Yamuska, Diablo and the aftermath.

I moved to Calgary, AB at the beginning of May 2012 to return to General Dynamics Canada as a co-op software engineer. One of bonuses is the compressed work week, which allows me to work extra time throughout the week to receive every second Friday off. These days off combined with living so close to the Canadian Rocky Mountains made me pledge to scramble a mountain (weather permitting) on each of these days off. My co-worker and good friend Austin Warren shared the same idea and has also pledged to join me on these adventures. … 


The Perfect Ventrilo Keybind

So if you are like me and use Ventrilo / Teamspeak to talk with your friends, you have probably been forced to chose a key to map “Push to Talk” to. Some may choose a mouse button, others a key.

In the beginning I had bound my Mouse4 button to talk, but this proved to be problematic because in a web browser it was the “back” hotkey. Meaning whenever I was browsing the internet and wanted to talk I would lose the page I was looking at. … 


Blizzcon 2009 – An Epic Adventure – Day 1

I can’t believe its almost been an entire year since I attended Blizzcon and I have not finished the story! I’ll try my best to remember everything that happened!

Josh and I woke up Friday morning to my iPhone alaram and proceeded to yell “BLIZZCON” to each other in childish voices, as if it were Christmas. Today was the big day, BLIZZCON 2009! We quickly got ready for the day and proceeded to get breakfast. Unfortunately there are no Tim Hortons in California. For breakfast we had to settle with a few muffins and bottled water, however we were too excited to worry about our stomaches.



An open letter to all the latest Blizzard haters RE: SC2 LAN play.

As many of you may or may not know. Blizzard recently announced they are going to discontinue LAN support for their upcoming game Starcraft 2, sequel to the world’s most popular real-time strategy game.

The original announcement irritated me for a while, until I researched further into this idea. I grew up with Starcraft. I believe I was 8years old when I first purchased it and it made me who I am today. During the summer I would wake up around noon, boot up my computer, pour myself some cereal and rush back to the machine to play Starcraft all day. I probably ate one meal a day for several weeks, which probably had an impact on how skinny I am today.

The real experience growing up would be the fact that you could play games with your buddies. Before LAN: MODEM GAMES. I could connect to my neighbors dial-up modem and we could play until someone would phone either house, crashing the connection.

Battle.net was one of my first experiences playing on-line with people from around the world but the best part about multiplayer was definitely the LAN games. With LAN I could play with my cousin’s when they came over for Christmas, and when I got a little older I could take my computer to LAN parties where we would play Starcraft/Counter-Strike all night. Some of my most memorable experiences have been at LAN parties/tournaments.

Blizzard announced that there would be no LAN support for Starcraft 2, but it’s not that bad.

There is a misconception on the internet right now. Many people think that this is the end of the road for Local Area Network play, but really it is just the beginning.

Blizzard’s main argument for the discontinuing of LAN support is piracy. Currently, there is no need to purchase any Blizzard title (other than World of Warcraft) because there are ‘private’ communities that have grown so much that the community populations have exceeded that of Battle.net. With Starcraft:BW you have ICCUP that you can download launchers and registry fixes to connect to their servers without a legitimate CD Key. I am also positive that there exists similar private servers for Diablo and Warcraft 3.

Piracy is a huge issue for a game development company, a lot of money goes into making games. Have you ever played through a game until it ‘rolls the credit’s?’ The lists are huge, hundreds of employees are working on a given game for an extended period of time, Starcraft 2 development coming up on 3-4 years.

Blizzard is not a dumb company, they listen to their customers. They are constantly asking the community for input on the SC2 development process and are consulting pro-gamers for opinions. If they were to take a major feature out of a game, they WILL have a new feature to take it’s place. As far as I can tell by reading the dev blogs, Battle.net 2.0 will facilitate Local Area Network latencies. Meaning you will connect to battle.net to authenticate your CDKEY then you will be able to make a LAN game with your buddies. LAN support will be built INTO Battle.net 2.0.

The only reason you should be panicking is if you DO NOT HAVE AN INTERNET CONNECTION.

After reading several comments on various forums, especially Digg.com (it seems the majority of Digg users these migrated from YouTube) I have a few personal messages.

To the people who think because of WoW, Blizzard is greedy:

WHY THE FUCK SHOULD BLIZZARD SUPPORT YOU PIRATING THEIR SOFTWARE? Why would ANY company make piracy easy? Lets boycott Starcraft 2 so the company is forced to make it easy for us to play for free.

To the people who will not buy Starcraft 2 because of the lack of LAN support:

You probably would of just downloaded it from thepiratebay.org anyway and if not you will probably end up purchasing it.

To the people without internet connections:

That kind of sucks for you, but then again you wouldn’t be reading this letter in the first place.


Starcraft 2: Reunderstanding the game

Another excellent Starcraft 2 article written by a teamliquid member who attended the Blizzcon regional finals in Germany.

Personally I am not too fond of the auto-mining mechanic. Basically when you start the game and build a new worker they will automatically begin to mine. This makes macro (which Starcraft is all about) very easy. Many games are won or lost because one players macro was better than the other.

However there are other mechanics to keep macro important on the battlefield: Dark pylons, Zerg Queens and Mules. Dark pylons are special pylons that act as normal pylons but they allow to ‘cast a spell’ that increases the worker production, the zerg queens can inject 3 extra larvae into a hatchery and the mule can be called down from a drop ship to support mining. These mechanics are on cool downs which will make macroing equally important.

There are currently lots of balance issues but I think it will turn out to be a great game. As the author said “This is Starcraft. You are not playing Warcraft 4, from the first second on this feels like Starcraft. Oh, and it looks gorgeous.”


Starcraft 2 Observation

Here is an excellent article on observation modes/styles that will be present in Starcraft 2.

Each game will have up to 12 slots available no matter what, with up to 8 of them available for participating players.

This basically means we will be able to join games as observers rather than players with a minimum of 4 observer slots to a maximum of 10.

Read the article to find out more!