Grasshopper, to master SC2, first you must learn Brood War
Noob, no BW lol?
Today I took the day off and went to the white sands of Destin, Florida with the whole family. I spent almost 5 hours in the water wallowing about like a happy whale while I made sure none of my sons drowned in their zeal to battle every single wave that dared challenge them. It was a red flag day so it was either say "no", "no swimming today" and have an all out crying fest, or face my duty as a father and start playing Orca.
My little one, who is five year old, and still swims by diving from point to point rather than having any specific style kept pushing his luck and limits by constantly by heading forward. His blind courage amazed me and it almost gave me a new perspective on the value of ignorance. I kept telling him that before he could venture out on his own he needed to learn how to swim properly, at least a decent freestyle, and acquire a significant more amount of muscle mass. And yes I translated it too, to you need to know learn how to swim well first, grow and get stronger before you go deeper on your own. It amuses him, and trains him, this double language I often share with him.
His attitude reminded me all too clearly of my first month at battle.net. That exact attitude is the same many of us had when we first ventured into Battle.net. Early on we tread in unknown grounds, pretty much unprepared and more importantly blissfully unaware of our own ignorance or the strength of our opponents, the crushing waves, the certain losses we would face and how much stronger some would become while the vast majority would simply quit, never to be seen again. Some of us have survived the waves of losses, near drownings and thus here we are today. Our odds weren't too good to start off and our great initial numbers is part of the reason why some of us simply are still playing today.
Statistics say that only 10% of those who ever bought StarCraft ever went online or stayed online more than a week, and of those that did make it over that initial week, five out every six would drop out on their first year. Our grim reality. Do a /users in vanilla and you will be lucky if you see 3000 in vanilla or a 30,000 in Brood War at any given time. We used to be hundreds of thousands.
Total games over Battle.net reached 11,379,766 -- the first time more than 10 million Blizzard games have been played in the same day. The record for concurrent users was also broken with a peak of 106,608 users online at the same time. Log on today, because millions of Battle.net gamers can't be wrong! - Blizzard Insider Issue 1, January 19 2000 (and we broke the record many times over the following years)
Anyway a little later on to finish up the day we went to a local Japanese restaurant (great place I highly recommend it if anyone is in the area) to recover our strength. While there, exactly almost in the middle of a very decent beef Udon soup some college kids sat in a near by table and could not help but notice immediately that one of them mentioned World of WarCraft. I am not a WOW fan nor do I play the game but after playing so many types of online games I knew he had just started, i.e. a noob, nevertheless a gamer, with all the enthusiasm of those first few weeks.
So off went my mind on a tangent and before the soup was finished I thought of a simple idea which I very much would like to share with everyone. Particularly those who are very good at our game.
When StarCraft 2 comes out I am certain that all the old guard will fare better initially. The likes of Maynard and TillerMan fared well as WarCraft 2 players and they did even better at StarCraft; both setting trends in the early years. A good number of all the future stars and the future legends will come from those that today have reached high skill levels in Brood War.
I also know that invariably there will be millions of new players, that never played vanilla or Brood War, asking those stars and future legends how they became so good at Starcraft2. When that day comes I have a favor to ask everyone who reads this humble blog entry.
Be it myth or mantra, for fun or loyalty, do the following when you can. Every time you encounter all those new impressionable SC2 young players that never played Brood War and ask you how you got so good at SC2 and so fast, or want to know what your secret is, tell them to play Brood War. Give them all a chance to experience too, the great joy we had with the original; and maybe, just maybe, Brood War can have yet another revival if StarCraft2 ends up being awesome.
Tell them before they can brave the sea, they need to learn how to swim, they need to know how to play Brood War. It would be a nice way to honor our great game and our past shared years. Foster the myth or do it for kicks, but feed our old game every now and then.