In the dead of the night, dozens of true Raynor's Raiders gathered in a GameStop in Durham, North Carolina to pick up the long, long-awaited StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.
There were at least thirty, maybe forty gamers crowded into the GameStop at New Hope Commons in Durham, NC. At least one of them already had his copy of StarCraft II, but many were there in anticipation of one of the most long-awaited sequels in recent memory. While new arrivals trickled in the door as the minutes counted down to midnight, the three earliest in line had already been there for several hours.
16-year-old Sam (Zerg) and Jake (Terran) were true StarCraft kids - they were only four years old when the first game came out, and yet remember playing it shortly after its release. "I really love RTS games," said Sam. "I played a ton of Age of Mythology, and I really love dino-bugs so I just thought the Zerg were awesome."
For him, then, there was no question that he'd be in practically first in line for the successor to what some people consider one of the finest RTS and PC games ever made, especially after learning how to play his beloved Zerg in the game's long beta test. Jake's 13-year-old brother Kier, on the other hand, never played the first title (he was barely a year old at the time, so we can forgive him), but had been pumped up for the launch nonetheless by the two older boys.
Not all of the attendees were as young, though - many were all too aware of the 12-year wait between the first StarCraft and its successor. "The first game came out at a really good time for me," said Rob, 36. "We were 25, my friend just got a house, so I'd lug my 17" CRT monitor over there in the back of my compact for LAN parties."
Matt, 32, who was fourth in line behind the young trio, had also been waiting years for StarCraft II. Though he hadn't been in the beta, he said that he enjoyed coming to midnight launches like this one - and had last been at one like this for Mass Effect 2.
He said that he would go home and immediately start on the Terran campaign to find out what happened. These sentiments were echoed by the young man standing behind him - Jeff, 20, who boasted that he would go home and "play the campaign until 4 AM."
Frankly, that doesn't sound like a bad idea to me. And hey, look! It just finished installing. How about that.