Gaming: Starcraft 2 Release

Starcraft 2 is being released today. I probably won't be playing it tonight. Here's why.

I preordered Starcraft 2 several weeks ago and participated in the Beta. I loved it from first marine. Almost everything there was to enjoy in the original was available, either directly or as a reinvisioned counterpart. For example medics and dropshops are combined into medivacs, dune buggies wield fierbat style flamethrowers, wraiths are divided into vikings and banshees with each being decidedly better at a specific style of gameplay than their predecessor.

New units and the cliff jumping mechanic add another dimension to the tactics already well known by Starcraft players. The game feels exceptionally well balanced and I have no doubt it will continue to improve in future installments and patches. If this game is so wonderful why am I abstaining tonight?

Network latency. While I could rant against Blizzard for under developing their network capabilities, I know inside this probably isn't true. More likely it is a problem of economics. If the game only uses 50% of the network resources during normal prime time, how do you justify the increased capital costs for a release activity spike, a statistical outlier? It can work 99% of the time (1 day of downtime a quarter i.e. patch days) at a fraction of a cost of 99.9% uptime (9 hours of yearly downtime i.e. product release).

So I'm going to patiently wait 24 hours for the flash mob to pass before firing up my retail client. Then watch out ladders, here I come.