May 20, 2009

Work, Work!

After even more grunt work (pun intended - read on) on the Patio from Heck, I did free up a few hours last evening to continue with my RTS experiment while enjoying a few frosty homebrews.

Starcraft looked much better than I'd expected. You have to credit Blizzard's artists when a 640x480 game still looks attractive on a 24-inch 1920x1200 monitor!

That said, the 11-yr-old unit pathfinding AI has not aged gracefully. When moving groups of units through terrain of any complexity whatsoever, I ended up with Zerg-bait stragglers wandering around the landscape searching in vain for their compatriots. I don't think I'd have the patience to babysit individual units from point A to B in a protracted campaign. So, even though the story and voice acting were compelling, I think I'll give this one a pass and read the novelization instead in preparation for Starcraft 2.

The Warcraft III demo, on the other (albeit green-skinned) hand, sucked me in like a haywire Roomba. I had forgotten how absolutely fantastic the writing and art direction were, and the sound design perhaps surpasses even those two factors.

I played through the first few levels of the prequel campaign - Thrall is still too cool for school - and immediately thereafter logged on to to purchase a download of Reign of Chaos. This exercise was perhaps the only disappointing part of my WC3 experience. I placed my order, updated my payment info to reflect a new card number, and purchased the game. Strangely, though, it took about a half hour for my order to process such that the download link was propigated to my home page. I know Blizzard has been making a lot of changes to, but they have to recognize that their customers are going to expect a digital purchase to be available instantaneously. I can only assume it was an anomoly?

"Time and moods are changing, attention spans quickening. Welcome to the Information Age." - Queensryche, "My Global Mind"

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