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Protoss For a Day

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the in-the-pipe-five-by-five dept.

Real Time Strategy (Games) 138

1up had a man on the ground at the announcement of StarCraft II to a legion of South Korean fans. James Mielke also had the chance to sit down with the developers of the game for a one-on-one hands-on with everything they're willing to share so far. Includes video with some new footage of the title. From the article: "Dustin Browder admitted that the Black Hole attack was something that would have to be nerfed immediately, as both he and Sigaty laughed at the sight of my entire fleet taking a nosedive in one fell swoop. As I stated earlier, there's still a lot of balancing that needs to go into the game, and this play session was one way for the developers to see what things need it the most. After all, Blizzard has been working on this game for two years already, and we were the first fresh eyes to see the game in a long time, so things that the dev team may now take for granted, are still a surprise to new players. Whether the Black Hole will be nerfed to absorb a limited number of ships, or do a specific amount of damage, or powered-down in some other way hasn't been decided, but the tide of battle will undoubtedly require slightly more skillful play than simply producing a Mothership and hitting 'Black Hole' on the enemy."

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I love it. I won't buy it. (2, Interesting)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043387)

As much as I love the Starcraft/Command and Conquer games, I won't buy them. At least not for several years. I was sorely disappointed that Command and Conquer 3 wouldn't run on a one year old top of the line computer (and I returned it to the store). PC games are ridiculous, as far as requirements go. I'm looking forward to buying Starcraft 2 from the bargain bin in a few years when I own a PC capable of playing it.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (3, Informative)

Udderdude (257795) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043421)

Blizzard has always gone for lower-end PCs for their games. One of the main reasons WoW is so popular is it doesn't have very taxing system requirements. I'm sure they will continue the trend to Starcraft II.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (2, Insightful)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043439)

"One year old, top of the line"? I have a nearly two year old pc (high-end, but not top of the line) that ran it quite well (at a good resolution and decent quality).

I do agree that the requirements were high, but to say that it wouldn't run on a one year old, top of the line computer is incorrect (unless there is just something wrong with the computer itself).

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048921)

Must have been a Dell...

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (3, Insightful)

Kindgott (165758) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043443)

Blizzard seems to design their games around the idea that anyone with a moderately decent computer purchased within the last 2 years or so should be able to play it.

It seems to make sense, because having system requirements that amount to "buy the computer when the game comes out" would severely limit their customer base. If they design around not making it too hardware intensive -- or have settings that can be turned down and not affect gameplay -- they can ensure that almost anyone who wishes to play it can on their current system.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (4, Insightful)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043467)

As much as I love the Starcraft/Command and Conquer games, I won't buy them. At least not for several years. I was sorely disappointed that Command and Conquer 3 wouldn't run on a one year old top of the line computer (and I returned it to the store). PC games are ridiculous, as far as requirements go. I'm looking forward to buying Starcraft 2 from the bargain bin in a few years when I own a PC capable of playing it.

Fortunately Blizzard typically "low balls" their system requirements to pull in the largest audience possible. Starcraft and Broodwar had very low system requirements, even at release. Warcraft, Diablo, and WoW were the same ...

In a way they are the antithesis of iD Software...

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (3, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043989)

Fortunately Blizzard typically "low balls" their system requirements to pull in the largest audience possible. Starcraft and Broodwar had very low system requirements, even at release. Warcraft, Diablo, and WoW were the same ...

In a way they are the antithesis of iD Software...
I think that's true in part but I also think that the kind system requirements are also a factor of how long they take to develop a game. They have the hardware requirements locked down long before the rest of it is finished. I they were a "push it out the door early" company like EA, we'd probably feel that their games were demanding on the hardware.

I'm kind of sick to death of RTS games at this point. I mean, I love the genre but I haven't seen anything innovative since Total Annihilation. My biggest beef is with the AI's. Back in the glory days of Dune 2, the top-down view was simplistic enough that you could micromanage all of your units and not feel arsed about it. As the graphics grew prettier and the maps larger, especially with isometric view in some games, it soon became an exercise in frustration to even play. I was a huge, HUGE fan of Warcraft 2 but it got a bit tedious trying to line up my missile units outside of the range of a tower to take it out, knowing that a unit that gets too close would be engaged by the tower and thus run gleefully into certain death. And how about when you order units to engage? You've got a blob of five units, they advance on the target, and the first one in range stops dead to engage. The units following behind get confused, then try to route around the guy holding up the show, then the second one in range stops, and the third one has to walk around him. By the time the blob of five are engaged, the first unit is beaten to a pulp before the target is destroyed. Smarter AI would have all of the units move into better firing positions for the given target automatically.

If any of you guys have seen the footage for World in Conflict, that's enough to make your jaw hit the floor. It's "holy fucking shit" brilliant, at least when you watch the demo movies. The only problem, yes it's all "in-game" footage, but you are NEVER going to be watching a battle from the soldier's-eye-view, you'll be up in god mode looking down clicking frantically. Dawn of War was exactly the same way, the engine could let you zoom in and enjoy the fight but you'd be slaughtered if you did that.

Now whenever I talk about this sort of thing some people say "you want the game to play itself." That's not what I'm getting at, it's more a matter of setting the pieces in motion and watching the results. In a game like Master of Orion, a planetary invasion consisted of nothing more than icons representing your guys on one side of the screen and icons representing the other guy on the other side. The computer would calculate the strength of both sides and start rolling the dice. Icons on both sides of the screen would start popping and it could actually be quite enthralling seeing whether you would come out with any troops left, probably the same fascination that comes from watching the spinning rollers on a one-armed bandit in a casino. Well, we've got the graphics these days. Why not animate that fight?

Total War seems to do this a bit. I played the Shogun game a bit and watched the demo for Medieval sputter and wheeze on my computer. I like how you are ordering about formations rather than individual units along with the modeling of morale and courage. Of course, Starcraft isn't that kind of game. It looks like Starcraft 2 is shooting to just be a graphical update of the original game. I suppose that's fair. There are more than enough fans who will pay full price for exactly that and say "thank you" to boot. But I won't be surprised if the AI is every bit as dumb as it was ten years ago.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (3, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044609)

Total War seems to do this a bit. I played the Shogun game a bit and watched the demo for Medieval sputter and wheeze on my computer. I like how you are ordering about formations rather than individual units along with the modeling of morale and courage. Of course, Starcraft isn't that kind of game. It looks like Starcraft 2 is shooting to just be a graphical update of the original game. I suppose that's fair. There are more than enough fans who will pay full price for exactly that and say "thank you" to boot. But I won't be surprised if the AI is every bit as dumb as it was ten years ago.

Blizzard purposely provides less "auto-cast" options to encourage micromanagement. It's a keystone of their game style and it's the divide between C&C/TA and Blizzard RTS's. It means there is a huge skill divide that does not exist in the "mass rush" style games like Supcom/TA/C&C/most RTS's. It's pretty much why a lot of skilled players prefer War 3/ SC to the list above. Thats why the total population stillplaying SupCom/TA/C&C all is less then half of the active player sin war 3.

The pathing AI is much better so you have less of the "running around" you had in SC or War 2. but ti's still nto perfect and it atcually become a strategy to make bases confuse th epathing. In SC it allowed you to take on an arbitrary number of melee units of the player didn't tell them to atatck the impeding object. In war 3 after 2 secnds of not beign able to atatck due to pathing they attack the nearest object which is a improvement. I suspect SC 2 will be similiar.

If you dont' like micro I guess SC 2 won't be for you.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046571)

Nothing to do with C&C sucking balls for most anything besides story/campaign, and TA being 10 or more years old, or SupCom coming from a fairly little known company unlike WC3 which is fairly new and from a company known for it's powerhouse advertising of it's games.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047409)

THQ [wikipedia.org] is a little known company? It seems to be about half the size of Blizzard [wikipedia.org] but I'd think their in comparable catagories. SupCom is exstremely new but it's user base is still smaller then War 3's. C&C was also published by EA. Is that a small house? C&C 3 and C&C generals are all new too.

I think War 3 just has more mass appeal. User created maps problably have contributed ot it's longevity. The unskilled play DOTA and defence maps whiel the skileld still play ladder. Of the ladde rplayers ther eis a considerable amount. I think it's due to the short duration of games (avg game is 20 min) and the manual dexsterity required for high elvel play. In the other catagory of mass rush games it's less about skill more about defensive strategies and a bit of luck thus it shines less to the hardcore.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047569)

How you can string sentences together without having the slightest bit of reading comprehension is beyond me.
SupCom was made by GasPoweredGames, Chris Taylor's company he made after leaving Humongous Entertainment, and subsequently failed to get the rights to the Total Annihilation franchise back from Paradox or Infogrames or whoever the fuck bought them and just sat on them. GPG was only kinda known from making Dungeon Siege years ago.
C&C sucked, I never said anything about size of the company or who made it, it just fucking sucked.
TA was the only one that I said was ridiculously old. And hell, even with it's age, it still has a strong following as can be seen by the TA:Spring project, the various mods, TC's, unit/mapmakers, etc, and the fact that Nexus is still trying his damndest to get the rights to the TA name or startup a true TA2 project that won't die like all the previous ones did, including one I was a member of.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048159)

The developer is ussually not as important as the publisher for distribution and advertising. For instance many small developers make quirky deep RPG's but it's Atlus who uses their clout (not much) to publish them. those individual studios couldn't ever hope to get a deal here for distribution but Atlus can. Look up the role of publishers in video games. THQ published SupCom while Bliz self published war 3 (although though Capcom in japan and sierra in parts of europe)

The game styles of those games just didn't hit the same audience or have the same longevity as Blizzard games. People still play SC in large numbers. Diablo II still has many active players. None of it has anything to do with the relative clout of the publisher. MS publishe age of games and none of them have an active player base exceeding that of War 3.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (2, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044687)

You should try Battlezone II. The AI was pretty terrible, but certain of its limitations actually encouraged you to jump out of the top-down command and into a tank to command some of the battle at the front.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045107)

Probably one of the best games ever. The graphics were phenominal for it's time. Too bad no one played it.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045439)

Did you ever feel guilty about calling units across the map after jettisoning just to tell your ai-teammate to jump out so you can swipe his ride?

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046209)

It's been so long I don't remember. I actually reviewed the game for a magazine. I'm kinda tempted to bring it out. The only level I was kind of frustrated with was the one whereyou walk - on foot - across some jungle floor to the safe base. Wierd.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046601)

Ahh, I think I remember that map. If you stick to the hills, IIRC, you'll come across a lone scion turret fairly quickly. Then you can snipe it and fly the turret across the jungle floor to the safe base ;) At least, I think that's how I remember beating that level. I think I might've done most of my flying on the side of the mountains the designers didn't put any effort into designing.

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046293)

In large part, I agree with your comments. I've seen the bad AIs you're talking about and I believe one solution to that problem was formations ("V" formation, "grid", etc.). Not the *most* intelligent solution, but an improvement at least.

But, I also get really hung up on bad U.I.s (User Interfaces). IMHO, Starcrap's fatal flaw was it's UI. And blizzard was pretty good at bad UIs back in the day. I got so &*%^ing sick of clicking on monsters in Diablo that I never finished it (that's Diablo ONE, son. the OLD SKOOL one). Same with SC. After I played TA, I could not STAND the clickfest that was SC. I can only cue up FIVE units? TA lets me cue up HUNDREDS if I want. Perhaps my complaints stem from a desire for a Strategy focus over a Real Time focus. And a desire to avoid repetitive stress injuries.
SupCom is great, I just need more time to play it. A lot of it's TA roots show, but it's got some good UI improvements like the scroll wheel zoom. And, it has an interesting storyline. Given the history, I don't have very high hopes for SC2. I know, I know, everyone LOVED SC1, but NOT ME! Click THIS Blizzard!

Re:You love it... You should buy it. (1)

Tuidjy (321055) | more than 7 years ago | (#20049475)

> you are NEVER going to be watching a battle from the soldier's-eye-view,
> you'll be up in god mode looking down clicking frantically. Dawn of War
> was exactly the same way, the engine could let you zoom in and enjoy the
> fight but you'd be slaughtered if you did that.

Well, I never tried to zoom in while playing. First you finish the game,
then you watch the recording. Dawn of War had mind blowing animations, and
the right way to appreciate them was to watch the replay. I played that
game until I heard Dominions III was out, and I was discovering new kill
animations until the end. If you still have the game, do yourself a favor
and watch a few recordings. I am sure you will see things that will
surprise you. Hell the nerd in me typed 'delight', then got ashamed
and deleted it from the last sentence :-)

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043481)

But Blizzard's graphics teams are total rubbish!! Have you not played anything else they've made? Starcraft came out in 1998 and looked out-of-date even then, with its 3-frame sprite animations. Warcraft 3 is a visual disaster. World of Warcraft looks hilariously bad in terms of graphical fidelity. N64 Zelda games use about as many polygons per character.

They have decent artists, and great FMV devs, but holy moley their in-game graphics are always so amazingly terrible its a testament to the AAAA+ gameplay their titles offer that they are so successful!

From the looks of it, Starcraft 2's graphics can be handled by a Nintendo DS, bro. I wouldn't worry about having to wait a few years to play it.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043551)

The videos that I saw of Starcraft 2 made it look roughly on par with Command and Conquer 3... which could NOT be run on a Nintendo DS (or PSP).

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

AP2k (991160) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043619)

Starcraft came out in 1998 and looked out-of-date even then
But you say that like it's a bad thing... You are spot on about the warcraft franchise graphics, but Starcraft's original UI and graphics are what made them unobstructive to gameplay unlike WC3. (except during carrier rushes :D )

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043843)

I'm a big SC fan and used to play it every day in Uni but I think that throwing in a couple extra frames per animation wouldn't have made the graphics any less unobstructive to gameplay.

Bad 3D is worse than good 2D, for sure. But their 2D was nowhere near as good as it could have been. Also, while it may have taken a bit more effort to keep improved visuals as unobstructive as SC's happened to be, we've seen it done countless in other games.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Obsi (912791) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045127)

"Bad 3d is worse than good 2d" -- see FF7 vs FF6.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044641)

But Blizzard's graphics teams are total rubbish!! Have you not played anything else they've made? Starcraft came out in 1998 and looked out-of-date even then, with its 3-frame sprite animations. Warcraft 3 is a visual disaster. World of Warcraft looks hilariously bad in terms of graphical fidelity. N64 Zelda games use about as many polygons per character.

compare War 3 to it's contempararies or Sc or WOW to it's and you'll find that despite the graphics being a bit behind it aged better due to better art direction. EQ2 had the best and shiniest graphics at launch and it went with a photo realistic and right now it's looks dated while WOW went with a stylized art direction which leans on graphic glitz less and thus ages better.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044969)

I agree with your comment entirely. Blizzard's only weak link is their actual graphics engine devs. Their artists (well, level designers, not character designers :-/) are good.

If WoW was built on a stronger 3D engine with higher-quality models, it would look stellar.

Well, ok, I agree with your comment if you're talking about WoW. With regards to War3, that thing looked like ass the day it came out and it looks like ass now as well.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045721)

damn I replied to myself.

lookg here [slashdot.org]

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Puff of Logic (895805) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046017)

I've heard that Blizzard is planning at some point to do a graphics update to WoW. Presumably they'll try to time it so that the majority of their user-base can still play without a problem. Actually, I wonder if it's possible to have players in the same server using different graphics assets or whether that would cause geometry issues. Alternatively, perhaps Blizzard could have a "classic" set of servers and a "high-res" set. Based upon the popularity of the servers with the new graphics, they could decide when and if a complete migration was appropriate. Not being a dev of any kind, however, I'm speculating from a rear orifice.

I'm praying that they don't update the graphics, though, as that might just be enough to drag me back into that life-stealing game.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046391)

Blizzard's only weak link is their actual graphics engine devs.
Wrong. Blizzard's philosophy has always been to keep their graphics engines using minimal computer resources, while using very colorful and beatiful art to make up for the lack of polygons/dimensions. I guarantee you the graphic engine devs are excellent and write very efficient code. The designer the graphics engine probably told the modeling artists to keep the poly count extremely low, which has nothing to do with the game engine devs themselves. I'm sure if they wanted to make stellar high-poly, processor-melting, memory-eating, graphics, they could do it.

If anything it's the game designers that you have a problem with. But just because you disgree with their philosophy, doesn't mean they are any less competent.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047177)

If low resource use is indeed the goal, then yes it is in large part the game designers' fault for misusing resources to such a degree.

But then again a game like Guild Wars has the same system requirements (actually, 2x less RAM and a lower cpu speed for the recommended system) and has far higher graphics fidelity than World of Warcraft. Better models, better textures, etc.

So, both the designers and the devs are to blame.

Of course, ArenaNet also has some monster talent to throw around, including some very key ex-Blizzard folks such as Pat Wyatt.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045695)

Age of mythologies [wikipedia.org]

Age of wonders 2 [www.sg.hu]

Stronghold: crusader [cheats.ru]

Warlords: battlecry [wikipedia.org]

Commandos 2 [peliplaneetta.net]

Warcraft 3 ROC [carlsguides.com]

compared to it's contempararies it held up pretty well. Considering 4/5 above used voxel/2d graphics. It was one of the few "true" 3d games of that time. Blizzard does aim low to ensure it can do 6 players of 12-30 units (72-180) on screen at a time with little to no lag On my 5 year old computer.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044657)

Warcraft 3 is a visual disaster

Really? I rather liked War3 graphics. Or, perhaps, I should say I see nothing wrong with them, even today. What makes you feel War3 is/was a visual disaster?

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044875)

The character models are hideously blocky, everything moves as if through water, the designs are uninspired, .. yeah that about sums it up. It came out well after games that looked tons better in every way.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045091)

The character models are hideously blocky, everything moves as if through water, the designs are uninspired, .. yeah that about sums it up. It came out well after games that looked tons better in every way.

They aimed low for system req and I think the art direction help up pretty well against it's competators. I think yoru objection to them is simply a subjective style preference. You liek photo realistic they aimed for something else. I found the graphics perfectly acceptabel at the time and even now. Compared to a more recent one like Dawn of war or C&C 3 it's still holds up.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043503)

I was sorely disappointed that Command and Conquer 3 wouldn't run on a one year old top of the line computer
If that is the case, then your computer was not top-of-the-line. My computer is a year old and it runs it great, with everything cranked to the max.

Why bitch ahead? (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043533)

Ahem... wouldn't it be more productive to wait and see what hardware it needs when released, before making that kind of decision and bitching?

And you do that, based on... what? Command and Conquer 3. It's not even the same bloody company. C&C is by Westwood, Starcraft is by Blizzard. It's like saying you'll avoid Ford cars because you had problems with a Toyota.

Blizzard games, for all their other faults they may have had, were always quite forgiving on the hardware front. Diablo 1 and 2 were still 2D games in an age when everyone was going 3D, Warcraft 3 wasn't that horribly hardware intensive either by comparison to similar games, and World Of Warcraft... let's just say I know people who've played it perfectly well on an underpowered laptop with integrated graphics. By comparison to, say, Everquest 2 which needed the graphics severely turned down even on top-end graphics cards available at the time, or City Of Villains which also needed a lot of graphics power even in the newbie villain area, WoW actually ran ok on pretty underpowered machines. As an anecdotal comparison, one of the guys with laptops had no problem in WoW except in the massively over-populated Ironforge auction house area (which at the time was the only alliance auction house, so there were _hundreds_ of players and tens of pets there), while the same laptop just choked on COV.

Mind you, I'm not saying that you should buy Starcraft 2. But it seems a bit ridiculous to dismiss it in advance, based on what _another_ company has done.

are you new here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046189)

the whole point of slashdot is for all the gentle people to spout off on subjects they really don't understand, and practice posturing the authoritative opinion-maker shtick.

basically, if you read it in the threads you can almost certainly count on the opposite position. just keep in mind that at least 70% of the people posting on this site like to pretend that they are hardcore linux sysadmins, but if pressed will argue furiously about how much vista sucks compared to their beloved XP. i can't even believe how bad it sucks here sometimes.

Too true. (1)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046479)

You left out the part that involves making all of your arguments using faulty logic. It is an exchange of emotional arguments. Instead of logic, the anecdote is the standard unit of exchange around here, and somehow it carries worth on its own.

But, hey, if everyone only talked about what they knew, it'd be a very quiet place indeed. So it is more fun to mock the groupthink and the rampant hypocrisy.

Anecdotes sometimes are enough (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047793)

Actually, often anecdotes are plenty enough, when there isn't much statistical diversity to expect.

E.g., there aren't that many graphics cards that would be fit for gaming. In fact, there are exactly two top end manufacturers, plus Intel which outsells both in the integrated graphics slice of the market.

Plus, there isn't much of a deviation between how a game runs on two identical graphics computers. If a set of settings works well on, say, a 4000+ Athlon with a X1900XTX and 2GB RAM, you don't need a huge statistical sample to figure out how it would work on another 4000+ Athlon with a X1900XTX and 2GB RAM.

And it's possible to take a very informed guess from there. For example, it's not much of a guess that if a set of settings give a poor frame rate on that, it would very probably be even lower on a more mainstream X1550. And conversely if something runs well enough on a laptop with 512 MB and an integrated chipset, by someone who's on ICQ _and_ Teamspeak at the time, then it's a very safe bet that it can't run any worse on your high end gaming rig.

It's also pretty easy to figure out other details, too, like that the load times in COV depend primarily on how much RAM you have. Ranging from a couple of seconds at 1GB and over, to something really painful if you have 256 MB and other programs active.

And finally, in a lot of cases you don't even need to take samples and guess. Sony's own tooltip to not try the max settings in EQ2 unless you have a 512 MB graphics card (which didn't even exist when the game was launched) take a lot of guesswork out of that.

So basically, sometimes anecdotes are plenty enough. They're wrong when you can expect a huge unpredictable variation: then you need to take a big sample and do statistics. But computer hardware configurations are a lot less unpredictable than that.

While some variations exist, you can pick an example far enough from the centre to illustrate the point anyway. If you pick a machine that's considerably more underpowered than most people's gaming rigs (to illustrate that something runs well enough even on that) or conversely far enough above the minimum and indeed recommended configurations printed on the box (to illustrate that it performs poorly even there), you're essentially giving yourself a wide enough margin for error. It should be plenty enough to cover such variations as "but exactly which driver version are you using" or such, without doing a comprehensive sampling and plotting a very spike-like gauss curve.

Or to put it otherwise, it's a message, not a scientific paper. Sometimes it's implied and expected that people are capable of figuring out bits of implied logic without having it spelled out in painstaking detail for them.

Re:Why bitch ahead? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20049717)

You clearly do NOT remember how fucking slow Diablo 2 was when it was released.

And this is a 2D game we're talking about!

It took an entire computer generation before that game ran smoothly!!

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20043657)

That's what I said 2 years ago for many games, they are in the bargain bin now and yet, I still don't own a better PC. My 2004 PC is still too powerfull for my basic needs and I'm not finding anything new in games that require that I need to get them.
Not only are they covering the same old gameplay with graphics, but those graphics are so huge and put such a toll on the development, that there is in fact less real content.
Also, whole genres are slowly nerfed to be playable by the masses and those who were once the market drivers are now niche marcket: think counter strike like instead of quake like, shoot them ups are now for the "manic shooter niche", fighting games are now tekken or sool calibur like requiring no skill but with a huge list of moves and kof is a niche, platforms are now visually stunning like god of war but all in all very short. RPG are still good I'd say, good visuals AND still story driven. But I'm not talking oblivion or nwn, but more asian RPGs, of course.
In fact, games are much more inovative and fresh on the market console, right now, and especially japanese games. Visually or gameplay wise, there are some gems, like ico or okami, the nintendo efforts in interface are nice too.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

stg (43177) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043693)

I played it on a 4-year old computer, and it worked fine... Obviously not with all the settings on their max, but still perfectly playable.

Re: C&C3 on an older machine, or laptop? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043829)

I played it [C&C3] on a 4-year old computer, and it worked fine... Obviously not with all the settings on their max, but still perfectly playable.

Can you please tell me your specs? I just bought a laptop (HP dv6000), and I find it distressing that despite having a dual core 1.75 Ghz chip, the specs suggest I couldn't play (the C&C3 box says 2.2 Ghz min). Granted I didn't buy the Lappy for gaming, but if I can get the occasional RTS on it, I'd be happy. I'm curious if I could play the game (with effects, and Graphics turned down)

Would a Dual Core 1.75 processor, 2 gigs of Ram, and the Integrated Intel Graphics chip be able to handle it?

Re: C&C3 on an older machine, or laptop? (1)

caffeinatedOnline (926067) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044039)

I have found that most games have issues with the integrated intel chip. There is a page somewhere on Intel's site that details what games work and what games don't...Here [intel.com] . Think it has something to do with no hardware vertex shader, but I could be mistaken.

Re: C&C3 on an older machine, or laptop? (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044849)

I also played C&C3 on a 4-year old PC. Works perfectly fine on medium to high details (I think shadows were off, but shader quality was on medium and textures on high). The computer is a P4 2.8, 1GB RAM, 6600GT. If it weren't for the Intel graphics, I'd be quite confident that it'd run fine on your laptop, but as it is I'm not so sure.

Re: C&C3 on an older machine, or laptop? (1)

ameoba (173803) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044997)

Since the advent of 3-D, most integrated graphics have not been up to gaming use. Recent Intel offerings are getting better, but we're just talking about the difference between "painfully behind the curve" and "woefully behind the curve" - a stand-alone $50 card could easily outperform them.

Unfortunately, stand-alone $50 cards don't exist in the world of laptops. Your only real options with laptop gaming are from ATI or nVidia.

Blizzard != EA (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043855)

EA is notorious for outright requiring top-line hardware to run smoothly on high settings. No matter what title you pick. Blizzard games on the other hand aren't so eye-candy rich. SC1 already looked dated when it came out, and it ran quite well even on older machines.

I'd first of all give it a shot. SC2 might run just fine on current machines (which will be old machines by the time it goes gold).

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044383)

Remeber..C&C3 was NOT made by the loving hands of Westwood Studios (used to work for WW). It was made by the craptastic hands of Electronic Arts. Some people from WW worked on it, but by no means enough of the "right" people. They are off at other companies (ex. Petroglyph Studios).

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

KoldKompress (1034414) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044405)

I have a Frankenstein computer, with no pieces later than three years ago.. I think your "Top of the range" computer was a duff, friend.

C&C3 runs comfortably on medium-low on 1440x900 on a Nvidia 6600GT, 1.5 Gig of Ram and an AMD64 3000+.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044477)

As much as I love the Starcraft/Command and Conquer games, I won't buy them. At least not for several years. I was sorely disappointed that Command and Conquer 3 wouldn't run on a one year old top of the line computer (and I returned it to the store). PC games are ridiculous, as far as requirements go. I'm looking forward to buying Starcraft 2 from the bargain bin in a few years when I own a PC capable of playing it.

C&C3 was made by someone else so beign disappointe din EA is unrelated to SC2. And you'll likely have to wait a while. War 3 didn't hit those bins for a good 5 years. The warchest is still a good $50 CND. Blizzard games are known to be in high demand for a long tiem after launch. Also if you plan to get into online play, in 5 years you'll be woefully behind the curve. But from the tone of your post I don't think your into competative online play.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044485)

C&C3 worked fine on my '04 vintage Athlon64 with 1gb of ram and a GF6600GT graphics card. Either you got screwed a year ago when you bought your "top of the line computer" or you're just whining because you are one of those naturally grumpy people (ok, maybe a little bit ad Hominem there). I enjoyed the new 3d graphics, shader effects and other neat things like having fireteams of infantry and found it to be far more immersive than previous iterations were, even back in the day they were made when I was an easily impressed teenager. I'm glad Westwood has decided to take advantage of the improvements to computer technology that have presented themselves since they wrote the first command and conquer game back in '95. Sprite based games such as Red Alert 2 really don't look as nice and don't allow for some more complex abilities and simulation elements.

I don't see what you are complaining about though, the original Command & Conquer is still quite a fun, playable game even though it lacks the computationally intensive refinements that you claim not to want. I still play classic games like it, despite my willingness to spend admittedly a largish chunk of my income to keep up with the latest hardware advances it stands to reason that you should too if you are unwilling to upgrade.

As for Starcraft II, I hope they set a moderately ambitious hardware target, more detail to look at and cool effects do a lot for attracting those beyond the core of hardcore Blizzard fans who would buy it even if it was just the old game with different missions. But I doubt they will, blizzard is more conservative with these things than even Westwood, I'm sure you'll get what you want this time.

What is "top-of-the-line" (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044675)

First of all, what gives you the idea that your computer is or was top-of-the-line? Just because it was expensive and/or your salesperson said it was doesn't make it so. I have several older machines, ranging from 1-4 years old. Most of them weren't exactly top-of-the-line when I got them. All are capable of playing C&C3. The primary machine I use is a laptop, which - while I'm not sure on the exact date it came out - I can find press releases going back to 2003. For the record, it's an HP zd7000 laptop, and it runs C&C3.

So for all those that moan that their "cutting edge" machine can't run the game, I'd say that perhaps your complaint should not be to the game manufacturer, but rather that you were cheated by whomever sold you the machine...

Lastly, given that Blizzard tends to try and reach a larger, less cutting-edge audience (making games playable on both high-end and lesser hardware), I fully expect that my machine will happily play Starcraft 2 in the future.

What is this "buy" you talk about (1)

DRAGONWEEZEL (125809) | more than 7 years ago | (#20049455)

Real Gamers Build their machines from the silicon up! Infusing their Blood and mana into grains of sand forming the very logic gates required to emulate a Geforce 7950 GT KO..

Er uh.. Gamers build their machines w/ parts from NEW EGG!

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045103)

Don't worry, Starcraft 2 is basically Starcraft in the WC3 engine with some bright colors added.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045633)

Don't worry, Starcraft 2 is basically Starcraft in the WC3 engine with some bright colors added.

yes, and the fax machine is just a waffle iron with a phone attached.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

10Neon (932006) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046047)

I am sure Artanis would have something to say to that. Something like, "This is not WarCraft [3] in Space, [with some bright colors added], it's much more sophisticated!" ...And from what I understand they created a completely new engine for SC2, designed to be able to handle StarCraft-scale numbers of units on the screen as opposed to the numbers you'd typically see in WarCraft games.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046263)

Oh shit, 50 units instead of 30, like zomg and stuff, it isn't like Total Annihilation was doing this in full 3d in 97/98 or anything. Oh wait, it wasn't, it was able to handle 100+ on screen easily, theoretically TA could handle hundreds/thousands on screen, but pathfinding AI for units was hardcoded into the executeable or some shit, so pathfinding breaks down when >200 units are moving at once. Truly epic to watch 150 bombers or fighters swarm on a base.

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045165)

C&C3 works fine on geforce 6100 INTEGRATED graphics card... only when really huge amounts of units start moving it slows down, also the nucululelear blasts slow it down to crawl.
I DO have athlon x2 3800, and 2GB of (slowest ddr2 out there) ram, but thats certainly isnt 1) needed for that game... 2) highend specs, wasnt that even a year ago.

Maybe you forgot to turn the details to minimum, or havent tried the demo at all?

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (1)

SP33doh (930735) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045729)

they're making starcraft 2 VERY scalable. (they want all of the people in korea with half rate PCs to be able to play it.)

Re:I love it. I won't buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20047901)

Athlon64 3200+, 1.5 GiB RAM, GeForce 6800GT, Windows XP 64-bit. That is two years old, mid-range hardware.
C&C3 runs FINE.

Black hole attack sucks! (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043419)

Really, the black hole attack sucks.
Its about 3 minutes in and it just makes them whirl around and get sucked down the drain.
Where is the spaghettification and dilation effects?

Re:Black hole attack sucks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045619)

Whenever they hit the black-hole attack on the video I always groan. The last thing that I want in the middle of a battle is a slow, swirling "Look! My ships have turned into silly putty!" death.

Splosions please.

Let me give orders in pause! (2, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043451)

I can't play most RTS games singleplayer (don't even talk about multiplayer, it's a joke). Why? Because I can't handle the simultaneous loads. (According to someone with a medical degree, this is probably autism in action.) I have to be able to stop the game, look around, check on things, and so on... Otherwise, I can't keep up, because I can't build up my base while I'm directing armies -- because, while I'm directing the army, my brain completely forgets about the base. I have to pause frequently and queue up orders.

So I do just fine at Rise of Nations or Rise of Empires, or WH40K:DoW, but I am absolutely worthless at Warcraft or Starcraft. And, having learned this, I just don't play them any more, at all.

If they were to make it so that I could pause the game, scroll around the map, and give orders, I would probably really enjoy the game. I love RTS when they can accommodate my quirks.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043529)

I think that would go against the whole idea of "RTS" seeing as that means "real-time strategy."

But what you are talking about is a good system that works well for multi-member RPG parties in a single-player game. It was used in Baldur's Gate and BGII to great sucess.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (3, Insightful)

iainl (136759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043613)

It sounds to me like the genre you're after is Turn-based Strategy. The pressure of having to get everything done quickly and cope with multiple demands on your attention are the very essence of what makes an RTS different.

Don't feel bad; I'm just the same for the most part.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044147)

It sounds to me like the genre you're after is Turn-based Strategy. The pressure of having to get everything done quickly and cope with multiple demands on your attention are the very essence of what makes an RTS different.
Nah, he's just looking for an RTS game that allows pausing while still issuing orders.

Turn-based are not the same as RTS. The problem with turn-based is that you have tons of rules designed to make the game FEEL like it's occurring in real-time, a way of working around the limitation of not running in real-time! I can understand it when we're talking about playing a miniatures wargame since there's no computer. It always felt weird when playing it on a computer because you could do some very weird things. I always thought it was funny how you could have one enemy guy standing in the open, then you could move three guys near him and open fire. The more advanced designs allowed you to keep movement points reserved after your turn so a unit could expend those points to return fire during the enemy's turn. Some games allow any attacked unit a chance to counter-attack no matter how many turns were expended so three attackers will see three counter-attacks. But it just feels so artificial and funny.

I think the real problem is that twitch rules current RTS's and there are no games intended for a more sedate pace. It'd be like if cartoony action-movie shooters ruled the roost and meant you could never find reality-based shooters. At least with shooters there's room for both. Sometimes you want to play as Rambo, sometimes you want to play by the rules of physics and logic.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045239)

I would almost agree, except that turn-based strategy implies a different kind of game...a kind that I hate.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045441)

The problem is, no one makes turn-based strategy (or turn-based anything) any more. Realtime is more impressive looking, so that's all we get, even when turn-based makes a better game.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 7 years ago | (#20048745)

The problem is, no one makes turn-based strategy (or turn-based anything) any more.

The latest Civ 4 expansion just came out this month.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

neuraljazz (307431) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043621)

Most RTS have a game speed for single player. C&C3 doesn't allow you to slow it down DURING the game, but as part of the set up, you can slow it down.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043647)

RTS stands for "Real Time Strategy"...

how exactly would it be "real time" if you could pause?

Part of the challenge is learning to multi task effectively.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043919)

There's a huge difference in experince between an RTS-with-pause and a TBS. They are NOT the same thing!

Try WH40K or Rise of Foo. Both allow orders and review in pause; neither has suddenly become turn-based.

I understand that part of the challenge is learning to multitask effectively. I can't. My brain won't do it; you might as well build me a game based on learning to instinctively read facial expressions.

For me, it's a question of needing an occasional chance to pause and flush my queue; I can handle a couple of things, but every so often I need to stop and go look at things. I enjoy the basic principle that all the units move simultaneously, and most of the time, I enjoy that; I just can't track three things at once.

Face Training DS (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045997)

My brain won't do it; you might as well build me a game based on learning to instinctively read facial expressions.
Isn't such a product [joystiq.com] coming out for the Nintendo DS Lite in Japan, with a camera that fits in the DS Lite's GBA slot?

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043653)

I love RTS when they can accommodate my quirks.

I sympathise because I can't handle it either. However, stopping the game would mean that it's no longer an RTS but some kind of turn or phase based game right? What are all the RTS fans supposed to do? Maybe I'm reading you incorrectly and you mean a game where you can have it both ways...

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043899)

Because I can't handle the simultaneous loads. (According to someone with a medical degree, this is probably autism in action.) I have to be able to stop the game, look around, check on things, and so on... Otherwise, I can't keep up, because I can't build up my base while I'm directing armies -- because, while I'm directing the army, my brain completely forgets about the base. I have to pause frequently and queue up orders.

Why not just play Civilization?

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043991)

I play that too, but I really like the "all actions are simultaneous" thing.

In Civ-like games, there's weird strategies that are introduced by the fact that all actions occur in turns. In RTS games, you don't have situations where first-strike goes to whichever unit's turn it is; it's down to unit attributes. I like that, and enjoy it; it's just that the same thing that makes it a major accomplishment requiring years of training and practice for me to mostly remember that I have food in the oven makes it impractical to play a game if I can't pause it and look around.

Honestly, even without orders while paused, just being able to look around in pause might be enough to make it viable. I do need time to stop and integrate occasionally, though.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044673)

My issue is that a large portion of RTS games are playing at near-twitch levels. I never liked playing RTS games where the units flew across the screen at speeds approaching jet aircraft (unless of course, they were jet aircraft).

I like to play them at a pace that more approximates a realistic speed.

Though I have found that games which involve some level of squad AI helped a bit with my dislike for the extreme micromanagement.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044843)

Total agreement on squad AI.

One of the things that always killed me in Warcraft was difficulty mousing fast enough and reliably enough; I could fail because I couldn't select a unit fast enough.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20043915)

I have the same problem. But I have great micromanagement skills for battles. So I end up doing one of two things when I play Starcraft: playing on a team where I can control the army and someone else builds the base, or following a rush strategy where I charge in with an early army, and if I don't win right then, I can safely concede the game.

Some suggestions (4, Informative)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044007)

If they were to make it so that I could pause the game, scroll around the map, and give orders, I would probably really enjoy the game. I love RTS when they can accommodate my quirks.

If you want true task isolation together with realtime action, try a Total War game. You can either get the latest Medievil II iteration or the now-cheap Rome, Medievil or Shogun varients. The campaign, with building, recruitment and deployment are turnbased while battles are realtime. In these realtime battles, not only can you move the camera and give orders while paused, you can only have one battle and there is no base to worry about when that happens. Furthermore units are grouped into formations of 40-200 soldiers depending on type so you've only got a very finite amount to worry about (up to 20 formations and not always that many). Plus pinning an enemy flank with a couple of phalanxes then breaking them with a charge by heavy cavalry from the side makes you feel like a big man nomatter how many times you do it, but that's beside the point. Also beside the point is that its one of the only games where battle organisation counts for far more than base building, citys have limited productivity and so you've gotta make what you can produce count and the units are grouped and simulated in a way that you CAN do clever things with them such as ambushes, flanking, hit and run, encirclement and use weapons of fear and they work a lot better than a blunt charge with superior numbers.

If you wanna stick strictly in the genre though, try Supreme Commander which allows you to pan, zoom and give orders when it is paused, queue up orders, edit order queues, automate some tasks (like construction, rebuilding and air transportation) or even split your screen and point half of it at your base to give a wakeup call when something explodes in it. Its pseudo precursor Total Annihilation is similar but doesn't need the same computational grunt as SupCom.

Anyway, I hope you try either of those games, I believe they accommodate your quirks well and they are great games to boot. Another thing to consider is that both games also allow you to change the speed of time in single player battles which could help you no end.

Re:Some suggestions (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044491)

I'll put 'em in my list of games to consider. Sadly, I'm pretty much restricted to Mac games these days, too, but maybe I can work something out; I've been sorta grudgingly keeping a Windows install around for the RTS games.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20044017)

Like you, I prefer to have some time to make decisions- whether in-game decisions or in real-life (don't try to push me into making a purchase- I need to think about it). To me a good strategy game should be about how well you use your resources and plan out your moves, rather than who can click their mouse the fastest or remember numerous key combinations during the middle of battle (not that those are irrelevant- but those don't test strategy in my opinion). I used to describe myself as deliberate, thoughtful, and task-oriented, but maybe the new description is "autistic".

On the other hand some people who seem to be excellent at multitasking (I remember my college CS advisor who was already in the middle of a game of minesweeper between the time when the previous student left the office and I entered- probably less than 5 seconds. He also had sign in his office "A clean desk is a sign of a dysfunctional mind") now get tagged as ADD.

How soon before we all use dysfunctions to describe our behaviors?

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044731)

Most Blizzard RTS's have a speed option you can adjust with the + and - key to slow down stop or resume action. So Single player SC 2 might be okay. But yeah if you can't multi task you will be permanantely dominated in all multiplaye rgames.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20044971)

That's why I don't play multiplayer.

Given even a little pausing, though, I can really enjoy singleplayer. I'm okay with not being able to play some parts of the game, but I really like the basic structure of the RTS genre, and Warcraft in particular was excellent fun... Until the levels got too hectic for me, and I couldn't cope anymore.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

Odin_Tiger (585113) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045447)

I agree with your conclusion (it would be nice to be able to queue orders while paused), but not with your reasons. What kills me on most RTS games is the harder difficulty levels...but not in RoN. Why? The computer's strategy at harder difficulty levels isn't too bad. It's the computer's speed that I can't compete with. The computer can tell 3 different barracks at 3 different bases each on a different corner of the map to build 10 each of 3 different classes in 1/10 of a second. All the mouse speed + precision + hotkey usage in the world will never let anybody but a few freaky-fast teens in Korea to keep up. I've never run into a strategy from an AI in an RTS that is unbeatable if you're up against a human with the same strategy. That's what drives me up the wall. I play RTS's when I want to exercise the brain a little bit. I play FPS's when I want to practice 'twitch' skills.

Basically, I wouldn't mind losing an RTS on 'Hard' if it was because the computer was adapting and improving it's strategy to beat me (i.e., outhinking me). I do mind losing when it's just doing the same damned thing it did on 'Medium', but at superhuman pace. The really frustrating thing, though, is that even on 'Easy', it's still super-fast. It builds a stupid base defense and a stupid offensive force...really really fast.

I don't need to pause to think out my strategy. I know what I want to do. I just need to pause so I can get it all done at a pace comparable to the computer.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045469)

With RoN, I tried some experiments, abusing the pause and slow stuff heavily.

I could, at the slowest speed, pausing and giving orders and restarting constantly, just barely outperform the computer...

But in fact, even then, it was just that I made decisions better; I had the nearest peasant build something, not just a random one. I queued things up in an order that maximized income growth. Things like that; underneath it all, the computer was still pushing buttons way faster than I could.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045529)

Try Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. It's like a faster-paced Homeworld (it starts off very slow-paced but as the firepower increases, things get more frantic), you can issue orders while paused, and there's no resource management, just pure combat. It's really quite pretty too.

Really though, I would like an RTS with better friendly AI and scenarios that used it, so that I can issue general orders to competent commanders instead of having to move my units around like they were plastic army men.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

pseudochaos (1014063) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047017)

Look into the Civilization series of strategy games. They're turn based, and I found them deeply engrossing.

Re:Let me give orders in pause! (1)

donatzsky (91033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20049047)

You may want to give Ground Control a shot. While I don't think you can give orders while paused (it's been awhile since I played it), it is pure combat - no base building or anything.
You may still be able to get GC1 for free here [fileplanet.com] or find it for next to nothing in a [forgot-the-word]-bin.
Btw: GC2 shouldn't be nearly as good.

Geologists are stunned (3, Funny)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 7 years ago | (#20043725)

I still think this [cad-comic.com] is the funniest portrayal of South Korea's reaction to Starcraft II.

Re:Geologists are stunned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20044403)

I don't get it.

Ahh, puberty! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20045701)

Grandparent post: 13 year-old male.
Parent post: 10-year-old male.

Re:Geologists are stunned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046065)

Joke 1: North and South Korea resolve animosity because of an ultra popular video game.
Joke 2: Name of treaty is 3v3 BGH which stands for three versus three on the popular custom map "Big Game Hunters"
Joke 3: The pants sales are because they are shitting their pants.
Joke 4: The peninsula's new shape is self-explanatory even without the announcer's voiceover explaining it.

Personally I would have tried to trim it down to just the 3v3 BGH joke since the others just aren't very funny.

Protoss (2, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#20045317)

> Protoss

I still think that Protoss admiral was an idiot for flying his carrier into the giant brain. I assure you, I had that battle well under control.

20 or so of those big terran mobile missle launchers'll do the trick just fine...

Re:Protoss (1)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046133)

Feh. I'd rather have the option of being Kodos for the day.

Re:Protoss (1)

10Neon (932006) | more than 7 years ago | (#20046275)

Except there weren't any Terran units, or Protoss units for that matter, that had mastered the powers of both the High Templar -and- the Dark Templar. If you'd killed the Overmind with just 20 Goliaths, it would have just sprung back to life the moment you turned your head.

Re:Protoss (1)

Mathonwy (160184) | more than 7 years ago | (#20047877)

Well, unless they just kept shooting it so that it was under control, so that Tassadar could just wander up and say "huh. Yup, that's the overmind. Yup, it'll keep regrowing.... huh. Lemme get that for ya... > Ok. All better. Let's go home!"

Trying to shoehorn a dramatic ending to the battle just felt jarring, because for many people, the end wasn't that dramatic.

Blizzard is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20046689)

Cmon folks, remember, Blizzard is evil.
Reasons not to buy Blizzard:
#1: They bring lawsuits against third party servers such as Bnetd. http://kotaku.com/gaming/business/blizzard-wins-la wsuit-vs-bnetd-22589.php [kotaku.com]

#2: They delete your account information and your characters.
I have had thousands of hours worth of Diablo 2 characters deleted by their stupid 90 day rule, and multiple times lost my WC3 account name.

#3: Embrace change. Instead of banning MapHack users, Blizz should have created a separate Realm for them, then integrated many positive features people were using into the client. (More visible enemy life bars, enemy radar, marking location of map exits.) I do approve of them banning cheaters, (users that use MH to PVP, using chest hacks and item duping hacks), but MH should be considered entirely a cheat, it was more along the lines of a 3'rd party mod to enhance gameplay.

Upshot: Their policies suck, and because you can't create your own server without fear of jail time there's nothing you can do about it. Wait until they release the server software before buying.

What's not mentioned in the article is 3rd party gaming support. The map/scripting creator in WC3 is the most totally freakin awesome creation they've ever done. I hated WC3, but played the mods for thousands of hours.

- BadlyBurnedByBlizzard
P.S. Blizzard.. release the source for d2 so we can create new mods/update/improve it.

YOU MUST CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL PYLONS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20048055)

YOU MUST CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL PYLONS.

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