Starcraft 2 Released (July 27, 2010)

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Welcome to 2004. You have a lot of catching up to do.

I don't really play many modern games. There's hardly anything in my collection newer then WCP.

A friend bought me SC2 as a present, he's apparently a very good friend! I am shocked at the likeness of the between missions menu to the Starlancer ones (and even the Wing Commander ones! You can click on people to have conversations with them, though I have no idea if any of that affects mission outcome yet!).

I'm still disappointed that I have to be online to play, and I do not enjoy navigating the online menus. Nor do I enjoy having to save my games online. But that's okay. The game is pretty solid, though it's hardly the same as classic Starcraft. Someone above said they won't play the original anymore, I think I will. I rather enjoy it more because it's simpler and more basic then SC2 (though that may just be because I'm such a newb at it!).
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I'm with Jason on this issue too. I have yet to play any game which requires saving things on-line. I really don't like that idea. What happens when the central server goes down, whether temporarily or permanently? I only recently (as in this year) obtained a decent Internet connection. What happens for those people who don't yet have that privilege? ):
 

Frosty

a full fledged GF
I think it's safe to assume that Blizzard isn't going anywhere anytime soon, so worries over savegame availability are probably a non-issue in the near term.

As for whether everyone has an adequate connection, well, if you have a computer that can actually run StarCraft II playably, the connection you'd need to maintain your savegames is kind of a triviality.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Well, I wasn't speaking about StarCraft II in particular, just single-player games in general. I hope this isn't a trend that will continue for all single-player games. I know I'm very much an oddity in this regard, but I don't go out and buy games as soon as they're released - I still have a back-log of games (some of them quite a few years old now) I want to play but don't yet have the time for all of them. Certainly, a game with a central server for saves and such wouldn't be a problem for the year or two after its release, but how about five? Ten? Twenty?

I'm not complaining so much as expressing my concerns, is all.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
After you log in to SC2, if you are playing the campaign and your connection drops you can continue playing and it will save locally*. The only thing you lose this way is the achievements. As for whether battle.net will die soon, Activision-Blizzard is the gaming mega-corp least likely to be eaten by this recession.

*I understand the F.U.D. that online accounts causes after the mess of UbiSoft's trashbin Internet DRM scheme that boots you out of a single player game without saving if you so much as have a bit of packet loss. However as everyone else but UbiSoft has proven since 2004, not every developer/publisher is a thoughtless swarm of goons. And if it sill bugs you, I'm sure there's a hundred websites with cracks to turn it into a proper offline game.

And as I understand it the central savegame bit is meant as a neat little feature so that you can continue your campaign on your work computer without having to drag around a CD-RW (you dirty little IT man, stop playing SC2 on your $50/hr paid time!).
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Something I just found out...

There is a button at the 'login' screen: Play as Guest. That allows you to play fully offline. You may have to still log in at least once to activate the game. I don't really know. I'm not doing a full uninstall/reinstall just to find out.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
And as I understand it the central savegame bit is meant as a neat little feature so that you can continue your campaign on your work computer without having to drag around a CD-RW (you dirty little IT man, stop playing SC2 on your $50/hr paid time!).

Yes, one of my friends pointed this out last night and it is kinda handy to be able to resume a game from anywhere. I had some co-op experiences with some friends last night in a party and I have even MORE concerns about the lack of LAN play:

-We (3) were playing Stacraft 2 while another (1) was browsing the web and another (1) was playing Lord of the Rings online. We were abusing the work FIOS connection to do it, which is supposed to get 25 up and 25 down. After a half hour of game play the person browsing the web was starting to get lots of time out errors. The person play LOTRO was lagging out of the game, but there was no noticeable loss in our Starcraft game aside from some AI related lag spikes. However, we reset the modem and the router to recover performance for the other (which worked). BUT! We had to keep doing this every half hour. Prior to loading up SC2 we had been playing Battlefield 1942 across the LAN with no lag (4) and one person was playing LOTRO for about 5 hours with no performance related issues on the network. This was disturbing to see to say the least.

-Finding friends is a bit tricky unless you know the information before hand, maybe this is a good thing, I don't know. However, the fact that I can't isolate my friends from my other friends is NOT COOL. I would very much like to play with my sister without exposing her to my hordes of obsessive gamer buddies.

-Launching games was a little difficult to figure out. Everytime I went to click on someone in the party menu it showed their profile on top of the game launch menu and it took me several minutes to figure out that we couldn't launch a new game because I was already sitting in a game that was waiting to launch.

-The new chat feature is pretty cool, it works a lot like the Facebook chat, with a bar at the bottom with windows to click on for users. And that was actually really handy.

-Creating a party and jumping into a quick launch game was pretty easy too, all though the quick launch settings set us up for a game that quickly ended because it set the AI to high. Finer control over the quick launch game settings would have been nice.

-Lastly, some of the rendered cut scenes are terrible. I'm running 8 GB of DDR3 with a quad core processor, 1.5 GB of Video Memory on a PCI Express card with Windows 7. But some of these rendered cut scenes make me cringe. They are not at all up to par with the commercials and even the banner advertisements I've seen for the game around the web. I've heard they get progressively worse as you get into the campaign too - I'm only two missions in and already scared. It seems like my Anti-Alias settings aren't high enough, but I'm running everything in the game at Ultra High settings with no lag and the scenes still look awful.
 

Frosty

a full fledged GF
When you say "rendered cut scenes" what do you actually mean? The pre-rendered movies that occasionally appear, or the realtime scenes with Raynor and his buddies? In either case, they look great, but you have to have your settings correct. StarCraft defaulted to "low" for the pre-rendered cutscenes on my computer and I had to put it back to "high" to get the high resolution.

For the realtime scenes, you have to have your game settings cranked way up to really get a nice look.

Antialiasing isn't going to do a thing for the movies, but it should have an immediate and noticeable effect on the in-game cinematics.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Starcraft 2 has no in-game support for AA, but ATI released beta drivers the other day to allow it to be forced through the driver settings.

The realtime scenes look fine. I would've preferred prerendered everything but I understand it was a decision to keep the game's size from getting super big.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
When you say "rendered cut scenes" what do you actually mean? The pre-rendered movies that occasionally appear, or the realtime scenes with Raynor and his buddies? In either case, they look great, but you have to have your settings correct. StarCraft defaulted to "low" for the pre-rendered cutscenes on my computer and I had to put it back to "high" to get the high resolution.

I must mean the realtime scenes, and my graphics ARE cranked up to high (and by high I mean ULTRA) - I haven't been impressed with anything I've seen yet, the textures are pixalated and stuff that should be easy to read (like peoples names) is barely recognizable. I really expected better from a company that owns it's own mint (WoW).

Antialiasing isn't going to do a thing for the movies, but it should have an immediate and noticeable effect on the in-game cinematics.

A pity it's not supported then. I did wonder why I couldn't find settings for it anywhere.

As for the ATI patch, I'm running an NVidia card.
 

Frosty

a full fledged GF
I've seen yet, the textures are pixalated and stuff that should be easy to read (like peoples names) is barely recognizable.
What you're seeing is something wrong. StarCraft II's realtime cutscenes are pretty impressive.
A pity it's not supported then. I did wonder why I couldn't find settings for it anywhere.
Back in my day you always had to force it through drivers.
As for the ATI patch, I'm running an NVidia card.
Well there's your problem.
 

CptnEisen

Spaceman
Actually, modding SC2 is definately possible (and not too difficult) with the built in galaxy editor...

devilray.jpg
 

CptnEisen

Spaceman
A bit more playing around:

I created a Yorktown class carrier, I tried a different approach to emulating how the Protoss carrier works, and instead made it act like like a starport in the game. The carrier has it's own weapons - Battlecruiser style lasers.

I used for this test the mesh from the Wing Commander Saga team rather than one ripped from the game (like my last example)

The downside to a carrier producing fighters this way is that the carrier can not move or attack whilst it is building... I might go back to the Protoss way of building ships - But this may limit the ship to building only one type of fighter (I want the Yorktown class to build Arrows AND Thunderbolts)

carrierh.jpg
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
well.. I wasn't intending to get this (never quite understood the hype from the first ones, but if the above screens are true.. it's worth it just for the mod potential :D
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Well...damn. I think I might spend more time playing SC2 then I originally intended if something like this is put out.
 

CptnEisen

Spaceman
Well, I've had a couple more ideas on how to manage carriers - Shame I have to head out to work in about 10 minutes ;)

Protoss carriers handle interceptors like weapons, one option would be to have air to surface fighters (arrows) and air to air fighters (thunderbolt)

The other option I might explore is having the carriers hold the fighters the same way a bunker holds marines... Working this way, I could still have specific fighters with abilities (Vesuvius building cloakable Lances, Bombers with a special Torpedo attack, etc)
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
The other option I might explore is having the carriers hold the fighters the same way a bunker holds marines... Working this way, I could still have specific fighters with abilities (Vesuvius building cloakable Lances, Bombers with a special Torpedo attack, etc)

Or you could have a separate fighter production facility that builds the fighters, and then you can stock the carrier with whatever fighters you want to carry into battle.
 

CptnEisen

Spaceman
Or you could have a separate fighter production facility that builds the fighters, and then you can stock the carrier with whatever fighters you want to carry into battle.

Actually, this is a really great idea - Something to work on over the next few days :)
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
My copy should arrive in a couple of days. I doubt my computer will be able to run it on anything better than whatever the lowest setting is, but I'm pretty damned excited.
 
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