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Largest Party on the Planet – DreamHack SC2 Report

DreamHack is the world’s largest and most spectacular LAN party. Blizzard has been represented well on the main floor, with WarCraft 3 (+DoTA) ,World of WarCraft: Wrath the Lich King and StarCraft 2 all available and playable, with WarCraft 3 and DoTA being part of the eSports events.

DreamHackLogo

Out of the thousands of gaming rigs, only 16 had StarCraft 2 installed, but these were enough for GosuGamers to compile quite an extensive hands-on gameplay report, spanning multiple pages and covering

  • Graphics
  • Mechanics
  • Macro Management

Graphics:

StarCraft 2′s initial graphics and unit design were criticized by many fans for lacking the rough, dirty, mechanical feel that StarCraft 1 graphics have so masterfully projected. Initially, graphics were shiny, lively and colorful, and Blizzard did what Blizzard does best – it asked the community for feedback. And then the community answered, and they have listened.

cute fluffy older graphics

Over the next few weeks we will be trying out a few things on the upcoming screenshots, including a reduced saturation which will increase the realism of the units and environment.

The reports from DreamHack address that exact concern, and news from the front seem to be good:

has been concerns that the graphic is too bright, or that the units look too much like toys. Playing the game, however, it all felt just right. It felt down worn and dirty, especially on the darker tilesets of maps

Mechanics:

Path algorithms are hard to program. Path algorithms that respond perfectly and consistently to a constantly changing environment with multiple human inputs at any given time are even harder.
Now that you know that, you should also know that apparently Zerglings have some AI and path selection issues which will hopefully be solved before the game hits beta.
The Zerg are also experiencing some unit acceleration and response issues, with Mutalisks receiving noticeable acceleration/deceleration and momentum adjustment mechanisms.

The Mutalisks were clumsy. ….

….First, it takes for ever for them to accelerate. Meaning of you do a turn or an attack or anything than flying in a straight line they are slow as hell.
Second, sometimes I would order them to make a turn to go somewhere else, and they would instead end up on a slightly different spot from where I ordered them to go to!

Calculating the paths of clumped mutalisks ?

One of StarCraft’s deadliest weapons have been well controlled clumped Mutalisks. The ability to move fast, hit hard and change targets repeatedly according to their vulnerability has provided the Zerg with one of the best hit n’run tools in any RTS. Apparently, StarCraft 2 Zerg players will have to adjust their tactics, especially considering the fact that everything owns Mutalisks.

Macro – MBS, Gas and Automining:

StarCraft 2′s automation mechanisms have been debated from the very start – the game contains significantly less “chores” and streamlines production and worker management. Trivial tasks are made truly trivial, leaving more time for battles… and babysitting gas.

the gas mechanic. It’s annoying. It doesn’t ruin anything really, but it’s just annoying hearing a BEEP BEEP everytime it goes offline and online. Sure, it creates an interesting aspect but it’s too annoying. Blizzard said they try to put in cool stuff and units. Well this is not cool in any way. if it’s done to make macro harder, just remove automining instead.

Blizzard should probably notice and address the concerns raised by many gamers regarding the Vespene Gas mechanic. It feels forced, and as one of our readers put it,

putting speed bumps like this in the way of pro players is just gonna frustrate casual players

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16 Comments to “Largest Party on the Planet – DreamHack SC2 Report”


  1. BarGamer — December 5, 2008 @ 8:26 pm

    *sob* I wish I had went. It sounded awesome.

  2. Jason Lee — December 5, 2008 @ 10:11 pm

    wtf is a gosu?

  3. Xavator18 — December 6, 2008 @ 1:03 am

    i totally agree with the gas mechanics being a problem to most players…I know it’s really something challenging for the pro players. They would really want to compete and see who has the best micro in the battlefield.

    But for us normal, just-play-for-fun StarCraft Players, it really becomes another extra thing that we have to look after for. Take for instance in StarCraft 1, we have to take care of:-

    a) Base building
    b) Base expansion
    c) Tech Upgrade
    d) Unit production
    e) Amount of food supplies for our units
    f) Micro-ing forces for attacks WHILE producing more units for backup

    those above may not be much of a problem for some fast-handed players, but for me, it’s really more than enough. Adding the Gas Mechanics like this, in my opinion, will certainly affect, if not everyone, my performance in-game.

  4. Bambi — December 6, 2008 @ 2:47 am

    @ Jason
    Gosu is the parmanent state of mind of all Koreans from birth till death. The white man has periods of Gosu during his life, which he should use wisely.

  5. Sgt.Terran22 — December 6, 2008 @ 9:26 am

    I think Blizzard should be careful of how much realism they put in. I mean the other star craft had way too much realism which made it dull and boring looking. So integrating the realism and cartoon factor should be a balance. It will be a huge task for the Blizzard design team to pull that off. If the game play is good, the balance of realism and cartoon like drawings will make it much better. :)

  6. Lipton — December 6, 2008 @ 9:27 am

    I played SC2 at BlizzCon and the dual Gas was the most annoying thing… if it wasn’t for that I think my first time playing SC2 would have been flawless enjoyment :)

    Dustin said however that it most likely would be removed.

  7. Sgt.Terran22 — December 6, 2008 @ 9:28 am

    Needs better tech support and patching shouldnt involve viruses. Halo is a cool game because u dont have to worry about viruses on your computer.

  8. Sgt.Terran22 — December 6, 2008 @ 9:29 am

    I think one thousand or more players who want to play starcraft are not playing because of continues virus pop ups.

  9. Jason Lee — December 6, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

    lol that’s fucking hilarious

  10. Yokelassence — December 6, 2008 @ 3:28 pm

    Sgt.Terran22 I would advise you to do a bit of research on how viruses work. They attack your operating system, not your games, under no curcumstances will any video game you own offer protection from viruses, especially not Halo. Symantec and Microsoft need to worry about them, not Blizzard.

    Halo is ‘cool’ because of the overpowered pistol, no further reasons

    Anyway, The Gas Mechanic certainly is not looking good right now but remember that Blizzard wanted players to pay more attention to gas. In Starcraft 1; you just assign 3 miners to a gyser and forget about it. I cant really think of a better way to make people manage gas more.

  11. NX — December 9, 2008 @ 12:47 pm

    Just to clarify – there were 20PC with SC2 (not 16) and it was completly enough. And it was awesome as well, you could play for hours withnout having to leave the PC – i played over 100 games there ;)

    Anyway the current warpgate mechanism with combination of prisms is way too overpowered – just build 5-8 warpgates and then you’re ready to deploy 5-8 units of ANY desired type ANYWHERE – into enemy base, into the battlefied, to defend base or any exps. Suddenly having 8 Immortals OR DTs in base means gg for most players … I won 37 of 40 games with just using that…

    Anyway the game it self there was on a HDD encrypted with TrueCrypt with about 25+ chars password… it was impossible to catch it :(

  12. Xavator18 — December 10, 2008 @ 8:39 am

    @NX
    I thought that the warpgate only works within pylon radius?

  13. Yokelassence — December 10, 2008 @ 1:53 pm

    It also works within phase Prism Radius

    Keep those missile turrets handy

  14. NX — December 12, 2008 @ 7:11 am

    Yeah… but also in pylon its very powerful – for exp you need Nexus and Pylon and enemy have a lot harder situation.

  15. Starcraft 2 — December 27, 2008 @ 8:12 pm

    doesn’t gosu mean pro in korean ?

  16. تكبير القضيب — January 31, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    Terrific designing, at last discovered a source for impressive background images

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