Ben's StarCraft II Hub
Your internet source for all StarCraft II news and information!

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release date
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terran, zerg, protoss
SC2 News

Sorry I didn't update yesterday like I promised. Just another in a series of disappointments from this website, I know, but I really am trying to get better at it. It's just, these days there's really not that much SC2 news coming out, and with my job situation and my neighbor (and landlord) continuing to pound out really loud, really bad rhythms on his huge drumset downstairs, it is so hard to even get up the motivation to update this site, much less bring you anything interesting on the StarCraft II front.

On the original SC front, I finally finished Protoss 5, and it was so annoying, tiresome and unpleasant that I think I am going to take a serious break from Brood War for a while. After plowing through the original game, and now these first five Brood War missions, I think I am done with it for a while. I still play a multiplayer game once in a while, but that's about all the involvement with SC I think I'll be having for the next little while. I'll get back to it, though. Just not any time soon, I think.

For those RTS fans out there, in my now much more available spare time I've reinstalled and begun playing Trash again. It is a really good, independently developed RTS, with a fine UI, quick, uncomplicated gameplay, but with some really new strategic elements which add a lot of depth to the seemingly simple proceedings. Highly recommended!

This update's been kind of a downer, so I'm almost hesitant to even bring this up, but in other news, I am fatter than ever. I'm barely hanging onto my sanity as it is, and when I go into the bathroom in the morning and check out the scale, well, it's almost too much to bear. Luckily, that's about when the drumming starts, so it takes my mind off it.

Boy I hope I find new work soon.

Whew. That's all I can say. Well, first of all, thanks to all of you who have written to express your concern. I appreciate it. Though I am not in any immediate trouble, I am not kidding when I say that this six weeks of severance pay is really all that I've got, and once that's up, then I will have some serious problems. But with any luck, and with my full faith in the Lord, this will all work out one way or the other.

For a switch, let me actually start today with some SC2 news. Nothing big to report, but Blizzard has put up some new videos of SC2's official announcement in Seoul, Korea. Nothing really new, but I wasn't aware how popular StarCraft is in Korea, so it was interesting to see (well, hear) the reactions of the crowd. Sounded like a rock concert!

Though my time these last couple days was of course focused on getting my life back together and finding work, I do make sure to set aside an hour or so a day to have some fun, and of course I generally spend my hours with StarCraft, so at this point, I'm through Protoss 4 of Brood War, and halfway through Protoss 5. Hopefully within a week or two, I can be past the Protoss -- this will be 20 Protoss missions in a row! -- and back to another race.

So that's it for that. I don't really have any other news to report today, except it's interesting what you find out when you are home in the middle of the day. I rent an apartment, which is really just the top story of an old two-story house, with a separate entrance and one of the bedrooms converted into a small kitchen/dining area. I just moved here a couple months ago, and one thing I discovered was that the owner, and my downstairs neighbor, apparently has designs on becoming a heavy metal drummer, because for like two or three hours in the middle of the day is this raucous, earsplitting drumming, and by the sounds of it, he's just starting. So even when I sit here trying to concentrate and work on my resume and search for jobs, I can't even do that. And of course, since he owns the place, who am I going to complain to? This just keeps getting better and better.

Alright, enough whining. I do have a backlog of reader feedback which, don't worry, I've got it here and will get back to updating that tomorrow. Sorry for the delay. In the meantime, I have to go take some aspirin, to calm down the echoes of a bass drum which are still rattling around in my head.

Before I say anything, I want to express my apologies for having to put this page up for the last few days. As my goal with this website was (and is still) to bring you the most up-to-date StarCraft 2 news possible, it is a personal embarrassment to me to have had to do that. I only hope that as you read the rest of the story, you'll understand that while I don't have an excuse, there is an explanation.

Where to start, though. My mind is still swirling though I've had a whole weekend to let this sink in. Sorry if this comes off disjointed and confused, but I would say that that's an excellent description of how I'm feeling right now, after having had all this happen. I'll try to tell as much of the story as I can remember, though, so here goes:

As you know, I had the run-in with my coworker and employers a couple weeks ago, for which I was suspended and subsequently forced to go to counseling sessions. Needless to say, this was embarrassing enough, since after the sessions were over, I still had to go back and work with my colleagues (though at this point it sickens me to refer to them that way) as though nothing had happened. Well, while I was more than happy to move on and let the past be, this was not quite so easy for my coworkers. Since the incident, I have enjoyed my fair share of ribbing, some good-natured, most not, at the hands of those in the cubicles around mine. Since I admit I behaved poorly, and mostly since I needed the job and the paychecks that came with it, I endured.

However, toward the last half of last week, an upsetting trend began, which was that the less-friendly among the employees at that place began regressing to their schoolyard days, and started calling me "freakshow". A nasty name by anyone's account, I heard it first on Tuesday, and then apparently it began to catch on. So by the time I came in on Thursday, I was being greeting with "morning, freakshow" and "duck everyone, freakshow's here..." It became so incessant that I was unable to concentrate on my job at all.

At this point I should tell you that while I feel my work ethic is exemplary, and certainly the best you were going to find at that place, I did take an occasion now and then to work on this website while at work. Call it goofing off on company time, but while large groups of the other people in the very same office would take long, leisurely smoke breaks outside several times a day, I didn't feel I was out of bounds in taking a few minutes here and there to scour the web for StarCraft II news and report it to you fine folks here, as well as attend to the reader feedback which I thankfully receive every day.

On Thursday afternoon, the teasing and namecalling had gotten so bad that, though I had tried to use the counselor's "techniques" to deal with this sort of thing, I felt the need to approach the HR department with my complaint. I did so, and described what was going on, and while they recorded my complaint and thanked me for "bringing the issue to their attention", I could tell that they didn't care much at all, since they'd already had to deal with me for the incident that began this whole episode. I had vented, though, and though I knew nothing would come of it, I felt at least a little relieved.

That was before I got back to my desk, and saw the guy in the cube next to mine, as well as my supervisor, standing in my cube, staring at my monitor and snickering back and forth to each other. That's when I remembered... I had been working on the site, and had left it up on my screen when I'd run off to HR.

They saw me and began asking me about what I was doing, what the site was, and all that. I tried to play it off like it was just a site someone had forwarded me to look at, but then I saw that I had the text editor up as well, with the source code. At that point I sort of panicked and just told them to go away. I was very shaken and embarrassed, so the scene is a bit of a blur. All I know is, once they left my cube, and I was sure nobody was around, I went on and took down the site, hoping to limit the damage.

Well, any hope I held out that that would work was quickly dashed as soon as I got to work the next day, and was immediately called back into HR. In sort of a desperate way, I was hoping that they were calling me in to tell me they were going to take action about my complaint, but as soon as I saw their faces, I knew I was wrong.

Within five minutes, and seemingly with just a little touch of satisfaction, they told me that due to "behavior conflicting with general company policy", they were letting me go. I pressed them on why, and they just said that they'd found out I was "using company equipment for personal use on company time". Never mind that the guy who sat next to me was playing online poker half the day most times. But it was pointless to argue, because obviously they'd read some of the nasty things I had to say about the place, and this was just their little personal retribution against me.

So that's it. I'm out of a job. They gave me a six-week severance package, so while I'm not broke and homeless yet, I am way closer than I ever thought I'd be. I spent most of the weekend bouncing back and forth between scouring the internet and newspapers for work, and just generally freaking out.

Though it seems almost like an afterthought, I should say that I also found time to finish StarCraft! The final Protoss mission was great fun, and thankfully not nearly as hard as I'd been led to believe. I also started on Brood War, so hopefully I can keep updating you on my status with that game.

For now, though, I'm just trying to get my life back in order. I hate to do this, but if any of you are in southern California, and know of any jobs which fit my qualifications, please let me know. I am a tech writer with seven years of experience, and can also do HTML development, though as you can probably guess from the look of this site, I am not what I would call an "expert" in the field. But I do have professional experience with that as well. Thanks for any help, but more than that, thanks for just reading this. It has been a nightmare of a couple of weeks. This outlet has really been the one thing that's helped me keep it together. So, whoever's reading this, I owe you for that.

Ugh, another missed day, and another session with the counselor. As bored as he seemed at the end of the last one, that was nothing compared to how long today's session dragged out. First we talked about my "reflections" on what we talked about on Monday. I don't know what he was expecting or wanted me to say, and I couldn't say what I thought, which is that it was a big waste of time and we're only being forced to do this because my corrupt, ridiculous company needed to cover their (you know what) and act like they care about their employees which they don't. So instead I said something like, well, I thought some of the techniques he told me about were interesting and I tried to use them when frustrations came up during the day and basically just tried to get through the conversation as quickly as possible. I think he knew I didn't really mean any of what I said, but like I said, I don't think he much cares anyway. After that, the rest of the hour was more boring lectures about the "nature of anger" and how to look for the "warning signs" and other cliches like that. Totally stupid. I almost said, hey, one warning sign is when your boss tells you you can't take your holiday off and you have to start working twice as long to cover for the liars that you're forced to work with. That's a warning sign. But I was a good boy and held it together.

Enough of that, though. Today we have a small SC2 update, as the Blizzard site added a feature on another new Protoss unit, the Warp Ray! This appears to be a supercool unit which fires a constant beam of destructive power which gets more destructive the longer it fires. Anyone who watched the gameplay demo had to remember the part where the group of Warp Rays cut through that fleet of Battlecruisers like it was butter. Can't wait to get my "hands" on a Warp Ray or two!

Still haven't attempted Protoss 10, just putting it off as long as possible because I know it's going to be totally painful. Ugh. I think I'm ready for a break from this game, but I'm gonna try to push on through. I still have a week and a half to keep to my "timetable". That should be enough time... I sure hope.

Alright, that's it for today. See you tomorrow. Or, you know, soon.

Well, of course just as I say I'm going to get back to updating daily, I miss an entire weekend. Sigh, this really has not been a good couple of weeks for me. I won't be silly enough to promise daily updates again, though I wouldn't rule it out, I'm just not going to talk about it anymore. I missed this weekend because I was busy with a combination of job hunting, sitting around getting depressed, and managing to finally get past Protoss 9. That was a tough one. Of course I took a peek at 10, and I know that's going to probably take the rest of the month for me to get through, at the rate I slogged through 9. Oh well. I think after that I will take a break before heading into Brood War. With all the anxiety and stuff going on at my job, the stress of trying to put together an army to defeat the Zerg is just a little too much right now.

Ah, the job situation. Yes, today I had my first of four one hour "evaluation" periods with the company's hired "counselor" (psychologist). I explained that I had been very stressed out about the "way things had been going" at the company, controlling myself enough not to just start blabbing about how grossly and unfairly I'd been treated there, and explained that it hadn't happened before and it was just a momentary lapse. The guy seemed like he understood and just sort of dragged out the rest of the hour discussing "strategies" for dealing with situations like that in the future. It all seemed pretty rote, and I can tell he wasn't particularly interested in being there. He probably has to do this all the time when anyone flips out at a job, just so the bosses can say they fulfilled their responsibility for the employee's well being. I think that's a bunch of hypocritical garbage, but this guy was getting paid big money to sit there, so whatever, I guess there's nothing I can do about it except go through that three more times.

The rest of the day was spent getting either weird looks from coworkers or "funny" comments from other ones -- "Hey, Ben's back, hide your coffe mugs". Hilarious. I hope I find another job soon.

With all this stress and aggravation, it should go without saying that I haven't lost any weight lately. But I'm just impressed that I haven't bloated up another ten pounds after dealing with this. Ugh.

I wish I had some SC2 news to break the dreary routine around here lately, but it's just not coming in very quickly. We've still probably got another whole year to wait before it comes out, so this is probably to be expected, but what I wouldn't give for another interview or video or something over at the Blizzard site. But, no dice, so... the wait continues.

Oh my goodness, where can I begin. I guess I should first say how sorry I am that I wasn't able to update this site for the past week. On top of everything else that's been going on, knowing that I've been neglecting this site and going back on my promise to update it every day just seems to make the rest of what I'm dealing with that much heavier.

I know this is first and foremost a website about StarCraft II, but I think at this point I have to divert my attention from that for just a moment to let you know what's going on. Without getting into too much detail, you may remember from earlier updates that I have been having some serious difficulties at my workplace, and the work environment in which I've found myself. Suffice it to say that over the past couple of months, the very unfair and borderline criminal way in which my employers and the company they preside over have begun treating their employees has generated in me a lot of anger and resentment, which did finally come to a head during the past week.

I pride myself on being able to maintain a polite, respectful demeanor during even the most trying circumstances, but when during the course of Monday afternoon, when I was told that not only would I have to work double shifts the rest of the week to cover for another worker who lied about his personal life to get the time off, as well as taking away our 4th of July holiday which we were supposed to get off, added to the fact that when I was told this and asked why, after I had already picked up the slack for the same worker two weeks ago, I would be required to do so again even in the face of his deception, I was told very snidely that I'm "expected to be a team player" and that I should "re-examine my attitude" if I wanted to continue my employment there, I do admit to you that I just lost it. I said -- yelled -- words that I've already said I would not put on this website, but I was truly out of my mind. I took my coffee mug and threw it against the wall next to my cube, shattering it and causing everyone else on the floor to pop their heads up and rubberneck to see what was going on.

After a few more choice words at the top of my lungs, I stormed out of the office. An hour later I received a call from the HR department letting me know that I was being suspended without pay for the remainder of the week and that upon my return I would have to take four hours of "psychiatric evaluation" before I was able to go back to my original post.

I thought about it awhile, and agreed, but then spent most of the rest of the week updating my resume and beginning the search for new employment. The sad fact is, though, that until I get something else, I really need this job. Even this suspension is costing me more than I can really afford. So I'll be back there next week, but my focus from now on until I get my life a little more stabilized, is going to have to be on getting a new job. I don't want this to affect what I consider my responsibility to keep this website going, but just know that there's a lot going on behind the scenes here.

The bright side, if there is one, is that during my absence from this site, I don't appear to have missed any significant SC2 news. But that's not really a bright side at all, is it? I can't wait for the next feature to come up on the Blizzard site.

Oh, but I guess I can celebrate a little, in that not only did I make it through the end of the Zerg campaign, I'm all the way up to Protoss mission 9! The last two missions are sure to be extremely hard, so with everything else going on, I've set myself a goal of completing one per week. So that's what I'm going to try to do, but at this point it's hard to even commit to that. Oh well, I am loving the Protoss anyway! Probably my favorite of the three races, and even moreso after seeing the preview of all the awesome new Protoss units coming our way in SC2!

Okay, I'll call it a day here. Again, I'm sorry I was away, and I am definitely going to try to keep things up here a little better. I appreciate your patience.

Just a quick update because it's very late. With judicious use of the "save" feature, I managed to get past Zerg 9 tonight, which was good. I hear Zerg 10 is another bear, though, so I won't set any expectations for when I'll be getting past that one.

No SC2 news today, but my job continues to put strain on both my dedication to this site, and my relationships with the people closest to me. I know this is a SC2 site, not a site about me, but I feel like I need to give you something to read while we await the next round of SC2 updates. That's it for today, though. Very tired, going to bed.

Sorry I didn't update yesterday. The good news is, we didn't miss any breaking SC2 news. The bad news is, I missed the update because of my job. I've thought long and hard about talking about this, and I'm still not sure what the right way to go is, so I'll preface this by saying that I don't want to make my faith a big issue, but at this point, I am so frustrated with my work and the people I'm doing the work for that all I can say is, I am looking to my Savior Jesus Christ in these trying times to help me navigate through the trials which the Lord has set before me. I certainly don't feel I have a right to complain too much, but it is a constant struggle lately to remember that we are all God's children and to treat my colleagues with that sort of respect. Needless to say, I've had some extremely troubling times at my job lately which has tested to the limits my ability to look upon my fellow man with love and respect. But that's okay, I think. I do pray nightly for guidance and I feel that my prayers are being answered with the strength to push forward into tomorrow. But sometimes it's tough under these circumstances to keep daily updates going on a website like this. I promise you, though, that I will keep doing my best.

I should also say that I appreciate all of the feedback I've been getting on the site lately, and while it is my intention to bring you whatever feedback I receive in as close to the original format as possible, I should say that the only thing that my faith demands that I edit out will be any vulgarities or language I consider overtly crass or disrespectful. I want everyone to continue sending their feedback, and I will reproduce it here to the best of my abilities, but as with today's feedback, when I feel I need to do a little cleaning up, I will. Again, I don't want to belabor this point, but I want this to be a site that everyone can enjoy, and which is also in alignment with the teachings and love of Christ. That's it, that's all I wanted to say about it.

I did manage to finish Zerg 8 last night, which was tricky, but in the end, my marauding pack of Guardians once again saved the day. I felt a little guilty about resorting to the same old strategy for the fourth straight mission, but it just works so good!

Okay, that's it. More tomorrow, I hope.

Not much SC2 news, although if you have not yet watched the gameplay video, please visit the "trailers" link on the left, and watch it in as high definition as you possibly can. If you were excited about the prospect of SC2 before then, you will positively jump out of your skin after watching that video! I just sat there dumbstruck, thinking that even if I didn't care about Starcraft at all, this was one of the most amazing things I'd seen from a computer game. Every frame is like artwork! I don't know if I can wait until 2008 for this game, but I think it might take me that long to save up enough money to buy a new computer which can handle it.

In other news, just finished Zerg 7... I appear to be handling about one per night lately. Although as we get closer to the end of the campaign, of course, it gets harder, and the missions take longer, so I won't go making any bold claims about when I'll be done with this thing.

I think I've "maintained" my weight lately. Not quite was I was shooting for, but at least I appear to have "set up a perimeter defense" against the growing blubber attack!

A quiet newsday in the SC2 world. For myself, I can say that I breezed (well, if an hour and 15 minutes can be called breezing) through Zerg 6, and it's looking more and more likely that I might actually be through the campaign in time for the fourth of July. Then hopefully we'll see some serious Protoss fireworks! (Bad pun, sorry.) It's late now, though, so I better hit the sack. See you all tomorrow!

No SC2 news today, but I suppose that's not to be unexpected, since we're still a long (long) way from the game's release. I did happen to make it through Zerg 3 today, which I was able to accomplish by approaching the game in a new way, which was to, instead of sending decent size groups at the enemy as soon as they were ready to go (mainly mutalisks), I thought I'd hold off, and instead send one gigantic group at the enemy (mainly mutalisks). This worked splendidly, as I'm sure most of you who have already played the game (and really, who hasn't, except for me?!) can attest to. Then it was on to Zerg 4, which I sliced through with a very similar strategy. Did I mention that I like mutalisks?! I specifically like 24 of them, but that's just me.

After that, nothing to do but move on to Zerg 5, one of those always-welcome breaks from the base-building missions, where you get to do a little RPG-style romp. I like how they give you those every once in a while. Truth be told, if I saw that Zerg 5 was another mutalisk-building exercise, I probably would have turned in for the day. Glad it wasn't, because I made my way through that science vessel, and was treated to the best cinematic clip of the game so far! It had blood, huge explosions, and beer!

Not much other than that, except to say that after searching a few sites unsuccessfully for new SC2 news, I did happen upon a repository of "speed run" videos. For those unfamiliar with speed runs, that's where people record themselves playing through such and such a level of such and such a game as fast as possible. Sometimes they're truly extraordinary, as when I saw someone finish the first Doom in like eight minutes or something. When I saw the SC speedruns, though, it was obvious which one I'd watch first: Terran 10!

And can you believe it, this mission that took me five failed tries, and then a successful attempt which lasted nearly two hours, someone did in about seven minutes and fifty seconds. Of course, once you see how they did it, you realize it was taking advantage of an oversight on the level-designer's part, but still, amazing to watch. Even if you "cheat", 7:50 is still a pretty good time. Less than two hours, that's for sure.

So that's it for this weekend. I finally put Terran 10 to bed and then got halfway through the Zerg campaign. I'd call it a success! Even though I think I gained all the weight I was planning on losing. This week should go better, though.

I finally got around to restarting that saved Terran 10 game today. I guess all I can say about it is this:

Where's your Ion Cannon now, White Base?! YES! I finally did it! I got past Terran 10, and the great thing was, it all ended up working out just like I had planned in my head ahead of time. The plan came together so well, that it ended up being complete overkill. By the time I got around to nailing that pesky cannon with a whole line of Siege Tanks (new favorite unit!) there was hardly a soul around to protect it. I felt almost guilty. But not too guilty to blow that sucker into a million pieces!

So that was great. Then just for good measure, I went through Zerg missions 1 and 2. Then for even better measure, I played mission 3, built up a great base, thought I was winning, then spent all my resources attacking the enemy in what turned out to be a pretty unsuccessful manner. So I'll have to give that one a go again later. But who cares, it's just great to finally move on past the old campaign and onto learning a new race! So far I like the Zerg! They're red, they're gooey, their buildings bleed. What's not to like?

But this site isn't about me and Starcraft, it's about StarCraft II! Unfortunately, there's no new SC2 news today. Hopefully Blizzard will open up the Terran and Zerg portions of the site soon, so we can get a closer look at our two other sets of friends.

I'm thinking the "one mission a week" thing might be a little too slow. I think I'll shoot for completing one campaign a month. That way, if I say that July is "Zerg month", that'll put me through the core game and the expansion pack by November. That's a little more reasonable, don't you think?

So much for progress! Just as I was on the brink of a breakthrough on Terran 10, my workplace decided it would be a good time for me to work a 16 hour day, so not only did I not get to continue my save game yesterday, I didn't even get to update this site, which is extra unfortunate because there was actually some StarCraft II news yesterday! Apparently it was announced that attendees of the upcoming BlizzCon (Anaheim Convention Center, August 3-4) will get a chance to actually play StarCraft II! I would have loved to have been one of those lucky few, but the convention sold out in like two days, before I even knew it existed, and well before I knew I could have had a chance to be able to bring you first-hand experience with the game, as unfinished as it still is. Oh well! Maybe if you know someone who knows someone, you can be lucky enough to be there yourself!

It goes without saying that since I was at work all day, and they bring in food for lunch and dinner during these crunch times, not to mention the array of ever-present snack garbage in the kitchen, that I am a bigtime whale. I know, I have the power within me to just say "no thanks, I don't think I'll have that second helping of meditteranean chicken", but I mean, when you're in this place for as long as I am, with no real breaks, and you can't go home to spend time with loved ones, and you can't play StarCraft, it's awful hard to turn away from the only available source of pleasure. Oh well, next week will be different. Hopefully I will be past Terran 10, and crunch time here will be over, so I can start gaining ground in the game and on the scale!

I hope!

First, let me bring you up to date on my travails with Terran 10. I thought I wouldn't have the chance to play last night, as yesterday's update indicated, but it turned out that I got home with just enough time to give it a go. I had a real plan this time, too. No more messing around, this time I was going to take it to the enemy without mercy! I built up a huge army on the left side to attack the red base, as I figure that the first order of business is to take care of Red before the final assault on the White base at the top. I sent my guys in... and they got obliterated! I tried it a few more times, and though my guys would get a little further in each time, they'll still end up in pieces! So just as I was about to send my last big group in to hopefully put the hurt on Red... WHITE shows up at my doorstep with a million guys who instantly lay waste to my base. At this point I was seriously considering either reading the strategy book, or giving up the game entirely, but I did neither, and went to bed disheartened.

Today, though, I was able to get home at a reasonable time and fired it up once more, with the last strategy I could possibly think of. And while I have saved the game in mid-mission to write this update and turn in for the day, I am proud to say that Red is finally history. I don't know what trouble may lie ahead, but I consider this a fantastic victory so far. Of course, I've felt good about things before and ended up as dust, so I'm not counting any chickens, but I feel like I've finally "turned the corner" on this dastardly mission. Maybe I can finally get my life back in order, and get on to those Zerg missions later this week!

Other than that, no real SC2 news to announce today, though I do recommend you go to the GameSpot site and read up on the "what we know so far" article. Apparently, SC2 is going to eschew most of the "special unit"/"hero" stuff that Warcraft III was so famous for, and just concentrate on battles with a high number of units... no more grouping limits! It's an interesting read, and important for any SC2 fan.

They're still ordering pizza and chicken every meal at work, so I'm still fat. Oh well.

Well, I can't believe this! Here I was set to go home and settle into a full night of giving 100% of my effort toward finally completing Terran #10, and now I'm stuck here at work! Worse than that, this really limits my ability to bring you today's StarCraft II news. Though I hope I don't have to do this too often, I guess all I can do today is suggest that you follow the links to the left and search the official site and GameSpot for any news which happened to come out today. I just have no idea! And now Terran 10 will have to wait yet another day? This is a pretty dark day for the Hub, my friends!

Not only that, but the whole weight loss thing is hurting because of this development too. This company I work at, they work you late and hard, but they try to make it at least somewhat comfortable by bringing in food every day for lunch and dinner. Which is nice, I guess, but we end up with tons of what, pizza, cheese enchiladas, meatball subs, more pizza, and if there's a salad, it's usually full of bacon and cheese and ham and whatnot. Which is not to say that there hasn't been any progress. I've gone back to drinking lots of water, at least 64 oz a day (not including any other beverages, like coffee or Diet Coke or whatever), and without being too graphic, I'll tell you that this has done a remarkable job of... you know, "cleaning out my system". So even with eating all this stuff they give us, I was still lighter this morning on the scale than I was earlier in the week, so even if Terran 10 doesn't get done this week, I think I'll win the battle with the scale.

I guess that's it for today, unless they let us out of here real quick, because the sun's going down, and if I don't hit the road soon, there's no way I'll get home with any time for StarCraft. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Wow! Sorry for the delay in updating, but it's been a hectic several days! The last day of my vacation was just too packed to even get near a computer, and then the weekend was all about travelling and unpacking and getting back to normal, and then today I ended up working late (yes, I do have a real job apart from running this website) to catch up on all the work I missed while I was gone. But I'm back!

First, to catch up on the SC2 news, I have to say that there's really not much new to report, even though I've been absent for a few days. Blizzard posted this interview with the creative director behind the "Cinematic Teaser" (click the "trailers" link on the left to watch it if you haven't already), which is pretty interesting. I liked the idea behind showing what happens when you press "build marine" from inside the barracks. That sort of imagining really adds a lot to the "flavor" of the game, and I think StarCraft is ripe with opportunities for adding that kind of flavor. It's the first game I've ever read a novel which was based on it, and it's the first game that I've thought about coming up with my own stories about, so the teaser really appealed to me.

In other StarCraft news, I tried Terran 10 a couple more times while on vacation, still with no luck. That mission will be the death of me, it's starting to feel like. I should have time the next couple of evenings to give it a few more college tries, and I'm determined not to go to the strategy guide for this one. But man, I'll be happy to be past it. Especially because I hear that the subsequent Zerg missions are a relative breeze in comparison.

I guess the only other thing to talk about is how much weight I've gained recently! I am becoming a big old load, is what I'm becoming. All the vacationing and late nights playing StarCraft and munching potato chips are really taking a toll. So I'll set two goals here, which we can track over the coming months. First, starting now, I want to finish at least an average of one StarCraft mission per week. That doesn't seem like much, but I may take long stretches of time off, and I figure if I can just do one per week, then by the time I'm through with the core game and Brood War, SC2 will be ready to come out! And also, I'm going to lose one pound per week! I'll be back in shape, and plowing through StarCraft, in no time! I'll let you know how this plan goes. Thanks again to everyone writing in with their reader feedback, it's all appreciated, even when it isn't always so kind!

Still on vacation, still having fun, except our golf game was rained out today, so I spent most of the day eating, instead. Probably not the healthiest choice of activities, but in South Carolina, if you can't golf, there's really not much else to do but eat. Oh well.

Haven't had a chance to research any new SC2 news, so sorry I can't bring you any more of what you come here for, but I will say that at the end of the evening, I gave Terran Mission #10 a few more tries, and failed miserably every single time. I swear, there's just something -- or actually probably a lot of things -- I'm missing. I'm mining resources fast as I can, I'm popping out units fast as I can, and then on the occasion I decide to send them into battle, they just get slaughtered like butter in a toast factory. I have the Prima Strategy Guide, but I'd really rather not have to look at that if I can somehow manage this one by myself, but maybe I just don't have the "strategic mind" necessary to get the job done. I dunno, I've got a few more ideas, so I'll keep trying, but whenever I try to put my "great ideas" into action on the battlefield, they get torn apart like so much pappardelle pasta. Of course, it doesn't help that the mouse on my host's computer is acting up, but I can't really lay the blame there. I think I just blow at this game.

But that's alright. I am dedicated to bringing you all the latest and greatest StarCraft news, whether or not I'm any good at the game, or can even get to the second campaign!

(This is so frustrating, though!!)

Whew. After the hustle and bustle and hassle of the last couple days, I'm a little wiped out. And since I've only got dial-up service at the house where I'm staying, it's a little hard to check for SC2 news, so unfortunately, I don't have any of that for you today. I will say that while I've not yet dared to tackle Terran #10 again, I have been messing around with the custom games, the "skirmish" mode of SC1, and am learning a lot. For one, I'm learning that I have a lot to learn! I haven't gotten close to winning a game, but after losing a few, and then watching the replays, I am starting to catch on to how you're really supposed to play this game. So at least now instead of losing within 10 minutes, I'm able to put up a fight for at least a half hour before getting crushed. Oh well. It's still great fun, even when I know I'm doomed! Maybe that's the "magic" of StarCraft, and the mark of any great game -- when you can smile even when you're getting your butt kicked!

Before I go, though, I'd like to respond to some of the readers who have left feedback stating that they're not sure I really belong at the helm of a website about StarCraft II, since as I've said I'm neither very experienced, nor obviously very good at the original game. Well, let me just quickly explain that I was never even much of an RTS fan to begin with, until WarCraft III came out. Like so many others, I got swept up into the hype, since that was the game to have when it came out, and I gobbled it up like the sheep they wanted me to be. Wonder of wonders, though, I actually loved it, and what's even more amazing, finished the game, which is almost unheard of in my gaming history. It was so brilliantly done, expertly designed, and just such a joy to play that it hooked me for life. So while I'm new to SC, I'd have to say I am a bonafide fan of Blizzard RTS games, even though I'm relatively new. Moreover, though, what difference does it make, my experience and skill with these games? I'm here, and I'm dedicated to the task of keeping you up to date on SC2 news, and hopefully providing you with an inviting forum to share your input while we wait for the game's release, and hopefully long after it!

But I do appreciate the feedback, and I totally get where you're coming from. I just hope you'll bear with me for a while, this place is just getting started!

Travel day. I have to say, though I have no SC2 news, I would like to send a little "shout out" to Delta Airlines. Taking into account all of the worldwide travel I've done in my 36 years (as of today -- happy birthday to me!) on this planet, I have to say that Delta has the cleanest, most spiffy, modernized airplanes of all the main airlines operating today. On top of that, their staff, from the ticket takers, to the flight attendants, to even the baggage handlers, has proven to me to be the most professional bunch working in the industry. If I had to draw up the picture of the model modern airline, it would in fact look very, very much like Delta.

If I had one, minor little quibble, though -- one little "wish list" item -- were the airline to listen to the whims of my selfish little mind, it might be that it would be nice if the planes actually take off from the airports that they're scheduled to, on at least the same day that you expect them to. Like, for instance, there I was, sitting in Atlanta airport, waiting for my connection to Myrtle Beach, SC, when I happened to notice that the Big Flight Board in the Sky was smugly -- not even blinking in some bright, red-hued warning color -- and simply reading "cancelled" next to my flight. No explanation, no warning... just "cancelled". I went to the information desk, and the nice (by which I mean, nasty) lady there clicked on her keyboard for awhile, and then curtly informed me that yes, the flight was cancelled. Not news to me, but at least it was nice to get it from a smug person rather than a smug computer screen.

So that's been the last day or so. An unplanned stayover in Atlanta, and a lot of time spent doing very non-StarCraft II related activities. But I'm finally here, and I'm loading up SC1 onto the computer at the house I'm staying at, so hopefully over the next couple days I can finally get to that pesky Mission 10! I actually read a StarCraft novel (Firstborn) on the plane, and it got me all fired up to play, but now I'm just so tired from all of this travel hassle that I think I'm just going to call it a day... Well, after I'm sure that SC is working okay, of course... maybe just a quick custom game...

Well, I'm off to South Carolina! Not much news to report, since I spent all morning going through my belongings and figuring out which of them could fit in a 3 ounce container so it wouldn't be confiscated. Didn't play any SC last night, so no progress, but I'm taking my copy of SC along on my vacation, so hopefully when I get back, I can proudly proclaim that I've completed the Terran campaign! No promises, though.

Tomorrow is my birthday, so you know I'm definitely going to update the site tomorrow, and hopefully with some new SC2 news! Until then, be sure to check out the forum, even just to check in and say hi. Thanks, also, to all the visitors who've stopped by and left feedback! If you would like to give your feedback as to what you think of the site and how I could make it better, just email me here and let me know your opinion!

No real SC2 news today, but I guess I can catch you up on some already existing news that was reported before this website was around. That has to do with the question on everybody's mind, which is, when is SC2 going to come out?! Well, as you can see from the new "Stats" section on the left, this is the biggest question without an answer. All we do know at this point is that SC2 is definitely not coming out in 2007. While this is surely a disappointment for all of us who are looking forward to what is sure to be the best game of all time, we know that the reason Blizzard puts out such wonderful products is that they take the time and effort that many other game companies don't, to make sure that the product is of the highest possible quality!

I, for one, am willing to wait as long as it takes for SC2 to live up to its full potential, which I'm sure it will! And anyway, I still have SC1 and Brood Wars to play through, and if last night is any indication, it'll probably take the whole rest of 2007 to finish it anyway! I attempted Terran Mission #10, and let's just say, things did not go very well. The game, as wonderful as it is, sure can be frustrating! I know I'll have to get right back on the horse, come up with some new strategy, and try that one, but honestly I don't have any clue how I'm going to get through it. But I will!

Other than that, I'll be on vacation in South Carolina for the next week, but my plan is still to provide daily updates, or at least as close as I can get! Because SC2 news never goes on vacation!

We're off and running! No SC2 news today, but since this is a new site, I thought I'd begin by letting you know a little about me. I'm a long-time gamer, living in Los Angeles, working as a web developer for an internet startup (yes, they still exist!), but one of my big hobbies is working on my own websites. That's why this site exists, and why you can find many other sites I have developed over at this site! But a more interesting thing about me is that, though I am running this site dedicated to SC2, I am just now getting around to playing the original game! In fact, as of this date, I have not even completed the first (Terran) campaign! So one other thing I will use this site for is to let you know about my progress in the game. Since I'm new to it, it's been tough going, but I figure it wouldn't be a bad thing for it to take me a long time to finish, because the sooner I finish, the longer and more difficult the wait until SC2 is released will be!

So today's update is that last night, I was finally able to complete Terran mission 9, after having to save halfway through the night before. It was tough going, and I originally failed the mission, but after two hours, I was finally able to defeat the Protoss and move on! Whew. I thought I'd be stuck there forever, but I know mission 10 is probably not going to be any easier!

I would have had more time to play, but instead I went out with my girlfriend to a local bar which we'd never been to before. We've lived here for almost a year, and have passed the place (Winston's Pub) countless times, but finally decided to make a go of it. It was great! A real hole-in-the-wall kind of place, but clean and friendly and a nice HD widescreen TV over in the corner to watch sports on. We had a couple beers there and came home. We'll be back, though! But I promise, I won't let Winston's Pub come between me and bringing you all the latest SC2 news and features... you have my word on it!

On May 17, 2007, Blizzard Entertainment made an announcement that countless gamers the world over have been waiting for for nearly a decade! StarCraft II, the sequel to the most successful real time strategy game in history, is a reality! Buzz since that date has been unprecedented, and it seemed to me that what I would want would be a centralized repository to rely on for all the important SC2 news. But I couldn't find any, so I decided, hey, I should just make one of my own! So, welcome to Ben's StarCraft II hub, which I hope you will come to know as the most reliable source on the internet for all things SC2-related!

Since this is a brand new site, don't be surprised if things change around as we get settled, but we're going to shoot for daily updates, so be sure to check back soon and often!

Welcome, one and all! And be sure to check out Ben's SC2 Forum, where you can discuss SC2, and this site, with fellow SC2 fans!
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        - Jeff P.
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