A Year of Starcraft II
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I’m sorry it took me so long to update this, to let everyone know how the year ended. It was pretty surprising to see that people still check from time to time, and I appreciate that. The couple comments calling for updates made me feel progressively worse until I finally am sitting down to write this out. I need to put it out there, this does need closure, and if it’s not all about Starcraft, it is about me, LeTemps, and this past year. So, warning: personal shit incoming. I’ll try not to whine. (Please forgive the overly generalized next few paragraphs, I was trying not to give too many details and may have gone too far in my vagueness.)
My life took several turns at the end of my year of Starcraft II, mostly for worse, and it was all I could do to keep myself going day to day. Which is itself something I learned from this year: just keep going. Even if nothing seems to be working, if you suck horribly, keep trying. If it doesn’t work out, you’ll at least have a little bit more experience in what doesn’t work.
I have never been good at interacting with people on more than a superficial level. If it goes further than that, into an honest to god relationship (either friendship or romance), I tend to read too much and too far into things. I will swing between over-dependence and avoidance. It is something I have talked to professionals about but not something I’ve ever been able to get a real handle on.
As this year came to a close, I found myself in a position that I have been in many times over my life, but to a degree that I had never before experienced. As things took a turn for the worse, I was in a horrible depression and couldn’t figure out what to do. There was no way to just suck it up and keep going, at least none I could see. It was a very low time, probably the lowest I have ever been. I finally just decided to move, and was gone within a month.
It all seems stupid now. I mean, it doesn’t hurt any less, but I don’t think about it as often. I’m getting situated in my new area, trying to start over and working on myself as much as I can force myself to. Starcraft kind of faded into the background. I’ll watch the occasional stream, catch a few matches from a tournament when I can, and play very infrequently. It did not turn out to be a crazy lifelong passion. It feels bad to say that. I think maybe I let some people down. But it did accomplish my original goal of getting me to commit to something for longer than a month. There was a success, not as much of one as I hoped, but still I think the year was worthwhile. I don’t look on it as wasted time or effort.
I am tempted to do this all over again, asking reddit for another hobby to commit to for a year. Half of me screams yes, the other half is moaning complaints and just wants to sit around watching TV, surfing reddit and playing whatever the latest video game is. The whole “Reddit Pick My Hobby” was a good idea. It did force me outside of my comfort zone, into a mini-spotlight where I had to come through. I enjoyed it and feel like I have a skill set now that I would never have had if I had not done it.
The blog was something I screwed up on, it was more work than I realized forcing myself to sit down and write something of substance (which may have been my problem, poring over a blog post for two hours after hours of play). The blog was also kind of a side-thought originally, a way to prove progress on something, but turned into what people really followed. I don’t think I got over 10 stream viewers at a time after that first month. I don’t blame you, I couldn’t watch myself play those mind-numbingly slow bronze games either.
I’d like to illustrate my point though, on my own personal weirdness with finding things that interest me, picking them up and then putting them back down again shortly. In the last two months, with not much to occupy my time other than work, I have been through trying to learn programming, making my own video game, and writing a novel (this is a bi-monthly occurring interest that pains me each time it comes up and gets left by the wayside). I think I’m stating this to remind myself that yes, I may have done one thing for a year, but now I am back to my old ways. I am not cured, as it were. Pretty sad that I don’t know what else to do but ask Reddit to pick something for me.
It seems I am looking to be great at something. I believe that’s what is at the heart of all of this searching. And what every book about writing says, “You must apply ass to chair and write.” works for pretty much everything. Effort is what is required, not some innate talent that is waiting to be discovered. But I have no ability to force myself to do this without some kind of external pressure.
I started in Gold, went down to bronze when I stopped doing the seven roach rush and tried to learn how to actually play, and ended my year in Platinum. I really did like the game, the people, the scene, and enjoyed almost all of the time spent working to get better. I was introduced to dubstep, K-pop (shudder), Xsplit, twitch.tv, Day9, cheesing, micro, macro, e-sports, drama with the accompanying pitchforks, mechanical keyboards, a thousand memes, basically a whole culture I didn’t know existed. It was frustrating and glorious. It was Starcraft II.
I thank each of you who read, watched, chatted, helped, coached, and messaged me weird shit. For the final time:
I took my day off for the week today (Tuesday), getting myself back on the original schedule and taking a break from beating up on myself. I had a kind of crap day yesterday, play wise, and wasn’t in a good frame of mind. Honestly, yesterday I was just bored. I was tired of doing the same thing over and over again. I had one of those crawling-up-the-wall feelings while staring at yet another loading screen. So, I jumped to the challenges for a while to finish off my two hours for the day. After that I checked the blog, ostensibly to write a post, but instead found a comment by Lykkin pointing me to a newer Day9 video about gold league improvement. Once again, Day9 has the answer.
On a side note, there is something about Day9 that instantly puts me in a better mind frame. His good cheer is incredibly infectious and never fails to pull me from a slump. I for some reason just envisioned a portrait of him like the virgin mary (golden halo behind him, etc.) with the tag-line “Patron Saint of Gamers”. Perhaps that’s just too much reddit talking. I digress.
For the next week, I’m going to put supply at the top of my prioritizing list. This has been a constant problem, and incredibly annoying to say the least. So, no matter if I lose every game for the week, I will not become supply blocked. This includes not making six overlords at a time and making an extra before I sacrifice one to scout. In all honesty, this is really kind of going back to what my original coach had me do, focus on one thing, but I’m having to keep track of myself instead of someone scolding me after each game. So, even if I lose, I will consider it a win if I can keep up with my supply. After the week of not caring about the wins, I will try to work my way back up to top 8 gold for the next week. After that, I’ll pick something else to move up in prioritization. Probably keeping an eye on opponent’s expansions, as Day9 made a big deal about this in his video, but we shall see.
I will be back at it tomorrow, so goodnight and GLHR.
A few hiccups overcome and I am currently downloading the SC2 client. And while technically it is almost the 9th, my days blend together strangely so it will still be the 8th for me for about four more hours. As soon as the game downloads, I will begin my year of Starcraft II.
Updates, updates, updates…
And here I go.