I May Have Gotten Banned From The Starcraft 2 Forum
Sep 22nd, 2010 by Ice Cream Jonsey

It all started when Blizzard finally released a patch. I say “finally” not because I am exasperated. Starcraft 2 is one of the most stable games on release of all-time. No, the constantly crying band of idiots on their forum wouldn’t shut up about some perceived disadvantage “Zerg” had, if you played a billion games.

Forum Idiot Lolo started a thread with the following:

the worst idea ever!! ingame clock can take strategy away from the game.. just knowing oh my opponent can’t have blank before 5 mins, or my opponent may have this at 12 mins takes away from the practice and real studying that players used to have to do to learn these timings.. now any retard can just look at a clock and know.. it takes away from possible mind games that can be played to your advantage.

just remove this feature from ladder! its a really bad idea for ladder play. what are your opinions people?

And it went on for SEVEN PAGES. I responded with this:

I can’t believe you pussies managed to go seven pages deep on a GAME CLOCK. A game clock!

I’ve got an idea of something Blizzard can create: a STAR NOOSE. And maybe you could focus-test it for them.

Well, you can imagine my surprise when my post was DELETED! Deleted! Me! Deleted! **Me!**

They have a policy, you see, about making physical threats towards other users. They will delete your post if you do that. You can literally start 20 threads a day submitting that Zerg has a minor disadvantage when you’ve been playing for 50 minutes and that’s fine, but one minor threat, and – but wait! I didn’t make any specific threat! What the –?! So I responded with this:

Why was my post deleted?

I did NOT make a threat towards whoever the idiot was that started this horrible thread. I suggested he get a NOOSE and FOCUS TEST it. That’s all. No threat on my part! I did not offer to buy him a noose. I did not offer to drive to his house and put it on him. All I did was say that Blizzard ought to make a noose, and he ought to test it. You can test nooses without putting them round your head, fastening them to an overhead beam or pipe, and jumping down, you know. Maybe I wanted the manchild OP to test the weave of the material. The quality of the craftsmanship. The color. You don’t know, you banhappy monsters!

Secondly, I specifically said “star noose.” There’s no such frigging thing as a star noose. Here’s methods of suicide that don’t work in a zero gravity world: HANGING. Good Christ! Did my post really get deleted because I told a guy to test out a fanciful device for killing oneself that wouldn’t work in outer space? That’s like four levels of abstraction here! I demand an apology!

I demand an apology!

Look, I didn’t do anything wrong. There’s no blood on my hands. Like Charles Manson, I didn’t directly harm anyone. OK maybe that’s not the best analogy I can use here, but still.

Anyway, for whatever reason, that didn’t seem to get them to restore my post, so to show my independence, I started up Star Control 2, Sim City 2 and any other game with similar initials to show just how little Starcraft 2 means to m- I miss it already.

Rob “Flack” O’Hara’s Interactive GET LAMP Review
Sep 14th, 2010 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Ooooh lookit me, Planet IF whoring here! I don’t think this made the feed. Rob “Flack” O’Hara wrote up his review of Get Lamp in the form… of a text adventure! Let me link you to his blog post. Perhaps you’d like a direct link to the review, which you can play via Parchment over the Internet?

There actually IS an ending to it, and a ton of things to talk about. Can you steal a virtual man’s copy of his hard-won independent documentary??

Starcraft 2: From Worse to Bad — Control Groups
Sep 7th, 2010 by Pinback

SC2! This installment is called:

Putting Your Buildings In Control Groups

That sounds like a terribly dry, boring title, so it may surprise you when I tell you that this is the most important installment that you could ever read, if you want to be a not-quite-as-terrible SC2 player. Stick with me.

If you’ve ever watched a replay of a professional (or even half-decent) SC2 match, you will notice two things:

1. Something has gone horribly, horribly wrong in your life, because you’re sitting there watching replays of other people playing video games.

2. Somehow they’re able to move their armies, attack with precision, AND build new units and buildings and upgrades at the same time!

I could never figure out how that was possible. I’d either be base-building, getting a bunch of guys together, while the guys I’d already built just sat around waiting, or I’d be taking my big group of units and attacking, while my base just sat there doing nothing. There are names for these things! You may have heard them, and if you watch a replay, you will definitely hear them:

TERM: "Micro"

DEFINITION: "Micro"-management of military units. Moving them around, having them scout or attack enemies.

USE IT IN A SENTENCE: "He’s micro-ing really well, see how he sent those marines around to the other side of the (whatever, etc, etc.)"

TERM: "Macro"

DEFINITION: Economy building, Base building, Unit building, etc.

USE IT IN A SENTENCE: "That one guy micros better, but he just got overwhelmed because the other guy out-macroed him lolz gg omfg"

To restate my problems above, I could micro or macro, but not both at the same time. And that amazing thing the pros do? Microing and macroing at the same time. That is the number one key to becoming a only-a-fraction-as-awful SC2 player. And the number one key to microing and macroing at the same time is:

Putting Your Buildings In Control Groups

To review, a "control group" is when you assign a clump of units to one of the number keys on the top row of the keyboard. If you got ten zerglings, and you want to attack, you’d put them in, say, the "1" control group. Then whenever you wanted to select all of them, you’d just hit "1". If you wanted to center the camera on them, you’d just double-tap "1".

That’s fine. But the key thing here is, you can put your buildings in control groups too!

Before I explain how to do this, I will give you an example of what it looks like:

1. Hurm, durm, here I am with my little army on control group 1, I’m gettin’ close to the enemy, this’ll be fun!

2. Oh, I should probably build some more guys back at the base, in case this doesn’t go well, cuz I suck at micro.

OLD WAY: Leave your army sittin’ there, scroll back to the base, select the production building, click on the little Marine picture (or whatever), then double-tap 1 and go back to moving your army around.

NEW WAY: Let’s say you’ve grouped all of your production buildings on the "5" key. You hit "5". You hit (hotkey for Marine). You hit 1 to go back to controlling the army.

Holy crap, right? You just started building a guy, and it took two keystrokes, and you never had to move the camera. You were looking at your army the whole time, confident that back at your base, a new guy was being built. If you had two production buildings, you’d go 5, q, q, 1, and it would automatically make one building start building one guy, and the other the other. You made TWO GUYS in less than a second, without having to take your eye of your army. Oh man.

This gives you the idea of why this is so important.

I will just tell you how I do it. You can play around with it and configure it more to your liking.


I put "town hall" buildings (Command Center, Nexus) on 4. All of them. Any time I need a new worker, "4, q". Boom. Need a few? "4, q, q, q". BAM. BUILDIN’ WORKERS. Also each of the town hall buildings has its own little special abilities which you’d also activate this way. As Terran, want to scan the opponent’s base? "4, x, (click on where you want to scan". KAPOW. (Note, all of these examples assumed the "Grid" hotkey system, see last installment.)

I put production buildings (any building that makes units) on 5. I already gave you an example of this. This also, though, makes rallying easy. Want to rally ALL your newly created units to one spot? "5, (right-click on rally point)". Holy Jesus, you just rallied like twelve production buildings to one spot with one key press and one mouse click! HOLY CHRISTING LORD!!

I put "upgrade" buildings (those that you don’t actively interact with except when you wish to do research to do upgrades) on 6. Want to research Warp Gates but are too busy to click around to find the Cybernetics Core? "6, z". KERSPOWW!! JOB’S DUN!

That’s it. I use 4, 5, and 6 because 1, 2, 3 I reserve for groups of military units. Note how awesome this is, though. Using the Grid hotkeys, with these control groupings, I literally never have to move my left hand to do ANYTHING IN THE GAME that you’d ever need to do.


Zerg is slightly different because the "town hall" building is also the only unit production building. So they stay on 4, but 5 is instead used for grouping all the "queen" units, which have special abilities you need to be constantly using — particularly "spawn larvae". Need to spawn larvae at two of your hatcheries with your two queens? "5, x, (click on minimap hatchery), x, (click on other one)". BOWFF!!! Now that’s some fine larvae-spawnin’!

Alright. That’s about it for today’s installment, see you nex—

"HEY WAIT A MINUTE, PINNER! There’s ALL SORTS of production and upgrade buildings! If you have them all grouped together, how do you select a Barracks to build a Marine, vs. a Factory to build a Siege Tank, vs. a Starport to build a Banshee? And if all my upgrade buildings are on one key, how do I research Zergling speed at the Spawning Pool vs. Air attack +1 at the Spire? Etc., etc.?"

That’s the question, isn’t it. And there’s a very special key on the keyboard that has the answer. I will give you a hint as to which key it is:

Did you figure it out? It’s the "Tab" key. And the reason it’s the Tab key is because SC2 has something called "subgroups". You may group a bunch of different types of buildings together, or types of military units together, but SC2 will secretly distribute them into "subgroups", based on their type.

So when you select "5" to select your production buildings, can you guess which key will select the next "subgroup" in your main group? Can you?

I’ll give you that hint again:

Here’s the real life example, which will BLOW YOUR FRIGGIN’ MIND:

You have two barracks and two starports, all on group 5. You’re fightin’ a battle, but quickly want to get two marauders and two medivacs building back at your base. Check it:

"5, w, w, TAB, w, w".

Your mind? FRIGGIN’ BLOWN. First you selected the whole group (which defaulted to the barracks), built two marauders with the "w" hotkey, tabbed over to the starport sub-group, and built two medivacs, with the same hotkey. And since SC2 distributes your requests to all available buildings, each of your four buildings is building one of those units.

And it took you one second, and you never had to look at your base.

I guess, to sum up, I’d say that the most important thing to learn to do as you climb the ranks of the eternally mediocre, is:

Putting Your Buildings In Control Groups

Being a Nielsen Family Is The Greatest Accomplishment Of My Life. I Have No Family.
Sep 1st, 2010 by Ice Cream Jonsey

A few months ago I decided to conduct an experiment, because I was coming off a string of failed relationships, and when it gets that bad, you’re supposed to drown your sorrows in milkshakes, GOOBERS-brand goobers™, and TV. (Note: I just upgraded WordPress and as far as I can tell, the major feature they added was the inability for me to inline pictures with the GUI. So I assume that this recent WordPress update will either turn the ™ into the aggravating diamond character that’s poxed-up my older articles, or that using a ™ will cause a worldwide server meltdown that makes Chernobyl look like a poorly-managed EZ-Bake.)

The experiment was just me leaving my Directv unit on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I tuned it to ESPN and left it there. However, I turned the television itself off. I wasn’t raised this way. I was raised to turn the TV and cable box, both, off. Maybe you weren’t, but there are multiple males in my family who won’t give their names to a computer and childhood habits are hard to break. The unit was on, but the television was off, as it had been that way since the end of the regular NFL season. (I watched both playoff games and the Super Bowl in HD venues, High Definition venues as in, NOTE TO THIEVES, not in my actual goddamn home.)

Well, it finally paid off. I got a notice from Nielsen that they want me to be one of them. I had my suspicions, my paranoid suspicions, that Directv was happily broadcasting my viewing habits to them, because they’re all whores. Doesn’t matter, Nielsen wants me, or more specifically, my family. My family that hasn’t once stopped viewing television since late December, as far as they know. My “family,” that, strictly speaking, kills buggies, eats mushy brown pud and slinks about everywhere. They also constantly put their little paws in the coin return slots of my arcade games, looking for quarters, because they don’t have any money and they reject their poverty.

I’m not sure what channel is going to be the one left on continually when I’m finally accepted as a real Nielsen family. I’m enjoying the power, as it’s the only power in my miserable life at the moment. It probably won’t be ESPN because Chris Berman seems like an enormous cocksucker, and he’s almost always on, from what I understand, just being a pattern of bald and ruining everything. I don’t know what channel Breaking Bad is on, because I’ve been stealing it from the Internet, but that might be a good choice. I also liked the one show where a bunch of guys go on a fishing boat and enslave forty-thousand tons of fresh crab. That was a good one.

Sorry, I don’t have a decent ending to this. Aardvark is counting down his favorite games in the forum, though.

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