KublaiKhan's StarCraft & Brood War Page

Name: StarCraft
Publisher: Blizzard
Release Date: 1998
Review Date: November 2000
Operating System: Windows 95/98/2000/NT
Rating (1-10): 9.8
I've been playing StarCraft since the beginning of 1999, and I think it's one of the best real-time strategy games ever. Blizzard took the gameplay elements that made their WarCraft product so successful and expanded on all of them. In StarCraft, you can play as one of three races, and the experience with each is completely different. (This is a major improvement over WarCraft, in which the Orcs and Humans played very similarly.) StarCraft also sports more units and more upgrades than WarCraft did, but Blizzard managed to provide all of this variety with incredible balance, so there's no single "killer combo" to win every game.

The story line is very well-written and engaging, providing large campaigns for each of the races. And once you've completed the single-player games, you can play online against other people via Blizzard's free BattleNet service. Which leads me to my only gripe about the game: SO many people play StarCraft online that BattleNet becomes virtually unusable on Friday and Saturday nights!


Name: StarCraft: Brood War Expansion
Publisher: Blizzard
Release Date: 1999
Review Date: November 2000
Operating System: Windows 95/98/2000/NT
Rating (1-10): 10
Brood War was one of the best expansion packages ever released for any game. It provided another whole series of campaigns, furthering the story from its predecessor, and it introduced new units and upgrades for all three races. Once again, the power balance is extraordinary -- rather than upsetting the delicate balance of the original StarCraft game, Brood War actually fine-tunes that balance even further. And you can, of course, play the Brood War version on BattleNet against other people too.

KublaiKhan's StarCraft Hints
Blizzard has published pages and pages of hints on their own website, so I won't waste time repeating stuff that's better said there. I do have a few basic hints, though:
  1. Production is King. Like most strategy games, StarCraft requires an almost insane devotion to building production capacity as efficiently as possible. If you don't create enough workers and/or secure sufficient resources, you'll probably lose.
  2. Technology is Critical. As in most strategy games, it's important to research upgrades for your units; otherwise, you'll waste a lot of resources on units that die too quickly in actual combat.
  3. Mixed Forces Work. Forces composed of a single type of unit have inherent weaknesses that can easily be exploited. Try to combine units that support each other. As humans, though, we have difficulty marshalling and controlling forces composed of too many different types of units, so there's some degree of trade-off. I tend to use forces composed of two or three types of units.

KublaiKhan's StarCraft Maps
Blizzard provided a Campaign Editor with the basic StarCraft package, and I've created several maps with it. (The Campaign Editor is a little cumbersome to use, in large part because it has no cut-and-paste capability, requiring you to delete and then re-place any item that you want to move. See my links section below for helpful sites.)
  • KublaiKhan's Compass (Melee): This was my first map, and it's not particularly inspired. It features eight very defensible bases arranged symmetrically around a central horde of minerals and gas.
  • KublaiKhan's Citadel (UMS): This is a fairly advanced trigger map. Six players attempt to capture a central fortress defended by two computer players. I tried to make the computer do what *I* would do to defend the fortress, and it can pull some nasty tricks.
  • KublaiKhan's Shared Bases (Melee): This is a new approach to the "Shared Bases" map that's currently popular on BattleNet. In my version, you and your allies share a corner of the map, while your opponents share the opposite corner. Expansions are in the semi-contested middle, so you have to work for them.
  • KublaiKhan's Trainer (UMS): This map lets you and up to two other players practice my Shared map against three well-established computer opponents. This map is very hard to win if you're playing solo.
  • KublaiKhan's Assault (UMS): This is yet a third version of my shared bases map, designed to give the solo player a decent chance of winning against three well-established computers. You start with an entire Protoss base, but it's still hard.
  • Conventional Warfare (UMS): In what seemed like an interesting idea at the time, this scenario simulates a conventional military exchange. You are limited to Terran units, and I've modified them to behave more like their modern-day counterparts. Furthermore, you don't build units, but instead receive them from some "high command" as they become available. This map provides an interesting game for those who've grown tired of the usual "mine a lot of minerals then build a big force and attack" scenario.

KublaiKhan's StarCraft Links
This is my collection of StarCraft links. Please let me know if any are broken.

Strategy

Blizzard Strategy Guide: Terran Unit Stats
Blizzard Strategy Guide: Terran Hot Keys
Blizzard Strategy Guide: Protoss Unit Stats
Blizzard Strategy Guide: Protoss Hot Keys
Blizzard Strategy Guide: Zerg Unit Stats
Blizzard Strategy Guide: Zerg Hot Keys

Maps & Mapmaking Tools

Battle.net Starcraft Map Development Forum
Campaign Creations - The Definitive Source for Custom Campaigns
Campaign Creations: Starcraft Programs - Starcraft Staredit Resource
Custom Creations
HELLSS Site - StarEdit Everything!
Infoceptor - Utilities
MDA Mapmaking Bible - Index
Starcraft.org - Downloads: Utilities
Starcraft: Negative Zero AI Help [http://terranmarine.tsx.org]
StarCraft: Negative Zero Trigger Help [http://terranmarine.tsx.org]
StarCraft Melee Maps by Xample

Hacks & Cheats

StarCraft Affiliation Hacks
StarCraft Cool Hacks, Maps, Cheats and Mods!
StarCraft Dedication Hacks
Adzman's Ultimate StarCraft Cheats
Best Cheat's- PC Game Cheats!
Thrawn's Battle.Net Cheats
Ultimate Gaming Cheats Zone

General Interest

Blizzard's StarCraft Home Page
BW-Accessories
DP's StarCraft Page
Infoceptor Home Page
Nuclear Winter Gaming Network - Starcraft
Point StarCraft
Rellik's Domain
Starcraft.org
StarCraft Affiliation
Starcraft Computing World For You!
StarCraft Dedication
StarCraft Legacy
StarCraft: Negative Zero HomePage
ShadowFactor (BattleCom)


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1999-2000 Robert M. Freeland II. All rights reserved.
Changes last made on: Thu, Nov 30, 2000
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