Dark Templars are sweet, and by sweet I mean totally awesome.

Blizzard (or Activision Blizzard). You might know the company for their big title game…The Lost Vikings, but did you know they’ve made a few other games? Really great ones, in fact. 12 years ago, they made a game called StarCraft which was a grittier version of a game called WarCraft and it was set in space. 11 years ago, I began playing said game and it not only ate up my time in college, it digested it slowly and let its stomach acids marinate and dissolve my grey matter during the hours I should have been sleeping. The first few years resulted in a feverish and compulsory gaming of StarCraft, much like masturbating when you finally realize it won’t make you go blind. After that, my habit was sated with playing only a couple nights a week for 4 or 5 hours on those nights. As the years went by and other real-time strategies piqued my interest, I would lapse in my Craft, but I have never gone more than about 6 months without jonesin’ for a little Protoss action.

A couple of years ago, SC2 was announced as a current Blizzard project and my RTS-weenie started spinning out of control (along with all of South Korea’s). Since then, I’ve managed to get along with my life in the way a 3-legged dog still hops around and makes do. No, literally. I’ve been living as a 3-legged dog hopping around and making do – Austin is very accommodating.

Earlier this year, the public beta was announced and I signed up and allowed Blizzard to deeply probe the annals of my computer…What? There’s a lot of history on this ol’ computer of mine. Then, the beta came out! And I wasn’t on the list. Then someone at work had a beta invite they weren’t going to use! And I received the email a day late, long after someone else had snagged it. Finally, I contacted an old boss of mine who had sworn to me long ago in a pact with Satan himself that when the StarCraft 2 beta was out, he would send an invite my way because he knew “someone on the inside”. I never heard back from him. I can only assume he had made other such pacts and that the devil had collected the reward of that man’s eternal soul by the time my email made it through.

With all options exhausted and no stone left unturned, I lost hope. Yes, friends, I admit it: I was down-trodden and allowed my mind to fill with dark thoughts and sin! But then!!!! Two days before I was leaving on a trip to that sacred holy land known as Hawai’i, I received an email from Blizzard welcoming me, with open arms, into its bountiful, blizzardy bosom. I had finally been accepted into the beta.

“Drew, what did you do about Hawaii?” you may be asking. I’ll tell you what I did. I ripped my plane ticket in half and in half once more, logged on to Battle.Net and began a journey of downloading, patching and overall StarCraft 2 mayhem that would not end until the night of June 7th, 2010 when the beta was stripped from my clawed and crippled hands.

Not really. I left for a week and a half, got home, ordered new Internet service which is sloooow (thanks CLEAR) and took 2 days to grab all the patch data. From there I responsibly played the amazing SC2 beta for approximately 4 hours a night for 3 nights (never missing a bit of work, mind you) and like that <poof!> it was gone.

The game looks great, plays incredibly well and while it doesn’t reinvent real-time strategy games (or its own brand) by any means, it gives die-hard fanboys like me and newcomers exactly what they should want: many long nights of glorious, uninterrupted pleasure without any need for protection or morning-after pills.

Finally rocked it out!

January 14, 2008

Here is it! The first official blog. And what a weekend’s end to start it. Friday was kind of low-key as we met up with Mike and Pam and enjoyed a happy hour(s) at Opal Divines. From there we traversed to the Catfish Parlour. Now, keep in mind that generally – and this is a rule that I think most should follow – when a restaurant has a neon fish sign outside with a flapping tail and it says “Great food, Reel tasty”, I tend to stay away. Just a small thing I live by. But, the power of the group won me over (as it has done so many times before…like with Jager-bombs) and we dined in a small, family-oriented setting with a waitress named Bernie who wore the exact same perfume that my grandmother use to. And you know what? Not that bad, friends.

Saturday started out kind of lazy, but I took my busted PS3 to the shop (on a side note, I’m a little worried about dropping an expensive machine off at a place with a guy who looks like he lost in the “Garth” casting for Wayne’s World and who took all my contact information down on a Post-It…I didn’t even get a copy!), went to the bank and then decided that a picnic would be kind of a cool way to spend some time with Brandi. You see, I was recently summoned into the world of complete dorkdom by my brother-in-law. This world you may know as WoW if you are in fact a dork and World of Warcraft for everyone else (they have commercials starring Mr. T for it now…you’ve seen them). What does this mean for me? It means the beast that is the video game enthusiast inside of me is free to run about, wreaking havoc on every other aspect of my life…sometimes even jeapordizing my very employment.

So, in a conscious effort to staunch the flow of reality from seeping out of me, I went to the park with Brandi, Mike and Pam. Bull Creek Park, to be exact, and very well worth it. A gorgeous Texas winter day of 70 degrees without a cloud in the sky. We threw the football around, walked down the creek – I even scaled a cliff wall (easier to go up than down…if staying alive is a goal). Afterwards, Brandi and I decided to make it a “Clay Play” evening and before you roll your eyes and say, “This guy is gay,” I’ll say two things: 1) Brandi is my GIRLFRIEND and 2) Shut up. While Brandi made several interesting pots that you’ll never see because she destroys all traces of things that she makes that aren’t exactly perfect, I focused my creative bean on one sculpture…and I’ll be damned, it looks pretty good. It’s a warrior (insert all cracks on the influence of WoW here) with a shield and sword and helmet. Here’s a photo of it. Small Clay Warrior

Anyway, I think it looks awesome.

I actually finished it this morning and then we prepared to watch some football. Nothing like the deflation of the Cowboys losing a playoff game to top off the weekend, huh? But, to lift the spirits of everyone around, Pam brought over Rock Band, complete with lead guitar, bass, drums and mic. We played almost every song, switching roles as we went and finally decided that none of us were destined to really make it in a band.

All said, it was a great weekend and it reminded me of how much I don’t like working. Till next time.