A Year of Starcraft II
Hard Day’s Night
Fair warning: This isn’t going to be all about Starcraft. Personal issues will be raised, but I will come back around to Starcraft.
Today was tough. There’s no other way to describe it. I am simply drained. My day at work was long and stressful. I don’t know if it’s my own fault for taking things personally, but I’m actually getting pissed at customers. I am not normally one to do that. On two separate occasions I was told after the fact that someone said I was rude. I am generally a very mellow, nice guy. But everyone trying to get a “deal” (I work in retail for those of you who didn’t read that on another post) and lambasting me for things that aren’t my fault, are grating on my nerves. I mean, when you see that something with a coupon comes to 9 cents, do you think it’s correct? And when you find out that, no, it’s not, do you then bitch for ten minutes about how you should still get it for that price? I walked away from that one after telling the lady she couldn’t do what she wanted to do. Probably a first for me, to just say NO. And not long after, someone brought something in they said was missing parts. I opened it up, and yes, they weren’t in an obvious spot, but goddamn it if the parts weren’t right there in the box. I was very close to getting into a shouting match when she said that was my fault.
Personal issues are no doubt spilling over into my interactions with customers. I had found out today that something I wanted, and which I thought was headed my way, was no longer available and would never be available to me. I just cannot catch a break in my personal life. It’s not that everything’s falling apart, but that nothing’s coming together. My life has been pretty stagnant for a while, which was part of the reason for my “Reddit Pick My Hobby” post. A change, any change, that would focus me on something that I would have to work on.
And so I came home to play some Starcraft. I just plain crapped out tonight. I wasn’t focusing on my goals for the day, I was losing track of what I had already learned, and getting annoyed at myself. In one game I was hit by early lings plus drones sent to my base, and sat there for a few minutes trying to make it work and come up with something that would help. And all the while, I just wanted to disconnect. Or curse out the guy who threw it at me. Which is just bullshit. I stopped myself, and GGed out. I think the only reason I did this was a message someone sent me the other night after an opponent just quit a game. He said, “No GG, No Class.” I even repeated this to my coach when he commented on my good manner. I really did not want to be sportsmanlike, but felt that starting down that road in a game was just silly. What’s a GG? He won. It was a good game for him.
I could blame my lack of focus on work stress and over thinking my personal issues, which did actually play a part, but I don’t want to do that. I think there’s more to it, and here’s why. After deciding that the night wasn’t going to turn out any better, I logged off. To complete my daily two hours, I watched Day9 #100. While I had watched part of it before, I never really gave it much attention even though it was recommended to me over and over again.
Tonight though, watching this reminded me why I wanted to do this year. His emotion for the game and the incomprehensible passion the guy has in general, are exactly what I want. On a comment I made on Reddit one night a while back, I was talking about the word Otaku and how I wished I could apply it to myself in some fashion (It is a Japanese word used to refer to people with obsessive interests, per wikipedia). In a reply clarifying my comment, I said, “I want to be so interested in something I never come up to fucking breathe.” But part of my problem is sticking with things for longer than a few weeks, hence the year of devotion to something. I feel, though, that I’ve not given Starcraft II its due, and denied myself some of the passion I was looking for. Playing around for two hours isn’t going to do much. I could do the same thing with Call of Duty and call it a hobby. I’ll get better at it, sure, like I’ll get progressively better at Starcraft. But there isn’t much else I’m doing right now. Starcraft II is a great game and I enjoy it immensely most days, I may even call it my favorite game, but I’m not working at it hard enough.
My coach has a plan for progression, a very good plan, I think, now that I’ve kind of seen the road I’m being led down. I’m going to stop a second here and thank him for taking all the time he has helping me. He has to be putting even more work into it than I am right now. Which is kind of my point. Yes, I’m putting in the two hours a day and most of the time I’m focusing on my goals and improving. But there’s more I could be doing. A lot more. And I want to do it. When Day9 talked about how much he and his brother devoted themselves to it, talking about it and analyzing everything, working on issues and practicing constantly, it spoke a lot to what I want to do. And the readers here, the in game friends giving advice and encouragement and my coach have given me all the support I need to do it.
So, now, almost a month into my year of Starcraft II, I’m going to devote more to this. More time, more thought, and more focus. I may never be great at it, but I can sure practice enough until I’m good. For starters, the two hours is a minimum, not a goal to be met. And while most days I have spent more time in game, this little tweak to the wording will I think encourage me to do more like read forums, watch games and practice goals.
I have also decided to go to the MLG Orlando, which is the closest tournament I could find. It was suggested to me before, but I felt it would be kind of strange to go to something like that on my own. I want to go even more now after watching Day9 talk about them, so weirdness be damned. I think this will also instill in me more of the community aspect of the game that is so amazing. Sitting in the audience and watching matches with people who like this game even more than I do will be a great spark to inspiration and a reward for the work I’m going to be putting in.
Lastly, I’m going to start doing more analyzing of my games. I will at least watch the replays of my games at the end of the night and note what was off and what I thought I should be doing. Specifically in this blog, I will pick one game a night to analyze. I will post and go over the replay, seeing what I did wrong and right, how I met or failed to meet my goals, where I can improve and how I could have responded to my opponent differently. This is probably something that will help me improve a lot, and I had been thinking about doing it before, but it required that little bit more effort that I was hemming and hawing about giving.
I apologize for writing a book tonight, and don’t expect it all to be read, but if it’s not out there pointing at me, saying, “Hey, you said you’d do this,” I would find a way out of it. Which I don’t want. The whole point of my year was to change myself a bit by devoting not just time, but effort to something. And if it all seems a little too intense or over the top, good. I’ve felt the obsessive itch since I started playing and want more of that. I’m not neglecting life outside of the game, I am not Cartman shitting into a bedpan and gaining 100lbs so I don’t have to move from in front of the computer. A little extra effort and focus can’t hurt me too much.
On that note, Goodnight and GLHR.