 ranked matches in League of Legends?)
I could probably fill up a book with information I learned about it, but everyone is unique. I want to help, if this resonates true in your life -- reach out to me. If you just want someone to email back and forth or talk to, it's my user name at google's mail service.
Skilled matchmaking ensures you lose 50% of the matches you play, and you have no one to blame for your failures but yourself. You can improve 100x and still feel like you suck at the game.
Addictive free to play games are easy by design, appeal to the broadest possible demographics and boost your ego by congratulating you for trivial accomplishments. Starcraft 2, by contrast, is arguably the hardest multiplayer video game in existence, and is far too challenging for casual addiction to become a problem.
Also, your name rings a bell about my favorite terran.
Tom Brady has 5 Superbowl rings but he's involved with so many other pursuits that he has a full, rich life. He dedicates himself to educating people about what works for him as far as physical and mental preparation in the most grueling and damaging sport around. Frankly, everyone should try and model their approach to life like his. He has always had to work hard to achieve everything he does. He comes in before everyone, everyday, and leaves last. He's always the most prepared, at anything he does. I'm sure a lot more people would feel fulfilled if they put their efforts into many pursuits like he did.
Unfortunately, society doesn't really allow for everyone to live like this. Financially, we become stuck trying to make ends meet rather than producing what we want to. I'd love to put my time into many other activities other than just "work" and then go home, perform maintenance on my life/home, and then get a small portion of time to game/work on personal projects.
Gaming is a positive life enriching activity if used correctly. It's easy to blow it off because one has an addictive personality, but the advantages are real when approached with the right mindset.
I went cold turkey after WarCraft 2 and Diablo 2. Won’t even look at EverQuest, RuneQuest, Eve Online, Diablo 3, etc.
I’ll probably resume online games next time I need chemo. For me, it’s a better pain mgmt regiment than pills.
Also, though slightly dated: https://www.reddit.com/r/starcraft/comments/3s424k/starcraft...
I wonder how much of an effect being free to play will boost its popularity for esports. I know Blizzard was pushing for it.
I mean like it'll be really difficult to beat out League of Legends for popularity now. Those tourney which just finished pulled like concurrent 15m viewers (significantly more than NHL finals).
A StarCraft 2 game can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 2+ hours. And they tend to stack so a series might take 20 minutes or 5 hours. Games often snowball from minor advantages so only a seconds of that may be really important.
League of Legends games on the other hand have some back a forth and are bound fairly closely to 25 minutes at top play. Allowing for more bite sized games, you can also jump into the middle of a match and understand what's going on more easily. Even better, lower level games tend to more closely match top play like other sports.
SC2, on the other hand, is much easier to grok as a spectator. It's 1v1, so you know each army is controlled by 1 player, and the capabilities of the units are far more obvious as well, since a lot of them are based on pre-existing science fiction concepts.
League & Dota get far more viewers because the games are far more popular, however, as a spectator sport, they fall short because of their complexity.
I do agree that League is a downright mess in team fights, but at the same time, it's pretty true for SCII as well; when the armies, regardless of what stage of gameplay they're at, collide, I'm usually pretty lost as to why one is just eating the other or why this match up is a scenario that requires a retreat.
League has put a lot of effort into spectator clarity, with many of the status effects now having pretty clear symbols, the team-fight view with relative "power bars" that just give you a generic look at which side is faring better, and the commentators are usually fairly good at their fight recaps. A completely uninitiated is still going to miss the majority of nuances in matchups, trades, rotations, and all other such meta-game aspects, but Riot has done a pretty decent job of adding a simple interface for seeing what's going on in a match at any given time, and very simple meter for who is ahead in a team fight.
(It's still a mess to figure out sometimes, eve if you played for several years like I did. Sometimes I can't pick out what's happening until the casters walk us through it on the instant replay)
The problem is that SC2 had very long periods of unwatchable metas. Twelve months of pro games consisting of two players building deathballs, having one battle (Where someone gets caught out of position, and loses their entire army in 5 seconds,) and the game ending was awful, as a spectator sport. (That was any Heart of the Swarm match involving Zerg in a nutshell.)
I was like watching a chess game, that, at turn 15, if one side didn't have a clear advantage, getting decided by a coin flip. This may be fun from a player's perspective, but is awful as a spectator sport.
Really, I think what helps League over StarCraft is that it's pretty clear who's winning and who's losing since there's a relatively easy to follow flow across the map. When one team loses their towers, which are clearly denoted, they're probably behind. Further, gold and experience also give a pretty good indication of who's winning and losing. With StarCraft, which I've also never played, but have watched a handful of games, I find it difficult to follow on a macro scale. Certainly, it's easy to see when one battle is won or lost, but then suddenly one player will concede and I'm left wondering why. I think that rapid nature of forfeiting and loss of the game hurts its spectator appeal.
That said it leads to this weird level of apathy in some parts of their business. They have tremendously talented engineers who do mind blowing work on features they are visibly passionate about. At the same time core business features that are more "boilerplate" tend to receive less effort which leaves to a lot of gripe from their incredibly passionate fanbase.
Valve on the other hand is the Google of the PC gaming scene through Steam.
I would equate Blizzard to be more like IBM or Microsoft in all honesty, Microsoft is probably a better case than the big blue.
Warcraft 2, Diablo, Starcraft, Diablo 2, Warcraft 3 were considered massive successes and all predate WoW.
That's like saying Google had moderate success with search but hit gold with Gmail
They're basically a CDN. For me, that's all they provide.
And they charge an INCREDIBLE amount for their services, to developers -- 30%, I believe. Do they really provide THAT much value? I doubt it. I personally can't wait for some startup to blow them out of the water.
At this point, the only way a competitor has a fighting chance is if Origin or Blizzard starts opening up to third party games. Blizzard did that with Destiny 2 but it seems like they might only want to partner up with high quality dev work (whereas Steam is littered with shovelware made on RPG Maker).
Discord seems incredibly well-positioned to take on Steam directly. They've got huge adoption in the gamer community. They're great at the community management side of things, as far as I can tell. They've figured out how to provide a better voice experience than pretty much any other service out there, so they're smart. If it's possible to provide the same thing that Steam does at less cost (which I strongly suspect it is), Discord could do it and probably make a killing at it.
And they'd save game developers a ton of money.
Admittedly my usage is low. However twice I have encountered installer errors regarding permission issues
It turned out origin never created the root installation folder. Manually creating it yielded a successful install. WAT?!
I won't be buying anything further requiring origin until 2019 at the earliest.
It remains to be seen whether Activision/Blizzard will open up their platform to independent third parties.
As for the 30%, imo it's about right.
I personally try to avoid games that aren't on steam (and more recently GOG).
Steam provides friendliest, cloud saves, simple install to anywhere, automatic updates, matchmaking, workshop, easy uninstall, and playtime tracking.
All of these are minor features but combined they greatly incentivse buying there.
Interesting, where do you get this from? Been waiting for this for years now but haven't seen any official message from Valve themselves about this.
Blizzard spends a lot of time iterating on their games internally. They even cancel huge effectively complete products when they're not good enough. That sort of perfectionist product development methodology reminds me more of Apple than Google, although Nintendo is probably an even closer match.
Did they actually do anything since then? They have other people on Steam doing the creative work for them.
1) The multiplayer should have been F2P from the beginning, and the campaign should have been a buyable add-on. Valve was already doing this on top of the in-game paid cosmetics, and Blizzard could have easily copied their business model for SC2. The game was ripe for those kind of additions.
2) The original UI was far too heavily focused on 1v1 ranked. The reason games like SC:BW and WC3 had such long-term and widespread appeal was because of how easy the casual modes (custom games, big team games) were to access.
3) Blizzard, in an attempt to prevent another Kespa power grab situation, created very restrictive rules for non-Blizzard SC2 tournaments that effectively prevented a large number of independent tournaments from being run. This goes in stark contrast to a game like DotA 2 where Valve put little regulation on independent tournaments which allowed the scene to thrive organically.
4) The official tournament system for professional play was terribly implemented from the get-go. Region locking was a very short sighted idea used to give a boost to non-Korean players, but it was wholly irrelevant as Korean players won every tournament anyways and effectively made the early rounds of Blizzard tournaments much more boring and predictable because you would have mediocre foreign players getting smashed by the Korean players. If Blizzard did this again, they should have simply let the "best" players in, regardless of their region. This is why the GSL was always the more exciting tournament - the player base, from top to bottom, was always far more talented than the WCS.
5) Implementing MMR decay was a terrible idea - it caused a huge number of competitive players to abandon the game for games like League of Legends and DotA, where they could take a legitimate break from the game and come back and still face similarly talented players. It was good Blizzard went back on this, but they damaged the game's competitive playerbase with this move.
6) For too long, Blizzard was far too afraid to make sweeping changes to their game in the same vein as DotA or League. As a competitive player, I don't mind this much, but to keep players coming back, doing major game altering updates is a guaranteed way to keep your playerbase coming back. Very recently, i.e. with the most previous expansion (Legacy of the Void), Blizzard has been actually doing some serious and interesting changes to the game that I believe will keep it fresh and fun while the core game stays intact.
Making the game F2P is great news, and certainly the book is not closed on SC2. I hope Blizzard does not give up on the game now that it's F2P and instead focuses on growing the game organically again. SC2 tournaments should have the same hype levels as a major boxing match - everyone who follows esports should at least tangentially be aware of it happening. The game has the potential to be that kind of spectator sport, it's just up to Blizzard to keep working on it at this point and keep player interest up as best they can.
I still play the game, albeit much less than I used to. If the playerbase started growing again, I would be tempted to put more time in again. It's still a great game - it always has been.
sorting by popularity and version independence meant that games had a positive feedback loop to maintain popularity, and never gain it, and even updates to the game could never reach high enough popularity to overtake the previous version
So you end up with 5 games that were actually popular enough to get a session of randoms going, and it never changes.
They basically took the late-stage bot-filled custom games hosting of wc3, and decided this should be the starting point of sc2's custom game community.
Ended up dropping it after a month; nothing good would ever come out of that environment, and I was never interested in normal sc
The beauty of League/Overwatch/PUBG/CSGO as an esport is the burden of game knowledge is relatively low comparatively.
RTS are essentially giant paper rock scissors games, but so fast paced it's really hard to get over the initial hump/learning curve, especially with as much micro across multiple groups as SC2 requires to get higher.
I don't know, I've always been able to compete at an average level in most ranked multiplayer games, but it seems with SC/SC2 it's always one end of the spectrum or another.
I started sc2 in bronze (the lowest) since it was my first RTS. I was frustrated with all the cheese (all in, early rushes) but after watching replays and learning the tells and standard ways to stop it from happening it felt good. It was great to expect, defend, and win against something that made me so flustered in the past.
Using COD as an example, the progression system over time unlocks new guns, perks, and cosmetics for you. You can blame losses / deaths on "unavailable items" where in starcraft the progression system is purely about your experience and knowledge. After you learn and get better, you get rewarded with public badges.
"Being bad" in starcraft just means your inexperienced. Since being bad normally results in loses, it feels inaccessible. If I lost my first 10 matches in any game and didn't have a fun time I normally wouldn't continue. But if you have the drive to improve yourself you can find losses are the most information rich resources
Like any game with proper matchmaking, you win ~50% of your games unless you are so good there don't exist better opponents (or I suppose so bad there don't exist worse opponents, but the bottom 0.1% is at a lot more similar of a skill level than the top 0.1%). I never reached diamond league but had tons of fun. Then my wrists started complaining and I had to stop :(.
Three quarters of players are below masters/diamond, so presumably it's reasonably accessible even below those tiers.
> I've always been able to compete at an average level in most ranked multiplayer games, but it seems with SC/SC2 it's always one end of the spectrum or another.
What do you mean by this? No matter how good you are, unless you're the very best, you're going to get to the point where you win about half your games in SC2, as with any other 1v1 zero-sum match-made game.
Yes, but how engaged are they with the game?
I had a lot of RTS experience, so when SC2 launched, I placed Diamond/Master pretty quickly. I enjoyed it for about a thousand matches.
It's unclear how enjoyable people placing in Bronze and Silver found it. One friend of mine did grind out ~2000 games, and eventually made it from Bronze into Platinum, but I don't know anyone else who started in the lower brackets, and stuck with the game like he did.
>The beauty of League/Overwatch/PUBG/CSGO as an esport is the burden of game knowledge is relatively low comparatively.
This statement rings false for me - Overwatch and League (and DotA) are practically impossible for a novice or inexperienced player to follow because the number of unique characters and abilities is overwhelming. Contrast that with CS:GO or PUBG which is much more simple gunplay anyone can understand. In the middle of these extremes is Starcraft 2 where most of the in-game units are based off pre-existing sci-fi lore, and thus the function of the units is far more obvious to a novice spectator.
>RTS are essentially giant paper rock scissors games, but so fast paced it's really hard to get over the initial hump/learning curve, especially with as much micro across multiple groups as SC2 requires to get higher.
That's quite an oversimplification of the strategy required in Starcraft:Brood War or SC2. I'm sure other RTS are like this, but the ability to scout in those games creates a skillful back and forth with how a players build their tech/base/army and evolve their strategy throughout the match.
At the start MMR wasn't shown and that made it much harder, you had no idea when you were near promotion. Visible MMR was the biggest barrier IMO.
Why are big changes a good thing? As someone who started playing brood war since the remastered release, I really like that the game is the same as it ever was. Leave tweaks to the community through map making. People come up with all kinds of fun ways to change up the game like reverse ramp mains or that weird assimilator/neutral egg setup on gold rush.
When I was still playing SC2 I appreciated how well thought out the changes were, for example when they increased the range of queens. That had such a huge affect on the game but it all came from such a small change.
I did find that 1v1 was definitely more balanced than team play, so I think both you and parent are correct. In team play with friends we were much more likely to encounter people of radically different skill levels playing together.
SC2 does not support LAN games so it’s all via Battle.net
They also tried to reward micromanagement more, to prevent the phenomenon coloquially known as "the ball". But in my opinion this still needs adjustment. e.g: the Protoss disruptor needs nerfing, and suicide seeker missiles should not be viable.
SC2 always felt like a way to funnel players into the tournaments rather than an actual game.
It was "You will play this like 1v1 and you WILL like it." After my third timed rush mission, that was it. No more.
Blizzard can grab cash without me.
SC2 is probably the purest 1v1 esport. I don't think that's a bad thing. It's been heavily optimized for this use case, which is why they urge you to play it the way it was designed.
You don't have to play it, it sounds like you don't like highly competitive 1v1 tournament friendly games. That's fine, go play something else, no need to bash blizzard.
That company actually has many other games you could check out...
At low level, just doing macro/economy right wins the game.
Executing a strategy requires so much micro-management and multitasking that's actually unavailable to 90% of the player base. Between low and high level, a mix of "better macro" and better tactics (don't fight in chokes when your race needs space etc.) wins games, not strategy.
OTOH, it's a bit like saying that at intermediate levels, you win a chess game by not being the first to blunder (or seeing your opponent's mistake).
I believe that an RTS game like Zero-K (a TA-like) for instance is more strategic. Your initial factory choice, which determines which kind of units you'll use is a first strategic choice; static defenses are much more important than in SC2 (where they are more or less considered a waste of resources, except for anti-air maybe). TA is based on territory dominance, so holding a point in the middle of the map is important. In SC2, the middle of the map is where the "deathball" vs "deathball" final match typically happens.
ID software, of DOOM fame, used to release all their games as shareware. and 7 years later release the source.
just last week someone got sued by Microsoft or EA (dont really remember) for running a game server they reverse engineered for a game they don't even support anymore!
They weren't sued, they got a letter from EA telling them to stop using EA trademarks and to stop distributing the EA client software. The letter said nothing about shutting down the servers themselves.
It was rare then, it's rare now, but it does feel like it might be dwindling. Before it was just a matter of talent and ethics. Now it's a matter of talent, ethics, the scale of production, and the possibility of massive payouts by embracing LCD tactics.
— Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt
Games cost a lot of money to make. They're part of large international brands. There's a lot of stake holders and a lot of money on the line. I don't really blame publishers and developers for being cagey with that sort of IP.
I think that games that enter a more open space certainly have a longer lifespan. DOOM will be around probably as long as humanity just because the code is available and it's a fun game. But that long term thinking doesn't keep the lights in the studio on and doesn't help with the ever increasing complexity of game development.
I don't think we need to be so doom (heh) and gloom about the state of software as a whole.
My general opinion on this is that AAA gaming studios have become too large and gangrenous. Indie gaming, however, has been enjoying an incredibly excellent period recently, which keeps my spirits up.