A Year of Starcraft II
On Lava, Challenges, and Leaving Work Early To Play Starcraft
Sometimes, work is just annoying. I mean, there’s only so many times I can call somebody an asshole in my head as I smile at them and give them what they want. And with the holiday day this pay period, I wasn’t losing anything by leaving early. So, with Starcraft II on the brain, I left and figured I could get home early and play my two hours in time to get some sleep. Hah! About four hours later, and the only reason I quit was because my arm hurt.
I seriously think I do need a desk and chair. The weird position I play in was more noticeable today because I was trying to use the hotkeys (4s 4sz 1a, etc.). Too many days of that and carpal tunnel here I come. Although perhaps it is just the muscle I need to build up, since it is my left forearm…
On to the game:
I started off with two games vs. the AI. I played as random, which were me as Terran and the computer as Protoss for the first and me as Zerg vs. computer Zerg for the second.
I won the Terran vs. Protoss game the same way I did the last time (bunkers + marines and tanks). The only thing that was really different, I think, was the timing. I felt quicker, and as soon as the Protoss force was repelled by the mix of tanks and marines in bunkers, I launched the army and took out their base. It was good to win, and improve a bit, but not very satisfying to play the same game. It will be hard not to just do that if the match comes up again. I am left wondering what a Protoss force in the multi would do and how I would counter it.
The Zerg vs. Zerg game was a fun one. I employed extensive use of the hotkeys in that game (thanks for the tips in the comments), popping out drones and zerglings like I had been doing it for months instead of two days. But it took me a while to realize I needed to make different units. I only started making roaches after my first three zergling attacks didn’t yield any results. I also started using queens to inject larvae so I could have more units to make. That is a very interesting and, it seems to me, very useful ability. Someone mentioned Zerg’s ability to not make many units until you actually see a rush coming, at which point you can start popping out your units (that’s what she said). The injecting skill must be what they were talking about. I believe my lack of variety of units is the reason I lost. After expanding, plus having an extra lair in my main base (I hit the wrong key and didn’t realize until it was already finished), I should have been making some of the air units. That was what defeated me, at least. My three queens couldn’t hold them off, and those plus roaches destroyed my base. I definitely felt much better about playing Zerg that game, though. It wasn’t so alien.
After that, I decided to play the challenges, as a few people had suggested them to me as a way to learn the countering units. I enjoyed this part of the game a lot. Setting up different mixes of units and seeing how they fared against the others was challenging and very interesting. I lost repeatedly on the first one of Terran vs. Zerg. I kept sending my tanks against the Ultralisk, thinking it needed that much firepower. But, no, it turns out the Marines, with the stim ability, are better against those. I probably should have expected that, seeing as how the ranged Zerg unit kept killing my marines over and over again. However, it never occurred to me that the range vs. range was the correct thing to do. At least, not until I finally looked at the hint.
The Protoss vs. Terran challenges were easier, and I liked using the psionic powers of the High Templar. Although the Protoss Carriers don’t seem to be very powerful. I had a hard time with those vs. the Terran Battlecruisers. But all in all it was a relatively quick challenge.
I tried to at least get silver on one of the challenges, but couldn’t do it. I may end up going back to them, but not until I finish the others.
On the campaign side, that lava level kicked my ass. I made it about twenty minutes in and didn’t have more than 500 of the 8000 resources I needed, so I stopped for the night. I couldn’t get the hang of moving everything around. I just sat there, as the resources dwindled, building units (which wasted the resources I needed to complete the level) when I should have scouted more. That would have allowed me to find the other spots with resources and keep moving as the resources were depleted. Hopefully this works when I try it tomorrow.
I really, really want to try the multiplayer, but I know if I do I will never come back to the campaign. So I’m gong to finish the campaign and the challenges before moving on. I have kind of skirted around this, saying I would play the campaign for a week or so before moving on, but I do think I should finish it. Someone said that after the first five, and learning the basics, it’s really not that important. I think that perhaps this is partially right and while the campaign won’t make me any better at the tactics of the game, I will have a greater grasp of the controls when I finish.
All of the offers of games are very tempting, though.
I almost didn’t update this blog tonight, but it felt wrong not to write. There’s something to be said for going over everything I’ve done, and most of the examining and realizing what I did wrong happens when I’m trying to explain my play here. So, I will try to keep this an every day thing.
For tomorrow, more challenges and I will at least finish the lava level, if not one more.