July 27, 2010. Hordes upon throngs upon crowds upon oodles upon gobs of people have been waiting for this day, and we’re not just talking about Trainz Simulator’s incredibly devoted contingent of hardcore coal-shovelers. “Hell, it’s about time,” you probably said aloud to yourself as you slipped out of bed this morning. And yeah, it was cheesy and lame, but you don't care, because you'ew mere seconds, minutes, or hours away from finally playing StarCraft II.
Are you ready, though? Like, really actually ready? It’s been 12 long years since StarCraft first came out, after all. You’re probably so rusty that you’ve officially been declared the world’s first walking tetanus hazard. If only you had some sort of guide – some kind of Internet roadmap that’d put you back on the right track to StarCraft mastery.
Hey, look over there! Just beyond that break. Is that…? It is! Lucky day, huh?
Story Recap: StarCraft and Brood War in Three Minutes – “Hello there, crazy tentacle-haired lady. Oh boy, this is awkward. I’m absolutely certain we’ve met before, but – darn it all! – I can’t remember your name or how exactly you became a horrific alien abomination! Goodness, I swear this is always happening to me. So, you say you’re a queen of some sort? Hey, what are you doing there with those blade-like appendag—OH GOD WHY.” StarCraft II Collector’s Edition Unboxing – Collector’s Editions are expensive. Is this one really worth the 100 smackeroos? We’ll let you decide for yourself using this handy hands-on. Here’s a hint, though: “Holy crap yes. Look at all that stuff. If you don’t buy it, we’ll slap you.” Is that too subtle? StarCraft II Unit Guide – If you knew StarCraft like the back of your hand, then StarCraft II is like looking at your hand and realizing that it’s mutated into some kind of terrifying – yet, objectively speaking, potentially useful – crab claw about twice the size of ol’ righty during his non-monstrous days. Which is to say: It’s new! It’s different! It’s scary! Take some of the edge off with this guide.
Blizzard U-Turns on Real ID, Confirms It Won’t be Implemented – For a little while there, it looked like we were in for an actual future even darker than the fictional one StarCraft portrays. A future in which our real names would be available to every nutjob with an Internet connection and a copy of an excessively popular videogame. Fortunately, after some of those nutjobs sicked their Internet connections on Blizzard, the developer saw the error of its ways.
Battle.net Overview – Remember Battle.net? Of course you do! Ah, the fond memories, the good old days. Ok, now forget them. Blizzard recently took a hammer to its online service’s very foundations and then rebuilt it from the ground-up. Find out what changed here.
Blizzard: No professional LAN Version of StarCraft II, But… -- "We will be addressing StarCraft II tournament functionality in a post launch patch to the game, soon after ship. This patch will include features to address the needs of location-based pro tournaments, but we have not discussed any specifics about tournament support beyond that."
StarCraft II Becomes Trilogy, Could be “Several Years” Before It’s Completed – A StarCraft II trilogy? An entire game for each race? Madness! Potentially expensive madness! But hey, when it’s all said and done, we’ll have a whopping 90 new campaign missions in one of PC gaming’s most storied franchises. Will it take a few extra ticks? Sure. But after 12 long-white-beard-growingly lengthy years of waiting, “several” more sounds like something that, well, we would scoff at in an article like this and then later complain about when we actually have to endure the wait.
StarCraft II Will Allow Players to Charge for Custom Maps – So you’ve made your first StarCraft II map. It’s an absolutely immaculate approximation of Rick Astley’s face surrounded by barren wastelands. It took you ten whole minutes to make, most of which were spent furiously blowing on the Hot Pocket you were scarfing at the time. Congratulations! Maybe your parents will hang it on the refrigerator, because StarCraft II’s marketplace functionality certainly isn’t for you. Instead, it’s aimed at amateur development teams who are hoping to break onto the scene in the same way, say, the team behind tower defense pioneer Defense of the Ancients did it back in the WarCraft III days.
StarCraft II Not Region-Locked in Australia – Good news, right? Well, kinda. See, here's the thing: in order to play against people outside of your region – if you’re not reading this on a PC hand-carved from the bones of kangaroos you boxed into submission in Australia – you have to buy another copy of StarCraft II and create a new Battle.net account for another region. So yeah, outside of Australia, the game’s region-free, except, you know, without the “free” part. If you have buddies you'd like to tussle with in, say, the UK, prepare to shell out.