If we are divorcing story and competitive play from assessment, I have back-and-forthed a bit on which I liked better between SC2 and BW, but honestly I ultimately fell on simply that they are different experiences, and I like them both for different reasons. I can’t put myself in the camp of “X is bad because it is not Y.”
-A lot more manual actions to keep you on your toes even late in the game.
-Longer missions often on big maps requiring pushes and taking bases repeatedly throughout.
-Traditional RTS experience with missions based solely on tried-and-true melee play with varying objectives, start conditions, map layouts. Consistently enjoyable throughout campaign
-Difficulty is in the game mechanics, maps, resource distribution (less standardized) to give inherent challenge in addition to the opponent
-BW expands on scenario diversity
-No actual difficulty level selection
-AI is often odd in behavior. Melee game AI often plays a giant macro game attacking with only a few units at a time
-Classic Battle.net issues attempting to create lobbies (for my ISP at least)
-Campaign gameplay gives unique experience from melee, army customizing features, campaign-specific units
-Unique and creative missions forcing larger variety of approaches
-Co op mode for subfactions of the races as well as their heroes, campaign units, call downs etc
-Vs AI matchmaking and Arcade mode for PvE players
-Automated gameplay features like automine, shift commands, unlimited army select etc can be nice at times albeit it makes me lazy and worse at BW
-Wide variety of units
-Overlap in units/overly specialized units for one specific purpose at only certain points
-Some missions are built around spamming the unit you just unlocked (sometimes you never use them again after)
-Too many MOBA missions and boss fights
-Specific map triggers and events made possible in SC2 often very hit or miss, making missions run the gambit from highly enjoyable to very disappointing and totally avoided
-Co op commanders require excessive level grinding to get to “video demonstration” capability
-Melee mode got let enjoyable to me in LotV due to fundamental changes
I like both for different reasons and play whichever depending on the mood. I love the SC1/BW campaign, a lot of the non-ladder Blizzard melee maps in it as well for vs AI, and i enjoy SC2 for the WoL/NCO campaigns and some missions in the others as well as co op (after lvl 15) games (I dislike mutations) among other things. Starcraft for better or worse is still my all time favorite RTS series.