Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things everyone assumes everyone knows, so no one talks about Volume I

On People who work outside.

Apparently, its a well known fact that if you hire anyone to do work on an external part of your house, they will freely urinate all over the place, with no regard to windows, neighbors, or your wife wandering around the yard.  In order to prevent this blessed event, you need to invite them into your house as soon as they show up.  Apparently contractors share the same weaknesses as traditional vampires.  Except for sunlight.  And I guess most don't suck blood or avoid garlic.  Okay, I guess contractors are nothing like vampires, but I bet my readership will spike from all the people googling contractor vampires.  Since that's all the rage.

P.S.  Apparently Roofers do it in the gutter.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Starcraft II Beta First Impressions

I have had the beta for about a week, and have gotten to play ten or so matches.  Here then are my first impressions.

The Protoss Zealots, High Templars, Archons, Observers, Dark Templars, and Carriers all return pretty much the same.  Dragoons are now Stalkers which learned Mage's blink spell somehow.  Here's whats's new:

  • Phoenixes, replacing corsairs as air to air.  Their special move is to lift a ground unit into the air, disabling it for a few seconds, but also preventing the casting phoenix from acting.
  • Mothership, a ridiculously expensive arbiter.  Cloaks, disables units and does recall.
  • Warp Prism, replaces the shuttle, can also turn into a temporary pylon.
  • Immortal, a super dragoon, only attacks ground, and reduces incoming damage down to ten if it is greater then ten.
  • Sentry, a Tier1 ground unit that can make impassable temporary barriers.
  • Colossus, gigantic Support robot.  Seriously, it is so big that units that can only attack air units can hit it.  Also it can climb cliffs.  It shoots a beam that does splash damage to a line of ground units.
  • Void Rays.  They fire a beam that gets stronger the longer it is activated.  Very strong against buildings, ground units, air units, anti air units...  Yeah these are pretty awesome.
  • The Nexus, in addition to creating probes also allows you to chrono boost, boosting production speed of a building (that is already built) by 50%
  • The Gateways can convert to warp gates that allow units to be summoned (built) one at a time anywhere you have a pylon.  Even the temporary pylons from a shuttle.


The Terrans have a lot of changes, Marines, Battlecruisers, and Siege Tanks are the only units that are untouched.  A lot of buildings have cool features:

  • The Command Center can upgrade into an Orbital Command Center or a Fortress. the fortress gives it defenses but prevents it from lifting off.  The Orbital Command Center has the scanner sweep, in addition to being able to summon a temporary mineral harvester, or permanently allow one supply depot to have 8 extra supply.
  • Supply depots can raise or lower, allowing you to create a wall for enemy troops, but not impeding your units.
  • Most unit producing structures can build a reactor add-on to allow two units to be trained at once.  Of course, if you build this, you can't build the add-on that lets you build advanced units from the building.
  • Bunkers can get an upgrade to hold more units, they can also be deconstructed to return 100% of building costs.
I am enjoying the bulleted format, so I'll run it into the ground now.  Here is the new stuff:

  • Banshee: Like the wraith, but only attacks ground.
  • Hellion, like the vulture, but with an upgradeable flamethrower.
  • Medivac Dropship.  Exactly what it sounds like, Medics and Dropships are now one unit.
  • Viking:  A spaceship that can morph into a mech for some reason.
  • Marauder: An obese marine with a gernade launcher. Takes up two spots in a bunker.
  • Reaper, jet pack infantry that can hop cliffs.
  • Raven replaces science vessel.  Can make temporary turrets, shoot seeking missles, and make a defense drone.
  • Thor, gigantic mech that is piloted by the Governator.


The Zerg seem to have changed the least from Starcraft I.  Zerglings, Hydralisks, Mutalisks, and Ultralisks are all pretty much intact.  Overlords lost detection, zerglings can morph into banelings which is basically the infested terran from Starcraft I.  Hydralisks currently require a lair to build.

Queens changed a lot.  They lost flying, gained a regular attack, and their spells are now:
  • Create creep colony, something which drones can no longer do.  (Creep colonies can themselves create one more creep colony )  Zerg move faster on the creep.  
  • Heal a friendly Zerg unit or Building
  • Spawn larva.  (Blizzard said they did this to prevent Zerg players from having to have multiple hatcheries.
Overlords still transport units, but can now excrete temporary creep, and can morph into an overseer which is a detector.  Overseers can pop out changelings, zerg spies units without any attacks, but that look like an opponents unit.

New units are roaches, a Tier 1 unit that is low damage high hp and regenerate quickly.  Corrupters are flying anti air, Brood Lords replace the Guardians from Starcraft I with flying anti ground attacks, also spawn broodlings.

Spore Colonies and Sunken Colonies are now built directly from drones, and can uproot similar to night elf ancients, but cannot attack while mobile.

Nydus canals are a lot more powerful now.  When you move units into it, they sit off-screen until you offload them.  They can store up to 255 units.  You can create as many entrances to Nydus space as you want, and the main building can summon connections onto terrain without creep, you just need to be able to see it.  So, if you can move an overlord in visual range of an enemy base, you can offload infinite troops there.

To sum up

Multi-player is a lot of fun, but is much more fast paced then regular Starcraft!  The terran Orbital Command center, Protoss Nexus, and Zerg Queen, have a bunch of great abilities, but you have to remember to keep clicking on them every so often or you lose the utility.  "Experts" are recommending scouting with one of your early workers, while you are building up.  And expanding early and often.  So you are looking at managing your build, your patrols, defending and using special abilities at multiple bases while (maybe) attacking your opponents.  Then reacting to what your opponent is building and building the counter unit.  Or you can be like me, and just build infinite Void Rays, and hope for the best.  And that's how you get into the Bronze League. has acheivments, and some kind of matching system that seems to work fairly well to give you a decent match after 5 placement matches.

I realize this is fairly long and rambling, let me know if you have any questions or want more detail on anything.