Well for the last week of my Holidays I'm going away for from Wednesday to Sunday to see a friends wedding. Unfortunately I don't have any particularly interesting content of my own, so here is some stuff I saw on This is why I'm broke.
Even though GSL is primarily about Starcraft some times its just fun to watch and listening to Artosis and Tasteless talk about random stuff or do silly things. So here is a couple highlight videos of these guys.
Free Soda at the GomTv studios!
Thats a nice drink you have there, shame if something would happen to it...
That time of the week again, and another episode of Project A was broadcast and uploaded Gom Tv. This episode takes place after a month Yellow has started playing Starcraft 2 and features the results of the show match between Yellow and old rival Slayers_Boxer. I wont go too much into this episodes as not to spoil the results for those that haven't seen it. But features much of the quirky Asian style that Project A has been show cases for the past few episodes. With special guest three time GSL champ IM_Nestea showing up to coach Yellow for a while in preparation for his match.
Kinda hard to see, but a big crowd showed up to watch the match.
This episode show cases a bit more of what Yellows actual skill is like after getting into Starcraft 2, so is a bit more serious. Sadly not as much lost in translation funny sounding subtitles as the last few episodes.
Or was there?
As always, you can check out Project A for free at GomTv.net
Subject to change over PTR testing.
Full notes here My thoughts on the major balance changes.
Barracks build time increased by 5 seconds:
Ah personally I don't think this was needed, I imagine that it is there so bunker rush or two-racks builds are a bit weaker but they weren't really that much of a problem if you paid attention to them.
Hellion Infernal Pre-Igniter damage upgrade decreased from 10 to 5:
This seems reasonable, blue flame hellions while annoying in ZvT were bearable, but this really helps terrans more for TvT. Good change in my opinion.
Raven Seeker missile movement speed increased from 2.5 to 2.953:
Seeker missile previously was a bit of joke, had to be really careless to be hit by it. So good change that should make ravens more interesting. Personally though I think that seeker missile should be able to be launched from further away. Currently you risk your ravens every time you try to use the missile, but then again you can always point defense drone to keep them safe anyway.
Infestor Fungal Growth damage changed from 36 (+30% armored) to 30 (40 vs Armored):
As a zerg player I think this was needed, it might not change things too much, about 6 damage for both regular and armored. Infestor locking things in place is still very deadly though, ZvZ will probably still be Roach/Infestor. Real victim on this change is Destiny.
Overseer Morph cost decreased from 50/100 to 50/50.Contaminate energy cost increased from 75 to 125: Gas reduction is a good send for most zergs, always feels like you never have enough gas. The contaminate change seems unnecessary though. Contaminate isn't really used too much as it is.
Ultralisk Build time decreased from 70 to 55:
I like this a lot, feels like forever for these things to build. Hopefully will encourage more Ultralisk plays, but still think that Ultras need a change in either size or allowing small units to walk under them. They use up so much space right now.
Immortal Attack range increased from 5 to 6:
Good buff, immortals can get stuck behind stalkers a lot. Might encourage more 2 gate robo in PvP.
Warp Prism Shields increased from 40 to 100:
Warp prisms seemed like the easiest thing in the game to destroy, for transports I think this was a needed change. Might make it a bit hard for zerg is you rush for prisms and start warping in zealots in there base before they have anti air though.
Stalker Blink research time increased from 110 to 140.
Unsure if this was needed, will make Protoss FFE into six gate a bit weaker, and make it harder to not to go 4 gate or 2 gate robo in PvP.
Mothership Acceleration increased from 0.3 to 1.375:
Neat, would love to see more mothership usage, following the battercruiser speed buff we did see an increase in them for TvT. So seems like Blizzard is slowly buffing capital ships to get them more useage. Don't know if this will effect the meta game too much at this point. But cooler to see ship battles late game instead of just full gateway armies.
Unit vision up ramps has been reduced by 1:
I like this, having the high ground should give you an advantage. Would like to see more highground around the maps instead of just in your bases, a bit like the middle area in Tal'diram Altar.
Repeated control group and selection commands will no longer count as unique actions for APM calculation purposes:
Good, now maybe people wont feel like they have to spam 400apm at the beginning of a game just for stats, and we can actually see what peoples multitasking ability is in a replay.
Overall I think these changes arent too bad, a few seem unnecessary but I dont play every match up. Will be interesting to see how many of these make it off the test realm or what changes they will have.
Just a short post about my holiday so far. When down the waterfront today and there was seal just sleeping on next to the footpath. Also had a blue penguin swimming around in the water near it. I like to think they were friends in a Disney animal buddy sort of way. Even if it was far more likely that the seal was taking a break from hunting in the penguin, and the penguin was just playing escape the seal.
Unfortunately I don't have a camera, but this is the type of seals we have around my city.
In New Zealand we don't really celebrate Halloween, any kids going around the neighborhood are likely to spend hours with maybe a couple houses actually giving them candy. In fact I have only actually celebrated Halloween once, which was last year when my friends and I decided to actually have a Halloween party. So its a bit of treat for me and looking forward to it this year. But wondering what to go as, any suggestions? This is what I came up with last year, unfortunately we only seem to have small pumpkins where I live or I would have gone for the largest one they had.
Comment on any ideas you guys think would be cool to try out.
Following last weeks episode Project A: Part two continues the story of old Brood War pro Yellow on his journey to become a Starcraft Two pro and leading to his show-match with old rival Slayers_Boxer. In this episode he actually starts to play the game and learn how the game works, so its a bit more informative than the last. But no less amusing with its Asian wacky broadcast style and jokes lost in translation.
I knew it!
Also in this episode it shows you were he will be training and staying for the month long series. GomTV has step him up with a nice hotel room to himself, which all things he will need while he trains. This is actually incredibly lavish for a Korean Pro gamer, usually a large group will all stay in one room with computers all next to each other. Because of Yellows high profile though and the because this series is about him he gets to be a bit spoiled.
Although, nobody leaves. Hotel Prison.
Also in this episode he meets his two coaches, one of them being the OGS Coach. Both of his coaching having hid till they were ready to introduce them...
Two guys hiding in your bathroom? Its more likely than you think.
They also were kind enough to bring him some house warming gifts, a new computer to practice on and some umm..
Finally free for two weeks, mid term exams over and two weeks to mess around. But now I actually have free time no idea what I'm gonna do, any suggestions? Unfortunately our spell of snow has lifted, so now its hail and rain (and wind!) for the rest of the week. Eh maybe I should try and make one of these.
So cute it could just explode.
Wanted one of these since I saw it, looks like (as with most things) if you really want something you need to get or make it yourself. Should I try sewing this up during my holidays haha? I actually have a friend that's a steamstress maybe I should commission it or something. Anyway, try and have a more insightful update next time since I have free time now. Take it easy guys and gals.
Whelp sort update on the merry old land of New Zealand today. Things have been pretty crazy this side of the world for the last couple days. Not only have I been extremely busy with mid terms we have also had snow storms and blackouts. Here is a couple photos from my town to enjoy.
Might not be amazing or anything, but in Wellington where I live it hasn't snowed for 30 years. So its a fairly memorable occasion, people are really going nuts over here. Lightening and Thunder as well which is strange for this part of the country, I used to go lightening watching when I lived in Australia during the storms but its a rare occurrence here, and the thunder was so strong that 10 seconds after each bolt my entire house would rock for 20 seconds or so, plates rattling. Really cool stuff.
None of my classes have been canceled though, so I had to walk down hill over black ice in the morning to try and get to class. Most other schools are closed but university is still open for business so no putting off those tests and assignments till next week. Unfortunately the snow isnt a treat for everyone. One of our large southern towns Christchurch has been hit with a series of large earthquakes over the last year, destroying a lot of the town, and with the blackouts and power demands brought on by the cold thousands are without power over the couple of days to follow. Fortunately I'm warm inside for now though.
This ducks classes weren't canceled either.
So all well for now, but if I stop updating suddenly its because our infrastructure has been destroyed by the elements, here is to hoping we don't languish in the once in a lifetime winter.
This week after the GSTL cast the first episode of "Project A" was aired. I hadn't planned to watch it because I had to get back to studying for mid-terms but after seeing this opening intro I was intrigued. If you have seen Asian TV before you should be well aware of their crazy campy steal of programs, which made this incredibly amusing to watch.
The night had started off quite amusing already with the GSTL team Zenex bring their new house puppy to the set of professional Starcraft Team Leagues but the following Project A was the real highlight of that nights broadcast.
Your argument is invalid, our team has a puppy.
Yay Zenex Puppy! But back on topic, Project A is a show about old Broodwar Pro Yellow getting into Starcraft 2, after his recent retirement from Starcraft 1. He is trying to get to Code A within a month which will be no easy feat, and the show is about how he is going to train and work towards becoming a star in the new SC2 Korean Pro Scene. Depending on the race he picks he has a line up of pro coaches to choice from, like JulyZerg.
He hungers for Starcraft.
It looks to be a fairly interesting show, which I intend to watch. If you're interested in watching the mini series you can catch it on GOMTV.net every week after GSTL or watch the VODs from their website for free, only takes a few seconds to registrer and allows you to watch Project A or regular Starcraft Streams and the first match in Starcraft series for free.
Part of the fun of watching a foreign broadcast is always the things that are lost in translation, which Project A looking to be no exception.
Since Terrans are running amok with their Hellion builds Zerg players that like to use heavy zergling/upgrade builds are having quite a bit of difficulty thought I would show you how I deal with it.
I thumb down small or close position maps so I can try and have more macro orientated games. So even though it can be risky versus blind Two-Rax I still hatch first most games (rematches I 15gas/15pool) and mostly use this build order.
9 - Overlord (you can 10 overlord and extractor trick if you want, its about the same)
10 - Scout with 10th drone, rallying egg to spawns.
15 - Hatchery at Natural
14 - Spawning Pool (If you got lucky on spawn locations or your drone made it there in time, you can change this to 16 Spawning Pool if it doesnt look like two-rax, they are mining gas or have started a command center)
16 - Overlord
18/20- Queen from both Hatcheries, start a gas gsyser and three drones on gas when its done.
22 - Overlord ( when the larvae from your Queens hatch you will need 4-8 free supply).
25 - Roach Warren (can be a drone earlier or later really)
Build six Roaches when you're able to, can leave one or two with a queen on the ramp and send the others to pressure the Terran. If you're timing is good you can show up there when the Hellions are getting ready to attack or while they're in the base, Roaches shrug off Hellions and it should put the Terran under some pressure (iv had some had to land Vikings or send masses of SCV's to defend).
At some point you will want a Spinecrawler at your natural to help defend any Hellions you cant stop with the Roaches, time to put it down depends on how much you think you can get away with, but after the Queens are started at minimum.
Because a lot of Terrans use this build to expand when you attack they shouldn't have much else instead of Hellions, a couple Marines and a Command Center building. You can use these Roaches to delay them expanding and getting ahead of you economically. It almost always forces them to build some Marauders or a bunker while allowing you to Drone up unmolested.
Where to go from now? If i see them with a Command Center, Ill take a quick third so I am a base ahead (Macro Hatching around 50 supply) but I generally won't stay using Roaches, Ill get Evolution Chambers and start upgrades on Carapace and Melee attacks, getting all my gasses when I have around 40-50 Drones and then getting lair. This transitions nicely into a Zergling, Baneling, Mutalisk play.
Things to watch out for: Hellions are some time used to distract while going for Banshees or Drops. If you cant spot a Command Center you might want to build a quick Evolution chamber and get a Sporecrawler at each base. A third Queen is always good for Creep spread and defense. If you see a Viking then it is probably for taking out your overlords so they can drop you unawares, in that case you might want a Spinecrawler covering your mineral lines and get some extra Zerglings and Roaches for defense. Also if you spot a two-rax then they might be preparing to all-in you (very common in lower leagues) if it is a two-rax make sure they don't get a bunker up at your natural (have your second overlord over the Hatchery to spot things) and pump out Zerglings and get one to three Spinecrawlers (two probably best) after you have held the all make sure to Drone and replace your army. If they don't all in you then you're probably behind on workers, but they will want to expand so use the army you made to deny their expansion for as long as possible.
Most interesting to me is that over the couple of days for the event the Hellions Infernal Pre-igniter (blue flame) was researched 320 times. The ladder is full of Hellion builds as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about SEA atm, a lot of Zergs have problems with this and are suffering heavy losses from. I use an expansion Roach build which is extremely effective Vs Hellions which I might post about next if anyone is interested in it.
Source of Graph: http://www.majorleaguegaming.com/news/mlg-anaheim-sc2-stats/
Was just reading this article on cracked about "11 most badass last words". My personal favorite was George Engel who while being crushed to death by stones said:
Come on guys, I don't have all day.
After reading this article I was reminded by something I heard on Ask a Ninja said to the effect "Most peoples last words are just gurgles or something stupid, what you should do is write down something cool and give it to a friend and say 'regardless of what I said, say these are my last words'".
So what would you like your Last Words to be? Not sure what I want them to be yet, but knowing myself I wager my real last words will be "I can jump that."
So what is this fear? Ladder Anxiety is simply the fear that players feel before, during and after a ranked 1v1 ladder game in Starcraft 2. Wait, what? Its a video game, you're meant to have fun! Stop playing games that make you feel uneasy you silly gamers! But that's not the case, people both enjoy and fear to play 1v1 in Starcraft 2 and other games when losses are displayed to other players. But why?
Even though I know what it feels like to have ladder anxiety, it still sounds foolish to me. But there are several real factors that cause it;
Its 1v1, If you lost you have no one to blame but yourself.
Points, every ladder game rewards or deducts points which people use to measure how much better they are than other players.
Other people can view your results, with the Real ID and friends lists your friends will know how poorly you are doing.
In RTS (Real Time Strategy) games people believe that your performance is directly related to your intelligence.
Even if you defeat your opponent, the system looks for someone harder than the last. Eventually you will lose to someone better.
You don't know your opponent, he could do anything, you cant prepare for everything.
...A Ticking Clock! God damn that count down clock, it builds the suspense! (Ok that one was a bit of a joke)
Everyday thousands of people suffer from ladder anxiety, but you can make a difference..
The factors I have mentioned combine and cause a very real fear and suspense for players waiting or playing in a ladder game. If you're not a Starcraft 2 player you might not understand how this feels, but imagine you care about something, people know you for it and consider you the best in your group at it (perhaps in art, cards, bowling, what ever your hobby or passions are) and then in front of your peers you will be measured against someone else who could be better than you, and even if you're better than them soon you will have to be measured again vs someone even better than the last. A good example of the feeling might be similar to public speaking, one of the biggest fears for most people (even more so than death for some).
But its all in your head right? Well yes and no.
It is in your head, in the form of chemicals. All of the factors combine to create a "fight or flight response" in the body that causes Epinephrine (Adrenaline) to be released in your body, directs blood flow away from the extremities and towards major muscle groups. If a normal situation where this happens to you in real life it allows you to better fight or run to save yourself from the current danger. But in a game were you are sitting at a desk, using the mouse and keyboard it can make your hands feel cold and clammy, your heart rate and breathing raise. People don't understand why and it can have a negative effect on your playing ability, and if you lose the game you'll remember and be even more apprehensive of the next game.
Dealing with it:
After a game, win or lose you likely are still feeling the effects, if you won you likely feel relief and if you lost then you probably feel useless or terrible, but you still have a lot of energy from the Adrenaline you feel. I find that a good way to 'burn' it off is to do something physical such as push-ups or lift some weights for a couple minutes, nothing to serious just enough to calm down and get those muscles moving. Another thing people recommend is to try and actively take deep breaths and try to lower your heart rate. Anything to make you relax is fine though, I enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while playing. Some people take a relaxing shower after a few games, twist a towel or something good for stress etc. But there are a few important things to remember:
Its a game, try to enjoy it
You WILL lose eventually because of how laddering works(actively trying to match you up with even opponents so you stay around 50% win/lose ratio), don't worry it happens to everyone just learn from your mistakes (watch those replays!) and its not a problem.
Don't play flustered, if you have lost a series in a row you're probably mad, you wont think straight, take a break and come back when you have cleared your head.
Take breaks, but don't avoid. Its a get back on the horse thing, the more often you make excuses the less you will do it, building the fear.
Play often, you'll get used to you and maybe even crave the feeling.
Stick to the plan! You have to adapt for what your opponent does, but panicking and switching to something crazy wont help.
Ultimately everyone has their own methods for dealing with fear, don't feel foolish if its something that comforts you. GSL player Choya talks to himself on live TV in Korea to calm himself down, so you like to hug your teddy when playing but its too stupid? Big deal you're alone just do it and feel better for it.
Now that you have considered all this, there is really only one thing to do isn't there?
Short update, one of the things I like to do in my spare times is play around in Photoshop with perspectives and drawling over it, for interesting effects.
This is a larger version of my profile picture, just me stomping around my old lounge. I really like to do stuff like this but most of the time just keep them to myself. Its pretty easy to do I don't claim to be an artist, just try and draw a couple stick figures in the foreground and go from there. Its really a lot of fun if you want you should try it some time, always good for making your friends laugh!
Quick update on season three for Starcraft Two on South East Asia. While I have been pretty busy lately with study but have fit in about 48 games of laddering so far and decided to ramble a bit about it. MLG has had a large effect on SEA and NA servers as I'm sure most players will have noticed.
Biggest chance up in the ladder recently has been Terrans copying the recent Hellion centric builds shown in MLG in the past week. Around 80% of the Terrans I have fought so far have been using it, unfortunately for me as a player that doesnt use Roach much (outside of ZvZ) so this has been fairly difficult for me, making this my hardest match up so far this season. If you play Zerg I would recommend being smart with your Spinecrawler placement, and use your Queens to block your ramp when they aren't injecting, good overlord placement to scout drops is always good as well (but I hope you were doing this previously). One tip for Zel'Naga caverns, you can use an Evolution chamber to block off the path that leads through those shrubs at your natural so Hellions cant swoop in through them (just the way Terrans put Engineering Bays to stop ling runbys) if you need creep there just use an overlord. I cant blame them for copying a powerful style though, so more power to them while Zerg find ways to deal with this style.
I haven't had much trouble with Protoss, many Protoss are using more archons in their builds. With Dark Templar into expansion then merging into archons for their two or three base plays. These can be a bit difficult to deal with if you're not on hive tech, infesters can neural parasite them and then you can send your army in. This has a several bonuses as now your army wont be AOE'd by the archons, it damages their army and the most important factor you can use their archons to break their own forcefields, so your lings can connect to their army. Caution though, gateway archon armies usually include high templar, they will attempt to feedback your infestors so if you neural two or three hight templar quickly try and feedback their own units. That also prevents them from using storm on your army.
By far my best match up this season, the majority of my opponents has been Zerg so I have had a lot of practice with it. Not too much to say on it fairly the same as it was before. However I am noticing more windows to go mutalisk before infestors come out. If you notice a late lair you can fit in mutalisks and do quite a bit of damage too them, the beauty of this is that if they counter attack you send your mutalisks home to fight their ground army and you can send your ground army of lings or roach to their base and they will be forced to either return home or base trade you, if they return home they take heavy losses from the mutalisks and if they dont they lose all their production. If you do choose mutalisks be sure to add a lot of spinecrawlers to your front so it makes it harder for them to counter attack, and if they get out infestors break up your clump of mutalisks so its one to each infestor, then fungal growth is hardly effective and they eventually lose all infestors while you get yours out or go for more air units.
My current results from laddering:
In a recent press release Blizzard has let us in on some new features for one of their new games; Diablo 3. The Diablo franchise has always had a strong follow, but there new announcement has shocked fans and people who have never heard of it alike. Diablo 3 will allow you to sell and buy virtual items and gold for real money.
The game will include two types of Auction houses, one which you will be able to buy and sell items to other players for gold that you find in game. The other being the real money version, where you can additionally sell gold. Ultimately you're not obligated to use the system, but it could attract a crowd that would be unhealthy for the game. 'Gold Sellers' have been a plague in other online games (mostly MMO's) but this move by Blizzard cuts them out and lets you and other players do it without the risks of using a third party. But what will this mean to you?
Could Be Good News:
In theory this is great, you could play a game and make some money back on the price or even pay it off for free right? Well maybe, depends on if you're lucky I guess and how the players dictate the economy. In the first Diablo games I would often find an item that my class could not use and had to sell it to a vendor to make a bit of gold for potions or repairs, so if you happen to find something you cant use you just might get 5 dollars or something for it to spend on something else you want in game, or in real life. Baring in mind that the Diablo series is a mature one, if I was a small kid again and playing this game and I found something then sold it for a few dollars to spend on candy I would be thrilled. And it presents an interesting start point for gamers and games to be career paths. If its Friday night and you're at the pub and a lady asks you what you're hobbies are, now you would probably make something 'cool' up instead of straight up tell her you're into playing games. But maybe in time if this model Blizzard is trying to introduce succeeds you might see 'Gamer' pop up as one of the things you lie to be and the reason your wallet is full of fifties. If nothing else then if you suck at the game maybe you could drop a twenty and gear up to help yourself out.
Could Be Bad News:
Many fans the Diablo type genre are insulted by the idea of idea of being able to buy power, it can take a lot of time to perfect your character and if people can just buy items then everything you work for is devalued. What point is going after a tough boss if you can spend a couple dollars and get the item you want anyway, why just work for anything when you can just buy everything you want at the start, why even bother playing?
Money also obviously attracts people after it, so critics of this idea are expecting the game to be flooded with the same type of people that farm currency in MMO's to saturate the market. But even if you don't have to go through some black market site to get your in game items now or sell off your stuff someone still takes their cut. Blizzard (at this point, subject to change) has said that they will take a cut of what you make, possibly as much as three times, once for listing the item, once for selling it and the final if you cash out the real money. Though no figures have come out this could be tiny, just there to prevent you from listing worthless items and clogging up the system. The game will work similarly to Starcraft 2 in that you need to be online to log on and play single player, which may make people with bad internet annoyed by makes sense if you're not online they cant tell if you're hacking the game or items which would completely ruin the system.
Tristram Theme from Diablo 2 on the "buy an acoustic guitar" level of music.
I think Blizzards thoughts here are "players still buy gold in WoW even if we try to ban them for it, may as well let them and make a few extra bucks from it". It definitely has a lot of potential and personally I think it will be alright, I have actually made quite a bit of real money from games in the past and I see the opportunity for it here as well as to have some fun along the way. As you get older games aren't as simply as they used to be, I didnt care about story or why pink dinosaurs were shooting me with guns when I was a kid, I just liked the explosions and stuff. Since Im starting to be a proper adult with bills to pay and food to buy the idea of getting money from a hobby naturally calls to me.
What will be interesting is to see how this develops if they include the 'hardcore mode' where if you die you instantly lose your character. If you die from this point getting back in would be long and painful, but if you can buy items back you could jump back into it. The thought of losing however much money you paid for items would make the threat of death all the more serious and significant. Although it may annoy people who want to get to the top and stay there since no one can compete with them if they keep killing them and keeping their rivals down.
You don't have to use the system though, if you play single player and go through it and never buy something from someone then its just as it would have been, if someone else buys all his items and goes through it faster than you his experience doesn't effect yours. Diablo is largely a story driven game so you can ignore the rest of the community and enjoy it by yourself if you so choose.