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UC Berkeley Offering Starcraft Course

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the how-about-a-korean-exchange-program dept.

Education 148

The Tumeroks blog reports that the University of California, Berkeley is now offering a class on Blizzard's Starcraft real-time strategy game. "This course will go in-depth in the theory of how war is conducted within the confines of the game Starcraft. There will be lecture on various aspects of the game, from the viewpoint of pure theory to the more computational aspects of how exactly battles are conducted. Calculus and Differential Equations are highly recommended for full understanding of the course. Furthermore, the class will take the theoretical into the practical world by analyzing games and replays to reinforce decision-making skills and advanced Starcraft theory."

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Who woulda thunk (5, Funny)

Reddragon220 (890851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26636875)

Who ever would have thought that the words "Zerg Rush" would have a legitimate chance of showing up on a final?

Re:Who woulda thunk (4, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639099)

Who ever would have thought that the words "Zerg Rush kekekekkekekeeke ^_^" would have a legitimate chance of showing up on a final?

There, fixed that for ya.

Will there be a zert-rush (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26636881)

Will it be possible to zerg-rush through the course?

A question ... (4, Funny)

psergiu (67614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26636885)

Do you think the students will rush this course ?

Re:A question ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26636907)

Will there be any lurkers?

kekekekekeke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26636921)

kekekekekeke

Re:A question ... (5, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26636967)

The cost of the course is 50 minerals and 200 Vespene gas.

Prerequisites: Barracks, Robotics Lab.

Re:A question ... (2, Funny)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637565)

You're graded based on clicks per minute.

Re:A question ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640511)

apparently you don't play the game much...

one aspects of the grading should be:

physical = (# of clicks + # of hotkeys - # of wrong-key-pressed) * Intra-class Battle Win Ratio / Days of Class

Re:A question ... (1)

beluv (757231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638233)

Vespene?! You mean it's not Lesbian gas?

Re:A question ... (4, Funny)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638421)

Lesbians don't play Starcraft!

Although Kerrigan might be a lesbian - why else would she keep fending off the Toatally All Awesome Jim Raynor's advances.

Re:A question ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640551)

Lesbians don't play Starcraft!

Yes we do.

Re:A question ... (5, Informative)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640291)

I feel a little nerdish for doing this, but....

There's no such thing as a Robotics Lab in Starcraft. There is, however, a Robotics Support Bay and a Robotics Facility, but those are Protoss buildings. Having a Terran and a Protoss prerequisite makes so sense. Perhaps you meant a Physics Lab? Now if you excuse me, I have to dodge the incoming projectiles that have been thrown at me by people who don't give a shit.

*ducks

Re:A question ... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640517)

I knew Robotics Lab wasn't quite right. It's been a very long time, and my Starcraft discs wont install under 10.5 (or was that Elite Force? one of my retro games needs classic to install, even if it has a universal binary once it's all up and running).

I would argue that in order to take a class on Starcraft, you'd be able to capture a Terran SCV and build yourself both prerequisites though.

Re:A question ... (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26642611)

I feel a little nerdish for doing this, but....

Okay, *THAT* has to be one of the funniest things I ever read on slashdot! We celebrate nerdishness. You'll probably be modded "informative" if anything.

Re:A question ... (3, Interesting)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637329)

Depends on the course number really. NR20 would make the course a bit longer and focus on late game aspects.

As an anecdote, my buddies would join a game (no rules), all selecting terran, and then immediately rush a player simultaneously with all our SCVs, and then move on to the next player after their probes were dead and weren't building any, repairing each others SCVs as neccesary. We would then move onto the next player. If we had 4 people we always won 3v3 obviously, with 3v3 we would win immediately about 90% of the time assuming no one quit. Many people complimented us on our bizzare strategy :-D Maybe I should send the prof an email.

Not playing the game (5, Informative)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638939)

If you had four buddies colluding in a 3v3 then you weren't really playing the game, you were just being jerks. If you had three in a 3v3 (all on one team) then it is a valid strategy. But it should never work against non-newbies since the other team should outnumber your SCVs by the time you reach their bases. Or at least the third target should have real defenses and a strong economy by the time you reach him and be able to counter you easily.

Re:A question ... (1)

Leord (1463447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637833)

Can someone tell me how this is sourced to Tumerok, when StarCraftWire.net reported it first, and Tumerok even got it from there (as well as links to original news item). http://www.starcraftwire.net/blog/comments/study-starcraft-for-college/ [starcraftwire.net]

Re:A question ... (3, Informative)

Cowmonaut (989226) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639603)

Cause that's where the non-professional journalist / not-even-amateur blogger submitter got the story. Duh. Easiest answers are usually the best.

Re:A question ... (1)

Leord (1463447) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639783)

Well, it's not hard to rectify! =D I guess not though =(

Re:A question ... (1)

cdrdude (904978) | more than 5 years ago | (#26642351)

Because they didn't report it first either? The posting date on the article is from January 27. This topic [teamliquid.net] was posted by the student teaching the decal on January 22, to a popular foreign (i.e. not Korean) starcraft website. Or you could just link to the facebook group [facebook.com] , or the class website [phswebs.com] .

Re:A question ... (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638619)

You'll be defeated by my bunker wall!!!!

Re:A question ... (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638637)

Supply depots wall!!!

Campaign Editor... (1)

winphreak (915766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26636969)

They could make some use of the Campaign Editor to create maps for specific examples, whether it be theory or history based.

Also, would be interesting to see the course material leak online, since plenty of people can go along with examples.

Re:Campaign Editor... (4, Informative)

cdrdude (904978) | more than 5 years ago | (#26642591)

The class website has already posted the first three weeks of homework assignments [phswebs.com] , and the syllabus [phswebs.com] . There are sections for notes and for classwork, but they are blank. From the syllabus, this is the projected course load:

(Tentative) Course Outline:
Week 1: Orientation / Competitive Gaming Industry Overview / * StarCraft Boom in Korea
Week 2: Units, Strength, Weakness, Attributes, Stats
Week 3: Fighting Micro and Unit Use
Week 4: Army Movement and Positioning
Week 5: Expo and Macro
Week 6: Building Placement and Base Layout
Week 7: Scouting and Counters
Week 8: Harass
Week 9: Overloading the Enemy, Multi-plays
Week 10: Economic Basis, Micro vs Macro
Week 11: Timing and Evaluation of Resources
Week 12: Deception
Week 13: Mindset and Series Play
Week 14: Tournament

About the use of the campaign editor, I think it's likely that they will make use of it briefly to outline specific situations. However, there are third party starcraft map editors that are more powerful than the built-in one, and for any custom maps, it's likely that SCMdraft will be the map editor of choice. Based off of the course syllabs, my guess is that they will focus on pro maps both new and old, and all-time favorites.

Taiwan went a different way with this (4, Funny)

xianfa (974194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26636979)

They decided to open a Porn Appreciation Course, citied in TFA http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_3158640.html?menu=news.quirkies [ananova.com]

Re:Taiwan went a different way with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26643979)

I read the article... interesting
Apparently, to pass the course the students must give a 15 minute oral...

Starcraft theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26636981)

I don't get it.
Next time, we'll have a course on spreading butter on bread.

Re:Starcraft theory... (4, Insightful)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637057)

In starcraft, you often have to make complex decisions: getting cheaper units quickly, or more expensive units later, or some combination of the two.

By breaking down and analysing the simultaneous equations involved in these decisions, voila, they make math "cool" and students actually want to go to class. Win-win.

Re:Starcraft theory... (3, Informative)

rednuhter (516649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637373)

In tetris, you often have to make complex decisions: getting single lines quickly or more lines later on.

Should you create a 'bad' line (piece does not fit)(to fill in later) or make future shapes less likey to fit.

Re:Starcraft theory... (5, Funny)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639567)

In pong... uh.. nevermind..

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637981)

I think this is also what the school is trying to see, although university level is a bit extreme, I tend to make it more into secondary high schools, to stimulate the students into learning.

I applaud the approach to better fit new times, but will be very slow to adopt this new strategy to learning.

Re:Starcraft theory... (5, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638747)

they make math "cool" and students actually want to go to class.

Keep in mind that it's at a university, not high school. The students are there because they chose to be there, and they're free to leave at any time they want to.

I'm not saying "don't make the subject matter fun": please do that. But say I were to hire you based on your understanding of game theory; would I rather have one who spent half a year on doing the math, do you think, or one who spent half a year on doing some of the math and another part just playing games?

Unless I want you as my StarCraft coach, you, as a student, will have better marketable value by doing the math.

And hey, for my Algorithmic Game Theory course, I presented a paper showing how employing a tit-for-tat strategy in bittorrent leads to a market equilibrium. So it's not like you're forced to do dull stuff.

[full disclosure about my biases: I think math is "cool" in its own right. Finite fields kick ass, Lagrange interpolation is awesome and solving linear recurrence relations using matrix exponentiation (yay, Fibonacci) is a really neat idea. Almost---but not quite entirely---unlike digital watches]

Summary: make the math as fun and cool as you want, but don't make it fun by taking out the math part of it.

Re:Starcraft theory... (0, Redundant)

tristanreid (182859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640681)

Well said. Mod parent up!

Don't forget:

-Doing the matrix exponentiation by diagonalizing the matrix into eigenvalues is bad-ass!

-Simplifying trigonometric formulas using Euler's identity is awesome!

-Transforming a differential equation into a simple algebra problem using Laplace Transform's can BLOW YOUR FREAKING MIND!

-t.

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643113)

On the other hand, all I ever hear about hiring and degrees is that they don't care a whit about your actual education, since all that academic "theory" is supposedly crap anyway, right? All they want is proof that you can finish something. So people take that to heart and make courses like this, and then the people doing the hiring want to complain because we actually listened to them? People can't constantly go on about how worthless degrees are other than "for proving you can finish something" and then also complain when the bar for getting degrees is continually lowered so that all it indicates is whether or not you can finish something.

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

chrismcb (983081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26644001)

Are you asking "would you rather hire someone who studied just theory, or would you rather hire someone who studied theory as well as the practice of that theory?"

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643389)

Except this isn't James Woods High School, this is UC Berkeley, which is (supposedly!) in the top 5 in the US for Mathematics programs.

If you need Starcraft to make math "cool" after having already taken Calculus and Diff Eq as prereqs, then something is seriously wrong with your choice of classes...

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643599)

It's called "Game Theory" and it's used to design compilers and wage wars. The Chinese are very good at it; look up the Chinese Remainder Theorem for an interesting but non-game-theory innovation of Chinese warfare. Also there's the Byzantine Generals Problem, the Prisoner Dilemma, etc, that all fall under this subject.

Re:Starcraft theory... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637061)

If conducted at the same level of depth as TFA, a course on spreading butter on bread could well be a quite tricky one. Doing an analysis of how an irregular mixed water/lipid substance(whose properties change rapidly with temperature) behaves when applied to an irregular heated surface could be pretty hairy.

Re:Starcraft theory... (4, Funny)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637453)

Not to mention having to do that research paper on dropping toast.....does it always land butter side down? What if both sides are buttered? What if neither side is buttered? Can you create some weird perpetual motion machine by buttering half of each side?

Re:Starcraft theory... (3, Funny)

KritonK (949258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637741)

Can you create some weird perpetual motion machine by buttering half of each side?

To achieve that, you need to attach the piece of buttered toast (buttered side up) to the back of a cat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buttered_cat_paradox [wikipedia.org]

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639081)

But I don't want to fight the cat. I was thinking a set up more like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crookes_radiometer [wikipedia.org] with the black being buttered and the white being unbuttered. Set it up horizontally and see how it "falls".

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637683)

They might even win an award for this:
'1999 IgNobel Award in Sociology: Steve Penfold, of York University in Toronto, "for d oing his Ph.D. thesis on the sociology of Canadian donut shops."' http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/10.07/Ig-Nobels.html [harvard.edu]

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643621)

Learn to brew beer, then think about that bread. You'd be surprised.

Re:Starcraft theory... (3, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637297)

I don't see how it's any different from say studying the theory of chess

Re:Starcraft theory... (4, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637545)

The Knight and Rook pieces don't have frikkin' laser beams.

Pew pew!

Re:Starcraft theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26638383)

Reminds me of a game I saw in the toys section of Target I think it was. Each player had a laser and a set of pieces with mirrors the object was to reflect your laser to hit the opponent's target. My first thought was that it was like chess with lasers. I'm sure it wasn't that complex but I regret not buying it now since I can't seem to find it now.

Re:Starcraft theory... (2, Informative)

Alistar (900738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639047)

Unfortunately you are anonymous, but in case you read this:

http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/games/7eaa/ [thinkgeek.com]

Is this the game? I just chose an online retailer, there are probably brick and mortar stores.

This is the company that makes the above one:

http://www.khet.com/ [khet.com]

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

Goateee (1415809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26642297)

And how do you know he aint talking about laser chess? The board game version Khet [wikipedia.org] is quite awesome!

Re:Starcraft theory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26638189)

Most universities don't offer courses on chess.

At best it's one or two weeks in an AI class, but looking at the search algorithms, not the game rules.

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643731)

In Chess you have a few seconds to think about something, depending on how much time is on your chess clock; I may be able to spend 30 second deciding a move, some moves may take 3 seconds and others minutes.

Starcraft is realtime, and so moves are not discrete. In Starcraft, my decisions have an impact at the point they're made. If I need 3 minutes to decide how to handle a besieging army, it may be too late to build more forces; it may also be too late to actually resist, the game might be over. If I respond within 30 seconds, I may need to sacrifice some forces on the front line while I build more. If I respond within 10 seconds, I may be able to keep 95% of my forces, and roll in back-up with new forces faster than the enemy can slay them. Some actions may also require time themselves, so I may have to consider that delay and what I can parallel, versus resource costs, etc...

Chess is very discrete and on a rigid rule set. Starcraft is very analogue and on a rigid rule set as well; but the rule set allows for a much more complex decision tree, which changes during the time required to make a decision. Also, in Chess every move is of a fixed duration; in Starcraft, different moves have different time costs. Starcraft moves can also occur in parallel to hide the time cost, meaning one decision can be free time-wise and thus its optimal ordering is "immediately, up front" unless we immediately need the resources it requires.

Re:Starcraft theory... (2, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638541)

Well someone must be teaching it - since they made it fit into an episode of The Wire and equated chess strategy with drug dealing practices in west side Baltimore.

Re:Starcraft theory... (2, Informative)

SpottedKuh (855161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638941)

I don't see how it's any different from say studying the theory of chess

It's actually an even more complex and more interesting thing to study than chess, despite its "humble" origins as just a video game played by the masses. Players have to work with incomplete knowledge (they cannot see all of the opponents' pieces, like in chess). Notice also that opponents was plural -- enemies may turn on each other, or gang up on you. Also, in chess you have time to sit and think (aside from not overrunning the game clock), whereas in RTS games, sitting and thinking is rarely valuable: usually you're better off doing something than nothing at all.

...and that's just from the point of view of a human player. Now, try getting an AI to play an RTS instead of chess, and I think you'll quickly find the complexity of the game to be quite a challenge.

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 5 years ago | (#26642405)

IIRC the only reason the AIs stand any chance in starcraft multiplayers is that they cheat.

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643819)

Time has a high cost, yes.

Re:Starcraft theory... (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643645)

BINGO!

I, for one ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26636993)

... find this article very interesting!

Student-run class, not taught by a professor (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26637007)

It's a "DeCal [decal.org] " class run by students. Although a decal class requires a sponsorship from a professor, it is neither taught nor closely supervised by a professor.

Re:Student-run class, not taught by a professor (1)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637347)

Well, its is basically a case study class. Many college and especially grad school classes are case studies. I don't see a problem in studying game mechanics of a successful game any more than studying the engineering of a successful rocket or studying the economic policies of a successful empire. All the same academic role, or course, assuming a similar degree of rigor.

Re:Student-run class, not taught by a professor (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637523)

Yep. My wife is a psychology grad student and aside from the practicums (which are, in and of themselves, real, live case studies), even the classes that are regular classes consist of a bunch of case studies.

So she's up to her ears in case studies. All I hear about all day are things like "More case studies! Argh!"

Re:Student-run class, not taught by a professor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26637429)

Heh. We had those when I was back in college. Our college also had a program whereby Thursdays in the student bar, beer was free if the students were accompanied by a professor. The student teaching the Anarchism class realised that, as part of the program, he qualified as a professor, so he scheduled the course to meet during happy hour.

Awesome.

Re:Student-run class, not taught by a professor (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638187)

And anarchy ensued?

Re:Student-run class, not taught by a professor (1)

Forai (1452103) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637441)

Yeah, Occasionally they actually run a nethack course too, Very interesting, but it's not run by a prof as you may guess. (And yes, I watched a few lessons) "Nethack rule 1, Your pet is smarter then you"

Is that for real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26637025)

I doubt this is for real.

I cannot found anything on the http://berkeley.edu/ [berkeley.edu] web site.

The "official" web site is http://michaelo.phswebs.com/BerkeleyStarcraft/index.html [phswebs.com] . This page look much like a "student" page and not like a "cours page"

Does anybody got an "official" link on the berkeley web site?

poor choice for a contemporary RTS game... (2, Informative)

jaromil (104349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637047)

... they should instead use TASpring [clan-sy.com] (see also spring.jobjol.nl [jobjol.nl] ) which, besides being free software, has a huge community behind, is cross platform and developed with talent and passion.

the Balanced Annihilation mod really lets you enjoy strategy to a decent level of detail, while slashdot readers should really have a look at the geeky Kernel Panic mod ...

cheers from XXX
with due rezpect to LAP, eXe and others ;^)

no (4, Informative)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637217)

starcraft has been patched and refined so many times since 1998 that it is a near perfect example of balanced strategy which requires long term planning as well as short term planning, instant decisions and twitch.

there is no 'annihilation' mode in starcraft. you have to carefully craft your strategy.

Re:no (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637543)

Yes but it seems like they're talking about war theory, twitch elements wouldn't really fit into that. SC is very focussed on direct control skill which doesn't translate to real wars at all.

Re:no (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639773)

sc can be won through either macromanagement strategy or micromanagement. the longer the game takes, winning through microing becomes increasingly harder. IF, someone is still able to win through micro at late game against an opponent who has superior macro, there is probably nothing you can teach that person in regard to war theory.

Re:poor choice for a contemporary RTS game... (5, Informative)

Deanalator (806515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637237)

Poor choice?

Starcraft is over 10 years old and is still one of the most popular online games in the world. Starcraft is still the most popular game at the world cyber games (professional online gamer Olympics). The game has set 4 Guinness records, including "Best Selling PC Strategy Game". Korea has three tv channels that broadcast nothing but Starcraft games 24/7.

All RTS games have balance issues when they start, and over time they are resolved. If you check out the top players in the world, you will notice that the spread for what race they use is pretty even. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StarCraft_professional_competition [wikipedia.org]

Say what you will, but in my opinion, teaching a class like this with any game other than Starcraft would be insanity.

Re:poor choice for a contemporary RTS game... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638185)

Say what you will, but in my opinion, teaching a class like this with any game other than Starcraft would be insanity.

So, no Dead or Alive?

Even with a very large screen?

And live models to study the...

Ok, ok.

Re:poor choice for a contemporary RTS game... (0)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638597)

Starcraft is the basics....you don't learn quantum physics until you learn regular physics...and before that you learn 2 + 2 = 4. Complicated games can't be anaylzed by N00BS as easily.

Re:poor choice for a contemporary RTS game... (5, Insightful)

Judinous (1093945) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639189)

I agree with the parent completely. There has not been a comparable RTS since Starcraft, and there most likely never will be. There are two main aspects of a player's actions that have an effect on the outcome of a competitive game: strategy and execution. A few genres will forgo one entirely for the sake of the other. Chess (or any TBS game), for example, removes all execution for the sake of creating a pure strategy game. Fighters remove all strategy for the sake of creating a pure execution game. RTS games are one of the few genres which embrace both aspects to the fullest extent.

Or, at least, that is what they claim to do.

Every RTS game that I have seen or heard of since Starcraft was released has sought to remove execution from the equation, and those which fail at balance inadvertently remove the strategy, as well. While lowering the execution bar makes the game more widely accessible for competitive play, the amount of depth in the game is lowered with it. Squad-based RTS are the most glaring example of this. In Starcraft, you could easily write entire books on each unit in the game and the various ways to micromanage them in nearly every situation in order to utilize them to their maximum effectiveness. To this day, people are still discovering small AI quirks which you can exploit to your advantage. In a squad-based RTS, however, this kind of control is removed from the player's hands. Units can only be given approximate orders, take cover on their own, are impossible (or incredibly difficult) to use individually, etc. Another major change is that the overall pace of combat in Starcraft is incredibly fast compared to most other RTS games since. In Blizzard's own WC3, for example, the unit health has been raised so high and the unit damage lowered so much that it takes an order of magnitude longer for units to be destroyed. Contrast this with Starcraft, for example, where the lowly zergling (when upgraded) is one of the highest DPS units in the game (and the highest by far when comparing by resource cost) and 2-4 of them can flatten almost any ground unit in a matter of seconds. You might argue that Starcraft has a relatively high unit count, which is why units in other RTS seem to die so much slower, and you'd be right. This is also yet another example of removing complexity and depth for the sake of accessibility.

Now, it's hard to fault game developers for these changes, though. The fact is that these days, the "hardcore" market is significantly smaller than the more casual market to which these games are catering to. Game companies are, in the end, looking to make money. Creating a game which can be played on a deep competitive level is either an afterthought at best, or more often, simply not considered. Starcraft is likely to be the last truly competitive RTS that we will ever see.

As a side note, if you're interested in the topic, I would recommend heading to http://www.sirlin.net/ [sirlin.net] and checking out their lengthy running discussion revolving around their hopes for Starcraft 2.

Re:poor choice for a contemporary RTS game... (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639291)

Speaking of Korea, my first thought when I read the subject was to make a joke about Korean exchange students, but once again Slashdot beat me to it: how-about-a-korean-exchange-program

It IS the unofficial national sport of South Korea (Taekwondo is the official national sport).

Re:poor choice for a contemporary RTS game... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26637263)

ZZZZZ

The boredom, the boredom

(this should sound like 'The horror, the horror')

Understanding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26637131)

Calculus and Differential Equations are highly recommended for full understanding of the course.

They may still won't 'understand' Starcraft until they get their asses handed to them by a 12 year old Korean kid.

Re:Understanding? (1)

Andr T. (1006215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637291)

The worst thing is, they sound like those damn kids that beat you in chess and laugh at your face about it.

"Haha, I wouldn't move that bishop if I were you"

or

"Haha, do you really think those lurkers will be of any use?"

Re:Understanding? (1, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637303)

If you do start to beat him, he will just drop out. This happens a lot, people just cant deal with loss.
Me and a friend use to team up. Both playing protos, he would focus on on building carriers, I focused on men, with a strong preference to worker drones, as they are the most powerful character in the game. So we build a small attack force, and with the men I attach a couple of workers. We drop them off all the chaos of war and fighting once the smoke clears we found that my worker has built a pilons with a bunch of canons and he is still working slowly engulfing the enemy base and wiping him out, leaving a couple of fighters to kill long distant weapons. It was usually a slow victory but so worth it.

An other way is to get those guys who steal other characters, they were supposed to be so you can take away a big gun and use it against you enemy. However you take a worker drone or whatever from each race, then you can build you own super army of all races Protos, Humans, and Zergs. The best part of doing that is that the guy thinks his partner has betrayed him. And attack him and creates a war on two fronts.

Oh the fun.

Re:Understanding? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26637357)

Are you sure you're good at it?

Protoss, please.

And the guys who steal other guys are Dark Archons.

Re:Understanding? (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637431)

Sorry I haven't played in years. Even though I had fun with the games, I didn't have it run my life and really get to know each character personally.
I never said I was a master, but it was sure fun to come up with different strategies, that some times completely obliterated the guy who though he was all that.

Re:Understanding? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26642695)

How in the world was this modded insightful? Getting things wrong and defending yourself when you're wrong is insightful? You don't have to have something run your life to avoid giving inaccurate information about it.

Re:Understanding? (2, Informative)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638579)

And unless you're playing one of those lame unlimited resources maps stealing drones or SCVs is useless. It's almost always a waste of time and resources.

Re:Understanding? (1)

BobSixtyFour (967533) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638111)

Pfft, that strategy is nothing.

Try this one:

You and a friend team up. One member builds carriers, you use your dark archons to capture em way beyond your food limit. Imagine being the other guy suddenly swarmed with OVER NINE THOUSAND carriers (and 8 interceptors each). If you don't kill his base, it'll surely kill his computer.

Re:Understanding? (1)

digi2k (1422077) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639181)

poor strategy.

against: -protoss: i would storm the carriers with a group of archons, or target the main blimp with some corsars. you wouldn't even have the time to create your cannons.

-terran: sieged tanks wouldn't hesitate on eliminating all chances of canons. whilst my goliaths were targeting the blimps.

-zerg: no chance against of hydras hiding under a defiler cloud. maybe even a plague for good measure.

Re:Understanding? (1)

u8i9o0 (1057154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640299)

I haven't played Starcraft online for a nearly a decade, so they may have patched my favorite strategy: using the Zerg Queen to parasite all available animals.

Since those units are never highlighted as hostile, players usually ignore them - killing them only if their presence interfered with a potential building site.

Once set, you'd have a bunch of covert spies all over the map. Flying animals were prized due to their mobility and were even less likely to be killed by players.

THIS DEVALUES EDUCATION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26637331)

The people/person who made the decisions to forward this and all other nonsense subjects for degree qualification need to be severaly re-educated themselves.

Seriously how is this knowledge ever going to benefit anybody in their lifetime. Its establishments that promote degrees like this, that devalue further education and as a result all students by association. They aid to perpetuate the stereotype of lazy freeloading students, adding nothing of value to society.

This distgusts me.

Re:THIS DEVALUES EDUCATION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26637489)

DICK BUTT

Re:THIS DEVALUES EDUCATION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26637671)

^^^
Prime example of a person who would take this course and think hes going to go far.

Just great (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26637409)

I can just imagine the first class. The teacher will be standing there wondering where all his students are, then all of a sudden... "ZERG RUSH!", and everyone tries to squish through the classroom door all at once.

Re:Just great (2, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639559)

No, see, that's exactly the wrong strategy, because the classroom door is a natural choke point.

Instead, the students should ambush the teacher as he walks to class!

Zerg rush kekeke (1)

SpanishInquisition0 (1297663) | more than 5 years ago | (#26638081)

Don't Californian colleges have enough Asian students?

This is why you need more H1B's. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26639209)

Yesterday many of you were complaining about how immigrants were taking American jobs.

Now you're talking about analyzing an RTS as part of a university course. That looks awesome on the resume.

IMHO, the educational standards the US *thinks* it has, it does not. I went through an underfunded public school system, then to a public university in a different country. I come to the US, and the company I'm interning at is doing a fund raiser for an "underfunded" school in the area. A school that happens to have two pools, volleyball courts, tennis courts, an auditorium, etc., none of which my high school ever had. If that is underfunded, I think the problem is not funding, but something else.

The drive for success in American culture has almost disappeared. It is not "needed" anymore. Your undergraduate studies have become so expensive that only those with trust funds from already rich parents can even afford to go to college or university.

Seriously, take a step back and look at *why* this is happening.

Admission Applications on the Rise (3, Funny)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26639535)

In unrelated news, admission applications to UC Berkeley from Korea have doubled. Admissions workers are puzzled by the number of students named "Kekekeke".

What no degree? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 5 years ago | (#26640203)

Until I can get my PhD in StarCraftery I will take a pass. Besides, I will likely be too busy playing to care.

College application (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26640643)

i KNEW i should have gone to berkeley.

Decal course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26641527)

This is a Decal course. Any old schmuck can "facilitate" a course on any subject, as long as it is approved (by a board of other schmucks). I'm sure there has been a porn decal in the past: "Ponography in the 21st Century" or some such. As cool as it would be, this is not an actual credit course taught by a professor or Graduate Student Instructor. Sorry guys.

http://www.decal.org/home/index.php

Lab Fees (2, Funny)

Shoone (1166755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26641755)

$15 - waived if student currently owns Starcraft and Brood War

Back in the 90s... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#26642863)

I heard that, back in the day, there were Virtua Fighter 2 classes in Japan.

Fake Fake and Fake (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26642867)

You've been punked, /.

In case you can't find it in the course catalog.. (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26643933)

it's actually listed as "Remaining a virgin throughout college - 101"
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