11:24 PM - Chaos reigns
I got Warcraft III Battle Chest a few weeks ago and it's been occupying most of my gaming time.
I got the compilation mainly for the strategy guides but I was disappointed with their quality. The binding on the guides is awful and the several pages have already come loose. The content is similarly unimpressive. The guides devote most of their pages to the campaigns and I found the numerous FAQs on GameFAQs much more useful for gleaning general strategy.
As for the game itself, I'm very impressed with Blizzard's fantastic post-release support. Bugfixes are being released more than three years after the original game was first released and on top of that, Blizzard has also continued to release additional content in the form of bonus maps. This is all the more impressive considering the situation with the competition.
I'm concentrating on skirmish games against a computer opponent right now. Games on a small skirmish map typically take about 20 to 30 minutes to run their course and at the moment, the typical outcome is my defeat.
My opening moves seem okay but everything quickly goes to hell during the first battle. The computer opponent almost always comes out on top in the first encounter and goes on to win the game. Impressively, this is accomplished without cheating. The computer opponent is just very efficient economically and sound tactically. I fared no better against a human opponent; I've tried two 1v1 games online and managed to lose on both occasions.
The key to winning in Warcraft III lies in micromanaging units during the heat of battle and I'm not very good at the tactical decision-making aspect of the game right now. Fortunately, Blizzard has included the ability to save and watch replays of games so players can discover where, when and how they erred.
(The downside of replays is I have a sneaking suspicion replays of my online battles are being used as comedy relief somewhere.)It's been awhile since I've had to work this hard at improving at a game but I am enjoying the challenge.