Friday, March 21, 2008

Party like it's 1998

Being ten years late to the party is a good excuse to suck at StarCraft, don't you think? I've got to learn how they do this keyboard & mouse stuff that I hear is so good for RTS and FPS. It's got to be good, because those seem to be the only genres (besides the cash-grab MMORPG) that computer games come in.

It took me a couple of tries just to beat the third mission of the Terran campaign in StarCraft. You're given a corner of the map, some resources, and you just have to survive for 30 minutes against a pretty modest Zerg siege. My problem is that I just don't know what to do. Or rather, how to go about it quickly enough. I'll click a unit, then lead it somewhere, then tell it to do something, and sit there and watch the whole time. I get the feeling I should be issuing commands non-stop, but I'm just not good enough with the interface to jump my focus around the map constantly, and of course I'm not familiar with the hotkeys (or really hotkey interfaces in general). I've just never extensively gamed with keyboard & mouse enough to get accustomed to it in the way I am with a gamepad.

I think StarCraft is a good place to really jump into it, though. It's really a seminal example of a computer game (note that I don't say PC, since I'm running it on my Mac). I'm going to pick up the Diablo Battle Chest at some point, too. I did play that quite a lot when it came out, but I've never touched D2 at all, and I've had some very strong recommendations toward it (hi Secksi).

Otherwise, I've been knocking around in WoW a little. My trial will end any day now, but I'm not going to subscribe. For now, at least. I figure I've got enough other games to play through, and scarcely can afford the time to spend even a few hours a week in Azeroth. I've made it over to the second zone, and hit level 7 with my Hunter. I wonder how long I'd have to play to get a pet.

I also spent a ton of time playing Etrian Odyssey this week. See, I started to ride the local public transport some this past week. Only two days of the five, but that bus and train time really starts to add up... to nearly 3 hours a day, in my case. So, I've made it down into the 3rd stratum of the dungeon (B11F). There was this sick quest for the 8th floor that involved staying down there for 5 full days (which equated to something like 3,200 steps taken and/or turns taken in the random battles), during which I became grossly over-leveled, and that made plowing through to the end of the stratum a cinch (after finishing all of the mapping and questing to be done there, naturally). I might take a break from the game again, as I did after completing the first stratum. There are five strata in the main campaign, and a sixth postgame stratum featuring crazy hard bosses and such. At this rate I'll finish the game by like September.

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