Posted by: seanmalstrom | March 29, 2015

Starcraft 2 fans speak up against ‘fast paced action’ of Void of the Legacy


Above: THIS is the reason why anyone is buying Legacy of the Void: for the single player campaign. Starcraft 2’s multiplayer so overshot the market in both skill and loneliness (since when was RTS based around 1v1? It never has been), that everyone flocked to the MOBAs.

I’ve explained here how (someone who works at Blizzard informed me) that during testing of Starcraft 2 there was a joke setting speed. Yet, this became the ‘default speed’ of the game to the surprise of many there. We can only speculate as to why Starcraft 2 is so fast. Perhaps it is to make the game more ‘exciting’ for e-sports? Maybe it is related to Dustin Browder who got much acclaim at designing Red Alert 2 to have fast gameplay compared to the slow as molasses Tiberian Sun. Either way, Starcraft 2 is MUCH MUCH faster than Starcraft 1. The game is very stressful as a result.

In the video for the Closed Video for Legacy of the Void (a fitting name to the end of the Starcraft 2 trilogy: a legacy of nothingness), the announcer speaks of ‘exciting ways to make the game even more fast paced for more micro opportunities’!

The comments are amazing. Let’s take a look:

The NUMBER ONE upvoted comment says:

I think Blizzard misses the point when intentionally making units or unit responses “more micro intensive”

Micro is going to happen regardless. Rather than build a fun game with potential for exploitation, they give us a game with a very high-end ceiling that requires an extreme amount of mechanics to be adept at. The result is that more casual gamers have scared away from the game.

SC:BW wasn’t designed to be more micro-intensive, it just worked out that way.

This also creates a strange multiplayer experience in non-high level play. In Starcraft 2, you can literally only build one military unit and win games because you have more APM and better mechanical fundamentals than the opponent. Starcraft 2 is RTS which stands for Real-Time Strategy. When people play, they want to do some strategy. It is humiliating when you realize that strategy doesn’t enter Starcraft 2 until the real-time differentiation of the opponents is even.

Starcraft 2 doesn’t have a high strategy ceiling. It has a high real-time ceiling. It is difficult to be consistent playing game after game throughout it with high APM while having a real job and life.

@Eirhead: 100% THIS. I just like building bases, making units, trying to guestimate what to build against the enemy build, etc.

Now the game just feels more stressful.

Frankly adding huge amounts of units created this same problem. I wonder if Blizzard will lose sales due to the fact that you have to spend huge amounts of time practicing and researching in order to even contend.

Starcraft 2 multiplayer is stressful. The aesthetics and everything else is fun, but the way how the game is being executed is not. The purpose of real-time was to eliminate the waiting of turns in strategy games. RTS doesn’t work as action-strategy.

@Eirhead: +1. Blizzard is effectively reducing the market size of this product to 1000 people who can play at this level of micro-ing. It basically means less casual players, smaller fan base, less e-sport sponsorship, less pro players and the downward spiral ensues.

I loved StarCraft from StarCraft 1 to HotS but after a long day at work, doing more high stress 110% focused work and getting creamed just doesn’t sound like anyone’s idea of fun anymore.

We all love watching pros pull off massive micro moves on Twitch but would love to be able to play the game ourselves as well. Perhaps the game needs a normal mode and an APM exhibition mode.

These are the most upvoted comments on that page.

@MaxDemian: This is my problem with the game. When SC2 first came out I went hard 24/7 to get High diamond it was a ton of fun. Then I took a break and could never get back into the game. I just couldn’t find the time to research and practice to have fun.

Even today, I want to play but I am too intimidated to play. There is just too much to relearn and it stresses me out when I play.

This was my experience. Yes, I can play at the ‘high level’. But why would I want to do so? If you take a break, because of ‘life’, then you have to re-learn, and it isn’t fun. The older you get, the stupider it all seems. Remember that Starcraft 2 came out about five years ago. I think many of the original Wings of Liberty fans have matured, graduated college, and saw what real life is. Starcraft 2 is not compatible with the real world.

@Eirhead: Fully agree. Main reason why a lot of guys I do know in person are not playing SC2 multiplayer consistently is because it’s way too stressful. Not saying one should have low skill-cap, but rather it should NOT be increased by making the game more hectic instead of more strategic. I’d like to be able to consistently get to exciting big army confrontations rather than guess which cute/flashy shenanigans my opponent is going to brutally murder me with, or get a bunch of situational units that I can’t use unless I can perform heart surgery with the speed of a professional piano player. Or at least, try to balance those options off a little. Do they feel simple+robust units are just too boring?

People want Starcraft 2 to focus more on strategy mechanics instead of real-time mechanics.

@Eirhead: Agree with you. I used to play some multiplayer, and almost never do anymore. In fact I have, for the most part, lost interest in this game. I’ll admit, the highest I’ve ever been is Silver, so I can’t really know what the higher leagues are like. I’ve always been a casual player. However, most of the reason I quit multiplayer almost entirely was that, as a casual player, I hit a wall where I just couldn’t win a game anymore. Now, before everyone jumps on me, I would just like to say that I understand that the differences in skill are there for a reason, and that “casual” players are known as such for a reason. But making the game this micro-intensive is going to eliminate the vast majority of players. I’m sorry, but the “people that want to be rewarded for their efforts” just isn’t a large enough segment to justify these changes. There is literally nobody I personally know who plays this game for ANYTHING but to have fun with it. For those of you who scoff at us casual players for not devoting ourselves to SC2, remember: Starcraft is a game. It’s not real, and it is by no stretch of the imagination an actual life. That’s why it’s called a game: NOT real life, NOT a career, but a game. It’s intended as entertainment – not as a lifestyle.

Oh no! It is a ‘filthy casual’ who expects a game to be fun and not be a lifestyle! Who makes video games into ‘lifestyles’? It would be our good friends, the hardcore.

@Eirhead: Completely agree! Part of what makes these games fun is the feeling of being “effective”. It’s very hard to feel effective at the low tiers when there are too many MINDLESS things you aren’t doing.

The above comment is interesting because he points out the gameplay experience of non-high-level games is simply because you are being able to do some ‘mindless’ tasks (non-strategy). Managing four bases isn’t strategic, it is real-time intensive. But this is not why we are playing the game to juggle things around with the mouse cursor. Starcraft 1 certainly wasn’t like this.

@Eirhead: Agreed. I watch micro-intensive games in awe, but I can’t waste that much of my life becoming a starcraft master, just so I can stand a chance in any given match. It’s not 100% Blizzard’s fault though. As Starcraft became more popular, more people played it professionally and more people studied the mechanics. The more people that studied the mechanics, the less fun the game became, because it’s now at the point that, the only way to win a match is to pick one of 2 or 3 winning strategies and stick to it with perfect timing. It’s no longer a strategy game, because the majority of the strategies will likely lead to a loss.


@Eirhead: I have to agree. The more I look at the proposed new units and how much Blizzard talks about being micro-focused, the less I want to play it. My favorite aspect is not the micro, but the chess and strategy part. Can I predict what or where they’re going to attack and adjust my play to counter it? The more that I’m focusing on clicking on individuals in my army and giving them individual commands, the less I get to focus on the big picture of the battle.

If this is the way to go for multiplayer, I’ll have to decide if it’s worth paying money for just the campaign mode or not. I only just picked the game back up after not playing for a little over a year. I might not come back to this.

It astonishes me how things have changed and how so many people agree that Starcraft 2’s multiplayer has gone too far. NO ONE was saying this years ago.

But what about ‘archon mode’? Shouldn’t that help the ‘filthy casuals’?

@SkyFire: “and you even have archon mode to play with your friend”Just to be clear, this isn’t something new they’re adding. This is something we had in Brood War and then they took away from us, possibly so that they could entice us into shelling out for the third expansion. While I’m glad they’re giving it back to us, it shouldn’t be viewed as a “feature” any more than being allowed a free carry-on to your airline should count as a feature.


I had forgotten about this. Brood War came out the same year as Starcraft 1, I think they just ran out of time. I do know that Warcraft 3 already had ‘archon mode’. Oh yes. You could share units.

During a 3v3 ladder, a few top players, along with a Blizzard employee, discovered an interesting strategy three people were using. They would share all their units and build off of one base. The resources were all shared. So what you had was one guy doing nothing but towering, another doing crazy micro with armies and heroes on one side, and another doing crazy micro and armies on another side. All the upgrades were shared since they were using one base. They stomped the Blizzard employee and friends. They didn’t mind being stomped as they were laughing too hard. Never did they dream Warcraft 3 to be played in such a fashion!

It is not Archon Mode that interests anyone. It is actually Allied Commander mode. The mode of competing AIs and getting new units using generals sounds very interesting.

I’m getting Legacy of the Void for the single player campaign. That is fun at least, and it is fun to replay. I just hope the RTS mechanics are more left in instead of being taken out like in the Zerg campaign.

@Eirhead: 100% agreed.

SC2 was my favorite game of all time. But this kind of aproach makes me feel lazy about it. I know SC2 isnt about being just noob friendly all the way. But you gotta consider lots of your fanbase just gets home tired from work and the last think they want is all that stress to handle with.

SC2 doesnt need to be a micro-intensive game. Micro, as the guy above just said, was just always there regardless of this aproach.

Maybe of you could launch units with more passive abilities (like the colossus mobility, chargelots etc) to make something different, or maybe even just more responsive fast n simple active skills (like Blink) would be more apropriate.

Just an old friend suggestion.

More! More!

@Eirhead: I spoke about this on the forums a few months ago. And I’m very happy to see I’m not the only one who came to the same conclusion.

Many die hard Starcraft fans who are passionate about the game have come to realize that ‘micro’ is a side effect of trying to squeeze the most out of a unit, it isn’t built into the design.

Units have to have layers. Sadly it seems the Starcraft II design team are trying to artificially recreate the micro seen in BW by making units specifically for micro engagement.
It didn’t work in Wings, it didn’t work in Heart of the Swarm, why is it going to suddenly work in Legacy of the Void?

I don’t get why the SC2 team are so out of touch with reality. No popular e-sport atm is driven by micro. Players like to be surprised, players like to be on the edge of their seats wanting to know what happens next. micro, micro, micro is going to desensitize the viewing experience. It would be like if CSGO had a crosshair, inside of a crosshair, inside of another crosshair, and you had to line them all up to get a headshot, yeah it would be COOL to see one time – but in the end nobody can relate to it – they will go back to playing CSGO with one crosshair (to explain the analogy would be SC2 micro pros vs SC2 A+move casuals).

More! More!

@Eirhead: I agree with you 110%. Brood War micro was designed in order to overcome the limitations of the units. SC2 micro is based on TRYING to use the unit to its designed potential, which is ALMOST impossible unless your are high master/ pro. SC2 is suffering, because the casual community can’t play it without ripping their hair out.

The comments do not end. It is amazing the turn-around regarding Starcraft 2 multiplayer.



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