Saturday, 26 February 2011

StarCraft II

I've been pretty epicly busy this week. There was a project deadline, which went fairly smoothly, but also 6am outings on the river every single morning, and about four fansub projects suddenly got to stuff I had to do (because for some reason fansubbing comes in waves) and I spent four hours yesterday doing typesetting for Kimi ni Todoke, with a fair amount of other QC stuff left. In the midst of all this being busy and having shit to do, for some unfathomable reason I decided I'd buy StarCraft II.

I bought the proper disc on Amazon, rather than the Blizzard digital download. This isn't for some sort of weird quirk of having to have a physical copy (though I prefer to, usually), but more the fact that Amazon was £28 and Blizzard's digital download was £45. Which makes no sense whatsoever for me. I buy from the developer, and I get a digital file, and I have to pay more than buying from a third party and them actually mailing something out to me? Heck, once I've activated the serial code I can just throw it away and I've basically got the exact same deal but for £17 less and a few days of waiting to arrive.

StarCraft is a series I'd always dismissed, and I'm not really sure why. I guess the fact was that I thought it was something different to what it actually was, and what I thought it was didn't appeal to me. I played the demo, discovered it was actually pretty awesome (it's basically Age of Empires + space + crystal meth), and hence bought the game.

What was immediately most striking about the gameplay and some of the strategy is that it actually ties in to the MET course a surprising amount. An awful lot of the gameplay and skill is based around micromanagement of unit manufacturing and resource control and management - basically what I've been having lectures on for the last two terms. It sounds somewhat ridiculous, but it is actually true. I'm not going to start claiming that playing StarCraft is suitable MET revision material, because that'd be crazy (though awesome if it were true), but I at least feel that my course will make me somewhat better at the game, and that the game gives me some sort of scope to practice ideas and methods and stuff. Again, not going to put it on my CV, but I reckon it's actually quite reasonable practice and experience for business and manufacturing management.

Obviously part of the game does come down to military strategy and tactics, and it's mostly this part that I'm getting used to, along with the timing of how it's best to work things. It basically seems to be that pushing hard at the start will hurt in the mid to long-term, whilst aiming too far for the long term leaves you liable to get taken out right at the start if they rush you while you've still got pretty much no defence. Out of the seven proper online matches I've played so far, I've won two, and basically lost four out of the other five because I got rushed early on and wasn't prepared enough to defend it. The other one I lost was a legitimate loss where I genuinely just got out-muscled in the mid-game. But I've only been playing it for a handful of hours, so I'm still learning and improving.

This week I've mostly just got Lent Bumps, which regardless of the result is going to be great fun and I'm really looking forward to it. There are a few supervisions scattered about, but in general I'm in the sort of post-deadline lull after doing a fair amount of work last week.

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