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Real Time Strategy (Games)

StarCraft 2 Terran Gameplay, Single Player Info 107

Posted by Zonk
from the i'm-about-to-drop-the-hammer dept.
It isn't all World of Warcraft at BlizzCon this year. That little sequel they're making to StarCraft has gotten quite a bit of attention as well. Gamespot has a liveblog transcript of a StarCraft II demo. This one, unlike the last, focuses on the Terrans rather than the Protoss. Several new units and build options are described, along with a bit about the single-player campaign. The campaign is the focus of Kotaku's game coverage, starring Jim Raynor and the crew of the Hyperion. "Part of the campaign in StarCraft II will be focused on Raynor's efforts to make money but taking jobs like this one, missions that ultimately tie into a larger plot. As you earn money, those funds will be put into purchasing technology--upgrades for units and units themselves. Pardo purchased (read: unlocked) the Viking ship for his next mission. This has been done to give players control over the tech progression of the game, instead of following a locked down set of upgrades. Hiking back up to the bridge, Raynor checks out the Star Map. This is where you'll choose your missions. They're much more open ended than in the previous StarCraft campaigns. You'll be able to pick the planet or system you want to tackle next, progressing the story in your own way. Mission briefings provide the summary, objectives, bonus objectives, mission bounty, and recommended technology, so you'll have to choose which best suits your current needs and matches your current level of tech."
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StarCraft 2 Terran Gameplay, Single Player Info

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  • [6:25] Will the first game's voice acting return? Casting hasn't been completed yet, so it's "all up in the air."

    I hope not. At least not the Fenix character's...
  • by Whatsisname (891214) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @04:40PM (#20116021) Homepage
    This thread is worthless without some videos. Give me videos!
  • by jfclavette (961511) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @04:42PM (#20116035)
    ... for the campaign, but that seems like it'll be a bitch to balance properly. Let's hope they get it right and it doesn't lead to a bunch of skirmish-like missions only.

    Of course, I'm probably the only person on planet earth that liked the single-player campaign and couldn't stand the multi-player (most likely because I sucked so much at it.)
    • by Vacuous (652107)
      This is Blizzard we're talking about, honestly, what have they released that WASN'T done properly?
      • by Novus (182265)

        This is Blizzard we're talking about, honestly, what have they released that WASN'T done properly?
        Well... The ending in Blackthorne [wikipedia.org] was not very satisfying and seemed to have been rushed.
      • by Koiu Lpoi (632570)
        More like what wasn't released. And by that I mean Starcraft Ghost.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nutshell42 (557890)

      Let's hope they get it right and it doesn't lead to a bunch of skirmish-like missions only.

      Definitely, but kotaku's preview sounds like there's a lot of game-engine cinematics between missions which makes it unlikely that they're not also heavily customizing the missions.

      What I hope for is fewer missions. It might sound crazy but I think the 30 missions in the original SC were too many, at least the way they played. It felt like there were 6-7 real missions in the scripting, storytelling and mission types and then there were 3-4 skirmish missions built in to increase the playtime.

      Now I think p

      • by toad3k (882007)
        unless they charge money for online gaming...

        Ugh don't even suggest that. I sc isn't as server intensive as wow is. They don't have to deal with persistent inventories and they don't have massive sprawling environments or require constant expensive content updates. If they do that I won't buy. And that is despite the fact that I'm following it very closely right now. I pay enough bills per month as it is.

        As for the rest of your note. I'm looking forward to online. Big time. However I will be playing
        • Ugh don't even suggest that. I sc isn't as server intensive as wow is. They don't have to deal with persistent inventories and they don't have massive sprawling environments or require constant expensive content updates. If they do that I won't buy. And that is despite the fact that I'm following it very closely right now. I pay enough bills per month as it is.

          It's a rumor that's been brought up a number of times and it makes sense because subscriptions and micro-payments are big in Korea and that's the main market for Starcraft. I wouldn't like it either and I certainly wouldn't pay for it, it would just kill multiplayer for me.

          As for the rest of your note. I'm looking forward to online. Big time. However I will be playing through the single player and the longer it is the happier I will be. I don't care if some missions don't advance the story. I just want to play at least five well thought out, hard missions with my entire tech tree.

          I don't think I'd play through all of that if it was part of the main story. Why can't we agree that there should be a short to medium length (i.e. 12-15h) campaign and a bunch of extra scenarios (if Blizzard is providing even minimal m

          • by toad3k (882007)
            Well, from what I've been reading about blizzcon, it looks like they are giving us a happy medium. You will select missions to get extra money to advance your cause and be better prepared for the next mission. That means you can skip most of the optional ones and I can hit every last one, or even jump to harder ones earlier to keep it interesting. There might even be some randomness for replay value for me, although they haven't really clarified it satisfactorily.

            My problem with mods is that they usually
    • I liked the single-player campaign but I can't stand the multiplayer (I swear 99 out of 100 melee games use some unlimited money map)..

      I just hope Blizzard doesn't drop the ball when it comes to balance the heroes. I played Dawn of War:Dark Crusade and I'll be honest, I simply had my Commanders (read: Hero) stomp through most of the levels after I managed to get certain gear for them (the Tau commander is godly once you get the jetpack and rocket launcher).

      • The interviews implied that Starcraft 2 is going to be an army game, not a hero game. It suggested that, if plot characters are present during the campaign, it will be the exception rather than the rule, so they'll probably be more like the named characters from Warcraft2 and the first Starcraft - regular units with slight buffs and special unit portraits, rather than all-destroying behemoths.
        • by MMaestro (585010)
          Except for the fact that heroes in the original Starcraft were pretty badass when you weren't talking about victory fleets or armies numbering in the hundreds. The Battlecruiser heroes could tear away at enemy bases by flying over unwalkable terrain and using Yamato gun, Zeratul was the ultimate scout/ambusher (at 100 damage, he had one of the highest base damage in the game), (Zerg) Kerrigan was damned near overpowered as the only non-protoss unit that could use psionic storm (perfect for those zerg versus
  • most of the comments on kotaku.com seem to be "open ended = bad." I have to disagree. I forced myself to play through Warcraft III but gave up on the xp because the storyline was too contrived and too repetitive.
    • Re:open ended (Score:5, Insightful)

      by realmolo (574068) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @05:07PM (#20116175)
      That's because the fans of Starcraft, and RTS games in general, really just want to know how to "win".

      Is there any RTS game that hasn't been completely "figured out"? I mean, everyone knows what strategies/units to use and when after the game has been out for a month or so. At that point, if you are a "hardcore" player, you aren't really PLAYING the game so much as following the predetermined steps necessary to win. And in multiplayer, well, we all know that in multiplayer RTS games, if you aren't following one of a couple of strategies, and building the right units in the right order, you will lose.

      All of which is why I could never get into RTS games.
      • Agreed. I love RTS games, but only the single-player campaigns. It's hard to enjoy playing online when every single game is about nothing but who builds enough tanks first.
      • by mobby_6kl (668092)
        Is there any game that hasn't been completely "figured out"? Well, maybe checkers? Oh, wait... [slashdot.org] Ok, back to PC/video games. In an FPS game, you learn the maps to get to the weapons/objective as quickly as possible. If you don't follow that path, you will be badly outgunned and that == fail. In racing game there's only one correct racing line for each track. In a flight sim there's a whole bunch of checklists you'll have to follow to get anywhere. Shit, even in Pacman there are 5 patterns which you memorize t
        • by Torvaun (1040898)
          >Is there any game that hasn't been completely "figured out"?

          Anything with randomness. Anything where different players know different things.

          So, most card games, which do not necessarily have winning moves. In the computer realm, multiplayer FPS cannot be "figured out" because of differing knowledge. If I move behind you where I can see you and you can't see me, my knowledge is greater, and I will demonstrate that with a shotgun blast to the back of the head. If I plant mines, and you don't see them
          • Chess, go, checkers, and tic tac toe are really the only offline games that can be learned such that a game cannot be lost.

            I Am Not A Go Player, but I'm under the impression that it's rather hard to solve Go automatically [wikipedia.org]. The search space in a game of Go is so huge that it's akin to brute-forcing cryptography (^:

            Also, you should add Connect 4 to that list. A computer algorithm (or a perfect player) that starts the game can be guaranteed to win.

          • by aliquis (678370)
            And how is online rts not "random" enough? Often I do the "expected" units until I notice what the others have and switch, but sometimes I make something very unexpected just for fun and how doesn't that add to randomness?

            Though I always play team games and never solo which increases the amount of weird things you can do and still survive. Going for a unit which is very unexpected/"bad" in a solo game isn't all that great =P
      • Re:open ended (Score:5, Informative)

        by skam240 (789197) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @06:53PM (#20116851)
        Most RTS games (especially Blizzard ones) are hardly that simplistic. Talking specifically about StarCraft, yes the first 5 minutes with any particular race tends to be pretty much the same. From there, however, you see a rapid expansion of game play possibilities that require players to be able to think on the fly. Sure, most good players have a few standard tricks up their sleeves for after the rush but which one is implemented depends on a variety of factors and often times require small changes depending on the players current situation in game. Of course most of the custom maps used on battle.net nowadays take away from this somewhat by removing all terrain and providing player starting spots with near infinite resources but that is more to do with player's purposely removing features of gameplay that Blizzard put in.

        Basically, the rush phase is there to weed out any players who haven't mastered the game's fundamentals and becomes near instinctual for skilled players. What follows after is the real meat of the game.
        • by phorm (591458) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @09:00PM (#20117573) Journal
          I remember that some of the best strategies came into play when playing between teams. If one player was, for example, massing carriers, one strategy that often worked was to sneak up (or unhide) a devourer which would cast dark swarm (no hits from air) and then plague. That one will happily suck down the life of enemy units, which to add to it your terran ally can sneak up a science-vessel, dump an EMP, and basically drop that annoying carrier-rush-force down to nearly nothing for life.

          End-result is that the rush fails nicely.

          Yes, there was always a lot of build-build-build-rush-rush in the RTS genre, which tends to have a lot to do with the mentality of the players involved. Anyone playing on the "much money" maps was pretty much interested in that form of strategy, whereas under normal maps a good strategy could often undermine rushers quite well. There was, of course, also a good factor of luck or recon involved as to whether one should build defences against early rushing VS focussing on getting their base/units levelled.
          • one strategy that often worked was to sneak up (or unhide) a devourer which would cast dark swarm (no hits from air) and then plague. That one will happily suck down the life of enemy units, which to add to it your terran ally can sneak up a science-vessel, dump an EMP, and basically drop that annoying carrier-rush-force down to nearly nothing for life

            Yeah, the best counter I found for that was to stasis your carrier fleet so they don't lose life from the plague and can recharge their shields. That of cou

          • If one player was, for example, massing carriers, one strategy that often worked was to sneak up (or unhide) a devourer which would cast dark swarm (no hits from air) and then plague... End-result is that the rush fails nicely.

            Calling massed Carriers a rush is like calling a Beowulf cluster your laptop.

      • Re:open ended (Score:4, Informative)

        by p0tat03 (985078) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @07:06PM (#20116943)

        Try Total Annihilation. The AI in that game is ridiculously smart, and learns between sessions. I remember when I first started playing I went heavy on bombers and fast airborne strafing runs across the enemy base. A couple of games later I tried to steamroll the CPU again, but this time all my aircraft were met with a hail of grisly anti-air death. I was shocked, and amazed.

        In the end it really forces the player to constantly be trying new playing styles, new strategies, and the resourcing became even more important. TA worked on a "income vs. expenses" model, instead of having resource "stockpiles" like traditional RTSes. This allowed you to maintain a totally automated production line, whose unit AI you can set before it even rolls out of the factory. It allowed truly large-scale thinking, where you can hold a line and fight a massive war instead of micro'ing your units and engaging in limited skirmishes.



        • Try Total Annihilation. The AI in that game is ridiculously smart, and learns between sessions. I remember when I first started playing I went heavy on bombers and fast airborne strafing runs across the enemy base. A couple of games later I tried to steamroll the CPU again, but this time all my aircraft were met with a hail of grisly anti-air death. I was shocked, and amazed.

          In the end it really forces the player to constantly be trying new playing styles, new strategies, and the resourcing became even more
      • I'd probably have to disagree. WC3 probably suffers from this more than SC(probably due in part to heroes, smaller battle scale, autocasting, less resource management), but neither one of them suffers from it entirely, and it looks like they may be going to an extreme away from this in SC2. Strategy games boil down into being good at a few things, being the best at any one but failing the others generally won't get you wins.

        1. Resource management/Building - Having more units on the battlefield is an advanta
      • That's because the fans of Starcraft, and RTS games in general, really just want to know how to "win".

        Is there any RTS game that hasn't been completely "figured out"? I mean, everyone knows what strategies/units to use and when after the game has been out for a month or so. At that point, if you are a "hardcore" player, you aren't really PLAYING the game so much as following the predetermined steps necessary to win. And in multiplayer, well, we all know that in multiplayer RTS games, if you aren't following
      • by aliquis (678370)
        Sure doing the right units helps, but a skilled player can use "wrong" units vs someone less skilled and still win, also attacking and expanding at the right moment and so on makes a difference aswell. And of course in the case of wc3 having the right unit type hit the enemys right unit type and/or decide if it's worth focusing heroes or not will make a difference aswell.

        Also when people don't scout you can pull of very unexpected things such as only massing siege tanks or something.

        Also in say WC3 I read s
  • From the looks of the screenshots, the game is gonna have some Wing-Commander-style between mission story telling. Ah, Wing Commander 2 was a pretty sweet game back then.
    • I almost had to fight back a tear as I read that. Yes, Wing Commander 2 was one of my favorite games of all time, and I loved the story and characters (ignoring how they later ruined Hobbes in WCIII). It would be amazing if Blizzard were to allow us to get so attached to the characters of the Starcraft universe through this kind of story-enhancing control.
  • We can all look forward to the kekekekeke from the koreans again I guess.

    Anyone know what it was supposed to mean?
  • by Nim82 (838705) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @05:58PM (#20116477)
    Whats the big fuss over mission choice?

    Dune2 had that sorted rather well years ago - nothing new there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by skam240 (789197)
      Despite being the first modern base building RTS I don't think most people remember Dune II.

      However, I think the fuss is warented as it is exciting to see that Blizzard is updating their gameplay with new features, even if the "new" features are ones that have existed since the genre began. Furthermore, it looks like they are taking what was in Dune II forward a bit by allowing the player's performance in one mission to more greatly effect what their experience will be like in the next.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DaleGlass (1068434)
        Not a new concept either.

        Homeworld: You take the ships you got one level to the next. Could suck really badly if you didn't do one mission well, as you'd start the next and more difficult one in a disfavourable position. On the other hand, perfectly realistic given the setting.

        Fallen Haven. Turns based strategy game where you could choose which territory to attack, produce and organize defence on territories that were already won, defend, etc.
    • by nusuth (520833)
      IIRC you could select one of two maps for the second mission - which was identical no matter which map you play it on- and that was that. I hope SC2 offers more than that.
  • I tried Starcraft Brood War a few months ago but lost interest after a couple of missions... I love strategy, sci-fi and a good story and I don't mind at all the dated graphics, but somehow I can't see what's so special about it to deserve such high ratings. IGN even called it the "best real time strategy game ever made"...

    What am I missing?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Delifisek (190943)
      You wanna piss off me boy
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by aldo.gs (985038)
        I always thought it was "you want a piece of me, boy".
        • piss off me boy (Score:1, Interesting)

          by alelade (905619)
          And you were right :D. Our friend has a selective recognition there. He is Turkish like me, and "want a piece of me" has no direct translation to Turkish, not on same context anyway. "Piss someone off" has, on the other hand.
    • in my personal opinion there are two things that makes sc different. a) nostalgia for singleplayer. b) fantastic multiplayer by virtue of blizzard's excellent job at balancing three very different races. as far as i know, it was the first popular rts that pulled off such a system.
      • by p0tat03 (985078)

        *buzzer* Nope. I'm not sure who was truly first, but I know that C&C predated SC in terms of balancing different units for each side (as opposed to having both sides "clone" each others' units). Granted, C&C multiplayer left a lot to be desired, especially the matchmaking service, but SC certainly wasn't the first.

        RTS games have come a long way since SC, but the thing I remember most fondly about it was its ability to tell a story while *in* a game, where previous games in the genre were limited t

  • by imgod2u (812837) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @06:03PM (#20116509) Homepage
    Well daylight, we had a good run. It's not you, it's me.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      SC2 will not be free to play on the upgraded battle.net; there will be a subscription fee, as dictated by Vivendi based on the success of the World of Warcraft model.

      Remember the reports last year of Blizzard working on a "next-gen MMO"? This is it.
      • If that's true, bug wup. The "StarCraft II" channel on Hamachi will fill up with people playing virtual LAN games.

        However, you don't know it's true. Blizzard has like three or four different teams going at the same time. For all we know, the next gen MMO could be Diablo III. :-P
        • by RulerOf (975607)

          For all we know, the next gen MMO could be Diablo III.

          Don't you DARE. I like my life just the way it is, teeming with possibilities for productiveness each and every day. I refuse to lose any future job/marriage/children to that god damned Diablo series.
      • by aliquis (678370)
        Oh that would suck, the good part about WC3 and so on and the reason I actually BOUGHT the title is that it's worth buying because it doesn't cost a fortune.

        I really doubt sc2 would use subscription thought, it's not like it's a huge title with lots of updates, is it?
  • I love how this is sounding, so kinda RTS with a little RPG added. Sounds like a winner to me! this definitely just caused my pre-hype SC2 meter jump up a couple more notches.
    • I love how this is sounding, so kinda RTS with a little RPG added.

      Nah, I still think RTS + RGP = Suckatude.

      I remember the silly "ghost" or "squad" missions from Starcraft and the increased emphasis on core units in WC3 missions (such as "march your Terran hero and his beasts through the shooting gallery" one). On all those missions, I kept hoping for a "skip the lame RPG-ish levels" option (other than the cheat codes, of course).

      Thank god Blizzard still let you skip right past the cheesy cut-scenes.

      Long s

      • by phildawg (1104325)
        Well I think the RPG elements I was refering more to were the fact that you earn points to unlock units, and you have the choice on missions that are more for your type of challenge, etc. RPG that I was trying to infer was the more open the game is sounding. I agree with you on those WC3 and SC missions, like escorts and such. I like the idea of having a little more control of my destiny.
  • The Lost Vikings (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tfcking (898871) on Saturday August 04, 2007 @08:14PM (#20117341)
    If you look at the new Viking units info page down the bottom you will see blizzard labeled the picture "The Lost Vikings". Blizzard made a game called the Lost Vikings in 1992. Not sure how many people remember that game still. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Vikings [wikipedia.org] ....That was a fun game :)
    • by nuintari (47926)
      Great beer drinking game, I wish they would make games along those lines. Two player cooperative puzzle/action. It was a great idea that never attracted more than a cult following.
    • by Psykechan (255694)
      For those Blizzards fans smart enough to stay away from WoW, I'll let you know that they also appear in the Uldaman dungeon as dwarves.

      Baelog [wowwiki.com], Olaf [wowwiki.com], and Eric the Swift [wowwiki.com] are all in the game. If you are Alliance you can talk to them and if you are Horde you can kill them and loot interesting things like Olaf's shield that gives you the ability to slow your fall.
    • Ah, I remebered that game. I loved it (because of the puzzles) and hated it (because if one died you had to restart)

      Let's hope we get a Viking hero named Erik or Olav (or what the last one was named) in SC2 =)
  • I'm salivating just thinking about this game, but there's one thing about SC and SC:BW that I hope they fix: variable rotational speeds - a Marine should be able to turn around to shoot at something behind him much, much faster than a mechanized unit could. It always bothered me to see these gorgeously animated characters whose realism (okay, not realism. They're in space, after all. 'Fluidity of Movement,' then) was disrupted by a tank that could turn on a dime and start pounding you. It'd an odd thing fo

    • the article does mention the thor unit which takes significantly longer to turn around.
    • by BriggsBU (1138021)
      The article talks about the Thor being slow to turn, so it was possible for a small, fast tank to drop in behind it and beat it down by constantly staying out of its line of fire. So in short, I think that they've got your concerns covered. :-)
  • I heard that they are removing reavers from the game. I liked these mechanical snails.
    I hope they leave these for map editor.
  • "some of the units from the first Starcraft that have been removed for the sequel have actually been built and will be available for modders to use."

    HURRAY!

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