Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fear and Loathing in Patch 2.04

As a StarCraft enthusiast, today was an exciting day. A new update was released for the game! Not just any bug-correction patch, but an update that reinvented the game's entire user interface. The menu has been revamped, giving us a taste of some of the new features awaiting StarCraft players in the upcoming expansion Heart of the Swarm. Life should be good!

Until I tried to play version 2.04, and shortly discovered the truth of this announcement. 

"Although we've managed to greatly increase StarCraft II's graphical presentation without much change to the system requirements, please note that there will be a slight increase to the system requirements when patch 2.04 goes live."
This "slight increase" wasn't so slight for an outdated computer owner like myself. My computer can no longer play StarCraft 2, and certainly won't be able to play Heart of the Swarm. This blog is an expression of my sorrow, for it's a scar that burnt deep. You may think I'm joking, but I am truly devastated. Let me explain why.

Now if you aren't familiar with StarCraft, then chances are you aren't familiar with Blizzard Entertainment. Frankly, if this is the case then how the hell did you end up reading my blog? No, I apologize. We do not judge here in Tales From Topographic Networks, for we all must begin somewhere. I'm honored to be your introduction to this subject.

Blizzard Entertainment is a computer game company famous for it's real-time strategy game Warcraft 2. Yes, I wrote Warcraft 2 not Warcraft. Most gamers I know personally started playing the popular sequel before they ever tried the original. If only the movie industry could match the video game industry's ability to improve through it's sequels, then maybe I wouldn't have given up on the Matrix. You may be saying to yourself "Don't you mean World of Warcraft?", in which case the answer is "No". Blizzard had claimed it's fame in the mid 90's well before the massive multiplayer online role-playing conversion of their beloved Warcraft came to be. Now in the shadow of Warcraft 2's success, Blizzard released StarCraft in 1998. At a glance it was Warcraft in a science fiction setting instead of a fantasy landscape. To us players, it was so much more.

For twelve years StarCraft's fans made the game an international phenomenon. It even grew into, arguably, a sport. Hundreds of people would gather at tournaments to see the best of the best battle it out for cash prizes. The term "professional gamer" became a reality.

Now part of what makes Blizzard such a great company is their focus on only exporting valuable game experiences. Simply put, they refuse to put out shitty games. Even if they've been in development for years, once they realize a game isn't fun they drop it. Google "Warcraft Adventures" for one example. Part of why we had to wait twelve years for a Starcraft sequel was because they wasted time on a StarCraft game called Ghost Protocol, dropped due to the fact that it was a Splinter Cell clone in StarCraft clothing.

In 2010 fans were finally rewarded for their loyalty with StarCraft 2. It felt and played like the original, but was designed with E-Sport Tournaments in mind.

The toddler E-Sport then grew into a man.

Think I'm kidding?
People are becoming Rock Stars for how good they are at this game.
Still don't believe you can get the ladies for kicking ass at StarCraft?
Let me introduce you to the "Cheer Cannon".

StarCraft is more than a game, it's a community. It's a scene. It's a freaking sport! A game I dreamt about returning to after my hiatus from the internet was over. I've had a great month of reconnecting with old online friends, and seeing all the new fun I had missed out on last year. Then came version 2.04, cranking the game to a new stage of awesomeness that my poor single-core Pentium 4 computer just can't handle. All good things must come to an end, I suppose.

I wipe away my tears, and move forward remembering the good times with Day[9], MLG, and the anticipation I felt before a competitive game. This is only a temporary break up with my love, and our eventual reunion will be bitter sweet. Until then, this is an opportunity to let life cut out one of my main distractions and focus on improving my craft. Less playing, more writing is my motto now.

So long StarCraft, and thanks for all the Day[9].


  1. Dude, why don't you just get a computer that is younger than a decade old? Wouldn't that fix your problem? New egg has old out dated ones for cheap. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883155522

    You have to be the only person in the world that is affected by this.

    P.S. Get a i3 with a graphics card you can max out the game on and you will never go back.