StarCraft 2 – The Clash of Two Gamers

So it is 99% clear that Blizzard’s next game will be based on StarCraft as a) They announced that within the decade (most assume of when the original was created) a new StarCraft game would be out and b) it would be nothing like WoW. Though I’m not quite sure what that means in every aspect I’m going to guess that this means it is going to have a far stronger FPS feel than we currently have with WoW, something similar to Tabula Rasa IMO.

This has some interesting potential to be sure. Almost every MOGer (there it is again 🙂 ) is looking at games for questing, exploration, and skill systems. Of course there are other elements, but none of these elements involve twitch-based systems that require you to get someone locked in your crosshair and fire. What this means is that many of the Quake/Halo/Counter Strike/Other FPS fans are going to end up giving these MMO’s a try, which could be good and bad, but I believe it is going to mean a clash of two very different types of gamers, and both of these types of gamers are very set in their ways. FPS players want very fast-paced action oriented games with little downtime. They want to get in, get out, and get back in again. I have a feeling they aren’t going to be interesting in heavy questing that involves potentially waiting for other group members, or actually planning for fights before you dive head first around a corner and get fragged by a 6 year old on a cable modem who hasn’t even had time to register your character. On the other side, MOGers are also set in their ways and want to analyze their stats (on the most basic level), get quests, trade, craft, go exploring, etc. but the good majority like to take their time to some extent, and that’s the way most of these games are built. So in terms of PvE content this is going to be rather interesting watching these groups connect, and I’m not even going to touch on the console debate right now. Now for my PvP concerns.

FPS players (at least a good chunk of them) have really gotten good and the whole aiming and firing bit, since that’s what these games are. They are extremely talented, and while the games aren’t as deep as MMO’s, there is still something to be said about becoming a master of any game genre. That said, for the vast majority of these games (perhaps all) these players simply have to decide which weapons they want to use and fire. There aren’t really skills involved that go along with firing their weapons. Again this is a double-edged sword for an MMO incorporating FPS elements into their game. FPSers will come in wanting to get down and dirty and simply start firing, but they will be very confused when they find that there is a skill that gives a slight degree of autoaim, or triples your damage for the next six seconds, affecting the fight drastically. Will they be able to learn to balance their trigger-happy mouse finger with the number mashing of their other hand? Chances are yes, but would they rather just play Quake 4 where they don’t have to bother? Also, on the other hand, MMO players (have to balance it out before it catches on) will have a firm grasp on the use of skills at this point, but will they be able to compete with the accuracy that FPSers have honed over the years instead? My answer to this is probably a few, but the vast majority of MMO players are going to be at a great disadvantage in this department. Will this disadvantage, like the use of skills, drive them away from PvP combat in a FPS-based game, just like the use of skills for FPSers? Who knows, but it will be interesting to find out. I’ll probably hit on other topics about Blizzard’s new game in the days and weeks to come.

-Kanthalos

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