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Thursday, September 30, 2010

RIP Greg Giraldo

I'd like to devote a post to one of my favorite comedians, Greg Giraldo.

I'm sure he's smiling looking down from heaven


Nah JK he's just dead ROFL

He was a pretty funny guy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Starcraft II Balance Discussion

Is Starcraft 2 terribly imbalanced?
Do some races require more skill than others?
What can be done to change it?

There is ongoing controversy about the state of balance in Starcraft 2. Some hold the opinion that Terran is overpowered, Zerg is underpowered, or even that the game is balanced but Zerg has a greater minimum skill required as is less successful because of it.

But what does the evidence suggest?

One thing that's for sure is in the top 250 players, the races are not represented equally.

Diamond (252 players)
Type Random Protoss Terran Zerg
Distribution 1.59% (4) 28.17% (71) 48.41% (122) 21.83% (55)
Average wins 56.01% (2,614) 57.04% (52,144) 58.01% (77,881) 56.79% (41,218)
Average points 1,885 1,853 1,848 1,854

Platinum (255 players)
Type Random Protoss Terran Zerg
Distribution 10.98% (28) 33.33% (85) 23.92% (61) 31.76% (81)
Average wins 53.37% (7,780) 55.11% (16,105) 55.23% (12,681) 53.83% (19,995)
Average points 1,207 1,194 1,194 1,181

Gold (253 players)
Type Random Protoss Terran Zerg
Distribution 8.70% (22) 37.94% (96) 28.85% (73) 24.51% (62)
Average wins 51.87% (8,540) 54.30% (22,600) 54.30% (17,858) 53.91% (15,013)
Average points 1,177 1,182 1,182 1,167

Some interesting observations can be made from this data.

In Diamond League, there are overwhelimingly more Terran than any other race. The question must then be why.

Many would agree Terran is much easier to play than Zerg. The special macro ability of Terran, the MULE, is much more forgiving to forget than for a Zerg to forget spawning larvae with the queen. If a Terran forgets to use MULES, as long as the energy doesn't max out, no productivity is lost. The same can be said about Protoss' Chrono Boost, in fact many strategies call for saving Chrono Boosts for special reasons. However, if a Zerg forgets to spawn larvae in a timely manner, it means the Zerg will not be able to produce enough units and may lose the game because of it.

Wtihout the ability to wall their base and no tier 1 anti air, Zerg is the most vulnerable to rushes or cheeses. If a Zerg does not adequately scout an early Void Ray or Banshee, it is very probable that they will not be able to defend against it.

These and other factors combine to leave little room for error for a competitive Zerg player.

So what can be done?

In my next post I will discuss possible changes to Zerg

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Civilization V Experience

After much waiting I finally got Civ V so here's my review.

Graphics are not my primary concern but the visuals are pretty good, at least compared to previous civ games.

The audio is as great as ever, I especially like how the civilizations speak their native language. The music is excellent.

The biggest change from Civ IV is the combat system. In previous civilization games units could stack together on a single tile. Players could create "stacks of doom", or, massive unbeatable stacks of units. They proceeded to use these stacks to raze every city in their path.
In Civilization 5, military units can not stack on the same tile. This new feature, combined with the fact that ranged units can actually attack from multiple tiles away creates a much more strategic and satisfying game.

Players can tactically use features of the terrain such as choke points to hold off much larger military forces.

Overall I am very satisfied with this game and will post more Civ V strategy in the future

Monday, September 13, 2010

Actions Per Minute

In my first installment of How to Be a Better Gamer I will discuss APM

Actions per minute is the number of actions (such as selecting units or issuing an order) completed within a minute of gameplay in a real time strategy game. High APM is often associated with skill, as it can indicate that a player both knows what to do in the game and has the manual dexterity to carry it out. Software has been developed to analyze players' APM in these games.[1] Beginners often have low APM count, typically below 100. Professional e-athletes in South Korea have APM in the range of excess of 300 and occasionally exceed 400.

A player's APM value is determined by the number of actions performed in a given time. Some actions (such as repeated selection) are easier to carry out than others, and players may repeatedly perform (or "spam") these actions. This "spamming" may be used as a way to warm up and maintain speed for later phases of the game, or it may be used simply to increase a player's recorded APM in order to improve the perception of their gameplay skills. Because of this, more sophisticated measures of APM may attempt to filter out redundant actions by means such as ignoring re-selection of a group of units which was already selected and ignoring the very beginning of the game (when the typical relative lack of action facilitates spamming), in order to only measure a player's "efficient/effective" APM value.


My name is zman and when this blog launches it will be dedicated to the art of powergaming.

Powergaming (or power gaming) is a style of interacting with games or game-like systems with the aim of maximising progress towards a specific goal, to the exclusion of other considerations such as (in videogames, boardgames, and roleplaying games) storytelling, atmosphere, camaraderie, and fun. Due to its focus on the letter of the rules over the spirit of the rules, it is often seen as unsporting, un-fun, or unsociable. This behaviour is most often found in games with a wide range of game features, lengthy campaigns or prize tournaments such as role-playingmassively multiplayer or collectible games.