SLIDESHOW

10 Things to Do While Waiting for StarCraft II

StarCraft II goes on sale Monday at midnight, so what's a real-time strategy gamer to do while sweating those final anticipatory hours?

StarCraft II Launches Tuesday, July 27

After years waiting, speculating, and beta-playing, StarCraft II--Blizzard's practically epochal sci-fi real-time strategy game--finally lands this evening at midnight. Here's a list of to-dos to help you while away the closing hours, minutes, and milliseconds.

Pre-Order and Pre-Download a Copy of the Game

StarCraft II technically comes out in the U.S. tomorrow (it's already out overseas) but if you pre-order and pre-download it now, you...still can't play it tonight at precisely midnight. Nope. Blizzard's making everyone wait until tomorrow, launch day, July 27, at exactly 10:00 AM PDT. Shake your fist at your computer screen and repeat after me: Boo hiss.

Check Out Blizzard's Beginner's Guide to StarCraft II

Skip the story and lore stuff (stories in RTS's always suck) and focus on the Gameplay Overview. Skim the parts that make StarCraft II sound like every other RTS under the sun and study the user interface overview. Familiarize yourself with the GUI, then fantasize about trouncing all those glib, contrarian writers who've been pre-hating StarCraft II and think Blizzard can do no right.

Read the Battle.net Terms of Use, Word for Word

Including the part where Blizzard writes, using all caps, that it "MAY SUSPEND, TERMINATE, MODIFY, OR DELETE ACCOUNTS AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON OR FOR NO REASON, WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE TO YOU." Thank your deity of choice that you can still play the single-player campaign offline.

Play Some Limbo

It's not a real-time strategy game, but it's still probably better than StarCraft II...or anything else you've played this year.

Play Some Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising

It is a real-time strategy game, and probably the best that's come along since the original StarCraft. Make fun of anyone who disagrees.

Download a Countdown Reminder Tool

Set it to run until midnight tonight. Calculate the number of seconds left every five minutes and write this down. Divide that number by one. The result will be the amount of time you could have been doing something productive while waiting for StarCraft II to come out.

Read Patrick Miller's Guide, How To Dominate StarCraft II

Program Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing for Hotkey Training

Set up a few macros and key sequences. Test your left hand's ability to crunch hydralisks, upgrade roach warrens, and deploy dark templars. Realize that hotkeys are so 1998. Revel in the anachronism.

Take Cover in a Bomb Shelter

Blizzard's StarCraft II website reads "nuclear launch detected," so you'd better hurry. That, or phone Homeland Security and offer them another rabbit hole to fall down.

Hang Out On Blizzard's StarCraft II Message Boards