Why I'm not buying StarCraft 2

I spent countless hours playing the original StarCraft. A buddy and I would stay up till the wee hours playing; our computers connected directly via over the phone dial-up. Our games were more often then not ended by our parents yelling at us to get off. We were tying up the phones, "What if someone had to call us in an emergency?!".

Get StarCraft 2 at Amazon.com

Since StarCraft 2 was announced I'd been desperately trying to get into the beta. Last month, when GameStop started offering beta keys to all pre-orders, was the first chance I had to play.

I put some serious time in. The game is solid, it feels like an old friend. Even in beta form SC2 has more polish than most games that have been released for months. Game companies could learn a thing or two about attention to detail and release quality standards from Blizzard. Of course, Blizzard having a cash cow like World of Warcraft probably helps.

Even with all the quality, I won't be purchasing StarCraft 2.

Three weeks I've been playing StarCraft 2. Lately when I think about sitting down for a game, I start making up excuses.

"Why play? Your odds of winning a game are 50-50. What's the fun of that?" Blizzard can take some of the blame here. They're new matchmaking system dynamically moves you up and down the ranks until it finds you a home. A home where you lose exactly half your games. I understand the competitive mindset that the StarCraft franchise has earned, but what percentage of the gamer base really plays for the competition?

"Why play? Your next game is going to be just like your last. Build a SCV at x level supply, a supply depot at y, get those reapers and attack." Competition is what its all about. You don't want to lose do you? As with any game, certain builds are more effective than others. If you don't use these builds then you're asking to get steamrolled.

You might say: "This is a beta!" Indeed it is, but the bones of the game are there. Blizzard isn't going to change any of the basic game play characteristics now. They're just looking to fine tune the balance.

You might say: "You're forgetting all about the single player game!" This is true. The short teasers of the single play story do look amazing. Is the story $50 amazing? I'm leaning towards no.

in ur base, killin ur doodz

This series of small complaints pile up to a bigger issue. The fun and novelty of the game wear off fast. Its great fun for your first dozen battles. Then the "correct" builds start to become your bread and butter. You get mad when someone wins with "cheese" tactics. Eventually when you think about playing, you realize it's more stressful than fun.

I adore StarCraft and wish I had a solution to bring casual gamers like myself into the fold. But I'm not sure it can be done with SC2. Ironically, If it weren't for the beta, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to test drive StarCraft and realize it wasn't for me. I'm not worried about the game's success, it will be hugely successful without my dollars. I'm worried about future games and weather I'm still the target audience.

  1. avatar dp says:

    don't agree at all, sure you have certain startup builds to get your game started correctly but after that you can't rely on routine, then it goes down to analytical ability and micro, when your strategi fails is when the fun starts, to be able to fend of the other player until you've changed your tech to turn the tides, I guess it's not the game for you but SC2 is far from repetative, every match may contain the same units and buildings but it's still a constant battle of smarts

  2. avatar Jon says:

    This is exactly how I feel, my first impression was "this is great" it has retained much of the originality which made SC such an awesome game.

    And you are right it was like a reunion with a long lost friend. But after having your ass handed to you over and over its all down to build times, even when you do get a good run, your alli will balls up and you end up toast anyway. I will be most likely playing SC2 for the campaign mode because i know it will be enjoyable because at least you have a chance.

  3. avatar Test says:

    This is one of the worst arguments I've ever seen to not buy SC2. You should rename your post: "Why I hate the competitive ladder in SC2".

  4. avatar bd31 says:

    I've been looking for an alternative to chess (my favourite game), and SC2 was a strong candidate. Now I am leaning towards Frozen Synapse, a tactical squad turn based game. It seems more casual. It is still a beta, and I'm looking forward to a demo for my weak ass machine.

  5. avatar Saneesvara says:

    >You might say: “This is a beta!” Indeed it is, but the bones of the game are there. Blizzard isn’t going to change any of the basic game play characteristics now. They’re just looking to fine tune the balance.

    You aren't very familiar with Blizzard's past are you? They'll change just about anything if they think it's not working.

  6. avatar Steve says:

    >You might say: “This is a beta!” Indeed it is, but the bones of the game are there. Blizzard isn’t going to change any of the basic game play characteristics now. They’re just looking to fine tune the balance.

    You aren't very familiar with Blizzard's past are you? They'll change just about anything if they think it's not working.

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    "You aren’t very familiar with Blizzard’s past are you? They’ll change just about anything if they think it’s not working."

    Oh really? Which is why most games they have released after beta have BARELY changed? Right...

  8. avatar Everett says:

    LOL i agree. i was SO hyped for this game as a huge fan of sc 1, then i played beta like 20 games ish... man its not really *FUN*. it mgiht be a great game like chess or whatever but 1.) they keep you losing and 2.) it loses its fun very quickly. playing zerg is bascialy the same exact damn thing as sc 1 except u have to keep spawning larva. when i consider playing, im not excited at all like i used to be with sc1 or wc3. its more stressful than it is fun, for sure. they made a difficult game with a lot of strategy, i guess i jus dont find it fun because its just more of the same

  9. avatar Lord Loco says:

    The price of this game is a major turnoff....
    Whats next blizzard? Releasing diablo 3 as one retail box for each character?
    Stopping ripping off gamers who made you successful in the first place....
    Boycott ftw!!!!!

  10. avatar GGGG says:

    Step 1- Lose in some games online while refusing to improve your skills.
    Step 2- Cry about losing online.
    Step 3- Write an angry review on your blog. lol
    Step 4- Go on to fail at something else.
    Step 5- Write about failing at that on your blog as well.

  11. He's got legitimate complaints. The complaining about his complaints are even more silly.
    If you're expected to drop $60.00 for a game, you having expectations of the game isn't wrong.

    Do I think competitive matching is bad? No, as long as you have the previous features as well. I have to admit I've become annoyed with the online game ladder structure under the old battle.net, but having a computer match me to someone at the same level, I don't know if that works either. How about a matching system by maturity? Where people don't act like punks when they win or lose. That would be better.

    1. Does anyone know if co-op games are still functional?
    2. Can you invite friends to a private game?

    Regardless, I am not purchasing Starcraft II until the price get around $35.00. There are very, very few games that are worth anything over $49.00. The argument "It cost so much due to piracy" is a load of BS. Back in the early 90s they would release games on CD before anyone copy it. The prices just went higher.
    Companies should be able to make a profit. They put a lot of time and monies into the development, but they should also look to provide a customer focused value and respect a consumers rights.
    I don't agree with the EULA at the cost of $60.00. You take the cost down to $35.00 and I am willing to compromise some of my ethics.

    Am I upset by the lack of LAN play?
    YES
    Will it stop me from buying it at $35.00?
    NO

    Am I upset with the map making issues?
    YES
    Will it stop me from buying it at $35.00?
    NO

    Am I upset with the state of game companies and their declining respect for the customers that purchase their wares?
    YES
    Will it stop me from buying it at $35.00?
    NO

    At anything above that, I don't see the value. If they included the 3 race campaigns, had different options for match play, and respected their customers privacy/rights, then I would be willing to spend $49.00.

    I just feel that purchasing something for more and more money when you get less and less, just sets a precedence for more of the behavior. So when someone of you that are really smitten on your purchase of $60.00 and slightly bummed about some of the value, not enough to admit it publicly, you should look forward to receiving even more of the same treatment.

  1. [...] Swarm is the definition of a casual gamers game. It’s the antithesis to StarCraft 2. If you know my opinion on StarCraft 2, you know that’s a good thing. Where StarCraft2 is a frustrating grind that requires a significant time investment to get [...]

Leave a Reply