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Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty

"StarCraft II Multiplayer - Major Design Changes In..."



by 13 Jurors

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. A sequel to the award-winning 1998 video game StarCraft and its expansion set Brood War, the game was released worldwide on July 27, 2010. It is split into three installments: the base game with the subtitle Wings of Liberty, an expansion pack Heart of the Swarm, as well as an upcoming expansion pack Legacy of the Void.

The game revolves around three species: the Terrans, human exiles from Earth; the Zerg, a super-species of assimilated life forms; and the Protoss, a technologically advanced species with vast mental powers. Wings of Liberty focuses on the Terrans, while the expansions Heart of the Swarm and Legacy of the Void will focus on the Zerg and Protoss, respectively. The game is set four years after the events of 1998's StarCraft: Brood War, and follows the exploits of Jim Raynor as he leads an insurgent group against the autocratic Terran Dominion. The game includes both new and returning characters and locations from the original game.

The game was met with very positive reviews from critics, receiving an aggregated score of 93% from Metacritic. Similar to its predecessor, StarCraft II was praised for its engaging gameplay, as well as its introduction of new features and improved storytelling. The game was criticized for lacking features that existed in the original StarCraft game including LAN play and the ability to switch between multiplayer regions. At the time of its release, StarCraft II became the fastest selling real-time strategy game of all time, with over three million copies sold worldwide in the first month.

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img Anonymous posted a review

Last year we released Patch 3.8 which, unlike smaller balance patches released throughout the year, was a larger set of changes aimed at improving multiplayer StarCraft II through various design changes. This year we are embarking on another design patch and are excited to share with you our initial list of changes! This time around our general focus is to address underused units and abilities while also trying to reduce sudden game ending moments.

As with last year, this design patch will require a large amount of testing, feedback and revision before it can go live for everyone to enjoy, so we wanted to get it into your hands for testing as fast as possible. The changes in this blog are live on the Testing section of StarCraft II Multiplayer, and we would like to release the final changes after this year’s tournament season concludes in November. In the sections below we outline the proposed changes, and give some of our thoughts on each one to explain what we would like to accomplish.

Read the post here:

First time Blizzard has completely removed a unit in the last 7 years of starcraft. I approve.

4 days ago

img Anonymous posted a review

This fact speaks volume about how big of a failure Starcraft 2 is.

6 days ago

img Chopper Hofman posted a review

DeepMind's scientific mission is to push the boundaries of AI by developing systems that can learn to solve complex problems. To do this, we design agents and test their ability in a wide range of environments from the purpose-built DeepMind Lab to established games, such as Atari and Go.

Testing our agents in games that are not specifically designed for AI research, and where humans play well, is crucial to benchmark agent performance. That is why we, along with our partner Blizzard Entertainment, are excited to announce the release of SC2LE, a set of tools that we hope will accelerate AI research in the real-time strategy game StarCraft II.

  • A Machine Learning API developed by Blizzard that gives researchers and developers hooks into the game. This includes the release of tools for Linux for the first time.
  • A dataset of anonymised game replays, which will increase from 65k to more than half a million in the coming weeks.
  • An open source version of DeepMind’s toolset, PySC2, to allow researchers to easily use Blizzard’s feature-layer API with their agents.
  • A series of simple RL mini-games to allow researchers to test the performance of agents on specific tasks.
  • A joint paper that outlines the environment, and reports initial baseline results on the mini-games, supervised learning from replays, and the full 1v1 ladder game against the built-in AI.
  • StarCraft and StarCraft II are among the biggest and most successful games of all time, with players competing in tournaments for more than 20 years. The original game is also already used by AI and ML researchers, who compete annually in the AIIDE bot competition. Part of StarCraft’s longevity is down to the rich, multi-layered gameplay, which also makes it an ideal environment for AI research.

    For example, while the objective of the game is to beat the opponent, the player must also carry out and balance a number of sub-goals, such as gathering resources or building structures. In addition, a game can take from a few minutes to one hour to complete, meaning actions taken early in the game may not pay-off for a long time. Finally, the map is only partially observed, meaning agents must use a combination of memory and planning to succeed.

    The game also has other qualities that appeal to researchers, such as the large pool of avid players that compete online every day.  This ensures that there is a large quantity of replay data to learn from - as well as a large quantity of extremely talented opponents for AI agents.

    Even StarCraft’s action space presents a challenge with a choice of more than 300 basic actions that can be taken. Contrast this with Atari games, which only have about 10 (e.g. up, down, left, right etc). On top of this, actions in StarCraft are hierarchical, can be modified and augmented, with many of them requiring a point on the screen. Even assuming a small screen size of 84x84 there are roughly 100 million possible actions available.

    2 weeks ago

    img Anonymous posted a review

    SC2 is too fast paced for a casual player like me and the games end before I can even get to the interesting bigger units. What I really used to enjoy with SC and WC3 were the user-created maps and the whole system was barely usable in SC2.

    The 0.2 interface was awful as well. You couldn't just join a lobby and have other people there with an IRC-like interface and that really hurt the experience for me; I always felt alone playing it. They even had facebook integration instead of a functional player hub.

    I did enjoy WoL campaign but for the expansions they were too expensive for single player campaigns IMO.

    on July 24, 2017

    Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

    img Bill Ohreally posted a review

    SC2 failed because it was made with the idea of being an esport. It's the wrong approach. The game should be fun first and made for gamers and once it's popular enough, there will be pros. And then when problems in the game design arose Blizzard didn't do anything drastic because they were afraid pros would lose their career over it instead of thinking of what's best for the game.

    on October 19, 2016

    Gaming Jury is the default video game review subjury.

    img Tommy Watt submitted a post

    I want to wear this!

    on September 13, 2016

    andrew kabayo Wow how much it cost?


    img Alfred Evans posted a review

    So I bought this game for my son. I can't even beat the single-player mode on normal difficulty. Why is this game so hard, or am I a retard??

    on November 18, 2015

    img Dave Blank posted a review

    I think Blizzard had made a fundamental mistake in design when developing SC2. They catered the game to Esports right off the bat which alienated the less competitive players. For this reason I've never touched the Ladder game more than a thrice.

    A game should never be made specifically for Esports because the Esports players will flock to play a game when it's popular enough among the casual crowds. Look at LoL, not a particularly hard game compared to SC2, but the Esports scene is unexpectedly booming.

    I hope Blizzard realizes this and never makes the same mistake again. Just because SC1 was popular in Esports, doesn't mean you have to follow the same path.

    on September 14, 2015

    img Anonymous posted a review

    The game is dying. Almost all the early days Youtube casters have moved on, including HDStarcraft, Husky, Day9. Maybe it's not due to SC2. Maybe it's more due to the prominence of Twitch. That Starcraft is too hardcore paves the way for its own downfall.

    This excerpt from a Forbes article sums up the sad state of the game:

    Legacy of the Void, the next fully-fledged expansion to Starcraft 2 after Heart of the Swarm, almost seems like a “well we said we were going to doing it, so we’re doing it” kind of thing. But I think when Blizzard had a grand plan mapped out of a trio of Starcraft games, they were expecting Starcraft 2 to make more of an impact than it has. It certainly sold a lot of copies initially, but this expansion which once would have been heralded with a lot of fanfare is being met with mostly shrugs from non-diehard fans. And with Blizzard itself, it seems rather low on the priority totem pole between Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch, and if I had to guess, probably behind new theoretical expansions for World of Warcraft and Diablo as well, which would likely prove more popular.

    on August 24, 2015

    img Willie G. Broadwater posted a review

    Starcraft 2 is only 1/3 of the game that its predecessor was not just because the whole game was split into 3 parts, but also because the story devolved from an epic space opera of intrigue into a badly written personal story of Jim Raynor. The way the campaign played out was innovative for an RTS, but nowhere near as immersive as being able to play from three perspective in a row.

    As much as I love the diversed gameplay and its RPG elements, I'd rather have the old format of playing through each race in a single game.

    Don't get me started on the lack of custom map support and absence of LAN play.

    on December 11, 2014
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