Why I’m not playing SC2


Thanks to all who commented on my SC2 post last week in which I explained why the beta had put me off. I’m definitely intrigued by the game now (which is good because it’s taking over the internet) but decided to buy the original Starcraft and play through that first.

My hapless minions lurch from one disaster to the next, having barely held their base for 30 mins until the friendly drop ship arrived  (they actually held on for 29 mins, 59s – the zerg were nomming my last building at the timeout), but it’s very fun and I’m not finding the old graphics a drawback.

You can tell a game like this is fun if you keep wanting to retry old missions because you’ve learned some new tricks. Bunkers can fit more than one unit! Who knew? We’re currently trying and failing to reach the downed Norad II.

It is just unfortunate that while out with friends this weekend, we ended up chatting to a guy in a pub with a strong Yorkshire accent and consequently I keep thinking that Raynor et al would be indescribably cooler if they were from Yorkshire and not Texas. (Sorry, Texans!)

I do still have my doubts about SC2, and the large price tag doesn’t help. And neither does a post I read today from Kotaku about how to pick your race in SC2.

you shouldn’t pick Terran because they are human, Protoss because they are cool and high tech, or zerg because of their monstrous appetite. Each race has a distinct play-style and/or play-styles unique to their race

If wanting to play a cool high tech telepathic robot is wrong, then I don’t want to be right!

Links, and what I’ve been reading

What I’ve actually been reading lately are C J Sansom’s Shardlake Mysteries (which are great and very well researched if you like historical murder-mysteries).

Also from the web:

  1. evizaer wonders how we can keep track of the ‘real’ histories of MMOs. All the guild drama, and the various interesting things that actual players have done.
  2. Tamarind suffers a brief bout of level-80-phobia. Anyone else find themselves curiously reluctant to actually get to max level once it’s practically within reach? I know I often coast the last level or so, maybe a last ditch attempt to string the levelling game out for as long as possible.
  3. The Escapist reports that a guy in the UK (oh why am I not surprised?) has written a boot fetish version of Pong, the venerable old console game. The boot is actually the controller, you have to grope and fondle it to play the game …
  4. On a not very similar theme, Adele Caelia talks at BrightHub about embarrassing mistells and other ways in which sex can be entertaining in gaming. Well, she says embarrassing but I say there are few more hilarious things in MMOs than a totally inappropriate mistell. (Random factoid: mistells used to be known as ‘mavs’ in MUSH, named after a particularly notorious player called Mav.)
  5. Ysharros saves my EQ2 sanity with a noob-friendly guide to EQ2 addons.
  6. Naamah@Aionic Thoughts (a blog you really should be following if you’re into Aion) asks when Mass-PvP becomes a zergfest, and whether one is more fun than the other.
  7. Andrew Douell, a roguelike developer, posts a very smart article about narrative in games and how some narrative tricks from other media just don’t work. I’m particularly taken by his observation that you can’t tell a story well with repeated play (eg. I killed an orc, then I killed an orc, then I killed an orc isn’t a very interesting story.)
  8. Kirstimah at Rustled Leaves explains why DPSing reduced her IQ, a phenomenon many tanks and healers have also observed!
  9. Syp writes about all the MMOs he could have tried but didn’t, and explains why not. I never played EQ because the only person I knew who played was a really annoying dork and he was really scarily obsessively into it. I knew if I tried it I’d be stuck talking to him any time we were in the same room.
  10. What does it mean to roleplay in a game? Psychochild takes a look.
  11. You’ve heard about the upcoming WoW film? Jess at Pretty in Plate starts wondering about who she’d cast to play her characters. Who would you cast for yours? (I dunno about that but Brian Blessed for Hemet Nesingwary with the help of some CGI is my pick.)
  12. Dusty makes the case for a finite MMO, like a TV series with a beginning, a middle, and an end.