Monday evening, launch party. Obviously, I'm a normal working person, so I don't get to spend the night with geeks and children, and but in on Tuesday instead. However, I got abit nostalgic, and instead of getting a digital download copy (like I should have) I bought a retail box. Who doesn't love shiny boxed filled with random shit? 30 bucks for a 1-year playtime isn't too bad either.
Anxious, I come home. Clearing up 10 gb of space wasn't really that easy, but I do it in a breeze and launch the installer, expecting to play the game in approximately 15 minutes.
"Fuck you, Mr. BluzMan".
The game installs itself for more than a hour explaining various shit I already know in a bad russian voice. Finished? Hell no, please wait 20 minutes more patching. Meanwhile (important!) I connect my B.net account to my game's CD-key.
Next step - the loading screen. Not that the main menu loads slow, but it sure gives me an excellent experience compiling some maps. It's several more minutes. Finally I load the menu, press 'Connect' and I'm told that I don't own a copy of StarCraft II. Marvelous! But sir, I really do!
"Fuck you, Mr. BluzMan"
Ok, I'm a tech guy. I know how to fix stuff in some cases. After googling for solution I notice a guy with the same problem who fixed it by changing his password. This is absurd, but it works, I'm able to login.
I will later return to my experience with the game, but my experience with my changed B.net account can be best characterized as disenchanting. Do you still remember that I bought the game for $30? I can upgrade my account to "Full version" for a small price of $50 more. I slowly realize that I've been fucking robbed, what an idiot. Afaik, in US you can buy a normal lifetime access SC2 for $50 total, correct me if I'm wrong. Well, there ain't any opportunities to buy a retail "Full" SC2 in Russia. Not at all. Now the "budget" price policy for Russia aimed at people who can't afford buying a game for $50 is in fact a robbery, because in the end, you will have to pay $80 and there's no way to avoid it.
But can I at least get rid of the shitty translation? I did it for StarCraft, I did it for Diablo II, I should be able to do it with StarCraft II, right?
"Fuck you, Mr. BluzMan"
Downloading game clients in Russia is restricted to russian localization. Checkmate. Moreover, I have a russain client already registered, I can't just unregister it (well, no, in fact I think that if I offer Blizzard free $30, they will surely take it despite the rules). I'm stuck playing a shitty localized version for a year until I will have to pay the full $80 price of the wonderful gaming experience. Only hope left is cross-region play.
But is the shit worth it? When I first played SC, I had a Pentium 60. Even though that mighty machine was below SC's minimum system specs (P-90), I've never experienced any problems other than a slight lag in 800/800 team melee games. I've never had any performance issues with Diablo II, nor WarCraft III. StarCraft II, on the contrary, is SLOW. The game freezes for a few seconds here and there, I get choppy animations, somewhat unresponsive controls and "You've got a new achievement!!!" messages flooding my screen. Tolerable? Well, maybe. Maybe I'm somewhat wrong completing missions on Veteran in 10 minutes, I should play worse, but after that 10 minutes elapse, I have to watch at a loading screen for Hyperion for 3 minutes and 3 minutes more for the new mission, that's 60% the time of actual playing. After mission 5 or 6, the loading screen progress bar never managed to finish and I went to sleep. I can't prove I've seen it, but I'm under strong impression that that loading screen had a hidden text layer with "Fuck you, Mr. BluzMan" on it.
I'm being treated like shit. Repeatedly. Even though I'm a paying customer. The game itself is nice, but getting to play it is a nightmare both with Activision lurking behind every corner and 1 gigabyte of mem in the swap file.
Unless you really love SC and can't survive without playing SC2 or unless you're living in US and own a top-end gaming rig, I would seriously recommend against buying SC2 in the near future until things settle down. I hope they will, but signs tell it that the Blizzard of old is long long gone.