Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘II’

It is the start of a new month and in the South African StarCraft II scene that can mean only one thing, time for yet another PolarfluKe tournament! PolarfluKe: MMMarch is happening this weekend and, as all those before it, promises excitement, entertainment and drama for all. If you feel you need a little practice or just want some tournament experience, why not enter? If you don’t have the time needed to play, hop in and check the live stream out for a bit or alternatively if you just want to have a chat with the local players, organizers of the tournament and everyone else involved you could always just jump into the PolarfluKe IRC channel and say ‘Hi!’ 

The tournament is set to start on Saturday at 15:00, with the livestream and pre-show set to start up at 14:15. You can find all the details about the tournament, livestream, registered players and everything else needed below. Check it out and be here, it is set to be a lot of fun! 😀

PolarfluKe: MMMarch – PolarfluKe

On a side note –  I will be recording every single one of the games played over the weekend. If they are good and worth uploading, they shall be uploaded! Keep checking back at the channel after the weekend for those.

Shase StarCraft

Shase StarCraft

Big name player in the local, and also lately international StarCraft II Scene, Shase, has taken it upon himself to set up his very own Starcraft II website. Shase, being his modest self, doesn’t claim to be of a professional level, (Which is a silly notion, we all know he is and he can’t really even begind to hide it at all!) but still feels that his insights and experience is enough to be of assistance to many people out there, and thus, Shase Starcraft was born!

What makes this site so great? Well Shase presents his information in an easy to understand way, a way that absolutely anyone can absorb and appreciate. You don’t need to know every single little technicallity to benefit from his advice, you don’t need to read the piece 20 times over to make sense of it, you don’t need to spend hours watching tutorial videos, instead you just pop in for a quick read, and you absolutely don’t need to spend hours crunching numbers for it to help you out.

Home Page – Shase StarCraft – Shase StarCraft

There is a lot to be seen and to make the deal even sweeter, if you feel you have something special that you want to share with your fellow StarCrafters and were just waiting for the right place to put it, why not send it in to Shase and if he feels it up-to-scratch he will publish it on the site! All that said, are you even still reading this or have you already clicked the link to his site? Well, if you are still here, his latest article, titled ‘Tips and Tricks’ focuses on various little things that StarCraft II players of any level might well not have known that might very well also help them out a little! If anything, that’s a great place to start.

Check the site out above, leave a comment of appreciation and save that one to bookmarks because you will most definitely want to visit it again! 😀

Tips And Tricks – Shase StarCraft

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Ladder Map Changes

Along with the release of Starcraft II: Wings of Libery Patch 3.1 on the PTR, which I will be covering extensively in my next Pulse Episode, there were a few changes made to the ladder map pool. Let’s have a look at them!

Blizzard adds and subtracts multiplayer ladder maps – Shacknews

Patch 1.3.0 Now Available on PTR – Starcraft II Community Site

These stealth changes removed quite a number of maps from the ladder map pool, but, there were also quite a few fun looking additions. It is worth noting that the ladder maps that were removed can still be played via custom games, the maps are there, just not in the ladder map pool. Blizzard also says that they plan to add “a couple more new maps to the official ladder rotation in the coming weeks, including a user-made 1v1 map that is currently being featured in the Global StarCraft League.” I am rather curious to see which of the GSL maps they are thinking of adding, but I guess any of them would be a great asset! Rather than leave us asking why certain maps were removed, Shacknews posted a detailed listing of the changes with included commentary on each decision, which can be found below, courtesy of Shacknews.

Not keen to read it all? No problem! 😀

Firstly, let’s have the quick and dirty version. I will be looking at the added 1v1 and 2v2 maps extensively below, so check that out too!

 Changes to 1v1:

1v1 Maps Carrying Over:

  • (1) Scrap Station
  • (2)Xel’Naga Caverns
  • (4)Delta Quadrant
  • (4)Metalopolis


1v1 Maps Removed:

  • (2)Blistering Sands
  • (2)Jungle Basin
  • (2)Steppes of War
  • (4)Lost Temple
  • (4)Shakuras Plateau

1v1 Maps Added:

  • (4)Backwater Gulch
  • (4)Slag Pits
  • (4)The Shattered Temple
  • (4)Typhon Peaks

Changes To 2v2:

2v2 Maps Carrying Over:

  • (4)High Orbit
  • (4)Monlyth Ridge
  • (4)Red Stone Gulch
  • (4)Scorched Haven
  • (8)Tempest

2v2 Maps Removed:

  •  (4)Arid Wastes
  • (4)Tarsonis Assault
  • (4)Twilight Fortress
  • (4)War Zone

2v2 Maps Added:

  • (4)Gutterhulk
  • (4)Khaydarin Depths
  • (4)Omega Sector
  • (4)Ruins of Tarsonis

That may well suffice for many of you, but those that want the reasoning behind the additions and removals, the full details can be found below! I am only going to be posting / talking about the 1v1 changes as that is what the general populace cares about the most, you can ‘read more’ below to see the details behind the 2v2 / 4v4 and FFA changes, too.

Detailed Changes To 1v1

1v1 Maps Removed:

(2)Blistering Sands

We wanted to reduce the number of rush maps in general, and Blistering Sands was one of them. On top of that, Blistering Sands matches resulted in too many all-in games due to the rocks into the main base. The frequency of all-in roach/speedling, 4 warpgate push, or even mass marine/marauder stimpack push by breaking the rocks was a bit too high, so we decided to pull this map from the ladder.

(2)Jungle Basin

Jungle Basin has a few traits that make it extremely favorable for Terran, so we decided to remove it from the ladder. These include:

  • It’s possible to set up siege tanks right below the main base of your opponent and harass his natural expansion while preventing his forces from leaving his base.
  • Too many choke points everywhere on the map made it difficult for Zerg to deal with marines, marauders, or siege tank-based skirmishes.
  • Difficult access to second expansion

High ground right in from of the ramp leading down to main. Setting up units at both this high ground as well as part of the low ground was too powerful, especially for Terrans that use siege tanks.

(2)Steppes of War

Again, we wanted to reduce the number of rush maps, and Steppes was the most rush-friendly rush map we decided to cut. It’s not that we don’t like rush maps, but we have learned over the course of season 1 that two-player rush maps are generally more one-sided than four-player rush maps. For the ladder map changes, the rush possible maps we’ll have will be four-player maps only.

(4)Lost Temple

Problems of Lost Temple:

  • If one side controls one of the center watch towers, there’s no alternate ground-based route to half of the map, meaning it’s too easy for the game to become a stalemate with each side taking half of the map.
  • Small islands in the corners were problematic in that they were difficult to assault as each of the three races. We noticed it’s possible to hold out at one or both of these islands and drag on a game for longer than needed. It was also problematic in that in some matchups, these islands were just free expansions that almost never get attacked, which is not what we wanted in an expansion.
  • The choke point by the natural expansions were too small; it was possible to block them off easily using only a few buildings.

(4)Shakuras Plateau

This map we decided to remove for a different reason. There isn’t a huge problem with this map, but we felt there aren’t enough interesting features of this map. The natural expansion is easy to take and defend; there are only two possible attack paths only one of which is generally used, and main bases aren’t easy to harass. For a change, we wanted to replace this relatively plain map with something new. 

1v1 Maps Added:

(4)Backwater Gulch

Backwater Gultch

Backwater Gulch has a familiar main to first expansion layout. Early game play on this map should feel familiar and there probably aren’t too many early game threats or difficulties in terms of gimmicky strategies you need to worry about. The second expansion, however, features a high ground area that is accessible by two ramps, meaning it can be easily harassed. The center area has two watch towers as well as two high yield expansions that will be difficult to maintain, and the key to victory in some games could come down to how long you hold one or both of these center expansions.

(4)Slag Pits

Slag Pits
Metalopolis was one of two favorite maps across the different skill levels of players. We decided to introduce a very similar map, but slightly more macro heavy. We took out Shakuras Plateau, which was a very plain macro map, and added this map instead. Some of the key features of this map are the low ground high yield expansions, the 2 lines of shrub area that can be used to position units, as well as the low ground watch tower that watches over all of the low ground center.

(4)The Shattered Temple

Shattered Temple

The Shattered Temple is a newer version of Lost Temple that’s more balanced. Improvements to Lost Temple found in this map include:

  • Wider center area
  • Watch tower changed to only cover a part of the center of the map. It’s possible to sneak units around the corners of the central area without getting detected by the watch tower.
  • Rocked off islands. This creates an alternate attack route, and reduces stalemate situations that islands cause.
  • Larger choke point by the expansion makes it more difficult to block off. 

(4)Typhon Peaks

Typhon Peaks

  • This map has a lot of the fun traits of previous maps. Rocks by on the sides of the map are positioned similarly to Scrap Station to reduce rush distance in vertical start locations. The center has two watch towers and provides the main attack path like in Shakuras Plateau, and the second expansion is similar to the setup of Xel’Naga Caverns. Even though this map is brand new, players will be able to utilize some of their existing strategies that have been used on other maps, and potentially combine them to fit the unique play style of this new map.

Phew, that’s the 1v1 out of the way. As I said before, no word yet on which GSL map Blizzard were thinking of using, but hey, a little mystery is always fun! Let’s check the 2v2 changes out. (Once again, remember, if you want to see the full size images, check the gallery out over at Shacknews!)

Detailed Changes To 2v2

2v2 Maps Removed:

(4)Arid Wastes

Team play maps where your base is too far from your ally tend to favor race compositions that can use mobile armies. This is the reason why we will avoid having maps like Arid Wastes in the team play ladder in the future.

(4)Tarsonis Assault

This map has a similar feel to Scorched Haven or Monlyth Ridge. The main difference is that distance to future expansions are very far. We wanted to remove 1 of these 3 maps since they’re similar in style, and Tarsonis Assault was the worst one out of the three.

(4)Twilight Fortress

This map is an extremely macro heavy map we wanted to try. The game play on this map is very different, and the average length of games on this map was too long so it is being taken out of ladder play.

(4)War Zone

War Zone suffers from similar problems as Arid Wastes. It’s near impossible for certain team setups to help each other, and in team games, we want to have maps that are more team play based.

2v2 Maps Added:

(4)Gutterhulk

Gutterhulk

Like Scorched Haven or Monlyth Ridge, this map has a center area between the two allies where each player can safely expand. However, the main difference is that there are rocks blocking off the back of the main bases, meaning harassing either players’ main base is possible. In terms of main attack routes, there are 5 different attack paths to your opponents, meaning that control of the two watch towers is key to success on this map.

(4)Khaydarin Depths

Khaydarin Depths

This map was first showcased during Blizzcon 2009 even before the retail game launched. This map features an easily defendable high yield expansion in between you and your ally. However, this expansion is blocked off by destructible rocks, meaning you have to choose when to break this rock vs. when to attack or defend vs. the opposing team. Controlling the center of the map gains you access to most of the center of the map, but there are still back door routes around to the opponents’ bases by breaking one set of destructible rocks.

(4)Omega Sector

Omega Sector

Omega Sector is a two-player version of the popular 3v3 map Arakan Citadel. The start locations are very similar on both maps, and side expansion areas are a bit more easily accessible by the opposing players. This map has a possible three paths to attack, and although the center is the fastest route, the other two routes will be used very frequently because there are no watch towers overlooking them. As with Arakan Citadel, your ally is slightly far away from your base, so consider this when placing your first production structures.

(4)Ruins of Tarsonis

Ruins of Tarsonis

Ruins of Tarsonis is a more-balanced version of War Zone, which is being removed from the map pool. The biggest downside of War Zone was that it was near impossible to assist your ally if you didn’t have a mobile army. However, with the shared choke points on this map, it’s now possible to play as any race combination without obvious disadvantages. In the mid/late game however, there are back door attack paths leading to your second expansion areas, so be sure to defend those locations as well.

Well, I can totally understand why some of these were removed or changed because, as an avid 2v2 player myself, I can tell you that I have had quite a few problems on quite a few of the maps. But hey, I can’t wait to get in there and try these new maps!

I don’t really see the need to cover the 4v4 or FFA map changes, additions or removals, so if you feel you need to know what happened there, check the post linked below. Remember, instead of reading all of this, you can watch it all in video form above. Remember to like it, favourite it, share it and subscribe! 😀

Blizzard adds and subtracts multiplayer ladder maps – Shacknews

Patch 1.3.0 Now Available on PTR – Starcraft II Community Site

Read Full Post »

starcraft universe

The Starcraft II custom map, or mod, which was previously known as ‘World Of Starcraft’, is now branded ‘StarCraft Universe’. After having been flown out to the Blizzard Headquarters to meet with the developers of Starcraft II, the mod’s creator, Ryan Winzen, is now ready to get started on the crazy task of turning a real-time strategy game into a massive-multiplayer online role-playing game. We were treated with a mention of some of the features being promised for Starcraft Universe. It is apparently set to include the ability to save characters, customisable gear forged from loot, it will have distinct player classes and up to twelve players able to join together on the same map. That sounds pretty impressive for something made in the Starcraft II Galaxy Editor. So if you want to wish the creator luck or merely read more about this massive undertaking, check the links below.

World of StarCraft reborn as Starcraft Universe – TechSpot

Starcraft II Sales & Lack Of Release In China

During Activision Blizzard’s financial conference call last week, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime stated that sales of its sci-fi RTS game StarCraft II are approaching 4.5 million units since its release back in July. While those numbers are pretty huge for a PC exclusive game, it’s actually less than some people though it would sell. A few months ago Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey predicted the game would sell as much as 7 million copies by the end of Activision Blizzard current fiscal year, which ends on March 31. BigDownload reports that part of the issue is that the game has yet to launch, officially, in China. During the call Morhaime stated that Blizzard was in fact working with its partner, Netease, to launch StarCraft II in the country but so far there’s no word on a China release date. Other smalls snippets that were mention was that the game’s players have uploaded over 150,000 user-made maps to Battle.net and that work continues on the next game, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, but that was about all we got! If you want to read all about Starcraft II’s mentions during the Activision Blizzard’s financial conference call, check the link below.

StarCraft II sales approach 4.5 million units; still no release date for China – BigDownload

aias-academy-of-interactive-arts-sciences

Blizzard At The AIAS Awards

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, or AIAS, revealed the 2011 Interactive Achievement Awards Winners. Our favourite, Blizzard Entertainment, was nominated in several categories and managed to win two of them. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm wasn’t lucky this year, but it was nominated in two categories, and that’s not bad at all. StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, on the other hand, won the Oustanding Achievement in Online Game Play Award, taking down Call of Duty: Black Ops, Halo: Reach and even Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to do so. Starcraft II also won the Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year Award, besting Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising and Sid Meier’s Civilization V, amongst others, to take it. That is pretty impressive if you ask me and, well, after playing Starcraft II as much as I have, I can’t disagree one bit. If you want to read more about the AIAS and all the awards that were given out, check the links below!

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Wins Two 2011 Interactive Achievement Awards – BlizzPlanet

Tournament & Event News

Tournament & Event Smalls:

[TSL] Qualifier #6 Recap (ROOT.qxc wins!) – TeamLiquid

[TSL] Qualifier #6 VODs – TeamLiquid

Sunday Cup – GoOdy & ClouD Win – MyM

Sennheiser Cup – €100 every Saturday – TeamLiquid

MLG Dallas 2011 Event Details – TeamLiquid

 TSL3 Zerg Invites

The guys over at TeamLiquid have announced the next set of invites for their TeamLiquid Starleague 3. After last week’s announcement of the first set of TSL3 Protoss invites from Asia, today five Zerg players were added to the already impressive list. Only five Terran players remain to be invited and will be announced in one week’s time. The players invited are the following :

  • Greg ‘IdrA’ Fields
  • Won Ki ‘FruitDealer’ Kim
  • Jae-Duck ‘NesTea’ Lim
  • Hayder ‘HayprO’ Hussein
  • Jos ‘Ret’ de Kroon

TeamLiquid even have a writeup up about every one of those players, but,  I think you all know them pretty well already. So the Zerg players that were invited to the TSL this season are truly phenomenal players, I wonder how the terran will match up? I guess we will just have to wait and see! If you want to see the full announcement and all that information about the players, check the post linked below.

[TSL] Zerg Invites – TeamLiquid

TSL3 Extras

As an extra TeamLiquid just reminds us to enter their raffle by completing the quiz over at PokerStrategy.com – you never know, you might be the lucky person getting an all expenses paid trip to Korea, could definitely be worth it. Check that out below, too! 😀

Win a trip to Korea – TSL3 Raffle – TeamLiquid

NesTea – 2010’s Top Earner

In a few small GSL related pieces of news, well, at least semi-related, you can read about how NesTea is currently the highest earner in Starcraft II. The guys over at GOMtv have put together a list of the total prize money won by all the big name Starcraft II pros, in 2010 and 2011. They set them all up in a nicely ranked list and, as I said, NesTea came out on top with just over 100,000$. After that we see Fruitdealer, MC and MarineKing. What is interesting to note is that this list has all the winnings from all the tournaments, not just the GSL. The foreigner that earned the most is LiquidJinro at 9th place and at 10th we have Naama, the first one on the list that did not make most of those winnings from the GSL. So yes, the top 10 is heavily saturated with GSL participants and I guess this clearly shows that the Sony Ericsson Global Starcraft II League is the place to be for the big money. Read more and see the fully detailed list below!

SC2 Players Prize Money Ranking 2010-2011 – GOMtv

GSL Banner

GSL & GOMtv Extras

For those unable to contain their thirst for more GSL action, I will remind you that you can still check the next season of the GSL Code-S’ and Code-A groups out below. Below you can also find a couple of interesting articles relating to the GSL and GOMtv and all the happenings there. Did you know that the GOMtv foreigner house does not have any PC’s set up for the players staying there yet? Do you want to read about the 4 winners of the past GSL Seasons, all about them? Do you want a quick recap of the Global Starcraft TeamLeague grand finals and all the amazing games that took place in them? Lastly, do you want to read an incredibly long and pretty in-depth interview that GOMtv had with  ToD? Well, all of this and more can be found in the links below, what are you waiting for!

GSL March Code-S Groups Decided – SK Gaming

GSL March Code A Match-Ups – TeamLiquid

GOMtv are great, but house still without computers – ESFI World

The Gang of Four – SK Gaming

[GSTL] Incredible Miracle, Indeed – TeamLiquid

[GSTL] Grand Final – TeamLiquid

ToD Interview with GOM TV – GOMtv

Liquid.Ret Takes Assembly

The Assembly Winter LAN has been finally been completed and as you all probably know they hosted their very fist Starcraft II tournament at this past weekends event. Some really big names took part in the tournament, players such as TLO, HuK, Ret, Tyler, Adelscott, MorroW, SjoW, Socke and many others. Yes, Liquid definitely representing. Liquid also shone when their zerg player Ret faced off against fellow zerg player MorroW in the finals, besting him with a pretty impressive score of 3 to 1. Ret was clearly quite happy with his first big win and the 3000 Euro it earned him,  you can even see a video interview below with the proud Liquid zerg.

  1. Liquid.Ret
  2. mouzMorroW
  3. Adelscott
  4. Socke

The top four at the event were Ret, MorroW, Adelscott and lastly, but by no means least, Socke. Below you can find the full results of the event, photos, video interviews with most of the players and much more. This is all courtesy of Sk  Gaming and TeamLiquid. I have to add that the interviews are really great stuff. Some of the players had quite a bit of interesting stuff to say – HuK claiming to be the best player there, regardless of not even making top 4, Ret saying that MorroW played self-destructively and many other interesting chirps. So, if you want to read all about the results, what the players thought about the tournament, and the other players, at Assembly, you know where to look!

Assembly Winter 2011 – Day 1 – TeamLiquid

Assembly Winter 2011 – Day 2 – TeamLiquid

Assembly Winter Video Interviews – TeamLiquid / SK Gaming

Assembly Winter Photos – TeamLiquid

Community News

Community Smalls:

The Academy: Watch and Learn – Starcraft II Official Site

Interview – Sein: “I’m happy Naama proved me wrong” – Fragster

SeleCT Interview – “I’m happy with the balance in 1.2”– GosuGamers

MorroW Interview – “We need new maps” – TeamLiquid

oGsNaga Interview – thisisgame.com

IdrA Coaching Clients Give Feedback

Ever wondered what it was like to receive lessons from a Starcraft II pro? Someone as notorious and known for some slightly less than desirable manners as IdrA perhaps? Well the guys over at GosuGamers polled a few of  The Gracken’s latest coaching clients to hear what they had to say about the Starcraft II bad-boy and GSL participant and his attitude in the classroom. Funny enough, the replies aren’t quite what you would expect. The users generally agree that IdrA is calm, patient, polite, a good teacher and quite… assertive? One of the clients even said it was not what he expected either; IdrA was not a total douche. So there you have it, if you were thinking of getting some coaching from a big name in the Starcraft II world, I guess IdrA doesn’t sound like too bad a choice. Head on over to GosuGamers or check the links below for the full replies from the clients, they are pretty entertaining and definitely worth a read. Enjoy!

IdrA coaching feedbacks: $150, no BM – GosuGamers

GGvision #22 – Interview with Jonathan ‘Jinro’ Walsh

Sebastian from over at PolygonreVue has released his latest episode of GG Vission. In this exclusive and as usual incredibly in-depth interview he talks to none other than LiquidJinro about the upcoming GSL March, giving his views and predictions on every group and every Code-S player in the tournament. Jinro also shares his thoughts on the new pro-maps made by GomTV themselves that are currently used in the ongoing Team League and that will be played extensively in March. As Sebastian says, this is 40 minutes of pure Starcraft II goodness. Time to get Jinrolled!

GGvision #22 – Starcraft 2 Jinro-terview [FROM KOREA] – YouTube

ESL TV’s RotterdaM University

He came. He saw. He… didn’t quite conquer his opponents, yet! Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it? The first episode of RotterdaM University is out, the second is fast approaching and it seems like our hosts are eager to continue the learning process! This show is, as I probably mentioned before, is focused on improving lower level players and entertaining high level pro’s. If you’re interested in watching Carmac take his game to the next, make it from Bronze to Masters, don’t miss the next few episodes, as they will tell us if this mammoth task will at all be possible!

ESL TV’s RotterdaM University – TeamLiquid

Learning the ropes on RotterdaM University, Episode 2 – Starcraft II Official Site

broodlord and broodlings

Starcraft II Themed Fan Art

There are, as usual, quite a few cool and crazy pieces of fan art out there that absolutely need to be seen. Zergling rushes, animated gifs and Broodlords and Broodlings playing poker… yes, you heard that right and you can see it on your screens right now! Check the rest out below, too. Enjoy!

Zergling rush kekeke…oh 😦 – reddit

Today, I learned how to make animated gifs. Here’s a Zergling for everyone – reddit

Broodlings and Broodlord playing poker, that’s all – reddit

Is the Blizzard Ladder Hurting Starcraft II?

There is an interesting and I guess to some, quite infuriating, post up on the TeamLiquid forums. The post is titled “Is the Blizzard Ladder Hurting SC2?” and it covers, in a pretty poetic way, all the different problems and issues that the author of the post and his friends have with the new Battle.net, Starcrat II’s map pool and various other topics. Is Battle.net 2.0 really that bad? I have to say I have been having a pretty good time playing on it, but, the poster does bring quite a few interesting points and even makes a few predictions that are quite interesting indeed. I won’t spoil it for any of you looking for a good read by telling you any of it here, so, if you’re interested you’d better check it out below!

Is the Blizzard Ladder Hurting SC2? – TeamLiquid

Best Protoss in The World?

Athene, the most epic of trolls, the best Paladin in the word and now, the self-proclaimed best protoss in the world is back and this time he is invading the world of Starcraft II in a big way. So if you want to hear aaaaallll about why Athene is the best, we are noobs and how he will carry dominating and apparently already has dominated the best players in the world, watch the video linked below. He had a crazy good record on Battle.net but there were rumors floating around that KiWiKaKi was doing all the heavy lifting for the notorious internet personality. So check that out, and, as an extra, you can even check a video that husky cast of Athene, or perhaps KiWiKaKi, in action. Enjoy!

Best Protoss in The World – YouTube

AtheneWins (KiwiKaki???) vs LuckyFish – PvZ – Shakuras Plateau – YouTube

IMBALANCED! – EP 02 – TvP Openings

Its time for Episode 02 of IMBALANCED! Warning, this is, as Artosis loves to say, not a show for the feint of heart or those with over inflated egos. This week IdrA and Artosis answer quite a few questions that the community had after the first episode and then move on to discuss TvP openings.  Marines and Marauders early game against Protoss: are STIM and Concussive Shells IMBALANCED?If you missed the first episode it is recommended that you check that out before watching this one. Also, how many pets DOES Artosis have?

IMBALANCED! – EP 02 – TvP Openings – YouTube

IdrA Interview

In one last little bit of related news, PolarfluKe has a pretty lenthy interview up with Greg “IdrA” Fields titled Release the Gracken, and, well, what can I say? IdrA interviews are always a good read. Check that out at polarfluke.co.za or in the links below. Enjoy!

Release the Gracken – PolarfluKe

For Those That Read It All

Just a quick warning for those looking for absolutely all the Starcraft II news they can find, I cut some news from this post. Gasp! The news was all included in the latest Starcraft related Pulse Episode, though, so if you check the link below you will find all the news that was not featured in this post. It’s all there, don’t worry!

Pulse 48 – Starcraft News – YouTube

Read Full Post »

Joyland

Joyland

Joyland, a Chinese theme, or amusement park, due to open its doors in May this year, looks to be pretty heavily inspired by the games of Blizzard Entertainment, most notably the Starcraft and Warcraft Universes. The park is currently being constructed in Changzhou and is built around the idea of  taking key scenery from games and rebuilding them into reality. This apparently enables visitors to interact between the real and, virtual worlds. It is set to feature traditional rides as well as locations for normal online gaming, ala internet cafes. With area names like ‘Terrain of Warcraft’ and ‘Universe Of Starcraft’ I do think that it will he hard not to link this to our favourite Blizzard games. If you ask me I think the idea is amazing and I’d visit that park in a heartbeat, given the chance. Joyland looks to be aiming for a May opening, which is pretty soon. Kotaku reports that they have contacted Blizzard to find out a little more about this park and all its wonders, but have yet to get a reply. Below you can find links to the related articles as well as Joyland’s official site. There are a bunch more pictures too, so be sure to check those out. Keep checking back here for more on Joyland.

Joyland Official Site – Joyland

This Theme Park Is Like Disneyland For Starcraft, WoW Fans – Kotaku

Starcraft & WoW amusement park in China – TeamLiquid

Top 200 Starcraft 2

Top 200 Lists

The Top 200 lists have been updated again. You can find the European, North American, South East Asian and Korean lists linked below, enjoy!

EU Top 200 – Starcraft II Community Site

US Top 200 – Starcraft II Community Site

SEA Top 200 – Starcraft II Community Site

KR Top 200 – Starcraft II Community Site

Tournament & Event News

Tournament & Event Smalls:

DIMAGA wins first Sennheiser Cup – MyM

EmpireKas wins Starcraft2.net.pl – MyM

TeamSpeak TL SC2 Open #13 Announced (12 February) – TeamLiquid

ThorZain wins TSL #3! – TeamLiquid

[TSL] Protoss Invites – TeamLiquid

Sunday Cups – Tefel and MorroW Win – MyM

Craft Cup Winners – CraftCup

MLG 2011 Circuit Prize Money Announced

MLG has announced the first details for their North American MLG Pro Circuit in 2011 events and they now officially have the highest prize pool of anyone outside of South Korea, $190,000. That is a lot of money. Yeah, yeah, not all of it is going to Starcraft II and it will be split many ways over quite some time, too, but it is still quite impressive. The first of the new MLG events is being held from 1st to 3rd of April in Dallas, Texas and the second in Columbus, Ohio from the 3rd till the 5th of May. Apparently $120,000 will be split during the Grand Final, which has not yet been dated. Yes, again, that is between all the games, not just Starcraft II. So if you want to read more about MLG 2011 and all it entails, check the link below!

MLG with biggest prize-pot outside Korea – MyM

MLG 2011 Circuit Prize Money Announced – TeamLiquid

IdrA vs Jinro

iNcontroL Hype & Showmatch – IdrA vs Jinro

Big name one the Starcraft II Scene, iNcontroL has announced that… he has something to announce. But wait, more on that in a bit. First up I have to talk about the actual solid announcement that he made. iNcontroL is thrilled to bring you what is sure to be an epic showmatch between IdrA “The Gracken” and everyone’s favorite “Gorilla Terran” Jinro on Feb 21st, 2011. iNcontroL and Gretorp will cast the no doubt amazing best of 7 matchup pitting everyone’s favorite and certainly World famous Zerg against the heroic Terran himself. This “Clash of the Titans”, as it has been dubbed, showmatch will feature a prize of 1500$ to the victor.

But wait, that’s not all! In addition to that there will also be a pre-show containing a lot of interesting and no doubt humorous talk and the showmatch is the ‘coming out party’, as iNcontroL calls it. At the conclusion of this showmatch a series of events will take place that will fully reveal all that he has been hyping. So if you are asking yourself what this big event is and what exactly iNcontroL has secretly been working on then I guess you will just have to tune in on February the 21st. All the questions will be answered. Untill then, though, he just tells us that he is indeed hyping something that is worth hyping and that the showmatch will be totally amazing. Somehow I find myself not doubting a single word of it. If you want to read more about the huge hype machine that is iNcontrol and all his little dramas, check the links below!

[Showmatch]Clash of the Titans – TeamLiquid

iNcontroL Extras

In a few related extras, below you can also find what TLO has to say about all this crazy hype and a ‘leaked’ conversation between iNcontroL and IdrA that is quite, um, IdrA. A lot of talk about balance, a few jabs at how Blizzard handles it? Sure to make for some nerd rage. Just check them out and see for yourself!

Incontrol and Idra leaked discussion. The truth comes out. – Reddit

TLO pokes fun at Incontrols neverending hype machine – Reddit

Starcraft II Confirmed For Dreamhack Summer

During the launch party that was recently held for Bloodline Champions at Inferno Online in Sweden, DreamHack organizers announced the first three games to  be played at the DreamHack Summer 2011 event later this year. Yes, the reason they announced it at said event was actually because Bloodline Champions was the first of the titles announced. The second two are slightly more expected and I guess for everyone watching this, more appreciated. Those two are Starcraft II and QuakeLive. That is good, if expected, news.

 DH Summer: StarCraft 2, Quake Live, BLC confirmed as first titles – ESFI World

GSL

GSL March

With the January season of the GSL complete we have to set our eyes to the future. The groups for the Code-S of the next season of the GSL, set to start in early March, have been released. The groups were done slightly different this time around with players actually chosing the other players in their groups. The top 8 finishers of GSL January got to pick which group they would like to be placed in, then, each of these eight players will be allowed to choose one player that they want to have in the group with them. That chosen player then chose the player of his choice to be placed in the same group and this process was be repeated one more time until the group had four players in it. A pretty cool way of doing things if you ask me and it no doubt got a lot of those players thinking really, really hard. Yes, there will be a lot of excitement. IdrA sharing a group with Zenio once more? Check! Two former GSL Champs, Mvp and MC, in the same group? Check! Drama and upsets aplenty, for sure. There was also a modification to the format: There will only be one group stage this time around. I think that is great and will plunge the players into the action right away.

As an extra you can also read all the players thoughts and motivations for picking the players they picked for their groups. I gotta say there was some really interesting reasoning applied here and these are probably a lot more entertaining to read than the groups themselves. Lastly, there are 15 terran, 9 protoss and 8 zerg in the Code-S for this coming season. Check it all out below and get ready for some amazing Starcraft II action in March!

[GSL] March 2011 Code S Group Selections – TeamLiquid

GSL Team League

For those that can’t wait to see more of these players in action, the GSL Team League is currently underway and moving into its last few play days. The four teams left, in the semi-finals, are StarTale, Team SCV Life, Incredible Miracle and Zenex. As far as I know StarTale has already taken TSL down and the other two have yet to play. There really is over enough GSL and Starcraft II action going around and none one has any excuse to be bored. Check all of that, and a couple of extras out below, if you’re interested!

[GSTL] Day 3 – Semifinals – TeamLiquid

GSTL Ro8 Results – GosuGamers

GSTL Ro4 – Results – GosuGamers

[GSTL] Grand Final – GosuGamers

StarTale members interviewed after 4-0 win over fOu – ESFI World

GSL Extras

Ah, in our last bit of, if only slightly, GSL related news, we have a couple of videos of Artosis playing at the GSL Qualifiers and a few comics called the “True GSL Story”. These comics are totally hilarious and are focused on the Casting Archon that is Tastosis, check all of that out below, too. .

Tastosis, the true GSL story! – TeamLiquid

[V]Torch and VTLaneir on Artosis Qual Games – TeamLiquid

ZX2Dv

Four Weeks of Fury

SHOUTcraft & TotalBiscuit present Four Weeks of Fury, 4 Exclusive Showmatch Series’ over 4 weeks with top players, sponsored prizepools and pimpest play bonuses. Sounds pretty amazing, right? Wait till you hear who the competitors are!

  • The Liquid Grudgematch – HuK  vs TheLittleOne
  • The Trial of the Six Zerglings – Darkforce  vs ActionJezus
  • The Altercation at the Altar – Socke  vs Morrow
  • The Finale – TheLittleOne  vs Whitera

Ooh my! These games are set to be cast by TotalBiscuit himself and each showmatch will take place on Wednesday at 20:00 GMT/21:00 CET/15:00 EST. The games will be aired via ToalBiscuits JustinTV account, the link of which can be found below, so don’t miss those games!

Four Weeks of Fury kicking off with HuK vs TLO – TeamLiquid 

TotalBiscuit – JustinTV

totalbiscuit2bykoonzhoo

TotalBiscuit Paper Cubie

An enthusiastic reddit member made, or revealed, at least, a rather cute Cynical Brit paper cubie. Nothing more really needs to be said, check it out and enjoy!

hA brand new cynical brit paper cubie ~ courtesy of @KoonZhoot from Tokyo – reddit

Community News

Community Smalls:

ESL TV’s RotterdaM University is in session – Starcraft II Community Site

Poll: How Much is That Baneling in the Window? – Starcraft II Community Site

The Academy: Deep Blue – Starcraft II Community Site

Buy StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Get World of Warcraft Free – BlizzPlanet

SC Center Daily – TeamLiquid

Huk just broke 4000 points! – Reddit

FallY signed by Praetoriani – MyM

Fruitdealer Profile – Kotaku

Beastyqt: ‘I learned from TLO what creativity means’ – Competo

MaNa: “I am too young for Korea!” – Competo

GGvision #21 – GSL Team League, Pro-Maps & TLO moves to Sweden – YouTube

GGvision #20 – GSL starts today & IMBALANCED New Maps – YouTube

SjoW on ‘JP and Friends’ – Dignitas

Cadred interviews SeleCT – Dignitas

NaNiwa: “I am confident in my abilities” – Dignitas

marine_danny_trejofull_version_by_azazel1944

The Marine Danny Trejo

This is an absolutely amazingly epicly crazy picture of the actor Danny Trejo as a Starcraft II marine. I can’t explain what’s going on in the image, not one bit, but I can say that this picture is something that you’d want a higher resolution version of. Guys, check it out, and yes, it is not for the feint of heart. It was done by a user named Azazel1944. Enjoy!

Marine Danny TrejoFull Version – Deviant Art

The Marine Danny Trejo- -+ – Deviant Art

The Extinction of Protoss?

With GSL March just around the corner and a ton of other big tournaments also on the horizon, the guys over at GosuGamers try to explore a puzzling question that is apparently bugging the minds of many:  Where have all the protoss gone? In short, they try figure out why is it so hard for protoss to do well compared to the other two races. Are there problems with the tech tree or the racial balance? Is it due to lack of solid players to push the race forward, or is it something else entirely? Now, this article will probably cause quite a stir as it does cover some balance stuff and, well, no two people ever have the same opinion about any of this. Whether you think it silly or serious, check it out below. What I suggest? I say let Blizzard handle it, they know what they are doing.

Features \ The Extinction of Protoss: Nature or Nurture – GosuGamers

The Pro-Gamer Yearbook

A member of the TeamLiquid forums has taken it upon himself to start a Starcraft Pro-Gamer Year Book of sorts. The idea behind it is to find pictures of progamers from before, you know, back when they were mere mortals. I have to say it is great to see some of those legends as kids. BoxeR, NaDa, Flash, Jaedong and yes, even ToSsGirL. So, if you’re keen for some nostalgic fun you’d best check the post out below. Big thanks to moopie for setting it all up! 

The Pro-Gamer Yearbook – TeamLiquid

Dan (Stan Parody) ft. Smix and Suspense

Yet another great Starcraft II themed song has popped up and this one may well be the best one to date.  Do you remember the Eminem song, Stan? Well this is a parody of that song and wow, does it do it justice. It is titled Dan and features some amazing vocals by Smix and Suspense. They even went as far as to record a full music video for the song. I know I say this with pretty much every song I mention here but geez, you absolutely have to check it out!

Dan (Stan Parody) ft. Smix and Suspense – TeamLiquid

TheLittleOne Interview

Dario ‘TheLittleOne’ Wünsch, everyone’s favourite random player, was cornered and interviewed by SK Gaming while attending the recent Bloodline Champions launch event in Stockholm. He talks about what he learnt in Korea, what his plans are for the future, whether he considered himself a pro-gamer or not and much more. Yes, for those that don’t like reading this is in fact a video interview, rejoice! Check it out below, enjoy.

TLO interviewed in Stockholm – SK Gaming

TLO Rumors

There are also some rumors floating around that TLO may well be thinking of starting up a pro-house in Stockholm. Granted, this was all just speculation based on a Facebook status that TLO posted, but still, rumors are fun, aren’t they? Read more about it, a lot more about it, below.

TLO moving to Stockholm and starting a prohouse? – TeamLiquid

xV6A6

Starcraft Art – Reddit

A lovely lady from the reddit Starcraft community has created some really cool Starcraft II paintings, one of a rather legendary looking pylon and a fierce-looking mutalisk. Check those out above!

Hey r/starcraft look what I painted today! – reddit

Read Full Post »

Left 2 Die

Left 2 Die

This is the third of my previews, or play-throughs, rather, of the new and exciting Official Blizzard Custom Maps for Starcraft II. I’ve included the description of the map below along with the embedded video, enjoy! (Can’t wait to try this one with my friends, Night 2 Die, here I come!)

Category: Survival and Siege
Mode: Co-op, Night 2 Die
Players: Up to 2

Left 2 Die is a cooperative take on the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign mission Outbreak that shifts between two phases: a night phase and a day phase.

At night, you and a teammate are tasked with protecting your base against waves of infested terrans. In order to survive, you’ll need to use defensive structures like bunkers and coordinate your defenses against the invading zerg armies. You’ll also want to watch out for special zerg units such as the Kaboomer and Stank that can perform unique and powerful abilities capable of overwhelming even the strongest front lines.

During the day, the attacks on your team’s base will cease, giving you and your teammate time to train additional units and take them out to destroy infested terran settlements scattered across the map. It’s also a good idea to continue building up defenses during the daytime so you can survive the merciless onslaught of zerg that swarm your base at night.

While the struggle to survive in Left 2 Die can be daunting, you and your teammate will have some help along the way. You can earn zerg Biomass by killing special zerg units and destroying infested buildings, and then use the collected Biomass at the Science Facility in your base to research new units and structures like medics, firebats, and perdition turrets. Both you and your teammate will receive these upgrades, which will aid you in your struggle against the zerg strain.   

In order to achieve victory in Left 2 Die, you’ll need to eradicate all traces of the zerg virus. Work together to survive at night, assault and rebuild during the day, and use Biomass wisely for epic upgrades to win!

Night 2 Die: If you’re looking for a different kind of challenge, be sure to try out Left 2 Die’s Night 2 Die mode, essentially a “survival” mode in which infested structures are invulnerable and daybreak never comes. You’ll have to fend off wave after wave of the infested, with each wave becoming increasingly more powerful. While defeat is inevitable, the challenge comes in seeing how long you can endure in the dark.

Left 2 Die Bugs and Feedback

Keep checking back here for more! 😀

Read Full Post »

Aiur Chef

Aiur Chef

This is the second of my previews, or play-throughs, rather, of the new and exciting Official Blizzard Custom Maps for Starcraft II. I’ve included the description of the map below along with the embedded video, enjoy! (Yeah, I realise I am totally bad at it!)

Category: Collection/Cooking
Mode: Free For All
Players: Up to 8

Each round of Aiur Chef features a theme ingredient and three succulent recipes that play upon its unique flavor. Before you can master these themed dishes, though, you’ll first need to scout across the map and collect a variety of tasty ingredients (including the theme ingredient). Each recipe has its own set of required ingredients, listed in the recipe menu in the upper-left of your screen, which can be picked up off the ground or acquired by killing specific creatures. Don’t get too greedy when loading up on ingredients, though — inventory space is limited, so you’ll want to focus on collecting ingredients for one recipe at a time.

Once you’ve collected the proper ingredients, you’ll need to return to the kitchen in the center of the map and use the Beacon to prepare your dish. Each dish created using the theme ingredient will award you points based on the complexity of the recipe. Some dishes even award special one-time use abilities like Hearthstove, which allows you to quickly port back to the Beacon, and Decoy, which places a fake theme ingredient on the ground for other players to scavenge. Take advantage of these abilities whenever possible, as they could provide the competitive edge you need to outcook your opponents.

The player with the most points at the end of three rounds will be named Executor Chef, culinary guru of the entire Koprulu Sector. With such a prestigious title on the line, expect some fierce competition… and get those psi blades ready!

Aiur Chef Bugs and Feedback

Keep checking back here for more! 😀

Read Full Post »

Starjeweled Banner

Starjeweled

This is the first of my previews, or play-throughs, rather, of the new and exciting Official Blizzard Custom Maps for Starcraft II. I’ve included the description of the map below along with the embedded video, enjoy! (The only sad part is that this reminded me of how bad I was at Bejeweled!)

Category: Puzzle/Strategy
Mode: Solo vs. A.I., Co-op vs. A.I., Player vs. Player
Players: Up to 4 (1v1, 1v1 A.I., 1v2 A.I., 1v2, 2v2, 2v2 A.I., etc.)

StarJeweled focuses on matching groups of jewels according to color and strategically selecting StarCraft II units to overcome an opponent’s forces and destroy their base. StarJeweled can be played several ways, including cooperatively against the A.I. or competitively against other players.

Each successfully matched jewel combination provides a burst of energy; the larger the jewel combo, the bigger the energy burst. This energy can be spent to train a variety of StarCraft II units, including zealots, banshees, and ultralisks, which will help you eliminate your opponent’s defenses. You can also use energy to cast spells that heal friendly targets and do damage to enemy units. To activate a unit or spell once you’ve gained enough energy, simply click on the corresponding icon located beneath the jewel board.

Since the goal of StarJeweled is to destroy your opponent’s base while protecting your own, you’ll want to choose which units you purchase carefully. StarJeweled is not just about matching as many jewels as possible, but also managing your energy efficiently and understanding how the units in the game counter each other. If you’re unfamiliar with all the units’ strengths and weaknesses, each unit’s tooltip (which you’ll see by hovering over its icon) includes a list of what it’s strong against and what it’s weak against. Use this knowledge to use your advantage, and pay attention to what units your opponent is building.

A game of StarJeweled consists of five rounds. Each round will continue until one player’s or team’s base is destroyed. Take out your opponent’s base in three out of the five rounds and you win!

StarJeweled Bugs and Feedback

Keep checking back here for more! 😀

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »