StarCraft’s Multi-Player Feature
One of the most amazing features that is used in StarCraft is the multi-player feature. By using the multi-player function, up to eight players can compete in an array of game modes from king of the hill and capture the flag to trying to destroy all of the other players on a single level. The game also uses a bunch of specialized scenarios to create different types of games, like football games, hoverbike races, and hunting competitions.
StarCraft also utilizes a spawn installation, which limits the multiplayer functions. It has to be installed with a disc and a product key in order to actually function as the full version does. One product key can support as many as eight spawned installations with access to Battle.net. Battle.net is online gaming platform that was developed by Blizzard Entertainment. It has been running since the mid-1990s and was started because of the game Diablo. It was really the first online gaming service to incorporate directly within the game itself, unlike the external interfaces that were employed at that time. Battle.net was a big selling point for Diablo and, as a result, also StarCraft.
StarCraft boosted the usage of Battle.net enormously and it grew even larger when Brood War was released. There are literally tens of thousands of players all around the world logged into Battle.net at any given time. Of course, as StarCraft is so huge in South Korea, Battle.net was successful in South Korea where the number of players logged is substantially greater than the number in the United States.
With StarCraft came a new copy protection scheme with the use of CD keys. With Diablo, Battle.net would let any client to login to the service. But with StarCraft, only players with the valid product key could actually get into the system. The CD keys allowed Battle.net to have control over games, muting players who were not playing well verbally, restricting players to certain channels, or even ban players altogether. StarCraft really started the key system on Battle.net and every game since then has had one too.
Multi-Player Build Strategy
Here are some quick ideas for successful multi-player campaigns in StarCraft.
- Build up Early: While it’s only a general suggestion, building up early has tested very well for me when playing any of the three races. You will need to separate the four peons as you put them on the different mineral crystals. Don’t built if it’s keeping you from hatching new peons.
- Don’t build if it’s preventing you from making a fighter. If you are trying to build marines, you don’t barracks if you can’t afford to make another marine after one is done building, just don’t do it.
- Don’t get wrapped up in scouting or fighting that you neglect your build order and economy.
- Have enough men on hand to hold of an early rush. Don’t kill yourself off before the game has even started. That would just be disappointing.
- Towers are cool, but not necessary. Building fighters will help you in the beginning. Don’t waste time and resources on building towers that will really only help you further on in the game. I mean really towers are good for distracting invaders or to help with cloak detection, but so not needed at the beginning of the game.
- Be smart with your resources in a multi-player game. Other players will be at the same starting point as you. You don’t want to beef up on your defense and fighters while letting your resources dwindle, but you also don’t want to focus too much on your resources and leave yourself open to attack. Balance yourself out.