Sigh.

"Brood War changed StarCraft 1 completely. HotS is a glorified patch."


Lets talk specifically about PvT for a moment. PvT is the match up for Protoss right now which is evolving the least slowly. While there are some clever things going on, overall you will play a macro based Colossus style with a couple of Forges at the top level. Not quite as much innovation going on there as in the other Protoss match-ups at the moment.

When HotS came out, there was this unit called the WarHound in it. Oh god, it was craziness. This WarHound unit, it KILLED mechanical Protoss units, especially in the early game! When I logged on, it didn’t take me long to figure out that all my old Robotics openings didn’t work anymore. I played a whole bunch, and started coming up with clever openings to adapt to this new unit. I’m fairly certain that PvT was going to now switch over to StarGate tech as the default opener. Totally cool, especially since the early game defense given to you by the Mothership Core allowed you to do such a thing without dying. Later into the game, I was experimenting with all sorts of transitions against these new armies I was facing in PvT. Eventually, there was some pretty sturdy early triple Robotics builds after StarGate openings, totally new stuff, which was working the best. Really awesome and exciting time.

Sadly, the WarHound’s exact stats were not exactly where they should theoretically be at. Of course, that seems reasonable, right? It was still early on in the beta, and there are lots of factors to take into account to tweak a unit just right. Didn’t matter. The community went into an uproar about how terrible the WarHound was, how imbalanced it was, and how it would single handedly destroy HotS and SC2.

Blizzard removed the WarHound. PvT went back much closer to normal. Now people are extremely upset that the patch is lacking and not fun. That it doesn’t change anything.

"Brood War completely changed StarCraft 1."

Let’s talk a bit about what Brood War actually did.

StarCraft 1 Vanilla (without Brood War) is a completely imbalanced game. Disgustingly imbalanced. Zerg just straight up wins. With no medics and no Goliath Range, Terran is screwed. With no Corsairs (not to mention DTs), Protoss is screwed as well.

We didn’t know this back then. People were absolutely terrible at RTS games back then. Micro and Macro were just ideas. Timings, build orders, cost efficiency…. all completely new and unmapped. Anyways, that stuff doesn’t really matter either, because the tools simply were not there to make SC1 Vanilla balanced in the long term.

Brood War came in, and somehow gave us a set of units, that over time, would end up allowing the game to be balanced. Did these units change the game? Yes, of course. The DT, the Medic, and the Lurker were frightening new units who made so many things different. But really, everything was becoming different all the time, because we were all still learning how to play RTS games properly.

Now remember a few paragraphs before how I said that Brood War gave us the units which allowed the game to be balanced in the future? Here’s one specific example of HotS doing this: The Tempest. Right now, super late game PvZ is a problem. Take a look at Seed vs Symbol from the recent GSL games, or Creator vs Curious from the recent WCS Asia Finals, to get an idea of something that is likely to become a big problem over time. Carriers do not cut it in SC2. They are a huge sink of resources, and in the mined out map game, are not efficient enough. The Tempest gives us a real answer to work with, costing nothing to engage away from the static defense and Infestors which are becoming so standard in the later game. Blizzard is giving us a tool to have balance in this unit. Yet many people hate the unit, and complain about it constantly.

"Something about the way races are supposed to be, and how Protoss is a mere shadow of its former self"

I’ve seen arguments and threads (especially when people were unhappy with the power of Protoss in early HotS) about Protoss not being the race with big heavy hitters like its supposed to be. WHAT? If you look at SC1, Terran was the least mobile race, normally sitting around turtling nonstop, getting an insanely good mech army up to fight against itself or Protoss. Hell, even sometimes against Zerg. And even against Zerg, the overall standard was to wait for a Science Vessel and 3 Tanks before really doing very much. Yet people welcomed moving around the map all game with Marines and Marauders. The Marauder has nothing to do with the “flavor” of what Terran was in SC1.

StarCraft 2’s future

People need to stop bandwagoning and jumping to conclusions. SC1 was 1 or 2 years old when BW was released. We now have almost 14 years of RTS experience to work with. We are so much further ahead of where StarCraft 1 was when Brood War was released in terms of understanding how to play RTS games, that the only way to see game changing units is to make them insanely good like the WarHound.

StarCraft 2 is in an amazing spot right now. It’s already entering that phase that SC1 was in for the past several years, where each week or two there are some slight variations to builds coming out, both because we are learning how to play better, and because of the metagame shifting. 

I am still very much looking forward to the actual release of HotS, so that we can watch these new units get added into top level play, and watch the ways they will effect the movements of the metagame.

I listened to people decreeing the end of SC1 from 2002 until 2010 (when the SC2 Beta was finally released). They were all wrong, and anyone talking about it now is wrong too. SC2 is the best damn game in the world. Its more beautiful and complex than anything else being played at the moment. There is absolutely no RTS game on the horizon which could possibly knock it off its pedestal.

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