SC2 is pretty awful now, no longer an RTS + dead game

I signed in recently after leaving since HOTS. The game is literally awful now. HUGE maps where players are on 4 bases at 7 minutes. In Starcraft 1, sometimes there’d be a game where both players were on 1 base for like 10 minutes or even longer because strategy and tactics were so important.

12,000 viewers for the FINALS OF DREAMHACK. What an embarassment. Even during WOL when the maps were imbalanced (still better than todays giant macro maps), there’d be like 120k viewers total. The game has had 10 years to improve it’s ‘craft’, and has gone downhill to 1/10th of its viewers.

I’m relatively certain even a Warcraft 3 or Warcraft 2 tournament would get more net viewers.

In Starcraft 1, even 2 amateurs zerg vs zerging is exciting to watch. I literally fell asleep watching Dreamhack yesterday. It’s just a computer version of build order + rock paper scissors.

In Starcraft 2, any unique strategy you open with is essentially an allin. So you either proxy or you do 1 of maybe 3 build orders for your matchup. There’s almost no room for creativity. The game lacks so much creativity that herO building 5 oracles is considered groundbreaking. “Oh my god he deviated from the 1-3 I produce off the building, this is so exciting”. Lockdown on BCs like in Starcraft 1? Nope. Cloaked wraiths catching a group of goliaths off guard while directing attention somewhere else? Nope.

No beautiful skill based battles at all. You either have the counter or you got countered. High templar zealot vs Hydras like in brood war? Nope. Even when there is a hyped up battle, ITS OVER IN 8 SECONDS. That’s embarassing.

Casting talent pool is absurdly bad - because any competent caster besides maybe 3-4 knows this game is dead moldy water. The state of the game is so bad that a terrible caster with a squeaky voice like FearDragon gets hired- because no man worth their slat would want to deal with casting ‘rock paper scissors’ for a living.

The main thing is, the game is not fun to play anymore. Even rolling someone while maxing out at 7 minutes doesn’t feel like an RTS win. It feels like I took a few bases and A clicked with a noncountered composition.

Another sign this game is terrible - is the fact ANYONE CAN BEAT ANYONE AT PRO LEVEL. In Starcraft 1, I don’t think a single foreigner ever beat a korean on a stage that mattered. And when they did, they were at the tip top of their game, playing 24/7 probably on stimulants (like Testie/Androide - who you don’t know because you are new age scrubs).

In Starcraft 2, a random zerg from top 50 Europe can 3-0 a world champion AT ANY GIVEN DAY. Because the game is more of poker/rock paper scissors than an RTS now. Starcraft 1 and Warcraft are much more methodical and respectable.

It’s just disgusting, because after they patched up WOL it was actually a really fun game on all 3 races. Then Activision decided to make all the maps huge and create ‘gotcha’ units like swarm hosts, photon/shield overcharge, disruptors.

Whoever worked on Starcraft 2’s balance systems should be arrested and the key should be melted and turned into a tiny trophy for worlds worst RTS. Even command and conquer the original is a more balanced RTS than SC2.

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I agree that the maps are not well designed or at least could be better. I see some maps I thought were good get taken out alongside ones I thought were bad. Overall newness is not how to gain popularity. Size of maps should be varied, big/medium/small and resources should reflect that, that way our strategies will also reflect that. Dead space around the base locations is very annoying, it allows air units to park there safe from ground units which often cant be countered by anti air defenses, only slowed, this naturally limits ground based unit strategies however it is a feature on pretty much every map. The maps are formulaic and this allows for inconsistencies and otherwise harmful aspects to surface in their designs.

I agree that unique strategies are often all ins- I have about 18 unique build orders as a 2v2 random player and maybe five look anything like a real build order, most of them are all-ins (maybe timing attacks) or some exotic type of cheese. I think when macro becomes the focus of the game, as in when obtaining resources is the main goal, it is hard to invent a build order or strategy that does anything other than kill your opponent or stunt their growth. “Beautiful skill based battles” can happen but are rare when engagements are disincentivized in favor of killing workers or structures. A lot of my fun happens in that 7-14 minute timeframe it takes to end a normal 2v2, when it drags on it can feel powerless as I often wait to lose to some lategame protoss golden armada or mass battlecruiser fleet. It doesn’t help that defenses tend to do nothing against them by that point so the unit comp has to compensate, trying to starve them of resources and trade into their army becomes more and more difficult as the maps become larger with more bases. Ultimately the play styles will lead into air as the basic structures do not suffice to kill your opponent if a rush fails.

As far as pro players are concerned, put me in a 1v1 and I will probably never win a 3-0 against a pro player, however I have some strategies that could conceivably grant me a victory against them should they not scout me or respond properly. I don’t play 1v1 though and 2v2 is quite different, I’m also not a top 50 but my thoughts on this is that between race matchups and build orders you are shoehorned into some strategies you may be less comfortable with. Between that and map/race balance there are times where you can not guarantee wins when statistically they should be there. That is not a bad thing necessarily but when it becomes skewed in favor of certain races it is an issue.

if i have a game that is 8vs8, random map generated, last for about 1.5 hours, can select my own faction, and battles last longer, and armor means something, why would I ever go back?

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When was the last time this happened?

I am watching right now and with alternate streams it has more than 30k viewers.

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One of the key issues hit here pretty well - this isn’t really RTS anymore. A lot of what happens at the top level comes down to insane mechanics. Just outdo your opponent with more actions and win the game. And if you can’t keep up for a split microsecond, you lose your army to a widow mine/swarm host wave/disruptors etc.

I don’t have an exact example, but I vaguely remember a few years back Neeb getting destroyed by some nobody Zerg 2-1 or something when Zerg was at its peak buffs and Protoss was nerfed to the ground around 2019.

I’m sure you can ask a Terran the last time a lower ranked Protoss beat a top level Terran player too. It does happen. I’m sure it happens recently too, I just don’t keep up anymore. Not worth watching the same game play out over and over again IMO.

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They sped up the game to the point where only a select few people can play at top level and the general population won’t make it past diamond.

The game is too fast, there is too much high dps insta lose scenarios with widow mine drops, storms, banelings etc.

Some units are also very microable like reapers, marine splits etc that mean your normal players just get owned by a good player.

There is no real RTS aspect left for SC2, its a game of mechanics, and in this day and age, no one likes a game of mechanics.

You guys should check out Crossfire Legion, Immortals of Pyre and the ever so well known stormgate.

SC2 was nice at its peak during WOL, but LotV doesn’t deserve the SC2 name.

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in other news, the background of the high templar unit portrait is a screenshot of a temple from unreal tournament 2004. no joke

the more you know
have a nice day

PS: you can find somewhat early versions of warcraft 3 reforged unit models in the starcraft 2 editor - by going to the model tab and search for war3hd

Dreamhack was terrible. There was no memorable moments in the entire tournament at all, except for Lambo surviving a DT rush and then winning. That was the only decent game in the entire tournament. The prize should go to Lambo because the rest of the entire tournament was boring.

It’s not exciting watching 1 player camp and 1 player attack back and fourth with fights that are over in 5 seconds. Which is why the only people willing to sponsor such a crappy game were literally The Air Force and Monster Energy (because you need to be hyped up on drugs to actually enjoy SC2).

Wow another ling runby! Amazing. Wow, low cost banelings that annihilate buildings with no hard counters. Amazing RTS mechanic when a unit that builds quickly and has insane dps can just be morphed from a non-building unit at the tip of a hat. It takes strategy out of the game.

The worst part is simply that the game is not at all fun to play. I used to take pride in having great macro and micro. That doesn’t mean anything anymore when 5 free bases are given to players. Even a terrible Diamond noob can stall a game vs a Grandmaster and force a 20 minute victory, when in any other game the Diamond noob would be demolished within a handful of minutes.

And there is really no dominant player on top since WOL. Is there any Flash? Is there any Jaedong? No, of course not. Because this is not an RTS where someone who is the best of the best will always win. This is simply a game of positional checkers with different unit counters.

It’s just disgusting that I have to let go of a game that was once enjoyable because they destroyed it. They even ruined Starcraft 1 and Warcraft 3 by forcing their new low cost servers and choppy games on everyone.

Activision is truly the worst company on Earth.

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I’d definitely argue that sc2 has lost some of it’s strategic element. Zerg imo is blatantly overpowered now…not sure if it’s the maps or people learning to play…but either way…Zerg is kind of broken currently because they switch gears too fast with the larva mechanic.

Tech switches, allins out of nowhere, hard droning…they can do it all which makes fighting them stupidly difficult. They have too many options and each one requires vastly different responses. It’s just not fair.

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There’s a huge difference between the claim that upsets happen sometimes, and OP’s claim that any given day a nobody can 3-0 a world champion (and Neeb is significantly weaker than the world champions). SC2 is a game of imperfect information, so it’s guaranteed that sometimes a good player will lose because they got bluffed, or because the opponent makes a really high risk move. That happening once every couple of months is not at all the same as it happening in every set.

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Fair point - but his other claim was that in SC1, a lower ranked player doesn’t ever stand a chance against a pro Korean.

I don’t watch SC1, but I can get behind the claim that the top SC1 players pretty much never loses to a foreigner.

There is certainly a lot of exaggeration here, but I am fairly certain that it happens somewhat frequently. The only reason why it may feel like it happens once every couple months is because there’s less tournaments being run throughout the year compared to the past.

I think the point OP wanted to make was that pros at the top in SC2 shouldn’t be losing to players of much lower rank. It does seem like it happens way more than it should. And the sentiment is that these losses aren’t due to strategy, it’s due to gotcha moments.

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One thing that make SC2 NOT a dead game is all those player-made alternatives of Coop that popped out after the game was already pronounced as in maintenance mode.
They’re not the only interesting things of course, but since they connect to another feature of the game, that give them an unique kind of spotlight.

I actually agree with this, but this design change was intentional. People complained about 1 base and turtling too much so this was their answer instead of fixing dumb turtle stuff like mech/shield battery.

Dreamhack isn’t GSL so half the people in it have really weak showing sometimes. These players seem good until they play in GSL and get rocked by simple plays by superior players.

With the exception of Serral, I don’t think any EU player can beat Maru or Dark, even if their wrists were broken. Dreamhack is just lower quality SC2.

This is by design, and it sucks for new players, but when you play a lot of this game, the battles actually seem very strategic and intense. A lot of the battle is decided by positioning and choosing where to fight, kind of like all the famous battles in england and rome were won.

But overall, I do agree with you, that SC2 lost a lot of it’s “strategy” by making cool lasers and one hit kill units. That’s just poor design.

i dont agree at all.
people are still watching sc2, of course is not going to be the same it was in the WOL days dude, the game is 12 years old and will never again reach that level.
those were the golden years of sc2

we are also seeing new things, new exciting games.
as a protoss player, watching Hero this last GSL, was amazing, his strats, his builds, his micro, his level of skill, it was just out of this world.

sc2 has always been more about hard counters than sc1, more rock paper scissors like u said.

“Another sign this game is terrible - is the fact ANYONE CAN BEAT ANYONE AT PRO LEVEL”

thats just not true.

in WOL we complained, in HOTS we complained and now we are still complaining.
there are always things to fix or get better.
in my opinion the game was at its worts during the HOTS day but i still kept playing.

now the game still have some issues, its true, but its still my fav game to play.
its a shame that blizzard doesnt care anymore, for example im at master MMR but promotions dont work! but the game is still good.

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no everything this guy said is absolutely 100% accurate, this games balance is absolutely terrible and nobody who plays wants to admit it.

the shame is most of us are die hard fans, and as disappointed as we all are, we just absolutely love the game anyways.

but that doesn’t mean the game is good, or even playable. everything the original poster said is absolutely gospel.

what kills me is the “fans” who want to just deny all of this and pretend the game is still good.
those gamers who just accept the garbage state of games today.
its like they cannot see the DRAMATIC difference in player counts. MOST people dont go on a forum and talk about how bad a game is, MOST people just stop playing. done.

the thing is people like myself, and the original poster are actual devoted fans. we dont just quit the game and move on.
we have something to say, we post to a forum, we speak our minds.

and you brain dead followers think we are just angry? we are the 1% that didn’t just quit because of all of this, of coarse we are angry something we love has been destroyed.