Starcraft II Catch-All

Hello, I'm a consumer of entertainment. I make money outside of the entertainment fields and must spend that money to get various media that will entertain me. Because I have a limited supply of money I try to maximize its value by spending as little as possible to get the most quality entertainment while still remaining within the bounds of the law. When one of the companies that I get my entertainment from raises the price of their product I have to reconsider if that entertainment is worth the new price in my view, irrespective of why that company raised the price.

So while the reasons behind a price increase are very interesting in an academic sort of way the fact is the justification doesn't factor in that strongly in my decision to buy a product.

So, in summation:

  • Blizzard wants to charge me more than is the industry standard for all three races' stories in StarCraft II.
  • I did not enjoy StarCraft enough when it came out to consider an increase of over ~$30 above the industry standard to be acceptable.
  • It seems likely the accrued costs of Battle.Net and the expansions will be over ~$30.

Therefore I am unlikely to buy this game because of Blizzard's price change, excepting a reduction in the price through gifts, sales, or product bundles.

Staats wrote:
Thirteenth wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

Rather we're getting higher production values that we didn't ask for and don't really need.

You don't want better games? No, I think you're being way too economic in your argument. There's more to that one sentence there.

Wayyy off topic, but too interesting to pass up: I don't think higher development costs imply better games, particularly not costs incurred as Lobster has described them.

Yep, that's pretty much where I was going with that.

*shrug* people are freaking out but considering that each single game for SC2 will contain more content than SC1, I don't have a problem with it.

What would support Bnet? Possibly....maybe.......E-sports?! Tournament rosters, team games, GGL sanctioned events. Yea I can see people being charged to take part in that. The casual player could possibly get the not so exciting version. Now who has done this before......oh that right XBL! So a Silver and gold version of Bnet sounds plausible doesn't it?

Devmani wrote:

What would support Bnet? Possibly....maybe.......E-sports?! Tournament rosters, team games, GGL sanctioned events. Yea I can see people being charged to take part in that. The casual player could possibly get the not so exciting version. Now who has done this before......oh that right XBL! So a Silver and gold version of Bnet sounds plausible doesn't it?

Okay, first thing first. Devmani, I understand you're feeling defensive here but please ditch the patronizing tone. Personally I find it insulting, though I'm trying to avoid being snarky in my reply.

With that out of the way, I simply do not buy this argument. Xbox Live supports almost every single game I buy for my Xbox 360, not just one or two games. Furthermore StarCraft II is a PC game and thus comes with a lot of different expectations. If you want an example of what people expect on the PC take a look at Valve; a social networking system that's free of charge and regular free updates to their games. If you feel like this is a model that should change that's fine, but don't ask us to be happy about going from a free service to being charged for the exact same features.

LobsterMobster wrote:
Staats wrote:
Thirteenth wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

Rather we're getting higher production values that we didn't ask for and don't really need.

You don't want better games? No, I think you're being way too economic in your argument. There's more to that one sentence there.

Wayyy off topic, but too interesting to pass up: I don't think higher development costs imply better games, particularly not costs incurred as Lobster has described them.

Yep, that's pretty much where I was going with that. :)

I see where you're coming from. I can tackle this issue from a couple of angles, so bear with me here.

First, developing better games through ingenuity in game mechanics alone is difficult. I'm not making an excuse for developers to not try. My point is, there are going to be times when creativity requires the assistance of increased funding. Remember a few posts back I mentioned that a full-fledged tutorial program requires volume. Blizzard needs to throw enough challenges at the players to give them the practice needed for online play. That means actual time and labor poured into development, which requires money. Sometimes, there is just no way around it. To expect the developers to always rely on ingenuity alone is an admirable but impractical ideal.

Second, it is unfair for individual player to impose upon the developers a technical or financial bar over which their effort may not pass, especially when there is no consensus on the particulars of the standard out there. You may be unwilling to shell out the extra money for the additional production value, but you can't expect everyone else to share your view. You've seen others in this forum, who are willing to pay more for that content, if that content is actually there. It is just possible that someone out there is only willing to pay even less for even fewer improvements. It can only be up to Blizzard to determine its preference from among this broad variety of expectations. Whether that decision is made from their estimation of a rough player consensus or from some other priorities, we can only guess. The important thing is, from now until the time Starcraft 2 goes gold, the authority to set that standard goes to Blizzard, not us. Afterward, we can start talking with money from our pocket.

bnpederson wrote:

[*]Blizzard wants to charge me more than is the industry standard for all three races' stories in StarCraft II.
[*]I did not enjoy StarCraft enough when it came out to consider an increase of over ~$30 above the industry standard to be acceptable.

I think what you're ignoring here is the idea that each of the campaigns will be the size of a full game.

No one is asking you to put aside your brain and not make a value judgement. If the game comes out and it feels like 1/3rd of a normal full-priced game, I will be as surprised and angry at Blizzard as anyone else, but what they've shown so far of the campaign looks hugely different and much, much larger (and more dynamic) than what was considered a "campaign" in StarCraft 1. From what I've seen I have absolutely no problem beleiving that it could be a full retail product on it's own merits. I honestly don't think that the meaning or motive of this announcement is to ask you to accept less content for the same amount of money, and I think that given Blizzard's reputation for quality it's a bit of a leap to jump to that assumption. So there will be two more campaigns coming out after the Terran campaign gets released - every game Blizzard has ever released has been expanded after it was released, and I might add that every one of their expansions so far have been of extremely high quality and worth every dollar.

Switchbreak wrote:
bnpederson wrote:

[*]Blizzard wants to charge me more than is the industry standard for all three races' stories in StarCraft II.
[*]I did not enjoy StarCraft enough when it came out to consider an increase of over ~$30 above the industry standard to be acceptable.

I think what you're ignoring here is the idea that each of the campaigns will be the size of a full game.

No one is asking you to put aside your brain and not make a value judgement. If the game comes out and it feels like 1/3rd of a normal full-priced game, I will be as surprised and angry at Blizzard as anyone else, but what they've shown so far of the campaign looks hugely different and much, much larger (and more dynamic) than what was considered a "campaign" in StarCraft 1. From what I've seen I have absolutely no problem beleiving that it could be a full retail product on it's own merits. I honestly don't think that the meaning or motive of this announcement is to ask you to accept less content for the same amount of money, and I think that given Blizzard's reputation for quality it's a bit of a leap to jump to that assumption. So there will be two more campaigns coming out after the Terran campaign gets released - every game Blizzard has ever released has been expanded after it was released, and I might add that every one of their expansions so far have been of extremely high quality and worth every dollar.

I don't think anyone is saying Bliz will skimp on the content or quality its just these are full size games not everyone wants. 30hrs of gameplay of all three races in one box would be great. 90hrs total with each races campaign being a staggered release not so excited. Even if we are conservative on the estimates of pricing say 50+30+30 which is really low that's $110 before whatever the Bnet costs could be. At around $110 I could probably get Red Alert 3 + DoW:2. So 2 actually different games where I get to play as the Allies, Soviets and Japanese in one game and Orks, Tyranid, Eldar and Space Marines in the other.

I'm seeing a whole lot more replay value and bang for my buck going with the 2 competitors here and honestly I don't have that much buck to go around.

bnpederson wrote:

So, in summation:

  • Blizzard wants to charge me more than is the industry standard for all three races' stories in StarCraft II.
  • I did not enjoy StarCraft enough when it came out to consider an increase of over ~$30 above the industry standard to be acceptable.
  • It seems likely the accrued costs of Battle.Net and the expansions will be over ~$30.

Therefore I am unlikely to buy thisi game because of Blizzard's price change, excepting a reduction in the price through gifts, sales, or product bundles. :)

Your Ignoring something that you can still play as any of the races in skrimishes and multiplayer and from the looks of it the campaign is looking to be the size of SC1 campaign, so I have faith in Blizzard that it will be worth the money but I am not agreeing with the outcry against blizzard on this but I guess we will see because if SC2 campaign is short and nothing to it than I will be pissed off but if it's fairly long and each of the other expansions than it's definitely worth 30 bucks or whatever they will be.

jowner wrote:
Switchbreak wrote:
bnpederson wrote:

[*]Blizzard wants to charge me more than is the industry standard for all three races' stories in StarCraft II.
[*]I did not enjoy StarCraft enough when it came out to consider an increase of over ~$30 above the industry standard to be acceptable.

I think what you're ignoring here is the idea that each of the campaigns will be the size of a full game.

No one is asking you to put aside your brain and not make a value judgement. If the game comes out and it feels like 1/3rd of a normal full-priced game, I will be as surprised and angry at Blizzard as anyone else, but what they've shown so far of the campaign looks hugely different and much, much larger (and more dynamic) than what was considered a "campaign" in StarCraft 1. From what I've seen I have absolutely no problem beleiving that it could be a full retail product on it's own merits. I honestly don't think that the meaning or motive of this announcement is to ask you to accept less content for the same amount of money, and I think that given Blizzard's reputation for quality it's a bit of a leap to jump to that assumption. So there will be two more campaigns coming out after the Terran campaign gets released - every game Blizzard has ever released has been expanded after it was released, and I might add that every one of their expansions so far have been of extremely high quality and worth every dollar.

I don't think anyone is saying Bliz will skimp on the content or quality its just these are full size games not everyone wants. 30hrs of gameplay of all three races in one box would be great. 90hrs total with each races campaign being a staggered release not so excited. Even if we are conservative on the estimates of pricing say 50+30+30 which is really low that's $110 before whatever the Bnet costs could be. At around $110 I could probably get Red Alert 3 + DoW:2. So 2 actually different games where I get to play as the Allies, Soviets and Japanese in one game and Orks, Tyranid, Eldar and Space Marines in the other.

I'm seeing a whole lot more replay value and bang for my buck going with the 2 competitors here and honestly I don't have that much buck to go around.

That's that the thing though, in RA3 you will be able to play campaign for each of the sides but in DoW 2. I bet you will only be one side in the campaign and than for each expansion you will get to be another side but there's definitely not gonna be multiple sides that your will be able to be playing in singleplayer campaign or at least that's what I understand Dow 2 will be like in campaign which was like Dow 1.

That's fine as the DoW expansions had allot more meat then just more campaigns considering all the races they kept adding. Also the news on DoW:2 is kinda light right now on their website. Those 4 races were the ones I listed off just from screens. DoW:2 expansion that adds Chaos and say Imperial to the assumed 4 races I listed sounds way more appealing to me then SC:2 expansion that gives me another 30 hour campaign I'm not sure I want to be playing and more units that sometimes are a mix of fun (medic) and meh (all those air only units in Broodwar) and also the re-balancing hell.

What they should do to avoid confusing players with too many units is give them more units than you can field. That way when the expansion comes out you can feature more powerful versions of existing units (at higher costs and longer build times) and new units. So you can field 7 unit types out of ~20 units for each race. I would think that the powered up versions would counter weakness so that siege tanks could have some minimal defense against air units.

That way as each race I can choose to run with 3 air, 3 vehicle and 1 infantry or 5 infantry, and 2 air, or all vehicle should there be enough units to do so.

I think that would go a long way towards diversifying strategies and minimizing the micromanagement of unit upgrades. I don't know about you but I'd rather be building units than waiting for upgrades to finish.

Devmani wrote:

What would support Bnet? Possibly....maybe.......E-sports?! Tournament rosters, team games, GGL sanctioned events. Yea I can see people being charged to take part in that. The casual player could possibly get the not so exciting version. Now who has done this before......oh that right XBL! So a Silver and gold version of Bnet sounds plausible doesn't it?

The relevant people should be prodded into clarifying 'monetize' ASAP - which I admit is difficult if the details haven't been worked out. If it's just a matter of paying to enter competitions with cash prizes (a la WoW Arena), I doubt anyone would mind. If it's increasing advertising revenue, again, probably fine. A fee for enhanced content (map packs, for example) will produce complaints, but is workable. A fee for permission to play any online multiplayer, and private servers will pop up like mushrooms.

Ultimately, I think people are willing to pay for an improved experience, or something that requires upkeep (e.g. MMOs), but are going to kick up a huge fuss if asked to pay for something that was previously free and seen as included with the game.

I just hope they learned what all these cycles wasted on subscriptions and monetizing did to Flagship...

TheGameguru wrote:

I trust Blizzard when they say that the amount of development "money" going into what is SC2 and its expansion is worth the ~$120. After all why wouldn't I?

The thing is - as Brad Wardell would say - they should be targeting their market. I think that judging from the majority of reactions here they are not doing that. All developers have a choice - make the game they want to.... or make the game they can afford to on the expectations of their consumers.

It seems like Blizzard have gone for the former and are not going to concede that people are having a hard time justifying spending a lot of money at the moment.... and then they make the game so that you're *possibly* stuck with the same gameplay for the whole game. I mean, one team rather than three to choose from.

Tannhauser wrote:
Rat Boy wrote:

Throw that in with the rumors of Battle.net no longer being free at least in terms of SC2 and D3 and Blizzard could burn up a lot of the goodwill its generated with its customers.

Rumors?

Joystiq wrote:

Crap and nonsense...

I pointed this out in the D3 thread but thought i'd mention it here too. The more accurate article is over on shacknews and the guy is talking about microtransactions for features and not money to play on battlenet.

Though there is some crossover there. Again though, i feel that blizzard are making this move to support a (okay maybe not in Korea ) minority of their customers by expanding battlenet to include things like tournaments etc. If those customers want to pay then that's fine... and this (IMO) is a little different from the SP triplet thing because i would want to play the continued story of each race and am no so bothered about MP.

Duoae wrote:

The thing is - as Brad Wardell would say - they should be targeting their market. I think that judging from the majority of reactions here they are not doing that. All developers have a choice - make the game they want to.... or make the game they can afford to on the expectations of their consumers.

I don't disagree with you on principle here, but developers can't base design decisions on forum posts. Internet people love to get into a state of high dudgeon that in no way reflects the reality of the wider market.

Do you really think that this was a simple, rash decision made my Blizzard? I'm sure that they have done plenty of research before making this announcement. Even the people here who seem most upset are those who have basically said, 'This has gone from a maybe to a no buy.' Not many have gone from day 1 to never, maybe just decided to delay their purchase at worst.

MrDeVil909 wrote:
Duoae wrote:

The thing is - as Brad Wardell would say - they should be targeting their market. I think that judging from the majority of reactions here they are not doing that. All developers have a choice - make the game they want to.... or make the game they can afford to on the expectations of their consumers.

I don't disagree with you on principle here, but developers can't base design decisions on forum posts. Internet people love to get into a state of high dudgeon that in no way reflects the reality of the wider market.

Do you really think that this was a simple, rash decision made my Blizzard? I'm sure that they have done plenty of research before making this announcement. Even the people here who seem most upset are those who have basically said, 'This has gone from a maybe to a no buy.' Not many have gone from day 1 to never, maybe just decided to delay their purchase at worst.

*raises hand* Now, to say this is the sole reason isn't true. But with a ton of gaming goodness, this has knocked it from day one to likely never. If anything, it'll be well after the Battlechest comes out. The other thing is I was hoping it'd move away from the micromanage/babysit aspect, but not so much.

Fans of map hacking and other Diablo II modifications have little to look forward to with the sequel, as Wilson shot down any talk of mod support.

"We don't have a lot of plans to do that. It would make our lives so much harder" he said, adding that despite the fact that he and many other designers got their start in modding, the team takes a strong stance on the hacking of their games.

And I don't like that Blizzard doesn't like people hacking on the games. Most of them got started in that. In fact, it's _THE_ easiest way to get started in not just game development, but programming at a whole. Making UT99 mods was what got me hooked on programming. There's also total conversions and value. (I'd reccomend people pick up HL2 _JUST_ for Insurgency if they liked tactical shooters) Community created content is growing, in leaps, bounds, and rocket-jumps. Valve has taken an awesome position on this, and they're reaping the dividends of it. Not to mention a departure from the customer/fan-centric Blizzard we all know and love.

Okay so instead of continuing to delve the unproductive mine of "It will be worth the extra money / No it wont!" I'd like to ask another question.

For anybody who's played it, does the interface really annoy anybody else? It's the exact same interface as Starcraft 1! That interface is 10 years old! How lazy! No improvements whatsoever. It irks me to no end that I have to put up with a sh*tty interface so some Korean whizkids don't have to re-learn hotkeys. Grr!

jowner wrote:

I don't think anyone is saying Bliz will skimp on the content or quality its just these are full size games not everyone wants. 30hrs of gameplay of all three races in one box would be great. 90hrs total with each races campaign being a staggered release not so excited. Even if we are conservative on the estimates of pricing say 50+30+30 which is really low that's $110 before whatever the Bnet costs could be. At around $110 I could probably get Red Alert 3 + DoW:2. So 2 actually different games where I get to play as the Allies, Soviets and Japanese in one game and Orks, Tyranid, Eldar and Space Marines in the other.

I'm seeing a whole lot more replay value and bang for my buck going with the 2 competitors here and honestly I don't have that much buck to go around.

The thing is, I think just one of the campaigns of SC2 will compete with those two games on variety as well as depth of content, even ignoring the two other campaigns that are coming. They've already confirmed that there will be Protoss missions in the Terran campaign, as well as adventure game-like elements, RPG-like elements and a dynamic galactic map with a branching main plot and sub-plots. There seems at this point to be a lot more to it than those other games you've mentioned - not to mention the fact that DoW2 will only ship with a Space Marine campaign.

Duoae wrote:

It seems like Blizzard have gone for the former and are not going to concede that people are having a hard time justifying spending a lot of money at the moment.... and then they make the game so that you're *possibly* stuck with the same gameplay for the whole game. I mean, one team rather than three to choose from.

It remains to be seen if they're reaching here. SC2 is obviously and highly desired game, and it may well be worth $120 to a lot of people. Between the people who really don't care that it's just one sides viewpoint in the missions and the people who are going to shell out whatever Blizzard sets the price at, I think there are going to be fewer people than you think that have a hard time justifying spending that money. I mean, how many of the people in this very forum sounding off about how upset they are are really going to not buy at least the first one?

itchyeyes wrote:
Duoae wrote:

It seems like Blizzard have gone for the former and are not going to concede that people are having a hard time justifying spending a lot of money at the moment.... and then they make the game so that you're *possibly* stuck with the same gameplay for the whole game. I mean, one team rather than three to choose from.

It remains to be seen if they're reaching here. SC2 is obviously a highly desired game, and it may well be worth $120 to a lot of people. Between the people who really don't care that it's just one sides viewpoint in the missions and the people who are going to shell out whatever Blizzard sets the price at, I think there are going to be fewer people than you think that have a hard time justifying spending that money. I mean, how many of the people in this very forum sounding off about how upset they are are really going to not buy at least the first one?

This is also replying to DeVil as well. Basically my point was that they're dropping a large portion of potential purchases. Sure there are the core fans but really, as many companies have shown us these last few years, the real money lies in selling to as many people as possible therefore having the widest appeal is best. For me and probably for many other people not just even on these boards a main game (including all three factions partial stories) with a really large fairly expensive price tag (read: normal full price) or two smaller expansions with smaller price tags would have been better. I'd wager that even if there are a large portion of us 'naysayers' who would buy the first of the three games that number will exponentially drop off as the next two came out. I don't believe that StarCraft has as big a fan base 10 years after it was released as people think. We're only seeing the microcosm of the hardcore interested in games people - not the general public. It's not like we're talking about a WoW expansion here.

Also, i'd like to ask whoever it was talking about justifying having a longer campaign by it being more training focused - what good is that in multiplayer when two of the available races have no training? I loved Dawn of War but it was frustrating when trying to learn the other races when i had no idea how they worked and what tactics and growth strategies gave them strength. Fair enough, SC2 is keeping pretty close to the original in terms of strategy and units (from what i've read), but does that really justify the price hike and their stringing out the content? It's a similar argument to the 'why announce a trilogy but have your first game bad?'. Just make the games as they come along and then see if there's room for an expansion rather than diminish each game by having it expecting more afterwards.

This is also replying to DeVil as well. Basically my point was that they're dropping a large portion of potential purchases. Sure there are the core fans but really, as many companies have shown us these last few years, the real money lies in selling to as many people as possible therefore having the widest appeal is best. For me and probably for many other people not just even on these boards a main game (including all three factions partial stories) with a really large fairly expensive price tag (read: normal full price) or two smaller expansions with smaller price tags would have been better. I'd wager that even if there are a large portion of us 'naysayers' who would buy the first of the three games that number will exponentially drop off as the next two came out. I don't believe that StarCraft has as big a fan base 10 years after it was released as people think. We're only seeing the microcosm of the hardcore interested in games people - not the general public. It's not like we're talking about a WoW expansion here.

Problem is the "core" fans are the ones most likely reading every scrap of info on the game.. so if they are sold no matter what.. most casual fans wont even be aware that there are even expansions or trilogies or DLC planned. They will just be in Target and say.. hey this looks cool and buy it.

As Spore has recently shown us.. Internet Outrage isnt really all that its cracked up to be when it comes to casual gamers. I'm fairly sure a few of us know several people that buy games that never browse the internet outside of ESPN.com and Gamefaqs.com when they are stuck on a level.

Thirteenth, I think I see where you're coming from but this isn't really the thread in which to hash out the age-old debate of Great Taste vs. Less Filling. Maybe we should continue the discussion elsewhere before we risk a derail?

TheGameguru wrote:

Problem is the "core" fans are the ones most likely reading every scrap of info on the game.. so if they are sold no matter what.. most casual fans wont even be aware that there are even expansions or trilogies or DLC planned. They will just be in Target and say.. hey this looks cool and buy it.

As Spore has recently shown us.. Internet Outrage isnt really all that its cracked up to be when it comes to casual gamers. I'm fairly sure a few of us know several people that buy games that never browse the internet outside of ESPN.com and Gamefaqs.com when they are stuck on a level.

My point exactly, those people wailing and gnashing their teeth on internet forums are a tiny microcosm of the possible market. Alienating maybe 5% of the possible market to get a 300% increase in sales sounds like reasonable business to me.

All the tears of all the 'Angry Internet Men' in the world are really just a drop in a bucket unfortunately.

Duoae, please also note that I'm not disagreeing with you in principle, I'm just seeing very different practical ramifications to the issues you raise.

http://www.videogaming247.com/2008/1...

You hear that? That's the sound of money being banked! KA-CHING!

LobsterMobster wrote:

Thirteenth, I think I see where you're coming from but this isn't really the thread in which to hash out the age-old debate of Great Taste vs. Less Filling. Maybe we should continue the discussion elsewhere before we risk a derail? :)

Right.

Fundamentally, the problem for me is one of expectations. I haven't been paying attention to the footage coming out of Blizzcon, and everything before that was pretty aggressively traditional looking. Three whole meals of Starcraft seems too much to be very appetizing, and yet previous games from Blizzard have conditioned me into thinking that I need all campaigns to get the complete experience.

And having just finished playing Dawn of War, the fact that it's a WH40K knock-off, but *without* huge berserkers screaming BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, SKULLS FOR THE THRONE OF KHORNE seems more wrong than ever.

We'll see once more info emerges, but right now I can't bring myself to care much about SC2.

TheGameguru wrote:

http://www.videogaming247.com/2008/1...

You hear that? That's the sound of money being banked! KA-CHING!

:)

Good on them for wringing all the blood they can from the addicts, I suppose, but I can't help but feel that that's incredibly tacky. This is the sort of thing free MMOs have to do to support themselves, not games with 10 million paying subscribers.

bnpederson wrote:
Devmani wrote:

What would support Bnet? Possibly....maybe.......E-sports?! Tournament rosters, team games, GGL sanctioned events. Yea I can see people being charged to take part in that. The casual player could possibly get the not so exciting version. Now who has done this before......oh that right XBL! So a Silver and gold version of Bnet sounds plausible doesn't it?

Okay, first thing first. Devmani, I understand you're feeling defensive here but please ditch the patronizing tone. Personally I find it insulting, though I'm trying to avoid being snarky in my reply.

Defensive nah just playing the devil's advocate, bringing up viewpoints that haven't been discussed before. You say I'm being patronizing when that is not my intent and you are personally insulted so you are taking something to heart when the statement wasn't directed to anyone in general but to the open forum. So while you are attempting to not be snarky also attempt to not be insulted because I didn't affix a name to my previous post. Next time just shoot me a PM and please don't try to call me out on a public forum without provocation.

Now that that's been said lets get to the filler.
All I'm saying is that there can be two versions of Bnet one where you don't pay and you get limited access to features available which could be sanctioned tournament rosters, prize events, etc. So yes you can have the "steam" version of Bnet as well free updates and support for all games including legacy games or the "XBL gold" version where you are more of a hardcore e-sports type of gamer and you want access to all the competitive extras.

Mondays are awesome right?!

Switchbreak wrote:
jowner wrote:

I don't think anyone is saying Bliz will skimp on the content or quality its just these are full size games not everyone wants. 30hrs of gameplay of all three races in one box would be great. 90hrs total with each races campaign being a staggered release not so excited. Even if we are conservative on the estimates of pricing say 50+30+30 which is really low that's $110 before whatever the Bnet costs could be. At around $110 I could probably get Red Alert 3 + DoW:2. So 2 actually different games where I get to play as the Allies, Soviets and Japanese in one game and Orks, Tyranid, Eldar and Space Marines in the other.

I'm seeing a whole lot more replay value and bang for my buck going with the 2 competitors here and honestly I don't have that much buck to go around.

The thing is, I think just one of the campaigns of SC2 will compete with those two games on variety as well as depth of content, even ignoring the two other campaigns that are coming. They've already confirmed that there will be Protoss missions in the Terran campaign, as well as adventure game-like elements, RPG-like elements and a dynamic galactic map with a branching main plot and sub-plots. There seems at this point to be a lot more to it than those other games you've mentioned - not to mention the fact that DoW2 will only ship with a Space Marine campaign.

Not sure how the variety of 3 races in one game competes with 3 + 4 in 2 totally different games. With those 2 titles I'm probably getting 4 nicely sized campaigns (3 in RA and 1 in DoW) instead 3 longer ones that might be the greatest campaigns ever built but also 15 hours to long each. Going back to what other people have already said that after about maybe the 10hour mark and doing 10+ missions of varying length and objectives I'm ready to throw in the towel to move on to the next race not play another 10-15 hours.

Honestly Bliz could give us 3+3+3 (3 smaller campaigns in each game in 1 + 2 expansions and one huge connecting story) and I think people would be swallowing this much easier. If the announcement was SC:2 will have 2 expansions I don't think anyone gets pissy as they already expected 1.

Dynamic galactic map? what does that even mean. That sounds like a buzzword invented by the industry. If you mean a map where you click on where you want to attack whoopdie do, going left or right doesn't strike me as exactly a game breaking feature! Done in previous games already like DoW. RPG elements? Done in DoW also already. I played through all 7! of the DoW campaigns in the 2nd expansion Dark Crusade because each one was just the right length, different enough story and I wanted to level all the different leaders.

Also that's fine that I get only one campaign in DoW:2 their expansion will give me probably 2 new playable races + new units + maybe even a campaign mode like Dark Crusade that turns into 6 bite sized campaigns on a galactic map with RPG elements.

My point of using the other games in as comparison as this is still a competitive genre and last time I checked time + money doesn't grow on trees. That's just keeping my dollars comparing within RTS games only and only 2 of the other really popular franchises off the top of my head that I know are coming out. That said I'm not going to say that SC is off my list as the online and UMS features gave me amazing amounts of gameplay previously but at the very least 2 other RTS games have leap froged it. DoW:2 was neck and neck with it before and I dunno how I could skip RA:3 considering the campaign videos we have seen and the actors make it look like it will be worth the comedy alone.

Using number of races as a game metric reminds me of the old marketing ploy of advertising the number of rooms in a text adventure. "200 rooms!" Thing is, it's not a measure of quality.

Quality in a game is the level of enjoyment you get from playing it and how long that enjoyment lasts. Now if your enjoyment depends on the number of factions, okay, that's fine. Enjoyment is very subjective. I don't feel the same, so let's not argue that Blizzard needs to consider it as some kind of objective standard.

Do I worry that Starcraft II's campaign won't be able to deliver a good number of hours of enjoyment? Yes. It has nothing to do with the number of races though. It's something I worry about with every game.