Starcraft 2 Beta Impressions

We’re about two weeks into the Starcraft 2 Beta and here’s my impressions. I used to be a very good, but not expert Starcraft 1 player. I played it for about 3 years. I’m mediocre at Starcraft 2, and pretty disappointed about how I’m playing right now.

Overall: It’s good, no doubt. The graphics are excellent. But it feels like it’s missing something new. In pre-beta builds, they had several different new mechanics that looked even more interesting(like the mothership’s time stop and planet cracker, phoenix overload). I wish they’d put some of those features back in. They’ve gone with a build that looks more like the original than I would like.

Strategic: The new cliff jumping and destructible rocks really change things. It’s much harder to just defend a base from a single choke point, and static defenses are slightly weaker than they used to be. Those two things put together mean that the game is less turtling and more aggression than the original. In addition, the mid-game ground units are pretty weak, so after the early game, it becomes a race to air units. This isn’t good or bad, just different. Overall, the games are noticeably shorter, I think most games are 12 minutes or less. The maps are good, and the map editor will supposedly be excellent.

Balance: It’s in flux of course as they test and tweak, but overall it’s pretty good. There will no doubt have to be some changes, probably even after release, but right now it doesn’t feel too bad. We’ve already had 3 patches and they’ve taken care of several things that I thought weren’t working.

Specifics: I really like Colossi, and in general I like Terrans. I like how they’ve given races slightly more differentiating abilities, like Zerg get a speed bonus on creep, Protoss Warp Gates can summon units anywhere with pylon power, and Terrans can lift off buildings and switch the building add ons between different types of buildings.

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