This Is How Fast Korean Starcraft Players Are

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crus_russ

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Thanks for your constructive argument. I understand where you are coming from and this is why I am not saying "SC sux, play COH". I am exploring the merits of each in a rational approach.

I appreciate that SC has strategy and it is not just a click contest, however, for all of the things you mentioned COH not only has the same concept but in my opinion an improved concept. Let me explain by discussing 3 of the points you raised:

1.) Armour system. This provides soft and hard counters (e.g. a bullet shooter cant hurt a tank, but a missle shooter can). Or siege tanks are effective vs buildings. etc. Both games have these concepts which I like. However COH has armour FACING. This is real world - tanks and vehicles have stronger armour on the front and are susceptible to additional damage from the rear or sides. This means the micro is INTERESTING, as in, try to flank a tank, or try to keep your injured tanks rear away from the enemy fire etc. What is the equivilent in SC? Try to back up a unit out of another units range while you reload your special attack? Doesnt seem as interesting (and BTW recharging of abilities is a facet of COH as well so you can still do this if you want to).

2.) Economy - of course this is important and both games require macro strategy. But this is my main gripe with SC, in order to do macro effectively you need APMs. It's almost like "micro" Macro. You need to click on lots of stuff in order to IMPLEMENT your macro strategy.

In COH this is massively improved. How? Well your economy (including your pop cap - geez if I need to build one more pop cap building in SC I will go crazy) is based on areas around the map that you have conquered (by planting a flag in that sector). Ok so what does this mean? This means that EVERY SQUARE INCH of the map is useful and fought over during the match. This was first offered up in Dawn of War 1 and I was instantly in love with the concept. No need to worry about worker units. So you might say "then raiding workers has been cut out of the game", this is not true, you dont raid worker units, you raid resource points and cut off an enemies sectors. if there is no supply line from the HQ to a given sector the enemy wont receive resource units from it. (I am not even going to go into how cool it is having 3 different resource types that actually have a logical point and impact the gameplay in an interesting way).

3.) Different armies - Yes Blizzard hit the jackpot with SC1 compared to all RTS at the time for coming up with 3 vastly different races. Protoss slow and powerful, zerg fast and cheap, terran jack of all trades (over simplification i know). What about COH? Surely you have played this. There are 4 armies and they are VERY different. You need to learn each army just like SC. Each army has 3 in game doctrines to change how they fight so thats 4 x 3 = 12 different styles. How many possible match ups is that??

Now to the crux of my argument. SC1/2 have things about the game that make the macro a pain in the a$$ and mean those with better APM have a distinct advantage. I just cannot understand why Blizzard didnt introduce this model:

1.) Make units into squads. Build a squad and use re-inforcing like COH so you dont need to group units manually and baby sit them.
2.) Provide a retreat feature (reinforcing a squad is cheaper than buying a new one, plus squads can gain veterency which impact how they play).
3.) Allow squads to have semi AI, so they take cover by themselves etc.

Now you will say "well good micro can do all those things"
 

crus_russ

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Now you will say "well good micro can do all those things"and this is EXACTLY my point. I want to spend my brain and clicking cycles thinking about my STRATEGY and not pressing a hundred hotkeys to do to 1,2,3 above.

See my point?
 

kibi

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Let's go through this one by one, now. On the armour standpoint, It's not immediately apparent from a theoretical standpoint, while in practice keeping your army in formation is key simply because of the frailty and often high cost of powerful units. Protecting these units is crucial, and since armies tend to lead with their meatshields, being caught from behind or while out of position can easily be devastating. Now, if we're going to sit here and go purely on theory, COH's version of things seems more dynamic, but the exact same decisions can yield the exact same results with a simpler system, making most of those conventions seem sort of roundabout in practice.

2: Yes, in order to macro properly, you require APM. Not as much as you think, as 100 APM will stick you at D+ on ICCUP (No mean feat, as anyone who even sniffed D+ on iccup is at least mid diamond in SC2) That's like complaining about having to run in a sport. It's simply a physical aspect placed on top of the very big mental aspect of the game. I'll touch upon why this is truly important later. Similarly, I think saying that "every single square inch of the map is fought for" is splitting hairs in an RTS, as both play more into the style of the game than quality of play. Not to mention, some of SC's matchups do end up being "Fighting for every square inch of the map" games (Terran vs Terran anyone?)

3: Different armies: Here's the question I'll posit, my CoH playtime has been fairly short, as are most games that I don't fall completely in love with. Give me a breakdown of how different these armies are. I'd like some examples before I pass judgement on this, as I can give you copious examples of the completely unique relationships between the three races, so much so that there is literally no overlap; No single matchup is "similar" to another in any way shape or form in starcraft. No race shares anything more than superficial traits, in fact, they don't even share tech tree structures and layout as Warcraft three found itself doing, as do nearly all RTSes.

Now, finally, here's why the three suggestions would obliterate everything starcraft stands for, which is by all means with no real counterpoints the sole true professionally played RTS, and far and away the only one that could have facilitated it's 10 years without any stagnation in strategies, tactics, or excitement.

And while what you say about APM giving an advantage is true, it's no more than the advantage of running fast in a basketball game. You can run fast all you want, but if you lack the skills, knowledge, experience and intelligence, it's all for naught. Same goes for APM. the suggestions you put out are like removing running from basketball. Also, starcraft has a retreat feature, it's called "running away". It causes the exact same outcome with the exception of situations where you have an immobile force out of position against a mobile one. At that point, it's punishing the player for bad decision making, which I doubt anyone is against. As far as Semi-AI goes, I'm going to be blunt: In a strategy game, having the computer play for you is stupid. Now I don't mean that "Automation is bad". Not a single rational starcraft player is angry that you no longer have to split your workers at the beginning of the game. A lot of people aren't exactly bothered by the fact that workers now go to work on their own. Automation is not a bad thing, but there's a limit. In fact, if you include the removal of macro, any high need for micro, and a whole bunch of other things, you have nothing better to do than take care of your units, and maybe sip some tea while you're at it.

But now, let's delve into the positive aspects of Starcraft's high APM. high APM requirements are why starcraft is still an exciting game to watch a decade later. high APM is why games can be varied so much, simply because the decisions and idiosyncracies create playstyles within playstyles. A pro starcraft afficionado can tell one player's marine control from another's, simply because the game's depth and physical requirement allow for unique playstyles to form. There are nine matchups, but within the nine matchups, every player can be broken down into either being a mostly micromanagement or mostly macromanagement player, meaning the player prioritizes one over the other, simply because nobody can truly do both perfectly. within that, since each unit has to be controlled, even the subtle movements and tiny choices add up and separate the amateurs from the B-teamers, the B teamers from the A teamers, and the A teamers from the "I make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year playing starcraft" teamers. If the computer is controlling any of this, the idiosyncracies disappear.
 

crus_russ

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I agree with you on your final paragraph regarding the high APM requirement creating a context within which players can continue to improve over the course of 10 years and separate pros from A teamers to B teamers etc. An analogy to this would be auto aim in FPS games. If FPS games had "aiming assitance" you would not see as large a separation in skill levels.

I wont go into the subject of COH's different armies, but I have played both games at length and I know Relic has created vastly different armies (not just different units, but different styles entirely). However this is not worth arguing over because both games have done this well.

To answer your analogy regarding running in basketball. What I am talking about with SC1/2 micro is like playing basketball and having to consciously redirect your hand with the ball 5 times per second (300 APM) or manually control every muscle in your arm and hand. You dont do this because your nervous system takes care of it. When playing basketball you just go "im gonna shoot or pass over there" and it happens. All the annoying micro is taken care of allowing you to focus on the larger aspects of what is occuring.

Did you ever play Total Annihilation and like how you could shift-click on things to queue up tonnes or orders? Or tell a builder to guard another builder (and it would both repair him as well as help out on any building tasks he has), or tell me builder to patrol a given patch and he would repair any fleets of planes you rest in that area?

My idea of a fun RTS is something like this (this is a hypothetical game, not SC/TA/COH):
1.) Tell a builder to patrol an area of land.
2.) Build some defences there to protect the builder.
3.) Queue up 20 bombers/fighter units and select the rally point to be near the builder.
4.) When they are ready go and do some damage (after scouting of course, maybe knock out their radar tower)
5.) Realise I need to attend to something else, and my planes are damaged so I sent them to the area where the builder is.
6.) Come back in 3-4 minutes and all my planes are repaired AS WELL as a whole bunch more new planes that were being built along the way.

Now I can continue my battle.

The problem with SC/2 is that you would need to individually tell the repair unit to do all those jobs whilst trying to take care of your other initiatives. At least in SC2 you can queue things up but its still a shitload more micro than you should have to worry about.

And that is my main gripe with the game and my original point. SC has this unnecessary level of micro (necessary if you want to make the game have a pro level of distinction maybe?). I see your reasons for supporting it but to the average gamer, well to me at least, it just isnt fun.
 

kibi

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A correction, not really. You can stick a worker on auto-repair, and he'll repair all nearby units. Also, it's not just at a pro level, it's at all levels that the micro increases diversity. It just increases the learning curve to ludicrous levels. You have to enjoy the game outright and have quite a bit of patience for starcraft. So no, the game isn't easy, but that doesn't make it a lesser game, or even less fun for anyone who doesn't mind putting a little effort into a game.
 

crus_russ

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It is a personal preference then. I like to play RTS' like a lounge chair general, beer in 1 hand, doing about 5 APMs and watching my units blow themselves to bits and then hitting retreat - and auto reinforce whilst I worry about something else that is going on.

Thanks for your perspective and insight, as I understand the SC mentality better now.
 
G

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You really don't need that much apm to be good, though it is useful, alot of it is spamming, like in the video above I believe he's tapping 1 and 3, just to recall those hotkeyed items, but not giving them commands, theres litterally not enough to do, until alot later stages of the game to need to do that much.
 
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