A Year of Starcraft II

Drinking From The Firehose

The title is meant in jest, but at one point tonight there were three or four people giving me advice on play all at the same time.  It was a crazy night.  A lot of fun too.

I started with a pick up game vs. a high rank player, just to play something.  I knew it would be over quickly and it was.  After this, a bronze level player offered to play, and a player who had been helping me observed.  It was over quickly.  He did a Dark Templar rush and I had no response for it.  We played a few more games, and I lost often and early.  It was fun to play the games, don’t get me wrong, but I still feel very far behind.

After a little break to watch the Game of Thrones finale (one of the best shows ever) I was back to playing.  This time, there were about six guys online who offered to help.  With a big map, a 1v1 Xelnaga where you can have a bunch of people watching and betting on the outcome, we set up matches where one of them would try cheese and I would try to defend against it.  Even knowing it was coming, there was little I could do to stop it.  This was the first time I actually got upset and raged a little.  After trying to defend a proxy gate 5 times, I still couldn’t do anything against it.  If I saw it, I didn’t have lings in time.  If I didn’t see it, I was caught off guard with too few lings.  I guess I should have just made a shit load of lings.  But it’s impossible if they get to my base early.  I was told to put 4 drones per pylon.  It seemed to work, but I couldn’t do that, focus on making lings to kill the probe and deal with the zealot that popped.  It drove me crazy.

After the cheese “fun”, the bronze level player I had been playing earlier came on again.  We played a couple games together, with an audience of diamonds and platinums.  I didn’t do as horrible.  The last game I even had a little momentum with some roaches in the middle game.  But I still lost repeatedly.  I think it’s a problem of focus.  If I’m trying to focus on injecting (INJECTx2!! will be popping up in my head for many, many games) I lose sight of upgrades and the like.  If I focus on the damage units, my worker count drops into the low 30s.  And I know as Zerg I need to take more expansions and make macro hatches if my money gets too high, but it is hard to remember in the middle of the game.

All in all a lot to work on before I do the placement matches this week.  And it looks like the card won’t be here until Tuesday, so I’m thinking to stream placement matches on Thursday.  I will put up a definitive date and time once I make sure the card is working and everything is set up.

A big thank you to everyone who played and helped today.  Hope to play with you again soon!



24 responses to “Drinking From The Firehose

  1. Midjet June 20, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Hey man, there is a mantra I use while playing zerg that helps me a lot.

    It is called Clouds.


    I find it helps me to play better when using it, I’m not sure any one has suggested it to you for Zerg yet so I figured I would.

  2. Razer June 20, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Remember that one exercise we did where you just made roaches and lings by yourself. It’s great to for just working on your macro. Like I said before, if you can’t do it while you’re by yourself, you definitely can’t do it in a game. When you’re just starting, don’t worry about working on things like you’re macro without having an opponent as it gives you the space you need to focus on getting the macro mechanics ingrained in you. Then, once you can do it by yourself, try and incorporate it in a game where you’ve got lots of other things to worry about.

    Looking forward to watching the placement matches 🙂

  3. marceuse June 20, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Drinking from the firehose sounds about right. There is a lot to learn about SC2, but don’t get overwhelmed! People offering advice about really tiny details mean very well, but there is definitely something to be said for getting comfortable with the broad strokes before focusing on the little things. Loving this project/blog/idea, definitely following along. Glhf!

    • Jonas June 20, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Completely agree here. You probably know what you’re doing wrong. Having 6 people tell you what you’re doing wrong all the time won’t help and will likely make you frustrated. You just need to play more games to practice. You’ll enjoy it more.

  4. Han Siang Phua June 20, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Always frustrating at the start, but you have it good cause of the community. imagine playing with all those people who swear and curse at you whenever you make a mistake. Here everyone is supporting!

    Make your daily requirement, after a while, you will get used to everything, and from there on, its a mind game, not a “who can inject larva the most” game 😀

  5. Han Siang Phua June 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

    One more thing, it’d be nice if you did vlog posts 😀

  6. Reid McCamish June 20, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Keep in there! After awhile, you’ll hit a point where everything starts making sense; you won’t win all the time, but you’ll feel like you knew what you were doing, and even maybe why you lost. It’s a great feeling when it starts to come together. Gl, hf.

  7. Mary Beth June 20, 2011 at 10:12 am

    I agree with the vlog posts. Or take a picture of you and your cheetos and energy drink. Or describe this as some sort of epic battle between you and Starcraft. You have a build in audience here from reddit and I’m quickly losing interest. Give us a little style or some sort of personal connection. 🙂 Just my 2 cents!

  8. slacker June 20, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Zerg is the hardest race to learn, but it’s rewarding. I personally thing Prtoss is the best race to learn the game with, but either way, keep going.

  9. Fuzzy.724 June 20, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Hope you don’t start to get discouraged by the nearly vertical learning curve of multiplayer. The game is meant to be fun! If you find yourself raging at the game, take a break. Play some Starjeweled (which will help increase your APM and multitasking as well), or just do something else.

    I’d hate to see you start to hate the game because you tried to learn too much too fast. Just enjoy yourself! 😀

  10. Razer June 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I agree with agree with the vlog posts. Having a “documentary” with pictures and everything would be pretty sweet. You could have pictures of you getting your new card, installing it, and then the beauty that is startcraft running on the highest settings (or whatever you can run it at :P).

  11. HTMC June 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    I can definitely understand the frustration of the multiple cheese thing (I wasn’t sure if it was the best idea at the time) but I would say the key thing to keep in mind is that it’s infinitely more frustrating when it happens for real in a ladder game, and given how many people on the ladder will just cheese over and over and over again, it’s not a question of it but rather when and how often 😛

    Just keep in mind overall you’re doing very well, especially given how recently you began. I think it’s easy for the more experienced players to forget what it was like when they were just starting at RTSs. But you’re on the right track, and someday soon everything will just click and go well, and it’ll feel great, I promise 😀

    I also look forward to playing with you again!

  12. RokB June 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    It seems like you’re having trouble injecting with queens. This ( video can help you out a ton.

  13. 213 June 20, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Please stop playing customs against anyone for now. Most of them just wants to show you something that they want to brag about. And they are also trying to teach you too advanced information you probably won’t need to know until after you are comfortable with the mechanics of your chosen race. You are trying to learn to many things at once. You have too many coaches all with different view of how you should learn the game. The matchmaking system of bnet works great, just ladder and ladder and ladder once you are ready. It is important to learn at your own pace.

    • HTMC June 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

      I was one of the people helping him out the other night, and I don’t think any of us were trying to “show something to brag about.” I think we were all intrigued by his story and just wanted to help out. Furthermore, we were limiting each other with how “advanced” we got, I even suggested something at one point and the others shut me down for being too advanced. So please don’t make assumptions when you have no idea what was going on.

  14. Claus June 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Zerg can be a pretty frustrating race to play at times, maybe you should try a day or two as terran before your matches, to make sure you are picking the right race for you.

    I’m not sure playing these specialist matches are the best idea though. I’m sure that everyone in the /r/ community have their own best ideas of how to make you learn, but being placed against stronger/weaker random players in the ladder can maybe help you boost your confidence, as you don’t play a bunch of “completely smash you” rounds at a time. Try to balance both.

    And if you feel really, really frustrated at 1×1, do some Free For All for a change! Mindless, Reckless fun 😀

  15. James June 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Game of Thrones….fuck yes!

    Sad about the long wait to season 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7……..

    As for SC2…..Keep on playing. GLHF

  16. Joshua James Vote June 20, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Starcraft is overwhelming at first because there are so many different aspects of the game competing for your immediate attention. SC2 was the RTS I decided to play and I know all too well the problems you are currently facing but now I’ve worked my way from Bronze into low diamond (as zerg) and all I can say is that it eventually gets easier.

    The aha! moment for me was making the following realisations;
    1) You can’t focus on everything at once and 99% of the time your focus is best spent NOT looking at a battle (it’s better spent at your base making units, injecting etc).
    2) During the first 2-3 minutes of the game make sure you are building your drones at exactly 50 minerals, your spawning pool at exactly 200 minerals etc. SC2 is a game of compounding advantages and it is truly amazing how much of a difference this ‘little’ piece of effort makes (especially in the lower leagues).

    If you just address the above 2 points you will find the game goes from “Holy crap, he has a lot of stuff in my base” to “Oh, I’ll just defend this easily then go kill him” (at least until the higher leagues). Don’t forget to have fun too.

  17. Epik June 21, 2011 at 3:59 am

    Hey, i think you should start a thread at TeamLiquid to keep everyone updated. It would for sure get lots more hits and it might be easier to keep updated. Either in the community section or blog section probably.


  18. Hank June 21, 2011 at 4:12 am

    It’s funny how playing zerg makes you rage 🙂

  19. hu June 21, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Mass games is how i learnt the game.

    i must’ve played around 200 games during beta.

    Hand speed and macro is the thing to start with i guess.

  20. Jake June 21, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I think the big thing is that you’re so public, you’ve got eighteen different people trying to teach you how to play at the same time.

    If you’re familiar with what all the units actually do, you can play the game and just focus on making STUFF. That will carry you to gold. To get to plat, focus on making stuff SMARTLY and QUICKLY. To get to diamond, focus on reacting to your opponent, and to get to masters from there it’s just refinement. Sure, in bronze you’ll lose to a DT rush or a cannon rush or a proxy gate if you don’t scout it. But scouting will come with time, and the player who has to resort to these cheeses is likely the less skilled player overall anyway.

    Keep up the playing ,keep up the posts. I’m at least having a lot of fun following your progress and opinion on the game. It’s very fresh, for someone who comes from playing the original SC since ~2000.

  21. Dustin J June 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Keep working hard man! Cheese is still one of the hardest things to deal with no matter what league you’re in. I still get cannon rushed/proxy gated/6 pooled from time to time and even though I have a pretty decent understanding of how to deal with it I still fuck it up half the time.

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