Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Gran Turismo 5 Screenshots W/ Cote d'Azur

Some more beautiful screen shots from GT5.

More info and screen shots can be found on GT5's blog here:

7 Year Old Boy Uses DS To Save Family's Life

Christopher Miszkowiec is a 7 year old boy whom not too long ago was involved in quite the car accident, when his family was driving late at night on a country road near Heathcote, Victoria, when they hit a kangaroo, crashed, and rolled multiple times until finally stopping.

Fortunately, Christopher’s father, Wayne, the 6 month old baby brother (Joseph) all survived. Meanwhile, Christopher unbuckled his own seatbelt and his 5 year old brother Dilon’s. All the while, using the light from his Nintendo 3DS to make his way around the car, leading up to freeing his unconscious mother, Kathleen.

His mom admitted to originally growing tired of her son’s constant playing of the DS, but ever since his heroic actions with thanks to Nintendo’s handheld, she has become a supporter of the device and is more than happy to give her son anything he wants.

You can find the original post here:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fallout: New Vegas Cheat System Released

Xploder has released cheat systems for over a hundred titles and the latest release to be given the Xploder treatment is Fallout: New Vegas. Players of Fallout: New Vegas who venture back to the wastelands of crumbling buildings and stumble across dusty artefacts of a once civilised society will be treated to unlimited ammo, decent weapons and ample useful items to aid them thanks to the Xploder cheat system. Xploder is a PC system that makes the cheating experience virtually seamless for the user, with full access to their database and an easy to use program. It also works with your own USB memory stick or USB hard drive and provides the Xploder "re-signer" engine which allows gamesaves to work with your 360 profile. 

Players can obtain and use available gamesaves on their consoles so they can unlock levels and stages, unlock secret/hard to find content, gain extra money, etc. Xploder enables you to access the managed online database and website which is constantly updated with new cheat gamesaves. You can also ask questions, find solutions and share cheats, gamesaves, tips and gaming news with other community members. Xploder also enables you to back-up all your saved games to your PC to free up memory on your console. Xploder works with any USB Stick/ Hard Drive as well as official Xbox Hard Drives and Memory Units. Electronic Theatre will bring you all the latest news on Fallout: New Vegas and Xploder.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fable III Isn’t Legendary - Review by Adam Najberg

Fable III is a game that promises much, but never fully delivers. Peter Molyneux’s Lionhead Studios has a game with all the elements needed to succeed – stunning graphics, a deep storyline, sympathetic characters, a hip steampunk feel and smooth gameplay. Somehow, though, the game fails to meld all those elements together.

I really wanted to like this game, which is out in stores today, but I couldn’t get myself immersed or lost in a world that offers far too many faux life choices and has a windup longer than an Ayn Rand novel.

Fable III casts you as a prince or princess in the kingdom of Albion. It’s set a half-century after Fable II. Your father, the able king and protagonist of the previous game, is long dead. Before dying, he handed the crown to your mean brother, Logan. The new king is a cruel man, and the people of this realm – in the throes of their own industrial revolution, complete with post-apocalyptic-looking, smoke-belching factories – are also in the early stages of fomenting a real revolution to topple Logan. That’s where you come in. Your mission is to shake a lot of hands, kiss a lot of babies around the kingdome, winning the support of the people and overthrowing your brother. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to keep the support of those who helped you onto the throne or go the way of Logan.

The division of the game into distinct halves – one where your hero is a revolutionary leader and the other as king – is smart and keeps you occupied. You’ll need to display both violence and smarts to be successful throughout the entire game. The good news about the lackluster development of the storyline is that you’ll have plenty of time to develop whatever you’re lacking. If you’re a bad fighter or spell-caster, you’ll have enough chances at swordplay and wolf-killing in the first half. If you’re not up on your Albion tax law, tweaking policy in the second half of the game will let you see what kind of ruler you really are.

You’re helped on your quest by your valet, Jasper, who’s delightfully voiced by John Cleese. I kept expecting him to hand me an exploding pen (a la James Bond’s Q) or to ask Manuel to make me some Paella (nod to “Fawlty Towers”). Neither happened, but it definitely adds something to the game to have Cleese’s snarky lilt along for the journey. Also on your side is adviser Walter Beck. Apart from some sword-fighting scenes and a powwow with villagers that my hero wasn’t allowed to attend, I didn’t get why I needed him. And your trusty dog is with you on the quest, always ready to fetch. He barks when he finds something useful to you somewhere in the game.

Spoiler warning: very early in the game, you see how cruel Logan is when he forces you to decide between killing your lady friend or a revolutionary leader. But it’s also the first of many moral dilemmas and social choices you’ll have to make to develop your hero’s character.

There are some nice side touches to Fable III. You can find and accumulate wealth, including gold or jewels. If clothes do make the man (or woman), you have plenty of choices of what to buy and wear in Fable III. You can wander slightly off the path the game wants you to take to interact with or engage passers-by. The game’s social aspect also lets you develop relationships with other characters.

Fable III is a clear upgrade in the last version of the role-playing game. It has a cleaner interface that’s not cluttered with menus. Choices appear as button icons on the screen with one-word memory-joggers. Instead of plowing into the game’s manual, you can generally get by with helpful tips that appear on the bottom of the screen between scenes.

Overall, though, I don’t like games that force you down a particular path. In this game, your every course is illuminated by a glowing dust trail – like emergency aisle lighting on an airplane. While it’s nice to not have to memorize locations or read a map, exploring is often half the fun of adventure and role-playing games.

You can read more of Adam Najberg's excellent review here:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

StarCraft II Going Pre-Paid Overseas

Gamers in Southeast Asia will soon receive access to Blizzard’s blockbuster sci-fi RTS StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty without the need to purchase the full retail version.

According to a press release, PC gamers in Hong Kong/Macau, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand will have access to three game card options that grants 3 days, 7 days, and 30 days to the game. The passes will be used on the Southeast Asian server for both StarCraft II singleplayer and multiplayer modes.

Friday Blizzard said that Southeast Asian gamers would also have access to a DVD starter kit for those who would rather not download the game client. The kit will include the disk, a 7-day pass, and a guide to creating a account and installing the client.

Blizzard added that the prepaid game cards and DVD starter kit will be distributed across Southeast Asia in select Internet gaming cafes, convenience stores, and gaming retail shops. For more information about the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty passes and where to buy them, head here.

Currently we’re still waiting on a response from Blizzard to see if the "tiered" pricing plan will come to the States.

You can find the original article here:,11514.html

Monday, October 25, 2010

Zynga To Patent Virtual Currencies?!

Zynga, the creator of social networking games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, has filed a patent on purchased in-game currency.

Online games have long offered virtual currencies, usually earned by performing actions within a game. The currency can then be traded for in-game objects which help players progress within the game. But they have not traditionally been something one can purchase legally. As a result, booming bootleg economies have sprung up around these games, leading to illicit operations in China and other countries known as “gold farms,” which pay third-world workers to play games hours on end and then trade in-game objects for real money.

Zynga’s twist on this business model has been to embrace and profit from gold-farming behavior. Rather than force players to go on the black market to buy in-game objects, Zynga freely sells its game currencies, like FarmVille Cash and FrontierVille Horseshoes.

For some of its games, like Zynga Poker, the use of virtual currency might fall under state gambling guidelines. Online gambling is highly regulated in some states, illegal in others. But Zynga’s patent application stresses that one of its virtual-currency innovations is that the currency exchange is one-way: Players can send cash into the system, but they can’t take cash out, arguably avoiding the risk of regulation as gambling.

The patent filing, on which Zynga CEO Mark Pincus’s name is listed as one of the inventors, is arguably defensive, potentially orestalling intellectual-property claims against Zynga. But it could also give Zynga leverage in its negotiations with Facebook, the social network which connects most of Zynga’s players with each other.

Facebook has sought to push Facebook Credits as the medium of exchange for virtual currencies in games played on Facebook. It reportedly takes a 30 percent cut of Facebook Credits transactions, an additional cost which Zynga and other app makers have bristled at paying. Facebook and Zynga have signed a five-year agreement committing Zynga to the use of Facebook Credits. But the patent, if granted, could give Zynga leverage in ongoing negotiations on other commercial issues between the companies. (Zynga is believed to be one of the largest advertisers on Facebook.)

A patent on how virtual currencies operate would also secure Zynga’s position as the dominant player in social games. Zynga is already the largest developer of games on social networks like Facebook. But there is a good bit of competition from other social networking game companies like Playdom and Playfish. Disney recently acquired Playdom for about $760 million, while gaming giant Electronic Arts picked up Playfish for around $400 million.

San Francisco-based Zynga is one of the fastest-growing gaming companies in history, with more than 1,200 employees now across studios in 12 cities. The company recently took a seven-year lease on a new headquarters in San Francisco’s South of Market district. That office can accommodate as many as 2,000 people. It’s been on a bit of an expansion kick as well, opening up offices in Dallas and Seattle.

You can find the original post here:

Blizzard Sues Starcraft II Cheat Creators

Video game company Blizzard often appears to be a study in contrasts. At times, it seems to recognize the changing nature of the technology landscape, embracing scarcities, giving people reasons to buy and even coming out against DRM. But, at the same time, it tried to retroactively ban anonymity in its forums, and has been notoriously litigious, even going after organizations who promote its games.

However, perhaps the most troubling (and highest profile) issue involving Blizzard is its lawsuit against a guy who made a bot for doing things within World of Warcraft. While we recognize that such things can be used to "cheat," the problem was Blizzard's attempt (successful so far) to drastically stretch the meaning and intent of copyright law, to suggest that making such a bot infringes on its copyright. Beyond the basic questions of how the decision in the case was at odds with the basic concepts of the First Sale doctrine, the real problem was that nothing the bot does actually violates copyright law. The judge had to seriously twist both the letter and spirit of copyright law to come to that conclusion (and if you don't want my analysis on it, try copyright expert William Patry's, who noted):
The critical point is that WoWGilder did not contributorily or vicariously lead to violating any rights granted under the Copyright Act. Unlike speed-up kits, there was no creation of an unauthorized derivative work, nor was a copy made even under the Ninth Circuit's misinterpretation of RAM copying in the MAI v. Peak case. How one might ask can there be a violation of the Copyright Act if no rights granted under the Act have been violated? Good question.

To get to its result, the court had to first find that WoW, even though sold over the counter, was licensed not sold. In so finding, the court declined to follow the recent Vernor opinion in the Western District of Washington, believing it had to follow other Ninth Circuit precedent. I agree with the Vernor court that the other precedent (MAI, Triad, Wall Data) do not hold that over the counter software is licensed, not sold. (WoW may be purchased online too, but I don't think this changes the analysis.). Having found there was license not a sale, there still had to be a breach of the license in order to permit an infringement action to lie, and recall here that the claim is not one for direct infringement, but rather secondary liability; there was no privity between the parties. There was in fact no provision in the license that barred use of WoWGlider. The court took the extraordinary step of stitching together two unrelated provisions to create one. You have to read it to believe it, but it took the court 8 pages to go through this hard work, and why? Was the court offended by what it regarded to be cheating? If so, God help us if law is being reduced to such subjective, non-statutory grounds.
While the appeal in that case is still ongoing, it appears that Blizzard is using that precedent to go after more folks who have made tools for "cheating." The company recently banned thousands of players from Starcraft II for allegedly using such cheat codes, but reader Jay was the first of a bunch of you to point out that it's also suing three creators of cheat codes using the same dubious claims of copyright infringement.

Now, let me make it quite clear: I completely understand why Blizzard and many players of Blizzard games hate cheat codes and find them unfair and damaging to the overall gameplay. However, even if you think such cheats and hacks are the most evil thing out there, you have to admit that it's no excuse to misuse copyright law to punish the makers of those cheats, knowing that the end result could be precedent that negatively impacts all sorts of other things online. So what is Blizzard claiming specifically? Well, to make this a "copyright" issue, they're claiming that:
When users of the Hacks download, install, and use the Hacks, they copy StarCraft II copyrighted content into their computer's RAM in excess of the scope of their limited license, as set forth in the EULA and ToU, and create derivative works of StarCraft II.
Pick apart that sentence carefully. In order to make this a copyright issue, Blizzard is claiming that (1) running a cheat code violates the EULA and the ToU (the fine print no one read) and (2) once you've violated the EULA and the terms of service, you no longer have a license for the game ("excess of the scope of their limited license") and, because of that (3) when you copy aspects of the game in a fleeting manner into the computer's RAM, it violates the copyright.

Hopefully, you can see how problematic this is. Thankfully, for now, other cases (in a different circuit, I believe, so non-binding on the Blizzard cases) have found that fleeting copies in RAM are not considered infringing, and hopefully the courts here agree, and toss out this kind of tortured logic that could lead to all sorts of other ridiculous rulings. If Blizzard is allowed to make these claims, then any software/content company that offers you a long license, where you don't obey each and every claim, can say you've infringed on their copyright and owe huge statutory damages.

You can find the original article and more info here:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Starcraft 2: Heart Of The Swarm To Release In 2012

Starcraft 2: Heart Of The Swarm To Release In 2012. Blizzard has announced that it would not release its Starcraft 2: Heart Of The Swarm this year. According to Blizzard's Chris Sigaty, the second chapter in the SC2 trilogy is unlikely to release before 2012. At a press conference, Blizzard was not very forthcoming on the details but confirmed that Heart Of The Swarm take place after the events of Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty.

The studio revealed that the title would be set less than 100 years after its predecessor and it would be greater than one hour. Blizzard had started working on "StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty" follow-up release of "Heart of the Swarm" in August. It was not announced at that time that when the company is planning to ship the SC2. More than one month has passed now but the studio is yet to set an official date.

According to a GameSpot report, project director Greg Canessa said that feature upgrades would be "a main area of focus we're going to be seeing on the 'Starcraft [2]' side over the next 18 months between now and 'Heart of the Swarm.”

Going by Canessa’s timeframe we can assume that the SC2 would release in the Spring/Summer 2012. The second installment for the "SC2" trilogy will be Zerg-focused and it will be single-player content heavy with some RPG elements. It will also come loaded with some new multiplayer features. Blizzard today also failed to give us a release date for Diablo III. The studio however, announced that it would have PvP play and a Demon Hunter class.

You can find the original article here:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

BlizzCon 2010: New Cataclysm Worgen Cinematic

As hinted during the Starcraft 2 cinematic panel yesterday, a new Cataclysm cinematic just debuted at the Cinematics: Cataclysm panel. As any beta worgen player could tell you, the "transition cinematic" that really kicks the story into high gear has been missing, and now we know where and what it is. As a quick gloss on what you'll see without spoiling anything too heavy, you'll see your character's transition from human to worgen, with some quiet speculation on whether your humanity's salvageable or not.

You can find the original post here:

Friday, October 22, 2010

StarCraft 2: Blizzard Offers 4 New Game Modes

Today at BlizzCon, the creative folks behind many of your favorite StarCraft II levels and maps announced a few new custom-created modes developed entirely with the game's editor. These new game modes included: 

Left 2 Die

A clever play on Left 4 Dead, this similarly titled mode adds the one thing to StarCraft that you've no doubt always wanted: zombies. Co-op is key here as you try to survive during both day and night cycles. Destroying super zombies or infested structures will earn you Zerg Biomass which'll aid in beefing up your character's arsenal. With a full intro cinematic, this mode will feature a full-on story and four difficulty levels.

Aiur Chef

A spin on the Iron Chef phenomenon, you'll be tasked -- cute little chef's hat, metal pan and all -- with tracking down the necessary ingredients for a given recipe. The only catch? Those ingredients are currently in the possession of enemy forces. So set out into the world, battle the baddies, and return with the delicious spoils required to feed your troops!


A cross between Bejeweled and StarCraft, Starjeweled will task players with manipulating a typical Bejeweled board by battling opponents in the usual RTS fashion. Casual gaming meets hardcore RTS warfare.

Blizzard DOTA

A StarCraft version of the well regarded WarCraft mod, Blizzard DOTA features 5-on-5 PvP with 12 classes based upon classic Blizzard heroes. With tons of items and upgrades, you'll have to power up your character to defeat your enemies and control their base.

Read more:

Diablo III: Demon Hunter Class Revealed at Blizzcon 2010

During the opening ceremony of Blizzon 2010, Blizzard’s Chris Metzen announced the fifth and final class for Diablo 3, the Demon Hunter.

The Demon Hunter class comes with cool moves such as Fan of Knives, Molten Arrow, Grenade and much more.

You can find more info here:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Starcraft 2: Terran Basic Opener Tutorial

This is a great Terran opening tutorial by Husky Starcraft. You can check out more of his gameplay commentaries and tutorials here:

Numbers assume no units lost. Numbers may be slightly off, just worry about doing them in order as quickly as possible.

10 Supply Depot
12 Barracks
14 Supply Depot (Finish Wall-in... every map is different)
15 Refinery
16 Scout
17 Marine
17 Orbital Command
17 Tech Lab (First Barracks)
17 Supply Depot
18 2nd Barracks
18 Marauder
20 3rd Barracks
20 Supply Depot
24 Reactor on 2nd Barracks
26 Supply Depot
27 Tech Lab on 3rd Barracks
35 2nd Refinery
45 Stimpack
Constantly produce units.

Depending on how our attack goes:
Goes Well: Keep pressure up, producing units
If Goes Normal: Tech to Medvacs
If Goes Poorly: Turtle and build Command Center in main to expand.

Blizzard Reveals WoW: Cataclysm System Specs

Here are the PC and Mac requirements for Blizzard's upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm.

While we haven't seen anything official in the inbox, Blizzard reportedly unveiled the minimum and recommended system specs for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Cataclysm. Hitting the MMORPG on December 7, the expansion will introduce gamers to two new races, revamped zones, new game mechanics and more. Here are the specs to see if your rig can handle the new content:

Minimum Requirements
Operating System
  • Windows XP 32-bit (SP3), Windows XP 64-bit (SP2), Windows Vista 32-bit (SP1), Windows Vista 64-bit (SP1)
  • Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz or AMD Athlon XP 1500
  • 1 GB or more of RAM
  • Nvidia GeForce FX or ATI Radeon 9500 video card or better
  • DirectX-compatible sound card or motherboard sound capability
  • 25 GB free hard drive space
A keyboard and mouse are required. Input devices other than a mouse and keyboard are not supported. You must also have an active broadband Internet connection to play.

Recommended Requirements
Operating System
  • Windows XP 32-bit (SP3), Windows XP 64-bit (SP2), Windows Vista 32-bit (SP1), Windows Vista 64-bit (SP1) Windows 7
  • Dual-core processor, such as the Intel Pentium D or AMD Athlon 64 X2
  • 2 GB RAM (2 GB for Vista users)
  • 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability with 256 MB Nvidia GeForce 8600 or ATI Radeon
  • 2600 or better DirectX-compatible sound card or motherboard sound capability
A broadband Internet connection is required, and a multi-button mouse with scroll wheel is recommended.
For gamers on a Mac, Blizzard provided the minimum and recommended specs for Apple gamers as well:

Minimum Requirements
Operating System
  • Mac OS X 10.5.8, 10.6.4, or newer
  • Intel Core Duo processor
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 25 GB
A keyboard and mouse are required. Input devices other than a mouse and keyboard are not supported. You must have an active broadband Internet connection to play.
Recommended Requirements
Operating System
  • Mac OS X 10.6.4 or newer
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor
Mobile Video
  • Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT or ATI Radeon HD 4670 or better
Desktop Video
  • 3D graphics processor with Vertex and Pixel Shader capability with 128 MB VRAM such as an ATI Radeon X1600 or NVIDIA 7600 class card or better
  • 4 GB RAM
Multi-button mouse with scroll wheel recommended.

Original article can be found here:,11502.html

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Starcraft 2 Macro Tips

Macro in Strategy games refers to macro management. It refers to the actions you take keeping the overall overview of the game in mind. Macros in Starcraft 2 is primarily the process of building an army. A good macro gameplay means you can efficiently manage the different “macro” factors of the game such as the build order, economy, expansions, expenses, offense, and group hot keys.

Build Orders
This is the groundwork of every strategy during the start of every game. A good build order begins by understanding what your goals are for the game. Your build order depends on what type of game is being played, the race of your opponents and the map. There is a recommended build order for every situation.

Starcraft in a sense is a money war. The player who has more money can easily overpower his opponent. It is important that you continuously build workers in the beginning of the game before anything else. You need to have 16 to 24 workers per eight patches of minerals and three workers for each gas mine. Having a lower income can cost you the game.

While we’re on the subject of economy, Starcraft 2 macro tips are not complete without mentioning expansions. It is the setting up of another base to get more resources and have the economic advantage over your opponents. You should know when to expand and when not to. At the same time you should not let your opponent from expanding during the game.

When you have a steady income in the game, you have to spend that money when you get it. You wouldn’t win the game when you hoard all your resources. It is better to build more fighting units than let all that minerals and gasses left unspent. If your income generating is faster than your unit production, then construct more structures.

One important Starcraft 2 macro factor is your offense. You should keep your offense on full gear. It is better to spend all your money on offensive units than on defensive structures. You’ll win games faster when you’re offensive minded.

Group Hot Keys
The last of the Starcraft 2 macro tips involve the control of group hot keys. In Starcraft 2 you can select as many units as you want and put them in a single group. This makes it easier to manage your army in SC2 than in the original Starcraft where you can only select up to twelve units at a time. It is recommended to have a hotkey for your main army, another one for your scout, and another for tactical units.

You can find the original post here:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Starcraft 2: The Bronze & Silver Crash Course

by Evan "FCsTrYKe" Kim on August 12, 2010
If you’re in the bronze, silver, or even gold leagues, then this guide is for you. In it, I took the fundamentals of solid play and broke them down into seven easy to follow rules.
To prove that this works, I purposely moved down to the bronze league to see how far I could get using nothing but the information found in this guide. I went 70 wins to 3 losses getting back to platinum and then 1 more win got me to diamond.
I’m confident that if you can master these rules, you’ll get into the platinum or even diamond league in no time – and you’ll actually deserve it.

The Idea Behind the Seven Rules
The main problem with new players isn’t that their strategies are bad. Surprisingly, many newbies enjoy watching pro replays, surfing forums like Team Liquid, and talking about Starcraft 2 strategy with their friends.
No, the main problem with new players is that when push comes to shove, they simply don’t have enough units. Not enough of an army, not enough workers, not enough of anything. At its heart, Starcraft 2 is an economically focused game, which means that having a ton of units is more important than having the right units.
Once you reach the higher levels of play where most players are good at getting a lot of units, then you can start deciding what units to make. Until then, it’s important that you worry less about your strategy, and worry more about what matters – managing your economy.
The seven rules were designed to give you a solid economic foundation. Using that foundation, you can learn to play the game the right way and progress as quickly as possible.
With that, let’s get onto the rules!

Rule #1: Constantly Build Workers

Building workers nonstop will give you the resources you need to make a giant army. Every time you don’t build a worker, but your opponent does, you’re falling behind.
Just think about that for a moment. By forgetting to make workers, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage before you even do any fighting.
Here’s a common in game example of Rule #1 in action:
  1. You start the game happily making workers
  2. Eventually your mineral line will get saturated. At 24 workers on minerals, you won’t make any more money by making more workers.
  3. When your mineral line gets saturated, expand and move the extra workers to the expansion.
  4. Rally both your main CC and expansion CC to the expansion’s minerals and constantly make workers from both of them.
  5. Repeat for any additional bases

Rule #2: Spend All of Your Minerals

Any minerals you’re saving are minerals that are going to waste. For the entire game you should try your best to spend all of your minerals all the time.
As an example, if you lose a game with 3000 minerals, you could have had 30 extra Zealots, 60 extra marines, or 120 extra zerglings. No amount of strategizing can save you from that kind of deficit.
In fact, in the bronze and silver leagues, whoever follows this rule better is usually the one who wins the game.
Here’s a common in game example of Rule #2 in action:
  1. You notice that you’re over 500 minerals and you want to spend all of them.
  2. Check all of your buildings to make sure a unit is under construction
  3. If you still have extra minerals, ask yourself if you feel safe expanding.
  4. Yes: Throw down an expansion
  5. No: Build more unit production buildings (barracks, starport, etc.)
  6. If you want to get really fancy, you can start researching upgrades

Rule #3: Never Get Supply Blocked

Everybody knows getting supply blocked is bad, but it’s hard to put your finger on why exactly it’s bad.
Basically, getting supply blocked forces you to do things you don’t really want to do.
Supply depots take 30 seconds to construct, which means that all of your production structures are frozen for close to a full production cycle. While your buildings are frozen, you’re not spending the money you should have been spending, breaking Rule #2: Spend All of Your Minerals.
Because you’re not spending your money correctly, you’re forced to build more production, tech faster, or expand when you might not be ready to. It also messes with your timings, causing attacks and defenses to be slightly watered down.
If you do get supply blocked (it even happens to the pros from time to time), do your best to keep following Rule #2 and don’t be afraid to make additional structures – you have to do something with the extra money.

Rule #4: Stay Light on Static Defense

For many new players, their gut instinct is to turtle up so they don’t die to any sort of rush. After that, their plan is to either mass a huge army or tech to something fancy (carriers anyone?)
Now not being too aggressive is fine, but as a newer player you need to shy away from making static defense. Actual units are far more flexible than cannons or turrets are and give you a nice army to attack with once you’re done defending.
Once you hit the Diamond league, there are situations where it’s very difficult to defend without some well timed static defense – but before that point, if you ever feel like you needed cannons to fend off a rush, you’re probably failing at the other rules.

Rule #5: Use Simple Strategies

Now that we have the basics figured out, we need some strategic glue to hold it all together.
Since we already have rules #1 to #3 to worry about, we don’t want to add a complex build order complete with harassing, clever timing attacks, and heavy micro.
Instead, we need to favor simple builds which are highly flexible and let you really focus on the things that matter.
Some Sample Builds that I Would Recommend:
  • Terran: 3 Barracks (two with tech labs, one with a reactor) -> Expand
  • Protoss: Gate -> Core -> x2 Gate -> Expand
  • Zerg: Pool -> Roach Warren -> Expand -> Lair -> Hydralisk Den
You might be wondering what the exact timings on the buildings are. Don’t worry too much about it. If you just follow the rules, you’ll naturally find good times to build everything.
Too many players get caught up in this “exact build order” mentality where if the slightest thing goes wrong, their entire plan is messed up. This is the wrong way to learn at the lower levels – just keep building stuff, and if you start making too much money, build more buildings.
Easy. Just the way I like it.

Rule #6: Prioritize Base Upkeep

In your games, you’ll find it hard to remember to do everything at the same time. The important thing to remember is that following Rules #1 – #3 are the most critical things you could be doing at any time.
When the big battles happen, you’ll naturally want to watch the battle unfold. This is fine if you can follow the rules at the same time. What ends up happening with most players is they watch the big battle, forget to keep making units, and then their opponent ends up rolling them over.
In the large confrontations, don’t be afraid to get into a good position, cast a few spells, and then let the attack move AI handle the rest of the fight. While that’s going on, happily make more units and buildings in your base and you’ll have a nice big second army ready to go.

Rule #7: Experience is King

No matter how much reading, strategizing, or pro replay watching you do, the fact remains that you can’t get good without putting in time to actually play the game. If you want to get good, it’s far better to spend 90% of your time playing games than it is to spend 90% of your time theorycrafting.
Speaking of which, what are you doing still reading this guide? Get out there and play the game!
If you need any help or have any tips that you think would help other newer players, leave a message in the comments below!

Evan is an ex-top 75 Red Alert 3 player. In Starcraft 2, he plays random and is currently hovering around the Diamond 500-600 point range.