이번 글은 김연우님의 '흔들리는 신화, 새롭게 쓰이는 전설'입니다.
초벌번역을 해주신 Means님께 감사드립니다.
명백한 오/탈자가 아닌 이상은 수정을 받지 않겠습니다.
This article was written by Kim YeonWoo.
Special thanks to Means for the roughdraft.
Corrections other than spelling will NOT be appreciated:D
:: Ball Games and Starcraft ::
- A Ball That Rules the World
People all over the world are being enthusiastic over the sports. And the sports are played with 'round' balls. Soccer, baseball, basketball,
volleyball, table tennis, tennis, golf, you name it. In most of the popular sports, players do with balls.
It is the magical power of the ball that governs the Earth.
- Fight for Balls, Fight for Possessing Balls
It was a cartoon titled 'Dragon Ball' that has ruled my teens along with another cartoon 'Slam Dunk.' Even though its later part of story
becomes like a heroic one, this cartoon basically describes a fight for Dragon Ball, an omnipotent magic ball.
The ball with the power and the fight for it; together they compose the core of ball games.
In soccer, a team with more goals wins. The only way to score a goal is to kick the ball into the goalpost. Only the one with the ball is able
to score, and the best defense is not to give the ball to the opponent. The ball represents the initiative of the game. Therefore the
'ball occupation rate', which means 'how long a team had the ball', becomes a critical data in the evaluation of a game.
< An intense fight for the ball; a beauty of ball games >
- Is Starcraft a ball game?
Someone says 'it is,' since a ball inside a mouse is certainly a ball. Of course, it's a joke.
As a matter of fact, Starcraft is similar to ball games with respect to a fight for the dominance. In a Starcraft game, the dominance means
'who occupies the center.' The occupation of the center allows an attack upon the opponent and the defense of its base.
- Passing the ball around and the 24-Second Shot Clock
In 2006 WorldCup, Korea focused on the defense rather than the offense by passing the ball around, when leading the game against
Togo 2 to 1. Some were disappointed with this play. Passing the ball around is a fatal defect of ball games.
A leading team wins the game as long as it sustains the score difference for the remaining time. Furthermore, if it has the ball, meaning
the initiative, it is much easier to defend.
Thus exists the 24-Second Shot Clock in a basketball game. A team can have the ball only for 24 seconds, therefore exerts to attack
to its best while having the initiative, the ball.
< Marines vs. Zerglings, Terran wins! >
< Zerglings and Lurkers vs. Marines, Zerg wins! >
< A combination of units vs. Zerglings and Lurkers, Terran wins! >
- Tech-Tree and Massing
< With Defilers, Zerg wins! >
In the early battle among units, A leads; in the middle stage, B gets the edge; then at last, A dominates the game again. That's a
Starcraft game. That's why 'timing' matters. This timing depends on the tech-tree.
This plays a role of the 24-Second Shot Clock in the basketball game. While taking the advantage, the player should deliver an attack to
a greater extent, but when taking the disadvantage, he should refrain from a reckless attack until he gets back the edge.
Then came the era of massing. It means pupming basic units instead of teching. The power of tech-tree as the 24-Second Shot Clock
was decreased. Therefore, the appearance of turtling as passing the ball around is very much reasonable.
:: A Lost-Temple Style Large-Scale Battle at the Center::
- A Lost-Temple Style Large-Scale Battle at the Center
The easy-to-get mineral and gas expansions, and the center battlefield which bridges every expansion.
Simply put, a huge amount of resources that guarantee a large number of units, and the vast center which gives leading players the
advantage are at the hearts of a lost-temple style battle.
Even after a player loses one battle and retreats to his base, he can seek a moment to lead the game after replenishing his units
from plenty of resources.
In addition, if a player comes to occupy the center which connects every base, he can overturn the game immediately.
A lost-temple style large-scale battle has become a basis for building official maps for 7 years after Starcraft broadcastings have started.
< A representative large-scale center map, Lost Temple >
- Zerg, As The Last Runner of the Era of Massing
'Massing' is meaningful only because it works. Because of Zerg's basic units are very weak against the unit combination of other races,
'massing' is not in Zerg's dictionary.
Rookie Zerg players, however, are different. sAviOr combines a stable three-Hatchery tactic with a basic strategy against Terran,
consisted of Mutalisk and Lurker and expansions and Hive. Zerglings and Hydralisks accompanied with Dark Swarm and Plague
from Defilers combat evenly with Marines and Medics or Zealots and Dragoons.
- Arcardia II and Where is 24-Second Shot Clock?
The aspects of TvsZ in Arcardia II are so unique. Its imbalance, 0:10, is strange, but the more peculiar fact is that 'Terran lost the game
after having done everything he wanted to do.'
In existing imbalanced maps, the problem was disadvantages of certain races that could not have the wanted unit combinations due
to the difficulty of powering the economy. The resource-concentrated maps which allows the players to do whatever they want,
so called the 'Lost Temple Style Nature and Mineral expansions,' guaranteed the minimum balance among races.
But in Arcardia II, Terran players have a hard time. Terran fails to reclaim the center dominated by Zerg; stuck at its base and losing
the game after all.
When Zerg entered the era of massing, a variable called tech-tree has disappered, and so has the 24-Second Shot Clock. As a fast and
stable Hive strategy prevails, the TvsZ games are Marines, Medics, Tanks and Vessels against Zerglings, Lurkers and Defilers. With
the disappearance of tech-tree, the unit combination variable, losing one large-scale battle means a final defeat; not a way to recover
the unit differences.
< The balance in Arcardia looks relieved, but 0:10 was of course shocking. >
- A Shaking Lost Temple Myth
So far, Lost Temple has been prevalent. It is still the most popular map, and its biggest competitor is Luna, a similar style map.
There's a long way to go to escape from the concepts of stable nature and the center favoring large-scale fights.
However, it is obvious that Lost Temple is losing its position.
At the this time, when 24-Second Shot Clock which represents tech-tree in Starcraft vanishes, a leading player does not show an aggressive
action and just passes the ball around, after he occupies the center. The opponent can neither bring the ball back again nor overturn
the aspect of the game.
:: Changes in Team Plays ::
- Why Don't Fans Like Team Plays?
Some fans don't like team plays and matches between the same race. They prefer games between different races. I really do, too.
Why not? For me, that is because of a simple unit combination. Anyway, we have to see just units from one race. Because the
same units fight against each other, the game lacks its dynamic aspects, originated from the differences in units.
- Not so much distinguishment in games between two diffrent races
Nowadays, a lot of people say games between the same race (TvT, PvP, and ZvZ) are also interesting. I totally agree that the difference
in interests between same-race games and difference-races games (TvZ, PvT, and ZvP) has decreased. However, I believe that this
is not because the former became more interesting, but because the latter got boring. Tech-tree and unit combination no longer matter
in difference-races games, which made them not so much distinguishable from the same-race games. The outcome only relies on
massing and control.
- Changes in Team Plays Modeling on Individual Plays
Some people like Hunter-style basic team plays; a spectacle battle between a huge number of Zealots and Zerglings, but a lot of
To overcome this weakness of team plays, map designers attempted some special changes. Exemplary cases are Iron Curtain,
Full Moon (a.k.a. Mang-wol), and Vampire.
Iron Curtain, the most successful team-play map, became a success due to its one on one aspect just like in individual games and
an island structure favorable to teching. The concept of Full Moon and Vampire wasn't very much different. That was why 2 gases were
at the main base; it takes more gas than mineral for teching.
- A Change to a New Direction, Would It Be Possible?
A typical measure to deal with the loss of tech-tree and the uniformity of units is 'a return to tech-tree,' which led to a conception of two
gases at the main bases. It was intended to put more power upon gas-originated units than mineral-originated ones.
That is the most basic answer. But it might not be the best way to solve the problem. What is a new way? Where is the alternative?
:: From Janggi to Baduk ::
- Starcraft and Janggi
Janggi (Korean chess: click here
for more information) is a board game,
with two players competing with each other with 16 different units; 'Cha,' a chariot with a strong power and mobility; 'Ma,' a horse with
the similar power like 'Cha'; 'Jol,' a soldier with the lowest rank.
Janggi is very similar to Starcraft, in that units with different characteristics show a variety of fights against each other; A High Templer with
the strong magical power, a Siege Tank with a very long range, and the twinborn Zerglings.
- Starcraft and Baduk
However, things have changed.
Ironically, the sum of unique units are rather uniformed.
A marine who used to be a dominating hero in the game with amazing control became 'one of them' in the corps of Marines,
Medics, Tanks, and Vessels.
The only way for Terran to beat the troop of Zealots, Dragoons, Templers, and Observers is the comparable 'Macro.'
How about Zerg, which used to be characterized with mobility? Zerglings and Lurkers became complemented by Defilers and
finally achieved a strong power comparable to that of Terran, but they lost mobility, an advantage that Terran has never had.
After a main force became a large scale of troops, characteristics of different units have disappeared, and thereby those of different
races have, too.
Now, Starcraft is like Baduk, rather than Janggi or chess.
:: The Opposite of Lost Temple - A Bifrost-Style Dogfight ::
- What If There Are More Than One Ball?
As mentioned above, passing the ball around is one of the fatal defects of the ball games.
Then, what will happen if there is not one ball, but two or three? Even better, what if each player has its own ball?
A player passing around his ball and wasting his time loses points to other balls. Securing one ball no longer sustains the advantage.
Instead the center battlefield in Lost Temple-Style maps, there exist many routes to secure for benefits in Bifrost; the forked road.
- The Beginning of Forked Roads, Bifrost
In the 2nd match of the 2003 Olympus Starleague(OSL) Finals, XellOs vs. YellOw, at Neo Bifrost.
XellOs was being pushed by YellOw's astonishing Defiler play. From the center to the bridge, from the bridge to the entrance, from the
entrance to the nature, and from the nature to the main base.
What saved XellOs from the hell was just a dozen of Marines and Medics. Defilers and Lurkers, invincible unit combinations to Terran,
lose their power all of a sudden, when no Zerglings for Definers' energy is provided. After a dozen of Marines and Medics suspended
the Zergling supply, Zerg lost the game in vain.
In Lost Temple style maps, losing the power leads to losing the center, and losing the center deprives of chances to attack. However,
in Bifrost, detour ways make it much easier for a player to regain the initiative, even after he loses the leadership, has fewer units,
or has a weaker power.
< A surprising reversal made by a dozen of Marines and Medics >
- Dispersed Battlefields, Where Dogfights Happen
Only one center battlefield seems not so suitable for the current trend. In today's world, control and massing are maximized. Everyone
deserves a title of a 'brave general' in the fight. If there exists only one center battlefield in a map, their games will be so simple.
Detour ways have to be created. Maps should be vaster. A map has to be transformed into a strategic battlefield, unable to rely
on only tactics. In dogfight stlye battlefields, the mere micro and macro do not guarantee a victory; the concentration, dispersion and
mobility of the force becomes more important.
We need a map that requires players with insights who can observe every fight and situation all over the map.
-Can The Era of Napoleon Reappear?
At the first scene of The Legend of the Galactic Heroes, a Japanese SF Novel, The Free Planet Alliance Army encircled the Empire Army
from three sides with a twice number of solders. But, Grand Admiral Reinhard von Lohengramm defeated the enemy forces one by one
by the mobile warfare. This battle at the first scene of this novel models upon that of Napoleon, during the operation in Italy.
In my opinion, what Starcraft leagues mostly need at this time is a spectacle mobile warfare as in the era of Napoleon. Certainly,
the characteristics of units have disappeared, tech-tree has vanished, but troops remain. Still, Zerg is mobile, Terran is solemn,
and Protoss is strong.
If Starcraft games so far have been contests of strength between brave generals such as Lu Bu, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, or Huh Zuh
in Romance of Three Kingdoms, I believe that games in the new age will be fights with intelligence between Zhuge Liang and Sima Yi;
not in a single battlefield, but in multiple battlegrounds. Intense mobile warfares for catching the opponent's back will create a new world
I also believe the new start should be the team plays. Team play maps are more generous than other maps, and they require a better
understanding for power and management of forces, and are more suitable for dogfights. New attempts such as putting many
deterrence lines for Terran and Protoss team against the two-color opponent rush or creating 256x256 maps for team plays will be
necessary to write a new history and a new legend.
*Original article by Kim YeonWoo
Translated by Means @ PgR21.com (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Final edition and translation by PurpleRain