Old School RTS days and My Newbie Moments


A friend just picked up Starcraft last month and was talking to me about the campaign. Remind me of my newbie days when I just picked up my copy of Wings of Liberty in 2010. This post is about my old days of RTS and my newbie moments in the early Starcraft II days.

Before I embarrass myself with my noob moments, I shall share a bit of my RTS background prior to Starcraft II. My first RTS game is Red Alert 2 when my uncle showed it to me many years back. Really many years back, even before I’ve my first computer. I got to experience a few missions of the campaign.

Warcraft III days

My first “real” experience of RTS is Warcraft III. I didn’t buy it when it was just released, because I wasn’t even aware of what games were there in the market. I only knew about the game when a friend brought me to a “PC bang” to play Counter Strike. We saw some people play Warcraft III there, and monkey see monkey do. I love it so much that I bought a copy the next week. But still, my experience was limited to vs. AI and several team games with school mates. I didn’t play much until my friends introduced me to DotA. I’m quite individualistic and I simply cannot withstand the “noob-bashing” comments on me for “feeding”. That’s the point when I decided to play 1v1 in Warcraft. Coincidentally, that was at the end of 2005 when Sky just won his first Warcraft III WCG in Singapore. He became my idol and I started to play Human.

h3WE.Sky (Xiao Feng Li)

I was quite obsessed over Sky. I literally watch every single replay of him available. Now that I looked back, I admire my dedication. Sky was well known for doing the same thing over and over and over and over again until it is broken. He simply had the best strategy for every map against every race. He perfect everything for these few strategies. I can still name them now. Because of how closely I followed his games and how resilient to change Sky was, I could pick out every single minor adaptation and improvement he made to every single build. Quite often I was asked on Bnet, “Are you Sky?” I guess I really copy and paste well with a poorer micro and multitasking ability. Whenever I felt that certain things weren’t working well, Sky just seems to have the same issue and gave me his answer to the problem within two weeks. I couldn’t describe what he meant to me back then. Probably how much Justin Bieber means to a 14 year old girl now.

Warcraft III did not have the longevity of Starcraft, and the tournaments basically died out by 2009. Only China still had tournaments in 2010. You may have noticed, I have not mentioned about Starcraft: Brood War. Well, I have never played it before. Even till now. Of course, I knew about it (because Sky started from Starcraft and he played Protoss). As more information of Wings of Liberty got released, I knew that I would have to switch from Footman to Marine. The reason that I picked Terran was because its mechanics is closer to Warcraft III than the other two races.

Finally, the day came when I bought a copy of Wings of Liberty on its release date. With no prior Starcraft experience, I really had many funny moments in the first few months.

Wings of Liberty days

In Warcraft III, you are always active with your units since you either level up your heroes or disrupting opponent from doing so. That is my biggest problem when I started Starcraft II. I mean, obviously I knew there was no hero in Starcraft, but I just didn’t know what to do with my units. I played through the tutorial and the first few missions of the campaign, before my group of gaming friends invited me to a party. I played my first multiplayer against a friend, who I always owned in Warcraft III (saying this with my chest out). And… I got smashed. I’m not going to go into the details because I didn’t know what happened actually lol. Since then I started to explore myself on the ladder… The scariest place for a new player. Many funny moments happened and here are the ones that I can recall.


When I was attacking a Protoss’ buildings, and his Probes just watched.

“Ha! This guy is more noob than me, he could have just repaired!”

Clearly, the joke is on me…

In Warcraft III, every race can repair, so… You cannot blame me right?

Advance building

My friend told me that I needed to tech up by building a Factory. I clicked on my Command Centre (not Orbital…) and looked for the upgrade key.  Again, in Warcraft III, you need to upgrade your main building to tech up (like Zerg) for every race. So I upgraded it to Orbital and try to build a Factory.

I asked my friend, “how do you build a Factory?”

“Just find it in the building list.”

“Nope… there are only Supply Depot, Barracks, Command Centre, Bunker and Engineering Bay. Do I need an Engineering Bay before I can build a Factory?”

“No. Just build a Factory.”

“Where is it?”


I did not build a Factory in that game. lol. This is because I didn’t know there is something call advance buildings. Advance building refers to the “V” buildings on your building hotkeys, and the basic buildings on “B” are the basic buildings.


When I was about to win my first game among my friends, I killed my own tank in the opponent’s base.

“Wow wow… BM when you win your first game?!”

I replied with a =)

Actually, it was a habit in Warcraft III to last hit your own units, if you can, to prevent your opponent heroes from gaining experience point. Habit die hard.


My friend was suggesting that I need to build Tanks. I had a Factory with Reactor, and I built another Factory.

“You need to get Tech Lab on your Factory to get Tanks.”

“I know, doing it.”

“Where is it?”

“Building the Factory.”

“Why do you build a Factory when you already have one?”

“But I need a Tech Lab, right?”

I didn’t know you can swap add-on back then.

Creep and Overlord

An Overlord was generating creep at a place that I wanted to expand, so I killed it. While waiting for the creep to disappear, I scanned to kill…… creep… I didn’t notice I had been doing it wrong until I learnt it by watching GSL.

Warp in

When I attacked a Protoss’ base, and he reacted by warping in units to defend.

“What?! Protoss have town portal scroll?!”

They look quite similar, don’t they?

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6 thoughts on “Old School RTS days and My Newbie Moments

  1. I remember that the first few times I tried to play zerg. I did not know that creep tumors could spawn more creep tumors. I only used my queens to spread tumors across the whole map. LOL.

  2. I’m pretty sure I played through the entirety of the Starcraft and Brood War campaigns not knowing what Stim really was… The first time I tried playing back in 2000 or so I was couldn’t pass the first few BW missions at all without cheats. The second time, when I actually finished the whole campaign was right before SC2 release I still didn’t know. Used it a couple times I think, but didn’t like that I lost health each time. Going through SC2 tutorial and watching some Husky youtube videos and it hit me that maybe I could’ve made it a lot easier for myself :)

    I also distinctly remember switching back and forth between warpgate and gateway in the protoss mission with the collossus reveal. I couldn’t understand why the upgrade I clicked didn’t stick…

  3. Haha your early moments in SCII are always the best :)
    My first race was protoss beacause I saw Naniwa play and was so impressed with Collossus and force fields.
    I will never forget the feeling when I discovered storm xD

    Or wait guys. Did you have that too that you lost a game because your oponent destroyed all your buildings and you didn’t know that you would lose then haha xD

    When I was playing the campaign I thought “Blink” was the coolest thing ever xD.
    When I started laddering I kept dying to some funny 1 base terran strat with 3 rax and starport. Haha I couldn’t hold that back then. My control must have been terrible xD photon overcharge OP!

    1. Oh yes, back then one base Terran is the way to go because of the map pool. Another reason why Terran was the strongest, since it had the best one base play.

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