Tuesday, 29 November 2011

My Life for the Koprulu Sector

My story may not be as emotional as Day[9]'s (which is well worth watching) but for anyone who is interested here it is. My two favourite genres have always been role playing and real time strategy games which is why Blizzard has long been one of my favourite companies; their games have defined genres, originally with Diablo and then with StarCraft. The first Blizzard game I played was WarCraft 3 and it's expansion Frozen Throne. From the opening sequence of WC3 I was absorbed by the game, though I only really got into the single player portion of it. I tried to do a skirmish against the computer and I remember having six warriors and six dwarven gunmen lined up all nicely, thinking that I had a really good army, then getting absolutely slaughtered by a massive Undead army with dragons and everything. I also tried a couple of games against real people, thinking that everyone struggled against medium AI, and was completely annihilated so unfortunately never touched it again.

When World of WarCaft came out I wanted to play it for ages and when I found out that some of my friends played I bought it and was totally absorbed for about two months but that was it. When I played WoW I played it a lot but I always felt as though I was wasting my time, so after paying for a month I decided not to renew my subscription. When Diablo 3 was announced my friend made me buy Diablo 2 to 'bide the time' until it's release so we played through that and I really enjoyed it but never became obsessed with it. We are still waiting for Diablo 3.
WarCraft 3 was an amazing game it's a shame I wasn't more drawn into the competitive multiplayer.
I'm very susceptible to getting caught up in the hype mill and with StarCraft 2 it was no different. I applied and got into the beta but only played about two matches before deciding it wasn't for me. I think I played with the wrong mindset, like SC was just another RTS, thinking the bigger the unit the better, that micro didn't matter and I probably only built about fifteen harvesters. Near the end of the beta one of my friends installed it so I played with them and whilst I had the satisfaction of stomping them for a couple of games I still wasn't sure about buying it.

Generally I use IGN for news and when I saw that SC2 had received a nine out of ten praising it's interesting and varied campaign I decided to pick it up just to play the single player; partly because of how memorable I found WC3's. I really enjoyed the campaign and would have been happy to never play again but a friend found out that I had it and challenged me to a game, so I had to accept, and whilst I was easily defeated I'm glad it happened because it gave made me want to get better to beat him. I didn't realise there was a whole pro scene established behind the original StarCraft and how competitive it is.
StarCraft is epic and I can't wait to see how it evolves over time.
Obviously when I first started laddering I was placed in Bronze and it took me ages to work my way out of there but I really wanted to get better. I decided to play Protoss because I liked the look of their advanced technology (lasers pew pew pew) and I liked the idea that they had fewer powerful troops rather than swarms of weaker units. I managed to beat my friend, who was a diamond, a couple of times though he was trying new strategies out.

Eventually I got up to Platinum as a Protoss but by then I was a bit bored of them, and frustrated that the pro Protoss players were all performing poorly, so I decided to switch over to Zerg at the beginning of Season 3. I was probably heavily influenced by watching Destiny. However many of my favourite players are still Protoss despite me having switched away; Huk, NaNiWa and MC to name a few. HuK is Probably the pro I was first really aware of, having seen him play quite often in Husky casts. At the beginning of Season 3 I was placed into Gold as Zerg and never worked my way up though I didn't play as them for that long as I started this blog and switched onto Terran. In the future I'd like to give Zerg another go; I really like their aggressiveness whereas I was super passive as Protoss.
Husky is one of the main reasons I got into StarCraft, along with Day[9]
When I first got into the StarCraft scene I used to watch every video that Husky, Psy and HD would upload and I wasn't a fan of Day[9] at all. My earliest memory of Day[9] is him talking about larva inject timings to get the most larva possible in the Zerg early-game. It was basically him going back and looking at openings over and over again showing the larva and I thought all his videos would be that in depth and boring. Eventually a friend told me to watch #100 and after that I went back and started watching some of his other videos, especially fun-day Mondays, and started to really like Day[9].

Being European it's not convenient to watch Dailies live so I go through phases of watching lots VoDs of them. Nowadays I don't watch casts as much as I used to and watch streams instead; I find it a lot more useful for learning the specifics of a race. My favourite person to watch cast is DeMusliM, because he is good at commentating what he is doing, though recently I have been watching a lot of TLO as DeMu is not around.
DeMusliM is my favourite player though he has been missing from the scene recently.
HuK changing to EG made them easily my favourite team as they have HuK, IdrA and DeMusliM; my favourites of each race. I also really like iNcontroL, more for his contributions to the community and his stream as he is also good at commentating, and less for his, er, ability. The first tournament I watched was the NASL season one finals in which PuMa beat MC in the end; so for ages I didn't like PuMa because I thought he could only win by cheesing. I think that PuMa has shown that he can play macro games too and so I've started to support him since I've gone Terran; before I switched to Terran I could never support one.

Now I watch every major tournament, internet connection permitting, and try to keep up with the leagues though there are too many. I'm trying to get my disinterested house-mates to watch a tournament, so far unsuccessfully, but I've started talking to anyone that will listen about StarCraft so I might convert somebody soon. I think that following teams and players really adds to the experience as I think that having someone to cheer on makes it all the sweeter when they win. I used to just support the Protoss of any game but now it's harder to choose. 
IdrA recently missed one of his own games, watching HuK instead.
Before I switched to Terran I always thought that they were OP and easy however actually playing as them makes me realise that they aren't. In some ways every race is OP it just depends how you use them and there is never a strategy that cannot be overcome. I chose to start playing Terran as it was my least explored race and I thought it would be the most interesting for people to follow my progress with as I discovered it myself. No other game has captured my attention the way StarCraft has, not even WoW, and I don't see that wavering soon. If the community wasn't there I don't think I would still be playing StarCraft and I would be missing out because of it; so I just want to say thank-you all for being so great.

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