While I was cooking my traditional Sunday morning eggs, toast, and turkey bacon this morning, I decided to watch some Day TV. The episode that I watched was Day Daily #269: Newbie Tuesday: How to get into SC2!. Sean “Day” Plott, is a professional Starcraft  player who is most known in the community for his deep understanding of game mechanics and his preference for highly-refined and perfectly timed play.
However, that wasn’t the point of this daily. Instead, the daily offers five tips which may help any of you out there who are interested in Starcraft 2, but haven’t quite found the impetus to start playing the game at a higher level. Here’s a quick list of :
- Be a social gamer.. Day is big on making the gaming experience a social one: have friends to share your progress with, spar with, watch tournaments with, and be generally geeked out with.
- Choose your hero. Find a professional level player that you enjoy watching and follow them in tournaments and on their live streams. Emulate their style of play.
- Experimentation. Take a game (or a day) and experiment with completely new builds. Do some wacky stuff and don’t worry about winning or losing.
- Refinement.Take a game (or a day) and refine a previous build that you’ve made or read about. Repeat often, often for months to get the build as clean and well-timed as possible.
- Have fun. The most important item on the list: play the game to have fun. Do silly stuff, don’t get bent out of shape when you lose, don’t be a jerk when you win.
Overall, Day offers a lot of good tips. I appreciated his comments on focusing on gaming as a social activity in particular. I know that I wouldn’t game nearly as much as I do if I didn’t have friends to play with or chat about games with.
Day also had one amazing observation about choosing heroes that I had never thought of: you can live the fantasy of being your hero very easily in Starcraft 2. This contrasts many other sports.
What does he mean by this? The example that Day provided was Starcraft 2 vs. [American] football. Here’s what that comparison would look like for me personally:
Let’s say I am really into [American] football, in particular the Indianapolis Colts and their superstar quarterback Peyton Manning. Now, I can watch games, and cheer on the Colts, and I can pretend to be Peyton from my couch, but I can’t really live the fantasy. Sure, I could get a group of 10 people together and play quarterback in a game of flag football, but it takes a fair amount of coordination and even then, the highly refined style of the Colts offense wouldn’t be there.
Now, let’s say I’m really into Idra in Starcraft 2. I can sit down right now and watch Idra play his traditional heavy macro style of play, then immediately jump into a game and pretend to be one of the best players in the world as I drop down a ton of hatcheries and overwhelm my opponent with sheer strength of numbers. This doesn’t mean that I’m anywhere near as good as Idra, but I can still fantasize about *being* my hero by emulating my hero in the same environment that my hero operates.
I don’t know why this hadn’t ever occurred to me, but I thought it was rather awesome and something that I’d like to keep in mind.
I failed my New Year’s resolution to write prolifically each month in March, but April will be better. I’m not sure what the deal is, but lately I’ve been more interested in playing games than reviewing and critiquing them. Who’d’ve thought it were possible!? Expect big reviews of Shogun 2 and Dragon Age 2 this month.