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StarCraft
General Information
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Release Dates: 31 March 1998 (Starcraft)
30 November 1998 (Brood War)
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
Apple Mac OS X

StarCraft: Brood War General Introduction[edit]

StarCraft is a real time strategy game (RTS) published by Blizzard Entertainment on March 31st, 1998. The expansion pack Brood War was released a few months later in the same year on November 30th. The last competitive Balance Patch was released on May 18th, 2001. It is one of the most successful competitive video game titles of all time, with over ten million copies sold by 2007[1]. The single player campaign tells the story of three outer-space species the Zerg, Terran and Protoss (also referred to as the three races), in their fight for galactic dominance.

Brood War is often referred to as the best balanced game - meaning that every playable race is as strong as the others. This, combined with the game's popularity, resulted in a world-wide competitive scene that has lasted over 14 years. The "e-Sports" scene developed particularly in South-Korea, enabling players to make a living by playing it competitively. The skill difference between players from Korea and the rest of the world quickly grew large, resulting in the term foreigner describing any non-Korean.

This article is a guide into basic competitive play.

Game Mechanics[edit]

The goal of StarCraft Brood War is very simple: kill all your opponent's buildings. To do so, a player needs to harvest resources, which are spent on constructing buildings and training units. The units make up armies that are then controlled to defeat the opponent's forces. Oftentimes, the complete destruction of buildings is not needed. Upon facing a sure defeat, a player can leave the game, often typing "gg" (meaning Good Game), and thereby forfeiting the match.

While the scenario above seems straightforward, Brood War demands a lot from the player in terms of dexterity and decision making. Armed with keyboard and mouse, the player has to execute a number of commands in a short period of time to ensure he is harvesting resources and building his base and army, while at the same time controlling his units. This execution is called Mechanical Skill or Mechanics for short. Aside from this aspect of the game any player also has to constantly judge the game flow, react to the opponent's maneuvers and army compositions. The decision making is called Strategy.

Brood War is easy to learn but hard to master, making it both a challenging game to pick up and a recipe for a successful competitive scene.

Races[edit]

One of StarCraft's innovation were the three races. They are not only different in their optical design (like WarCraft 2's pallete swap), but they are systematically different. As a result, all races play out differently, even varying depending on the race of the opponent, and feature different strategies and army compositions.



Terran Terran - Human race
Characteristics
Average unit costs
Can be built anywhere, many buildings can lift off
Slower mobility and good defense
Can repair buildings and units with workers
Terran Units
Terran Strategy


Zerg Zerg - Insectoid alien race
Characteristics
Cheap units built in quantity
Very mobile but relatively weak units
Buildings must be built on Creep
Drones sacrifice themselves to become buildings
Zerg Units
Zerg Strategy


Protoss Protoss - Advanced alien race
Characteristics
Expensive and strong units
Buildings must be built within range of a Pylon
Probes need only to begin a building's warp-in
All units and buildings are equipped with a regenerative shield
Protoss Units
Protoss Strategy


Platforms[edit]

StarCraft Brood War can be played on different platforms (gateways). These can be distinguished on their software: PVPGN realms (Battle.net 1.0, short for Player vs. Player Gaming Network) or simulated LAN environments. To connect to PVPGN realms a gateway editor or registry files are needed. Almost every platform needs third party tools (Launchers) to be accessed, mostly to prevent players from using hacks.


Public Battle.net
Type: Official
Official platform
No ladder system
Warden(disabled)
No launcher
Language: Various
Guide: Public Battle.net

ICCup
Type: PVPGN Realm
Traditional foreign platform
Custom ranking system
Anti-Hack
ICCup Launcher
Language: English, Russian
Guide: ICCup

Fish Server
Type: PVPGN Realm
Korean platform
ELO Rating
Anti-Hack
Mini Launcher/wLauncher
Language: Korean
Guide: Fish Server

Garena
Simulated LAN
International platform
no ladder
no Anti-Hack
Garena Launcher
Language: English
Guide: Garena

The population of all platforms depends on the time zones. The average skill level of all platforms varies between very low to very high, with the exception for Garena, which is the home to probably the least skilled players. Every PVPGN Server additionally needs a small amount of knowledge about the Chat Commands.

Beginner Communities
sGs (Clan)
Practice Partners(Players)
Events & Leagues
D Ranks League

Replays and VODs[edit]

Replays and VODs (Video on Demand, Video Files) are commonly used to either learn new strategies, strategical analysis of own games or for entertainment purposes.

Replay Databases
TeamLiquid United Kingdom
GosuGamers United Kingdom
Broodwar.de Germany
ICCup United Kingdom / Russia / South Korea
Reps.ru Russia
Guide: Replays
VOD Databases
TeamLiquid United Kingdom
TeamLiquid South Korea
Broodwar.de Germany
kjwcj on YouTube South Korea
Sayle on YouTube United Kingdom
Day(9) Podcasts United Kingdom
ICCup TV United Kingdom
Defiler.ru YouTube Russia

References[edit]