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Posts Tagged ‘Starcraft’

I failed to come up with a clever or relevant post title so I just slapped whatever song was currently playing on winamp in there. Now you know.

There aren’t a lot of cataclysm changes out yet, so there isn’t much to discuss there. We have some talent changes, and a whole bunch of zone things.

I do have to say, I love goblins. Flat out. Best addition to the horde ever. What other race would build a defensive cannon so large it can be seen from orbit? And just look at their sense of style! Banana wallpaper! Golf courses! Pineapple bedsheets!

What do the worgen have to compete with that, huh?

Oh right… top hats.

Those top hats better be available somehow horde side. I desperately require one, so that I may log off in a tux and top hat and look bloody spectacular on the armory. I suppose I could always throw on my haliscan set again. I did, after all, expend some effort for that sombrero back in the day. Did it solo and everything.

(Conspiracy hat mode)

What if, just what if, the Warcraft and Starcraft universes are actually the exact same universe?

Think about it.

It struck me a few weeks back that the draenei and protoss look almost exactly the same. Their body structures are nearly identical. They both have the exact same legs (protoss sans hooves), they both have glowing eyes, and their spines are near identical.

The protoss look like a somewhat stereotypical advanced space race looks like. Spindly limbs, thin body, that just somehow manages to look exactly like what the draenei would look like in a few million years, provided evolution functions in the warcraft/starcraft universe.

(It probably does, though we have no real evidence for it in either case. The Zerg evolve intentionally, and that hardly counts. Both protoss and zerg races were created. Everything in WoW was essentially created as is. Trolls seem to be the only thing that ever actually bothers to adapt to their surroundings. Everything else just says “fuck it, I’m a tiger, I don’t need to evolve” and remains unchanged.)

Consider also that all draenei can heal. They have a deep affinity for the light, and thus even the lowliest of sword grunts with no skills whatsoever can still wield holy magic. On the protoss side, all protoss have a deep affinity for various psionic abilities, where even their lowliest of sword grunts can still summon lethal blades from nothing.

Consider this picture of the Halls of Origination. Now compare that to this picture of the protoss central structure, the nexus.

You could say they look similar due to Blizzard pulling from Egyptian architecture in both cases. I say, there is no such thing as Egypt in-universe for either the warcraft or starcraft universes. So where did the common architecture come from?

Well? Who created most of the stuff on Azeroth? Who built the Halls of Origination? Who went in and created life, leaving behind guardians, elevating the dragons from mindless beasts to powerful, thinking creatures?

They’ve been called makers, creators, they are basically gods in the world of warcraft. The Titans. Effectively, they created Azeroth, birthing most, if not all, of the sentient life there.

Sound familiar? Was there, perhaps, an advanced race of mysterious beings in Starcraft that went about creating life? That created the protoss and the zerg? The Xel’Naga?

I posit that the Titans and Xel’Naga are one and the same.

Consider also the relative nature of the Burning Legion and the Zerg Swarm. Or, rather, the complete and total absence of any difference between the two.

Both the Legion and Swarm are hell bent on conquering everything.

Both are diametrically opposed to the draenei/protoss.

Both, lorewise, are assimilators. The zerg were originally just tiny, sentient bugs. They assimilate the DNA of other races, twisting and evolving them to suit the greater will of the Swarm. Anything that benefits the swarm is incorporated, the rest is erased from reality.

The Legion spread across the universe, either annihilating or assimilating everything in their path. Sometimes they meet a race such as the orcs, and bring them into the fold of the Legion. Everything else is simply destroyed.

Each individual zerg has their will bound to their master, the Overmind. Each individual warrior of the legion has their will bound to their master, Sargeras. In both cases this can be broken.

Sargeras physically led the Legion for millenia, until his physical body was (possibly) destroyed, rendering him little more than a driving will  behind the Legion. Which is pretty much the definition of the Overmind.

Consider also that a cerebrate does not stay dead when killed. Unless slain by a Dark Templar, a cerebrate simply regenerates and reappears elsewhere.

*cough* MAL’GANIS *cough*

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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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Speaking Of Starcraft?

Time for some more history of yours truly, as inspired by Pike.

Starcraft was the very first PC game I ever played. Before being introduced to it, I was strictly a console gamer, and a Nintendo one at that. Had me an original NES for a while, borrowed from a friend.

Adventure Island? Loved it. Tiger-Heli? An addict. Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu? Shut it, I thought it was fun. Of course, I was somewhere around six years old, so that really isn’t saying much. Throwing rocks at a basketball was equally enjoyable.

A friend of my father gave me my very first gaming system, a nearly mint condition SuperNES that his own kid wasn’t interested in playing anymore. The only game the thing had was NHL ’96, so maybe the guy just hated hockey? (more…)

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