So I play a bit of Hearthstone. Not a ton. All my cards come from in-game winnings; I haven’t dropped RealCash™ on any decks. Hell, I barely know how to build a deck myself. The depth of my strategy is to make sure every class has some Taunt cards and try and put a shit ton of Beast minions in my Hunter’s deck. I’ve been ranked, like, at a one-star Argent Squire on the ladder. For the past five months. I am the definition of a casual player.
So when Blizzard announced the Naxxramas expansion/campaign/comedy improv hour/whatever — I figured it would be focused more for the hard-core deck-addict investment players. You know, people who actually know what a “nine mana Warlock board clear combo potential” means. Or if such a thing even exists. “It’s Blizzard,” I thought, “They roll out huge raids in WoW patches for the end-game guilds and then give the rest of us, like, five new cooking recipies and another holiday event questline.”
(For anyone who’s interested, my WoW guild has an active membership of about nine characters. All of them are my alts.)
But I checked out the Naxx Adventure and I managed to beat the first three bosses using my economy Hunter deck. Anub’Rekhan went belly-up on my first try, which was gratifying, netting me my first two new cards. Grand Widow Faerlina and Maexxna were significantly harder, but after three or four tries I managed to pummel them into the pavement. So for the investment of an hour or two I netted seven cards, including the Legendary Maexxna one, which is a Beast type.
StarCraft was the very first game I ever bought with my own money. I sunk hours and hours into it, playing the campaign over and over, skirmishing against computer opponents, getting my ass kicked from Aiur to Tarsonis and back on battle.net. I knew that the Protoss were epic, ancient, and advanced beyond my comprehension; that Terrans were grimy, slapdash, and ultimately one of the most resilient species in the sector; that Zerg were implacable, unstoppable, and just a bit peckish for my innards. Despite being an RTS, StarCraft also showed me the for the first time how video games functioned as a viable storytelling medium. Somewhere inside, I knew that each of those Confederate Marines had buddies and memories.
So that’s why some part of me will go completely fanboy every time Blizzard does something new. Because it all goes back to the first time I was boots on the ground with Jim Raynor or flying the Gantrithor alongside my Executor into the maw of the Overmind. I eventually started in on the WarCraft series and have clocked more than my share of time trudging around Azeroth/Kalimdor/Outland/Northrend, but StarCraft is where it all began.