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Starcraft 2 is no more strategic than Pokemon.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Master-Frog, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    When I play Pokemon, I have to have an idea of what I'm going to do in order to win. Type coverage can work for you and against you, as attack types frequently coincide with Pokemon types. I have had strategies in Pokemon that were godly and some that were crap and didn't work. With the exception of Legendary Pokemon, you can't just grab 6 random Pokemon and roflstomp everything. You need to think, you need to employ tactics and you have to have an overall strategy to win.

    Let's compare this to a game of Starcraft 2, where a battle is often decided in about 10 minutes and a good 3 minutes of that is executing a build order that 99% of the time will not result anything too amazing, but if you have a crap build order and get behind on your macro you automatically lose unless the enemies run their entire army into a wall of Seiged tanks.

    Where Starcraft 2 is won and lost is in how fast you click on stuff and how quickly you can produce units.
    Where Pokemon is won and lost is in choices that you make, depending on continually changing sets of circumstances and trying to predict a step or two ahead what your opponent is likely to do. A good strategy can result in a super-buffed Pokemon that sweeps an entire team, but that same strategy can be defeated often in one single correct Pokemon move by your opponent.

    Pokemon requires strategy, Starcraft 2 requires time-management skills and multi-tasking.
     
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  2. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Is that the difference between strategy and tactics (I'm not sure what the correct terms are)? I never knew where to draw the line but I felt like there are 2 different skillsets, one that I'm ok at (tactics in FPS games, micro management in Men of War style RTS games) and one that I utterly suck at (everything remotely grand strategy or stuff that requires planing far ahead).
     
  3. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    A strategy is something like "beat my enemies by having balanced type coverage" or "pound everything with Alakazam but have Pokemon to switch into in case you hit a hard-counter". Tactics are the individual things you do while trying to achieve your strategic goal, such as leading off with a bulky Pokemon (like Onyx) with Bind and Roar, so you can switch out enemy Pokemon until you get one that you can one-shot with another Pokemon, then switching out and trying to continue on that way, heavy hitting until you hit a counter. Strategy is almost like a goal, tactic is something you do to work toward that goal.

    Strategies are very high-minded and involve thinking ahead, they come from a place of understanding of the enemy and of yourself. Tactics are ways of exploiting the enemies weakness, and depend upon timing and placement. While employing certain tactics can be supremely aggravating to an enemy and they can devastate in a given battle, having an overall strategy that you don't stray from will win the war.

    I saw one battle in Starcraft where strategy was used, but it was on a high-level match between a couple of very highly ranked players. One player looked like he was losing the entire game, because he kept losing big expensive units in the middle. And it was like... he just kept putting them out there. He was done for. Then, at the end, the other player has no more money and no more bases. Why? Because while he was throwing units away in the middle, he was secretly flying squads of attack units around the back side of the enemy bases. His strategy was "divert the enemy attention away from the real attack by putting a honey pot in the middle". That battle was more exception rather than rule, most Starcraft 2 battles are nothing more than a frantic death race to produce as many units as possible, fraught with errors and a failure to micro-manage every soldier that takes a piss for the entire match.

    And even in that match, he could have lost. His enemy didn't make a couple of very high-power units that could have obliterated his base, which is more luck than anything. Go figure.

    That's funny, I feel the reverse is true for me... I don't care for the micro-management aspects of game play. It doesn't interest me in the slightest. For one thing, the ultimate Starcraft 2 player is going to be a piece of Artifical Intelligence that can control each unit individually. As a rule, I try to avoid investing in learning to master things that a computer can already do better. I'm not a computer nor do I desire to be one. Chess is a big sore spot for me, as well... supposedly chess players are strategic masters. Oddly, chess is probably more strategic when played by the average person than by someone who has studied the game for any length of time, as people who play often begin to memorize opening moves, patterns and it is from this they gain their advantage. It's literally the same battle over and over again for all of time.

    I don't like grunt work in general and that's all micro is to me, grunt work. No thank you, ma'am.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  4. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    That's my understanding of it. "Strategy" is about what to do long term, "tactics" is about how to execute it short term. StarCraft definitely has a strategic element, but I agree that winning a game often comes down to tactics and implementation rather than strategy.

    For instance, things like "stutter-stepping" marines so that they get more shots off. That's one of many deliberate design decisions in StarCraft that focuses on short-term "how" and clicking ability rather than long-term "what". I'm nowhere experienced enough to know for sure, but I get the impression from what I have played that there's far more tactical depth than strategic depth to the game. (Note: I played only the base game of SC2, and the best I did was get into silver league.)

    Just to be clear, that doesn't make it a bad game by any stretch of the imagination. I don't think it should be more strategic, because that wouldn't necessarily make it a better game. But I do think that "RTS" is often a misnomer (much as I think that "RPG" is often a misnomer, used to mean "upgradable skills" rather than "role playing a character").
     
  5. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    I logged in, just so I could nominate this as stupidest thread of all time.

    there's no f****** strategy to pokemon go... walk around/swipe screen.
     
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  6. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    There definitely is strategy, if you play a gentleman's game.

    Now if you want to win...

    Why do Terrans put structures in their doorways?
    Have you ever seen a proxy barracks -> bunker rush?

    Let's be frank, there are game-ending tactics that can finish everything in under 5 minutes and one of the things that defines higher level players is that they can hang on by a thread and repel these b.s. tactics, some of or most of the time and retaliate. But properly executed cheese is simply effective.

    It almost always comes down to one of three things:
    1) Bigger ball of death than your opponent.
    2) Below the belt tactics.
    3) Better multi-tasking.

    Sun Tzu you do not need to be.

    I can even tell you why Starcraft 2 was designed this way.

    Chess is slow... real war is slow... political campaigns are slow... Pokemon battles even, are not super fun to watch, but they are very interesting to wage. Strategy takes place over time, it's big picture. There's no big picture to a 10 minute match.

    If two high-level pro players play a 27 minute match, one has to wonder how much of that is an homage to Errol Flynn.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
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  7. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    ...there's always something there to remind me... why I've been staying away from here.
     
  8. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    On that note, I'm not convinced that there's any less of it than there is in Pokemon. Sure, there's more of other things, but is there in fact less strategy?

    I do recall finding some tactics frustrating, not so much because they were hard to defeat but because they were so un-fun when used against you. Like the one where a Protoss gets an invisible guy into your base and slowly kills your builders. You know what's coming, but you can neither do much about it nor hurry it up. You know you've lost, the other player knows they've won, but you still have to wait out the inevitable before you can start the next game.

    That said, the answer to those tactics was in fact execution of a better strategy. Most newbie players blindly pick something and go with it, where really you need to be scouting, identifying your opponent's strategy early, and countering it. I sucked at that, which is why silver was my best. To my knowledge the so-called "cheese" tactics relied on the person they were being used against not actually looking to see them coming. If you saw and recognised them then they were quite manageable. If you didn't then you were toast.

    As for building structures in your doorway I can't see how it's un-gentlemanly. Are you suggesting that it would be more "gentlemanly" to choose not to offer your own troops the best available protection? A commander who willfully lets an enemy massacre their troops when they could have mitigated it isn't a "gentleman", they're a "fool".
     
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  9. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    I guess "beat them before they can muster a response" is a strategy. As valid as any. So, I will say it's probably just as strategic as Pokemon. I was thinking about this.. you don't know what your opponents Pokemon are until they pull them out, which is sort of like fog of war. You can scan your opponents bases, and you can use Roar to poke at your enemy's ranks. I don't know what it is about SC2 that frustrates me so... I think it's because, the game is so demanding and fast-paced that even though in principle I know how to win... it just feels like so much work. We're talking about dedicated practice, like if you were trying to learn a musical instrument. Daily, deliberate. Sometimes I get so frustrated with SC2 after I get stomped, even though I know why I lost, I just feel exhausted and it makes me think... a strategy game shouldn't feel like this. It shouldn't feel like I just disarmed a nuclear bomb.

    So I invariably arrive at this thought... if only it were slower-paced and more focused on strategy, it might be even more fun for me to play. But then you would be able to get good at it... and master it... it's a conundrum. It's a love hate thing with me and SC2.

    Sun Tzu would do whatever would make him win. I'm a fool.

    I just figured that if people would just allow one another even 5 minutes to prepare before sending the first attack party... then maybe you wouldn't have to build structures in a walkway just to prevent an all-in.

    I didn't know you played SC penguin.
     
  10. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    That's the thing, I've never viewed it as "a strategy game". It has some strategic elements, but as I mentioned there are loads of design decisions that deliberately move focus away from that.

    The deciding factor for me on whether or not it's a strategy game is where the effort should primarily be put to get good at it. Someone who is good at the actiony bits and sucks at strategy is going to wallop someone who's good at the strategic bits but sucks at the actiony bits. Though, y'know, as a mostly bronze player I could be way off, there.
     
  11. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    I never knew how to view it, I just stumbled upon Warcraft 3 one day and I was addicted, then I found Starcraft 2 and it was even more addictive. I love the characters and the music and the artwork, the voice recordings, etc. It's fun to play until it gets so hard that you have to be serious... and I think that's my real gripe, is that I shouldn't have to be 'serious' about a game, yet SC2 and its makers have decided that the only players that matter are the 'serious' ones. You can see it reflected in their number of active users, a lot of people have all gone on to other more "it" games like LoL and DotA.

    Personally I have never taken any game 100% seriously, and I feel that to move ahead in SC2 it requires you to stop treating it like fun.

    Which I guess means it's time for me to move on.
     
  12. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    What's wrong with that? Every product should have a target market, and they addressed that one pretty well. Not taking it seriously never stopped me having fun, and all the infrastructure they had in place made it really easy to find a game when I wanted it.

    To be honest, I don't know of any large online multiplayer game that isn't predominantly represented by it's "serious" players anyway. They're the only ones who care enough to consistently show up and make noise.
     
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  13. Deon-Cadme

    Deon-Cadme

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    First of all, we usually call the serious players "hardcore" player and the less serious ones "casual" players but it should be noted that these words have many different meanings depending on context. It has become the way of describing extreme players or the polar opposite types of players in game design.

    Now, Starcraft 2 is neither a hardcore or casual game. It sits there, somewhere in the middle. That is one of the reasons why it is so appealing. You primarily got the campaign and custom, multiplayer matches for the more casual players. That way, people that doesn't want intensive matches / games can adjust their experience.

    The Starcraft 2 ladder is on the other hand a hardcore feature. Dedicated players that invest a lot of time and practice can show off / test their skill in online matches against other players around the world in a competitive fashion. You are basically entering an arena match when you access the ladder features. Two enters, one leaves ;)

    Now, from a different perspective. Both types of players can approach the game in a serious (hardcore) or unserious (casual) way. A serious player might be involved in the eSport community, have sponsors and he got to win because it affects his real life income. An unserious ladder player like me might start up a match against a skilled for a short moment of fun but... a true, casual player that isn't serious might start up a ladder match and find the worst experience in his life as he encounters a skilled player that utterly crush him in just a minute or two.

    I can continue to spin this explenation forever but yeah. There is:
    • hardcore and casual players
    • hardcore and casual games
    • hardcore and casual game modes
    • hardcore and casual game mechanics
    • hardcore and casual strategies / tactics
    • ...
    Meaning players looking for a soft or hard, calm or intensive, difficult or easy experience etc...
     
  14. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Check out "supreme commander forged alliance", that has a x-minutes no-rush timer that can be set before the match. it traps all players in a bubble around their starting position. Imho it's a good feature.

    Isn't that the case for all high-skill-ceiling strategy/tactics games? I find shooters to be a lot easier to keep treating as fun, because your core skillset is clicking on other people, and that doesn't need much planning. Of course there are exceptions. If you play CS:GO competitive and you block a doorway for one second, that you were supposed to rush through, you'll get screamed and cursed at by your teammates and blamed for your loss ^^.
     
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  15. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    Look, I'll be frank... I like winning. I like some things about Starcraft 2 but others I don't. I don't think it's a right/wrong argument. I'm super disappointed that Starcraft 2 gets into this hardcore vitriolic metagame as soon as you enter the competitive arena but I know some people live for that. I'll admit I kind of upturn my nose at the idea of sitting around on a computer, practicing a video game. But I'm in the "life is too short" mentality, and I have been ever since I had a near death experience back in 2006. I'm in love with the idea of being highly skilled and being able to outmaneuver and outsmart your opponents in this high-tech space battle, but in reality... that's not what SC2 really is. It's a time-management, micro-management game with a really cool aesthetic.

    My whole point was that I actually get the same depth of enjoyment from Pokemon, but not the same level of frustration I get from Starcraft 2 when I face an opponent of a sufficient skill level that if I slip up 2-3 times, I die.

    At any rate, I digress.
     
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  16. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    I feel like every competitive ranked multiplayer game feels a bit pointless, because if the playerbase is big enough you always get matched with people so that you lose roughly half the games you play. I really hate that, because I never feel like I get better at such a game. I much prefer the experience of unranked multiplayer communities on public servers, where I might get rekt when I first start playing the game, but after a while I get to a point where I'm considerably better than when I started out, and I know that because my average place on the scorebord shifts and not just because some rank or number tells me I've gotten better, even though I still lose as many matches as before.
     
  17. gian-reto-alig

    gian-reto-alig

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    I think I have to agree with the Frog, even though I couldn't endure SC2 for long enough to really be entitled to an opinion... here goes anyway:

    SC2 is all about execution skills. Who clicks fastest shall win. If somebody does it in the better order, he will win even harder. But the game is all about speed it seems.

    While true strategy games are less about speed, and more about the COMBINATION of a good strategy, and the right timing. Remember, timing does not mean "bum rush as soon as possible"... because in real life that "tactic" will most probably fail without the right preparation.


    I found it puzzling as to why some to my eyes stupid design decision made it to the final game in SC2... like having to activate skills/special attacks per unit, instead of having the option to bundle units and activate the special for the whole formation.
    Seems like this was a decision to make the game more "skill based" and less strategic. To make sure the game looks like insane action during intense e-sport matches instead of a strategic snoozefest (like chess sometimes is, if there is not a tight timer involved).

    I cannot say I liked the game besides those points (the single player campaign had an appllingly stupid story. Really, I have to this day never seen a Blizzard game which had a story for grownups and not 12 year olds, but the SC2 story takes the cake for cheesiness for all the Blizzard games I have played to date)...
    But they certainly were the final nail in the coffin. If I want twitch gameplay I fire up CoD, or let the mad-skillorz teabag me in battlefield. If I fire up a game with the "RTS" label on the box, I expect something different.
     
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  18. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Playing COD makes me feel like twitch skills are worth less there than in other shooters, because the p2p setup makes for crazy desync between players. When I run down a straight corridor and at the end of it someone comes around the corner, I'm dead before he even was on my screen, if it's a reasonably competent player. In CS:GO, Insurgency, Day of Infamy, there is much less desync and there's a good chance I'd have gotten that kill instead. I got the COD BO3 multiplayer starter pack in the humble monthly bundle a while ago and deinstalled it after a few days because it's a night and day difference to all the shooters using dedicated servers, and I can't deal with that. I played MW3 1vs1 with a friend for a while, and we found out that the one who hosted the session would win almost all close range knife-fights. In that sense it's more of a ping based shooter than a skill based shooter.
     
  19. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^

    This is why infinite runners and match-3 games are popular. They are fun, fair, challenging without you feeling the need to seek group therapy after playing them.
     
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  20. passerbycmc

    passerbycmc

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    @Martin_H in cs:go being twitchy won't get you anything either, it's about knowing the maps, routes, cross hair placement, and clearing all your angles. Also peakers advantage exists in all online shooters.
     
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  21. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Clicking on heads always seemed like a solid skill to me. But I never got past Master Guardian rank in competitive I think. A friend of mine plays on Global Elite and apparently those matches indeed get decided on things you mention (hence me giving the example of your team getting angry when you accidentally block them at the wrong moment).
    In Demolition mode I did fairly well, and when I got my ass kicked, it was usually by people who were better at clicking on heads than me.

    Still, my experience just mindlessly running around shooting people in COD games and CS:GO, Insurgency or Day of Infamy is vastly different. In COD I super often get shot either when I'm already in cover but wasn't on the other player's screen, or I get insta killed by someone who comes around a corner. In none of the shooters with dedicated servers that I play, does something like that happen nearly as often to me. The peekers advantage still exists, no doubt, but it's by just that many miliseconds less bad, that make the difference between me still being able to enjoy the games or not.

    Skip to 4:34
     
  22. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    @Martin_H - You sound vaguely reminiscent of someone who actually has other things to do than play that game. Sometimes, as a frame of reference, I like to consider how many people are out of work or living at home or how many people get off work and jump online immediately. It all goes back to the old adage "how do you kill that which has no life?"
     
  23. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    I did not understand the point you are trying to make. Could you elaborate?
     
  24. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    Some people look at these little glitches as something to be exploited so they can win. They actively seek that (and any) advantages they can find, including spawn camping, hording special weapons and/or power-ups, and the like. What a normal person looks at as ruining the fun, a person who plays only to win sees it differently. And so there is an inherent disconnect. And so it is with online play everywhere I have ever seen it. If someone dedicates their actual lives to besting you at a game, and you jump on casually after dinner, you're going to lose. And it's going to kill the fun.

    And so online PVP is fundamentally skewed, South Park addressed it in Make Love Not Warcraft. The boys, in order to become WoW champions, spent every moment on the game until they all gained dozens of pounds and became riddled with oily zits. If online games were really fair, they wouldn't be ranked, they would show you how many hours people had in games. But, that's sort of the big elephant in the room... they don't want you to think about how much of your life is spent in these games.

    For Starcraft 2, it's pretty bad what they've done to such a beautiful game:

    upload_2016-9-7_8-49-43.png

    I mean, you can't argue with that. That's not a lot of players for a game made by Blizzard, who also made the biggest game of the last century. Hmm... I wonder what ever could have happened to the player base of 2 million unique users per month. Oh wait.

    I mean, people can go round and round all day telling me I'm wrong, but the verdict has already been rendered on SC2 I'm actually late to the show. Pop on reddit if you don't believe me. There seems to be an endless number of articles written by high-level players excoriating the game and calling for Blizzard to make some fundamental changes. By all means SC2 died in 2014 as a huge mainstream game. And what's crazy is it's not the game that's bad, it's the players and how the game doesn't punish them for playing like jackasses.

    We're all game developers here. You know as well as I do that the game could have been different. Maybe one day someone will create a mod that will go viral, but for now vanilla SC2 is a big, fat derp on the face of gaming.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
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  25. moure

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    I am trying really hard to get the point of the thread cause it does seem like an interesting topic, but i am kind of lost!

    @Master-Frog is your issue with starcraft the fact that micro plays an important role in the game? On the other hand you say that your build order (thus your macro) also can lose you a game?
    Is your problem matchmaking? Cause if you are low rank it seems pretty rare that you will play with players with such different skill/motivation from yours.
    Your points confuse me a bit ;)

    Edit: Also 200k players for basically a 4 year old game in the fading rts genre doesn't seem that bad actually!
     
  26. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    One thing that sucks about online multiplayer games is that other humans are there. So what happens is you as a n00b are playing against what appears to be other n00bs. Except in reality this is their 5th new account and they are highly skilled players. Their accounts are just new.

    Translation... as long as people are involved you'll get these so called hardcore players who just want to win win win (and even make videos of them killing the n00bs), etc. So the concept is cool for online multiplayer games but just like real life the problem is there are real human beings playing. :)
     
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  27. moure

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    Online multiplayer games are definitely not for everyone. Though most games try to "protect" you from unpleasant situations with chat/voice chat muting and tools like reporting behaviours/bans etc.
    Smurf accounts is definitely a problem most online games face, and its really not much you can do against it as a game developer, besides having an mmr system that can quickly catch up and move them up the ladder so as to frustrate as few people as possible.
     
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  28. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    @moure ha ha I knew it was a common practice but never knew that had an Internet slang name (should have... nearly everything does). Smurf account. lol
     
  29. Ryiah

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    Some of us never bothered to enter ranked multiplayer because we simply don't enjoy it.
     
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  30. Master-Frog

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    My brothers were pretty good Halo 2 players, they entered a competition and came in 1st and 2nd place, the final match was them vs. each other. They used to start all over and work their way up the ranks over and over again. Starcraft 2 actually penalizes players who haven't been online in a while by knocking them down in the ranks, and with fewer players online total now than ever, your chances of being matched up with a gold-platinum player in bronze is probably as high as 50%--solely based on anecdotal evidence and what I've been reading.

    I've read people saying that they are playing ranked and they just keep getting matched up against noobies... and they almost feel bad but if they don't beat them it will hurt their rank, so they just stomp them.

    I think this thread is just me having a sad because SC2 has nothing left to offer me and I like it so much.
     
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  31. Martin_H

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    @Master-Frog: Ah, that's what you meant. I mostly agree. I've once heard the argument that "just playing for fun" against someone who is "playing to win" is the same thing as griefing them, because they want to compete and you take that away from them by using less than 100% of game-winning strategies. The best solution for that imho is to have different modes that cater to different players. Counterstrike has the super serious competitive mode where it basically says right from the start "If you play here you commit to sit through an entire match that could last up to 90 minutes." and if you ragequit you'll get punished with increasingly long temp-bans from competitive matchmaking (up to a full week I think). And there are plenty of other modes that are good for the more casual players that just want to have fun. The different modes also have slightly different rules/mechanics. E.g. there is no friendly fire in the casual modes iirc.

    Afaik Quake Live solved it by putting new accounts all into a high-skill tier. I always thought I was a reasonably competent Quake 3 player because on the small-scale LAN-parties I went to back in the days I was pretty much unbeaten and had finished the singleplayer on nightmare 2 times. When I played my first Quake Live 1vs1 match I got absolutely annihilated and lost 50 to -2 or something like that. I later looked my opponent up and he was somewhere around place #1000 in the global 1vs1 leaderboard ^^. After playing a while my opponents became more evenly matched, and then suddenly I played against someone that must have been a brand new player, because he stood no chance. I told him to stick with it and it'll get less frustrating.
    I don't see how the smurfing issue could be solved differently in a ranked f2p game. There needs to be some barrier. For other games it is the need to buy them again, for f2p it must be an investment of patience it seems.
     
  32. Kiwasi

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    If you want an RTS game with some strategic depth, check out something like AI wars. The game does a bunch of things differently to make it more about strategy then about micro management.

    Specifically
    • Units have pretty good tactical AIs, including smart target selection and auto kiting
    • There are too many units in the game to make microing worth the effort. On average I end up with about 3000 units. But I've accidentally got into battles that end up around the 3 million mark.
    • Resource managment is mostly automated
    • The AI opponent doesn't pretend to play like a human. It has its own set of rules that are totally different. Thus its not subject to many of the blind spots a normal RTS AI suffers from
    • The AI becomes stronger the more territory the human takes. Meaning that simply rolling over every planet in the galaxy is not an option. This also means the game doesn't suffer from 'I've won, but now I need to track down every last unit of the enemy to prove my point.'
     
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  33. Player7

    Player7

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    Is a real lack of decent RTS games these days.. icry
     
  34. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    I'm not sure 'these days' is relevant. The same style of problems have been part of the genre since Dune 2.
     
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  35. Buhlaine

    Buhlaine

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    Looking at most competitive games I think you can find similarities. As a preface, I would just like to note that it doesn't sound like we are discussing the Pokemon competitive scene, yes it exists, and your discussing more of Pokemon as a single-player game. I would suggest you look into the rules and scene developed around Pokemon as they have a very structured idea of a meta-game. I'm looking at Pokemon as a PvP game in this post, not your standard PvE experience.

    Personally, I like to compare competitive games to Rock, Paper, Scissors. Which I would argue is competitive gaming at it's core. Check out this article discussing the ideas behind RPS and competitive games.

    What you seem to be discussing is the idea that Starcraft 2 is inferior to Pokemon because it boils down to time management, but your neglecting the fact that both games rely heavily on knowing your options and how to properly implement them.

    Sure, SC2 has a much higher skill ceiling when it comes to execution. No arguments there. The high skill ceiling is what gives the game much more depth. Lets look at a standard encounter in Pokemon. A lot of the encounter boils down to elemental weaknesses/strengths and reading your opponent, but the actual execution is extremely simple. Looking at Starcraft, you have those same exact situations of weakness/strengths of units, and reading your opponent. But the player has to also have the skill to execute plans in a live situation instead of just selecting a move that you have no pressure to do in a small time frame. These micro-decisions that they make are where the strategy requires a much bigger set of skills in order to win.

    The strategy in SC2 comes from a players ability to know unit matchups, and react to any given situation. Not only do they have to react to a situation, they have to anticipate and plan for how their player will react to their reaction. It ends up being a very deep and complex game of reading your opponent. The strategy in Pokemon relies primarily on knowing unit matchups, and the idea of reading your opponent is far less deep of a hole. On that note Pokemon does have a very interesting competitive scene, but a very small one.
     
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  36. Master-Frog

    Master-Frog

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    I'll keep it short. You do see these parallels between all competitive games. One major thing is that the metagame narrows down all possible valid choices of how to play the game to a handful. You see that weapon/Pokemon/unit and you almost laugh at the thought that anyone would ever bring it to a competition. In reality, there are only a small number of Pokemon used in the competitive metagame (considering how many Pokemon there are this is noteworthy) and it's constantly changing. Everything may be perfectly legit in PVE but in PVP using anything but the best of the best is the mark of a noob. And so, in a way, PVP is a different game than the original game, albeit one conducted within the rule set of the original game. These new rules don't need to be enforced, because if you don't follow them you will die.

    I think it's worth mentioning that Starcraft 2, in its very design, allows people to play it SO quickly by using hotkeys and following the current metagame and recommended build orders. There is no attempt to put the brakes on fast-builders. Ultimately, they did a smart thing because the few hardcore players that remain aren't going anyplace where casuals will move on to the next shiny object.
     
  37. frosted

    frosted

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    SC2 was designed almost entirely around the esports scene. Above all, they were trying to promote the game as the only serious esport and one that had become almost a national pastime in korea. It was designed to have a very very high skill cap and to promote raw competitive play at all times.

    They made a lot of mistakes with SC2, one of them was not being friendly to the casual player. The biggest mistake was removing the chat options from battle net, as the battlenet chat room went a long way toward promoting the game's more casual community (it created an environment where people could organize 'for fun' games). The biggest complaint about the game at release was that it felt 'lonely' - this was because they killed the battle net community in favor of the most competitive game mode: ranked 1v1.

    Losing the battlenet community also hurt Diablo. I think blizzard really underestimated the role that bnet played in building communities that supported the long term health of its franchises.

    One of the most popular versions of SC1 was 4v4 big game hunters, this was a map that took most of the skill out of the game, and the large scale teams meant that there wasn't so much pressure.

    Also this thread is dumb... SC2 had tons of strategy, and there was way more to it than fast clicking. This is like saying "there's no strategy to chess... it's all just memorizing lines of play".

    - Strategy is choosing a goal.
    - Tactics is the implementation of that goal.
    - The two ideas are a loop, there can be multiple layers, goals, subgoals, etc.
    - Deeper 'strategy' has more layers. Shallow strategy has fewer.
    - Good strategy games allow for players to have asymmetrical goals.

    SC2 had a good number of layers, most of the time you had multiple goals, concerns and decision points all playing at once. I haven't played pokemon go, but no, you're wrong.
     
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  38. QFSW

    QFSW

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    Have you ever played, or even seen a pokemon game?
    Edit: realised you thought this was about pokemon go. It isn't
     
  39. MV10

    MV10

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    More than anything else, this is exactly what actual strategy is about. Or as Master Frog said earlier, "big picture." As a strategy game lover, I've been endlessly frustrated by the RTS category completely hijacking the word. RTS is tactics, the polar opposite of strategy -- small scale, short term, local picture.

    Games can easily incorporate both. XCom is a good example of that.
     
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  40. QFSW

    QFSW

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    I definitely agree with MasterFrog and the general concensus here on the difference of strategy and tactics
     
  41. Master-Frog

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    Except there literally is nothing else to SC2 except fast-clicking, as this is the primary measure of a player's skill and what separates high-level from low-level players.

    At the end of the day any strategy is only as effective as your ability to execute it. If you slowed the game down, then an entirely different group of people would dominate the higher leagues. The game is nothing without the fast-clicking. If you actually want to see the difference between SC2 and a game that requires strategy, go watch an 8v8 AOE2 game where people have to form alliances and pay tribute to other players.

    And BW is currently experiencing a renewed interest, people are going back because as far as games that are about nothing but fast-clicking go, BW has no pretense of being some epic strategy game. I actually heard one of the Korean players say that you "paint a picture in the game" using your APM. It's definitely not what you think that it is.

    I'm sorry. I know I am right. It's not even in question.
     
  42. MV10

    MV10

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    Reaction time is a primary skill, but it's silly to say there is literally nothing else to it. The top players are not separated by their reaction time, there is still a tactical element -- knowing what to build and when, and how to use them.

    Equally true of tactics. :)

    Have you heard the story from a few years ago of the expert COD players pitted against marines with actual combat experience and limited gaming experience? The marines crushed the gamers...
     
  43. passerbycmc

    passerbycmc

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    had the same experience playing paintball as well, i got a group a friends that used to play every weekend and generally did quite well against other teams. But one day we managed to get a friends parents to play, and they brought all their military friends. Got our asses handed to use, even with a team twice the size.
     
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