So I found out today that the new Shadow broker DLC is out, a bit late to the party I know but still very exciting. I went to my friendly Bioware social site to purchase the DLC on PC and... oh yes, I forgot about the point scheme that Bioware has implemented for Mass Effect 2, which is I'm sure some kind of imposition from Microsoft as it is designed the same way the Xbox points work.
Well, I decided to purchase the Shadow Broker DLC (800 points - $10) and the Overlord Pack (560 points - $7) as well, which is one that I wanted to play too. I can buy 400 ($5) points, 800 ($10), 1200 ($15) and 1600 ($20). I can also buy 560 ($7) if I only buy the Overlord Pack. I have 80 points as a left over from a previous purchase. There is no way I can use those 80 points. No matter how I combine it. So I would have to again buy points, get the DLC and leave some points floating.
This is what happened the last time I purchased DLC and I wont do it again. So I've decided NOT to buy the Overlord Pack and so Microsoft and Bioware loose the chance to get my money. This point thing is ridiculous and although I'm sure Microsoft will never let it go, I just hope Sony kicks their ass eventually and forces them to shift their ways. Unlikely but one can dream...
On March 31, 1998 the game Starcraft was released to the public. At the time, PC gaming was my primary way of entertainment since I had no consoles, and to be honest I didn’t need one. PC gaming was at its peak. So I went to my local Gamestop the very morning it came out and got my copy. Starcraft was my first sci-fi RTS since I didn’t get to play Westwood’s Dune when it came out. I did get to play a bit of Warcraft 1 and 2 but they really never enticed me as Starcraft did. With it’s humor, plot twists, CG cut-scenes, and excellent game-play it was a star in my collection of games. I played it, finished it and then I moved on. I was never really a fan of multiplayer so after the single player campaign was over, Stacraft for me was over. Little I knew how Starcraft would become a very special game, beyond any other game before or since.
Back in 1998 I was coursing my 4th year in college. A year before that, around September 1997 me and 2 buddies of mine got together to start a new business. We had a great idea for a website and we started meeting on a regular basis to see how we could make it a reality. At the time the dot-com bubble was expanding and stories about the wonders of the Internet were everywhere so we wanted in. By 1998 the idea had already taken shape and we were building our infrastructure. I was still in college finishing my bachelor's degree, had a minimum wage job at college and worked all nights doing programming for our website. We were just students, starting a new business so that means we had almost no money and worked for free in the beginning. So since we had no computers at our office, we had to bring our own personal computers to work.
I was broke most of the time so I had no money for a new PC. All that I had left at home was a Pentium 90 Mhz with 128 MB of RAM that used to be my mom’s. That computer couldn't run most of the games I had. I didn't have any game I really wanted to play that could run on that machine anyway. There was only one game that could run in that machine, was interesting enough and long enough to be worth while. I decided that it would be nice to play Stacraft again. I would take it slow. I would build super armies in each map of the single player campaign and obliterate the enemy only after exhausting every upgrade, building every advanced unit and collecting every piece of mineral and vespine gas I could.
Most of the levels at the end of each campaign took me over 3 hours to finish. It was just what I needed. I had at least one interesting game I could sink my free time into. The work I was doing at my own business was interesting and challenging, it’s just that it was too much of it. So Starcraft became my therapy from work. I would play it whenever I could for hours and hours. When I finished it my brother had a copy of Brood War and he lend it to me. It was heaven. Brood war was a great expansion and most importantly a great distraction.
It took us 2 years to launch the website. Soon after that I quit my other job and started making money at my own business. A few months later after that, I bought a new PC. The hard times were over. All in all I played through Starcraft and Brood War twice. It was all I played during those years and all I have are fond memories of my time with them.
As we approch the release of Starcraft 2 in a few hours, I can’t stop thinking about those days. I’ve been waiting for this game to come out for more than a decade, yet I am so satisfied with the experience I had with Stacraft that I could care less if Starcraft 2 is a good game or not. It will never be the same as it’s predecessor was for me. I still have my own business by the way, the same we built a decade ago. We survived the burst of the dot-com bubble and are still in business.
I will probably play Starcraft 2, finish it and then move on. One thing is for certain. I’ll make sure I place that copy in a safe place. Who knows when I might need it.