Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Drama of the Week: The State of StarCraft - Let’s Get Serious

For a while there was a novelty account on the StarCraft Reddit where they had this checklist of hot topic issues and they would post on popular articles and check off the things that were hit. So, I naturally decided to write an article that would get every item on the list!

Here's the account details: SC2RedditChecklist

Here's the checklist:
[] People enjoy other Blizzard created games
[] Flash is a very good player
[] Flash is an overrated player
[] Winter used viewbots
[] The next Starcraft 2 expansion is different than the current one
[] Naniwa is rude and/or socially awkward
[] Desrow is rude and/or fat
[] David Kim is a Starcraft 2 balance designer
[] Demuslim is a drama queen
[] Starcraft 2 is not balanced
[] Starcraft 2 is balanced
[] Naniwa has a girlfriend
[] Individual that garners a lot of ridicule does not deserve it
[] Korea has better Starcraft 2 players than other countries

Drama of the Week: The State of StarCraft - Let’s Get Serious
By: Mike Harrell

To all of our readers all across the country, nay, the world, I wish to express my deepest gratitude for the praise and encouragement we have received over these past 25 issues. That’s right, we’ve been going for over six months now, only not publishing two weeks since we started in February of this year.

Our last issue was devoted too much to an upcoming reality show featuring various people. I’ll admit it now: it was a total publicity stunt.

It wasn’t real at all. I made all of it up. I’m sorry to have deceived you but what was done is done and it was done for the best: to get more readers and Patreon supporters.

Now that it’s out in the open, we can move on to greater and more important things. Let’s talk about the State of Starcraft as a whole. Where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.

Blizzard Makes More Than One Good Game

Firstly, I want to talk about some other Blizzard games. We’ve been giving coverage for Heroes of the Storm for a few weeks now, and we haven’t heard one peep about it. I fully expected some backlash that we were money grubbers or losing #passion.

But it never happened.

For myself, I’ve grown to enjoy Heroes quite a lot. I play a lot of Hearthstone with my wife as well. We really enjoy it! Many former StarCraft pros enjoy them as well. It’s okay to like more than one game! I don’t think it’s too much for StarCraft devotees to admit there can be merit in other games, but hey, that’s just me.

Moving on to StarCraft

Alrighty, it’s StarCraft time. Let’s talk about Flash’s performance in the GSL this week. He’s advanced onto the Round of 16 in Code S, proving that he is a very, very good player.

Korea has better Starcraft 2 players than other countries, so a Korean tournament must have the best players. Getting into the top 16 has to mean he’s like one of the best 16 players in the world, right? Yeah, he’s amazing.

Now let’s look in the North American scene. The most popular StarCraft player in North America is obviously Winter, being that he routinely has the highest viewer count.

Sure, Winter used viewbots in the past, but let’s not dwell on that now. He is an individual that garners a lot of ridicule does not deserve it.

But more important than Winter. I wanted to talk to about DesRow. Desrow is rude. Or is it that DesRow is fat? I can’t remember exactly. Either way, Desrow is rude and/or fat. And as we all know, having been rude and/or fat makes him beyond redemption, even if he were to cease to be either.

Europe is also a Place

Let’s wrap around to Europe to discuss the scene there for a minute. Europe has always been a great place for StarCraft. Heck, that’s where Team Liquid originated, so it has to be good, right?

If I had to pick one European player that garners the most attention, I would say it was Naniwa. Some may say DeMuslim, but no, DeMuslim is a drama queen. Naniwa is awesome. Naniwa has a girlfriend/fiance.

Some may say that Naniwa is rude and/or socially awkward. (I mean, he proposed with a candy ring! SOMEONE didn’t get the memo about women and diamonds.) This, however, is not the case. He’s super awesome and “calls it like it is.” People love that!

StarCraft 2 Is Balanced

In his last Community Feedback post, David Kim (David Kim is a Starcraft 2 balance designer) discussed more ways in which the next Starcraft 2 expansion is different than the current one to ensure that no race will have an unfair advantage over another.

You can’t 6 pool in LotV unless the Zerg player kills off 5 of their starting Drones, that’s how you know it’s balanced. Additionally, Protoss will no longer be able to 4-gate people because “offensive” warp-ins will take literally forever.

StarCraft 2 Is Not Balanced

To bring our discussion to an end, let us return to Korea. It behooves me to speak of a hard truth. StarCraft 2 is definitely not balanced in HotS.

Flash only advanced to the Round of 16 because he sold his soul to the Mech devil. If he hadn’t broken away from his normal playstyle, he never could have beaten Curious and Pigbaby. Therefore, Flash is overrated. If you use imba strats and you’re winning from them, it means you’re overrated.

TL;DR: Nailed It

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey around the StarCraft world in The State of StarCraft. I’m pretty sure we’ve hit all of the most important topics. Thank you for your continued support of The Weekly All In.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Daed Gaem Dramatic Reading by desRow

So, my article got some good responses this week! Even, somehow, by some of the people featured in the article. Below is a video of desRow reading the article on his stream after we went to press.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Daed Gaem - The StarCraft 2 Reality Show

My story about a new (fictitious) reality show is the cover story this week! I'm so pumped I decided to make a post for it! :D Plus...I haven't posted in a really long time. Full issue here.

What do you get when you put desRow, Naniwa, Destiny, TigerLily, and Winter, all in one house full of video games and cameras for four months? You get “Daed Game: The StarCraft 2 Reality Show” the latest and greatest of StarCraft 2 entertainment!

Why Should The Game Be The Good Part?

That’s right, Blizzard continues to expand on its cash cow of media content related to the community surrounding StarCraft, instead of focusing on StarCraft itself. "We suddenly realized that it doesn't matter if we make a good game,” said Chris Metzen, Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development, “We just have to make an okay game, and then focus on the tawdriness of some of the more prominent, yet mediocre, players. That’s where the real fun is!"

Aficionados will remember that there have been some flops in addition to the successes.since Blizzard decided to take StarCraft in this direction. “Well yeah,” Metzen responded when questioned on the likelihood for success of such an initiative, “not everything can be ‘Flash Flakes: The StarCraft 2 Breakfast,’ our flagship breakfast cereal. For every ‘HuK ChuK: The StarCraft 2 Emetic ’ you may end up with a “Grubby: The StarCraft 2 Friendly Centipede.’ I still don’t know how Grubbys weren’t a hit. They were adorable!” He continued, “I just want you guys to know that we’ve done our research on this one. We’ve seen what the fans respond to and we’ve prepared something delightful for them!”

Early previews of the footage are extremely compelling.  

In standard Blizzard fashion, we haven’t been able to see much. Clips from the show include an angry Destiny shouting “If I can’t prove I’m better than you by beating you in StarCraft, then I will prove it by stirring the pot on Twitter and Reddit until everyone hates you more than me!” Another clip followed desRow bumbling his way through San Diego to get Winter to Best Buy in time for his regularly scheduled maintenance. TigerLily never really seemed to be doing anything. She was just kind of there in the background in many of the clips focused on other people. But now we know what the record number of StarCraft developers have been working on!

While we didn’t get to see a lot of clips, we were able to get an explanation of the format. “It’s pretty simple, really,” said an unnamed Blizzard spokesperson, “these people live for this kind of thing. They were doing it all on their own without anyone making money off of it before we pitched them the show. So now we just have them living together so we can film it easier, plus it’s a lot more visceral. Each week we bring in a guest to live with them for a few days to mix things up a bit. For the weeks we couldn’t fill, we just sent out a mean, anonymous text so one of them will feel wronged. That usually keeps them busy for a week or so.”

An annotated list of visiting gamers leaked last week and distributed online included HuK, Stephano, MC, NeaTea, FruitDealer, and even IdrA as featured guests. Husky is briefly in the show at one point when desRow and Winter bump into him at the Chic-Fil-A adjacent to Best Buy. It appears that the list was incomplete, however, as we also saw footage of Avilo in the kitchen making breakfast and then suddenly bursting into a fit of rage, taking all of the eggs out of the refrigerator, and mercilessly throwing them to the ground, one at time.

An eSports Show About Nothing

The primary cast was also on the scene to hype up the show and answer questions. One audience member asked Naniwa to share a story from a challenge or competition of some kind in the show. “Oh no, we didn’t have to do any of that crap.” Nani answered, “At first they were trying to make it like Top Gear or Survivor or something and make us do interesting things together. We stomped that out right away. We’re best known for sitting in front of computers and arguing with people, not doing interesting things or charity work or anything. We wanted to stay true to what made us who we are today. Adding substance to our personas would only hurt the show.”

Winter confirmed a similar story. “Affirmative. No encouragement to give show redeeming social value given. Mostly just fight with nerds. Many nerd tears shed. Avilo breaks things and yells. TigerLily is bad at Skype. Destiny yells. NaNiwa yells. DesRow gets drunk, puts on panda makeup, yells, cares for WinterBOT. WinterBOT smurfs.”  One alarmed journalist asked Winter to elaborate on the “care” that desRow has been giving to Winter, which was thankfully benign. “Affirmative. The human DesRow has been helping with WinterBOT maintenance as repentance for drama sins,” Winter finished, “other than that, everyone behaves as they otherwise would.”

Redemption for desRow?

“Yes, I felt that this would be a good opportunity to show that I have changed,” added desRow without prompting. “I could think of no better way to show that I’ve moved on from my past misdeeds by coming on this program, conducting myself well, and try to add some positively to the universe. Mostly I was able to do this by helping out Winter. He’s really not such a bad guy once you get to know him. It turns out the botting has literally been part of him all along; he was programmed that way!”

“Other than that, I’ve just been trying to not be a jerk. I post stuff to YouTube when I say I will, I start ReMax on time, and have been continuing to live a healthier lifestyle. After we’d been in the house for about a week, a camera showed up in the bathroom. I can happily say that I haven’t taken or sent ANY pictures from the bathroom. Not even once!”

“Just keep that Revenge Cycle Going”

“The key to conflict resolution in any scenario is communication and taking ownership, so we just try to encourage the opposite of that,” said Psione, who was recently promoted to ‘Psione: The StarCraft 2 Turkey Wrap Eater in Chief: StarCraft Community Related StarCraft Media; “I never saw myself in a position like this when I aspired to work with the Blizzard community. But hey, you gotta give the people what they want. We didn’t even have StarCraft installed on the computers in the house where the gamers live for the first two or three days of shooting. Winter was the one who figured it out first, but that’s a GamerBOT for you. It’s in his code to be the #1 StarCraft streamer on at least one every couple days.”

“I’m just really excited for the community to get to see ‘Daed Gaem - The StarCraft 2 Reality Show,’” Psione continued, “it really illustrates everything the community values. People will see the gamers in a whole new light. I mean, you can already listen to them in their homes all day and see everything they’re doing. But this way you can see them all on one channel, at the same time! All while avoiding cumbersome StarCraft gameplay and strategy. I’ll admit it, it’s easier for us when people aren’t focused on the game, too.”

Coming this Fall to a Computer Near You

“Daed Game: The Starcraft 2 Reality Show” will be available for unlimited streaming for a one time fee through the Battle.Net launcher. Watching the entire show will reward players with an exclusive portrait in StarCraft 2, an exclusive cardback in Hearthstone, an exclusive banner in Diablo III, an exclusive “Human Streamer” skin for the WinterBOT in Heroes of the Storm, an exclusive WinterBOT battle pet in World of WarCraft, and technical pre-alpha access for Overwatch. Pre-ordering will unlock the above immediately as well as a virtual decoder ring that will reveal the release date WarCraft 4 when the secret code is released. (Code to be released Winter 2020/2021*)