By Shinji_Rarenai 0 Comments
I haven't posted in a while. I have been jumping between different games in the past nine months, but throughout that time, I've kept playing StarCraft II.
When I found out that Heart of the Swarm was going to come out in March, I decided that I needed to finish the single-player campaign before then. Also, since I live in Southern California, I thought it would be fun to go to the launch event in Irvine, CA. It's close to my work, and I figured I might as well.
In the meantime, I kept trying to play StarCraft II and get better at it. I did have a beta key, but every time I played, I never had any idea what was going on, and I kept getting crushed. I didn't want to play the beta and just be Terran, either. I had more fun in Wings of Liberty when I was playing random, so I decided that when Heart of the Swarm came out, I'd try to play random as well. In my final season, using filtersc's builds (which I posted about a while ago), I managed to make 1st place in Gold division. I know it's not much by StarCraft II standards, but it was an accomplishment for me. I just don't have enough time to play, let alone to get really good at the game. I'm lucky if I get to play a game every night.
The launch event was crazy, nerdy, and a lot of fun. There were actually more girls there than I thought there'd be. There were also kids a lot younger (and a lot older) than I was. (I'm in my late thirties. There was a guy in the crowd holding up a sign that said "All-Star Silver player." I think he was old than I was.) Some of the attendees actually brought their kids.
The crowd was really crazy. The Irvine Spectrum, an outdoor mall, had a stage with a huge projector and a concert sound system. There were probably a couple thousand people there, if not more, that stayed until midnight. They were giving out raffle prizes, and throwing prizes into the audience (like SSD drives, mouse pads, and mice). No one was hurt, as far as I could tell.
I thought that there were be more cosplay or crazy or weird things like that, but it just looked like Gen-Xers and millenials, and a bunch of gamers. No one really smelled. :)
They had some show matches to pass the time. They also showed off some of the new features of the game, like the ability to start a game from a replay. Basically, two pros would play a 1v1 that was projected on a large screen for the audience. After the game ended, the commentators would ask the loser when they thought they lost the game. They then had the option to replay the same game from that point in time.
I think this feature is great for a few reasons:
- If there's a disconnect or a network problem during a televised match, they can just resume the game from a replay and continue the match from there. They don't need to start the game over.
- It allows the pro players to look at a situation and figure out what could be an effective counter or response to a given army composition. I expect high-level play to get even better as a result of this feature.
- Finally, it lets us "normal" people play a game from a "fair" starting point, without having to create a custom map or anything like that. I think this could help you learn unit control. Instead of needing to learn the correct build order to get to mutalisks in a timely manner, you can load a replay where you already have a flock of them and can practice harassing the other player's economy.
While I was walking around at the event, I bumped into JP McDaniel. He's the host of the State of the Game podcast. He was really nice. We chatted for a bit about the podcast and about the game. I had the foresight to bring a silver pen and my copy of Wings of Liberty, so he signed an autograph for me. I also got autographs from MC (a Korean pro player), ViBE (an American pro), Husky (a commentator/YouTube star) and a number of Blizzard employees.
It was also neat to get a chance to talk to the Blizzard employees. There are a lot of people that worked on the game, and it was great to get a chance to talk to them and to thank them for their hard work. One of them that I did recognize was Samwise. (I thought it was a pen name, but later I found out that it is his real name.) I think he drew a lot of concept art in the WarCraft and WarCraft II instruction manuals.
It was a lot more fun that I thought it would be, and I'm glad I went. I suppose I might be back for the Legacy of the Void launch, if I'm still in Southern California.