So lets whine a little more. I have a problem with the skill cieling of micro in SC2. Does anyone else feel that it is, in fact, quite low? At least compared to SC:BW? If so, don't hesitate to agree with me. Do it with an exclamation mark at the end so I can feel good about myself. In SC:BW, there were some casters and alot of spells that were severely underused, not because they were no good, but because the time and effort spent to use them were not cost efficient. Spells like lockdown, ensnare, flare and mind control. This meant
A) That they were very rarely seen. Which sucked.
B) When they were used and used well, it was SO AWESOME!
Pick a list of greatest starcraft moments and most of them will probably involve underused spells. I'm terrible with names, but for example there is the malestrom of an entire zerg air army, lockdown on bunch of battlecruisers, flare on a bunch of observers, ensnare on a m&m ball, mind control on dropships.
In my ever so humble opinion, the spells mentioned were ever. so. slightly too hard to use in SC:BW. Seeing them just a bit more often would have really spiced some matchups up. But making it too easy would have reduced their appeal.
This is what has happened in SC2. At the start of any TvP fight, the protoss army gets empd, its a rule, and the entire terran army is stormed with precision, if the toss has templars with mana. Its a rule. Nuking an entire army to shit with a couple of ravens takes less effort than stimming your marines. Its not impressive. Another example? Boxing in your opponents army with sentries. Not fucking hard, OK? But now, as I watch SC2 streams, narrators go nuts when someone blinks low-health stalkers to the back of the line, calling it amazing micro. That's not amazing, a child could do it!
The bad guy is, of course, smartcasting. Except for the case of the stalker blink. That's just plain unimpressive micro :p Why is it that we're impressed by progamer play? Because they're fast. Strategy and metagame and decision making is all fine and well, but they don't make you go "whooo!" We admire progamers because they're fast, speed is impressive. If there was smartcasting in SC:BW, who here would raise their eyebrows when an entire army gets melted by storm, or when a zillion observers/battlecruisers get blinded/lockdowned?
Smartcasting has made the game unimpressive from a spectator point of view, but it has also greatly reduced the satisfaction garnered when you manage to pull a barrage of storms off well. It's not difficult anymore, and knowing that makes even the player himself less elated at his own gameplay.
Can I get a hell yeah? Mmm, endorfins...
OK, moving on to solutions. The obvious one, remove smartcasting, I'll say is the worst one. Yes I said it, it needs to stay. First of all because Blizzard are never going to remove it, I mean are you kidding? Second of all, without smartcasting we have the SC:BW situation where its not worth the effort.
Second solution is to create more opportunities for micro, so many that nobody will be able to do them all. That way we get back the awe of a progamer doing shit that shouldn't be possible with human hands and we also get more depth in battles, the more micro you are able to pull off the better outcome. Right now, as far as TvP goes, the only microing worth the effort is the two-three emps at the start of the battle and possibly storm dodging. Higher rewards for better micro wanted.
Third solution: "its FINE, there is no problem. Smartcasting gives more time to micro other things than spellcasting."
This may be true, apart from for example emp, which is essentially undodgeable and inevidable. Maybe the time saved in not having to individually storm can be used to actually micromanage your zeals, or drop micro your immortals when they get single-targeted? Maybe the problem here is that no koreans have been able to train for 12 hours a day for a couple of years at this game. To be honest, I was never all that impressed by non-korean gameplay in SC:BW either. But if not by storm barrage, muta micro or lurker dodging, what's to make me go "whooooo!" in SC2? Wow, I really have to think hard to even come up with something sarcastic... Uh... Uuuuh... Burrowed banelings?
To be fair it doesn't necessarily have to be micro that gets the adrenaline going, just something significant and perhaps even luck based (so shoot me). Reaver scarabs and spider mines added a multitude of enjoyment to spectating, is there anything even close to those things in SC2?
Hmm, maybe I should rewrite this blog to be about luck rather than micro... Naah.
Whatever, I may be imagining all of this, but at least do me one favor: stop calling stalker blinking "amazing micro".