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Archive for May 6th, 2010

After the Move

I am now moved into my new and shiny place. Perhaps a tad on the small side, but really, the only places I ever use in a home is my bedroom, the washroom, the kitchen and a table somewhere for the computer. I could probably live in a single room quite comfortably.

No internet for several days! No internet since… Saturday? Friday maybe? I can hardly remember. It feels like an eternity. A century cut off from the larger world.

I’m not addicted, I can quit whenever I want provided I can start again whenever I want. Which is usually about thirty seconds later.

My time without internet was actually rather confusing. Every five minutes…

  • I’ll go check up on some webco-DAMNIT
  • Twenty hours of straight Dragon Age. Ehh, maybe I’ll play some World of DAMNIT
  • Conversation about Hitler! Woo! And they’re arguing with me about facts! HA! I’ll fire up ye olde internets to cite my sour-DAMNIT
  • I wonder what Temerity Jane is DAMNIT
  • Erfworld hasn’t updated in a bit, maybe I should DAMNIT

EVERY. FIVE. MINUTES. It was simultaneously extremely frustrating and hilarious.

I tried going to a coffee shop to see if I could get any internets there.

YOU GUYS. This was a horrible mistake.

You know all the internet jokes about those coffee places with wifi? All the hipsters standing or sitting around, looking all aloof with their macbooks and so forth pretending to write an epic novel whilst sipping at their mocha coco banana derp derp coffee things?

TRUE.

ALL OF IT.

I don’t know why anyone thinks it’s possible to write anything at such a place. I even commented to the barista as such. Barista… that is the technical term, yes? I wanted to go with “coffee wench”, but that felt wrong.

Anyway, so I sez “How do any of these people expect to write anything of quality in here? The best one would be able to accomplish is pointless, disjointed blog posts about drivel.”

I ordered a hot chocolate, because I like hot chocolate. And they give you a spoon with which to consume the delightful whipped cream they put on top!

Anyway, so I sit down, bust out my own laptop (not even close to a mac) fire up wordpress and start typing.

The barista arrives several minutes later with my delightful hot chocolate, with a barely concealed smirk on her face, “so what are you typing then?”

I stared at the open wordpress page.

I replied, “A pointless, disjointed blog post about drivel.”

So I closed my laptop (the coffee wench’s laughter still haunting me), carefully placed it back in my bag, and busted out a Safeway flyer instead. Oh look! Cheese is on sale!

Now I have internet again, and I’m typing from the peace and quiet of my own little apartment. Well, not entirely. I mean one of my roomates is watching a chick flick over there, but that is fine as I possess headphones. They are large, comfortable, and noise canceling.

However I have been away from WoW for many days now and haven’t the faintest clue what is going on in this universe anymore.

I guess the closed Cataclysm beta is not far off? MMO-Champ is swamped in Garfield meme? Alpha news everywhere and very promising changes on the horizon?

Oh! I’m in the Starcraft 2 beta! It is rather fun!

The beta is but a small snapshot of the full game, but it is, however, a very clear indication of what the online play is going to be. Lessons are cruel, games can be decided firmly by the three minute mark. I was swiftly reminded that I hadn’t played Starcraft in many, many years, and had my ass firmly abused and then sent to me in a tacky box.

I was Zerg last time, but now… I’m not so sure. I seem to be horrendously incompetent this time around. In the original, I was lean, mean killing machine as Zerg. Barely competent as terran, and my capacity to play protoss was limited to flailing about with a pool noodle.

Now that trend seems to have reversed itself. I’m actually quite good at protoss (though I am still terrible at using the High Templar), decent at terran, and absolutely awful with zerg. And I do mean absolutely, dreadfully awful. A backpedaling mage clicking Ice Lance as a fire spec dreadful.

I’m not entirely sure why this is, either. Obviously things have changed quite a bit from the previous game, and the loss of my beloved Lurkers and Defilers hurts me oh so much, but the basis of the zerg hordes are still pretty much the same.

So why is it that now, my efforts at directing the swarm resemble a child randomly gesticulating at a keyboard?

I suppose I should just accept my fate and play ‘toss for now. They ARE Egyptian ninjas with lightsabers, what is there to dislike?

I’m not particularly fond of Terran, due to that race’s inherent lack of mobility. Both ‘toss and zerg feature a great deal of strategical map movement, and thus map control, the terran does not inherently possess either of these.

It is a weakness I suspect the terran are supposed to make up for by walling in (supply depots, command centers that can become uber fortresses, bunkers, hell, they can even research improved armor for buildings), but such a playstyle simply doesn’t mesh with me.

Random trick for anyone else in the beta: if you’re ever on Twilight Fortress, divide your team into a unit production player and the other into a resource gatherer. The theory is thusly:

Once you reach the 5 minute mark, both players can send resources to the other in any amount. What this means is that, at the 5 minute mark, the two players essentially share a resource pool.

Most maps, teammates have separate bases in different areas. This is not so on Twilight Fortress. Players share a base, and as such it is impossible to attack one player and not the other. There is, then, a strategy whereby one player never builds any units beyond the base gatherer units, and simply harvests.

It works extremely well. One player does nothing but build their primary gathering buildings, units and structures for supply, and then piles and piles and piles of gatherers. As they gather, they send all their harvested resources to the other player, who then spends the absolutely huge surplus on units.

To try and put this in perspective: when me and a teammate first tried this, my resource collection rate was greater than all three other players combined. I had over a hundred probes draining the map dry, dumping massive amounts of resources on my teammate, who reached the supply cap by the twelve minute mark. He had a dozen of each production building, and had all of them building simultaneously.

And even with that, he still had a ten thousand surplus of each resource. On average. Most games ended with him having something like forty thousand minerals and twenty thousand vespene unspent.

Of course, we’re both protoss for this to be at it’s maximum effectiveness. Protoss never has to sacrifice a worker to build anything, and thus can maximize resource gathering. Protoss also features the strongest individual units, thus being able mass produce them nullifies the intended smaller protoss armies.

Net result: you usually end up with more units than both your opponent’s combined, all of your units are stronger than theirs on a one by one basis, and you’re raking in far more resources than they.

If you try this, bear this in mind: the guy on unit production will probably feel like he’s playing with cheats on. All strategy goes out the window when you can build an unlimited amount of anything you want.

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