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Starcraft II

Discussion in 'Warcraft & Starcraft' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Gets released today, Jul 27, IIRC. I have heard a mixed bag of reveiws on the game. I'll probably still get it. I really liked SC, and the Warcraft series, so I feel an obligation to fork over the $60. What about you guys?
     
  2. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Probably not. I have a backlog of games I've bought but haven't played, and I'm just not really a fan of strategy games (although that may be in part due to the fact that I never play multiplayer games, which I have heard is where strategy games really shine).

    I played SC (single player campaign), and it was somewhat OK, but but I didn'y enjoy it enough to make me want to play the expansion. I liked the story line, but the gameplay itself just didn't really appeal to me.
     
  3. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Yeah man, without a shadow of a doubt. As soon as I get paid on Friday I'll be allover this like a fat kid on a cake.
     
  4. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Not a big fan of Blizzard RTSes - I find Red Alert 2 and Supreme Commander far more enjoyable, no other RTSes even come close to these two. I don't like the unit limit of Star/Warcraft, and I don't like the story of these games either. The final victory in Star/Warcraft always feel more like a Pyrrhic victory and leave me with a bitter aftertaste after I've finished the game. The fact that for Starcraft 2 we'll likely have to wait several years to reach the completion of the story does not help either (Halflife 2: Ep 3, anyone?).

    Quite aside from this, as long as this game requires online activation and possible authentications at random intervals as well, I wouldn't be getting it anyway.
     
  5. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    My copy arrived today, and I splashed out on the Collector's Ed. It's awesome.
     
  6. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Seeing as you've got your paws on it, could you give us more in-depth details into that one? I've seen you get a WoW pet (oh, you shoulnd't have...), a 'behind the scenes' DVD, a map-book thing and a 2GB USB stick disguised as a doggy-tag. I was considering it, then decided against the extra £20 for that stuff... although I haven't bought a copy yey, so I could be persuaded.
     
  7. Faye

    Faye Life is funny. Veteran

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    It includes an artwork book, a issue #0 Starcraft comic, soundtrack in addition to the behind the scenes DVD and the WOW pet. The 2GB stick also has the original SC and Brood War in it.
     
  8. Cap'n CJ

    Cap'n CJ Arrr! Veteran

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    The game itself
    A Making-of DVD (And considering how long the game took to make, this should have a lot)
    A CD of the SOundtrack
    A hardback artbook (150 or so pages, way better than I was expecting)
    Issue #0 of the comic
    The Dogtag USB (Same as Jim Raynor's dogtag in the game, 2gb, comes with SC and Brood War on it. Lights up when you plug it in, and THAT'S cool.

    The whole thing comes in a very cool box, and it feels suprisingly sturdy.

    Edit: Oh, and the WoW pet if you're into that sort of thing.

    Double Edit: Also, you get some special portraits for Battle.net and a unique Thor skin (Thor being a new Terran unit).
     
  9. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Got the game, started single player campaign mode, did the first four missions.

    My impressions of the game thus far:

    1. If you liked the first game, you'll probably like this game. It seems nearly identical to the first, with spiffed up graphics and some new units. (Unfortunately, since I've only completed the first few missions, I have been unable to access most of the new units. You only get infantry units in the first four missions, so right now the only units I have are marines, firebats, medics, and the one new infantry unit, marauders (which are basically more powerful marines). Four marines in a bunker with an SCV nearby to repair it as it takes damage still seems like a failsafe defensive measure, whereas marauders are clearly the superior offensive units. The final infantry unit are ghosts, but since I cannot train them yet, I don't know if they have new capabilities.

    2. The storyline thus far is rather uninspiring. You start as the terran, and the story takes place four years following the events of Starcfraft I. Emperor Arcturus Minsk is still the leader of the Dominion, which now is the main power of the terrans, although he is just as oppressive as the Confederacy which he overthrew. The hero is Jim Raynor, who is leading a band of resistance fighters against Minsk. Raynor has been branded an outlaw and a terrorist by Minsk, although Raynor does seem to have support from the local groups.

    However, the storyline does not appear to be completely linear as in the first game. I've only done four missions up to this point, but I've already encountered a situation where you have a choice to either do Mission A or Mission B. Presumably, which mission you pick has an impact on what future mission you get, especially since the subsequent mission is NOT the alternative you decided against when you had the choice.

    3. There are three types of points you can earn in the game, and I'm unsure how two of the three operate up to this point.

    3a Credits. Credits are earned for completing the primary objective of each mission. Credits can be spent on permanent upgrades for all your troops. For example, I have purchased upgrades that give +25% life to my marines and marauders, and now all marines and marauders that I train in all subsequent missions will get +25% life. You can still research armor and weapon upgrades for these troops in your engineering bay, but that needs to be done individually each mission, but you get the 25% life upgrade for all your trained units right from the start.

    3b. Achievement points. Achievement points are earned by going above and beyond the primary mission objective, by either completing secondary objectives, completing the mission in a very short time, killing all enemy troops, losing very few of your own troops, or in some cases, completing the mission on "hard" difficulty level. (Since I'm playing in normal difficulty, I haven't got any of that type yet.) I have no idea what, if any, effect achievement points have in game. AFAIK, they may be there just to show how good of a player you are in online play. They do not appear to work like currency (as credits do), and it doesn't appear that I can do anything with my achievement points.

    3c. Research points. Research points are also earned during missions. If you fight your way into a fortified area, you sometimes find an object there that is either a Zerg or Protoss research point (depending on what race you happen to be fighting against). I have a few types of each point, and I don't know what they do either. Unlike achievement points, I am sure research points DO have some impact on game play, although I have no idea how.
     
  10. koliva Gems: 2/31
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    A few additions to what Aldeth said:

    1. There are a couple more units and you actually get a choice between ghosts and specters in the campaign (see 2).

    2. The bad guy's name is Mengsk, not Minsk (and he certainly doesn't have a pet hamster). The missions mustn't be done in a specific order. However, there are three missions which have two versions and you're forced to pick one of them.

    3a. Credits can also be used to purchase merc contracts.

    3b. Some achievements grant extra player portraits.

    3c. Every 5 research points of a single type, you can choose one of two free upgrades or unit/building types.
     
  11. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    No Total War, then? ;)
     
  12. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Playing it, liking it not completely loving it yet or well, I almost do. As has been stated it is a jazzed up Starcraft but what sequel isnt? I am really liking the campaign, the in between mission talk and info has an almost rpg feel to it and as of yet the missions have been fun and diverse.

    You can still play single player maps against the AI and try out all factions and units to get a feel for it, I have done a few to get some experience before I expose myself to multiplayer and even then I will only be playing with my old WoW chums whom I hope will be as crap as me. As I understand the ladder and league system you won't be put up against the Korean SC champion unless you are good enough which is nice.
     
  13. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    No time for games like this. Maybe in 7 years or so I might catch up to this. I'm stillonly halfway through Neverwinter Nights 2.
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    :doh: Yes, Arcturus Mengsk, not Minsk. BGII has evidently been seared into my brain, but the guy with the pet hamster is Minsc, so evenidently I've combined the two.

    I was assuming that's what acheivement points were for. The guy that offers mercenary contracts hasn't offered any new contracts in a long time. I assumed this was because I haven't been earning many acheivement points on the missions since they've increased in difficulty. Perhaps I've simply purchased all there is to purchase.

    Yes, I figured that out. At the time of my previous post, I had not yet rescued Dr. Hanson, so I didn't have a laboratory, and thus no means of spending the research points I had earned. I used my first five zerg research points to attach a machine gun on the tops of all my bunkers. I also purchased the bunker upgrade that allows my bunkers to hold 6 inventory slots as opposed to four.

    I'm still trying to figure out the optimization of bunker slots. The safest bet is just going with 6 marines, as they can attack anything. However, if you are against more ground units, it seems adding a marauder or a firebat into the bunker is useful. They do much more damage than marines, but they can only attack ground units. The other issue is while they do much more damage than marines, they are size two units, so for every firebat or marauder you place in a bunker costs you two marines.

    Firebats are definitely the unit that has seen the most improvement. In SC1, they were more of a novelty unit. They had short range, were difficult to keep alive, and their increased damage didn't really help them that much in being a useful offensive unit. In SC2, a firebat with both upgrades purchased (40% increased area of damage, and +2 to armor) is one tough hombre. The increased area of damage now means he does area of effect damage at close range, and with 3 armor (more if you buy the mission upgrades at the engineering bay) they are extremely hardy. (Incidently, 3 armor is a lot. To put that in perspective, seige tanks start with 3 armor. Each point of armor negates one point of damage, and since most of the basic units in the game hit for less than 10 damage, three is significant. It won't save you against an ultralisk, but against smaller enemies, a medic can usually heal the damage as fast as you are taking it.)

    Well, it's hard to compare the two, as they are so vastly different. SC2 certainly offers far more variety and diversity in unit selection. In TW, you basically have four different types of units: Cavalry, infantry with spears, infantry with some weapon other than spears, and missile weapons. While there is a great variety of units, the in-game application of these units are nearly identical. For example, Templar Knights are a heck of a lot better than Feudal Knights, but the way you implement them in battle is the same, as they are both heavy cavalry. As another example, while the English longbowmen are far superior to any other early-game missile unit, the application of this unit in battle is identical to any other bow unit - they just hit more often and kill more troops, but there is no extra layer of strategy in their deployment.

    Conversely, in SC2, nearly every unit does something that no other unit can do, but is balanced by having some weakness. Let's take the three basic type of infantry units in SC2 for an example: Marines, Marauders and Firebats.

    Marines offer the least damage and are the least armored (zero base). However, they do something that the other two cannot do. Since they are armed with machine guns, they can attack anything - including enemy air units. Firebats and Marauders can only attack ground units. So Marines' great advantage is their sheer utility. No matter what the enemy throws at you, a Marine will work as primarily a defensive unit, or as a support unit. But since they don't hit for heavy damage, and they don't have much armor, they are limited as offensive units.

    Marauders are armed with grenade launchers, have the same range as marines and have one base armor. While they can only attack ground troops, they hit for a whole lot more damage than Marines. This makes them better than Marines against regular enemy troops, and significantly better than Marines against enemy structures and anything that is armored. Their primary purpose is as an offensive unit, but they need some type of supporting unit as they cannot attack air units.

    Finally, there are Firebats. These have the highest damage output and the highest armor of any of the ground troops, but they have a much shorter range than Marines and Marauders (in fact their range is just slightly more the melee). However, there damage is area of affect, so against a large number of close range attacks they rock, as one attack will hit several enemy units. They are not so great against armored units, as armored units typically have a ranged attack, and they are going to get beat on while they are running up to the attacker, plus you cannot pack a lot of armored units into a small area, so they don't really have an area of effect attack against them. They are best used as anti-infantry units (great against zerglings and zealots), and for taking down buildings.

    I do like the rpg feel of the game, and I do like the diversity of missions. If I had a complaint, it is that many of the missions are timed. If not an actual timer like the evacuation mission (which is almost identical to the evacuation mission in the first game), you need to do them in a specified time to unlock an acheivement. That, or you are competing against an enemy for some resource, and you have to move fast to secure them before your opponent. Or you have to reach survivors in some area before they are killed.

    While that doesn't necessarily make the game bad, that is different than the previous iteration of the game. As a strategy game, I enjoy the slower paced, tactical aspect of the game. The timed ones add a level of micro-management that doesn't greatly appeal to me. In an un-timed game, the first order of priority is to set up defenses for your base, scout for additional resources or enemy camps, and then devise an attack strategy while simultaneously defending your camp from enemy attacks. It was either that, or you had a mission where you given a set amount of troops at the beginning, and had to make your way through the mission without the ability to make new units. That also added a lot of strategy to the game.

    In a timed game, the issue is how to build as many units in the shortest time possible. Obviously, defense gets short shrift in such conditions. It also requires optimizing resource gathering, something that I have never been particularly good at. I've never been able to determine at what point you have enough SCVs. For vespene, it's easy enough - you need enough SCVs so that there's always one inside the refinery gathering gas, but you don't want a line building up outside the refinery. It's harder with minerals. To optimize mineral gathering, you certainly need more SCVs than you have mineral piles, but two per pile is typically too many, and SCVs standing around are not useful. (Although I will typically have one SCV standing around a defensive point with bunkers and missile turrets - they are there to start repairing the structures while they are still taking damge to maximize the defensive capabilities.)
     
  15. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Not too keen on timers either, I like doing things at my own pace. Can't deny that it adds a bit of thrill and I actually think it is partly there to ease slow single player geezers like us into multiplayer mode where everything is way faster.
     
  16. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I never enjoyed the multiplayer experience, in really any game to be honest. I rarely played the first SC in multiplayer, I never became a WoW fan, and while I have spent many hours playing Diablo 2 online, I usually create a game, set the maximum players to 1, and go solo.

    That said, you are completely correct that things move much faster in multiplayer. On the rare times that I played the first SC in multiplayer, the general concensus was that the actions of your first minute of the game likely determined the winner.

    EDIT: I also found out that the campaign is quasi-linear. Most missions everyone must do. However, there are three missions where you have to make a choice and do it one way or another. These are called "branch points" in which the decision you make will affect the storyline.

    One such example is the Dr. Hanson mission I got last night. A group of terran colonists may have been infested with a zerg virus, as there are zerg infesting the planet. When you show up, the Protoss are already there, preparing to vaporize everything on the surface of the planet. You have two choices: 1) Help the Protoss lay the smack down on everything on the planet's surface, or 2) Prevent the Protoss from destroying the colonists by fighting them. Obviously, you're going to piss somebody off.

    I don't know what the results are as I haven't done the mission yet, but I'm thinking I'm going to side with the colonists and fight the Protoss. That said, there are no "wrong" choices in the game. It is possible to complete the entire game irrespective of what decisions you make. That said, it will require at least two play throughs on campaign mode to do every mission. (Pick whichever one you like on the first play through, and then make every opposite decision on the second play through.)

    Oh, and if I'm going to be nit picky, there is one other thing I don't like about the game: That it is being released as a trilogy. You only get to play the terran camapaign with this game. The Zerg and Protoss campaigns will be released as "expansion packs".

    EDIT2: One more nitpicky thing. I don't like that you cannot tell what acheivements are available until AFTER you complete (or fail) the mission. The first acheivement is always "complete all mission objectives". The other two however, are not obvious, and typically cannot be predicted.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2010
  17. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    I wasn't too fond of that them splitting up the campaign either but I left my verdict until I saw how much play I got from the terran campaign and it seems like it is enough to compare to any other game out there. It also depends on what they will charge for the other campaigns.

    For the record, I sided with the protoss and I think it was after that mission that a few other missions disapeared but not sure.
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    In SC1, there were 30 missions in the original, and 27 in the expansion pack. Irrespective of which choices you make, you need to complete a minimum of 26 missions to complete the terran campaign. So from a single player perspective, you get about the same number of missions as you got from the first SC, it's just that all of them (well technically most, but I won't spoiler anything), are terran.

    That would make sense. I imagine Dr. Hanson won't have much to say to you - and thus you won't be getting any more missions from her - after you exterminated the rest of her people.
     
  19. koliva Gems: 2/31
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    You can actually get away with 19 missions. One mission is hidden, some storylines are optional, but a certain mission critical to the main storyline requires a number of completed missions.
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    There must be some optional missions then. I read that there were 29 total missions, and that three of those 29 were "choice" missions, meaning you couldn't do the mission both ways. I had assumed all the other ones were required.
     
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