PDA

View Full Version : New screenshot - Disruptor chaos in a Zerg base



Blazur
11-23-2009, 02:00 PM
http://www.starcraft2.com/images/news/SCIINullifier.jpg

Perfecttear
11-23-2009, 02:08 PM
Wow the shield things realy look good, with the lightning and all:). But what is with that floating blue orb?

Blazur
11-23-2009, 02:09 PM
But what is with that floating blue orb?

Looks like the destruction of a Protoss building/ship, likely the Warp Prism.

DemolitionSquid
11-23-2009, 02:11 PM
Wow the shield things really look good, with the lightning and all:). But what is with that floating blue orb?

Its a dying Protoss unit. Likely the Warp Prism that backdoor dropped all those Zealots/Stalkers/Disruptors.

Edit: Damn u Blazur, beat me by a few seconds :p

Perfecttear
11-23-2009, 02:13 PM
Looks like the destruction of a Protoss building/ship, likely the Warp Prism.
Really, meh i don't like that, i liked it when there were only those blue rays of light, that went towards the sky, when a unit died.

DemolitionSquid
11-23-2009, 02:16 PM
Really, meh i don't like that, i liked it when there were only those blue rays of light, that went towards the sky, when a unit died.

Zealots do that, its their build in teleportation system. Most Protoss units explode in a ball of frying blue fire.

Caliban113
11-23-2009, 02:23 PM
I dont recognize a few of the buildings (to the right of the Hatch/Hive)

...but they still have that 'shoe' looking thing (Roach Warren?)

Edit: - Oh, I guess one of them is the new Evo chamber - have not seen that yet.

Eligor
11-23-2009, 03:17 PM
I dont recognize a few of the buildings (to the right of the Hatch/Hive)

...but they still have that 'shoe' looking thing (Roach Warren?)

Edit: - Oh, I guess one of them is the new Evo chamber - have not seen that yet.

Clockwise from the Hive: Hydralisk Den, Evolution Chamber, Drone mutating into building, Roach Warren, Nydus Network, Infestor Pit and the Baneling Nest.

Zukas
11-23-2009, 03:24 PM
I thought the 'bubble' thing was psi storm mid cast. there are a few zealots towards the edge of the screen (away from mins) making me think that maybe all the toss forces ran into the mineral line stead of being warped in?

This makes me think of a question, do all toss units warp in at the same speed?

KDraconis
11-23-2009, 03:28 PM
So wait, is the floating green Zerg thing with spikes (to the left of the Hive) a part of the Baneling Nest?
Because I don't remember ever seeing it before. :confused:

Perfecttear
11-23-2009, 03:40 PM
Was the Disruptor renamed back to the Nullifier? I mean they have caled it that way in the last battlereport, and also on their twiter acount, and also the picture is named SCIINullifier.

"We are updating the #StarCraft2 Nullifier to make the force field ability more accessible and cost less energy."

DemolitionSquid
11-23-2009, 03:43 PM
So wait, is the floating green Zerg thing with spikes (to the left of the Hive) a part of the Baneling Nest?
Because I don't remember ever seeing it before. :confused:

It is the top of the Baneling nest, yes.

Nicol Bolas
11-23-2009, 04:40 PM
Man, the Zerg really have come a long way graphically.

Josue
11-23-2009, 05:02 PM
Man, the Zerg really have come a long way graphically.

And with that you mean... you liked it? or not...
I'm not sure, but at first glance, the picture is a bit creepy, specially that green thing that they said is the baneling nest. For some reason the words Nightmarish invaders came to my mind.
And I don't know, that blue orb seems to be part of what looks like a Psionic Storm.

Blazur
11-23-2009, 05:24 PM
I'm not sure, but at first glance, the picture is a bit creepy, specially that green thing that they said is the baneling nest. For some reason the words Nightmarish invaders came to my mind.

Have you seen that thing moving (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSwqDPNS7dM#t=6m55s)? It makes the building even more creepy as it lifts its legs showing how its sentient. Still think they should give creep mobility to the Baneling Nest or give it some other functional ability.

Rizhall
11-23-2009, 05:32 PM
You sure the blue orb isn't part of the psi storm effect? You can see the lightning of the storm right there too, and there are HT's nearby.

I'm liking hwo the creep goes up the nearby walls/edges and off the cliff.

newcomplex
11-23-2009, 05:33 PM
Man, the Zerg really have come a long way graphically.

I agree, the zerg look fantastic now.

My only gripe is that Psi Storm needs less flashy effects, because I cannot tell at all what is going on under it.

Hamshank
11-23-2009, 06:27 PM
could the battlefield can anymore crowded?

Kacaier
11-23-2009, 06:29 PM
could the battlefield can anymore crowded?
Both sides could use more air units. ;)

Norfindel
11-23-2009, 06:29 PM
You sure the blue orb isn't part of the psi storm effect? You can see the lightning of the storm right there too, and there are HT's nearby.

I'm liking hwo the creep goes up the nearby walls/edges and off the cliff.
Probably they miscalculated the Storm placement a little, and the Warp Prism felt the consequences :D, or it was a good tradeoff to take down the Drones before they run.

GRUNT
11-23-2009, 08:01 PM
Eek! Team colours on the Roach's spikes looks weird :S. I really hope that's not permanent.

I still have no idea what the Baneling Nest is supposed to be, lore-wise :p. When they showed its death animation in that Blizzcon video, it looked as though it was some sort of creature. I mean, I know that all Zerg buildings are alive, but the Baneling nest looked as though it was thrashing its 'limbs' about in its death throes.

The_Blade
11-23-2009, 08:06 PM
Nice screeny, but lets face the undtold future... that zerg has no chance. I predict 2 more storms where the zerg are massing.

ManjiSanji
11-23-2009, 10:00 PM
I'm definitely impressed with how Zerg are finally looking.

They're really showing the appropriate mix of color and shading.

sandwich_bird
11-23-2009, 10:06 PM
I wonder if this was taken during a Kim game.

The_Blade
11-23-2009, 10:08 PM
I wonder if this was taken during a Kim game.

Lets bet about it.

KadajSouba
11-23-2009, 10:13 PM
Holy mother of god. You can barely see what is going on that screenshot. Somebody that doesnt know much about tarcraft will see nothing in that screen. And it looks like the the new sunken colonies attack over the ground. So imagine somebody with a lot of this defenses... U will see nothing on the screen. Dont know why they changed the old attack.

Jesus christ Blizzard please release Beta and stop doing useless changes to the game. I think that at this point they need the feedback from the SC comunnity.

Oh by the way, i love the nullifier, i cant wait to put my hands on that unit :P

See ya

Nicol Bolas
11-23-2009, 11:06 PM
You can barely see what is going on that screenshot. Somebody that doesnt know much about tarcraft will see nothing in that screen.

I could say the same thing about most Zerg screenshots in SC1. Understanding what goes on is a matter of familiarity and motion; when things are moving, it's much easier to see what is what.


Dont know why they changed the old attack.

Because you couldn't see it.

Praetor_Ixab
11-24-2009, 12:43 AM
not too concerned about the sunker crawler attack, since its "technically" a new unit. new unit=new attack animation. anyways, i could go either way with the blue orb. doesn't seem like that should be what a psi storm looks like, but then again, all the lightning covering the field underneath suggests it is a psi storm... it's a conundrum.

the zerg look fantastic. the original in-game renders were very... "warcrafty", i guess is the only word that accurately describes my feelings. bright, flashy, almost comical in a way. the bright neon, glowing greens on the spawning pool and baneling nest, the "slime" sheen that all the buildings had, plus the general overload of pink color to buildings. All of this made the zerg seem like a caracature.

now.... well that's a different story. all the buildings are MUCH darker, more sinister looking... generall more evil. instead of pinks, they've brought in more purples, dark blues, and blacks, which really darkens the mood around the Hive. the bright greens have been replaced with darker greens, almost sickly in nature. a much needed change in the art of zerg buildings. they are finaly looking like the "nightmarish invaders" we heard about so many years ago.

as for the team color issue... that's something the art team will need to address, because i wasn't getting ANY team color.... it was all blacks and greys and a little bit of red.... other than that, I had no idea the zerg were all on one team. a problem, but i'm sure they can find a solution.

Nicol Bolas
11-24-2009, 01:38 AM
doesn't seem like that should be what a psi storm looks like

That's because it's not part of the Psi Storm.

Blazur
11-24-2009, 10:12 AM
If you look at the edge of the creep, you'll notice that it's actually extending up onto the railing in an incredible display of detail. Seeing this in motion will only add to the eeriness of this alien race.

n00bonicPlague
11-24-2009, 08:30 PM
All that blue action in the center looks like mashed 'taters.

Zabimaru
11-25-2009, 02:50 AM
All that blue action in the center looks like mashed 'taters.

You eat blue 'taters? :O

I admit, it does look a little bit messy- though like others have stated, it might just be because it’s a still.

Dauntless
11-25-2009, 11:17 AM
This tactic looks so damn devastating. I'm betting many players will pull their own hair in anger while getting all their drones killed just because of a warp prism and a couple of nullifiers and HTs^^

Locking them in like that + psi storm will be seen often methinks=)

Nicol Bolas
11-25-2009, 01:29 PM
Locking them in like that + psi storm will be seen often methinks

So will Corruptors on patrol. And/or Spore Crawlers.

XSOLDIER
11-25-2009, 02:06 PM
Did anyone else notice that the Spinecrawler's tentacle appendage is stretching through the Lair's upright spines? I think it's actually passing over the building's space, but avoiding the physical structure. It's a minor thing, but it's kinda cool to see that collision pathing seems to be functional for projectile attacks.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v164/X-SOLDIER/Spine_Crawler2.png


X :cool:

Pandonetho
11-25-2009, 02:27 PM
I'm pretty sure that is purely coincidence. Similar to how a Colossus beam shoots through the ground to reach an up cliff target. If a spine crawler needs to go straight through something to hit its target, it will.

Dauntless
11-25-2009, 05:56 PM
I agree with Pandonetho here. You can even see the beginning part of the other Spine Crawlers tentacle to the very right on that caption. Though, it would be neat if it avoided physical, if only graphical, obstacles like that.

pure.Wasted
11-28-2009, 05:15 PM
Because you couldn't see it.

Can't see a Marine's attack, a Ghost's attack, a Siege Tank's attack, or a Carrier's attack (as long as there is more than one). Let alone stacked Mutas and Lurkers. Bunkers, too, which is perhaps more relevant as both are defensive structures. Obviously visual identification is not ALWAYS the top priority.

As far along as the Zerg have come visually (just look at those meaty Hydralisks, WOW, I can't believe I'm looking at the same unit) -- the Spine Crawlers just look terrible all around. Badly designed (don't look imposing/interesting), badly implemented (don't even pretend to be connected to the terrain they're on; terrible textures), and their attack is absurdly distracting. Hell, it's probably the most distracting attack in the game.

For the life of me I can't imagine why they can't just bring back the original.

DemolitionSquid
11-28-2009, 05:17 PM
For the life of me I can't imagine why they can't just bring back the original.

For the same stupid reason Nydus Worms aren't real units.

IE. Gaps in the terrain.

pure.Wasted
11-28-2009, 05:53 PM
For the same stupid reason Nydus Worms aren't real units.

IE. Gaps in the terrain.

OK, I can see how this might impact Nydus Worms, since you're manually telling them to cross a gap, which it then has to somehow do right in front of your eyes.

But for an attack animation? I mean, the Nydus Worm still goes through space, we just don't see it because we're not controlling it as it does this. Why can't the attack do the same? o.O

DemolitionSquid
11-28-2009, 05:55 PM
OK, I can see how this might impact Nydus Worms, since you're manually telling them to cross a gap, which it then has to somehow do right in front of your eyes.

But for an attack animation? I mean, the Nydus Worm still goes through space, we just don't see it because we're not controlling it as it does this. Why can't the attack do the same? o.O

Maybe a visual will help you more.

http://donstuff.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/circular-reasoning1.jpg

Nicol Bolas
11-28-2009, 06:55 PM
For the life of me I can't imagine why they can't just bring back the original.

Because you can't tell what's happening. Unless they shut off the depth test for the tentacle (which would look absolutely awful once you start putting your particle effects in), you can't even see that a unit has been hit, let alone what did it.

However distracting the new attack animation is, you can certainly tell what it's doing and to whom.

pure.Wasted
11-28-2009, 07:06 PM
Once again, there are plenty of units in the game whose attacks are ambiguous to say the least. Marines, Ghosts, Siege Tanks, Thors, Immortals, Carriers, stacks of Mutas/Lurkers, Bunkers, Planetary Fortresses.

Why is it OK for a Bunker's attack to be ambiguous (which Bunker is hitting which target) but the same is not true for a Sunken Colony? You brought up particles and depth perception, but I'm not sure what you mean there exactly.

ManjiSanji
11-28-2009, 07:33 PM
Well, if we're talking about the old Sunken Colony attack in relation to the Nydus Worm being removed as a unit due to the visual issue with crossing gaps in the terrain, I'm sure Demo is talking about SC1 Sunken Colonies attacking units that were on the other side of a gap, but still within range.

Hence the current form's reaching over the top of the terrain to strike targets.

Personally I don't see what the problem is. If the issue is a suspension of disbelieve in the eyes of the player, then couldn't we point out that a person would just as well question how the actual Nydus Network works?

IE: "How do they travel instantaneously?"
The answer being, "they're Zerg."
I mean, these are creatures where we're allowing ourselves to agree with them shooting enough spines hard enough and fast enough to take down a massive vessel like a Battlecruiser.

Triceron
11-28-2009, 08:32 PM
I prefer the old Sunken. It was much more unique, it was very defining for Zerg. This new tentacle is just ridiculous.

Suspension of disbelief is fine. I don't see people who played the original faulting colonies for attacking things across gaps, on cliffs, whatever.

PsiWarp
11-28-2009, 08:34 PM
I think the tentacle is fine, it's much more visually imposing than some random tongue bursting from the ground.


-Psi

Nicol Bolas
11-28-2009, 08:38 PM
Once again, there are plenty of units in the game whose attacks are ambiguous to say the least. Marines, Ghosts, Siege Tanks, Thors, Immortals, Carriers, stacks of Mutas/Lurkers, Bunkers, Planetary Fortresses.

Those aren't ambiguous; there is simply not a direct connection between the firing unit and the target. However, it is clear in all of these cases:

1: That the attacking unit made an attack.

2: That the unit being attacked was in fact hit by one of that particular kind of unit in the area. You won't mistake the smoke from a Siege Tank blast from the effect from a Marine shot.

If you can't see the tentacle poking up from below, then you can't tell that #2 has happened. Units simply die for no apparent reason.


You brought up particles and depth perception, but I'm not sure what you mean there exactly.

I didn't say "depth perception"; I said "depth test". The depth test is what ensures that triangles can be rendered out of order yet still appear in front of or behind the correct triangles. If you want to ensure that something is rendered no matter what is in front of it, you turn off the depth test (or you write a depth value of 0 to the depth buffer for each generated fragment).


If the issue is a suspension of disbelieve in the eyes of the player, then couldn't we point out that a person would just as well question how the actual Nydus Network works?

It is this question why I don't buy into D-Squids belief that the Nydus Worm was changed because of this. It was changed because you can't have a ground unit in places where only air units can be.

I mean, you can certainly code it up. But it is a breaking of such a fundamental rule that it just doesn't work in terms of gameplay. You can't stop Nydus Worms with AtA units anymore; you now have to use the (generally weaker) AtG units. Banshees would do a decent job, but they're pretty expensive. Void Rays would be terrible for stoping Nydus Worms; they take to long to kick in. Phoenixes can't even shoot them, and allowing them to anti-Grav them in the middle of space is flat-out bizarre. Corruptors can't shoot them and Mutalisks don't do enough damage quickly enough.

pure.Wasted
11-28-2009, 08:40 PM
If you can't see the tentacle poking up from below, then you can't tell that #2 has happened. Units simply die for no apparent reason.

Why wouldn't you be seeing the tentacle poking up from below? I mean, it's a pretty big tentacle. If need be, it could be made bigger (and STILL wouldn't be as distracting as a fleshy arm stretching across half the screen).

Norfindel
11-28-2009, 08:53 PM
The tentacle could travel under the creep, showing it's path clearly, then surface and stab the unit in, say, a 15 degree angle from the ground. Hell, it could even move units slightly up as it travels under the Creep.

Anyways, the point that you cannot see what happends with the Sunkens is moot, because you cannot see who shoots with any unit that has instant-damage, like the Marines, or the Siege Tanks. You can see that units facing the attacked unit, but the new Sunkens could do the same: the tentacle could leave the Sunken in the precise angle of the attacked unit.

ManjiSanji
11-28-2009, 08:58 PM
That was exactly my point. Heck, I really liked the old Sunken Colony, and I was pretty disappointed with the new version. I mean, I'm all for the game changing, but the new version just didn't seem a good replacement for the old.

And Norfindel, I really like your idea =D
That would be really neat looking, and definitely a lot less distracting than the current form.

Nicol Bolas
11-28-2009, 09:52 PM
Why wouldn't you be seeing the tentacle poking up from below? I mean, it's a pretty big tentacle.

The only reason you see it in SC1 is because it has higher priority than any sprite. Once you go to the land of 3D, there's no such thing as "priority" anymore; there is simply how far something is from the eye plane, and whether something closer is overlapping.

A pack of Marines, thanks to the perspective viewpoint, already has a lot of visual overlap. The top ~1/3rd of a Marine overlaps with the bottom ~1/3rd of the Marine standing behind him. This of course depends on where the Marines are on the screen.

The tentacle that hits the Marine behind the other Marine will likewise be partially if not entirely obscured.


The tentacle could travel under the creep, showing it's path clearly, then surface and stab the unit in, say, a 15 degree angle from the ground. Hell, it could even move units slightly up as it travels under the Creep.

Remember: Spine Crawlers aren't creep generators anymore. While they need to implant in creep, they can be at the edge of the creep now. Which means that it's very likely that much of the tentacle's travels will be outside of creep.


because you cannot see who shoots with any unit that has instant-damage, like the Marines, or the Siege Tanks.

Like I said, you can see who fired a shot, and by looking at the effect on the target, you can see what shot him. The specific connection between attacker and defender isn't as important as being able to tell that the defender was hit and what kind of unit hit him.

Triceron
11-28-2009, 10:03 PM
You would be able to see the tentacle. Being in 3D has little to do with obscuring that when you can simply clip the tentacle THROUGH the unit and see exactly which is being hit.

The Lurker's attack still pops out of the ground, and even if it didn't go in a line attack I'm pretty sure you could see what units are being attacked by it.

Nicol Bolas
11-28-2009, 10:27 PM
Being in 3D has little to do with obscuring that when you can simply clip the tentacle THROUGH the unit and see exactly which is being hit.

No, it in fact has everything to do with that. You can "clip the tentacle" through the unit being hit, but the rules played by the game called "3D graphics" don't allow you to clip it through things closer to the camera. Like the Marine that's in front of him. Or the Marauder that's in front of him. Or the Colossus that's in front of him.

Technically yes, you can bias the depth value and set it to zero. Or whatever. That would ensure that it is always visible. But it would also ensure that it's always visible through terrain, other Marines, the Colossus, etc.


The Lurker's attack still pops out of the ground, and even if it didn't go in a line attack I'm pretty sure you could see what units are being attacked by it.

As a Tier 3 unit, we have seen nothing of the Lurker except for the initial Zerg reveal a while back. I looked at that video and you see the line of the spines, not the spines that are hitting the target.

Triceron
11-28-2009, 10:54 PM
The tentacle could be an effect that spawns under said unit shoots straight up through its center. Large units could have said tentacle scale in size relatively. The largest unit in the game is the Thor/Ultralisk, the tentacle could simply be scaled to be longer to shoot through the unit. Shimmer on the shields tells you exactly that the Colossus is being hit. The tentacle under it shows what is attacking it.

Even similar abilties in War3 used scaling. Look at how Roots worked, where it scaled up according to the unit it affected. I'm suggesting the tentacle be scaled in length, not in its thickness.

Norfindel
11-29-2009, 01:10 PM
The only reason you see it in SC1 is because it has higher priority than any sprite. Once you go to the land of 3D, there's no such thing as "priority" anymore; there is simply how far something is from the eye plane, and whether something closer is overlapping.

A pack of Marines, thanks to the perspective viewpoint, already has a lot of visual overlap. The top ~1/3rd of a Marine overlaps with the bottom ~1/3rd of the Marine standing behind him. This of course depends on where the Marines are on the screen.

The tentacle that hits the Marine behind the other Marine will likewise be partially if not entirely obscured.
You can make the tentacle push the unit aside, it would be clearly visible.



Remember: Spine Crawlers aren't creep generators anymore. While they need to implant in creep, they can be at the edge of the creep now. Which means that it's very likely that much of the tentacle's travels will be outside of creep.
Well, just make the ground look like something is travelling very near the surface.


Like I said, you can see who fired a shot, and by looking at the effect on the target, you can see what shot him. The specific connection between attacker and defender isn't as important as being able to tell that the defender was hit and what kind of unit hit him.
eeeehh.... you can also see that a Sunken is attacking and who´s attacked by a Sunken, there´s no difference. You could also make the tentacle exit the Sunken on the same direction of the attacked unit, now that it´s 3D.

Nicol Bolas
11-29-2009, 03:41 PM
you can also see that a Sunken is attacking and who´s attacked by a Sunken, there´s no difference.

Did you ever see the old Spine Crawler's attack? I know I didn't. Look at BR2 or BR3 and tell me that you can see what the Spine Crawler is shooting at.

Pandonetho
11-29-2009, 03:47 PM
What a sunken colony or a spine crawler shoots at doesn't make a difference.

Norfindel
11-29-2009, 05:19 PM
Did you ever see the old Spine Crawler's attack? I know I didn't. Look at BR2 or BR3 and tell me that you can see what the Spine Crawler is shooting at.
If they use a 2-pixel tentacle to attack, that's their fault. The Sunken Colony tentacle was perfectly visible, and you could know it was attacking, and who was attacked.

Nicol Bolas
11-29-2009, 05:22 PM
What a sunken colony or a spine crawler shoots at doesn't make a difference.

It very much does make a difference. That's why skilled players will micro their sunkens if they have the chance.

Also, you seem to have missed the difference between not knowing what a Sunken is attacking and a unit spontaneously dying from something that you can't see. The latter is how Spine Crawlers worked with the sunken tentacle. Go watch some of the old Spine Crawler videos; you can not see their attacks at all.


The Sunken Colony tentacle was perfectly visible, and you could know it was attacking, and who was attacked.

2D game. The rules change in 3D.

Norfindel
11-30-2009, 03:00 PM
2D game. The rules change in 3D.
Why? Because the tentacle is just drawn in front of the unit? What stops the tentacle doing the same in the 3D space? It's just a matter of drawing the tentacle closer to the camera.

Nicol Bolas
11-30-2009, 03:34 PM
Why? Because the tentacle is just drawn in front of the unit? What stops the tentacle doing the same in the 3D space? It's just a matter of drawing the tentacle closer to the camera.

Because there is no unit overlap in SC1; there is in SC2. Because they're using a perspective projection, there are lots of cases where a unit is partially or fully obscured. If you're going to bias the depth value of a tentacle (and depth values are non-linear, so how much you have to bias them to move it in front of something else has to be computed), then you have to know how much to stop biasing the depth, so that the tentacle doesn't show through something that's obscuring the unit. This is based on the unit's model size, and even position on the screen. And then you have to deal with how it interacts with non-entity models (corpses) and so forth.

Or, you know, they could avoid all of this and simply change the look of the attack. Which they have done. There's really no point in doing something as complicated as depth biasing the tentacle when you can just redesign the attack so that it actually works properly in 3D. It even looks better.

Triceron
11-30-2009, 08:02 PM
'Looks better' is an opinion not all of us share.

The case is a tentacle appearing behind a unit instead of in front, and reason is due to the perspective and depth rendering. If the tentacle was spawned to clip through the said unit, you would still see the tentacle popping through the unit unless that unit was completely obscured. I don't see what the problem is. Like you said, it's 3D. The tentacle is 3D, meaning it doesn't need to be drawn on top of anything. It can literally clip through the unit. You would see the tentacle popping up through the center of the unit.

Add some impact effects, blood spatter or whatnot to make the tentacle more noticeable. Throw in the classic Sunken Colony attack sound. There's no way you could miss seeing your units being attacked when there's a giant tentacle popping up from the ground in the middle of your army.

Norfindel
11-30-2009, 09:14 PM
Because there is no unit overlap in SC1; there is in SC2. Because they're using a perspective projection, there are lots of cases where a unit is partially or fully obscured. If you're going to bias the depth value of a tentacle (and depth values are non-linear, so how much you have to bias them to move it in front of something else has to be computed), then you have to know how much to stop biasing the depth, so that the tentacle doesn't show through something that's obscuring the unit. This is based on the unit's model size, and even position on the screen. And then you have to deal with how it interacts with non-entity models (corpses) and so forth.

Or, you know, they could avoid all of this and simply change the look of the attack. Which they have done. There's really no point in doing something as complicated as depth biasing the tentacle when you can just redesign the attack so that it actually works properly in 3D. It even looks better.
I don't agree about it looking better. The idea of the tentacle going underground (even if done because a tech limitation), was good.

You also make it look like it's really complicated, but you only have to use the collision detection you already have, and draw the tentacle. If something's in the place, just draw it anyways, it will be obscured by whatever is there, or will look like it's attacking both units, or something like that. That already happened before.

Or just draw the tentacle thru the target unit as suggested before, that's probably the best approach.

Also, you're ignoring the fact that with the new system, the tentacle is going to either impale every object in it's path to get to it's target, or use the collision algorithm as the Sunken would to dodge them, which also requires the thing to flex. I wonder what happends if you have 10 Thors in a vertical line, and order the tentacle to attack an SCV behind them.

Blazur
11-30-2009, 10:00 PM
I don't agree about it looking better. The idea of the tentacle going underground (even if done because a tech limitation), was good.

Yeah, the new spine crawler attack definitely looks hokey. On one hand I can understand their reasoning for changing it, that possibly being so that it makes it more obvious where the attack is coming from. Or they're attempting to make sense of an attack that spans a gap in terrain. But the older attack still had a more menacing feel to it.

If their reasoning is because of balance, surely they could have made it still go underground, but instead of poking straight up it would punch through the ground at an angle so you could still discern where it came from. But with units as big as the Thor and Ultralisk players may not even see the spike protrude from the ground.

ArcherofAiur
11-30-2009, 10:28 PM
Oh my god you guys. Here

Short range: attacks above the ground

Long range: attacks under the ground

Long range with gap in terrain: attacks above the ground




Ok everybody happy?

Triceron
11-30-2009, 11:58 PM
Not really, because I don't want it attacking above ground at all. It looks terrible.

ArcherofAiur
12-01-2009, 12:17 AM
Not really, because I don't want it attacking above ground at all. It looks terrible.

Even when a marine is standing right next to the spine crawler? Youd rather have the tentacle go down between his legs and then make a 180 and come right back up?

Triceron
12-01-2009, 12:30 AM
Yes.

The exact same way the old Sunken Colonies attacked. Why should it switch attack animations just because a unit is near? It's not like it has a melee attack, it's still using that tentacle. If it's going to attack at a distance through underground, it makes no difference if it uses the same attack up close.

PsiWarp
12-01-2009, 12:52 AM
Might as well make the tentacle come from under the Spine Crawler's belly, have it act as a tail when in mobile form. That way, you can have it pull a "diaphragm" and make a tentacle burst from underground, while not looking awkward having it above ground first.

That image seems to me like a six-sided sea star with a long tongue stretching from its stomach...


-Psi

ArcherofAiur
12-01-2009, 01:02 AM
Might as well make the tentacle come from under the Spine Crawler's belly, have it act as a tail when in mobile form. That way, you can have it pull a "diaphragm" and make a tentacle burst from underground, while not looking awkward having it above ground first.

That image seems to me like a six-sided sea star with a long tongue stretching from its stomach...


-Psi


So basicaly a stationary building that has no visible attack except for a tentacle tip that pops up among enemies in its radius. I dont think that sounds hella cool.

PsiWarp
12-01-2009, 01:12 AM
Which is what could happen if things were reverted back to underground attack :/?


-Psi

ArcherofAiur
12-01-2009, 01:31 AM
Which is what could happen if things were reverted back to underground attack :/?


-Psi

Well I think that the above ground looks good when the unit is close and that the underground attack looks better and has less clutter for long distance attacks. However in the case of the gap terrain I think the above ground "lunge" attack would be most appropriate.


Plus, dont you have these exact same issues with the collosus beam. Im going to quote my old friend Voltaire here

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Nicol Bolas
12-01-2009, 01:54 AM
You also make it look like it's really complicated

That's because it is really complicated.


but you only have to use the collision detection you already have, and draw the tentacle.

I... I don't even understand what that means. Or how it solves the problem.

Are you operating under the impression that, to the collision system, a Marine is a figure with arms, legs, a torso, and a head? Because it's not. To the collision system, it's a circle with a radius. That's all any unit is to the system. They don't have height. They're just circles. Buildings are squares with a size. If Blizzard wants to be fancy, and add some flexibility to their engine, then the entities are cylinders with a particular height. But nothing more than that.

The problem is that the model for the character being impaled is being interpenetrated by the tentacle. Thus, much of the tentacle is obscured. Therefore, you can't really see what's happening to your guys.

The only way to get around that problem in 3D is to fake it. To break the 3D rendering model in some way. Biasing the tentacle is the simplest answer, but it has lots of potential problems, as I outlined before.


Or just draw the tentacle thru the target unit as suggested before, that's probably the best approach.

Again, 2D is not 3D. In 2D, it's easy to say "draw X on top of Y" because that's all 2D ever does. 3D is more complicated. Drawing one 3D object "on top of" another is hard, especially if there is a 3rd object closer to the camera than the first.

It's easy to say "draw it on top of him;" it's a lot, lot harder to make this work in practice. Especially when what you're drawing on top is, itself a 3D model.


Also, you're ignoring the fact that with the new system, the tentacle is going to either impale every object in it's path to get to it's target, or use the collision algorithm as the Sunken would to dodge them, which also requires the thing to flex.

What does it matter that the tentacle will go through other units? It's tall enough that this would only matter to the three ground Massive units. And, despite the interpenetration, it's still very clear what unit is actually the tentacle's target, and which one isn't.

And if it were to be some kind of problem, they can simply make it arc higher if a tall unit is nearby. This is far simpler than employing some kind of complex collision detection algorithm.

Eligor
12-01-2009, 05:15 AM
Considering you'd be zoomed out most of the time you won't even notice those collision "glitches", people tend to forget that the screenshots are much larger than the actual images would be on screen in real time, if you'd scale that picture to fit your screen you'd see that the marine and the spine crawler are actually pretty tiny (unless of course you're using a 23' widescreen monitor, but then, strategy games aren't really designed with this kind of presentation in mind).

SpiderBrigade
12-01-2009, 07:43 AM
I swear, Nicol Bolas, you always pick the weirdest things to defend to the death :-D

I'm going to bring up the relationship of the sunken colony/spine crawler attack to the attacks of other units again, maybe clarify that a little.

Marine attacks are instantaneous and don't cross the space. There's just a small animation that appears on the target. Everyone agrees this is fine. So, using your arguments about depth tests etc, why is this fine? What if other units are in front of the marine and you can't see the attack?

Norfindel
12-01-2009, 08:48 AM
I... I don't even understand what that means. Or how it solves the problem.
Marine collision box occupies from X: 30, Z: 40 to X: 40, Z: 50 on the ground. Sunken tentacle mid-point is going to be drawed at: X: 35, Z: 40 from the ground. Or, just show the tentacle impaling the unit on X: 35, Z: 45, easiest approach.



The problem is that the model for the character being impaled is being interpenetrated by the tentacle. Thus, much of the tentacle is obscured. Therefore, you can't really see what's happening to your guys.
If much is obscured or not depends on how much the tentacle goes over the character. Maybe not too realist that the unit is alive after that, but at least doesn't needs to impale all units in the middle with no effect at all.


And if it were to be some kind of problem, they can simply make it arc higher if a tall unit is nearby. This is far simpler than employing some kind of complex collision detection algorithm.
They will need to use collision detection to arch the tentacle over the unit, and they will need to calculate an arch of what height doesn't touch the untargetted unit(s) at any point, which isn't easy. Not to mention that if the units have too dissimilar heights, and are very close, the arch would need to be ridiculously high.


I swear, Nicol Bolas, you always pick the weirdest things to defend to the death :-D

I'm going to bring up the relationship of the sunken colony/spine crawler attack to the attacks of other units again, maybe clarify that a little.

Marine attacks are instantaneous and don't cross the space. There's just a small animation that appears on the target. Everyone agrees this is fine. So, using your arguments about depth tests etc, why is this fine? What if other units are in front of the marine and you can't see the attack?
Excellent argument!

.

Nicol Bolas
12-01-2009, 01:59 PM
Marine attacks are instantaneous and don't cross the space. There's just a small animation that appears on the target. Everyone agrees this is fine. So, using your arguments about depth tests etc, why is this fine? What if other units are in front of the marine and you can't see the attack?

The tentacle is a 3D model. As a 3D model, it plays by the rules that 3D models must play by. It really exists in the world.

The "being shot by a Marine" is an effect. It's made of a bunch of point sprites, screen-aligned quadrilaterals, and such. Because they're infinitely thin, they don't have to play by the same rules that 3D models do.


Or, just show the tentacle impaling the unit on X: 35, Z: 45, easiest approach.

Which is not readable. Each and every incarnation of the "sunken" version of the Spine Crawler has been completely unreadable.

Seriously people, do you honestly think that Blizzard would have gone through the trouble of developing a new attack type, one that isn't exactly simple to code, if they didn't actually have to? Do you think their graphics programmers are so terrible at their jobs that they couldn't find a simple mechanism that some people on a forum could think of to visualize this?


They will need to use collision detection to arch the tentacle over the unit, and they will need to calculate an arch of what height doesn't touch the untargetted unit(s) at any point, which isn't easy.

No, they don't. All they need are a low and a high attack, and a way to decide which to use. This is a simple test that only requires the ability to detect what units are on a line and whether they are considered "large" for the purposes of deciding which attack pattern to use. At no time do you need to assign an absolute height to each model, nor do you need to do any kind of arc vs. box collision test.

If it happens to poke something else along the way with the high attack, so be it. It isn't confusing, because at no time do you see the hit effect happen when the tentacle pokes it. The player simply recognizes that there's some interpenetration going on and accepts it.

The high attack gets rid of 90% of unwanted interpenetration. The rest can be cheerfully ignored. Just as one cheerfully ignores the fact that Stalkers can shoot through other units .

In general, unless there is actual physics involved, any time you think a game is using advanced collision detection, it isn't. It's a big deception. Just like the idea that everything you see is solid (it's a polygonal shell) and so forth.

Blazur
12-01-2009, 02:22 PM
Which is not readable. Each and every incarnation of the "sunken" version of the Spine Crawler has been completely unreadable.

Seriously people, do you honestly think that Blizzard would have gone through the trouble of developing a new attack type, one that isn't exactly simple to code, if they didn't actually have to? Do you think their graphics programmers are so terrible at their jobs that they couldn't find a simple mechanism that some people on a forum could think of to visualize this?

Well, not completely unreadable. Each sunken colony did have a brief animation at its base seconds before the attack struck...so there was synchronicity.

And while I trust their graphics programmers to get just about everything looking realistic in time, lately I don't trust many of the art designers with the wacky ideas they've been producing (Thor, Soul Hunter, original Infestor, original Tank). It's like they've run out of pot and can no longer can come up with anything visually stunning or creative.

Just because they've committed the effort towards a specific animation, it doesn't mean it's final or it even works. If many of us are scrutinizing that animation, there's a good chance somebody at Blizzard has the same animosity towards it or at least recognizes their audiences disdain for it.

Again, balance-wise I can see their rational in that it provides a more traceable attack. But there's gotta be ways to make this work with a subterranean attack. It was just so alien and menacing. I can't imagine how goofy it'll look when an elevated spine crawler slightly off the edge pokes a unit directly against the edge below. Or worse, when the spine crawler butting up against a ridge attacks a unit above that's more inland. What's it gonna do, raise up and then angle around the land? The notion of this just makes me laugh...

I get the sense there's already gonna be a ton of visual effects going on left and right with all the new abilities they've added. Having spine crawlers shooting their spines overhead will only muddy up the battlefield further and cause even more confusion.

Nicol Bolas
12-01-2009, 02:42 PM
It was just so alien and menacing.

I found it to be silly looking. So a tentacle is going to burrow underground, through rock and open space and whatever, just to hit you? And after the hit it immediately retracts itself fully, only to do it all over again?

Blazur
12-01-2009, 02:52 PM
I found it to be silly looking. So a tentacle is going to burrow underground, through rock and open space and whatever, just to hit you? And after the hit it immediately retracts itself fully, only to do it all over again?

Pretty much. Although it's not as silly as the nydus canal going through lava/water/oil/earth/space to allow transportation of units as big as an Ultralisk.

I still remember the initial impression it gave the first time my marines meandered into Zerg territory and were surprised by a spike impaling them through the ground. It made the Zerg feel so insidious. They're kinda goofy in SC2 with how they look and act.

SpiderBrigade
12-01-2009, 04:35 PM
The tentacle is a 3D model. As a 3D model, it plays by the rules that 3D models must play by. It really exists in the world.

The "being shot by a Marine" is an effect. It's made of a bunch of point sprites, screen-aligned quadrilaterals, and such. Because they're infinitely thin, they don't have to play by the same rules that 3D models do.Good to know you understand this stuff but that doesn't actually answer the question I asked. Let me try to restate it again.

Regardless of how the game engine handles the effect,


is it or is it not the case that in some circumstances (say, a Thor standing in front of the unit being hit) you will not be able to see the "being hit by a marine" effect?
If so, why is this okay for the marine attack but not for the sunken/spine crawler attack?
If not, why not? Does the "infinitely thin" effect show up through the Thor? Why is that okay?

Nicol Bolas
12-01-2009, 04:49 PM
Although it's not as silly as the nydus canal going through lava/water/oil/earth/space to allow transportation of units as big as an Ultralisk.

That's not silly; that's magic. It's said to be magic, so it's reasonable to accept. This is something that's clearly intended to be physical: the tentacle drills through the rock.


is it or is it not the case that in some circumstances (say, a Thor standing in front of the unit being hit) you will not be able to see the "being hit by a marine" effect?

I would also point out that you're not seeing the Marine in this case.


If so, why is this okay for the marine attack but not for the sunken/spine crawler attack?

You've misunderstood the direction of the conversation. One of the proposed solutions was to always draw the tentacle on top of the target. To do that in 3D, what with depth buffers and all, you must therefore move the tentacle towards the camera. This would typically be done by biasing the depth value of the tentacle.

This creates a problem if there is an obscuring unit or terrain in the way. When you move the tentacle forward, it now seems to poke through the obscuring unit/terrain, rather than the unit that was actually hit.

And personally, I don't think it's OK to have an obscuring, well, anything. If I were in charge of StarCraft II, I'd be using an orthographic perspective and unit boxes big enough to encompass the entire visual size of the unit (and therefore things like the Colossus wouldn't work). Or if I had to make tall units that can obscure things, I'd have some kind of shadow or something that would appear on any obscuring geometry.

ArcherofAiur
12-01-2009, 04:59 PM
OMG Its going to cut off its own leg.
http://www.sc2blog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/colossus.jpg


But seriously these kind of things are just part of the game. I think it would be a shame to get rid of all beam and long distance contact attacks just because they might pass through something there not supposed to. Its like fitting two siege tanks into a tiny dropship you just have to remember its a game, not real life.

Norfindel
12-01-2009, 06:27 PM
Which is not readable. Each and every incarnation of the "sunken" version of the Spine Crawler has been completely unreadable.

Seriously people, do you honestly think that Blizzard would have gone through the trouble of developing a new attack type, one that isn't exactly simple to code, if they didn't actually have to? Do you think their graphics programmers are so terrible at their jobs that they couldn't find a simple mechanism that some people on a forum could think of to visualize this?
Ok... so a tentacle impaling a unit thru the center is not readable? Ok, it's not that important to me, feel free to continue discussing this matter.

Triceron
12-01-2009, 08:28 PM
I guess it's unacceptable to have a marine obscured by an attack, but it's okay when its it's own allies :/

Nicol Bolas
12-01-2009, 08:40 PM
Ok... so a tentacle impaling a unit thru the center is not readable?

Not if you can't see it happening. Show me a SC2 video where someone could actually see the Spine Crawler's attack.


I guess it's unacceptable to have a marine obscured by an attack

What? That's not even what I talked about. The problem is with the attack itself not being visible. That is, a Marine explodes and you have no idea what caused it.

Triceron
12-01-2009, 09:03 PM
How small is the tentacle that you picture in your mind? The size of the Marine's gun?

We've all been saying if you make it large/prominent enough, it will be visible. Draw depth would not obscure a tentacle that is clearly popping out of the ground, and towering above other marines.