You will never be "good" at StarCraft 2

Written by Harry Butler

July 29, 2010 | 17:24

Tags: #starcraft #starcraft-2

Companies: #blizzard

As we discussed in our StarCraft 2 review, and as you've confirmed in the comments, StarCraft 2's multiplayer is hard. Damned hard in fact. The difference in what's required from single player, which can be played at a fairly relaxed pace, to the multiplayer's hugely time sensitive unit spam fest proves a big challenge.

At the highest level though, StarCraft 2 is bound to become something almost unrecognisable from the game we've been fawning over this week. While high level FPS gamers differentiate themselves with reflexes and accuracy, top level StarCraft is often decided by APM - Actions Per Minute, and the best players are able to top 300.[break]

As these Korean StarCraft players will explain, and show you with their insane, almost mesmerisingly fast play, the micro management required to succeed in high level RTS games such as StarCraft 2 is borderline ridiculous. Every worker, every individual unit, is being given unique commands, with the player aware of where all his units are on the map and what they're doing at any given time.

In the past, I've invested plenty of time at getting to a half decent skill level in a few strategy games. I play a mean Command and Conquer Generals and my friends long ago learnt to politely decline my requests to play Company of Heroes, but these are, in comparison to StarCraft sedate and manageable affairs. In Company of Heroes, you're handling maybe a dozen or so squads or individual units, but in StarCraft 2 you can be handling literally hundreds, and the best players will micro-manage the crap out of them to get the best results. Strategy is still important, but if you can't bring your APM up, you'll never stand a chance.

It's a frustrating situation, because getting your ass handed to you is no fun. Many RTS players are put off easily by early defeats and then never return to the game. It's not like an FPS where you can still play and gradually build up your skills. You might die a lot, but at least you respawn and get right back into the battle. In a strategy title like StarCraft 2 each defeat can take 20 minutes or more, and leave you none the wiser as to why you lost.

Will you be trying your hand at StarCraft 2's multiplayer? Are you an old StarCraft master? Or do you avoid playing strategy games online? Let us know in the comments.
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