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StarCraft, Nothing But StarCraft

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the power-overwhelming dept.

Real Time Strategy (Games) 303

Now that the news has been out for a few days and game journalists have had a chance to chat with the folks at Blizzard, there are a number of new stories detailing parts of the StarCraft II world. A massive press briefing about the game fills in a few more details on the game; only three factions, no new races, the game is built with competitive play in mind, and will run on both XP and Vista. For more nitty-gritty elements, the company held panel discussions on the art design and gameplay elements of the upcoming game. Video from the event is now widely available as well; check out the official trailer, some example gameplay, or the epic 22-minute long developer walkthrough.

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Starcraft II is all well and good... (5, Funny)

SECProto (790283) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224087)

...but what I'm really looking forward to is Diablo III. clickclick clickclickclickclickclick clickclick clickclickclick

Re:Starcraft II is all well and good... (2)

ShaneThePain (929627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224115)

I cant wait for SC2. But I agree, DIII would have been a better move.
Diablo II with its expansion wont run higher than 800x600, which is REALLY REALLY crappy looking on my 19in 1280x1024 monitor.

Re:Starcraft II is all well and good... (2, Insightful)

BJH (11355) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224719)

Shit, you should see it on my 1920x1200 LCD monitor.

I'd pay 20 bucks for an extension to D2 that updated its graphics to 2007 standards, even if they didn't change anything else (well, maybe a few bugfixes would be nice - like the friggin' Trang-Oul's FCR bug...)

Re:Starcraft II is all well and good... (3, Interesting)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225733)

Get in line. We've been clamoring for this on the SC longer than you have! You'd think with the massive popularity of the game that either some hacker would have figured out how to mod it, or Blizzard would have tweaked it to support higher resolutions by now.

Re:Starcraft II is all well and good... (1)

Fifty Points (878668) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225217)

Starcraft runs at 640x480, that's pretty terrible on a 1400x900 LCD.

Re:Starcraft II is all well and good... (4, Funny)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225651)

As one of my friends said way back when even 1024x768 was thought to be miraculous about 320x200: "Pixels the Size of my Hand!"

Starcraft still looks good (2, Insightful)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225789)

Starcraft may run at 640 x 480 but it still looks nice even on a much higher resolution monitor. The artists did an amazing job with that game. I reinstalled it a couple years ago and was surprised that it still looks pretty good compared to modern games. Some old games (like Diablo II) look very pixelated, but Starcraft has great anti-aliasing, animation, and structure that looks nice despite the relatively primitive technology. It's a lot like a well-designed font that's readable even when it's scaled too small for a simplistic vector-to-pixel translation to work.

Re:Starcraft II is all well and good... (3, Funny)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225961)

As opposed to Starcraft 2. clickclick clickclicklclickclickclick (spacebar) clickclickclick click.

Who cares about XP and Vista? (5, Informative)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224121)

will run on both XP and Vista.

Like most recent Blizzard releases, it will also ship simultaneously for the Mac [starcraft2.com] .

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (3, Interesting)

neoform (551705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224247)

I have to wonder why Blizzard consistently releases their titles for Mac.. I buy all their games as a result, but what's their motivation? (surely the sales are far far lower)..

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (3, Insightful)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224503)

That's a good question. I suppose it could be a few things - it forces them to develop better code by targetting several platforms, maybe they've been using the same tools over the years, and the tools make it easy to target the Mac as well, maybe they've sold enough Mac products in the past to make it profitable to continue to do so (though it's hard to support this theory - recent releases have contained the Mac/Win binaries on the same disc - maybe they could tell by battle.net/World of Warcraft connections just how many of each platform are connecting), or maybe they just love the Mac platform. Regardless of the reason, Blizzard should be applauded for the effort, and other devs should take notice.

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (5, Informative)

Bobartig (61456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225987)

Blizzard has said on multiple occasions that one of the primary reasons they release on both Mac and PC is quality. After farming out [I think it was] Starcraft's port to a 3rd party company, and having numerous problems and delays, they developed their own in-house port team for [maybe it was] diablo II. Working on both platforms allows them to find/fix more bugs and make a more solid product on both platforms.

Some bugs will exist on both platforms, but reproduce easier on a particular one, so developing on PC (which is what I assume they do) while doing a concurrent port for Mac improves the end quality of both products.

I'm a bit blurry on which game's porting they were miffed about, leading to performing the next major project in-house, so replace the two game titles above with ones that make sense to you.

At any rate, I'm looking forward to the big collector's edition box, and playing Starcraft II on my mac.

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (3, Interesting)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224569)

Firstly, Blizzard has a long history of supporting Macs. From the very first WarCraft to WoW, they've always released Mac versions. Given the small number of Mac developers in the old days, that earned Blizzard a place in the home of every Mac gamer.

Secondly, there simply wasn't competition. Blizzard didn't need to work hard on advertising because there was nothing else for people to buy. If you wanted an RTS on the Mac, you bought WarCraft or StarCraft. The other options were buggy, poorly ported, or otherwise incompatible with their PC brethren.

Lastly, they are very good at game design. It's easy for them to program in such a way that a Mac version is barely an effort, as most of the data and code is stored and written in such a way as to be platform inspecific. It's good practice to begin with, and Blizzard does a good job of it.

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (2, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224681)

Blizzard's sales usually dwarf the average PC game. Many developers cannot justify the added cost when it will bring them sales in the 10000-20000 range.

Blizzard's games have such large sales numbers that even their Mac sales are significant and easily warrant it. If the number of Linux gamers (that don't use Wine/Cedega and don't dual boot to Windows) was significant - I'd imagine they'd have a Linux version as well.

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (2, Funny)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225275)

I don't think it's lack of players on Linux. They had a Linux client for WoW that shipped with the beta, though undocumented (if I remember correctly), but it was pulled from the retail version. WoW however runs great on Linux under WINE and I'm sure they have enough players doing so to "warrant" the port. Why they don't just do this, since it would be fucking easy for them, I have no idea.

If I were conspiracy minded I'd say it had something to do with Linux posing a legitimate threat to windows if it only had proper games support, where as mac isn't.

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225435)

Why would Linux pose any more threat to Windows dominance than Apple does now?

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (2, Funny)

Yaotzin (827566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225515)

It runs on PCs without hassle and for the most part, it's free.

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225321)

I have to wonder why Blizzard consistently releases their titles for Mac.

Money.

I buy all their games as a result, but what's their motivation?

Money.

(surely the sales are far far lower).

Sales are lower? Lower than what, the number of potential buyers if they don't support the Mac?

Do you have any doubt that Startcraft 2 will be among the top 20 titles of the year? Blizzard doesn't have any doubt. Now take a look at the top 20 titles of 2006. How many of them currently offer a Mac version? Gee, pretty much all of them do. Why do you suppose that is? Maybe because it is profitable?

The real question is "why wouldn't a develop make a Mac version?" The answer is, it costs sore up front to build nice, portable code. If the initial investment is a big concern and you don't know if there will be a payoff, it sometimes makes sense to cut corners and develop just for DirectX+Windows. Then, if your game is a flop, you've lost less money. If your game is a success, you can shell out to port the code. The thing is, this latter method, costs more money overall than just writing portable code. Thus, any company that is sure their game will be successful (Blizzard, Id, etc.) tend to plan for the Mac version from the onset. There are a few exceptions to this rule, almost all of whom are owned by Microsoft.

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224457)

The "XP and Vista" comment is to diffuse worries that StarCraft II would require DirectX 10 and therefore require Vista. There were rumors that StarCraft II would be DirectX 10-only, and Blizzard specifically addressed them by confirming it would support both DirectX 9 and 10, with the possibility of there being some DirectX 10-only effects.

Since the linked article is on a "PC gaming" site (by which they really mean "Windows gaming"), it's not surprising it only mentioned the XP support. That's who their audience is.

Given Slashdot's audience, the confirmation of a Mac port is probably worth mentioning, but the source article was written to diffuse rumors that it would require Vista.

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (1)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224541)

My comment was really just to note that the Mac port was coming, not to criticize either the article or the summary (for once!). ;)

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225307)

This has been bugging me for the last couple of days.
Mac's run some sort of UNIX, don't they?
Does mac have DirectX, or what graphics library is blizzard using?
If it compiles for mac, why dosen't it compile for any other *nix?
(as always, by *nix i mean linux)

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225491)

The Windows version is DX9/10. The Mac version is OpenGL.

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (0)

robzon (981455) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225911)

Yes, but it will run on Linux? ;)

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (1)

robzon (981455) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225947)

arrrrgh sorry :( s/it will/will it/g

Re:Who cares about XP and Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225941)

And as it is quite certain that where will not be a Linux port, one can only hope that the support for Starcraft II in Wine will be as good as it is for World of Warcraft now. I hope someday Blizzard sees the light though.

Multiple OS Support (-1, Troll)

Mr. Sketch (111112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224125)

will run on both XP and Vista
Wow, both XP _and_ Vista? It's a good thing it was built with cross platform compatibility in mind.

I guess that means no Linux or OSX version.

Re:Multiple OS Support (5, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224187)

Nice completely uninformed jab. Not only does Blizzard ALWAYS release a mac and a pc version at the same time, they also tend to make the final product compatible with WINE. WoW used to play beautifully in WINE, though I haven't tried it out in a while.

Say what you will about them, but they take cross-platform compatibility seriously.

Re:Multiple OS Support (1)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224453)

WoW used to play beautifully in WINE, though I haven't tried it out in a while.
Still does--it's how I run it.

Re:Multiple OS Support (0)

wicks0r (982807) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225343)

Say what you will about them, but they take cross-platform compatibility seriously.
If only they took cross-browser compatibility seriously. http://www.starcraft2.com/screenshots.xml [starcraft2.com]

Re:Multiple OS Support (1)

Echnin (607099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225479)

Site works and looks fine in Opera, Firefox and Safari for me... What's wrong?

Re:Multiple OS Support (1)

wicks0r (982807) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225631)

That was weird... restarted my browser and it looks fine. The screenshot thumbnails and title background weren't showing. Firefox 2.0.0.3 on XP.

Re:Multiple OS Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19224379)

Who cares if it runs in an operating system no one uses ffs.

Re:Multiple OS Support (2, Funny)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225587)

I demand a CP/M port!

Mac version? (-1, Redundant)

StonedRat (837378) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224139)

Blizzard are usually pretty good at supporting Mac. Will there be a Mac OS X version of Starcraft II, and if so will it be released at the same time as the Windows version?

Re:Mac version? (1)

Talavis (906015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224265)

From the FAQ at starcraft2.com:

Will StarCraft II be available on Mac simultaneously with PC?

    As with all of Blizzard's recent releases, StarCraft II will ship on both PC and Mac simultaneously.

Re:Mac version? (5, Informative)

Elder Entropist (788485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225477)

If Blizzard conforms to recent form, no there won't be a Mac version.

There will be one version that works on both Mac and PC. Buy the game and you're set either way.

As someone who uses both, Blizzard has my undying praise for not making me buy two different copies. I will buy every non-MMS the company makes for this alone. (Not to mention that make awesome RTS games.)

OS requirments? (-1, Redundant)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224159)

Run on XP and Vista? What about Mac OS X? I can't remember any Blizzard game that hasn't run on Mac too. They've always been pretty good about supporting that platform. If only they would focus on Linux too . . . :(

Re:OS requirments? (2, Informative)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224203)

From the FAQ [starcraft2.com]

Will StarCraft II be available on Mac simultaneously with PC?

As with all of Blizzard's recent releases, StarCraft II will ship on both PC and Mac simultaneously.


Polished games and excellent Mac support makes for many happy Mac gamers.

Re:OS requirments? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224269)

Thanks for the reply. As someone just recently starting to dabble in Mac-land, with the hope of it replacing Windows for me, I'd like to see as much support as possible :).

One thing that I do really like is that there is no special "Mac version" of Blizzard's games to locate and buy. You just go to the store and buy the same copy everybody else does. :)

Re:OS requirments? (2, Funny)

GrayCalx (597428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225711)

Polished games and excellent Mac support makes for many happy Mac gamers.

Mac gamers? Really? Sounds like Paint graphic designers.

/i kid because i love.

Re:OS requirments? (1)

D4rk Fx (862399) | more than 7 years ago | (#19226073)

Polished games and excellent Mac support makes for many happy Mac gamers.

All 3 of them?

Re:OS requirments? (1)

jon787 (512497) | more than 7 years ago | (#19226153)

Mac Gamer Commercial [youtube.com]

Re:OS requirments? (-1, Troll)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224227)

Mac will be supported.

Linux won't be because A) nobody who buys games uses Linux anymore, and B) Linux users are all software pirates. At least that seems to be the common perception.

Serious question: What was the last title to ship with NATIVE Linux support. (Not hacked together WINE support.)

Re:OS requirments? (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224279)

I believe it was Quake 4. But don't quote me on that...

Re:OS requirments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225283)

DEFCON is more recent. But I'm not sure if it's MOST recent.

Re:OS requirments? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224301)

Troll, but I'll respond.

I use Linux and I buy lots of games (sadly not many Linux games because they're few and far between).

As to latest, I'd say probably Doom 3, but I could be wrong there. I'm not much into FPS's so I didn't bother with Doom 3, but I did enjoy playing through Neverwinter Nights on Linux and was very disappointed when NWN2 was Windows only.

Re:OS requirments? (1)

LocoMan (744414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225193)

There are linux gamers, of course... but if I had to guess, there are probably very few linux only gamers. What I mean is people that will not dual boot and will rather go without a very good and popular game than buying it if it isn't linux native (I know several posters here are like that, but I doubt there are many people overall).

In my case at least I use two, a windows one for games and work (linux is not there yet for graphic design and video production) and a linux for internet and general use.. :)

Re:OS requirments? (1)

Littleman_TAMU (589126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224359)

I don't know if it is the latest game to do so, but Quake 4 runs natively in Linux.

Re:OS requirments? (2, Funny)

josteos (455905) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225309)

Nethack ?

Re:OS requirments? (1)

RockoTDF (1042780) | more than 7 years ago | (#19226181)

How can linux users be software pirates when what we run is open source?

Game resolution (4, Interesting)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224225)

From all the screenshots and demos it looks like very little of the battlefield is visible at a time. This is one thing I didn't like about Starcraft, but I understood because it ran at such a low resolution. I hope Starcraft II supports higher resolution or different battlefield zoom levels. Scrolling around all the time can be a pain in the ass.

Re:Game resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19224355)

I would hope so, they pulled off different zoom levels in Warcraft 3 if I recall correctly.

Re:Game resolution (3, Informative)

Falladir (1026636) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225235)

No, they didn't. You could change the elevation of the camera for a different vantage, but it always preserved the same distance from the ground at the center of the screen. The result is that you got a sort of shoulder-level zoom, that wasn't at all useful when playing, but could be kind of fun when watching replays.

One of the advantages of rendering the game in 3d is that different resolutions and battlefield scales are easy to implement. Allowing people to zoom in and out like in Total Annihilation would be a big thing. It's not a decision to be made lightly. I'm sure Blizzard will consider (or has considered) it.

Re:Game resolution (3, Interesting)

Puff of Logic (895805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224485)

From all the screenshots and demos it looks like very little of the battlefield is visible at a time. This is one thing I didn't like about Starcraft, but I understood because it ran at such a low resolution.
Heh, I still habitually flick the scroll-wheel on my mouse whenever I boot up a game of Starcraft because I feel as though I'm zoomed in much too closely! I hope that SC2 will have a much greater (i.e. actually has one) zoom function, but that the demos are so closely zoomed in order to show unit details.

Now what I'd really like to see is multi-monitor support that would give me a 2D map on my second monitor instead of the little minimap in the corner. SupCom kinda fired my imagination as to how useful that can be in an RTS. I rather suspect, however, that such a feature won't be seen because of the focus of competitive play and the lack of a second screen for many players.

Re:Game resolution (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224987)

Now what I'd really like to see is multi-monitor support that would give me a 2D map on my second monitor instead of the little minimap in the corner. SupCom kinda fired my imagination as to how useful that can be in an RTS. I rather suspect, however, that such a feature won't be seen because of the focus of competitive play and the lack of a second screen for many players.

I doubt it. Blizzard tends to aim low with their specs and the zoom would be resource intensive. Also it would make players with less powerful computers have a distinct disatvantage because they could not zoom as quickly or as efficiently. War 3 both had a fixed aspect ratios specifically to give people the same view regaurdless of Monitor resolution. I could be wrong.

Re:Game resolution (1)

Puff of Logic (895805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225271)

I doubt it. Blizzard tends to aim low with their specs and the zoom would be resource intensive. Also it would make players with less powerful computers have a distinct disatvantage because they could not zoom as quickly or as efficiently. War 3 both had a fixed aspect ratios specifically to give people the same view regaurdless of Monitor resolution. I could be wrong.
No, you may well be correct. It's been a long time since I played WC3 so I couldn't recall whether a zoom function existed for that one or not. Now that I've thought about it a little more, I'm wondering exactly how much a zoom function would affect gameplay. I'm not a game designer so I have no idea exactly what sort of resources are required to implement a zoom. Is it so resource intensive that it would make a notable difference on lower-end computers that can otherwise handle the game?

The crux of the issue seems to be the competitive play that is understandably a prime focus for SC2. Do these competitions standardise resolutions too, since higher res graphics make units more distinguishable? Would a zoom function really skew gameplay at the competition level where most people would presumably have a proper gaming rig? Now I'm wondering.

Re:Game resolution (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225565)

Zooming shouldn't be an issue as long as the units scale in complexity properly, by switching to simpler models and smaller textures as you zoom out. I think the bigger issue is the tactical advantage having a larger field of view brings. I can understand the desire to keep that consistent for all players.

Re:Game resolution (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225297)

I hope so too. Command and Conquer 3 has that same problem where you feel like you're scraping your nose on the ground because the camera is so tight. That screen size made sense when everybody was running 640x480, but at 1280x1204 it's just claustrophobic.

Re:Game resolution (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224667)

Yeah, I'd like to see zoom capability as well. It's such a basic thing! Bungie's "Myth: The Fallen Lords [wikipedia.org] " had this back in 1997. Not to mention that other more recent RTS games (such as Supreme Commander [wikipedia.org] ) have this feature, so people are going to expect it.

Re:Game resolution (2, Insightful)

caramelcarrot (778148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224761)

Absolutely, after I played Supreme Commander I can't stand RTSs that don't allow zooming out.

Re:Game resolution (3, Informative)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224961)

The developer walkthrough is running at a 16x9 resolution, which I found to be quite strange since widescreen monitors are 16x10; I assume it was set up that way to match a widescreen projector rather than a monitor. The screenshots at IGN are all 4x3. This probably means the game is designed to run at any resolution and aspect ratio. In 3D games, though, the resolution is irrelevant to the size of objects on the screen. You're interested in the zoom level, and it doesn't look like that will be something you'll be able to modify.

Scrolling around can be a pain, but zooming around would probably be much worse. The developers for Starcraft 2 cited the zoom camera in Supreme Commander as being one of the things that held it back from being a competitive game. Good Starcraft players don't generally find panning to be a hindrance because there are a large number of hotkeys that can help you navigate around the map.

Holding ALT and pressing a number will center the view on that control group, as will double tapping the number. Holding CTRL and pressing F2 to F4 will save the current view to that function key, and pressing that function key will restore it to the saved view. Pressing space after any event will center the view on that event. Clicking the unit photo in the UI centers the view on the currently selected units. We'll likely see nearly identical hotkeys in Starcraft 2. At tournament levels, some players use the arrow keys to pan, because the half-second it takes to move the mouse to the edge of the screen leaves your units at the hands of the enemy for far too long ;-)

Re:Game resolution (1)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225287)

The developers for Starcraft 2 cited the zoom camera in Supreme Commander as being one of the things that held it back from being a competitive game.


I thought that comment was ridiculous for a couple reasons:

1. How can an optional feature make the game uncompetitive? Nobody forces you to use the zoom. If zooming cramps your style then you're free to leave the zoom at a level you like. Instead, you can just scroll the window as usual. And keep scrolling. And scrolling... almost there...

2. I play regularly play Spring (similar to Supreme Commander), which provides a zoom feature. I love it! It's SO much easier to see what's going on. For team games in particular, the zoom feature is a great way to see how the overall game is going. There are frequently battles taking place all over the map, so zooming is a natural way to take in the information. What's uncompetitive about that?

Re:Game resolution (3, Insightful)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225963)

The reason is because it slows down your control over the battlefield. The unit proportions in Starcraft were designed with a static camera in mind; that means battlecruisers, which in reality would be enormous ships, are really only six or so marines long on screen. This means you can individually control your marines and your battlecruisers simultaneously without worrying about the zoom level; you can give split-second decisions to each of your units, and the game view lends itself perfectly to that.

On the other hand, Supreme Commander was designed with a zoom camera in mind, which means they took the liberty of using more realistic proportions for their units. In theory you could control all your troops on the same zoom level, but in reality the zoom camera is anything but optional; the unit proportions force you to zoom in and out to give your troops individual tactical orders. It makes even the simplest tactical commands, such as focus firing, difficult, tedious, and extremely slow to execute.

WTF (-1, Redundant)

non (130182) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224235)

A quicktime video for a game only available in XP/Vista; thats lame.

Re:WTF (2, Informative)

PygmySurfer (442860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224307)

The game will be available for Mac OS X as well, and the videos hosted on the official StarCraft II [starcraft2.com] site are in DivX format - I'm guessing the gametrailers.com site converted them.

Re:WTF (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224329)

No, what's lame is people who blindly believe that the summary is 100% correct and don't RTFA or comments before posting. First post is that it runs on OSX, and numerous people have ignored that, and posting ignorant "Blizzard hates Apple users!!!" whining.

GOML (4, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224701)

Too many young'ns with Apple Powerbooks these days.

Back in the day if you wanted a game on your Mac you had very few options. Blizzard, Bungie, Maxis, Broderbund and MacSoft were about it. If you had a Mac back then and gamed you knew these names.

Even if a game was ported to the Mac by some other developer, it was usually horrendously buggy, slow, and you could only play with other Mac players (I'm looking at you Age of Kings).

These facts didn't really begin to change until the iMacs came out and Macs became "cool", or at least popular after some fashion. Of course, it sort of went hand in hand with the decline of PC gaming.

Anyway, get off my lawn.

FAQ on the Site! (5, Informative)

soundguy900000 (813371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224321)

Guys, right on the FAQ at www.starcraft2.com , they answer the question, of course there will be support for OSX. http://www.starcraft2.com/faq.xml [starcraft2.com] It is listed under their "Technical Aspects" area.

Re:FAQ on the Site! (1)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224945)

Someone, anyone, please mod the parent up. When I first looked at this story, the first three or four main comments were 'does it run on mac ox?'. Take a minute and read the FAQ, don't jump to conclusions because ONE article omitted a reference to Linux and/or OSX.

Diversity in the races (3, Interesting)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224465)

The Protoss Mothership will have not 'equivalent' in that the Terran and Zerg have no super unit that they can only have one of, but they will have counters. This is the kind of difference in races I want to see. A real difference in the build structure, the buildings, and the units means more variety of tactics and more fun. I can forgive the lack of a new race if they really do a good job differening the three normal races. Rather than having similar tech trees, I hope to see a complete dichotomy between the three. The recent Rise of Legends is a pretty good example of this, although there could still be more difference. In RoL, switching between races for the first time usually leaves you completly lost and confused, but once you get past the names and images, they still maintain a similar tech tree between the races, with only a handful of major differences in the building (granted those differences are deep rooted in the different stragies of each race, but there could have been more.)

Starcraft already has a good bit of differentiation between the races, but there could be so much more. I could see each of the three races' buildings and tech trees taking on more characteristics of the races' themselves. Protoss should still be a strong, yet immoble build race, though the flexable teleportation and mobile pylons do serve to balance overall immobility. Terrans could be mobile, but more modular than before, with more CC addon slots and types and perhaps more addons for other buildings. Let the terrans be flexable with enough mobility as before but at the cost of the flexability the abandoned addons would provide. For instance the terrans could have access to different unit types and enhance units in different ways depending on what addons are activated. Perhaps the Reaper would be active with one addon to the barracks, but a different addon allows for medics. The Zerg have some awesome building tricks as it is; I don't know of anyother game (except WCIII) which you lose a harvester to build their buildings. But the Zerg could do more; perhaps encourage the player to expand the creep far and wide by giving an extra larva spawn at each creep colony to enhance the overwhelming force and plague-like gameplay nature of the zerg. The Zerg should be all about expanding, flexability and mobility; overwhelming forces and expanding across the whole of the map in infestation as they go.

Re:Diversity in the races (-1, Flamebait)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225513)

I hope to see a complete dichotomy between the three.

So you want to see 'division into two equal but contradictory groups' among three races? That doesn't seem likely to work. Also, 'between' specifically refers to two things, not three. The words you were looking for are 'trichotomy' and 'among'. You're welcome, no thanks necessary.

Re:Diversity in the races (1)

tighr (793277) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225647)

The Zerg have some awesome building tricks as it is; I don't know of anyother game (except WCIII) which you lose a harvester to build their buildings. But the Zerg could do more; perhaps encourage the player to expand the creep far and wide by giving an extra larva spawn at each creep colony to enhance the overwhelming force and plague-like gameplay nature of the zerg. The Zerg should be all about expanding, flexability and mobility; overwhelming forces and expanding across the whole of the map in infestation as they go.
I see what you're asking for here, but that's what the Hatcheries were. Hatcheries add creep just like creep colonies, only with the addition of larva. What would be nice is if upgrading hatcheries also increased the number of larva from 3 to 4, or 5. Back when I played, my modus operandi was always to have 4 hatcheries in close proximity so that I could select 12 larva at once and create units. Maybe another nice-to-have would be an in-between building, say maybe a cheaper hatchery that didn't produce larva but would generate creep, and it didn't have to be built on existing creep. That was a drawback, being forced to build expensive, slow-growing hatcheries in new bases.

Re:Diversity in the races (4, Interesting)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225695)

I am glad that the developers have mentioned that they wanted to get away from the click-fest model of gameplay and move more towards commanding groups. I love starcraft, but the micromanaging of individual units is the part that I hate the most. I would rather just have some kind of 'build order' that functions like a script. My units get busy creating the town, and then I create groups and assign missions. When things get hairy, I step in and micromanage. Meanwhile other objectives and missions take place on their own.

I always thought that the races should be more differentiated by their building and scout types. As it stands in SC, Terrans and Protoss are basically cloned in terms of their buildings and workers. You have a base, and you have workers. You build another building for different types of warriors. Zerg are a little different as far as workers becoming buildings and larvae becoming warriors, but the building tech tree is basically the same.

Zerg should be more swarming, with less individual AI and abilities. Just mass numbers. Protoss should be slow and powerful, with a few large, lumbering ships. The humans should be a patchwork of different unit types working together in mixed groups.

I always looked at it like this. What would each race want to do, and how would it help their perceptions?

What would Protoss want to do? Fill the screen with Pylons. It would be cool if Pylons had a synergistic effect, where two or more pylons covered a greater range than an individual pylon. The Protoss objective, then, would be to arrange pylons so that they would provide cross-coverage with all of your buildings. Protoss could see inside the energy field of any pylon on the screen. The greater the synergistic energy field, the greater the sight range.

The Zerg would want to fill the screen with creep. Connected creep would provide map sight throughout the connection.

Humans would be the most micromanaged, but the most flexible. They can build anywhere, they don't need pylons or creep. However, they would also have the most limited sight.

Re:Diversity in the races (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225853)

You should try Age of Mythology... the 4 races have very different modus operandi.

Norse units are their builders, Egiptians rely heavily the great pharaos, Greeks have to pray for their gods favors....

When they said "will run on both XP" (4, Funny)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224731)

I thought they meant experience points...

Re: Another one for the list! (1)

Clockworkalien (1099495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225723)

I'll add that to my "101 signs that you are playing too much WOW" list.

Re: Another one for the list! (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225937)

The irony of that is I have neither played WOW nor WC3.

However, I have played Final Fantasy and Disgaea games.

internet play (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224745)

"Pardo also suggested that Warcraft III might have been a more forgiving game for beginners--differences in skill levels seemed less pronounced in that game. The VP said that in Starcraft II, there will be many more nuances that will separate highly skilled players from beginners, and good players from great ones"

So it's going to be crap online then? People don't like getting beaten. They partcicularly don't like getting beaten outright by players who, in the grand scheme of things, are only slightly better than themselves. Trying to make that happen more will just make multiplayer starcraft rubbish. Here's hoping they do a map editor to rival War3's, we can then have enjoyable custom maps at least.

Re:internet play (1)

EMeta (860558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19224899)

First, there's always a lot of luck in a game with this many variables. Do you explore the right direction first? Do you concentrate on units that slaughter or get slaughtered by what your opponents are building, etc. Likely this will play a large factor in individual games, and randomize what on a statisical scale is a bigger difference. Secondly, it's not hard for Battle.net to figure out what level of player you are and pare you against other players on a very similar level--perhaps even more so than WC3 if SC2 gains the amount of popularity that I think is likely. Third, Map editors are easy and popular. They'll be there.

Re:internet play (5, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225265)

So it's going to be crap online then? People don't like getting beaten. They partcicularly don't like getting beaten outright by players who, in the grand scheme of things, are only slightly better than themselves. Trying to make that happen more will just make multiplayer starcraft rubbish. Here's hoping they do a map editor to rival War3's, we can then have enjoyable custom maps at least.

Are you new to online play in general? If your significantly behind in the skill curve then you can either play similiarly skilled friends or play and lose a lot to gain more skill. It's true of all games. Blizzard RTS's tend to focus on "skill" over "strategy" but I think the gridation of skill is a lot smoother then you think.

It's apparent you want skill to matter less. A person who masters a few keys skills will win over those without them. Preserving units with low health, the ability to focus fire and good special ability targetting are skills that you need. If your missing this control you will lose to someone with that control 100% of the time. Once you master those skills you would then move from Noob to Newb. A noob is one is is persistantly bad who does not improve with practice because they beligerantly cling to the way they think it should be player. A newb is simply someone who need practice. If you think the system is insurmountable then you are a noob.

The amount of skill needed is fairly low but if you can't grasp the basics nothing can help you. Now once you grasp these basics then it's all strategy. For instance I have a perfect record against my cousin. I'm 73 : 0 against him in war 3. The difference isn't micro. I have decent micro skills but nothing special. He has awe inspiring micro. He clicks and manage so many groups at a time that I cannot win battle with even numbers of troops. If we are even I would lose and frequently lose skrimishes during a game. However I have much better big picture strategey and despite losing a few battle I win the war through better resource management, expansion/expansion denial, ability mix, and recon.

Re:internet play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225277)

Wow, that must be why more people play Warcraft III than Starcraft, because Warcraft III is more forgiving to shitty players, right? Oh, wait...

By your logic, *no one* would play games of skill. How many people play Poker? How many people play Chess? People would rather lose at a game of skill than lose to some noob by a fluke because of randomness and broken game mechanics. The whole reason Starcraft is played more than any other RTS worldwide is because a good player will always completely obliterate a bad player. There are no flukes, no luck, no random chances; only skill.

Re:internet play (1)

evanknight (1070332) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225847)

Tower defense for the win!! Talk about addictive..

Blizzard failed. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19224915)

lame,unoriginal rip-off of project revolution with physics effects.
I bet its would lag too.Havok engine is pretty resource heavy.
I'm not even bothering to get a pirated copy.

Re:Blizzard failed. (2, Funny)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225017)

lame,unoriginal rip-off of project revolution with physics effects. I bet its would lag too.Havok engine is pretty resource heavy. I'm not even bothering to get a pirated copy.

Woohoo! One less person that I'll have to beat (read: lose to) on the Ladder!!

Re:Blizzard failed. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225503)

Wait. You're joking, right? You're claiming that the sequel to game that is built entirely on Blizzards original IP is a ripoff of a fan project. Furthermore, and fan project dedicated to recreating the original (in another Blizzard game mind you). Further yet, a fan project you haven't played because it's not bloody well done?!
Who's letting these kids sit unattended on the internet?

Re:Blizzard failed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225805)

Um, yeah, you got your ass handed to you last time you brought this up. Posting anonymously isn't giving the illusion that more than one person agrees with you.

My only request(s)... (4, Insightful)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225011)

This isn't some lame complaint about how it doesn't run on an OS that nobody runs.

I hope that Blizzard quits defining 'skill' as how fast a player can click, especially when we're using the mouse to play. I don't mean to overstate this - the better player is going to win, usually. But it is very telling that pro SC1 players measure clicks per second. And while it is 'athletic' in one sense, I am not fond of risking carpal tunnel syndrome just so I can be good at a computer game.

The most glaring aspect of this is in the limitation of units that can be selected at once. If you watch the gameplay videos, there are a huge number of zerglings that attack simultaneously. How backwards is it that although that is feasible in Starcraft (probably not to that scale) it is a huge pain in the ass? In order to do it you need to separate them out into groups of 12, and assign them to number keys along the top. To attack, you'd hit the 1 key, then hit a, and click behind the attack point. Now, you need to repeat that step for every group. The first group will get there slightly before the others because they have a head start, which is inefficient if you're trying to swarm the enemy. The natural thing would be to double click on the zerglings, and have them ALL be selected at once. I'm glad to see that Rob Pardo is working on SC2, but I know he has strong feelings on this sort of thing. I can't recall the exact reason, but I believe the cap is in SC1 for the purpose of 'encouraging smaller battles.' Sorry, but if they've played it at all, it just doesn't work that way. People get into bigass battles all the time, that is half the fun of SC1. And it is aggravating to know that the UI doesn't scale with the scope of battles. Oftentimes, you don't have control over how big the battle gets.

I want to focus on the action, not the fifty inane things needed to sustain the action. I understand and appreciate that some of it has to happen, but it can be rather unpleasant sometimes. One example of this is building units. In particular, you should be able to build multiple unit production buildings, issuing build requests and they are load-balanced between the two, i.e. if I want two marines, and I have two barracks, I should be able to select both barracks, and ask for two marines. Both barracks would build one simultaneously. Currently, the Blizzard games allow you to queue, but do not load-balance in this way. If you wanted to do what I just described, you need to select each building individually. More clicks, more thought needed to accomplish a common goal. Another example is unit queuing. This is fairly common among RTS games now, but it is a shame that the Blizzard games effectively penalize you for using it. I say this because they deduct the unit cost when you queue the unit - not when the unit starts being built. For the period of time between the queue and the unit being built, you have fewer resources available to expend in the event of an emergency. (The interesting thing is you are not charged for upkeep of the queued unit until it starts production.) The hyperactive player who can remember to build units right when they come out does not suffer from having less available resources. In the event of a financial emergency, they can divert resources without needing to stop the queue of units.

Nevertheless, I have high hopes for this game, and will probably upgrade my PC to play.

Re:My only request(s)... (1)

Ruathal (1095651) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225177)

The selection limit always did drive me crazy, but it looks like it won't be an issue:

Pardo has pointed out that unlike previous Blizzard games, Starcraft II will have no "selection limit"--that is, you'll be able to click and drag your mouse to select an unlimited number of your own armies to control.
from http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/starcraft2/new s.html?sid=6171179 [gamespot.com]

Re:My only request(s)... (0, Flamebait)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225781)

>>I hope that Blizzard quits defining 'skill' as how fast a player can click, especially when we're using the mouse to play. [...] And while it is 'athletic' in one sense, I am not fond of risking carpal tunnel syndrome just so I can be good at a computer game.

People would certainly define skill similarly in first person shooters. Most competitive video games are much more about manual dexterity than actual strategy. That whole comment is pretty childish; it's like saying "I hope the Olympics quits defining 'speed' as how fast a person can run, because I'm not fond of risking muscle damage just so I can be good at an athletic sport." If you don't want to play it this way, you don't have to, but realize that skill is defined simply in terms of who can win.

The group limit is not really a hindrance to professional players. You're ignoring one of the most useful hotkeys; alt+click on a unit selects the last group it was in. That means you just have to box select sets of 12 and set them to move apart, then alt+click one zergling from each group and send them to attack-move. A good player can send fifty zerglings off to attack simultaneously in less than a second. You can do it much more slowly if you line up your groups and send them in reverse order of distance, so the back units catch up to the front ones as you send out the orders.

Many of the ideas you put forth encourage people to be bad at the game. For example, load balancing is a terrible idea because your barracks are often scattered across the map (and this is especially the case as Zerg). By your own admission you want to forget about the strategic placement of your barracks and just amalgamate them into one big rally point. That's the opposite of how you should play. This is why professional players set their buildings to control groups rather than masses of units so they can instantly train units at specific locations on the map. Similarly, free unit queues encourage players to queue up fifty marines and just wait indefinitely as they pour out, rather than paying attention to their resource usage and finding the right opportunity to spend them. Again, the opposite of how you should play.

Your whole post really just speaks of inexperience. I don't mean to offend, but you need to make better use of hotkeys, and you just need more practice at playing the game. I can understand if you don't want to have do these things, but don't ask the developers to dumb down the game so that you can compete with us. The reason we play Starcraft is because these are the nuances that differentiate skilled players from unskilled ones; this is what makes Starcraft a competitive game.

Single Player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225249)

"built with competitive play in mind"

So, uh, I might be alone on this, but I really like the single player mode of Blizzard's games (SC, WC, etc). Does this mean that they'll be neglecting the single-player aspect of the game (i.e., an actual storyline). Not sure I want to buy it if it has no single-player value.

Smoking in Space (1)

JBHarris (890771) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225429)

I watched the High Definition trailor and I was impressed with the graphics of it, but the Terrian Marine smoking a cigar the whole time the machines installed his suit was a little hard to get. Plus at the end of the trailor, his space suit's visor closes with that damn cigar still in his mouth....I'm no rocket scientist...but it seems like that'd be a bad idea to seal yourself in a spacesuit with limited oxygen and a cigar...

Re:Smoking in Space (3, Funny)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225637)

Sure beats the vespene gas that would be generated in the suit after eating at the intergalactic taco bell.

Re:Smoking in Space (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225813)

Well, if you think that is bad, one of the cut scenes in the first Starcraft has a cigar floating in space after a marine was killed. That isn't bad...but the cigar is floating in space and is still lit and smoking! So either they don't understand how cigars work...or, these are really awesome future space cigars. Maybe they provide nutrients and other chemicals to keep the marine in tip top shape. I like to pretend it is the latter.

One line of dialogue (4, Funny)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 7 years ago | (#19226177)

In the movie Thank You for Smoking [imdb.com] the lobbyist goes to Hollywood to talk to an agent about placing cigarettes in movies. The agent mentions a screenplay set on a space station and suggests a scene with the main characters smoking cigarettes after sex.

The lobbyist says: "Sounds great! But wouldn't smoking in an all oxygen environment be dangerous?"

The agent responds: "I guess so. But it's an easy fix. Just one line of dialogue, 'Thank God they invented the whatchamacallit device.'"

pretty, but the same (2, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225489)

Still no appreciable terrain, just two non-deformable levels flat as a griddle. Units still pretty much just walk up and stand still while they grind each other down. Everything still explodes cleanly with no wreckage to block the way or mark the battle. Nothing in the demo resembling high level orders ("attack and move" doesn't constitute high level order).

I guess Blizzard is smart to not mess with a formula that works, but the operative word here is "formula". I guess I can wait til it's in the bargain bin.

Re:pretty, but the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225617)

If you want to play a game with those things, then please, go do so. Supreme Commander is a fantastic game and I believe it has all of those qualities. Many of us, however, still find the pacing and balance of Starcraft to provide a more entertaining experience and thus are still playing it, and waiting for a sequal that stays true to the original, while freshening the game up a bit. I've been waiting a decade for Starcraft 2, not a SupCom ripoff.

Re:pretty, but the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19225741)

God forbid that blizzard innovate, eh?

Games lots older than SC had deformable terrain and disposition orders for units.

But yeah, they'll sell eleventy bajillion copies because true fans hate the new.

Terrain (2, Insightful)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 7 years ago | (#19225991)

Did you actually watch the gameplay video? The ramps are inclined and debris from air units slides down the ramps into piles at the base. I didn't see whether the debris hampers movement but the narrator hinted that it would. There were also big freaking craters in the ground after the nuclear strike. I'll be surprised if those don't have more than a cosmetic effect.

And yes, there were only two noticeable levels of terrain shown, but there might be more possible on different maps. Heck, even original Starcraft actually has at least three levels for certain terrain types. Most people just choose to play on maps like Big Game Hunters and Lost Temple that only use two of them.

Re:pretty, but the same (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#19226121)

Still no appreciable terrain, just two non-deformable levels flat as a griddle.

Watch the artwork video. There is some in-game footage of a planet that is much more varied. The gameplay video is on a space platform, which makes sense as a blocky environment.

Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19226203)

Will it work in Windows 2000?
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