Well, here is the AGSC FAQ. I've been meaning to get this updated, but I'm just too damn plain lazy. Why do I have to do this?
StarCraft Frequently Asked Questions Last Updated October 16, 1999
Created by Shadowy Paradox the Criminally Odd email@example.com
Maintained by Outsider_nz firstname.lastname@example.org
The Official Blizzard Entertainment StarCraft FAQ is located at: http://www.battle.net/scc/faq/ <<16 October, 1999>>
1.Author's Comments, Other Boring, Pointless Stuff
Well, I threatened to do this a couple months ago in response to the last wave of repetitive questions, and we seem to be in the middle of another wave. So in an attempt to get all the frequently asked questions and their answers in one place, I've taken it upon myself to compile this information.
This is, of course, a living document. If you have anything you want to add or wish to point out corrections or request clarifications, please feel free to drop me a line at one of the contact points listed above.
This document can be freely distributed and displayed, so long as it remains unchanged (save for formatting for word processing or into HTML) and, of course, my name stays on it ;)
Quick note about some odd conventions I use here: Next to every URL mentioned
in this FAQ, there is something that looks like: <
I hope you find this useful. If you think of anything else that should be put in here, please let me know.
- Shadowy Paradox October 15, 1998
>October 16, 1999
A.What StarCraft dedicated newsgroups are there?
There are, as of January 15, 2000, only two newsgroups dedicated to StarCraft. They are alt.games.StarCraft and alt.binaries.games.StarCraft.
B.What's the difference between the groups?
alt.games.StarCraft is an 'open forum' for discussion about StarCraft or anything else the StarCraft community feels like sounding off about; this is, of course, usually OT (Off Topic) posts, such as the nature of the hair that grows in someone's belly button -- while not encouraged -- are not necessarily out of place. A group's name is often its guideline, but there are no iron clad rules. You are free to say anything you like on the Internet (excepting that which is illegal in whatever part of the world you're in), but then, so is everyone else. There are a number of "rules" on the net that, while not iron-clad-enforced-by-big-burly-men-wielding-blunt-objects, do help everyone to just "get along." Check the netiquette section below.
alt.binaries.games.StarCraft is where people can post .SCMs, screen caps, artwork, anything that isn't 'plain text.' This really isn't the place to post questions about why you can't get StarCraft to work in Win98, or how to move the chrysalis. You _can_, and you _might_ even get some answers, but, as the group's name indicates, this group is really meant for binary files.
C.Why not post binaries to alt.games.StarCraft?
There are over 20,000 newsgroups (at least on my news feed). Some of these are binary, most are not. ISP sysadmins have to allocate hard drive space for different news "feeds." non-binary groups are given much, much less space than a binary group. For example: our sysadmin "Bob"allocates 5 megs of space to our beloved alt.games.StarCraft. So at anyone time, the AGS thread can handle 5 megs of posts. When the space fills, the oldest messages are cleared to make space for the new.
So along comes Joe Clueless, who insists on posting his RELY K3WL M@PZ to alt.games.StarCraft. Joe Clueless posts five megs of lousy maps with triggers that don't work and layouts that suck. Fills up all the disk space on Bob the Sysadmin's spool. All other messages are spooled off. Gone. Poof.
The moral of the story: posting binaries to a non-binary group is not only a violation of the newsgroup's charter and a breach of netiquette, but it is usually a violation of most ISPs TOS (Terms of Service -- that long screen of legal gibberish you didn't read when you signed up). If enough people complain about you, you might get kicked off their service. It's fairly common for dial-up customers; I haven't heard many cases of cable or DSL customers getting TOSsed, but it would understandably suck much, much more -- most areas have only ONE cable or DSL provider to select from, and if you get booted ... well.
Anyway. Posting binaries takes up space for older messages. Folks who check the NG only every couple weeks or who just come on and want to see if their questions have been answered in previous days or if they can pick up any nifty strats from older posts, are shit out of luck.
Of course, this won't stop the common Joe Clueless who has no consideration for other people from continuing to spam the group with his KICK AZZZZ maps (or posting every other day an ad for THE BEST CLAN OF THE BEST PLAYERS OF StarCraft WITH A REALLY KEWL SOUNDING NAME, but those of you who give a shit about other people might want to know the reasons WHY some of us (well, me) scream about posting binaries to this group.
D.Why not post in HTML?
There are a couple of reasons why it's a good idea to stick to plain text. Regardless of what direction Microsquish is 'nudging' the Net towards, at this point of time the medium of choice in Usenet is plain, boring, ASCII text. Everyone can read ASCII text. Not everyone can read HTML. If you don't mind the fact that perhaps 75% of the alt.games.StarCraft community either 1) can't read your messages or 2) ignore your messages because of a deeply seated abhorrence of HTML on Usenet, then by all means, post in HTML.
Another issue with posting in HTML is that HTML suffers from bloat . HTML messages include header information, font information, coloring information, all sorts of crap just to make sure a 'me too' message comes across just right. HTML messages take up a hideous amount of space on both local and server hard drives, and add to download time -- which is an issue for those who must pay for every minute they are on the phone. Some people see posting in HTML as a rude, inconsiderate action. I tend to agree. If you want to post in html, put a [HTML] tag in your header so people who want, or can, deal with your bloat can, while the rest of us can just kill filter it.
E.The Basics of Netiquette 101
One of the criticisms of Usenet is that it is filled with ignorant idiots who flame at the drop of a hat and generally make a nuisance of themselves. This isn't too far from the truth. There are a few things YOU, yes you, can do to make your on-line time better, and make the world a happy and peace filled place. Well ok that last bit is complete bullshit. But there are few things you can do to cut down on the overall aggravation levels.
Avoid posting in all caps. In Net-speech, this is the equivalent of shouting. For some reason it irritates people to no end, and you will probably get flamed.
Avoid posting in HTML. This also annoys people.
When responding, learn how to quote. Delete irrelevant text and mark
the deletion with a
Lurking is good. To "lurk" is to read a newsgroup without opening your mouth. Just watching the traffic go by, so to speak.
Before posting a question, at least scan the current messages that are already in the group. There's a chance that you'll find the answer to your question there already, thus saving you the need to post your question. You get your answer without having to wait a few hours or days, and the rest of us don't get spammed by the same question for the tenth time in two days.
Don't post unless you really have something to add to the conversation, or "thread." "Me too" messages that quote pages and pages of text are a waste of space and time for all of us.
Think before you open your mouth.
It may be hard for some of you, but try to be considerate of other people. Being polite will get you far. Learn some manners. If you have none, fake it.
If you're going to flame, at least try to make it an interesting flame. Posting in all caps screaming "YOU SUCK YOUR A FAGGOT" (sic) is really pretty pointless. Some groups are dead set against flaming. I personally am not (seeing as how I'm probably the most prolific flamer in the group ;) -- but at least try to be interesting or amusing. Mindless flames in all caps with bad spelling and no substance tend to make people more irritated with the flame-r than the flame-e.
Different people have different opinions. Cope.
If you're going to advertise your clan or website, please post no more than once a week. Any more often and you'll start drawing serious fire -- from the people who read daily and are sick and tired of reading your spam, and from the people who read once a week who are disgusted by downloading five identical messages they're not interested in. Most people will consider this spam and complain to your ISP. Given the recent lawsuits over spam, most ISPs are taking a very hard line approach to people who send spam through their service -- and they will cut you off without blinking. Don't give other people an excuse to complain about you.
Trolling. If you spam, post stupid replies, act stupid, or it we just don't like you, you are classed as a troll. Neither Spam Nor Trolls tolerated in alt.games.starcraft. To be kind, PI*S OFF.
Thus endeth the lecture.
3.StarCraft Technical Problems
A.StarCraft doesn't see the CD under Win98!
[Q] When I try to play StarCraft on my machine, I get this error: StarCraft is unable to read a required file. Your StarCraft CD may not be in the CD-ROM drive. Please ensure that the StarCraft disc is in the CD-ROM drive and press OK. To leave the program press Exit.
[A] This problem seems to be caused by a problem with Win98 and some CD-ROM drives -- I have been told that this problem exists with some Goldstar and some Panasonic CD-ROM drives, among others. Basically the root of the problem is that the Win98 driver files behave differently than the 95 drivers, and some hardware gets thrown for a looping some instances -- in this case, the pirate prevention routines for Starcraft get twigged. There are a couple things you can do:
1.It is rumored that are three system files from Win95 that you can copy into Win98, _replacing_ your current 'newer' drivers. These three files are: cdvsd.vxd, cdfs.vxd, and cdtsd.vxd. While there have been confirmed cases for which this solution worked, be aware that you _are_ messing with system files.
2.There is a "fix" program you can download here. Its website (as far as I can tell) is located at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Fortress/7607/ <<10/16/99>> I have personally never used this program, but I have heard of a number of cases where this helped. Use this program at your own risk.
3.If you have the hard drive space (somewhere around 637M), you can consider creating an image of the StarCraft CD on your hard drive using a CD-imaging program. I personally use Virtual CD-ROM. Apparently its company no longer supports this product, but you can download it where? There are, of course, a number of other virtual CD-ROM programs out there that work just as well.
B.Battle.Net is unable to verify my version!
[Q] When I try to log onto Battle.Net, I get an error message that Battle.Net cannot verify my program version.
[A] This is potentially an enormous problem. The vast majority of these errors are caused by a CIH virus infection. RUN, don't walk, tohttp://www-cl-1.symantec.com/avcenter/kill_cih.html<<10/16/99>> and get the shareware (read: disposable) CIH virus killer. Once you've done that, shell out the $45 for Norton AntiVirus. IMO Norton AV is the best package out there, but no matter what you get, you _must_ get something, and you _must_ use it religiously (zealously, heh heh heh)
NOTE: After cleaning off the CIH virus, uninstall and reinstalling StarCraft, you may notice that when accessing Battle.Net from the multiplayer menu, the game will appear to hang for minutes at a time. The only known solution (that I have, anyway) is to completely deltree your windows installation and reinstall everything from scratch. Now don't you wish you had used an anti-virus program before?
NOTE: For more information about the CIH virus check out http://www.virusbtn.com/VirusInformation/cih.html <<10/16/99>> If you are positive you are not infected with the CIH virus, the only solution I can offer is the stock Blizzard Technical Support (heh) reply:Uninstall, Reboot, Reinstall, Reboot. Neat acronym, that. URRR.
C.Can I play an audio CD while playing StarCraft?
Yes. You can create a virtual CD-ROM drive using the program Virtual CD-ROM, which you can get where?
Alternately, you can stick in the StarCraft CD, start the game, make sure music is switched off, and remove the StarCraft CD from the drive. You may get the occasional Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) asking that you re-insert CD blahblahblah, but just hit cancel and continue as normal. Of course, this solution is a bit dicey at best, and no guarantees are made or implied herein.
D.StarCraft keeps crashing to the windows desktop. Help!
[Q] Help! Sometimes when I'm in the middle of a game StarCraft will crash and kick me out to the desktop -- no error messages or anything!
[A] Crashing out of a game directly to desktop without any cries of agony (from your computer, at least) is usually a sign of a delightful Direct x problem. It's pretty damn hard to tell, considering there are no error messages. There are only a couple courses of action open to you here:
Check your hardware drivers. Make sure you've got the latest and greatest for all of your equipment. Double check your video drivers especially.
Make sure you've got the latest Direct x drivers (as of 10/16/99 it's at version 7.0). Or if you used to work with Direct x 5.0 and 6.0 is crashing more than a drunk blind man driving without a steering wheel, you can try to remove Direct x 6.0 and install 5.0. Unfortunately there's no simple way to do this -- the first method that comes to mind is a deltree c:\windows and reinstall; the second is a Direct x un installer guide at: http://www.ebrink.com/dxun/DxUnStepbyStep.htm <<10/16/99>>.
E.Brood War Technical Questions (*5)
[Q] I don't have Brood War yet, but I'm confused as to how many CDs I will need.
[A] One Brood War CD for each computer. In order to install Brood War, you must have first installed the full version of StarCraft.
[Q] Do I have to have one Brood War CD in each computer while it is used to play Brood War?
[A] For all intents and purposes, yes.
[Q] Can I play non-Brood War games using the Brood War CD or do I have to change CDs?
[A] When you start Brood War and select single or multi player mode, you are prompted to select which version you want to play -- "original" or "expansion." You can select "original" and play with other vanilla v1.04 of v1.05 computers.
[Q] How about Battle.net? How many CD keys do I need? [A] Brood War actually does not require a CD key -- it works off the CD-key you provided when installing the full version of StarCraft.
[Q] How about spawn? I know that Brood War doesn't allow spawning, but can I still run spawn on one computer with the game opener running a Brood War CD?
[A] If you play normal, non-expansion StarCraft, yes. I just tested this not two minutes ago.
4.Single Player Issues
A.How do I move ... ?
[Q] Where is the Psi-Emitter?!
[A] The Psi-Emitter is being carried by a SCV. At the very beginning of the game, it's on the SCV right next to Kerrigan. The emitter is a little white thing that bears a definite resemblance to a small radar array. If the SCV is killed, the Emitter should be lying on the ground. Find it and use another SCV to bring it to the beacon. (*1)
[Q] How do I move the Zerg chrysalis?
[A] The chrysalis is just like the psi-emitter -- use a peon (i.e. a drone) to carry it. (*1)
[Q] Where is the Zerg chrysalis?!
[A] The chrysalis is in the middle of the beacon. It looks kind of like an ice-cream cone.
[Q] How do I move the Khydarian Crystal?
[A] Bring a drone to the Crystal Formation. He will disappear, and ten minutes later return holding a little crystal. Move him to the beacon.(*1)
B.Cheat codes! The official list is located at: http://www.blizzard.com/star/cheat.shtml <<10/16/99>>.
C.Easter Eggs (*3)
i.What's an easter egg? An "easter egg" is an unexpected "surprise" which may be a message, an image, or sound hidden within a game or application. Bringing up the "egg" often requires convoluted manipulation of the keyboard and mouse -- but sometimes not.
ii.The Chinese Lemon Chicken "Recipe" On the very first terran training mission, if you let the briefing run (do not click on "Start" or "Cancel"), after a while the following messages appear:
-Whenever you feel ready, may select start.
-Any time is fine.
-You're ready to go.
-Magistrate? Are you alright?
-End of briefing
-End of briefing (Really.)
-End of briefing (This time I mean it!)
-End of briefing (Hey, it's your dime, anyway.)
-Chinese lemon chicken
1 pound sliced chicken breast
1 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp soy sauce (dark)
1 sliced lemon
Unfortunately the recipe doesn't go on ;)
iii.The Nuclear Critter
Critters are those little annoying (or cute) animals that wander around the map and don't do anything but get in your way (or if you're Zerg they can be useful, but that's another story entirely). If you click on a critter 14 times in a row in quick succession, it will explode a la nuclear explosion. It doesn't cause any damage, but it looks neat.
iv.Pissing Off Your Units
If you click on the same unit four or more times, it'll start getting annoyed with you, at which point it'll start saying different messages that you won't normally hear.
All of the races have them, but the Zerg's don't make much sense for the most part, unless you've taken the correspondence course in Zergish. You can take a look at the complete listing where?
5.Battle.Net / Multi-Player Issues
A.Are there Viruses on Battle.Net?
Short answer: No. Long answer: No. The only way you can get a virus from Battle.Net is if an update file is infected and you download and run the update file. Blizzard is very, very careful with update files, especially considering the majority of the initial media coverage of the CIH virus was linked to the on-line gaming sites that distributed infected files. Blizzard doesn't want any of that garbage attached to their name.
B.What are the Battle.Net backslash commands?
NOTE: The /reload and /rejoin commands do NOT work in the battle Ready Rooms. These are completely specious commands that do nothing. You'd get the same results by typing /downloadfasterdamnit
C.I can't see my friends on B.net!
This problem is caused when communications between the B.Net servers breaks down -- that is, they stop talking to each other. If you see large numbers of people vanishing all at the same time, chances are a server has split. You can check with the /users command -- if you see 4,000people on-line at a time when there are typically 15,000 users, you've been hit by a server split.
So, if you and your friend are logged into different B.net servers (say, you're logged into the GlobalCenter server and your bud is logged into the Exodus server), you won't be able to see each other. Solution? Log into the same server. How? The easiest and best way I know of us to use the Battle Net Launch Pad. You can download it where?
Run the program, make sure you're both logging into the same server, and all your problems should be solved.
D.What do the icons in the chat rooms mean?
There are basically nine types of icons that will appear to the left of people's names, and two different things that appear to the right of people's names. On the Left:
1.A gavel. This is the person at the top of the "who list" at the right of the screen. This person is the 'channel operator,' which means they can kick or ban people from the channel. Only private channels have channel operators. The channel belongs to whoever has the gavel. They own the channel. They can do anything they want in the channel. You have no inherent right to be in the channel, so don't bitch about anything the channel operator wants to do to you. If you have a problem with that, create your own channel.
2.A black box with stars or star pieces in it. The stars are indicative of how many wins, up to 10, the player has accrued. Each win is half a star; up to 5 stars are displayed.
3.A black box with gold numbers in it. These numbers are the player's rank, gained (or lost) via Ladder games. Some players have a golden band behind the numbers -- this indicates that the player is ranked on the B.net Ladder.The Blizzard Battle.Net Ladder FAQ is at http://www.battle.net/scc/faq/ <<10/16/99>>
4.A box with the word "chat" in it. This person is logged on via telnet. They are unable to do anything but sit in the chat rooms and, uh, chat.
5.A box with the word "spawn" in it. This unfortunate person does not own their own copy of StarCraft, and has instead been "spawned" off someone else's copy. They are unable to create games or join any games other than those created by the person they are spawned off of. "Encourage" these people to spring $40 for the game. ;)
6.A box with the Blizzard Logo in it. A Blizzard employee. Don't mess with them. Do what they say.
7.A box reading PGL PLAYER Rather self explanatory, no? If not, check http://www.pgl.com/ <<10/16/99>> for more info.
8.A box with the word "Sware" in it. (*2) This unfortunate person is playing the Shareware version of StarCraft. You can download the playable demo at http://www.blizzard.com/star/scdemo.shtml <<10/16/99>>
9.A box with the word "Diablo" in it. (*2) This person has somehow wandered into the StarCraft universe from the land of Diablo. They can chat but, of course, can not play StarCraft games.
10.One of the above boxes with a Big Red "X" over it. This indicates that you have this person "squelched," which means you will not hear anything they say or emote.
To the right of the names will be either one of two things: a little silver icon in a red box, or a series of colored bars. The little icon (that I think looks like a plug) indicates that this logged into Battle.Net via telnet and, as such, is unable to play games or do anything other than chat. Such players are usually marked with the 'chat' icon as well, but sometimes someone with a horrible connection that is not processing UDP packets will end up with a plug on the right and Stars or whatever on the left.
The colored bars are an indication of the amount of lag in the connection between the player and the Battle.Net server they are logged into.
E.Can I improve my lag?
It depends. The colored bars to the right of your name indicate the amount of lag between you and the Battle.Net Server. One or two green is good. Three or four yellow is kind of questionable. Five or six red is kind of hideous.
Lag has very little or nothing to do with your system specifications or the speed of your link to the Internet -- all it is, is a measure of the time it takes packets of information to travel from the Battle.Net Server to your computer. Even if you have the T3 Link From Hell on a Cray Supercomputer, if a node between you and the Battle.Net server is lagging, you will still lag.
There are a couple of things you can do to "fix" this: Log in and out of Battle.Net like a rabid weasel until you get "acceptable" lag. Try using the Battle Net Launch Pad to force StarCraft to log into a more favorable server.
F.What is latency anyway?
...and why do people get pissed when I set Extra High Latency two seconds into the game?!?
When you give a unit a command, the time between when the moment the unit receives the command and the moment it executes the command is it's latency.
There are three latency settings in a Battle.Net game: Low, High, and Extra High. When the game is set to Low Latency and you tell your peons to start gathering minerals, the peon will begin execution of that command a quarter of a second later.Here's the catch: your computer tells everyone else's computer that this unit will execute this command in a quarter of a second.
Now, when Net connections are good, it doesn't take a quarter of a second for this information to reach everyone's computer, so the peon starts happily collecting minerals and the game synchronization is fine. The problems start cropping up when there's lag -- when it actually takes more than a quarter of a second for commands to propagate to everyone's computer. This is when game synchronization starts getting thrown off, causing the computers to sit and wait for confirmation of execution of action from each other, which causes the "WAITING FOR PLAYER" dialog box to come up.
Setting a higher latency increases the time between giving a unit receiving a command and its execution -- which gives the command more time to propagate across all players, which keeps the game nicely in synch. At High Latency the delay is half of a second (ok everyone, in half a second this peon will start gathering minerals), while at extra-high latency the delay is one whole second.
So basically, play the game for a while. Low latency is good. Low latency is your friend. If a game starts getting laggy, then and only then, set the latency to High. It might not be necessary to jump all the way up to Extra High Latency. The lower the latency, the faster your units will respond to your commands. And this, of course, is better.
G.What are the different game types?
The official Blizzard FAQ on game types can be found at http://www.battle.net/scc/faq/ <<10/16/99>> and describes things just fine. Something worth elaborating on, however, are the Team Games.
Team is a rather neat type of game that requires a little more explanation.Basically there are between two and four players on each 'team.' Players can choose to be whatever race they desire in the Battle Ready Room. Once the game starts, the team will start with whatever race the first player in the team chose. For example, on a team with two people, the guy on top chooses to play Zerg, while his teammate selects Protoss. When the game starts, there will be a hatchery and four peons -- two Zerg drones and two Protoss probes.
All players on the same team can command all the units -- so you can give units completely contradictory commands. Whatever command the unit got last is what it will do. If your teammate is using a unit it will have a green dotted circle around it, so don't mess with it. (*1)
Something interesting about this mode of play is that _each_ person on the team gets 200 food points. So if you have two terrans on one team, they each get 200 food points -- which means the team can have up to 400 food points. This is cumulative, so for a four player team, the team would have 800 food points total, divided up between the races played. That is, a team of a terran, a Zerg, and two Protoss would get 200 points for the terrans, 200 points for the Zerg, and 400 points for the Protoss.(*2)
Also note: in the above team, if one of the Toss players gets an arbiter, the arbiter's cloaking field will also cloak the Terran and Zerg units. Ever seen a fleet of cloaked battle cruisers and guardians? It's rather neat.
H.What's a RUSH, anyway?
This question is here pretty much because "rushes" are a hot topic in the newsgroup, yet there seem to be as many different definitions of "rush" as there are people screaming about them.
Here's the final, definitive meaning:
RUSH (n.): an attack within the first five or six minutes of the game consisting of the basic units (i.e. marine, Zergling or zealot), that may or may not include peons (i.e. SCVs, drones, or probes).
Any attack that comes after six minutes is no longer a True Rush. By the very nature of rushes, a "Battle Cruiser / Guardian / Carrier Rush" is impossible in a melee game. These are swarms, not rushes.
I.Can I access B.net via a proxy?
[Q] I have two or more computers at home on a LAN with one Internet connection between them. Can I get both computers on Battle.Net?
[A] Yes and no. With most proxy programs you _can_ get on, but due to the nature of how Battle.Net handles the game communications, you're going to run into other problems. Namely, you can have two people on B.net in the chat rooms, but you won't be able to play in the same games. At least, this is the problem I ran into using SyGate. I've seen many pleas for help by people using WinGate, but I can't recall ever seeing a solution posted.
Editor's note: if you have managed this, please let me know.
J.Are there Multi-Player cheats?
There have been no confirmed sightings of worthwhile map hacks for version 1.07.
K.I have a pirated version; can you give me a CD-key?
No. If anyone were to give you their CD-key, they would be unable to play on B.net at the same time as you. I have no idea why a perfect stranger would want to do such a favor for you, and it probably won't happen.
alt.games.StarCraft is the wrong place to ask for pirate shit -- most of the people there are honest and ethical people, and you will draw mass flames if you ask there.
L.I Really Suck! Please Help Me!
This is but a simple and humble FAQ. If you want strats, I suggest you check out one of the following pages:
Thanks to: Name
1) John Gaetano
2) Mark D. Niemiec
3) Vince Yim
4) Shawn Poulson
5) Hans-Georg Michna
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