redditpickedmyhobby

A Year of Starcraft II

Progression

In all they hype I felt for Starcraft II after Monday night, I completely forgot Tuesday was my off day.  I ended up streaming for two hours, and then played some 2v2 for a bit after.  I didn’t finish until about 4am so I forwent the posting yesterday.  Tonight, I got home early and played for another four hours or so, streaming about 1.  Both nights, I felt more together and focused.  Even the games I lost, I knew what had happened and what I did wrong.  And the games I won, I won with better macro and mechanics.  It feels good to know that if I lose a bunch of units, I know I’m not done in the game and I can come back and win.  This happened a couple of times tonight.

In one game, here’s the replay, I held off a cannon rush and then held off his five gate push later.  It wasn’t exactly a tour de force, but I felt good responding as quickly as I did and being able to fend for myself in a game I felt behind in.  Looking at the replay, you can tell I pulled another Idra and GGed maybe not when I had a win, but when I wasn’t behind like I thought I was.  He pulled back to expand, and I had ample time and minerals to do the same and at least build up to hold off another attack. Other than that, I should have had a roach warren up too.  Having roaches would have helped hold off the attack and I think position me better for later in the game.

Goal wise, I was watching the minimap a lot in that game.  I saw his first push heading over and moved my lings and banes to attack.  I didn’t, however, retake the watchtower after that ling had died.  This would have let me see the next attack coming sooner.  Control grouping my army, though, was done throughout the game.  This is something that’s taken a lot of focus to get down (especially using the eggs and ctrl-clicking them to not add larvae to my control groups), and it feels really good to finally be getting it right.  Moving that group to hold off his first attack, for instance, was a lot quicker with a control group up, instead of boxing and telling to attack.  On setting up my bases, I feel really good.  I didn’t oversaturate in this game (something I’ve done in others).  I still have a bad habit of pulling one drone to make the gas, instead of boxing them and shift building, even when I do two.  That’s something I will be working on.

The only changes to tomorrow’s goals are dropping watching the minimap (not stopping doing it, but it’s something I’m doing consistently and can move on from) and returning to using all of my available larvae as soon as it pops.  I’ve lost focus on this and it’s very obvious in my late game.

As a little update, I finally ordered a desk and chair and it will be here Friday.  I’m looking forward to having a better playing position, as my hand is beginning to hurt or feel rubbery after hours of play.  Stretching helps a lot, but leaning back in a recliner with my keyboard in my lap is not good for my arms.  It also makes hitting control and 1 awkward and slow.

Until tomorrow, GLHF.

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8 responses to “Progression

  1. ZiggyD July 7, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Good job on getting to a point with you minimap awareness that you are happy with, many people ignore it completely but it really helps your play.

    I’m pretty jelly of your new desk and chair, I would love new ones myself 😦

    Good job, keep up the blogging and keep up the playing 🙂

  2. slacker July 7, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Good progress so far. Good thing to keep in mind: Cheese, by it’s very nature, is nearly always all-in. Meaning, if you hold off a cheese, even if you took some damage, you are almost ALWAYS equal or even ahead. Even if you feel way behind.

    Cannon rush: Protoss isn’t making tech or probes in his base. Often times, even after losing some lings and drones, you’ll be equal or ahead in workers AND have your spawning pool + maybe a roach warren up.

    Same thing applies for other types of cheese, but just keep in mind…unless you have 0 drones and no money to make more after a cheese, you’re probably ahead.

    • slacker July 7, 2011 at 7:45 am

      Forgot to add: With a 1-base 4-gate, if they don’t break you and win, and you see them pull back, you are also ahead. So if you barely hold it off after pulling drones or whatever, you’re actually in a good position.

  3. agehn July 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I’ve had a great time reading this blog and seeing someone with little RTS background get into SCII, it really makes me feel good about this stuff getting more mainstream and widely accepted. le_temps’ story in particular is fun to follow, especially since I’ve been playing for a while now but haven’t put in the time I’d like. This blog really highlights how productive and fun laddering in general can be.

    Up ’till now, I’ve understood all the mechanics being discussed, the advice being given, and the reasoning behind it. But this post mentions something I hadn’t seen. What’s this about shift building extractors? The way I’m currently playing, I’ll click one SCV, then br to make a refinery. Or if I want to build two at once, I’ll select two SCVs , move command them near the gas and hold shift br to place two refineries. But this sounds like if you box select a bunch of workers, then hold shift and place a building, one worker will immediately leave the line to go build? Can you hold shift, place the building, then right click on the mineral line again to have that worker return to mining, or will that make all the selected workers shuffle around as they try to all mine one node for a second?

    • redditpickedmyhobby July 7, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      I’m not sure if it translates into the other races, but yes, if I box the drones, hold shift and tell them to build two extractors, the two closest to the gases will go (dropping off their minerals if they have any) and put up the extractors. It may work better with zerg because the drones are used up by building the extractors and there’s no extra move to tell them to return to minerals. Perhaps someone can answer this better than I can.

      • agehn July 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm

        Ah, thanks. And for Terran, the refinery is one building where the worker sort of gets ‘used up’ because it starts mining gas as soon as it’s done, so that would work. I should be doing that. Thanks, and again, great work on the blog and streams.

  4. dtpesyna July 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    you are my hero. keep at it

  5. Crush July 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Hey man,

    Been following you since the beginning, I LOVE what you’re doing and am very jelly that you have the time for this.

    There’s a habit you have though that’s driving me absolutely bonkers. (I’m only half way thru the 2 hour stream, so I don’t know if you corrected this, but it’s happened every game so far) .. I’m not sure if anyone else has shared this with you, but you send units to attack and then basically ignore what happens once they arrive at the enemy base. You are losing a lot of games because more often than not, your army is getting liquefied while you’re macroing in your base. Keeping as many of your offensive units alive as possible is absolutely critical to winning games. If you send units in to engage, and it is clearly a losing battle (biggest example so far being sending a large number of roaches up the protoss ramp and getting absolutely pwned by his stalkers and collosi), you HAVE to fall back and preserve as many units as you can. Otherwise you open the door for your opponent to immediately counter against a half-rebuilt army that doesn’t stand a chance, as has happened in most (maybe all?) of the games you’ve lost so far in this stream. Even the game you won, as your coach pointed out, you looked at his base only once or twice. Many roaches died unnecessarily.

    As a developing player myself, I understand that it’s tough to juggle managing an engaging army while still maintaining macro, but the earlier you start practicing managing both, the better. Even if your macro slips while microing your army, you’re probably better off than letting your troops run into a blood bath without a second thought.

    TL;DR: If you lose an entire attacking army, you’ve probably lost the game. So try to keep your army alive. Pull back if it’s a bad engagement. Pick your battles.

    I look forward to your continued development, and wish you all the best.

    – Crush

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