Gaming is a lifestyle

Posts tagged “Starcraft

Is the game imbalanced?

I have been following the Starcraft 2 eSport scene since I saw my first Starcraft 2 back in 2010, and I watch it every chance I get, whether it be at home, in school, on the train or even taking a dump. And I pretty much watch anyone play, from the hardcore pro’s like LiquidTLO, EGIdrA and MarinKingPrime to community streams like Day[9] and Temp0.. oh and obviously every tournament I can find (GSL, IEM, MLG and every other 3 digit tournament out there).

On every stream chat, no matter who is streaming and what they are streaming, I see the same damn thing over and over again… The endless useless talk about how the game/races/units is unbalanced!
“Oh my god Marines are OP”
“Look, GGLords incoming!”
“WTF Zerg OP!”

And this is everywhere.. as soon as a race/player has a win streak you’ll see the constant whining of imbalance. You especially noticed it in the months leading up to the Heart of the Swarm, where zergs pretty much dominated everything and took 1st place in almost (if not all) any tournament, and most of the time there were several zergs in the top of the bracket. Now, you have to understand that I’m no pro nor do I have in any specific knowledge about the game, I’m just a Silver league Starcraft 2 fan, soaking in anything the commentator/streamers wants to share. But what I do know is that the game is not as imbalanced as people keep whining about. Yes there will always be a unit that beats the other and some races will be better in different stages of the game, but I believe that if the player is good enough they can win, OP races or not!

Okay, so with Heart of the Swarm we saw a switch in the race dominance. MLG kicked off this weekend and let me just share the race distribution:
Round of 32: 12 Protoss, 10 Terrans, 10 Zerg
Round of 16: 3 Protoss, 8 Terrans, 5 Zerg

By now people should be screaming that Terrans are OP right? I mean 8 of 10 got to the next round?! And Protoss so underpowered, yeah? No…

Round of 8: 3 Protoss, 4 Terrans, 1 Zerg
Oh my god Zerg needs to be buffed and Terrans still OP! Only one left, someone call Blizzard and complain already! Hold on a minute people, let’s see how this goes.

Semifinals: 1 Protoss, 2 Terrans, 1 Zerg
Finals: 1 Terran, 1 Zerg
Oh, wait… Maybe Zergs aren’t that bad..?

And guess what.. The Zerg won the bloody thing!

Yeah yeah, you summarized the tournament, so what? Well… As I said earlier, I don’t believe the game is so imbalanced, and even if they are the really good players will find away to counter them. Terrans were praised by the commentators the entire tournament and almost guaranteeing us a Terran champion, but Life (the Zerg that won) is such an amazing player and managed to rip apart every Terran he met on his way to the finals.

So basically what I’m trying to say is that the game is NOT as imbalanced as the community keeps complaining about, and even if there could be done some minor adjustments, the real pro gamers will find a way to conquer the scene.

So I guess all there is left to say is enjoy the bloody game! And if you want to compete then you have to practice to beat the “overpowered” races. But that’s it for now peeps, Mike is over and out!


World Championship Series

If you’re a Starcraft 2 fan, or maybe a World of Warcraft fan, you might have noticed that there was something special about this weekend. It was the long-awaited World Championship Series (WCS) in Starcraft 2 and World of Warcraft: Arena, and as the obvious Starcraft fan I am it couldn’t be at a worse time! My mum decided to visit me in Denmark so I had to choose.. Sleep and no Starcraft or Starcraft and no sleep.. Wont say it was a hard choice though.

But lets get back to the WCS. It started several months ago when the Qualifiers were held all over the world, which lead to the different countries National Finals. The finalists then went on to the Regional Finals and in the end the 540 players were cut down to 32 for the Grand Finals in Shanghai, China. The Nationals and Regional being overly amazing and exciting to watch one would think the Grand Final would be just as amazing or even better! But alas I’ve never been so disappointed when it comes to a Starcraft 2 tournament. There were several reasons for my disappointment. The production was horrible! While the idea of having 4 different streams for Starcraft is great, they simply failed to make it work. So many mistakes that just shouldn’t be there, such as muting the sound in the breaks between the matches, so that don’t have to hear the production crew attempt to communicated. But the their biggest production mistake was the lack of preparation.. How can they plan a global final and expect millions of viewers without setting the streams up for it?! The main stream crashed over and over and over again in the middle of matches at the worst time you could imagine! Compared to other events this was absolutely shite.. I hope Blizzard will think twice next time and actually pick a production crew that knows how to do it *hint* Dreamhack *hint*.
But other than the production screw up I just didn’t feel excited about this event.. I’m not entirely sure what did it but I think it has to do something with the fact that it was in China… Not that I have anything against the location! More the fact that the time difference was horrible for Europeans! It started at 2-3am and ended around 1pm which screwed me over big time. Another thing that quite annoyed me was the player line-up: To me the global finals should be the 32 best players in the world, and not just the best players from the respected regions… I was really disappointed that I didn’t get to see players like MC, Naniwa, MVP, MMA and ThorZaIN! But you cannot get everything you want right?

Okay I might sound like it was the worst Starcraft event ever.. it wasn’t.. even if the players weren’t my favourite they really did deliver some awesome games, and if that wasn’t good enough the casters did an amazing job, as usual! Seriously, having Day[9], Tastosis and Apollo can always pull it off and bring you great entertainment!

And now there’s only one thing left to say: Mike is over and out, and I’ll see you at Dreamhack this weekend! changes and Starcraft drama

In the past few weeks there has been so much drama around Blizzard and Starcraft II. People have (mostly) been complaining about that the game feels so empty when you’re playing ladder (1v1). People want more interaction with other players instead of playing alone. Destiny, a former Broodwar player, now playing SC2 professional made a Reddit post that sort of started the infamous #SaveHoTs spam on Twitter. Destiny talks about how the SC2 doesn’t have the same community feeling as it did in Starcraft and Broodwar, and how the entire UI just doesn’t work out. He says the game simply doesn’t do anything for the casual non-professional gamers.

Now before I saw all this drama and Destiny’s post and all that I really didn’t realise that this was spot on, I’ve played the game for a while now, and never really thought about the lack of communication between players, but as I read it I started to realise that this is very true and I really hope there will be some changes soon ish. Whilst that said there are a few things that I do disagree with.

I do believe Blizzard has the power to change the it to the better, and as the fan boy I am, I do believe they will do it. At the same time as Blizzard (hopefully) does that, we (the SC2 community) has to do whatever we can to make the game more welcoming to new and casual players and have the game grow even more and still be the flagship of eSport.
This is pretty much what I’ve gotten out from all the discussions and threads that I could find mixed together with my opinion, but I don’t really know how to do it so I hope that Blizzard together with some of the main figures in Starcraft 2 could work this out as soon as possible.

With that said, Blizzard did shortly after all the hype and #SaveHoTs announce that there will be some major changes to the UI (and it’s important to remember that these changes have been worked on for a while now, and didn’t pop up as the result of the stuff mentioned earlier). They want to make the game more appealing to the casual gamer.

Blizzard is adding levels into Starcraft. Apparently you get experience after matches, and the amounts depends on how well you perform in the match. And you will be rewarded with stuff like decals and portraits.
This is (in my opinion) a great way to make the game more challenging/exciting to play, although the rewards could be better, such as new unit designs and whatnot.
Looking forward to this nonetheless!

Clan support
This is another update that I can imagine people looking forward to. People have been wanting this for years (since Broodward from what I’ve heard). Personally I don’t really care much about this as I’m not in a clan/team, but I can imagine it could come in handy for some.

These changes are the major changes that is being added to the Heart of the Swarm Beta, and it looks quite good, and hopefully Blizzard will add more (good) changes before it goes live!

As I mentioned earlier this is what I could gather and understand from all the drama on Reddit, TeamLiquid forums and Twitter, but I might have missed something so I can’t guarantee that its 100% correct, so read the original posts!

And that is it for me, Mike is over and out!

League of Legends final and World of Warcraft server hacked

This last week has been quite busy, and I haven’t even been raiding in World of Warcraft! Well actually we raided on Wednesday, but without any luck and haven’t been able to raid the other days.. But a week without raid does let one do other stuff! I have gone back into Starcraft 2 (about damn time if you ask me!) and even though I am still in Bronze League I feel like I have become just a tad better than last time. I have been playing in 3 Playhem tournaments (for scrubs like me) in the past week, and even if I didn’t win I managed to get 3rd place in all 3 tournaments, and managed to get amazing $3 from it! So let’s just hope that I keep getting better and win bigger amounts right?

I’m quite a fan of League of Legends and it seems like I ain’t the only one. Riot Games has released a quite impressive infographic where they say that League of Legends is the most played game in the world with 32 million players monthly playing over 1 billion (yes you read it right, billion) hours of game time every month! The infographic is quite big so can’t post it here, but you can see it here. Have a look at it guys, some amazing facts in there!
Having so many players and such a huge fan base it isn’t really a surprise that they can make the League of Legends Championship Final so attractive! With $1.000.000 to 1st place every team and player would do anything to get it. But it was only Taipai Assassins and Azubu Frost that managed to get that far, but Taipai Assassins came out on top and won the final 3-1, took the $1 million prize and the awesome trophy

I’ve never really enjoyed watching the League of Legend streams or tournaments, but I was quite hyped for this final, and the show didn’t disappoint! Okay.. I didn’t actually see the entire show as I fell asleep, but the start and end was amazing, and I’m already looking forward to the Season 3 final! In case you didn’t see the final you can watch the entire show on Riot Games channel

There also happened something completely else this weekend. Blizzards World of Warcraft servers were hacked, but the hackers didn’t hack to do any harm or “evil” stuff… Well.. actually that is a lie.. The hackers spent 4 hours on a server in North America killing everything that moved in Stormwind and Orgrimmar! The hackers said they only did this because they could and because it was fun. I wasn’t there myself, but the videos look awesome, and I could imagine it was quite fun to see.

(You can also see the body count in Orgrimmar here)

Other than that I’ve just been enjoying random games throughout the week, including a 3 co-op with my brothers in Magicka.. Quite fun!

I think that was about it for this week, lets hope it’ll be just as good the next weeks ^^ But that’s about it for me, Mike is over and out!

gamescom 15.-19.08.2012

Afternoon peeps! In just two days, on 15 august, gamescom will be kicked off in Cologne, Germany! Gamescom is the Worlds largest games event, with around 275.000 visitors from around 40 countries. As gamescom is the biggest trade fair for video games, many developers use this event to announce and show off their upcoming games and game-related hardware, and this year there is no less than 120.000 square meters of awesomeness!

In the past 3 years people from Blizzard, Sony, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and lots more have been attending, and this year wont be an exception!

So I’ve been looking around, and I’ve been reading up on who’s going and what we should expect, but it’s only rumours, but we can be excited non the less right?!

Sony has a few games that they can show off at gamescom (PS3 Slim will not be there), but two games that caught my interest is Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: Classified. Sony will give us a first-look at it for PS Vita. But as I’m not a big fan of the CoD series, I’ll be looking a bit more forward to the God of War: Ascension!

EA has a few games that look promising: Crysis 3, FIFA 13, Medal of Honor Warfighter and not to mention SimCity! All of these games sound very interesting to me, but I do believe most of them were at the E3 event earlier this year, so it’s most likely just giving people the chance to try the games.

Now more importently Blizzard will be there, and I’m really looking forward to this! They will bring all their games with them (Diablo, Starcraft and World of Warcraft) and will let people try out their two new expansions: Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm and World of Warcraft: Mist of Pandaria! Also Blizzard has promised to show off the all new Mist of Pandaria opening cinamatic!
And who knows, even if its highly unlikely, they might even throw a release date for Heart of the Swarm out!

There are a few other game developers worth mentioning, like Ubisoft with their Assassins Creed III, Capcom who has Resident Evil 6 and Lost Planet 3, and of course Square Enix who will have Hitman, Tomb Raider and Final Fantasy XIV (and possibly GTA 5).

Now the trade part where the game developers show off and what not is interesting and great fun, I do look forward to the Intel Extreme Masters! IEM is one of the biggest Starcraft II tournaments (in terms of players and casters), and will have the best 24 players in the world competing for the money and honour, and I’m seriously looking forward to this! Players like NesTea, MC, PuMa, NaNiwa, Grubby and Nerchio is in the line-up so I can guarantee a bad ass tournament! And you can’t have the best players in the world without having the best shout casters! The one and only Day[9] will be casting with the legendary duo of Tastosis!
I could keep going on saying how awesome this will be, but I doubt anyone would keep reading then, so all I can say is DON’T MISS OUT, it’ll be absolutely legendary!

League of Legends will also have their tournament there, but I honestly couldn’t care less, as LoL is quite rubbish as a spectator game^^

That’s it for now, I’m counting on making another post within the week with some stuff from gamescom and the tournament.. Mike is over and out!

I have a golden future!

In my previous post I talked about how I kinda sucked in singleplayer/1v1 and I do have to say I still do, nothing new there! But as I also mentioned, I am more of a team player, and it sure looks like my performance just gets better when I’m in a team! I had a post where I mentioned that I wanted to improve my Starcraft 2 skills, but I’m somewhat still stuck in Bronze League there! But today I grouped up with my brother and we kicked some serious ass! In the 5 placement matches we had to play we won 4 of them, and that is a lot better than we usually do! With a terran and zerg combo we managed to mass marine and roach them to death.. or that was the general idea at least, as it turns out, the enemy team walled off so we went with the doom drop and kicked ass!

So here I am, proud to say that I managed to get to the Gold League! Even if my team skills don’t benefit me in 1v1 as much as I’d like it to, I am quite happy to have made it so far! Now it’s only two leagues to go before I’ve reached my first goal: Platinum League!

And now, I shall take a rest from the World of Starcraft 2, and play some FPS and shoot them nazis..! Mike is over and out!

The team is bigger than the player!

Ever since I decided that I wanted to get a bit more serious about my gaming, and become a bit more than just another game out there, I’ve really tried to improve my gaming on Starcraft, but it’s really demotivating to get rape over and over again by those damn Koreans! Although I’m starting to win a few more games than I usually do, I’m still stuck in Bronze League and it is sort of frustrating… Yeah I know I shouldn’t expect to become that good right away, as it does take time and practice, but I was hoping it to be just a tad better than this!

Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’m way better off being in a team rather than going solo! When ever I play 2v2 or more on Starcraft I’ve been able to get to higher leagues, even all the way up to Platinum!
No, I’m not saying that I suck at 1v1 or that I’m getting carried by my team, I’m saying that I’m a team player! It’s not only in Starcraft, but also in League of Legends where, if I just have a decent team, manage to do pretty well, and if I’d play ranked I’m sure I could get up there somewhere (that’s me trying to be honest without sounding too selfish!).

I’ve also just started to get interested in World of Warcraft again, seeing as PvP is still fun there, and I’ve found a group of people who are good at it, and they keep going at the rated battlegrounds, and they are doing good! Again here, whenever I’ve joined them I have been doing rather good!

So now I’m sort of wondering if I should cut down on the 1v1 in games like Starcraft (which is kinda sad since the game is great fun!) and go to the more team based games like LoL, WoW or FPS games. Even if the FPS games become so horrible boring after 2-3 hours of gameplay!

Now some of you might think “Mike don’t be such a pussy and give up already!!”.. Well I’m not giving up, since I’ll still play the game and wanting to get to higher leagues, but team based games got my interest yet again!

But that’s it for me now, Mike is going back to studying for the exam!

(And I still have that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. product key if anyone is interested!)