September 24th, 2010 by Potato

I’ve had a chance to play StarCraft 2 a fair bit now, and I’ve gotten used to the changes from the classic Brood Wars. It’s a fun game, no doubt about that, and some of the custom maps really show off the capabilities of the map creator. There are some minor balance tweaks left to come (though I can’t say I’ve found any of the items Blizzard is changing in the 1.1 patch to be an issue — though I do think Zerg need a faster way of getting anti-air units).

However, I think I still prefer WarCraft III’s gameplay. Here’s why:

  1. Army sizes. I liked the (much) smaller armies of WCIII – each unit was somehow precious, and it provided a more balanced focus on micromanagement and macromanagement together. [For the non-gamers, micro is controlling each unit individually, using abilities, etc., while macro is about getting your economy up, pumping out as many units as you can, and getting the unit mix right].
  2. The economic trade-off of getting a larger army. In WCIII if you built up your army above key supply points you’d face penalties to your resource gathering, providing some benefit to keeping a small, nimble force rather than just massing up and trying to steamroll somebody, or at least trying to delay that final build-up as long as possible. In SC2, there’s constantly pressure to keep building up, and no penalty for keeping a large force just sitting around.
  3. The Creep (aka mobs) gave people a reason to leave their base. Yes, a large part of the reason was to level up their hero, and I can totally understand that SC2 is a different game with no heroes, so I’m not going to add that to my list, but nonetheless, it was an interesting mechanic to shake things up and get people doing something besides building up for the final armageddon clash. Having forces roaming the map made open-country clashes more likely, rather than having to try to besiege a base. It also made it a little more interesting to pull off a rapid expansion strategy.
  4. Non-resource map features to fight over. SC2 has the Xel’Naga towers to provide sight, but beyond that the only focus points on the maps are the resource locations (expansion sites). There aren’t any shops or restoration pools for someone to take an interest in holding or visiting.
  5. Scroll of town portal. I bolded this one because I almost exclusively play team games, and in WCIII the ability to teleport to your ally’s aid was critical when they were attacked. In SC2, there is no such ability, so on maps where allies are separated, it becomes very very difficult to be the defender. Some ability like this is what I miss most in SC2. Two (or more) players can almost always gang up on one, making early(ish) rushes a dominant strategy in team maps where the players are separated. In single-player games its really a non-issue, but hey, I’m not playing single-player much.

One Response to “SC2 vs WCIII”

  1. Bug’s Brain - Says:

    […] StarCraft II Potato posted his thoughts recently on the game after having a few months to play it. Unless he’s completely given up on his thesis, I would deduce that the majority of the team games he’s been playing have been with me. Mostly we play 2v2 against the Very Hard AI. […]