“During this time when people would say, ‘Terrans can’t do it!’ I practiced even harder with the thought of, ‘Why can’t they?’” “Looking back, becoming familiar with Protoss strategies helped me greatly in using Terran. Because I mainly used the reaver-shuttle strategies when I used to be a Protoss user, using dropships as a Terran felt natural.” -Lim Yo-hwan, Crazy As MeBefore we sprout our metaphorical wings, like in metamorphosis, we’re first engulfed in a cocoon - a chamber of stylistic reincarnation that change everything we know about our capabilities. Birth followed by rebirth. Like in most places, humans, compared to more advanced or savage alien species, are weak, less intelligent, and more brittle. Only through working in tandem with one another and through our cunning with tools do we pull ahead against the raw, superior threat of our opposition. We have to work twice as hard and really exploit our opponent’s weakness to stay alive, let alone claim victory (...at least in a hypothetical scenario against advanced or savage aliens.) In Brood War’s infancy, micromanagement—the ability to maneuver your army units to be more effective—was not really a consideration. If we look at the game in a vacuum, tier 1 units consist of the Marine, the Zealot, and the Zergling. Zerglings were the “weakest” stat-wise, but two hatched out of one egg at the same price as a Marine. Zealots were the beefiest unit, with what would eventually be balanced out to have 100 HP and 60 Shields (initially 80/80). They cost 100 minerals—so twice the price of a marine—but absolutely demolish them. It’s bad when an early zealot gets in your base now, but back then? You basically lost the game. Much as civilization has evolved to handle these matters, so too did the Terran race. What could Terran do to stay alive against these superior units in order to build up to their incredible mech line production? And even when they got to those, how do the Terran keep themselves alive when they have so many more things to do than attack-move? The earliest answer to this was walling. It wasn’t always clean, but to the game engine, it didn’t matter; it did the trick. This one technique gave a very unique identity to the Terran race in competitive StarCraft’s inception and was all the difference between instant death and zero damage taken.
It may not seem like this wall would keep the Zealot out, but it certainly does.Walling as a technique has gone through many iterations. Usually done with a combination of Supply Depots and a Barracks, full walls were the initial method discovered to stop early assaults from the Protoss and Zerg. This took a vast investment of time and study on each individual competitive map, with different terrain and building placement causing different units to be able to walk through or be blocked out. In the early years, this was the preferred method to keep the alien races out; however, as time went on and the game became more nuanced, it would no longer suffice outside of more niche circumstances. New problems arose. People started expanding faster and macroing—that is, managing their economy and production—better. The importance of army flow out of several factories was likely the largest contributor to the death of this one-size-fits-all solution. While walling still exists in map-specific circumstances—generally to get away with a greedier fast expand opening, such as Command Center first—the natural evolution to this was an enemy unit funneling method by what the Brood War community dubs the tactic as “sim citying”. This may always have been the most efficient method all this time; however, players were not good enough at micro for this to work, especially given how much more common one-base openers were back then. As the game evolved, more macro-oriented playstyles were deemed “standard” and more optimal in the majority of situations. As is natural in the primitive beginnings of an RTS’ lifespan—especially one as old as the original StarCraft—the game was far more rush-centric, punishing greed and shutting down all but the best executed defenses with the looming threat of early all-ins.
“Edison, who was ignored numerous times for having ridiculous thoughts, Denmark's Dalgas, who cultivated the barren land that was considered impossible to farm, the Wright brothers, that realized humanity’s dream to fly, and many others persistently pressed towards their goal with firm conviction and volition and stood their ground. There is probably no one who has pioneered a new life without going through numerous oppositions, failures, and trials.” [...] “At the time, Terrans were rated as the weakest of the three races. To put it briefly, it was a period when Terrans were viewed as nothing, so no one saw me as a winning candidate. It was not surprising, as I did not play against a single Terran from the 16th rounds to the finals. Today, many say that one must defeat a Terran to win the finals, but at the time it was only expected for a Terran to lose, and they were only thought of as an extra that the Zerg or Protoss passed through as they won the finals.” -Crazy as Me