[Analysis]Why Starcraft 2 doesn't work anymore

Multiplayer Discussion
I made a video to try to understand why Starcraft 2 does not work anymore, then this game is excellent.

I added English subtitles to gather the opinion of everyone, the French community has appreciated the video, I wonder if this is the case for everyone, because if we are all agreed , maybe we can change things and make Starcraft 2 while his interest.

Link : https://youtu.be/W5xgjsv71y8
İ agree friend.The game is became unfunny due to these reasons.But this guy forgotten the small maps...Small maps annihilated strategies and dont and didnt tolarete making fail.The game is need big changes and they should big and solid innovation if they dont want to lose more normal players...
TLDR of the TLDW at the end.

I watched the video and I thought it made a lot of sense.
I wanted to provide you with a TLDW so you guys don't have to suffer through a video in french just to read the subtitles.

In the video, he first explains what are the main components of what makes an esports game successful, and draw the conclusion that in SC2's case, the problem comes from the loss of casual players/viewers.

Then he explains why are casual players driven away from SC2 :
Anoss's main point is that the change introduced in LotV, namely the increase in the number of harvester at the beginning of a game from 6 to 12 is the main cause.

While enabling the game to be more dynamic and starts more quickly, and also providing a little of freshness because this means that the player had to revise his HotS Build Orders etc... which are good aspects of the change, it also brought a lot of negative consequences with it.

Basically, the shift from 6 workers to 12 workers from the start shrinks the early stage of each game drastically. In the WoL/HotS era, the player had a good 7 minutes to build his base, choose his strategy. In those 7 minutes, there was a 3 minutes period that the player could use to try to read his opponent's strategy and react to it accordingly.
Now, this early phase has been shrunk to roughly 3 minutes, with only 1 minute that could be used to try to assess the opponent's strategy. Also now, the opponent can basically attack you at the 4"30 mark and throw at you a wide range of units composition, since they all are way quickier to obtain (tank, liberators, immortals, ravagers...)
While pro and experienced players can adapt to the change because they don't lack the execution speed to react, in the casual player's case, this brings a feeling of overwhelming stress and randomness to every game. In Anoss's words : this shatters the casual player's comfort zone.

Another side effect of this starting worker count is the reduced strategy choices, again, in the early stage of the game :
Where before, the order in which you build your second CC, take your first gas, or send your scouting worker was really impactful and meaningful as to how the game will unfold, it's not the case as much anymore.
Having a lot more ressources at disposal, a little shift in the first gas timing will now just induce a max 30 secs difference for the 2nd CC timing for example.
These kind of choice were more important before, because the player really had to make the choice between a economy-oriented start, a balanced start, or a tech-oriented start. We can compromise everything together a little bit too well now.

Anoss also points out that because we can throw at our opponent's face relatively high-tech units super fast, defending against those units early on being really difficult, attacking is almost always a better solution, which again, reduces strategic choices, increases randomness, and makes the games somewhat more stressful.

The last point in the video is that through the switch to LotV, we lost in "micro-management show".
Since everyone is able to attack directly with higher tech units from the start, the early squirmishes consisting of only low-tech units are becoming rarer and rarer. In those kind of fights, the micro was really important and could get really impressive (marines splits, zealot management to block walls...). Micro-ing Collosus and Liberators is not as micro-intensive since they're slower, have more range..etc.. and thus, often less impressive.

Throughout the video, Anoss compares this change with for example League of Legends, where we would start the game level 6 instead of level 1. Early stage of the game wouldn't be as interesting, since everyone could already wave-clear minions super easily having access to all the spells from the get go, and wombo-combos would be a threat from minute one, preventing the game to builds-up to the teamfights phase and being overall more stressful.

These are basically the points discussed in the video, I hope this helps people understanding the content of the video, as I think the points Anoss brings up are really good ones.

Anoss, I hope I haven't twisted your reasonning too much ! good job on the analysis again ;)

TL;DR: 6 to 12 workers made the early game more stressful and less comprehensible for casual players, they couldn't adapt leading to less players, leading to less viewership leading to less interest for SC2 overall.
So if the core game had a 6 worker start and tournaments had 12 then everyone would be happy? They could even add a "tournament mode" button in the core game so people can still practice. Very educational vid, well done! You make a lot of sense in a nicely structured manner, which is a rare thing. Shame I don't speak French, I like your style.

It has to be said though, that SC2 has a lot to offer besides PvP multiplayer. I play Co-op only, partially because PvP is about having memorised all strategies and tricks and a high effective APM, partially because I play to relax, not to compete.
I fully agree. In general the increased speed at which everything happens makes it impossible to play for a lot of people, including me.
After working 8 to 10 hours every day, it's impossible to compete with kids/students who are younger and fresher in the evening and can train in the afternoon.
While in HOTS, the slower peace of the game allowed us to somehow figure out what to do, now it's really impossible to compete.
20/11/2016 12:31Posted by Frankie
After working 8 to 10 hours every day, it's impossible to compete with kids/students who are younger and fresher in the evening and can train in the afternoon.

Thoose players are generally placed in higher leagues, if you lose you will start facing foes with lower matchmaking values.
bring out warcraft 4, sc2 is dead......
Last but not least, 12 worker start killed teamgames for good. They're just not enjoyable in any way anymore. Most casual players used to play teamgames, 2,3 and 4s. Teamgames now consist of purely ling, reaper or gate rushes.

Blizzard would do well to simply revert the 12 worker thing and see what happens. Or at least go down to 9.
Totally Agreed: 12 worker start is horrible, the worst change to the game since WoL era. Destroyed the early game completely... You can dig on the archives to read what was going on in their minds when they came up with this 12 workers idea. The sad thing is that the community mostly approved, allowing them to move forward with it. At that time (right before LotV release) they had the chance to make SC2 great, but they decided not to apply the macro-boosters removal.

Sometimes I have the temptation to think they wanted to destroy SC2 on purpose, how else could these terrible decisions explained? I remember the era before HearthStone, Heroes, Diablo III and Overwatch. SC2 was awesome, always on top, but then these games came... and at the same time Blizz started to make very doubtful decisions regarding SC2 Multiplayer.

The french guy on the video is clever and says interesting stuff. I recommend watching the video instead of going for the TL;DW/R posted above.
23/11/2016 21:20Posted by Kinematic
SC2 was awesome, always on top, but then these games came... and at the same time Blizz started to make very doubtful decisions regarding SC2 Multiplayer.

There has been people with ladder anxiety since release of Wings of Liberty, people has throughtout Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm complained about the game becoming stale and repetetive, twitch viewer numbers plummeted down below its competition almost as soon as they hit the scene.

All over the place people has been moaning that Starcraft 2 is nothing compared to Brood War, Command and Conquer, Supreme Commander and what be it they adored.

Your subjective opinions vastly differs from previous expansjons playerbase.
21/11/2016 21:24Posted by jstar
bring out warcraft 4, sc2 is dead......

There's no reason to suspect that WarCraft 4 would be any better than SC2 is now.

World of WarCraft (and the Activision Blizzard merger) spoiled Blizzard, they don't seem to know how to make a great RTS any more.
I'm generally against bumping, but I think this thread deserves it.

I have nothing to add to this really, It's just that with patch 4.0.0 I find that this video, despite being 2 years old, is very relevant.
So funny to read all this necro... You know where are a lot of rts MORE strategy based then Starcraft - for example Supreme Commander. Now it's almost dead, but Starcraft 2 is not. Do you think about reason?
I don't want to write 200-pages post to explain my ALL opinion about that, but i can answer in one short sentence: where is another big(and some of them hardcore, some of them casual) part of gamers, that like short games. I'am not. But: if you don't want to play 2+ hour games, long and really strategy placed game is not for you.
So, where is a difficult choice, make game fast and time-comfort, or make it strategy based and gameplay-comfort.
The games that make second choice are dead now, so, i sure that SC2 player base is more solid. Why? I think the reason is that peoples think about themselves that they are much more clever than they are. So, peoples that think that SC2 is too fast for them, will quit from this games too, because it's too difficult for them.
I can explain this point wit a loooong post, but i sure you all know that i meant.
20/11/2016 12:31Posted by Frankie
I fully agree. In general the increased speed at which everything happens makes it impossible to play for a lot of people, including me.
After working 8 to 10 hours every day, it's impossible to compete with kids/students who are younger and fresher in the evening and can train in the afternoon.

The thing that this guy want to have - is donate or something like that. I'm absoletule sure, he don't ask to make SC2 more intelligent and strategy based game, because making right decisions is even harder for peoples like him than just having great APM and microing things fast.
09/08/2018 16:44Posted by Kallestål
I'm generally against bumping, but I think this thread deserves it.

I have nothing to add to this really, It's just that with patch 4.0.0 I find that this video, despite being 2 years old, is very relevant.

It's as relevant as ever, so I don't see it as necro-ing either.

I had read a lot of different and complex opinions on the worker issue, when I stumbled over one post on the US forums that instantly clicked with me: The explanation why 12 workers are detrimental to the game is really, really simple.

Sure, there are more complex explanations, but this one hits the mark: In WoL/HotS, people would start doing stuff at 9 or 10 workers... building depots, start scouting, et cetera. There was pretty much no viable strategy that required you to do anything before that. So if Blizzard had changed the workers from 6 to 9, the game would've stayed the same, except for ~40 seconds cut from the beginning. That would've worked exactly as intended. But they went over the top and jumped to 12 workers, which cut another ~40 seconds and brought all the negative aspects that have been discussed.

A lot of good and viable strategies - in fact, the BEST strategies that I would usually apply - required you to start doing something at 9-10 workers. By starting the game at 12, Blizzard has effectively given the player an income boost that feels unnatural: Money piles up too quickly and the eco is faster than the teching. Think about this for a moment: The speed of teching has stayed exactly the same, while the mining rate has effectively been increased (by starting with more workers). So the balance between eco and tech, which is fundamental to the game, has been shaken. You get way too much money at Tier 1, which then leads to insane Tier 1 slaughterfests in Team games (when Mass Marines were always annoying in Team games, they now have become a nightmare).

This is basically why the Team games, which used to be a lot of fun, are now unplayable and the game has become even less fun for casuals. On top of that, the OP is right about throwing lower players out of their comfort zone, by making the game so quick in the first few minutes and the correct timing harder as ever, because the game phases have been shrunk to very short timespans.

The one thing that Starcraft 2 was actually better at than SC1 was that it struck a perfect middle ground between Pro Players and Casuals, and was both fun in 1v1 and team games. I know, because I played thousands of team games in WoL. The 12 worker start however has shifted the game more towards the Pro Players and 1v1 games, and away from the respective counterparts. Blizzard is trying too hard to turn this into something watchable, as opposed to something playable.


The "correct" fix for the game would be to start with 9 workers and 100-125 minerals. In the old eco, this would be circa the state of affairs at the 40 second mark. You can instantly throw down a depot, or create a worker first and build the depot a few seconds later (maybe at the entrance of your base). From that point on, the game would play normally, the old balance between eco and tech would be restored.

The 100-125 starting minerals are key if we want to cut the "boring waiting time" and start teching right away (first depot/pylon). They leave you 10-15 seconds to move the builder into position, before you throw down the first depot/pylon. The insane thing about starting with 12 workers and 50 minerals is that not only the first 80 seconds of the game are cut, no, but to make matters worse you have to wait even longer until you have saved enough money to build your first depot/pylon (because the initial 50 are instantly spend for a worker, at which point you go down to zero... and have to wait until the 14th worker is halfway done until you throw down the depot and start teching). In summary, this means an immense delay on the tech, while tons of money are coming in.

Why Blizzard one-sidedly increased the rate of income, but not the timing at which you can start teching, is beyond me. At the very least, the 12 workers should have come with 100 minerals.

As a compromise that should work for everyone, I suggest to start the game with 10 workers and 100 minerals, which will lead to the teching starting circa 20 seconds later than in WoL/HotS. In comparison, if you start with 9 workers and 100 minerals, the teching will begin at almost the same time as in WoL/HotS. And if you start with 12 workers and 50 minerals, it is 50 (!) seconds delayed compared to WoL/HotS, which is just too much.

There is a lot of circumstancial evidence pointing towards 10 workers being the "sweet spot", because they meet the goals that the developers originally had aimed for - such as cutting down on "idle" game time, and also reducing cheese builds (which Pro Players won't struggle with, but they were a nuisance to Casuals who wanted to play properly), while still largely avoiding the negative effects of the 12 worker start.

Last but not least 12 workers are problematic because they're already so close to base saturation that you're forced to take the first expand really early. This makes an FE almost mandatory; single base builds are almost entirely out of the game. Sorry, but such a game that basically removes single base builds from the realm of possibilities just feels crippled to me. I want a maximum of freedom. Like I had from 1998-2015.

I still love the game in any case, and that's exactly why I am perfectionist about it.
they could add several start conditions. for example slow with 5 workers, medium, fast and quick(all mineral slots filled an one provider: an extra overlord, a pylon or a supply depot). some people like to play quicker games while some like to play slower games.
But then the ranked ladder doesn't work any more. I rather see the same conditions for everyone.

I know how the extreme case of a "fast game" feels. I used to be pretty good on the "Fastest Possible Map" in Broodwar, a hacked map on which you would get an insane income. So, I enjoyed that too. But I got to admit that the games were technically inferior, because they were very "unstable": The number of possible builds was very, very limited (there were only like 2 builds that you were always forced into) and it could barely be called a strategy game any more, it was more of an APM fest (as SC1 generally is).

But I want SC2 to be different than that and appeal to a wider croud. Also, the argument "quicker vs. slower games" is a little weak, because the 10 worker vs. 12 worker variant is only a little over 25 seconds difference. I am NOT asking to go back to 6 workers, which would indeed add 80 seconds. It's not so much about game length, but more about the question whether you really want a turbo-charged economy or not. The strength of the economy doesn't automatically correllate to game length; that is a misconception. It only leads to a slightly different game feeling.

From a technical viewpoint, turbo-charged economies always mean a less stable game. As someone else has pointed out, SC is already a special case under the RTS games as it has unusually high damage output of the units; if you allow to build a large quantity of units early on, this issue is only intensified.

What I find a bit odd is that Blizzard itself is always arguing they want more Micro, but a stronger economy of course means the opposite, it makes you do more Macro and use more APM and leaves less time for doing Micro. So Blizzard went against their own goals here. I sometimes think they just haven't thought it through properly. They just wanted to create a big "bang" at the launch time of LoV and so they went too far.

Completely agree with the change to the minerals though (1800 / 900 per node). That has decreased turtling, which is a good thing.
ladder can use a system like the one i mentioned as it would affect all players equally.
It'd be a weird way to play a sport, though. Imagine in a soccer championship the two competing teams could pick between different rules at the beginning of each game. "Oh let's play this game with 12 players, right?" asks Team 1, and when Team 2 agrees, they're allowed to do it. That's your logic. But it's not something that is done in any serious sport. Could be considered fair, but IMO it's ill-advised.
27/10/2016 10:40Posted by ıııııııııııı
İ agree friend.The game is became unfunny due to these reasons.

Hahahahhaha sorry i'm taking this because that is too good god damn... Ironically, you just made a funny. I'm making you a meme

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum