Tag Archives: SC2

Made it Silver!

Much to Kristin’s consternation, I believe, I have played enough Starcraft 2 and gotten good enough to be in the Silver league. I hadn’t played a bronze leaguer in about 20 matches anyway, so no surprise there. It’s pretty interesting all the math that goes into changing your rank – they have a point system, the some “sigma” value that changes over time based on how well you do against other players based on the rank/league differential.

Anyway, check it out ūüôā

http://us.battle.net/sc2/en/profile/671847/1/blckgrffn/

Supposedly you are put into a league where you are expected to win 50% of the time.  Last night I played eight matches and went 4 & 4, so it looks about right.

— Nat

StarCraft 2 & winning

Despite my earlier whining about being in the Bronze League of the StarCraft 2 (SC2) ladder, it really does mean that you mostly play other bronze leaguers and recently this has meant that I have been winning.  Fortunately I played my qualification rounds pre-LAN party and I sucked it up.  During the LAN my play improved quite a bit and since the LAN party I am pretty sure that I have lost one 1v1 game while improving my record to 13-8.  That only loss was against a zerg player who took advantage of my building mis-placement to run about twelve zerglings in and ruin my economy right away Рoops.

Yesterday was a big day in that ¬†it was the first time since qualifying I played someone from the Silver League, one step up. ¬†The guy was ranked 11th in his league ladder after we played, I don’t know if he was ranked higher previous to that. ¬†Anyway, the game took about ten minutes longer (twice as long!) than a bronze league one, but I still won in the end. ¬†Yay me – I guess. ¬†I am afraid that if I win a few more, it might bump me up a league and I’ll be fighting better players all the time. ¬†Not only is this more time consuming but I am at peace with the fact that I like winning more than I like being super challenged. ¬†I’d rather be 10-1 with the flexibility to make mistakes and not always be on my A-game vs 5-6 and being “challenged.”

Sometimes the easy win feels good ūüôā

–Nat

SC2 NATLAN pics

 

September 25th came and went, and StarCraft 2 was played into the ground.

The details of what went down:

Star Craft 2 LAN – Cost will be $15 per cash at the door – this includes pizza (supper/dinner), pop, beer, water, snacks, etc. If you want something really special, please let me know.

There will be Mountain Dew (reg & diet), Coke (reg & diet), etc. and a cooler available if you must bring your own.

Iowa folks, feel free to come up Friday night/Saturday morning and crash where ever there is space for you =) Everyone else – come as early as 1 PM to start setting up if you want. Optimally space for 8-12 – we’ll see how well my home internet connection handles it (hey, it is supposedly a business level service ūüėČ Planning on having folks sit in two completely separate areas so strategy etc can be discussed openly for the best experience.

Bring your LAN gear – PC, Monitor, keyboard, mouse, ethernet cable, power cables, headphones and optimally a microphone. For the love of all that is holy, if you need a DVI to VGA dongle to make your monitor work, bring it! =D

Have SC2 installed when you come or $60 ready for Blizzard. Either way, have the foresight to setup a battle.net account ahead of time. If you want to get the rust off, there is a fairly regular group that plays from ~9-11 PM Thursday nights, ping me for more detail. For those that are concerned and/or curious , I am hoping to still do a “real” NATLAN this winter featuring games where we shoot each other over and over for hours on end.

That should be enough details, eh?

–Nat

Starcraft 2 – Dune 2k all over again

Over the years, Real Time Strategy games (RTS) have always attracted me, but usually only through the single player campaign. ¬†Often times, I even get board of that and never really finish them completely, alternate campaigns that start you back at “you gain one new unit permission!” have little appeal for me. ¬†One game roped me into¬†competitive¬†online play, Dune 2000.

Dune 2000 wasn’t a phenomenal game by any reach of the imagination and bore much in common with Command and Conquer. ¬†On the ol’ dial up and the original family Gateway (Windows 98SE, Celeron 300, 3GB hard drive, 64MB of ram and a screaming for the time 12MB Voodoo2 graphics card) I would play into the wee hours of the morning during high school. ¬†There was a ladder and typically I was in the middle, the highlight of my experience there was a dramatic victory over the 13th ranked player that I could bore you with the details sometime. ¬†By far, that has to be the most played RTS game for me, ever.

I enjoyed the original Starcraft, but to be honest I was late to the party, the game looked old and I never finished Brood Wars, the expansion.  As for multilayer, I played against other real people exactly one time in a ranked Battle.net match where I obliterated some random internet guy (kid?) who accused me of cheating with a good amount of profanity thrown in.  This was a good way to start Рand a good way to end.

A big reason for me shying away from the online¬†multilayer¬†aspect of RTS games is the intensity that the one on one matches bring to the table. ¬†As some of you may know, I like to play games competitively, sometimes to a fault. ¬†I know better, but often times my brain equates fun with winning and that drives me while playing. ¬†Out in the rest of the world, people are really good at these RTS games and playing against them can be a lesson in futility and frustration if you allow it to be. ¬† In Dune 2000, I got to the point where I had a “build order” and a strategy, and played it enough that I just knew what the other player was up to frequently by what units I would see early in the game. ¬†It probably helped that I was in the game playing/learning highpoint of my life, being 15 or so.

Out comes Star Craft 2. ¬†I’ll admit I got caught up in the hype of it, and like Diablo 2 it was purchased Day 1 of its general availability. ¬†Heck, the collectors edition is currently on my desk, complete with its thumb drive containing all of SC1 amongst other nifty things. ¬† Anyway, for the first time really, I knew a bunch of people who had also purchased it and were playing as a group regularly (Thursday night, 9PM for those interested) and this helped take the edge off of playing online. ¬†Dan T. played a 2v2 online match with me versus the great unknown, and thus scary, others on the Internet.

Emboldened by this, I played through the prerequisite five placement matches on the SC2 ladder (there is a very robust,¬†continuous ranking system in place online)¬†¬†and manage to win one and lose four very tense matches. ¬†This got me placed into the “Bronze” league. ¬†The bottom one out of five. ¬†Which is fine, really, because I thought that meant I would play only against other Bronze level players. ¬†Wrong. ¬†You get automagically placed against anyone looking to play, and that can include Diamond players, way up there at the tippy top. ¬†The type of gamers who play SC2 as a job. ¬†Suffice to say, I lost three more matches and then, finally winning one. ¬†This was a good time to wrap up my play for a while.

In the meantime I started watching Day9 daily over lunch after reading an article at Ars. ¬†In the comments of the article, his feed was mentioned as one that focused on improvement over entertainment value. ¬†I have found that true – and have one my last two ladder matches pretty convincingly against folks that I was “slightly favored” over. ¬†Terminology and lingo have also been valuable information gleaned from his daily broadcasts.

In closing, I promise to the people coming to the LAN party that I am not going to 2 gate-Robo into 2 base 8-gate and rush you with speed Zealots every game. ¬†Unless I start losing. ūüėõ

And if you know what that means, I am sure you’ll be able to neutralize it ūüôā

–Nat