Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SCBW as Businesses, Zerg vs Protoss context

You can think of Starcraft as a battle between two economies. Let me make a bad analogy. Terrible analogy. So, think of each race as a
new business, and both businesses want to sell the same product. And people want this product. But they don't know which brand to buy from. So your bases are your establishments. You collect resources with employees, and invest those resources into other forms. Your fighting units are advertisements. So Starcraft is a battle of business establishments trying to advertise their new product. When you set up an expansion, you're setting up a new establishment in a district of the city, granting income.

Constant growth, resource management
For Zerg, larva can be considered a third resource aside from minerals and gas. When minerals and gas are kept low, it means you're spending effectively. Larva should also be spent effectively. When a hatchery is maxed with 3 larva and you don't build something with one of them before another Larva spawns, you're wasting Larva. So ideally you want to have your Hatcheries constantly producing something. If you don't have enough money and your Larva builds up, it means you don't have enough income (Drones) to support what you are building. If you have too much money, it means you don't have enough hatcheries to create an output to match your income. You have to balance the number of establishments you have with how much income you have.

Be flexible in your opening
An opening that appears aggressive does not have to continue playing aggressively. Opening pool first and making 8 Zerglings does not mean you have to try to attack. As long as your Zerglings are alive, they represent a threat that Protoss must account for. Zerglings deny scouting, so Protoss does not know if you're making more Zerglings or switching to a management type of game. If you see that Protoss is being greedy and skipping defense, you can punish that. If Protoss overcompensates on static defense, you can survive with a smaller force and safely tech, expand, or make more drones.
Watching how the other business is spending money can help you decide how to spend your money.

Less static defense, more units
Static defense such as Sunken Colonies are useful against harass and as a first line of defense when your base is attacked unexpectedly. They are strong for their cost, but the major weakness is that they do not provide map control because they can't move. With 2 locations on the map to defend, Zerg would have to create enough static defense at both locations to stop the Protoss army. This means you've spent double the money that you had to. If you wanted to defend 3 locations with no army, you would have to spend 3 times the money that Protoss spent on fighting units. A Sunken Colony is 175 minerals, 50 (drone) + 75 (creep colony) +50 (sunken morph). 3 Sunken Colonies are more than the price of a Nexus. So when you rely purely on static defenses, Protoss can just not attack and expand all over the map.

Instead, if you spend money building an army, you can use the army to defend your base. Then both Protoss and Zerg should come out evenly.
Buying signs that advertise your product will only cover a limited area of the city. It would take too much money to put up signs all around the city. Trying to put up signs all around the city will leave your opponent with much more funds to crush you with later on. Instead you hire people to go around the city advertising.

Upgrade unit armor and weapon and ability
Zealots have 1 armor with no upgrades. With +3 armor, Zealots have 4 armor total. Zerglings without attack upgrades do 5 damage. Zerglings without attack upgrades against Zealots with +3 armor do 1 damage to Zealot health per hit. Zealots have 100 hit points, so in this case it would take over 100 hits for a Zergling to kill a Zealot when counting in shields. Zerg armor against Protoss attack upgrades works similarly. When one side has +3 upgrades and the other side has none, the fight can easily become one sided. Upgrades are one way to make your advertisements more appealing or believeable.

Here are other things you can take advantage of that can help your business succeed or make it easier to manage.

Hotkey hatcheries and units
Hotkeys allow you to maintain production without having to move your screen back to the building every time you want to build something new. This allows you to direct your attention to more important things, such as the state of the game. You should hotkey each hatchery you have. Hotkeying units allows similar benefits. You can move all your units around the map easily, with greater manueverability.

Rally point to natural
A rally point tells the created unit where it should go when it spawns. A rally point can be set with the selected building by right clicking at the place where you want units to go. Normally each Hatchery's rally point is set to the same location on the map, usually in front of the natural expansion. Setting rally points is another thing that makes managing units easier: it allows you to not have to find each hatchery and group units from far apart.

Good Luck in making your business succeed!

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Rating System

Here's a rating system of skills needed to progress in MMORPG games

(1 lowest, 9 highest, 4 average)
1: very bad
2: bad
3: below average
4: average
5: above average
6: good
7: very good
8: exceptionally good
9: masterfully good

Abilities to rate:
Grind: the endurance one can stand in killing monsters continously, speed of advancing character, overall activity
Intel: knowledge of resources, ability in learning/knowing what does what (ex. knowing what items to get, where to grind, knowing where to go, knowing locations of key npc and quest, knowing properties of weapons/skills, strength/weakness of classes, economy)
Order: having an effective overall build (use of resources) that accomplishes one's purpose smoothly (not limited to item/stat build) and allows one to reach endgame
Charisma: sociability, skill in persuading others
Battle: effective use of available skills and the game mechanics, ability to watch over other characters in battle (ex. having an skill sequence with highest dps possible, teamwork, combinations when given multiple characters to work with)

Note: Assuming that everyone starts at the same time in a hypothetical new game
Note: Intel is resource gathering, Order is effective use of resources

So here is an attempt to rate some members along with some characteristics. It's only an attempt.

Grind: 7
Intel: 4
Order: 5
Charisma: 5
Battle: 5

-melee combat class (warrior)
-direct confrontation type
-pvp oriented, competitive
-strong ability to grind out levels (generally is one of the highest levels in guild)
-emphasis on understanding how to gain levels/money the fastest
-weak to unfamiliar things and thus slow in early game

Grind: 4
Intel: 5
Order: 5
Charisma: 5
Battle: 4

-ranged combat class (archer)
-uses emotes frequently

Grind: 6
Intel: 4
Order: 4
Charisma: 5
Battle: 4

-magic offensive class (nuker)
-high consistency, gains levels over time

Grind: 9
Intel: 9
Order: 9
Charisma: 9
Battle: 9

-strongest member of the guild

Grind: 8
Intel: 6
Order: 6
Charisma: 6
Battle: 6

-primarily player killer class
-endgame focused
-creates and plays multiple characters simultaneously when possible with different roles (gain money, buff, heal) to advance primary character
-strongest grinding ability
-strong at progressing through each part of the game

[nameless] (aka Visve in 2Moons)
Grind: 6
Intel: 6
Order: 5
Charisma: 3
Battle: 5

-stealth class (assassin)
-can be competitive

BackStabbers are back once again!!!!!

We the BackStabbers have made our long awaited return to the gaming world!!! This time, we shall wreak havoc upon the world of SUN (Soul of the Ultimate Nation). Guild members DKLegendaryAffection and TrulyMagic have invaded the world of SUN and made their presence felt throughout the server. Dashizznik, NivekOn aka Nivek, and e0xx are now just entering the world of SUN to further expand our influence in the gaming world. Other members such as Jiex and Visve(who will undoubtedly play under a different name as he does in every game)will be joining SUN shortly to reinforce our cause. Our first order of business is to find the NOOB who decided to take up the name Nivek, the original game name of one of our guild members. HOW DARE YOU DISRESPECT OUR GUILD BY TAKING ONE OF OUR GUILD MEMBER'S NAME!?!?! We shall find this fraudulent Nivek and pk him until the very sight of the name BackStabbers makes his knees tremble!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Expedition, What We've Missed

We all know the story of Backstabbers and 2Moons. Today, we as a guild are inactive in 2Moons. Let's step back a little bit. The 2Moons Backstabbers was active in and the one today have some differences between them. Two major patches have been released in the time between then and now. The first being 2Moons: Bad Moons Rising (BMR). With this patch, there were numerous additions to the game. New mounts, a rewards system for reaching certain levels, and a pet system are a few of the additions to the game.

Most importantly, the BMR patch introduced the Deadfront system, where 4 interested parties are (randomly) selected 6 times a day to enter a instance dungeon for 30 minutes. The point? Massive experience. In a single run it was possible to gain over 15% experience (if I recall correctly) at the high level 70s/low 80s. I've also heard that at the lower levels people were getting 30% and upwards per run. So if one was able to get in, it was possible to very easily level in a couple day's time only having to log on for half an hour at a time. The effectiveness of leveling in Deadfront is so much greater than that of the Crespo Dungeon; it's unparalleled to any other method. Even more, there are a couple Argates guaranteed to be found in each run by whoever reaches the treasure chests. The difficult part of all this is getting the vouchers to enter Deadfront, and actually getting selected.

Remember that Backstabbers became inactive before this patch was released. Step forward a few more months. More recently (in the past couple weeks), yet another patch was released. 2Moons: Expedition. This patch added a number of things as well. The Expedition system was introduced, but at the moment is largely unused due to the level of difficulty to complete it. Party vs Party system was added, new items were added, earring slots were added, among other updates.

One of the Expedition additions to note is the Item Enchant system. Now it is possible to "enchant" an item (much the same way as the Argate system), adding bonus attributes to the item. Normal becomes Magic, which becomes Noble, which becomes Divine, which becomes the equivalent of Legendary. This requires a Mavric appropriate to the type of item. They are obtained the same way as Argates are, basically. The Mavric introduces another major item in the economy, at a price that rivals Argates. Assuming rates for Argates and other valuables were not changed, it just means that there's another item out there that could drop and be worth something.

The long awaited new skills have also been implemented in Expedition. I am unaware of the major changes for each class, but for at least some classes it is a game changing update which introduces new builds and alters old ones.

However, the most important part of Expedition (in my own opinion) is the change to the leveling curve. It has been officially stated that the leveling curve has been reduced/lowered. By how much exactly, it is not stated, but I believe it is a significant change. In a single Deadfront run, the percentage of experience gained is perhaps 8% more (a conservative estimate from me) than when Deadfront was first introduced at the low level 80s. I assume the +10% exp boost advertisement option is not being used for this (An addition/fix I forgot to mention. I also forgot to mention, Siege Wars for guilds was also introduced at some point. But anyway...). This means that it is significantly easier to level in this build of 2Moons than the one Backstabbers played in. Even if the +10% exp boost ad is being used, the difference still stands between the 2Moons of yesterday and today.

Alright. Now we arrive at today. The main conclusion I have come to is that leveling, especially at the lower levels, will be a complete breeze compared to the 2Moons before these patches. Deadfront, a reduced leveling curve, and the exp boost from ads simply make it so much easier. After checking out the latest patch, there has been discussion between us of whether or not Backstabbers will return to 2Moons. Some of us have a renewed love for the game, and would love to once again be active in 2Moons. Others are not so enthusiastic about returning to a game we have already left. Regardless, I hope this has brought you up to date with these aspects of the situation in 2Moons. In making a choice, other topics about the state of 2Moons I haven't covered to note may be: the amount of hacking/botting, the playerbase, the competition, the action/role of Acclaim, and the economy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gunz and its awesome music

I didn't realize until recently that Gunz: The Duel had such awesome music. Most of the time when I played gunz I played the game with a shitty speaker. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new laptop and began playing the game with headphones. One word describes the gunz music: badass. The music playing in the embedded vid above is the theme played in the lobby. Awesome.

The second embedded vid is my personal favorite theme in game. If you want to truly appreciate the mastery of Gunz music, make sure that you're listening with headphones on or with some crazy speakers

Thursday, September 4, 2008

BackStabbers Has Officially Joined Perfect World International

Yup, not only are we set on conquering the Lineage II world, we are also setting our sights on Perfect World International. PWI is currently in Open Beta. I Dashizznik, am an Untamed Barbarian. I was only at level 2 when I took that screenshot of myself. Now... I am level 3 hahhaha.

Thus far, DKxAfFection, aka DKLegendaryAffection on 2moons, and I are the only members who have invaded Perfect World International. Pretty soon our hordes will be roaming across PWI destroying everything in our path.

One word: PIMP

Monday, September 1, 2008

Some Notable Events in our Guild's history

  • Dashizznik and e0x's historic sweepthrough of Frozen Valley. While running through Frozen Valley, we pked every single player we saw. Everywhere we went, the result was a bundle of limp bodies lying on the ground. Even when players asked for help from higher lvl players, it was of no use since we pwned them as well.
  • Vivse's legendary one man sweep of Requiem. As a result of this insane pk spree, Vivse's ip was a whopping 10,000.
  • Several players from this noob guild called Blood Ravens saw Vivse training at Frozen Valley and decided to gain up and pk him. Guess what, if you mess with the BackStabbers, you're gonna have to face the consequences. BackStabbers members Dashizznik, e0x, Nivek, DKLegendaryAffection, and Vivse himself ran back to Frozen Valley looking for vengeance. The members of Blood Ravens saw us and scrolled.
  • e0x, verybignig, and Dashizznik had an epic "conflict" with this player named JohnnyNguyuen. This guy likes to talk crap about everybody. We decided to follow this guy for 2 straight days just to mess with him. Every so often we would pk him and he would cuss us out on global chat.
  • Nivek's epic encounter with a DeathIsEternal guild member. The DIE guild, which is nonexistant in 2moons now, fashioned itself as the game's best guild. Well, guess what, Nivek pked that lil noob, thus proving the that the DIE guild were full of frauds.