Consider yourself an expert RTS player? Want to know what the pros think about StarCraft II? We caught up with two Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne pro players at the Warcraft Regional Finals 2009 in Cologne, Germany, where StarCraft II was playable, and asked them for their thoughts.
Nikolaus Cassidy, aka SonKiE, 19, from Pennsylvania, USA. Finished runner up in the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne tournament, winning $2,000 and a place at BlizzCon 2009.
“I like it. It's fun. It's different from Warcraft, which is refreshing. There are no heroes. Obviously the races are different. The gameplay is a lot faster. All of the different units are cool to play with. Taking them and trying new things... it'll be fun.
Every new player is going to be starting at skill level basic. I'm going to have to learn the new strategies, the new unit mixes and things like that. Once I get a handle on that I should be okay.
It's going to be a lot easier to play. Not having to worry about annoying things like, here's the Blademaster, the Warden and the Demon Hunter. It's going to be more fun actually. A lot less worrying.
Everybody's going to switch to it. The WoW players are going to switch to it. The StarCraft players are going to switch to it. Maybe even some Counter-Strike players are going to switch to it. Most people are going to give it a try. Maybe the top players will stick around for a little while longer but the majority of the players are going to switch over.”
Michael Phil Crawford, aka LongWalk, 18, from New York. Finished first place in the Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne tournament, winning $5,000 and a seeded spot at BlizzCon 2009.
“It's going to be a great game. They added a lot of new features while still keeping the game relatively balanced, even for just being in dev and not even close to coming out. I can't wait to play it. Actually playing it, now I can see why there's so much hype.
I'm just going to put it out there, I think StarCraft II you have to be, not more intelligent, you have to have a lot more information in your head to play it. Warcraft, several major strategies have risen to the top. You can see that because in matches with the same race versus the same race, they do the same things versus each other. Otherwise if there wasn't one best strategy they would counter something with something else and someone would counter that. But with StarCraft II there are so many counters to units because there are no heroes. Heroes are a lot stronger than normal units. Warcraft has heroes and StarCraft II doesn't. Heroes allow you to overcome counters, whereas in StarCraft II you would have needed to make the counter. In Warcraft you might say, I'll get these units to counter these units and my hero will do the rest. In StarCraft II there is no do the rest. So it becomes more about strategy and getting resources. In Warcraft it's more about controlling that hero and making sure you use him to his full potential.
I guess the game speed is a little bit faster. The best players of Warcraft are probably moving almost as fast as the best players of StarCraft II. In StarCraft II, because you have no hero, no concentrated power, there's a lot of small battles happening around the map. It's less about controlling an army to its optimum potential. It's more about making a strategic attack appear so you can divert his attention from down here, so you can take his left while you're attacking the right. Warcraft is more like a battle. StarCraft II is more like a war.”