Monday, December 1, 2008 - ARE U A COMP?

So I’ve already lost a game on Battlenet.

I think I underestimated the type of people that would still be playing StarCraft competitively online ten years after its release. When I logged on, the main lobby told me that there were some 16000 people playing some 3500 games of Brood War. 16000 people. That’s roughly the population of Frio County, TX or Gura Humorului, Romania. It’s twice the number of people that live in Sweet Home, OR and just a little less than the population of my hometown of King of Prussia, PA.

Who ARE these people?

I know I’m one of them, but seriously. Blizzard’s still releasing updates to placate this teeming horde (not to be confused with Blizzard’s other Horde). The latest patch included adding in-game chat to replays, minimizing StarCraft’s demands on your CPU, and fixing a number of “Exploits” I never knew existed such as Zerg players gaining minerals through mutations and Terran players dropping nukes anywhere on the map. My question is: who figured this shit out and who complained loud enough to have Blizzard fix it? The support for this decade-old game is astounding. Then again, I guess if I’d created something as integral to Korean culture as Noraebang and horror movies I’d updated it everyday if I could.

But I digress. My first loss, here we go. It was a 2v2 match on a map called “Fa$te$t Gang$ter.” In the pregame lobby, as the countdown started, one of the guys from the other team ordered, “don’t be gay.” I can’t speak for anyone else, but I certainly wasn’t planning on it.

I like to randomly select my faction, as I don’t feel comfortable enough with any of them to make an educated choice. My teammate and I both got Protoss, and I started mining right away. Fifteen seconds into the match my teammate tells me “plz mine. u take ur probes and mine.” Um, thanks for the tip. He then orders me again: “tech.” For non-RTSers out there, this means climbing the tech tree as quickly as you can while your allies build lots of low-level shock troops. Happy to go along with any plan at all, I cheerfully replied “yup!” and broke ground (or time and space in Protoss construction) on a new Forge. A moment later, after some terribly erratic pylon building and an upgrade to my melee weapons, I was told that “teching means cybercore.” I was apparently going about this all wrong.

But before I could debate this with him, I was attacked by a squad of zerglings. My lone zealot eventually took them out with help from my drones but I had lost a Gateway, a photon cannon, and a few pylons, severely crippling my infrastructure. My teammate replied, “WHY PEOPLE SUCK SO MUCH.”

I never recovered from this early rush, but I did manage to take down an enemy zealot with just five drones. It’s the little things, y’know? Another force of zerglings plowed through my shrub of a tech tree and descended on my vulnerable Nexus. My teammate cried out, “WTF ALLY? ARE U A COMP?” I’m not sure what he meant, since I’m sure a computer would’ve done much better than I did

At seven minutes on the dot, I was eliminated. I signed out of Battlenet, the words “don’t be gay” ringing in my ears, pondering what this loss meant for my sexuality.


Epic FAIL.