Blaugust Day 11: Perks of RTS

Posted: August 11, 2015 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been playing Blizzard games for longer than I remember what system I was playing them on. I know that I had an iMac, the giant jelly-bean monitor-and-computer-in-one setups, that I would rock out some Warcraft II and StarCraft on. By which I mean, I sunk so much damned time in WarCraft while growing up, that for several summers, if I went outside, I would hear the peons harvesting lumber for me. WHAK WHAK WHAK. The sound effects were burned into my brain after months of waking up, plugging in, occasionally eating, and sleeping 20 hours later.

StarCraft was also awesome. Raynor was a friend, Mengsk was a dick, Kerrigan was a noble martyr, and the Overminds were a bunch of arrogant aristocrats. Protoss? Eh, they were just space elves. But their dragoons were awesome. I put some hours in there as well, but not quite as much as in WarCraft.

Then the glorious age of WarCraft III. I remember getting a demo disk of it, back when they still did those things, on top of a soda from the movie theater. My computer couldn’t even run the damned thing, so I had to install it on the family PC. I clocked countless hours into Wintermaul and Wintermaul Wars, couple matches of DotA, some of their other brawl arenas, and other miscellaneous custom maps. And that’s not including playing through the storyline several times over. The Culling of Stratholme will always be a Warcraft map, and not a WoW 5-man.

Wings of Liberty eventually came out. Glorious game. Pre-ordered and got into the beta. They errata’d some of the storyline to make it bigger, which I didn’t mind. Mechanics were solid, graphics were awesome. They made the RTS feel bigger and epic again, as opposed to WarCraft III feeling like your awesome hero and their disposable sidekick army. I completed the storyline, went back for some of the achievements, and tried for higher difficulties. I even dabbled into the PvP parts a bit.

When the second act, Heart of the Swarm, came out, I was all over it. Churning through the missions, checking out what different things to do for achievements, completely gung-ho about the whole thing. I loved the characters they brought about, and how Kerrigan more or less spit on Raynor saving her only to become bigger and more badass. But within playing this game and trying my hand against other players, I realized something.

I love the strategy of the RTS genre. I love the feel of an army at my fingertips, and the combat is thrilling. Even watching the finals at BlizzCon was like combining my favorite football game set-up with nerdy shit, surrounded by other nerds. I know plenty of the history and lore of the games, and have been a fan of both franchises for several years. I’ve sunk an insane amount of time into their titles.

But holy gods, do I suck at them. Playing against other people in StarCraft is the most humbling experience that I have in gaming. Shows me that even knowing all of that, following it since I was in middle school, I am abysmal at those games. And that just makes me love them even more.

-Bane Falcon
“You are softer than sandstone and drier than talc.” (an obviously disparaging remark)


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