Probicus Parley 005


Probicus Parley
A Starcraft 2 Daily

005

Today I want to moan about random team games. More precisely, I want to rant about placement in random team games: If you enjoy 3v3/4v4 random matches and place Bronze in one of them, try to work your way up while you still aren’t very good.

What am I getting at with this? Well, as arbitrary as random teams seem, you’ll find that they really aren’t all about cheesing. More often than not, one or two good lower league players can carry the other one or two to victory in the face of cannon/zerg/reaver rushing, but only when the other guys at least know the basics. In Bronze random teams, a lot of guys don’t know the basics.

That’s the extent of my actual advice here, but allow me to fill up space and time with some griping:

If you place when you don’t know what you’re doing yet, it’s going to be luck of the draw. I ended up in Bronze 3v3 and Silver 4v4, the latter on the backs of better players. But you’ll find out pretty quick that, the more committed gamers being mostly dedicated to 1v1 and 2v2, the skill level of each league gets knocked down a notch. Gold 3v3 players play like Silver 1v1 players. Silver 3v3 players play like Bronze 1v1 players. Bronze 1v1 players play like a diseased pit of vomit and decay. On average.

The plus side is your opponents are often in the same boat, however where in Silver most players will at least do something, in Bronze winning really is all luck of the draw. When you’re new yourself, it’s not so bad. I played a lot of 3v3 early on and very little 4v4 because I felt like I was really pulling my weight in the former and just being a burden in the latter.

Once I got a little bit better I switched focus to the 4v4 Silver league, and I’ve played a lot of really fun games in it. I left Bronze 3v3 with a decent enough record, 18-13 I think, but it wasn’t enough. I made the mistake of not moving up a league before I was good enough that playing Bronze random team games became horrifically tedious.

I played my first ten 3v3 games in a while today. I won two and lost eight. The two wins were easy as pie and the eight losses made me want to pull my hair out, because they were all completely luck of the draw.

Like I said, in low league team randoms you often end up with one guy pulling all the weight. In Bronze you don’t want to be that guy.

Picture yourself blinking stalkers all over your enemies’ bases, decimating all of their resources and losing next to nothing against big slow end-game units, outrunning and sniping, knowing you’re just a little bit better than everyone else in the game. In silver or higher being the best player in the game should put you in decent position to win, because your team mates at least know the fundamentals. In bronze, being the best doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

Consider my first 3v3 loss today. Actually, don’t. I’m just going to whine for a paragraph: I played as described above, I must have killed at least sixty workers and dozens of pylons and supply depots, and I managed to make one guy lose a good 12 BCs without dangerously diminishing my forces. Blinking necromoonyeti is a bad mother fucker. I mined out two expansions, I contained three guys by myself for 25 minutes, I was having a blast rolling over new guys who knew enough to mass units but not much else. I couldn’t actually take any of them out 3v1 (we were on Typhon), I’m not that good yet, but I slowed down their build up, kept their forces low, and prevented any semblance of an attack. And then when my forces finally started to crumble to a colossi and immortal pincer supported by battle cruisers I turned to my team mates to wrap up, or at least stop the counterattack while I popped out another solid batch of stalkers. After all, they hadn’t lost a unit all game. I was expecting a 400/400 slaughterhouse. Yeah, they finally rolled in with four 0/0 battlecruisers, about 100 zerglings without speed, a “nuclear launch detected”, and a “dude where are your stalkers blue”. This after close to HALF AN HOUR OF GAME PLAY.

So I went down in a fury of capslocked venom and spite and thought to myself at least I don’t have to go through that again. Yeah right. A pretty similar if much shorter scenario happened seven more times. Me and two guys who had barely opened the box against three guys who at least knew you could build multiple barracks and gateways.

On top of that, my wins weren’t even fun. They were the same situation in reverse, involving me and another guy rolling into a base with forces that each outnumbered all three of the bunkered down cannon and turret-happy opponents.

I am NOT criticizing brand new players for diving into 3v3s and 4v4s. On the contrary, they’re fun alternatives to learning the fundamentals against a computer. But if you want to keep playing them down the road, get promoted out of random team Bronze league while it’s still fun. This will save you from writing angry musings similar to mine in the future. Avoid a scenario that might make Starcraft 2 temporarily tedious.

Edit: I finally broke the eight game losing streak with a fucking disconnect. We were about 20 seconds from the victory screen and b.net booted everyone in the game. I think I’ll retire for the night before I decide to play a fun round of smash the expensive monitor.

Edit 2: I just logged back in and it apparently counted as a win, bumped me into gold league iowjwqoifjqweoifjwqoifjqowijfowiqfjwoqi wfw

Scenes I Love: Inferno


Inferno is Dario Argento’s 1980 sequel to SuspiriaInferno seems to bring out the extreme reactions in Argentonians — it’s either loved or hated.  I happen to love it.

Below is one of the film’s best known sequences, the one where Irene Miracle ends up taking a surreal swim through a basement.  To me, this sequence is almost Fulciesque in it’s dream-like approach (punctuated, of course, by one sudden grotesque shock at the end).  Lucio Fulci’s The Beyond, which is often compared to Inferno, featured a similarly flooded basement. 

Words of warning: This scene lasts 6 and a half minutes.  Also, the first few minutes are nearly ruined by Keith Emerson’s bombastic score.  Fortunately, once Miracle takes her fateful dive, Mr. Emerson is silenced.