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    dkirschner's Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (PC)

    [October 31, 2010 03:57:18 AM]
    Mmm, good ending. I expected basically what happened to happen, but without the twist Raynor pulled. I was pretty stunned, but man, very cool. Such an epic story and so well integrated with the missions. Too bad the Zerg campaign is going to be like a year from now! I expect many people will have become so good with the other two races in the interim between expansions that the missions will not present much of a challenge, on normal at least, like a few did early on this time before I became more proficient with Terran. Even some hard missions were getting easy towards the end. Luckily there's a brutal mode if hard is too easy. Stupid achievements are so fun to try and get but after I've beaten the campaign, much more campaign play is going to feel like wasting time chasing achievements. Fun time, but could be spent on other stuff. Ah, the tension I feel with achievements.

    And I'm glad the multiplayer is such fun. I thought about it and realized I like the randomness of it. I've no idea who I'm going up against, or what race they are if they choose random (I always choose random for these reasons). I've no idea their strategy until I encounter them. Online games are so dynamic. I mean, you've generally got to prepare to attack or defend a rush at first, and then it gets more dynamic. The beginnings are where RTS games have always been purely mechanical, following build orders and such to maximize income or get the fastest rush or whatever. I prefer the middle stages of a match where the rushes are over and it's like, "Ok, so now what? What are they going to do and what am I going to do?" Poking around their base, scanning, sending overlords and observers, sending that marine or probe on a suicide mission to find out my Terran opponent has blocked his entrance, all so much fun and so important to gather intelligence to plan and enact my particular strategy.

    I'm still in the learning stages of all the units, and definitely most comfortable with Terran because of the campaign. It's a little confusing having spent so much more time with the campaign than online because some of the units and abilities are different. I remember going into multiplayer games thinking I was going to amass an army of Marines, Firebats, and Medics to find out there are no Firebats or Medics in multiplayer. And then being so used to my bunkers always holding 6 Marines and realizing that's an upgrade now, and various other stuff. I'll get used to it sooner or later.

    And one final thing...Since so many of the Terran troops are criminals, I wonder if the game is making fun of the idea of using ex-cons or current cons as cannon fodder. All the more normal citizens seem to be in command posts, although they are either pirates, mercenaries, corrupt and power-hungry emperors, strange delusional emperor's sons, or whatever. Some are normal. But the troops are mostly convicts. Is this funny or not? Is this a serious idea or not? In context of course, it's just the Starcraft universe, but that idea has been tossed around and employed forever by real armies. I wonder why they fight? Like Tychus, maybe some made deals for freedom. Maybe they have no choice. Maybe they just like killing. Maybe they want to die. Maybe they found something to believe in or something worth fighting for. Maybe they are only criminals from one perspective, like in the New Folsom mission, where Mengsk was holding all kinds of political dissidents, scientists, and other free-thinkers the Dominion called dangerous criminals. I like the tooltip on one of the unit upgrades or somewhere. It might be the Medivac ship. But anyway, the tooltip says something like "Led to a doubling increase in Marines' lifespans from 8 seconds to 16." It's a rough life.
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    [October 30, 2010 10:15:10 AM]
    Incredibly excited because I'm almost done with the campaign. I've got one more mission to go. The game has been absolutely stunning for me thus far. Every level is unique in some way. The slow phasing in of new units over time in a logical way consistent with the story has helped make each level something to look forward to. Then the levels themselves are so fun to play through, and I've happily played each one multiple times to unlock all the achievements. 25/26 missions down and I think I've only been unable, with a reasonable amount of attempts, to complete 2 on Hard. I've had so many memorable moments in the campaign so far, like killing the Brutalisk in the lava, using the giant laser to barely score the minimum number of enemies killed for an achievement, racing the wall of fire, swarming with armies of battlecruisers or marine/medic combos for fun, and finally today, getting to use nukes.

    The last bit of dialogue after the blowing up the platforms mission just emphasizes how great the game and story are for me and how nice of a presentation it's been. Warfield brings out the Protoss relic, and Tychus, always ready for action, cautions something like, "I don't know Jimmy. This thing might upset the time-space continuum or something." Raynor responds, "Come on now Tychus. This ain't science fiction." I love it. Can't wait to finish tomorrow.
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    [September 4, 2010 07:30:50 PM]
    SC2: On achievements.

    When trying to figure out why I am actively trying to get achievements in SC2, I realize that I attempted similar feats of my own volition in SC1 (see how many CPU players I can beat outmatched, how fast I could kill an enemy, winning with all races, etc.) Then, I know that I generally scoff at official achievements in games. I usually don't care to do them, find them unnecessary and a waste of time. So what is it about Starcraft that makes me want to compete with myself?

    I think that, first, it's my history with the series. I like it, it's fun, and I know I'm going to spend a lot of time with it, based on my experience with SC1. Perhaps I think it will be worth it to spend time getting achievements. Worth it because achievements hone my skills, and I'll be playing online; worth it because other players can look at my achievements and be impressed (maybe). Why else? Maybe my desire for achievements depends on the social aspect of the game. Achievements really became widespread, as far as I know, once XBox Live got going, especially with the 360. So in general, are people more inclined to pursue achievements when they can show them off or compare themselves with others? This may be part of it. I certainly tend to care more (usually still a low amount) about achievements in online games (WoW, Call of Duty, Team Fortress 2) than single-player games, but I immediately think of Culdcept, where I attempted to complete eeeeeverything on a couple different play-throughs. Perhaps since Culdcept was a board game, I imagined it as a social experience, playing board games with other people. Perhaps it's just a certain type of challenge I enjoy, a honing of skills or strategy.

    In the end, different people will care about different achievements in different games for a variety of reasons, and even have different definitions for what is an achievement, but I wonder if I can't begin to figure out patterns. I suppose I could continue reflecting on my own relationship with achievements. For SC2, I've played 3 campaign missions, but played each of them multiple times to unlock what I could. The rest of the time, I've spent playing versus the computer trying to see how many/how hard I could win against, and a couple exploratory 1v1 and 2v2 online matches, including a short session with my brother, all of which I/we lost.
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    [August 26, 2010 03:29:42 AM]
    I feel 15 again. Installed on 3 machines, booted the game, went straight to and Zerg rushed the hell out of a first-timer. Or, wait. That's what I thought would happen. I was annihilated by some Roaches (what are those?!) while I'd only built up to Zerglings. Very excited by the sleek polish. Very excited to see all the new units, learn hotkeys, play single-player Terran campaign, delve into multiplayer action, and watch people play who never played the original. I wonder how much of an advantage the old players have.

    The second thing I notice is the detailed player stats and achievement menus. Navigating achievements looks and feels like WoW's, and just glancing through them, I think they'll provide ample reason for re-play and challenging myself in campaign and multiplayer modes. After my loss, I looked at my opponent and saw s/he scored his/her first win against me, after 5 losses. I also saw how many achievement points s/he had, which achievements they were, what portion of the campaign s/he had completed, and some other multiplayer statistics.

    I cannot describe how much I am looking forward to this game. My 10-minute taste was fantastic.
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    dkirschner's Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Wednesday 25 August, 2010

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 3 March, 2021

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Nostalgia ------ Planned on playing this multiplayer, or continuing through single-player difficulties for achievements and things, but I've got so much else to play! I'm sure I'll open this one back up sometime

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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