Lots of micro is a turn off for me. I would much rather have the challenge of a game be thinking strategically and making good plans, rather than a test of manual dexterity and clicking speed. I can enjoy watching people play starcraft, for example, but there's no way I would ever want to play it, especially at a high level. That's why I'm much happier with games like AI War with its active pause, or Frozen Synapse, where I can think about my moves for a week if I want to. Is there a way to play the game without requiring me to click around madly all the time? Maybe by putting it on low difficulty or something? I like the idea of a game with a great big 3-D rendered galaxy to play around in, but I don't like the idea of clicking until my fingers fall off...
Very good quote, I probably couldn't have said it any better even if I tried.
Let me jump onto the anti-spam clicking bandwagon, but also give my opinion of heavy micromanagement as a game mechanic, and how it introduces something that many of you may be missing.
First I want to say that the original Starcraft game was probably never meant to be as micro-intensive as it turned out to be. The Blizzard developers probably could never have realized how popular it would have become on a competitive level, and the game interface and control systems were simply made to be "adequate", instead of the most efficient possible. On a side note, if Korea had never advanced the competitive scene for that game the way it did, we may not know Starcraft as we do today.
One thing to consider is how enjoyable Starcraft (and SC2) is to watch, in contrast to how boring games like Chess and Go are to watch. Starcraft games have had some of the most epic moments in gaming history, and I fully expect SC2 to live up that same standard. The fact is, even though mass-clicking may not make the game as strategically skill-based as many other RTS games, it definitely
makes it a lot more fun to watch. I myself barely played Starcraft 1 at all, but got involved in watching the SC2 competitive scene when Gom TV launched their first GSL (Global Starcraft League) Tournament in Korea, and I've been hooked ever since. I even had the misfortune of paying $60 to buy a game that I practically knew I wouldn't like (which is why I hesitated for about 6 months before watching it religiously made me want to drink the cool-aid). I don't completely regret it simply because of Blizzard's awesome custom-game support, the amazing single-player story, and the upcoming Blizzard DotA that has a lot of people excited; but it was definitely a bad economic decision on my part.
The point is, games like Supreme Commander and Civilization will probably never have a huge competitive following. Not because they aren't strategically skill-based, because
they are so strategically skill-based. SC2 has to walk a fine line between spam click orgy and Strategy game in order to be so fun to watch, and as an avid viewer, I'd say they've done a tremendous job.
On a final, more on-topic note: Starcraft 2 has a lot of redeeming factors for being so APM intensive (which as a player, even I can't stand). Great matchmaking support and ranking system, simplified interface, easy to understand concepts, and the series probably has the best faction balance of any RTS ever made (I challenge you to find better balanced games), in addition to the merit of being enjoyable to watch which I explained above. That is the only reason I am okay with it.
If you were to take a badly balanced, badly polished, not enjoyable to watch, no matchmaking system, hard to understand Space Strategy game and make it micro-intensive, I would probably laugh at your company.