Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Real Time Strategy (Games)

Protoss For a Day 138

Posted by Zonk
from the in-the-pipe-five-by-five dept.
1up had a man on the ground at the announcement of StarCraft II to a legion of South Korean fans. James Mielke also had the chance to sit down with the developers of the game for a one-on-one hands-on with everything they're willing to share so far. Includes video with some new footage of the title. From the article: "Dustin Browder admitted that the Black Hole attack was something that would have to be nerfed immediately, as both he and Sigaty laughed at the sight of my entire fleet taking a nosedive in one fell swoop. As I stated earlier, there's still a lot of balancing that needs to go into the game, and this play session was one way for the developers to see what things need it the most. After all, Blizzard has been working on this game for two years already, and we were the first fresh eyes to see the game in a long time, so things that the dev team may now take for granted, are still a surprise to new players. Whether the Black Hole will be nerfed to absorb a limited number of ships, or do a specific amount of damage, or powered-down in some other way hasn't been decided, but the tide of battle will undoubtedly require slightly more skillful play than simply producing a Mothership and hitting 'Black Hole' on the enemy."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Protoss For a Day

Comments Filter:
  • As much as I love the Starcraft/Command and Conquer games, I won't buy them. At least not for several years. I was sorely disappointed that Command and Conquer 3 wouldn't run on a one year old top of the line computer (and I returned it to the store). PC games are ridiculous, as far as requirements go. I'm looking forward to buying Starcraft 2 from the bargain bin in a few years when I own a PC capable of playing it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Udderdude (257795)
      Blizzard has always gone for lower-end PCs for their games. One of the main reasons WoW is so popular is it doesn't have very taxing system requirements. I'm sure they will continue the trend to Starcraft II.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "One year old, top of the line"? I have a nearly two year old pc (high-end, but not top of the line) that ran it quite well (at a good resolution and decent quality).

      I do agree that the requirements were high, but to say that it wouldn't run on a one year old, top of the line computer is incorrect (unless there is just something wrong with the computer itself).

      • Must have been a Dell...
      • by jandrese (485)
        Maybe it was a laptop? Lots of even high priced laptops ship with crappy integrated graphics that really suck for games. You really have to be careful to buy a "gaming card" equipped laptop if you want to game with it. That said, my 4 year old desktop was able to play it just fine, and while it was no dog, it was far from top of the line when I built it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kindgott (165758)
      Blizzard seems to design their games around the idea that anyone with a moderately decent computer purchased within the last 2 years or so should be able to play it.

      It seems to make sense, because having system requirements that amount to "buy the computer when the game comes out" would severely limit their customer base. If they design around not making it too hardware intensive -- or have settings that can be turned down and not affect gameplay -- they can ensure that almost anyone who wishes to play it c
    • by trdrstv (986999) on Monday July 30, 2007 @11:48AM (#20043467)

      As much as I love the Starcraft/Command and Conquer games, I won't buy them. At least not for several years. I was sorely disappointed that Command and Conquer 3 wouldn't run on a one year old top of the line computer (and I returned it to the store). PC games are ridiculous, as far as requirements go. I'm looking forward to buying Starcraft 2 from the bargain bin in a few years when I own a PC capable of playing it.

      Fortunately Blizzard typically "low balls" their system requirements to pull in the largest audience possible. Starcraft and Broodwar had very low system requirements, even at release. Warcraft, Diablo, and WoW were the same ...

      In a way they are the antithesis of iD Software...

      • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday July 30, 2007 @12:22PM (#20043989)

        Fortunately Blizzard typically "low balls" their system requirements to pull in the largest audience possible. Starcraft and Broodwar had very low system requirements, even at release. Warcraft, Diablo, and WoW were the same ...

        In a way they are the antithesis of iD Software...
        I think that's true in part but I also think that the kind system requirements are also a factor of how long they take to develop a game. They have the hardware requirements locked down long before the rest of it is finished. I they were a "push it out the door early" company like EA, we'd probably feel that their games were demanding on the hardware.

        I'm kind of sick to death of RTS games at this point. I mean, I love the genre but I haven't seen anything innovative since Total Annihilation. My biggest beef is with the AI's. Back in the glory days of Dune 2, the top-down view was simplistic enough that you could micromanage all of your units and not feel arsed about it. As the graphics grew prettier and the maps larger, especially with isometric view in some games, it soon became an exercise in frustration to even play. I was a huge, HUGE fan of Warcraft 2 but it got a bit tedious trying to line up my missile units outside of the range of a tower to take it out, knowing that a unit that gets too close would be engaged by the tower and thus run gleefully into certain death. And how about when you order units to engage? You've got a blob of five units, they advance on the target, and the first one in range stops dead to engage. The units following behind get confused, then try to route around the guy holding up the show, then the second one in range stops, and the third one has to walk around him. By the time the blob of five are engaged, the first unit is beaten to a pulp before the target is destroyed. Smarter AI would have all of the units move into better firing positions for the given target automatically.

        If any of you guys have seen the footage for World in Conflict, that's enough to make your jaw hit the floor. It's "holy fucking shit" brilliant, at least when you watch the demo movies. The only problem, yes it's all "in-game" footage, but you are NEVER going to be watching a battle from the soldier's-eye-view, you'll be up in god mode looking down clicking frantically. Dawn of War was exactly the same way, the engine could let you zoom in and enjoy the fight but you'd be slaughtered if you did that.

        Now whenever I talk about this sort of thing some people say "you want the game to play itself." That's not what I'm getting at, it's more a matter of setting the pieces in motion and watching the results. In a game like Master of Orion, a planetary invasion consisted of nothing more than icons representing your guys on one side of the screen and icons representing the other guy on the other side. The computer would calculate the strength of both sides and start rolling the dice. Icons on both sides of the screen would start popping and it could actually be quite enthralling seeing whether you would come out with any troops left, probably the same fascination that comes from watching the spinning rollers on a one-armed bandit in a casino. Well, we've got the graphics these days. Why not animate that fight?

        Total War seems to do this a bit. I played the Shogun game a bit and watched the demo for Medieval sputter and wheeze on my computer. I like how you are ordering about formations rather than individual units along with the modeling of morale and courage. Of course, Starcraft isn't that kind of game. It looks like Starcraft 2 is shooting to just be a graphical update of the original game. I suppose that's fair. There are more than enough fans who will pay full price for exactly that and say "thank you" to boot. But I won't be surprised if the AI is every bit as dumb as it was ten years ago.
        • by king-manic (409855) on Monday July 30, 2007 @01:03PM (#20044609)
          Total War seems to do this a bit. I played the Shogun game a bit and watched the demo for Medieval sputter and wheeze on my computer. I like how you are ordering about formations rather than individual units along with the modeling of morale and courage. Of course, Starcraft isn't that kind of game. It looks like Starcraft 2 is shooting to just be a graphical update of the original game. I suppose that's fair. There are more than enough fans who will pay full price for exactly that and say "thank you" to boot. But I won't be surprised if the AI is every bit as dumb as it was ten years ago.

          Blizzard purposely provides less "auto-cast" options to encourage micromanagement. It's a keystone of their game style and it's the divide between C&C/TA and Blizzard RTS's. It means there is a huge skill divide that does not exist in the "mass rush" style games like Supcom/TA/C&C/most RTS's. It's pretty much why a lot of skilled players prefer War 3/ SC to the list above. Thats why the total population stillplaying SupCom/TA/C&C all is less then half of the active player sin war 3.

          The pathing AI is much better so you have less of the "running around" you had in SC or War 2. but ti's still nto perfect and it atcually become a strategy to make bases confuse th epathing. In SC it allowed you to take on an arbitrary number of melee units of the player didn't tell them to atatck the impeding object. In war 3 after 2 secnds of not beign able to atatck due to pathing they attack the nearest object which is a improvement. I suspect SC 2 will be similiar.

          If you dont' like micro I guess SC 2 won't be for you.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by zippthorne (748122)
          You should try Battlezone II. The AI was pretty terrible, but certain of its limitations actually encouraged you to jump out of the top-down command and into a tank to command some of the battle at the front.
          • by MBraynard (653724)
            Probably one of the best games ever. The graphics were phenominal for it's time. Too bad no one played it.
            • Did you ever feel guilty about calling units across the map after jettisoning just to tell your ai-teammate to jump out so you can swipe his ride?
        • by IceFox (18179)
          You might enjoy Uprising, a kick ass game where you were a tank, a first person rts http://videogames.yahoo.com/pc/3do-uprising/previe w-341345 [yahoo.com]
      • by aliquis (678370)
        Warcraft III system requirements:
        400 MHz PII, 128MB ram, 8MB 3D video card (TNT, Voodoo 3, rage 128, ..)
        400 MHz G3, 128MB ram, 16MB nvidia/ATI graphics card

        Recommended:
        600Mhz, 256MB ram, 32MB video card.

        On my Athlon-XP 2100+ with 512MB ram and GeForce 2 Ultra 64MB that game lagged quite a lot running tower defence (lots of units) with quite low details if I remember correctly.

        At my current Athlon64 3000+ with 1.5GB 333 MHz DDR and a nv6800le 128MB in OS X it gets to slow (I don't know, 10 fps?) during some
        • Firstly, your mileage may vary. I don't know your computer, but mine was roughly analogous the last time I played WarCraft III and it didn't experience the kind of slowdown you're talking about except in games where the host's computer was having trouble. That's something very important to remember, in a custom map in WarCraft III the host's computer can be as much a limiting factor as your own (especially in games with a lot of AI/pathing like tower defense).

          Secondly, you're confusing requirements with som
          • by aliquis (678370)
            Yeah, I know they are for "being able to play the game", but there isn't much joy in running everything at the lowest settings and still notice lots of slow downs even thought it "works".

            I don't play custom games, I play 2on2 or 3on3 RT, for 1on1 I could probably raise the settings from mid 1024x768 but in 2on2 or 3on3 the fights obviously involves more units and light effects and stuff and it slows down to the point there it's not that easy to micro your units (partly because it's hard to see the mouse poi
    • by Sciros (986030)
      But Blizzard's graphics teams are total rubbish!! Have you not played anything else they've made? Starcraft came out in 1998 and looked out-of-date even then, with its 3-frame sprite animations. Warcraft 3 is a visual disaster. World of Warcraft looks hilariously bad in terms of graphical fidelity. N64 Zelda games use about as many polygons per character.

      They have decent artists, and great FMV devs, but holy moley their in-game graphics are always so amazingly terrible its a testament to the AAAA+ gameplay
      • The videos that I saw of Starcraft 2 made it look roughly on par with Command and Conquer 3... which could NOT be run on a Nintendo DS (or PSP).
      • by AP2k (991160)

        Starcraft came out in 1998 and looked out-of-date even then
        But you say that like it's a bad thing... You are spot on about the warcraft franchise graphics, but Starcraft's original UI and graphics are what made them unobstructive to gameplay unlike WC3. (except during carrier rushes :D )
        • by Sciros (986030)
          I'm a big SC fan and used to play it every day in Uni but I think that throwing in a couple extra frames per animation wouldn't have made the graphics any less unobstructive to gameplay.

          Bad 3D is worse than good 2D, for sure. But their 2D was nowhere near as good as it could have been. Also, while it may have taken a bit more effort to keep improved visuals as unobstructive as SC's happened to be, we've seen it done countless in other games.
      • But Blizzard's graphics teams are total rubbish!! Have you not played anything else they've made? Starcraft came out in 1998 and looked out-of-date even then, with its 3-frame sprite animations. Warcraft 3 is a visual disaster. World of Warcraft looks hilariously bad in terms of graphical fidelity. N64 Zelda games use about as many polygons per character.

        compare War 3 to it's contempararies or Sc or WOW to it's and you'll find that despite the graphics being a bit behind it aged better due to better art dir
        • by Sciros (986030)
          I agree with your comment entirely. Blizzard's only weak link is their actual graphics engine devs. Their artists (well, level designers, not character designers :-/) are good.

          If WoW was built on a stronger 3D engine with higher-quality models, it would look stellar.

          Well, ok, I agree with your comment if you're talking about WoW. With regards to War3, that thing looked like ass the day it came out and it looks like ass now as well.
          • damn I replied to myself.

            lookg here [slashdot.org]
          • I've heard that Blizzard is planning at some point to do a graphics update to WoW. Presumably they'll try to time it so that the majority of their user-base can still play without a problem. Actually, I wonder if it's possible to have players in the same server using different graphics assets or whether that would cause geometry issues. Alternatively, perhaps Blizzard could have a "classic" set of servers and a "high-res" set. Based upon the popularity of the servers with the new graphics, they could de
            • Actually, they have a tendency to sneak minor graphics updates into patches. I forget when it was, but they updated a number of spells somewhere before patch 1.9. Moonfire stopped being a beam that came from absolutely nowhere, and instead had a fullmoon like energyball at the top of the beam. I remember being very happy about the change.

              As for a full blown graphics update, I have my doubts. It's possible they might revamp the character models a tad (in line with adding the "hairdresser" function that's bee
              • Actually, they have a tendency to sneak minor graphics updates into patches. I forget when it was, but they updated a number of spells somewhere before patch 1.9. Moonfire stopped being a beam that came from absolutely nowhere, and instead had a fullmoon like energyball at the top of the beam. I remember being very happy about the change.

                Yes, I remember seeing some nifty new graphics for certain things like spells, pally blessings, and the like. I could have sworn I had heard something about WoW getting a graphics overhaul, but a quick google doesn't bring up anything I recognise, so perhaps I'm mistaken. Either that, or WoW 2 will have them!

          • Blizzard's only weak link is their actual graphics engine devs.

            Wrong. Blizzard's philosophy has always been to keep their graphics engines using minimal computer resources, while using very colorful and beatiful art to make up for the lack of polygons/dimensions. I guarantee you the graphic engine devs are excellent and write very efficient code. The designer the graphics engine probably told the modeling artists to keep the poly count extremely low, which has nothing to do with the game engine devs themselves. I'm sure if they wanted to make stellar high-poly,

            • by Sciros (986030)
              If low resource use is indeed the goal, then yes it is in large part the game designers' fault for misusing resources to such a degree.

              But then again a game like Guild Wars has the same system requirements (actually, 2x less RAM and a lower cpu speed for the recommended system) and has far higher graphics fidelity than World of Warcraft. Better models, better textures, etc.

              So, both the designers and the devs are to blame.

              Of course, ArenaNet also has some monster talent to throw around, including some very k
              • If low resource use is indeed the goal, then yes it is in large part the game designers' fault for misusing resources to such a degree.
                They aren't misusing resources. They are choosing not to use too much resources so people with older computers can play their games. Blizzard has about 5 games that are in the top 20 best-selling PC games of all time. I think they know what they're doing, dude.
                • by Sciros (986030)
                  Best-selling doesn't mean flawless. Need I mention how much Star Wars Episode 1 grossed? Or perhaps Titanic?

                  Blizzard does make quality games, but their graphics are ASS and you can't deny it. It's partly the artists' fault and partly the graphics programmers' fault, as I have seen better-looking games that use fewer resources.

                  I mean really what kind of argument is success in this regard? Someone can complain about Kate Winslet's awful acting in Titanic, and you'll say something like "it grossed over a billi
                  • I guarantee you if they decided to aimed for high end computers they would have less subscribers. Having lower requirements increases your possible user base. It's very simple. Your analogy of actor/actresses in movies doesn't even come close to graphics in video games. Way to make no point at all, dude.
                    • by Sciros (986030)
                      Actually the analogy of actors/actresses in movies *does* come close to graphics in games. Sensory appeal is related to the size of the audience. The difference is the latter comes with "hardware requirements," but we've already established that devs out there are capable of not only more visually appealing graphics, but ones with greater fidelity than those in WoW, while keeping hardware requirements at or below WoW's level.

                      Really, you're giving me a REASON THE GRAPHICS ARE ASS. To begin with, my criticism
        • Age of mythologies [wikipedia.org]

          Age of wonders 2 [www.sg.hu]

          Stronghold: crusader [cheats.ru]

          Warlords: battlecry [wikipedia.org]

          Commandos 2 [peliplaneetta.net]

          Warcraft 3 ROC [carlsguides.com]

          compared to it's contempararies it held up pretty well. Considering 4/5 above used voxel/2d graphics. It was one of the few "true" 3d games of that time. Blizzard does aim low to ensure it can do 6 players of 12-30 units (72-180) on screen at a time with little to no lag On my 5 year old computer.
      • by Fozzyuw (950608)

        Warcraft 3 is a visual disaster

        Really? I rather liked War3 graphics. Or, perhaps, I should say I see nothing wrong with them, even today. What makes you feel War3 is/was a visual disaster?

        Cheers,
        Fozzy

        • by Sciros (986030)
          The character models are hideously blocky, everything moves as if through water, the designs are uninspired, .. yeah that about sums it up. It came out well after games that looked tons better in every way.
          • The character models are hideously blocky, everything moves as if through water, the designs are uninspired, .. yeah that about sums it up. It came out well after games that looked tons better in every way.

            They aimed low for system req and I think the art direction help up pretty well against it's competators. I think yoru objection to them is simply a subjective style preference. You liek photo realistic they aimed for something else. I found the graphics perfectly acceptabel at the time and even now. Com
      • "But Blizzard's graphics teams are total rubbish!!"

        Yes but they have yet to be matched in terms of gameplay. I wouldn't say their graphics teams are total rubbish, I'd like to think that their graphics suck because they want as many people to play their games with as little technical barriers as possible to make the most $$$. There strategy obviously WORKS.

        I think any serious hardcore gamer today thats been playing for 20 years has to see what developers would have come up with in terms of gameplay if th
    • I was sorely disappointed that Command and Conquer 3 wouldn't run on a one year old top of the line computer
      If that is the case, then your computer was not top-of-the-line. My computer is a year old and it runs it great, with everything cranked to the max.
    • Why bitch ahead? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moraelin (679338) on Monday July 30, 2007 @11:54AM (#20043533) Journal
      Ahem... wouldn't it be more productive to wait and see what hardware it needs when released, before making that kind of decision and bitching?

      And you do that, based on... what? Command and Conquer 3. It's not even the same bloody company. C&C is by Westwood, Starcraft is by Blizzard. It's like saying you'll avoid Ford cars because you had problems with a Toyota.

      Blizzard games, for all their other faults they may have had, were always quite forgiving on the hardware front. Diablo 1 and 2 were still 2D games in an age when everyone was going 3D, Warcraft 3 wasn't that horribly hardware intensive either by comparison to similar games, and World Of Warcraft... let's just say I know people who've played it perfectly well on an underpowered laptop with integrated graphics. By comparison to, say, Everquest 2 which needed the graphics severely turned down even on top-end graphics cards available at the time, or City Of Villains which also needed a lot of graphics power even in the newbie villain area, WoW actually ran ok on pretty underpowered machines. As an anecdotal comparison, one of the guys with laptops had no problem in WoW except in the massively over-populated Ironforge auction house area (which at the time was the only alliance auction house, so there were _hundreds_ of players and tens of pets there), while the same laptop just choked on COV.

      Mind you, I'm not saying that you should buy Starcraft 2. But it seems a bit ridiculous to dismiss it in advance, based on what _another_ company has done.
    • by stg (43177)
      I played it on a 4-year old computer, and it worked fine... Obviously not with all the settings on their max, but still perfectly playable.
      • I played it [C&C3] on a 4-year old computer, and it worked fine... Obviously not with all the settings on their max, but still perfectly playable.

        Can you please tell me your specs? I just bought a laptop (HP dv6000), and I find it distressing that despite having a dual core 1.75 Ghz chip, the specs suggest I couldn't play (the C&C3 box says 2.2 Ghz min). Granted I didn't buy the Lappy for gaming, but if I can get the occasional RTS on it, I'd be happy. I'm curious if I could play the game (with

        • I have found that most games have issues with the integrated intel chip. There is a page somewhere on Intel's site that details what games work and what games don't...Here [intel.com]. Think it has something to do with no hardware vertex shader, but I could be mistaken.
        • by mobby_6kl (668092)
          I also played C&C3 on a 4-year old PC. Works perfectly fine on medium to high details (I think shadows were off, but shader quality was on medium and textures on high). The computer is a P4 2.8, 1GB RAM, 6600GT. If it weren't for the Intel graphics, I'd be quite confident that it'd run fine on your laptop, but as it is I'm not so sure.
        • by ameoba (173803)
          Since the advent of 3-D, most integrated graphics have not been up to gaming use. Recent Intel offerings are getting better, but we're just talking about the difference between "painfully behind the curve" and "woefully behind the curve" - a stand-alone $50 card could easily outperform them.

          Unfortunately, stand-alone $50 cards don't exist in the world of laptops. Your only real options with laptop gaming are from ATI or nVidia.
    • EA is notorious for outright requiring top-line hardware to run smoothly on high settings. No matter what title you pick. Blizzard games on the other hand aren't so eye-candy rich. SC1 already looked dated when it came out, and it ran quite well even on older machines.

      I'd first of all give it a shot. SC2 might run just fine on current machines (which will be old machines by the time it goes gold).
    • Remeber..C&C3 was NOT made by the loving hands of Westwood Studios (used to work for WW). It was made by the craptastic hands of Electronic Arts. Some people from WW worked on it, but by no means enough of the "right" people. They are off at other companies (ex. Petroglyph Studios).
    • I have a Frankenstein computer, with no pieces later than three years ago.. I think your "Top of the range" computer was a duff, friend.

      C&C3 runs comfortably on medium-low on 1440x900 on a Nvidia 6600GT, 1.5 Gig of Ram and an AMD64 3000+.
    • As much as I love the Starcraft/Command and Conquer games, I won't buy them. At least not for several years. I was sorely disappointed that Command and Conquer 3 wouldn't run on a one year old top of the line computer (and I returned it to the store). PC games are ridiculous, as far as requirements go. I'm looking forward to buying Starcraft 2 from the bargain bin in a few years when I own a PC capable of playing it.

      C&C3 was made by someone else so beign disappointe din EA is unrelated to SC2. And you'l
    • C&C3 worked fine on my '04 vintage Athlon64 with 1gb of ram and a GF6600GT graphics card. Either you got screwed a year ago when you bought your "top of the line computer" or you're just whining because you are one of those naturally grumpy people (ok, maybe a little bit ad Hominem there). I enjoyed the new 3d graphics, shader effects and other neat things like having fireteams of infantry and found it to be far more immersive than previous iterations were, even back in the day they were made when I was
      • Not to disappoint, but it was reported that Blizzard didn't intend on having as much graphical noise in SC2 as in WC3. Apparently there were numerous complaints from Korea about WC3 being a less "sport" friendly game than StarCraft, and that was one of the reasons mentioned.

        It'll still be fun to look at, just don't expect to see any beautiful effects obscuring your view of what's happening.
        • Apparently there were numerous complaints from Korea about WC3 being a less "sport" friendly game than StarCraft, and that was one of the reasons mentioned.

          If flashy graphics keeps overcompetitive buttholes away who's idea of a fun afternoon's entertainment is mechanically bashing out one of the three statistically optimal build sequences in order to make sure that nobody can win who doesn't play at least eight games a week or more, it sounds even more appealing to me.

          How about going final fantasy style a

    • First of all, what gives you the idea that your computer is or was top-of-the-line? Just because it was expensive and/or your salesperson said it was doesn't make it so. I have several older machines, ranging from 1-4 years old. Most of them weren't exactly top-of-the-line when I got them. All are capable of playing C&C3. The primary machine I use is a laptop, which - while I'm not sure on the exact date it came out - I can find press releases going back to 2003. For the record, it's an HP zd7000 laptop
      • Real Gamers Build their machines from the silicon up! Infusing their Blood and mana into grains of sand forming the very logic gates required to emulate a Geforce 7950 GT KO..

        Er uh.. Gamers build their machines w/ parts from NEW EGG!
    • by Hubbell (850646)
      Don't worry, Starcraft 2 is basically Starcraft in the WC3 engine with some bright colors added.
      • Don't worry, Starcraft 2 is basically Starcraft in the WC3 engine with some bright colors added.

        yes, and the fax machine is just a waffle iron with a phone attached.
      • by 10Neon (932006)
        I am sure Artanis would have something to say to that. Something like, "This is not WarCraft [3] in Space, [with some bright colors added], it's much more sophisticated!" ...And from what I understand they created a completely new engine for SC2, designed to be able to handle StarCraft-scale numbers of units on the screen as opposed to the numbers you'd typically see in WarCraft games.
    • by SP33doh (930735)
      they're making starcraft 2 VERY scalable. (they want all of the people in korea with half rate PCs to be able to play it.)
    • by blackicye (760472)

      As much as I love the Starcraft/Command and Conquer games, I won't buy them. At least not for several years. I was sorely disappointed that Command and Conquer 3 wouldn't run on a one year old top of the line computer (and I returned it to the store). PC games are ridiculous, as far as requirements go. I'm looking forward to buying Starcraft 2 from the bargain bin in a few years when I own a PC capable of playing it.

      What specs was this 1 year old top of the line computer? I've had no problems running it on

  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Monday July 30, 2007 @11:44AM (#20043419) Homepage Journal
    Really, the black hole attack sucks.
    Its about 3 minutes in and it just makes them whirl around and get sucked down the drain.
    Where is the spaghettification and dilation effects?
  • by seebs (15766) on Monday July 30, 2007 @11:47AM (#20043451) Homepage
    I can't play most RTS games singleplayer (don't even talk about multiplayer, it's a joke). Why? Because I can't handle the simultaneous loads. (According to someone with a medical degree, this is probably autism in action.) I have to be able to stop the game, look around, check on things, and so on... Otherwise, I can't keep up, because I can't build up my base while I'm directing armies -- because, while I'm directing the army, my brain completely forgets about the base. I have to pause frequently and queue up orders.

    So I do just fine at Rise of Nations or Rise of Empires, or WH40K:DoW, but I am absolutely worthless at Warcraft or Starcraft. And, having learned this, I just don't play them any more, at all.

    If they were to make it so that I could pause the game, scroll around the map, and give orders, I would probably really enjoy the game. I love RTS when they can accommodate my quirks.
    • by Sciros (986030)
      I think that would go against the whole idea of "RTS" seeing as that means "real-time strategy."

      But what you are talking about is a good system that works well for multi-member RPG parties in a single-player game. It was used in Baldur's Gate and BGII to great sucess.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iainl (136759)
      It sounds to me like the genre you're after is Turn-based Strategy. The pressure of having to get everything done quickly and cope with multiple demands on your attention are the very essence of what makes an RTS different.

      Don't feel bad; I'm just the same for the most part.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jollyreaper (513215)

        It sounds to me like the genre you're after is Turn-based Strategy. The pressure of having to get everything done quickly and cope with multiple demands on your attention are the very essence of what makes an RTS different.

        Nah, he's just looking for an RTS game that allows pausing while still issuing orders.

        Turn-based are not the same as RTS. The problem with turn-based is that you have tons of rules designed to make the game FEEL like it's occurring in real-time, a way of working around the limitation of not running in real-time! I can understand it when we're talking about playing a miniatures wargame since there's no computer. It always felt weird when playing it on a computer because you could do some very weird things.

        • by Forbman (794277)
          Anyone remember the late 80's game, Empire? If you were a computer geek and in (student or employee) college at the time, it was quite possible to seriously mess with your circadian rhythms. The key to Empire was that movement phases were generally set at only a few per day, like 3-4. And attacks only happened during movement phases. So the key to seriously unleashing some whoopass was to set your attacks in motion in a late evening phase, so that you could see the results after the 3am update, unleash your
          • Somehow you remind me of ogame.

            At least in the 'seriously-mess-with-your-circadian-rhythms' department.
      • I would almost agree, except that turn-based strategy implies a different kind of game...a kind that I hate.
      • by Sigma 7 (266129)

        It sounds to me like the genre you're after is Turn-based Strategy. The pressure of having to get everything done quickly and cope with multiple demands on your attention are the very essence of what makes an RTS different.

        Most RTS games follow a simple formula:

        1. Click on "Build Dwarf".
        2. Assemble Dwarf Army.
        3. CHARGE!!!

        There are extremely few people that are troubled by this formula - IF the game is created correctly. The most notable example of a poor interface would be Dune 2, where you could only give one order to one unit at a time (which makes a siege more difficult.) With this as the main exception, various other interface errors have been repeated over and over again:

        • Units stopping whenever after they complete an "at
    • Most RTS have a game speed for single player. C&C3 doesn't allow you to slow it down DURING the game, but as part of the set up, you can slow it down.
    • by LordYUK (552359)
      RTS stands for "Real Time Strategy"...

      how exactly would it be "real time" if you could pause?

      Part of the challenge is learning to multi task effectively.
      • by seebs (15766)
        There's a huge difference in experince between an RTS-with-pause and a TBS. They are NOT the same thing!

        Try WH40K or Rise of Foo. Both allow orders and review in pause; neither has suddenly become turn-based.

        I understand that part of the challenge is learning to multitask effectively. I can't. My brain won't do it; you might as well build me a game based on learning to instinctively read facial expressions.

        For me, it's a question of needing an occasional chance to pause and flush my queue; I can handle
        • My brain won't do it; you might as well build me a game based on learning to instinctively read facial expressions.
          Isn't such a product [joystiq.com] coming out for the Nintendo DS Lite in Japan, with a camera that fits in the DS Lite's GBA slot?
    • by dintech (998802)
      I love RTS when they can accommodate my quirks.

      I sympathise because I can't handle it either. However, stopping the game would mean that it's no longer an RTS but some kind of turn or phase based game right? What are all the RTS fans supposed to do? Maybe I'm reading you incorrectly and you mean a game where you can have it both ways...
    • by Hatta (162192)
      Because I can't handle the simultaneous loads. (According to someone with a medical degree, this is probably autism in action.) I have to be able to stop the game, look around, check on things, and so on... Otherwise, I can't keep up, because I can't build up my base while I'm directing armies -- because, while I'm directing the army, my brain completely forgets about the base. I have to pause frequently and queue up orders.

      Why not just play Civilization?
      • by seebs (15766)
        I play that too, but I really like the "all actions are simultaneous" thing.

        In Civ-like games, there's weird strategies that are introduced by the fact that all actions occur in turns. In RTS games, you don't have situations where first-strike goes to whichever unit's turn it is; it's down to unit attributes. I like that, and enjoy it; it's just that the same thing that makes it a major accomplishment requiring years of training and practice for me to mostly remember that I have food in the oven makes it
        • My issue is that a large portion of RTS games are playing at near-twitch levels. I never liked playing RTS games where the units flew across the screen at speeds approaching jet aircraft (unless of course, they were jet aircraft).

          I like to play them at a pace that more approximates a realistic speed.

          Though I have found that games which involve some level of squad AI helped a bit with my dislike for the extreme micromanagement.
          • by seebs (15766)
            Total agreement on squad AI.

            One of the things that always killed me in Warcraft was difficulty mousing fast enough and reliably enough; I could fail because I couldn't select a unit fast enough.
    • Some suggestions (Score:5, Informative)

      by donscarletti (569232) on Monday July 30, 2007 @12:23PM (#20044007)

      If they were to make it so that I could pause the game, scroll around the map, and give orders, I would probably really enjoy the game. I love RTS when they can accommodate my quirks.

      If you want true task isolation together with realtime action, try a Total War game. You can either get the latest Medievil II iteration or the now-cheap Rome, Medievil or Shogun varients. The campaign, with building, recruitment and deployment are turnbased while battles are realtime. In these realtime battles, not only can you move the camera and give orders while paused, you can only have one battle and there is no base to worry about when that happens. Furthermore units are grouped into formations of 40-200 soldiers depending on type so you've only got a very finite amount to worry about (up to 20 formations and not always that many). Plus pinning an enemy flank with a couple of phalanxes then breaking them with a charge by heavy cavalry from the side makes you feel like a big man nomatter how many times you do it, but that's beside the point. Also beside the point is that its one of the only games where battle organisation counts for far more than base building, citys have limited productivity and so you've gotta make what you can produce count and the units are grouped and simulated in a way that you CAN do clever things with them such as ambushes, flanking, hit and run, encirclement and use weapons of fear and they work a lot better than a blunt charge with superior numbers.

      If you wanna stick strictly in the genre though, try Supreme Commander which allows you to pan, zoom and give orders when it is paused, queue up orders, edit order queues, automate some tasks (like construction, rebuilding and air transportation) or even split your screen and point half of it at your base to give a wakeup call when something explodes in it. Its pseudo precursor Total Annihilation is similar but doesn't need the same computational grunt as SupCom.

      Anyway, I hope you try either of those games, I believe they accommodate your quirks well and they are great games to boot. Another thing to consider is that both games also allow you to change the speed of time in single player battles which could help you no end.

      • by seebs (15766)
        I'll put 'em in my list of games to consider. Sadly, I'm pretty much restricted to Mac games these days, too, but maybe I can work something out; I've been sorta grudgingly keeping a Windows install around for the RTS games.
    • Most Blizzard RTS's have a speed option you can adjust with the + and - key to slow down stop or resume action. So Single player SC 2 might be okay. But yeah if you can't multi task you will be permanantely dominated in all multiplaye rgames.
      • by seebs (15766)
        That's why I don't play multiplayer.

        Given even a little pausing, though, I can really enjoy singleplayer. I'm okay with not being able to play some parts of the game, but I really like the basic structure of the RTS genre, and Warcraft in particular was excellent fun... Until the levels got too hectic for me, and I couldn't cope anymore.
    • I agree with your conclusion (it would be nice to be able to queue orders while paused), but not with your reasons. What kills me on most RTS games is the harder difficulty levels...but not in RoN. Why? The computer's strategy at harder difficulty levels isn't too bad. It's the computer's speed that I can't compete with. The computer can tell 3 different barracks at 3 different bases each on a different corner of the map to build 10 each of 3 different classes in 1/10 of a second. All the mouse speed
      • by seebs (15766)
        With RoN, I tried some experiments, abusing the pause and slow stuff heavily.

        I could, at the slowest speed, pausing and giving orders and restarting constantly, just barely outperform the computer...

        But in fact, even then, it was just that I made decisions better; I had the nearest peasant build something, not just a random one. I queued things up in an order that maximized income growth. Things like that; underneath it all, the computer was still pushing buttons way faster than I could.
    • by nuzak (959558)
      Try Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. It's like a faster-paced Homeworld (it starts off very slow-paced but as the firepower increases, things get more frantic), you can issue orders while paused, and there's no resource management, just pure combat. It's really quite pretty too.

      Really though, I would like an RTS with better friendly AI and scenarios that used it, so that I can issue general orders to competent commanders instead of having to move my units around like they were plastic army men.
  • by Wylfing (144940) <`brian' `at' `wylfing.net'> on Monday July 30, 2007 @12:05PM (#20043725) Homepage Journal

    I still think this [cad-comic.com] is the funniest portrayal of South Korea's reaction to Starcraft II.

  • > Protoss

    I still think that Protoss admiral was an idiot for flying his carrier into the giant brain. I assure you, I had that battle well under control.

    20 or so of those big terran mobile missle launchers'll do the trick just fine...
    • Feh. I'd rather have the option of being Kodos for the day.
  • To all those that tagged this article as warcraftinspace: the correct tag is orcsinspace. Learn your history.
    • by nasch (598556)
      Play Starcraft campaign mode on a level with Artanis, and keep clicking him. I may not have the order right, but something like this (after he goes through the normal acknowledgment messages).
      "Stop poking me!"
      "What do I look like, an orc?"
      "This isn't Warcraft in space, you know."
      "It's much more sophisticated."
      "I know it's not 3D!"

      So warcraftinspace is a perfectly legitimate tag. Well, assuming the tags have no purpose whatsoever, which so far seems to be the case.

APL hackers do it in the quad.

Working...