Blizzard looking to make Heart of the Swarm multiplayer more welcoming for first-timers

StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm

By on January 24, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Although “accessibility” has sort of become a dirty word, there’s still a lot to be said for making something easier for new players to understand — and that is what Blizzard are hoping to do when Heart of the Swarm hits in March.

Game director Dustin Browder said to Polygon that the new training mode against learning AI forms part of their approach to making sure new players don’t get overwhelmed. “We have some time set aside to give new users a better experience,” he said. “We used to say ‘The campaign is the tutorial for the multiplayer’ and it never really was.”

“It was partially true. You’d learn the race, you’d understand what the units did, but you didn’t know how many barracks to build, you didn’t understand that a rush was incoming right now, so get ready! The campaign just doesn’t play that way. The reason a lot of players are strong at ‘turtling’ is because that’s how campaign teaches you to play; a lot of our past campaigns certainly did. We’re doing that less in this game.”

Also coming are a series of UI tweaks related to making harvesting easier to understand, auto rally points, unranked play, and a new XP system to keep you progressing regardless of whether you win or lose.

Source: Polygon

9 comments (Leave your own)

Yer.. Good luck with that!

 

Sounds good, I sucked at MP i only won a handful of matches when playing 3v3 and 4v4 but lost all 1v1 games I just couldn’t keep up with the other players.

I dont think I understood what beats what very well and transferring from the Start of the game phase into the mid game phase.

I’d only have say 30 marines and a medivac but the other players would have a ball of Hydralisks and all these other units that I couldnt match.

 

any campaign that plays anything like Starcraft multiplayer is going to be VERY shitty.

the whole point of any RTS campaign is to give you a whole heap of awesome and unique objectives to complete that you just don’t get to see in a multiplayer game.

 

If you’re having trouble with the quantity of units then it might be your macro that is an issue. It boils down to something really simplistic like this.

If the enemy has A units and you want to beat him, you need A+B to defeat him (defensive advantage)

If the enemy has A units and you want to defend against him, you only need A-B units (defensive advantage)

You just constantly evaluate – if you ever have A+B units, just go ahead and win. If you ever have less than A-B units, you need to build more to avoid auto-losing. The game will involve you having an army between A-B and A+B but there’s only one stable state – stay exactly at A-B and pump workers and expansions – by definition, your opponent has spent more on combat units than you (he has A) and will lose in the long run. When you see the chance to make A+B units just go ahead and win.

I mean, sure, there’s micro, map specific tactics, unit counters, teching, but ultimately if you play by that principle you’ll be ahead of most players in the game who don’t understand this simply concept. I got to Platinum just using this general RTS gaming principle and the starting unit (zergling, marines, zealots).

 

I suck badly at Starcraft multiplayer, it actually intimidates me for some reason. Sumcpm 2 I am not so bad at and can manage, but I just fail at Starcraft. Lack on time and experience I guess mainly. I really want to put some time into it before HOTS comes out and try to improve this year with what might be a small influx of new players.

Also, I don’t get the A B thing aethrerfox posted.

 

yeah. im ultra bad at starcraft 2. i played one of my friends once and he defeated me with one zealot. :( my marines didnt stand a chance!

 

aetherfox,

I think the point was that Blizzard feels that currently the game fails to teach players how to evaluate situations as well as fails to effectively communicate what needs to be evaluated which is what they want to work on.

 

I made it to silver leave by out bioing others with terran. But thats easy to do. It’s when I had to go mech against players who knew what they were doing is when I struggled. My macro is generally good, my micro sucks balls.

 

silenceoz:
Sounds good, I sucked at MP i only won a handful of matches when playing 3v3 and 4v4 but lost all 1v1 games I just couldn’t keep up with the other players.

I dont think I understood what beats what very well and transferring from the Start of the game phase into the mid game phase.

I’d only have say 30 marines and a medivac but the other players would have a ball of Hydralisks and all these other units that I couldnt match.

Don’t worry, Starcraft has little strategy in it; battles are nearly always decided by who micros better :P

If you want to get better, play campaign first so you understand what units are advantageous against what (in WoL you play as both P and T so you should have a good understanding of what counters you and what counters them). Then move onto the challenges.

Then after that, there’s the practice league in HotS, but I recommend watching other players play, but not just pro ones. Go onto the observer maps in the arcade and watch what those players as chances are they’re diamond/masters and are at a level you can achieve.

What you should be watching for is what they build to counter what (if you don’t know this yet), how they respond to threats, whether they’re the proactive or reactive player, and what their initial goal was (i.e. build infestors, go crush them; what changed the plan, what are they doing to achieve this plan, etc).

Hell, put starcraft windowed on one screen and a TV show on the other (as it will get tedious).

This is all if you are finding that you’ve stagnated in 1v1 of course; after all of the above I’d find a ‘build’ (such an ugly word really, makes the game feel so stale and robotic, you should just build what you need to win the game) and try to stick with that. The problem with this though is that if you DON’T know what counters what you will quickly lose as you will always have to adjust every game to counter what your opponent is buying.

Also, if you’re in gold league or below I tend to find they either turtle (I did when I played RTS’s until the godly SupCom came along) or rush; to counter these players requires little to no thought and just requires you to expand as much as you can (whilst scouting to make sure they don’t sneak up mutas or the likes) to build up a deathball to crush them.

From their you’re on your own, but personally due to my experience in trying to become good at SupCom I inadvertantly became good at other RTS’s as well, so as soon as I hopped on SC2 multiplayer after campaign (1 week after release) without beginner league I was already in plat, and soon diamond (before masters league, and plat was the highest you could be placed in out of placement).

 
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