Well you know there has been all the hoo ha about blizzard not having Lan support? Well recently I went with a couple of friends down to a Lan Center, a local equivalent of those Korean PC bangs. Basically they wire a bunch of computers to high speed internet and charge you by the hour. Due to no part of blizzard, I actually didn't feel any lag there. So I guess the people being stiffed are those who don't have good internet in their regions or countries. According to good old wiki, korean world of warcraft players don't have to pay a single cent to play starcraft II for free. Their korean bangs work at $1 an hour and have 30 day subscription plans for starcraft 2 is only $8. A day's worth of game is $1.50. No prize for winning guesses why such plans aren't available in USA.

Anyway we went up for three matches of 3v3s and it was really fun! The first game was Terran (me) Terran Zerg v Protoss Protoss Protoss. It was pretty funny as I sent my scv out to scout and had it being chased by zealots here and there before finally getting dispatched upon which I was like heck it totally and decided to throw a scanner sweep into the hidden base. We played on a 6 player map where the teams are clumped together. There's basically a nest player and two players vulnerable to opening attacks. I went for a pretty standard walling off with barracks and a supply depot with a marine filling up the hole just like a protoss would do it before filling the gap up with another depot later on. My build was a pretty standard 1-1-1 or the destiny cloud fist build. I wanted it for the flexibility so that I could react as to whatever the other side threw at us, but it turns out they just massed a bunch of tier 1 units, send a probe to probe my wall and went off barreling off to take down my allies vulnerable base. With that I sent my marine siege ball over to help and zerg roaches also quickly made their way there. I secured the middle with siege tanks and accidentally over extended when my planetary fortress expansion was taken down in a short few minutes. With the bulk of my forces gone the opponents took the chance to focus down my wall with void rays and mass stalkers pretty much taking down my barracks and factories in my base before my allies could sweep in with their teched up units.

At that point a bunch of corrupters and vikings with brood lords in the air on my end was enough to repulse most of what the other side could throw. We secured the right portion of the map, with me taking the gold. I was pretty out of touch with the flow of the game at that point, so I just pumped out some battlecruisers and set them to follow the massive air force of my allies. The opponent didn't have enough anti air or micro and quickly fell one by one. But it took a really long time for us to comsat and scanner sweep out all their buildings before they finally decided to surrender.

Onwards to the second match, in which we were now Terran Protoss Zerg and faced surprise surprise a mirror match of TPZ or TZP or however you want to put it. This ended really badly as their mixed ball steamrolled into the Protoss who didn't really have any counters available and I was caught halfway in a 1-1-1 and only had a siege marine mix to throw into the straight up rush. They managed to get the protoss nexus down and cleaned up the base before we could decimate their force, and it was only polite to call a GG then.

With the third match starting, I was thinking I would stop the destiny cloud fist build and roll slowly into a standard MMM. That is basically a marine marauder medivac. The protoss went with a four gate and the zerg a tech up. At some point midway I decided adding the medivacs just wouldn't cut it with the opponents, who were going a mirror again as terran protoss zerg so I swapped production into siege marine marauder, backed with Thors. THOR is HERE! We jointly pushed into the gold high yield minerals and after I build a sensor tower, preemptively took out their expansion and soon after faced severe resistance. At that point my allies were totally decked out with higher tier units and that was the start of the steamroll. So with that we pretty much rolled over the rest of the bases and cleaned it up making it the last game for the day and calling it at that.

Wow and with that I can really see Starcraft 2 having a lot of potential in the long run. And this is even without the rumored lan mode of starcraft ii that they will release only for high profile tournaments as well as for the korean pro-league, where people get paid thousands of dollars per month just to play starcraft and of course get sponsorship dollars. And that was a pretty good way to chill through 1 and a half hours, all things considered.

The high that one gets from playing with friends will probably lead to one buying more spinoff starcraft 2 merchandise. As I was playing the MMM I was thinking, the sheer ease of marauder play will probably make people buy the marauder themed steel series starcraft 2 mousepads. And with the stim packs being such a killer in drop shipping behind their lines and taking out the mineral drones as well as the nexus, I can see how hot selling a "legalize stim packs" starcraft 2 shirt will be. I wonder how much those spinoffs make for blizzard every month. As for me I would love to play with friends again, feeding coins off to the lan center operators.