warning: wall of text blog about my history on TL and thoughts on SC2 regarding my future on TL.
So I joined TL just over 2 years ago now, ironically I did it primarily for SC2. One day in early 2008 a friend and I were talking about SC2 and how we couldn’t wait and stuff. The conversation eventually led to “yea I used to love SC1! I played it so much!”
Of course I never really played it competitively at all. Originally when it 1st came out I was only 8 and so I didn’t even know games could be played on the internet. I still played the shit out of the single player though (with basically all cheats on ofc though). 3 years later my brother figured out how to play on battle.net and I got addicted to SC all over again playing such classics as “3v3 shared fastest nr20” and “choose your own defense”. Eventually I got tired of all the UMS (mostly because war3 came out and had better options for UMS) and moved on to war3, except eventually from that I got bored and moved on to other game genres to fill my time (CS, BF2, various single-player games).
Back to 2008, my friend and I played a few games on battle.net and had a fun time. This lead of course to saying “oh yeah, aren’t there progamers for SC? Like in Korea?” which eventually lead to several google searches where I somehow came across the Ascension tournament run by Artosis. Ascension was awesome and introduced me to high-level competitive StarCraft for the 1st time (btw the final group never finished either ). Meanwhile my friend found the Korean leagues through team liquid and tried to get me into Korean SC over foreigner SC since it was better games, but back then I didn’t even want to watch anything without English commentary (which is a huge LOL to me now as I pretty much hate all English commentary). Luckily around that time Tasteless was casting the GSI which was a great way to bridge the gap for me to Korean StarCraft.
Eventually I joined TL to talk in the SC2 forum. I liked SC progaming but wasn’t WAY into it and only felt like playing SC1 as a way to prepare for SC2 lol (and honestly I feel like 90% of the people who picked up BW in 2008 onward are similar in that regard). I would read some of the BW sections on the forum but never posted there as I felt I had nothing to add. Originally I was pro-MBS, pro-automining, basically pro-everything that would make SC2 easier for me because I was a super shitty D--- kid with no mechanics, less game sense but I thought to myself “well if it was just easier than I could be good!” basically.
Eventually I just kept playing BW more and more because it was still really fun and I loved how there was a pro-scene to follow. I loved the way that the map pool came from the pro-scene. I loved the way that I could see a strategy performed by a pro and then try to replicate it myself. I also loved that it was pretty much the hardest game ever because of how competitive it is. During my non-RTS years I was always looking for hard games. I love games with deep game mechanics that make you work to be successful, I love games that take skill and thought to be good at (which has become harder and harder to find over the years). My 1st season on ICCUP I barely managed to stay at D by the end of the season, but I loved how hard the game was. I loved how I could play and play and play and still have what seemed like an infinite amount to learn. StarCraft is truly the hardest and most satisfying game I’ve ever played.
I don’t think I would be nearly as into SC as I was/am if it wasn’t for team liquid. Super awesome staff, super dedicated users, the best Korean coverage in English, and I would argue probably one of the funniest communities on the internet. I’ve been a part of a few forums in the past but none of them compare to the wit that so many TLers possess. The humor combined with how awesome TL already is, I’ve never been part of a forum for this long before and I don’t see myself stopping any time soon.
SC2 is only 2 days away now, although I feel the launch of the game won’t really immediately change much. The beta has been out for a really long time and was quite easy to get if you wanted it (just pay 5 bucks for a preorder). As I mentioned before, I came to TL primarily because of excitement about SC2 over 2 years ago. But over that time I’ve just fallen head-over-heels in love with BW. I love everything about it. It’s perfect in my eyes. I played SC2 a lot during the 1st phase of beta. I’m still disgusted with how they’ve completely ass-raped zerg in terms of gameplay (no muta micro, no lurkers, no defilers, no scourge, and no gameplay-replacements to speak of! ) . I somewhat quickly switched to protoss as I feel they are the most micro-intensive and have the most fun units to control.
At the end of phase 1, I gleefully went back to ICCUP to catch up with my favorite race. After just a few games I realized how much different the 2 games really are. SC2 is pretty good, hell- it’s quite good. But it just doesn’t hold a candle to BW where it counts for me. Nothing in SC2 is nearly as satisfying as even basic things in BW are for me ( macroing well, microing well, etc) . I still like the appeal that the game has in terms of a widely undiscovered strategic frontier, where everyone is on equal ground in terms of “figuring stuff out” as tasteless likes to put it. But when you take that away from it (which will eventually happen for the most part in a much shorter time that it took for BW), you just don’t have the fundamentals to stand up to BW (at least for me). The vast majority of games I play or watch for either game will generally be standard fair with only the diversity of the volatility of the game itself to keep it interesting (for instance almost all ZvTs in 2007/2008 were 1rax FE vs 3 hat muta and yet it was probably the most entertaining matchup to watch because of how varied even that can be). I will play SC2 sure, but to me right now it is just like any other new game I play for a while. I’ll play it, get bored, and resume playing BW fulltime instead of just part-time.
It sorta feels like TL is being taken over by a whole different community now that SC2 is basically out. Many new members that outnumber the older ones have come to TL for SC2. They form the majority of the SC2 forum. TL it seems is taking many steps to cater to this new audience. Before the ability to minimize forums (lol), it felt to me like this awesome BW site was just turning into a SC2 site because it also has starcraft in the name. To me right now SC2 is nothing else but just some other game, and it is just sort of weird that instead of just having 1 dedicated thread like LoL or DOTA, it has as many threads as BW does. I mean yeah it has starcraft in the name, and the description for TL.net is “starcraft progaming news” and not “brood war progaming news”, but it all just makes me a bit uncomfortable I guess. I know SC2 is a lot more popular right now among foreigners, but so are a lot of other games. Should we have a forum for call of duty too? I know it’s not really the same, but this is sorta how I feel (which is really ironic because I probably would never of have joined TL if it weren’t for the SC2 forum…).
I had a bit of an epiphany the other day about all the SC2 casters. I generally don’t like any SC casters, I sorta feel that the majority of them don’t know any more about the game than I do, and just sorta want to hear themselves talk and get e-famous instead of really offer any real insight to the common BW player. I still highly regarded day9/artosis/chill though (kinda tasteless, although he is probably the funniest SC caster of all time, I feel he sorta lost the passion that he had before and just got a lot less interesting). Now they’ve (all BW casters) all pretty much gone full-fledged into SC2, with day9 pretty much ignoring its existence from what I can tell and artosis seemingly going out of his way to try to put a positive image on SC2 and negative on BW (didn’t he at one point even say “no one plays BW anymore?”) , which really makes me feel sad because HE was my 1st influence into the SC world, and now I just take everything he says or does with a huge grain of salt and skepticism. One day I ran across this thread about day9 dailies and the discussion lead to whether or not he should do BW casts and I realized that even if he went back to BW, I still wouldn’t watch his show any more. I used to LOVE his show and watched like every episode for about 2 months straight. Then the beta came out. Then I played it. Then he stopped doing BW. Then I stopped watching. I think even if he went back, I wouldn’t get nearly as much out of it any more. I think I ran my course with day9 so to speak. He taught me so much but I feel there isn’t much else for him to teach me, and that goes for just about every other caster too (and maybe there’s a discussion to be had some time as to whether or not casting is only valuable if it is educational, as when it isn’t I find it to be far less engaging).
Wow, my 5k post just sorta turned into a huge wall of text bashing SC2 kinda I guess, sorry lol. In the end, I know there is still a huge BW community out there. I love these guys, and as long as TL has a BW forum, I know I will still be an avid poster/visitor of the site. Hopefully one day SC2 will somehow get better and I will be fine switching to it, but there’s just that certain one in a trillion perfect about BW that I feel can never be replicated properly.
sorry for the huge wall of text again . I hope to stay on this site for at least another 2 years and 5000 posts, and with less regrets. As much as I love this community, I always sorta feel like im not entirely in it. I want to hang out in op irc more. I want to game more with TLers and talk more with them outside of the forum. I went to Blizzcon last year and felt like I didn’t mingle with TLers nearly as much as I should of, and I regret it dearly . My goals are to interact with the TL community more in the future, to give back to it more, and hopefully to learn how to make blogs shorter (and to not let SC2 hate rants sneak into as many posts any more lol).
Cheers, here’s to another 2 years and 5000 posts.
PS: I always have insanely shitty luck with blog timing and they always get cleared out of the front page in like an hour and no one reads them . hopefully this wont be the case this time.