Need replacement for StarCraft 2. Any recommendations?

ajbrehm

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 14, 2002
341
0
Zurich, Switzerland
I bought StarCraft 2 and was utterly disappointed.

SC2 doesn't support LAN play and while two players can play against each other via Battle.net, the latency of the Internet connection is annoying and we were also disconnected from the Battle.net server after 20 minutes of playing with only the option to "surrender" open to us. I don't want to try again and hope that this time the connection remains stable enough to play for a while.

And since I am now a bit sick of Blizzard I don't want to play StarCraft 1 any more either.

Can anyone recommend an alternative, something StarCraft-like (real time tactics), where peasants collect minerals or gold, make it into buildings and units who kill each other? Must work on Intel Macs. Don't care what it costs. Prefer anything that can be bought online immediately. Any ideas?
 

deadwulfe

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2010
737
2
Warcraft III



















All kidding aside, Civ IV is the closest thing I know of on Steam.
 

Kelmon

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2005
724
0
United Kingdom
I realise that this doesn't fit in with your requirements but I'm going to say Dawn Of War 2 via Steam and Boot Camp. There's no mineral collection or building (except in the multiplayer, but I don't do multiplayer) but there's plenty of sci-fi action, a decent campaign and the ability to collect upgrades and experience. Not having to muck about building bases is different but quite refreshing.

I believe you can get Dawn Of War 1 via download (again, via Boot Camp) if you really want base building.
 

ajbrehm

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 14, 2002
341
0
Zurich, Switzerland
I tried WarCraft III years ago. I found it too weird. I totally didn't like the idea with the heroes. I want the little people to slaughter each other, not feature individual heroes and an unimportant rest.

Age of Mythology sounds good. Can I play 2 humans vs 3 computers or something like that?

Civ 4 is good but turn-based. Doesn't give itself to two-hour games in the evenings.

I am grateful for recommendations for Windows as well. Maybe I can get something to run in VirtualBox.
 

jmnikricket

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2008
92
0
I bought StarCraft 2 and was utterly disappointed.

SC2 doesn't support LAN play and while two players can play against each other via Battle.net, the latency of the Internet connection is annoying and we were also disconnected from the Battle.net server after 20 minutes of playing with only the option to "surrender" open to us. I don't want to try again and hope that this time the connection remains stable enough to play for a while.
You played one match of a highly anticipated online game on launch day and expected the servers to be flawless? I'll tell you they were pretty darn good; I got dropped once in 10+ hours. It was probably just bad luck; also if you didn't reboot after installation I would recommend it.

Even the best games with the most stable servers you will get dropped occassionally and you're not even willing to try logging in a second time after spending $60? I wish I could afford to have your standards :rolleyes:
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
no offense, OP, but something doesn't add up.

Your internet connection is laggy enough that you don't want to play starcraft II online, but you want to buy a game just like starcraft II, 1 day after release, that you can download over the internet?

How exactly do you plan on getting rid of SC2 to begin with? It's sort of tied to you now, you know.

or are you just mad that the torrented version you downloaded doesn't work, and will never work with multiplayer because of the no-LAN thing?

I have DSL Direct Basic service, which is the slowest possible DSL connection, at home, and I can play all of my online games with no problems at all. I have to wait a LONG time for videos to buffer online, and hulu, for example, is almost unusable for me, but unless you're using satellite internet, there's no way your lag to any decent servers (IE Blizzard or Valve's servers) is worth mentioning.

I'm betting you're in a dorm and you found out after downloading a torrent that SC2 doesn't have LAN play.
 

MyDesktopBroke

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2007
396
0
I didn't buy SC2 for a couple reasons. Most of them are connected to how Bobby "take the fun out making games" Kotick and hacktivision seem to have twisted Blizzard's arm concerning distribution.

Basically Mr. Kotick wants to make sure every person has to pay $60 for 1/3 of the game, register on battle.net 2.0 which restricts and cripples the map making community (that would be too "fun" for Mr. Kotick), remove LAN (basically crippling competitive play, which now requires Blizzard authorization to hold tournaments over Battle.net 2.0, plus Blizzard gets a cut of any revenue generated) and all this is shoved down our, the honest fan's, throat to combat "piracy."

Of course, people have already gotten cracked, pirated versions of SC2 on battle.net, so it's all pointless. Just like it was for Bioshock 2. And Modern Warfare 2. And Crysis. And, oh, never mind. Once again, a company penalizes only the honest customers for absolutely no reason.

Hackers gon' hack, buyers gon' buy.

So, yeah. Playing the beta was more than enough for me until Bobby Kotick goes back to what ever hole he crawled out of. He's probably the final boss in Diablo 3. Blech, I'm really disappointed, considering SC2 was actually a quality production, and I really have to give props to Dustin Browder and the rest of his team.
 

Slux

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2010
85
0
You played one match of a highly anticipated online game on launch day and expected the servers to be flawless?
This.

I played on launch day in South-East Asia (which includes Korea!) and there were one or two drops and strange occurences, but considering that was the launch day of one of the most highly anticipated games of the decade ... on a new multiplayer platform ... I was pretty impressed.
 

ajbrehm

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 14, 2002
341
0
Zurich, Switzerland
You played one match of a highly anticipated online game on launch day and expected the servers to be flawless? I'll tell you they were pretty darn good; I got dropped once in 10+ hours. It was probably just bad luck; also if you didn't reboot after installation I would recommend it.

Even the best games with the most stable servers you will get dropped occassionally and you're not even willing to try logging in a second time after spending $60? I wish I could afford to have your standards :rolleyes:
If they sell a multiplayer game without LAN support, the online experience should better be flawless. It was not.

Reading the SC2 forums we were not the only ones experiencing this.

My standards have been the same since I started playing multiplayer games in the early 90s using a serial cable between PCs: if the network fails, it was my own fault. That's the standard. I am not going to lower it in the 21st century.

no offense, OP, but something doesn't add up.

Your internet connection is laggy enough that you don't want to play starcraft II online, but you want to buy a game just like starcraft II, 1 day after release, that you can download over the internet?
I don't know anyone who has an Internet connection that offers the latency of a LAN. So, yes, my Internet connection is "laggy enough".


How exactly do you plan on getting rid of SC2 to begin with? It's sort of tied to you now, you know.
Shouldn't be a problem. I'll just disagree with the next update of licence terms and send the game back to Blizzard.


or are you just mad that the torrented version you downloaded doesn't work, and will never work with multiplayer because of the no-LAN thing?
Yes, if you disagree with someone, he is probably a criminal. That's very clever.



I have DSL Direct Basic service, which is the slowest possible DSL connection, at home, and I can play all of my online games with no problems at all.
So can I. But when I play a game against my flat mate who is sitting at the next table, the difference between LAN and Internet connection is very noticeable indeed, especially when the Battle.net server drops the connection.


I have to wait a LONG time for videos to buffer online, and hulu, for example, is almost unusable for me, but unless you're using satellite internet, there's no way your lag to any decent servers (IE Blizzard or Valve's servers) is worth mentioning.

I'm betting you're in a dorm and you found out after downloading a torrent that SC2 doesn't have LAN play.
Yes, that's much more likely that my stupid story about missing LAN support and the difference between LAN and Internet when it comes to real-time strategy games that (should) allow for micromanagement of units.

Perhaps, and that is a pure guess on my part, you are not a very good real-time strategy player and hence never noticed what a difference even marginally acceptable micromanagement makes and how much difference there is between low and high latency?

This.

I played on launch day in South-East Asia (which includes Korea!) and there were one or two drops and strange occurences, but considering that was the launch day of one of the most highly anticipated games of the decade ... on a new multiplayer platform ... I was pretty impressed.
Your standards must be pretty low.

Even in the early 90s when the network connection was a 9600 baud serial cable or modem I don't remember experiencing any drops that I couldn't explain with problems with my own hardware or expertise.

If they want to move everything to an Internet-based system they should make sure that they can compete with the experience I had almost 20 years ago. I won't adjust my standards to match their version of the 21st century.

You should take a look at Supreme Commander 2. Very similar with SC2
Thanks! I'll have a look.

Basically Mr. Kotick wants to make sure every person has to pay $60 for 1/3 of the game, register on battle.net 2.0 which restricts and cripples the map making community (that would be too "fun" for Mr. Kotick), remove LAN (basically crippling competitive play, which now requires Blizzard authorization to hold tournaments over Battle.net 2.0, plus Blizzard gets a cut of any revenue generated) and all this is shoved down our, the honest fan's, throat to combat "piracy."
That seems to be it exactly.

Of course, we have seen here that some people don't notice a difference between LAN and Internet and even think that anyone who would prefer a LAN over an Internet connection must have downloaded the game illegally. So perhaps Mr. Kotick's strategy will work out.

Incidentally, I enjoyed trying out community-made maps.
 

jmnikricket

macrumors member
Jun 6, 2008
92
0
Your standards must be pretty low.

Even in the early 90s when the network connection was a 9600 baud serial cable or modem I don't remember experiencing any drops that I couldn't explain with problems with my own hardware or expertise.

If they want to move everything to an Internet-based system they should make sure that they can compete with the experience I had almost 20 years ago. I won't adjust my standards to match their version of the 21st century.
Hehe you have a point. I've adjusted my expectations after years of WoW weekly extended server maintenance and crashes to the point you can't even log in after new content is released.
 

ajbrehm

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 14, 2002
341
0
Zurich, Switzerland
Hehe you have a point. I've adjusted my expectations after years of WoW weekly extended server maintenance and crashes to the point you can't even log in after new content is released.
And that's a game where you actually need a connection to play.

With SC2 the requirement to connect to whatever Blizzard consider a working server is completely artificial.
 

NexusEclipse

macrumors newbie
Jan 2, 2009
18
5
Other RTS online games

I have been a fan of RTS games for a while and was still playing War 3x until maybe last year. I have now rolled over into League of Legends (mac edition isn't out yet but boot camp works great). I play with 2 other people in my Apt constantly and havent had any issues with significant lag. We have a mac pro, macbook pro and a regular PC all playing the same game across the internet on their version of battle.net. My collectors edition is coming today, so we will test that out, but the issue is likely to be with blizzard's server not handling it properly or a bottle neck on your own network.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,087
1,097
SC2 doesn't support LAN play and while two players can play against each other via Battle.net, the latency of the Internet connection is annoying and we were also disconnected from the Battle.net server after 20 minutes of playing with only the option to "surrender" open to us. I don't want to try again and hope that this time the connection remains stable enough to play for a while.
Really? What are you on? 56k? I have cable and I have no issues playing online.

The only dropping I've seen is because the NVidia drivers suck ass and can lock up the machine just enough that you drop.
 

ajbrehm

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Aug 14, 2002
341
0
Zurich, Switzerland
Really? What are you on? 56k? I have cable and I have no issues playing online.
8 Mbit/s DSL. Lag has little to do with speed. It's about distance.

Blizzard's servers are obviously further away than the other computers in my LAN.


The only dropping I've seen is because the NVidia drivers suck ass and can lock up the machine just enough that you drop.
The dropping has nothing to do with speed or lag. That was simply Blizzard's server being overloaded.

And I wouldn't mind that if it weren't for the fact that having to play via their stupid server when we are in the same room is completely unnecessary.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,087
1,097
8 Mbit/s DSL. Lag has little to do with speed. It's about distance.

Blizzard's servers are obviously further away than the other computers in my LAN.




The dropping has nothing to do with speed or lag. That was simply Blizzard's server being overloaded.

And I wouldn't mind that if it weren't for the fact that having to play via their stupid server when we are in the same room is completely unnecessary.
But games aren't hosted on BNet... Games are hosted on your local machine. BNet is just matchmaking. At least last I checked.
 

aki

macrumors 6502a
Mar 2, 2004
688
0
Japan
I wouldn't give up on SC2 just yet. It's only been out a few days, and battlenet is bound to have some teething problems. Re the no-LAN option, they've been up front about that from the beginning, it's regretable, especially for the pro scene (although apparently Bliz is working on a special solution for that), but it's the way of the future (sadly) - cloud and all that.

SC2 is a great game as an RTS though. The single-player is a little meh story-wise but tactically speaking it's fantastic. And the multi is just going to get better and better.

Give it a few weeks and try again!

PS. FYI I'm on SEA from Japan and have had nill latency issues so far.
 

Slux

macrumors member
Apr 27, 2010
85
0
Your standards must be pretty low.
Hmm, your memory must be somewhat rose-tinted ;)

Battle.net was much worse in the 90s when Starcraft 1 was released, and also in the early 2000s when Warcraft 3 came out. In both cases it settled to a "useable" state fairly quickly, but glitches and drops were very common.

What we're seeing here is just the same thing, except not quite as bad, and it seems to have settled down already (for me, at least).

Even in the early 90s when the network connection was a 9600 baud serial cable or modem I don't remember experiencing any drops that I couldn't explain with problems with my own hardware or expertise.
OK sure, because if you are connecting from computer to computer, the only possible source of those problems is the hardware or your expertise.

Comparing apples with apples, the internet (battle.net) stability for multiplayer is much better now than it was in the 90s.

The lack of LAN play is another discussion. It's disappointing, sure. However I'd wager that at most 1% of players actually connect via LAN in this day and age, at least where internet connectivity is available.

If they want to move everything to an Internet-based system they should make sure that they can compete with the experience I had almost 20 years ago. I won't adjust my standards to match their version of the 21st century.
I sort of know where you're coming from, but you're comparing apples (online play) with oranges (LAN play).

Unfortunately for you, Blizzard took away all your oranges. ;)

I'd sit tight ... with the huge outcry about lack of LAN support on the forums it might be added in a later patch.

IMHO the sheer volume of people complaining about this is indicitive of the fact that most people want it so that they can play a pirated copy and avoid the battle.net authentication system, but YMMV.
 

Cerebrus' Maw

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2008
409
1
Brisbane, Australia
Points:

In the OP's defense, for all the people that are saying they are playing fine on slow connections to Bnet, remember that you aren't playing someone in your house. The OP is, probably meaning that he has to share is already slow connection with the other person.

Personally, I'm not massively caught up with the LAN-less issue, simply because I dont live with my flatmates anymore, however, I can see why it would be a major point for other people, especially if you live with your mate's or have grown up with LAN parties such as counterstrike, C&C and others.

Activision managed to push onto the Moden Warfare 2 PC Community that having match making servers was the way to go, and despite massive initial misgivings, the community bought into it. And as an aside, Activision made an absolute mint out of it.


To the people complaining that it's "1/3" the game at $60, remember that the original SC had only 10 missions per race. Starcraft 2 comes packed with 30, along with much updated gameplay, graphics and extra content. Also, we have no idea at what rage they will price the expansions for Zerg and Protoss. Everyone is saying $180 dollars for the same game, but I would be surprised if it was. I reckon that if they publish the Zerg and Protoss campaigns as Expansion packs rather then stand alone games, they might be $30 each, maybe a bit less.

But I have been surpirsed before....

-Maw
 

johnny_b

macrumors member
Dec 14, 2003
55
0
Norway
Armies of Exago. It's a Windows game, but it runs perfect in CrossOver.

It's more like WC3 without heroes and with the new "invensions" from SC2 like select more units, having two units from the queue being trained, and so on. It also have LAN and internet playing.
 

Tarzanman

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2010
1,302
14
I play Warcraft 3 regularly online. I even have the Frozen Throne expansion. I was considering Starcraft 2 (you know, buying it), but no way after hearing about the price and the features they removed.

It is about principle at this point. No reason to fork over money for a crippled product.

Activision is doing a good job slowly spoiling titles they get their paws on. Guitar Hero 3 and on = the Suck. Starcraft 2 = no longer the premier real time strategy game. Diablo 3 will probably be another letdown.
 

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