StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by NCC1701, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Captain Qwert Jr

    Captain Qwert Jr Captain Captain

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    I, too, prefer single player, and I just finished a Normal run.
    Thoughts:
    -Like the previous voice actor better. Her voice was girly-er.
    -Why did they take 2 years? Sadly, just to make cut scenes.
    -The Zerg aren't badly done, but they just don't have a fraction of the charm of the Space Rednecks.
    -You have a tremendous amount of unit customization. None of which are really necessary on Normal single player. Swarming with your unit of choice is still your best bet.
    -Kerrigan's still pretty evil. Hard to feel anything for someone after they killed their first million people.
    -Overall, I'd give what I played a B-. It wasn't dull, the production values are first rate, but it honestly brings nothing new to Real Time Strategy Games.
     
  2. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the writing is fine, but the padding is just awful. Yes, it was an issue in Wings of Liberty too, but I still hate it. You remember how in the original StarCraft & Brood War each campaign was 8-10 missions and every single mission was connected to the plot? Well, say goodbye to that. Now most of the missions are just MMORPG styled fetch quests to pad out the game with the plot missions scattered haphazardly around the game. The story is good when we get to it, but I really wish the campaign was shorter and more tightly focused.
     
  3. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Finished the game. I would like to make some points about the ending for I feel that what we got is a resounding improvement over the leaked ending I was referring to a couple of posts ago. Now it's not a great ending, but it's one that doesn't bother me in the slightest which at this point in Blizzard's story telling department is a bloody relief.

    To summarize, I had three major issues with the leaked ending that involved the story and the execution. Two of the three problems were fixed while one remains the same. After digesting both endings, I concluded that if I was given a choice of which two of the three problematic parts of the ending I would get fix, it would be the same ones that Blizzard picked, so kudos to Blizzard.

    Problem 1: Kerrigan's shock neck 'thing'
    Of all the problems that the ending had, this one was the most conspicuous. Fans were quick to call "BULLSH**!!!" when Mengsk whips out this lighter/controller which activates a shocking device that was implanted into Kerrigan's neck during the time when she first became a Ghost. Story wise, Blizzard was trying to showcase how Mengsk had been using Kerrigan and used various methods to ensure that if she were to ever turn on him, he would have a tool to handle it. The problem?

    1. This is a device that is able to render Kerrigan, now more powerful than her previous incarnation of the Queen of Blades, totally vulnerable. If Mengsk installed this device into her and spent a good chunk of the series WANTING HER DEAD, why doesn't he use this device to kill her before this confrontation? Kerrigan has been known to attack other worlds in person and even fight Dominion forces head on, so the opportunity to render her powerless was clearly there.

    2. The shock device is a physical object implanted into her head. Kerrigan has the ability to read minds, yet at no point during her time with Mengsk does she ever detect a note of deception on his part regarding this device. Also note that Kerrigan has gone through a complete species mutation TWICE, that changes her biological functions immensely. This device would have either been destroyed during the first stages of mutation, or be detected by those who controlled her like the Overmind. There is no way this device could have stayed in her neck for this long without anybody noticing, let alone the device still managing to work throughout all her mutations.

    Finished Product Status... FIXED

    Thankfully Blizzard decided to drop this idea in favor for a far more manageable device, the Psi-Emmiter. I know there are fans who would argue how Mengsk got this device or how he got it into his quarters, but the holes that this Psi-Emmiter brings to the table are a lot easier to fill than the shock device one.

    Problem 2: Raynor is no Ghost, but he sure acts like one.

    This is one of those classic movie gimmicks where the directors pretty much have the characters only react to what the camera sees. If the camera can't see or hear it, none of the characters can. That's what we get when Jim, still dawning his jet-engine Power Armor grabs the controller away from Mengsk. I find it hilarious that the cutscenes involving this armor always depict it as being a huge noise maker, yet it's able to stealthily get behind someone in a quiet room in daylight. Even without the sounds, the weight of this power armor would shake the ground like there was an Earthquake happening.

    Finished Product Status... Not Fixed

    Again, this is one of those problems that's not a really big deal all things considered. Having Jim involved is certainly appropriate, but darn it all if it doesn't come off as cartoonish.

    Problem 3: Kerrigan's Monologue

    The leaked ending was supposed to give us a pretty big monologue by Kerrigan before the cinematic ended. Here's how it is in the leaked ending.

    Jim: So, what now?
    Kerrigan: I keep my end of the bargain. I'll leave humanity to it's fate. The Zerg are free now. Slaves to no one. Not even me. So whether they be the bringers of life or the destroyers of worlds, I'll help them find the answer. Out there amongst the stars.

    Incase you didn't catch it, Blizzard was about to pull a "They're not evil. They're just misunderstood." schtick with the Zerg in the same way they did with the Horde in WarCraft III.

    Final Product Status... FIXED

    All I've got to say is THANK GOD. Kerrigan pretty much leaves the scene with a goodbye to Jim and a monologue detailing her intent on fighting Amon. The Zerg are still treated as tools that can taint the living, but with this different Kerrigan, she has more of a positive control over them.
     
  4. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    As someone who kind of got bored early on with Wings of Valor (and plenty of other distractions as well :lol:) and thus didn't finish, how would you characterize Kerrigan's evolution in the newer games? Good or bad? Personally I really liked how she was handled in the original, as someone who started off as an ally and got mutated into an enemy with her own agenda. Brood War was a lot of fun not only for how the specific missions tied into each other, but for Kerrigan's ability to manipulate others for the benefit of the Zerg.
     
  5. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Defiled.
     
  6. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Finished the game on Brutal. First of all.. Brutal difficulty was ridiculously easy. I remember struggling some in Wings of Liberty... I don't know if I just got better... or if the game got way easier... I'm leaning towards the latter. I found myself collecting the mission specific "Normal" achievements on Brutal without even slowing down. This was a total cakewalk.

    I hate the focus on Kerrigan as a hero unit... complete with her own upgrade path. Ugh. Really didn't serve the gameplay at all. Sure, WoL had some heroes, and the obligatory hero only units... but you'd actually manage your army. All you have to do in this game is press F2, attack move, and spam abilities. I never really even felt the need to build base defense or anything. A far cry from the bunkers and heroic SCVs who fixed them in WoL. Who needs defense when you can conjure up six banelings out of thin air and oh when they explode they can also heal you...

    The Evolution Missions were just kind of silly. I get why they're there, so you can try before you buy... but the execution fell flat.

    Almost 3 years to crank out this expansion pack? Sorry, but that's a joke.
     
  7. Captain Qwert Jr

    Captain Qwert Jr Captain Captain

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    Not to mention being able to summon a Zerg Death Star every 5 minutes. Good God, is she unbalanced! It would have been an entirely different game without her.
     
  8. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lol, yeah the Death Star ability is nuts. I also like how when the cooldown is just about up you can send it to wreak havoc on a complete suicide mission only to regenerate with full health and energy a few seconds later... :lol:

    I think the hero stuff worked better in Warcraft 3.

    Oh, also, I didn't build a single air unit during the course of the game. It was pretty rare that I'd have to make so much as a Hydralisk.... Kerrigan + Death Star = game over... before you get Death Star you're fine just sniping Banshees or Battlecruisers with the Q button with a couple of Queens hanging out for moral support... the Vikings will just land so they can get their asses handed to them.
     
  9. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    That sounds troubling to me. StarCraft made good impressions because it achieved an excellent balance between the three races, and also kept the lower units like Marines and Hydralisks perpetually useful. They didn't simply fall by the wayside once you got up to Battlecruisers. Personally I like to think that, of the three races, the Zerg had the greatest potential to be unbalanced or not work right because of their unique abilities, but they did work. Blizzard got it right back then.

    I hate to say it, but the more I hear, the less interested I am in HotS. :/ I will admit, I wasn't a huge fan of WoL requiring online access all the time for Battle.net. But perhaps I'm simply old fashioned. :p ;)
     
  10. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The online access thing is a bit of a pain. Played a bit the first few days... and it worked but the "Achievement Service" went offline, so eventually I had to redo the first few missions on Brutal just so it would give me credit for having done it, even though the game itself listed my completion time for that difficulty on every level.

    I wouldn't say low tier units become useless. You can pretty much march through the game with Zerglings and Roaches. I did mix in some Ultralisks and Aberrations near the end.
     
  11. Kelthaz

    Kelthaz Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Oh, the game is amazingly well balanced in the multiplayer and all units have a use even in the late game (except for Battlecruisers), but the campaign is going for more of an RPG style with less of a focus on army management. Blizzard doesn't care about balance in the single player campaign.
     
  12. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    Ah. Thanks for the clarification. I'd like to think they wouldn't intentionally let the balance go out the window, given how good it was in the original. ;) But it's understandable that some elements would need tweaking and it's not always easy to get the ideal effect.
     
  13. Tribble puncher

    Tribble puncher Commander Red Shirt

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    I feel like Blizzard is well on it's way to being the next E.A., this is just my opinion of course...
     
  14. Manticore

    Manticore Manticore, A moment ago Premium Member

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    No, no they are not.
     
  15. Holdfast

    Holdfast Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Everyone seems to says Brutal HotS single player is about the equivalent to Normal/Hard WoL, so I'm not surprised to read similar comments here. I'm more interested in how the competitive multiplayer scene is in HotS, and from watching bits of MLG Dallas over the weekend I'm definitely of the opinion that HotS is a MAJOR improvement over WoL.

    Games are much more dynamic, faster-paced. It's so multipronged that the observer & casters actually couldn't keep up (they'll get better over time now they know what the metagame will be like). There were some stunning games esp. Flash vs Innovation and Flash vs Life. So much better than the last year of Wings. The medivac afterburner ability probably needs a slight nerf, but it makes for some great viewing.

    TvZ in particular is ridiculously aggressive now, in a great way. Both sides have to continually attack to prevent the other snowballing them. It really plays to the advantage of the players with better APM/multitasking, which is how it should be. Protoss need something (photon cannon, oracle or mothership core buff, maybe?) to handle midgame Terran & Zerg. MC managed to win matches only through being super aggressive in early/mid. Something's needed to let Protoss stay in the midgame long enough to permit them to work towards a skytoss endgame composition IMO.

    Anyway, I like the viewer experience in HotS so far.
     
  16. Jeyl

    Jeyl Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah. EA has more than three intellectual properties that they've been releasing new content for over the past decade and a half.
     
  17. Tribble puncher

    Tribble puncher Commander Red Shirt

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    So what are your thoughts about the game requiring you to be always online then, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  18. Yoda

    Yoda Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    From a multiplayer perspective... it's 40 bucks for what... 7 units? 7 units that don't come into my cheesy style of play just yet. Oh, and they made it so you can't use pylons to power stuff from low ground onto high ground? Lame.

    It really bugs me that I haven't been able to quickly find a simple list of changes from WoL to HotS. Even if I restrict my google searches to the last week it pulls up really old shit like... "the Thor is now a superunit you can only build one of, like the mothership" and "carriers have been removed from the game" that doesn't even apply anymore.

    Just from playing 3v3s and 2v2s the expansion has played almost exactly like WoL. I'm sure a lot of that is that I'm playing lots of other people unfamiliar with the changes... but still. Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne felt like a significant change from the very first game I played. I've seen the new units here and there mostly built by people for pure novelty... aside from that the only difference I've really seen is that more players are building hellions. Though I haven't really seen much in the way of hellbats.

    So I guess spore cralwers don't need evo chamber anymore? And I've heard that medivacs have some speed boost ability? Uhh.. ok. Maybe that would have been more intuitive if those changes were in the single player campaign guys...

    Also, the +100XP nonsense is just laughable. I mean really... wtf is that crap. This game already had a slog of a grind for unlockable trinkets... this really doesn't make it any better. And at the end of the multiplayer game it takes me straight to my XP report? Really? Does anybody give half a shit about how much experience they earned?

    Anyway, haven't played that many multiplayer games... just my impressions so far, so they could just as easily change. Except the XP thing. That will always be a joke, sorry Blizzard.

    As for the always on DRM... I'll just say that I don't see any improvement from the Warcraft 3 system of having to log in for multiplayer, and having LAN and Single Player options available completely offline. The achievements can be fun and all, but we've all seen the same sort of in-game achievements that are just as good. Battle.net just isn't a big online hub of my gaming activity in the way that Xbox Live, Steam, or even PSN are. There is no utility to Diablo 3, SC2, and WoW achievements being unified in any way, assuming they even are (as I don't play their other two games).
     
  19. Manticore

    Manticore Manticore, A moment ago Premium Member

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    I'll admit, I'm not as big a fan of it, but frankly, that has nothing to do with my statement. The big stupidity of EA isn't DRM (that's an industry-wide stupidity). It's how they treat their employees, and Blizzard is light-years beyond EA in that regard.
     
  20. Hoser

    Hoser Hoser Super Moderator

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    Pros: Single player was actually fun. I honestly enjoyed playing my least favourite race. And I liked the direction they took the story, I don't mind a wild and crazy Zerg.
    Cons: The always on still ticks me off, esp. at hotspots that block games, or on the road, or when they just have a bad server day.
    The multiplayer bites. Nerfs and cuts, whiny players, it's like a MMO, not the lan friendly game I played in college.
    The RPG lite stuff. Meh. I didn't really like it in War3 and didn't really like it here either.
     

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