How To Play An RTS Game: Advice For Beginners

Originally posted on 11-28-07 at wire.ggl.com.

Clockwise from upper left: StarCraft II, Battle for Middle Earth II, Company of Heroes, Command & Conquer Tiberium Wars

I love math, and I’m terrible at it. I love foreign languages – I’ve studied four different ones, and have absolutely no aptitude whatsoever at any of them.

I love real-time strategy games, and I suck at them.

So I decided to comb the web and talk to a couple of experts, and put together the ultimate list of advice for RTS n00bs. Just from compiling this advice, I’ve graduated from “Worst RTS Player Ever” to “Generally Confused n00b.” But I’m still working at it. Continue reading

WTF? Play World of Warcraft with an Xbox 360 controller

Originally posted on GGL Wire 10/16/07.

Playing WoW with an Xbox controller.

The latest utility from Xfire lets you play World of Warcraft with an Xbox 360 controller.

Blue Orb, Inc. today announced Switchblade, a software package designed to allow gamers to play Blizzard’s massively popular World of Warcraft using an Xbox 360 controller. SwitchBlade is available today for download for free exclusively from Xfire.

SwitchBlade is an easy-to-use application that brings a fully configured game controller interface to any PC game. Once SwitchBlade is installed, it provides a console gaming experience for the gamer looking for a new way to play popular PC games. The first game supported by SwitchBlade is World of Warcraft. Preconfigured key bindings map the Xbox 360 controller buttons to the most commonly used World of Warcraft controls.

Now let me just say that it’s barely possible to control WoW with a keyboard and mouse. The WoW interface is very well designed, for an MMORPG — but it’s not precisely friendly to console controllers. Then again, EA was able to create a console version of the real-time strategy game Battle for Middle Earth II; I didn’t believe it was possible to effectively control an RTS with a controller, but I was wrong.

I decided to try out WoW using SwitchBlade and a wired 360 controller. Continue reading