Lately there has been a lot of discussion over TvZ and its alleged imbalance. As a Terran player myself since BW, naturally I came to defend Terran as a balanced race. Unfortunately all this effort was in vain, as I helplessly watched every forum post, every Terran replay thread and every game I played turn into a balance flame war.
Born and raised under capitalism I consider myself like many, an opportunist looking to benefit from any situation I can. The recent escalation in balance discussion and general dissatisfaction by Zerg players is no different, resulting in a personal discovery of a vast new resource: Zerg Tears. I would like to share with you my new hobby (read: passion), so without further adieu I give you...
TalecK's Guide to Zerg Tears
Table of Contents
- 1. Identifying a candidate
2. Preparation and Extraction
3. Special Zerg Tears
4. Uses for Zerg Tears
1. Identifying a Candidate
Identifying an appropriate candidate for tear extraction is extremely important, simply finding or playing a Zerg player is not sufficient. Identification isn't a precise science, however, as a general heuristic successful candidates often exhibit one or more of the following:
1) Outward displays of anger (see e-rage), including verbal abuse and/or excessive and unnecessary use of capital letters
2) Aversion to suggestions / tips and general stubbornness
3) Irrational and / or fallacious reasoning
A proper tear extraction isn't straightforward at first but after some practice it should become very natural to you. Before we begin though make sure you have the following laid out next to your computer in a clean space free of other debris. Remember a clean and organized work space is a safe work space!
1) Glass vials w/ cork stoppers ½ oz or bigger
2) Masking tape and permanent markers for labeling
3) Paper towels (in case of spills)
Once you have all the materials, we can begin. The simplest way to explain an extraction is by way of an example. Here I will walk you through one of my earlier extractions from start to finish. The text shown is copied from a replay of a game I had played weeks ago, my opponent's identity is concealed for anonymity.
This conversation takes place at the end of the game between myself ( 400 Diamond Terran ) and my opponent ( 450 Diamond player ). The Zerg player has just lost his entire ground army and I am now destroying his base with mainly mech based army. With a clear victory in sight my opponent speaks first...
ZergPlayer: LOL WOW
So the first thing to notice is that the Zerg Player's message fits the first heuristic, unnecessarily using capital letters. However, the opponent could be referencing anything at this point, so an extraction is not yet guarenteed. When you're unsure of how to proceed in an extraction, your best choice is always to simply say nothing and let the Zerg player stew in their rage. After about 45 seconds my opponent once again responds.
ZergPlayer: TANKS ARE FUCKING REDICULOUS
ZergPlayer: SERIUOSLY OP
There are a couple things to note here, we have a continuation of the capital letters, which is a positive sign. Also note the misspelling of “seriously”, grotesque grammar errors are a good sign that your opponent is beginning to succumb to anger.
Me: They are much more manageable I find if you don't A-move a giant control group into them through a narrow choke point,. I'd recommend going around or maybe building a nydus worm.
Me: Also, I like what you did with those roaches earlier. But I think those flying things you tried to burrow under that said “Raven” on them can see burrowed units
Now what I'm doing here with my first response is trying to see if my opponent is exhibiting the second heuristic (general stubbornness to advice / tips). This is an important step in order to differentiate an ignorant player from a weeping one as we are only interested in the latter.
ZergPlayer: UR HORRIBLE. SERIOUSLY BAD
Me: Wouldn't that make you seriously worse?
ZergPlayer: NO I'M ACTUALLY GOOD
Here the Zerg player has completely ignored the advice, as per the second heuristic. Also note that third heuristic applies here as well. The Zerg player has paradoxically concluded that despite his evident defeat, he is good and I am bad. Alternately one can note the third heuristic also applies since “Seriously bad” players wouldn't be placed in diamond leagues.
At this point the Zerg player has exhibited all three of the heuristics and I am sufficiently confident that this Zerg player will begin weeping. I then begin killing off the last of his buildings, leaving him with:
This display of level headed manner will only incite more rage in the Zerg player. At this point I quickly place the paper towel under my monitor and open one of the vials in preparation for the extraction.
If a candidate has been properly screened based on the given heuristics the extraction itself is a fairly simple procedure. After the game I simply waited at the Battle.net menus for the inevitable chat window from my opponent to appear...
ZergPlayer: wow TvZ is so imba
At this point the Zerg player has stopped using capital letters. It is a good sign your opponent is ready to have a good cry. I've found an easy yet effective way to initiate this process is to simply ask your opponent to cry.
ZergPlayer: seriously, fucking tanks kill everything and broodlords and corruptors die to thor / viking there's nothing z can do
ZergPlayer: zerg is so bad now they should bring back the lurker and dark swarm
ZergPlayer: marauders are so fucking overpowered too they should remove stim and make it so they can't be healed.
*For the sake of brevity I've excluded the rest of the Zerg player's tearful rant...*
Success! Now quickly place your uncapped vial under your monitor and start extracting those tears. Some Zerg players cry more than others, this one in particular lasted for just over four minutes. Just watch the drip rate, if it begins to slow you can try to “squeeze” a few more tears out of your opponent by simply asking him/her to “cry more?”. Once your opponent has finished crying place the cork on top of the vial and label it for storage with the masking tape and markers. Congratulations! If everything went according to plan you've just captured your first Zerg tears.
It's important to note that tears can also be extracted from forums using the same set of heuristics. Some things to keep in mind when creating a post aimed at instigating a TvZ balance discussion and ultimately extracting Zerg tears from it:
- Include words such as: “mech”, “Terran”, “Siege Tank”, “balance”, “Starcraft” or “the”
- use nouns, adjectives, or verbs
- choose words with or without vowels in them
3. Special Zerg Tears
It's important to note that not all Zerg tears are created equally, some are more valuable than others. Tears from pro or respected Zerg players are highly sought after. The first reason is because they are considered rarer than most Zerg tears. The second, and ultimately more important reason is that when a respected Zerg player weeps it releases a pheromone that draws other surrounding Zerg players to gather and weep together.
The notable example being Idralisk tears. Though the Idralisk weeps much more frequently than most Zerg players its tears can produce up to 20 times more pheromones than other respected Zerg players. This can cause hundreds of Zerg players to converge on a single thread to weep, an effect known as “cluster-weeping”. Triggering a single cluster-weep can result in an industrial sized tear harvest ( see fallout after Silver's 2-0 victory over the Idralisk here: http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=141447 ).
4. Uses for Zerg Tears
So you've got some Zerg tears, now what? Here are a few of the many things you can do with your Zerg tears.
1) Collect them: Amassing a collection of tears from many different Zerg players is a fun and prideful hobby. Proudly display your collection next to your computer.
2) Eat them! Zerg tears make a tasty and invigorating snack that can put you in the right mood for some more laddering fun. Tears are best served fresh, licked right from your weeping opponent's face if possible.
Well that about does it for now. I hope you've enjoyed my guide and hopefully learned a thing or two about Zerg tears, thanks for reading!
My follow up posts/responses in this thread will be linked here