It is telling how things change. At PAX East, Dustin Browder goes up there, dances a jig (he actually does this when the computer crashes), and tells us about Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void. He only talks about the single player campaign. He does not mention the multiplayer.
Why does he do this, reader? It is because no one gives a damn about Starcraft 2 multiplayer anymore.
Is that not revealing? Starcraft 2 came out in 2010 which is almost five years ago. It had great hype and acclaim. It is not that the multiplayer is dead, it is that no one gives a damn about it anymore. Is there anything going on in the E-sports about Starcraft 2? Not that I hear about.
Starcraft 2 will age better as a single player game experience than a multiplayer game experience. Every time I think of playing SC 2 multiplayer, I just shudder. Build orders and actions per minute. If you do not have them down lickity split, it doesn’t matter what strategic decisions you make. You can just build one unit and win through many of the lower league games because you are making more harvesters and building ‘more’ of that one unit.
Starcraft 2 multiplayer did not fail because no one wants to play RTS. If that is true then no one would want Warcraft 4. No. It failed because of two main things:
1) Game was too fast. It is much faster than Starcraft 1. I heard from an insider at Blizzard that the multiplayer speed was at first put out as a ‘joke’, but then it became the default speed (the person I got this info on was considered a RTS god in Warcraft 3, 2, and the first Starcraft).
2) The multiplayer was geared for E-sports and based around the hardcore enthusiasts.
I’ve been playing RTS games since before they were invented. Starcraft 2 multiplayer was not fun. The big, big thing I hated was the league system. You couldn’t simply *play* the game. You got stuck in a league and had to play it that way. You could not ‘reset’ your account or anything. If you wanted to play another race that you weren’t as good at, too bad.
Some of these things were fixed in Heart of the Swarm, but they added more hamster wheels. Now you got experience bars just for playing the game!? Really? WTF! General interest in Starcraft 2 multiplayer died swiftly after Heart of the Swarm. It’s the same damn thing over and over again. Not even Day does his ‘in depth’ ‘be a better gamer’ videos on Starcraft 2 anymore. People are just bored of the game.
Single player Starcraft 2 is the best RTS I’ve played. It is sooo much fun. The story is bollucks and hero centric (story should be faction centric, not hero centric), but the single player is very fun. I even do the achievements in the missions too.
I consider the ‘three installments’ of Starcraft 2 to be a failure. The thing is that people’s attention span do not last that long. One expansion is good enough. Give us a new game already.
Warcraft 1 – 1994
Warcraft 2 – 1995
Warcraft 2: Beyond the Dark Portal – 1996
Starcraft – 1998
Starcraft Brood War: 1998 (This is not a typo. The full game came out in March, the expansion came out in November of that same year.)
Warcraft 2: Battle.net Edition 1999
Warcraft 3 – 2002
Warcraft 3: Frozen Throne – 2003
Now look at what has changed.
Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty – 2010
Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm – 2013
Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void – 2015
FIVE YEARS for one fucking game!??? In that same time frame, we went from Warcraft 1 to Starcraft Brood War. In that same time frame, we went from World of Warcraft (2004) (2005 for EU) to Catalcysm (2010). If WoW can’t sustain that amount of interest, why should anyone expect Starcraft 2 to do the same?
We should have just had one expansion, then Warcraft 4, then Rock and Roll Racing 2, and so on. Diablo 3 is also going to be painful with its last version. I’m sure the Blizzard teams are tired of working on those games.
These long drawn out ‘trilogy of expansions’ is not healthy for gamers, not healthy for the game, and not healthy for developers. It needs to stop.
The good news is that Blizzard seems to have realized this and is doing smaller games and putting them out at a faster pace. Hearthstone is a good example. Heroes of the Storm is taking way too long. I’m currently in the beta. It isn’t ready yet for public, but they are taking sooo long.
There is an old writer’s saying about novels you write. You don’t want to keep them in the refrigerator too long. They spoil and start to stink. It is better to get them out there. Steve Jobs put it another way: “Real artists ship.”
I will buy Legacy of the Void, enjoy the single player campaign, laugh online about what a joke of a storyline Starcraft 2 has and talk about its failure, and then never ever touch the multiplayer. Fuck the hardcore in how they destroyed Starcraft.