So you’ve spent your fourteen years of life engaged in the unrelenting pursuit of the perfect score in every computer game known to man.  Now you’ve decided to adjust your coke-bottle glasses on your nose, apply a fresh coat of clearasil and take on the world.  After memorizing every episode of Star Trek and grasping the lesson’s of life taught by Buffy (yes, I know you think she’s a babe), you have decided to share your wisdom with the world.  But how to show what a macho cool dude you are without actually exposing yourself to the risks inherent in real life?  Fortunately, you are a Geek and know everything there is to know about the Internet.  You look around  briefly and you find out about online gaming.  You can play Quake and prove that you are more skilled in personal combat than any muscleheaded marine or play interactive fighting games and demonstrate your martial arts prowess in a hundred perfect executions of the spinning sweep kick.  But what about your true genius, the exercise of strategic thought?  You’ve mastered the sublety of Stratego, the logistics of Risk, and even the complexities of Axis and Allies.  You are ready to go forth and conquer!

Luckily for you, Blizzard has provided us with Battle.net.  This is the arena where your mettle will be put to the test.  The intensive Real Time Strategy, or RTS, of Starcraft will show the world that you are not just a pimply faced geek to be made light of.  No, you are a commander of men!  You may, however, be new to the idea of Battle.net, so this essay is designed to help you get set up.

First, you need to learn the ‘lingo’.  We don’t say "Battlenet", we say "B’net."   Abbrieviate everything.  You do not play the "Protoss," you play the "Toss."  You do not have "Dragoons," you have "Goons."  Speaking proper English is patently uncool.  Its also valuable to remember that the people you will be playing against are just like you.  You need to learn how to argue effectively against them.  Practice saying things like "Youre a Retard," and "No you."  To really get attention, ALWAYS USE CAPS.  Only the coolest people do that.  You will also need a screen name.  Think hard about this one, it will become your online identity.  Pick anything that sounds cool.  Now mix a bunch of random capital letters (Caps) into it.  Substitute "|" for all "l"’s and "@" for "a"’s.  This is crucial for your image.  "Ewok," for instance, is a dorky screen name, but "eW()kDoOwd" is cool, or kewl.  Never use the letter "e," always use the number "3."  If you want people to know how cool you are, tell them about your "L33t skilz."  This will impress everyone.  Lastly, you can hide your geekhood by inserting hip slang phrases into your name.  The above example, for instance, could become "eW()kdoowd_gets_dAbooty."  Another popular tactic is to pretend to be a girl.  This is guaranteed to get you lots of attention while satisfying the strange desires of your pubescent mind.

When you arrive, you may find that not everyone on Bnet is a geek.  These others will mock and ridicule you.  This is where you take a lesson from that jock who’s been taking your lunch money.  The lesson is "might makes right."  In person a toddler could kick your ass, you think, and there’s no way to be strong online.  This is why we have the clan.  Ten people saying "U suk dood," is a far more frightening thing than one voice alone.  If you want instant fame, gather a few of your chess club buddies and form a new clan.  Now you will need a clan name.  Many of the above rules apply.  You will want to check carefully since most of the good names like "The Dark Brotherhood of Ominous Death and Slaying," are already taken.  Careful rearrangement of words like legion, dark, death, syndicate, night, covert ops, and commandos will eventually yield a new and exciting name.  You will then need to arrange a hierarchy in the clan so that people will know you are the ultrakewldood in charge.  As enticing as they are, avoid titles like "Grand Dragon."  The Ku Klux Klan, a pre Internet clan, already has dibs.  I understand that some geniuses have also taken "Judicator," and "Executor."  Using standard military ranks will show people that your clan has a serious military bent and should be feared.

You’ve got an identity and you belong to a clan, now all you need is a lot of wins.  This brings us to tactics.  If you have read and understood such authors as Sun Tzu and Rommel, you do not belong on Bnet.  If you have grasped the tactical genius of the war of the rings, read on.  There are two ways to play Starcraft, the strategic tech build, and the rush.  The strategic tech build involves researching selected technologies to build an effective fighting force and then deploying this force in a strategically sound formation to damage enemy operations and exact maximum casualties while expending minimum resources.  Your mental facilities will not let you grasp this one so don’t worry about it.  The Rush is more your level.  Build straight for your basic unit (Marines, Zealots, or Zerglings).  Build six to twelve of them and run straight for the enemy base and destroy him before he can build anything.  This removes the necessity for tactical thought.  You only need to perfect your build order and then repeat it over and over again.  To make it truly work, however, you will need to stick to small maps and play only on game speed "faster," or "fastest."  Normal speed allows people to use strategic movement and tech development, things that you wish to avoid if at all possible.  Also try to stick to mineral rich maps. If you’ve ever played "Magic the Gathering," this strategy allows you to reduce your strategy to the same sort of mindless beer and pretzels level as that game.

Hopefully these tips will provide you with the tools you need to develop your l33t skilz and become a k3wldoOd on Bnet.  Unfortunately you will still not be able to get a date.

 

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