Hot Keys: StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Posted by RetroVirus (1458 posts) -

The best way I have ever heard someone describe an RTS is that it’s like a game of chess, but you also control everything surrounding actually fighting your opponent. You have to keep track of a million things at the same time, training units, gathering resources, scouting, attacking, retreating, researching, building, feinting, just to start. StarCraft II is a pinnacle of game design, where your skill can actually improve in very meaningful ways just by analyzing your play style and devising actual strategies.

The game is just so visually stimulating.

When I started playing, I was immediately put in Bronze, because I had never played an RTS really competitively before. I was just the guy that would put the AI on easy and turtle up a massive force to decimate opponents, and I was content with that. However, laddering in StarCraft drove me to push my skills and become better at the game, with help from both the TeamLiquid forums and watching Day9. These people have such a passion for the game that it becomes infectious, and after coming up with build orders and recognizing when to scout and engage, I rose up the ranks quickly. In fact, in two seasons I had gone from Bronze to Platinum league, and ended up placing in the Top 50 for my division.

If you don't know who this guy is, then you should.

What I find funny is that I have a lot to say about StarCraft II, but what I say means next to nothing compared to other, more dedicated players out there. People are able to make a living playing StarCraft II, training hours upon hours with such intense focus. Millions of people (myself included) have paid real money to WATCH the GSL, to admire the beautiful back and forth between pros. Watching them play reveals the true draw behind the game: the ability to push the games systems to the limit while coming up with tactics on the fly, and being rewarded (or not) depending on how you succeed.

The campaign tells a good story, the art style is colorful and fun, and everything that has been done with custom game creating and matchmaking makes it an enjoyable experience to play the game. With the way they have the leagues set up a player should have a 50/50 win/loss record, meaning you’ll never be placed against Diamond league if you’re in Silver. It also feels great to see your rank climb up to the top of the charts, and getting really good to a point where you can get into Diamond is actually manageable, but it takes a lot of practice.

It's guys like these that help keep the enthusiasm for StarCraft II alive and well.

I love StarCraft II. I love, love, love the game so much. Never before have I been so immersed in a game than this one. StarCraft II is perhaps the king of the RTS genre (although I think Brood War players may disagree), and the community and everything else surrounding the game is truly astonishing. The amount of support Blizzard has given to the game and the community is staggering, from updates to sponsored invitationals and televised championships, they have expertly poised the game to become the head of the E-sports movement, and the “Barcraft” scene that has developed recently is a great thing for connecting fans and getting to see some hot SCII action. In fact, GSL 2012 Season One is going on right now, so check it out! Good luck, have Batman.

#1 Posted by RetroVirus (1458 posts) -

The best way I have ever heard someone describe an RTS is that it’s like a game of chess, but you also control everything surrounding actually fighting your opponent. You have to keep track of a million things at the same time, training units, gathering resources, scouting, attacking, retreating, researching, building, feinting, just to start. StarCraft II is a pinnacle of game design, where your skill can actually improve in very meaningful ways just by analyzing your play style and devising actual strategies.

The game is just so visually stimulating.

When I started playing, I was immediately put in Bronze, because I had never played an RTS really competitively before. I was just the guy that would put the AI on easy and turtle up a massive force to decimate opponents, and I was content with that. However, laddering in StarCraft drove me to push my skills and become better at the game, with help from both the TeamLiquid forums and watching Day9. These people have such a passion for the game that it becomes infectious, and after coming up with build orders and recognizing when to scout and engage, I rose up the ranks quickly. In fact, in two seasons I had gone from Bronze to Platinum league, and ended up placing in the Top 50 for my division.

If you don't know who this guy is, then you should.

What I find funny is that I have a lot to say about StarCraft II, but what I say means next to nothing compared to other, more dedicated players out there. People are able to make a living playing StarCraft II, training hours upon hours with such intense focus. Millions of people (myself included) have paid real money to WATCH the GSL, to admire the beautiful back and forth between pros. Watching them play reveals the true draw behind the game: the ability to push the games systems to the limit while coming up with tactics on the fly, and being rewarded (or not) depending on how you succeed.

The campaign tells a good story, the art style is colorful and fun, and everything that has been done with custom game creating and matchmaking makes it an enjoyable experience to play the game. With the way they have the leagues set up a player should have a 50/50 win/loss record, meaning you’ll never be placed against Diamond league if you’re in Silver. It also feels great to see your rank climb up to the top of the charts, and getting really good to a point where you can get into Diamond is actually manageable, but it takes a lot of practice.

It's guys like these that help keep the enthusiasm for StarCraft II alive and well.

I love StarCraft II. I love, love, love the game so much. Never before have I been so immersed in a game than this one. StarCraft II is perhaps the king of the RTS genre (although I think Brood War players may disagree), and the community and everything else surrounding the game is truly astonishing. The amount of support Blizzard has given to the game and the community is staggering, from updates to sponsored invitationals and televised championships, they have expertly poised the game to become the head of the E-sports movement, and the “Barcraft” scene that has developed recently is a great thing for connecting fans and getting to see some hot SCII action. In fact, GSL 2012 Season One is going on right now, so check it out! Good luck, have Batman.

#2 Posted by Slag (4035 posts) -

Y'know if you've never seen SC2 played by Pros live in person, I really reccommend it. Not only will you pick up tips/tricks and practices to get better but MLG has a done a good job of making watching pro gaming more fun than it's ever been. The energy at the macthes I've been to have been just awesome. plus it's pretty inexpensive. They've gotten some of the top South Korea players to actually come stateside for some of the matches.

don't think anything will ever touch Brood war, but Sc2 is pretty dope.

#3 Posted by RetroVirus (1458 posts) -

@Slag: The minute they come around the Midwest/lower Canada I will be first in line. If you've seen it first hand then I am so jealous.

#4 Posted by amir90 (2154 posts) -

I love sc2 too man!
Too bad SWTOR takes up all my gaming time :/

#5 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

I do not know who that man is.

StarCraft II is the first RTS game I've ever played competitively and, since getting it about six months ago, I've been playing a lot of it. That said, I've not been introduced to watching competitive games outside of Youtube casts, specifically from HuskyStarcraft's channel. I'm not sure where to start.

And yeah, SCII is probably the only game where I've continuously felt compelled to improve at. It's also the only game where I've been the proudest to succeed at. Being promoted to Gold felt great and yesterday, being promoted to Platinum felt even better but made me dreadful knowing that I would now be going against even tougher opponents. There's also the fact that no game makes me feel more like crap than SCII for failing.

#6 Posted by BoG (5181 posts) -

I've been playing and studying, though I don't ever really improve at competitive video games. I agree with you about the community, though. The enthusiasm of SCII players is unmatched.

#7 Posted by RetroVirus (1458 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: It's SlayerS_Boxer.

#8 Posted by Skytylz (4030 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: Live Casts of Tournaments are a lot more fun then youtube casts. I started out watching Husky and HD, but I can't really get that excited about them anymore since I started watching stuff live.

#9 Posted by yoshisaur (2661 posts) -

I wish I had the discipline to get into SC2, I just simply don't. Have too many games to play and that really detracts from my overall skill level :/.

#10 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1544 posts) -

I miss the good ol' days of joining some random persons Ventrilo and listening to them shoutcast some LAN that everyone was watching through HLTV.

#11 Posted by CJduke (782 posts) -

Well said. I went to MLG Providence and it was one of the best things I've ever been to. I got to see Tasteless, Jinro, Naniwa, Marineking, Tyler and a bunch of other players in person. I stood right next to Marineking while he played against MVP and it was just awesome to see how fast their hands move. The community there was great as well. It was also funny at the end of Sunday night when only Halo and Starcraft were left, the Starcraft II crowd quadrupled the Halo crowd. It is just such an awesome game that I never get tired of playing even though I'm still not very good (I'm Platinum as well, I've been stuck their for a while). 

#12 Posted by groin (838 posts) -

@BoG said:

I've been playing and studying, though I don't ever really improve at competitive video games. I agree with you about the community, though. The enthusiasm of SCII players is unmatched.

I do not agree with the unmatched enthusiasm of SC2 players. I watch a lot of SC2 but their hype and enthusiasm is nothing compared to the fighting game community. It's like saying that golf (SC2) is more action packed then hockey/football (Marvel vs Capcom 3 / SF4).

#13 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

Day 9 is pretty great. Also, why is there a picture of Bruce Lee?

#14 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19308 posts) -

@RetroVirus: Oh. I've definitely heard of him; I guess I've never actually seen him until now.

@Skytylz: Where can one go to watch live casts?

#15 Posted by Skytylz (4030 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: Just go to teamlliqhid.net and at the top right of the home page there will be a link to currently live streams. Just look at the featured streams then and find one with a lot of viewers, most nights MLG, IPL, or NASL will be casting some games. On the weekends, when tournaments tend to be happening they will also be in the featured streams.

#16 Posted by SirPsychoSexy (1328 posts) -

Watching Competitive SC2 is amazing, I can't get enough of it. I really do enjoy watching all sorts of sports, but there is nothing like this game. I don't know what it is, but when you have some of the best in the world going out it with some amazing casters, I could watch all fucking day. And that is what I plan on doing this weekend with MLG winter arena

#17 Posted by baldgye (756 posts) -

@ShadowConqueror said:

Day 9 is pretty great. Also, why is there a picture of Bruce Lee?

lulz

#18 Posted by Grimluck343 (1148 posts) -

@groin said:

I watch a lot of SC2 but their hype and enthusiasm is nothing compared to the fighting game community. It's like saying that golf (SC2) is more action packed then hockey/football (Marvel vs Capcom 3 / SF4).

It's not even that close.

#19 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@groin said:

@BoG said:

I've been playing and studying, though I don't ever really improve at competitive video games. I agree with you about the community, though. The enthusiasm of SCII players is unmatched.

I do not agree with the unmatched enthusiasm of SC2 players. I watch a lot of SC2 but their hype and enthusiasm is nothing compared to the fighting game community. It's like saying that golf (SC2) is more action packed then hockey/football (Marvel vs Capcom 3 / SF4).

Watch at 50 seconds. Tell me again about those fighting game crowds.

#20 Posted by tunaburn (1886 posts) -

am i in the minority now that hates it called an e-sport? or really really hates when someone that plays a video game is called an athlete?

i mean i play tons of games. i play starcraft 2 as well. (only gold league) but that definitely doesnt qualify me as an athlete.

maybe its because i do fight in mma cage fighting and train boxing and jiu jitsu and that might make me biased. but come on....

playing a video game is great. i love games. i love gaming. i love this site.

but youre no athlete from it.

#21 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@tunaburn said:

am i in the minority now that hates it called an e-sport? or really really hates when someone that plays a video game is called an athlete?

i mean i play tons of games. i play starcraft 2 as well. (only gold league) but that definitely doesnt qualify me as an athlete.

maybe its because i do fight in mma cage fighting and train boxing and jiu jitsu and that might make me biased. but come on....

playing a video game is great. i love games. i love gaming. i love this site.

but youre no athlete from it.

Totally agreed on both counts. I don't know what else you would call this type of thing so e-sports as dumb as it is will have to do I guess. There is almost nothing athletic about playing a video game competitively. I say almost because someone might argue that it takes some physical skill to have high APM in a RTS. But whatever, even with that they are light years away from being an actual athlete. They sit on their rumps for hours a day. The day that's athletic is the day I... do something.

#22 Posted by Ben_H (3312 posts) -
@Bwast said:

 They sit on their rumps for hours a day. The day that's athletic is the day I... do something.

You've clearly never seen a picture of Nada or Reach, or some of the other Brood War pros.  To compensate for playing a video game professionally, and many work out every day, and some of them are kinda jacked (In the case of Nada and Reach, quite jacked). 
 
If curling is a sport, anything can be a sport.
#23 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@Ben_H: I'm well aware of Nada's body. Working out has little impact on your Starcraft performance. If you want to get better, get ready for some rump sitting. Just look at Sheth. Not the best physical condition but man can he craft some stars.

#24 Posted by Slag (4035 posts) -

@tunaburn said:

am i in the minority now that hates it called an e-sport? or really really hates when someone that plays a video game is called an athlete?

i mean i play tons of games. i play starcraft 2 as well. (only gold league) but that definitely doesnt qualify me as an athlete.

maybe its because i do fight in mma cage fighting and train boxing and jiu jitsu and that might make me biased. but come on....

playing a video game is great. i love games. i love gaming. i love this site.

but youre no athlete from it.

I agree with this. I really enjoy "esports" but I do think the sports branding is a bit dumb and misleading. Feel the same way about Poker.

don't have a better idea on what it should be called but yeah it isn't actual sports in my book.

#25 Posted by canucks23 (1087 posts) -

@tunaburn said:

am i in the minority now that hates it called an e-sport? or really really hates when someone that plays a video game is called an athlete?

i mean i play tons of games. i play starcraft 2 as well. (only gold league) but that definitely doesnt qualify me as an athlete.

maybe its because i do fight in mma cage fighting and train boxing and jiu jitsu and that might make me biased. but come on....

playing a video game is great. i love games. i love gaming. i love this site.

but youre no athlete from it.

I hear the e-sports thing all the time, but i've never heard anybody refer to a pro player as an athlete. They're always just called "pro gamers".

#26 Posted by groin (838 posts) -

@Bwast said:

@groin said:

@BoG said:

I've been playing and studying, though I don't ever really improve at competitive video games. I agree with you about the community, though. The enthusiasm of SCII players is unmatched.

I do not agree with the unmatched enthusiasm of SC2 players. I watch a lot of SC2 but their hype and enthusiasm is nothing compared to the fighting game community. It's like saying that golf (SC2) is more action packed then hockey/football (Marvel vs Capcom 3 / SF4).

Watch at 50 seconds. Tell me again about those fighting game crowds.

I knew someone would try to challenge my claim. You're going to have to do better than that, though.

Watch at 9m10s.

The first 30 seconds and again at 4m40s.

Watch at 6m40s.

Not to mention the classic hype video.

So, uh.... tell me again about those Starcraft game crowds.

#27 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@groin:

Your move.

#28 Posted by groin (838 posts) -

@Bwast said:

@groin:

Your move.

Crowd size had nothing to do with my original statement. I explicitly mentioned hype and enthusiasm.

#29 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@groin: Don't you think you'd have to have a little enthusiasm to be willing to sit in a sea of people just to see two people play a video game?

#30 Posted by groin (838 posts) -

@Bwast said:

@groin: Don't you think you'd have to have a little enthusiasm to be willing to sit in a sea of people just to see two people play a video game?

What about hype?

#31 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@groin said:

@Bwast said:

@groin: Don't you think you'd have to have a little enthusiasm to be willing to sit in a sea of people just to see two people play a video game?

What about hype?

How do you think they got all those people to show up? "Oh, please come to our Starcraft match. It will be a satisfactory time.".

#32 Posted by groin (838 posts) -

@Bwast said:

@groin said:

@Bwast said:

@groin: Don't you think you'd have to have a little enthusiasm to be willing to sit in a sea of people just to see two people play a video game?

What about hype?

How do you think they got all those people to show up? "Oh, please come to our Starcraft match. It will be a satisfactory time.".

I do not think you know the meaning of the word hype. Anyway, FGC members, David Graham, AJ Papa, and Jared Rea were in the crowd during the last NASL. They were acting like they normally would during an FGC event but several crowd members told them to be quiet during matches. Starcraft fans are the digiSports equivalent of golf fans.

#33 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@groin: Hype - To create interest in by flamboyant or dramatic methods.

Now you're presenting second hand experience as evidence. I'm done.

#34 Posted by groin (838 posts) -

@Bwast said:

@groin: Hype - To create interest in by flamboyant or dramatic methods.

Now you're presenting second hand experience as evidence. I'm done.

Here is a first hand experience written by David Graham himself http://shoryuken.com/2011/12/12/guest-editorial-momentum-matters-a-historical-perspective-on-the-fgc-and-esports-communities-2/

A relevant quote from the article,

"There I was at the NASL single elimination 3rd place match with Potatohead, Sanchez, Offcast, Nasir, Magnetro, Pimpwilly, and MrJared. Holy balls, the 3rd place match! Get hype! So we did. And then someone’s adorable grandpa dressed up as a 20-something male gamer named Nick, came up to us, and asked us to stop yelling quite so very loudly."

#35 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@groin: I could probably go fish around for some negative quote about a fighting game crowd. But I won't do that. We're talking about crowds, not a crowd. If you can call an entire fanbase golf fans based on 1 person's experience then why are we even talking?

#36 Posted by groin (838 posts) -

@Bwast said:

@groin: I could probably go fish around for some negative quote about a fighting game crowd. But I won't do that. We're talking about crowds, not a crowd. If you can call an entire fanbase golf fans based on 1 person's experience then why are we even talking?

Because you replied to me.

#37 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@groin: Shame on me for thinking you were a free thinker and not some schmo that hears one negative thing about something and spreads it across the entire community.

#38 Posted by groin (838 posts) -

@Bwast said:

@groin: Shame on me for thinking you were a free thinker and not some schmo that hears one negative thing about something and spreads it across the entire community.

I thought you were done? Now, you're just calling me names. For the record, I like watching Starcraft 2. I even paid for the MLG stream this weekend. However, I cannot agree when someone claims that Starcraft fans have more hype than FGC members. It is not even close.

#39 Edited by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@groin: I responded to you as a kind of jocular thing like an elbow nudge. But you took it seriously. Then that made me take it seriously. Then it just went to shit. Next time, go to an event yourself before forming an opinion. That's it.

I don't really care about which crowd is better but when you refer to them as golf fans derogatorily it gets my blood up. We have a lot of passion for this shit. There are multiple documentaries being made about Starcraft and its community. Tournaments are constantly sold out. People take time to commentate games and manage web sites devoted to this game. To see someone who relies on a stranger's account of 1 crowd to form their inflammatory opinion of an entire community is frustrating at best.

#40 Posted by groin (838 posts) -

@Bwast said:

@groin: I responded to you as a kind of jocular thing like an elbow nudge. But you took it seriously. Then that made me take it seriously. Then it just went to shit. Next time, go to an event yourself before forming an opinion. That's it.

I don't really care about which crowd is better but when you refer to them as golf fans derogatorily it gets my blood up. We have a lot of passion for this shit. There are multiple documentaries being made about Starcraft and its community. Tournaments are constantly sold out. People take time to commentate games and manage web sites devoted to this game. To see someone who relies on a stranger's account of 1 crowd to form their inflammatory opinion of an entire community is frustrating at best.

I did not take it seriously. You also blindly formed an opinion about the fighting games community and started talking about crowd sizes for some reason. Also, what is wrong about golf?

#41 Posted by Bwast (1342 posts) -

@groin: What opinion did I form? I looked at all my posts again. You're going to have to fill me in.

#42 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

SHUT UP YOU TWO. This is a dumb argument derailing this poor dude's thread. Continue it in the PMs if you must.

I enjoyed reading your blog, . While I'm completely incapable of playing strategy games against real people in general, I still find watching SCII pretty interesting. I don't usually keep up with sports, so keeping up with a StarCraft league is even more difficult. As a result, I tend to stick to fighting game streams because they're easier, but when I do watch StarCraft, I enjoy it a lot.

#43 Edited by csl316 (8142 posts) -

@Bwast said:

@groin: What opinion did I form? I looked at all my posts again. You're going to have to fill me in.

Does this argument even matter? The fact that games are even getting enthusiastic crowds is an awesome revelation. And the more games that get this sort of growth, the better for all of esports as a whole. Do people compare NBA crowds to the NFL's, wrestling, UFC, etc. Who the hell cares? Everything has its place.

Anyway, Starcraft 2 is awesome. Lots of life changes in the past year have kept me from following it anymore, which kind of sucks. I went from watching every GSL match to being completely overwhelmed by all the tournaments, the NASL, and trying to play my own games. I probably won't be able to set aside full weekends for MLG anymore, either. So I just stopped, because I quickly fell behind in knowing what's going on in the competitive world.

It exploded, which is cool for some, but too much for people with limited free time. Committing to SC became a full time endeavor. To grow even further, they have to make a couple hours of games every few days be as compelling as following a whole tournament, to connect to the everyman.

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